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Dharamshala: - Tashi Rabten, respected Tibetan writer and author of the banned literary work, "Written in Blood" (penname - Theurang) has been sentenced to a 4-year prison term by a Chinese court. The Ngaba Intermediate People's Court on June 2, passed the sentence in a trial closed to Tashi Rabten's family and friends. According to reliable sources inside Tibet, the court found Tashi Rabten, editor of banned literary magazine "Shar Dungri" (Eastern Conchshell Mountain) guilty on charges of "inciting activities to split the nation".

A student at the Northwest Nationalities University in Lanzhou, Tashi was detained on April 6, 2010 and six months later was traced to a detention center in Barkham county, Ngaba. His reports on the 2008 protests inside Tibet and his book ‘Written in Blood', copies of which were later confiscated by government officials, had won Tashi "great respect and popularity" amongst intellectuals and ordinary readers.

Tashi Rabten is from Dzoege county in Ngaba, in the Tibetan region of Kham, and he was due to graduate in 2010. Earlier this year three Tibetan writers were sentenced up to four years in prison while noted Tibetan intellectual, Tagyal, was released on "bail pending trial" following six months of imprisonment in October last year.

On January 25th, 2009, Tashi published a book entitled "Blood Letter", which his supporters defend as an honest and accurate description of last year's March 10th protests in Tibet. The Chinese government, however, has cut off Blood Letter's distribution and confiscated the copies that have been sold, banning this book due to its "suspicious" political content. First they began to monitor the author's daily activities and conduct clandestine interrogations, and now he has disappeared.

Tashi's Blood Letter consists of an introduction (containing 32 articles), and five main sections. These sections are titled, "Note from Hell", "The Melody of the Soul", "My Tibet", "Sacrifice of the Heart", and "Truth's Revenge". In these chapters, and in several articles published in the Chinese Northwest Minorities University annual magazine, Shar Dhung- Ri (The Eastern Conchshell Mountain), Tashi details the bloodshed that took place on March 10th, 2008, when the Chinese police cracked down harshly on peaceful protesters. He argues that it was not Tibetans, but Chinese officials, who were responsible for the ensuing violence and property destruction.

The first piece of evidence supporting this assertion is an international report by a journalist from Singapore, published at the time of the protests. Additionally, a Burmese lady studying in Lhasa at the time of the protests reports that she witnessed an armed Chinese official changing from Tibetan clothes into his police uniform. Next, all of those so-called protesters, who stirred up violence and destroyed public property, disappeared directly after the protests. Fourth, the violence was broadcast to the world only by the highly censored Chinese state media.

Tashi Rabten's descriptions of Tibetans suffering under a repressive Chinese regime, and his expressions of his love for and loyalty to the Tibetan nation and culture, brought him under the close inspection of the Chinese government.

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