By Kalsang Rinchen
Yankyi Dolma (undated photo)
Dharamsala, December 7 – A Tibetan nun from Kardze county died early Sunday in a hospital in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, sources in exile said.
A nun of Kardze Lamdrag nunnery, Yankyi Dolma, 33; was arrested on March 24, 2009 after she and another nun, Sonam Yangchen, staged a protest against the Chinese government at the Kardze market square.
“China out of Tibet, let the Dalai Lama return to Tibet, stop religious persecution in Tibet,” she shouted while throwing up pro-independence leaflets in the air, according to a statement issued by the Trehor Welfare Society here.
Around 50 armed soldiers beat up the two nuns severely and took them away in a waiting van. Authorities later that night ransacked Yankyi's home and took away photographs of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, the statement added. Her parents and family members were rebuked for having links with the “exile separatist forces of the Dalai Lama”. The Chinese authorities summoned her brother Tsangyang Gyatso to the local administrative office the next day and questioned him for hours.
Exile right groups fear that she had succumbed to her injuries sustained through beatings and torture while in prison. Tenzin Choeying of Students for a Free Tibet, India, said, “The Chinese soldiers beat her up mercilessly in broad daylight in market area of Kardze town. And we can well imagine what they could do behind closed doors of prison.”
Yankyi was handed over to the Kardze Intermediate People’s Court on August 24, 2009. However, it is not known if the court had passed any sentence on her.
Yankyi was born to Gendun Dhargye and Pema Khando of Hormeytsang family of Roltsa township in Kardze county, Kardze"TAP", Sichuan Province. She became nun at the age of 17.
The Tibetan Women’s Association, Students for a Free Tibet, National Democratic Party of Tibet, and Gu Chu Sum movement will hold a candle light vigil later today from McLeod Ganj main square to Tsugakhang courtyard to pay respects to Yankyi.