Update: Tibetans win stand-off with Chinese military

19th July 2012

Villagers successfully prevent Chinese security forces from entering monastery

More details have emerged following the death of Lobsang Lobzin, an 18-year-old monk who set himself on fire on 17 July inside the Tsodun Kirti Monastery.

Chinese security forces immediately made their way towards the monastery but were prevented access by a group of Tibetan villagers.

Human shield

People from the local villages created a human shield at a bridge which is the only access point into the monastery. They had reportedly said they were willing to die to prevent forces getting through, fearing that monks would be forcibly detained.

Chinese forces back down

Members of the monastery’s management committee came to the bridge to resolve the situation.

After negotiations, Chinese forces agreed not to enter the monastery and the villagers left the bridge. Chinese security forces remain in the area, stationed by the river.

Water burial

Lobsang Lobzin was given a water burial in the river flowing near the monastery. Local Tibetans went to the monastery, offering butter lamps and praying for him. Shops and restaurants in the area were closed as a mark of solidarity.