Hundreds of Tibetan nomads and farmers protest in Luchu County

At the time of filing this update, just a moment ago at around 7:00pm (Beijing Standard Time) on 19 March 2008, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) received a confirmed information from the site of the demonstration that, more than two hundreds Tibetan nomads and farmers from Ponkor Village, Ma Ngoe Township, Luchu County (Ch: Luqu Xian), Kanlho “TAP” Gansu Province, are staging a peaceful demonstration at the Township Public Primary School compound.
Ponkor Village in Luchu County which has around 250 families primarily made of farmers and nomads are staging a peaceful demonstration at the Ma Ngoe Township Public Primary school compound shouting slogans such as “Independence for Tibet”, “Long Live the Dalai Lama”, Release the Panchen Lama” “Dalai Lama should return to Tibet” and “Tibet belongs to Tibetans”. The protesters pulled down the Chinese national flag and hoisted the banned Tibetan national flag in its place. The protesters continue with their demonstration until the Chinese security forces came into the scene and demanded the removal of the banned Tibetan national flag. The Tibetan protesters defied the order to remove the flag for a while but eventually the Chinese security forces overpowered the protestors. More than five truckloads of Chinese security forces were brought into the scene to quell the demonstrators.

At the moment, the demonstration is still going on. Apparently the Chinese security forces are looking for the prime instigator of the protest and those who hoisted the banned Tibetan national flag. The protesters are demanding that unless Chinese security forces abandon the planned arrest of the Tibetans they will continue to stage the protest. The present situation at Ma Ngoe Township is known to be very tense and volatile. There is no reports of arrests or detention of Tibetans when the last report came in. The Centre will continue to monitor the situation as and when more information surface.

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