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China detains a monk and puts monastery under strict surveillance
Phayul[Sunday, March 24, 2013 22:35]
DHARAMSHALA, March 24: A Tibetan monk from Tongkyab Monastery has been detained by China’s People’s Armed Police or PAP in Gade County in Golok in eastern Tibet earlier this month.

Tritsun, 26, was arrested by Chinese authorities on March 11 for unknown reasons. However, it has been reported that his detention may have to do with a book he authored and published in March.

Titled Denpai Khalang or Vapour of Truth, the book was released on 8 March at Tongkyap Monastery and contains essays on self-immolation protests in Tibet. It also has the biography on Lama Sopa, an reincarnated lama from the monastery, who died in a self-immolation protest last year.

Tritsun is a native of Gyagor Mema nomadic camp of Dokha Village in Gade County.

Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), while confirming the reports about Tritsun's detention, said that he has been kept incommunicado that has severely affected his aged mother, Phagmo, who is the only family member.

“Tritsun’s detention took place when he was visiting his aged mother who lives near Tongkyap Monastery,” said TCHRD.

It is also reported that a large number of armed forces have been deployed to Tongkyab Monastery, which is now under strict surveillance. Deployments of police apparently began following a prayer ceremony held to observe the 54th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day and 5th anniversary of 2008 protest on March 14.

The monks at the monastery were pressurized by Chinese authorities to voluntarily turn themselves if they had, in any way, morally or materially, supported or aided the publication of the book and warned against holding prayer ceremonies describing it as “against the law.”

The authorities “further warned that going against the law would result in the confiscation of IDs of registered monks. The fate of unregistered monks at the monastery remains unknown at the moment.” TCHRD added.

Tongkyap Monastery has about 200 monks, half of whom are officially registered i.e. they are approved by the Chinese government with special ID cards. Lack of such official IDs are not considered as monks of the monastery and can face expulsion.
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