Monday 27 June 2011

Human rights issue 'not off limits'

China's premier Wen Jiabao attends a joint press conference with David Cameron

David Cameron insisted human rights issues were not "off limits" with China today after holding talks with Premier Wen Jiabao.
As the two leaders announced a package of trade deals worth £1.4 billion, the Prime Minister said he would always raise difficult questions about political freedom and the justice system alongside seeking closer economic ties.
Meanwhile, Mr Wen said Britain and Beijing had to treat each other as "equals" on human rights.
He stressed that China was pursuing "political structural reform and improvement of democracy and the rule of law" as well as economic growth.
The comments came at a press conference in central London during Mr Wen's three-day visit to the UK.
Asked whether he had raised human rights during the talks, Mr Cameron said: "There is no trade-off in our relationship. It is not about either discussing trade or human rights.
"Britain and China have such a strong and developed relationship. We have a dialogue that covers all these issues, and nothing is off limits in the discussions that we have."
He added: "We are different countries, we have different histories, different stages of development.
"We should show each other respect. But we're very clear that political and economic development should go hand in hand, that one supports the other."
Mr Wen said: "On human rights, China and the UK should respect each other, respect the facts, treat each other as equals, engage in more co-operation than finger-pointing and resolve our differences through dialogue."
He went on: "China is not only pursuing economic development but also political structural reform and improvement in democracy and the rule of law."
In a possible sign of irritation at being asked questions about human rights by British reporters, Mr Wen said China believed states should not address one another "in a lecturing way" on the issue.
"I am confident that tomorrow's China will enjoy not only economic prosperity but improved democracy and legal systems. It will be a country based on the rule of law," he added.
Mr Cameron said trade with China represented a "huge opportunity" for the UK, and the countries were "on target" to meet their aim of expanding bilateral trade to 100 billion US dollars (£62.7 billion) by 2015, he said.
And he said that, as an open economy, Britain was "the natural home for Chinese investment into Europe, making clear this could include major national infrastructure projects such as the planned high-speed rail link between London and the North.
Mr Cameron said he would oppose moves in Europe to protect local markets against Chinese competition, which he described as "the wrong approach". Britain and China had agreed new arrangements to encourage "people-to-people" contacts, as well as a symposium to look at the issue of intellectual property, after bitter complaints from the UK's creative industries about the scale of pirating of music, film and patents in China.
Mr Cameron welcomed Premier Wen's comments about the need for China to rebalance its own economy.
But he was challenged by a Chinese reporter who said the UK had fallen to third place in Europe in terms of trade with the Far Eastern giant and to fifth in terms of trade in technology. The UK was overtaken by Germany last year in its investment in China, he said.
The PM responded: "If you look at the figures, British exports to China grew by 40% last year and since November, when I visited Beijing, have gone up by 20%, so I don't accept that Britain isn't exporting more to China and isn't on target to meet the very challenging target of 100 billion dollars in bilateral trade by 2015.
"I think the performance is good, but I want it to be better."
The economies of the UK and China were "increasingly complementary", with Britain able to provide the expertise in areas like pharmaceuticals, education, green technology, oil and gas exploitation that are in greater demand as China's domestic markets grow, said Mr Cameron.
"Trade with China is a huge opportunity for the UK and we have a lot to offer China too," said Mr Cameron. "As our economies become increasingly complementary, the UK has the goods and services, the experiences and the skills to match China's ambition to move up the value chain."
Increased trade in both directions will mean "jobs, growth and prosperity for all of us", he said.
He cited a memorandum of understanding signed between British Gas and the Bank of China to provide a credit facility worth up to £1.5 billion (£940 million) to expand their operations in China.
And he said drinks giant Diageo's growth in China was "an example of business success that we want to see more of in future".
Mr Wen said he and Mr Cameron had witnessed the signing of trade and cooperation agreements worth a total of 4.3 billion US dollars (£2.7 billion).
He said there was "no strategic conflict" between the UK and China and that "our common interests outweigh our differences".
"A sound China/UK relationship will not only serve our respective development but promote positive evolution of the international landscape," he said.
He said it was a mark of this relationship that China will be sending two giant pandas - Tian Tian and Yangguang - to Edinburgh Zoo by the end of this year, as announced by Vice Premier Li Keqiang in January.
Premier Wen later visited the Royal Society in London, where he was presented with the Society's King Charles II medal, awarded to heads of state and government who display a commitment to science.
His arrival at the Society's headquarters was met by a noisy demonstration by a few dozen supporters of Tibetan independence, and a counter-demonstration by supporters of the Beijing regime. But the protests did not disturb the presentation ceremony or Mr Wen's speech.
Royal Society president Sir Paul Nurse said the medal was being bestowed on Mr Wen for overseeing "one of the most ambitious national research investment programmes the world has ever seen".
Mr Wen said China's leadership recognised the need for "the spirit of independence of thought" within the scientific community and wanted to create "a better political environment and a freer academic atmosphere.
He said he wanted to foster "an environment which encourages innovation, criticism and risk-taking" among Chinese scientists.
Mr Wen added: "Tomorrow's China will be a country that fully achieves democracy, the rule of law, fairness and justice."
He accepted that "corruption, unfair income distribution and other ills that harm the people's rights and interests still exist in China".
But he added: "The best way to resolve these problems is to firmly advance the political structural reform and build socialist democracy under the rule of law ...
"We need to create conditions for people to oversee and criticise the government and make government live up to its responsibilities and prevent corruption."
Mr Wen said he could see that Britain had "regained confidence" since his last visit in 2009, when he sensed "anxiety and uneasiness in the air" in the wake of the financial crisis.
He said Beijing's efforts to expand domestic demand and "fully tap into the potential for consumption" by its 1.3 billion people would help address trade imbalances and provide trade opportunities for British exporters.
China was pursuing "peaceful development which is an opportunity rather than a threat to the rest of the world", he said.

