It has been two months to the day since a young monk, Phuntsok, from Kirti Monastery in the Ngaba Prefecture of Amdo Tibet, set himself on fire in protest of the oppressions imposed by the Communist Chinese government which spurned intense crackdowns.
In Delhi’s sweltering heat, three activists, members of Tibetan Youth Congress’s central executive committee, are peacefully protesting China in solidarity with the Tibetans in Ngaba. It’s been 22 days since Dhondup Lhadar, Tenzin Norsang and Konchok Yangphel began a hunger strike. Their strike has garnered media attention, and a supportive visit from Tibet’s newly-elected Prime Minisher, Lobsang Sangay, who fears for the safety of those detained and missing.
Multiple groups have been petitioning against the intense crackdowns in Ngaba. Since Phuntsok’s death, the situation has grown dire. Three hundred monks have been removed from the monastery (their whereabouts unknown), and locals who tried to prevent this were subject to attacks by both the Chinese security forces and attack dogs. Around 40 people have been detained, and two monks have already been sentenced to three-year prison terms. Footage has also surfaced that confirms the increasing turmoil in the area, despite China’s statements to the contrary.
Phayul, a Tibetan news site, has reported that the missing monks have been barred (by the government) from returning to their monastery.
According to International Campaign for Tibet:
Two Tibetans in their sixties died following beatings by paramilitary police as they attempted to protect monks at Kirti. On the night of April 21, police raided the monastery and took away more than 300 monks. As the monks were being driven away in large trucks, the group of laypeople – mainly in their forties or older –- who had been standing vigil at the monastery gate were beaten “mercilessly” by police according to the same sources. “People had their arms and legs broken, one old woman had her leg broken in three places, and cloth was stuffed in their mouths to stifle their screams,” said an exiled Kirti monk.
Tibetan students in Barkham (county in Ngaba TAP) are still under lockdown at the school after they went on hunger strike on March 17. After March 17, the students were confined to the school, had their mobile phones confiscated and internet access blocked. On or around April 22, the students’ textbooks and other reading materials were checked by government officials, and any books not endorsed by them were confiscated and burnt.
The public’s outcry has not gone unnoticed; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently condemned Beijing’s dismal human rights record, and questions the future of the Chinese regime itself, and the US State Department commented on the “onerous restrictions on the monks and the general public.”
Please continue to put pressure on China for these heinous human rights violations. To date, almost 30,000 people have signed Care2′s petition for the monks and laypeople of Ngaba. Please add your voice!
Photo credit: Tibetan Youth Congress (Centrex)