Sixteen Buddhist monks arrested for allegedly triggering explosions

June 6th, 2008 - 1:07 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, June 6 (ANI): Sixteen Buddhist monks have been arrested for allegedly triggering explosions in Qamdo prefecture of the Tibet autonomous region.

Chogyal, Tenphel and three other monks of the Wese Monastery allegedly hatched a plot on April 3 to attack key establishments in Mangkam County.

At 11:25 p.m. on April 5, Tenphel and the other three allegedly triggered a blast in a transformer in Gartog township, Xinhua quoted a police, as saying.

Chogyal had provided the explosives, detonators and fuses. The five were arrested on May 13.

Tashi Tsering and three other monks hatched an abortive plot to bomb a fuel station and a police outpost in Gartog around 9 p.m. on April 7.

Police said all the suspects had confessed to their crimes. They had been listening to foreign radio broadcasts for a long time, following the separatist propaganda of the Dalai Lama and inspired by the March 14 unrest in Tibet.

Dainzin Chilai, vice-chairman of the China Buddhist Association and vice-chairman of the peoples political consultative conference of the Tibet autonomous region, said: Buddhists should believe in clemency. Real Buddhists should learn Buddhist scriptures by heart, love their country and their religion, abide by law, and bring happiness to the people. They should not get involved in cruel killings and sabotage.

The March 14 unrest resulted in the deaths of at least 18 innocent civilians and one police officer.

Meanwhile, a Hong Kong-based researcher for Human Rights Watch, Nicolas Bequelin said that while he had no specific information on the monks under arrest, he doubted that their treatment would meet international standards.

We have no confidence that these people get due process, and in particular the issue of confession is always tricky because of the use of pre trial torture and coercion in China, he added.

Judges in Tibet have also been outspoken in saying that their goal is to try cases as quickly as possible and to preserve the territorial integrity of China, Bequelin said. (ANI)

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