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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Verdict on Tibetan Lama Deferred: Chinese Lawyers' Statement on charges against Phurbu Rinpoche

April 29, 2009

ICT Report
April 27, 2009

The date for sentencing an important Tibetan lama
being defended by two prominent Chinese civil
rights lawyers has been deferred, according to
sources in China. Phurbu Rinpoche, a highly
respected religious leader from Kardze (Chinese:
Ganzi) in Sichuan province (the Tibetan area of
Kham) was detained in May 2008 and is being charged with weapons’ possession.

The two Chinese lawyers defending him say that
serious violations of Chinese law have occurred
during his case and that the charges against him
"lack factual clarity and sufficient evidence."
Nonetheless, they fear that he faces a long
prison sentence. Phurbu Rinpoche remains in
custody and has been tortured, according to his
lawyers. A verdict was due to be announced on
April 28 but is now postponed according to the
two lawyers, who received a phone call from the
Deputy Director of the court in Kangding. Lawyer
Li Fangping told the London Times on April 27:
"They notified me that the date to announce a
verdict had been postponed. There is no new date.
They said they would let me know in due course."

In a document presented to the court, which is
translated below in full into English, the two
Chinese lawyers Li Fangping and Jiang Tianyong
say that "taking criminal measures" against
Phurbu Rinpoche, "who is very influential locally
and who is broadly respected, would be
detrimental to upholding local unity of the nationalities."

This is the first known prosecution of a
prominent Tibetan religious leader since protests
began across Tibet in March 2008, and the first
time that a defendant in a case connected to the
protests is known to have been represented by
lawyers not assigned by the state but chosen by
the defendant or his/her family. Fifty-two year
old Phurbu Rinpoche was detained in May 2008 a
few days after some 80 nuns from the nunnery he
heads, Pangri, held a peaceful protest.

A scholar who knows Phurbu Rinpoche and has
visited the nunnery said: "Due to his religious
status, Phurbu Rinpoche’s concern for his country
and people generated a sincere sense of
responsibility. He once told me that it was in
order to fulfill his urge to do something for his
people that he established a small nunnery that
would give renewed luster to his century-old
lineage and the thousand-year old religious
culture of Tibet. Thanks to private donations and
support from the local populace, he finally built
the Pangri nunnery in Singo village just outside
Kardze town. Although he is a lay teacher, he is
very attentive to the education of the nuns who
not only study under the supervision of a local
spiritual leader and Phurbu Rinpoche himself, but
also receive more specific instructions by other
prestigious masters who visit them regularly from neighboring monasteries."

In their statement, lawyers Li Fangping and Jiang
Tianyong say that following his detention, due to
harsh interrogation, Phurbu Rinpoche "had no
option but to go against his will and confess."
The lawyers, in a statement dated April 21, 2009,
say: "According to verifications in court, when
the defendant was arraigned at Luhuo [Drango
County in Kardze TAP, Sichuan Province] Detention
Center, he was handcuffed by an alternating hand
each day to an iron pillar in the interrogation
room, and with arms outstretched and unable to
sit down he was interrogated continuously for
four days and four nights by a team of six people
in three units of two people; at the same time
the defendant was told that if he did not confess
that the weapons and explosive were his, then his
wife and son would be detained. Under such harsh
interrogation the defendant had no option but to
go against his will and ‘confess without
reservation.’ But such a ‘confession without
reservation’ garnered under conditions of such
torture and terrifying threats gave rise to the
numerous contradictions mentioned previously.
[See below for a full translation of the lawyers’
statement.] Anything attained under such torture
and such terrifying threats is not only not
factual, it is also in serious breach of the
Criminal Procedure Law and the provisions of
legal explanations [occasional supplementary
rulings issued by the Supreme People’s Court]; it
also contravenes the ’Procedural Regulations for
Public Security Organs Handling of Criminal
Cases,” and is a serious breach of procedure.”

Information on the torture of Phurbu Rinpoche and
the harsh conditions he has faced while in
detention comes to light only two weeks after
China released its ‘National Human Rights Action
Plan’, in which China pledges to address key
human rights issues, including prohibiting forced
confessions by torture and the mistreatment of detainees.

The source who knows Phurbu Rinpoche well and
asked to remain anonymous said that while
Rinpoche was deeply concerned about changes in
Tibet and Tibetan culture, "He never attacked nor
criticized the Chinese government or the local
authorities with whom he has always tried to
maintain a healthy and mutually respectful
dialogue. He has always been interested in
finding compromises rather than aiming at harsh and aggressive resolutions."

