KATHMANDU—Tibetan exiles and a witness in China’s southwestern Sichuan province report further protests in the troubled Kardze region, saying four to five people were seriously injured when police fired on a crowd of up to 1,000 people.
A Tibetan witness in Daofu (Dawu), in Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi), told RFA’s Tibetan service on April 5 that a protest was under way, with 15 people injured, five people of them seriously. The five who were gravely wounded were all initially taken into custody, the witness said.
“The monks called the head of Daofu county and warned that if those detained weren’t released, all the monks would continue protesting even if it meant they would be killed. So the county chief released those who were injured and detained. There were about 15 Tibetans who were injured and five are in serious condition,” the witness said.
“Please tell the world what we are doing here and that the Chinese are waging a violent crackdown,” the witness said. The call was lost, and the line was dead when a reporter tried to ring back.
An official at the Daofu Public Security Bureau confirmed that a protest had occurred but added: “Now everything is quiet and under control." Tibetan exiles reported similar information after speaking with relatives in the Daofu area.
One source, based in India, said monks from the Mintso monastery planned a special ceremony to mourn those killed in earlier protests, despite a warning that Chinese police had orders to shoot on sight anyone seen protesting.
“Local people joined them, and the crowd grew to about 1,000,” the source said.
“They marched peacefully through the side road, but when they reached a cross-section, several hundred armed police stood there and blocked them. They then allowed the monks to pass and stopped ordinary Tibetans from going any further.”
“At that point, the Tibetans who were simply reciting prayers and marching peacefully were agitated and started raising slogans. They shouted ‘Long live the Dalai Lama’ and slogans [against the] deprivation of freedom for Tibetans inside Tibet. So the… police started firing at the Tibetan crowd and injured about five Tibetans seriously,” the source said,
The monks demanded that the injured Tibetans be returned to them, and the police handed them back, the source in India said. “They were taken to the local hospital but the hospital denied them treatment.”
Another Tibetan exile, in Switzerland, said he too had spoken to witnesses before the phone lines went dead, and they had reported 14 people injured, four of them seriously.
“Ten of the Tibetans are in stable condition,” he said. “The four in serious condition are on the way to China for medical treatment in a vehicle owned by Mintso monastery.”Original reporting by RFA’s Tibetan service. Translation by Karma Dorjee and Tseten Namgyal. Tibetan service director: Jigme Ngapo. Written and produced in English by Sarah Jackson-Han.