Two more monks have been arrested in the distraught Ngaba region of eastern Tibet as Chinese Foreign Ministry told reporters that local authorities will take “tough measures” to ensure “stability” in the region.
Speaking at a regular news briefing earlier today, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu declined the existence of a “Tibet problem” but pushed for tougher security measures in the restive region.
“The local government will also take vigorous measures to ensure the safety of people and their property and normal social order,” she said.
Since March this year, nine Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet, protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet and demanding the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.
Latest videosreleased by foreign reporters, who were able to gain rare access to the region, show an under-siege Ngaba County with heavy security surveillance and large contingents of Chinese security personnel in full riot gear manning the streets, carrying automatic weapons and iron batons.
The exile base of the Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala, in a release yesterday, confirmed the arrest of two more monks from the monastery saying that the reason for the arrests was “unclear”.
“On the night of October 17, Kirti monk Puntsok, age 28 was arrested from his room in the monastery by policemen who beat him as they took him away, while on October 15, Kirti monk Jigme Choepel of Soruma village, Choeje township, was arrested,” the release said,
The wellbeing and whereabouts of both the monks could not be ascertained.
The release said that Chinese authorities have been calling regular meetings, requiring mandatory attendance from each household in every township in Ngaba County, to announce new regulations barring monks from leading prayers for those who have died as a result of “anti-government protests”.
“Local leaders and family members will be held responsible in the event of monks saying prayers for the dead,” the release quoted the latest Chinese decree as saying.