Tibet Weekly Update – April 15, 2015

A listing of the top news developments in and around Tibet during the previous week.

 

Tibetan nun sets fire to herself in Kardze

Yeshi KandroA Tibetan nun in her forties called Yeshi Kandro set fire to herself on April 8 in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) and is believed to have died, according to Tibetan sources. She called for the long life of the Dalai Lama, for the Dalai Lama to be invited to Tibet, and for freedom for Tibet as she set herself alight, according to the same sources. Yeshi Kandro, from Nganggang nunnery, was known to be a serious meditation practitioner who cared very deeply about Tibetan issues. She may have participated in one of many peaceful protests in Kardze since 2008, according to the same sources. For more, please see ICT’s full report.

 

Praying and lighting butter-lamps for Dalai Lama ‘illegal’: new regulations in northern Tibet

The regulations, comprised of 20 points, show that in the current political climate almost any expression of Tibetan identity or culture can be characterized by the authorities as “splittist” and therefore “criminal.” Definitions of what constitutes “criminal” activity are deliberately opaque, giving leeway for lower-level officials and security personnel to apply harsh penalties. The measures, which appear to be guidelines for county officials mandated by higher-level authorities, enable criminal charges to be imposed for everyday and often devotional activities. They are the latest indicator of the political climate of impunity and the severity of repressive measures being imposed across Tibet- to read a translation of the regulations, please click here.
 

Tibet Autonomous Region Communist Party boss calls for all monasteries to fly the red flag

“While China continues to tell the world that Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and autonomy, its top official in Lhasa is engaged in an ideological campaign to turn Tibetan monasteries into ‘patriotic’ centers, by demanding, among other things, that monasteries fly the PRC national flag,” ICT Vice President Bhuchung K. Tsering said in response to comments by TAR Party boss Chen Quanguo. For more on Chen’s comments, please see our report.
 

China issues new directive on Dorje Shugden in bid to discredit the Dalai Lama

A copy of the document, entitled “Some opinions on dealing correctly with the ‘Gyalchen Shugden’ issue” and issued by the General Office of the Communist Party Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region, is translated here from Tibetan into English. The document states that the issue “should be given a high degree of importance, and clearly recognized as a deceitful ploy by the 14th Dalai’s Clique to split the country.” This characterization of the issue indicates that Tibetans who encourage others not to propitiate the spirit in accordance with the Dalai Lama’s advice could face criminal charges and imprisonment.
 

Call for Medical Parole for Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, on the 13th anniversary of his imprisonment

Text of the letter sent by Representative Jim McGovern to the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Under Secretary Sarah Sewall, dated April 1, 2015.

Text of the letter sent by Representative Jim McGovern to the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Under Secretary Sarah Sewall, dated April 1, 2015.

As we mark the 13th anniversary of the arrest and detention of Tibetan Buddhist leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche on April 7, 2015, a US Congressman, Jim McGovern, has asked the State Department to raise the case of his medical parole citing news reports of his ill health.

In a letter to the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Sarah Sewall, dated April 1, 2015, Representative Jim McGovern, says, “I respectfully request that you and others at the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in China make his release on Medical Parole a priority so that he might have the opportunity for medical treatment outside Tibet and China as soon as possible.” Read McGovern’s letter here.

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