During the April 21 trial in Kangding (Tibetan:
Dartsedo), a Tibetan area of Sichuan province,
Phurbu Rinpoche, speaking in Chinese, denied the
two charges against him, saying that the gun and
bullets found in his home had been put there to
frame him. Lawyer Li Fangping said that the court
had made no investigation into where the weapons and ammunition had come from.

The second lawyer representing Phurbu Rinpoche,
Jiang Tianyong, was one of 21 Chinese lawyers who
co-signed a public statement on April 1, 2008,
offering to provide legal defense in accordance
with Chinese law to Tibetans who were arrested in
connection with the protests that broke out last
year in Tibetan areas. The Chinese authorities
immediately warned the group not to get involved
in events related to Tibet, threatening that
their law firms would be shut down and that their
licenses to practice law could be revoked.

Li Fangping and Jiang Tianyong say in their
statement that Phurbu Rinpoche "is a religious
personage who loves the country and loves
religion" who "has also actively contributed
ideas and policy suggestions on development in
Ganzi, and frequently offered critiques on
existing problems in development; all of which is
a manifestation of his love of the country and love of his home town."

Phurbu Rinpoche, an incarnate lama of Trehor
Kardze monastery who lives in Dragyab village,
Kardze, was taken into custody on May 18, 2008.
This was four days after some 80 nuns from Pangri
nunnery, in Singo township, Kardze, staged a
demonstration, voicing their distress at the
crackdown, detentions and disappearances that
have followed peaceful protests in different
areas of Tibet, as well as resentment against the
implementation of the 'patriotic education'
campaign by the Chinese authorities.

According to an interview by Beijing-based
journalist Paul Mooney with the well-known
Tibetan writer Woeser, at least a dozen of these
nuns have been sentenced for unknown crimes, and
six are still being detained (April 23, 2009.)
Woeser said: "Since the Lhasa incident last
March, this is the first trial of a Living
Buddha. The authorities want to scare other
Living Buddhas by doing this, but I think that’s
a mistake. Capturing this kind of Living Buddha
will cause a place like this to never be at peace
again." (‘Living Buddha’ is a translation of the
Chinese word used to mean ‘tulku’, or reincarnate lama.)

In a blog reproduced in the Asian Wall Street
Journal, Woeser wrote about the April 21 trial as
follows: "Buramna [Phurbu] Rinpoche appeared in
court wearing the bright yellow and crimson red
vestments of a Tibetan monk. Seven members of his
family, including his wife and son, were in the
court, some crying throughout the trial. Speaking
in Chinese, the Living Buddha denied the two
alleged crimes, vehemently arguing that the
weapons and ammunition found at his home had been
planted there to frame him." (Justice Denied for
Tibetans: The 'trial' of a monk highlights
Beijing's repression, April 27, 2009, Asian Wall Street Journal.)

More than 20 old men and women live in an old
people's home founded by Phurbu Rinpoche, and he
has also adopted many orphans and disabled
children and provided the opportunity for
children of poor families to go to school.

Concerning the charge related to "illegally
occupying state property," Phurbu Rinpoche’s
lawyers argued that he had already legally
acquired state-owned land-use rights, and
defining his management of the old people’s home
"as the crime of occupying state property is a
failure of common sense as well as inhumane and
irrational!" Phurbu Rinpoche's many Chinese
devotees set up a website to support his work: http://www.burongna.net/.

In a personal account of Phurbu Rinpoche provided
to ICT and included in full below, the scholar
(who is no longer in Tibet) wrote: "Panrina
[Phurbu] Rinpoche’s compassion and social
engagement have always been acknowledged and
respected by Tibetans in Kardze. His concerns
were also especially directed towards children’s
health and education. For a few years, he also
personally took care of a young mentally
challenged ethnic Chinese child apparently
abandoned by his parents at a very young age.
While waiting for local authorities to agree on
the appropriate measure, Panrina Rinpoche took
the young child home where he lived for a couple
of years and showered him with attention and
affection. He personally attended to the child’s
home tutoring, reflecting Panrina Rinpoche’s
indiscriminate attention to children and lack of hatred for the Chinese."

