Hundreds of Tibetans gathered at the township office of Dzongchen in Dergye County (Ch:Zhuqing, Derge County, Kanzi Tibetan prefecture, Sicuan) today to demand an end to arbitrary beatings and discrimination against Tibetan people, according to a Tibetan source in exile.Simmering resentment against Chinese police’s use of force on local Tibetans and sporadic raids at a local monastery are known to have caused the large scale protest.
Earlier during a religious festival on February 27, monks of Dzongchen monastery enthroned a banned portrait of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. Subsequently, many local Tibetans are known to have visited the monastery to see the picture of their leader. Sources say this event lead to Chinese police’s numerous raids on the monastery and use of force on the monks.
From April 22-24, monks of Dzongchen monastery along with local people requested the Chinese authorities to put an end to the beatings and the arbitrary searches at the monastery. Reports say Chinese police further beat the group leading to hospitalizations of some people and detentions of many.
Hundreds of monks and local people were reported to have gathered today to voice their disproval of the brute use of force by the local authorities. Chinese police beat the protesters leading to hospitalization of about 7 people, said the exile source today. A local person named Gyamtso was said to be in a critical condition and it is not known whether he is alive or not. 13 people are known to have been detained.
Sichuan has been the center of the 35 Tibetan self-immolation protests that have taken place since March 2009. China has imposed major security crackdown in the Tibetan-populated regions of the province following self-immolations of over 24 Tibetans from the region.