Tibetan ‘political prisoner’ lands in Dalai Lama’s abode


By : Mohan Verma

Tibetan “political prisoner” Golog Jigme, who was jailed for working in a film, expressing feelings of Tibetans ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, narrated tales of physical and mental torture that prisoners are undergoing in China.

Narrating his 20-month arduous journey since his escape from a Chinese prison, Jigme, who last week reached Dharamshala, the home to the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, said  that he hid across mountains, rivers and forests.

Seeking release of his associate and filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, who shot “Leaving Fear Behind”, the documentary that expressed the feelings of Tibetans, he said, “I had been on the run until I reached Dharamshala a few days back.”

The 44 year old political prisoner told reporters that he was first arrested and jailed in 2008 for assisting Wangchen in documentary making.

He was accused for taking part in violent protests against the Chinese government and not making defamatory statements against Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Narrating his experience in Chinese prison, where he was brutally tortured, Jigme said, “Even today I continue to have severe pain on the backbone and ribs and my knee dislocates whenever my body gets cold.”

Jigme was released a few months after his first arrest in 2008. However, he continued to be harassed by Chinese police.

“For two months, I ran and hid across the mountains. They (Chinese) announced a reward of 200,000 RMB for information on my whereabouts,” Jigme said.

Human rights watchdog Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy based here said Jigme reiterated that the Chinese government’s forced re-education policies, the destruction of Tibetan language and identity and marginalization of Tibetans are some of the major grievances of the people in Tibet.

The Dalai Lama this month expressed concern over situation in Tibet.

“Hard line officials continue to target Tibetan language and religion,” the Nobel Peace Prize laureate told reporters on May 10 in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, according to a post on his official website.

On being asked how long Tibetans could be expected to remain non-violent, the Dalai Lama said, “If Tibetan Buddhist culture is damaged in Tibet, who knows what will happen.”

Later, addressing a gathering of Tibetans, he said: “The spirit of the people in Tibet is very strong…their courage is amazing. And they remain non-violent.”

“We retain a strong dedication to our religion and culture and because of aspirations we have made in the past, we have not let our heritage down. After 60 years, the issue of Tibet is still alive. Awareness of Tibet is still growing,” he said.

The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, has been following a “middle-path” policy that seeks “greater autonomy” for Tibetans in China rather than complete independence.

The Tibetan exile administration is based in Dharamshala.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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