Tibet Weekly Update – August 29, 2014

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

 

Dalai Lama in Hamburg: “Our struggle is the struggle between the power of the gun and the power of truth.”

Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama in Hamburg. (Photo: Deutsche Welle)


Speaking during a stay in Hamburg, Germany, the Dalai Lama was interviewed by Deutsche Welle earlier this week. His Holiness spoke about his view on the latest developments in Tibet, Chinese efforts to isolate him, and his desire to return to Tibet:

When Hu Yaobang visited Lhasa in the early 1980’s, his public speeches and comments were very realistic. At that time, everybody developed great hope. I still believe, if Hu Yaobang had remained in power for a longer time, the Tibet issue would have already been solved. Xi Jinping seems to follow that same sort of more realistic approach. So there is some hope. In any way: It is better to remain with hope and in the meantime better prepare for the worst.

The full interview can be read here.

ICT report: Chinese Party official promotes inter-racial marriages in Tibet to create ‘unity’

secret police document

The first page of a secret police document procured by TCHRD.

Tibet Autonomous Region Party Secretary Chen Quanguo’s exhortations towards “fraternal ethnic intermarriage” were promoted on the front page of Tibet Daily, the official Party newspaper, and given prominence elsewhere in the state media in the past few weeks. Chen even spoke about the need for Party officials and departments to set themselves up as ‘matchmakers’ for introducing couples to each other, “building a bridge to connect [singles from all ethnic groups] to their soulmates.”

His comments underlining Xi Jinping’s assertion on the importance of ethnic mingling represent a sidelining of those more moderate and progressive views, and a push towards greater integration of Tibetans into the Chinese Party-state and downgrading of their culture and religion. They are likely to intensify fears over the survival of Tibetan national and cultural identity. They are also likely to alienate educated and other Tibetans still further, amidst growing despair at the penetration of Party policies on individuals’ private lives. For more please see the full ICT report.

Leaked Chinese documents corroborate the use of deadly force against Tibetan demonstrators in 2008

A report released by the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy on August 20th details the use of deadly force by Chinese security personnel in March 2008. The introduction to the report, which is based on secret police documents which were obtained and translated by TCHRD, explains that it “serves as concrete evidence that Chinese security forces killed Tibetans in different localities in Lhasa city during the initial protests in March 2008 that ignited the 2008 Uprising in large parts of the Tibetan plateau.” Autopsy reports for 15 Tibetans killed in the shootings are included, and TCHRD notes some evidence suggesting that the number killed may have been far higher. Please read the full report located here.

Heavy-handed security established in Lhasa during summer religious festivals

troops

(Photo: Phayul)


Reports by Radio Free Asia and Phayul have provided photographic evidence of large police presences during the recent Shoton festival in Lhasa and the unveiling of a giant thangka in nearby Drepung monastery. Security has also been increased at Sera and Ganden monasteries, and sources told RFA that Tibetan crowds were monitored by aerial drones. Meanwhile, Phayul reported that the major monasteries are now under 24 hour surveillance.

Tibetan monk Damchoe Tsultrim released after two and a half years in prison

Damchoe Tsultrim

Damchoe Tsultrim (Photo: RFA)

Radio Free Asia has reported that a Tibetan monk from Bongtak monastery in northern Tibet was released from prison last week after completing his 2.5 year sentence. Damchoe, whose case was included in the recent ICT report “Acts of Significant Evil,” was arrested following the self-immolation of another monk in his monastery. He was warmly received by monks, relatives and local people on his return home according to the RFA report.

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