Morning Update: Tibet Demonstrations

Morning update for Monday, 25th March 2008, last updated 11am (IST)

Ramoche monk dies from starvation as tight restrictions continue in Monasteries.

Since the start of the Demonstrations in Tibet on March 10, there has been an increasingly strong military and police presence in and around the premises of all the monasteries (that have had some involvement in the recent demonstrations in Tibet).

Military and People’s Armed Police (PAP) have blocked off water, electricity, food and health facilities in monasteries (including Sera, Drepung and Gaden) that have had active involvement in the recent demonstrations in Tibet.

Since March 14, in Ramoche Monastery (Lhasa) Chinese military presence has been a regular scene, as they have completely surrounded the monastery premises and blocked of all exit and entry points. As a result of these tight restrictions, getting regular food and water supplies has been a huge problem for the monastery and on March 24, Thokmey (a monk from Ramoche) died from starvation as confirmed from a reliable source. From time to time, the military have been firing tear gas inside the Monastery premises.

Pressing issues (such as shortage of food and water, restrictions on movement, lack of medical facilities and tear-gas use by the military) are being faced by many monasteries in Tibet. While we can confirm that such problems are widespread and prevalent, it is proving extremely difficult to get details on specific incidences (such as the one at Ramoche monastery) due to all the restrictions that have been placed by the Chinese authorities.

Bathang (Ch: Batang) County and Derong (Ch: Derong) County, Karze “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,” Sichuan province – China attempts to win over hearts and minds of Tibetans.

In Batang and Derong Counties, the Chinese Government has given around 20,000 Yuan to each of the monasteries and also has provided 300 kgs of rice to individual households. It’s interesting to note the irony since on one end as China continues to kill peaceful Tibetan demonstrators (death toll rising almost by the day), on the other end, it is trying to win over the Tibetans.