Agam's Gecko
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Rongbo Monastery
Buddhist monks and nuns of Rongbo Monastery feed the yaks after a snowfall at the highest monastery in the world (5,100 metres). A Chinese climbing team has been at 6,500 metres for at least two days as they await weather gods' cooperation for their ascent with Her Flaming Harmoniousness. The mountain deities are not smiling on this colonial desecration of the Tibetans' holy mountain, Chomo Langma (Everest).
Photo: REUTERS / David Gray

lthough the pop media still seems to be ignoring the fact, protests are still continuing in Tibet, and not just by the mountain deities.

On April 28 , nuns of Shugseb Nunnery and monks of Gangri-Thoekar Monastery in Chushul County, Lhasa held a peaceful protest. Nineteen nuns and four monks were arrested and are detained at Chushul County prison in an unknown condition.

It all started on March 10, the day many peaceful demonstrations by Buddhist clergy took place in many parts of the country, to mark the 49th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Nineteen nuns of Shugsep Nunnery on that day mounted a peaceful march from their institute to Nyen Thangla Chenmo. All were arrested and kept in Chushul County prison. After the arrests, all the nuns' sisters at Shugsep protested and demanded their release, or they would mount more protests. "Work teams" sent to quell the situation failed, and the armed police forces were sent in.

The detained nuns were later released on March 15, but on that same evening some unknown, masked people reportedly beat up officials of the "work teams." The nuns of Shugsep were suspected to be behind this, and further restrictions were imposed on them. Around the beginning of April, more "work teams" came to harass the nuns and force them to denounce Dalai Lama, provoking the protest and arrests on April 28.

A former abbot and the current chant master of Zakhog Monastery in Derge County, Kardze, Kham (Ch: Sichuan) were arrested on the night of April 26. The following night around midnight, a tutor and two others from the monastery were also arrested (the two others were later released). Earlier in April, pro-Tibetan independence flyers were distributed in Derge County.

In Sershul County, Kardze on April 26, monks at Bada Samdupling Monastery, Tzenda township, refused to sign the statements required by their "work team," and walked out of their "patriotic" re-education session, marking its total failure. Three of the monks from this institution were arrested in Lhasa during protests there in March.

On April 18 we carried the reports of a large protest a few days earlier at Phenpo Lhundup County, Lhasa, which resulted in around 250 arrests and a few badly beaten and injured people who were later released. During the first half of last month nearly all the nuns of Shar Bhumpa nunnery had been arrested, leaving only 7 remaining at the institution out of the 60 who normally studied there. One of those arrested nuns, Tsering Lhathog, was badly tortured and suffered a serious head injury. She was released to Jang Ga-shang Hospital.

It is now reported that a nun from Shar Bhumpa (not clear if it's Tsering Lhatog) who was severely injured after her arrest and admitted to hospital, was then discharged from that hospital in a very bad condition. She is now in critical condition at the County Hospital.

It was also previously reported that a night-time raid at the huge Labrang Monastery in Sangchu County, Kanlho, Amdo (Ch: Gansu prov.) on April 14 took in around 200 monks for detention. This after authorities assured foreign journalists that there would be no retaliation for the Labrang monks' display of their true feelings to journalists during a state-managed media tour on April 9. On April 15 morning a large group of unarrested monks demanded release of their brothers, and all but three were released.

It is now reported that late that same night, a Chinese police raid on the monks' quarters took in more of them for detention. Among them were three monks who were so severely hurt by Chinese police after their arrest, that they were admitted to hospital. No further information is available.

In the current smashingly unsuccessful "patriotic" re-education campaign (this time in Rawa township, Sog County, Nagchu prefecture), 52 year-old Chambu Gudup protested against the Chinese government while the class was being held. He is now under arrest. Detention for "misbehaviour in class" has a whole different meaning for Tibetans, not to mention the considerably more brutal punishments, than what I remember from my misbehaving in class days.

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