A court in Tibet sentenced 30 people to prison terms ranging from three years to life April 29 in charges related to the March uprising. (NYT, April 30) China has detained scores of Buddhist monks over the past month, according to the International Campaign for Tibet. The group said more than 160 people were detained from several monasteries in the Lhasa area in April. Authorities detained at least six monks from the Nechung monastery, eight from the Nalanda monastery and some 60 from the Pangsa monastery. The group also said up to 100 monks were detained at the Rongwu monastery in Qinghai province. (AP, April 30)
As for the torch spectacle, Mount Everest appears to be the new symbolic battleground. From The Independent, May 2:
William Holland was only thinking of the photograph. When he got to the top of Everest he planned to take the rolled-up flag saying “Free Tibet” from his rucksack, pose for posterity with the banner as a backdrop and then roll it away again before starting back down. He was not looking to make a scene.
But that is exactly what transpired. Someone in the group he was climbing with informed the Nepalese authorities of Mr Holland’s flag. When he reached Everest Base Camp he was ordered from the mountain and told to go straight to Kathmandu. From there he was deported from Nepal with an order not to return for two years.
The 26-year-old US climber’s treatment at the hands of the Nepalese authorities is just one indication of how the world’s highest mountain has in recent days become engulfed by the politics and controversy surrounding China and its relationship with Tibet.
As Chinese climbers seek to reach Everest’s summit carrying a replica of the Olympic torch, the Nepalese government has closed down the upper areas of the mountain within its own borders and ordered everyone to stay away from the summit. It has even told the dozens of security personnel dispatched to the mountain they can shoot protesters seeking to disrupt the Chinese ascent.
See our last post on Tibet.