Statement by lawyer Li Fangping from the Beijing
Municipality Ruifeng Law Office and lawyer Jiang
Tianyong from the Beijing Municipality Gaobo
Longhua Law Office on the case of Phurbu Rinpoche

Translation by ICT from the original Chinese

Argument for the defense

Respected collegiate panel of judges:

Upon receipt of a commission by the family of
Living Buddha Buronglang [Tib: Buramna] [Phurbu
Rinpoche], Ruifeng Law Offices in Beijing
Municipality assigned the lawyer Li Fangping and
Gaobo Longhua Law Offices in Beijing Municipality
assigned the lawyer Jiang Tianyong to appear in
court on behalf of the defendant Living Buddha
Buronglang and to argue in his defense in the
case of suspicion of illegally owning guns and
explosives and occupation of state property. Upon
receiving the commission, the lawyers saw the
defendant, lodged a request with the court for
copies of the case documents, and participated in
the trial, and in accordance with what has been
grasped of the concrete conditions in this case,
now issue the following opinions:

One, the defense reiterates

The "Constitution of the People’s Republic of
China" and other laws must be seriously and
strictly respected to the full; all organizations
and individuals must act within the strictures of
the Constitution and laws, and cannot be above
the Constitution and laws; the State respects and
protects human rights; and the rights of all
Chinese citizens, including Living Buddha
Buronglang, must have the thorough and effective
protection of China’s Constitution and laws.

Two, the defense explains

The right which (we) the defense lawyers have
under to the Law to meet with the defendant in
the detention center was brutally and illegally
violated by Liu Jun, Director of Kangding
[Tibetan: Dartsedo] County Detention Center.

The defense lawyers’ right to copies of case
documents did not receive the protection of
Kangding County People’s Court; the defense
lawyers only copied a portion of the case file,
furthermore, of the 20 or so documents we
obtained, 20 have either their beginnings or
endings missing so that the defense lawyers had
no way of understanding the transcripts’ concrete
meaning, no way of ascertaining their veracity or
legality, and no way of cross-examining. Thereby
Kangding County People’s Procuratorate placed
enormous obstacles in the way of the defense
lawyers’ professional activities and the rights
of the defendant to legal representation!

Three, the defense cautions

Living Buddha Buronglang is a religious personage
who is fervently publicly spirited. Over a long
period and using his own funds, he has run an old
people’s home giving support to several dozen
elderly people in Ganzi [Tibetan: Kardze] County;
he has also raised several orphans. Buronglang
Rinpoche’s caring has not only led to him being
widely respected, he has also practically
assisted in solving difficulties for the state and the government.

Living Buddha Buronglang is a religious personage
who loves the country and loves religion. Prior
to May 14, 2008 and the incident of the nuns
taking to the streets, he spent 20 days in
hospital for an appendectomy. When the incident
occurred, he was discussing matters of stability
with a section of senior county leaders at
Buronglang Juemu Monastery and knew nothing of
the incident’s occurrence. After the incident and
after he learned of it, he actively coordinated
with county leaders on taking remedial measures.

Buronglang Rinpoche has also actively contributed
ideas and policy suggestions on development in
Ganzi, and frequently offered critiques on
existing problems in development; all of which is
a manifestation of his love of the country and love of his home town.

Taking criminal measures against Buronglang
Rinpoche, who is very influential locally and who
is broadly respected, would be detrimental to
upholding local unity of the nationalities.

Four, the defense considers

To charge that Living Buddha Buronglang has
committed the crime of illegally possessing
weapons and explosives and of occupying state
property lacks factual clarity and sufficient
evidence. Also, serious violations of the law
occurred during the procedures of this case.

(A) The charge against Living Buddha Buronglang
of illegally possessing weapons and explosives does not hold.

i) The facts of this charge are not clear

On the homemade [fangzhi] handgun

Aside from stating in the charging documents that
this gun was taken from Living Buddha
Buronglang’s living room, many other questions remain unclear:

Where did this gun come from? Did the Living
Buddha make it himself or was it bought? When was
it made or purchased? If purchased, from whom was
it purchased? How much was it purchased for? Were
any commonly used tests performed to see whether
or not the Living Buddha’s finger prints were on
its surfaces? There is obviously insufficient
evidence to charge and convict for the crime of
illegal possession of weapons and explosives
solely because guns and explosive were discovered
at his home during a search, because the
possibility cannot be ruled out that he has been framed by others.

The defense wishes to draw the court’s attention
to the fact that as a Living Buddha, the
defendant routinely receives the faithful and
guests in his living room, and that from dawn the
door is open to the faithful and guests until it
is closed at night; furthermore, unlike doors to
the offices of state organs, no one stands on
guard. From what we know from the trial, several
days prior to his detention on May 18, 2008, and
in particular on May 17, the Living Buddha had a
strong sense that he could be detained, and so
why would he not have moved these weapons that
were “hidden” under the bed in the living room in
a practically public arena? Is the prosecutor
able to think this through: even someone with the
slightest common sense would not think of hiding
weapons in a living room where people constantly
come and go. Were you even able to convince yourself of this?

