Top Story: The Future of Tibet
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European Parliament adopts an urgency resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Tashi Wangchuk and Tibetan monk Choekyi
January 18, 2018
Brussels – The European Parliament adopted today a new urgency resolution on China, expressing deep concern regarding the cases of two Tibetan political prisoners, the language advocate Tashi Wangchuk and the monk Choekyi.
The resolution which also covers the cases of Chinese human rights activists Wu Gan, Xie Yang, and Lee Ming-cheh “expresses its deep concern at the arrest and continued detention of Tashi Wangchuk, as well as his limited right to counsel, the lack of evidence against him and the irregularities in the criminal investigation; calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Tashi Wangchuk”.
“The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) welcomes the adoption of this resolution, which underscores once again the critical role of the European Parliament in standing up for victims of human rights abuses in China and Tibet” said ICT’s EU Policy Director Vincent Metten. “We hope that this strong-worded resolution, along with the expressions of concerns by a number of European governments and EU institutions in the last few months, will have an impact on the outcome of Tashi Wangchuk’s trial and on Choekyi’s condition. We also applaud the call for the resumption of the dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama and his representatives, the condemnation of anti-Buddhism campaigns and the adoption of the Counterterrorism Law, which could lead to the penalisation of peaceful expression of Tibetan culture and religion”.
January 4, 2018
The trial today of a Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk, who appeared in a New York Times video documentary, received global attention as he and his Chinese lawyer refuted charges of ‘separatism’.
In unprecedented scenes in the courtroom in Yushu, Qinghai, the New York Times video was shown in which Tashi Wangchuk is seen travelling to Beijing to present an appeal about the rights of Tibetans to speak and learn their own language. Tashi Wangchuk and his lawyer pleaded not guilty, and no verdict has yet been returned.
Tashi Wangchuk’s lawyer Liang Xiaojun said in a microblog today (January 4, 2018) that a judge heard oral arguments for four hours and will issue a verdict at an unspecified date. Liang Xiaojun also posted a summary of the case by the authorities at Yushu People’s Intermediate Court, Qinghai, which stated that in the video documentary, Tashi Wangchuk had “intentionally attacked” the Chinese government, and “incited ethnic hatred”. The statement also said that the New York Times video had conveyed a “negative image” of the Chinese authorities to the world.
December 27, 2017
A young Tibetan man called Konpe set fire to himself on December 23 (2017) and died in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), close to the site of the first self-immolation in Tibet eight years ago. In a harrowing video circulating online, a woman can be heard calling out, “Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso [the Dalai Lama], grace us with your compassionate gaze.”
Konpe, who was aged around 30, was taken away immediately by police. By the morning of December 24 he had died, according to two monks from Kirti monastery in exile in Dharamsala, India.
The two Kirti monks, Kanyag Tsering and Losang Yeshe, said that it was not known what Konpe had shouted as he was on fire, at around 6 pm on December 23. They also said that his father had been detained by the authorities in Barkham (Chinese: Ma’erkang), because officials said that tens of thousands of yuan had been spent on medical treatment for Konpe.
December 18, 2017
Despite intense security with massed ranks of armed paramilitary forces, Tibetans gathered in large numbers last week across Tibet to mark an important Buddhist festival, Ganden Ngachoe, which marks the death anniversary of a prominent Tibetan Buddhist Master Tsongkhapa, the 14th-century founder of Tibet’s largest Buddhist school, the Gelug. The Dalai Lamas belong to the Gelug school. This festival has been observed in Lhasa over the past few years and can be described as a ‘Festival of Light’ as lighting of butter-lamps is an integral part of its observance.
The gatherings for the festival, including at monasteries in eastern Tibet that have been subject to heavy repression, are consistent with a pattern of large numbers of Tibetans marking prayer festivals at religious sites over the last few years despite an intimidating security presence and increasingly pervasive ‘grass roots’ restrictions and surveillance. This trend, demonstrating a spirit of strong resilience and determination to express Tibetan religious identity, is documented in these images of Tibetans gathering on the evening of the Ganden Ngachoe, which fell this year on December 12.
