Tibetan monk, herdsman jailed for inciting self-immolations

Continuing the crackdown against self-immolations by Tibetans protesting Chinese rule, a Dharmasala-educated Tibetan monk was jailed.

Last Updated: Feb 08, 2013, 22:01 PM IST

Beijing: Continuing the crackdown against self-immolations by Tibetans protesting Chinese rule, a Dharmasala-educated Tibetan monk was jailed on Friday along with a herdsman by a court for inciting anti-China self-immolation protests in Tibetan areas.

The Intermediate People`s Court of the Huangnan Tibetan autonomous prefecture sentenced 27-year-old monk Phagpa, to 13 years imprisonment charging him with committing intentional homicide and inciting secession.

He was the second monk to have been convicted.
Also, a court in northwest China`s Qinghai Province today sentenced a Tibetan man to four years in prison for inciting secession.

Gyadehor, a 60-year-old Tibetan herdsman was also deprived of his political rights for two years, according to the verdict from the court.

Gyadehor spread opinions related to "Tibet independence" when he brought cash and other goods to console families of self-immolators in November last year, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

So far ten persons have been convicted for inciting self-immolations which almost touched 100 in recent months.

Yesterday, a police official investigating a string of self-immolations in Tibetan-dominated Qinghai Province since November last, said a total of 70 people have been captured in Huangnan for the immolations.

Of this 12 suspects were officially arrested.

The self-immolation cases were influenced by the separatism of the Dalai Lama clique, as the Dalai Lama has prayed for self-immolators and Tibetan separatists overseas flaunt them as "heroes," Lyu Benqian, deputy chief of the Qinghai Provincial Public Security Department said.

Analysts say that the scale of the crackdown and the number of arrests specially that of the monks show a deep-rooted movement led by the laity in the Himalayan region, where Buddhism has taken deep roots.

While sentencing monk Phagpa, the court accused him of indoctrinating Drolma Je, a monk at the Dowa Monastery of Tongren county in Huangnan prefecture, convincing him to self-immolate to achieve "freedom and independence for the Tibetan ethnic group."

Later in an interview to Xinhua after his sentence, Phagpa said he attended the funerals of five self-immolators as a member of the illegal Snow Traditional Culture Service Association and each time gave their families 100 yuan (USD 15.9) in cash and pictures of the Dalai Lama and Lobsang Sangay, the "Kalon Tripa" or "prime minister" of the "Tibetan government-in-exile."