China rolls out tanks to suppress Tibet Protests
Tibet.net[Saturday, March 15, 2008 00:14]
Dharamshala: Chinese armed police have killed around 100 Tibetans and injured many others for taking part in peaceful demonstrations, according to unconfirmed sources. These protests have spread from Lhasa to all over Tibet both in intensity and scale.

His Holiness The Dalai Lama has issued the following statement today. "I am deeply concerned over the situation that has been developing in Tibet following peaceful protests in many parts of Tibet, including Lhasa, in recent days. These protests are a manifestation of the deep-rooted resentment of the Tibetan people under the present governance.

As I have always said, unity and stability under brute force is at best a temporary solution. It is unrealistic to expect unity and stability under such a rule and would therefore not be conducive to finding a peaceful and lasting solution.

I therefore appeal to the Chinese leadership to stop using force and address the long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people through dialogue with the Tibetan people. I also urge my fellow Tibetans not to resort to violence."

A Statement of the Kashag (Tibetan council of ministers) read, "Starting from 10th March this year, Tibetans from all over Tibet started a series of peaceful demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction with the Chinese policies. The Kashag had earlier hoped that these demonstrations will stop.

However, partly due to heavy-handed response of the authorities to these peaceful expressions that the demonstrations continued to spread all over Tibet and the situation is getting worse.

Therefore, we are deeply concerned and have also urged the People's Republic of China for due consideration to take these incidents with all seriousness and not to take further repressive actions. The situation urgently demands the attention of the governments, parliaments and the international community to persuade the leadership of People's Republic of China to refrain from further repressive measures and to restore normalcy through peaceful means."

Kalon Tripa also made an urgent appeal to the Chinese authorities stating, "From 10th March this year Tibetans from various parts of Tibet (in and outside TAR) staged series of peaceful demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction with the present situation. Such demonstrations are clear symptoms of discontentment among the Tibetan people with the current policy towards them.

We are observing this with a great sense of concern and would like to earnestly urge to the central and local authorities of the People's Republic China to take these incidents with all seriousness and not to take any repressive actions. We further urge them to restore the normalcy through dialogue and understanding of the Tibetan people's aspirations."

The situation in the Tibetan capital has intensified because Chinese authorities have rolled out a large number of armoured vehicles including tanks in the Bharkor square and have started shooting into the protesting crowds.

As protests continue to have a ripple effect across Tibet, the Chinese police are reported to have sealed off all monasteries and nunneries in and around Lhasa.

In order to provoke the protesting crowds, Chinese policemen dressed in monks´×ĺ attire are reported to have lashed out at the peaceful demonstrators, which incited the crowd into burning police vehicles. According to other reports, from 10,000-20,000 Tibetans have joined the demonstration in the Tibetan capital.

Also in Northeastern Tibet, thousands of Tibetans led by monks from Labrang Tashikyil monastery staged a peaceful demonstration. The demonstration, the biggest ever in this part of Tibet, was held in Sangchu county, Kanlho, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu province.

(www.tibet.net is the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.)

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