March 20, 2010

Chinese Authorities Close Dharma School, Arrest Monks

 From Asia News

Dharamsala – Chinese authorities have arrested three monks from the monastery of Ditsa Bayan County (Chinese: Hualong), Haidong Prefecture in Qinghai, merely on suspicion of being involved in the distribution of pamphlets. They have also closed the school run by the monastery. Despite repression, the protests of Tibetans continue and the Chinese authorities have also arrested several students.

The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) reports that on 14 March near the monastery were distributed pamphlets with the demand for “the immediate return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet” and “end the repression in Tibet.” Immediately after the police and army occupied the monastery and arrested monks Tulku Woeser, Yeshi, and Jamyang. The first was released after two days while the others were still being detained yesterday. According to the TCHRD the arrest was completely arbitrary and random; there was no evidence against the monks, who were carried off just to make an example of them. The police have clamped down on the monastery, even placing restrictions on religious practices of monks and their meetings.

Despite the very strict security measures taken by the authorities, with a large deployment of police and army and Tibet closed to tourists even in different locations Tibetans marched to remember the anniversaries of the expulsion of the exiled Dalai Lama (March 10, 1959) and bloody repression of the protests in March 2008. On March 14, at least 20 secondary school students of Machu Tibetan (Gansu) marched to the offices of county government, chanting pro-Dalai Lama slogans against Chinese rule and waving flags with a lion, the symbol taken by the Tibetan government in exile. They were joined by crowds of people, while some non-Tibetan traders hurriedly closed their shops.

A witness reports that “police cars followed the students. But they only followed them, without doing nothing. ” Also on 14 March, students in nearby Hezuo (Gansu) staged a similar event. Agencies have reported that on 17 March, police arrested at least 20 young protesters.


[Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy] On 14 March 2010, numerous pamphlets calling for the “swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet” and “end to the repression in Tibet” were pasted around Ditsa Monastery. The monastery is located in Ditsa Township, Bayan (Ch: Hualong) County in Haidong Prefecture, Qinghai Province, Following the incident, Hualong local government staff along with the Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials and People’s Armed Police (PAP) arrived at the Monastery and cordoned off the entire monastery. Following which three monks: Tulku Woeser, Yeshi, 20, and Jamyang, 19, were arbitrarily detained under the suspicion of their involvement in the incident and took them to Hualong PSB office for questioning. According to source, Tulku Woeser was released after two days of detention and questioning while Yeshi and Jamyang still continue to remain in PSB detention.

Yeshi and Jamyang were born at Lobha Gyatsa Village, Tsigorthang County (Ch: Xinghai), Tsolho (Ch: Hainan) “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (‘TAP’), Qinghai Province.

As of now, a number of PSB and PAP forces are stationed inside the monastery, calling off the daily religious practices of monks inside the monastery and placed restriction on gathering of monks. Similarly, Sherig Rinchen Norling School established and run since 1992 by Ditsa Monastery was forcibly ordered to close down on 8 March 2010 for unknown reason. The monastic school which caters to the basic education needs of young novices are taught Buddhist philosophy, Chinese and English language. At the time of its closure there were around 70 students. There is no information on the fates of those young monks studying at Sherig Rinchen Norling School.


The Shering Rinchen Norling School, run by the monastery since 1992, was closed by the authorities on March 8, without explanation. The institute, attended by about 70 young novices, teaches Buddhist thought and Chinese and English language.

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