Chinese police have arrested two more monks from the beleaguered Kriti monastery in Ngaba, eastern Tibet.
In a release yesterday, the exile base of the Kirti monastery in Dharamshala, northern India, identified the two monks as Gyamtso, 42 and Lobsang Gendun, 48. The monks’ whereabouts and well being remain unknown.
“On the 21st of this month, Kirti monk Gyamtso was arrested from his room at the monastery. The reason for his arrest is not known nor is his current place of detention,” the release said.
Gyamtso was formerly a teacher and many of his compositions had appeared in regional magazines and newspapers.
In another incidence Losang Gendun, a monk at Kirti monastery and the former disciplinarian of the Kalachakra college was arrested and detained mid-October.
“Nothing more has been learned of his present whereabouts or situation,” the release said.
The situation in Kirti monastery and the entire Ngaba region has remained volatile, with growing repression on the local Tibetans, following monk Phuntsog’s self immolation in March this year. Since then, ten Tibetans have set their bodies on fire protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet and demanding the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.
AFP journalists who had managed to penetrate the tight security cauldron surrounding Ngaba, last month, reported of sighting “large groups of soldiers in camouflage carried automatic rifles, metal rods with spiked tips and fire extinguishers”.
“Police buses, trucks and armoured personnel carriers blocked the streets,” AFP confirmed.
The Kiriti monastery in its release stated that China continues to maintain a large presence of armed military personnel with “plenty of Chinese officials disguised in local Tibetan clothes”, keeping vigil on the movements of the Tibetans in the locality.
Despite the heavy security presence, monks at the monastery joined by thousands of local Tibetans observed Ganden Ngamchoe (death anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa) last Sunday, the release noted.
“The gathering offered butter lamps and chanted freedom slogans to honour the Tibetan martyrs who set themselves on fire to death for a free Tibet in recent months,” Kirti monastery said citing sources in the region.