By Kalsang Rinchen
Dharamsala, May 16 – Chinese authorities in Tibet's Ngaba County have arrested a 39 year old Tibetan monk of Kirti monastery on May 6, a Tibetan source living here said.
Lobsang Khedup was arrested from his monastic quarter but reason for his arrest and his current whereabouts remain unknown, added the source.
In another incident of arrest emerging now after almost two months, a 60 year old Tibetan man named Gerik had ben arrested on March 19, a day before the exile Tibetans went to polls for their PM and members of the Tibetan parliament in exile. Gerik, who belonged to Ge Tsang family of pastoral division no.3, Me’uruma township, was suspected of passing on information about the situation in Ngaba to the outside world since 2008, and especially about the self-immolation protest by Kirti monk Phuntsok in March this year.
Gerik’s family members including his wife Donkho and children were harassed by Chinese authorities who arrested Donkho on March 20 and tortured her. His 23 year old daughter Metok was arrested on March 22 and eventually released on April 2 after suffering immense torture at the hands of prison officials, the source said.
As Tibetan monasteries and communities in Ngaba, especially Kirti monastery, remain under tight restriction, the Chinese authorities continue to subject monks and local Tibetans to long sessions of ‘Patriotic Reeducation' campaign which requires the Tibetans to denounce the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, among other conditions.
The Kirti monastery continues to be under strict control by Chinese security forces in yellow uniforms that was never seen before while armed soldiers hiding in military trucks parked around the monastery trying not be filmed or get pictures taken as evidence of armed troops' presence in the monastery are keeping a close watch on the monastery that has been the centre of political dissent since 2008. The situation at the monastery remains tense even as Tibetan exiles around the world continue to lobby for a peaceful resolution of the crisis there.
Chinese authorities tightened security and its stranglehold on Ngaba in general and the Kirti monastery in particular since the death of a Tibetan monk named Phuntsok that sparked off protests by Tibetans and a massive arrest drive by Chinese authorities since mid March.
Around 300 monks were forced into military trucks and taken to unknown location on April 21, 2011 and two elderly Tibetans among a group camped near the monastery were beaten to death while they tried to stop Chinese security forces from taking the monks away.
The Chinese authorities have made public a list of monks who are not present in the monastery and warned them against returning to the monastery. The doors of unoccupied monastic quarters have been sealed with notices reading “Not to be opened”.