WASHINGTON—Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) agents have detained a Tibetan monk from Kumbum Monastery in Qinghai Province. Sources who asked not to be named said the monastery contained a number of anti-government posters at the time.
The monk, a 22-year-old student named Jigme Dasang, is a native of Xinghai County in Hainan Prefecture, in western China's Qinghai Province, sources told RFA’s Tibetan service.
He was detained during a daily prayer session in mid-May, they said. Jigme Dasang has been recognized six times as a monastery Three Best student (in Chinese, san hao xuesheng ).
A spokesman for the Huangzhong County PSB confirmed that Jigme Dasang is being held at the county detention center and his case is being handled by the Anti-Riot Detachment (in Chinese, fang bao da dui ).
The Anti-Riot Detachment declined to comment, saying reporters should avoid asking such questions.
The authorities are suspicious that there are other people behind the young monk. Many others are worried that they might also be implicated.
Officials contacted by telephone refused to comment in details on the charges against Jigme Dasang but suggested they were related to Chinese anti-separatism laws.
“The authorities are suspicious that there are other people behind the young monk. Many others are worried that they might also be implicated,” one source told RFA’s Tibetan service.
Several sources who asked not to be identified said more posters bearing sharp criticism of Beijing were found in the monastery around the same time, and other monks fear the PSB will detain them as well.
Kumbum Monastery—located in Huangzhong County, near the Qinghai provincial capital Xining—is one of the most important monasteries in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
In 1998 the abbot of Kumbum Monastery defected to the United States.
Agya Rinpoche held the title of vice chairman of the Qinghai Provincial Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference at the time, making him the highest level Tibetan official to flee to the West.