- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 16, 2008

BEIJING (Reuters) — Chinese police in the northwestern province of Gansu have seized explosives, knives and one gun from six monasteries in an ethnically Tibetan part of the region, the official Xinhua News agency said yesterday.

“Police confiscated a gun, 10 kilograms of dynamite, five detonators and seven knives in one major monastery and five bullets in another,” the report said, citing the provincial government.

Police also found five knives and 11 Tibetan flags in four monasteries in another ethnically Tibetan county in the province, it added.

Parts of Gansu also have been rocked by anti-Chinese demonstrations, as has Tibet proper and other neighboring provinces with large Tibetan populations.


“So far, 2,204 people, including 519 monks, have surrendered to police in connection with the Gannan riots,” Xinhua said, referring to a Tibetan part of Gansu affected by the unrest.

“Police have so far released 1,870 of those people, including 413 monks, who were guilty of only minor offenses,” it added. “Conditions in the Gannan prefecture had returned to normal, the local government said.”

State television reported over the weekend that police had found firearms hidden throughout a Tibetan temple in southwestern Sichuan province.

Tibetans have protested China’s rule and have called for the return of their exiled Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama.

Protesters also have disrupted the global torch relay for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Indian police yesterday detained 27 Tibetan protesters and deployed 5,000 policemen ahead of the local leg of the Olympic torch relay, hoping to avoid chaotic protests by Tibet supporters, the Associated Press reported.

Police held the Tibetans after they marched along the path that the torch is scheduled to follow through New Delhi tomorrow, a police spokesman said.

Indian authorities have shortened the torch route from four miles to two miles to help prevent disturbances, police said.