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New US report says traditional monastic system continued to decline in Tibet

Reports of forced disappearance, physical abuse, prolonged detention, and arbitrary arrest of people due to their religious practice

August 15, 2017

The State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2016, which was released on August 15, 2017 by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, says the Chinese “authorities engaged in widespread interference in religious practices, especially in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries”.

The report says, “Across the Tibetan Plateau there were reports of forced disappearance, physical abuse, prolonged detention, and arbitrary arrest of people due to their religious practice, as well as forced expulsions from monasteries, restrictions on religious gatherings, and destruction of monastery related dwellings, according to media reporting and human rights organizations.”

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ICT Inside Tibet: New crackdown on ‘hostile forces’ in Tibet in buildup to Party Congress

August 11, 2017

In an already oppressive political environment, restrictions on media, culture and communications in Tibet have been stepped up in the buildup to the 19th Party Congress, due to take place in the fall.

According to Tibet Daily, a crackdown on “illegal activity” has been launched in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in order to tighten security and ensure compliance to the Party state prior to the important Party meeting in Beijing, which could be held as early as October. The official report mentions that further actions will be taken to “prevent […] problematic information distributed by Dalai Clique and other Western hostile forces and track down online circulation of negative information, hyper-speculation and rumors.”

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‘Now the Lapis Lazuli vase is smashed’: Tibetan intellectuals on the death of Liu Xiaobo

August 10, 2017

Tibetan intellectuals have posted moving tributes online to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, whose death on July 13, 2017 was condemned worldwide. “In a free country, such a man would be cherished as dearly as the eyes on our foreheads and hearts in our chests, but instead […] he was smashed on the rocks and broken into pieces,” wrote one.

Immediately following his death, a number of Tibetan writers posted emotional tributes to Liu Xiaobo, whose wife Liu Xia, is still missing. Most of the writers refer to him by a Tibetan term meaning of ‘great’ or ‘noble’ birth, with one blogger likening him to a bodhisattva.

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Rowell Fund for Tibet to receive application for 2018 Grant Cycle

August 10, 2017

The Rowell Fund for Tibet seeks to support Tibetans who can make a significant contribution to their community and/or an international audience in the fields of visual arts and media, and environmental and women’s rights.

Grants applications are invited from Tibetans for the Rowell Fund for Tibet’s 2017-18 grant cycle for projects that focus on the following themes: environment/conservation; photography; humanitarian projects; journalism/literature; or women’s projects.

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Italian Government confirms the right of Tibetan refugees to travel to Italy

August 4, 2017

ICT joined with the Tibetan Community in Italy, the Italy Tibet Association, and the Italian Buddhist Union to reverse some decisions of the Italian authorities to deny visas to Tibetan refugees from India traveling to Italy. We will monitor the correct application of standards and against any inaccurate interpretations such as there have been in these last two months.

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First Tibetan self-immolation in Dharamsala

July 31, 2017

A charred body was found near the Dalai Lama’s temple in Dharamsala on Saturday (July 29), with one eyewitness reporting seeing a man in flames near the pilgrimage route. It is the first self-immolation in Dharamsala, India, base of the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration.

The man has been identified as Dhondup (also known as Passang Dhondup) a wood painter at Norbulingka Institute, near Dharamsala. The 49-year old man was born in Gyantse (Chinese: Jiangzi) in Tibet and had arrived in India in 1991 and had been working in Norbulingka institute from 2012, according to Tibetan media.

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ICT Inside Tibet: Major live fire drill testing new tanks in Tibet highlights political imperatives, military capacity on plateau

July 21, 2017

In the fifth week of serious border tensions between China and India, China released footage of a major military live-fire assault exercise in the Tibet Autonomous Region. Soldiers used flame-throwers, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns to strike bunkers and various types of heavy weapons, including mortars, self-propelled howitzers, multiple rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles in the display of fire-power, which also trialled a new type of tank.

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Congressional committee acts to reinstate funding for Tibet programs for FY 2018

July 20, 2017

A key Congressional committee has acted to reinstate funding for a number of programs that support Tibetan communities in Tibet and Tibetan refugees in South Asia in the 2018 Fiscal Year State Department budget.

On July 19, 2017, the House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill.

In the President’s proposed budget for FY2018, the Tibetan programs were generally reduced and in one case, eliminated.

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Tibetan student in India self-immolates

July 14, 2017

A young Tibetan student in India set himself on fire today in the compound of his university in Varanasi, shouting ‘Victory for Tibet’.

Tenzin Choeying, aged around 20, survived but was badly burnt and is now in hospital, according to Tibetans and other eyewitnesses in Varanasi.

Tenzin Choeying doused himself with kerosene and set fire to himself at around 9 am in the entrance of a residential hall at the Central University for Tibetan Studies today, according to eyewitnesses.

