[Buddha-l] Chinese court re: Tibetan immolations

Erik Hoogcarspel jehms at xs4all.nl
Fri Feb 1 14:20:47 MST 2013

It is obvious the Chinese are becoming desperate.


Op 01-02-13 18:46, Dan Lusthaus schreef:
> from the nyt (which recently revealed the Chinese govt has been 
> hacking its offices and reporters).
> Dan
> http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/world/asia/chinese-court-issues-severe-sentences-in-tibetan-self-immolations.html?ref=world 
> or
> http://tinyurl.com/bly3wep
> January 31, 2013
> Chinese Court Issues Severe Sentences in Tibetan Self-Immolations
> BEIJING — A court in southwest China gave severe prison sentences on 
> Thursday to two Tibetans who court officials said were guilty of 
> urging eight people to self-immolate, three of whom died, according to 
> a report by Xinhua, the state news agency.
> One Tibetan, Lorang Konchok, 40, was sentenced to death with a 
> two-year reprieve, which often means the convict will eventually get a 
> lifetime prison sentence. His nephew Lorang Tsering, 31, was sentenced 
> to 10 years in prison. The Xinhua report said the older Tibetan was 
> also being stripped of his “political rights” for life, while the 
> younger would have his stripped for three years.
> The sentencing took place in Aba Prefecture of Sichuan Province, an 
> area at the heart of the recent wave of self-immolations by Tibetans. 
> Nearly 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 to protest 
> Chinese rule in Tibetan regions, which lie in western China but which 
> many Tibetans say should be granted independence or true autonomy.
> At least 81 died after their acts, according to the International 
> Campaign for Tibet, an advocacy group based in London. Few other 
> nations have been confronted by such a large wave of self-immolations 
> as political protest.
> Chinese officials have sentenced Tibetans before to prison sentences 
> for what courts have said were their roles in promoting 
> self-immolations, but Thursday’s sentences were among the harshest. 
> There now appears to be a concentrated effort to rein in the 
> self-immolations, which gathered pace in late 2012, by criminalizing 
> both the act itself and helping or encouraging people to commit it.
> On Dec. 3, a newspaper in a Tibetan area of Gansu Province published 
> an editorial that said China’s supreme court, prosecution agency and 
> Ministry of Public Security had issued “guidelines” that said, “The 
> act of self-immolation by Tibetans is a crime.” The guidelines said 
> assisting or encouraging self-immolations was considered intentional 
> homicide, and those who committed self-immolation were also criminals 
> and punishable by law if they “have caused severe damage,” according 
> to the newspaper.
> The Xinhua report on Thursday said the two monks “incited and coerced” 
> eight people to self-immolate; three committed the act and died last 
> year, and the others “willfully” abandoned their plans after the 
> police “intervened.”
> The Chinese government has blamed the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual 
> leader of the Tibetans, for encouraging the self-immolations, even 
> though the Dalai Lama has not made any explicit statements in support 
> of the acts. Tibetans have said in interviews that the 
> self-immolations are genuine expressions of political anger and 
> frustration at Chinese oppression, not the result of plots hatched by 
> senior monks or other Tibetan leaders.
> The two monks sentenced in Aba, which Tibetans called Ngaba, were 
> detained in August 2012, according to a report in December by Xinhua. 
> Both monks are from the Kirti Monastery, which was a site central to 
> the earliest self-immolations.
> That Xinhua report said Lorang Konchok became involved in promoting 
> self-immolations after being contacted by a “Tibetan independence 
> organization” tied to the Dalai Lama. Xinhua said the contact took 
> place after February 2009, when a young monk from Kirti named Tapey 
> set fire to himself outside the monastery. Tapey did not die, but the 
> second Tibetan to commit the act, Phuntsog, also from Kirti, killed 
> himself in March 2011.
> After Phuntsog’s death, a court sentenced three monks to long prison 
> sentences in the first legal punishments handed out in relation to the 
> self-immolations. Two monks were found guilty of involvement in 
> Phuntsog’s self-immolation and one, an uncle of Phuntsog’s, was found 
> guilty of refusing to turn his body over to the police at the time.
> The Tibetans who have self-immolated have come from a variety of 
> backgrounds. They include men and women, young and old, clergy and 
> laypeople. So far this year, at least three Tibetans have 
> self-immolated, all men. The second one, Tsering, who killed himself 
> in Aba Prefecture on Jan. 18, is survived by a wife and two children.
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