Jul 02, 2009

Tibet: Students Expelled for Protesting

Active ImageStudents of Sangchu Tibetan Middle School took to the street on April 24, 2009, to reportedly protest "malpractice in allocating reserved seats of Tibetan students to Chinese students in higher education by Chinese authorities.


Below is an article published by Phayul:

Students staged a demonstration in Labrang, Gansu Province

Dharamsala, July 1 [2009] Chinese authorities on June 19 [2009] expelled two Tibetan students of a middle school in Labrang, Sangchu (Ch: Xiahe) County, in Gansu Province, for their alleged involvement in a peaceful protest earlier on April 24 this year [2009], sources said.

The two Tibetan students, identified as Dolma Tashi aka Dolta, 21, and Dolma Bum aka Dolbum, 22, are both from Sangkhok Township, Sangchu County, Kanlho "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP) in Gansu Province, Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), cited sources as saying.

On 24 April 2009, reportedly over 1000 students of Sangchu Tibetan Middle School took to streets of Sangchu County. At the time of the incident, sources said a number of reasons had compelled the students to protest against the local authorities.

According to TCHRD, one of the main causes of the students' protest was "malpractice in allocating reserved seats of Tibetan students to Chinese students in higher education by the school authorities."

Sources also said, defamatory articles against the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama published in a local state-run newspaper under the pseudonym of Yidor also provoked the students.

Two articles- entitled "Deception and Meanness of Dalai Lama" and "No Escape for the Dalai" was published in the local bilingual Kanlho Daily, reportedly upsetting the students. Sources said the latter article was not only published in the paper, but was also put up on the school notice board.

The "smeared campaign carried out against their beloved leader" forced the students to stage demonstration in which they reportedly marched off from their school and headed towards the Sangchu County's main market shouting slogans, a source told TCHRD.

The student protesters were later reportedly stopped by the local Public Security Bureau (PSB) in the outskirts of the main market area.

According to sources on the ground, the students were driven back to the school and a strong contingent of PSB and People's Armed Police (PAP) men surrounded the school barring anyone from entering or leaving the area. The parents of the students were also summoned to the school and were asked to ensure that no such demonstration will take place in the future.

According to information received by TCHRD, a group of 13 students from Sangchu Tibetan Nationality Elementary School were also arrested by authorities for their peaceful demonstration on April 30, 2009. They were released later after a brief detention. The group raised "Stop Defaming the Dalai Lama" slogan after the twin articles appeared in the Kanlho Daily, which has a large circulation in the area.

Labrang, home to the famed Labrang Tashikhyil Monastery, and several other areas in Kanlho TAP have been witnessing sporadic peaceful protests in recent times, often against restrictive measures imposed on local Tibetans by Chinese government, TCHRD says.

The centre says many of the measures are harsh and repressive in nature, and quite contrary to fundamental rights ensured by the Chinese constitution.