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Situation in Derge "Critical" after Residents Distribute Tibet Independence Pamphlets

March 25, 2009

Tibet Custom
March 24, 2009

Dharamshala -- The sources described the present situation in
Dzogchen township in Derge (Ch: Dege) in Karze Tibet Autonomous
Prefecture (TAP) as "critical", after Tibetan people living in the
region distributed large number of Tibet independence leaflets on the
eve of an important religious gathering on 22 March.

A large number of local Tibetans and pilgrims gather at Dzongchen
Monastery to observe Phurchen, an important day to undertake
religious activities on 23 March.

On the eve of the gathering, the sources witnessed leaflets calling
for Tibet independence, along with copies of Lungta, a symbol of good
luck, scattered all over the main road leading to the monastery.

The sources said pamphlets used were copied from wooden blocks with
the slogans imprinted on it.

Following the incident a tense situation has been prevailing in the
region, sources said.

In a separate incident, a Tibetan monk of staged lone protest in
Lithang county (Ch: Litang) in Karze "TAP" on 22 March at around
11:20 a.m. (local time).

The monk was identified as 18-year-old Choekyong Tsering of Lithang Monastery.

He shouted slogans of "long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama" and
Tibet independence".

He was severely beaten up after getting nabbed by officials of the
area's Public Security Bureau. He is presently lodged in Lithang county prison.
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