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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

China jails four Tibetans for "splittist" activity (Reuters)

November 22, 2007

Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:09pm IST

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has jailed an ethnic Tibetan villager for 
eight years for "inciting to split the country" after he spoke at a 
gathering in support of the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet, Xinhua news 
agency reported on Tuesday.

China considers the Dalai Lama, who fled from Tibet in 1959 following 
a failed uprising against Chinese Communist rule, a separatist, and 
showing loyalty to him is seen as treasonous.

"His action led to public besieging of government offices because 
local people were not clear about the truth, which was a severe 
disruption of public order," Xinhua cited the verdict in the case of 
Runggye Adak as saying.

Xinhua gave the Chinese derivation of his name as Rongji Azha, and 
said he was 52. Earlier reports from overseas human rights groups 
said he was 53.

Chinese officials have recently warned of an increase in activity by 
supporters of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan 
Buddhism, a worry for a government that considers stability in ethnic 
minority regions paramount.

Runggye Adak spoke out in the Sichuan county of Litang, a part of the 
southwestern Chinese province that is largely populated by ethnic 
Tibetans.

Three others in the same county were also jailed for terms ranging 
from three to 10 years for spying for overseas organisations or 
engaging in "splittist activities", Xinhua said in a separate report.

Two of them, identified as Lubo and Jacmyang Goinqen, were sentenced 
to 10 years and nine years respectively.

The two, "following directions from overseas sources, took pictures 
and made discs", the report said. The material was provided to 
overseas organisations via a third, named Lutog, who was given a 
three-year sentence.

"Some contents leak intelligence that endangers national security and 
interest," the report quoted the court as saying.

Pictures of a heavy security presence in the region following Runggye 
Adak's speech surfaced on the Internet and on the Web sites of 
overseas groups that advocate greater Tibetan autonomy, but it was 
unclear if that was the material that the three had distributed.

All four men will also be deprived of their political rights for 
several years following their jail terms, meaning even after their 
release they may be subject to police oversight and restrictions on 
their travel and who they associate with.

China has been showing increasing concern about stability in Tibetan 
areas.

A leaked Communist Party memo that came to light last month showed 
China questioning the loyalty of ethnic Tibetan Party members, 
accusing some of swearing their true allegiance to the Dalai Lama.
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