Tuesday, April 1, 2008
China arrest over 572 monks from Kirti Monastery in two-day raid
From credible information received from multiple sources in Tibet by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), a total of 572 monks from Ngaba Kirti Monastery were arrested by the Chinese People's Armed Police (PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB) following a two day raid in monks' residence on 28 and 29 March 2008.
As reported earlier by the Centre, more information on the number of monks arrested following two days of raids in Ngaba Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County (Ch:Aba Xian), Ngaba " Tibet Autonomous Prefecture" ('TAP'), Sichuan Province, is surfacing from the area. According to several credible sources, a total of 572 monks including novice as young as ten years old from Kirti Monastery were known to have been arrested in two days' raid at the monastery by PAP and PSB officials.
Before the launch of raids in the monastery on 28 March, hundreds of PAP and PSB reached the monastery, dispersed people, mostly devotees and visitors gathered around the monastery compound, and ordered surrounding shops to be shut down. During the sudden and thorough raid, monks with modern communication gadgets such as mobile phones, cameras, computers or MP3 players in their residences were known to have been arrested under suspicion of having communicated with the exile Tibetan communities. The PAP and PSB ransacked every room of the monastery, baring every box and cupboard with rifle butts. There were even reports of security forces taking advantage by taking away valuable items from monks' residences.
The sources also confirmed that in an attempt to hurt the religious sentiment of the Buddhist monks, the PAP and PSB officials forced monks to step over the portraits of the Dalai Lama found in monks' residences. The security forces even took photographs of monks who were coerced to hold the banned Tibetan national flag and portrait of the Dalai Lama to use as evidence of their crimes. The sources confirmed that symbolic ceremonial weapons hung on the statues of protecting deities inside the monastery altar were also reported to have been confiscated, and were accused of being weapons used by the protesters.