Mother of detained writer succumbs to her son's arbitrary detention in Tibet by China

Wothok Monastery in in Nyakchu County, Kham region, eastern Tibet. (Photo:TPI)

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Dharamshala – In September 2023, the Chinese authorities apprehended a young, highly educated Tibetan monk and writer from Nyagchu County in eastern Tibet, purportedly on grounds of possessing a photograph of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Since his detainment, his mother, aged 53, has been deeply troubled, and her health has significantly deteriorated, ultimately succumbing to her anguish at the end of February 2024.

According to a credible source within TPI, Tenzin Chenrab, a well-educated young Tibetan monk and writer, was arrested by Chinese authorities in September 2023 in Dzachuka County, eastern Tibet, allegedly for possessing a photograph of Tibet's spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, along with several electronic books on his phone.

Subsequent to his arrest, he vanished. Despite more than a year having passed since his detainment, no information regarding his whereabouts has been forthcoming. Consequently, his mother, Bhode, became profoundly distressed, leading to a deterioration in her health, ultimately resulting in her demise due to concern for her detained son at the close of February 2024.

"Tenzin Chenrab's mother, Bhode, passed away around the 27th or 28th of February 2024, following heart disease and an extended period of illness, stemming from her distress over her son's disappearance for over a year. Although Tenzin Chenrab is distant from his mother, pursuing studies at Sershul Monastery in Dzachuka County, eastern Tibet, she could previously communicate with him via phone or video calls. However, since his disappearance following arrest by Chinese authorities, she has been unable to receive any communication from him or greet him upon his return home for customary Tibetan New Year and holiday celebrations," the source informed TPI, citing information from Tibet.

"Tenzin Chenrab, also known by his pen name Dhong Rangchak (ལྡོང་རང་ལྕགས), was enrolled at Sershul Monastery in Dzachuka County, where he was arrested by Chinese authorities subsequent to the Summer Retreat (དབྱར་གནས) in late September 2023. Although specifics surrounding his case are scarce, reports suggest he was transported to Chengdu City in Sichuan, China. However, despite the passage of over a year, no information has been forthcoming," the source conveyed to TPI in a prior report.

The source familiar with Tenzin Chenrab asserted, "He initiated a WeChat group to educate individuals on computer usage. He is an exceptionally gifted and astute young monk, possessing profound knowledge and articulating himself adeptly on various subjects in social circles. Moreover, he exhibits proficiency in science and the Chinese language. Were he allowed to continue his studies unhindered, he would assuredly emerge as a distinguished scholar. Regrettably, he fell victim to the machinations of Chinese authorities, who seek to suppress educated Tibetans. Previously, his social media application WeChat was replete with his photos, but now, all traces of his presence have vanished."

"Tenzin Chenrab once confided in a friend about his forthcoming book publications, but subsequent to this, he disappeared, and over a year has passed with no leads," the source revealed to TPI. Chinese authorities rigorously control information emanating from Tibet, fearing exposure of their oppressive policies and ruthless actions to the global community.

According to the source, Tenzin Chenrab pursued studies at Wothok Monastery (ཨོ་ཐོག་དགོན), under the tutelage of the late Tulk Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, before continuing his education at Lithang Monastery (ལི་ཐང་དགོན་ཆེན) in Lithang County (ལི་ཐང་རྫོང་།). Prior to his arrest by Chinese authorities, he was enrolled at Surshul Thekchen Dharjee Ling Monastery in Dzachuka County, eastern Tibet.

Writer Tenzin Chenrab, or Dhong Rangchak, was known for his literary compositions, encompassing articles and poems, which he disseminated through his social networks. At only 29 years of age, he hails from the lower Wothok Village (ཨོ་ཐོག་སྨད་ཐ་སྡེ་བ།) in Nyakchu County (ཉག་ཆུ་རྫོང་།), situated within the Kham region of eastern Tibet.