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Human Rights Update 1997

Cultural sites under threat

The above informer expressed great concern over the possible destruction of two revered spiritual sites in Tibet. The first relates to the notion propagated by the Chinese that a large diamond lies at the bottom of Lake Lhamo Lhatso, in Gyatsa district 332 Km S.E of Lhasa, one of the most sacred lakes in Tibet. This legend is being used to justify plans for the immediate excavation of the lake. The second threat relates to the possible sale of Nagla Hill in Nagchu district. The transaction, presently at a halt, is to be carried out by Tenzin, an official leader …

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An appeal from Tibet

The following is an excerpt of an appeal letter received from Lhasa, Tibet. The letter, dated December 1996, describes the new problems of unemployment and prostitution found in the capital today under Chinese rule. Tibetan people are suffering tremendously from Chinese suppression. It is very hard to live under Chinese occupation. In Tibet’s major cities, Tibetans are outnumbered by Chinese. There are 6 to 10 Chinese for every one Tibetan and, in the Lhasa area, 10 to 15 Chinese for every one Tibetan. How sad the Tibetan people are today, outnumbered in their own land by the Communist Chinese. Jobs …

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Prison terms for monks

A former political prisoner of 13 years, (name withheld for security reasons) recently fled Tibet, arriving in India in late 1996. He reported the arrest of three monks from Rabten Monastery in Rong Village under Nagchu, in the beginning of 1996. They were charged for pasting wall posters which condemned the Chinese choice of Panchen Lama and praised the Dalai Lama. The three arrested were: Lobsang Tenchong, aged 17 years from Maho who was sentenced to five years imprisonment; Lobsang Tharchin, aged 18 years from Gamthong, who was sentenced to four years and Lobsang Tenchong, 18 years old from Maho, …

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