By Phuntsok Yangchen
DHARAMSHALA, December 10: Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet have arrested three Tibetan monks for their reported role in sending out information on the recent mass students’ protest in the Chabcha region of Tsolho.
The three monks of the Chamru Monastery have been identified as Sungrab Gyatso, Dragsang, and Yeshe Sangpo. Chinese security personnel arrested Sungrab Gyatso on December 1 while Dragsang and Yeshe Sangpo were picked from their Monastery two days later.
The current condition and whereabouts of the monks remain unknown.
Speaking to Phayul, Mogru Tenpa, a Tibetan parliamentarian said that according to local Tibetans, the monks were arrested for their reported involvement in sharing information and pictures on the students’ protest.
On November 26, over a thousand Tibetan students from the Chabcha Sorig Lobling School staged a major protest rally against the Chinese government, raising slogans calling for freedom, equality of nationalities, freedom of language, respect for truth, and re-establishment of governance.
Chinese armed forces used violent force to break up the demonstration, injuring many young protesters and hospitalising around 20 students. The school was subsequently placed under complete lock down and Chinese security forces barred students from meeting their parents and relatives.
The next day, three of the medical school’s students, Wangchen Tsering of Ba County, Mama and an identified student were arrested in connection with the protest.
Last week, Chinese authorities arrested seven more students, suspected of leading and organising the protest rally. According to exile sources, one of them was taken into custody from a hospital where he was undergoing treatment for injuries received during the protest.
The identities and wellbeing of the arrested students remain unknown. According to reports, the students were interrogated, tortured, and barred from having any visitors.
The protest were triggered after local Chinese authorities distributed a ten-point political questionnaire to the students, critical of the self-immolation protests in Tibet and gave “patriotic education” sessions that contained disparaging remarks against His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In 2010, more than 2000 students in Chabcha had protested against the Chinese government’s plan to remove Tibetan textbooks from schools. Last month, thousands of students in Rebkong had carried out a massive protest demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama.