Update on Tibet Demonstrations, 1 July 2008

18 June 2008: Driru (Ch: Biru) County, Nagchu Prefecture, “Tibet Autonomous Region” – Four monks of Tarmo monastery arrested, their whereabouts unknown

Ngawang Gyalten (42), abbot and head of the Democratic Management Committee of the monastery, Ngawang Jampa (40), one of the heads of monastery, Ngawang Sangye (38) and Kalsang Lochok (20), all monks from Tarmo monastery in Driru county, were arrested on 18 June by the local Public Security Bureau when they reached the Nagchu prefecture. They were on way to Lhasa for some monastery works. It is unknown where they are being detained.

Their arrest was caused by an earlier incident. Following the March protests, the Chinese authorities deployed a huge contingent of forces and work teams in Sog Dzong (Ch: Sou), Drachen (Ch: Baqing), and Driru (Ch: Biru) counties in Nagchu prefecture, and also intensified the “patriotic re-education” campaigns.

When the work teams conducted “patriotic re-education” classes including denouncing His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Tarmo monastery in March, the abbot Ngawang Jampa stood up and confronted the members of the work team saying, “As we follow Buddha Dharma with His Holiness the Dalai Lama as our root guru, we can not denounce him. He should be welcomed back to Tibet.”

The work teams could not arrest him immediately due to the presence of a large number of monks. However, the work teams said that his offense would be dealt when they will again conduct “patriotic re-education” from 1 July.

He, along with other three monks, was arrested this time. They were accused of not seeking permission for leaving the monastery.

No Specific Date

Phenpo Lhundrup (Ch: Lingzhi) County, Lhasa Municipality – Released nuns being expelled from their nunnery

Many of the nuns from Shar Bhumba nunnery in Phenpo Lhundrup county, who were arrested for participating in a 2-day protest staged in Phenpo Lhundrup county in March, were released recently.

Due to a strong request from the local people and the nunnery, the local Chinese authorities could not stop those released nuns from re-entering their nunnery. However, they were expelled from the nunnery to their respective homes this month.

Similarly, the nuns of Phende Tse nunnery (a branch of Nalanda monastery) in the same county, who were arrested earlier, were released recently.

Moenpa (his nickname) and two others, all monks from the Nalanda monastery and who were arrested in April, were beaten by the People’s Armed Poice (PAP) after they were made to stand on their knees on the stones and their necks tied with automobile tyres. Though, they were released, their health has deteriorated due to such horrible torture.