Furthermore and with regard to the description of
the gun, in the "Case Registration Form," the
"Arrest Procedure [zhuahuo jingguo]," the
"Request to Apply for Arrest," the "Record of
Search," the "Transcript of On-Site Inspection,"
and the "Police Manifest of Impounded Items," it
can be clearly seen that personnel handling the
case have written "a homemade ‘54’ gun," but this
was later changed throughout to "a homemade ‘64’
gun," and then finally in the Certificate of
Authenticity and in the Indictment, it had
changed again to “unidentifiable gun [feizhishi
qiangzhi] [ie, not modeled on or intended to
replicate another gun]," and "a homemade gun."
The defense must ask, why are there all of these
changes? Which version is true and which is false?

On the pistol bullets, rifle bullets, and small-bore bullets

The Indictment states "...ascertained: '40 rounds
of rifle ammunition, 39 rounds of pistol
ammunition, and 50 rounds of small-bore ammunition," but:

In the May 23, 2008 transcript the defendant
states there were more than 30 rounds of rifle
ammunition at 1.2 yuan each, 64 rounds of pistol
ammunition at 1 yuan each, and one box of
small-bore ammunition containing 30 to 40 rounds.
In the June 10 transcript of the same year it is
stated that there were 30 to 40 rounds of rifle
ammunition at 1.5 yuan each, and 60 rounds of
pistol ammunition at 1 yuan each. These
contradicting numbers and prices are at odds with
the figures in the Indictment, and it is not
known where the numbers indicated in the
Indictment came from or how they were chosen.

In the defendant’s June 10, 2008 transcript, the
defendant says: "There used to be a worker at the
Ganzi Public Security Bureau called Kang Songming
who used to live next door to me, and when I was
reciting scriptures I borrowed a 54 pistol with
seven or eight rounds of ammunition." This Kang
Songming, we have his name, his family name, we
know where he works, and it should not be
difficult to check the veracity of what the
defendant said, but nowhere in the case files
does it show investigators have verified this material is this not negligent?

The defendant repeatedly put it that the
ammunition supposedly relating to the case was
bought from a youth in Heishui [Tibetan: Trochu
County in Ngaba TAP, Sichuan Province] in or
around 1990 and 1991. The defense considers that
it would be very easy to check the production
dates on the rifle ammunition and the pistol
ammunition and therefore very easy to know if
these bullets were produced before or after 1990
or 1991; if it was after, then obviously the
defendant’s statement is not factual. But the
personnel handling the case did not check, and is
this not negligent? Why has this case been handled so crudely?

Similarly, fingerprint testing was not carried
out on these bullets, and is that not also negligent?

As to why the bullets had not been handed in
[jiaoshang] the defendant on page three of the
May 23, 2008 transcript: "Question: Why didn’t
you hand the bullets in during the 2007
‘relinquish guns, control explosives’? Answer:
Because I am a living Buddha, and I didn’t hand
them in because I was afraid that having that
much ammunition at home would cause a bad
impression and so I kept them hidden at home.
Yesterday when I said I’d thrown them in the
river, that wasn’t true." On page two of the
defendant’s June 10, 2008 transcript, "Question:
Why didn’t you hand the bullets in during the
2007 ‘relinquish guns, control explosives’?
Answer: I forgot there were still bullets at home
and so I didn’t hand them in." There is a
contradiction here between what was said before
and after and it’s hard to know fake from fact.
How did the prosecution choose? What on earth are the facts?

Therefore, setting aside any prejudices and
subjective speculations we are harboring, and
looking again at the materials used to level
these charges, there are questions everywhere,
there are self-contradictions everywhere, and
everywhere there are places that should have been
checked but were not checked. And so we ask of
the prosecution, where are these ‘clear facts’?!

