DHARAMSHALA, March 10: In reports coming out of Tibet, three Tibetan monks today carried out a peaceful protest against China’s rule in Kardze region on eastern Tibet.
Today is the 54th Tibetan National Uprising day and the fifth anniversary of the 2008 mass uprisings in Tibet.
According to exile sources, the three monks of the Mangey Monastery, identified as Lobsang Samten, Sonam Namgyal, and Thupten Gelek, carried out a peaceful demonstration in Zachukha region at around 11:50 am (local time) calling for freedom and democracy in Tibet.
According to eyewitnesses, they were carrying a white banner with the portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the centre and many slogans written on it.
When Chinese security personnel arrived at the scene and began arresting the protesting monks, two lay Tibetans Lobsang Kalsang, 17, and Ngawang Gyatso, 41 tried to rescue them.
Later, all five Tibetans were arrested. Their whereabouts and conditions are not known.
Security has been intensified in the entire region following today’s protest.
Last year on March 10, Gepey, 18-year-old monk of the Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, eastern Tibet set himself on fire near a military camp in the region. Since then, as many as 107 Tibetans have set themselves on fire protesting China’s occupation and demanding for freedom and the return on His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
China appointed leaders of Tibetan areas earlier this week pledged to continue the fight against the “Dalai clique resolutely” and crackdown on “all secessionist forces and sabotage activities.”
Speaking in Beijing on the sidelines of the ongoing National People’s Congress, the leaders called maintaining stability in Tibet their “top priority” and said they “can not relax at any moment” in their “long-term and intense” struggle against the Dalai Lama.
Several countries and human rights groups have called on China to rethink its policies in Tibet and begin genuine talks with representatives of the Dalai Lama to find a long lasting solution to the issue.
(Updated on March 10, 2013 20:05 IST)