An updated photo of Karma Samdup. Photo: Tibet Express

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Dharamshala— Chinese authorities in Lhasa arrested a Tibetan man from Nagchu, central Tibet, for allegedly possessing photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, on his neck and in his car, after authorities searched his car in Lhasa on August 12, 2022.

According to a reliable source, Chinese authorities arrested a young Tibetan man named Karma Samdup in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, on August 12, 2022, after authorities searched his car and discovered that Samdup kept a photo of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lam, the spiritual leader of Tibet, in his car and also a photo on his neck.

“Karma Samdup, a young Tibetan from Ngachu town in central Tibet, arrested by Chinese authorities in Lhasa on August 12, 2022, for keeping photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama," a source living exile said.

“Chinese authorities in Lhasa are searching cars and raiding homes of Tibetans more frequently after the recent covid-19 outbreak in Lhasa. During this period, Chinese authorities also searched Samdup's car and found photos of exiled Tibetan spiritual leaders in his car and on his neck, and he was arrested on the spot,” the source said.

Karma Samdup hails from Sernye district of Nagchu Town, Central Tibet. Other information, such as his whereabouts and state of health, remains unknown due to strict controls on the flow of information between Tibet and abroad.

Chinese authorities in Tibet arrest Tibetans who keep photos of exiled spiritual leaders, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The authorities banned the  photos of exiled spiritual leaders in their homes, cars, etc. The Chinese authorities even killed a Tibetan woman named Lhamo, after they found out that she kept photos and DVDs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's teachings.

This time last year, Chinese authorities arrested more than 100 Tibetans from Dza Wonpo for keeping photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in their homes and monastery rooms.

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 nation in the Himalayas which had little contact with the rest of the world. It existed as a rich cultural storehouse — a unifying theme among the Tibetans — as was their own language, literature, art, and worldview developed by living at high altitudes, under harsh conditions, in a balance with their environment.