Remarkable images from inside Tibet depict plumes of incense arising from houses on a hillside in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province on the Dalai Lama’s birthday. The photographs show thick smoke from incense burnt as an offering to the Dalai Lama, despite the intense military crackdown in the region.
In Tawu (Chinese: Dafu) county, also in Kardze (the Tibetan area of Kham), security personnel were deployed to prevent peaceful celebrations of the Dalai Lama’s birthday. News is just emerging of thousands of Tibetans being prevented from making offerings at a holy mountain on the early hours of the Dalai Lama’s birthday on July 6. A detailed report of events will be issued shortly by ICT.
Kardze has been under intense security control since March 2008 when protests swept across the region resulting in a severe security crackdown, and particularly in recent weeks. A new wave of protests began recently, resulting in at least 30 Tibetans, including some senior monks, nuns and laypeople, being detained in at least 15 separate peaceful demonstrations calling for freedom, the release of local and respected religious teachers, and for the Dalai Lama to return home (ICT report, Dozens of Tibetans imprisoned in new wave of Kardze demonstrations: protest in Lhasa by Dargye monk). The Dalai Lama, who turned 76 on July 6, is currently in Washington, DC on a 10-day visit principally for the purpose of presiding over an important religious initiation, the Kalachakra (ICT report, Dalai Lama’s birthday celebrated in Washington).