Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - Chinese authorities have arrested three monks from the monastery of Ditsa Bayan County (Chinese: Hualong), Haidong Prefecture in Qinghai, merely on suspicion of being involved in the distribution of pamphlets. They have also closed the school run by the monastery. Despite repression, the protests of Tibetans continue and the Chinese authorities have also arrested several students.
The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) reports that on 14 March near the monastery were distributed pamphlets with the demand for "the immediate return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet" and "end the repression in Tibet." Immediately after the police and army occupied the monastery and arrested monks Tulku Woeser, Yeshi, and Jamyang. The first was released after two days while the others were still being detained yesterday. According to the TCHRD the arrest was completely arbitrary and random; there was no evidence against the monks, who were carried off just to make an example of them. The police have clamped down on the monastery, even placing restrictions on religious practices of monks and their meetings.
The Shering Rinchen Norling School, run by the monastery since 1992, was closed by the authorities on March 8, without explanation. The institute, attended by about 70 young novices, teaches Buddhist thought and Chinese and English language.
Despite the very strict security measures taken by the authorities, with a large deployment of police and army and Tibet closed to tourists even in different locations Tibetans marched to remember the anniversaries of the expulsion of the exiled Dalai Lama (March 10, 1959) and bloody repression of the protests in March 2008. On March 14, at least 20 secondary school students of Machu Tibetan (Gansu) marched to the offices of county government, chanting pro-Dalai Lama slogans against Chinese rule and waving flags with a lion, the symbol taken by the Tibetan government in exile. They were joined by crowds of people, while some non-Tibetan traders hurriedly closed their shops.A witness reports that "police cars followed the students. But they only followed them, without doing nothing. " Also on 14 March, students in nearby Hezuo (Gansu) staged a similar event. Agencies have reported that on 17 March, police arrested at least 20 young protesters.