China detains Tibetan official for advocating cultural preservation? A Tibetan youth in Nagchu Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region working as a government researcher has been detained after he expressed concern over the authorities’ closing down of Tibetan monasteries, reported RFA (Radio Free Asia, Washington) Feb 13. The researcher, Dawa Dorje, was reported to have been picked up from Lhasa's Gonggar Airport the week before.

The report described him as a popular advocate of Tibet’s traditional culture and language. He was greatly concerned about the effective closing down of Tibetan monasteries in Driru (Chinese: Biru) County of Nagchu Prefecture. Monks and nuns in many of the monasteries there had left their facilities in recent months, citing intolerable interference in their daily activities by Chinese authorities.

His whereabouts remain unknown, with his family being unable to locate him despite desperate attempts.
Dorje was reported to have flown in from Sichuan province whose Tibetan areas continue to be in turmoil amid a wave of self-immolations and protests. He had flown there to organize a conference to promote Tibetan culture. “He called for a conference of Tibetan singers and other Tibetans in Chengdu on Feb 1 and asked them to write and sing songs with themes that would promote the Tibetan language, race, and culture,” Rabgye, a friend of Dorje currently studying at Sera Je monastery in south India, was quoted as saying.

Dorje, a graduate from Tibet University, Lhasa, was reported to work as a researcher in the office of the county prosecutor in Nyanrong (Chinese: Nierong) County, Nagchu prefecture. He is said to have written several books on the preservation of the Tibetan language, the proper practice of Tibetan religion, and the importance of sending children to school. He had organized many conferences on these subjects.

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