|Yu Zhengsheng arrives in Labrang monastery|
I had mentioned earlier the unpredictable climatic changes on the Tibetan plateau.
A few days ago, the world media claimed that Beijing had gone for a softer Tibet policy; today, repression and hard words seem to be back.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported: "At least eight Tibetans were injured when Chinese police fired gunshots and used tear gas to disperse about 1,000 monks and nuns who had gathered in a restive county in Sichuan province at the weekend to mark the birthday of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, according to local residents and exile groups."
It appears that on July 6 policemen have badly beaten some Tibetans and smashed the windows of vehicles used to ferry the monks and nuns to a sacred mountain in Tawu county (Sichuan province).
The brother of the nun, Palden Choetso who self-immolated in 2011, suffered serious gunshot wounds.
A Tawu resident told RFA's Tibetan Service that hundreds of police forces surrounded the Tibetans from the Tawu Nyitso monastery and Gedhen Choeling nunnery as soon as they converged at the site of the Machen Pomra sacred mountain to mark the Dalai Lama's birthday and pay respect to Palden Choetso.
The following day, Yu Zhengsheng made an inspection tour of the Gannan Tibetan prefecture in Gansu province. He declared: "For the sake of national unity and the development of stability in Tibetan regions, we must take a clear-cut stand and deepen the struggle against the Dalai clique".
Xinhua stated that Yu reiterated Beijing's demand: the Dalai Lama should openly recognise Tibet has been part of China since ancient times and abandon his separatist activities.
Two points, one Yu speaks of 'Tibetan regions', Beijing does not separate anymore the Tibetan Autonomous Region with the 'Tibetan-inhabited areas' of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai. This change has come progressively but it was officialized during the last Tibet Work Forum. In a sense, it is a positive development.
Second, how can the Dalai Lama recognize that "Tibet has been part of China since ancient time." The Dalai Lama is ready today to find a solution to the Tibetan issue within the People's Republic of China, but it does not mean that History should or can be changed or rewritten.
There will never be an agreement on this.
Another aspect of the Tibetan issue is the situation in neighbouring Xinjiang.
Last week, The South China Morning Post reported: "Two of the country's highest- ranking officials made an emergency visit to Xinjiang yesterday, after an outbreak of violence led to a curfew in the jade-mining hub of Hotan.
The arrival of Yu Zhengsheng, the No 4 member on the Communist Party's supreme Politburo Standing Committee, and Politburo member Meng Jianzhu, secretary of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party, in the far-western region's capital, Urumqi, was an indication that central authorities are taking seriously recent incidents of unrest. Yu, who is chairman of the Chinese People's Consultative Conference and the most senior official in charge of Xinjiang affairs, was also accompanied by Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun."
The Chinese leadership seems so nervous about what is happening in the restive region that hours after a riot broke out in Hotan, President Xi Jinping convened a special meeting of the Standing Committee. The riot followed an incident in Lukqun township, Turpan, in which 35 people were killed, including 11 attackers.
Yu spoke of waging a 'proactive battle' to clamp down on all "violent and terrorist forces in the region. ...Protection of key areas, key institutes and key infrastructure must be strengthened."
It is why the present regime will not offer any concession to the Tibetans; it would have an immediate repercussion in Xinjiang (most probably in a violent form).
|Sonam Tashi in Dartsedo hospital (photo TCHRD)|
General Fan said: "We must unswervingly fight against terrorists and the 'three forces' of terrorism, extremism and separatism, in order to safeguard ethnic unity." He exhorted the armed police to tighten security measures in crucial areas, intensify patrols, and keep high alert to cope with emergencies.
Xinhua reported that General Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of general staff of the PLA, General Du Jincai, deputy director of the General Political Department (GPD) of the PLA, General Liu Zheng, deputy director of the General Logistics Department (GLD) of the PLA, General Liu Yuejun, commander of the Lanzhou Military Region and Wang Jianping, commander of the Peoples' Armed Police accompanied General Fan.
While in Xinjiang, the generals probably discussed the border incident with India (in Ladakh).
Let us not forget that the Ladakh front (DBO, Demchok, Chumar, etc.) falls under the Xinjiang Military District.
General Fan is, by the way, is far senior to General Chang Wanquan, the Chinese Defence Minister (AK Antony's so-called counterpart).
During the previous weekend, Yu Zhengsheng may have told the local Commander (General Peng Yong, another Yong): "Give them back their cameras".
Now we have only to hope that the returned cameras are not bugged!
Ethnic affairs chief calls for 'absolute fight against Dalai Lama clique'
South China Morning Post
July 9, 2013
Top ethnic affairs official issues appeal as police reported to have fired on Tibetan gathering
Amid reports that police opened fire on a Tibetan gathering in Sichuan province, the country's top ethnic affairs official has called for "an absolute fight against the Dalai Lama clique".
Yu Zhengsheng, who heads the nation's top political advisory body and is a member of the Politburo's Standing Committee, made his remarks during an inspection tour of the Gannan Tibetan prefecture in Gansu province on Sunday and Monday, Xinhua reported.
"For the sake of national unity and the development of stability in Tibetan regions, we must take a clear-cut stand and deepen the struggle against the Dalai clique," Yu was quoted as saying.
He reiterated Beijing's demand that the Dalai Lama openly recognise Tibet has been part of China since ancient times and abandon any separatist activities, Xinhua said.
His visit coincided with reports from overseas Tibetan rights activists that police had opened fire on a group of monks and others while they gathered to mark the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday in a Tibetan part of Sichuan.
Two Tibetan monks were in critical condition after being shot numerous times in the head at the traditional celebration in Ganzi prefecture on Saturday, according to the US-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India.
Rights activists said hundreds of Tibetans from Tawu township, including many monks and nuns, had gathered at the base of a sacred mountain near the Nyitsu Monastery, when security forces arrived, began shooting and firing tear gas.
At least 10 participants - eight monks, a nun and a layman - were confirmed injured, ICT and the government-in-exile said. One of the injured monks, who is in hospital in Chengdu , was said to have suffered as many as eight gunshots to the head.
The official website of Ganzi prefecture appeared to be down yesterday and an official from the local government said he was not aware of the incident.
The Foreign Ministry said it was unaware of the reports, but the Dalai Lama was using the occasion of his birthday to promote a separatist agenda. "We hope that people can see clearly the true nature of this," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing.
The reports of violence undercut a recent flurry of speculation over whether the new leadership was softening its stance on Tibet.
While military control in the Tibetan regions remain tight, especially during holidays, shootings are extremely rare.
"This does not have a precedent, and may well be the first shooting at a cultural gathering," said Robert Barnett, director of Columbia University's Modern Tibetan Studies Programme. "The big question is what went wrong here? This is a dramatic escalation and very serious."
Additional reporting by Laura Zhou