Shadows fall near a Tibetan monk dressed in ceremonial garb for a Tibetan Lunar New Year celebration in February 2009.
While China celebrates the 60-year mark of its “peaceful liberation” of Tibet, about 300 monks have been rounded up in a “patriotic re-education” campaign, which authorities hope will encourage them to renounce their devotion to the Dalai Lama, swear allegiance to China’s ruling Communist Party and stop lighting themselves on fire. —ARK
The spike in tension in Aba stems from the self-immolation of Phuntsog, a 21-year-old monk, on 16 March, in apparent protest against government controls.
Instead of putting out the flames, Chinese police beat the young monk, creating huge resentment within the monastery, according to exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
The Aba government said in late April that after the burning incident, it had decided to give monks “legal education”, owing to the “illegal activities” committed by some monks that included visiting prostitutes, getting drunk, gambling and pornography, state news agency Xinhua news agency reported.