News / Aktuelles
A Lhasa without monks
A rough translation in English of a news report by Mr.
Federico Rampini, correspondent of La Repubblica in Beijing
posted on 5 July.
Click here for his original report in Italian language
We saw some Tibetans returning home, the police had arrested
them and tortured them after the riots in march. One of them,
they have laterally cut the flesh from a whole thigh, I saw it
with my own eyes, it was in a horrible condition. He died at
home due to loss of blood and destroyed by infections within
days. They didn’t want to go to hospital because they were sure
that they would fall in the hands of those who tortured them.
One person of an international humanitarian organization said
“ Many of our Tibetan friends have disappeared, after the
arrests it is impossible to get news of them. Those non arrested
lives a very desperate situation. By hitting the tourism,
government has deprived them of the only source of income. NGO’s
that still remains in Lhasa are very few. Every time when the
operators of the NGO expires their visa, the authority finds
every excuses not to renew the visa to expel them. Those last
operators still in Tibet are highly controlled. “ after the
revolt in march, says my informant, for two months the e-mails
that I sent to my family members outside Tibet arrived in empty
mails without notes. The telephone line used to get cut every
time I pronounced the word Tibet. Even few days back when the
Olympic flames arrived in Lhasa, they forced us to stay at home.
Even now my mobiles are under control. The village where our
project of cooperation operates is some hundreds of kilometers
away but from three months we are prohibited to leave Lhasa.
Lhasa has been dominated with terror, fear prevails even now.
The order is a very subtle façade, it needs nothing to discover
what it hides. At time when chinese goes to sleep I left behind
my official “accompanier”, I left the touristic area around
Bakor. One need to cross the Beijing road to enter the older
blocks inhabited by Tibetans. All of a sudden the repressive
military apparatus appears more widely present than the center.
Beijing road seems like a war front. It is blocked on regular
intervals by military tanks.
On every angles of the streets the presence of large military
with anti bullet suits and automatic machine guns at the heights
of person creates an atmosphere of battle zone. Tibetans to
return their homes have to pass in front of the military blocks
ready to shoot. There is a silence, passive and non declared
resistance. Their city occupied by army, they defend in whatever
ways that is possible. After Dalai Lama has condemned all forms
of violence the struggle continues in varied forms. Tibetan
shopkeepers have stopped to open their shops, young people go
out as less possible, bars are half empty.
When I searched for a well known discotheque where two years
ago I discovered a Buddhist rock band, I found it was closed.
Two years ago one has to scuffle to enter this discotheque. On
telephone the owner said it is not a time for concerts and and
pop in the city. In the Tibetan area every form of night life
has been stopped, this is due to passive boycott. There wasn’t
any open call to proclaim such general strike. It is a
collective decision taken by passing information person to
person. This is to strike the Chinese propaganda that Lhasa has
been pacified and returned to normality.
I have an impression that such struggle in not efficient,
self harming and do not manage to harm the government. Another
sad surprise was at monastery of sera, out of Lhasa towards the
mountainous north. It is a famous sanctuary in the world,
university of tantric Buddhism where every morning very
particular trainings are held. Tens of young monks used to
gather at garden open for public to hold very animated debates
on doctrines. They use to train at very high voice to explain
questions on metaphysics. Divided in a two monks, they have to
manage to convince the other. This gathering used to be audible
at a long distance.
Today sera is a desert. This place of young Buddhist
intelligence is now empty. Only few old monks are around the
monastery. Seems like a deadly epidemic has taken away all the
young monks. Debates are not held any more the guardian explains.
Where have all these monks gone, the red robes of spiritual
fervor, that spectacular scene where thousands of tourists from
whole world came to take picture? Some in prison, may be killed,
others still terrorized disappeared in nowhere.