By Phuntsok Yangchen
DHARAMSHALA, May 19: A Tibetan monk has been arrested in Tawu County in eastern Tibet while commuting on his motorbike on Monday.
Tsewang Choephel, a monk of Nyitso monastery in Tawu, was detained and his condition and whereabouts remain unknown as of now. Choephel is a native of Masur village in Tawu County.
Citing its source, Dharamshala based Tibet Express
reported that Chinese authorities arrested Choephel under suspicion of his role in protesting against the local police following another monk's self-immolation protest.
On December 23, 2014, Kalsang Yeshi, a 37-year-old Tibetan monk of Nyitso Monastery, set himself ablaze in front of the police post in the premises of the monastery. Chinese police arrived at the protest site and took away Yeshi’s charred body.
Following Yeshi’s protest, around a thousand local Tibetans gathered outside the Tawu County police station demanding that the authorities return the body to the family, however, ignoring the Tibetans appeal, the Police forcefully cremated Kalsang Yeshi’s body in an electric crematorium and family members of the deceased were forced to throw the remains into a river at gunpoint.
Kalsang was held in high esteem by the local Tibetans for his contribution towards the preservation of Tibetan culture and religion. He taught Tibetan and Buddhism to local Tibetans, especially elders and children.
Since 2009, 139 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet protesting against China’s occupation of Tibet and its hard-line policies in Tibet.