Apr 16, 2018

Tibet: Disappearance of a 60-Year-Old Tibetan Woman on the Way to Lhasa

Lhamo Dolkar, a Tibetan woman, disappeared during a religious pilgrimage to Lhasa after being arrested for an interrogation early in April 2018. Her custody would be related to her visit to a political prisoner in jail six years ago. Since then, she has been suspected and restricted to travel. Today, her family is under threat, while she is still missing with no information on her whereabouts.


This article has been published by Radio Free Asia:

A 60-year-old Tibetan woman making a religious pilgrimage to Lhasa went missing this month after police stopped her en route, Tibetan sources told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Friday.

Lhamo Dolkar, left her hometown of Bora, in in Gansu’s Sangchu (in Chinese, Xiahe) county in the Kanlho (Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on March 28, along with several of her relatives.

After one week traveling, the group arrived in Darlag (Dali) County in Qinghai province’s Golog (Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, where several Chinese plainclothes security agents in took Lhamo Dolkar away for interrogation.

“Since then, there is no word of her whereabouts, and she has disappeared,” said Ngawang Tharpa, a member of Tibet’s parliament in exile in Dharamsala, India.

“The Chinese public security bureau officers even warned her relatives they would face dire consequences if they ever make Lhamo Dolkar’s custody case public,” he told RFA.

The reason for Lhamo Dolkar’s detention is believed to be related with her visit to a political prisoner in jail six years ago, suggested another Tibetan source.

“In 2012, a monk named Sangye Gyatso staged a protest in the street of Bora village, calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After Chinese police arrested and put him in jail, Lhamo Dolkar went to see him in prison and brought him food. Since then, the Chinese authorities, start to suspect and restrict her movement,” the source told RFA.

“The Chinese authorities had been keeping an eye on her and she was followed and questioned by them as soon as she left her house during the politically sensitive anniversary of March 10 and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s birthday,” added the source.

March 10 is the anniversary of a failed 1959 national uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet, during which Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama fled into exile in India

“Lhamo Dolkar is an ordinary Tibetan woman, with little political awareness and no formal education,” the source said.

Photo Courtesy of Florence Traullé