Armed police patrolled the streets of a Tibetan community in northwest China yesterday, residents said, following reports that six people were arrested after a crowd of hundreds — including monks — attacked a police station.
All was quiet yesterday in Ragya, a town in Qinghai Province’s Golog prefecture, two days after the violence at the police station.
Three residents who spoke by telephone said security forces were patrolling the area but gave widely varying estimates of troop levels, ranging from 30 to 500.
“The monastery is quiet and there are no police stationed there,” said a man surnamed Huang who lives near the ungated Ragya monastery.
He said 400 to 500 troops began patrolling the city on Saturday.
The monastery was home to a 28-year-old monk named Tashi Sangpo, who jumped into the Yellow River to commit suicide after being interrogated by police for allegedly unfurling a Tibetan flag, an incident that set off the violence at the police station.
The monk left the police station with the excuse that he had to use the bathroom, then jumped into the river, a former resident of the area who now lives in exile in Dharamsala, said on condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisals against his family living in China.
The monk’s body has not been found.
Police arrested six people accused of involvement in the attack that included several hundred protesters, Xinhua said, and another 89 people turned themselves in. All but two of those in custody were monks, it said. The status of those taken into custody was unclear yesterday.
Xinhua said nearly 100 monks from Ragya Monastery attacked the police station.
In other developments, the Tibetan government-in-exile confirmed yesterday that South Africa has denied the Dalai Lama a visa, blaming “intense pressure” from China. A spokesman said the Dalai Lama was “very disappointed” by the decision.
The Dalai Lama had planned to join other Nobel peace laureates at a conference to discuss ways of using football to fight racism and xenophobia ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Hu Juntao (胡錦濤) has no plans to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy at next week’s G20 summit, a foreign ministry official in Beijing said yesterday, while calling on Paris to fix ties strained by Sarkozy’s meeting with the Dalai Lama last December.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread