Chinese authorities are believed to have removed restrictions placed on a respected Tibetan spiritual teacher once jailed for making contacts with the Dalai Lama, allowing him to travel to his monastery and resume his teachings in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, sources said this week.
Lama Dawa Rinpoche, 79, believed to have been placed on medical parole after receiving a seven-year jail term in 2010, traveled to the Shak Rongpo Gaden Dhargyeling Monastery in Shakchu township in Nagchu (in Chinese, Naqu) county last week, the sources said.
He was welcomed by hundreds of Tibetans in the area who had previously appealed to the Chinese authorities to allow him to return home.
“Tibetan devotees eagerly waited for the return of the Lama Dawa and warmly welcomed him with ceremonial scarves in their hands filled with joy and veneration,” Ngawang Tharpa, a Tibetan living in exile in India’s Dharamsala hill town, told RFA’s Tibetan Service, quoting local contacts.
“After a lengthy detention, Lama Dawa returned to the monastery on Aug. 5 with permission from the Chinese authorities and resumed his teachings to the Tibetans.”
It is not immediately clear why the Chinese authorities allowed Lama Dawa to return to the monastery after stripping him of all his positions and barring him from visiting and maintaining contacts with the institution following his arrest in 2010 for allegedly contacting Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Lama Dawa was accused of communicating with the Dalai Lama, who is living in exile in India, over the search for the ninth reincarnation of the spiritual head of Shak Rongpo monastery.
Chinese authorities closed the 300-year-old monastery indefinitely in July last year after monks from the institution left to escape harassment and political education sessions, sources said.
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