03/17/2010, 00.00
TIBET - CHINA
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Tibetan junior high students protest. The police arrests them

Tibet virtually under siege ahead of the March anniversary. Police and army deployed by their thousands, shops closed in Lhasa and elsewhere as a sign of mourning. But protests erupt in junior high school: backed by the people, arrested by police.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - Chinese authorities will also crack down on the boys and girls in junior high school should the dare to protest against Beijing and for greater freedom in Tibet. On the 2nd anniversary of the anti-Chinese protests of March 10-14 2008, which broke out in Lhasa and was suppressed by the army firing on a crowd with hundreds of deaths, the Chinese authorities have ordered strict measures of control deploying large numbers of security forces, especially near the Tibetan temples and tourist attractions.

The anniversary also recalls March 10, 1959 when Tibetans rose up against China to fight for independence and were massacred by the Chinese army.

But in the Tibetan junior high school of Machu (Chinese: Maqua) in Gansu province, where Tibetans are at least half the population, on March 14, between 11-12 oìclock, about 30 students protested on the streets near the centre "in memory the anniversary”. Local source Radio Free Asia- reported that at least “5-600 Tibetans joined the students protest." "They shouted against lack of freedom and called for the independence of Tibet".

Dolk Kyab, a native of Machu and now a refugee in Dharamsala (India), confirms that the demonstrators protested for more than 30 minutes, even chanting for the Dalai Lama, before the police arrived in riot gear, arresting at least 40 people.

In the days following - continues the source - "about 4-500 people protested outside the town hall and demanded the release of detainees".

About 3 thousand Chinese soldiers and police arrived in the area, increasing tension.

In the capital Lhasa, local sources explain that the authorities have threatened "to withdraw licenses of those who close their shop on March 14 and that there are thousands of securities forces in Lhasa." But traders closed shops, hotels and restaurants and observed silence the same.

In Markham County on March 10 hundreds of Tibetans protested, demanding compensation for damage caused to the environment and people by the mining activities in the area. Such a firm protest that the authorities gave up on arresting the leaders.

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