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China shuts down Drongna monastery in Driru, arrests teacher

January 6, 2014

December 31, 2013 - Chinese authorities in Tibet's Driru County have shut down Drongna monastery, a Tibetan source told Phayul. The monastery's debate master Kalsang Dhondup has been arrested on November 11, 2013.

Rabten monastery and Drongna monastery were surrounded by Chinese armed personnel when news about crackdown in Tarmoe monastery came out earlier this month. Eight monks of Rabten monastery who had gone to study in monastery and institutions in Palyul, Sershul and Serta were detained earlier.

In March this year, several monasteries in Tibet have been forced to hand over their administration to communist party cadres while some monasteries faced a complete shut down due to boycott by monks following increased repression and control by Chinese government authorities. Alarmed by the closure of monasteries and the absence of monks to perform rituals, local Tibetans in the region had carried their protest to government officials and in one instance, even left a dead body at a government building, complaining that there were no monks to perform the last rituals.

Chinese government considers Driru as one of the most restive regions brewing anti-government sentiments and activities in the Tibet Autonomous Region, according to a source. "They fear that instability in Diru could cause ripple effect in other areas in the TAR. Therefore, they have been engaged in forcing Tibetans in Driru to rigorous 'Thought Education Campaign' since September," another source had told Phayul earlier this month.

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