A Tibetan monk released from prison two days ago in southwestern China’s Sichuan province after serving a seven-year term for opposing Beijing’s rule in Tibetan areas has returned to his monastery, where he was openly welcomed without any police interference, according to a source in Tibet.
Ludhup Tendar arrived safely at Amchok Tsenyi monastery in Ngaba county, in Sichuan’s Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) prefecture Thursday after his release from Mianyang prison, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Upon his arrival, the representatives of seven branch monasteries and monks, as well as Tibetan community members both young and old, welcomed him home at different places along a 60-mile (97-kilometer) stretch to the monastery,” he said.
Later more monks and local Tibetans arrived at the monastery to welcome Tendar, he said.
Local authorities did not place any restrictions on the monastery or prevent the local community from publicly welcoming Tendar, he said, as is typically the case when a monk is released from prison.
“We did not see any police or security officials in the area around that time,” the source said. “[Tendar] is an accomplished member of the monastery and also well respected in the local community.”
Immediately after Tendar’s release, the monk had spent one night in the Sichuan capital Chengdu before setting out for Amchok Tsenyi monastery, he said.
Tendar, the chant leader at the monastery, was freed on April 1 after completing his full sentence, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Wednesday.
He had been handed a seven-year term in 2008 for taking part in area protests challenging Chinese rule, the source said.
Tendar’s release came a few days after police had taken four other monks and a layman into custody in Tibet’s restive Sog (Suo) county on unspecified charges following the roundup earlier this month of at least eight other monks from the same monastery.
The four were detained late at night on March 28 in Sog county in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Nagchu (Naqu) prefecture, Ngawang Tharpa, a Tibetan living in India, told RFA.
Chinese authorities provided no reason for their detention, he said.
Sporadic demonstrations challenging Chinese rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008, with 137 Tibetans to date setting themselves ablaze to oppose Beijing’s rule and call for the Dalai Lama’s return.
Reported by Kunsang Tenzin of RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.