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Kirti monastery under military lockdown PDF Print E-mail
Kirti monastery, located in Ngaba County, Amdo (Ch: Sichuan province), is currently subject to a military lockdown, imposed by the Chinese authorities. The lockdown came in response to protests that followed the death and self-immolation of Phunstsok, a monk from Kirti monastery on 16 March. Many Tibetans have been arrested and two Tibetans were killed on 21 April. Over 300 monks have been removed from the monastery and at least seven Kirti monks have received prison sentences. There are restrictions on movement, fears of food shortages at the monastery and a curtailment on religious activities. Over 2,000 remaining resident monks are also being subject to 'political re-education'.

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New Updates
     12 Dec Two senior Kirti monks detained
     19 Sept Brother of immolated monk imprisoned
     2 Sept Monks imprisoned for assisting immolation
     21 July Two more Kirti monks receive prison sentences
     7 July Released monks face ban; crackdown continues
     29 June British government "calls for restraint" in Ngaba
     20 June EU raises Kirti during Human Rights Dialogue with China
     15 June Monks leaving Kirti monastery due to climate of fear
     9 June UN calls on China to disclose fate of Kirti monks
     25 May Kirti monks sentenced; troops remain at monastery
     13 May Student crackdown; Kirti surveillance increased
     4 May China confirms patriotic re-education I Tibetans meet Sichuan Governor
     23 April Two Tibetans killed as over 300 monks detained
     21 April Dramatic video footage from Ngaba
     19 April China claims situation "normal" I European VP denounces China
     15 April Dalai Lama's statement I Tibetan Community in Britain press release
     14 April US State Department statement I Tibetans block removal of monks
     13 April Kirti Rinpoche calls for end to "harassment"
     12 April Kirti monastery placed under military lockdown
Further information
Statements from Kirti Rinpoche

1. Contact your MP
asking them to write to the Foreign Office urging them to call on the Chinese government to end the lockdown on Kirti monastery, withdraw the security forces, to release all the monks and lay-people who have been detained and imprisoned since March and to provide independent legal counsel for all those facing charges. Also ask your MP to call on the Foreign Office to urgently contact the British consulate in Chongqing (the nearest British consulate to Tibet) asking them to request permission to send an observer to the area.
To find your your MP: or

2. Leave a message for the British Ambassador in Beijing,
voicing your concerns, via the Embassy's online feedback form.

3. Write to the Chinese Ambassador with your concerns.
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Address: Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London W1B 1JL.

4. Sign the online international petition created by International Tibet Network directed to world leaders. (Tibet Society is a member of ITN.)

Two senior monks from Kirti monastery detained
[12 December] News has emerged from Tibet, that two senior monks at Kirti Monastery have been detained by the Chinese authorities, for no apparent reason other than their status within the monastic community.

On 21 November, Lobsang Gyatso was detained from his room at Kirti monastery. The 42-year old monk was studying for a Geshe degree (the highest level of scholarship in Tibetan Buddhism). He is also an accomplished calligrapher and artist, and has written articles for local publications. Losang Gendun, who was also studying for a Geshe degree, was detained in mid-October. Losang, aged 48, is a disciplinarian at the monastery, responsible for  overseeing the adherence of monastic rules. The reasons for both monks' detention are unknown. Their families and friends have not been given any information. Sources say that neither monk was known to be involved in politics. The current condition and whereabouts of both monks remains unknown.
Further reading: International Campaign for Tibet

Brother of immolated monk imprisoned: China offers bribes to monks to disrobe
[19 September]
Three more Kirti monks have been sent to prison for assisting Phuntsok, the monk who self-immolated in March. According to a report by the news service Phayul, one of the three monks is Phuntsok's brother, Lobsang Dhargye. The three monks were sentenced to 're-education through labour' by a Ngaba court on 10 September. Lobsang Dhargye, 22, and another monk Tsekho, 30, were arrested in April and each received two and a half year sentences. The third monk, Dorjee, is understood to be only 16 years old and was sentenced to three years. At the end of August Phuntsok's uncle, Lobsang Tsundue, was sentenced to 11 years for assisting his nephew, along with two other monks. At least ten monks have now been jailed since the crisis in Ngaba began in March.

