Authorities in southwestern China’s Sichuan province have detained two Tibetan monks living in Ngaba prefecture, taking them separately into custody on charges that are still unclear, sources in the region and in exile said.
The present condition and whereabouts of both remain unknown, sources said.
Lobsang Dargye, 35 and a monk at Ngaba’s restive Kirti monastery, was taken away by police at night on May 23, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“He had been arrested once before and was sentenced in 2011 to a three-year term in prison, and after serving his three years he returned to Kirti monastery to continue his studies,” RFA’s source said.
No word was immediately available regarding why Dargye was detained, but local police had required the monk after his release to regularly report to them on his daily activities, the source said.
“He never complied with this order,” he said.
“This may have been the reason they detained him again,” the source said, adding, “Apart from this, he is not believed to have engaged in any illegal activities or broken any laws.”
Dargye’s Kirti monastery has been the scene of repeated self-immolations and other protests by monks, former monks, and nuns opposed to Chinese rule in Tibetan areas.
Politically sensitive writings
Just over a week before, Chinese police detained another Ngaba monk, the monk’s cousin living in Paris said.
Jamyang Lodroe, a monk at Ngaba’s Tsinang monastery, was taken into custody sometime during the evening of May 14 in front of the Barkham (in Chinese, Ma’erkang) county People’s Hospital, the source named Choephel said.
His whereabouts, too, remain unknown.
Though the reasons for Lodroe’s detention are still unclear, “local Tibetans believe it may have been because of his writing and publication online of politically sensitive articles, and because he had shared these with other Tibetans,” Choephel said.
"He is 35 years old, and his father’s name is Tsakto and his mother’s name is Chokre.”
Sporadic demonstrations challenging Beijing’s rule and calling for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008.
A total of 145 Tibetans living in China have now set themselves ablaze in self-immolations since the wave of fiery protests began in 2009, with most protests featuring calls for Tibetan freedom and the Dalai Lama’s return from India, where he has lived since escaping Tibet during a failed national uprising in 1959.
Reported by Kunsang Tenzin and Sonam Lhamo for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Dorjee Damdul. Written in English by Richard Finney.