protest video

A screen grab taken from a video of the protest in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county town.

Two young Tibetan women staged a bold and peaceful demonstration yesterday (November 15) in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county town. The two women were filmed walking calmly down the street, dressed in traditional Tibetan chubas, bearing photographs of the Dalai Lama aloft and calling “Long live the Dalai Lama!”

No information is yet known of the identity of the two Tibetan women, although footage is circulating online of their demonstration. Two Kirti monks in exile in Dharamsala, India, said: “We have not heard from anyone who saw them being arrested, but we know that the local authorities in Ngaba have never ever spared any peaceful demonstrators in the streets since 2008. Even on the remote chance that they weren’t arrested at the time, armed forces would be deployed to hunt down those protesters. Tensions are still very high in Ngaba.”

There has been a wave of solo peaceful protests in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan (the Tibetan area of Amdo) one of the most oppressive areas of Tibet, since 2015. The Tibetan monks and young women who have held their lone demonstrations have called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, and freedom for Tibet. Several, like the Tibetan women yesterday, held up images of the exiled Tibetan religious leader or clasped their hands together in prayer.

Ngaba is the area where the self-immolations of Tibetans began in 2009, but it is notable that in this different pattern of protests, the young monks and women who demonstrated – and who have now disappeared – did not harm themselves in demonstrating their deep allegiance to the Dalai Lama and their Tibetan cultural and religious identity.[1]

[1] ICT report, September 12, 2015, ‘Wave of solo peaceful protests in Ngaba: repression and further restrictions imposed’, https://www.