Nyime, a monk from Wongpo Monastery in Wongpo Village, Sershul County, Dzachuka, eastern Tibet. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala, India — Chinese authorities in Sershul County, Dzachuka, eastern Tibet, detained six Tibetans from Wonpo Monastery following allegedly expressing their opposition to the Chinese ongoing repressive policies against Tibet and illegal occupation of Tibet. But one of the six was released from police custody after holding him for 11 days. The rest of the monks is still being held captive.

They were detained over allegedly distributing leaflets in the courtyard of a Chinese government office in Sershul County, in support of an independent state of Tibet.

'Four Tibetan monks were arbitrarily arrested by Chinese authorities on November 7, 2019, for distributing leaflets calling for Tibetan independence in the courtyard of a Chinese government office in Sershul county,' Ven Jampa Yonten, a Tibetan monk living in exile told the TPI, on Wednesday.

'The four Tibetans who allegedly distributed leaflets are identified as Kunsal, 20, Tsultrim, 18, Tame, 18, and Soeta, 18 and the four monks were seized in their rooms at Dza Wonpo Ganden Shedrub Dhargyelink Monastery in Sershul County, Dzachuka, eastern Tibet (Ch: Kardze Ganzi, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture),' he further added, citing sources in the region.

The Chinese police arrested Nyimey 15-year old monk on November 18 for allegedly writing articles honoring and supporting the four monks who were accused of peacefully demanded independence for Tibet and called for human rights in Tibet by distributing leaflets. They also detained Shergyam, a teacher of the monastery, but released him on November 18 after holding him for 11 days.

The monks had allegedly distributed hundreds of leaflets in the courtyard of the Chinese government office in the Wonpo village of lower Dzachukha township in Sershul County, Yonten said, a Tibetan who has close contacts in the area. 'Apart from distributing leaflets demanding independence for Tibet and calling for human rights in Tibet, they also called for an end to the aggressive and unlawful acts of Chinese officials in the area and for an end to the dirty political campaigns that were harmfully disrupting the lives of the local people.'

The order banning the photographs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is an attack on displays of religious belief and goes further than the current campaign against the Dalai Lama, since Tibetan homes are being forced to replace portraits of the Dalai Lamai with those of communist leaders of China in order to continue receiving government aid, as authorities clamp down on efforts to assimilate minorities.

Hundreds of Tibetans were arbitrarily detained, unjustly jailed and mistreated in Chinese prisons because Chinese authorities found portraits of the Dalai Lama or books by the Dalai Lama in their monasteries or homes. There is still an ongoing campaign across Tibet involving a month-long training session that Tibetan Buddhism should abide with Xi Jinping’s sinicization of Buddhism.

The widespread campaign began this year across Tibet including Sershul County, Dzachuka of eastern Tibet and local Tibetans in Sershul County were told that they must replace the photographs of the Dalai Lama in monasteries, temples, and homes with those of Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong.

Officials were said to be verbally warning local Tibetans that they must recognize the improving the economic well-being of Tibetans under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. So the resettled-nomads are forced to praise China’s ruling Communist Party in public speeches which are then filmed and distributed to Chinese state-run media.

However many nomads have also refused to participate in these Chinese government propaganda campaigns, causing tensions between those who take part and those who refuse. In this way, the Chinese have created divisions among Tibetans in the local community,” the source concluded.

China-Tibet: The one thing you need to know

Over the past 70 decades, there has been ongoing political repression, social discrimination, economic marginalization, environmental destruction, and cultural assimilation, particularly due to Chinese migration to Tibet which is fueling intense resentment among the people of occupied Tibet.

The communist-totalitarian state of China began its invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.

Until 1949, Tibet was an independent Buddhist nation in the Himalayas which had little contact with the rest of the world. It existed as a rich cultural storehouse of the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings of Buddhism. Religion was a unifying theme among the Tibetans -- as was their own language, literature, art, and world view developed by living at high altitudes, under harsh conditions, in a balance with their environment.