2 Kirti monks sentenced to 3 years in prison

Lobsang Dhargye
Dharamsala, May 7 - A Chinese court in Tibet's Ngaba County, where tension still runs high with Chinese security forces and government officials subjecting Tibetan monks to "patriotic reeducation" in the region's prominent monastery, has sentenced 2 Tibetan monks to 3 years in prison. 

The Ngaba County Intermediate People's Court on May 2 sentenced Lobsang Dhargye, 31, of Me’uruma township, to 3 years in prison, said Kanyag Tsering, a Tibetan monk living here.

Lobsang was ordained as a monk of Kirti monastery since childhood. In 2003 he went to the Tibetan capital Lhasa to study at Drepung monastery. He took part in the protest in 2008 against China by Drepung monks. His face got recorded on to the closed circuit cameras installed by the government. He was soon arrested and spent the next 5 months in various detention centres around Lhasa. Finally, he was brought back to his native Ngaba, and released conditionally. He was required to present himself before the authorities on being summoned, and was restricted to leave Ngaba County without written permission from the county authorities. He was arrested on April 11 this year in a raid by police and soldiers on Kirti monastery. 

Kunchok Tsultrim
Kunchok Tsultrim
Kunchok Tsultrim, age 33, of the Lotsul Tsang house in Thawa Ghongma township was arrested in raids after March 16, 2011, the day that saw a Tibetan monk named Phuntsok immolate self in protest against China's repression. Kunchok, serving the monastery as its storekeeper, was sentenced earlier this month to 3 years in prison by the Ngaba County Intermediate People's Court. 

The same source said the monastery continues to be under strict control by Chinese security forces in yellow uniforms that was never seen before. He added that armed soldiers are hiding in military trucks parked around the monastery trying not be filmed or get pictures taken as evidence of armed troops' presence in the monastery. 

Police and soldiers are currently occupying a residential compound built with funds arranged by a monk named Tenpa Yarpel for elderly monks and scripture teachers, the source said. 

Chinese authorities tightened security and its stranglehold on Ngaba in general and the Kirti monastery in particular since Phuntsok's death that sparked off protests by Tibetans and a massive arrest drive by Chinese authorities.

Around 300 monks were forced into military trucks and taken to unknown location on April 21, 2011 and two elderly Tibetans among a group camped near the monastery were beaten to death while they tried to stop Chinese security forces from taking the monks away. 


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