Tag: xiahe

Chinese authorities in Gansu Province last year issued an order to expel monks who had come from Tibetan areas outside Gansu to pursue their religious studies in monasteries (including the famed Labrang Tashikyil Monastery) located in the province.

This was revealed by Samten Jigme (name changed), a former Labrang monk, in his testimony to TCHRD. Samten Jigme fled Tibet and arrived in India this month.

The order is now being implemented at Rongwo Monastery in Rebkong (Ch: Tongren) County in Malho (Ch: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, according to Samten Jigme. (For more on Rongwo, please see here, here, and here)

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By Jayang Jinpa*

The noble soul Sangye Gyatso was born in 1969 in a nomadic village called Lha De Sangkhog in Amdo, Eastern Tibet. His father’s name was Gobha and mother’s Soelo. At the age of 16, he became monk and joined Thoesamling dratsang (college), at the famous Labrang Tashikyil Monastery. He was regarded as one of the brightest students in his class when it came to learning Buddhist texts. In 1991, when he was 23, he left for India to do further studies. He joined Gomang dratsang at Drepung Monastery, South India. The weather of the sub-continent was not suitable to his health. After studying for nearly three years at Drepung, he returned to his homeland. His passion for Buddhist studies did not die down however; once again he joined the Labrang Tashikyil Monastery.

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Jayang Jinpa, 26, was among the 15 Tibetan monks who staged a daring protest in front of a group of international and Chinese journalists at Labrang Tashikyil Monastery in Sangchu County. On 9 April 2008, monks of Labrang Monastery interrupted the Chinese government-organized media visit that was carefully planned to show that Tibet was stable and that monks enjoyed freedom of religion and other human rights.  The protest lasted for about 10 minutes but was quickly suppressed. And over a year, he spent time in the mountains trying to escape arrest. Jayang Jinpa who now lives in India tells his story (The following is a direct translation of Jayang Jinpa’s personal notes.)

I was born in December 1986 in Sangkhog Village in Sangchu (Ch: Xiahe) County, located in Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province.

It is a nomadic village. My family is called Rilatsang. My father’s name is Choepa and mother’s name is Lhaye. I have four siblings – two older sisters and two younger ones. I will never forget the love and affection I have received in our family and the nomadic life that we lived.

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A Chinese court has given heavy prison terms to six Tibetans “for their roles in an October self-immolation case,” reported the Chinese government-owned news agency Xinhua on 31 January.

On 23 October 2012, a Tibetan farmer, Dorjee Rinchen, 58,  died after setting his body on fire in protest against Chinese rule at Gyugya market on the main street of Sangchu county, which was located near a Chinese military camp. After the self-immolation protest, his body was taken to his home village Zayu in Sangchu. This was done to protect him from getting into the hands of Chinese officers. His family members were able to conduct necessary rites and rituals after his death. Security officers even tried to stop the Labrang monks from going to Dorjee Rinchen’s home for prayers.

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The situation at Labrang Monastery in Sangchu (Ch: Xiahe) County is extremely tense today. Thousands of People’s Armed Police (PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB) personnels have surrounded Labrang Monastery in the aftermath of arrest of hundreds of monks, according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

On 7 May 2008, thousands of PAP and PSB officers (estimated around 5000) surrounded Labrang Monastery and carried a sudden raid in the monastery. During the raid, around 140 monks were arrested and taken away for detention. The next day a large number of monks of the monastery protested calling for the release of the monks arrested on the previous day. The authorities upon fearing the protest to escalate further, released all the detained monks except for 18 monks. However, the monks continued to call for the release of the remaining 18 monks and the authorities gave in by releasing another 11 out of the 18 monks today morning.

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