Tag: chant master

Tsangyang Gyatso
Tsangyang Gyatso

A senior Tibetan monk who was the chief chant master/presiding priest (Tib: umze) at his monastery has been given 12 years sentence in Sog (Ch: Suo) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region.

Tsangyang Gyatso, the former umze of Drilda Monastery, located at Trido Township in Sog County, was sentenced early this month on charges that he “contacted outsiders” and “incited other monks to protest against the Chinese government”, according to information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

“We learned today [27 October] from our source that it’s been 26 days since Tsangyang Gyatso was sentenced, a source with contacts in Tibet told TCHRD.

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Chinese security forces have stepped up their repression of Drong Na Monastery whose principal chant master was recently sentenced in secret to 18 years in prison in Diru (Ch; Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), in the Tibetan province of Kham.

Thardoe Gyaltsen, the monastery’s principal chant master was sentenced on an unknown date in January 2014 even as other monks were forced to stop their religious activities, shut down their monastic quarters and an unknown number were also detained. The monastery has about 90 monks. Gyaltsen was detained in December 2013 but his family members and relatives had no clue on the location of his detention.  It is not clear on what charges he was sentenced.

Local Tibetans are of the view that Gyaltsen was primarily targeted for starting Tibetan language and culture classes in the monastery, which became quite popular as around 300 students attended these classes. “The classes have made enormous contribution in preserving and promoting Tibetan language and culture in the local area. Therefore under various pretexts of committing political crimes, the Chinese authorities forced [the monastery] to shut down the classes, with the aim of preventing the study of Tibetan language and culture. The police just barged into the monastery, ordered monks to close down their residences and detained chant master Thardoe Gyaltsen on charges of committing political crimes,” said the source. At present, no religious activities such as holding daily prayer sessions are allowed at the monastery.

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