Earlier there were 35 monks residing in Pangsa Monastery but it is reported that some have been imprisoned for political reasons and some have fled to exile to escape the “re-education” work team’s repressive policies, leaving 16 monks currently in the monastery.
On 2 September 1997, a six-member work team arrived in Pangsa Monastery, a retreat founded by Togden Jamphel Gyatso and situated in Tashi Gang township in Medro Gongkar near Lhasa.
When the monks refused to comply with the “re-education” principles the number of members was later increased to ten and it is reported that since the beginning of November 1997 the work team members have resorted to beating the monks.
Other orders issued by the work-team included the closing of a small shop in Tashi Gang which belonged to the monastery. An 18 year old caretaker monk called Thupten was strictly forbidden from attending regular prayers and ordered to prevent “common place” from visiting the monastery. When Thupten laughed off the order he was reported to have been severely kicked and had to be hospitalised.
All of the monks were prohibited from leaving the monastery; the doors were locked and the windows blocked and it is reported that some are still being held under these conditions. The monks were regularly called by the work team members and interrogated and beaten if they were not behaving “satisfactorily.”
The parents of the monks were also constantly called in to advise their children to obey the work-team. One young monk in particular refused to oppose the Dalai Lama. His father requested the work team not to punish the boy, explaining that his son must have had some influence from other monks in the monastery.
The boy became furious with his father for attempting to explain away his support for the Dalai Lama, enraging the work team so much that the young monk was brutally beaten. Many monks and parents who saw this wept.
The source reports that all of the monasteries in the Meldro area have been strictly instructed not to hold any religious ceremonies.