As the number of self-immolations closing in on 50, this is how China reacts– more arrests, disappearances, and intimidation:
Tashi Dondrub and Kelsang Gyatso, known also by the nicknames Mewod and Gomkul, were taken into custody on July 14 at Palyul monastery in the Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, one source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Tashi Dondrub is from Yulshog in the Samkha subdivision of Riwoche county in the Chamdo prefecture [of the Tibet Autonomous Region], and is the president of a literary group called The State of our Snow Mountains,” the source said.
Kelsang Gyatso, a prominent member of the same group and chant leader at the monastery, comes originally from the Nangchen region of Qinghai province, the source said.
“Nobody knows why they were detained. But two years ago, Mewod wrote a book called Painful Hope, and Gomkul published a book called My Pitiful World.”
China has jailed scores of Tibetan writers, artists, singers, and educators for asserting Tibetan cultural and national identity since widespread protests swept Tibet and the Tibetan-populated provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai, and Gansu in 2008.
In Tashi Dondrub’s home county of Chamdo, “every single monastery is under surveillance by Chinese forces,” one source said.
“Tibetan hermitages in the mountains are also being watched.”
“These kinds of strict restrictions on the daily activities of the monasteries have compelled many monks to leave their monasteries and go back to their villages,” he said.