News and Views on Tibet

Three former prisoners from Drago monastery in critical health

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Image representational (Photo/ICL stock)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Feb. 22: Three senior monks from Drago monastery are in critical health condition after their release from prison four years ago, Tibet Watch has learned. The three monks belong to the same monastery in Drago where scores of Tibetans were reported to be arbitrary detained following the demolition of two large Buddha statue in the region last year.

Tsewang Namgyal, Dalha and Tengya served 6-year prison sentences from 2012 and were finally released in 2018, but the three of them was reportedly subjected to extreme torture, including forced labour and inadequate food in prison. The trio was released in poor health and their condition has deteriorated since.

In 2012, mass protests erupted in the streets of Drago County in January where local Tibetans called for freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, invoking the same demands made in the 2008 uprising. The sources said that monks are suffering from “crippled legs, organ damage, insomnia, constant headaches, and loss of mobility” as a result from sustained torture in custody. The county has made headlines in the last few months for the destruction of two giant Buddha statues in the region, which led to several arrests of locals suspected of sharing those photos of the demolition outside Tibet.

Military trucks arrive in Drago county after protests in Janaury 2012 (Photo/Tibet Watch)

Tsewang Namgyal was the former principal of Gaden monastic school which was forcibly closed in November last year. He was released crippled and was also forced to sign a letter that listed orders of further limitations on his freedom of movement. Dalha was the monastery accountant, and upon his release, he was found to be blind and had to undergo organ transplantation. The abbot of the monastery, Tengya’s hearing ability was impaired and his body was paralysed.

36 people were charged between January and April 2012 for protests in Drago, and were found guilty of crimes during that period. “Most of the 36 prisoners were sent to Bamey Prison and Dhardo Prison, where they were forced to undergo what China calls ‘reform through labour’ without sufficient food provisions. All of them were beaten in prison and ordered to do heavy manual labour,” the report further revealed.

The families of the three prisoners were only allowed to visit them once a year or once every two years, as per the findings. These three monks’ families only learnt upon their release that the food or money left for them during those rare family visits never reached them.

One Response

  1. The bulldozing of holy Buddha statues and arresting monks, nuns and ordinary people for showing their revulsion at the dastardly act of the CCP sex slave owner is mind blowing. This regime is the most corrupt and most violent regime in the annals of world history. It’s murderous reign has massacred 80 million people in a short span of seventy years!
    The policy of the CCP is to completely destroy the culture, religion of the Tibetan people and transform us into Chinese so there will be no danger of separation. Besides, the sex slave owner regime’s fundamental policy is mono culture. It doesn’t tolerate any other culture other than the majority Han culture. It therefore cannibalises all the other cultures of occupied nations such as Tibet in order to absorb them into main stream Chinese culture. This is how they are committing genocide in Tibet and East Turkistan. The Manchu’s who once ruled China have now disappeared and have been totally subsumed. The malignant CCP is now subsuming Tibet and East Turkistan in the same Chinese mould and leave no trace of our ancient culture, religion and language. They are arresting intellectual cum high Lamas like Go Sherab Gyatso in order to curb the spread of the Buddhist teachings. It takes at least two decades of intensive study to qualify for a Geshe Degree and qualify to be a teacher. When, they come out to teach either out of the monastery or in the monastery, they are spreading the Dharma among the public or to the young monks and nuns. This is how the Buddha’s teaching is passed from one generation to the next like a wheel which rolls from one place to the other. The symbolism Buddhist monasteries have on their rampart with two deer like animals holding the Dharma Chakra (ཆོས་འཁོར་)is to demonstrate the passing of Buddha Dharma like a rolling wheel from one generation to the next. They are not dears but are called རི་དྭགས་རུ་རུ་ There is a beautiful story of sacrifice behind the story which would be too long to narrate here.
    When such quality teachers are incarcerated, the public suffers from lack of teachers and the monastery suffers from having good teachers to both teach and act as role models for the up coming younger generation. The CCP sex slave owner murderous regime wants to gradually destroy the lineage of the Buddhist teachings by silently killing them through torture during incarceration and often administering poison under the guise of treatment to cause slow death by asphyxia, heart attack and kidney failure which happened to Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. This is another sinister tactic of the evil CCP to eliminate those who are perceived as dangerous to its interests. Those who have often died after release from Chinese prisons have all fallen victim to this insidious tactic of the CCP.
    We cannot be a silent spectator when our most cherished patriots are liquidated by the sex slave owner CCP criminal syndicate. How can we sit back and do nothing? Put yourself in their shoes and think what you would expect the exiles to do for you in such a veritable hell!
    The exile Government is in hibernation! It’s policy is: do nothing, see nothing and say nothing while our brothers and sisters are suffering under the most brutal regime on planet earth. Can we go on like this and expect things to improve in Tibet?
    Definitely not! We are not only the country which has been under foreign occupation. Almost every country has experienced foreign occupation but they fought the occupiers. They sacrificed their lives so that future generations can live in peace and dignity with the ownership of their country. Our host India was under foreign occupation until 1947. Before the British, they were under Mogul occupation. They never thought they were going to live under foreign occupation. They never thought that the enemy was too powerful so they have to concede their sovereignty to the occupier. They fought tooth and nail to regain their country and they did. Why are we Tibetans such timid creatures who are ready to hand over our country to an alien force who are out to eliminate us for good? What happened to the martial valour our ancestors have exhibited to built the mighty Tibetan empire?
    The time has come to elect a Sikyong who stands for complete independence for Tibet. The geopolitical scenario is fast changing. There is real danger of war in Europe on Ukraine. The Russians have dismembered Ukraine by annexing Crimea and recognising Ukrainian territory of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states. Since, communist China is in cahoots with Russia, what is China’s view of the separation of Donetsk and Luhansk being independent of Ukraine? If China recognises the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, the US might take reciprocal action to recognise Tibet’s independence in retaliation. As China and the US are in a fight undo death, the US will be inclined to punish both protagonists. Russia with severe sanctions and support for the Chechnya independence Movement and China with support for Tibet’s independence. Tibet has always been independent and reasserted its independence in 1913 while Chechnya declared independence in 1991.
    The CCP has been emboldened by the non-action of the Tibetans and have now taken Tibetan good-will as a sign of capitulation. The present declaration of war on Tibetan culture, religion and language are the consolidation of Chinese power in Tibet. They plan to completely eradicate the Tibetan people’s unique culture, religion and language to supplant Tibet and make it China like they did with Manchuria. If we want to regain our country from the clutches of the CCP sex slave owners, the time to do so is here. The Indian Governments surprise acknowledgement of a diseased Tibetan soldier belonging to Assam Rifles is another indicator in our favour. Opportunity comes once in awhile. We must seize the moment before it’s lost.

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