The authorities of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) stepped up a close vigil and control in Lhasa, Tibet’ capital city and other parts of Tibet around the 40th founding anniversary of the “Tibet Autonomous Region” (“TAR”). The celebration was marked by repressive crackdowns, increased vigil and preventive measures to ensure smooth and hassle free event and also to propagate an image of a “happy, modern and prosperous Tibet”. These measures have resulted in violation of fundamental human rights of Tibetans in Tibet.
On 28 August 2005, Chinese security officials arrested Sonam Gyalpo, the former political prisoner Sonam Gyalpo from his home in Lhasa. There is no information available about his place of detention. The 43 year-old Sonam Gyalpo hails from his Lhoka region in Tibet. He was one of the 21 group of monks from Drepung Monastery who participated in peaceful pro-independence demonstration on 27 September 1987. Sonma had spent three years in Gutsa Detention Centre and Drapchi Prison.
The PRC authorities have over riding paranoia about maintaining stability n the region. Hence, in order to avert upheavals by Tibetan people during major celebrations and events, Chinese authorities embark on various precautionary measures including heighten vigilance, closer supervision of suspected individuals and former political prisoners, event resorting to arbitrary arrest and detention. Tibetans with background in political activities are specially are also being taken away from Lhasa city and interrogated. The family members are made to stand as witness that the individual will not carry out any untoward political activities. All these have created an atmosphere of fear in different parts of Tibet.
On 22 July 2005, the “TAR” Anti-separatist Committee and the Security Bureau Committee launched the “Summer Strike Hard” Campaign to prevent any outbreak of political incident that might undermine the celebration of the 40th founding anniversary of “TAR”. The individuals with political activism record and ex-political prisoners as well as criminal prisoners are the chief targets of the Campaign.
According to a report published in the Tibet Daily Newspaper of the China Tibet Information Centre says that the combined effort of the Tibet Affairs Bureau and Security Bureau Committee have enabled the “Strike Hard” Campaign to be carried out in the entire region of “TAR”. The article also stressed need for a good discipline and conduct from the Tibetan people.
On 14 August 2005, a big Military Exercise drill code named “Task Force 05” started in Lhasa to deal with a sudden outbreak of untoward incidents. The security wings that participated in the Military Exercise were Lhasa Security Bureau Polices, People’s Armed Police and National Security Departments. The important leaders such Yang Chuangtang, Secretary of “TAR” and the Chairman of ‘security and stability’ committee made speeches calling for more efforts from the people in achieving a long period of ‘Peace and Stability’ in Tibet.
Again on 18 August, 2005 the stationed security personnel of Lhasa Security Bureau conducted a ‘Motivation’ meeting and asked the security personnel to put extra effort avert political incidents during the celebration. The senior officials directed security personnel to consider the celebration as an important political responsibility, not a mere maintenance of stability and security.
On 31 July 2005, the Lhasa City’s People’s Municipality forcefully picked up beggars from Lhasa streets and returned them to their native hometowns in order to clean up the environment of Lhasa city. Also tourist and visitors in Lhasa city have to report themselves to the Lhasa Security Bureau office along with their host starting from the first week of the July. The hosts are made to promise their accountability and responsibility for the guests. The regulation and control over monasteries in the surrounding areas of Lhasa city are intensified more than it had been in the past. Tibetans are also barred from going to Lhasa city for circumambulation during the morning, day and evening. In the Sera Monastery, from the first week of July the extra numbers of Chinese Government officials arrived the monastery and resumed the “patriotic re-education” campaign in the monastery.
In the Lhasa city, the Security Bureau personnel and People’s Armed Police (PAP) have taken a round the clock vigilance and examined in the streets. All the roads and check posts are checked and monitored 24 hours a day. The security polices of the locality maintain a tight vigil and control of their region and barred Tibetans in the surrounding areas to go to Lhasa city on the day of celebration. There is an immense restriction on the freedom of movement.
The Chinese Government continues to deprive and violate the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people. Under such circumstances, Tibetan people live under an atmosphere of fear, tension and deprivation of political freedom. The 40th founding anniversary of so-called “Tibet Autonomous Region” is celebrated amidst restriction and control by authorities of People’s Republic of China.