Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kirti Monastery Still Tense After September Beating Incident

The International Campaign for Tibet has said the situation at Kirti in Ngaba county is tense a month after the September 24 incident in which monks were severely beaten up. The Washington D.C. based NGO said on its website that Monks had been under lockdown in the monastery since mid-March following a protest in which at least 10 people were shot dead by security forces. Kirti monastery was at the center of the protests in eastern Tibet following the March 14 unrest in Tibet.
Citing various sources, the ICT said the incident last month at Kirti was followed immediately by setting up of nine security checkpoints around the monastery. The checkpoints are reportedly positioned close to the demarcation of the monastery’s perimeter, said ICT. "The clash on September 24 appears to have been triggered when a Kirti monk was beaten up by security personnels for allegedly crossing the monastery perimeter. Sources told ICT that police officers from a checkpoint to the north of the monastery fired live warning shots in the air, and also into the ground immediately in front of the monk whom they apparently thought had crossed the monastery perimeter line. Sources also told ICT that the Chinese guards asked the monk to go back to the monastery, but the monk did not understand as he did not speak Chinese.
Citing sources in exile who have contacts there, the ICT said around 100 officers arrived at the scene, armed with weapons including clubs, shovels, and even meat cleavers. It said many of the monks immediately sat down and took off the outer cover of their robes to show they were showing they were unarmed and had no intention of resorting to violence.

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