DHARAMSALA, Oct 28: A senior Tibetan monk of Drilda monastery in Sog County in Kham Province has been sentenced to twelve years in prison.
Tsangyang Gyatso who was a chant master of Drilda monastery in Sog County’s Trido Township was arrested on Mar 17 night along with three other monks from the same monastery.
A source with contacts in the region said on Oct 27 the senior monk was given the sentence about 26 days ago for contacting Tibetans in exile and inciting other monks from his monastery to protest against the Chinese government.
Fifteen days after the secret trial Chinese authorities sent a letter to Tsangyang Gyatso’s family informing them about his sentence. Until then his family had no clue about his whereabouts and condition.
The authorities further stated that the family members are not allowed to visit the monk till three monks have passed from the date of sentencing. After three months have passed, the family members are required to get permission from both the Township and County level authorities to visit him in prison.
Whereabouts and condition of the other three monks, Tsewang, Atse and Gyaltsen who were arrested along with Tsangyang Gyatso still remain unknown.
Drilda monastery has been reeling under tension since Lobsang Palden, a monk of the monastery hanged himself on Nov 15, 2010 after Chinese authorities expelled him from the monastery for having visited India on a pilgrimage in 2007.
For the past few years, a number of monks from Drilda monastery as well as lay Tibetans from Trido Township were arbitrarily arrested and detained.