By Phuntsok Yangchen
DHARAMSHALA, December 15: A court in Dzogang County in Chamdo Prefecture has sentenced a 77-year-old Tibetan man to one year and six months in prison reportedly for denouncing the worship of a controversial deity known as Dorje Shugden (dolgyal).
According to Radio Free Asia
, Jamyang Tsering was arrested in June for encouraging a group of students to follow the wishes and guidance of the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to always “hold to their pride in being Tibetan”.
However, following his arrest, RFA
quoted its source as saying, “He (Jamyang Tsering) himself says he has done nothing wrong and has no regrets.” The source added that he is only concern for his 88-year-old wife.
He is currently held at Dzogang County Detention Center from where he will be later transferred to a jail in Chamdo. He is said be in poor health condition suffering from many ailments such as abdominal disorders, diabetes, and high blood pressure, according to the source.
The Tibetan spiritual leader denounces the worship of Dorje Shugden as "spirit worship" and fears that the propitiation of it might degenerate the "rich tradition of Tibetan Buddhism" into "mere propitiation of spirits.
The Dalai Lama had himself been a follower of Dorje Shugden but he later quit in 1975 for reasons he describes as "strong sectarian overtones" and "a history of contributing to a climate of sectarian disharmony" among the four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
The followers of Dorje Shugden allege that the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government in exile violate religious freedom, discriminate them and cause obstruction to their right to live in India and travel abroad. However, The Tibetan government denies the allegations saying it is open to any investigation of instances. They carry out protests outside venues of the Tibetan leader's public events in various countries.