Saturday, 17 April 2010

Buddhist Monks Cremate Earthquake Dead

Local Monks in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Tibetan:Kyigudo) of Qinghai Province, (China) have been cremating the dead from the recent earthquake.

Tibetans in the region traditionally perform "sky burials," in which bodies are chopped into pieces and left on a platform to be devoured by vultures. But a monk, Zewang Jimei, said the large number of corpses made that impossible.

"There are not enough vultures for all these bodies, so the bodies will become very dirty and it is not good for the souls to rest in peace," Zewang said. "Therefore, we think the mass cremation is the best funeral for all these earthquake victims."

The Dalai Lama was born in Qinghai but has not set foot in China since a failed Tibetan uprising more than 50 years ago. Moved by the disaster in the overwhelmingly Tibetan area, the Dalai Lama said on Saturday that he would like to visit the site. His Holiness went on to say that, "I also applaud the Chinese authorities for visiting the affected areas, especially Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who has not only personally offered comfort to the affected communities, but has also overseen the relief work. I am very appreciative too that the media have been free to report on the tragedy and its aftermath."

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