Monk arrested after protest with Dalai Lama portrait

Police have been deployed across Ngaba and around Kirti Monastery following Pema’s protest

A Tibetan monk from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, eastern Tibet, has been arrested after carrying out a solo protest.

The monk, named Pema, carried out his protest on 26 March. According to a source known to Tibet Watch, he went to Heroes’ Street in Ngaba and held up a portrait of the Dalai Lama. The police arrived at the scene immediately and forcefully took him away.   

Heroes’ Street, as it has become known to locals, is the main road through Ngaba Town, leading to Kirti Monastery. It has been the site of numerous Tibetan protests over the years, including self-immolations.

Following Pema’s detention, there has been a noticeable increase in security and surveillance across Ngaba County, including the deployment of police and plain-clothed army personnel, who patrolled every street in Ngaba Town and checked the activity of local residents. 

The source added that police and army personnel had also surrounded Kirti Monastery but tight restrictions and close surveillance makes it hard to verify what they are doing.

There is also no information on Pema’s current condition and whereabouts.

It has been established that Pema is a relative of Dhargye, who self-immolated in front of Tsuklakhang temple in Lhasa on 27 May 2012. 

Pema hails from Soruma nomadic village in Ngaba County. Prior to his protest and arrest, he was pursuing his higher Buddhist studies in Kirti Monastery and teaching Tibetan language in the monastery’s primary school.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch

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