Thousands protest in Ragya, monastery prefect among 5 arrested
Phayul[Sunday, March 22, 2009 16:36]
Kalsang Rinchen

Dharamsala March 22 – Monastery prefect (Tib:Gekoe) of Ragya monastery, Palden Gyatso, and 4 others have been arrested today by Chinese authorities, sources said.

Around two thousand Tibetans came out on the streets of Ragya yesterday immediately after the news of a Tibetan monk’s death spread among the residents. Protest demonstrations were carried out in front of the local police station and government offices. The angry protesters managed to snatch from police the Tibetan national flag that was earlier confiscated by the Chinese officials. click here for a poor quality video of the protest taken from a cellphone

The protest was sparked by the death of Tashi Sangpo, aged 28, who took his own life by jumping into Machu river yesterday after authorities allegedly found leaflets and the banned Tibetan flag from his room. Tashi was a monk of Ragya monastery which has remained under complete lockdown since March 10 when leaflets containing political messages were circulated in the monastery and the banned Tibetan national flag was hoisted atop the monastery’s main prayer hall.

Voice of Tibet radio reported, citing sources in exile with contacts there, that seven military trucks of troops have arrived in Ragya from Golok and more troops have been called from Xining.

Meanwhile, sources told phayul that Chinese authorities had arrested one more Tibetan named Golok Kunga Tsangyang along with Golog Jigme, the monk who assisted the filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen of “leaving fear behind”, on the night of March 17. (Phayul earlier reported the arrest only of Golok Jigme)

The two were Tibetan writers who allegedly wrote politically sensitive writings, according to sources.

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