Police in Lhasa have arrested dozens of Tibetans suspected of supporting a campaign against celebrating the Tibetan New Year. The protest has been organized to commemorate last year's anti Chinese demonstrations. Wetness told The Times Online that uniformed and plainclothes police and member of the paramilitary People's Armed Police were involved in the sweep, which began on Monday. They raided tea houses, which are popular with young Tibetans and picked up people of all ages in the street. Many of those detained were accused of "spreading rumors".
Tibetans campaigning against celebration of the New Year, or Losar, on February 25, say that the day should be a time of remembrance. They have issued appeals on the internet and sent text messages putting their case. One text message says: “To mourn those Tibetans who died in 2008, those many heroes who gave their lives, to show sympathy for all Tibetans, we should have no New Year and join hands to show our solidarity.”
Hand-made posters have been pasted on walls in ethnic Tibetan areas of western China urging people not to celebrate. One reads: “One thousand people have been arrested, 1,000 people have disappeared. We others, Tibetans who are living safely, if you have a good heart please do these two things. Do not sing, dance or play and do not set off fireworks. These two actions only. Let us remember the dead and pray for the living.”
Information for this report was provided by Times Online.