Plan to celebrate annexation stirs protest in Tibet

April 09, 1991|By Robert Benjamin | Robert Benjamin,Beijing Bureau of The Sun

BEIJING -- With the 40th anniversary of China's annexation of Tibet only six weeks away, Chinese plans to celebrate the date already are encountering some apparent opposition, according to recent reports from Tibet.

In the last few days, there have been reports of a demonstration by pro-independence Tibetans in eastern Tibet and of the ransacking of an army-run arsenal in Lhasa, Tibet's capital.

The one-day demonstration by more than 100 Tibetan monks, herdsmen and workers in Gongju County near Tibet's border with Sichuan Province was broken up by several hundred army troops, according to Chinese officials quoted by a Western news agency. About 20 protesters were detained after the late March incident but there were no serious injuries, the report said.

Following the looting of the arsenal and the killing of some of its guards on March 28, nine people were arrested by the Lhasa Public Security Bureau, according to a Tibetan regional radio broadcast monitored Friday by the U.S. State Department.

That official broadcast claimed officials had recovered 19 pistols and 869 rounds of ammunition, the total amount stolen from the arsenal. The number of guards killed was not specified.

The two incidents come as China is promoting the May 23 anniversary of the signing of the 1951 agreement by which Tibet was officially brought under Beijing's rule.

China's state-run media have been full of reports in recent weeks about Tibet's economic gains under China's rule. These follow official reports during the last year of the arrests of several hundred Tibetan pro-independence activists for "counter-revolutionary" activities.

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