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U.S. Condemns Tibetan's Execution


B.B.C., Jan. 28, 2003

"The United States has condemned the execution of a Tibetan man accused of a series of bomb attacks in south-west China. 'We join the international community in raising concern over the reported execution of Lobsang Dhondup, and the suspended sentence of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche,' said Amanda Blatt, a spokeswoman for the State Department. Tibetan exiles said they would hold a demonstration outside the Chinese embassy in Washington on Tuesday in protest. Lobsang Dhondup, 28, was executed on Sunday, after being convicted in a closed trial in Dec. of bomb attacks in Sichuan province between 1998 and 2002. Activists have criticised the trial of Lobsang Dhondup and Tibetan monk Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche - whose suspended death sentence has been upheld - as unfair. The U.S. State Department said it was also 'closely watching' reports that 10 other Tibetans had been detained in the same case."
"Tibet's government-in-exile, in a statement from its base in Dharamsala, northern India, said it was 'deeply disappointed' by the execution of Lobsang Dhondup. The government said it hoped Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche would not suffer the same fate. 'We appeal to the international community to put pressure on the Chinese Government to overturn the death sentence and initiate a fair and transparent retrial of Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche,' the statement said. China has said Lobsang Dhondup confessed to being involved in the 1998-2002 bombings. The court said two of the attacks were carried out in the region of Ganzi, near Tibet's eastern border. Another attack in Apr. 2002 on Sichuan province's capital, Chengdu, left one person dead. Thierry Dodin, director of the London-based Tibet Information Network (T.I.N.), said that there was no way of knowing whether Lobsang Dhondup was guilty because he did not have an open trial."
" 'These are not the conditions that are favourable for trust given that we know that in many human rights issues, the Chinese state has not been straightforward, Mr. Dodin told B.B.C. News Online on Monday. 'On the one hand China seems keen on being better respected on human rights records, but if people are tried on this basis . . . then we are back where we were 20 years ago,' Mr. Dodin said. Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, 52, had appealed against his conviction. Last week a U.S. government-financed radio network broadcast a tape smuggled out of China in which he protested his innocence. 'I was wrongly accused because I have always been sincere and devoted to the interests and well-being of Tibetans,' Radio Free Asia quoted him as saying. The town of Ganzi, where two of the attacks reportedly took place, has faced repeated crackdowns by Chinese police trying to root out pro-independence activists."
"The area has a majority ethnic-Tibetan population and has long been a hotbed of pro-Tibetan independence activity. Western Sichuan was originally known as Cham and was historically part of Tibet. After the Communists came to power in China in 1949, they amalgamated Cham into Sichuan province. In 1951, China's People's Liberation Army invaded and occupied the rest of Tibet."