China detains five Tibetans for Dalai Lama song in live-streamed contest

(, October 15, 22) – Chinese police in Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) prefecture of Qinghai province arrested five Tibetans on the evening of October 13 for performing a song in a music competition that day. on Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, the Dharamsala-based Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy said on October 14. The competition was reportedly broadcast live on the popular Chinese short video sharing platform. Kuaishou.

Those detained are believed to include singer Derab, as well as the song’s composer and musician who remains unknown at this stage.

In addition, three other men who were with the unidentified composer and musician at Derab’s home were reportedly taken away by the police.

Except for the unidentified composer and musician, all the others were released after a day of rigorous questioning, the center said.

The center translated an excerpt from the song, which focused on the theme of la-gya (Tibetan for National Pride), thus: “Noble Lama was born in Tibet / Performed virtuous deeds in foreign lands / Loving and compassionate Lama / Pray for his speedy return.”

Kuaishou censors reportedly stopped the live broadcast of the music contest after about an hour and a half, saying it was too long, even though its rules didn’t stipulate a time limit.

The song has since been removed from Kuaishou and Derab is indefinitely barred from participating in any musical contest. Furthermore, he was reportedly forced to sign a pledge not to perform at any festivals or gatherings in the future. And to give a live performance on any online platform, he needs to get prior permission from the authorities.

The center noted that in 2019, Kuaishou reportedly has a self-censorship team of 2,000 employees, with plans to hire another 3,000 to ensure its users don’t violate Chinese government regulations.