Sources are reporting that the Chinese government are offering financial incentives for Kirti monks to quit monastic life. Monks are being offered 10,000 - 20,000 Yuan and loans for "a new livlihood" if they disrobe and quit the monastery. No monks are believed to have taken up the offer.
Further reading: Phayul I TCHRD

Three Kirti monks imprisoned for assisting self-immolation
Lobsang Tsundue[2 September] The Chinese authorities have handed heavy prison sentences to three Kirti monks accused of assisting the self-immolation of fellow monk Phuntsok in March. The three monks, one of whom is Phuntsok's uncle, were charged with "intentional homicide" and received prison terms ranging from 10 to 13 years. The three cases were heard in Barkham County Peoples Court in Ngaba, Sichuan province at the end of August. Lobsang Tsundue (Phuntsok's uncle, pictured right) was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, Tsering Tamding was sentenced to 13 years and Lobsang Tenzin was given a 10-year term.
Reports indicate that due legal process was not followed in any of the cases.
Click here to read a full report

Two more Kirti monks receive prison sentences
Lobsang Khedup and Lobsang Gyatso[21 July] According to a report from Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, two monks from Kirti monastery have each been sentenced to three years imprisonment. Lobsang Khedup, 36 (pictured left), and Lobsang Gyatso, 39 (right), were arrested in the days following the forced removal of 300 monks from Kirti monastery by the Chinese authorities. Both are believed to have been part of a large group of monks who assembled on 21 April to try and stop their fellow monks from being removed. They were sentenced on 15 July; though the official charges are not yet known.

At least four Kirti monks have now received prison sentences since the crisis begain in mid-March. In May, Radio Free Asia reported two monks had been sentenced, Lobsang Dargye to four years for refusing patriotic re-education and Konchog Tsultrim to three years (reason unknown).
Further reading: TCHRD

Released monks face ban from Kirti; crackdown continues
Blockade outside Kirti monastery[7 July] The Chinese authorities have released some of the 300 monks detained on 21 April, according to a report by International Campaign for Tibet. Monks from Golog and Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures in Qinghai province (the Tibetan area of Amdo) have been released but they have not been allowed to return to Kirti monastery, instead they been taken back to their homes. The exact number of monks released is not clear and there is no information on the situation of the rest of the detained monks.

The crackdown in Ngaba shows no sign of easing. Around 400 government personnel are stationed at Kirti monastery, where the monks are still being forced to undergo "patriotic re-education" sessions. Police and soldiers continue to surround the monastery and closely monitor the monks' movements. On 15 June, the Chinese authorities attempted to force the monks to hold a religious ceremony to show assembled TV cameras (presumably from state-controlled media) that the monastery had returned to normal. However, the majority of the monks refused to comply saying they would not participate in false propaganda.

The crackdown also continues in Ngaba outside the monastery. On 13 June, two Tibetan children were hospitalised after reportedly being beaten by paramilitary police. The children were from a family who own a guesthouse near Kirti monastery and were beaten as the guesthouse apparently had refused to accomodate soldiers.
Further reading: ICT I RFA

British government "calls for restraint" in Ngaba
[29 June] In response to a parliamentary question on 28 June, the Foreign Office said the crackdown in Ngaba had been raised with China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in London, "asking for information and calling for restraint". British officials in Beijing and at the Chongqing consulate are continuing to "press for access to Tibet and Tibetan regions". An Early Day Motion condemning China's crackdown in Ngaba was tabled on 29 June at the Houses of Parliament for MPs to sign. Please write to your MP asking him/her to sign EDM 2009.
Read more I Take action

EU raises Kirti during Human Rights Dialogue with China
[20 June] During the latest round of the EU-China Dialogue on Human Rights in Beijing on 16 June, the EU "called on the Chinese authorities to provide full information on the fate and whereabouts of the persons who have disappeared from Kirti Monastery". It is not known if the Chinese delegation responded. Prior to the Dialogue, Tibet Society and other organisations sent a letter to the EU Delegation to China expressing concerns on the human rights situation in Tibet and China.
Read more

Monks leaving Kirti monastery due to climate of fear
[15 June] A significant number of monks have left Kirti monastery since the crackdown began in March, possibly as many as several hundred. A report by ICT says that the departures are due to the ongoing military presence, the threat of disappearance, torture and detention, and the difficulty in undertaking normal religious practices due to the "patriotic re-education" campaign imposed by the Chinese authorities. A number of monks have also been expelled. In April 300 monks were forcibly removed from Kirti and remain in detention.
Further reading: ICT

