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Tibetan Nationality Middle School in Machu County, Gansu ProvinceDharamsala: Having staged one previously, students of the Tibetan Nationality Middle School in Machu County, Gansu Province, (traditionally in Tibet's Amdo Province), last week orchestrated another peaceful protest against the local government. Reported a Tibetan exile who has contacts in the province.

Led by its seniors,the 1500 students of the Middle School, began the protest around 3pm, on Saturday the 3rd of April. The source, a researcher, living in Dharamsala, though a native to the County of Machu, said that students had rallied, because of the dismissal by Chinese authorities of their headmaster and his two Tibetan assistant's .

Headmaster Kyabchen Dedrol and his two assistants-Do Re and Choekyong Tseten, were sacked, following a pro-independence protest by the Tibetan Nationality Middle School's students.

It is reported that Choekyong Tsetan was taken away in secret, by officials from the Public Security Bureau and that his whereabouts is not known and that Do Re was arrested last month.

In response to this, students of the school submitted petitions to the local Chinese government and demanded that the positions of the recently dismissed be reinstated. The petitions noted that further protests would be held until the government met with their conditions.

With no visible response from the Chinese government to the petitions, students staged last week's second peaceful protest.

With March being the anniversary of the massive anti-China unrest across Tibet and the
Tibetan National Uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. Tensions are extremely high.

"At the moment the school is completely surrounded by armed police and the students are forced to remain confined to school compound. They are also barred from meeting or making any contact with the outsiders," commentated the source.

Adding to this, the local government has placed extra security forces around Machu town and set up checkpoints, restricting the movement of people, with extra force on the monks in the area.

The Dharamsala based researcher said he is unsure of whether Chinese authorities had detained any staff or student members of the Middle school.

Although with increasing fear and tension in the area, students have promised to carry on with what was written on the petitions, to keep protesting until the school headmaster and his two assistants are reinstatement.

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