Congressman Jim McGovern Asks China to affirm the right of the 14th Dalai Lama to return to his homeland
December 14, 2017
US Representative Jim McGovern delivered a speech on the Dalai Lama and Tibet during the special order period in the House of Representatives on December 14, 2017 afternoon. Under the subject of “Let His Holiness the Dalai Lama Go Home”, Representative McGovern said:
“Mr. Speaker, this week people all around the world are commemorating Human Rights Day, the annual celebration of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Article 13 of the Declaration affirms that “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”
Top Story: Major religious festival cancelled at Larung Gar
Message from Richard Gere, Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, to the Tibet Solidarity Rally in New York on December 10, 2017
Tashi delek dear Tibetan brothers and sisters. As I write to you today, we have just concluded a successful visit to Capitol Hill and our year-end meetings of the Boards of Directors from the United States and Europe. I am sorry I cannot join your gathering in New York today but would like to express my solidarity at this critical time in Tibetan history.
Your rally is timely as the situation in Tibet is both dire and rapidly evolving. Following this recent visit to Washington, I can assure you there are many different people, from many communities throughout the world who care deeply about Tibet and have come together in their work to do whatever they can to help address the situation.
December 11, 2017
The Chinese authorities have issued a notice prohibiting access to the Hoh Xil nature reserve in Qinghai – which was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in July – except for security personnel or other authorized officials.
The notice raises further concerns about the exclusion of Tibetan pastoralists who have made skillful use of the remote, wild landscape here and across the plateau for centuries, co-existing with wildlife and protecting the land. It appears to counter Chinese assurances to UNESCO that they would “fully respect” local herders and “their traditional culture, religious beliefs, and lifestyle”. The role of nomads in preservation of the landscape and the need for their free movement was recognized during discussion over China’s nomination for UNESCO status for the Hoh Xil area, including by international conservation body the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which carried out an evaluation mission to the area.
Farewell to outgoing Office of Tibet Representative Penpa Tsering and Welcome to new Representative Ngodup Tsering
December 1, 2017
The International Campaign for Tibet would like to express our appreciation to outgoing Representative Penpa Tsering of the Office of Tibet in Washington, D.C. and to welcome the incoming Representative Ngodup Tsering.
During his tenure in Washington, D.C., we enjoyed a very cooperative relationship with Representative Penpa Tsering and his team in our work with the US Congress, the Administration and with the Tibetan community in North America.
December 1, 2017
The Dalai Lama made a special trip from Dharamsala to the Indian capital New Delhi on December 1, 2017 to meet with former US President Barack Obama, who was on a visit to India.
Kasur Tempa Tsering, who is the India and East Asia Coordinator for Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (and a member of ICT’s Board of Directors), told DIIR media that “His Holiness was very happy to meet his fellow Nobel laureate and also a friend”.
He added, “During the 45-minute meeting, both spoke about promoting compassion and altruism in human beings. His Holiness remarked that basically human beings are compassionate in nature but it is the kind of education imparted that makes the binary between you and me and instils a sense of selfishness and self-centeredness. Both the peace laureates discussed the kind of future they envision for the world.”
November 30, 2017
A popular Tibetan monk in his sixties who had worked as a voluntary teacher set fire to himself and died in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi), the eastern Tibetan area of Kham, on Sunday (November 26).
The monk, named Tenga, had studied in Kardze Monastery in Sichuan. He reportedly called for freedom for Tibet as he was burning, according to Tibetan sources.
Tenga is the 151st Tibetan to set himself on fire in Tibet since 2009, in one of the most sweeping and significant waves of self-immolation as political protest globally, and the fifth this year. Two Tibetans in exile in India also set fire to themselves in July (2017).
SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING NOTICE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | WASHINGTON, DC 20515-6128 Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific | Ted Yoho (R-FL), Chairman November 29, 2017 TO: MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS You are respectfully requested to attend an OPEN hearing of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, to be held […]
November 27, 2017
- Chinese football team cancels matches in Germany after Tibet flag displayed
- Hostile response in Chinese media indicates unilateral decision after German FA defends freedom of speech
A round of friendly matches in Germany with China’s Under 20 national team was cancelled last Friday after a group of protesters unfurled Tibetan flags at a game last week in Mainz, causing the Chinese team to walk off the pitch.