UN calls on China to disclose fate of Kirti monks

[9 June] On 8 June, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID), part of the UN Human Rights Council, issued a statement expressing its "serious concern" over the detention of 300 Kirti monks by Chinese authorities. The Working Group called upon China "to disclose the fate and whereabouts of all those who have been subject to enforced disappearances in China, including a group of Tibetan monks whose fate or whereabouts still remain unknown." The statement continued, "We encourage the authorities to undertake full investigations into the ongoing practice of enforced disappearances." China was also urged to fulfil its promise to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

The Chinese government rebuffed the statement on 9 June, with a Foreign Ministry spokesman saying, "The relevant local authorities are conducting legal education for the Kirti monastery monks in order to maintain religious order there. There was no question of forced disappearances."
Further reading: Text of UN statement I BBC

Kirti monks sentenced; troops remain at monastery
Blockade outside Kirti monastery[25 May] Radio Free Asia (RFA) has reported that a Kirti monk has been sentenced to three years for refusing to comply with the ongoing 'patriotic re-education' campaign. According to RFA's source, Lobsang Dargye, from Me'uruma Township, was sentenced by the Ngaba County People's Court around 2 May. The source said, "The crime for which he was sentenced was that during [Chinese-directed] 'patriotic religion' meetings, he spoke his own mind in front of the officials and soldiers, and told them what he thought." Another Kirti monk, Konchog Tsultrim, was also sentenced to three years, though it is not known on what grounds. The same source also said that another monk, Lobsang Choephel, 19, from Cha Township was taken into detention on 12 May. The reason for his detention is not known.

The situation at Kirti monastery remains unchanged, according to the few reports emanating from the region. Chinese security forces continue to monitor the situation inside the monastery, whilst an armed presence is being maintained outside the compound. There is no further news on the 300 monks removed from the monastery on 21 April. The remaining monks in the monastery are reported to be still receiving 'patriotic re-education' lessons from Chinese officials.
Further reports: RFA I Guardian

Crackdown on Ngaba students; Kirti monastery surveillance increased
[13 May] The Chinese authorities have placed protesting Tibetan students in Ngaba under lockdown. The students have been confined to the school and told they cannot return home. Communications have been cut off and unofficial materials confiscated and burnt.

According to a report by International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), students in Barkham (Ch: Ma'erkang) county went on hunger strike on 17 March in sympathy with Phuntsok, the monk who died after self-immolation, and to protest against China's rule. Chinese officials then confined the students to the school and told them they were not allowed to return home for an indefinite period. Mobile phones were confiscated and internet access was blocked. On or around 22 April, officials checked the students' books and reading materials. Those materials not officially endorsed were confiscated and burnt. The current status of the students is not known.

Kirti monastery remains under lockdown and the monks subject to patriotic education campaigns. The authorities have installed surveillance cameras throughout the monastey, including in monks' rooms, and armed police are using a residential building within the monastery as a base. Armed police continue to roam the monastery and random searches are carried out.

There is no further news on the 300 monks removed from Kirti monastery. A further 25 Tibetans from Ngaba are believed to in detention. ICT have also provided further details about Dongko, one of the two elderly Tibetans who died following severe beatings by police on 21 April.
Further report: ICT

China confirms patriotic re-education of Kirti monks
Kirti monastery[4 May] The crackdown in Ngaba continues, following confirmation from the Chinese government that the monks at Kirit monastery are being forced to undertake patriotic re-education. China has claimed the reports of police killing two elderly Tibetans were "fictious". Detailed information from Ngaba is sparse, following a media blackout by the Chinese government and restrictions on movement. However, a climate of fear remains in the region.

On 29 April, China claimed reports by international media that two Tibetans died as a result of police beatings were "fictitious", but that an "86-year-old female herder died of lung disease at her home in Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture". International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) reported that exiled Kirti monks confirmed the deaths of Dongko (60) and Sherkyi (65) and said the authorities in Ngaba have refused local monks to carry out traditional blessings on the bodies. The exiled Kirti monks said, "Without the monks being able to recite four words of prayer for them is an additional agony on top of the mourning [of relatives for those who died]."

Patriotic re-education is taking place at Kirti monastery, as confirmed in the official media report, which stated, "All monks at the Kirti Monastery are learning the basics of the Chinese Constitution, Criminal Law and regulations on religious affairs, in line with a local government circular issued on April 22."

