Dharamshala — Two high-ranking monks of a Tibetan monastery in Drakgo County, Kham region of Tibet have been arbitrarily held on suspicion of activities— allegedly holding/organising a mass prayer for good-health of the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
"Two monks were arrested early February by Chinese police, from the Sichuan Province Public Security Bureau, on suspicion of holding a mass prayer ceremony for well-being of His Holiness the Dalai Lama," Ven Jampa Tsering, a Tibetan monk living in south India told Tibet Post International, citing sources in the region.
"Ven Paga, about 40-year-old who is currently the abbot of Chogri Monastery in the County, arrested by Chinese police for allegedly involving in organising a mass prayer gathering for the good health of His Holiness the Dalai Lama," Ven Tsering said.
"Ven Paga — a monk from Tsogo village, Tsogo township, in Drango County, Kham Province of Tibet (Ch: Luhuo County, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province," Ven Tsering said, adding that He "graduated with a Geshe degree (Doctorate Degree in Tibetan Buddhism) from South India's Drepung monastery and later returned to Tibet."
The Tibetan sources also said that another senior monk of Chogri Monastery, Ven Ugyen, about 50-year-old was also arrested by the Chinese police on the same allegation and on the same day. He also graduated with a Geshe degree, from Sera Monastery in South India and and then returned to Tibet.
Both of them were detained in Drakgo County where, thousands of the faithful Tibetans, including monks, nuns and lay people gathered for a mass prayer last month (January 25), for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's health. The prayer event was held following the news of the Tibetan spiritual leader's medical treatment in the United States.
Since the prayer event there are reports of an increase in the number of troops deployed in Drakgo county and the surrounding areas. "There are also restrictions on communications across the Drakgo and the neighbouring countries," Ven Tsering further added.
Chinese authorities in the County last month issued an order banning the display of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's photos in shops and places where crowds gather. The order signed by four different local offices, including the Drakgo County Public Security Bureau.
The source also revealed that the new notice stipulates: "Those who delay in handing these over, or who never turn them in, will be severely punished according to the law," the notice reads. "Anyone violating these directives will be severely punished," according to the two-page notice.
Communist China began running Tibet after the military invasion of Tibet in 1949, assuring that freedom of Tibetan people would be respected. But Tibetans say the dictatorship government led by Mao— known as one of the most deadly mass killings of human history, went back on his word, forcing His Holiness the Dalai Lama to flee Tibet in 1959, destroying more than 6000 monasteries and temples and killing over 1.2 million Tibetans, out of a total of 6 million. Since then, Tibetans have launched an international campaign against the "occupying" China's authoritarian state that continues to face criticism for human rights violations in suppressing the people of Tibet.