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URGENT Chinese Block Roads, Arrest Monks After Protest

October 5, 1987 GMT

LHASA, Tibet (AP) _ Chinese authorities today blocked roads to three Buddhist monasteries whose members led independence demonstrations that left at least 12 people dead. Police reportedly were arresting monks.

High-ranking armed police officers flew in Sunday and today from Beijing, and travelers reported seeing three planes of security troops arrive in Lhasa.

Monks at the Sera, Ganden and Drepung monasteries, Tibet’s leading monasteries, issued a statement asking the United Nations to support their call for Tibetan independence.

The statement followed independence demonstrations Sept. 27 and last Thursday.

Tibetans pasted posters around the city during the night denying the official Chinese accounts of Thursday’s demonstration, which involved 2,000 people.

″They (the Chinese) have killed 10 (Tibetans),″ read one poster. ″But we will sacrifice 20, 40, 100 ... as many as needed.″ Police tore down the posters early today.

American, Swedish and German doctors in Lhasa could confirm only that six Tibetans were killed Thursday. Chinese officials said six police were killed.

A group of American college students who were let through the roadblock Sunday and visited Sera said monks there told them that police arrested six of their members and also arrested 20 monks from Drepung.

Dozens of other monks and lay people have been reported arrested since the protests began, but no confirmed total was available.

An Associated Press reporter who arrived in Lhasa on Sunday said high- ranking armed police officers were on the flight.

Madlen Huber, a Swiss tourist who arrived Monday in Chengdu from Lhasa, said she saw two jets arrive at the Lhasa airport Sunday night and a third this morning carrying at least 100 security troops each.

Virginia Burkhead of Charlotte, N.C., also reported seeing the planeload of troops arrive today.

The city was quiet today. Police patrols were light, apparently in an effort to avoid angering the public.

Workmen began razing the ruins of the police station in the central Jokhang Temple square that the protesters burned Thursday.

In Beijing, an official in the Communist Party’s International Liaison Department said China considers Tibet ″a sacred part of China.″

″The support by some foreigners in words and deeds of the independence of Tibet constitutes serious interference in the internal affairs of China,″ Wu Xingtang, deputy director of the department’s information bureau, told a news conference.

Asked about reports that monks hoped to demonstrate on Wednesday, the 37th anniversary of Chinese troops moving into Tibet, Wu said, ″We firmly oppose and will try to firmly stop those kinds of riots.″ He refused to elaborate.

Zhao Yunqiu, the third-ranking official in the Lhasa Foreign Affairs Office, repeated China’s denial of Western witness reports that police fired on demonstrators. He said some Tibetans had firearms they did not know how to use and inadvertently fired on both police and the crowd.

The monks’ statement said: ″The Chinese have taken away our human rights for 30 years but the Tibetans will continue to forever recognize (the) Dalai Lama as leader.

″The U.N. should support our just cause and we hope the lovers of human rights will come to Tibet to see for themselves.″

The Dalai Lama was Tibet’s civil and religious leader until China annexed the remote Himalayan region in 1950, enforcing a centuries-old territorial claim. The Dalai Lama fled in 1959 after a failed uprising by his supporters, and has since lived in India.

The monks’ statement said the Sept. 27 demonstration, in which 21 monks and five others shouted slogans and marched into a police cordon, had been planned by monks from the Sera monastery.

Sera monks made up the majority of those killed, wounded and arrested in the protest.

Western physicians visiting Lhasa as tourists said victims included an 8- year-old boy shot in the back, a 25-year-old man shot in the chest, a 16- year-old boy shot in the face and a monk shot by officers in the police station. They said two other monks were killed but did not give details.

″The death toll is definitely more than that,″ said Dr. Blake Kerr of Buffalo, N.Y., one of two Americans detained briefly by Lhasa police last week for displaying Tibetan flags on their luggage.

Kerr and John Ackerly of Cambridge, Mass. remained in Lhasa today. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said they were detained for a few hours and had their passports taken for several days.

Warnings to foreigners not to become involved in the demonstrations were posted at the Lhasa airport and broadcast by loudspeaker in the Jokhang Temple square in English and Chinese.

China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency said two foreigners whom it did not identify encouraged Tibetans to stone police during Thursday’s protest. It did not say if the two were arrested.

Other tourists reported that a traveler named David Christensen, believed to be Danish, disappeared in Lhasa three days ago and that police came to his hotel Sunday and confiscated his belongings.

The Danish attache in Beijing, Erik Bennett Jensen, said he had no information on the report.