Young Tibetan monk arrested for lone protest in eastern Tibet

DHARAMSALA, Nov 27: A young Tibetan Buddhist monk has been arrested by Chinese police on Nov 26 for carrying out a lone protest challenging Chinese rule in Tibet on the streets of Sershul County in Kardze Prefecture of former Kham Province in eastern Tibet.

Sonam Yarphel carrying out lone protest in Sershul County.
Sonam Yarphel carrying out lone protest in Sershul County.

Sonam Yarphel, 22, a monk of Mange monastery in Sershul County peacefully staged a lone protest on the street at around 3:50 pm (local time) on Wednesday. While carrying a white banner with the portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama over his head, he shouted slogans such as “Freedom for Tibet” and “Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama”.

“Within minutes of Sonam’s solitary protest, Chinese police arrived at the site of the protest and arrested him,” a Tibetan source with contacts in the region said.

According to the same source, a large number of Chinese police were seen heading towards Mange monastery after Sonam’s lone protest.

However, whereabouts of the young monk protester and what happened at the monastery later on could not be ascertained as all the phone and internet lines have been cut off in the area following the incident.

Sonam Yarphel was born to father, Legtsok Yonten and mother, Detso.

This is not the first time that a monk of Mange monastery has fearlessly challenged Beijing’s rule in Tibet. Zoepa, a monk of Mange monastery was among 14 monks who protested in front of Jokhang temple in Lhasa on Mar 10, 2008. He was arrested by Chinese police and sentenced to five years in prison and three other monks of the same monastery were arrested for carrying out a peaceful protest in Sershul County against Chinese rule in Tibet on Mar 10 last year.




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