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collage photoDharamsala: A monk named Tamchoe Sangpo of Bongthak Monastery from Sanga village had self immolated on 17th February 2012. Sangpo was a teacher at the monastic school and a member of the Democratic Management Committee of the Monaster,Themchen county, Amdho, north-eastern Tibet.

After his self immolation, nine Tibetan monks from the same monastery; Damchoe Tsultrim Khedup Gyatso, Sangay Gyatso, Konchok Gyatso, Kalsang Shangsem, Kalsang Dakpa and Konchok Dhargye have been arrested by the Chinese Police.

News has emerged regarding the situation of the monks and the state of Bongthak Monastery. A monk has been sentenced to one year in prison and another has been served a sentence that could last between two months and six months. A third monk is currently at prison in Nagormo while the whereabouts of one monk are unknown.

The Chinese Government had arrested the monks on charges of having "contacts" outside Tibet as all of them had studied at Lhasa and had exposure.

After the Sangpo's self immolation, monks who were not yet 18 were sent back to their homes by the Chinese Government. The rest of the older monks were detained at the monastery for three months. After 3 months, they were sent back to their homes for a holiday for a period of 15 days. When they came back, a "patriotic reeducation" campaign was conducted for them by the Chinese authorities.

Now, all the monks have again been sent on a holiday and though they will return shortly, the monastery is now occupied only by cleaning staff and workers as well as the Chinese authorities.

During the detention period of three months, all the monks' mobile phones were confiscated. The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) reported that Bongthak monastery, which has around 80 monks, was cut off from the rest of the area with checkpoints to monitor and prevent anyone from entering and leaving. Security restrictions were tightened and phone lines were been cut.