Beijing: Earthquake survivors say it was the
Tibetan monks who helped first, bringing food, pitching tents
and digging through rubble after disaster hit far western
China a week ago, killing thousands.
Now the Buddhist monks who responded first are being
pushed out of the disaster area and off of state media,
apparently sidelined by Beijing`s unease with their heroism
Monasteries were given verbal orders the last two days to
recall their monks. Amid hours of coverage for China`s
national day of mourning today, no monks were visible in the
It was a jarring omission in light of their contributions
to the weeklong rescue and relief effort following the quake,
which killed 2,064 people and injured more than 12,000 others.
Tsebtrim, an ethnic Tibetan who works as a translator in
Yushu, the county in Qinghai province hit hardest by the April
14 quake, was among thousands left homeless. He recalls
heading to the local horse racing grounds shortly after the
earthquake with hundreds of others who heard it would be a
safe place if the local dam broke.
"There were these monks from Sichuan`s Ganzi who had put
up all these tents, 100 tents, in just a couple of hours and
they provided drinks and food," said Tsebtrim, 31, who like
many Tibetans goes by just one name. ``That night, a lot of
people didn`t have a place to stay so I am really glad those
monks showed up."