Over the past month, Chinese authorities have seized all the members of the monastery, forcing them to undergo a programme of virtual “brain-washing”. Anyone resisting is deported.
Chinese police and soldiers took over the Kirti Monastery after one of its monks, Phuntsok, set himself on fire on 16 March to protest Chinese occupation (Phuntsok’s funeral pictured). They began by surrounding the compound for a few days, preventing anyone from going in or out. They then stormed the site, despite opposition by the local population, which tried to oppose the authorities’ action. Two elderly Tibetans were beaten to death during the action.
In order to bring “order and stability,” the authorities have forced the monks to attend “patriotic re-education” sessions. Anyone who refuses to attend or to express loyalty to the “Chinese motherland” is arrested and taken away.
Two other monks, Lobsang Jinpa and Lobsang Dorjee, were arrested before the 27-year-old locally born Lobsang was taken into custody. They were held in prison for ten days without charges.
Reports have been coming out of the region about more monks arrested; however, because of the authorities’ news blackout, it is hard to know what is actually going on.
Soldiers took away another 300 monks on 21 April in Golok Chigdril (Qinghai County). Only 24 of them were able to go home weeks later; the fate of the others remains unknown.