DHARAMSHALA, June 18: A Chinese court in eastern Tibet sentenced two Tibetans from Andu township of Ngaba region to varying prison terms for refusing to accept houses built with Chinese government aid earlier this month.
“The Ngaba county Peoples Court On June 2 sentenced Pulten, 40 to three years and Gyurko, 37 to two years in jail on charges of refusing houses built with Chinese government aid,” Kanyag Tsering, an exile Tibetan monk from the region said.
Tsering said they had refused from taking the keys when presented to them, reasoning that the worth of the poorly built houses was much less than the money the Chinese authorities were asking local Tibetans to cough up.
“The Local Tibetans felt that the actual worth of the poorly built houses, constructed by the government in the name of aid, were much less than the amount of money that the government was asking them to pay,” Tsering said. “So, many of them refused to accept the houses.”
Although most of those arrested in April for defying government “help” were released, Tsering noted that the duo were singled out as they had approached the local courts, accusing the concerned government officials of corruption.
“Pulten and Gyurko had approached the local courts, accusing the Chinese government officials of siphoning off money from the housing aid, but instead they were sentenced,” Tsering said. “Moreover, the police rounded up the local Tibetans, severely beating many and critically injuring two.”
Another Kirti monk heavily sentenced
Losang Phuntsok, 29, a monk at the besieged Kirti Monastery in Ngaba has been sentenced to eight years in prison on unknown charges by the Ngaba prefecture court in Barkham.
He has also been deprived of his “political rights” for four years, according to the exile base of Kirti monastery in Dharamshala. Soon after his sentencing, he was taken to another place to serve his sentence.
Losang Phutsok’s whereabouts had remained unknown since his arrest on October 17, 2011.
The Ngaba region remains the nerve centre of the ongoing wave of self-immolations inside Tibet. 39 Tibetans have set their bodies on fire since 2009 demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and freedom in Tibet.
A number of Kirti monks have either been heavily sentenced since the self-immolations began or continue to remain untraceable.