Dharamshala – Chinese authorities in Ngaba County in north-eastern Tibet detained a Tibetan Buddhist monk earlier today for staging a peaceful solo protest while shouting slogans including: "free Tibet".
"Lobsang Kalsang – a 19-year-old monk from Kirti Monastery – was arrested while staging a solo protest in the streets of Ngaba shouting slogans protesting against Chinese rule in Tibet," Ven Kanyak and Lobsang Yeshi – from Kirti Monastery in Dharamsala – told the Tibet Post International (TPI) this afternoon.
"Kalsang walked around for several minutes [at approximately 3.40pm local time] while carrying a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his left hand and distributing windhorse prayer flags," Kanyak and Yeshi added, citing contacts in Tibet.
"Chinese security personnel arrived at the site of the protest shortly after," they said, adding that "his current condition and whereabouts remain unknown."
Kalsang is a native of Chukle Gupma village, Charuwa Yultso, Ngaba County in the Amdho region of north-eastern Tibet (Ch: Aba County, Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in the north-west of Sichuan province). He joined Kirti Monastery at a young age to become a monk where he trained in Buddhist studies.
His father's name is Tsering and his mother's name is Dechen. They have three children; Kalsang is the middle child.
The disappearance of Kalsang follows the abduction of Gedhun Phuntsok – another monk from Kirti Monastery – on March 8.
A large number of armed Chinese security forces and police have been deployed in the streets of Ngaga and the surrounding area during the past few weeks. Sources say that the Chinese government has imposed tighter control over the movement of local Tibetans, including monks at Kirti Monastery.
The heightened security presence appeared to be aimed at preventing protests on Tibetan National Uprising Day on March 10, which commemorated the 1959 Tibetan revolt against Chinese rule.
The Chinese regime has also recently imposed severe restrictions on internet and phone connections throughout Tibet in a greater attempt to prevent information reaching the outside world.