Tibet Weekly Update – October 24, 2014

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

 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives in Canada for teachings and conferences

Dalai Lama in Vancouver

The Dalai Lama in Vancouver. (Photo: Metro News)


With stops at high schools, convention centers, and stadiums, the Dalai Lama has been busy during the first days of his latest North American tour. His Holiness, who came to Vancouver to attend his Heart-Mind summit, is also giving talks on compassion while in town. The Daily Mail reports that popular American actress Selena Gomez was left ‘speechless’ by her meeting with the Dalai Lama. His Holiness is scheduled to travel to Birmingham, Alabama and Boston, Massachusetts next.

ICT report: Popular religious teacher Khenpo Kartse sentenced

Khenpo Karma Tsewang

Khenpo Karma Tsewang in a detention center. (Photo: RFA)

Tibetan sources have reported that popular religious teacher Khenpo Kartse, who has been held in detention since December 2013, has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Radio Free Asia cited a Tibetan source as saying that his trial was held two to three months ago at a court in Chamdo, in the Tibet Autonomous Region. An image of Khenpo Kartse in a blue prison shirt over a jacket and in handcuffs, thought to be taken just after his detention, has circulated on Chinese social media. Khenpo Kartse’s Chinese lawyer has not been allowed access to him for some time.

Khenpo Kartse’s detention caused widespread distress, with hundreds of Tibetans gathering peacefully to protest his arrest at a prayer ceremony, and a rare silent vigil on his behalf outside a prison earlier this year. In a further demonstration of the strength of local feeling about the lama’s arrest, officials from his home area of Nangchen travelled to Chamdo where the Khenpo is being held, to express their concerns about the innocence of Khenpo Kartse, but to no avail, according to Tibetan sources in exile in contact with people in the region. For more please see the full ICT report.

China’s crackdown slows Tibetan refugee crossings to freedom in India

A new Washington Post story examines the increased difficulty of crossing into exile in recent years:

Once, more than 2,000 Tibetans a year made the dangerous crossing from China through Nepal to Dharmsala, the small town in India that is headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile and its spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

But that number has fallen dramatically in the past six years, with only about 100 arriving so far this year. Refugees have fled the high Himalayan plateau since the Chinese took control more than a half-century ago, and the 3 million or so who remained have endured forcible relocations, restrictions on Buddhist worship and, in some cases, torture and arrest. Those who have escaped China describe increased restrictions on movement, more surveillance and a rising climate of fear.

To read the full article, which includes a quote from ICT President Matteo Mecacci, please click here.

Compelling film on strategic significance of Tibet wins International Campaign for Tibet ‘Snow Lion’ journalist award

Snow Lion

ICT-Germany board and staff stand under an umbrella with Chang Ping in solidarity with the Hong Kong demonstrations.


Outstanding journalists from Germany were awarded the International Campaign for Tibet Germany’s “Snow Lion” award, which recognizes excellence in independent reporting on Tibet, at a ceremony attended by senior correspondents, writers including Chinese dissident Liao Yiwu and supporters of ICT in Berlin on October 18.

Prominent Chinese journalist Chang Ping, former chief commentator of the ground-breaking newspaper Southern Weekend who now lives in Germany after being forced to leave China and Hong Kong, spoke at the award ceremony about the dangers of reporting on China due to the Chinese government’s restrictions on journalists and extended reach to the outside world with the creation of new media outlets. For more please read the full ICT report.

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