Tibetan musicians arrested for praising Dalai Lama

Popular Tibetan singer Amchok Phuljung
Chinese authorities are taking things to extremes by increasing the number of arrests made to artists, singers, writers and educators who express support for Tibetan national identity and praise spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who was exiled from Tibet in 1959 after Chinese communists took control of the country.

Popular Tibetan singer Amchok Phuljung was recently arrested after being accused of writing and recording songs that support the Dalai Lama and elected Tibetan leader Dr Lobsang Sangay as well as highlighting the difficulties of being under the regime of Beijing.

Phuljung has previously recorded five albums of his patriotic music with the latest recordings to be what hit the nail in the coffin for Chinese authorities who issued a warrant for his arrest leaving Phuljung and three monks from the Golok area, who are said to have helped with writing lyrics for the album, hiding away in fear of being captured. It has been reported that Phuljung had been hiding for approximately 2-3 months before being found and arrested for his partisan lyrics.

Phuljung’s lyrics are said to have advised Tibetan people to resist China's dominance by speaking 'only pure Tibetan' and by 'uniting and working together.'

This arrest comes only days after another favoured Tibetan singer, Chogsel, who was in the process of creating a new album in collaboration with other famous local singers, was detained for releasing music that contains marks of respect and praise for the Dalai Lama.

Chogsel’s music was then banned from being sold in stores and confiscated by Beijing Authorities and fines were issued to people playing Chogsel’s music in public.

The 29-year-old singer was arrested just months after he released an album titled Raise the flag of Tibet, sons of the snow, which makes reference to and encourages Tibetan people to claim independence for their country.

These arrests are just some of many as Chinese rulers aim to deliver an increased ‘clean up’ of Tibetan intellectuals and creative nationalists. This crackdown on conformity increased as China prepared for the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.

There is no current information on either artist regarding their wellbeing and whereabouts.