|Phayul[Thursday, February 09, 2012 09:57]|
DHARAMSHALA, February 9: Thousands of Tibetans in the Yushul area of eastern Tibet led a peaceful protest, carrying banners demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and respect for Tibetan lives yesterday. The protest coincided with the call for a global vigil on February 8 by the exile Tibetan leadership in solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet.
In information received by Phayul, around 400 monks from the Dzil Kar monastery in Tridu began a protest march to Dza Toe town at 10 am local time. The monks were confronted by a large number of armed Chinese security personnel at a bridge leading to the town and were told that the march will not be allowed any further.
“As the confrontation grew, over a thousand Tibetans from the nearby areas joined the monks in the protest,” exile sources with links in the region told Phayul.
The monks unfurled banners, written in blue and red ink, symbolic of the two protector deities of Tibet, calling for the Dalai Lama’s return, release of Tibetan political prisoners including the XIth Panchen Lama and respect for Tibetan lives.
However, no arrests were made during the protest but a large security build up has been reported in the region.
Yesterday’s protest in Yushul comes just a day after a top government official in Beijing said that China will “resolutely crack down” on any attempt to “incite violence or to disrupt national unity and integrity".
In the past few weeks, Chinese security personnel in the adjoining regions of Drango and Serthar had opened indiscriminate fire on unarmed protesters, killing and injuring a large number of Tibetans.
21 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire demanding the return of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet. The latest self-immolation took place in the besieged Ngaba town yesterday.
Many parts of Tibet remain cut off from outside world with a prevailing situation of undeclared martial law following the fiery wave of self-immolations and mass protests.