Thursday, March 27, 2008

For Tibet's monks, death by starvation?

According to the blog over at SFT (Students for a Free Tibet),

As the Chinese government continues its inhumane siege of major monasteries in and around Lhasa, a new danger is emerging for Tibetan monks: death by starvation.

Chinese military forces have surrounded the monasteries, cut off water and electricity, and are refusing to let Tibetans bring food and medicine to the increasingly starving (and potentially injured) monks.

This tactic is particularly inhumane, and yet historically appropriate for the Chinese Communist Party, which has a long history of massive collective punishment as a way of maintaining its control.

The major monasteries of Sera, Drepung, and Ganden are cut off, and sources in Lhasa report near-starvation among the monks., the website of the Tibetan government in exile, is reporting that at least one monk has starved to death at the smaller Ramoche Monastery in central Lhasa.

The Chinese government is currently bringing some hand-picked foreign reporters on a carefully-scripted 3-day tour of Lhasa. These journalists should insist on being allowed to visit the monasteries to see the situation for themselves. China’s inhumane collective punishment against Tibet’s monks cannot be allowed to stand.

Does this sound like proper conduct for an Olympic host? Does this sound like proper conduct for any civilized country? Or does this sound like something out of the Middle Ages? Unfortunately, this is Tibet under Chinese occupation.

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