A CRACKDOWN AT THE KIRTI MONASTERY in Tibet’s Ngaba region has led to one of the most violent crackdowns yet by China’s authorities against Tibetan culture this month. On Friday, the Dalai Lama appealed to the international community to persuade China to act with “restraint.”
The Kirti monastery, in Tibet’s Ngaba region, has a history of protest against the Chinese occupation, and was the site for a major demonstration in March of 2008. On March 16 of this year, Tibetan monk Phuntsok [Phuntsog] self-immolated to mark the third anniversary since Chinese armed forces cracked down these protesters.
Last week, residents attempted to stop Chinese authorities from taking monks away for “re-education.” Currently, the monastery is still surrounded by armed troops. Police also went house-to-house questioning residents, and there are now reports of arrests and enforced disappearances. The International Campaign for Tibet published a list of those who were forcibly disappeared.
The U.S government criticized China over its violent actions and says it is “monitoring the situation.” But that sounds like empty words yet again.
The world’s attention is currently on the arrest and disappearance of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. It’s the most obvious and high-profile example of China’s relentless violation against the rights of its own citizens, artists, and pro-democracy advocates.
Chinese authorities will continue to ignore the West’s tsk-tsking and appeals from rights’ groups unless people speak out. Sunday’s peaceful action in support of Ai Weiwei is a start. Now it’s time to do the same for Tibet. Go here and here to learn more and support democratic freedoms.