Scores of people from Amdo Ngaba area (Chinese: Aba County, Sichuan) living in Tibet’s capital Lhasa have been detained by Chinese authorities following Sunday’s twin self-immolations that took place in the city. Sources say members of a welfare organization set up by a group of Ngaba businessmen in Lhasa have been the primary targets, although any Tibetan from outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region appear to be included in the crackdown.
Hundreds of Tibetans in Lhasa, including shopkeepers and passersby caught on security cameras near the site of the self- immolations are reported to have been detained after two young men from Amdo set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule.
Dorjee Tseten, a 19-year old originally from Amdo Bora, and Dargey, from Amdo Ngaba, set themselves on fire outside Lhasa's holy Jokhang Temple, in the second instance of self-immolation to have taken place in the heavily controlled Tibetan Autonomous Region.
Both young men had lived in Lhasa for some time and worked at a local restaurant named Nyima Ling. Owners of Nyima ling restaurant and his family members, who have settled in Lhasa from Ngaba are among those people put into detention since Sunday.
Sources tell VOA that Tibetans from across Kham and Amdo (Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan) living in Lhasa without residential identity cards are being either detained or deported back to their regions. Lobsang Yeshi, spokesperson of Kirti monastery in exile said that there have been earlier attempts to root out Tibetans from Amdo and Kham living in Lhasa, however, the recent events presented an opportunity for the authorities to implement the plan.
At least 38 self-immolations have taken place in Tibetan areas of southwestern China since February 2009.