Ngawang Sangdrol (center) and niece with Executive Director John Kamm, Lhasa, February 28, 2003.

Ngawang Sangdrol has been granted medical parole by the warden of Drapchi Prison in Lhasa, and she arrived in the United States for medical treatment on Friday afternoon, March 28, 2003. She departed Beijing earlier the same day, accompanied by an official of the US Embassy in Beijing. She was met on her arrival by a representative of the US State Department.

Ngawang Sangdrol was granted parole by the Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court on October 17, 2002. She has been staying with her elder sister in Lhasa. Shortly after her release, credible reports emerged regarding health problems, and The Dui Hua Foundation’s Executive Director John Kamm requested assistance from the Chinese government in arranging a visit to Lhasa to meet Ngawang Sangdrol.

After several months of discussion with departments of the Chinese government, Kamm visited Lhasa on February 28, 2003, accompanied by a representative of the central government, at the invitation of the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Shortly after arriving in Lhasa, Kamm was briefed on Ngawang Sangdrol’s situation, in particular the conditions of her parole, by senior TAR police and prison officials. After this briefing, Ngawang Sangdrol was escorted into the room by two police officers, accompanied by a young girl who was introduced as Ngawang Sangdrol’s niece.

Ngawang Sangdrol described in detail severe and long-lasting headaches that she has been suffering, despite attempts by local hospitals to cure them, and requested Kamm’s help in going overseas for medical treatment. Kamm returned to Beijing on March 1, and intensified discussions on the possibility of Ngawang Sangdrol’s medical treatment in the United States with the relevant departments of the Chinese government and the American Ambassador to China, Clark Randt, who has taken a strong interest in Ngawang Sangdrol’s case.

During recent talks between Assistant Secretary of State Lorne Craner and his Chinese counterparts, details of Ngawang Sangdrol’s departure for the United States for medical treatment were finalized.

The Dui Hua Foundation expresses its thanks to the Chinese government for the humanitarian assistance extended to Ngawang Sangdrol, and to the State Department and the Beijing Embassy of the United States for their quick and effective action. Many people around the world have worked long and hard to bring about this result, and this is a happy day for them, as it is for Ngawang Sangdrol and her family. The Dui Hua Foundation wishes Ngawang Sangdrol a full and speedy recovery.

The Dui Hua Foundation
San Francisco, California
March 28, 2003