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Chinese Police Surround a Tibetan Monastery


Tibet flag

Tibet flag

Chinese police are continuing to surround a Tibetan monastery in Sichuan province, after local residents tried to stop them from arresting the monks.

The standoff began earlier this week, when hundreds of people living in Sichuan's Aba region converged on the Kirti monastery. They tried to stop police from taking away the monks for reeducation. As many as 2,500 monks are believed to be inside the locked-down monastery.

They could soon face food shortages because they depend on offerings from locals.

China's Foreign Ministry has not commented on the situation, but says Beijing has improved living conditions in Tibet.

The U.S. State Department says it is obviously concerned about China's actions in Aba. A spokesman calls it inconsistent with the internationally recognized principles of religious freedom and human rights.

The situation around the Kirti monastery has been tense since a monk burned himself to death last month in apparent protest against Chinese rule over Tibet. Aba was the site of a violent anti-Chinese uprising three years ago.

Tibet has been under Chinese control since communist forces invaded in 1950. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, lives in India. China accuses the Dalai Lama of stirring up violence in the push for Tibetan independence - a charge he denies.

Chinese police are continuing to surround a Tibetan monastery in Sichuan province, after local residents tried to stop them from arresting the monks.

The standoff began earlier this week, when hundreds of people living in Sichuan's Aba region converged on the Kirti monastery. They tried to stop police from taking away the monks for reeducation. As many as 2,500 monks are believed to be inside the locked-down monastery.

They could soon face food shortages because they depend on offerings from locals.

China's Foreign Ministry has not commented on the situation, but says Beijing has improved living conditions in Tibet.

The U.S. State Department says it is obviously concerned about China's actions in Aba. A spokesman calls it inconsistent with the internationally recognized principles of religious freedom and human rights.

The situation around the Kirti monastery has been tense since a monk burned himself to death last month in apparent protest against Chinese rule over Tibet. Aba was the site of a violent anti-Chinese uprising three years ago.

Tibet has been under Chinese control since communist forces invaded in 1950. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, lives in India. China accuses the Dalai Lama of stirring up violence in the push for Tibetan independence - a charge he denies.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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