By Phuntsok Yangchen
File photo of arrested Tibetan singer Chogsel
DHARAMSHALA, August 18: Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet have arrested another Tibetan singer and banned him from singing on charges of threatening social stability.
The Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration said that Chogsel was arrested on July 29 from a cyber café in Siling city.
A veteran of four albums, he was currently working on his next album in collaboration with other famous Tibetan singers.
His first album titled ‘Dream of the ruddy faced Tibetan’ contains a tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
As a consequence, Chogsel’s later albums were banned from sale and were confiscated by authorities from shops. A restaurant owner was also fined for playing his songs.
He has been accused of “inciting separation within nationalities” through his songs, and banned from singing. Facing imminent arrest in his hometown of Kham Nagshoe, the singer was forced to remain in Siling for the past two years.
There is no information of his whereabouts and wellbeing since his arrest.
Chogsel’s arrest is part of a wider crackdown on Tibetan intellectuals, writers, and artists, including singers and filmmakers.
Tibetans promoting Tibetan national identity and culture have been the target of China’s ongoing onslaught on intellectuals, especially after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
On April 19, Lo Lo, a well known Tibetan singer was arrested in Yushul region of eastern Tibet on suspected charges of singing songs calling for Tibet’s independence.
The 29-year-old singer’s arrest came months after he released an album titled “Raise the flag of Tibet, sons of the snow.”
The title song of the album calls for independence of Tibet and reunion of the Tibetan people – messages that are common to the slogans raised by the 50 Tibetans who have self-immolated in Tibet since 2009.
“To promote loyalty to the Land of Snows, For the complete independence of Tibet, With a realised understanding of our objectives, Raise the flag of Tibet- sons of the snow,” a portion of the lyrics reads.
In mid February, another popular Tibetan singer, Ugyen Tenzin was arrested for praising the Dalai Lama and the elected leader of the Tibetan people, Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay.