By Phuntsok Yangchen
DHARAMSHALA, November 2: Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet have arrested four Tibetan monks on alleged charges of sending information on the ongoing wave of self-immolation protests to outsiders.
According to exile sources, the monks of the Tsoe Gaden Choeling Monastery in Kanlho, were detained in separate incidents in connection with the self-immolations of Dolkr Tso and Tamdin Dorjee.
Lobsang Choephel was detained twice for allegedly sharing information on Dolkar Tso’s self-immolation protest with outsiders.
He was first arrested a day after Dolkar Tso’s self-immolation protest but was later released following a strong public outpour of support. Choephel was re-arrested on the same charges and his current wellbeing and whereabouts is unknown.
Dolkar Tso, mother of a 5-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son, set herself on fire
near the Tsoe Monastery on August 7, raising slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and shouted that there was no freedom in Tibet. She later succumbed to her injuries.
The monks at the Tsoe Monastery carried Dolkar Tso’s body inside the monastery premises and later carried her body back to her native village of Tasur, in Nawu Township, around 10 km from Tsoe.
In another incident, three monks of the Tsoe Monastery, Tenzin Tsundu, Losel, and Topden were arrested a day after Tamdin Dorjee set himself ablaze in protest against China’s occupation of Tibet.
Chinese security forces arrested the monks on alleged charges of sending information on the self-immolation protest to outsiders.
Tamdin Dorjee, 52, set himself on fire
on October 13 near the Tsoe Monastery and passed away at the site of his protest.
Tamdin Dorjee was the grandfather of the 7th Gunthang Rinpoche, one of the most revered religious leaders in the region. His body was later taken to his home, following which a prayer service was conducted by monks at the Tsoe Monastery.
The current condition and whereabouts of the arrested monks remain unknown.
Chinese authorities have arrested and sentenced Tibetans on alleged charges of contacting Tibetans outside Tibet and relaying information of the spate of self-immolations.
On June 18, Lho Younten Gyatso, 37, a senior monk at the Khashi Geyphel Samtenling Monastery, situated near Ngaba town in eastern Tibet, was sentenced to seven years
by a Chinese court for his involvement in sharing pictures and information on nun Tenzin Wangmo, who self-immolated on October 17, 2011.
He was also charged with sharing information since 2008 about political events in Tibet by attempting to make telephone calls to human rights mechanisms of the United Nations.