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported last week that though armed police had withdrawn from inside the monastery compound, military vehicles were parked outside the monastery and plain-clothed police remained inside the monastery. RFA also reported that a group of 70-80 Tibetans from neighborouring Golog prefecture were arrested on 27 April after attempting to travel to Ngaba to show their support for the Kirti monks. The group was released and returned to their homes two days later.
Further reports: ICT I RFA

Tibetans meet with Chinese Governor of Sichuan
[4 May] In an unprecedented meeting, Tibetan Women's Association's President Dolkar Lhamo Kirti and Vice President Samten Choedon met with Jiang Jufeng, the Governor of Sichuan Province in New Delhi on 26 April and briefed him about the repression inside Tibet and the military crackdown at Kirti Monastery. After being presented with a petition, the Governor said he would look into the matter. Tibet Society congratulates TWA for taking the opportunity to directly confront a leading Chinese official and show that engagement between Tibetan activists and Chinese officials is possible... TWA's report

Two Tibetans killed as over 300 monks detained
[23 April]
Two elderly Tibetans were killed by Chinese security forces on 21 April as over 300 monks were detained and removed from Kirti monastery. The two victims, Sherkyi a 65 year-old woman and Donkho, a 60 year old man, were part of a crowd of about 200 mostly elderly Tibetans who tried to stop the monks from being taken away.

The incident began at about 9pm on 21 April when armed security personnel arrived at the monastery and surrounded the monastic residences. Rooms were searched and over 300 monks were loaded onto 10 military trucks. As the trucks departed those gathered at the entrance tried to stop the trucks from leaving. Armed police then attacked the protestors, beat them, and loaded many of them onto additional trucks and drove them away. Sources said the lay-people were beaten "mercilessly". ICT quoted an exiled monk as saying, 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.

The whereabouts of the detained monks is not known, though local Tibetans believe the monks have been taken to locations in nearby Lunggu (Ch: Wenchuan), Maowun (Ch: Mao) and Tashiling (Ch: Li) counties. Most of the protestors who were detained were released the following morning, though a group of younger people remain in detention. The two Tibetans killed were Donko, from the Trinken Chukle pastoral division of Tawa Gongma in Ngaba county who was married with two children, and Sherkyi, from the Rako Tsang house in Naktsangma, Cha township, Ngaba county.

China has attempted to impose an information blackout on the area and has also banned foreigners from the region. Shops and restaurants in Ngaba town remain closed and there are fears that the Chinese authorities will attempt to detain more monks from the monastery in the coming days.
Further reports: ICT I RFA I BBC I AFP

Dramatic video footage from Ngaba
Blockade outside Kirti monastery [21 April]
Voice of America (VOA) has released dramatic video footage from Ngaba. The video, shows Phuntsok sitting in a vehicle immediately after his immolation, whilst still alive, but covered in burns. (Phuntsok died at 3am the following day in Kirti monastery.) The footage then goes on to show the build-up of troops in the town over the following days. Armed troops and military vehicles are seen on the streets, at the entrance to Kirti monastery (as in still image on right) and at checkpoints around the town. There is also footage from Phuntsok's funeral, attended by 2,000 people. View the video.

China claims situation "normal"
[19 April]
China has claimed that the situation at Kirti monastery is "normal" and that relations between monks and police are "harmonious". Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei denied reports of a military lockdown during a regular news briefing to reporters, saying, "According to our knowledge, the monks in the Kirti monastery enjoy a normal life and normal Buddhist activities, and the local social order is also normal." He said that the monks had "sufficient" supplies and that while measures were in place to "prevent unidentified people from entering", relations between the monks and police had "always been harmonious". Mr Hong called on the US to stop making "irresponsible remarks", following concern expressed by the US State Department on 14 April. (ReutersBBC)

European Parliament Vice-President denounces China
[19 April] The European Parliament's Vice-President, Edward McMillan-Scott has denounced China's use of excessive force at Kirti monastery. Mr McMillan-Scott, who is also responsible for Human Rights & Democracy within the Parliament and a member of the Tibet Intergroup, issued a press release saying, The authorities must show restraint by withdrawing the armed security police and ending the lockdown of Kirti monastery. All those detained, an estimated of 35 Tibetans, must be released immediately and the threats of relocation of monks from the monastery for re-education must end. I strongly condemn the treatment of the local lay people who were beaten whilst trying to prevent the armed police from entering the monastery. The Chinese have the responsibility to resolve the grievances of the locals in a fair and transparent way. (Phayul)

Dalai Lama says Tibetans could face "catastrophic consequences"
[15 April]
As tensions increase at Kirti monastery, the Dalai Lama issued a statement on the current situation, saying, "I am very concerned that this situation if allowed to go on may become explosive with catastrophic consequences for the Tibetans in Ngaba." (For full statement click here)

Tibetan Community in Britain calls on Cameron to speak out
[15 April] The Tibetan Community in Britain calls on the British Prime Minister to speak out to protect the rights of the Tibetans (click here to read full Press Release).

