Tag Archives | UNESCO

ICT urges UNESCO to look into the destruction of Dalai Lama’s parents’ home in Tibet

August 21, 2018

The International Campaign for Tibet has asked for information from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) about the destruction of the historic home of the Dalai Lama’s parents in Tibet.

In a letter addressed to Mechtild Rössler, Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, head of ICT’s UN Advocacy Team and Executive Director of ICT Germany Kai Mueller draws attention to ICT’s report on the demolition of Yabshi Taktser, the former residence of the Dalai Lama’s now-deceased parents.

Yabshi Taktser had been one of the most important sites in Tibet’s capital city of Lhasa, but earlier this year, the building was reportedly demolished, with a new, concrete structure rising in its place.

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Yabshi Takster

Former home of Dalai Lama’s parents demolished in Lhasa

July 30, 2018

  • The former home of the parents of the Dalai Lama, one of the largest and most important of the few remaining historic buildings in Lhasa, has been demolished and a new concrete structure is being built in its place.
  • The Yabshi Taktser residence appears to have been razed within weeks of Lhasa’s protection being discussed at an annual meeting of the world’s leading heritage body, UNESCO from June 24.

The Yabshi Taktser residence was close to the Potala Palace, where the Dalai Lama lived until his escape from Tibet in 1959. It had a particular significance as the home of the late parents of the Dalai Lama. Over many years, the building was neglected and had fallen into a state of disrepair. Tibetans were afraid to recommend maintenance or renovation work because of the building’s association with the Dalai Lama, according to expert sources.

The Yabshi Taktser residence appears to have been razed two months before Lhasa’s protection was discussed at an annual meeting of the world’s leading heritage body, UNESCO, beginning June 24.

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‘Destruction, commercialization, fake replicas’: new report on Lhasa as UNESCO World Heritage Committee meets

June 25, 2018

A new report by the International Campaign for Tibet reveals how Lhasa’s unique and precious remaining cultural heritage is at risk as China flouts its responsibilities under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. The U.N. organisation for protecting the world’s heritage meets this week in Bahrain (June 24-July 4) and will vote on a decision requesting information from China about the state of conservation in Tibet’s historic and cultural capital.

In ‘Destruction, commercialization, fake replicas’, the International Campaign for Tibet reports:

  • Since the Dalai Lama’s former home, the iconic Potala Palace, and other significant buildings were recognized as UNESCO World Heritage, dozens of historic buildings have been destroyed and replaced by fake ‘Tibetan’-style architecture. Official Chinese planning documents obtained by the International Campaign for Tibet confirm that this is set to continue with the remaining historic buildings, which number around 50 as new construction continues at a staggering rate.
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Ban on access to nature reserves in Tibet raises concern about Tibetan nomads at UNESCO site

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”.[1] 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.[2]

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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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The Old City district of Lhasa.

Destruction of Lhasa revealed in new images

New images detail construction of a large shopping mall with underground parking located in the northeast section of the Barkhor, next to the holy Jokhang Temple within the old city of Lhasa, and destruction of buildings. The demolition and construction depicted in the new images appears to be consistent with the Chinese authorities’ elaborate and […]

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Tibet scholars’ petition to China and UNESCO on destruction of Old Lhasa City

International scholars on Tibetan studies have launched a petition to China and UNESCO expressing “grave concern over the rapidly-progressing destruction of much of the traditional architectural heritage of the Old City of Lhasa and its environs.” The petition, addressed to Chinese President Xi Jinping and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bukova, urges them to send “independent investigative […]

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UN committee urges China to come up with plans to protect old Lhasa

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has urged the Chinese authorities to “develop an articulated strategic programme for the conservation and rehabilitation of the historical fabric of Old Lhasa based upon an analysis of the heritage values of the historic structures.” It has said that taking into consideration the on-going processes of change and urban […]

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UN representative to resign in protest of UN’s Exclusion of Tibetan Art

Bosnian-Israeli pianist Sasha Toperich today announced his intention to resign his honorary title as UNESCO Ambassador for Peace in protest of UNESCO’s decision to ban the display of an exhibit on UN premises because it includes work from Tibetan artists. Dr. Toperich, an acclaimed concert pianist who has performed around the world — including in […]

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