A screen grab of Achok Phuljhung from one of his video albums.
DHARAMSHALA, August 22: In an increasing onslaught on Tibetan intellectuals and artists, another well-known Tibetan singer was arrested earlier this month for singing songs in praise of the Dalai Lama and Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay.
Achok Phuljhung, around 30 years of age, was arrested on August 3 from a teashop in Barkham region of eastern Tibet by Chinese security personnel. He had been on the run for over two months after an arrest notice was issued against him by Chinese authorities.
There is no information on his current wellbeing and whereabouts.
Widely recognised by local Tibetans as among the “Nationalistic Singers,” Phuljhung has five albums under his name. Many of his songs call for the unity of the Tibetan people and evoke pride and nationalism among Tibetans.
In his latest album titled, “We, who are Duty Bound,” Phuljhung sings in praise of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and the elected leader of the Tibetan people, Dr Lobsang Sangay.
“Noble teacher (the Dalai Lama), the Wish-fulfilling Jewel and Saviour of the Tibetan people; Let us Tibetans go to seek his blessing; Noble leader Lobsang Sangay, Leader of the Tibetan people; Let us Tibetans go to him to seek our welfare,” reads a section of the song
Exiled Tibetans with contacts in the region have said that three monks from the Golok region, who have contributed lyrics to his albums, are also currently in hiding, fearing arrest.
Phuljhung’s arrest comes just days after another popular Tibetan singer, Chogsel, was arrested
and banned from singing on charges of threatening social stability.
A veteran of four albums, Chogsel was currently working on his next album in collaboration with other famous Tibetan singers. His first album, ‘Dream of the ruddy faced Tibetan’ contains a tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Tibetans promoting Tibetan national identity and culture have been the target of China’s widespread onslaught on intellectuals, especially after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
On April 19, Lo Lo, a well known Tibetan singer was arrested in Yushul region of eastern Tibet on suspected charges of singing songs calling for Tibet’s independence.
The 29-year-old singer’s arrest came months after he released an album titled “Raise the flag of Tibet, sons of the snow.”
The title song of the album calls for independence of Tibet and reunion of the Tibetan people – messages that are common to the slogans raised by the 49 Tibetans who have self-immolated in Tibet since 2009.
In mid February, another popular Tibetan singer, Ugyen Tenzin was arrested for praising the Dalai Lama and Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay.