Tag Archives | Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

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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Tom Lantos

US Congress’ Human Rights Commission Asks China to Reverse Larung Gar Demolition Policy

October 20, 2016

The Co-Chairs of the United State Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Representatives James P. McGovern and Joseph R. Pitts have expressed concern at the demolition and related action at the Tibetan Buddhist institute of Larung Gar saying “these actions by Chinese authorities clearly violate the religious freedom of the persons affected and the Tibetan community at large.”

In a letter to the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, dated October 19, 2016, they said, “We strongly urge your government to reverse course, stop the demolitions and evictions, rebuild and restore the affected infrastructure, and permit all those people under Chinese jurisdiction who wish to pursue their Buddhist faith to do so without government interference or “guidance.””

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Tom Lantos

US Congressmen call on Chinese authorities to stop persecuting relatives of self-immolators in Tibet

February 11, 2016

On February 4, 2016, the Co-Chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC), Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) issued a press release to announce that they “wrote a letter to the Chinese Government to express their deep concern regarding the prosecution and labeling as “criminals” of relatives and friends of self-immolators, and potentially entire communities in which the self-immolators lived.”

Since 2009, 143 Tibetans have self-immolated inside Tibet and most of them have died as a result of this tragic act of protest. Most of the self-immolators have called for an end to the repressive policies implemented by the Chinese Government in Tibet and have called for the return of the Dalai Lama.

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Congressman McGovern Statement on Death of Tibetan Activist Tenzin Delek Rinpoche

July 20, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02), a senior House Democrat and Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, released the following statement on the death of Tibetan activist Tenzin Delek Rinpoche:

“Last week I was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of the well-known Tibetan monk, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. Tenzin Delek was serving a life sentence under very harsh conditions for allegedly ‘causing explosions’ and ‘inciting separatism,’ charges against which he steadfastly maintained his innocence. Just last April, I had written to the U.S. State Department to encourage our government officials to prioritize Tenzin Delek’s release on medical parole, because he was reported to be suffering from serious health problems. In late June, the State Department assured me the message had been transmitted, but now we see that China turned a callous blind eye to my pleas and those of many others. The Chinese authorities bear direct responsibility for Tenzin Delek’s unnecessary death.

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Richard Gere

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.

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Statement of Lama Kyap Gazan for Tibet 101 Briefing

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 […]

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Tibet 101 Briefing

A short note on recent Tibetan-Chinese relations

April 23, 2015

For the briefing on the history and update on the current human rights situation in Tibet for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, April 21, 2015.

When I began preparing my remarks for this briefing two weeks ago, I started with a mention of Radio Free Asia’s April 10th report of a Tibetan protester who burned herself to death. This was to be the 138th such protest by a Tibetan since 2009. The protester, Yeshi Khando, a 47 year old nun of the Chokri Ngagon Nunnery, set herself on fire and died close to the prison and police station in Kanzi, in eastern Tibet. Chinese Security forces immediately took away her body and later informed her family. But as of today, her body has not been handed over to her family.

Before I had compiled any further details of this story, another death took place on April 15th, this time by a 50 year old man, NeiKyab. Such deaths by fire are commonly referred to as “self-immolations”, a term much too mild, perhaps even suggestive of a religious practice or offering of some kind. In reality they are simple acts of protest and desperation. We know from the previous 137 who have died in similar manner, through their last words with friends and family and testaments they have left behind, that each one of them made their sacrifice hoping to draw attention to the unbearable injustice of Chinese rule over the Tibetan people. And almost every one of them have called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

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Testimony by Matteo Mecacci, President, International Campaign for Tibet

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.

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Bhuchung Tsering

Congressional panel calls for “urgent” and “bold” action on Tibet on eve of Obama-Xi summit

June 6, 2013

ICT’s Bhuchung Tsering testifies with four recommendations to President Obama

At a June 5 hearing on “human rights in Tibet” on the eve of the summit between Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, leaders of Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission called on the Obama Administration to give new impetus to actions that will improve conditions in Tibet.

Commission Co-Chair Frank Wolf (R-VA) said we “have to do something bold and different” on Tibet, called for the next Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues to “bring a freshness to the issue,” and labeled the situation inside Tibet as one of “cultural genocide.” He also urged the State Department to consult the Tibetan community on who they think would be appropriate for the post of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issue.

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Bhuchung Tsering

Testimony of Bhuchung K. Tsering at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on Tibet

Washington, DC
June 5, 2013

I thank the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for this opportunity to testify today. I would like to address the topic of this hearing in the context of the current critical situation in Tibet.

This hearing is timely as President Barack Obama is preparing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in California. Therefore, I would like to highlight the situation in Tibet and what the Obama Administration should do about it, including during the upcoming summit.

In his first speech after becoming the new head of the Chinese Communist Party on November 15, 2012, Xi Jinping said, “In the new situation, our Party faces many severe challenges.” In the same speech, Xi also said, “…Chinese people have opened up a good and beautiful home where all ethnic groups live in harmony and fostered an excellent culture that never fades.”

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Testimony of Dr. Lobsang Sangay Kalon Tripa before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Chairman McGovern, Chairman Wolf, Commission Members, thank for giving me the opportunity to testify before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. This is my first visit to Washington, D.C., since assuming the office of Kalon Tripa of Tibet following the historic transfer of political authority by His Holiness the Dalai Lama earlier this August. The […]

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Testimony of Kirti Rinpoche, Chief Abbot of Kirti Monastery to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Testimony of Kirti Rinpoche, Chief Abbot of Kirti Monastery to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the grim human rights situation in Tibet as reflected by many cases of self-immolation I would like to thank the US Congress for giving me this precious opportunity to talk about the worsening human rights situation in Tibet […]

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