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China detains five Tibetans for Dalai Lama song in live-streamed contest

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(, Oct15’22) – Chinese police in Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) Prefecture of Qinghai Province had detained on Oct 13 evening five Tibetans for performing in a musical contest that day a song on Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said Dharamsala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Oct 14. The contest was stated to have been shown live on the popular Chinese short-video sharing platform Kuaishou.

Those detained were stated to include singer Derab, as well as the song’s composer-and-musician who remains unknown at this stage.

Besides, three other men who were with the unidentified composer-and-musician at Derab’s home were stated to have been taken away by the police.

Except for the unidentified composer-and-musician, all the others were released after a day of rigorous interrogations, the centre said.

The centre has translated an excerpt from the song, which was on the theme of la-gya (Tibetan for national pride), thus: “Noble Lama was born in Tibet / Performed virtuous deeds in foreign lands / Loving and compassionate Lama / Pray for his swift return.”

Kuaishou censors were stated to have shut down the live-streaming of the musical contest after about an hour and half, claiming it was too long, even though its rules did not stipulate any time limit.

The song has since been removed from Kuaishou and Derab banned indefinitely from participating in any musical contest. Besides, he was stated to have been made to sign a pledge not to perform at any festival or gathering in future. And for giving any live performance on any online platform, he has to take prior permission from the authorities.

The centre noted that in 2019, Kuaishou was reported to have a self-censorship team of 2,000 employees, with plans to hire another 3,000 to ensure its users did not violate Chinese government regulations.


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