DHARAMSHALA, October 27: A Tibetan monk of Drilda Monastery in Tibet’s Sog County arrested in March this year has been sentenced to twelve years’ imprisonment by a Chinese court, Ngawang Tharpa, a Tibetan with contacts in the region, said.
Tsangyang Gyatso, who was the chantleader of his monastery in Trido Township, was arrested on March 17 from Trido Township along with three others, Tsewang, Atse and Gyaltsen. The exact reasons, however, for the arrest was not known.
Tharpa said though the exact date of the sentencing is not known his source estimated that around 26 days have passed since the verdict was announced. Tharpa added that the Gyatso was charged for his “separatist” motives and “plot” to protest against the government.
Six other monks of the same monastery were severely beaten after they had approached the authorities with an appeal to release the four monks on March 19.
Weeks before Gyatso’s arrest the authorities had arrested five other Tibetans for sharing “banned contents” on micro-messaging service WeChat and four on suspicion of their involvement in painting a graffiti reading "Tibet is an independent" on an iron bridge near the town.
On March 20, Tibetans including women and elderly members of Trido Township approached the Chinese authorities for the release of the six monks. The six were later released.