China this week denied reports that it is using force to control Tibetan monks at a Buddhist monastery in Sichuan province. The standoff began after a young monk set himself on fire to protest China's policies in Tibet.
VOA's Tibetan Service has obtained a video showing the badly burned monk Phuntsog, sitting in a car shortly after his act of protest. He later died. The video show heavy security patrolling around the Kirti monastery and a large security presence in the area.
Chinese officials say conditions at the monastery are normal and supplies are allowed to enter the compound. Sources from Ngaba tells VOA Tibetan Service that the situation is far from normal.
The standoff began earlier this week, when hundreds of people living in Sichuan's Aba region converged on the Kirti monastery. They tried to stop police from taking away the monks for reeducation. As many as 2,500 monks are believed to be inside the locked-down monastery.
Tibet has been under Chinese control since 1950. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, lives in India. China accuses the Dalai Lama of stirring up violence in the push for Tibetan independence -- a charge he denies.