China jails Tibetan property tycoon for life

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New Delhi, Aug.13 (ANI): China has sentenced a Tibetan property tycoon to life imprisonment without providing details of the charges, said to be mainly political in nature.

Reports from Beijing said that the Lhasa Municipality Intermediate People's Court sentenced Dorje Tashi, 37, on June 26.

The Times and The Australian quoted Tibetan sources, as saying that the sentencing, if made on political grounds, is not surprising or unusual in Tibet.

Many in the deeply Buddhist population resent Beijing's rule and yearn for the return of the exiled Dalai Lama.

Court sources said that Tashi's conviction was based on "illegal business operations" involving his Yak Hotel, the best known and oldest in Lhasa - the capital of the region.

The court confiscated his personal property, estimated to be 4.3 billion Yuan (707 million dollars).

He was arrested in March 2008, shortly after an anti-Chinese riot rocked Lhasa, even though he had been praised at the time for supporting the government crackdown and providing supplies to security forces.

Dorje operated many other enterprises, from property to trading companies, and had close links with Chinese authorities.

Shortly after his arrest, however, there were reports that he had made donations to monasteries, or even the Dalai Lama - donations which would have enraged Beijing. (ANI)

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