Nomad Mother Calls Out For Tibetan Freedom, is Detained


2015-08-17
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tibet-okarkyi-aug172015.jpg Tibetan protester Woekar Kyi with her son in an undated photo.
Photo courtesy of Kanyak Tsering

Police in southwestern China’s Sichuan province detained a young Tibetan nomad on Saturday after the woman, the mother of a four-year-old son, staged a solitary protest in her township calling out for Tibetan freedom and the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Tibetan sources said.

Woekar Kyi, aged about 23, was taken into custody by local police on Aug. 15 at about 3:00 p.m. in Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) county’s Meruma township, an India-based Tibetan monk told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Monday.

“She shouted slogans calling for Tibetan freedom and demanding that the Dalai Lama be invited to return to Tibet,” the monk, named Kanyak Tsering, said.

“She also called out that China’s repression of Tibetans has now crossed all limits,” Tsering said, citing sources in the Ngaba region.

Kyi, who was raised from early childhood in a nomad family, was taken into custody shortly after beginning her protest, and no word was immediately available regarding her current condition or whereabouts.

A native of Meruma township’s Village No. 1, Kyi’s father’s name is Kunpo and mother’s name is Phakpa, Tsering said.

Others detained

Kyi’s detention follows the earlier detentions in December of two other Meruma residents, one a student and the other a monk, apparently on suspicion of involvement in activities opposing Beijing’s rule in Tibetan areas.

Mewu Soepa, a 21-year-old student, was taken into custody by police on Dec. 27 while traveling from Meruma township to the Ngaba county center, sources said in earlier reports.

Writings on Soepa’s blog were found by authorities to include an article titled “Raise Your Hands For Freedom” and a poem, “The Martyr,” dedicated to a Tibetan woman named Tsepe, also from Meruma, who set herself ablaze and died on Dec. 22 to protest Chinese rule.

Also detained was Lobsang Lungrik, 20, a Meruma native and monk from Ngaba’s restive Kirti monastery, who was taken away by police on unspecified charges on Dec. 26, sources said.

Kirti monastery has been the scene of repeated self-immolations and other protests by monks, former monks, and nuns opposed to Chinese rule in Tibetan areas.

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 on fire to oppose Beijing’s rule and call for the Dalai Lama’s return.

Reported by Rigdhen Dolma for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Rigdhen Dolma. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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