Dharamsala, Jan. 22 : Chinese authorities beat up and detained three Tibetan youths for protesting Chinese rule in Tibet in the run-up to politically sensitive anniversaries, reported Radio free Asia.
“On Jan. 20, three Tibetan youths protested in Dzogang [in Chinese, Zuogong] county of the Chamdo [in Chinese, Changdu] prefecture of the Tibet Autonomous Region,” RFA quoted a Tibetan man as saying on condition of anonymity.
“They carried a white banner reading ‘Independence for Tibet,’ threw paper fliers in the air, and shouted slogans,” the man said.
The three Tibetans were identified as Thinley Ngodrub, 24, his brother Thargyal, 23, and Pema Tsepak, 24, all from Punda town in Tsawa Dzogang.
A Tibetan girl named Dechen Wangmo, who was found in possession of Pema Tsepak’s mobile phone, was also detained, the source told RFA. It is not known as to where the four had been taken.
RFA also reported that a protest had taken place the next day by women who marched to the county seat to demand the release of the four detainees. However, they were sent back by police before reaching the county seat.
Meanwhile, an explosion occurred at a government building nearby Jomda county in Chamdo on Jan. 5 though no casualties were reported, Jamcho, a monk at Drepung monastery in South India, told RFA, citing sources in the region. “Some buildings and cars were damaged, but no suspects have been detained.”
A Chamdo police official confirmed the explosion to RFA. “It happened in Dengkok in Jomda county … We don’t know who did it or why it was done.”
According to Jamcho, local Tibetans suspect the bombing was in retaliation against the Chinese government’s attempts to force celebrations of the 50th anniversary of ‘democratic reforms’.
Anniversary phobic and commemoration savvy Chinese government on January 19 declared March 28 as “Serf Emancipation Day”.
China says it freed millions of Tibetans from serfdom of the Dalai Lama and aristocrats 50 years ago while the Tibetans reject the claim saying their country was invaded by People’s Liberation Army for China’s imperialist motives, and that more than a million Tibetans were killed following the invasion.
Sources in Tibet say the Chinese government is forcing people to arrange celebrations for Tibetan New Year (Losar) and the “Serf Emancipation Day” as Tibetans, both inside and outside Tibet, plan to skip this year’s losar celebrations.
The exile Tibetan government cancelled this years’ Shoton, a Tibetan Opera festival, scheduled for March 2009.
The exile Tibetan government says the violent crackdown on Tibetan protesters following the unrest in March left 219 Tibetans dead, 1294 injured, 5,600 arrested or detained and more than 1000 still missing.