Agam's Gecko
Monday, October 22, 2007

little more information is coming out about the unrest in the Tibetan capital Lhasa, immediately after Dalai Lama was honoured in Washington. It seems that I picked the wrong headline to go with in yesterday's article. It shouldn't have been "Tibetan Monks Clash With Police Over Dalai Lama," it should have read "Chinese Police Clash With Tibetan Monks Over Dalai Lama." From Times UK:
Such violence has become unusual in recent years as China has tightened its grip on the region. The entry by police into Drepung monastery, on the outskirts of the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, was a sign of the hard line adopted against any sign of dissent.

Dozens of monks had begun repainting with whitewash the exterior of a hall assigned as the residence of the Dalai Lama inside Drepung to show their joy after the US Congress awarded its highest civilian honour, personally bestowed by President Bush in Washington last week.

Members of the paramilitary People’s Armed Police moved in to stop the monks, who left peacefully to take part in morning prayers. When the monks returned to resume painting the police moved in again, resulting in violent scuffles, according to sources who declined to be identified for fear of repercussions. The Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao said that the clash involved hundreds of monks.

Three thousand armed police surrounded the sprawling monastery, once the largest in the world with as many as 10,000 monks in residence, and refused to allow anyone to leave. Local sources said that hundreds of monks may have been arrested and several injured. Similar clashes were reported at the smaller Nechung monastery.
Joyful exterior painting -- what will those Buddhist monks think of next? Happy painters displaying pride in their own establishment by conducting routine maintenance is allowed on any days except October 17 - 18 -- what will those Chinese communists think of next?

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