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China has arrested nine Tibetan Buddhist monks who have been accused of a bomb attack, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Chinese officials said the monks’ homemade bomb exploded in a government building in eastern Tibet on 23 March.

Xinhua news agency did not explain why the alleged bomb incident was not reported at the time.

News of the arrests came as Beijing continued to attack overseas critics of its crackdown in the Himalayan region.

Xinhua said the monks confessed to planting the explosive in Gyanbe township.

Beijing’s claims that the recent Tibetan protests were part of a violent campaign by the Dalai Lama, the region’s exiled spiritual leader, to disrupt Chinese rule in Tibet and sabotage the Beijing Olympics in August.

Bombing unreported

The alleged bombing is the first to be reported in Tibet since the anti-China protests began 10 March in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

After China’s crackdown, demonstrations by pro-Tibet activists – and other groups critical of Beijing’s human rights record – have haunted the Olympic torch relay in London, Paris and San Francisco this month, stirring anger in China.

Chinese President Hu Jintao took a hard line Saturday, saying the problems in Tibet were a purely internal affair directly threatening Chinese sovereignty.

Along with growing unease surrounding the Olympic torch relay underway in the U.S and continuing in other parts of the world, the Chinese authorities are stifling the source of the original unrest.  In contrary to what the Chinese authorities are proclaiming about the calm and normalcy restored in Lhasa city, the reality in the area underlines that severe restriction and mass detention are continuing especially in monasteries which were proactive in the recent series of demonstration in Lhasa and other parts of Eastern Tibet. In the latest series of major clampdowns on monastic institutions, around 70 Tibetan monks from Ramoche Temple were known to have been detained on the night of 7 April 2008, according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

On 7 April 2008, around 70 monks from Ramoche Temple were detained by the People’s Armed Police (PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials during the midnight raid carried out in the monks’ residences. The detained monks were taken away to an unknown location, according to reliable sources. At present only a few monks are left in the Ramoche Temple, which previously housed around a hundred monks, with scores detained and taken away in the midnight raid. There is no immediate information on the condition and whereabouts of those detained. The Chairman of the “Tibet Autonomous Region” government, Qiangba Puncog, said at a press briefing of the State Council information office this morning, that police have detained 953 suspects involved in the ’14 March violence’ in Lhasa.

Severe restrictions have been imposed on the movement of the monks of Ramoche Temple since 14 March protest in Lhasa. Credible sources confirmed a case of one monk, Thokmey, committing suicide in Ramoche temple following massive crackdowns by the PAP and PSB on 22 March 2008.

A similar restriction was imposed on all the major monasteries of Tibet including Drepung, Gaden and Sera, with all access to these monasteries severely restricted with 24X7 monitoring by a heavy presence of PAP and PSB officials since the demonstration broke out on 10 March in Lhasa and other parts of Tibet.

As reported in China’s official mouthpiece, Xinhua, on 1 April 2008, to the question raised by one visiting foreign journalist on a state-sponsored media tour on 27 March, Lhasa City Mayor, Duoji Cizhu, defended the deployment of the PAP and PSB into three major monasteries around Lhasa, by stating that the authorities had undertaken this measure in order to investigate the suspects involved in the recent ‘unrest’ and to avoid further protest by the agitated monks.

On similar showing of official support, on 8 April 2008, Zhu Wei Qun, Vice Minister of the United Work Front Department (UWFD) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee accompanied by Lobsang Gyaltsen, the head of the “TAR” United Work Front Department paid a visit to PAP and PSB personnel stationed at Gaden Monastery to boost their morale and appreciate their good work. According to reliable sources, all three major monasteries around Lhasa were virtually sealed off with a heavy presence of PAP and PSB personnel.

Reuters has cited Chinese state media reports on the identity of the Olympic torch protecters who were seen in blue tracksuits during the Paris and Londion legs of the Olympic Torch Relay.

According to Chinese state media the men in tracksuits are employed by BOCOG (the Beijing Olympic Organissing Committee) and were handpicked from the People’s Armed Police (PAP) to form the “flame protection squad” last August. The squad is responsible for protection of the Olympic Torch during the Torch Relay.

The squad has generated huge controversy due to their heavy-handed tactics. One of the London torch-bearers, Konnie Huq, has said that she saw them pushing around British policemen during the London leg. Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the London 2012 Games Organising Committee, described them as “thugs” according to the British media.

The People’s Armed Police is a security force unit of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). It has been very active in putting down recent protests in Tibet. Free Tibet Campaign has received eyewitness accounts that the PAP have been involved in cases of brutality during the recent protests, including firing live ammunition into crowds of Tibetan protesters on April 3 in Grdze county in Sichuan province.

Matt Whitticase of Free Tibet Campaign said: “It beggars belief that personnel from the PAP were allowed on to the streets of London at all, let alone that they were allowed to push Metroplitan Police around. They come from the same unit that shot dead in cold blood a Tibetan woman on the

They are members of China's paramilitary police force, dispatched from Beijing with a mission to protect torchbearers and ensure that the Olympic flame never goes out during its journey around the world. (AP Photo/Ian Walton, File)
A police officer detains a pro-Tibet demonstrator along the route of the torch relay in London, in this April 6, 2008 file photo. They are members of China’s paramilitary police force, dispatched from Beijing. (AP Photo/Ian Walton, File)

Nangpa-la Pass in September 2006 and the PAP has been very active in brutally putting down recent Tibetan protests inside Tibet, according to eyewitness statements received by Free Tibet Campaign. The British government must explain immediately who authorised this unit to scuffle with our own police, and whether the government knew that they came from the PAP when they were authorised to escort the flame on London’s streets.”

Rationalists are growing rational
And through thick woods one finds a stream astray,
So secret that the very sky seems small
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

Abandonment. Terrifies me.

It seems everyone has gone these days, or is in the process of leaving.

Quietly closing the door, hoping I won’t notice.

The rain is still falling, echoing the falling of my tears. Trees, vulnerable and bare mock my own nakedness. Sometimes I’m tired of fighting, tired of surviving, tired of being everything that I am. But, there is no other choice. I exhausted those avenues years ago and am left with only this one…

I guess I’m just tired.

I lie, staring blankly at the ceiling. The memory of her hand gently caressing my face fades into the misty half-morning light. I fade with it. Sway of back, arch of breast echoed in each tear that trickles slowly down my pale cheeks and tumbles unwittingly into oblivion. I wish I could tumble with them. The whitewashed sky folds its suffocating embrace around the skeletal trees–and I exhale.

Another day.

I sit and I think, as I seem to do every morning, over my coffee. It’s been seven years I’ve been here.

Seven long years.
What have I done in those seven years?

Mostly, it would seem, I have wasted them. Created more problems than I have fixed.
So I sit, watching another mourning pass me by and wait for something to come to me.

It doesn’t.

I think about writing my life, but I laugh.
There are already a million books of a million lives like mine.

So I was abused my whole life. So I should be dead.
I don’t think I’m best seller material. I’m just another broken mirror, another shattered window.
Discarded and useless.

The sky is washed out, pale, hugging the trees fearfully.
I am scared. My past isn’t so far away and the future is too many tomorrows.

Today … today is washed out and pale,
and I hug my knees fearfully.

I hate it.
I hate him

I hate remembering randomly the acts of violence against my
smaller self
powerless
pointless existence

I am just a thing
Like a strung out
necklace
it’s orbs stretching into
eternity

Beaten.
Raped.
Hated.
Hidden.
Starved.

Welcome to
my childhood.