Military drill in Lhasa ahead of sensitive Tibetan Uprising anniversary

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China's PAP personnel on armored vehicles during the parade in Lhasa city on March 6, 2020. Photo- RFA

By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 11: China’s People’s Armed Police conducted a military drill in occupied Tibet’s capital city Lhasa on March 6, ahead of the anniversary of the politically sensitive Tibetan Uprising day on March 10, 1959 when thousands of Tibetans were massacred following the occupation by the PLA troops.

A large show of force, including what state media called “combat-ready” troops, fire fighters, and People’s Armed Police were on parade in Lhasa last week reported Radio Free Asia. The move was indicative, many say, of China’s uneasiness over its control of the region where uprisings have erupted during its 61 years of rule.

Chinese official newspaper Tibet Daily on March 2 reported that officials on the grass-roots level were warned at the March 1 meeting to be alert in detecting elements that posed danger to what it called the “stability and security” of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Those lagging to uphold their duties as directed were threatened with disciplinary action.

In exile, Tibetans in both India and abroad came out to commemorate the March 10 anniversary with protests, rallies and petitions to foreign governments and international bodies for human rights among others. The CTA’s official function was attended by Czech legislators Frantisek Kopriva and Dana Balcarova along with the Tibetan leadership.

Five prominent Tibetan NGOs; Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, National Democratic Party of Tibet, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement Association of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet-India spearheaded a protest rally here to mark the day.

At the ongoing 43rd regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, Ms Kalden Tsomo, staff of the Tibet Bureau Geneva, urged the UN High Commissioner to visit Tibet and said that her visit to China is “incomplete” without visiting occupied Tibet.

Noted figures in the international bureaucratic community such as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Jim McGovern and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others, expressed support and recognition for the Tibetan people on the day.

According to exile Tibetan government, more than 86,000 Tibetans died on March 10, 1959 and more than 1.2 million Tibetans during and since the occupation of Tibet by China.

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