Tibetan monks are being beaten and arrested by authorities in western China’s Sichuan province for allegedly telling outside contacts about the destruction of a revered statue, according to Tibetan sources.
Chinese officials in the Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Region targeted the 99-foot tall Buddha in Drago (in Chinese, Luhuo) county for removal in December, claiming it was erected too high.
Monks from a local monastery and other Tibetan residents were forced to witness the destruction.
Experts say the destruction was pushed as part of an ongoing attempt to erase Tibet’s distinct national culture and religion.
According to a Tibetan source in exile, eleven monks from Drago’s Gaden Namgyal Ling monastery have been imprisoned by Chinese authorities on suspicion of transferring news and images of the statue’s destruction — which RFA exclusively reported this week — to connections outside the region.
“As of now, we have learned that Lhamo Yangkyi, Tsering Samdrup, and four other Tibetans have been arrested for communicating outside Tibet,” the source said, citing contacts in Drago and speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
A second source said:
“The monks were brutally beaten and not given any food in prison, and one was beaten so brutally that one of his eyes is badly injured,” he said. “And citing what they call the indifferent attitude shown by local Tibetans, the Chinese authorities are forcing some of them to stand outside with no clothes in the freezing cold.”
And like always our hint, that many of the Chinese people are great and peace-loving but Chinese President Xi Jinping is not.