Deteriorating Situation in Dza Wonpo

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Wonpo Monastery

The situation of the Tibetans arbitrarily detained in Dza Wonpo in Sershul (Ch: Shiqu) County in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province, in the Tibetan province of Kham from late August is difficult with poor detention facilities, daily interrogations, and political education sessions.

Eight more Tibetans were detained earlier this month, raising the tally to 121 Tibetans since 23 August.

All but four remain in detention with inadequate nutrition.

A woman who became seriously ill in detention was refused transfer to a hospital with the necessary facilities to treat her. She remains in detention without treatment.

The recent crackdown around the possession of the Dalai Lama’s photo is part of a continuing crackdown on Tibetan resistance in the region that can be traced back to protests in 2019 and earlier.

The displacement caused by the forcible resettlement of nomads in sedentary villages ​is​​​​ much resented by the Tibetans in this sprawling nomadic region of Tibet. The larger Sinicization drive and recent poverty alleviation propaganda requiring local Tibetans’ participation have worsened the situation.

The Sinicization drive in Tibet has gathered steam after the recent observation of the 70th year of Tibet’s “liberation” and the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China, aiming to instill a sense of Chinese nationalism among the “ethnic minorities”.

In Tibet, the charity and vocational schools privately run by Tibetan community leaders, are either being closed or stripped of Tibetan characteristics.

The ‘Children Homophony’ plan that kicked off this month requiring all kindergartens to use Mandarin Chinese, especially in rural and “ethnic” areas is another blow to the efforts to survive the Mandarin deluge.

The mass detention in Dza Wonpo also included key members of Wonpo Language Protection and Welfare Association. Formerly an environmental protection advocacy group, the association has evolved to work on reducing the illiteracy rate in the region and imparting language lessons for students during school breaks.

The space for such community service and leadership is shrinking by the day.

Sershul County is currently seeing a curb on the movement of people and an increase in random searches by security officials.

The continuing detention of the Tibetans in the region after almost a month and the poor treatment meted out to the detainees are a cause of great concern for all.

TCHRD calls upon the local Chinese government to release all unjustly Tibetans from Dza Wonpo immediately without condition.

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