March 16 - Tibetan students in the eastern Gansu province staged a peaceful protest this afternoon. According to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), around 500 Tibetan students of the Tibetan Studies Department of the North Western Nationality University, Lanzhou City, Gansu Provincial Capital, Lanzhou staged a peaceful demonstration inside the University campus this afternoon (Beijing Time).
Confirmed information says that students had circulated leaflets containing information about the recent Lhasa demonstrations inside the University campus. The sources confirmed that there are about one thousand Tibetan students studying in the university. Information confirmed that there are 300 Tibetan students holed up in the campus by the security forces. The students were known to be carrying a large banner with a slogan "DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN LIVES ARE PRECIOUS". The Tibetan students also raised slogans calling for the immediate end to the brutal crackdown on the Tibetan people referring to the ongoing reports of arrests in the Lhasa city.
Following the circulation of leaflets, the city People's Armed Police (PAP) forces and Public Security Bureau (PSB) personnel stormed the university and cordon off the entire campus area. According to sources, the movements of students were known to have been strictly curtailed under a heavy presence of PAP and PSB at the University campus gate.
Meanwhile in another incident, at around 6 PM (Beijing Time), about 1500 local Tibetans from Machu County (Ch: Maqu xian), Kanlho "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture"("TAP"), Gansu Province staged a peaceful demonstration in the main city of the County. Protestors raised slogans calling for the "Independence for Tibet", "Long Live the Dalai Lama" and other demands. The sources also confirmed that the agitated protestors had burnt down one police vehicle during the demonstration. Additional large-scale contingents of PAP and PSB were brought in to crackdown upon the protestors.
Around 250 Tibetans of Nyulra Township, Machu County (Ch: Maqu xian), Kanlho "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture"("TAP"), Gansu Province destroyed the doors of County government offices during the protest. The protestors also took off the Chinese national flag and hoisted the banned Tibetan flag in place. The protestors later shouted pro-independence slogans. The situation is known to be extremely tense at the moment with the large-scale mobilization of truckloads of paramilitary troops had already began in the area. No further information on the situation could not be ascertained.
TCHRD expresses its serious concern on the well being of the protestors and urge the Chinese authorities to exercise restraint in responding to continuing protests in the light of numbers of confirmed death surfacing from the area who are peacefully expressing their views and exercising their freedom of expression, association and assembly. TCHRD is closely monitoring the situation and will issue fresh updates as more news and confirmations surfaces.
Tashi Choephel/Tenzin Norgay/Tsering Agloe (English)
Jamphel Monlam (Tibetan and Chinese)
Phone Number: +91-1892-223363/225874/229225