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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?"

China jails Tibetan monk for "inciting masses"

February 5, 2008

BEIJING, Mon Feb 4, 2008  (Reuters) - The abbot of a Tibetan Buddhist
monastery in southwest China has been jailed for three years on charges
of endangering national security by inciting the masses, a group
monitoring human rights in the Himalayan region said.

Khenpo Jinpa, 37, abbot of Chogtsang Talung Monastery in Sichuan
province, was sentenced last July, but the Tibetan Centre for Human
Rights and Democracy only reported his imprisonment in a statement seen
on Monday.

The centre did not give a reason for the delay, but the authorities are
keen to keep politically sensitive Tibetan issues under wraps. The court
could not be reached for comment.

Police detained Khenpo Jinpa in August 2006 on suspicion of distributing
leaflets calling for Tibet's independence and the Dalai Lama's long life
at a festival the previous year, the centre said in a statement faxed to
Reuters.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, has lived in exile in India
since 1959 when he fled his predominantly Buddhist homeland after an
abortive uprising against Communist rule.

Khenpo Jinpa was born to a nomadic family and ordained as a monk at at a
young age. In 1992 he enrolled at the Serthar Buddhist Institute.

In 2001, hundreds of monks' huts at the institute were destroyed by
paramilitary police and a ceiling of 1,000 monks was imposed against the
total enrolment of about 10,000.
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