Tibetan Shot Dead, Two Wounded

The violence comes amid heightened tensions ahead of Uprising Day.

Part of the large group of monks who participated in a 'solidarity' march in Tridu county in Qinghai province's Yulshul prefecture, Feb. 8, 2012.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener

Chinese security forces shot and killed one Tibetan and wounded two others in China's western Qinghai province this week when they tried to interfere with the detention of a friend linked to protests against Chinese rule, sources said.

The shooting came amid heightened tensions in Tibet-populated regions and the Tibet Autonomous Region ahead of what Tibetans call “Uprising Day” on Saturday, the sensitive anniversary of the 1959 flight into exile of Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and of regionwide protests throughout Tibet in 2008.

The man who was shot dead was identified as Choeri, aged in his 20s or 30s. He was killed on Tuesday by Pema county police in the Golog (in Chinese, Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a county resident said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Choeri was a native of the county’s Kikor township, the source said.

“Tobwang, another Tibetan from the same township, was hiding in the hills after taking part in a protest rally in the area during the Lunar New Year,” he said.

“When local police pursued him into the hills, Choeri tried to protect his friend but was shot and killed by police, and Tobwang was detained.”

Two others, identified as Karkho and Jampel  Lodroe, also called Kuru, were wounded in the gunfire, he added.

“Family members have conducted funeral prayers for Choeri, but local Tibetans have no idea of the whereabouts or condition of Tobwang or the two Tibetans who were injured in the shooting,” he said.

Account confirmed

Separately, a Tibetan living in exile in India confirmed the account, linking the shooting to a Jan. 25 anti-China protest in the region in which local Tibetans had marched to government offices and pulled down the Chinese flag.

“There was a demonstration in Pema county in Golog in Qinghai province about a month ago,” said Jampel Monlam, deputy director of the Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.

“Police tried to detain local Tibetans because the Chinese national flag had been taken down, and the Tibetans fled to the mountains.”

“On March 6, police tried to detain Tibetans who had resisted arrest, and during the clash they gunned down and killed a 28-year-old Tibetan named Choeri,” he said.

Tensions in Qinghai and neighboring Sichuan province have escalated following Tibetan self-immolations and other protests against Chinese rule, triggering a security clampdown.

Twenty-six Tibetans have set themselves ablaze so far since February 2009, prompting a call yesterday from well-known Tibetan blogger Woeser and senior Tibetan religious leader Arjia Rinpoche to end the fiery protests, saying that Tibetans opposed to Chinese rule should instead "stay alive to struggle and push forward" their goals.


'Annihilate culture'

Meanwhile, Tibet's India-based exile cabinet marked this year's March 10 anniversary of a failed 1959 national uprising against Chinese rule with a statement noting what it called China's efforts over the last half-century "to annihilate the Tibetan people and its culture."

"Since repression across Tibet worsened in 2008, the Tibetan people have been languishing in an environment of constant fear and suspicion," the exile cabinet, called the Kashag, said.

Referring to the Tibetan self-immolators, the group paid homage to "the martyrs, who sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet" and expressed solidarity with Tibetan intellectuals such as writers, poets, musicians and environmentalists, who had been arrested and incarcerated in recent years.

"We praise their courage and conviction," it said.

Pointing to the Arab Spring revolts that have ousted entrenched rulers in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, the group said, "These events prove the fact that suppression by authoritarian regimes anywhere cannot last forever."

This year for the first time since 1959, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader Dalai Lama, who last year relinquished his political duties to an elected prime minister, will not make an official statement on Uprising Day.

Reported by Tenzin Wangyal and Lobe Soktsang for RFA’s Tibetan service, and by Qiao Long for RFA’s Mandarin service. Translations by Karma Dorjee and Feng Xiaoming. Written in English by Richard Finney.


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Mar 09, 2012 06:51 PM

It seems that www.phayul.com the Tibetan news service is being blocked, service unavailable, during March 10th