Tibet Remains Unsettled PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Julie Adler   

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) reports that the first sentencing of Tibetans who participated in the March protests have been announced. These range from three years to life in prison.

Additionally, Radio Free Asia reports that 14 nuns in Sichuan province were detained for protesting “despite a massive security presence,” demonstrating the people’s resolve to maintain their stance and their visibility. The Tibetans are still responding en masse. An estimated 5,000 Chinese soldiers descended upon Labrang Monastery on May 7 in a surprise raid, arresting 140 monks. The next day, even more monks protested and as a response, the Chinese authorities released nearly all of those arrested. A source from ICT states, “these hardline policies by China in Tibet have achieved the opposite of what they were aiming for - they have united Tibetans
across the plateau in their loyalty to the Dalai Lama and in preserving the integrity of their cultural identity. This has not happened before in two centuries of Tibetan history. The question now is how the Tibetans will take this forward and how it will play out politically.”

Special Envoy to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lodi Gyari, recently traveled to China to engage in talks with the Chinese that could possibly open the way for further dialogue and even a meeting between the Dalai Lama and President Hu Jintao. Gyari welcomed President Hu Jintao’s comment at a recent press conference in Tokyo with the Japanese Prime Minister where Jintao said, “our attitude towards contacts and consultation with the Dalai Lama is serious.”

Meanwhile, Lhasa and Central Tibet itself still remain sealed off to the outside world and the now infamous Olympic torch which was forced up to the top of Mt. Everest last month despite blizzard conditions, is dotting the landscape of China, and is still due to pass through Tibet and arrive at the Potala Palace (former home of the Dalai Lama) in mid-June, even in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake to hit this region on May 12. (The epicenter was located in Lungu County (Ch: Wenchuan), Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Ch: Aba) in Sichuan Province (the Tibetan area of Kham).

For more news and information on the current situation in Tibet, or to support newsgathering efforts, please visit: www.thetibetconnection.org.

Julie Adler is a producer of The Tibet Connection and a yoga teacher in Los Angeles.

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