Official crackdown on Bora Monastery continues with the detention of five monks this month in Sangchu (Ch: Xiahe) County in Kanlho (Ch: Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province.
TCHRD has learned from reliable sources that on 3 December 2012, Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers from Amchok (Ch: Amuqu) County along with Bora Township government officials detained five monks – Gedun Gyatso, 47, Lobsang Phagpa, 34, Jamyang Soepa, 25, Jamyang Lodoe, about 20, and Jamyang Gyatso, about 20, from their monastic quarters.
Earlier this year in March, local PSB and People’s Armed Police laid a siege on Bora Monastery after about a hundred monks marched to the Township government office calling for freedom and human rights in Tibet.[i] On 21 March 2012, about 40 monks were detained during a midnight raid at Bora Monastery. The monks were released the same day. However, four more monks were detained the next day on 22 March 2012. [ii]
The detention of the monks took place the day after the 2 December 2012 protest self-immolation of Sungdue Kyap, a father of one, in Bora. According to our sources, the monks were first taken to the Township governmnet office for interrogation. Since then, there has been no information about the monks’ condition or whereabouts. Sources said family members of the monks are concerned about the sudden disappearance of the monks.
Lobsang Phagpa, born in Keykya nomadic camp, was previously a monk at Kirti Monastery. In 2010, he was expelled along with other monks from Kirti Monastery by the Chinese authorities as the monks were not originally from Ngaba area. Since then he had continued his studies at Bora Monastery.
Lobsang Phagpa was previously detained in 2004 while he was on his way to escape into exile. At that time, he was taken to Shigatse (Ch: Xigaze) and through a decision taken by the local court there, he was detained for several months in Sangchu County, his hometown. He was later released after paying a fine of Yuan 5,000.
Lobsang Phagpa’s father’s name is Kharcham Gyal and his mother’s name is Choekyong Tso. He has five siblings.
Jamyang Soepa is from Bogtsa nomadic village and his father’s name is Dugkar. Gedun Gyatso was born in Lhabun Thangri Gapma village and his mother’s name is Sonam Tso. Jamyang Gyatso, from Lower Norlung nomadic village, has one sibling. His parents are Nyingchak Jam and Lumo Tso.
Sources informed TCHRD of heavy security presence in Bora area; in particular, Bora Monastery is teeming with PAP officers and special armed police who have surrounded the monastery on all sides. The armed security police conduct day and night patrol in the area.
Security presence in Bora spiked after 20 October 2012, the day Lhamo Kyap, a father of two, died of protest self-immolation near Bora Monastery. Tibetan cadres from Tsoe (Ch: Hezuo), Labrang (Ch: Tongren) and Machu (Ch: Maqu) are specially invited to conduct re-education programs in villages in Bora area. Restrictions on communication channels such as Internet and mobile phone lines have been heightened for the past two months, posing continued problems in collecting timely information from the area.