Chinese authorities have sentenced a Tibetan businessman to two years at hard labor after finding him in possession of “illegal” materials following his return from a religious gathering conducted by Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in India, according to sources.
Jigme Topgyal, 55, also known as Junggar, was punished after undergoing two months of political “re-education” with hundreds of other Tibetans who returned from the “Kalachakra” gathering in January 2012, a source close to Topgyal’s family told RFA's Tibetan Service.
Topgyal was taken into custody and held for questioning and political “re-education” by police on his return to the Tibet Autonomous Region in March, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“After completing two months of re-education, he returned to his home in [Tibet’s regional capital] Lhasa, where he remained for 15 days until he was again detained on May 15,” the source said.
That evening, Lhasa police came to ransack his family’s home and shop, and discovered 15 DVDs of the Dalai Lama’s Kalachakra teachings along with photos of the Dalai Lama himself.
“These were all confiscated, along with an old radio that the family owned.”
Images of the Dalai Lama are frequently banned by Chinese authorities in Tibet, who regard the exiled spiritual leader as a dangerous separatist and symbol of Tibetan national identity.
Police also asked Topgyal’s family for a computer thumb drive and a “green book,” neither of which the family had in their possession, the source said.