Tibetans in Dharamshala held a candle light protest yesterday evening calling for international help to end the bloodshed in Tibet, even as reports of additional military build up in Tibetan areas are coming in.
As many as a dozen Tibetans are feared dead after Chinese security personnel opened fire on unarmed Tibetans demonstrating in Drango and Serthar earlier this week.
Tibetans carrying the ‘banned’ Tibetan national flag had called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and demanded freedom in Tibet.
Speaking at the candle light protest, Ghang Lhamo, member of Tibetan Parliament and General Secretary of the Gu-Chu-Sum Former Political Prisoner’s Movement said the world should be ashamed for allowing China carry on the brutal oppression of Tibetans.
“It is a shame that in this 21st century our world leaders chose to remain mute spectators when Chinese police are openly firing on peaceful crowds, shooting Tibetans in broad daylight,” Ghang Lhamo said. “It is high time world leaders echo the true aspirations of the Tibetan people in their non-violent struggle for justice and freedom”.
Net users around the area of protests in eastern Tibet on Wednesday posted pictures indicating additional Chinese security forces being deployed in the region. The photographs showed Chinese army trucks speeding across a highway headed for the troubled region.
Serthar and Drango were under virtual martial law following the police firings. Thousands of Chinese security personnel were reportedly manning the streets, restricting the movement of Tibetans and imposing new stricter regulations in the region. Earlier reports had said that due to the lock down, Tibetans suffering serious injuries after the protests were unable to receive medical attention.
“The situation in Drango is very tense as police are not only manning the streets but also keeping an aerial vigil with helicopters flying over the region,” said Palden, the Dharamshala based spokesperson of a network group keeping close contacts with people in Drango.
“People in the region are under constant fear,” Palden added.
The reports of increasing Chinese brutality in Tibet have spurred heated online debates and discussions in the exile Tibetan community, especially amongst the youngsters.
“Without any fear, Tibetans in Tibet are setting themselves on fire and calling for freedom in Tibet at gun point. Let us join them, let us do a Tsampa Revolution,” Kelsang Tashi wrote on a social networking site.
Another Tibetan, Lobsang Kunchok questioned the reactions of various Tibetan groups in exile to the ongoing crisis inside Tibet.
“Press releases and more press releases. I wonder what our leaders are waiting for before they actually decide to organise mass campaigns and global protests which does not involve sitting and saying prayers,” Kunchok wrote.