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Activist Groups Say Tibetans Tried to Block Demolition of Buddhist Statue by Chinese Officials

Activist groups say Tibetans made a rare protest to save a Buddhist statue from being destroyed near a
sacred mountain in Ngari prefecture in western Tibet.

The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy told VOA Monday that their organization has
received information confirming the reports. The Indian-based group's Vice director, Jampa Monlam,
said worshippers at the site tried to protect it from being destroyed, but Chinese officials and police
forced them to disperse.

The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet announced last week that the demolition
occurred on September 28th. The group estimates that 20 Tibetans formed a human shield around the
two-meter-high statue.

The statue of Padmasambhava, or Guru Rinpoche, was located in the town of Darchen near Mount
Kailash, a mountain considered sacred by many Buddhists and Hindus.

Padmasambhava is revered for bringing Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century.

ICT says a group of Western tourists who witnessed the demolition were stopped and asked to turn
over photographs of the incident.