Attack on Serthar Monastery
Over the past few weeks, we have heard many references to a Chinese attack on the monastery in Serthar, Sichuan in 2001. Evidently, the Chinese felt the large monastery complex was growing too quickly, so they decided to go in and blow big sections of it up.
Many Tibetans we have met have asked us to share the story with our friends and family abroad as they feel like media in the outside world has grown tired of the Tibetan issue. In addition, they feel increasing Chinese economic power and influence is pressuring western media to skip over such critical stories – especially in light of the Olympics.
I am continually fascinated by the number of people we have met who very aggressively criticize the Chinese government. When they discover that I speak Chinese (most don’t speak English here), it is like a flood gate opens and every frustration they have ever felt comes rushing out. I really feel for these people – they seem to be crying out for help, but they represent such a small minority that nobody is listening to them.