Ganzi Living Buddha jailed

Tibetan Snow Lion

Tibetan Snow Lion (གངས་སེང་གེ་)

Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche (普布泽仁仁波切), charged with illegal possession of ammunition and embezzlement, has been sentenced to more than eight years in jail, the BBC reported on Friday. His trial was probably continuously held at Ganzi Intermediate People’s Court.

He had been arrested on 18 May 2008, a few days after more than 80 nuns in Ganzi held a demonstration against an official campaign to impose “patriotic re-education” on their convents, in which they were required to denounce Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

“He was tried in April and the sentence had been scheduled to be read out days later, but for some unknown reason it was postponed until 23 December,” [his lawyer Jian Tianyong told AFP].

Jian Tianyong was reportedly not allowed to attend the court. Phurbu Tsering Rimpoche, an abbot and a Living Buddha from the “autonomous” prefecture of Ganzi (甘孜藏族自治州) in Sichuan Province, was apparently defended by two Han Chinese lawyers who had reportedly previously been told by government officials not to take any cases of Tibetans. Rather surprisingly, the court postponed judgment in April, but has now brought a verdict and a sentence, apparently on December 23.

The 53-year-old abbot hasn’t yet decided if he will appeal, the BBC quotes Jian Tianyong.


Zap zap jé, October 16, 2009

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