Bora Monastery monk arrested on unknown charges

Phayul: In continuing crackdown and arbitrary arrests of Tibetans in Tibet, a monk from the Bora Monastery in Sangchu, eastern Tibet has been arrested by Chinese security personnel for unknown reasons.

Kalsang Gyatso, 28, was arrested from a public place in the nearby town of Tsoe at around 8:30 p.m. (local time) on August 28.

In reports received by Phayul, Kalsang Gyatso and a few of his friends had taken a day’s break from the summer retreat (Tib:Yarney) to finish some chores in the town when he was picked up.

Sonam, an exiled Tibetan living in south India, citing contacts in the region, said that Gyatso was forcibly taken away in a police vehicle even as his friends tried to rescue him.

“Gyatso’s friends tried to pull him away from the police and even stood in front of the police vehicle but he was taken away,” Sonam said.

The arrested monk’s family members went to inquire about him with local authorities the next day, but they were unable to secure any information.

Gyatso’s well being and whereabouts remain currently unknown.

It is being widely suspected that Gyatso was arrested in connection with anti-China protests that shook the region earlier this year.

On March 20, more than 100 monks from the Bora Monastery had marched towards the township-level government buildings carrying Tibetan flags and pictures of the Dalai Lama calling for freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama.

The next day, Chinese security officers entered the Monastery at around 2 am (local time) and
arrested 40 monks, prompting a gathering of a large number of monks calling for the immediate release of fellow monks.

The local security officials, fearing more protests, released all 40 monks a few hours later, but told the monks to make “personal statements” admitting that they have made a “mistake” which they will not repeat in future.

Bora monastery has faced heavy restrictions since the 2008 uprisings in Tibet. The restrictions were tightened after Losar, Tibetan New Year this year when monks in the monastery displayed a picture of the Dalai Lama.

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