Central Tibetan Administration Appeals for Help to Diffuse the Kirti Monastery Crisis in Tibet

The Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration is deeply concerned over the security clampdown on Kirti Monastery in northeastern Tibet since last month, which came about after Phuntsog, a monk of the monastery set himself on fire to remember those who participated in the wide-spread and peaceful protests that shook Tibet in 2008.  
 
The Chinese government has sealed off Kirti Monastery by deploying armed security forces to crackdown on Tibetans following the monk’s suicide on 16 March.
 
Since then a large group of Tibetans stood guard at the Kirti monastery to prevent the Chinese police from taking away monks for detention. The Tibetans gathered at the monastery, who were mostly elders, were severely beaten by the police as they attempted to resist the police from taking away around 300 monks in around 10 military trucks on the night of 21 April. The crowd was dispersed by the police who indulged in indiscriminate beating. Two elderly Tibetans, Dongko, aged 60, and Sherkyi, 65, died due to severe beating. The latest report we have says that 300 monks have been removed from the monastery and are detained at unknown locations.

Moreover, the Chinese government has enforced ban on foreigners from entering the Tibetan areas of Kanze and Ngaba. The order issued by provincial public security authorities on 21 April said foreigners already in the aforementioned areas must leave.

Judging from the information available, the situation is very tense and critical. In the absence of outside monitoring teams and lack of adequate legal protection and free media we are concerned that the situation might grow into one of genocide.
 
In view of the grim situation in Kirti Monastery, the Kashag strongly and urgently appeals to the international community, governments and parliaments around the world to persuade China not to use force to resolve the crisis that is facing the monks of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, northeastern Tibet. We also urge them to make an appeal to the Chinese government to release the detained monks at once.  
 
It is also the sincere hope of the Kashag that the crisis prevailing in Kirti Monastery and Ngaba town will be raised and discussed during the annual meeting on human rights between the United States and China next week. We make the same appeal to other countries to raise this issue in their bilateral dialogues with China.
 
Kashag in its considered judgment thinks that force is not the answer to correctly address the genuine grievances of people. We believe that the monks of Kirti Monastery have genuine grievances that require willingness on the part of the Chinese authorities to address these with tolerance and broadmindedness.  
 
The Kashag
Dharamsala
23 April 2011