• Several hundred government officials billeted at Kirti
  • Paramilitary police severely beat Tibetan boy and girl
  • Chinese authorities launch failed propaganda show at Kirti
  • Some monks taken for “legal education” are allowed to return to home villages but not allowed to return to Kirti

The crackdown underway at Kirti Monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture shows no signs of easing since the self-immolation of a 20-year old monk called Phuntsog on March 16 (ICT report, Monk immolates himself; major protests at Tibetan monastery violently suppressed – 16 March 2011).

Kirti monks living at Kirti’s sister monastery in Dharamsala, India, are in periodic contact with Tibetans in Ngaba. They describe the atmosphere at Kirti monastery in Tibet as follows: “Kirti monastery is still surrounded by soldiers, strictly controlling movement in and out. Inside the monks are still being subjected to “patriotic reeducation.” There are around 400 government officials billeted at the monastery. Police, soldiers and special police forces openly monitor the monks’ movements morning, noon and night. Cameras and recording devices are positioned all around the monastery complex. Occasionally some monks are allowed to go out into town, but they are followed by Chinese officials acting as “guardians.”

On June 15, during the important month-long religious observance of Saga Dawa, Chinese authorities attempted to compel the monks to hold a Lha-tse ceremony, a Tibetan Buddhist healing ritual, to show the situation at Kirti monastery had returned to normal. According to the Kirti monks in India, the authorities suddenly announced that a Lha-tse rite would be observed and that members of the public would be allowed to attend.

Two of the monks in India told ICT: “Early that morning, many TV cameras were set up on the approaches to the chapel waiting for the monks to arrive, but when only about 40 elderly monks showed up, a group of government officials went to the dormitories and told the other monks to come out. The monks replied that the event was being staged for false propaganda purposes, so they could not comply. About 100 soldiers wearing plain clothes were deployed in and around the chapel. The cameras filmed laypeople making incense offerings and so on, and even interviewed a few of them, but as there were few monks there, the laypeople said how sad they were that since March 16 they had not seen the monks assemble [this is likely to be a reference to the funeral prayers for Phuntsog a few days after his death], and had returned home with tears in their eyes.”

Two days earlier, on June 13, paramilitary police reportedly beat a Tibetan boy and girl so severely that they had to be hospitalized. The children are the son and daughter in a family who have a guest-house at the crossroads on the main road near Kirti monastery. According to exile Tibetans in touch with people in Ngaba, the police beat the two children because they refused to obey an order to accommodate soldiers in the guest-house.

This is the most recent report of a particularly brutal force employed by police against local Tibetans in Ngaba. On the night of April 21-22, around 300 monks were taken away from Kirti monastery in large trucks to unknown locations for the purpose of “legal education.” Many distressed Tibetans were holding vigil at the monastery entrance. As the monks were being driven away police began to “mercilessly” beat the Tibetans. “People had their arms and legs broken, one old woman had her leg broken in three places, and cloth was stuffed in their mouths to stifle their screams,” reported a Kirti monk in India. Sixty-year old Dongko (male) and 65-year old Sherkyi (female) were killed by the police (ICT report, Two elderly Tibetans killed as hundreds of monks detained from Kirti; crackdown deepens – 22 April 2011).

Among the 300 monks, those from Golog and Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures in Qinghai (the Tibetan area of Amdo) have been released and taken back to their homes. But they have not been allowed to return to Kirti monastery. There is no further information on the situation of the monks from other areas, including Rebgong (Chinese: Tongren) in Qinghai and Machu (Chinese: Maqu)in Gannan, Gansu. The United States Government and the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances expressed strong concern about the situation in Kirti and have called on China to account for the missing monks.

An ICT list of Tibetans detained in Ngaba since March 16 can be found here »