04/16/2010, 00.00
CHINA – TIBET
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More repression in Tibet, 30 teenagers arrested

During incident in Sertha County, students on their way to school try to stop police from beating two Tibetan monks. Security forces arrest everyone, fine parents and school for not stopping the protest.
Dharamsala (AsiaNews) – Sertha County, in the northern prefecture of Kardze, saw more repression by the Chinese government against ethnic Tibetans. Local security forces arrested more than 30 teenaged students from the Khar primary school for protesting on 8 April against the arrest of two monks, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) reported. The Tibetan rights group has called for the students’ release and an end to China’s anti-Tibetan campaign. It has complained that Beijing has increased its pressure on the area, and subjected it to the forced migration of majority ethnic Han Chinese and the marginalisation of indigenous Tibetans.

According to information provided by local sources, security forces paraded two monks, arrested earlier for staging a protest against the central government, in front of the school. When the vehicle carrying police and monks reached the school area, students started protesting. When they saw police beat up the two monks, they began throwing stones at the security cars, injuring some of the agents as a result of smashed windows. Later students wrote and pasted posters calling for Tibet’s independence around the school walls.

Eventually a total of 18 police cars arrived at the school to stop the protest. Security forces took students into custody. Some were released immediately, but about ten were held in prison. Sources said that they would be released when families pay a 2,000-yuan fine.

Parents were also told to sign a statement, pledging that their children would not participate any more in demonstrations of this kind.

One of the kids, 16-year-old Dhonyoe, was expelled from the school and the school was fined 10,000 yuan for not stopping the protest

The names of the two monks are unknown, but young students from local lama schools have been involved in small protests and demonstrations. They often called for the return of the Dalai Lama and an end to Han domination.

For at least two months now, Tibetan regions have been the scene of a low-level campaign by Buddhist monks and civilians against the Chinese government.

Beijing is particularly concerned that these demonstrations may draw in more locals. For this reason, it has opted for a strong-fist approach to crush protest.

Recently, at least 15 monks have been arrested for their involvement in a number of incidents.

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