China detains two Tibetans for planning Dalai Lama birthday horse-race

File picture of Horse Racing Festival in Litang, Tibet.
File picture of Horse Racing Festival in Litang, Tibet.

(, Jun10, 2015) – Chinese authorities in Machu (Chinese: Maqu) County of Gansu Province have on Jun 5 jailed two Tibetans on suspicion of planning to organize a horse-racing festival to mark the 80th birthday of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. China reviles the Dalai Lama, calling him a separatist, although he only seeks autonomy for his occupied homeland.

Online exile Tibetan media reports have named one of the detained as Jamyang, while the name of the other one and other details about both remain unknown. They were detained after leaflets and posters of the planned event started circulating in the county. The Chinese reportedly suspected them to be the main organizers of the planned celebrations.

Following the appearance of the leaflets and the detention of the two, Chinese authorities have issued orders banning all public gatherings for the planned horse-racing event. The reports cited local Tibetans as saying there was heavy deployment of Chinese security forces around the venue.

The Chinese were also reported to have banned all sorts of religious activities such as saving animals from being slaughtered to mark the Dalai Lama’s birthday.


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