The Jokhang temple is closely monitored by way of guards and safety cameras. In 2008, dozens of clergymen at the temple staged a surprise protest in entrance of overseas newshounds on a government-organized talk over with, provoking the cautious stagecraft in their talk over with.
Protests broke out within or close to the Jokhang temple in 1988 and 1989, prompting the authorities to prohibit an annual prayer collecting, referred to as Monlam, which takes position at the finish of the Tibetan New Year festivities, Robert Barnett, knowledgeable on fresh Tibet residing in London, mentioned by way of electronic mail.
“The Jokhang is seen as the most sacred shrine in Tibetan Buddhism, and for centuries it’s been the focal point of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists,” Mr. Barnett mentioned. “For many people, it is the primary symbol of Tibetan cultural and religious heritage.”
Word of the fireplace first unfold on Chinese social media services and products, the place customers shared footage and video of flames and smoke emerging over the temple in the middle of Lhasa, the ancient capital of Tibet.
But a lot of the footage of the fireplace have been temporarily taken down, and a few Tibetans in a foreign country mentioned the Chinese authorities might censor the pictures to minimize any injury.
The reliable experiences didn’t specify which a part of the temple, which covers greater than six acres, have been broken by way of the fireplace. Some accounts shared on Chinese social media instructed the blaze had damaged out in an aspect corridor or annex, most likely a housing space, which used to be now not part of the major development that Tibetans bring to mind as the middle of the Jokhang.
The centerpiece of the temple is a glittering statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha, the founding father of the faith. In busy months, guests pack the temple and surrounding maze of slim streets.
“Generations of Tibetans have traveled to Lhasa, prostrating as they go, just to make pilgrimage to the Jokhang, and to the statute of the Shakyamuni Buddha,” Ms. Woeser, the creator, mentioned.