Monks Spoil China's PR Tour

Press visit disrupted by crying Tibetans
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2008 11:37 AM CDT
Monks Spoil China's PR Tour
Chinese paramilitary police patrol on a street in Lhasa, capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Thursday, March 27, 2008. A government-managed visit by foreign reporters to Tibet's capital backfired Thursday when Buddhist monks disrupted the tour, screaming that there was no religious freedom and...   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Tibetan monks burst into a carefully choreographed Chinese media event yesterday, breaking the image of restored calm China had hoped to project. China had allowed a small group of foreign reporters into the region, but even as one monk at Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple was expounding on the return to normalcy, 30 younger monks burst in, shouting “We want a free Tibet!”

Some of the monks were crying as they accused the authorities of lying, reports the Financial Times. “We know we will probably be arrested, but we have to keep fighting,” said one monk. China had hoped the tour would provide an international PR boost. Foreign media have been barred from Tibet ever since trouble began there. (More Tibet stories.)

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