The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) receives the names of four of the protesters who were arrested yesterday from the Barkhor Street in Lhasa. They are identified as 1) Trulku Tenpa Rigsang (a reincarnated lama originally from Golok Lungkar Monastery currently undergoing higher Buddhist studies at the Sera Monastery in Lhasa) 2) Gelek Pel 3) Samten and 4) Thubwang. According to reliable sources there were 16 protesters (14 monks and 2 laypersons) in the group as against earlier media reports of around ten people in the group.
All the protesters are said to be below 40 years of age with the youngest being around only 15 years old. Most of them originally hails from Zachukha in Sichuan Province.
Following the protest incidences yesterday in Lhasa and arrest of scores of monks from Drepung and Sera monasteries, the situation is currently known to be extremely tense. In a confirmed report, both the monasteries have been sealed off by the authorities. It is reported that the monks in Sera Monastery have assembled in the monastery courtyard raising slogans while a huge contingent of People’s Armed Police (PAP) deployed outside the monastery have surrounded the monastery entirely.
TCHRD expresses its deepest fear that the arrestees from the incidences on 10 March 2008 will be dealt with torture and extreme inhumane treatment in the detention centres. Torture is a regular exercise in Chinese administered prisons and detention centres in Tibet and the authorities are known to have been extremely harsh in the past before important events or occasions. With the current spotlight on Beijing ahead of the summer Olympics, TCHRD fears that the authorities will adopt extreme measures to curb the Tibetan sentiments in order to evade international criticism on China for its appalling human rights record in Tibet.