Last year, carefully laid plans to demonstrate to Western and Chinese journalists that Tibetans were faring well under Chinese rule were subverted by a brave act of defiance on the part of 15 Tibetan monks at a monastery in Xiahe, in northwestern China. When the journalists arrived with their Chinese escorts, the monks unfurled banners of protest and the outlawed Tibetan flag. “We have no human rights now,” one banner read. From today’s New York Times:

That daring protest, in April 2008, was transmitted around the world by the journalists on the government tour, putting a dramatic face on Tibetan defiance. Chinese officials had brought the journalists to the sprawling Labrang Monastery, in the town of Xiahe to show that Tibetans were content under Chinese rule, despite the widespread Tibetan uprising the previous month. The enraged monks, about 15 in all, punctured the official narrative.

According to the Times, three of 15 monks have recently turned up in Dharamsala:

[T]he monks slipped out of their monastery, trekked into the mountains, slept in nomads’ tents, sneaked into Lhasa aboard a high-altitude train and crossed a raging river to Nepal. It was only here in a refugee center [in Dharamsala] that they could tell their tale to a reporter, opening a rare window into the deep-rooted resentment that bloomed last year into the largest Tibetan uprising in decades.

Read their tale here.

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