By Phuntsok Yangchen
Tibetans taking out a protest march in Tsolho region of Amdo, eastern Tibet calling for freedom on November 11, 2012.
DHARAMSHALA, November 13: A group of Tibetans in Tsolho region of Ba, eastern Tibet, took out a protest march, for over 40kms, calling for freedom and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s long life on November 11.
The protest march follows the alarming escalation in self-immolations in recent weeks against China’s continued occupation of Tibet and peaceful protests by thousands of Tibetans in the Rebkong region.
In a photo received by Phayul of the protest march, Tibetans can be seen carrying a white banner, although the writings on the banner are not legible.
Speaking to Phayul, Samten, a monk living in south India said around twenty Tibetans, including monks of Karmo Monastery, staged a peaceful protest march from Karmo Monastery to Thang-ghen town, some 40kms away at 7:30am (local time) on November 11.
“While on their march, the protestors chanted the ancient Tibetan prayer for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s long life(Ghang-ri Ra-wei Kor-wei) and raised slogans calling for freedom in Tibet,” Sonam said citing sources in the region.
On reaching Thang-ghen town, the protestors were detained by local Chinese authorities.
“After persistent appeals by local Tibetans, the group of marchers were released soon after,” the same source added.
As of now, no further detentions and arrests have been reported.
Last week, following self-immolation protests by Tamding Tso and Kalsang Jinpa in Rebkong region, thousands of Tibetans, including school students, carried out massive protests raising slogans for the Dalai Lama’s return and rights of the Tibetan people.
While a group of students pulled down Chinese flags from their school buildings and government offices in Dowa town, thousands of students protested in front of the major Chinese government offices in Rongwo town.
The protests were followed by two more self-immolations yesterday in the same region. Nyingkar Tashi and Nyingchag Bum, both passed away in their protests, taking the Tibet self-immolation toll to 72, since the fiery protests began in 2009.
The alarming escalation in the self-immolation protests, ten in November alone, coincide with the ongoing Chinese Communist Party's 18th National Congress in Beijing, which will this week see the transfer of power from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping.