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[ineb] Press Release on Ngawang Jinpa

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  • Lobsang Nyandak, Director TCHRD Dsala
    Press Release Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy September 8, 1999 Ngawang Jinpa Dies After Repeated Beatings Ngawang Jinpa, also known as Lobsang
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 1999
      Press Release
      Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy
      September 8, 1999

      Ngawang Jinpa Dies After Repeated Beatings

      Ngawang Jinpa, also known as Lobsang Dawa, a Ganden Monastery monk who was
      imprisoned in Drapchi, died in Phenpo County, his hometown, on May 20,
      1999. He was 31 years old when he died.

      Ngawang's health first began to deteriorate after he was arrested for
      participating in protest at Ganden Monastery on May 6, 1996. After his
      arrest, he was detained at Gutsa Detention Centre for 8 months where he was
      severely beaten. According to Legshey Drugdak, a Nalanda monk from Phenpo
      County, who shared a prison cell with Ngawang reported that he arrived in
      Drapchi Prison in a very weak condition. Despite this, the prison officials
      continued to torture him and forced him to work. Legshey was released in
      January 1998 after spending 3 years in Drapchi Prison.

      In March 1999, Ngawang's health grew so poor, that the Chinese authorities
      took him to "Tibet Autonomous Region" (TAR) Military Hospital near Sera
      Monastery, where he was diagnosed with brain damage. The doctors extracted
      fluid from his spine, a painful procedure that is performed to treat raised
      intra-cranial pressure, a condition that can result from repeated blows on
      the head. Ngawang's condition was so hopeless, that the Chinese
      authorities released him on medical parole on March 14, 1999.

      Ngawang, along with some 43 monks, was arrested on May 7, 1996 during a
      raid conducted by Chinese authorities at Ganden Monastery. The raid took
      place the day after hundreds of monks threw out a team of Chinese officials
      who had instructed the monks to take down pictures of the Dalai Lama on
      display in the monastery. They claimed that possession of the Dalai Lama's
      photo signified "an irreligious and anti-Buddhist act with a political
      objective of splitting the motherland and against the patriotism." In the
      morning of May 7, Chinese soldiers fired warning shots with automatic
      weapons and reportedly shot 5 monks, which resulted in the death of one
      monk called Kelsang Nyendrak and severe injuries to the others.

      Upon their arrests, the Ganden monks, including Ngawang Jinpa, were
      detained at Gutsa Detention Centre where they were reportedly beaten and
      tortured. The Chinese intermittently released some monks over the next few
      months and subsequently expelled them from the monastery. In January 1997,
      25 Ganden monks were tried by the Lhasa Intermediate People's Court and
      sentenced anywhere from 1 to 15 years.

      The Court sentenced Ngawang Jinpa to 12 years in Drapchi Prison and
      deprived him of his political rights for four years on the charge of having
      participated in "counter-revolutionary" activities. He was released on
      medical parole after serving almost 3 years in prison and died only two
      months after his release.

      Gaden monks who are still serving prison sentences include: Bagdro, Po-lhoe
      and Jampa Tenkyong, sentenced to 15 years; Passang Tsegyal, Penpa, Yonten
      Gyalpo, Kunchok Dhondup and Khedrup, sentenced to 12 years; A-Tsak, Lobsang
      Wangchuk, Tsering Bhagdro and Tasang, sentenced to 10 years; Jampa Thaye
      and Sonam Tsering, sentenced to 5 years; Lhaksam Gyaltsen, Penpa and
      Tsultrim Gyaltsen, sentenced to 3 years.

      Ngawang began his education at the age of seven at the Langdhar Town Public
      School. He left the school in 1987 to become a monk at Ganden Monastery.
      When he joined the monastery at the age of 19, his layname, Lobsang Dawa,
      was replaced with his religious name, Ngawang Jinpa. At Ganden, he worked
      as a shopkeeper from 1987 to 1993 and from 1994 to 1996 he was a student of
      Buddhist dialectics.

      He is survived by his father, Dorjee and his mother, Kalsang Dolma, who are
      farmers in Phenpo County.


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