Agam's Gecko
Friday, April 04, 2008

nother example of how the "ideological work" now being pushed on Tibetans is creating deeper problems, rather than solving them. The Free Tibet Campaign received the report (and Xinhua partially covered the incident) of paramilitary police opening fire on a demonstration originating from Tonkhor monastery in Kardze.
Matt Whitticase, spokesman for the London-based Free Tibet Campaign, said the incident originated at the Tonkhor monastery in Garze with government attempts to enforce a new "patriotic education campaign" — a program of ideological indoctrination blamed for stirring deep resentment among monks. The campaign demands that monks denounce the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism who fled to India amid a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

Whitticase said the chief monk, Lobsang Jamyang, refused to allow a government team to enter on Wednesday, but they returned Thursday with a force of about 3,000 paramilitary troops. The two monks, Geshi Sonam Tenzing and Tsultrim Phuntsog, were detained after photos of the Dalai Lama were found among their belongings.

Soon afterward, the monastery's 370 monks marched on local government headquarters to demand their release, joined by about 400 lay people, Whitticase said. The group left after being told the two monks would be freed at 8 p.m., but returned after officials reneged. Along the way, they were confronted by troops at a road block, who opened fire on the crowd, Whitticase said.

Whitticase provided the names of six of the eight people reportedly killed, who included at least three women and one monk. He said information on the incident had been relayed by a monk at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in southern India, who received it from anonymous contacts in Garze.

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