Confirmation of new protests in Lhasa

Monday, 31 March 2008

Our contact in Dharamsala has spoken by phone to a source in Lhasa who confirmed he had witnessed a large protest in the Tibetan capital at 2pm local time today (Sat 29 March). Other Tibetan sources are also reporting the protest.

The protest took place despite the deployment of thousands of armed police in Lhasa. The protests, which involved hundreds of Tibetans according to the eyewitness, were centered around the Barkor and the Ramoche monastery. The eyewitness said that the protrest was peaceful and no Han Chinese were targetted by the protesters. The protest did not last long and was suppressed by hunderds of armed police who were already in postion. The eyewitness said that the closure of shops and restaurants and other businesses in eastern Lhasa showed the gravity of the incident.

The eyewitness also revealed that shortly after the demonstration, a text message written in Chinese was received by every mobile phone in Lhasa. The text was sent by Lhasa city PSB and read as follows:

*In the after - noon on the 29th ,March, when the Lhasa Municipal Law Enforcement Department Personals were conducting a security line-check, some mobile salesmen and some other people started running away without knowing exactly what Security personals were doing. But there was no unstable social order in the city. Please township people, do not believe the rumors. Be relieved and stay working. Be clear to the rights and wrongs. Obey the law. Keep the rules. Criminal actions such as creating and spreading rumors, persuading others to doing wrongs, disturbing social and sabotaging social stability, will be severely cracked down upon. Announced by Lhasa Municipal Police Station."

Matt Whitticase
Press Officer, Free Tibet Campaign

Notes:

For further information please contact Matt Whitticase at matt@freetibet.org
Or call on +44 (0) 207 324 4605/+44 (0)7515 788456