Dharamsala, September 24 – A Tibetan student leader who was detained in March for leading a protest against the Chinese government on the second anniversary of the 2008 nation-wide uprising has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, Dolkar Kyap, a native of Machu now living here said. Thupten Nyima, who was detained in March was accused of leading protests by some 30 students from the Machu Tibetan Nationality Middle School. Over 500 other Tibetans later joined the student protest on March 14 this year. The protesters were demanding Tibetan independence and shouting against the lack of freedom, Kyap said in March this year. At least 40 people were detained following the protest.

Thupten was tried by the an Intermediate Court in Kanlho Prefecture but it is not known where he is currently held.

The students of the same school carried out their second protest on April 3, 2010. The students were protesting against the firing of the school’s headmaster and two of his Tibetan assistants from their jobs by Chinese authorities in March, Kyap said, citing sources in the region.

The school’s headmaster Kyabchen Dedrol, and his two assistants—Do Re and Choekyong Tseten—were fired by Chinese authorities following the pro-independence protest by students on March 14, the second anniversary of the nation-wide protests that started from Lhasa, the Tibetan capital.

Two students were also expelled from school for criticizing the government’s patriotic re-education campaign, Kyap added.