(TibetanReview.net, Nov20’19) – Chinese police had arrested on Nov 7 four Tibetan monks after they staged a protest in front of a village-level government office in Sershul (Chinese: Shiqu) County of Sichuan Province, scattering leaflets calling for freedom, human rights, protection of locals’ rights, and an end to intrusive political campaigns, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Nov 19. Also arrested later on were stated to be the monks’ teacher and yet another monk for expressing online support for them.
The report said the monks – Kunsal, 20, Tsultrim, 18, Tamey, 18, and Soeta, 18, of Dza Wonpo Ganden Shedrub Monastery – had scattered hundreds of leaflets in the courtyard of the administrative office in Dza Wonpo Village of Dza Mey township.
“Besides calling for freedom for Tibet, the leaflets called for human rights in Tibet, and especially for respect for the rights of local Tibetans,” the report quoted an exile Tibetan monk with local contacts as saying.
“They also called for an end to the illegal acts of local officials and for an end to the stage-managed political campaigns that were disrupting the lives of the local people,” the exile monk was further quoted as saying.
Also stated to have been held later on was the monks’ religious instructor Shergyam Yang, a teacher at the monastery.
One more monk, not yet unidentified, was also stated to have been taken away on Nov 18 for posting online expressions of support for those who had been arrested.
The Nov 7 protest was stated to have taken place after a touring group of Chinese officials forced resettled Tibetan nomads to put up pictures of Chinese national leaders and praise China’s ruling Communist Party in public speeches which they filmed and distributed to the Chinese media.
These erstwhile nomads had been forced off their grazing land and moved into resettlement towns and had no means of livelihood except to depend on government hand-outs and subsidies for survival.
There was therefore a great deal of resentment among the Tibetans, with many of them refusing to take part in the propaganda film-shooting, come what may, the report said.