Tibet Weekly Update – September 11, 2015

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

 

Tough warnings on ‘anti-separatism’ from Party leaders at political anniversary in Tibet

Scenes from a ceremony that was hosted in the square in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa.

Scenes from a ceremony that was hosted in the square in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa.


The Chinese leadership marked the anniversary of its establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region in Lhasa with tough warnings of its resolve to crack down on the Dalai Lama’s influence and on ‘separatism.’ The comments indicate there will be a continued focus on intensified security in an environment that is already deeply repressive, and hint at the tensions in Tibet.


 

ICT joins NGOs urging Obama to stand with Chinese civil society ahead of Xi Jinping’s Visit

NGO logos
A coalition of NGOs, including International Campaign for Tibet, have expressed concern at the deteriorating human rights situation in China and are urging President Obama to “visibly stand with independent Chinese civil society by inviting members of that community into the White House in advance of President Xi’s visit,” which will take place on September 24-25, 2015.

In a letter to President Obama, the NGOs wrote, “We believe that visibly demonstrating support and solidarity for that community may bring individuals or their organizations relief from persecution, and in turn also protect their efforts on legal reform, the freedom of expression and religion, and other issues critical to a healthy, predictable US-China relationship.”


 

Tibet’s Road Ahead: A Tibetan Princess’ Reversals of Fortune

Gonpo Tso

Gonpo Tso (Photo: LA Times)


A new LA Times article continues their series on Tibet, this time covering the story of a Tibetan princess living in exile. They follow her from her childhood in the 1950’s to the present:

As a young woman, she dressed in fur-trimmed robes with fat ropes of coral beads strung around her neck. She lived in an adobe castle on the edge of the Tibetan plateau with a reception room large enough to accommodate the thousand Buddhist monks who once paid tribute to her father.

Then, one night in 1958, when she was 7, Gonpo returned from an outing to find the People’s Liberation Army encamped in front of her house. Chinese soldiers were taping over windows and doors. Women were rushing from room to room in tears trying to pack up the family’s possessions.

While her father was summoned to a party meeting, Chinese Communist officials ordered Gonpo, her mother and sister into a Russian-made jeep and drove them away from lands ruled by her family for generations.



 

China cancels Jon Bon Jovi concerts, raising concerns about freedom of expression

Jon Bon Jovi
The first concerts in China by American rock star Jon Bon Jovi have been unexpectedly cancelled this week by a decision of the Ministry of Culture. While an official reason has not been given, and only “unforeseen circumstances” have been mentioned to the press by the rock star’s management, on Chinese social media questions were raised about this decision having to do with the infamous censorship rules implemented by Beijing all over the country. In particular, images have been circulating of a picture of the Dalai Lama in the backdrop of a Jon Bon Jovi concert in Tokyo in 2010.


 

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