This crackdown, now well into its third month, has to date resulted in well over 300 detentions, three further deaths and the sentencing of two monks to three-year prison terms, following the self-immolation and death of a 20-year old monk named Phuntsok on 16 March (2).
The International Tibet Network calls on governments around the world to issue a public statement of concern about the crisis and to continue to raise it directly with China in the strongest diplomatic terms. We further urge government leaders to convey to China's leaders at every possible opportunity the message that its paramilitary forces must withdraw from Ngaba, all detainees must be unconditionally released and unfettered access must be granted to international observers and media.
On 21 April the crisis intensified when over 300 monks were forcibly taken away from Kirti Monastery by paramilitary police. Elderly Tibetans keeping vigil at the monastery and who tried to prevent the monks being removed were beaten, and two - Dongko (male) and Sherkyi (female), both in their sixties - died (3). The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy has reported the death of a further young Tibetan named Chukpel on 7 April from injuries sustained during a protest, and in early May two Kirti monks - Lobsang Dhargye and Kunchok Tsultrim - received prison sentences of 3 years each (4). A further 25 detainees are still missing and disappearances are continuing, while sympathetic students at local schools have been subject to investigations and lockdowns (see also note 3). Video footage released on 20 April by Voice of America's Tibetan Service clearly refutes China's claims that the situation in Ngaba is "normal." See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwmstGsFlJc (5).
Venerable Lobsang Tenzin, head of Kirti Monastery told the International Tibet Network, "At around 3am on April 22, more than three hundred monks were arrested and many went missing. Chinese constitution guarantees religious freedom for all, but for the past two months, the historic Kirti monastery has been turned into a prison. The monastery now faces serious threat of being shut down by the Chinese government. We appeal to world political leaders, religious heads, and devout followers to strongly urge Chinese leaders to stop the crackdown in Kirti monastery."
On 15 April His Holiness the Dalai Lama appealed for restraint, saying,"The current situation prevailing at Kirti Monastery in Ngaba in northeastern Tibet is extremely grim because of the stand-off between the Chinese military forces and the local Tibetans. The monastery, housing approximately 2500 monks, is completely surrounded by Chinese armed forces, who at one point prevented vital food and other supplies from entering the monastic compound. […] I am very concerned that this situation if allowed to go on may become explosive with catastrophic consequences for the Tibetans in Ngaba.” (6)
The crackdown in Kirti Monastery and the detention of over 300 monks was raised by the United States government during the recent US/China Strategic Dialogue (9 and 10 May), but Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and European Council President Herman van Rompuy both apparently failed to discuss the crisis with Chinese leaders during their recent visits to China. Tibetans and Tibet supporters worldwide urge all those involved in future visits and diplomatic exchanges to robustly express their concerns to China's most senior leaders about for the safety of monks and Tibetan lay people in Ngaba, and to call for an end to the human rights abuses being inflicted by Chinese paramilitary forces.
1. The International Tibet Network is a global coalition of 183 Tibet related non-governmental organizations, which works to maximise the effectiveness of the worldwide Tibet movement. Network Member organizations hold varied positions on Tibet's future political status, but all regard Tibet as an occupied country and are dedicated to ending human rights violations in Tibet, and to working actively to restore the Tibetan people's right under international law to determine their own political, economic, social, religious, and cultural status.
2. Tibetan monk Phuntsok, aged 20, immolated himself in the market area of Ngaba on 16 March, the third anniversary of protests at Kirti Monastery in 2008 when police opened fire on and killed at least ten Tibetans. Phuntsok died in hospital on 17 March. For a chronology of events see http://www.tibetnetwork.org/sites/default/files/NgabaTimeline23May2011.pdf. For an updated list of those known to have been detained, see International Campaign for Tibet, 26 May 2011, see http://savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/crackdown-ngaba-monks-detained-giving-wrong-answers-%E2%80%98patriotic-education%E2%80%99.
3. See International Campaign for Tibet, 9 May 2011, http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/ngaba-students-protest-crackdown-authorities-respond-new-information-deaths-tibetans-who-t
4. See Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy updates 5 May 2011 http://www.tchrd.org/press/2011/pr20110507.html which includes photographs of Lobsang Dhargye and Kunchok Tsultrim, and 29 April 2011 http://www.tchrd.org/press/2011/pr20110429.html (warning, graphic image)
5. Detailed analyses of the Voice of America Tibetan Service's video have been published by the International Campaign for Tibet, see http://savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/dramatic-new-footage-reveals-ngaba-crackdown-refutes-chinese-claims-normal-life and Tibet Society UK, see http://www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/171
6. To read His Holiness' statement in full see http://www.dalailama.com/news/post/663-appeal-by-hh-the-dalai-lama
