A second Tibetan was arrested and sent to prison in China’s Sichuan province for celebrating the birthday of the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, over a social media app WeChat, RFA’s Tibetan Service said. Argya Gya now joins at least one other prisoner, another Tibetan monk named Lodroe, in a Chinese prison in Lunggu for celebrating the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday last year.
Gya, formerly a monk at Kirti monastery in Sichuan’s Ngaba county was taken into custody on November 18, 2015. Gya had earlier served a three-year term in Sichuan’s Mianyang prison in connection with the self-immolation in 2011 of another Kirti Monastery monk.
Scores of Tibetans gathered at monasteries in western China’s Qinghai and Gansu provinces last year to protest against Chinese bans to celebrate the birthday of the Dalai Lama, despite warnings by officials to observe the poltically sensitive event. The protesters burned incense sticks and offered prayers to the exiled spiritual leader.
As many as 145 Tibetans set themselves ablaze in a wave of heated protests that began in 2009, most of which featured demands for Tibetan freedom and the Dalai Lama’s return from India. According to the Chinese administration governing Tibet, the unrest was orchestrated by the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959’s failed national uprising.