The Syracuse Buddhist community has been looking towards His Holiness the Dalai Lama for guidance in how to respond to reports that fellow Buddhists in Tibet have been under siege by Chinese police. This is a sensitive situation and nobody here wants to be responsible for setting off a deeper crisis which could cost the lives of Buddhist monks.
Abhishek Madhukar of Reuters has reported for “The Buddhist Channel”, “Dalai Lama urges restraint in Tibet monastery standoff”, http://bit.ly/eJHtbD. The self-immolation of a monk last month in protest of oppressive conditions in Tibet is reported to have set off a stand-off between Chinese security forces and Buddhist monks at a monastery in Southwest China. Buddhists here in Syracuse are now following the advice of the Dalai Lama in dealing with this crisis by praying and asking for restraint in dealing with this crisis.
The Dalai Lama has warned of potentially “catastrophic consequences” from this situation, which he said could prompt a large crackdown by Beijing on the local population. Reports from the region have stated that hundreds of ethnic Tibetan people had gathered at the Kirti monastery last week in efforts to try to stop the Chinese authorities from moving out monks for government-mandated “re-education”. This tense situation has resulted in an armed police lockdown of the monastery with as many as 2,500 monks inside.
The Dalai Lama has commented “I am very concerned that this situation if allowed to go on may become explosive with catastrophic consequences for the Tibetans in Ngaba. In view of this I urge both the monks and the lay Tibetans of the area not to do anything that might be used as a pretext by the local authorities to massively crack down on them.” This stand-off has occured in the aftermath of a 21-year old Tibetan monk there burning himself to death on March 16 in protest of the horrible conditions for Buddhists under Chinese rule.
It has been reported that instead of trying to put out the flames, Chinese police beat the young monk which has resulted in resentment in the monastery. And Human Rights Watch has reported the Chinese security forces have used excessive force to end the protest at the monastery, including beating up locals and deploying attack dogs against them.
Human Rights Watch has said in a statement “Human Rights Watch’s concern for the safety of the local residents around the Kirti monastery has been heightened by the fact that Chinese security forces are increasingly disregarding the rule of law as part of a campaign involving the arrests and disappearances of dozens of the country’s most prominent lawyers, human rights defenders, and internet activists in recent months.”
Mandel News Service: http://www.mandelnews.com