Khenpo blessing local Tibetan followers/file photo
DHARAMSHALA, October 17: Noted Tibetan Buddhist leader and a philanthropist from Nangchen, Khenpo Kartse, has been sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment by a Chinese court in Chamdo, according to Karten, a Tibetan monk from Jamyang Choekhorling monastery in California.
Khenpo Kartse, the abbot of Jhapa Monastery, was arrested by Chamdo Police from Chengdu where he had traveled with regard to a purchase of a new idol for his monastery on December 6, 2013. On December 21, sixteen Tibetans including monks were detained for their involvement in a protest demanding his release.
Following the abbot’s arrest, hundreds of monks and lay people in Nangchen walked with placards and banners demanding the release of the abbot. "Please look at the anguish of students separated from their teacher," read a banner carried by the monks.
Khenpo Kartse was interrogated by police teams from Beijing, Sichuan, Qinghai and Nangchenon Dec. 31, 2013. In a letter sent through Nangchen police team, Khenpo has assured fellow monks of the monastic community and local Tibetan communities of Nangchen that he was healthy and that he was not subjected to any torture in detention.
The Amnesty International has also initiated a campaign for the release for 17 Tibetans including Khenpo Kartse. The global rights watchdog has appealed the international community to write to the Director of Tibet Autonomous Region Public Security Bureau appealing Chinese authorities to release Khenpo Kartse and the 16 Tibetans arrested in the aftermath of a protest march by local Tibetans seeking Kartse's release.