Four Kirti Monastery Monks Sentenced to Varying Prison Terms


January 22, 2013 12:48 pm

DHARAMSHALA: A local Chinese court in Barkham in eastern Tibet’s Ngaba region have sentenced four monks of Tsodun Kirti monastery to prison terms ranging from 2 –10 years, confirmed reports from Tibet say.

Asung, 22, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison while Lobsang Senge, 19, Yarphel, 18 and Namsey, 18, were sentenced to two years, six years and ten years respectively.  

Lobsang Senge, Yarphel and Namsey were first arrested during a night raid on Kirti monastery in August 2012. Asung was arrested later, on the 18th of the same month in a similar night raid on the monastery. The reasons for their arrest were not revealed at the time of their detention by the Chinese authorities.

Earlier, Chinese authorities have also detained Thubwang Tenzin, a 20 year old monk and Rabten, a religious administrator of Kirti monastery without any specific reasons. Their current whereabouts is still unknown.

Kirti monastery has been the hotbed of Tibetan self-immolations against brutal Chinese policies. The monastery has been under strict Chinese surveillance for the last two years after monks repeatedly set themselves on fire protesting against the Chinese government.

Unconfirmed reports also suggest that the arrests of the four monks might be in response to the self-immolations of Tempa Dargey, Chimey Palden and Lobsang Lozin, all monks of Kirti monastery who set themselves on fire last year, calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.