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19march2011008060998Dharamshala: - The Tibet Post International has interviewed the 24 year old Tibetan environmentalist activist writer, Gendun Tsering, about the circumstances concerning the arrests of 5 Tibetans in Ngaba county last year, for allegedly being linked to "banned" writings and "anti-government" articles.

Originally from the Tibetan town of Serdeu and monk of the Rongtha monastery in Khyungchu County, Gendun recently fled into exile in India after being threatened by Chinese authorities. The threats came after he had an article published in the Tibetan cultural magazine, Sonmig.

Speaking of the arrested Tibetans, Gendun explained that one of them is his close friend and colleague, 23 year old, Tsering Dhondup, also a monk of Rongtha monastery. His arrest was apparently based on his assistance to Gendun in publishing two books, "Migchu" (Tears) authored by Gendun and "Sonmig" (Alive eye), a collection of articles written by Tibetan writers on situation inside Tibet and edited by Gendun.

Tsering Dhondup had been a fugitive since he found out the authorities were looking to arrest him, but on Feb 26 2010, they finally caught up with him and he was arrested. The dramatic arrest took place in his hometown of Serdeu where he dared a visit to his family during Losar, the Tibetan New Year. Spending time with his younger brother in a teashop, the police apprehended who they thought was Tsering Dhondup, however, it was his brother. He was beaten so bad that his bones were seen protruding through the skin of his arm. He was then taken away by a police vehicle, but after a few kilometers they received a call informing them of their mistake. They then quickly returned to the teashop where they arrested Tsering Dhondup. At the time of writing he is still behind bars in the Barkham County detention centre.

During the interview, Gendun Tsering went on to talk about the owner and two staff members at the Pandita Printing Press (PPP) in Chendu township, who were arrested last year following a series of publications. Owner Yangchen Kyi, 30, and editor Namsay were both arrested while at work at the PPP. Yangchen Kyi was released from a detention centre in Nagchu County after around two weeks, explained Gendun, but she has not been allowed to reopen her printing press business. According to Gendun, Namsay, who is from Lupdhang, was arrested because of what the Chinese authorities viewed as anti-government postings on his blog as well as for being the assistant editor of the Tibetan magazine, Sonmig. The third person arrested from the PPP was 17 year old typist

On the issue of freedom of expression on the Internet in Tibet Gendun Tsering said: "Actually, we are free to write about anything except for issues of national or political character. When it comes to those issues we are not able to write the truth in any form be it newspapers, blogs or elsewhere. We have no freedom in that regard." He went on to say that: "In Tibet we have many problems, but I think only about 30% of those problems gets across the border to reach the international news."

When asked about his situation of living in exile, Gendun explained that while he had many political and financial problems in Tibet since the authorities started looking for him, and while he still faces many challenges here in India, he is confident that he will surmount these problems, "I am not the only one with these problems".

Back in 2009 Gendun Tsering himself spent 2 months and 27 days in prison in the province of Kham. During that time he came up with many ideas for writing and since then he has kept a daily journal. He hopes that he will be able to publish a book based on his journal entries and on his experiences during the time spent in prison. nternet Cencorship in Tibet.

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