A 19-year old Tibetan monk, Thubten Samten, disappeared from his room in Sera Monastery in Tibet. Sources believe that the Chinese police lifted him for alleged political activities.
According to reliable information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), Thubten disappeared on the morning of 23 May 2006, and his whereabouts remain unknown till date.
Reportedly, Chinese work team members earlier warned him about displaying prohibited items in his room, which included pictures of the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and a Tibetan national flag. At the time, he reportedly showed his defiance by telling the work team members that it is his personal will and respect.
Sources suggest that the police took him for his defiance against the authority’s order and also for his possible involvement in numerous wall-posters appearing in Sera Monastery and in certain areas of Lhasa City.
Thubten Samten was born in Zachukha, Sichuan Province. Before coming to Lhasa, he studied in Margey (Tib translit: Mar Dge) Monastery. Four years ago he joined the Sera Monastery in Lhasa and since has been studying in Ser-Jhe Jadrel Khangtsen until his disappearance in May 2006. Beginning in January 2006, TCHRD has documented eighteen known cases of arbitrary arrest on various alleged political activities.