February 2nd: Latest on Tibet Crackdown

Phayul reports that China has been making mass arrests in Kardze:

Chinese authorities have arrested a hundred Tibetans from Drango, eastern Tibet on suspicion of their participation in the January 23 mass protests in the region.

Chinese security personnel are reportedly arresting the Tibetans with the aid of photos and videos taken during the protests.

“We will arrest even if 10,000 people rise up,” US based radio service RFA quoted an unnamed Tibetan as being told by Chinese security officials.

The arrested Tibetans have reportedly been taken to the Ra Nga Kha prison in Bamei, located between Dartsedo [in Chinese, Kangding] and the Tawu [in Chinese, Daofu].

Exile sources say that the entire Drango region remains cut-off from outside world as phone lines and internet connections continue to be inactive.

This (Chinese language) blogger has amassed a number of pictures showing how heavy the police and military presence is in Lhasa.

ICT has new details from Golog, where Lama Sopa self-immolated two weeks ago:

Tibetan laypeople sought to protect monks in Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) from arrest by armed troops after a peaceful protest, according to new information on unrest and crackdown in the area in recent weeks.

On January 18, around 20 monks from Arkyang monastery in Pema (Chinese: Banma) county, Golog (the Tibetan area of Amdo), staged a peaceful protest in Pema county town. A Tibetan source in exile who is in contact with others in the area said that some monks were holding banners with inscriptions calling for the Dalai Lama to return home, for freedom, and for the Chinese authorities to release the 11th Panchen Lama. Some monks from another monastery in the area, Digung, also joined the protest.

The next day (January 19), a group of around ten armed police and officials from Pema county went to Arkyang monastery and called for the expulsion of monks who had taken part in the protest, threatening the monastery with closure. On January 20, armed police and troops came to the monastery again and attempted to detain monks. “At the same time, more than 500 local people came to the monastery and protected the monastery and monks from the troops. They were threatened by the armed forces but they did not back off,” said a Tibetan from Amdo who is now in exile and is in contact with sources from Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, which neighbors Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi). It is not known whether the officials and troops succeeded in detaining any monks that day, or since then, due to the difficulties in obtaining information from the area and the intense climate of fear.

On January 21, officials came to Arkyang (a Jonang Buddhist monastery) again and ordered monks to carry out “legal education” instead of their religious practice. According to the same sources, a number of monks left the monastery on the first day of the “legal education” campaign.

On that subject, SFT has a transcript of the last recorded message left by Lama Sopa:

To all the six million Tibetans, including those living exile — I am grateful to Pawo Thupten Ngodup and all other Tibetan heroes, who have sacrificed their lives for Tibet and for the reunification of the Tibetan people; though I am in my forties, until now I have not had the courage like them. But I have tried my best to teach all traditional fields of knowledge to others, including Buddhism.

This is the twenty-first century, and this is the year in which so many Tibetan heroes have died. I am sacrificing my body both to stand in solidarity with them in flesh and blood, and to seek repentance through this highest tantric honor of offering one’s body. This is not to seek personal fame or glory.

To all my spiritual brothers and sisters, and the faithful ones living elsewhere: You must unite and work together to build a strong and prosperous Tibetan nation in the future. This is the sole wish of all the Tibetan heroes. Therefore, you must avoid any quarreling amongst yourselves whether it is land disputes or water disputes. You must maintain unity and strength. Give love and education to the children, who should study hard to master all the traditional fields of studies. The elders should carry out spiritual practice as well as maintain and protect Tibetan language and culture by using all your resources and by involving your body, speech and mind. It is extremely important to genuinely practice Buddhist principles in order to benefit the Tibetan cause and also to lead all sentient beings towards the path of enlightenment. Tashi Delek.

No need for Beijing to put any words in the mouths of the self-immolators now. Finally, ICT has a report about evidence of systematic job discrimination against Tibetans in Tibet:

New translations of job advertisements in Tibet, both online and as notices posted in public spaces, confirm overt discrimination against Tibetans. The ads also reveal that Tibetans are not even being offered menial, unskilled work in some sectors, or if they are, they are in some instances being offered a wage significantly lower than their Han counterparts.

The practice of advertising positions “limited to Han” is also observed in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region – referred to by its historical name of East Turkistan by many Uyghurs in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and in exile – although based on a basic survey of online employment agencies by ICT, the practice appears to be more common in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), and in Lhasa in particular.

In almost all of the ads the stipulation “limited to Han” (Ch: xian Hanzu) – or simply “Han” (Ch: Hanzu) – is placed among other requirements and qualifications for the job in question, such as age, experience or holding a driver’s license.

In at least one instance, Tibetan laborers were offered a significantly lower rate than their Han counterparts. A blackboard seen in an undated photograph outside the Hongqiao Employment Agency in central Lhasa clearly states Han laborers will be paid 50 yuan (US $8) per day while Tibetans will only be paid 30 yuan (US $4.75) per day (see here).

The practice of limiting recruitment to Chinese job applicants can be seen in other areas of the PRC which, like the TAR, are designated “nationality autonomous” in recognition of the fact that the populations of these areas are or were prevalently non-Han. In East Turkistan for example, an advertisement appeared on the Jimusa’er County government website seeking several Han health workers (see here) – according to the 2002 census, around 30% of the county’s population was non-Han, while Hotan City Tobacco Monopoly Bureau, also in East Turkistan, was hiring 10 people, and stipulated that eight should be Han and only two should be Uyghurs (see here) – Han make up less than 4% of Hotan Prefecture’s population according to official statistics, while Uyghurs make up almost 93% (See “Introduction to Hotan” (in Chinese) on the Hotan City Government website. A hotel in Ordos in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region advertised for almost 160 people in various positions, and stipulated for each of the positions that the applicants should be Han (see here). In a job advertisement for truck drivers seen on an job-search site in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the text reads “To make life easier (Ch: weile shenghuo fangbian), limited to Han”.

Putting a stop to practices like this would likely go some of the way towards lowering tensions in Tibetan regions, but doing so would involve having the government acknowledge the validity of minority concerns. Beijing is absolutely dedicated to denying them right now, and instead viewing problems as the fault of the Dalai Lama that can be resolved only by force.

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Filed under Dalai Lama, enforced disappearance, ethnic conflict, intimidation, protests, Self-Immolation Crisis, Tibet

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