16 March 2008

Fresh protests continued to rise across Tibet. At Kirti Monastery, in eastern Tibet, a prayer service erupted into a spontaneous protest with Tibetan monks raising the banned Tibetan national flag, joined by lay Tibetans, shouting slogans calling for “Victory to Tibet”. Hundreds were injured in the crackdown; 30 Tibetans are believed to have died after armed troops shot indiscriminately into the peaceful demonstrators. Hundreds more took part in a peace march and demonstration in Rebkong County; the peaceful protesters were confronted by security personnel who surrounded the demonstration. About 500 students from Tibetan Studies Department in the Northwestern University for Minority Nationalities staged a peaceful protest distributing leaflets and calling for an end to the crackdown in Tibet, carrying banners that read “Through Happiness and Sorrow, We Stand United”. A sit-in protest was started in Lithang by one monk who was joined by lay-Tibetans from the area.  Thousands of monks, nomads and lay-Tibetans carried out multiple protests in Kanlho with people carrying “Independence for Tibet” banners, portraits of the Dalai Lama and the banned Tibetan national flag, and shouted “Let the Dalai Lama return!” and “Tibet belongs to Tibetans!” Widespread curfews across Tibet were imposed.