News and Views on Tibet

Noted Tibetan writer’s fate hangs in limbo after two years of prison

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Dhi Lhaden in an undated photo (Photo/Tibet Watch)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, June 22: A noted Tibetan writer named Thupten Lobsang Lhundup, who goes by the pen name Dhi Lhaden, was reportedly arrested on unspecified charges two years ago and still awaits trial for his arbitrary arrest. According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), the writer was taken into custody in June 2019 when he worked at a private cultural education centre in Chengdu. Lhundup’s family was officially summoned by the Chinese authorities on Dec. 4 last year to discuss his case but they were not allowed to meet him since his trial was still pending.

The absence of a trial has been reported by a source in Tibet on the condition of anonymity, “It appears that someone told the owner of the cultural center about the teaching materials he was using, and so he was arrested.” The source also said that his friends and acquaintances remained quiet in hopes that he would be released but the condition of the detainee remains the same. “But his trial is still pending. No further information about him has been released, and no one has been allowed to meet with him at all,” the person further added.

Dhi Lhaden, a former Tibetan monk, was an intellectual and writer based in Golog, Tibet. Lhaden had studied in different monastic institutions from the age of 11; he also studied at Sichuan’s Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Academy, where thousands of resident monks and nuns were evicted by Chinese authorities. He taught Buddhism at Drepung and Sera monasteries in Lhasa in his late 20s, and later wrote and published books about the 2008 protests against government policies in Tibet.

Former monk Thupten Lobsang Lhundup also known by his pen name Dhi Lhaden in an undated photo

The underground writer’s first book Tsesok Le Trun Pe Kecha (Words Uttered with Life on Risk) was released on the third anniversary of the 2008 wide-range protests by the Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) in Mar 2011. His second book titled Tungol Trimtug (The Art of Passive Resistance) was also translated and published into English in June 2015.

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