On 27 February police shot at a monk, Tapey, from Kirti Monastery in Aba County (Sichuan) who had set himself on fire in protest against the ban to celebrate religious holidays.
Only yesterday Xinhua confirmed his identity, reporting that he was “out of danger” and that has been moved to a hospital in Chengdu. But Chinese authorities still denied claims that he had been shot.
Since the incident no one who knows him has been able to see him.
For over a month China has deployed tens of thousands of troops in Tibet and Tibetan areas of Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu, arresting and beating people to stop any form of protest, even if only verbal.
Martial law is de facto in place in these areas which are off-limits to foreigners.
Foreign journalists who travelled there covertly have reported a massive and threatening military presence on the streets of the Tibetan capital before being stopped and expelled.
Civil war seems to be imminent. Army convoys rumble along highways and paramilitary officers search civilian cars.
Fortified positions are surrounded by sandbags. Lhasa is under a curfew.
China’s crackdown has been relentless since bloody riots broke out in March 2008; altogether 220 Tibetans have been killed, nearly 1,300 have been wounded and nearly 7,000 have been detained or imprisoned, according to the Tibetan government in exile
“With Tibetans showing their determination to protest in the face of China’s clampdown, the conditions are clearly in place for a potential catastrophe,” Bridgen said.
In fact recent weeks saw an upsurge in non-violent protests, especially by Tibetan monks, many of whom have been arrested.
Radio Free Asia has reported that yesterday two Tibetan women—a nun named Pema Yangdzom and later a girl—staged separate protests in front of the Public Security Bureau in Kardze.
“World leaders must break their silence on Tibet and respond to the recent call by the Tibetan government in exile for urgent intervention if we are to avoid a repeat of last year’s bloody crackdown on Tibetan protesters,” said Bridgen.