3 youth among arrested as China goes on arrest drive in Ngaba County

Dharamsala, March 24 – 3 Tibetan youth and several others have been arrested from their homes in the last two days in Tibet's Ngaba County as Chinese authorities have gone on a drive to arrest Tibetans during night since Monday, a Tibetan source with contacts in the region said. 

Public Security Bureau officials arrested Lobsang Jamyang, Wangchuk and Sonam late Tuesday night from Lobsang’s home. The source added that the Chinese police, as in many other cases of arrests in the area, broke into his home and took them away around midnight without citing any reasons or showing any arrest warrant. Lobsang, 16, is a resident of Ngaba County’s Thawa Ghongma village. 

The Chinese government last Saturday issued directives to all the monasteries and leaders of Tibetan areas in Ngaba province to avoid any expression of festivity and joy including firing crackers, burning incense and hanging wind-horse prayer flags on Sunday, when exile Tibetans cast their votes to elect their PM and legislators. “An unusually heavy restriction is being imposed on us. I think they are anticipating expressions of support and welcome to the elections in exile on March 20,” a Tibetan resident of Ngaba told our source earlier on Wednesday. 

 According to the source, several Tibetans in Ngaba could not go out to openly express support to the exile Tibetan elections on Sunday. “The Tibetans in Ngaba were virtually indoors when the Tibetans here in exile went to polls due to heavy restrictions in place but they prayed inside their homes for a successful election and hoped for a victory of a person that can truly protect the Tibetan Dharma and resolve the Tibet issue,” said the Tibetan source, a former resident of Ngaba now living in exile. 

 While the patriotic reeducation campaign at Ngaba Kirti monastery that started on Monday is underway, the source said Chinese officials have issued copies of the Chinese Constitution, official description of the Chinese National Flag to the monks. 

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