More protests in Tibet

March 1st, 2009 § 4

Sey monastery in Ngaba in Tibet

Sey monastery in Ngaba in Tibet

It just doesn’t stop.

I got a call early this afternoon from a Tibetan with an eyewitness account of another protest at a monastery in Amdo, Ngaba (Aba). This monastery is just a few kilometers away from Kirti monastery where the other protest took place on the 27th. It took all day to piece the following story together:

This morning hundreds of monks at Sey monastery managed to gain entry into the monastery’s main prayer hall by saying that they had to get their belongings from inside. Once inside they sat down and began the Monlam Chenmo (New Year prayer ceremony) even though the monasteries have been ordered not to hold any religious gatherings in the month of March. They are not even supposed to open up the prayer halls.

At some point some Chinese officials came in and told the monks to stop the prayers and that, as they were already instructed, they are not allowed to have any religious gatherings in the monastery.

At that time, at least 50 monks left the hall and went onto the main road behind the monastery. They began raising slogans for freedom and for rights and asking why they weren’t allowed to hold the prayers. They said that they have no religious freedom even though the Chinese claim that they do. They also called for the release of all the Tibetans arrested last year.

300-400 police and soldiers responded to their protest and attempted to stop them but the monks would not give up. Meanwhile, senior monks came to the spot and talked to the soldiers and pleaded with the protesting monks to stop their protest. Eventually the monks returned to the monastery.

Now the monastery is sealed off and there is a massive military presence outside. Last I heard tonight, no calls were getting through to this area because the Chinese have cut the lines.

Reuters put this story out already but I wish we had more details…

I wonder what news tomorrow will bring.

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