04/13/2011, 00.00
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Tibetan leader, “worried and concerned” for besieged Kirti monks

by Nirmala Carvalho
Outside the monastery, Chinese police attack the faithful using trained dogs. Some observers fear more mass unrest, like that of 16 March 2008.
Dharamsala (AsiaNews) – Chinese police has laid siege to the Kirti monastery (Ngaba). Speaking to AsiaNews, Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, said that “he was worried and concerned” for the lives of the more than 2,000 monks inside. No one is allowed in or out. Police yesterday attacked Tibetan faithful, unleashing trained dogs against them. A number of people suffered dog bites. Monks tried to go out to help their defenders, but were stopped by armed guards and barbed wire fences erected around the compound.

“We are trying every which way to get a message inside the monastery,” he said “to tell them not to put up resistance because human life is too precious and repressive measures imposed by the People’s Republic of China too brutal. Unfortunately, we have not yet succeeded.”

“The Chinese government considers religion an enemy and a threat to its power,” Rinpoche said. “This way, they want to crack down on religious institutions and stop their teachings. They are merciless and brutal against the monks, who are non-violent and non-political.”

It is impossible to bring food to the monks, who now run the risk of starving to death. Phuntsok, a monk who set himself on fire on 16 March 2011 to mark the third anniversary of the 2008 Tibetan protest movement, hails from the Kirti Monastery.

Three years ago, Chinese soldiers fired on an unarmed crowd that had gathered in the area, killing 13 people. Altogether, more than 200 were killed in the same way across Tibet.

Some observers note that if the situation does not change, there is a risk of more mass unrest.

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See also
Beijing imposes harsh sentences on Tibetan monks and lama
Two Tibetan monks commit suicide as police invades monasteries
Young Tibetan sentenced to three years for shouting ‘Return the Dalai Lama’
People arrested for not celebrating Tibetan New Year, showing Dalai Lama photo
China fears Tibetans’ pledge not celebrate New Year


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