Six Tibetans arrested during crackdowns in Kardze

Lhagyal (left) and Yonten (right)
Lhagyal (left) and Yonten (right)
Lhagyal (left) and Yonten (right)
22nd November 2019

Free Tibet has learned of the arrest of six Tibetans in eastern Tibet in November. The six were arrested in two separate incidents in Dza Wonpo Village in Kardze. 

Two of the arrests took place yesterday following protests at the village police station. According to local sources, Lhagyal and Yonten were both immediately arrested as they shouted for Tibetan independence in the village and threw leaflets into the air calling for an end to China’s rule in Tibet.

The pair both posted a statement on WeChat before the protest, stating:  “[those] who have laid their lives for the sake of Tibetans, for those bravehearts who are fighting for the cause of Tibet's independence, I heard about the pain and the suffering you have undergone.” Each also created a 15-second video, set to music with their photos and that of the Dalai Lama.

Messages and videos posted by Lhagyal and Yonten on WeChat before their protest
Messages and videos posted by Lhagyal and Yonten on WeChat before their protest

In their messages, Lhagyal and Yonten expressed solidarity with four young monks who were detained on 7 November, also in Dza Wonpo Village. Kusal, 20, and Tamey, Tsultrim and Soeta, all aged 18, were arrested after scattering leaflets with pro-independence messages. The monks’ religious teacher, Shergyam, was also detained but was later released.

The protests come after a series of Chinese propaganda campaigns in the area which have created resentment among local Tibetans, a source in a Tibetan monastery in southern India said.

Chinese officials have been touring the region encouraging locals to praise the CCP and defend China’s human rights record in the region, while interviews have been recorded with locals for use in state media broadcasts. 

CCP officials in the area have also reportedly been pursuing policies of resettling nomads and ordering locals to replace images of the Dalai Lama with CCP leaders in their homes.

Local sources added that the combination of these policies and China’s efforts to get positive media coverage from them has created divisions among Tibetan communities, between those who have resisted the propaganda drive and those who have obeyed for fear of the consequences.

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