50 Ratoe monks held, 32 still in jail


www.TibetanReview.net, May 13’08

The paramilitary People’s Armed Police arrested 50 monks of Ratoe Monastery in Nyethang Tonwship of Chushul County, Lhasa City, in a major crackdown on Apr 16. Thirty-two of them were still being held at Chushul police detention centre, said the exile Tibetan government’s Tibet.net May 9. They included the monastery’s head Thupchok and a monk named Namkar, 45, who had earlier spent over three years in Drapchi prison for political reasons. The detained monks, most of them in their twenties, were severely beaten.

The arrests followed a predawn raid in which all the monks were summoned to the monastery’s courtyard and ordered surrender arms, if any. A search was then conducted, following which portraits of the Dalai Lama, books and other printed matters, as well as mobile phones belonging to 70 monks were confiscated. The monastery’s telephone too was confiscated, the report said.

The monastery was already under severe restrictions after a demonstration on Mar 14, in which 30 of its monks staged a peace march to Nyethang Township, demanding freedom for the Tibetan people and shouting “long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama”. The PAP blocked the monks but could not arrest any of them after the local Tibetans came to their support. However, the monastery was put under severe restrictions, with a work team sent in to conduct a patriotic education. When the monks remained adamant in their refusal to denounce the Dalai Lama during the patriotic education, the PAP was called in, leading to the arrests.

Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) said hundreds of police and PAP took part in the Apr 16 raid. TCHRD said Thupchok, 38, was a prominent member of the monastery’s government appointed Democratic Management Committee and a work team members responsible for conducting the patriotic education campaign.


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