By Tenzin Monlam
Tibetan singer Kalsang Yarphel garlanded with ceremonial scarfs following his release from the prison. Photo-TCHRD
DHARAMSHALA, July 10: Popular Tibetan singer from Machu County, Kalsang Yarphel, has been released from prison after completing his four-year prison term today.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights & Democracy posted a picture of Kalsang being welcomed with khatas (traditional wellwishing scarf) upon his release. As of now, there is no information about his physical condition though he looked healthy.
Kalsang Yarphel before his arrest/file
Kalsang was arrested in 2013 for organizing musical concerts with a theme to promote Tibetan language. Public Security Bureau officials from Sichuan County arrested him from Lhasa on July 14, 2013. He was then taken to Chengdu, Sichuan Province, where he had been under detention.
The singer, in his early-forties, was accused for of organizing ‘Khawai Metok’ (Snow Flower), a series of concert aimed at encouraging people to speak and write Tibetan and also to work towards unity among Tibetans.
A portion of his lyrics says, “Tibetans. We must learn Tibetan, speak Tibetan, It is our responsibility to learn and speak Tibetan. Tibetans! We must unite.”
The Intermediate People’s Court in Chengdu, Sichuan Province sentenced him to four years' imprisonment for his songs on November 27, 2014. The Tibetan folk singer has many popular songs to his credit such as ‘The Homeland of the Gesar of Ling,’ ‘Modern Tibetans,’ and ‘Dragon’s Thunder Welcomes the Spring’.
Kalsang is a native of Mukhag Tara in Machu County. Yarphel, son of Gonpo Tseten and Makho, is married to Tsezin Palmo, and has three children aged 21, 19 and 18.
Yarphel has a sizeable fan following in Tibet, especially in Machu County. He started singing at the age of 15 and has released several records till date.