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Tibetan sentenced to 2 years prison for India visit : source

January 6, 2011

Phayul [Monday, January 03, 2011 16:52]
By Kalsang Rinchen

Dharamsala, January 3 - A Tibetan man from Driru County in Nagchu has
been sentenced to two years in prison, a Tibetan with contact in the
area said. Chime Tashi, 29; was arrested from his home on October 3 this
year. Though the exact reason for his arrest and sentencing is unclear
at the moment, the source said his visit to India in 2008 on a religious
pilgrimage during which he took sermons from the Dalai Lama might have
led to his arrest.?

Chime was among 51 Tibetans -- 30 from his hometown Driru and 21 from
other Tibetan areas -- who were arrested in 2005 while trying to escape
to India through Nepal. All 51 Tibetans were arrested from a place near
Nepalese border-town of Solukhumbo (Sharkhumbu) and locked in a prison
in Dhingri and Shigatse for four months during which they were subjected
to hard labour. The 51 Tibetans were handed over to the Public Security
Bureau of their respective hometowns after four months of their arrest.?

The 30 Tibetans from Driru were forced to pay 4000 Yuan each to the
Driru County Public Security Bureau which promised to return the
"deposit" amount if they did not engage in 'illegal' activities in the
next five years.?

Chime, however, made his second and successful attempt of traveling to
India in 2008 during which he went to Bodhgaya and Varanasi where he
received teachings and initiations from the Dalai Lama, whom the Chinese
government reviles as a "separatist". It is also not clear if Chime made
the visit with the required Chinese government issued travel permit or
"illegally" without the permit.?

Chime returned to Tibet after the visit. He is currently imprisoned at a
detention centre in Toelung near the Tibetan capital Lhasa.
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