DHARAMSHALA, March 19: Dozens of unarmed Tibetans were injured after Chinese security forces fired tear gas and used explosives to disperse a crowd of peaceful protesters. Sources reveal that dozens of Tibetans sustained injuries, while six of them are believed to be in a critical condition.
The incidence occurred near the local judicial complex in Ba county, eastern Tibet, where a number of Tibetans had gathered on Sunday. These protestors were demanding the release of 50 monks of the Shingtri monastery, who were arrested on Friday, a day after they carried out a protest march to the district headquarters.
According to sources, in Shingtri monastery, the monks had set out at 3 am (local time) on the 15th of March, to carry out a protest at the district headquarters. Upon reaching the district early in the morning, the monks led a march, raising slogans demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet. The monks later stopped their protest march after local leaders and the head of the monastery intervened.
However, the next day, Chinese security forces arrived at the monastery and arrested 50 monks on suspicion of their involvement in the protest. Few of the protesters were reportedly arrested, while the 50 monks have been whisked away to another location.
Security in the region has been tightened following warnings of more severe protests. On the same day, more than two thousand Tibetans, led by monks from the Tsang monastery took out a protest march in Malho town. Here Tibetans filled the streets raising slogans for the Dalai Lama's return and freedom in Tibet. A day earlier, on March 17, around 8000 Tibetans had taken part in the biggest ever protests in Rebkong. Since the 14th of March of this year, three Tibetans have reportedly torched their bodies and thousands have carried out bold protests in Tibet. The Tibetans in Rebkong had gathered together to offer prayers and show their solidarity with Sonam Dhargey, 44, who passed away in a fiery protest on the 17th of March.
Sonam Dhargey, aged 44 and a father of three, has became the 30th Tibetan since 2009 to set himself on fire protesting China's continued occupation of Tibet. The Tibetans offering condolences to his self immolation included representatives from both villages and towns. Many Tibetans from Chentsa, Nangra and other areas sent their condolence messages written on large banners whereas other Tibetans from the Rebgong Gomar area offered their solidarity in the form of monetary contribution.
Earlier today, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, which is currently holding its budget session in Dharamshala, suspended house proceedings to take up the urgent situation inside Tibet.