Why are there so many contradictions in the
defendant’s earlier and later transcripts?

ii) Serious violations of the law in the procedural handling of this case

According to verifications in court, when the
defendant was arraigned at Luhuo [Tibetan: Drango
County in Kardze TAP, Sichuan Province] Detention
Center, he was handcuffed by an alternating hand
each day to an iron pillar in the interrogation
room and with arms outstretched and unable to sit
down he was interrogated continuously for four
days and four nights by a team of six people in
three units of two people; at the same time
defendant was told that if he did not confess
that the weapons and explosive were his, then his
wife and son would be detained. Under such harsh
interrogation the defendant had no option but to
go against his will and "confess without
reservation." But such a "confession without
reservation" garnered under conditions of such
torture and terrifying threats gave rise to the
numerous contradictions mentioned previously.
Anything attained under such torture and such
terrifying threats is not only not factual, it is
also in serious breach of the Criminal Procedure
Law and the provisions of legal explanations
[occasional supplementary rulings issued by the
Supreme People’s Court]; it also contravenes the
"Procedural Regulations for Public Security
Organs’ Handling of Criminal Cases," and is a serious breach of procedure.

Other clear instances of procedural illegalities:

According to the Criminal Case Registration Form,
the case was not accepted until May 18, 2008
after it was discovered by the State Security
Unit through its routine work. The case was
accepted by the State Security Unit; the Unit was
also listed as the location of the case
acceptance. Yet the investigation personnel from
Ganzi County Police had already transferred Pubu
Ciren [Tibetan: Phurbu Tsering, which is Phurbu
Rinpoche’s layname] into custody at 6:00 am on
the 18th; so precisely when was the case reported
to the police by the masses? And the case file
reflects nothing of the possibility that the case may have been fabricated.

Judging from the record of the Criminal Case
Registration Form, a search had already been
completed and the case had already been solved by
investigation before a decision had been taken on
whether or not to go to trial. Also, when the
case had only just been accepted [by the state
prosecution], it was already stated in the case
report: "On May 18, 2008 Ganzi County Public
Security investigative personnel conducted a
search of the suspect Pubu Ciren’s residence on
277 Liberation Street, Ganzi Town and discovered
one homemade ‘64’ pistol; one box of 50 rounds of
ammunition; a ‘54’ pistol with 39 rounds of
ammunition; and a semi-automatic rifle with 40
rounds of ammunition sequestered by Pubu Ciren."
Similarly, Ganzi County police’s "Decision to
Establish a Case" states directly that they were
investigating a case of illegal possession of
weapons and explosives against Phurbu Rinpoche;
unconsciously, they omitted to say he was even
suspected of any involvement in the case.

iii) The evidence in this case is insufficient
and the charges cannot be established

As described above the facts in this case are
unclear, there are contradictions in the
allegations, and most non-experts would clearly
see that there were not tests when there should
have been tests and no results from any tests,
and that there are doubts at every stage.
According to the Criminal Procedure Law, evidence
used to justify the establishment of a criminal
accusation must form a complete, tight and closed
chain, all reasonable doubts have to be
dispelled, and the results of the evidence must
indicate only facts. But evidently, this case can
in no way attain these demands.

Witnesses and expert witnesses in this case did
not appear in court for cross examination, and it
was impossible to ascertain the reason why;
according to the Criminal Procedure Law and
relevant legal opinions, witnesses and expert
witnesses, aside from those with legal reasons to
be excluded, should appear in court for
cross-examination, otherwise their testimony and
expert opinion cannot be accepted.

The confession in this case which is deleterious
to the defendant was made when the defendant was
under torture and terrifying threats. According
to law, it cannot be used as a basis for conviction and punishment.

Obviously, the charge against the defendant in
this case of illegal possession of weapons and
explosives cannot be established.

(B) The charge against Living Buddha Buronglang
of illegally occupying state property does not hold

The facts are unclear and there is insufficient
evidence in this case to charge Living Buddha
Buronglang with the crime of illegal occupation
of state property. At the same time, to define
Living Buddha Buronglang’s management of the
Buronglang old people’s home as the crime of
occupying state property is a failure of common
sense as well as inhumane and irrational!

i) Pubu Zeren, aka Living Buddha Buronglang had
already by means of a transfer agreement legally
acquired state-owned land-use rights for the land
at 277 Liberation Street, Ganzi County.

a) Minutes from the (2004) 02 Ganzi County
Chinese Communist Party Office Ganzi meeting show
that: at 2:00 in the afternoon on April 19, 2004
the county Deputy Party Secretary and County Head
of the County People’s Government, Comrade Zhashi
[Tibetan: Tashi], convened a meeting of leaders
from the county party committee, the county
people’s congress, the county government and the
county CPPCC in the conference room on the third
floor of the county government building, at which
the "four parties" were joined by a
pharmaceutical company, to earnestly research the
question of the disposition of the pharmaceutical
company’s land and all land-use rights.

