News / Asia

Report: China Taking Tibetan Crackdown Seriously

Tibetan Buddhists and tourists view a giant thangka, a religious silk embroidery or painting displaying the Buddha portrait, during the Shoton Festival at Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region August 6, 2013.
Tibetan Buddhists and tourists view a giant thangka, a religious silk embroidery or painting displaying the Buddha portrait, during the Shoton Festival at Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region August 6, 2013.
A report from the U.S. Congressional Executive Commission on China says despite “low” international media attention, the Chinese government is taking recent unrest in the Tibetan Autonomous Region very seriously.
The report, released earlier this week, concluded that the way Chinese security forces responded to protests in Driru County (Biru in Chinese) reflected a strong desire to ensure that such incidents remain isolated.
Steve Marshall, senior adviser to the commission and director of its prisoner database program, says the Chinese authorities regard Driru and two neighboring counties Sog and Drachen as hot spots for anti-China activism.
“From their point of view, if I can use a metaphor, it is a small fire in a remote place," he said. "But the small fire in the remote place is something that they do not want to spread — for example, to Lhasa, which is a very big, important place."
He added that the protests remind the Chinese authorities of the March 2008 demonstrations in Lhasa, in which Tibetans attacked Han Chinese people and property.
Driru is an area where at least four Tibetans have self-immolated in the past two years. However, China has never admitted that there have been self-immolations in the county.
Marshall says this refusal to admit that self-immolations took place highlights the sensitivity of the situation for the Chinese government.
“That to me signifies [an] even higher level of sensitivity [than] when they send in a lot of security [forces], [and make] very, very strict [attempts] to compel the Tibetans to engage in expressions of patriotism towards China, [and] have them all fly Chinese flags on the rooftops."
In August, the government in the Tibetan Autonomous Region launched a special patriotic campaign in Driru. The following month, villagers were ordered to fly Chinese national flags from their rooftops. But people in at least two villages reportedly dumped the flags into a river.
Since then, there have been reports of protests, arrests and shootings by police.
Tibetan exiles with close links to Driru say the situation remains tense and arrests are continuing.
Since 2009, over 120 Tibetans demanding the return of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan freedom have self-immolated. Most self-immolations took place in Sichuan Province.
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Tibetan service.

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Comment Sorting
by: Alston from: Canada
November 30, 2013 10:29 PM
Arthors make up story and exaggerate the fact. Canada, what is your history for First Nations? You killed them. A shame you declare human rights.

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
November 29, 2013 12:04 PM
Wish my homeland prosperity and peace! I support the communist party! Tibetans should go to school instead of monasteries. Learn science instead of religion brainwashing!

by: Wangchuk from: NY
November 29, 2013 11:53 AM
What the CCP fails to realize is that the majority of Tibetans do not consider the CCP or the Chinese Govt to be legitimate in Tibet. The Chinese govt in Tibet is considered a foreign occupation that discriminates against Tibetans. There will always be unrest in Tibet b/c China has failed to win the hearts & minds of the Tibetan people.

by: Lee from: England
November 29, 2013 10:16 AM
The author is telling the truth, there is plenty of evidence and testimonies from Tibetans inside Tibet that they are being imprisoned tortured and killed for so much as holding a Tibetan flag, a photo of their beloved spiritual leader or merely sending an email to the outside world about the situation. Tibetans are silenced if they try to speak out. The Chinese government has a narrow minded policy of absolute violent suppression of these peace loving people - and so Tibetans grow so desperate and want the world to see their suffering so they are setting themselves on fire.

They are committed to a non violent path, and have been for long over half a century. If the world would only open its eyes and give Tibet the justice, human rights and freedom they deserve, then by rewarding peaceful resistance it could set a trend for future struggles for freedom to be fought without violence. The sooner we realise that the less chance of killing ourselves in WW3. So Tibet is not just an issue for Tibetans - its an issue for all of us and its time to stand with Tibetans and help in anyway we can, and pressurise our own governments to hold china accountable for its attrocities in Tibet.
In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
November 29, 2013 2:38 PM
Thank you for bring peace and prosperity to Iraq, Egypt and Lydia!
I wish Tibet will have the same freedom as Iraq has! Lol

by: Winston from: China
November 28, 2013 6:51 PM
The author is a liar,and I believe he hasn't been Tibet before.
In Response

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
November 29, 2013 11:51 AM
Perhaps China should allow the author to visit Tibet himself if you don't believe he's been there. Oh that's right. The PRC doesn't allow VOA, RFA, HRW, Amnesty & many foreign journalists & human rights investigators to visit Tibet & investigate facts for themselves. Why is it that the CCP blocks access to many Tibetan areas by foreigners? Why did the CCP ban all foreign tourists during the "Tibet Liberation" festival last May? Why does China block the UN from investigating human rights in Tibet? Because the CCP doesn't want the world to know what's really going on. Winston from China just confirmed he's a 50 Cent Party member spreading CCP propaganda on the Internet.

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