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Tibetans, Supporters Held Kirti Protest March in Tokyo

Tibetans and Tibet supporters held protests Sunday at Jingudori Park in Tokyo to protest China’s ongoing lockdown of Kirti Monastery and clampdown in Ngaba county.

The protest was held to coincide with the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit in Tokyo.

About 85 Tibetans and Japanese protesters marched through the Meijidori street of Shibuya with Tibetan flags.

The Kirti monastery has been under guard since last month, when a 20-year-old monk named Phuntsog set himself on fire, dying later at a hospital. Tibetan exiles reported that area residents tried to block security forces from entering the monastery, and that police set attack dogs on the crowd and beat people.

The Chinese government also claimed last week that conditions at the monastery are normal. However a video obtained by VOA showed Chinese security forces patrolling near the monastery. It also showed the young monk covered with burns and apparently in shock before he died of his injuries.

Foreign journalists are rarely allowed to enter Tibetan areas, making it difficult to verify the claims of either the Tibetan exiles or the Chinese authorities.