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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

20 Tibetans arrested in Sershul for "dissent"

September 2, 2009

Phayul
August 31, 2009

Dharamsala, August 31 -- Chinese authorities in
Sershul County in Kardze (TAP), Prefecture,
Sichuan province, have arrested 20 Tibetans
including two minors since Saturday in connection
with two separate incidents of anti China
protests, according to the Voice of Tibet radio.

The arrests came after a group of Tibetans
brought down and tore into pieces a Chinese
national flag on the eve of the inauguration of
new hall of Tashi Gephel ling monastery in
Chaktsa (spelled as pronounced) division
(Tib:depa), in Zakay (spelled as pronounced)
township, monk at Sera monastery’s Jadrel
Khangtsen, Sonam Dakpa, told the radio.

On the day of the inauguration on August 28, some
residents sang melodies in praise of the exile
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and other
politically banned songs at a gathering that was
attended by over a thousand people from the area.

"I was told that they wrote ‘independence for
Tibet’ and other pro -- Tibet slogans on the torn
pieces of the Chinese flag and replaced it by a
Tibetan national flag," Sonam said on phone.

No arrests were made on the day. However, the
Chinese police started investigating into the
matter and hunted down suspects from August 29.

Tharshul division’s Dhamchoe, 14; and his brother
Sonam Yonten, 10; were among those arrested for
singing songs in praise of the Dalai Lama. Also
arrested in connection with the flag-tearing and
singing incidents were Chaktsa monastery’s Dechen
Trinlay Rinpoche, disciplinarian Thambo, Yagar,
Dawa, Nemel, Loyak, Thinlay Nima, Dagyam, Thupo,
Sonam, Tharshong, Sheba and six others from the
two divisions, Chaktsa and Tharshul.

According to the source, the situation in the
area is tense with the authorities sending in
troops to quell any sign of dissent. "At the
moment, the atmosphere is very tense. People have
seen about twenty military trucks in the area," he added.

Those arrested are currently detained at the County prison in Sershul.
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