Minutes on the major issues include: a price of
70,000 yuan was set for the county pharmaceutical
company’s land and all land-use rights, which
were to be ceded to Living Buddha Buronglang to
build an old-people’s home. At the same time, the
transferee was required in accordance with
agreements contained in the "Contract on Ceding
Land-Use Rights on State-Owned Land," to pay
transfer payments in a timely way; land
registration procedures were handled according to
law, and having acquired the state-owned land-use
rights, the construction project on the land was completed quickly.

b) On April 26, 2004, Ganzi County Bureau of Land
and Resources and Pubu Ciren signed a "Contract
on Ceding Land-Use Rights on State-Owned Land."
Clause one of this contract stipulates, "This
contract has been drawn up by both parties based
on the principles of equality, willingness, and
payment." Clause three stipulates: "Party B may
within the time allotted and in accordance with
relevant regulations transfer, rent out, use as
collateral or use the land for other economic
activities." Clause five stipulates: "The
allotted time for the transferal of land-use
rights under this contract shall be 70 years."
Clause six stipulates: "The land ceded under this
contract is for an old people’s home project,
subject to approval under overall regulations."
Xu Yi who at the time managed the transfer
contract confirmed, "At the time I didn’t know he
was called Pubu Ciren. I thought his name was
Buronglang, and so I wrote ‘Living Buddha
Buronglang’." When the contract ceding
State-owned land-use rights to the Buronglang
home were signed, it did not have the necessary
credentials and did not have its own funds, and
according to law could not be the main party and
was not capable of fulfilling the role. It wasn’t
until June 10, 2004 six months later that the
Buronglang home was formally approved by Ganzi County Civil Affairs Bureau.

B) There is no doubt at all that the building
constructed on legally acquired land with Living
Buddha Buronglang’s personal funds is his own
personal property. The Buronglang home itself did
not invest a single penny in the land purchase
and construction, and according to convention,
according to reason, and according to law,
property rights on the building cannot be taken away.

It had already been decided by the four parties
to set a price of 70,000 yuan for the
pharmaceutical company’s land and all land-use
rights, and to cede the land to Living Buddha
Buronglang to build an old people’s home. The
transferee under the “Contract on Ceding Land-Use
Rights on State-Owned Land” was Living Buddha
Buronglang, payments for the land cede were made
by Living Buddha Buronglang, and the 1.6 million
yuan costs for constructing an old people’s home
at 277 Liberation Street in Ganzi County were all
met in full by Living Buddha Buronglang. The
Buronglang old people’s home has no fixed income
and none of its own funds, and could not pay such
a large transfer fee and construction costs.

Ganzi County Bureau of Land and Resources
erroneously registered the property owner as the
Buronglang old people’s home, but making all
ownership registration to be collective does not correspond with the facts.

(C) Buronglang old people’s home was privately
established on June 10, 2004 by Living Buddha
Buronglang and was registered as a civic private
non-enterprise and not as a collective work unit,
and certainly not state-owned. In accordance with
the “Temporary Measures for the Registration of
Civic Non-Enterprise Work Units,” it belongs to
an individual civic non-enterprise work unit.

In 1996, Buronglang applied to open an old
people’s home in his own name without any
government investment, and he has never had any.

Article two of the "Temporary Regulations for the
Registration and Regulation of Civic
Non-Enterprise Work Units" states that "civic
non-enterprise work units" refers to enterprise
and institution work units, social bodies and
other social forces established by citizens using
their own non-state-owned resources for social
organizations to engage in non-profit social
activities. Also, article two of the “Temporary
Measures for the Registration of Civic
Non-Enterprise Work Units” states civic
non-enterprise work units are divided into three
types depending on the different civil
responsibilities they undertake according to law:
civic non-enterprise work units (legal entity),
civic non-enterprise work units (partnerships),
and civic non-enterprise work units (individuals).

Individuals responsible for funding civic
non-enterprise work units may apply for
registration to establish an individual civic
non-enterprise work unit (legal entity); two
people or two or more people establishing a
partnership can apply for registration to
establish a partnership civic non-enterprise work
unit (partnership); and two people or two or more
people can apply for registration to establish a
legal entity legal entity civic non-enterprise
work unit (legal entity). Civic non-enterprise
work units established by enterprises and
institute work units, social bodies and other
social forces, or those jointly established by
organizations described above along with
individuals should apply for registration as a
civic non-enterprise work unit (legal entity).

(D) Furthermore, a lot of the material presented
by the prosecution showed that the registration
of 227 Liberation Street in Ganzi County as a
commercial service was based on the requirements
of Ganzi County Government regulations.

