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Human Rights Update 1997

“Re-education” extends to Hermits

A 30-year-old monk (name withheld) from Ewang monastery (popularly known as Chonang monastery) of Phuntsokling township under Lhatse county arrived in India in July 1997. He described how now even religious hermits are being forced to break vows and leave their retreats in order to attend Chinese “Re-education” sessions. The monk disclosed the circumstances by which he was compelled to leave his monastery. “I first joined the monastery at the age of seven. Only 17 monks are authorised to register in my monastery and although at present there are 37 monks in the monastery, the extra 20 live in secrecy. …

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Chinese taxation and the life of a Tibetan nomad

Heavy taxes imposed by the Chinese authorities do not spare the poorest people of Tibet: the Tibetan nomads. Meat and “milk” taxes mean that a family may not have enough for long and savagely cold winters. Twenty-five-year-old Kalsang Tenzin is from Lungbo Tha, Bo Ra shang (township) in Sangchu county under Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (now incorporated into Qinghai province). Kalsang Tenzin joined elimentary school at the age of seven and studied there for three years. In school he was taught Chinese, Tibetans and mathematics but had to discontinue his schooling when the heavy taxes imposed by the Chinese authorities …

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Three new Gutsa prisoners

A recent arrival from Tibet has reported the cases of three new prisoners currently detained without charge in Gutsa, the Detention Centre for the prefecture of Lhasa, located about five km from the city. Phuntsok Wangdu, a 30-year-old Ganden monk from Medro Gongkar, Gyama County, was expelled from Ganden Monastery in 1989 and came to India. After a short stay in India he returned to Tibet in 1994 where he was actively engaged in political activities including the preparation of prisoners lists for prisons in Lhasa and in Powo Tramo, 500 km east of Lhasa. PLA officials searched for Phuntsok …

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