Tibet Weekly Update – October 31, 2014

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

 

Dalai Lama draws crowds across North America

Dalai Lama Terri Sewell

His Holiness with Congresswoman Terri Sewell of Alabama.


Following his visit to Vancouver, the Dalai Lama arrived in the United States last week for scheduled stops in Alabama, Boston, and New York. His Holiness is giving talks on compassion, education of the heart and mind, Buddhist teachings, and more. A good summation of the Dalai Lama’s activities in Alabama, where he visited a church central to the American civil rights movement amid his talks and teachings, is this article featuring 15 quotes and thoughts to consider after his stay in the area.

The International Campaign for Tibet and other leading NGOs urge Obama to call for release of political prisoners

In a letter released October 30, ICT and other prominent non-governmental organizations urge President Obama to take up the Chinese government’s crackdown on civil society as a barrier to bilateral relations on his upcoming visit to China. President Obama will meet with President Xi Jinping in Beijing on November 12.

The letter urges President Obama to publicly call for the releases of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist leader whose health is reportedly deteriorating after a decade in prison, 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia; Uighur economist and advocate of interethnic dialogue Ilham Tohti; and human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who is not free despite having been released from prison. For more please see our report.

Chinese writers join ICT round-table to discuss challenges to dialogue on Tibet

Matteo Mecacci welcomes meeting participants

ICT President Matteo Mecacci welcomes meeting participants.


On October 17, 2014, the International Campaign for Tibet and Beijing Spring magazine jointly organized a roundtable discussion on the Middle Way and dialogue on Tibet in Washington DC at the office of the International Campaign for Tibet. Moderated by Hu Ping and Yu Dahai of Beijing Spring magazine, a number of Chinese scholars and writers, including Su Xiaokang, Chen Kuide, Xia Yeliang, and Qin Weiping attended the session. Others, including Yang Jianchi and Yu Jie, were not able to attend and sent their written remarks. The four hour long session was conducted in Chinese language and discussions took place on many aspects, including culture, social and political system, interpretation and implementation of Middle Way. Full video and written remarks will be made available on Beijing Spring magazine and Liaowang Xizang website for online viewing in the coming days. A summary of some of the comments raised in the discussion can be seen here.

Two Tibetan political prisoners released; another sentenced to 12 years in prison

Woeden

Woeden is draped in khatas upon his release. (Image: THCRD)

The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy has reported that two Tibetan men, both arrested for participating in the 2008 protests, have been released in the Ngaba region of eastern Tibet. Lobsang Gyatso and Woeden were both sentenced in the summer of 2008, with Woeden in particular being focused on as a ‘ring-leader’ of a protest in Ngaba. He is reported to have received a ‘hero’s welcome’ from locals upon his release.

In a separate report, TCHRD also revealed that Tsangyang Gyatso, a senior Tibetan monk, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. Tsangyang Gyatso hails from Sog county in Nagchu prefecture, which neighbors the extremely restive area of Driru. The Chinese government has repeatedly hit the area with increased restrictions and new repressive measures over the last year.

Tibet Autonomous Region Chairman Losang Gyaltsen visits Nepal, stressing Chinese concerns on Tibet

Losang Gyaltsen, the ethnically-Tibetan Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, kicked up controversy during his visit to Nepal this week. Gyaltsen asked the Nepalese government to curb Tibetan activities, thus adhering to Chinese narratives characterizing Tibetan refugees and the activities of the Tibetan exile population as illegal and ‘anti-Chinese.’ Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, spokesman for the Home Ministry, told eKantipur that Gyaltsen “urged us to curb anti-China activities and take stern action against those involved in such activities.”

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