High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser that was posted earlier today on her blog. Woeser’s blogpost is the full text of a petition signed by followers of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche from the village of Nyagchukha in Kham (Ch: Yajiang, Sichuan Province) including several photos in which the fingerprints of the villagers are evident.
Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is a revered Tibetan monk who has been imprisoned since 2002. His original death sentence was commuted to a life sentence and he is being held in Mianyang Prison, Sichuan Province. Read international media reports about recent activities for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche here and here.
The following is the full text of the petition translated into English, note that Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is referred to in the Chinese name A’an Zhaxi:
We Do Not Recognise the Verdict Against A’an Zhaxi
We Want to Have a New Hearing with Regards to the Charges in the Explosion Case
A’an Zhaxi (A-ngag Tashi, Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche) was born in 1949 in the village of Degu, Lithang County in the Ganzi Prefecture. In 1983 he was identified as the reincarnation of the Yajiang County’s Orthok Monastery’s Lama Adong Phuntsok.Starting in 1987, he constructed Orthok Monastery, Nyagchukha Jamyang Choekhorling, Tsochu Ganden Choeling, Golog Tashikyil, Tsun-gon Dechen Choeling and many more monasteries. A’an Zhaxi always taught people not to kill, not to steal, not to tell lies, not to shoot animals, not to gamble, and he also formulated religious tenets. This embodied a great benefit for the people in the monasteries and in the area. Hence, in comparison to other Lamas, the local people particularly trusted and respected A’an Zhaxi.
On 7 April 2002, A’an Zhaxi was arrested by Ganzi Yajiang County Police accused of being one of the hidden instigators responsible for the explosion on Tianfu Square in Chengdu. On 2 December 2002, Ganzi Prefecture’s IntermediatePeople’sCourt sentenced A’an Zhaxi to death with the sentence suspended for two years. Two years later, some said that his sentence had already been changed to life imprisonment and others said that there was no sentence at all, opinions were widely divided. But his family and religious followers had never seen the official court verdict or any notice concerning his case. Hence, there was no way of verifying the details.
The case against Lobsang Dhondup installing the explosives on Tianfu Square and A’an Zhaxi being the wirepuller is a set-up, it is an act of retaliation by the evil officials and lacks any proof or confessions.
Nowhere and at no time have there been any witnesses confirming that A’an Zhaxi actually worked out a plan for Lobsang Dhondup to set off an explosion, and neither has there been any witness who has heard anything about such plans. Moreover, Lobsang Dhondup has never admitted or confessed that A’an Zhaxi worked out a plan for him to set off the explosion. The reason for this is: one of Lobsang Dhondup’s fellow prisoners, who used to share a cell with him, recalls Lobsang Dhondup once saying to him that A’an Zhaxi has never planned anything for him and he has also never officially declared or confessed that A’an Zhaxi had worked out a plan for him. The reason why Yajiang County accused A’an Zhaxi is because they say that he excavated a cave to store the explosives and they also came up with groundless accusations such as that he is not a real monk but they have not provided the people with anything proving his guilt.
A’an Zhaxi himself refuses to admit his guilt
Although there have been many false stories claiming that A’an Zhaxi has already candidly confessed everything, it is still rather obvious that he does not at all admit his guilt. On 2 December 2002, when the Ganzi Prefecture’s IntermediatePeople’sCourt spoke the verdict, in the presence of all, A’an Zhaxi shouted out “don’t say that I set up explosives, I have never ever thought about this sort of thing”. Afterwards, A’an Zhaxi wrote in a letter to Zirui’s people and his close relatives: “I am not guilty, please appeal for justice for me”. Moreover, at the end of 2008, when A’an Zhaxi’s younger sister Dolkar Lhamo together with Zengtar and Tsering Dekyi went to pay him a visit in prison, they also heard him say: “I absolutely did not work out any plans; I don’t even know of any explosion, it would be very kind if you can appeal for justice.” Especially on 11 July 2009, when Apapumu went to see A’an Zhaxi, he said: “I am not responsible for these explosions or any other illegal actions, they have pinned this on me, I have always taught people that one should not harm any life, not even that of an ant, how could I then possibly be responsible for such an action? If it is possible to appeal, there is hope that I may be cleared of all charges. When you leave please go to Zirui for me, tell my relatives and all people of the six Orthok groups, tell everyone that I hope to be cleared of all charges. So, you are in charge, call all people together and do everything possible to help me overturn the verdict.”
Officials plotted to frame
Even before the verdict in the case of the explosion, Ganzi Prefecture and Yajiang County had often arrested A’an Zhaxi. For example, from 1998 to 2000, twice in a row A’an Zhaxi had to flee to the remote mountains to take refuge. In the very beginning when he first established Orthok Monastery and Nyagchukha Jamyang Choekhorling, some officials of the Ganzi Prefecture, Yajiang County and Lithang District deliberately made things difficult and obstructed the construction of the monasteries, but because A’an Zhaxi went directly to the great Panchen Lama for help, the prefecture, county and district authorities had to give permission. Also, during the time when A’an Zhaxi fled to the mountains for refuge, thousands of people signed or put their fingerprints on a petition to the authorities to prove his innocence. The appeal went all the way to the county, even to the central government and in the end the authorities’ attempt to arrest him failed. When A’an Zhaxi returned to his home town he was happily welcomed by thousands of people, who could not be pushed off the stage by local authorities. Through this, mutual apprehension sharpened by the day, the local authorities harboured more and more resentment against A’an Zhaxi, he became the thorn in their side waiting for an opportunity to retaliate. One 2 April 2002, they then arrested A’an Zhaxi accusing him of being the mastermind behind the explosions on Tianfu Square in Chengdu, but it is obvious that this is not true.
In conclusion, there does not exist any proof with regards to A’an Zhaxi’s sentence, there exists no confession, it is only an act of retaliation of the local authorities against A’an Zhaxi. It is a set-up, a frame-up and an entirely fabricated case. If you are out to condemn somebody, you can always find a charge. If this case is not solved justly, our Zirui region, A’an Zhaxi’s relatives and all the people who follow him, regardless of whether the poor turn into beggars, whether men or women, they will definitely not stop appealing for justice. Thus, we sincerely hope that the impartial law of the central government will make its way into this place which is shrouded in the dense fog of conspiracy.
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Living in Everest’s shadow - The Sherpa people of Nepal’s Khumbu region have a complex relationship with the world’s tallest mountain, by Stuart Butler @GeographicalMag