At least eight Tibetans have been arrested in Ngaba’s Zamthang County on March 23 as hundreds of Tibetans took to the streets of Nahdah (spelled as pronounced) Township in protest against China, an exile Tibetan with contacts in Ngaba said. The protest took place around 4PM (Beijing Time) on March 23.
Among those arrested are a local teacher named Palkho; 40, Dorjee; 35, Ador; 35, and Sel Dorjee; 28.
The Tibetans walked three rounds of the busy market area before being dispersed by armed security forces and the police. Though the exact figures are not known several Tibetans have been injured as the Chinese forces and police charged the protestors with batons and rifle butts.
Meanwhile, a 21 year old Tibetan monk named Tenzin of Kirti monastery was arrested around midnight of March 25 from his monastic quarter, added the source. “There is still a lot of tension in the monastery (Kirti) as Chinese authorities continue to impose a heavy restrictions upon the monks. Sniffer dogs are made to patrol the monastery during night,” he said.
The authorities, during a public meeting on March 24 in upper Thawa and Gapma villages in Ngaba County, warned the Tibetan civilians against following the footsteps of the monks of Kirti monastery. “The civilians were promised benefits from the government if they complied with the authorities and remained loyal to the regime,” he added. The authorities said monks of the Kirti monastery have threatened the national stability and that any attempt to undermine the Chinese authority will be crushed with force.
The Tibetan civilians were given task to patrol the monastery and rewarded 30 Yuan each day per person. The Tibetans were threatened with penalty if they failed to attend the meeting. The authorities took pictures and video of the Tibetan civilians being rewarded with the money, the source further said, adding, “the Tibetan civilians were told that it was their duty to prevent the monks from going against the authorities.”
The Chinese government on March 19 issued directives to all the monasteries and leaders of Tibetan areas in Ngaba province to avoid any expression of festivity and joy including firing crackers, burning incense and hanging wind-horse prayer flags on March 20, the day Tibetans in exile went to polls. “An unusually heavy restriction is being imposed on us. I think they are anticipating expressions of support and welcome to the elections in exile on March 20,” a Tibetan resident of Ngaba had told our source earlier.