Senior Tibet monks forced into new political education

TibetanReview: China has launched a new general crackdown on Tibet’s religious community, taking 14 leading monks belonging to the biggest of religious centres in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to a monastery in northern Tibet for political re-education, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Jan 30 and others. The 14 were summoned to a ‘special meeting’ on Jan 14 but were held as soon as they left their monasteries and remained disappeared.

The senior monks, who belong to Sera, Drepung, and Ganden monasteries and the Jokhang Temple in and around Lhasa, were later learnt to have been taken to Penkar monastery in northern TAR’s Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu) Prefecture.

Those taken away from Drepung Monastery have been named as Abbot Jampel Lhaksam, religious chant leader Ngawang, and teachers Ngawang Donden, Ngawang Palsang, and Ngawang Samten.

From Sera, the monastery’s disciplinarian Migmar, religious chant leader Samten, and teachers Ngawang Lodro and Tashi Gyaltsen have been taken away.

Likewise, from Ganden, senior monks Kalden and Lobsang Ngodrub were held.

And from Jokhang Temple, the detainees are Tseten Dorje, Lhundrub Yarphel, and Ngawang Lophel.

The new religious crackdown came ahead of the formal confirmation on Jan 29 of outspoken hardliner Lobsang Gyaltsen as the new governor of the TAR at the conclusion of the TAR people’s congress.

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