Dharamsala, April 22 – Two elderly Tibetans have died in the aftermath of beatings by Chinese police as they, along with several other senior citizens, tried to stop Chinese police from taking around 300 monks to an undisclosed location Thursday, a Tibetan source told phayul. The two have been identified as 60 year old Dhonkho of Thawa Ghongma township and 65 year old Sherkyi of the Rako Tsang house Chashang township.
The two Tibetans were among 200 Tibetan civilians, mostly senior citizens who have been camping near a road close to the monastery since last Tuesday despite being threatened by Chinese soldiers to leave.
The same source said Chinese forces beat up several old people who have been camping on the roadside near the Kirti monastery to prevent Chinese forces from forcibly taking the monks. The other Tibetans were put into four goods trucks and two were taken to the army camp nearby and two to the ‘Raybong’ cemetery, said the source. “Most of the Tibetans were released eventually but a few young people were detained. An unidentified Tibetan girl from the Nakle Losang house has reportedly gone missing since last night,” he added.
Chinese authorities arrested around 300 monks of Ngaba Kirti monastery Thursday night. Chinese policemen and ‘special police’ (Ch: Duijing) forced the monks into 10 large military trucks and drove away to an unknown location. Local Tibetans have heard that the monks have been taken either to Dujiangyan or to Tashi Ling (Li Xian) Counties.
The source said he got information from Ngaba that cellphone networks and internet connections have not been working for almost 24 hours since 4PM on April 21, 2011.
The source said 5 more trucks were brought at the monastery Friday with their license plates and body covered. “I am afraid more monks will be arrested today also.”
The authorities have sealed off the rooms of the monks arrested on Thursday and put notices on the doors prohibiting opening them.
All shops and restaurants in the Ngaba town were shut down and only military and official vehicles were seen Friday.
The situation around Kirti Monastery, one of the most prominent monasteries in Ngaba region, has remained tense following the death of a Tibetan monk named Phuntsok, who set himself ablaze in protest on March 16 - marking 3 years since Chinese armed forces cracked down heavily on Tibetan protesters in the region in 2008.