In March 2008, Aba county, a Tibetan area of China, erupted in violence when Buddhist monks demonstrated for religious freedom – now, the region is seeing violence again.
The crisis is centered around Kirti Monastery. Last week, hundreds of people converged on the monastery in response to concern that the monks were going to be taken away for “reeducation” by Chinese officials. In March, one monk lit himself on fire in protest and later died.
The AFP reports that Chinese officials are blaming the monks for the unrest.”In recent days, a small number of monks in Kirti Monastery in Aba county, Sichuan have disrupted social order and disobeyed Tibetan Buddhist rules,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.
Paramilitary police were brought to the area — and there are reports that people outside the monastery were beaten while holding vigil. 300 monks have been taken from the monastery. It is now under lock down.
The area is remote and now closed to foreigners.
Read more on the situation here.