DHARAMSHALA: According to reliable sources from Tibet, Kalsang Sonam, on 27 October returned home after serving 9 years imprisonment in Chinese custody in Siling, Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Incorporated into China’s Qinghai Province).
He was arrested in 2006 for ‘exposing nation’s security’ by aiding his friend and then Tibetan prisoner Arig Dolma Kyab in sending the latter’s appeal letters to the UN.
On the day of Sonam’s release, two officials from Arig Township left to Xinang to receive Sonam. As soon as the news reached his town, the entire villagers along with Sonam’s parents gathered to welcome him. But the Chinese police authorities misled the anxious villagers saying his arrival might take longer time thereby achieving their motive to prevent the grand welcome reception.
Though Sonam’s arrival was made secretly, he was visited by his friends and the villagers at his house. He also met his friend Dolma Kyab the next day.
Hailing from Arik Township of Dola County, Tsojang Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, Sonam, 34, is the oldest of the four brothers in his family. He became a novice monk at Gaden Chopheling monastery in Arik, Later he went to Kumbum and Rongwo monasteries to study Tibetan grammar, poetry.
In 2003, Kelsang Sonam came to India and studied for over a year at the Tibetan Transit School near Dharamshala.
Sonam, pseudonym Gang Pel was released a year prior to his ten and half years sentence.