Dharamsala, March 26 – In a move that places the Chinese government in an embarrassing position, the family of Tashi Sangpo, a monk who jumped into Machu river killing himself after he was accused of possessing anti government leaflets and the banned Tibetan national flag, was offered monetary compensation of two hundred thousand Chinese Yuan, a prominent Tibetan Lama living in a Tibetan monastery in south India told the Voice of Tibet radio service today.
China earlier denied that the monk had died of suicide saying that the monk fled the scene after swimming out of the river. The Chinese official news agency Xinhua cited a Tibetan woman who it said had seen the monk flee.
Shingsa Rinpoche, an exiled head Lama of Ragya monastery to which Tashi Sangpo belonged, told the VOT that it is clear the Chinese authorities have now accepted the fact the his follower Tashi sangpo had died despite various reports appearing in Chinese media that Tashi swam out of the river.
The woman who had reportedly seen the monk flee is now in police custody, according to Shingsa Rinpoche who said he got his information from his contacts in Ragya.
Chinese authorities, who earlier denied that Tashi had committed suicide, now are compelled to accept his death after his robe was found on the riverbank, Shingsa Rinpoche added.
Shingsa Rinpoche further said nine monks were earlier arrested in the protest demonstration that erupted after Tashi’s suicide, adding that seven of them have been identified so far. Palden Gyatso, Mengak, Sherab, Tsuiltrim, Jamyang Khedup, , Soepa, and Gyaltsen are currently in custody with two yet to be identified.
Tashi Sangpo was an orphan and is survived by his 84 year old grandmother and 5 siblings