ANI / The Tibet Sun & Voice of America – 2011-04-23 22:57:15
Protest at Kirti Monastery
Tibetan Hunger Strike in Delhi
To Protest Crackdown in Kirti
ANI / The Tibet Sun
NEW DELHI, India (April 22, 2011) — Tibetans in exile went on a hunger strike in New Delhi on Friday to protest the atrocities of Chinese troops imposing a severe lockdown on Tibet’s Kirti Monastery.
Tibetans around the globe have been sitting on hunger strike, demanding the withdrawal of Chinese army personnel from the monastery.
“The main purpose is that we demand immediate withdrawal of the Chinese military troops that surrounded and that blocked the Kirti monastery inside Tibet. So, one of our monks, he sacrificed his life for the country. After that, all the Chinese army and Chinese police, they all came to Kirti monastery and they are forcing the monks for the patriotic re-education campaign inside the monastery,” said Kunchok Yangphel, Finance Secretary of the Tibetan Youth Congress.
In recent weeks, the Chinese government has violently restricted religious activities at Kirti Monastery and has launched a vigorous “Patriotic Re-Education Campaign.”
The Monastery — a sanctuary for the practice of Buddhism and teachings of peace — has been converted into a prison.
Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, a protestor, said that Chinese atrocities against Tibetans have been condemned globally, and China needs to resolve the issue.
“The United States, officially they condemned the Chinese government policy and also the European Union, the Parliament also passed the resolution, they condemned the present Chinese which is handling the Chinese government policy, and then the entire globe, officially and non-officially everyone is appealing the Chinese government, they should withdraw military from the entire monastery and institutions around that area, and in reality they should come up to solve the Tibet issue,” Yeshi said.
According to reports, after Chinese troops occupied the Kirti Monastery, Phuntsok, a 20-year-old monk, committed self-immolation on 16 March to protest the act.
The Chinese troops have sealed the monastery making it impossible for monks to move out and devotees to offer food to the monks.
Between 16 March and 12 April, 17 monks from the Kirti Monastery and 17 other local Tibetans have been arrested.
Tibetan students in Dharamshala had earlier called for a worldwide hunger strike on 5 April, to protest the Chinese crackdown on civilians in Tibet after the monkâ€™s self-immolation.
Tibet has been under Chinese occupation ever since the Chinese army invaded it in 1950.
An estimated 80,000 Tibetans along with their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, had arrived in India in 1959 after an unsuccessful uprising against the Chinese rule.
Copyright Â© 2011 ANI
Published in Newstrack India
Tibetan Government in Exile ‘Deeply Concerned’ About China Crackdown on Monastery
(April 23, 2011) — The cabinet of the Tibetan government in exile says it is “deeply concerned” about China’s security clampdown at a large Tibetan Buddhist monastery, expressing fears the situation could grow into “genocide.”
In a statement Saturday, the Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration said Chinese police “severely” beat Tibetans gathered at the Kirti monastery in an ethnically Tibetan area of Sichuan province on Thursday night. The statement says the group had been trying to prevent police from taking away about 300 monks in military trucks.
The cabinet says most of the Tibetans gathered were elderly people, and that two of them died after being beaten.
The statement called on the international community to persuade China not to use force at the monastery and to release the monks it has detained.
The Tibetan government also asked for the issue to be raised during the United States’ and China’s annual meeting on human rights next week.
The U.S. State Department said last week that China’s use of force at the monastery to block demonstrations by monks was inconsistent with freedom of religion and human rights. China’s Foreign Ministry has said conditions at the facility are normal and called the U.S. remarks “irresponsible.”
The monastery has been under guard since last month, when a young monk set himself on fire to protest China’s policies on Tibet.
Foreign journalists are rarely allowed to enter Tibetan areas, so the varying accounts of the situation at the monastery can not be independently verified.
Many Tibetans are angry about Chinese rule and what they say are Beijing’s efforts to suppress Tibetan traditions and religion. In 2008, Tibet was rocked by violent protests, and the government ramped up security in the region.
China has repeatedly denied such discrimination and points to laws it says help ethnic minorities, such as allowing families to have more than one child. Beijing also says its funding of development projects has significantly improved Tibetan living standards in recent decades.
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