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Damming Tibet’s rivers: how hydropower on the plateau is carving up Tibet’s landscape

[use graphic of china planned hydropower expansion] This list of 25 hydropower projects in Tibetan areas and four downriver outside Tibet (in China these dams outside Tibetan areas are still termed as upriver), uses information published in Chinese by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Feb. 19, 2019. This list was cross-checked against […]

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Journalists assoc. calls for media access to Tibet, adding to mounting international pressure on China

April 2, 2019

  • The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China has released a position paper calling on China to give reporters unfettered access to the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas.
  • The paper builds on the success of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which was signed into law in December and targets China’s unfair closure of Tibet to the outside world.
  • The paper shows that China’s isolation of Tibet is becoming untenable, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said.
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Questions for the Record Submitted to Acting Assistant Secretary of State Laura Stone by Senator Gardner (#1 to #6) Senate Foreign Relations Committee

DECEMBER 6, 2018 QUESTION 1 Since 2010, the Chinese Government has suspended the official dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives to resolve the Tibetan issue. Secretary Mike Pompeo has said that he “will express publicly, and at the highest levels of government, that Chinese authorities need to engage in meaningful and direct dialogue with the […]

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Partial list of delegations sent by China to talk about Tibet in other countries

FROM 2009 TO 2018 March 2009: A delegation of five members of the National People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region, led by Shingtsa Tenzin Chodrak, visited USA. A delegation of five members of the National People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region, led by Shingtsa Tenzin Chodrak, visited Canada. March 2009: Zhang Yun, Senior Researcher from […]

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Kumbum monastery

Access Denied: new US legislation and the lockdown in Tibet

An ICT special report update

In December 2018, the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act (RATA) became the first major legislation on Tibet signed into law in the US since the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002.

The landmark, bipartisan legislation is an important step toward holding China accountable for restricting access to Tibet. It seeks to challenge the difficulties faced by US diplomats, NGO workers, journalists reporting on human rights abuses and others when they try to enter the isolated and oppressed region. The act does so by denying entry to the US for Chinese officials who are involved in formulating the policies that prohibit American citizens from entering Tibet.

The 90-day period following the adoption of the act on December 19, 2018, during which the US State Department is required to assess Americans’ level of access to Tibet, coincides with a lockdown of Tibet this March, a month of sensitive anniversaries, when foreigners are banned from the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

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Tibetan Youth Leadership Program

2019 Tibetan Youth Leadership Program (TYLP) in Washington, DC

March 6, 2019

The Tibetan Youth Leadership Program (TYLP) is a unique week-long leadership development program organized by the International Campaign for Tibet in Washington, DC for Tibetan-American college students. It will be held from Saturday, June 1 to Saturday, June 8, 2019. Are you interested in becoming a leader within the Tibetan community? Are you interested in the US political process and discourse around foreign policy vis-à-vis China and Tibet? The TYLP is designed to motivate and train young Tibetans to become effective leaders within the Tibetan community by providing meaningful exposure to the US political process and the discourse around foreign policy in the American capital.

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State Dept. supports reciprocal access to Tibet, and Congress rejects China’s authority to choose new Dalai Lama

December 4, 2018

The US Department of State supports the goals of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act and will take steps to implement the bill if it becomes law, a department official said at a hearing today.

During the same hearing, a US Senator stated that Congress would reject a Chinese-appointed reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.

“I think it’s clear that this Congress would not recognize a Chinese imposition” of a new Dalai Lama, said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who presided today, Dec. 4, 2018, over the hearing titled “The China Challenge, Part 3: Democracy, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.”

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The illegality of everything: China’s new campaign offers rewards for information on ‘illegal content’

December 3, 2018

In a nationwide campaign in China against so-called “illegal content,” Chinese authorities are offering rewards to those who inform on others suspected of reading or speaking about, for instance, foreign newspaper articles or broadcasts about Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Coinciding with the campaign, a series of graphic cartoons were distributed in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, including one of a closed fist smashing into two people marked with the Chinese characters for “black (illegal)” and “evil.” The Dalai Lama is characterized as a leader of such “evil forces” by the Chinese authorities.

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Mourning the loss of George H.W. Bush, first President to meet the Dalai Lama

December 3, 2018

President George H.W. Bush, who passed away on Nov. 30, 2018, was the first American President to meet with the Dalai Lama, paving the way for successive Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama to follow.

George H.W. Bush and the Dalai Lama met on April 16, 1991, during the Dalai Lama’s visit to Washington, D.C. Although the Dalai Lama started visiting the United States in 1979, during the time of President Jimmy Carter, it took 11 years for an American President to receive him.

Recalling this, the Dalai Lama told President George W. Bush, in a condolence message on Dec. 1, 2018, “I am saddened by the passing away of your father, President George H.W. Bush. I offer my profound condolences to you and your family at this difficult time.

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Palden Gyatso, Tibetan monk who was tortured and jailed for 33 years, passes away

November 30, 2018

The International Campaign for Tibet mourns the loss of Ven. Palden Gyatso, who endured more than 30 years of torture and imprisonment in Chinese prisons and labor camps in Tibet and died today, Nov. 30, in Dharamsala, India, at the age of 85.