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Images of Tibetan flag and tight security in Ngaba circulate online

July 14, 2017

A Tibetan flag was displayed briefly on July 12, 2017 from a building in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) from a street, which is being referred to by Tibetans as “Heroes” (or Martyrs) Street due to the high number of Tibetans who have self-immolated and demonstrated there.

Images and footage of the flag, which is banned in Tibet, circulated online, indicating a determination to send a message of resistance despite the crackdown in the area.

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Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo’s death an indelible blot in the history of Chinese Communist Party

July 13, 2017

The international Campaign for Tibet offers our deepest condolences to Liu Xia and her family on the passing away of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo.

In life as well as in death Liu Xiaobo represented the best of what China can be.

Unfortunately, by not heeding to domestic and international humanitarian requests to respect the will of Liu Xiaobo to be treated abroad, the Chinese Government continues to clearly show that it does not deserve to be considered as a major world power as it purports to be.

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Written submission by the International Campaign for Tibet to the hearing “Tibet: Freedom of Religion” by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the United States Congress

July 12, 2017

We thank the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the United States Congress for providing us the opportunity to submit this statement for the record on the state of freedom of religion in Tibet.

The International Campaign for Tibet would like to draw attention to the impact of a new set of laws promulgated by the People’s Republic of China on the practice of Tibetan Buddhism.

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UNESCO approves controversial World Heritage Tibet nomination despite concerns

July 7, 2017

Krakow – In a highly charged political environment today a UNESCO committee voted to approve a controversial application by the Chinese government to inscribe a vast Tibetan area as a World Heritage site, although it contravenes values and guidelines of the international cultural body.

Members of the Committee representing different governments spoke up in turn to praise the Chinese government over the nomination, and ICT representative Tenzin Choekyi spoke to the Committee about the dangers and significance of the inscription while Chinese delegates celebrated on the main floor of the meeting.

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European Parliament calls for the release of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and regrets that failure of the EU to deliver an Item 4 Statement at the UN’s Human Rights Council

July 7, 2017

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on July 6, 2017 calling on the Chinese government to immediately release the ailing Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia from house arrest and to seek medical treatment “wherever they wish”.

The resolution called “on the Chinese Government to release, immediately and unconditionally, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia from house arrest and allow him to obtain medical treatment wherever they wish.” It also urged “the Chinese authorities to allow Lui Xiaobo unrestricted access to family, friends, and legal counsel”.

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Controversial China bid for heritage status in Tibet contravenes UNESCO values

July 6, 2017

Krakow – The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, meeting in Krakow this week, risks contravening its own guidelines tomorrow (July 7) if it approves without question a controversial nomination by the Chinese government for a vast area of Tibet known as Hoh Xil.

This is despite China’s claim to the Committee that the nomination is welcomed and that it complies with the Committee’s Operational Guidelines, according to a letter seen by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) in Krakow. The letter from the Secretary-General of the Chinese UNESCO Commission also refers to “inaccurate and indefensible” information about the nomination, which is likely to refer to ICT’s report on Hoh Xil (“Achen Gangyap” in Tibetan), as well as evidence from academics on the bid before the Committee for decision tomorrow.

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ICT Chairman Richard Gere visits Washington, D.C. to engage Members of Congress on Tibet; Attends observation of the Dalai Lama’s birthday on Capitol Hill

June 30, 2017

International Campaign for Tibet Board Chairman Richard Gere came down to Washington, D.C. for the third time this year to continue and deepen ICT’s engagement with Members of Congress on initiatives for Tibet, as well as to participate in a celebration of the Dalai Lama’s 82nd birthday on Capitol Hill.

During this visit, which took place on June 27 and 28, 2017, Gere took the opportunity to brief the Members on the situation in Tibet, on the vision and efforts of the Dalai Lama to solve the Tibetan issue, and on the importance of continued United States support to the Tibetan people.

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Nomads in ‘no man’s land’: China’s nomination for UNESCO World heritage risks imperilling Tibetans and wildlife

New report by ICT launched prior to UNESCO World Heritage meeting in Krakow
June 30, 2017

Krakow – A new report by the International Campaign for Tibet reveals how a Chinese government nomination for UNESCO World Heritage status for a vast area of Tibet – due to be decided in Krakow next week – involves removing Tibetan nomads, who protect the landscape and its wildlife.

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ICT concerned by report about Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo’s health; maintains China has the responsibility to provide necessary treatment

June 27, 2017

The International Campaign for Tibet is deeply concerned by the news of the illness of Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo and maintains that the Chinese Government now has the responsibility to see that he gets the necessary medical attention.

Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 allegedly for “inciting subversion of state power”, was recently granted medical parole.

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