According to eTN sources in Nepal, the Nepali police in Kathmandu were out in full force yesterday, randomly arresting common Tibetans, as well as the head of the Tibetan Welfare Office, as a preventive measure to avoid anti-China protests in the city.
The police had created an inclusion zone around the Chinese embassy areas in the capital and people were barred from entering the zone.
“In order to prevent protest, the police had arrested more than 100 people around the Kathmandu Valley,” the Tibet desk of the Human Rights Organization of Nepal told Phayul, “The police had arrested all of these people while they were walking in the street and were not even planning to protest.”
Earlier, ten Tibetan students were put in jail and released after 12 days, after paying Rs 300,000 for bail .
Hollywood actor and a long-time friend of Tibet, Richard Gere, said: “The 26 self-immolations inside Tibet are indications of how desperate people are inside Tibet. The self-immolations are also an indication of the motivation of Tibetans not to hurt anybody else.”
The award-winning actor was speaking at the site of indefinite fast for Tibet in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York, yesterday.
Lauding the three hunger strikers as “courageous men,” Gere said he came to show his solidarity with his “brothers and sisters” inside Tibet and China.
Three Tibetans – Shingza Rincpohe, 32; Dorjee Gyalpo, 59; and Yeshi Tenzing, 39 – are now into their 18th day of a hunger strike demanding UN intervention in the ongoing crisis inside Tibet. Gere made an open call to share the “pain and suffering” of the Tibetan people.
In the run up to today’s Uprising Day commemorations, three Tibetans died in self-immolation protests in Tibet last week. One Tibetan was shot dead in the face, while two others were seriously injured in yet another case of police firing on unarmed Tibetans suspected of taking part in peaceful anti-China protests a few days earlier.
Twenty-six Tibetans have set their bodies on fire since 2009, calling for the return of Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and freedom in Tibet.
Kalon Tripa Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the de facto Prime Minister of the Tibetan people, in his Uprising Day statement today said Tibet has “become one of the most militarized areas in the region” and is currently under “an undeclared martial law.”
“Today, there is no space for any conventional protests such as hunger strikes, demonstrations, and even peaceful gatherings in Tibet,” Dr. Sangay said, “Tibetans are, therefore, taking extreme actions such as the one by 26 Tibetans who have committed self-immolations since 2009.”