DHARAMSHALA, 3 March: A Chinese court has recently sentenced to imprisonment a group of monks including an abbot of a Tibetan monastery for protesting against a Chinese mining company’s rampant mining at Tamo town located in Copper rich Shethongmon district in Shigatse.
Prison terms of 4 – 5 years were given to 49-year-old Sangpo, who is the abbot of Lingka monastery, along with five other monks including Jamyang Tsering, aged 38.
Moreover, the head of the village has been sentenced to 2 years in jail for dereliction of duty on the day of the protest.
The recent announcement of the sentence followed almost a month-long mass protest last year (22 November to 18 December) by residents of Tamo town which include monks of Lingka monastery.
The protesters blocked the mining work despite different tactics to lure them by the officials from the mining firm and local administration. A verbal confrontation between the Tibetan protesters and the police ensued when the latter came to disrupt the peaceful protest.
A large number of police and armed forces were brought into the area to crush the protest after local police were outnumbered by the Tibetans. Many Tibetans were severely beaten and arrested in the crackdown. Those arrested includes the recently sentenced abbot and five monks of Lingka monastery.