The Main temple in Dharamsala was filled with around 1500 local Monks and Nuns, praying for those caught in the conflict at Kirti monastery. His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeted monks as he entered this morning, and led the prayers for peace in the region.
Outside, the relay hunger strike continued; led by the Tibetan Youth Congress in Dharamsala.
In recent weeks, the monastery has witnessed a violent crackdown by Chinese armed Police. Ever since the poignant death of Phuntsok the monk, who was a memeber of Kirti and self immolated on the 3rd anniversary of the 2008 uprising, security has been stepped up. The monastery has been hastily cordened off by Chinese armed police, and they continue to hold an overwhelming presence in the area, despite claiming the situation is 'normal'.
Violent conflicts ensued between the Chinese armed security forces, and local residents, and on the morning of the 22nd of April, around 300 monks were forcibly removed from the Monastery. During the incident, two elderly Tibetans were beaten to death while attempting to protect the monks.
The severe clampdown continues in the region, as do mass arrests and violence. Those at Kirti Jeypa Monastery; Dharamsala, belive that:
"The current security campaign by the Chinese government is aimed to annihilate the very existance of Kirti Monastery, which is a great loss not only to the monks of the monastery, but to all the Tibetans and Buddhist community worldwide".
They also declared that:
"We, the monks at Kirti Jeypa Monastery, in Dharamsala North India, and Sukhe Kirti Monastery in Darjeeling, are organising an all monk Peace March from Dharamsala to Delhi. This march is aimed to express support to our bretherens and fellow monks in Kirti Monastery in Ngaba,Tibet".
"Through this march, we are putting forward three point demands to the international community and the Chinese governement:
1). We appeal to the peace and justice loving people, governments, parliamentarians, NGOs and particuarly out Buddhist brothers and sisters all over the worl, for extensive campaigns and to pressurize the Chinese government to immediatley stop the ongoing brutal crackdown in Ngaba.
2). We call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Tibet including the Panchen Lama and in particualr recently detained Tibetans from Ngaba including Lobsang Tsundrue and Lobsang Dhargay from Kirti Monastery
3). We urge the Chinese Government to respect human rights, freedom of expression and freedom of religion of all Tibetans inside Tibet. In particular the monks should be allowed to freely pursue their spiritual studies and be allowed to conduct the monastic administrative affairs in a free atmostphere for the wellbeing of resident monks and spiritual heritage of the monastery".
Scarves and blessings were issued to the 80 strong group of peaceful marchers, from groups including the TYC, and the Gu Chu Sum movement of Tibet. The group set off at around 11am this morning, carrying Tibetan and Indian flags, hoping to raise awareness for their cause.
The monks of Kirti Jeyap Monastery of Dharamsala highlighted as they left:
"We urge all the just and peace lovong people and governments worldwide to support our cause".