DHARAMSHALA, November 1: Three Tibetans - two monks and a layman - have been detained on unknown charges by Chinese security personnel from Trido town in the Sog region of Kham, Tibet on October 26.
The arrested have been identified as Thubten Nyendak, 34, and Tsewang, 24, both monks of Drilda Monastery and Phurbu, 27, a lay Tibetan.
Ngawang Tharpa, an exiled Tibetan, while citing unnamed sources in the region, said the reason for their detention was not clear.
“Although no clear reasons are known to the families about the detention, local Tibetans believe that it is either linked to an earlier incident of pro-independence protest in Drilda Monastery in December last or to the recent twin self-immolation protests by Tsepo and Tenzin,” Tharpa said.
The same source added that military presence in the area has increased in recent days and Drilda Monastery continues to remain under constant surveillance by Chinese authorities stationed inside the monastery premises.
The two cousins, Tsepo, 20 and Tenzin, 25, set themselves ablaze near a Chinese government building in their home village of Nagro Phampa village in Driru on October 25.
According to eyewitnesses, Tsepo and Tenzin called out for Tibet’s independence, for all Tibetans to unite, and for the return of the Dalai Lama from exile as they set themselves alight.
Wangyal, a Tibetan living in New Delhi, who is a cousin of the two self-immolators, told Phayul that Tsepo died on the way to hospital while Tenzin was taken away by Chinese government officials. His current wellbeing and whereabouts still remain unknown following severe restrictions and clampdown on the internet and telephone communications in the region.
The three arrested Tibetans from Trido town were natives of the twin self-immolator’s village.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, while speaking at the Regional Council of Piemonte, Torino, Italy this month said the self-immolations inside Tibet will stop when China stops its repression.
“Political repression, economic marginalisation, environmental destruction and cultural assimilation in Tibet by the Chinese government are leading to self-immolations by the Tibetans,” Dr Sangay said.
62 Tibetans inside Tibet have set themselves on fire since 2009 demanding freedom in Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.