Chinese police mass killing: Over 20 lives lost in peaceful protests in Lhasa, Tibet

Lhasa Normal School (ལྷ་སའི་དགེ་འོས་མཐོ་རིམ་ཆེད་ཚན་སློབ་གྲྭ), Lhasa, Capital of Tibet. (Photo:file)

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Dharamshala—Emerging sources say that armed Chinese police in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, have cracked down over 500 Tibetan students who were demonstrating peacefully in the school; over 20 students were beaten to death; of them, two were killed on the spot by police using truncheons; several of them were trampled to death as they tried to escape police pursuit; and four students jumped from a building to protest the closure of the school.

Approximately 500 Tibetan students at Lhasa Normal School (ལྷ་སའི་དགེ་འོས་མཐོ་རིམ་ཆེད་ཚན་སློབ་གྲྭ), located approximately 7 km from the central city of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, peacefully staged a sit-in in the school playground on March 16, 2024, to protest the school's closure for four months, the extreme controls imposed on students, and demand to see the principal, but they were met by hundreds of armed Chinese police, emerging sources said.

Chinese police, with arms and truncheons, inhumanely tortured the peaceful student demonstrators for staging protests over their school closure for over two months; two students were killed on the spot; four students jumped from the building; and several other students were trampled as they tried to run among the students when chased by the police brutality of beatings, resulting in the total death of more than 20 students, the sources stressed.

This incident came after the closure of Tibetan colleges and universities in Tibet by the government of China, began on March 14, 2008, after thousands of Tibetans from all three traditional Provinces of Tibet staged peaceful protests against the Chinese repressive policies towards Tibetan people in Tibet, which were violently repressed by armed police, causing the killing, injuring, and arrests of several hundred Tibetans, many of whom were facing heavy long-term imprisonments, said a source seeking to remain anonymous for fear of arrest and torture.

The source told TPI that "the closures of Tibetan colleges and universities have become an 'old fashion'" and have been going on for the last 16 years, which usually happen for a month or two months; the college implemented the measure every year, but this year imposed a four-month closure, causing anger among students for missing one semester, resulting in mass student protests."

Before school crackdowns, a group of students approached the school principal with a petition signed by 120 students concerning the closure for four months, which was not only rejected and angrily tore up but also sanctioned severely after school officials, led by the principal, raided from class to class to find all the signatories of the petition, the source continued. The students then appealed to the state-owned Chinese media to raise the issue, which obscured all the students seeking resolution to the problem, which led, with no other options, to turn to overseas media, resulting in immediate alert and wider campus sweeps by Chinese police, putting all colleges and universities in the region under tighter control, the sources stressed.

The sources further added that "students are currently under tightened police control, under constant surveillance, and arbitrarily arrested for having contact with the outside world, as well as forced to swipe their faces and punch their cards to better track their daily movements by schools."

The sources further stated that "the revelation of this year's prolonged closure initially came from a female student at the school, who disclosed the information with "western media," which led to her arrest by the police and her whereabouts remaining unknown, which triggered a large-scale mapping exercise subsequently conducted by both the school and police involving thousands of Tibetan students."

The New Tang Dynasty TV, run by the Falun Gong new religious movement, also reported in detail and stated that "some students tried to request the principal to reduce the closure time, but they were threatened, with the principal claiming that if they continued to protest, the police would be called in to arrest the students for "Anti-state Crime" or "espionage crime"."

"Following the events, more than thirty students were detained, allegedly linked to their use of the internet to access Gmail for university applications, escalated by the national mailbox's frequent failure to receive crucial correspondence, and monitored extensively by the school, employing CCTV cameras and forcing an app installation named "Canteen Map Net" on their phones to track activities and movements, the report continued.

"This surveillance and tracking measures extend to daily location tracking through the app, with students obligated to provide detailed whereabouts; failure to comply results in late-night calls from school authorities, often involving police inquiries, and persecution of the students in Lhasa by the CCP, which triggered one brave decision to expose the truth to foreign media, hoping to rally international support for the students' rescue," it concluded.