Dharamsala, Feb. 4 – The situation in Dege Gonchen monastery, where gunshot incident was reported earlier, continues to deteriorate as tension escalated after scuffle between Chinese authorities and monks of the monastery.
According to Voice of Tibet
radio service, monks of Gonchen monastery and Chinese authorities clashed after Chinese government staff provoked the monks by partying in monastery campus with women cadres even wearing monk’s robes and dancing in front of the monks on January 27, second day of the Chinese New Year. The incident occurred at Chunakmar (spelled as pronounced), a monastery facility for performance of ritual dances like "Cham" (mask dance).
Citing a member of Tibetan parliament in exile, Juchen Kunchok, who was informed of the incident by sources in the area, the VOT reported that several monks were arrested in the aftermath of the scuffle.
Kunchok told VOT that a 93 year old monk named Lama Gala led around 200 monks in a protest against the Chinese government in front of the district administration. The monks demanded immediate release of those arrested threatening to take their own lives. Four days later on Jan 31, the monks were released but around 30 of them were severely wounded due to beatings and torture, according to Kunchok, who added that the situation in Dege is “very tense”.
It appears, however, that this incident and the reported gunshots in the vicinities of Dege Gonchen monastery on Jan. 27 and arrests thereafter of monks are interrelated
as they occurred on the same day at the same monastery.