Tibet Weekly Update – November 14, 2014

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

 

President Obama raises Tibet in bilateral talks with Xi Jinping

President Obama, who was in Beijing to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, called on Xi Jinping to do more for Tibet during a joint press conference, saying that during the talks he had urged Chinese authorities to “take steps to preserve the unique cultural, religious and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people.” ICT members and staff had been busy during the days leading up to the meeting, urging Obama to take such steps in support of Tibet.

ICT report: New strategic rail network inside Tibet endangers Tibetan environment and culture

Tibet rail
Massive investment in infrastructure in Tibet by the Chinese government – railways, airfields and roads – has served the dual purpose of facilitating an unprecedented tourism boom, expansion of mining Tibet’s resources and serving China’s strategic and military objectives. Our new report outlines the new routes and their significance in the context of China’s ambitious infrastructure plans, regional security concerns, and new scientific findings on the fragility of Tibet’s high-altitude environment, which is warming more than twice as fast as the global average. While Chinese scientists have observed and recorded accelerating environmental degradation, no responsibility for policy failures has been taken by the Chinese government. Please see more here.

Two Kirti monks sentenced after solo protests calling for Dalai Lama’s return

Two young Kirti monks from Ngaba, eastern Tibet, have been sentenced to three and two years in prison for solo peaceful protests, according to monks in exile. Both were severely tortured on detention. Both monks demonstrated on the main street of the county town of Ngaba near the monastery, known among Tibetans as ‘Heroes (or Martyrs) Road’ because it has been the site of a number of self-immolations and protests. Losang Tenpa, 19, was sentenced to two years imprisonment following a peaceful protest on April 26 in which he wore a hand-drawn Tibetan flag and held a portrait of the Dalai Lama. Another Kirti monk, 20-year old Losang Gyatso, was sentenced to three years following a similar solo protest in April in which he called for freedom and for the Dalai Lama to be allowed to return to Tibet. For more details please read our full report.

Tibetans in Kham deprived of personal documents after resisting resettlement

Tibetan nomads

Tibetan nomads in Golog (Image: RFA)


Radio Free Asia has reported that Tibetans in the Yulshul area of Kham have been threatened with massive fines and had their residency permits taken away after refusing to move from their traditional nomadic areas to Chinese resettlement towns. Tibet expert Gabriel Lafitte told RFA that although a few resettled nomads are able to find work “selling basics to other resettlers,” and some others, “especially young adults, find casual low-paid work on urban construction crews, road-building and repair gangs,” there are few success stories.

Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy to publish writings by Lhaden, a Tibetan monk challenging China’s ‘rule of law’ rhetoric

Lhaden

Lhaden (Image: TCHRD)

Lhaden, a native of the Golog region of northern Tibet, has written two books exploring the Tibet issue. In his latest book he advocates a peaceful, non-violent struggle by the Tibetan people to resolve the current problems. TCHRD will be publishing the books in Tibetan this December and in English next year. More of the following excerpt can be seen on TCHRD’s site:

I am an ordinary man and a devout Buddhist from the Land of Snows. I believe in peace, non-violence, Karma and the Middle-Way. I don’t hold any grudges against other nationalities. I don’t have any wish to destroy the Chinese government or the Chinese people. I don’t think any Tibetan holds such a wish. Our goal is to establish equality and peaceful co-existence between the Chinese and Tibetan nationalities. Our goal is not to seek revenge. As I said before, what we demand are equal rights and freedom. This is the basis of our non-violent movement.

I applaud the rise of China as a global power – its economic and military might. But China has committed some grave errors. China’s ethnic policies have consistently violated the human rights of its national minorities. This is a view held not just by the Tibetans. Other minority nationalities opposing the Chinese government bear testimony to this.


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