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After missing for over a year, author of popular Tibetan works learnt arrested by China

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(TibetanReview.net, Jun09’22) – A Tibetan monk in Qinghai Province’s Malho (Chinese: Huangnan) Prefecture, the author of several popular works in Tibetan, missing since the beginning of last year has now been learnt to have been arrested by China, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Jun 8, citing a local source. However, there are no details on any possible reason for his arrest, his current whereabouts, and other details.

Rongwo Gangkar, a 48-year-old monk of Rongwo Monastery in the prefecture’s Rebkong (Tongren) County, went missing in the beginning of last year. He is said to be known for several popular works in Tibetan, including “The Knot” and “An Interview with Gendun Choephel.” He has also been described as a scholar and a skilled translator.

The source, who has spoken on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal from the authorities, has said his arrest was unexpected and there has still been no information on his whereabouts and conditions.

“He was missing since the beginning of 2021, but we only later learned from a few of his friends and acquaintances that he was suddenly taken into custody on the orders of the Chinese government. Few were aware of his arrest, due to tight restrictions in place because of Covid-19 at the time.”

The report described him as only the latest confirmed victim of a crackdown by Chinese authorities on Tibetan intellectuals and cultural figures.

The report cited another anonymous local source as saying he was saddened to learn that the monk, whom he had not seen for a long time, had been arrested. 

Sinicizing Tibet – which aims to make Chinese of everything Tibetan – is a signature campaign of Chinese President Xi Jinping and it has seen many popular figures as well as activists working in the fields of Tibetan culture, religion, language, and music arrested and jailed for alleged separatism.

Language rights have become a particular focus for Tibetan efforts to assert national identity in recent years, with informally organized language courses typically deemed “illegal associations” and teachers subject to detention and arrest, the report cited sources as saying.

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