Tibetans Block Armed Forces at Kirti Monastery; Kirti Rinpoche Appeals for Restraint

DHARAMSHALA: The Chinese government has started building concrete walls to close the gaps between the barbed wire fence to reinforce the blockade imposed on Kirti Monastery, restricting 2,500 monks from leaving the monastery. An estimated 800 additional armed security personnel were deployed at the monastery on last Saturday.

Even though the restriction on food supply for the monks was slightly relaxed, tension still prevails as local Tibetans have blocked the armed forces at different approaches from leaving monastery after hearing that some monks were going to be detained, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) said.

The locals suspected that the police vehicles have arrived at the monastery to take away the monks. They blocked the forces from entering the monastery which broke into heated tension between the locals and armed police. The police started to brutally beat some of the Tibetans and let loose police dogs upon the crowd. Upon seeing tension outside the monastery, monks inside were blocked from coming out by the police stationed inside. In view of the crisis, senior monks in the monastery management came out to diffuse tension by persuading the crowd to maintain calm. Although tension has been temporarily subsided, additional Tibetans arrived to join the crowd. The local Tibetans have now blocked all the roads leading out of Ngaba County and maintain vigil, TCHRD said.

As the situation at the monastery in general and the whole Ngaba County aggravates, Kirti Rinpoche, spiritual head of Kirti Monastery in exile, has strongly appealed to the Chinese authorities to immediately end the brutal suppression of Tibetans in Ngaba.

In his appeal letter to the Central and Regional government authorities, Kirti Rinpoche expressed deep sadness over Tibetans suffering under the repression imposed by the military forces in collaboration with the local authorities.

He called for an immediate end to the repressive and devious means to provoke the monks at Kirti Monastery and local Tibetans.

“Even though the incident is a result of the Tibetan people’s resentment against the wrong policies of the Chinese government, the local authorities put forward lies and false information to their authorities. Are these attempts to sow discord between the government and the people contravene the ideal of “harmonious society” advocated by President Hu Jintao?,” Kirti Rinpoche said.

He appealed to the Chinese authorities to exercise non-violent methods to listen to the Tibetan people’s grievances in order to maintain harmony between government and people.  

He also appealed to the Chinese leadership to resume dialogue with the Tibetan side based on His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Middle-Way Policy, describing it as the only source to bring long-term stability in the country.

In a separate letter to the Tibetans living in Ngaba County, Kirti Rinpoche appealed to them to exercise restraint and non-violent means to avert clashes with the armed forces and any kind of casualties to the Tibetans.