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Ancient Tibetan monastery under siege over reincarnation issue; mother of two attempts suicide protest

Lama Dawa Rinpoche (full name: Dawa Rinpoche Khenrap Wangchuk Samten Tenpai Gyaltsen Pel Sangpo) was detained and sentenced to 7 years in prison.
Lama Dawa Rinpoche (full name: Dawa Rinpoche Khenrap Wangchuk Samten Tenpai Gyaltsen Pel Sangpo) was detained and sentenced to 7 years in prison.

A Tibetan monastery with over 300 years of history has been shut down indefinitely after Chinese authorities attempted to impose its own choice of reincarnation on the monastery in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

Shak Rongpo Gaden Dhargyeling Monastery, located in Shakchu (Ch: Xiaqu) Township in Nagchu County, has been under intense pressure and restriction since 2010 when local authorities arrested and sentenced a senior spiritual teacher, Lama Dawa Rinpoche, to seven years in prison on charges that he contacted His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the search for the ninth reincarnation of Rongpo Choeje, the head lama of the monastery. The previous eighth incarnation of Rongpo Choeje passed away on 14 August 1999. The first Rongpo Choeje founded the monastery under the guidance of the fifth Dalai Lama some 300 years ago.

According to information received by TCHRD, out of 113 big and small monasteries in Nagchu Prefecture, Shak Rongpo Monastery has been blacklisted among the top group of reactionary monasteries, undeserving of any measure of official leniency.

Tibetan singer secretly sentenced to five years in prison amid major crackdown in Rebkong

Tibetan singer Shawo Tashi sentenced to five years in prison
Tibetan singer Shawo Tashi sentenced to five years in prison

A Tibetan singer has been secretly sentenced to five years in prison following his arbitrary detention in November 2012 in Dowa Township in Rebkong (Ch: Tongren) County in Malho (Ch: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

Shawo Tashi, 40, was charged with “distributing photographs of self-immolation protesters; writing last notes left by self-immolation protesters on these photographs; participating in protest against Chinese government and singing patriotic Tibetan songs”, according to information received by TCHRD.

Sources with contacts in Rebkong cannot immediately confirm the exact date of sentencing, however, they believe he is now being imprisoned at a prison in Siling (Ch: Xining) city, capital of Qinghai Province.

Caught between a rock and a hard place

A Tibetan porter’s personal account of the anguish, heartbreak and struggle he and other Tibetans faced on trying to re-enter Tibet. Their crime: attempting to attend the Kalachakra teachings in India.

Tibetan porter, Trinley Norbu gives this first-hand, moving account of the struggle and anguish he and three other ordinary Tibetans faced on re-entering Tibet after their attempt to attend the Kalachakra teachings in India was blocked by the Nepali authorities. The TCHRD got exclusive access to this human story of how he and four other men were detained several times in Tibet before they were driven back to Nepal. It’s a story of how they were denied entry to their homeland and access to their families simply for wanting to attend Buddhist teachings; and of how other ordinary, working Tibetans faced imprisonment, beatings, deception and paranoid questionings regarding His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the exiled political head Lobsang Sangay. Norbu’s testimony also tragically reveals the complicity of the Chinese and Nepalese authorities (taking photos of themselves together); and how the Tibetans became caught in ‘a no-man’s land’ being sent back and forth like pawns between the Nepalese and Chinese police corruption. Their torment finally came to an end when UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, came to their aid in a Nepalese prison. Here is Trinley Norbu’s account in full:

Update on Drango Protest

It is now confirmed that Norpa Yonten (aged 49) was indeed shot dead by the security forces during 23 January 2012 Drango County protest.

There is, however, unconfirmed information that more than one Tibetan had died of gunshot wounds.
TCHRD has received further details on the identity of the 36 Tibetans arrested in the protest. Among those arrested, 18 belong to Norpa village in Drango County:

Norpa Sonam, Norpa Soegay, Norpa Lobsang Gonpo, Norpa Dudhul, Norpa Jamyang Sherab, Norpa Wangchen, Norpa Tsering Gyaltsen, Norpa Sangyal Gyatso, Norpa Namgyal Dhondup, Norpa Rinchen Thinlay, Norpa Yeshi Rigsel (aged 40), Norpa Tenpa (aged 26), Norpa Lodoe, Norpa Choeshe (aged 27), Norpa Yeshi Tsering AKA Yetse (aged 54), Norpa Jampa Dhondup (aged 36), Norpa Jamnam (aged 27), and Norpa Youtrug (aged 50).

Statement on the 62nd anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Today, 10 December 2010, is the 62nd anniversary of proclamation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also a moment to celebrate the occasion of Mr.Liu Xiaobo receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. The Tibetan people stand together with the millions of Chinese people in the struggle for human rights and freedom in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). With enormous economic advancement in the past three decades, it is about time for genuine civil and political reforms to be introduced in the PRC.China despite being a member of the UN Security Council and a signatory to the UN Charter continues to be one of the leading countries in the world in the violation of human rights particularly in restive regions like Tibet and east Turkestan. The government of China continues to “strike hard” against peaceful protesters and freedom of expression is severely curtailed in China today. Peaceful protesters are imprisoned without fair trail and often many are disappeared by the state and its agencies. 

Fifteen Tibetans arrested in Lithang after a peaceful protest

Following yesterday’s solo protest by Lobsang Lhundup, a monk of Nekhor Monastery in Lithang County, Kardze “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” (‘TAP’) Sichuan Province, a group of 15 Tibetans from Lithang County staged a similar peaceful protest this morning, according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Sonam Tenpa, 29 years old, a younger brother of Lobsang Lhundup along with fourteen other Tibetans staged a peaceful protest march at Lithang main market square this morning at around 11:40 AM (Beijing Standard Time) which lasted for around 2 hours, according to source. Sonam Tenpa who led the peaceful protest was known to be carrying a huge portrait of the Dalai Lama adorned with a traditional Tibetan scarf. The peaceful Tibetan protesters took to the street of Lithang main market chanting slogans, ‘Long Live the Dalai Lama,’ Independence for Tibet,’ ‘Swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet’ and ‘ No Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebration this year,’ sources described.

China arrests 16 monks for defying “patriotic re-education”

China arrests 16 monks and 2 lay Tibetans in Markham County according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

For over a month the Chinese authorities have been conducting “Patriotic re-education” campaign in Woeser Monastery and Khenpa Lungpa Monastery in Garthog Township, Markham ( Ch: Mangkang) County, Chamdo Prefecture, (Ch: Qamdo) “Tibet Autonomous Region” (“TAR”).

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