Conflict & Justice

Foreign journalists back in Tibet

Things got out of control when the reporters visited a Buddhist monastery: as an official briefed the journalists, a group of monks burst into the room and surrounded the reporters, some chanting, others weeping. (What happened?) It was an extraordinary and brave act of protest. The monks surrounded us and told us the officials were telling us lies, tricking us and in the next five minutes, as the officials tried to remove us, the monks listed off some of their grievances. This evening in Lhasa I asked the #2 of the party there what will happen to those monks and he said he could guarantee nothing would happen to them. (Can you try to see if the monks will be alright?) We'll see tomorrow morning, their temple is one of five in the Lhasa area that are all in lockdown as police investigate the role of monks in the protests. (Who are these monks?) There are about 120 monks in that temple and the ones who came out today were mostly young. (What did the officials do?) It didn't end the day, some of the foreign ministry officials said the monks always tell lies. We were not prevented from interviewing other monks. (What's the most surprising thing you've heard from a monk?) Their devotion to their exiled spiritual leader comes as no surprise, but there's a lot of anger in the way the Dalai Lama has been blamed.