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Four Tarmo monks held for opposing patriotic education

www.TibetanReview.net, July 06’08

Four monks of Tarmo Monastery in Driru (Chinese: Biru) County of Nagchu Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region were arrested by police on Jun 18 ostensibly because they were going to Lhasa on some monastic work without having taken government permission to leave the monastery, reported Tibet.net Jul 1. The real reason was stated to be the monks’ opposition to the Chinese patriotic education in Mar 2008. The monks have been named as the monastery’s abbot and Democratic Management Committee head Ngawang Jampa (40) and another monastery leader Ngawang Sangye (38), besides Ngawang Gyalten (42) and Kalsang Lochok (20). They were arrested after arriving at Nagchu Prefecture.

Following the protests in Lhasa and surrounding areas in Mar 2008, the authorities dispatched huge contingents of troops to accompany work teams to Sog (Chinese: Sou), Drachen (Chinese: Baqing), and Driru (Chinese: Biru) counties of Nagchu prefecture in a renewed patriotic education drive. When the team members demanded that the monks of Tarmo denounce the Dalai Lama during the education drive, abbot Ngawang Jampa rejected it altogether. Instead, he told them that the Dalai Lama, being the monks’ root guru, could not be denounced, and that he should, in fact, be welcomed back to Tibet.

The team did not arrest him at that time fearing strong opposition from the large number of monks present, but vowed to deal with him when it would restart the patriotic education on Jun 1, the report said.

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