DHARAMSHALA: Thardoe Gyaltsen, the administrator of Drongna monastery in Driru county in Nagchu Prefecture in eastern Tibet (incorporated into Tibet Autonomous Prefecture) was sentenced to 18 years in prison for allegedly storing photos and speeches of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
A local court in Driru county pronounced the sentence in January this year.
“Thardoe Gyaltsen was a dedicated Tibetan monk who is also one of the administrators of the monastery. He was sentenced to prison under politically motivated charges of inciting separatism which in reality was to undermine his noble works in the monastery and the nearby schools,” a source said.
Thardoe Gyaltsen joined Gaden monastery as a novice monk in his childhood. He later joined Drongna monastery and was appointed as the chant master and as administrator of the monastery. He is a deeply pious monk, committed towards the practice and preservation of Tibetan Buddhism.
Drongna monastery was founded in the eleventh century. The monastery was heavily destroyed by Chinese forces during the cultural revolution. The monastery was renovated later under abbot Khenrab Choedak and chant master Tenzin Wangchuk. The monastery currently has over 90 monks.
During the peaceful protests of Driru in mid 2013 and early 2014, several monks of Drongna monastery were also arrested. The monastery was also subjected to police raids and heavy surveillance in the aftermath of the peaceful protests in Driru. Currently, the monks of the monastery are banned from organising religious services and other monastic activities.