Tag Archives | Tibet

UN Human Rights Council informed that China’s revised regulations on religion are a further threat to survival of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet

March 2, 2018

In a statement delivered on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights at the ongoing 37th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 2, 2018, ICT’s Kai Mueller drew the Council’s attention to China’s revised regulations on religion, in effect since February 1, 2018, are a further threat to the continued survival of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet.

Speaking under Agenda Item 3 “Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development”, he said that in November 2016, six UN special mandate holders expressed their “grave concern” over the “serious repression of the Buddhist Tibetans’ cultural and religious practices and learning” in the Buddhist institutes of Larung Gar and Yachen Gar.

He said that the Council should ask China to “refrain from intervening with religious activities that are protected by principles of freedom of religion or belief.”

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ICT and FIDH ask EU to urge for Access to Tibet as it observes 2018 EU-China Tourism Year

February 15, 2018

On the occasion of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year (ECTY), which was launched in January in Venice, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) have written to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and to the European Union High Representative, Federica Mogherini, to express a number of concerns in relation to the promotion of tourism in Tibet.

The letter, dated February 14, 2018, highlights amongst others the lack of access to Tibet for foreigners (when Chinese tourists enjoy free and open access to the EU), the restrictions imposed on Tibetans’ freedom of movement and the lack of involvement of Tibetans in the decision-making process of tourism policies and projects. It also raises a number of questions and recommendations to EU leaders, and urges them to extend the notion of reciprocity -a notion promoted by the EU with regards to its trade relationship with China- to “the respect for fundamental rights, including the freedom of movement and the freedom of information of European citizens in China and Tibet”.

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Tibet raised in US House of Representatives debate on China’s Strategy to Accrue Global Power

January 19, 2018

The US House of Representatives saw a discussion on the night of January 18, 2018 under the Special Order session that highlighted the situation in Tibet and the need to pass pending legislations relating to it as a way to China’s onslaught on American society.

The discussion was at the initiative of Representative Ted Yoho, Chairman of the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee on House Foreign Affairs Committee. The subcommittee had organized a hearing on Tibet on December 6, 2017.

While Members of Congress wanted good relations with China the discussion saw them expressing concern at China’s increasing attempt to subvert American society. As Mr. Yoho said in his remarks, “…China has grown to become a revisionist power—not rising within the current order, but seeking to change, subvert, or coerce it to suit China’s end—not playing by the rules, but rewriting the rules to suit the needs of China.”

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ICT Chair Richard Gere

Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing calls for reciprocal access, religious freedom, and human rights in Tibet

December 6, 2017

Richard Gere, Chair of the International Campaign for Tibet, testified today (December 6) at a Congressional hearing on U.S. Tibet policy in Washington, DC, saying that he was “knocked out” by the support and proposals from U.S. lawmakers during the nearly two-hour long session.

At the hearing, hosted by the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, members of the Committee and the witnesses who gave testimony called for substantive action to resolve the Tibet issue, in the context of a wide-ranging debate covering China’s place in the world, the Dalai Lama and the succession issue, the strategic importance of Tibet to the PRC, and other issues. The Subcommittee hearing came amid efforts to advance the bipartisan Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act and a Concurrent Resolution in support of Tibet’s place in American foreign policy. Tenzin Tethong, Director of the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia, and Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy, also testified.

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New US report highlights China’s repressive policies in Tibet

October 5, 2017

The Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC) has released its 2017 Annual Report and recommendations for the Administration’s China policy in which it has said that the Chinese Communist Party and government continued implementing repressive policies in Tibet through the use of extensive and intrusive surveillance, strict regulations and rules to restrict Tibetans’ fundamental rights, and pervasive displays of police and military force.

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

 

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ICT concerned by cuts to Tibet Programs proposed by President Trump’s budget

May 26, 2017

The International Campaign for Tibet is concerned by the reduction of financial support to Tibet programs, as proposed in President Donald Trump‘s fiscal year 2018 budget, announced on May 23, 2017.

The United States Congress and US Administrations have for the last few decades supported the aspirations of the Tibetan people “to safeguard Tibet’s distinct historical, religious, cultural, and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights.” as stated by numerous Congressional Resolutions, US Presidents statements and the Tibetan Policy Act.

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UN human rights expert on poverty criticizes policies on “ethnic minorities”, and government obstruction to meaningful access to civil society in China

May 4, 2017

A United Nations human rights expert on poverty has criticized the Chinese government for exposing “ethnic minorities in China” to serious human rights challenges. In a newly published report on his country visit to China in August 2016, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, wrote that while the plights of Tibetans and Uighurs were “deeply problematic,” “most ethnic minorities in China are exposed to serious human rights challenges, including significantly higher poverty rates, ethnic discrimination and forced relocation”.

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Ros-Lehtinen

Representatives Jim McGovern and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Draw Attention to Tibet in U.S. House of Representatives

May 2, 2017

Representatives Jim McGovern (Democrat from Massachusetts) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republican from Florida) spoke today in the House of Representatives to draw attention to the situation inside Tibet. Participating in the General Speeches period as the House began its session, they displayed a large portrait of the Dalai Lama, spoke about their support for the aspirations of the Tibetan people, the respect they have for the Dalai Lama, and about their work in the United States proactively promoting initiatives on Tibet.

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On Eve of Chinese President’s US visit, Congressional Bicameral Bill Calls for Americans to Receive the Same Access to Tibet that Chinese Citizens Enjoy in the United States

McGovern, Hultgren, Rubio, Baldwin introduce Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act in both House and Senate of the US Congress to lift restrictions on US citizens’ access to Tibet

April 4, 2017

On the eve of the first summit between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, a bipartisan legislation to promote access by Americans to Tibetan areas, which is routinely denied by Chinese authorities, has been introduced by Senator Rubio (R-FL) and Baldwin (D-WI) in the Senate and by Congressmen McGovern (D-MI) and Hultgren (R-WI) in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress on April 4, 2017.

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State Department

China Strictly Curtailed Rights of the Tibetans in 2016 says State Department Human Rights Report

March 3, 2017

The State Department’s latest human rights report said China engaged in “severe repression of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage by, among other means, strictly curtailing the civil rights of the Tibetan population.” The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016, released on March 3, 2017 said these rights included “ the freedoms of speech, religion, association, assembly, and movement” and that these were curtailed “under the professed objectives of controlling border areas, maintaining social stability, combating separatism, and extracting natural resources.” The report further said, China “routinely vilified the Dalai Lama and blamed the “Dalai [Lama] clique” and “other outside forces” for instigating instability.”

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State Department

Secretary Tillerson says he is committed to promoting dialogue on Tibet and receiving the Dalai Lama

February 1, 2017

In response to written questions posed by members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Rex Tillerson, who received Senate’s confirmation as Secretary of State on February 1, 2017, has said that he will commit to encourage dialogue on Tibet and to receive the Dalai Lama.

Secretary Tillerson also expressed concern for the restrictions imposed by China on reporters, civil society actors, diplomats and others in accessing to Tibet, for the denial of visas to foreign journalists and the limitations to freedom of movement and information.

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