Abbot sentenced for alleged incitement

23, Feb 4, 2008

A court in eastern Tibet has sentenced in Jul 2007 the 37-year-old religious head of a 1000-monk monastery to three years in jail for allegedly carrying out “anti-government propaganda” and for inciting the masses, reported Dharamsala-based Tibetan centre for human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) Feb 2.

Khenpo Jinpa of Chogtsang Talung Monastery in Serthar (Chinese: Seda) County of Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) Prefecture in Sichuan Province was arrested by the Chinese police on Aug 23, 2006 and sentenced by the Prefectural Intermediate Court on Jul 16, 2006. The police suspected him to be behind the leaflets calling for Tibet’s independence and praying for long life for the Dalai Lama found in circulation at the county’s festival ground way back on Aug 8, 2005.

Jinpa’s arrested was preceded by a 10 to 15-day detention of some people suspected to be working with him. He is reportedly being held at a prison in Dartsedo (Chinese: Kangding), the prefectural capital.

Serthar-born Jinpa had joined the famed Serthar Buddhist Institute in Larung Valley in 1992 and returned to Chogtsang Talung in 2000 to become its abbot. A year later, the institute was demolished by the Chinese, reducing its enrolment strength from 10,000 to 1,000, expelling all the rest who did not belong to the locality, including Buddhists from China and other countries. Its chief abbot, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, kept in a form of house detention. He died in Jan 2004 while recuperating from surgery in a Chinese hospital.


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