After Re-education, Tibetan Monks Regret Uprising

Following patriotic re-education classes, some monks have changed their stance on the March 2008 Lhasa riots. From the New York Times:

It was the much the same as on March 28, 2008, when the monk, Norgye, and dozens of fellow monks barged into a temple chamber where foreign journalists were being escorted around by Chinese government officials. The monks had then cried out, “ is not free.” This time, on Tuesday, Norgye had a different message: he had been punished through patriotic re-education, and he had repented.

“I wasn’t beaten or tortured,” he said. “We had to learn more about the law. Through education about the law, I realized what we had done in the past was wrong and was against the law.”

Norgye, 29, who like many Tibetans goes by one name, was speaking in the ancient inner sanctum of Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple, the holiest shrine in Tibetan Buddhism. During the 10-minute interview, he was watched carefully by government employees from Beijing and Lhasa, as well as by Laba, an older monk who was the director of the temple’s administrative office. They were the escorts for a group of foreign journalists who were on a tightly scripted, five-day government tour of the Tibet Autonomous Region, which is usually closed to foreign journalists.

The manner in which the interview was monitored, with Laba interrupting several times as Norgye spoke, reflected the Chinese government’s anxiety about anything in Tibet that contradicts the official line.

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