EU High Representative Lady Ashton expresses concern on Kirti Monastery situation

BRUSSELS: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy, Lady Ashton, has expressed concern over the situation at Kirti Monastery in Ngaba region of Tibet in her letter to MEP Provera who had called on her last month urging to promptly condemn the crackdown in order to prevent further human rights violations in Tibet.  

“I am very much concerned by the reports of deaths, beatings and mass detentions of monks at the monastery. The European Union Delegation in Beijing has attempted to gather facts concerning this incident, but has been unable to do so as it appears that the Chinese authorities have sealed off the monastery and all foreigners have been expelled from the area. The delegation will nevertheless continue to attempt to obtain more information about the situation on the ground,” she said.  

“The European Union has repeatedly urged the Chinese authorities to allow Tibetans to exercise their religious, educational and cultural rights,” EU High Representative further noted. 

“The European Union will raise the situation at Kirti monastery in its future contacts with the Chinese authorities, and will urge them to refrain from the use of force in dealing with the situation at Kirti monastery and to allow Tibetans to exercise their cultural and religious rights without hindrance,” Lady Ashton said.

Kirti Monastery in Ngaba region has been under undeclared martial law situation since 16 March following to the self-immolation of Phuntsog, a 21- year- old monk from the monastery in protest against the Chinese Government’s repression. Two elderly Tibetans have died as a direct result of severe beatings by Chinese police as they, along with other senior citizens attempted to stop Chinese police from taking around 300 monks to an undisclosed location. A wave of arrest has taken place in the recent days. 

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