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Protests Spread From Tibet to Western China, Many Shot to Deaths

Posted by Author on March 18, 2008

Radio Free Asia, 2008.03.16-

KATHMANDU— Violence spread from Tibet through neighboring parts of China on Sunday as anti-Chinese protesters took to the streets in Sichuan, Gansu, and Qinghai provinces, with large crowds of Tibetans marching on government buildings.

In the Ngaba [in Chinese, Aba] prefecture of Gansu province, witnesses reported clashes near Kirti monastery and deaths from gunfire. “Just now eight bodies have arrived in Kirti monastery,” an eyewitness inside the monastery said in an interview.

Another Tibetan who joined the Ngaba protests reported seeing Tibetans killed by gunfire from inside a police post after the Tibetans attacked police buildings.

“Four Tibetans were killed by gunfire while they were marching near Kirti monastery… Then a little later, another three were killed. They were shot from a distance. Before they were shot, the protesters had smashed the windows at two police posts,” the protester said. “There looked like 5,000 to 6,000 protesters….The names of the three people killed later are Tsezin, Norbu, and Lobsang Tashi.”

Many remote areas of the Sichuan, Gansu, and Qinghai plateau are home to large Tibetan populations, many of whom are nomads.

Tibetans in Ngaba confirmed the reports of clashes to RFA’s Mandarin service: “The reports you have heard are all true. This is all happening. Some things that have happened I can’t talk about because it is not convenient.”

Another Tibetan living nearby also confirmed reports of protests in Ngaba, saying they were still going on late Sunday.

Repeated calls to the Ngaba prefecture police headquarters and local government offices met busy signals. An employee at the county hospital declined to comment on the reports of casualties. “We don’t know. We don’t know right now,” the employee said.

In Gansu, Tibetan students at Lanzhou’s Northwest National University staged a peaceful demonstration on the university grounds.

“Hundreds of Tibetan students took part, and Tibetan students from other departments tried to join in but were blocked. They declared that their protest was peaceful, and they urged the Chinese authorities to stop their crackdown on Tibetans in Lhasa and other Tibetan areas,” a witness said.

“They also expressed solidarity with those Tibetans who protested in Lhasa, Labrang, and others outside Tibet. They had a banner that read, ‘We stand together with Tibetans, for glorious democracy and life.’”

In Machu county, Gannan, also in Gansu province, hundreds of Tibetans, mostly lay people, marched to county government buildings shouting “Long live the Dalai Lama!” and carrying a portrait of the Dalai Lama.

In Sichuan, “the situation is very tense,” said one Tibetan resident.

“On March 15, there were protests in Kham Tawo [in Chinese, Daofu] in Ganzi prefecture. Suddenly 10 armed police trucks arrived…Kham Sershul monastery was surrounded. They are patrolling streets and randomly checking identification,” the source said……. (more details from Radio Free Asia)

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