Phayul[Tuesday, January 24, 2012 20:55]
Young Tibetan monks at the candle light vigil in Dharamshala to protest ongoing police brutalities in Tibet, January 24, 2012. (Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal)
DHARAMSHALA, January 24: Tibetans in the exile seat of Dharamshala, north India carried out a candle light vigil to protest police firing over the last two days in Tibet which has left at least 11 dead.
In two separate incidents, hundreds of Tibetans took out demonstrations calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and demanding freedom in Tibet.
Protests in Drango county, Kandze flared up yesterday after local Chinese Public Security Bureau officials began to arbitrarily arrest Tibetans on suspicion of their involvement in the appearance of leaflets and posters around the town following the wave of self-immolations in the region. The posters had warned of more Tibetan self-immolations if the Chinese government did not listen to Tibetan concerns.
Earlier reports had indicated that one Tibetan was shot dead in Drango but now reports are confirming the death of six Tibetans in yesterday’s firings.
In reports today, at least five Tibetans have been confirmed dead in police firings in Serthar, eastern Tibet today.
Over 600 Chinese security personnel arrived at a scene of peaceful demonstrations in the central town of Serthar where gathered Tibetans raised slogans calling for Tibet’s independence.
Chinese security personnel began firing indiscriminately at the crowd, killing at least five and wounding many more. Sources say Serthar is under virtual martial law with injured Tibetans left with no access to medical treatment.
In a release at the candle light vigil, the Dharamshala regional chapter of the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-democracy group in exile said the ongoing police brutalities in Tibet were signs of Chinese government’s “insecurity” and “failure” of their policies in Tibet.
“As we lead this candle light vigil in Dharamshala to protest police firing in Kham Drango yesterday and Serthar this morning, we say prayers for the martyrs and mark our solidarity with our people in Tibet,” the youth organisaton said.
“We request the Indian government and its people, and the international community to ask the Chinese government to respect human rights in Tibet and immediately withdraw their security crackdown in Tibet”.
The International Tibet Network, a global movement of 185 Tibet advocacy organisations condemned China's “escalating crackdown” after police firings in Tibet.
The group also vowed to intensify efforts for multilateral pressure on China in a release yesterday.
“We vow to intensify our efforts in support of Tibetans inside Tibet and call on world governments, international institutions, and the global community to pressure China to address Tibetan grievances before more lives are lost,” the organisations declared.
In the past 11 months, 16 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.
“The scale of this crisis and China's unwillingness to acknowledge international concern warrants a strong international response,” said the International Tibet Network while urging all governments to “publicly condemn China’s use of force against unarmed Tibetan protestors.”
“The worldwide membership of the International Tibet Network condemns China’s flagrant disregard for fundamental human rights and its cruel and systematic assault on the Tibetan people,” the release said.