Dalai Lama urges intervention in Tibet monastery stand-off

April 16th, 2011 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, April 16 (IANS) The prevailing tension in Kirti monastery in Tibet where the Chinese armed forces and local Tibetans are involved in a stand-off following the self-immolation by a monk has worried the Dalai Lama. He has asked the international community to intervene.

In an appeal to the people of Tibet, the Nobel Peace laureate said in a statement Saturday: “I am very concerned that this situation if allowed to go on may become explosive with catastrophic consequences for the Tibetans in Ngaba.

“In view of this I urge both the monks and the lay Tibetans of the area not to do anything that might be used as a pretext by the local authorities to massively crackdown on them.”

Asking the international community to persuade the Chinese government to exercise restraint, the spiritual guru said: “I also strongly urge the international community, the governments around the world, and the international non-governmental organizations, to persuade the Chinese leadership to exercise restraint in handling this situation.”

The Kirti monastery, housing nearly 2,500 monks, has been completely surrounded since March 16 by Chinese armed forces, who at one point prevented food and other vital supplies from entering the monastic compound.

The parliament-in-exile in a missive to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Thursday said: “The security, dignity and the human rights of over 2,500 monks of Kirti monastery, one of the most important monasteries, stand critically threatened.”

The tense situation around Kirti monastery arose when monk Phuntsok set himself afire March 16 to protest the massive repression of the widespread peaceful protests across Tibet in 2008.

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