Geshe Sonam Gyatso of Ngaba Kirti monastery has been sentenced to two years in prison for contacting people in exile and sending them money.
[Posted on T.T Tibetan site 04 November 2022] According to reliable information received from Tibet, Geshe Sonam Gyatso of Ngaba Kirti monastery was arrested in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province on April 3, 2021. In July 2022, he was sentenced to two years in prison for sending monetary offerings to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Kirti Rinpoche for long-life prayers and contacting people in exile. The whereabouts and condition of his elder sister Tsering Lhamo, and his younger sister who was arrested, remain unknown.
A source told Tibet Times that 30 monks from Kirti monastery, including Geshe Sonam Gaytso and two of his sisters, were arrested in 2021. Three of his sisters were prosecuted at the time, and two were terminated from their government jobs on charges related to sending monetary offerings to Kirti Rinpoche on his 80th birthday. However, the source said that the charges were fabricated and not true. Due to the intense clampdown on communication channels, the exact details are not available now despite continuous attempts to procure information.
Geshe Sonam Gyatso, who has been sentenced to two years in prison, served as the disciplinarian of Kirti monastery and Vice President of Communist Party Agency(ཆོས་ལུགས་དོ་དམ་ཨོ་ཡོན་ལྷན་ཁང). He was usually in charge of the monastery when it came to dealing with political issues and other official matters related to district authorities. He is among the most respected Geshes in the Kirti monastery due to his academic and moral clout.
His father, Tsering, is a retired police officer in Ngaba District. He has six siblings in his family. Geshe Sonam Gyatso was enrolled as a monk from a young age at the Ngaba Kirti monastery, eventually receiving the Geshe degree having studied the five great philosophies of Buddhism under renowned teachers like Acku Loten, among others.