from the Independent and the Guardian

A Great Day at the French Market Corsham 25th June

Here are a few images from Saturdays Stall at the French Market in Corsham where we made £109.87.  We had lots of interest including the local MP Duncan Hames who dropped by to report that he had signed EDM 1434 Arrests in Tibet.  A total of 43 signatures were collected for the petition for Dhondup Wangchen - you can see his Film 'Leaving Fear Behind' at leaving-fear-behind-dondup-wangchen for which he got a six year prison term and was not allowed to present a defense at his trial.

The new Tibetan themed flag poles were widely admired.  

Friday 24 June 2011

ACTION: Chinese Premier in UK 25-27 June

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Chinese Premier to meet David Cameron on 27 June
Take Action: Urge Cameron to speak out for Tibet

Wen JiabaoChinese Premier Wen Jiabao is due to visit the UK between 25 and 27 June, and will be meeting David Cameron in London on 27 June for a UK-China Summit. This meeting provides the British Prime Minister with the perfect opportunity of putting human rights at the centre of the UK's relationship with China, in line with the government's commitment announced earlier this year.

In March, Foreign Secretary William Hague stated that the British government is committed to a “foreign policy that has the practical promotion of human rights as part of its irreducible core”. The British government has also strongly backed those seeking democracy and human rights during the 'Arab Spring' protests. Now the government should afford pro-active support for those who continue to be oppressed in Tibet and China.

Sunday 26 June, 10am - 12 noon
Location: Entrance to MG Rover factory on Lickey Road, Longbridge, Birmingham B45. Map
Nearest train station: Longbridge
Wen Jiabao is due to visit the MG Rover plant (owned by Chinese company Shanghai Automotive). Chinese democracy activists and Falun Gong supporters will be present. Tibet supporters are encouraged to join them.

Sunday 26 June, 3pm – 6pm

opposite Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA. Map
Nearest tube: Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line)
Join the event on
Wen Jiabao will be staying at the Mandarin Hotel and is believed to be holding business meetings there.

Monday 27 June, 11am – 1pm
opposite Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA. Map
Nearest tubes: Westminster or Charing Cross
Join the event on facebook
Wen Jiabao will be meeting David Cameron at 10 Downing Street as part of the UK-China Summit.

