A major Buddhist monastery in Tibet reopened this week five months after being shut by authorities during anti-government riots that rocked the region's capital, a staff member said Friday.
The Drepung Monastery, on the outskirts of Lhasa, reopened to dozens of visitors earlier this week and has been ``fairly busy'' since, said a staff member who gave only his first name, Luobu. He said the monastery will hold ceremonies Saturday as part of a larger religious festival.
monastery had been closed to the public since March 14, when monk-led protests against Chinese rule turned violent and businesses, shops and vehicles were looted and torched. Since then, Chinese authorities have sent investigative teams into the monastery to determine which monks took part in the protests and to carry out purges of suspected supporters of Tibetan independence.
Beijing banned foreign visitors and journalists from traveling to Tibet for months after the riots.
China poured tens of thousands of troops into Tibet and surrounding provinces to quash the demonstrations. Its harsh response garnered worldwide criticism, and several world leaders even threatened to boycott the Beijing Olympics, which ended last Sunday.