By P D lungmoche
NEW DELHI, January 30 - Thirty six Tibetans in New Delhi were arrested today as they held a peaceful protest in front of the Chinese Embassy against China’s execution of a Tibetan and the upholding of the suspended death sentence on another.
Those arrested, including two women aged 65 and 61, were taken to Delhi’s Tihar Jail where they are said to have launched a hunger strike.
The Higher People’s Court of Sichuan Province, China, on Jan 26 upheld the verdict of the Kardze Intermediate Court, which had passed the death sentence on Lobsang Dhondup, 28, and a suspended death sentence on a prominent Tibetan religious teacher, Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, 52. A suspended death sentence is normally commuted to life imprisonment.
The two Tibetans were first sentenced by the Kardze Intermediate Court on Dec 2 -- on alleged charges of bombing incidents in China’s Sichuan Province – which was largely protested by International rights groups and Tibet support groups.
Lobsang Dhondup was executed Jan 26 afternoon. Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche had appealed against his sentence which was rejected by the higher court. In a smuggled taped-message sent to Radio Free Asia (RFA) Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche proclaimed his innocence saying, “I am completely innocent.” “I was wrongly accused because I have always been sincere and devoted to the interests and well-being of Tibetans," RFA quoted him as saying.
He added, “The Chinese did not like what I did and what I said. That is the only reason why I was arrested." Rinpoche was known for his humanitarian work in the Kardze region, a majority Tibetan inhabited area of Sichuan. Major parts of the traditional Tibetan province of Kham was incorporated into China’s Sichuan Province.
Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche had earlier on Jan 6 began a hunger strike protesting unfair trial and ill-treatment in jail. The fate of Rinpoche since his second trial, which was closed to the public, is unknown yet.