Public Hearing of Thursday, July 23, 2015 Since problems facing religion, religious institutions, and religious teachers in Tibet is widely known and well documented by this Commission and many other governmental and non-governmental organizations in the US and abroad, I won’t take up too much of your time going over examples. I would like to […]
Testimony of Losang Gyatso, Service Chief, Tibetan Service, Voice of America, at the CECC Hearing on China’s religious policy
Testimony of Richard Gere Chairman of the Board of Directors International Campaign for Tibet before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
July 14, 2015
Co-chairman McGovern and Co-chairman Pitts, and other Members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, thank you for holding this important hearing today, and for inviting me to speak on the human rights situation in Tibet.
I am here as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Tibet (or ICT for short), which, since 1988, has been working to promote human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet. I feel that it’s particularly appropriate for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission to be holding this hearing today in light of Tom Lantos’ steadfast commitment to Tibet, and his deep relationship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
It is with profound sadness that I give these remarks today. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was one of the most highly respected and revered Tibetan lamas. He was a teacher to tens of thousands of Tibetan and Chinese students. Arrested in 2002, Rinpoche spent the last 13 years of his life serving a life sentence for crimes he did not commit. After being tried in a closed session on charges of “terrorism and inciting separatism” and without due process of law, the worst possible outcome has arrived. Rinpoche has died in prison, while in the custody of the Chinese government. This is a profound tragedy for Tibetans and Buddhists throughout the world. The death of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is a tragic reminder of the injustices endured by Tibetans for exercising their right to religious freedom, and of the grim state of human rights in Tibet.
Before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, April 21, 2015 Good afternoon. My name is Lama Kyap Gazan, and I would like to thank the Commission for holding this briefing on the important topic of Tibet, and for inviting me to participate. I am a Tibetan American, born and raised in northeastern Tibet, in today’s […]
Tibet 101 Briefing
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
First, I would like to thank the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and co- chairs Representative McGovern and Representative Pitts for holding this briefing on Tibet. The International Campaign for Tibet greatly appreciates the opportunity to participate in this briefing.
While there are many important issues to address regarding the situation in Tibet, I will touch briefly on several topics and conclude with recommendations that Congress and the Administration can take that would help improve the situation in Tibet. First, the issue of self-immolations and abuses of the criminal justice system; second, restrictions on access to Tibet and the recent White Paper issued by the Chinese government; third, the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and religious freedom, and finally, a few comments on the need for resumption of dialogue between the Chinese government and Tibetan representatives, and coordinated action on Tibet among democratic countries.
The International Campaign for Tibet held a reception in Russell Senate Office Building to honor Mr. Lodi Gyari, who retired as Executive Chairman of our Board, in December 2014. Participants included Democratic Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Senator Mark Kirk, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Tom Emmer, Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama, Kaydor Aukatsang; former US […]
Tibetan Buddhists demonized by PRC Government as posing threat to China’s survival: Matteo Mecacci tells UN Human Rights Council
March 11, 2015
Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, delivered a statement on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights at the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief at the 28th United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 11. He said “The Chinese government adopted a more pervasive approach to “patriotic education”, including measures to micromanage Tibetan Buddhist monastic affairs; “legal education” programs for monks and nuns; and a ban on images of the Dalai Lama.”
While in Geneva, Matteo Mecacci asked for support among the diplomatic community on Tibet related issues. He was accompanied by the ICT Head for UN Advocacy, Kai Mueller.
February 4, 2015
The International Campaign for Tibet deplores the planned demonstration in Washington D.C. by some fundamentalist Buddhists belonging to the International Shugden Community that aims at undermining the work of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The demonstrators are attempting to confuse the general public by using terms like religious freedom, human rights, etc. to define their issue. The issue is complex and people need a deeper understanding. The Dalai Lama’s website (www.dalailama.com), as also that of the Central Tibetan Administration (www.tibet.net), and the Tibet Houses (www.dalailamaprotesters.info/) cover the historical development of this controversy.
January 2, 2015
As Lodi Gyari retires from the International Campaign for Tibet he has written down his personal reflections on his time in Washington, D.C. and at ICT. We are pleased to share with you an excerpt from the introduction. The full report will be published on ICT’s website early in the next weeks.
It is with humility and gratitude that I present these parting thoughts to the staff, members, supporters and friends of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT). You have been the backbone of this organization and ICT would not have succeeded without you being a part of this effort. For almost 25 years I worked concurrently at ICT and as Special Envoy for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and I relied heavily on your support and assistance in discharge of my duties.
Since it’s founding in 1988 the ICT team has devoted itself to supporting the Tibetan people and the vision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I am honored to have played a leadership role in this endeavor, from the inception of the organization to the present day. Now as I step down as Executive Chair of ICT and from its Board of Directors, I cannot help but reflect on my work here with a deep sense of satisfaction in our accomplishments.
