Tibet Weekly Update – May 1, 2015

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

 

Devastation in Nepal following 7.8-magnitude earthquake

earthquake

A ruined temple in Kathmandu (Image: NPR)

The Kathmandu Valley in Nepal was struck by a severe earthquake last Saturday. The Nepalese army has estimated that as many as 15,000 people may have died, and thousands of people remain missing. Many of the World Heritage sites located in the Kathmandu area have sustained extensive damage, or collapsed entirely.

The consequences have been severe for the many Tibetan refugees who live in Nepal, many of whom are undocumented. Fortunately, according to the latest information there has been a minimal loss of life considering the severity of the quake. Lion’s Roar has been documenting the safety of Tibetan Buddhist teachers, monasteries, and communities in Nepal, which can be viewed here. The Dalai Lama issued the following statement on the earthquake:

“The people of Nepal and Tibetans have been neighbours throughout history and many Tibetan refugees live in Nepal. I offer my condolences to you and to those who have lost members of their families, friends and their homes in this tragedy.”

“As a token of solidarity with the people of Nepal, I have asked the Dalai Lama Trust to make a donation towards rescue and relief efforts.”

The earthquake in Nepal and its aftershocks impacted neighboring Tibet where 25 people were confirmed dead. The counties of Kyirong, Nyalam and Dhingri were most affected. Nearly 80 per cent of the houses in the three counties have collapsed.

 

Dalai Lama says lack of access to information is an obstacle to peaceful change in China

Bhuchung K. Tsering

ICT’s Bhuchung K. Tsering speaking at the conference.

In a message to the 10th Inter-Ethnic Leadership Conference which took place near Washington DC, the Dalai Lama said: “If the Chinese leadership were to adopt more practical and realistic policies, it would be possible for the issues faced by Tibetans, Mongols, Uyghurs, and even the Chinese people themselves, to be addressed in a just manner.” “The Chinese leadership emphasises the need for harmony and stability, but attempting to create these conditions by use of force is counterproductive,” he added. For more please see our report.

 

ICT: EU must include Tibet in upcoming Strategic Dialogue with China

In a recent letter addressing High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, ICT called on her to ensure that human rights, both in Tibet and mainland China, remain at the forefront of her agenda and meetings with the Chinese government. ”At the beginning of her mandate, the High Representative expressed her willingness to reassess the EU’s approach towards key strategic partners, such as China. This visit is the perfect occasion to move from words to concrete action and implement a new approach,” said Vince Metten, ICT’s EU Policy Director. For more please click here.

 

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