Tibet : China Arrests Nine Monks In Bongthak Monastery
Nine Tibetan monks from Bongthak monastery; Damchoe Tsultrim Khedup Gyatso, Sangay Gyatso, Konchok Gyatso, Kalsang Shangsem, Kalsang Dakpa and Konchok Dhargye have been arrested by the Chinese Police.
A monk has been sentenced to one year in prison and another has been served a sentence that could last between two months and six months. A third monk is currently at prison in Nagormo while the whereabouts of one monk are unknown.The Chinese Government had arrested the monks on charges of having "contacts" outside Tibet as all of them had studied at Lhasa and had exposure.
After the Sangpo's self immolation on 17th February 2012, monks who were not yet 18 were sent back to their homes by the Chinese Government. The rest of the older monks were detained at the monastery for three months. After 3 months, they were sent back to their homes for a holiday for a period of 15 days. When they came back, a "patriotic reeducation" campaign was conducted for them by the Chinese authorities.
Now, all the monks have again been sent on a holiday and though they will return shortly, the monastery is now occupied only by cleaning staff and workers as well as the Chinese authorities.
During the detention period of three months, all the monks' mobile phones were confiscated. The monastery, which has around 80 monks, was cut off from the rest of the area with checkpoints to monitor and prevent anyone from entering and leaving. Security restrictions were tightened and phone lines were been cut.