Tibet : Four Tibetans Killed, Four Monks Disappeared
Four Tibetans were killed during and in the aftermath of a protest in Kham region, eastern Tibet, in January and four monks were arrested and disappeared after the protest.During a peaceful demonstration in Drakgo County Town on January 23, Norpa Yenten and the unnamed son of Logyal were killed by Chinese police.The Chinese military then descended on Drakgo on January 24 and instructed all local people to return to their places of abode.They subsequently arrested many of the participants, accusing them of having produced leaflets that were displayed and distributed during the demonstration.
On February 9, three groups of Chinese military and police surrounded the nomad area of Norchong township, and shot dead the brothers Yeshe Samdhup and Yeshe Rigsel. Their mother, Sanglha - wife of Garab Nyima - was shot in the hand, and another brother, Yunten Sangpo, was shot in the neck. Sanglha, Yunten Sangpo and his daughter were then arrested. Two orphaned female cousins of the brothers were also injured and arrested when they returned from school.
Local Tibetans believe that Yunten Sangpo is likely to have succumbed to his injuries.
The military and police reportedly confiscated 6,200 yuan, earned from the sale of cheese and butter, from Samdhup and Rigsel's family home. They also set fire to three motorbikes, and killed the family's dog and took away its body.
Three days after the January protest, Chinese police also arrested four monks in Chengdu city, all residents of Drakgo Gochen Monastery. Rinchen and Palden have named them as Tulku Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche, Geshe Tsewang Namgyal, business affairs manager Thinley, and secretary and treasurer Dalha.
The monks' current location and wellbeing is unknown. Some sources in Tibet report that one of them has been killed. Many local Tibetans are worried that, because there has been no news of the monks being sentenced, they may all have been killed.
Three military camps have been erected in Drakgo County, occupied by around 5,000 Chinese military, police and 're-education' instructors.
The county's annual prayer festival, which is usually attended by 40 to 50 thousand Tibetans, was this year banned by the Chinese authorities. Drakgo Gochen Monastery's school was also forcibly closed when the January protest started. The school has more than 100 students.
Internet access has been shut down in the area, but some mobile phone access is currently available. Most calls are reported to be intercepted by the Chinese authorities, leaving people afraid to communicate by phone.
Local Tibetans described their situation to Rinchen and Palden as being that of prisoners.