US State Department issue statement of concern
[14 April]
Mark Toner, acting deputy spokesman for the US State Department, in reply to a question on Kirti said, "We have seen that Chinese security forces have cordoned off the Kirti monastery in Sichuan province. They've also imposed onerous restrictions on the monks and the general public. And we believe these are inconsistent with internationally-recognized principles of religious freedom and human right. We continue to monitor the situation closely, and are obviously concerned by it." (ICT I Radio Free Asia)

Local Tibetans block armed forces from removing Kirti monks

[14 April] Latest reports indicate that the situation at Kirti monastery in Ngaba is intensifying. On 12 April, the Chinese authorities announced that 1,000 monks at Kirti monastery aged between 18-40 would be taken away for "political re-education". Local people responded by blocking military vehicles from entering the monastery, many of whom are reported to have been beaten and arrested. (Guardian | BBC)

Kirti Rinpoche calls for end to "harassment" and "intimidation"
[13 April]
As the crisis in Ngaba deepens, exile lama Kirti Rinpoche has made rare public statements to the people of Ngaba, calling for protests to remain peaceful, and to the Chinese government, calling for an end to the "harassment" and "intimidation" of Kirti monastery which is experiencing a "brutal clampdown... depriving it of all freedom and reducing it to desperation". (Read statement in full below.)

Kirti monastery placed under military lockdown
Kirti monastery[12 April] For the past few days, Kirti monastery, located in Ngaba County, Amdo (Ch: Sichuan province), has been subject to a military lockdown, with no-one being allowed to leave or enter the monastery. Hundreds of armed troops are stationed at the monastery, a concrete wall and a barbed-wire fence have been built and guards have established watch posts on the platforms of the monasterys stupas.

Such a strict lockdown has meant that the 2,500 resident monks are  experiencing a food shortage as the armed forces have barred supplies from entering the monastery. The monks are living on rations of tsampa (the Tibetan staple of roasted barley flour) and butter, which itself is believed to be running out. Furthermore, all religious activities inside the monastery have been curtailed, including the burning of incense and circumambulation (the ritual of circling the monastery on the outside path).

On 12 April, local Tibetans gathered outside the monastery after hearing reports that the Chinese authorities were planning to intern Kirti monks aged 18-40 and that room had been made for 1,000 inmates at Mao Xian prison in the southern part of Ngaba prefecture. The locals blocked the road and stopped 40 medium sized military trucks from entering the monastery. Locals even slept in the road near the monastery's entrance during the night. Some reports indicate that an unknown number of Tibetans have been detained, beaten and that the gathering crowds were attacked by trained dogs.

According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), since the events of 16 March and prior to blockade of military vehicles on 12 April, at least 33 people had been arrested including the younger brother and uncle of Phuntsok, the monk who died after setting fire to himself. Both relatives are reported to have since been released. However, 22 remain in detention or missing,
including eight monks. On 9 April, the Chinese authorities sent an additional 800 armed security personnel to reinforce the clampdown in Ngaba County.

International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) has also reported that house-to-house searches have taken place in Ngaba county and surrounding areas, with local officials questioning the whereabouts of residents. Sources from the area say a number of TIbetans have been detained as a result of these raids and that everyone is terrified of being taken away by police in the middle of the night. Initial reports that two elderely women died of their injuries after being beaten by police have yet to be confirmed. Soldiers have also been posted to many hospitals in the region.

The crackdown by the Chinese authorities began after the self-immolation and death of Phuntosok, a monk from Kirti monastery on 16 March, and subsequent protests by monks and lay-people. The date of Phuntsok's action is of significance as it was the third anniversary of a peaceful protest in 2008 which was met with a violent crackdown by the authorities and the shooting dead of at least 10 Tibetans. (ICT I TCHRD)

Statements from Kirti Rinpoche
[13 April] Kirti Rinpoche (the Lama of Kirti Monastery currently living in exile) has made two rare and strong statements on the grave situation in Ngaba, one to the people of Ngaba and the other to the Chinese government. (The full text of both statements was translated and issued by ICT).