The Dalai Lama described Palden’s life as “one of the most extraordinary stories of suffering and endurance,” saying that he was “an inspiration to us all.”

“Individuals like Palden Gyatso,” the Dalai Lama wrote in a foreword to Palden’s book “Fire Under the Snow,” “reveal that the human values of compassion, patience and a sense of responsibility for our own actions that lie at the core of spiritual practice still survive. His story is an inspiration to us all.”

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee approves Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act

November 28, 2018

The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act passed another milestone today, Nov. 28, 2018, when it was unanimously approved by the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Act, which the House of Representatives passed in September, aims to end China’s isolation of Tibet and the Tibetan people from the outside world by calling on the Chinese government to allow American journalists, diplomats and tourists into Tibet, just as their Chinese counterparts are able to travel in the US.

“The unanimous support expressed today by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) once again reflects the widespread concern of the American people for the situation inside Tibet and for the lack of access for US citizens,” said Matteo Mecacci, president of the International Campaign for Tibet. “We wish to thank in particular the main sponsor of the bill in the Senate, Sen. Rubio, and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the SFRC, Sen. Corker and Sen. Menendez, for their steadfast and principled stance in support of reciprocity in US-China relations.”

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ICT launches debate in Europe on reciprocity and access to Tibet

November 26, 2018

BRUSSELS — At a conference it helped organize last week inside the European Parliament on November 21, 2018, the International Campaign for Tibet led a discussion on the need for Europe to expand the notion of reciprocity—which is often invoked by European leaders as a key principle in economic and trade relations with China—to ensure the respect of fundamental rights and freedoms and to promote unfettered access to Tibet.

The conference, “Access to Tibet and the Practice of Reciprocity,” which was organized in collaboration with International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), followed the publication in May of an ICT report revealing China’s strategies of weaponizing access to Tibet in order to prevent international scrutiny of its human rights abuses there.

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Tibet Brief – November 2018 (ed. 66)

Top Story: China’s third Universal Periodic Review at the UNHRC

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Sens. Sanders and Gardner cosponsor Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, signaling strong support for its approval this year

November 14, 2018

The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act continues to gain steam with United States Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) cosponsoring the bill, signaling strong support for it to be approved in the Senate and signed into law before 2018 ends.

Sanders, considered a top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, and Gardner, chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee as well as the Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, cosponsored the bill on Nov. 13, the first day Congress was back at work following the midterm elections.

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Tibetan man calls for Dalai Lama’s long life as he sets himself on fire

November 8, 2018

A young Tibetan man named Dorbe set himself on fire on Nov. 4 in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), Amdo, saying “May the Dalai Lama live long! May we soon behold his golden countenance!” before he died.

Images that emerged depicted the young Tibetan man beside a nomad tent in traditional Tibetan dress.

According to Kanyag Tsering and Lobsang Yeshe, two Kirti monks in exile in India who passed on the news of the self-immolation, Dorbe was 23 and from Jakorma (Chinese: Xiakunma) village in the pastoral Choejema (Chinese: Qiujima) township of Ngaba county in present-day Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan province. Ngaba is the area where the wave of Tibetan self-immolations began. Dorbe had been living at the house of his uncle. The Kirti monks said that no further details were known, due to intense restrictions on information flow in the area and grave dangers for Tibetans in speaking to those in exile.

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China’s false denials at UN human rights council must be challenged, ICT says

November 6, 2018

The Chinese government aggressively denied its human rights violations during today’s Universal Periodic Review of its record at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

Despite China’s false claims, a number of countries rightly pointed out China’s systematic abuse of basic freedoms in Tibet and Xinjiang, among other serious concerns.

“The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) is deeply concerned by the responses of the Chinese government during today’s UN hearing,” said Kai Mueller, head of ICT’s UN advocacy team and executive director of ICT Germany. “It should be clear to everyone that this was not just about the rights of Tibetans, Uyghurs or Chinese human rights defenders, but also about promoting to the world the Chinese system, which quite obviously discards human rights and the rule of law,”.

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As China faces critical UN review, its appalling human rights record must not become the new normal

November 5, 2018

Washington/Geneva – As the Chinese government is scrutinized at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this week, the international community needs to challenge China’s appalling human rights record and prevent it from becoming the new normal, the International Campaign for Tibet said today.

“In its own country, the Chinese government is systematically violating the most basic standards of human rights, and it seeks to weaken those rights in the international discourse. China undermines the work of international rights bodies, denies access, seeks to restrict civil society globally and exports its authoritarian model to countries susceptible to such tendencies,” said Kai Mueller, Head of UN advocacy for ICT and Executive Director of ICT Germany.

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Lodi Gyari

Lodi Gyari, a lifetime of service to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people

October 29, 2018

The International Campaign for Tibet is deeply saddened by the passing of Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and wishes to express our condolences to his family and all those who knew him.

Mr. Gyari, the retired Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, senior official of the Central Tibetan Administration, and Executive Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, passed away today, October 29, 2018 in San Francisco. He was 69.

Mr. Gyari was a seasoned and skilled diplomat who spent the majority of his professional career working directly for and on behalf of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He was an impassioned advocate for the Tibetan people, universal human rights and global democratic reform.

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