DHARAMSHALA: Several Tibetans were hospitalised on 4 August after they were brutally assaulted by Chinese police in Nangchen County, Yushul Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (incorporated into China’s Qinghai Province).
According to reliable sources, the local Chinese administration in Nangchen has enforced a directive, as part of the annual Armed Forces Day celebration on 1 August, ordering Tibetans to perform traditional dances wearing costumes made from animal skins.
The directive didn’t go down well with the Tibetans who suspected that the Chinese authorities are trying to portray a false image of the Tibetans. As word spread of the Chinese authorities’ alleged attempt to portray Tibetans in a bad light, resistance to the annual event grew among the local Tibetan public.
Moreover, on 3 August as the celebration was ongoing, fully armed Chinese authorities carrying guns and electric batons, threatened several innocent Tibetans who were participating in the celebration following which the Tibetans gradually returned to their homes fearing a clampdown.
Finally in the night of 4 August, policemen barged into tents where Tibetan performers and public were staying and started beating them with electric batons. The Tibetans were accused of carrying sad or unhappy expressions on their faces during the celebration. The injured were taken to Nangchen County hospital and those with severe injuries were shifted to Siling City.
Animal skin was used in traditional Tibetan attires in the past. However, the practice was largely discontinued in almost all parts of Tibet after His Holiness the Dalai Lama dissuaded it citing the importance of wildlife conservation and compassion towards animals during the 31st Kalachakra teachings in South India.
Following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice, clothes bearing animal skins and furs were burned throughout Tibet as an expression of renewed determination to follow His Holiness’ advices and to uphold compassion as one of the key tenets of Buddhism.