In a response to the outrage from the Chinese side, Reinhard Grindel, president of the German Football Association, defended the right to free expression and said: “It has been made clear to the Chinese federation that when you play in Germany you also have to deal with the fact that anyone can express their opinion.”
November 21, 2017
- An account of safety fears over construction of the newest line of the Tibet railway, the Lhasa to Shigatse route, is circulating on social media, with the blogger saying that the authorities are “turning a blind eye” to the dangers. The author of the blog, who gives a Chinese name, appears to have detailed knowledge of the railway’s construction and its failings and refers to the military and strategic importance of Tibet’s railway and its extension in areas close to the Indian border.
- The Nepalese press reported that China and Nepal have completed an early study on the cross-border, 100-km railway that they say will connect Kathmandu with the border town of Kyirong (Chinese: Gyirong) in the Tibet Autonomous Region, part of China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ plans, although their account of the extent of underground tunnelling under one of the world’s most seismically active mountain ranges seems unfeasible and highly unlikely.
November 17, 2017
A bipartisan Concurrent Resolution (S. Con. Res. 30) was introduced to the Senate on November 16, 2017 asking the Trump Administration to make Tibet an important factor in US-China relations. The Resolution calls on the Trump Administration to fully implement the US Tibetan Policy Act, to promote access of US citizens to Tibet, and to encourage China “to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement with respect to Tibet.” It complements a similar resolution introduced in the House of Representatives (H. Con. Res. 89) on November 1, 2017.
November 3, 2017
- A major religious festival, the prayer gathering Dechen Shedrub, has been cancelled at Larung Gar institute despite earlier assurances that it would go ahead, according to Tibetan sources. The new development follows the demolition of monastic residences, expulsion of thousands of monks and nuns and the imposition of direct Communist Party control at one of the world’s leading Buddhist institutes in Serthar (Chinese: Serta), Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan.
- Checkpoints have been set up on the approach to Larung Gar, indicating the tightened security following the wave of demolitions and the appointment of Chinese Communist Party members to key positions at the institute, the world’s largest center of Buddhist study and ethics, according to new information received by the International Campaign for Tibet.
- Recent construction work confirms that the Chinese authorities are using the development of tourism as a tool to counter cultural resilience and monastic influence, as the CCP seeks to impose more stringent restrictions in its stated aim of ‘Sinicizing religion’, emphasized at the 19th Party Congress and following the imposition of new religious regulations across the PRC.
On eve of President Trump’s China trip, bipartisan resolution introduced in US Congress supporting Dalai Lama and Tibet
November 1, 2017
On the eve of President Donald Trump’s visit to China to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, a concurrent Resolution (H. Con. Res. 89) has been introduced in the United States House of Representatives on November 1, 2017 asking the Trump Administration to make Tibet an important factor in US-China relations, to fully implement the US Tibetan Policy Act, to promote access of US citizens to Tibet and to encourage China “to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement with respect to Tibet.”
This resolution is co-sponsored by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman Emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, along with Representatives. Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), the respective Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, The Representatives are all senior members of the House Foreign Relations Committee. President Trump, who is leaving on November 3 for a five-nation Asia trip, will be in China on November 8, 2017.
› A Look at the New Provincial Level Tibetan Leadership
› Follow-up: Süddeutsche Zeitung risks its credibility
› Selling out: Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung and its Chinese propaganda ads
› Analyzing Chinese Official Zhang Yijiong’s Remarks on Dalai Lama and Tibet
ICT ON TWITTER
- Grace Spring receiving the Light of Truth from ICT President Matteo Mecacci. Also in the picture are Burlington May… https://t.co/uXr1cucMXT 3 days ago
- RT @katesictibet: Tibetans have worshipped at the holy #Jokhang temple in #Lhasa for 1000 years, inc over last 2 days as pilgrims mark #Los… 3 days ago retweeted via katesictibet
- Fears for Jokhang Temple in Tibet as huge fire breaks out in Lhasa: https://t.co/23BzRkr2hI 3 days ago