Tibetan singer jailed for songs with political overtones

Dharamsala: A popular Tibetan singer has been sentenced to four years in prison by a Chinese court for calling on Tibetans to unify and singing songs with "political overtones", a news website has claimed.

Reports from Tibet indicate that Kalsang Yarphel (39) was convicted by a court in Chengdu in Sichuan province after he took part in concerts and encouraged people to speak and learn Tibetan, a Tibetan official said here.

"Authorities accuse him of singing songs that havepolitical overtones," India-based Tibetan portal Phayul.com claimed, adding, Yarphel's music arranger was also sentenced to two years in jail.

"Kalsang Yarphel, a popular Tibetan singer from Machu county, was arrested from the Tibetan capital Lhasa in July 2013 for organising musical concerts with a theme to promote Tibetan language," the website quoted Lhamo Kyab, a former political prisoner now living in exile, as saying.

The series of concerts called "Khawai Metok" (Snow Flower) took place in October and November 2012 and were aimed at encouraging people to speak and write Tibetan, it said.

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