Monday 27 June, 2pm – 3.30pm
outside Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG. Map
Nearest tubes: Westminster, Charing Cross or Piccadilly Circus
Join the event on facebook
Wen Jiabao will visiting the Royal Society following his meeting with David Cameron.

Placards and flags will be provided at the London protests but feel free to bring your own. Both Cameron and Wen must be reminded that human rights must be put before trade, and Wen has to see that the issue of Tibet is still important to those living in the UK.
The London protests are being organised by a coalition of UK-based Tibet groups, including Tibet Society.

China artist Ai Weiwei released on bail

Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has returned home having been freed after more than two months' detention.
He was bailed late on Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges of tax evasion, Xinhua news agency said.
An outspoken critic of China's human rights record, his arrest in April prompted a global campaign for his release.
The 54-year-old said he was back home and in good health in a phone interview with the BBC.
"I am already home, released on bail, I can't talk to media but I am well, thanks for all the media attention," he said.
Mr Ai was detained as he boarded a Beijing flight bound for Hong Kong.
Perhaps most famous for helping design the Bird's Nest stadium that became the centre-piece for Beijing's 2008 Olympics, he was held at a secret location without access to a lawyer.
Beijing alleged the artist had evaded taxes and destroyed evidence; his supporters said the charges were motivated by his activism.
'I'm out' Xinhua reported that Mr Ai had offered to repay the taxes and would be released because of "his good attitude in confessing his crimes".
The agency quoted police as saying the company that handles business aspects of Mr Ai's career, Beijing Fake Cultural Development, had evaded "a huge amount of taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents".
Xinhua also reported that Mr Ai was suffering from a "chronic illness".


Ever since Ai Weiwei's detention at Beijing airport in April there have been calls for his release.
His supporters say the charges against him were politically motivated - an accusation strenuously denied by the Chinese authorities.
The artist's detention provoked an international outcry. The US and other countries said his arrest was a sign of the deteriorating human rights situation in China.
It came during the biggest crackdown against dissidents in China for more than 20 years, following calls for Middle-East style protests.
Hundreds of Chinese lawyers, activists and intellectuals have been detained or been questioned by the authorities. Some have disappeared.
China's foreign ministry previously said that Mr Ai was under investigation for "economic crimes".
It insisted that his arrest - which came amid one of China's biggest clampdowns on activists in years and was condemned by Western governments - had "nothing to do with human rights or freedom of expression".
But the release coincides with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit this week to Germany and the UK, two countries with which Mr Ai has strong professional ties and public support.
Beijing has been under enormous pressure to free the artist, says the BBC's Damian Grammaticas in Beijing.
The case had generated criticism from the international community that China was breaking its own laws by holding Mr Ai in secret without access to a lawyer, adds our correspondent.
A message from the Twitter account of Mr Ai's lawyer, Liu Xiaoyuan, said he had received a text message from his client's phone which simply read: "I'm out!"
Chinese human rights activist Wen Kejian welcomed the release, saying Mr Ai's arrest had been political.
Artist's appeal The US state department welcomed Mr Ai's release, adding: "But there's obviously more individuals who are being held, so we want to see the release of all these people."
Baroness Ashton, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, said Mr Ai's case had been "the subject of widespread concern" and featured in recent EU-Chinese discussions on human rights in Beijing.
She said she welcomed the news "while regretting the circumstances of his detention".
In a statement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said his release "can only be a first step" and that China must now fully explain to Mr Ai the accusations against him.
The German director of Human Rights Watch said it was "not by accident" that Mr Ai had been released shortly before Mr Wen's European visit, but warned he could now be facing further restriction on his movements.
"Examples from the past of other dissidents that were released have shown that released opponents of the system face strict restrictions and many have been silenced," said Wenzel Michalski.
Rights group Amnesty International said Mr Ai's long detention without charge had violated China's own legal process.
"It is vital that the international outcry over Ai Weiwei be extended to those activists still languishing in secret detention or charged with inciting subversion," said Amnesty's Catherine Baber.
The circumstances of one of Ai Weiwei's relatives, his accountant and driver, who were detained at the same time as him, remain unknown.
British sculptor Anish Kapoor, who had led criticism of Beijing over the detention, called for the artist to be given a fair trial.
"While I am thankful that he has been released, I do not think that artists should present their work in China until the situation has been resolved," said Mr Kapoor.
The Indian-born sculptor had dedicated his monumental Leviathan art installation in Paris, unveiled last month, to Mr Ai.
Ai Weiwei gained international recognition in the early 1980s for his monolithic brick sculptures.
Last October, he unveiled a carpet of 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds at London's Tate Modern, which he said questioned the role of an individual in society.

