DHARAMSHALA:Two teenaged Tibetan monks of Kirti monastery has been sentenced to varying prison terms by a local Chinese court in Tashiling County in Ngaba prefecture (incorporated into China’s Sichuan Province). The sentences were pronounced in late October after six months of arbitrary detention by the authorities for a peaceful protest staged separately by the two monks against the Chinese government earlier in March this year.
Gedun Phuntsok, 18 was sentenced to four years in prison whereas Losang Kelsang, 19 was sentenced to three and a half years. They are currently lodged at Mianyang prison near Chengdu City where majority of the political prisoners are detained.
Phuntsok was arrested by Chinese security forces for staging his protest on the main street of Ngaba town on 8 March. He was carrying a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with a yellow Khatag (Tibetan ceremonial scarf) on his head calling for freedom and equality in Tibet and urging the Chinese government to allow the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.
Lobsang Kelsang was arrested by Chinese security forces after the former’s protest on the main street of Ngaba town on 17 March. He was carrying a portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and tossing prayer flags into the air, calling for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom for Tibetans.
Both Phuntsok and Kelsang are cousins hailing from Chukle Gabma in Cha village. Phuntsok is the son of Tragya and Riko while Kelsang is the second of three children to father Tsering and mother Dechen.
– Report sent by Kanyag Tsering and Lobsang Yeshe –