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    » 08/18/2012, 00.00

    TIBET - CHINA

    Mystery surrounds the fate of five Tibetan monks arrested by Chinese police



    Three young monks were detained on 12 August; two more were taken 16 August. All were arrested in their monastery. Police action stems from their alleged involvement in recent self-immolation. The TCHRD reports a situation of extreme tensions.

    Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - The fate of five young monks detained during night raids at the Gyalrong Tsodun Monastery in Barkham County (Ngaba, Sichuan Province) remains unknown. Lobsang Sangay, 19, Yarphel and Namsay, both 18, were taken into custody by security personnel on 12 August 2012 from their cells. Nothing is known of their current condition and whereabouts. On Thursday, two more monks, Thupwang Tenzin, 20, and Asong, 22, were also taken from the same Buddhist monastery.

    Sources told Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD that the monks were arbitrarily detained on the suspicion that they were involved with the recent self-immolation protests that occurred at Tsodun Monastery in March and August this year. However, it is not clear on what charges were laid against the five young monks. There is also no information on where they are being held.

    Last Monday, two young monks set themselves on fire to protest against Beijing. In view of the situation, Chinese authorities have increased their security presence and enhanced surveillance around Tsodun monastery, which is home to about 300 monks.

    Special military and police forces have been deployed in and around the site with heavy restrictions placed on the monks' movements. The situation as "tense and urgent," this according to eyewitness accounts.

    Ongoing protest and appeals by foreign organisations and governments have not influenced Chinese police, which continues to arrest and detain anyone who demonstrates.

    Beijing's grip on the Tibetan people has instead been tightened, leading some scholars to say that Tibetans are victims of what amounts to outright colonisation.

    In fact, not only have Chinese authorities banned the teaching of the Tibetan language and religion, but they have also imposed unfair development policies that favour ethnic Han settlers and continue their attacks against Tibet's cultural and intellectual elites.

    This has pushed dozens of young Tibetans, both monks and not, to choose self-immolation as an extreme form of protest. Since the start of this year, dozens have chose fire as a means to protest against Beijing's dictatorship and demand the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

    Contrary to Beijing's attacks that describe the Dalai Lama as supporting "terrorists, criminals or mentally ill people," the Tibetan spiritual leader has never encouraged such extreme forms of revolt. He has however praised the "courage" of those who make the ultimate sacrifice, which is the result of the "cultural genocide" currently taking place in Tibet.

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    See also

    21/07/2011 CHINA-TIBET
    China sentences two Tibetan monks to three years in prison
    Lobsang Gyatso, and Lobsang Khedup belong to the monastery of Kirti, target of Chinese repression. They were arrested in May 2011 and held incommunicado for two months. Neither the charges, nor the reasons for the decision have been disclosed.

    30/03/2009 CHINA - TIBET
    No Dalai Lama at the Second World Buddhist Forum
    Beijing is not inviting the Dalai Lama, because he is "a political leader." Great spectacle and pomp, but the delegates complain of the purely political significance, and the lack of genuine exploration. Meanwhile, Tibet will reopen to tourists in April.

    14/03/2008 TIBET – CHINA
    Dalai Lama “concerned” about violence in Tibet caused by Chinese repression
    The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and head of Tibet’s government-in-exile urges protesters not to resort to violence, calling on Beijing to respond with dialogue to the remands made by protesters. Unconfirmed sources claim that ten people have died in the clashes.

    23/12/2008 CHINA – TIBET
    Tibetans sentenced to years in prison
    China is detaining and sentencing people who protested in Tibet and Sichuan against police violence and for greater freedom. At the time the incidents had led to worldwide protests which worried Beijing.

    25/03/2008 CHINA - TIBET
    Intellectuals and dissidents ask China to reconsider the "errors" committed in Tibet
    Writers, activists, lawyers, artists press Beijing to open a direct dialogue with the Dalai Lama, and demand full religious freedom for Tibet. The official propaganda - as crude as that of the Cultural Revolution - incites racial hatred.



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