Tibetan Protester is Detained Again After Celebrating Dalai Lama's Birthday

2015-08-06
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Tibetan protester Pasang Wangchuk in an undated photo.
Tibetan protester Pasang Wangchuk in an undated photo.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener

A Tibetan businessman freed by police last year after being questioned over a solo protest in western China’s Sichuan province has been returned to custody after celebrating the birthday of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, sources said.

Pasang Wangchuk, 37 and a father of three, was detained on July 6 after making offerings in public to mark the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday in defiance of Chinese bans, a Tibetan living in India told RFA’s Tibetan Service this week.

“Police regarded the incense offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a political offense,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity and citing local sources.

“He was taken into custody shortly afterward, and is now being held in detention,” the source said.

Wangchuk is believed to be confined now in a prison in Sichuan’s Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, but no word has been received regarding his current condition, the source said.

News of Wangchuk’s July 6 detention was delayed in reaching outside contacts due to communication blocks imposed by Chinese authorities in the area.

Detained before

Wangchuk had also been detained in October 2014 after staging a solo protest in the market area of Kardze town in which he had shouted slogans calling for Tibetan freedom and the return to Tibet of the Dalai Lama.

When he was released a month later, “police warned him that they would be watching his behavior for a year,” RFA’s source said.

The Dalai Lama, who is regarded by Chinese authorities as a dangerous separatist intent on splitting Tibet away from China, fled Tibet into exile in India in the midst of a failed 1959 national uprising against Chinese rule.

Chinese authorities tightened restrictions across Tibetan-populated regions this year in advance of the Dalai Lama’s birthday on July 6, posting warnings against celebrations of the politically sensitive event and blocking public gatherings that could be linked to it.

Sporadic demonstrations challenging Chinese rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008, with 142 Tibetans to date setting themselves ablaze to oppose Beijing’s rule and call for the Dalai Lama’s return.

Reported by Sonam Wangdue for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Comments (2)
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Wangchuk

from NY

Actually the US Govt does criticize the Chinese Govt for human rights violations against Tibetans. I agree however the US can do more for Tibet. Not war, but economic sanctions should apply and Chinese officials who are responsible for administering Tibet should be barred by visiting the US b/c China bars US officials from visiting Tibet except on special tours. Also the US should host an int'l summit on Tibet. China can be invited but they probably won't attend. It doesn't matter. What we need is int'l multilateral efforts to free Tibet.

Aug 17, 2015 10:32 AM

Anonymous Reader

If America is the greatest military force on the planet, and nobody doubts that it is not. And, If as Dianna Finstine professes and others assert that His Holiness ( Is gods gift to the world ) why is the defence department and foreign relations department so quite about the violence being done to the Tibetan people, the commission of which is sanctioned by the Beijing Government ?!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug 07, 2015 04:24 AM

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