Deeply concerned over the security clampdown on Kirti Monastery in northeastern Tibet, Tibet’s government in exile Saturday urgently called on the international community to help defuse worsening situation at Kirti monastery in Tibet’s northeastern province of Amdo.
The urgent appeal comes as situation at the Tibetan monastery continued to worsen since late Thursday, resulting in the death of two elderly Tibetans and arrest of more than 300 monks from the region’s most prominent Buddhist monastery by early Friday.
“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,” the Kashag (Cabinet) of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile said in a statement released here today.
Sources also told Phayul about the possible death of a third person in the same incident. The information, however, could not be confirmed independently.
A Tibetan source having contacts in the region said information was also rife on Friday about the death of an unknown person, but said it needed to be reconfirmed.
The situation around Kirti Monastery has remained extremely tense following the death of a Tibetan monk Phuntsok, who set himself ablaze on March 16 to protest against Chinese rule.
Following the incident, China stepped up security in the region and its security forces cordoned off the Kirti Monastery, putting some 2500 monks of the monastery at risk of starvation.
Chinese authorities have further warned that the monks from the monastery aged between 18 and 40 would be relocated to another location for “patriotic re-education” that often requires denouncing the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Since then high tension has prevailed between Chinese security forces and local Tibetans who have camped around the area to support the monks and to stop authorities from relocating the monks for “re-education”.
Despite repeated appeals to defuse the situation amicably, China has denied any unrest, saying on Tuesday that everything was “normal” at the famed monastery.
“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,” the exile government said in its statement.
The statement also called on the US government to raise the issue during its upcoming human rights summit with China next week and urged other countries to use their influence on China to help defuse the situation.
“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,” the Tibetan Government-in-Exile said in its statement.
“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 statement added.
Alarmed by the situation in Ngaba, major Tibetan NGOs today announced to hold a mass protest rally here tomorrow to condemn China’s security clampdown in the Tibetan region.
The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), the largest pro-independence Tibetan organisation, which launched its ongoing chain huger strike a week ago, organised a massive candle light vigil here last evening to pray for the Tibetan victims and to condemn the security crackdown in the Ngaba.