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China jails concert producer for songs exhorting Tibetan identity

Pema Rinzin is a producer and a former singer. In an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: TPI)
Pema Rinzin is a producer and a former singer. In an undated photo. (Photo courtesy: TPI)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec03, 2014) – It has now emerged that the producer of an Oct-Nov 2012 series of concerts in Tibet’s capital Lhasa which earned the singer Kalsang Yarphel a four-year jail sentence on Nov 27 has been jailed for two and half years and fined 50,000 yuan (US$ 8,130) by the Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court in Sichuan’s capital. Both were convicted by the same court for songs urging Tibetans to speak their own language and maintain their ethnic unity.

The producer, Pema Rinzin, 44, is a former singer with a successful career in the field, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Dec 1. In 2008 he stopped singing and devoted most of his time to the production of films and songs in a studio in Chengdu. Chinese authorities had threatened to close down his studio several times, the report added.

Before becoming a singer, Pema Rinzin was a monk of Namtso Monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) County, Sichuan Province.

China had banned the sale of the concerts’ DVD recording Khawai Metok (Snow Flowers), but it was already in wide circulation in the Tibetan areas of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces.

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