Tibet : Tibetan arrested in Lhasa for prayer service
A Tibetan man related to the late Kalon Tripa of the Tibetan government-in-exile Juchen Thupten as the latter’s nephew was arrested last week after authorities accused him of paying homage to his uncle along with a few other relatives.“Topden was arrested in Lhasa on October 23 just as he and a few others started a prayer service in honor of the late Kalon Tripa on the 49th day of his demise,” Monlam Tharchin, a member of Tibetan Parliament, said citing sources in Tibet.Juchen, known for his long service to the exile Tibetan community including being Kalon Tripa for two consecutive terms, had died of an illness at the age of 82 on August 31, this year.
According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, the 49th day of a person’s death is a religiously significant time to offer prayer service for the departed soul which is believed to seek rebirth at the end of the period.
Tharchin said Topden was accused of being the lead organizer of the prayer service and is being detained at an unknown location.
“The situation is so grim that even gathering and performing a religious ritual for the death of a person warrants arrest by authorities,” Tharchin quoted sources as saying.