Monday 20 June 2011

China 'closes Tibet to tourists' ahead of anniversary

China has closed Tibet to all foreign tourists until the end of July, say travel agents in the region.
The move is being seen as an attempt by Beijing to prevent unrest ahead of celebrations marking 90 years since the founding of the ruling Communist Party.
Tibet saw a wave of violent anti-China protests in 2008, on the anniversary of a failed uprising against Beijing.
Beijing blamed the unrest on followers of the Dalai Lama, who it said were seeking to separate Tibet from China.
All foreign tourists need special permits to visit the Tibetan region - which Beijing calls an autonomous region - but the authorities have periodically barred all access, citing safety or security concerns.
Travel agents said the latest ban had been issued at least as early as June this year and would run until the end of July.
One agent, who spoke anonymously, said had he hoped the ban would be eased in time for Tibetan Buddhist festivals in August, but that his company had now had to cancel trips.
"We don't know the reasons behind it. Perhaps it has to do with something political, he told Reuters.
"We are disappointed because we lost a lot of money. We just have to tell clients we are sorry."
Another travel agent, at a hotel in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, said the ruling was connected to the 90th anniversary celebrations.
"Even with a tour group, foreigners cannot come," said the agent.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters he had "no understanding" of the ban, said Reuters.

    Tibet is largely closed to foreign media, so reports are difficult to verify.
    But China is wary of the influence of foreigners in the politically sensitive region.
    The 2008 unrest was the worst in the mountainous region in 20 years - China responded with a massive military crackdown and closed the region to foreigners.
    Beijing said at least 18 people, mostly Han Chinese, were killed, but Tibetan rights groups put the figure at about 40.
    Many Tibetans say Beijing is attempting to dilute their minority culture, by encouraging huge numbers of majority Han Chinese to resettle there.
    Beijing says it is bringing development and improving the standard of living in the area.

    The Tibet Divide

    • China says Tibet was always part of its territory
    • Tibet enjoyed long periods of autonomy before 20th Century
    • In 1950, China launched a military assault
    • Opposition to Chinese rule led to a bloody uprising in 1959
    • Tibet spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled to India
    • Dalai Lama now advocates a "middle way" with Beijing, seeking autonomy but not independence

    Kirti monks boycott propaganda religious ceremony

    (, Jun18, 2011) Noting the propaganda circumstances created for its holding, monks of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County of Sichuan Province have on Jun 15 refused to take part in a twice-monthly religious ceremony for propitiating the monastery’s protector deities, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) online Jun 16. The ceremony had been banned since Mar16, when police savagery against a Kirti monk who set himself on fire in protest against Chinese rule, sparked a major Tibetan protest. The monastery has been under armed police blockade ever since.

    A few days before Jun 15, the authorities were reported to have announced that the ceremony honoring the deities would again be held and invited the public to attend it. And early in the morning of appointed day, many TV cameras were reported to have been set up along the approaches to the deities’ chapel, waiting for the monks to arrive. However, only about 40 elderly monks showed up against the usual mass parade of monks. A group of Chinese government officials then went to the monks’ dormitories and told the monks to come out.

    But the monks were reported to have replied that the event was being staged for false propaganda purposes and so refused. Fearing protest, the authorities were then reported to have deployed about 100 plainclothes policemen “in and around” the chapel.

    Camera crews could, therefore, only film laypeople making incense offerings.

    The report also said that monks from Golog and Yushu prefectures in neighboring Qinghai province who were among the more than 300 Kirti monks trucked away in the night of Apr 21 had now been released and ordered to return home, banned from coming back to their monastery. They were told their belongings at the monastery would be sent to them by the government.

