China: Popular Tibetan singer arrested after packed concert

Chinese authorities in Khyungchu County have arrested the popular Tibetan singer Gepey following a packed concert participated by several other singers from various parts of Tibet on May 24, reported


Gepey was arrested by Barkham County Public Security Bureau after a concert that was attended by thousands of fans and music enthusiasts. A group of Tibetan youngsters from Khyungchu County had organised the concert. They had invited various singers among which Gepey was the most popular on the concert day. He has a huge fan following in Tibet and the diaspora.

The concert was organised with the objectives of creating awareness among the Tibetan youth about the importance of the Tibetan language and its culture. Following the concert, Chinese officers from Barkham County arrived at the concert venue and took Gepey away without citing any reasons for his arrest. There is no information about his condition and whereabouts.

“The truth about Tibet is still being covered up. (…) Many people are being killed, imprisoned and brutally beaten due to a variety of things. The outside world does not know about these more serious situations.”
Snow Lotus, Tibetan writer

The following is cross-posted from Global Voices with permission from the publisher and author

Another Singer Arrested in China for Praising Tibetan Identity and Culture

Posted 28 May 2014 6:07 GMT

Popular Tibetan singer Gepe was arrested after singing in a music concert. Screen capture from YouTube.

Tibetan singer Gepe was arrested on 24 May 2014 in Sichuan province after his performance in a concert attended by thousands.

The concert, organized by a group of Tibetan youth, had received permission from local authorities, and according to a report from Voice of America, the concert was to address the importance of Tibetan language and culture.

Gepe is a popular singer from Ngaba in Amdo. Back in 2012, after he released an album that expresses the pain of separation from his spiritual leader and a strong desire for Tibetan unity, he disappeared for quite a lengthy period of time. Below is one of his songs, “I am coming” with English subtitles translated by Grey Buffalo:



Gepe is not the first Tibetan singer to be prosecuted in China. Since the unrest of March 2008 in Lhasa, Tibetan artists have been one of the targets of political suppression. Tibetan author and poet Tsering Woeser described the series of crackdowns as “the same policies of the Cultural Revolution but of a different name”.

Last December, Thinley Tsekar and Gonpo Tenzin were arrested in Diru County. Both sing about Tibetan identity, culture and language. Thinley was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for “mobilizing anti-government sentiments among Tibetan listeners of his music”. Here is one of his songs available on YouTube:



In April 2012, popular Tibetan singer Lo Lo was arrested after he released an album titled “Raise the flag of Tibet, sons of snow”. The singer was eventually sentenced to six years imprisonment in August 2013. Below is one of his songs via YouTube:



A portion of the lyrics reads

To promote loyalty to the Land of Snows
For the complete independence of Tibet
With a realised understanding of our objectives
Raise the flag of Tibet- sons of the snow

In March 2012, popular singer Ugyen Tenzin was detained after the release of his album titled “An Unending Flow of My Heart’s Blood”. Some of his songs are dedicated to spiritual leaders including the Dalai Lama and Karmapa. Below is his album’s theme song, “The Heart’s Blood Flows”, with English subtitles translated by “High peaks pure earth”:



In 2011, well-known female singer Hortsang Lhalung Tso was detained before attending a Tibetan culture show in Sangchu county with other popular Tibetan singers and musicians. Here is one of her songs on YouTube:



Written byOiwan Lam

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