Statement by Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet on the upcoming meeting between President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing
November 11, 2014
Washington, DC – “While meeting China’s leader Xi Jinping in Beijing President Obama should take the opportunity to raise once again the issue of Tibet.
The situation continues to deteriorate in Tibet, where far too many political prisoners are unjustly detained and mistreated and where self-immolations have vividly reminded us the depth of decades of suffering and oppression. Religious freedom continues to be denied to Tibetans, while China goes on with its campaign aimed at denigrating the Dalai Lama.
The US Congress and the American people continue to be concerned with the situation in Tibet and overwhelmingly support the Dalai Lama and his quest for justice for the Tibetan people. President Obama should reflect this sentiment and voice the same while meeting President Xi Jinping, to make sure that basic human values are not forgotten in the great game of politics and diplomacy.”
September 23, 2014
Washington, DC – With the decision to sentence Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti to life in prison, Beijing sends an extremist and negative message both to moderate non-Chinese who are trying to find a space within the People’s Republic of China, and to China’s foreign partners, including the United States and the European Union, which have objected to his incarceration.
Ilham Tohti was fully exercising his right to freedom of expression when sharing his views on the marginalization of Uyghurs, including on matters concerning their language and culture.
September 17, 2014
Statement of Tamdin Choetso
Niece of Tibetan Political Prisoner Tenzin Delek Rinpoche
Thank you for the opportunity to make this statement. My name is Tamdin Choestso and I am the niece of Tibetan Political Prisoner Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. Twelve years ago my uncle was detained. The Ganzi Intermediate People’s Court alleged that his case involved “state secrets” and tried him in a closed court on November 29, 2002. The court sentenced him to death with a two-year reprieve for conspiring to cause explosions and 14 years in prison for inciting “splittism.” The Sichuan High People’s Court rejected his appeal and commuted the sentence to life imprisonment on January 26, 2005.
By Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet Published on the Italian newspaper Europa on June 12, 2014. Translation by the International Campaign for Tibet. In these days our country is facing an interesting coincidence. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is currently in China (and in Asia) leading an important political and economic mission, […]
Hearing on “Protecting Religious Freedom: U.S Efforts to Hold Accountable Countries of Particular Concern” Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Global Human Rights May 22, 2014 I would like to thank Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Bass, and other members of the Subcommittee for this opportunity to testify. The International Campaign for Tibet has testified to […]
May 14, 2014
The Dalai Lama has been received rather coldly during his trip to Europe in May. While a thorn in China’s side he is a guiding light for peace in the eyes of many people around the world.
More than in the past, European politicians avoid big joint appearances with the Dalai Lama in order not to jeopardize economic relations with China. This is despite the fact that the Dalai Lama has resigned from his political role in 2011. How can we explain this contradiction?
The Chinese government has repeatedly stated its policy that neither the Dalai Lama nor the so-called “Dalai Clique” may travel to European countries and that the European governments should not provide support in any way. This is not new. Lately we do notice, however, a trend towards concessions to the Chinese government. We are concerned about this development because it shows how short term interests- most of them of economic nature – are being put above taking the uncomfortable stand for principles of international law. It reveals considerable weaknesses and results in a loss of credibility both internally and externally.
Published online May 7, 2014 by The Wall Street Journal.
By Matteo Mecacci and Ellen Bork
Under pressure from China, Norway’s prime minister does not plan to meet the Tibetan religious leader this week.
Under pressure from China, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and other key officials have declined to meet the Dalai Lama when the Tibetan spiritual leader visits Norway this week.
Oslo’s decision signals the success of Beijing’s escalating campaign to deny the Dalai Lama and Tibet’s democratic government-in-exile the standing they need to find a just solution to the Tibetan issue. The setback in Norway marks a worrying trend that should spur consultations among European countries and the United States on steps to resist Beijing’s pressure.
May 5, 2014
The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) urged a key UN Committee to review China’s policies on the right to housing, education and cultural life of Tibetan people. ICT Germany’s Executive Director Kai Müller made a statement in Geneva today ahead of the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) review of China.
The CESCR will review China’s compliance with the Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights on May 8, 2014. The Committee monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by its State parties and reviews each State every five years. China’s second review was scheduled to occur in 2010, but it was four years late in submitting its report to the Committee. Therefore, this review comes 9 years since the first.
April 30, 2014
On April 30, 2014, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom released its annual report for 2014. It found that “[f]or Tibetan Buddhists … conditions are worse now than at any time in the past decade.”
The Commission is an “independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.” It issues reports and makes policy recommendations to the President, the State Department, and Congress.
Statement of Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay on the 55th Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day Fifty-five years ago, thousands of Tibetans spontaneously gathered on this day in Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, to protect His Holiness the Dalai Lama and protest against Chinese occupation. Seven days later, His Holiness the Dalai Lama left […]
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