Special Branch of People's Armed Police (in blue) and People' Armed Police (in green) in Ngaba Town, eastern Tibet. (File Photo/Boxun.com)
DHARAMSHALA, August 18: Amidst reports of five fatal self-immolations, major public demonstrations, and the death of two Tibetan protesters in the past two weeks alone, Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet continue with their repressive measures and arbitrary arrests.
On August 12, three young monks from the Gyalron Tsodun Kirti Monastery in the Barkham region were arrested from their quarters on unknown charges.
In a release Friday evening, the exile base of Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala said the whereabouts and wellbeing of the monks remain unknown.
“Three Tsodun monks - Lobsang Sengye, around 19 years old, Yarphel, and Namsey, both around 18 - were arrested in night raids from their monastic quarters on August 12,” the release said. “No information on their whereabouts and wellbeing has been released.”
A few days later, on August 16, two more monks from the monastery were arrested on unknown charges.
“Thubwang Tenzin , 20 and Asung, 22, were arrested from their quarters on August 16,” Kirit Monastery said. “They have been untraceable since their arrest.”
The release added that local Chinese authorities continue to carry out a series of repressive measures, including heavy surveillance, interrogation and beatings at the Tsodun Monastery.
“Chinese security personnel, armed with weapons, have been carrying out raids every night in each and every quarter of the monks in the Monastery,” the release said. “The monks are being beaten and interrogated at gunpoint.”
Since March this year, three monks from the Tsodun Monastery have set themselves on fire demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama from exile.
On March 30, Chime Palden, 21 and Tenpa Dhargyal, 22, set themselves on fire protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet in Barkham. Chime Palden died a day after his fiery protest while Tenpa Dhargyal passed away a week later.
On July 17, Lobsang Lozin
, 18, self-immolated near the monastery’s main prayer hall and began walking towards the local Chinese office in flames before falling down. Lobsang Lozin succumbed to his injuries the same day.
Speculations are rife that the monks could have been arrested in connection with the earlier self-immolations, said the release.
Gyalrong Tsodun Kirti monastery is located some 80 kilometers to the north of Barkham town and is one of the biggest Gelug monasteries in Gyalrong region.