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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetan monks escape to Dharamshala after serving twelve year sentence

February 1, 2008

The Economic Times
31 Jan, 2008

DHARAMSHALA: Two Buddhist monks, after serving twelve years rigorous
imprisonment in Tibet for pasting a pro-independence poster, have
escaped to Dharamshala in India.

Jampha Yeshi, 38, and his friend Lobsang Palden were accused of
'counter-revolutionary crimes' in the Chinese administered Tibetan
Autonomous region. They alleged that the Chinese administration tortured
them while serving the sentence.

"A court had convicted us under the charges of 'counter-revolutionary
crimes' in April 1994 and sentenced 12 years' rigorous imprisonment. All
of us who were imprisoned were tortured by the Chinese administration,"
said Palden.

The two monks managed masquerading as businessmen.

They said that their only fault was that they sought public donations
for carrying out restoration work.

"After a refusal by the government office in Linkashur Township to help
repair the monastery, agitated monks of the Serva monastery removed a
signboard outside the office and pasted pro-independence posters," said

"We were released from the jail in March 2006 but were denied political
rights for four years. We were also barred from entering any monastery
or conducting religious ceremonies in the houses of Tibetans," Yeshi added.

The monks alleged that after being released in 2006, the Chinese kept
them under constant vigil and were not allowed to work in higher
offices. They had no other option but to escape.

Tibet became an "autonomous region" of the People's Republic of China in
1965. India has officially recognised it as part of China in 2003.
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