    New hydropower station begins operation in Nyingtri, Tibet

    (, Jun20, 2011) China said Jun 17 that it began operating that day a new hydropower station in Gongbo (Tibetan: Kongpo) Gyamda county of Nyingtri prefecture. It said the 1.288 billion yuan (US$200 million) project had an installed capacity of 102 megawatts.

    The Laohuzui (Chinese for "tiger's mouth") hydropower station, located about 343 km from Lhasa, is designed to generate 2.5 million to 2.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity daily to supply Lhasa, reported the official Xinhua news agency Jun 17.

    The report said several other hydropower stations had been built in Nyingtri prefecture, including a 722.6-million-yuan, 40,000-kilowatt Xoka hydropower station, and a 25-billion-yuan, 3.78 million-kilowatt Songta hydropower station.

    The report noted that the prefecture had 77,000 hectares of rivers and lakes and at least 60 million kilowatts of hydropower reserves, indicating plans to build more hydropower stations.

    Tibetan truckers protest after work in their area given only to Chinese

    (, Jun20, 2011) China sent in large numbers of riot troops and police to suppress Tibetan truckers in Shigatse in central Tibet and Lithang in Karze Prefecture of Sichuan Province who staged protests after Chinese authorities denied them work in favour of mainland-based Chinese companies, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) online Jun 17. The trucklers were reported to be seeking work on road and railway projects in Tibet.

    The report said about 100 Tibetan truckers protested in front of Lithang county headquarters on Jun 1. They were reported to have demanded that work on sites within the county for the improvement of a section of the highway connecting Sichuan’s capital Chengdu and Tibet’s capital Lhasa should have been given to them instead of 24 companies in mainland China who then brought in their own workers.

    Many local Tibetans had purchased trucks after they had heard of the project in the hope of getting work. But both their hopes and protests remained fruitless.

    In Rinpung County near Shigatse Prefecture, Tibetan truckers were reported to have clashed with Chinese drivers working for Chinese owners in April. “The Chinese owners alerted officials and police, who came from Shigatse in 15 to 20 vehicles and detained 10 Tibetan truck owners,” a local Tibetan source named Dondrub was quoted as saying.

    The Tibetans were reported to have been severely beaten before being taken away.

    The report cited him as saying local Tibetans had taken loans to buy 60 trucks after Chinese authorities had told them earlier on that the construction of the railway line linking Shigatse with Lhasa would soon pass through their area and that if they purchased trucks they would be provided with work. However, after some work initially, everything was given only to Chinese owned trucks, leaving no work for the Tibetan truck owners.

    Implement international human rights standards: EU raps China

    Phayul[Friday, June 17, 2011 12:30]
    Armed Chinese soldiers walk past a monk during their patrol in Lhasa, Tibet.(Reuters)
    Armed Chinese soldiers walk past a monk during their patrol in Lhasa, Tibet.(Reuters)
    In a dialogue on human rights said to have been conducted in a “free and frank atmosphere”, the European Union (EU) expressed concerns over the implementation of international human rights standards in China and how to translate them into domestic practice.

    The dialogue was held under the aegis of the EU-China Dialogue on Human Rights in Beijing on June 16 with Jim Moran, Director for Asia at the European External Action Service of the EU representing EU and Chen Xu, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China leading the Chinese delegation.

    In a release issued after the dialogue, the EU said that it sought further information about reports of torture of people in detention and expressed concerns about the use of forced disappearances and extra-legal detentions while putting special emphasis on the rights of the minorities including Tibetans.

    “The two sides reviewed recent developments in human rights and had an in-depth discussion on the rights of minorities … The EU called on the Chinese authorities to provide full information on the fate and whereabouts of the persons who have disappeared from Kirti Monastery”, the statement said.

    The release also noted extensive discussions on the exercise of freedom of religious belief and practice, the rule of law, freedom of the press, the protection of human rights lawyers and defenders, and the importance of an independent judiciary.

    This was the 30th round of the bi-annual EU-China Dialogue on Human Rights which began in 1995. China, furious over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo, had cancelled the dialogue scheduled for December last year.

