Buddhist monk dies of starvation

DPA, March 27, 2008

Beijing, China -- A 12-day blockade of food and water to major monasteries in Lhasa by Chinese forces has killed a Buddhist monk of starvation, reported Tibetans in exile yesterday.

Lama Thokmey died on Monday in the Ramoche monastery in Lhasa, according to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

The Chinese military have not been allowing food and water into the monastery since March 14 and fires teargas into it frequently, the TCHRD said, citing reliable sources.

Many monasteries in Tibet are facing shortages of food, water, medicine as well as restrictions on movement.

The TCHRD said it is getting increasingly difficult to get details on specific incidences due to the restrictions placed by the Chinese authorities.
China’s ban on foreign journalists traveling to the protest areas has made it extremely difficult to verify information.

The European Union on Tuesday urged China to stop using force against Tibetan protesters and to lift restrictions to movement and information.

Slovenia’s Ambassador Andrej Logar, who currently represents the seven-nation bloc at the UN body expressed his “deep concern” to reports over the continuing protests and said the demonstrations should be peaceful.

“We urge Chinese authorities to refrain from using force against those involved in unrest and call on demonstrators to desist from violence,” Logar told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Chinese police yesterday released a list of 53 Tibetans who are being sought in the violent unrest that broke out in Lhasa mid-March and have issued arrest warrants for 29 people there, the official news agency Xinhua reported.