International Campaign for Tibet stands in solidarity with Tibetans on the anniversary of March 10, 1959
March 10, 2015 was the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising leading to the Dalai Lama’s flight into exile in 1959, and the seventh anniversary of an unprecedented wave of protests which swept through Tibet, only to be met by a violent crackdown. This year’s March 10 anniversary had a particular resonance as the Dalai Lama’s will turn 80 this summer, a moment of particular significance to Tibetans. For a statement by ICT President Matteo Mecacci and the rest of our press release, please click here.
Self-immolation and protest in Tibet amid intensified security
A Tibetan woman named Norchuk set herself on fire and died in a village in Ngaba on the night of March 5, in the first self-immolation in Tibet this year. Three days later, an 18-year old Kirti monastery monk held a solo demonstration in Ngaba, bearing a portrait of the Dalai Lama, and calling for him to be allowed to return home. These protests took place in the context of a charged political environment in the tense buildup to March 10. Across Tibet, security was intensified; for more please read our report.
Chinese authorities claim the Dalai Lama “profanes” Tibetan Buddhism
Following comments by the Dalai Lama that he may end the Dalai Lama lineage, Chinese officials have repeatedly claimed ownership over the very concept of the Dalai Lama. In the most recent instance, Communist Party official Zhu Weiqun told reporters that “decision-making power over the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, and over the end or survival of this lineage, resides in the central government of China,” and not with Tibetan Buddhist leaders. Noting that these Chinese claims have a farcical element, Tibet scholar Robert Barnett told the New York Times that from the Dalai Lama’s perspective, “and the perspective of probably nearly all Tibetans, the Chinese don’t really have a credible role in deciding these things.” For more please see this NYT article.
ICT President tells UN Human Rights Council: “Tibetan Buddhists demonized by PRC government”
The statement begins at the 1 hour, 12 minute, 50 second mark:
ICT President Matteo Mecacci delivered a statement to the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief during the 28th United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva calling for freedom of religion in Tibet on March 11. The following is an excerpt from his remarks:
The Special Rapporteur rightly pointed out that minorities are often “demonized as allegedly posing a dangerous threat to the long-term survival of the nation, or they are accused of being involved in clandestine conspiracies”. This is what systematically takes place in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with regard to Tibetan Buddhists, as China’s Criminal Law is used to prosecute individuals, whose religious activities are equated with “separatism”, leading to the fact that monks and nuns make up approximately 44% of the political prisoner population in Tibet.
For the rest of his remarks, please click here.