Thousands gather for Buddhist teachings in TibetChinese troops have been deployed in a town in northern TIbet this week where thousands of Tibetans have gathered to attend a Kalachakra ceremony taught by a respected elderly monk. Security has been intensified in Tsoe since thousands of Tibetans began to gather for the ceremony. Radio Free Asia reported a Tibetan source saying: “Armed paramilitary forces, police, security personnel, and secret service agents have been posted all over Tsoe, and army trucks have been positioned in different places around the city to intimidate the crowd that has gathered for the teaching. For more please read the ICT report here.
China tightens control, prevents pilgrimage, before major Dalai Lama teaching in exile
Chinese authorities have tightened controls and deployed paramilitary troops to block Tibetans from making a pilgrimage to the sacred MountKailash in western Tibet and restrict travel in border areas. The moves are linked to the authorities’ objectives in preventing Tibetans from attending a major religious teaching, the Kalachakra, by the Dalai Lama across the border in Ladakh from July 3. “Local people are not allowed to travel outside Chamdo for two months from June and July 2014,” said a Tibetan source now in exile. “If any local students need to travel for study, or people need medical treatment outside the area, they have to seek special permission, and will be charged with a criminal offence if they are travelling without papers. The county authorities have banned pilgrimage to MountKailash since the end of May and are checking IDs of all passengers and vehicles in the area.” Please see the full ICT report for more.
Tibet hearing in Italian Parliament and ICT advocacy during Dalai Lama visitThe International Campaign for Tibet worked to put Tibet on the political agenda as the Dalai Lama arrived in Italy this week. ICT President Matteo Mecacci spoke at a hearing at the Human Rights Committee of the Chamber of Deputies in Rome today and briefed government officials on Tibet in advance of Italy assuming Presidency of the European Union on July 1. In his statement to the hearing in Rome, ICT President Matteo Mecacci called for Italy to lead on the adoption of a European Union common position on meetings with the Dalai Lama, stating that it is the right of all EU Member States to welcome and meet with the Dalai Lama and representatives of the Tibet movement whenever they deem appropriate.
Bipartisan legislation introduced seeking to promote American access to Tibet
Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) introduced the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act on June 12, 2014. The legislation would deny access to the United States by Chinese officials who are responsible for creating or administering policies on travel to Tibetan areas until China eliminates discriminatory restrictions on access by Americans to Tibet. It cites the diplomatic principle of reciprocity, wherein “a country should give equivalent consular access to the nationals of another country in a reciprocal manner to the consular access granted by such other country to its own citizens.”
ICT President Matteo Mecacci welcomed the legislation, saying: “Chinese leaders praise the landscape and people of Tibet, yet keep it hidden from view. Freedom of access to Tibet should be demanded of China just as established powers already provide to their own nations. I thank Congressmen McGovern and Pitts for their leadership.” This summer ICT will be asking members to take action in support of this act. For more please see the full ICT report here.
Spanish Parliamentarians make formal appeal against ‘unconstitutional’ change in law following Tibet lawsuits
Spanish Parliamentarians issued an appeal on June 13th to the Constitutional Court in Madrid, declaring that a change in Spanish law in response to Chinese pressure over two Tibet lawsuits was illegal and unconstitutional. The action by the Spanish Socialists follows international pressure from other European Parliamentarians, lawyers and NGOs, including a joint appeal by the International Campaign for Tibet and Comité de Apoyo al Tibet. Soraya Rodriguez, the Socialist Party spokeswoman who announced the news of the appeal today, said that the international response to the reform had influenced their decision. For more about the appeal and about the Tibet lawsuits in Spanish courts, please see the ICT report here.