Tibet Weekly Update – May 29, 2015

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

 

Tibetan mother of two sets fire to herself outside government building

Sangye Tso

Sangye Tso

A Tibetan woman set fire to herself earlier this week outside a Chinese government building in Kanlho, near Tashi Choekhorling monastery. Sangye Tso, 36 and a mother to two children, is believed to have died. A Tibetan exile source in contact with Tibetans in the area said: “The specific location was the Party and government offices, including the local police station, symbolic to locals of policies of injustice against Tibetans, as well as the main offices to enforce the crackdown against police protest in 2008.”


 

ICT to begin 2015 Tibetan Youth Leadership Program in Washington, D.C. on June 1

TYLP 2014

Participants of ICT’s Tibetan Youth Leadership Program in 2014 before the Capitol

Twelve young Tibetan Americans are participating in the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)’s Tibetan Youth Leadership Program (TYLP) being held in Washington, D.C. from June 1 to 7, 2015. The selected participants are coming from Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

“Past participants have given us positive feedback and explained how this program helped them to renew their commitment to working for Tibet. This is why we are excited to have another group of Tibetan American youth here for this year’s program,” said Tencho Gyatso, Coordinator of TYLP for the International Campaign for Tibet.


 

FCCC finds that conditions for foreign journalists continue to decline in China

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China [FCCC] has released the results of their 2015 annual working conditions survey. More than a hundred foreign journalists in China responded to questions about government restrictions, reporting in ethnic minority regions, and official reprisals for their work. Their findings conclude that Tibet remains closed to foreign journalists, and that conditions aren’t improving:

96% of respondents say working conditions for foreign journalists in China almost never meet international standards. 44% say working conditions are about the same as last year, 33% say they deteriorated. None of the 117 respondents said conditions had improved.


 

Dire situation in Tawu exposed following self-immolation

Since the May 20 self-immolation of Tenzin Gyatso in Tawu, journalists have connected his protest to a grim atmosphere of repression in the eastern Tibetan town. Radio Free Asia, citing local sources, explains:

The fatal self-immolation protest Wednesday of a Tibetan man living in western China’s Sichuan province was preceded by weeks of police harassment and intimidation of the residents of a Tibetan-populated county, according to sources in the region and in exile.

“The new deputy governor of Tawu county had cracked down on Tibetans suspected of organizing ‘separatist activities’ and planning celebrations for the 80th birth year of [exiled spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tawu’s new deputy governor had further intimidated local Tibetans by “conducting parades of security forces in the area,” he added.

Over 80 Tawu-area Tibetans have recently been detained and are still in custody, Lobsang Jinpa said.

“Following [Gyatso’s] self-immolation, there were scuffles between Tibetans and the police over who would take possession of his body, and four girls—Tashi Dolma, Tsering, Choetso, and Rigdzin Lhamo—were taken into custody.”

For more, please see their article.

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