Tibetan school students carrying out a massive protest rally in Rebkong, eastern Tibet on November 9, 2012 demanding the Dalai Lama's return and freedom in Tibet.
DHARAMSHALA, November 9: Thousands of Tibetan school students in the Rebkong region of eastern Tibet are carrying out a major street protest at the time of filing this report.
Sources have told Phayul that 5000 to 6000 students began protesting in the streets of Rongwo town since 5 am (local time), raising slogans for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return and rights of the Tibetan people.
“The students have been protesting in front of the major Chinese government offices and have jam-packed entire streets in the region,” Dorjee Wangchuk, an exiled Tibetan with contacts in the region said.
“The students have been reciting the ancient Tibetan prayer hymn for His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Ghang-ri Ra-wei Kor-wei) and raised slogans calling for freedom in Tibet, the rights of the Tibetan people, and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.”
As per reports, students from all the schools in the four districts in the region – Thunring, Chentsa, Tsekhog, and Yulgan – in addition to students in Rebkong, have joined the protests.
“Armed forces have been deployed outside the major Chinese government offices where the students are demonstrating,” the same source said. “Although Chinese security forces have restrained from breaking up the students protests, the situation is getting more and more tense.”
Phayul is also getting reports of local Tibetans beginning to assemble in large numbers at the Dolma Square in front of the Rongwo Monastery. Monks of the Monastery have been carrying out prayers there since morning.
Tibetan school students joining protests at the Dolma Square in front of the Rongwo Monastery, where Kalsang Jinpa, 18, passed away in his self-immolation protest on November 8, 2012.
Yesterday, thousands of Tibetans gathered at the Dolma Square after 18-year-old nomad, Kalsang Jinpa, set himself on fire protesting against China’s occupation of Tibet. The former monk of the Rongwo Monastery raised a white banner carrying slogans calling for the Dalai Lama’s return and the rights of the Tibetan people before setting himself ablaze. He passed away in his fiery protest.
Rebkong alone has witnessed three self-immolations just this month. Tamding Tso, 23, mother of a six-year-old son passed away in her fiery protest yesterday in Dowa, while Dorjee Lhundup, 25, father of two children, died in his protest on November 4.
In two days, Tibet has witnessed six self-immolations – three in Ngaba, two in Rebkong, and one in Driru. These protests coincide with the Chinese Communist Party’s week-long 18th National Congress, which began yesterday in Beijing. China's heir apparent Xi Jinping will be taking over the mantle of leadership, along with a new team, by the end of the meeting.