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Tibetan monk commits suicide following torture in Chinese police custody

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Shelkar monastery, Nubling township, Dhingri County in Tibet and deceased monk Tenzin Dorjee (Photo/Tibet Times)

By Tsering Dhundup

DHARAMSHALA, April 17: Tenzin Dorjee, 50, a Tibetan monk from Shelkar monastery in the so called Dingri County, Tibet, ended his life shortly after being released from Chinese police custody where he endured torture and mental anguish, reported Tibetan media house TibetTimes

Dorjee, who was detained by Chinese police in May 2023, allegedly for disseminating teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, faced interrogation and physical abuse before being set free. Despite his release, Dorjee’s mental anguish persisted, ultimately leading to his suicide on the 25th of the same month.

A relative of Dorjee residing in exile told TT, “Tenzin Dorjee is known for his knowledge of Buddhist texts, regularly shared teachings, including those of the Dalai Lama, with local communities. His actions led to his arrest and subsequent release, with authorities ordering him to cease religious activities under surveillance. The unbearable pressure pushed Dorjee to end his life”.

In the aftermath of his suicide, the source further added “Dorjee’s mother, Lhamo, has been deeply affected, struggling with mental health issues and receiving treatment in Lhasa. Described as the youngest and most beloved son among eight children, Dorjee’s death has left a profound impact on his family”.

The source further revealed that over the past few years, the Chinese government has been implementing policies against His Holiness the Dalai Lama and imposing heavy restrictions on religious activities in the border areas of Tibet and India.

The deceased monk Tenzin Dorjee of Shelkar monastery hails from Nubling township, Dingri county in Tibet. His father Ngawang Dorjee is aged 80 and his mother, Lhamo Nordon is aged over 70. They have 8 children and Tenzin was the youngest.

One Response

  1. Under dictator Xi Jinping, Tibet is under the most shocking oppression that the world has ever seen! For the Tibetan people, practising the Dharma is the most exalted deed one can perform in one’s life. There is nothing more important than the Dharma. In independent Tibet, one person among every ten Tibetans was either a monk or a nun. The monks and nuns are highly respected in the community just like other Buddhist countries in Asia like Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Laos! Laos is a communist country but they never destroyed their monasteries or killed their monks and nuns like the Chinese invaders did in occupied Tibet. This clearly shows, Chinese communists treated Tibet as a foreign country for which they had no respect or any affinity. Through their Han chauvinism, they dehumanised the Tibetans as animals like the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians. Just like Israel has reduced Gaza into rubble, the Chinese communists reduced Tibet to a wasteland owing to their arrogance and hubris! The Panchen Lama’s 60,000 word petition mentions the appalling atrocities the CCP committed on the Tibetans by “making the children of murdered parents walk over their dead bodies claiming the reactionaries have been eliminated”! They made monks and nuns copulate in public to humiliate the Tibetans and their religious beliefs! Nothing has changed from those dark days to the present day! They continue to demonise The Dalai Lama and suppress Tibetan Buddhism by destroying the very essence of the teaching which teaches compassion towards others into teaching Tibetan children hatred against the Japanese by showing crude alleged Japanese atrocities in China during the Nanjing massacre. Instead of teaching to revere the Dalai Lama they are taught to revile Him! Tibetan children including monks and nuns are forced to wear combat uniform. They are trained to hate the Japanese who they regard as the Chinese national enemy to become identical to Han Chinese in their outlook, costume and behaviour. This is how Tibetans are drilled Han nationalism in their young brains and transformed into Chinese which they are not! In the monasteries, there is patriotic education which teaches to love the CCP above everything else. According to the CCP manual of indoctrination, the monks, nuns and Tibetan children as well as adults are taught that between the sky and the earth, there is only the CCP. They are taught to love the CCP more than their mothers and fathers!!! They are taught they can betray their parents but not the CCP! This is the indoctrination which is now rampant across occupied Tibet and that religion is poison and therefore, young minds must not have any contact with Buddhism or adherents to Buddhism such as monks and nuns. The monasteries are nothing but show cases for the tourists and the monks are controlled by a CCP committee which runs the monasteries not as learning centres but revenue collection centres for the local CCP branches. The case of preventing Tibetans from practising their Dharma is not new. There was reports of an elderly man being prevented from practising Dharma through surveillance. He was extremely distressed since he couldn’t practice the dharma as he was ought to in preparation for his death. In occupied Tibet, the CCP has massive surveillance system in the streets, monasteries and even private homes are not spared. China is the most surveillance orientated country in the world with two hundred million cameras! Tibetans are spied upon even in their homes and their homes are bugged in order to extract information from Tibetans suspected of having links with exiles. It is unbelievable a fifty year old monk who was tortured and mistreated to commit suicide after he was released! We can understand if he attempted to commit suicide in detention because of the terrible torture and interrogation but committing suicide after release is somewhat incomprehensible! The reason why he was forced to commit suicide therefore could be that he was banned from practising his Dharma which would be a death sentence for a practitioner! It would mean life is worthless without the holy Dharma! In Tibetan Buddhist belief committing suicide is a grave injunction. It is said that if one commits suicide as a human being, it is akin to rejecting ones present human life. This, therefore is said to create a bad karma of not being able to return to human existence for five hundred life times! That is why there were hardly any suicides when Tibet was independent. After the Chinese occupation and unimaginable atrocities, whole families jumped from roof tops, from cliffs and into rivers to kill themselves rather than live under the horrors of communist Chinese monstrous occupation! I feel sick in the stomach when we see some Tibetans visiting occupied Tibet and show off their travels as if nothing has happened there! It’s shocking that human beings have such short memory!

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