Tibetan monks have disrupted a tour by the first foreign journalists to visit Lhasa since protests erupted two weeks ago, witnesses at the scene said.
About 30 monks shouted pro-Tibetan slogans and defended the Dalai Lama as journalists toured the Jokhang Temple, an Associated Press (AP) reporter said.
Reuters has video footage of the monks speaking to the press in tears:
And footage from a TVB news broadcast, in Cantonese, is here:
AlJazeeraEnglish’s report is here:
CNN’s footage can be seen here and includes an interview with a Financial Times reporter who was dragged away from the scene by security personnel.
The full story is here on International Herald Tribune:
[EDITOR’S NOTE — Charles Hutzler, Beijing bureau chief for The Associated Press, was among a group of foreign journalists who were taken on a government-arranged trip to the Tibetan city of Lhasa.]
A group of monks disrupted a government-managed tour by foreign reporters to Tibet’s capital on Thursday, screaming there was no religious freedom and that the Dalai Lama was not to blame for recent violence there.
The outburst by about 30 monks came as the journalists, including an Associated Press reporter, were being shown around the sacred Jokhang Temple by government handlers in Lhasa.
“Tibet is not free! Tibet is not free!” yelled one young Buddhist monk, who then started crying.
They also said their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, had nothing to do with recent anti-government riots by Tibetans in Lhasa, where buildings were torched and looted, and ethnic Han Chinese were attacked.
People’s Daily has also now issued a report mentioning the incident, in vague terms:
A tour by overseas reporters to cover the Lhasa riots was interrupted by a group of lamas at the Jokhang Temple on Thursday morning, but the media tour soon resumed.
This news on the Web, via Google News.
[Image source: Reuters, via Duowei.com]
More photos from the Chinese government organized media trip can be seen here.