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China continues crackdown on Tibet's monasteries PDF Print E-mail
[6 September 2012] The Chinese government continues its crackdown on Tibetan religious institutions considered to be responsible for the ongoing protests and self-immolations across Tibet. Further arbitrary arrests have taken place in the past 10 days and Kirti monastery in Ngaba, eastern Tibet, is being subjected to additional intense security measures.

Ngaba arrests I Kirti surveillance I Bora arrest I Zilkar arrests I Take Action

Arrests follow self-immolations in Ngaba

Lobsang SangyalOn 28 August, 22 year-old monk Lobsang Sangyal (pictured right) was arrested at his residence in Kirti monastery, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), Amdo (incorporated into China's Sichuan province). The arrest came the day after the joint self-immolation of Lobsang Kelsang and Lobsang Damchoe. Lobsang Sangyal is a close cousin of Lobsang Kelsang. Though it is not known on what charges Lobsang Sangyal was arrested, it is likely to be on suspicion of assisting Lobsang Kelsang's protest. Lobsang Kelsang's roommate, Lobsang Palden, was arrested on 27 August.

The Chinese authorities also arrested 60 year-old layman Jayang Khyenkho from his home in from Kanyag village, Totsig township, Ngaba county, on 28 August. It is understood Jayang was arrested for sharing information to individuals outside Tibet.

The current whereabouts and condition of both Jamyang and Lobsang Sangyal are not known. (Sources: TCHRDRFA I Phayul)

Kirti monastery under tighter security

Following a series of self-immolations in August outside Kirti monastery in Ngaba, the Chinese authorities have tightened security even further at the religious institution. Structures have been built around Kirti monastery to house additional security personnel, in order to increase the surveillance of the monks and those in the vicinity of the monastery. Armed police are permanently stationed at each of the four gates to the monastery.

Kirti monastery has been under virtual lockdown over the past 12 months, with the presence of armed forces, restrictions on movement and regular interrogations of resident monks. (TCHRDRFA)

Bora monk arrested in Kanlho

Kalsang GyatsoKalsang Gyatso
(pictured right), from Bora monastery, Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) prefecture, Amdo (Ch: Gansu province), was arrested by Chinese police on 28 August. The 28 year-old monk was in the nearby town of Tsoe with friends when he was forcibly detained. The reason for Kalsang's arrest is not known, but it may be in connection with protests earlier in the year. On 20 March about 100 monks from Bora monastery took to the streets carrying Tibetan national flags to protest against China's rule. (RFA (end)Phayul)

Zilkar monks arrested in Tridu

On 1 September, hundreds of Chinese security forces raided Zilkar monastery in Zatoe (Ch: Zaduo) town, Tridu (Ch: Chenduo) county, Jyekundo (Ch: Yushu) prefecture, Kham (incorporated into China's Qinghai province). Five monks were arrested and dozens beaten as the monastic residences were searched.

Monks from Zilkar monasteryThe five arrested monks (pictured right) are Sonam Sherab, aged 45, Lobsang Jinpa, 30, Tsultrum Kalsang, 25, Ngawang Monlam, 30 and Sonam Yignyen, 44. There has been no further information on their condition or whereabouts since their arrest.

The reasons for the raid and arrests are not known. However it has been speculated the monastery may have been targeted for its involvement in recent self-immolations. On 20 June Tenzin Khedup and Ngawang Norphel self-immolated together in Zatoe town, and a week later Dickyi Choezom self-immolated in Jyekundo.

The monastery is understood to have performed funeral ceremonies for Tenzin Khedup and Ngawang Norphel which were not authorised by the Chinese government. Also it is believed that some of the Zilkar monks may have contacted foreign media sources about the self-immolation protests. One monk is believed to have been arrested for possession of photos of the Dalai Lama and another for taking photos during the raid.

Tridu county was the location of a mass protest earlier this year. On 8 February approximately 400 monks held a solidarity march, which was eventually halted by Chinese security forces. It is not clear if Zilkar monks participated in the march. (TCHRDRFA I Phayul)

Take Action

Write to Mr Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, urging the Chinese government to:

► clarify the condition and whereabouts of the following Tibetans who have been detained recently, and to clarify the reasons for their arrest: Lobsang Sangyal and Lobsang Palden (from Kirti monastery in Aba); Jayang Khyenkho (Kanyag village, Totsig township, Aba); Kalsang Gyatso (Bora monastery in Gannan); Sonam Sherab, Lobsang Jinpa, Tsultrum Kalsang, Ngawang Monlam and Sonam Yignyen (Zilkar monastery in Chenduo).

► release all the monks, nuns and lay-people who have been detained and imprisoned for peacefully protesting or arbitrarily arrested since March 2011, provide independent legal counsel for all those facing charges and allow family visits;

► respect the fundamental rights of the Tibetans, in particular the freedom of expression and to freedom to practice their religion;

► open Tibetan regions to international scrutiny, in particular allow access to foreign media, humanitarian agencies and independent observers.

See also action points from 30 August.

Address: Ambassador Liu Xiaoming
Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China
49-51 Portland Place
London W1B 1JL
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If you receive a reply from the Ambassador please send a copy to Tibet Society.

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