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Situation in Ragya tense, exiles mourn
Phayul[Monday, March 23, 2009 18:39]
By Kalsang Rinchen

Dharamsala, March 23 – The situation in Ragya remains tense as around hundred Tibetans were arrested yesterday following what Xinhua, the Chinese state media, describes as an ‘attack’ on police station and exile right groups call mass protests after a reported suicide of a young monk due to Chinese torture.

Tenzin Choeying, the president of Students for a Free Tibet, India, said the reports appearing in Chinese state media are "blatant lies aimed at diverting the world media attention from the death of an innocent monk under Chinese atrocities."

"The whole of Tibet is locked down, with journalists having no access to Tibetan areas. The information that the journalists sitting in Beijing get are the lies churned out in Chinese state media like Xinhua which says the Tibetan monk did not commit suicide."

Thousands of Tibetan residents of Ragya in Machen County rose up against the authorities Saturday after a 28 year old monk of Ragya monastery reportedly killed himself by jumping into Machu river.

Sources told the Dharamsala based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy that leaflets and posters were circulated containing messages that read, "It is better to die for Tibet and her people than being duped by the monetary rewards of the Chinese government".

The Centre said, citing sources that Tashi Sangpo who committed suicide on Saturday was “severely subjected to harsh beatings and inhumane torture”.

Tashi Sangpo was born in Gartse Village in Kaba Sum-dho County, Tsolho "Tibet Autonomous Prefecture" ("TAP"), Qinghai Province. His father's name was Dolma Kyap and mother's name was Phagdron. He joined Du Kor House, Ragya Monastery in his early years before moving to She-rig Norling House in Ragya Monastery.

Meanwhile, exile Tibetans and foreign supporters carried out a candle light vigil here today to mourn Tashi's death and express solidarity with the Tibetans in Ragya.

Click here for an updated report with pictures of the 6 monks of Lutsang monastery who were not among the 103 monks earlier released after days of patriotic reeducation. The 6 are still held under custody, according to the latest information.

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