Therefore, the charge against Living Buddha
Buronglang of occupying state property does not hold.

In sum, the defense hopes that the court will
take facts as the basis, take the law as the
yardstick, and with wisdom and courage pronounce
Living Buddha Buronglang to be innocent and
release him immediately. At the same time, it is
asked that policy-makers at all levels with their
expansive vision and breadth of mind focus on the
reality with a vision of the future and take the
decision to release the innocent Living Buddha Buronglang Rinpoche.

Defense lawyers: Beijing Municipality Ruifeng Law Office, Lawyer Li Fangping
Beijing Municipality Gaobo Longhua Law Office, Lawyer Jiang Tianyong

April 21, 2008 [sic]

Court notice

The following document was issued by the court
and translated from the original Chinese by ICT:

After September 19, 2005 the defendant Pubu Ciren
[Tibetan: Phurbu Tsering], by taking advantage of
his status as the person responsible at the
privately founded Buronglang [Tibetan: Buramna]
old people’s home (referred to below as the
home), privately entrusted Kang Xiuying to use
private connections in order to change permits
for all holders of land-use rights for the
1968.75 square meters of building land at the
home, and the building property rights over to
Kang Xiuying and Pubu Ciren. Land-usage was
changed from land for charitable use to
commercial services, and the property rights were
changed from collective to individual, illegally
expropriating the land-use rights at the home and
ownership of the building. It is estimated that
the value of the portion of land for which Pubu
Ciren expropriated the land-use rights is 218,100 yuan.

Evidence confirming the above facts is as follows:

Documentation, witness testimony, expert opinion,
and transcripts of on-site investigations, the
defendant’s confession and explanations on file.

This office considers that the defendant Pubu
Ciren was in illegal possession of weapons and
explosives, and by taking advantage of his
professional position illegally expropriated the
property of the home as his own. The sums
involved were large, and his actions were in
contravention of Clause 1 of Article 128 of the
Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China,
Clause 1 of Article 271, and Article 69. The
facts of the crime are clear, there is solid and
ample evidence, and criminal responsibility
should be pursued for the crimes of illegal
possession of weapons and explosives and illegal
expropriation of state property. In accordance
with the regulations in Article 141 of the
Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic
of China, public suit is raised to prosecute according to law.

Kangding County People’s Court

Prosecutor: Wang You
February 13, 2009

Attached:
1: The defendant is currently detained at Kangding Detention Center;
2: One copy of the list of evidence, one copy of
the list of witnesses, [illegible number] copies
and [illegible number] pages of legal documents
pertaining to this case, and main evidence.

In Praise of Panrina [Phurbu] Rinpoche

A personal account by a scholar who knows Phurbu
Rinpoche and has visited him in Kardze

The first time I met Panrina Rinpoche (Tib. sPang
ri sna), also known as Purbu Tsering (Tib. Phur
bu tshe ring) was in the winter of 2005. I was
visiting the Panrina nunnery just a few miles
outside Kardze in the village of Singo (Tib. Sib
ngo/Su ngo). Not far from this small village is
also the Kardze nomads’ relocation village. I was
immediately struck by the respect, reverence, and
devotion that the nuns of his nunnery showed for
him. When he approached the convent a few nuns
prostrated to his feet stretching their full
bodies on the dusty and sandy courtyard and one
nun could not hold back the tears from her eyes!
An impressive and sturdy man, Panrina Rinpoche
instantly made me feel welcome with his
contagious smile and gentle manners. He was a
great listener and very humble person.

Although he expressed true concern for the state
of Tibetan society and culture in his land, all
the time we conversed in his house, not far from
Kardze main crossroads, he never attacked nor
criticized the Chinese government or the local
authorities with whom he has always tried to
maintain a healthy and mutually respectful
dialogue. Although he was absolutely concerned
about the social, cultural, and religious
situation of Tibetans in Kardze, he has always
been interested in finding compromises rather
than aiming at harsh and aggressive resolutions.
At the nunnery, he showed me around introducing
me to a few nuns. He told me that the nuns were
very devoted to their practices and religious
chores, but he did not fail to point out how they
were also under the constant pressure of the local authorities.

Due to the ongoing patriotic education,
authorities would visit the nunnery regularly,
even a few times a week with the purpose of
investigating the nuns’ loyalty to the Dalai Lama
and their sympathy for the Tibetan independence
cause. They would test a number of nuns’
knowledge of the current religious regulations
and would often make abusive verbal comments when
they failed to receive satisfactory results. Each
nun had to own, read, and study the most updated
versions of political manuals distributed by the
Pubic Security Bureau (PSB) officers and cadres.
Darkened by years of smoke, the walls of the
kitchen and guest room, were dotted with
government’s framed statements and patriotic slogans.

