Monastery in Qinghai sealed after monks rallied on Losar


(, Feb 27, 2009) — Lutsang monastery in Mangra (Chinese: Guinan) county of Tsolho (Chinese: Hainan) Prefecture in Qinghai Province has been sealed by the paramilitary People’s Armed Police after about 100 of its monks staged a peaceful march to the county centre on Feb 25, the Tibetan New Year, and presented a list of demands, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington, DC) Feb 26. Although the protest was entirely peaceful and the monks dispersed after holding a vigil for about 30 minutes, the authorities issued a notice on Feb 27, ordering those who had organized the protest to turn themselves in or face severe punishment.

The monks marched for about a mile, taking off from Lhamo Yongdzin shrine, and raised a set of four demands couched in extremely general terms without any mention of freedom, independence, human rights or the Dalai Lama. They simply asked the authorities to understand the aspirations and thoughts of the younger Tibetan generation, said that the Losar boycott this year might be more widespread than the Tibetan protests of last year, explained that the monks’ protest and candlelight vigil was a gift to Tibetans everywhere, and they prayed for the fulfilment of the Tibetan people’s wishes.

The report said the monks dispersed at the urging of Tibetan community leaders and senior officials of the monastery. Now “no one is allowed to enter or leave the monastery” the report quoted source as saying.


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