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China detains Tibetan for organizing religious festival which saw exile leaders’ photos displayed

Tibetans display banned images on flags at prayer gathering, Ngaba, Sichuan, March 4, 2015. (Photo courtesy: RFA)
Tibetans display banned images on flags at prayer gathering, Ngaba, Sichuan, March 4, 2015. (Photo courtesy: RFA)

(TibetanReview.net, May24, 2015) – Chinese police in a Tibetan County in Sichuan Province have detained on May 2 and disappeared a Tibetan man for what is believed to be his role in organizing a prayer festival in Mar 2015 in which pictures of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, were openly displayed on banners. There has been no information about Sonam Dargay, a resident of Suwa village in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) County, since his detention, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) May 22.

Most areas in Chinese ruled Tibet continue to be under tight restrictions, including on communication channels, which accounted for this news coming out very late, the report said.

The annual prayer festival was held on Mar 4 at the county’s Gomang Monastery. Six villages adjoining the monastery traditionally take turns in organizing the festival. This year it was the turn of Suwa village and Sonam Dargye was a key person involved in organizing it.

Previous reports had said that participants in the festival had shouted slogans calling for Tibetan unity and paraded flags with photos of the Dalai Lama, as well of the current Sikyong Lobsang Sangay and former Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche of the exile Tibetan administration. There were also flags with images of the globe and of doves of peace.

Dhargay, believed to be in his 20s, is married with three children and runs a shop in Pema (Banma) County of Golog (Guoluo) prefecture, Qinghai province, for his living.

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