By Choekyi Lhamo
Chinese armed forces in Wonpo region of Zachukha following the arrests of 5 Tibetans (2012)
DHARAMSHALA, NOV. 28: A large number of Chinese forces arrived in Dza Wonpo town in Sershul County of Kardze from where recent protests against China and calls for independence were reported. Surveillance in the town is heightened in the wake of these protests in the region. Scores of security forces from Sershul County arrived in a large convoy and have swarmed the streets of the township of Dza Mey (lower Zachukha area).
The protests took place earlier this month followed by a duo scattering leaflets at a Chinese government office and a police station respectively. These demonstrations resulted in arbitrary arrests of eight Tibetans till now. On Nov 7, four monks from Dza Wonpo monastery along with Nyimey, who was later arrested for showing solidarity with the protestors, and their teacher Shergyam who was later released after 11 days of detainment. Two more Tibetans from Zachukha area were arrested for similar charges on Nov 21.
It has been reported that officials are keeping a close watch on the activities of the locals and are imposing restrictions through surveillance technologies which monitor the Dza Mey area including the Dza Wonpo town. A source in the region has notified tibet.net
that Chinese police are “disguised as businessmen, beggars and ordinary people” who are making their rounds in the town. The reports of the first protest stated that the demonstration by Tibetan monks from the Dza Wonpo Ganden Shedrub Monastery was caused by their discontentment with China’s policy on ‘resettlement’ of the nomads who were cut off from their lands and livestock as a result.
The source also mentioned local Tibetans are forced to participate in propaganda performances which are documented videos of locals praising China and its officials during their visits to the town. Furthermore, the ‘resettled’ nomads acquire these houses under restrictive conditions like enforced display of pictures of Chinese leaders by banning the pictures or portraits of the exiled leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. These practices have led to uncertain stability of the residents, higher risks of intensive surveillance, and discontentment among the locals of the region which have resulted in these demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction for China’s indifferent policies.
The protestors’ call for independence remains an important reminder for China to curb their mistreatment of the Tibetans which has been rampant and unduly neglected.