1. Statement by the lama of Kirti monastery in exile to the people of Ngaba:

Rongpo Choje Kirti Tulku
Losang Tendzin Jigme Yeshe Gyatso

Dear and beloved co-religionists in Ngaba prefecture and especially Ngaba county, with constant anxiety over the serious incidents taking place in the region, I offer condolences to the relatives and children of those killed or injured, and make prayers and invocations that the deceased may once again be reborn as humans with sound faculties and personal freedom able to find the Buddhist teachings, that the afflictions of the wounded will swiftly heal, that the imprisoned may soon get out of jail, and that the people as a whole, lay and monastic, may soon be released from the dreadful suffering of living in a state of terror.

At the same time, I have called upon the leaders of the Peoples Republic of China, and concerned officials in the Sichuan province, Ngaba prefecture and Ngaba county governments to put a stop to their unchecked intimidation, repression, duplicity and harassment in the region. The ongoing repression of ordinary people, both monks and laity, driven by desperation into confrontation with the Chinese army is indeed hard to bear, but I appeal to you consider that confrontation simply heaps even more suffering on ourselves, and to frame whatever action you take within the parameters of nonviolence.

For another confrontation in which more people are killed and wounded not to take place, I call on everyone to stick as much as they can to a peaceful approach by keeping their temper. That is my request, please consider it.

Holder of the title Incarnate Lama of Kirti monastery
Noble land of India,
13 April 2011

2. Statement to the leaders of the Peoples Republic of China, and concerned officials of the Sichuan province, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture and Ngaba county

Whether on the orders of the central government or not, armed troops in conjunction with government officials are currently enforcing a brutal clampdown on Kirti monastery in Ngaba, depriving it of all freedom and reducing it to desperation, and it is out of the suffering and frustration so caused that we seek to address you now.

The harassment of Kirti monastery and the community, both monastic and lay, with constant intimidation and a variety of false pretexts will not yield any positive results and we hope that it will be swiftly curtailed. The cause of the incidents arising there is the dissatisfaction of the people with the behaviour of the Chinese government, but the false representations of the situation made to the higher levels of government are only increasing the alienation between the people and government. Is this not a serious violation of the Harmonious Society initiative of which President Hu Jintao has spoken?

The realisation of this initiative depends upon closer relations between the people and the government. Levelling serious political allegations at any opportunity, and meting out punishments like death sentences and life imprisonment, pretending to do so as loyal servants of the state while only heightening the publics sense of grievance and driving them to desperation is a way to precipitate confrontation between the government and the people, and it must be realised that those civil and military officials responsible are not doing so out of duty to the Party or nation, but out of their own selfish and corrupt interests.

The senior leadership must find the courage to accept that constant repression born of suspicion and the attempt to enforce Harmony with the power of the gun cannot address the real situation. Even animals respond positively to gentle treatment rather than brute force.

Just as no-one can change the course of the planets and stars, so the evolution of social attitudes across the world cannot be stopped, and if instead of thinking only of their own power, and by respecting the groundswell of public opinion, those in authority could find the courage to consider the public interest and the need for reform, and defuse the potential for conflict by peaceful means, it is in the nature of things that relations between people and government will grow closer and a Harmonious Society can become a reality.

If the leaders are unable to trust the people and respond only with repression, the peoples sense of grievance will worsen, and lead only to confrontation, negating any prospect of Harmony, so we call for the cessation of such brutal methods nationwide, and especially in the ethnic minority regions. There are not enough prisons or soldiers in the land to maintain such a course indefinitely.

The present policy being implemented in minority regions belongs to the discredited old approach from the era of class struggle. It must be realised that the people cannot be controlled merely through economic growth and state propaganda.

If it is not grasped that the era of Power comes from the barrel of a gun has passed, if those in power continue to misapprehend the changed situation and persist with that philosophy, far from achieving success, it will naturally lead only to a growing confrontation between rulers and ruled and continuing crisis, and it is with the broader interests of the Chinese state and people in mind that we appeal for preventive measures to be taken against this eventuality.

In keeping with His Holiness the Dalai Lamas vision that the Middle Way approach is the only way to ensure the nations long term stability, we appeal for the resumption of negotiations between Tibetan representatives and the central government without further delay.

The Lama of Kirti monastery in exile
13 April 2011

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