By Phuntsok Yangchen
Khenpo Khedup (provided by source)
DHARAMSHALA, April 17: Chinese police in the Tibet Autonomous Region have arrested the abbot of Boeyak monastery in Menda town in Chamdo. Khenpo Khedup was arrested on April 13 as he was about to leave for Lhasa to attend a meeting of the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Buddhist learning centre, a source said.
The authorities were watching Khenpo Khedup, according to the same source, since Nov. 2011. Khenpo Khedup, known popularly as Chamdo Khedup, was imprisoned briefly for a month in 2013. He is currently held in a prison in Chamdo.
A Tibetan source said that Khenpo might have been arrested for initiating special prayers for Tibetans who have died for the Tibetan cause.
Meanwhile, three laymen - Phurbu, Trindu, Dadak – and a monk named Tendar have been arrested last week from Trido Township in Sog County. Sources say that the arrest of the three laymen could be due to politically banned contents in their cellphones while the monk might have been arrested in connection with the painting texts calling for Tibetan independence on an iron bridge in the town last month.
The authorities have stepped up surveillance and security around the town with strict monitoring of all movements and intercepting of communication lines in Trido Town. The same source said the authorities have set up three checkposts along the ten different villages of Trido township and another three between Trido and Drilda monastery which are only 12 kilometres apart.
Chinese government sees Driru, Sog and Nagchu as restive regions brewing anti government sentiments and activities in the Tibet Autonomous Region, whose capital Lhasa was the epicenter of the 2008 nationwide protests. A Tibetan source earlier told Phayul
that the Chinese government fears that instability in any of the counties of TAR could cause ripple effect in other areas in the TAR including Sog and Nagchu that have seen several anti government protests in the past.
131 Tibetans have resorted to self immolation as a form of protest against the Chinese government since Feb. 2009 when a monk named Tapey of Ngaba monastery immolated himself outside his monastery. Many of the self immolators have called for the return of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama and his long life.