A Tibetan teenage monk staged a lone protest by shouting slogans against Chinese rule and carrying a portrait of the Dalai Lama in a restive Tibetan-populated county in Sichuan province before he was beaten and taken away by police at the weekend, sources said.
Lobsang Tenpa, a 19-year-old monk of Kirti monastery in Ngaba (in Chinese, Aba) county, protested Saturday on the main road in the county which had been renamed by Tibetans as "Heroes Street" after it became a regular venue for self-immolation protests against Chinese rule, the sources said.
His head wrapped around with a hand-drawn Tibetan national flag, Tenpa shouted slogans calling for "freedom for Tibet" and "the return of [Tibetan spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama to Tibet," a local Tibetan source told RFA's Tibetan Service.
"Soon after, the police arrived, beating and detaining him," the source said.
'Ill-intended' Chinese policy
Lobsang Tenpa in an undated photo.
Tenpa protested against the "profoundly ill-intended" Chinese policy on Tibet, said Lobsang Yeshi and Kanyak Tsering, monks of the exile Kirti monastery in India's Dharamsala hill town, where the Dalai Lama lives.
"Tenpa wrapped a hand drawn Tibetan flag around his head, held a photo of the Dalai Lama in his hand and shouted slogans and walked for some time," the monks said in a statement.
"Not long after, the police detained him and whisked him away," Yeshi and Tsering said, citing local contacts.
Tenpa, who came from village number 2 of Meruma town under Ngaba county, was enrolled in Kirti monastery at a young age, they said.
Monks at Kirti monastery have been at the forefront of protests against Chinese rule before the authorities raided the institution in 2011, taking away hundreds of them and sending them for "political re-education" while local Tibetans who sought to protect the monks were beaten and detained, drawing worldwide condemnation.
Last month, a 20-year-old Kirti monastery monk, Lobsang Palden, died after self-immolating on “Heroes’ Street” to mark the anniversary of a March 16, 2008 crackdown in which Chinese police opened fire on a crowd of protesters, killing at least 10.
A total of 131 Tibetans have set themselves ablaze in self-immolation protests calling for Tibetan freedom since the wave of fiery protests began in February 2009, with another six setting fire to themselves in India and Nepal.Reported by Lumbum Tashi for RFA's Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Parameswaran Ponnudurai.