Sunday, February 1, 2009
Two monks arrested in Tsawa Pashoe
Two Tibetan monks from Tsawa Pashoe Mera monastery in Chamdo prefecture of the Tibet Autonomous Regionhave been arrested by Chinese authorities on the evening of January 29, Voice of Tibet radio service reported citing sources with contacts in the area.
Tenzin Choephel, 16, and Lobsang Gyaltsen, 20, protested in front of the Pashoe county administrative office on Thursday evening, a monk of Sera monastery in south India told VOT.
The two monks chanted slogans like “independence for Tibet” and “wake up Tibetan brothers and sisters”. The source also said that Anam, the head of monastery, has also been reportedly detained.
“The situation in Tsawa Pashoe County is very tense, and there appears to be a strong restriction on the movement of people in the area.”It is, however, not known where the monks have been held currently. The source says they might have been taken to the county prison. “It is difficult to attain a detailed information on happenings there as everything is being monitored by the authorities.”
As the Tibetans all over pledge to skip the Tibetan New Year in mourning of the victims of last year's March unrest in Tibet, Chinese authorities are said to be deliberately encouraging Tibetans to celebrate the coming Tibetan New Year with pomp and festivity, in some cases even giving out gifts and special presents to encourage celebrations.
Earlier in Tsawa Dzogang, a Tibetan youth named Pema Tsepak died after succumbing to injuries sustained during beatings and torture. Pema was among seven Tibetans arrested this month in two separate incidents of protests in Tsawa Dzogang. Three were later released. They were calling for boycott of the Tibetan New Year, independence for Tibet, and return of the Dalai Lama.
China is gearing up its security in the restive Tibetan plateau ahead of the region’s most politically sensitive anniversaries in years, with state media saying at least 81 people have been detained just last week in the Tibetan capital under "Strike Hard" campaign.