I had been up late the previous night surfing some Tibetan websites, and was lying in, not feeling like getting up early, when an unannounced stranger came into my room and woke me up. By then it was about 10 am. I got out of bed and asked him what he wanted. He told me he was from Dechen County Public Security and had come to ask me a few questions. He asked how many teachers there were at the school, where was my native place, and so on. Realising what this was about, I answered him while putting on my underwear. But he didn’t understand me, and laughing, he said he would go find someone who could, and stepped back out of the door. I had folded the bedding and was putting on my clothes when he came back. He said a few things in Chinese, which I could not follow (he spoke Chinese in the Yunnan dialect and I actually could not understand him at all).
“Speak in Chinese”, he told me. In reply, I explained that I knew only basic Chinese and could not speak well, and in desperation, he left again, and soon started questioning a student looking after the school during the holidays (probably he was asking whether I had proof of being a teacher, whether I used the internet and so on, but sorry, I don’t know exactly).
It seems that student couldn’t give him a clear answer either. He asked for the phone number of the school, the principal, and so on, and then left. The student called me to eat, and while I was eating, the school’s land line telephone started ringing away. The student went to answer it, and then called me: “Genla (Sir)! It’s for you.”
It was a fellow teacher from the school. He told me “You need to register your name, address, ID card number and all that with the local Public Security, so tell me what they are.”
So I sent all my details, name, address, citizen card number by text message to that teacher’s mobile. Since being stopped by a policeman in the streets of Dechen county town on February 5th 2009, this was the third time I was registering.
Public Security office and Public Security policemen, put your minds at rest! The fact is that I have no courage to set myself up as a target, and must confess with the deepest regret that I have remained so until now. Moreover, being unable to achieve anything at all for now, I came here to help out with this school, wondering whether I might be of any help, certainly not wondering whether I might be able to cause harm, so I am certainly in control of my own movements. Supposing I did have such an intention, would I be able to bear sitting here waiting for your investigations to reveal it? Please consider this well, and leave this cowardly, pathetic individual alone.
This is the request of an ordinary citizen, and if the “equality of nationalities” and “harmonious society” that you are always going on about has any practical application, it really ought to mean respect for the right of us humble citizens to remain undisturbed.