Two abbots of Karma Monastery arrested

Two abbots along with seven monks of Karma Monastery (Ch: Gama) at Chamdo County in Chamdo Prefecture (Tibet Autonomous Region) were arrested around 29 October 2011, according to information received by TCHRD.

Security officials arrested the abbots, Lodoe Rabsel (40 yrs old) and Namsey Sonam (44 yrs old) after they refused to cooperate with the officials conducting patriotic reeducation campaigns at the monastery. The monks refused to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama and consider Tibet part of China as required in the patriotic re-education classes, a source told TCHRD.

Karma Monastery has been under consistent surveillance since 2008 protests and the bombing of an empty municipal office building in Karma town on 26 October 2011 further intensified official restrictions on the monastery. Although there were no evidence, the
security officials directed their suspicions towards Karma Monastery as it was the only monastery located nearby. Monks of the Karma Monastery were especially targeted for their involvement in the bombing. In addition to attending patriotic re-education classes, monks at Karma Monastery were questioned for long hours. The repeated questionings had deep psychological impacts on monks many of who chose to flee the monastery.

The Buddhist dialectics school of Karma Monastery, which used to have over 120 students, was closed after all the students fled to escape the repeated visits and questionings by security officials. There is no information on the whereabouts of the monks who fled the dialectics school. Security officials are now manning and watching the empty compound of the dialectics class.

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