DHARAMSHALA, February 7: Tibetans pulled down the Chinese national flag from a school building in Wonpo town, Dzachukha region of eastern Tibet and hoisted the banned Tibetan national flag on Saturday.
According to a press release by the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, the flag hoisting protest occurred just a day after the triple-self-immolations that took place in the region.
Sources confirm that one of the self-immolaters passed away while Tsering and Kyari reportedly survived the self-immolation. The toll in the fiery wave of self-immolations in Tibet have reached 20, as observers continue to express fear of more protests and bloodshed following an undeclared martial law in the entire region.
"The whole Dzachukha area, including Wonpo town have been placed under a strict military lock down with all shops and restaurants closed and a ban on all movements," the Tibetan Parliament said in the press release yesterday.
In April 2008, during the pan-Tibet uprisings, monks at the Wonpo monastery had refused to hoist the Chinese flag at a flag raising ceremony on the top of their monastery. In the increased repression and raids that followed, a Tibetan lady named Tri Lhamo committed suicide at her home near the monastery. The lady hung herself soon after a house-to-house raid by Chinese security personnel, who during the raid, tore down and trampled upon photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In another protest on Sunday, four Tibetans were arrested by Chinese security personnel for carrying out a peaceful protest in front of a Chinese police station at Dzatoe-Khangmar town in Trindoe district of the traditional Tibetan Kham region.
The four Tibetans; Tsering Palden, Tsering Sangpo, Tsering Tashi and Dorjee raised slogans calling for Tibet’s independence and the return of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The current whereabouts of the Tibetans, all between 30 to 40 years of age, remain unknown.
Referring to the warning letter of sorts that the Chinese Embassy in the Indian capital issued to other Diplomatic Missions and the UN offices in New Delhi, urging them to stay away from a visiting Tibetan parliamentary delegation, the release condemned Beijing for their numb response.
"We sent an open letter to President Hu Jintao, urging him to change China’s policies in Tibet and calling for an early resumption of the dialogue process with the Tibetan representatives," the release said. "However, instead of resuming the dialogue process and instead of addressing the real grievances of the Tibetan people, Beijing is urging the international community to stay away from the Tibetan issue”.
The Tibetan law makers renewed their call for an international fact finding delegation and independent media to be allowed inside Tibet and urged Tibetans and Tibetan supporters all over the world to participate in tomorrow’s global protest vigil called by Dr Lobsang Sangay, Tibet’s de facto Prime Minister.
The Tibetan Parliament also appealed for greater support to their planned day-long fast on the first day of the Tibetan New Year on February 22.