Chinese military arresting Tibetans for having photos of the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama


New Delhi. The Chinese military has reportedly carried out mass arrests in Dza Wonpo Town in occupied Tibet. On 22nd August 200 military personnel in military vehicles swooped on the town and conducted search operations in homes and Buddhist monasteries and arrested 50, reports

The report states that around 30 local Tibetans from the town and 19 monks from Dza Wonpo Monastery were summoned to police custody and detained during the military search operation conducted from 22 to 24 August. They were arrested and detained on suspicion of having photos of exiled spiritual leader Dalai Lama on their mobile phones, posting them online, and placing his photos on the altars at their home and in the monastery.

None of the detainees in custody are allowed to meet their family or friends and the official reason for their arrest has not been disclosed.

A meeting called “People’s Meeting” was held the next day on 25 August after which all the villagers in the town were placed under restrictions. Each home of the Tibetans of Dza Wonpo Town was searched by the military and police. Five-point orders were announced at the People’s meeting. These were –

1) No one can keep any photos of the Dalai Lama

2) No sensitive topics can be talked about in WeChat

3) Do not post any sensitive news nor disseminate any state secrecy

4) People must follow the Communist Party

5) People must abide by the laws of the Chinese state

A source confided to FreeTibet that some detainees had been arrested earlier in March this year during a similar massive military search operation. They were arrested on the same allegations of keeping photos of the Dalai lama and having contacts with Tibetans living in exile.