Panrina Rinpoche Lobsang Tenzin Yeshe Trinley
(bLo bzang bstan dzin ye shes phrin las) is the
fourth of a line of reincarnated Buddhist masters
from the respected Tre hor Kardze monastery in
the nearby area of Brag go. Despite having been
recognized as a Tulku (Tib. Sprul sku) at a very
young age, due to the Cultural Revolution
(1966-1976), as a child he was not able to pursue
the monastic career and related religious
education usually prescribed for such outstanding
religious figures in the purest Tibetan Buddhist
tradition. Nevertheless, his religious vocation
and intellectual curiosity never failed to
prevail over more mundane matters. Partially
self-teaching and partially by traveling to some
other Tibetan and Chinese towns and cities such
as Chengdu, Panrina Rinpoche studied with a
number of Tibetan intellectuals and religious
figures of his time especially at the end of the
1970s. He read several books on both religious
and political topics. This gave him an eclectic
and considerable knowledge in the most important
and crucial facets of Buddhist culture.

Due to his religious status, Panrina Rinpoche’s
concern for his country and people generated a
sincere sense of responsibility. He once told me
that it was in order to fulfill his urge to do
something for his people that he established a
small nunnery that would give renewed luster to
his century-old lineage and the thousand-year old
religious culture of Tibet. Thanks to private
donations and support from the local populace, he
finally built the Panrina Tashi Gepheling nunnery
(sPang ri sna bkra shis dge phel gling) in the
Singo village just outside Kardze town. Although
he is a lay teacher, he is very attentive to the
education of the nuns who not only study under
the supervision of a local spiritual leader and
Panrina Rinpoche himself, but also receive more
specific instructions by other prestigious
masters who visit them regularly from neighboring monasteries.

Panrina Rinpoche is not a Buddhist monk, but
seeing him interact with people exposed the
serenity and equanimity typical of some realized
beings. He is married with children, but his and
his family’s activities have never been aimed at
the accumulation of personal wealth. Rather their
actions have always been focused on the benefit
of less fortunate people, with particular
attention to the sick, the old, and the young. In
2005 he established an old people house not far
from his own residence, and a pharmacy. His son,
a trained physician, was in charge of the store.
Following his father’s vision he tried to
provides care and assistance to those in need
often free of charge. I myself have witnessed on
more than one occasion Panrina Rinpohe and his
son offering medical assistance and drugs to
people without the possibility of paying for the medicines.

Panrina Rinpoche’s compassion and social
engagement have always been acknowledged and
respected by Tibetans in Kardze. His concerns
were also especially directed towards children’s
health and education. For a few years, he also
personally took care of a young mentally
challenged ethnic Chinese child apparently
abandoned by his parents at a very young age.
While waiting for local authorities to agree on
the appropriate measure, Panrina Rinpoche took
the young child home where he lived for a couple
of years and showered him with attention and
affection. He personally attended to the child’s
home tutoring, reflecting Panrina Rinpoche’s
indiscriminate attention to children and lack of hatred for the Chinese.

One of Panrina Rinpoche’s agonizing worries,
however, has always been the future of Tibetan
language, culture, and folk traditions and
customs. On many occasions, he complained that
Tibetans are becoming more and more unconsciously
Sinicized in terms of lifestyle, manners, and
language. The overwhelming presence of Chinese
migrants and permanent residents of Kardze is
diluting the essential spirit of the area,
jeopardizing the local religious and traditional
culture. In this critique of local culture,
Panrina Rinpoche was not alone. Other eminent
intellectuals like him such as teachers,
scholars, and local influential religious
figures, both monastic and lay, share Panrina
Rinpoche’s concerns and preoccupations.

In his attempt to keep Tibetan culture and local
customs alive, Panrina Rinpoche has predominantly
worn Tibetan-style clothes and his house is
furnished respecting as much as possible Tibetan
interior decoration and design. It is impossible
to neglect or overestimate Panrina Rinpoche’s
highly influential position and respected status
among the local populace of Kardze. When people
met him in the streets they bowed to him and
asked for his blessings. During official
celebrations and ceremonies, monasteries invited
him and arranged high seats for him and performed highly deferential rituals.

Press contact:
Kate Saunders
Communications Director, ICT
Tel: +44 7947 138612
email: press@savetibet.org
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