China bans Tibetan religious figure from monastic order


(, May18, 2014) – China has stripped a senior Tibetan religious figure of his monastic robe and also banned him from rejoining or teaching at his monastery in Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu) County of Tibet Autonomous Region, after releasing him from jail on May 5, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) May 16. Khenpo (Abbot) Lodroe Rabsel was held in late 2011, with a friend named Khenpo Namse Sonam for refusing to cooperate with the Chinese officials conducting patriotic re-education campaigns at their Karma Monastery.

The monk was released after being held for more than two years at the Powo Tramo prison, a TAR-level facility in Pome (Bomi) County of Nyingtri Prefecture. It was not clear whether he was released early or after completing his jail sentence.

He was held for nine more days after reaching his home in Chamdo County before being released with the above stipulations. He is presently said to be at his home in Trangmor Village of Karma Town, attending to his ailing mother.

The monks’ arrest followed an Oct 26 bombing of an empty government building in a nearby town for which the Chinese authorities suspected monks of Karma Monastery. Chinese police, paramilitary armed police, and government officials kept visiting the monastery daily, holding meetings, issuing threats, and blocking all traffic in the area. They took the monks’ photos, fingerprints, blood and handwriting samples, and subjected each of them to hours of interrogations. The monks were also subjected to daily patriotic re-education classes during which they were ordered to denounce Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The mental harassment and torture resulting from the endless meetings and coercions compelled many monks to flee the monastery.

Rabsel and Sonam were held for refusing to toe the Chinese government line during those meetings, especially including denouncing the Dalai Lama and accepting that Tibet has historically been a part of China.


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