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21february200989Dharamshala: According to a press release from the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), three monks from Ditsa Monastery in Qinghai Province, including a reincarnated lama, were arrested and detained under suspicion of involvement in pasting political pamphlets around the monastery. A school run by the monastery was also forcibly shut down, for unknown reasons.

On 8 March 2010, the Sherig Rinchen Norling School was ordered to cease operations. The school, established and run by the Ditsa Monastery since 1992, taught Buddhist philosophy, and Chinese and English language to young monks. At the time of closure there were approximately 70 students, whose educational fate is now unknown. No reasons were given for the school closure.

On 14 March 2010, just days after the school closing, pamphlets calling for the "swift return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet" and "end to repression in Tibet" were found pasted around the Monastery. Local governmental staff, along with Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials and People's Armed Police (PAP) arrived at the monastery and blocked off the entire premises. The security forces then detained Tulku Woeser, Yeshi, 20, and Jamyang, 19 for questioning at the local PSB office. According to the TCHRD's source, Yeshi and Jamyang remain in detention but Tulku Woeser was released after two days.

PSB and PAB forces remain stationed at the monastery, calling off daily religious practices and interfering with the gathering of the monks.

The monastery is located in Ditsa Township, Bayan (Ch: Hualong) County in Haidong Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

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

In their press release the TCHRD expresses concern for the well being and safety of the detained monks, and calls on the Chinese government to release them, immediately and unconditionally, as their detention is arbitrary. They argue that "freedom of expression, opinion and assembly are fundamental human rights enshrined in the Chinese constitution and in international human rights instruments ratified by the PRC government".

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