Top stories from the Development and Aid World News Service–DAWNS Digest. Sign up here for a free trial.
Massive Security Crackdown in Tibetan Capital
Self-immolations have become a disturbingly regular occurrence by Tibetans protesting rough treatment by the Chinese government. After a very high profile incident in Lhasa last weekend, it appears that Chinese security forces are cracking down. “The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy quotes witnesses as saying that scores – and perhaps hundreds – of people have been rounded up for questioning in the isolated city since two young men set themselves on fire in an apparent protest against Chinese rule. The group told VOA’s Tibetan service the police roundup includes anyone appearing on security video taken near the site of the protest. It was not clear Thursday how many people remain in police custody. The two young men launched their fiery protest outside Lhasa’s famed Jokhang Temple – the first such incident reported in the heavily guarded city. State media say one of the protesters died at the scene, while the other was hospitalized.Details of the crackdown in the isolated capital emerged just hours after a 33-year-old Tibetan mother of three died in Sichuan province after setting herself on fire in a separate protest against Chinese rule. The woman died in front of the Jonang Dzamthang monastery in a prefecture known by Tibetans as Ngaba.” (VOA http://bit.ly/L1jWZx)
Reports of Yet Another Massacre in Syria
If confirmed, this would be the third mass killing in Syria in under one week. “Eleven bodies were found dumped in an orchard outside Qusair, a city controlled by the Free Syrian Army, and bore gunshot wounds looking like they had been summarily executed, said Salim Kabani, an activist in the city reached via Skype. Pictures of the men posted online showed that their hands had been bound. The men were all on a bus on their way home from work at a fertilizer factory owned by the government just outside Qusair to the village of Buwayda, said Mr. Kabani, but they were stopped at a government-controlled checkpoint outside their village. Mr. Kabani said there had been an increase in such killings in the area, with up to 30 bodies found recently. People think the government is targeting civilians to show that the local chapter of the Free Syrian Army cannot protect them, he said.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/L89WC6)
Security Council Raises Alarm Over Lack of Humanitarian Access in Sudan
Though the violence on between the countries has dissipated, the situation in the Blue Nile and Kordofan region is still very dire. “The 15-member Security Council was briefed by senior U.N. officials on compliance by the former civil war foes with a May 2 resolution threatening sanctions if they failed to halt the escalating conflict and resume talks on a strong of disputes. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said that while the situation between the two countries appeared to be “in a better place” than before the resolution, they were “seemingly on a hair trigger, so this is still quite a dangerous, quite a precarious situation, along the border.” She told reporters there was dire concern about the grave humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. “What we are seeing in terms of those refugees who have made it across the border … is absolutely alarming. Those are the healthy ones, comparatively, that are able to make it out,” she said. “This is indeed an exceedingly worryingly situation.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/LLYCqT)