Tibetans protest death sentence to Buddhist monk

Indo-Asian News Service, Dec 2, 2004

New Delhi, India -- Tibetan activists and Indian parliamentarians held a protest march at the Chinese embassy here Thursday demanding the release of a Buddhist monk facing death sentence.

A two-year suspension of Tulku Tensin Delek's death sentence expired Thursday.

Four deputies of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile and five Indian MPs - Bashishtha Narain Singh, Kharabela Swain, P.T. Gyamtso, Mohan Singh and Thubsten Chhewang - made an unsuccessful attempt to hand over a memorandum to embassy officials.

The police briefly detained the Tibetan activists but allowed the Indian lawmakers to drive to the embassy.

But embassy staff refused to accept the memorandum and asked them to leave it at their gate, said a press statement from Gyari Dolma, vice-chairperson of Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies.

Four members of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan parliament - Vice Chairperson Dolma, Biri Jigmey, Sonam Damdul and Gyalrong Dawa Tsering - have been here since last week to lobby with Indian leaders and foreign diplomats.

Tensin Deleg, 52, was sentenced to death in December 2002 along with Lobsang Dhondup, 28, for an April 2002 bomb attack in Sichuan's capital Chengdu in which one person was killed and another injured.

Dhondup was hanged in January 2003 but Delek's death sentence was suspended for two years.

Tibetans said Chinese authorities had not given a fair trial to Delek.