130 killed in unrest: Tibet govt-in-exile

Dharmasala, March 24:

Around 130 people have been confirmed killed in a Chinese crackdown on protests and unrest in Tibet, the prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile said today.

“This figure is from our sources in Tibet. The verifiable number is about 130 in entire Tibet,” Samdhong Rinpoche said in Dharamshala in northern India, the base of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The new toll is a jump from the figure of 99 confirmed deaths provided by the government-in-exile last week.

“These are not necessarily new casualties. This could be information that we could not get before,” Rinpoche said, adding that the numbers also included fatalities from Tibetan areas in provinces such as Gansu and Sichuan. “We are afraid the number could go up when we get more information from remote areas,” he said. China has released different figures on the number of dead.

A report from Beijing said a former factory worker who organised a petition linking human rights improvements to the Beijing Olympics was sentenced to five years in jail for subversion today, his sister said.

Yang Chunlin, 52, had gone on trial in Jiamusi city in the northern province of Heilongjiang after collecting over 10,000 signatures for a petition entitled: “We want human rights, not the Olympics”.

“We received the verdict today,” his sister, Yang Chunping, said.