    Wednesday 8 June 2011

    Short Review of Tragedy in Crimson

    "How the Dalai Lama Conquered the World but lost the Battle with China" By Tim Johnson.

    This book is well worth reading and packed with a diverse set of accounts of experiences with Tibetans and Chinese both inside and outside of China.  Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the Tibetan Issue with subjects as diverse as the view point of the Tibetan nomads, The Diaspora, internecine conflict within Tibetan Buddhism,  the Dalai Lama and his successor and the Chinese Government and their 'totally correct' policies.

    Many fascinating points are made by Mr Johnson who is drawing on his 10 years experience in China.  He notes that western journalists based in China will not usually publish critical stories about the Chinese government for fear of loosing their assignment for which much time and effort has been invested.  The chapter on the Princess is of interest as she could be the link between Tibetans and the Chinese which is currently missing.

    In the end the future is hard to predict and the extremes of fragmentation with the chinese government imploding due to reduced economic growth verses the Strong State - continued economic growth with technology providing answers to problems and suppressing dissidents.  The middle way is a move to partial democracy with sustained growth.

    A lasting comment on the Chinese government was given by Ai Weiwei as a reaction to a government spokesman saying that 'There were no Dissidents in China'.  Ai Weiwei wrote on Twitter:
    1. Dissidents are Criminals
    2. Only Criminals have dissident ideas
    3. The distinction between criminals and non-criminals is whether they have dissident views. 
    4. If you think China has dissidents, you’re a criminal. 
    5. The reason China has no criminals [dissidents?] is because they have already become criminals.
    6. Does anyone have a dissenting view about what I've said?
     posted by Richard

    UN rebukes China as protests continue in Tibet

    Thursday, June 09, 2011 00:23
    By Sherab Woeser

    A day after two Tibetans were severely beaten and detained in eastern Tibet for raising pro-independence slogans, another monk protested against Chinese rule June 7.

    Woeser Phuntsok, a 30-year old monk form Kardze Beri monastery led a solo demonstration in Kardze town calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and religious freedom in Tibet. Eyewitnesses confirm that Woeser Phuntsok was severely beaten before being taken away by the Chinese police.

    His whereabouts remain unknown.

    A source in exile with contacts in Kardze said that security in the area has been beefed up with tight restrictions on the movement of ethnic Tibetans.

    Meanwhile, on June 8, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances voiced its serious concern over the widespread occurrences of enforced disappearances in China.

    The UN Working Group urged the Chinese authorities to disclose the fate and whereabouts of a group of Tibetan monks who were forcefully taken from their monastery last April.

    On April 21, more than 300 monks of the Kirti monastery in the Amdo province of Ngaba were arrested and transferred to unknown destinations in military trucks.

    “We encourage the authorities to undertake full investigations into the on-going practice of enforced disappearances and ensure that those responsible are prosecuted and receive sentences appropriate to the gravity of the crime”, the UN Working Group said.

    Dubbing enforced disappearance as a ‘terrible practice’ that can never be justified, the expert body called on China to fulfill its promise to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

    “China has an obligation to abide by the strictest standards in the field of human rights”, the UN body noted. 

    Fresh protests in Tibet

    Phayul[Wednesday, June 08, 2011 16:55]
    Two Tibetan monks have been arrested for protesting against Chinese rule in eastern Tibet reported Voice of Tibet (VoT), today.

    The protest took place at around 11 am on June 6 in Kardze town, Kham province, an area which has witnessed repeated protests by Tibetans against Beijing’s rule. The report said that the unidentified monks from Kardze monastery raised slogans and distributed pamphlets calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in front of the police headquarters in Kardze town.

    “The monks threw pamphlets in the air and raised slogans calling for the long life and return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet, and demanded freedom for Tibet”, the report said.

    Citing eye witness accounts in Kardze, VoT quoted a source in exile, Tenzin Namgyal, saying that the police immediately rushed to the scene and arrested the monks after severely beating them with iron rods.

    “Passersby saw blood dripping from the iron rods of the police and the pavements were stained with blood from the beating”, Tenzin Namgyal said.

    No further details were available on where the monks are being detained.

    The situation in Kardze is being described as tense with the public coming out in support of the actions of the monks.