Deadly Force in Kardze

A lot of details are coming in now from the most recent protest in Kardze- it looks like TCHRD only got through the tip of the iceberg. From WaPo:

Up to several thousand Tibetans in Ganzi prefecture of Sichuan province marched Monday to government offices where security forces opened fire, the Free Tibet group said in an email.

A woman who answered the phone at the duty office of the Ganzi public security bureau said she was “not clear” about the situation. “What you should not know, you should not be inquiring about,” she said before hanging up.

From RFA:

At least six Tibetans may have been killed and an unknown number injured when security forces fired on protesters in China’s Sichuan province on Monday, Tibetan sources in the region and in exile said.

The shooting sparked wider protests and has raised tensions in Tibetan-populated regions of China following a wave of self-immolation protests beginning in March 2011 against rule by Beijing.

The protest began when Chinese authorities insisted that local Tibetans celebrate the Lunar New Year against the wishes of residents saddened by earlier protest deaths, said Lobsang Khyentse, an India-based Tibetan reporter citing contacts in the region.

A few days before, an unsigned poster had been put up in front of the Dranggo county headquarters saying, “We Tibetans have no freedom, and this year several Tibetans have sacrificed their lives,” Khyentse said.

“So on the occasion of Chinese New Year, I am going to self-immolate,” the poster said. “I urge all the Tibetan people to prevent the Chinese from taking my dead body.”

‘When the protesters arrived in front of the local Chinese police, the police opened fire,” killing two on the spot, Yeshe Sangpo said.

“The protest began in the morning and continues now [at about 3:30 p.m. in Tibet]. The protesters have done serious damage, and have destroyed Chinese shops and other Chinese facilities in the area.”

“When we reached the police station, police fired on us with automatic weapons,” a monk who participated in the protest said. “They also used firefighters and tear gas to disperse the crowd.”

“About 6,000 Tibetans from Tawu and Kardze counties have now assembled at Draggo [monastery] to protest,” The online Tibet Express said.

“It has been reported that at least six Tibetans were killed, and several injured,” the online magazine said.

“Tenzin Thargyal, a Tibetan doctor at Draggo monastery was shot and seriously hurt. Tibetans have now gathered at the monastery, and there is new tension in the area.”

Thirty-two of the injured were taken to Draggo monastery, a protester at the monastery said, speaking to RFA by phone.

Finally, from NYT:

The combination of increasingly frequent confrontations and rising casualties during these incidents, “underlines how the situation is escalating,” said Stephanie Brigden, the director of Free Tibet.

Chinese government agencies were closed on Monday in observance of the first day of lunar new year celebrations. The official Xinhua news agency had no report on the latest incident. Internet access to the area was cut off by the authorities, apparently to slow the dissemination of information.

Kate Saunders, a spokeswoman for the International Campaign for Tibet, said in a telephone interview that three people, including Mr. Yonten, had been killed and that 49 people had sought treatment for injuries at a clinic operated by monks. The 49 included nine people with gunshot wounds and 40 with various injuries from beatings and other causes, she said.

People in China wounded by gunshots are often leery of going to hospitals, fearing that they will face questioning and possibly retaliation by the authorities.

More as further reports become available.

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Filed under ethnic conflict, Self-Immolation Crisis, Tibet

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