Dorje Tashi

Tibetan millionaire, hotel owner and Communist Party member Dorje was sentenced to life imprisonment after being detained after the 2008 protests.

He was found guilty of unspecified charges at a secret trial in Lhasa.

Religious devotion

Sources inside Tibet told Radio Free Asia that Chinese authorities searching Dorje's house found a letter from Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, thanking him for a donation of 20 million yuan (US $2.94 million). A source in Tibet said that he kept the letter hidden in a vase in his home.

For Dorje, such a donation would highlight his religious devotion; for the Chinese authorities it is 'splittist' or an act of treason.

Fall from grace

Dorje Tashi is the owner of the Yak Hotel - the most famous in Lhasa - and was considered as a member of Tibet's business elite.

He joined the Communist Party in 2003 and was named by the Chinese administration as one of “10 outstanding youth of Tibet”. He was also a delegate to the national Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body to the Chinese government.

His sentence is the latest in a series of convictions of high-profile Tibetans who are former favourites of the Chinese administration, including environmentalist Karma Sandrup and writer Shogdung. 

Chinese media have still not reported on this latest case but sources in Tibet, including the general manager of Dorje Tashi’s Yak Hotel, have confirmed that he has been sentenced.

Related news: