Tibetan monks in a restive area of western China took to the streets calling for more religious freedom after they were banned from holding a traditional New Year’s prayer ceremony on Sunday, activists said.
About 50 monks demonstrated outside the Sey Monastery in an ethnic Tibetan part of Sichuan province that was roiled by violent protests last year and where a monk set himself on fire on Friday, the Students for a Free Tibet group said.
Earlier, a large group of monks had streamed into their main temple hall to hold banned Monlam Chenmo prayers, a key part of ceremonies to mark the Tibetan New Year, but those were broken up, said the group’s executive director Lhadon Tethong.
As they left the hall some went onto the street where they shouted slogans calling for religious freedom. Police stopped the protests, the monastery is now sealed and there is a heavy police presence, Tethong said, citing witnesses.
Read also China tensions high after Tibet monk sets himself alight from AFP.