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24-november-2011-tibet-kirtiDharamshala, India: - It has been confirmed that two more Tibetan monks from Kirti Monastery, Ngaba County, Eastern Tibet, have been arrested by the Chinese authorities.

Gyatso, aged 42, was taken into custody on November 21, and Lobsang Gedun, aged 48, in mid-October. The reasons for the arrests remain unknown, as do the monks' current whereabouts.

Gyatso is from Raktsa Tsang house in Mesip Dewa village, Trotsig town, Ngaba County. He joined Kirti monastery as a child, engaged in Buddhist studies there, and is currently studying in the first class for the Karmapa degree - the highest monastic qualification.

Gyatso taught at the monastery's school until it was shut down by the Chinese authorities, has written for various Tibetan magazines and newspapers, and is well-known for his Tibetan calligraphy and art.

Lobsang Gedun is from Sego Tsang house, Kanyak village, Trotsig town, Ngaba County. He belongs to the Kalachakra college at Kirti monastery, and was formerly in charge of discipline there.

Gedun also became a monk as a child, and is currently studying in the fourth class for the Karmapa degree.

Ven Lobsang Yeshe and Ven Kanyak Tsering, of Kirti monastery in Dharamshala, India, told The Tibet Post that the situation in Ngaba remains tense, with huge numbers of military in deployment, and many soldiers wearing Tibetan dress in order to spy on locals.

Increased restrictions include the banning of private vehicles from main roads.

On November 20, the Ganden Ngamchoe celebration, which marks the anniversary of the death of  Je Tsongkapa, was held as usual at Ngaba Kirti monastery. During the festival, monks pledged to stay awake all night in prayer.

However, this year no electric light offerings were made in the temple. Instead, monks and laypersons offered butter lamps and chanted freedom slogans in memory of those Tibetans who have self-immolated this year.

Police and soldiers in plain clothes infiltrated the crowd and large numbers of security forces were deployed at the monastery gates, where ten special military vehicles were also lined up. Over 200 government personnel remain stationed at the monastery, keeping watch over the monks.

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