KATHMANDU—Tibetan government workers in China’s Gansu province have clashed with soldiers and police in an incident that seriously injured one soldier and one police officer, according to Tibetan sources. Eighteen Tibetans were briefly detained, they said.
The clash pointed to simmering tensions in the region since protests against Chinese rule broke out across Tibet beginning in March.
A group of 20 young Tibetans gathered for dinner Oct. 11 in Hezuo city in the Kanlho [in Chinese, Gannan] Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, according to one source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A group of police and soldiers confronted them as they left the restaurant, he said.
“The Tibetans argued with the police and soldiers and declared that they would not be intimidated as other Tibetans in the area had been,” the source said.
“The argument then erupted into a brawl. One policeman and one soldier, both Chinese, were seriously injured and taken to a local hospital.”
“The Chinese authorities responded by detaining 18 Tibetans,” the source added.
Tibetans 'constantly harassed'
“All were government employees who worked in Hezuo, though they came originally from other counties in Kanlho prefecture such as Chone [in Chinese, Zhuoni], Sangchu [in Chinese, Xiahe], Machu [in Chinese, Maqu], and Luchu [in Chinese, Luqu].”
Another Tibetan source, who also asked not to be named, gave an identical account.
“Many policemen and soldiers are stationed in Hezuo,” the source said. “And they are constantly harassing local Tibetans who move around the city.”
“Moreover, the way the Chinese have treated Tibetans since the March uprising in different parts of Tibet has hurt not only common Tibetans, but also those who are employed in government departments.”
Calls seeking comment from the Hezuo city Public Security Bureau went unanswered.
An eyewitness to the incident gave the same account, though, and said that all of those detained have now been released.
“They reported back to work,” he said. “I don’t want to say anything about the length of time they were detained or how much they were fined.”
Original reporting by RFA’s Tibetan service. Tibetan service director: Jigme Ngapo. Translations by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney. Produced and edited for the Web by Sarah Jackson-Han.