Tibetan monk gets 3 years prison in Machu

Dharamsala, December 21 – A Tibetan monk named Sungrab Gyatso, 34, of Mura monastery in Tibet’s Machu County has been sentenced to three years in prison on December 16, 2010. The Kanlho Intermediate People’s Court convicted Sungrab for allegedly leading protests by students in Machu County earlier this year, the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy based here said.

Sungrab had been arrested twice between March and May 2008 and later released. He was last arrested on March 25, 2010.

Some 30 students from the Machu Tibetan Nationality Middle School carried out a protest that was later joined by over 500 other Tibetans on March 14 this year, the second anniversary of the nation-wide protests that started from Lhasa, the Tibetan capital in 2008. The protesters were demanding Tibetan independence and shouting against the lack of freedom, a Tibetan living in exile told phayul March this year.

The students of the same school carried out their second protest on April 3, 2010, against the sacking of the school’s headmaster and two of his Tibetan assistants.

Born in Mura region in Machu county, Sungrab edited the Rewa-kang-lam (Tib translation: March of Hope) magazine, and is also a member of the group for restoration of Tibetan mother tongue known as “Bod-amae-rangke-larso-tsokpa”. He taught Tibetan language at a school called Tsa-thang bod yig yig-mo sel-wae lobda.

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