Dolkar Kyi, wife of Sonam Dargye, who passed away in his self-immolation protest in Rebkong on March 17, 2012, folds her hands in prayers during the mass cremation of her husband. Around 8000 Tibetans gathered from around the region to pay their respects to Sonam Dhargey and carried out a protest march demanding freedom in Tibet.
DHARAMSHALA, March 21: Fresh protests are being reported from Tibet even as exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama said he would welcome any investigation into China’s accusations of his involvement in the ongoing unrest in Tibetan areas.
Dharamshala based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in a release yesterday said Tibetan monks from Bora Monastery staged peaceful protests Monday against the Chinese government and marched to the local township office.
“About a hundred monks from Bora Monastery carried Tibetan flags and shouted slogans calling for human rights, religious freedom, and language rights in Tibet and marched to the township office where the protests continued,” TCHRD said citing sources in the region.
The protests occurred at around 12 pm (local Time) in Sangchu (Chinese: Xiahe Xian) County in Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu Province.
Following the protest march, security officers from the Chinese People’s Armed Police and Public Security Bureau surrounded the monastery.
“The monastery is now under siege with security officers keeping a strict watch over movements in and out of the monastery,” the release said.
There is no immediate information on whether any arrests have been made.
The protests in Sangchu follow a series of mass demonstrations that has rocked eastern Tibet.
Stirred by the ongoing wave of self-immolations that has witnessed 30 Tibetans set their bodies on fire demanding the return of the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet, thousands of Tibetans have taken out protests against the Chinese government.
The Dalai Lama, who last year devolved all his political authorities to the elected Tibetan leadership, in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal
said: “Now, I have nothing to say. Only pray.”
He called the self-immolations “very, very sad” and a “very sensitive, political issue.”
Reacting to accusations of his involvement in the ongoing unrest, by the Chinese leadership, the 76-year-old Tibetan leader renewed his invitation for an “investigation.”
Following similar accusations from Beijing during the 2008 mass uprisings in Tibet, the Dalai Lama had said that he was prepared for any investigation.
“Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and foreign media, he mentioned all these crises started from India, from Dharamshala,” the Dalai Lama told the Journal. “Then I immediately responded, please send some Chinese officials. Check all our files and records of my talk [in] Tibetan. Most welcome. But nobody come. So this time also, if they come, start an investigation here. Most welcome.”