Dead body of Norpa Yonten who was killed in Chinese police firings on January 23, 2012 in Dragko.
DHARAMSHALA, June 2: Four months after torturing a Tibetan monk to death for his alleged role in a peaceful protest, Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet recently revealed that the monk was no more.
Tsering Gyaltsen, 40 from Kham Dragko monastery was arrested on February 9, following the mass protests in Dragko on January 23.
“It was reported at that time, that his back was broken due to beatings by the Chinese police. Other than that, his condition and whereabouts were virtually unknown,” the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration said in a release yesterday. “Now it is reported that he died on the same day he got arrested in a nearby hospital due to severe injuries.”
Tsering Gyaltsen was born in Dragko Norpa in Kham to Sangdor and Tsemo.
Hundreds of Tibetans had come out on the streets in Dragko on January 23, the first day of Chinese New Year, calling for Tibet’s freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile. Chinese security personnel retaliated by firing indiscriminately at the unarmed demonstrators, killing and injuring scores of people.
Chinese authorities in the region led a large man hunt, killing and arresting Tibetans suspected of participating in the protest.
On February 9 itself, Chinese security personnel killed two brothers, Yeshi Rigsel and Yeshi Samdup in their mountain hideout. Rigsel was carrying a bullet wound that he sustained during the demonstration.
During the shootout, their 70-year old mother Ama Sang Lha and another brother Yonten Sangpo had also suffered bullet injuries. Ama Sang Lha was shot in the arm and was later forced to undergo an amputation.
On March 29, Gonpo Rigzin, 25, stabbed himself to death in Dragko when Chinese security personnel came to arrest him for participating in the protest.
Gonpo Rigzin had told his family members that he would rather kill himself than get arrested and tortured by the Chinese police.
Chinese courts in the region have sentenced 16 Tibetans to varying prison terms – from nine months to life-imprisonment, including both monks and laymen, for their ‘involvement’ in the January 23 protest.