(TibetanReview.net, Mar10’23) – China greatly tightened security measures in Tibet’s capital Lhasa as Tibetans and supporters across the free world marked the 64th anniversary on Mar 10 of the Tibetan National Uprising Day. Guests from the European Parliament as well as lawmakers from Mexico and Lithuania, besides others from the United States and other countries, expressing solidarity with the people of Tibet, took part in the official commemoration of the event held in Dharamshala, India.
In their statements on the occasion, both the Sikyong (executive head) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Mr Penpa Tsering, and the Speaker, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, accused China of being unrelenting in its attempts to destroy the Tibetan national and cultural identity by means both violent and coercive, throughout its more than six decades of repressive occupation rule in Tibet. They also accused China of trying to Sinicize Tibet while at the same time plundering its resources without any consideration for the fragile ecosystem of the Tibetan Plateau.
“To consolidate sense of community for the Chinese nation, the PRC government is currently implementing a policy of one nation, one culture, one religion and one language through Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism and promotion of Chinese language across Tibet,” said Penpa Tsering in his statement.
He also said that to speed up assimilation, marriages between Tibetans and Chinese are rewarded to promote “model family of ethnic harmony.”
He has referred to China’s dispatching of thousands of Tibetan children every year to so-called Tibetan classes in Chinese area schools, massive increase in the number of Chinese officials and work teams being deployed to Tibetan areas, and forced mass relocation of Tibetan farmers and nomads even to Chinese areas.
Speaker Tenphel made similar allegations, agreeing with UN human rights experts that around a million children were currently coercively placed in residential schools with no contact with their families and society, and being ill-treated in them even as they were being culturally assimilated in order to make Chinese of them culturally, religiously and linguistically.
Both have also highlighted massive ongoing human rights violations in Tibet and expressed the exile Tibetan people’s solidarity with those in Tibet who have never stopped resisting the Chinese occupation rule, the gross human rights violations and the brutal and violent policy of Sinicization.
The exile Tibetan leaders accused China of passing laws and announcing policies to respect Tibetan autonomy, religion and culture, but being actually relentless in implementing a brutal policy of subjugation, assimilation and Sinicization throughout the period of its occupation rule.
The guests at the commemoration event included four members of the European Parliament led by Mr Mikulas Peksa, nine members of the Mexican Parliament led by Mr Salvador Caro Cabrera, Lithuania parliament member Mr Arunas Valinskas, the President of the National Endowment for Democracy Mr Damon Wilson, and members of Tibet support groups.
* * *
Meanwhile in Tibet’s capital Lhasa, authorities had begun carrying out extra-security measures since Feb 25. Security officials began randomly checking public spaces, guesthouses and hotels, and areas where Tibetan Buddhists perform religious activities and do businesses, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Mar 9.
Police had been stopping Tibetans to check their cell phones to ensure they had not been in contact with anyone living outside the region. Several had been arrested and charged for alleged political infractions, the report cited local sources as saying.
Lhasa police statements posted on their website on Mar 1 were stated to announce measures being taken to ensure stability and prevent separatist thoughts and activities.
The report cited local sources as also saying authorities organized political education campaigns on the policies of the Chinese Communist Party and appointed local leaders to publicize the nation’s law and order measures.
Similar measures were stated to be implemented in other parts of Tibet, including Nagchu in the north, Chamdo in the east and Lhokha, and Shigatse in the south.