Monday 20 June 2011

Kirti monks boycott propaganda religious ceremony

(, Jun18, 2011) Noting the propaganda circumstances created for its holding, monks of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County of Sichuan Province have on Jun 15 refused to take part in a twice-monthly religious ceremony for propitiating the monastery’s protector deities, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) online Jun 16. The ceremony had been banned since Mar16, when police savagery against a Kirti monk who set himself on fire in protest against Chinese rule, sparked a major Tibetan protest. The monastery has been under armed police blockade ever since.

A few days before Jun 15, the authorities were reported to have announced that the ceremony honoring the deities would again be held and invited the public to attend it. And early in the morning of appointed day, many TV cameras were reported to have been set up along the approaches to the deities’ chapel, waiting for the monks to arrive. However, only about 40 elderly monks showed up against the usual mass parade of monks. A group of Chinese government officials then went to the monks’ dormitories and told the monks to come out.

But the monks were reported to have replied that the event was being staged for false propaganda purposes and so refused. Fearing protest, the authorities were then reported to have deployed about 100 plainclothes policemen “in and around” the chapel.

Camera crews could, therefore, only film laypeople making incense offerings.

The report also said that monks from Golog and Yushu prefectures in neighboring Qinghai province who were among the more than 300 Kirti monks trucked away in the night of Apr 21 had now been released and ordered to return home, banned from coming back to their monastery. They were told their belongings at the monastery would be sent to them by the government.

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