A family celebrates Dalai Lama's 80th birthday as per lunar calendar, June 21, 2015
DHARAMSHALA, June 26: A Tibetan man has been arrested for sharing a picture of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama and the banned Tibetan national flag on micromessaging app WeChat in the restive Rebkong County as Tibetans around the world celebrated the 80th birthday of the Tibetan leader as per the Tibetan lunar calendar earlier this week.
“Tsering Dondrup, 25, of Dugkar family in Manggo village, was detained for posting images of the Tibetan flag and the Dalai Lama on WeChat. It is unknown where he is being detained or how he is being treated,” the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said in a release Thursday.
The TCHRD also said that the Tibetans in Rebkong were banned from taking part in a series of events planned for the celebrations of the Tibetan leader’s 80th birthday as per tradition of Ghyatoen on June 20 to June 21 .
The Chinese government authorities are already on high alert keeping a close watch on the movements and activities of Tibetans ahead of the Dalai Lama’s international birthday falling on July 6.
The only rights group run by Tibetans said the public was also prohibited from attending events at monasteries and even frisked by the police. “The detention of Tsering Dondrub may well be the tip of the iceberg, and more Tibetans may have been detained or are in danger of getting detained since it has increasingly become a standard practice for the local Chinese authorities to punish Tibetans when the world is not watching,” the release said.
The TCHRD expressed concerns that the repression against the Tibetans is likely to increase as the July 6, the birthday of the Tibetan leader as per international calendar, approaches near. Tsering Dondrub’s detention was accompanied by officials blocking public gatherings and patrolling of Tibetan areas by vehicles specially equipped with digital surveillance equipment, according to TCHRD.
TCHRD urged the People’s Republic of China to respect Tibetans’ rights to freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, thought and expression, and the related right to privacy.
Chinese police fired upon Tibetans celebrating the Dalai Lama’s 78th birthday in Tawu County in 2013.