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Chinese authorities impose deadline to end Tibetan Protest
RFA[Wednesday, August 08, 2007 13:20]
Aug. 2, 2006: A Tibetan rider competes in an endurance race during the annual Litang Horse Racing Festival in the Tibetan county of Litang in China's southwestern province of Sichuan. Photo: AFP/Liu Jin
Aug. 2, 2006: A Tibetan rider competes in an endurance race during the annual Litang Horse Racing Festival in the Tibetan county of Litang in China's southwestern province of Sichuan. Photo: AFP/Liu Jin
WASHINGTON: Local authorities have imposed a deadline in an effort to clear a growing protest by Tibetan nomads outside government offices in southwestern China.

Protesters have issued three specific demands of authorities in Sichuan Province, including the release of a detained protester, religious freedom and the right to hear teachings from the Dalai Lama, and the release of a revered Tibetan monk as well as all other prisoners, according to a caller from the Kham region.

"Without responding to the demands of the Tibetan protestors, officials threatened that if the protests were withdrawn by tomorrow, they would provide transportation home. If [protesters] do not leave by 8:00 A.M. on August 8, 2007, the People’s Republic of China will crush [them]." said another caller from Kham to RFA’s Tibetan service.

"Several thousand armed police are now stationed in the area. Many people have estimated that there could be more than 5,000 of them, as a show of force," a caller from Lithang (in Chinese, Litang) county in Karze prefecture told RFA's Tibetan service.

"The original Tibetans are still standing in protest, with several tents pitched in the area," the caller said.

"Three other nomadic groups also arrived and pitched tents in support of the protesting Tibetans demanding the release of Ronggyal Adrak," he said, referring to the detained protester who called for the return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

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Original reporting in Kham by Lobsang Choepel and Dorjee Damdul for RFA's Tibetan service. Translated by Benpa Topgyal. Service director: Jigme Ngapo. Written for the Web in English by Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Karma Dorjee and Dan Southerland.
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