Signed by Members of the International Tibet NetworkWestern Europe:Aide aux Refugies TibetainsAssociation DorjeAssociation Drôme Ardèche-TibetAssociation Rencontres Tibetaines - C.S.P.T. Midi-Pyrenees Associazione Italia-Tibet Austrian Committee for TibetBriancon05 Urgence TibetCaisse d'Aide aux Prisonniers Tibetains Casa del Tibet - Spain Comite de Apoyo al Tibet (CAT)Comite de Soutien au Peuple Tibetain (Les Lilas) Comite de Soutien au Peuple Tibetain (Switzerland) Corse - TibetEco-Tibet France EcoTibet IrelandFrance-TibetFree Tibet Groupe Non-Violent Louis Lecoin, FranceGrupo de Apoio ao Tibete, Portugal International Campaign for Tibet Deutschland International Campaign for Tibet EuropeInternational Society of Human Rights, Munich Chapter (IGFM)Jamtse Thundel Association La Porte du Tibet, GenevaLes Amis du Tibet - BelgiumLes Amis du Tibet LuxembourgLions Des Neiges Mont Blance, FranceMaison des Himalayas Maison du Tibet - Tibet Info Nice Tibet - (former: Vercors Tibet Resistances)Nos Amis de l'Himalaya Objectif Tibet Passeport Tibetain Phagma Drolma-Arya TaraReseau International des Femmes pour le TibetSave Tibet, AustriaSociety for Threatened Peoples InternationalSolidarite TibetStudents for a Free Tibet - France Students for a Free Tibet - UKSwiss Tibetan Friendship Association (GSTF)Tibet 59 / 62 Tibet Democratie Tibet Initiative Deutschland Tibet Liberte SolidariteTibet Libertes, France Tibet Society, U.K. Tibet Support Group - IrelandTibet Support Group - Netherlands Tibet Unterstutzung Liechtenstein Tibetan Association of GermanyTibetan Community Austria Tibetan Community in BritainTibetan Community in Ireland Tibetan Youth Association in EuropeTibetan Youth UK Tibetisches Zentrum HamburgTSG Free Tibet And YouTsowa-Maintenir la Vie, France Vrienden Van Tibet
Northern Europe:Association of Free Tibet Friends of Tibet in Finland Swedish Tibet Committee The Norwegian Tibet Committee Tibet Support Committee Denmark Tibetan Community in Denmark Tibetan Community Sweden
Central & Eastern Europe:Fair Society o.s. Friends of Tibet Slovakia Friends of Tibet Society St. Petersburg, RussiaHelsinki Foundation for Human Rights - Tibet DeskInternational Youth Human Rights Group - Human Rights in TibetLithuanian Tibet Culture FoundationPolish Movement for a Free Tibet Society for Croatia-Tibet Friendship Students for a Free Tibet, Poland The Foundation for Civil Society, Russia Tibet cesky (Tibet in Czech) Tibet Support Association - Hungary Tibet Support Group - Krasnodar Region, Russia Tibet Support Group - Romania Tibet Support Group - Sochi Region, Russia Tibetan Programme of The Other Space FoundationTSG - Slovenia (Formally Foundation Dharmaling) Union Latvija Tibetai (Latvia for Tibet ) Zida Cels, Latvia
North America:Association Cognizance Tibet, North CarolinaBay Area Friends of TibetBoston Tibet Network Canada Tibet CommitteeColorado Friends of TibetCommittee of 100 for TibetCTC - CalgaryDhokam Chushi GangdrukInternational Campaign for TibetInternational Tibet Independence MovementLos Angeles Friends of TibetMonadnock Friends of TibetNorthwest Tibetan Cultural AssociationRangzen AllianceSan Diego Friends of Tibet Santa Barbara Friends of TibetSeattle Friends of TibetSierra Friends of Tibet Students for a Free Tibet Students for a Free Tibet – Canada The Tibetan Alliance of Chicago The World Tibet Day Foundation Tibet Committee of Fairbanks Tibet Justice CenterTibetan Association of IthacaTibetan Association of Northern CaliforniaTibetan Association of PhiladephiaTibetan Association of Santa Fe Tibetan Association of Southern CaliforniaTibetan Cultural Association - QuebecTIBETmichiganToronto Tibet Youth CongressU.S. Tibet CommitteeWestern Colorado Friends of TibetWisconsin Tibetan Association United Nations for a Free Tibet (UNFFT)
Central and South AmericaAmigos del Tibet, El SalvaforAsociacion Cultural Peruano TibetanaAsociación Cultural Tibetano-CostarricenseCasa Tibet MexicoCentro De Cultura TibetanaGrupo De Apoyo a Tibet ChileGrupo Pro-Cultura Tibetana, Chile Le Club FrancaisPensando En Tibet - Mexico Tibet Group-Panama Tíbet Patria Libre, UruguayFundacion Pro Tibet World League for Freedom and Democracy - Costa Rica Chapter
AsiaBharrat Tibbat Sahyog Manch, IndiaCircle of Friends (Philippines)Core Group for Tibetan Cause, IndiaFoundation for Universal Responsibility of H. H. the Dalai LamaFriedrich-Naumann Foundation Gannasamannay Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of TibetHimalayan Committee for Action on TibetIndia Tibet Friendship Society Japan Association of Monks for Tibet (Super Sangha)Lung-Ta Project Mahatma Gandhi Tibet Freedom MovementNational Campaign for Tibetan Support, India National Democratic Party of Tibet Raise Tibetan Flag CampaignRoof of the World Foundation, Indonesia SFT Japan SFT-IndiaStudents for a Free Tibet - BangladeshTaiwan Friends of TibetTaiwan Tibet Exchange FoundationThe Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, Mongolia and TurkestanTibet Lives, IndiaTibet Solidarity Forum, Bangladesh Tibet Support Group Kiku, Japan Tibet Support Network Japan Tibetan Student Association, Madras (TSAM) Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre Tibetan Rights and Freedom Committee (TRFRC)Tibetan Women's Association (Central)Tibetan Youth Congress Japan Committee of 100 for TIbetNs3 Rigpa Community Builder’s Foundation Anterrashtriya Bharat - Tibbet Sahyog Samiti
AustralasiaA.C.T. Tibet Support Group Australia Tibet Council Australian Tibet House Inc.Friends of Tibet New Zealand Students for a Free Tibet New Zealand Tibet Action Group of Western Australia Tibet Support Group - AustraliaTibetan Community of Australia (Victoria)Tibetan Women Association and Friends Australia Sakya Trinley LingAustralian Tibet House Inc.
Africa and Middle EastFriends of Tibet - Isamailia (Egypt) Israeli Friends of the Tibetan People South African Friends of TibetTibet Support Group Kenya