By Tenzin Zompa
Kelsang Lhamo in an undated photo at Shigatse. photo-VOT
Dharamshala, June 26: The family of a Tibetan woman from Nyalam County in the so called ‘Tibet Autonomous Region’ is facing interrogation by the local Chinese police after she escaped to India for the third time.
Kelsang visited Tibet twice since 2008 to meet her ailing father and managed to flee twice. However, her family now suffers repeated pressure and interrogation from Chinese authorities, according to Voice of Tibet radio.
Her family members were detained and interrogated for three consecutive days while her younger brother was beaten up by the local police.
Kelsang Lhamo who is currently in South India told VOT, “Despite the harsh interrogation and daily visits to my house by the police, they also suspended all the basic rights and privileges for my family members.
“During the last month’s hunt for cordyceps or yartsa gunhu, which is a primary source of income for many Tibetans, the Chinese government permitted 400 Tibetans of my district to collect the worm but they made sure none of my family members were granted the permission which was a great loss to my family’s livelihood.”
She further adds, “My sister’s business also went into loss after the Chinese government restricted her and all of my family members from going to Nepal to do business”.
Kelsang recalled that during her visit to Tibet in 2015 to see her ailing father she kept the picture of His Holiness in her cell phone. She also shared and circulated the image of His Holiness with the Tibetans in Tibet through various social media.
She continues, “After hearing about circulation of the image from some sources, the Chinese police officers severely interrogated me for keeping and sharing His Holiness pictures. They asked me about the type of organisations I work with in exile and confiscated my phone and travel documents,
“I was not allowed to move out of Shigatse, a city located at the south-west of Lhasa, and was kept under close monitor”, said Kelsang.
On a religious tour to Toe-Ngari, Kelsang was forcefully arrested by the Chinese police who later questioned her alleged connection with the Tibetan Government in Exile, her meeting with His Holiness and the reasons for coming back to Tibet. She was later forced to sign a 10 paged document without revealing its content to her.