In her latest vblog for BoingBoingTV, Xeni Jardin reports that nearly 600 Tibetan monks at Kirti Monastery in Amdo have been detained by PRC military forces, who confiscated their communication tools and forced them to participate in staged videos.
Using cell phones, these monks had photographed dead and injured participants during the March protests and disseminated the images to supporters outside Tibet, using connected computers and mobile devices. Jardin speaks with Tibet Connection radio producer Lhakpa Kyizom, who is based in Dharamsala, India, home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile:
From the BBtv partial transcript:
The monks were interrogated and were forced at gunpoint to step on photographs of the Dalai Lama.
The security forces staged and videotaped the following scenes of the Kirti Monastery monks in their rooms. They forced some monks to hold up a portrait of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan national flag. A small monk was forced to hide half his body underneath the wooden floorboards and made to place his hands on the keyboard of a laptop computer.
One of the monks managed to make a secret phone call to the Kirti monks in Dharamsala, India. The monk in Tibet said:
“I am worried that the CCP is creating false evidence to try to show that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the mastermind behind the protests in Tibet. The security forces forced us to act out these scenes against our will with guns pointed at us. I appeal to the people of the world, do not be persuaded by these fake videos.”
Chinese paramilitary police are searching other monasteries as well. According to the Times Online, eight people were killed and dozens wounded in a Donggu protest after a government inspection team entered the Tongkor monastery and tried to confiscate pictures of the Dalai Lama.
They searched the room of every monk, confiscating all mobile phones as well as the pictures.
When the officials had removed the photographs, a 74-year-old monk, identified as Cicheng Danzeng, tried to stop police from throwing the images on the ground… A young man working in the monastery, Cicheng Pingcuo, 25, also made a stand and both were arrested.
The team of officials then demanded that all the monks denounce the Dalai Lama, who fled China after a failed uprising in 1959. One monk, Yixi Lima, stood up and voiced his opposition, prompting the other monks to add their voices.
According to Xinhua, police were responding in Donggu to an attack on an official:
“Local officials exercised restraint during the riot and repeatedly told the rioters to abide by the law,” an official with the prefectural government said. “Police were forced to fire warning shots to put down the violence, since local officials and people were in great danger” and the rioters would not be persuaded to stop.
More on Tibetans connecting through online and mobile technology, from Xeni Jardin: