News and Views on Tibet

China arrests 17 Tibetans in Driru

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DHARAMSHALA, November 8: Chinese authorities have reportedly arrested seventeen Tibetans including three women in Tenkhar village, Shamchu town in Driru County, Kham.

In two days, fifteen Tibetans were arrested by Chinese security personnel and Armed Forces in Tenkhar village, Shamchu town in Driru County, Kham. The fifteen arrested Tibetans were identified as Sarkyi, 49; Tsophen, 47; Yangkyi, 25; Tsering, 22; Tsering Phuntsok, 21; Tador, 21; Kundak 17; Gabuk, 41; Tenpa, 22; Thupchen, 27; Soeta, 25; Tsering Jangchup, 21; Jigme Phuntsok, 23; Lamsang, 24 and Tsewang Lhakyab, 19.

According to Ngawang Tharpa, a Tibetan living in exile with close contacts in the region, a large number of Chinese officials from County and Township arrived in Tengkhar on Sunday to conduct thought re-education on the Tibetans but then local Tibetans questioned the Chinese authorities on the arrests of Tibetan writer Tsultrim Gyaltsen and his friend Yougyal which later turned into a heated argument between Tibetan and Chinese authorities.

On October 11, Tsultrim Gyaltsen and Yougyal were arrested by Chinese authorities in Driru County on charges of “disturbing the social stability” and engaging in “splittist activities”. Gyaltsen was also accused for his involvement in the hunger strike by hundreds of people outside a Chinese police station demanding release of a Tibetan man named Dorje Dragtsel.

Current condition and whereabouts of Gyaltsen and Yougyal remain unknown.

The same source also noted that two other Tibetans Kunchok Jinpa and Dhargye, who were arrested earlier on charges of sending information to outsiders continued to remain missing since their arrest.

Situation in Driru have remained tense since the Tibetans refused to hoist Chinese flag atop their houses a day before China’s national day on October 1.

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