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Tibetans sentenced to long prison terms for involvement in Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday celebration

December 15, 2016

Nine Tibetans have been handed sentences ranging from five to 14 years in prison for their involvement in celebrations for the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday last year. Several of the Tibetans sentenced on December 6 in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) have been imprisoned and tortured before, linked to the protests and self-immolations that have occurred in the area since 2008. Three senior Kirti monks, including a scholar close to the completion of his Geshe degree and the manager of the medical college at the monastery, received the longest sentences of between 12 and 14 years each. Tibetans had been held incommunicado for months without family or friends knowing their whereabouts, according to two Kirti monks in Dharamsala, India.

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Tibetan man heard calling for return of Dalai Lama as he sets fire to himself

December 9, 2016

A Tibetan man was heard calling for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet as he set fire to himself on December 8 and died in Machu (Chinese: Maqu) in Gansu, the Tibetan area of Amdo.

The Tibetan man, who has been named as Tashi Rabten, self-immolated on the same street of the county town where his relative, 20 year old Tsering Kyi, set fire to herself and died on March 3, 2012, according to the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy.[1] Video and images depicted a body engulfed in flames with a young boy looking on, and a woman standing nearby reciting prayers. A second video circulating on social media shows police arriving to take away the body.[2]

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Dr. Tenzin Dorjee

First Tibetan American to be appointed a Commissioner of the US International Religious Freedom Commission

December 8, 2016

In a historic first, Dr. Tenzin Dorjee, a Tibetan American, has been appointed as a Commissioner of the bipartisan US International Religious Freedom Commission. This federal government commission was created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.

Dr. Dorjee is Associate Professor at the Department of Human Communication Studies, California State University at Fullerton (CSUF).

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U.S. Congress passes groundbreaking legislation to fight the impunity of human rights abusers worldwide

December 8, 2016

Earlier today the U.S. Congress passed a groundbreaking human rights accountability bill aimed at acting as a deterrent to human rights abusers and corrupt officials worldwide. The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act expands the scope of the Magnitsky Act of 2012, which created targeted visa and financial sanctions on corrupt officials and human rights violators in Russia, to include the rest of the world.

A clause in the bill authorizes the U.S. President to form a list of foreign nationals whom he determines are responsible for acts of significant corruption or extrajudicial killings, torture, or other grave human rights violations committed against individuals seeking to promote human rights or to expose illegal activity carried out by government officials.

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Penpa Tsering

Testimony of Mr. Penpa Tsering, Representative of the Dalai Lama to North America, to Congressional-Executive Commission on China on December 7, 2016

December 7, 2016

Thank you for this opportunity to testify before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China regarding on our recommendations to the next United States Congress and Administration on human rights in Tibet. This is my first testimony before the United States Congress following my appointment as Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama to the Americas. Therefore, I would like to begin with offering the gratitude of the Tibetan people to the United States Congress for your consistent and strong support to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan issue.

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Inside Tibet: Rare admission of psychological impact on troops involved in counter-terror, oppressive policies

December 5, 2016

A rare admission of psychological problems among police officers involved in implementing oppressive policies in the PRC, including trauma linked to the imposition of ‘stability maintenance’ and counter-terror policies, is made in a document obtained by ICT and published by a People’s Armed Police University College.

The document, published by the Department of Military Psychology at the college in Xian earlier this year,[1] expresses alarm at the dangers of long-term trauma, debilitating fear and anxiety and combat shock that arise from the policies of ‘stability maintenance’, which has involved the dramatic expansion of the powers of military and police in both Tibet and Xinjiang backed by grass roots propaganda work and electronic surveillance. “Studies have shown that during the normal carrying out of anti-terror and stability maintenance duties, psychological problems readily arise among officers,” the paper states, adding: “There is cruelty in the anti-terror struggle.”[2]

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Chinese troops in Tibet

Tibet Weekly Update – December 2, 2016

A listing of the top news developments in and around Tibet during the previous week.   Dalai Lama’s visit to Mongolia draws enormous crowds His Holiness the Dalai Lama spent four days in Mongolia in late November, prompting huge crowds at his public events. The Dalai Lama gave religious teachings, participated in a Buddhism and […]

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Testimony of Nyima Lhamo before the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament – 28 November 2016

November 28, 2016

My name is Nyima Lhamo and I am the niece of late Trulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. I was born in Kham Lithang in eastern Tibet. I am 26 years old and am the second born of five siblings. I have a six-year old daughter and her name is Dawa Dolma. My father Thupten Kalsang is no more. With my mother Dolkar Lhamo are elder sister Tenzin Palmo who has a nine-year old son and two younger brothers. My youngest sister has also passed away.

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Parliamentarians on Tibet Applaud Mongolia on Dalai Lama’s Visit

Statement by International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet
November 23, 2016

“The International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT) welcomes the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Mongolia. We are pleased that the Mongolian Buddhists were able to receive teachings from the Dalai Lama, as they rightly should be able to do in a free country.

We applaud the Mongolian Government for enabling the Dalai Lama to make this pastoral visit. It is indeed encouraging to see that Mongolia is able to stand up for its values and that is certainly something that many of our own countries with Buddhist practitioners can and should emulate.”

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Inside Tibet: Tightened controls before Kalachakra; new Chinese Interpol President

November 17, 2016

  • Tightened controls and fear as Dalai Lama teaching in India approaches: passports confiscated, Tibetans on pilgrimage warned
  • Chinese security official prominent in ‘counter-terror’ drive in Tibet is appointed Interpol President

Tightened restrictions before Dalai Lama teaching

The Chinese authorities have tightened controls on Tibetans, in some areas going from house to house to confiscate people’s passports, in the buildup to a major religious ceremony to be held by the Dalai Lama in the pilgrimage town of Bodh Gaya, India.

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protest video

Two young Tibetan women stage peaceful demonstration with Dalai Lama image in Ngaba

November 16, 2016

Two young Tibetan women staged a bold and peaceful demonstration yesterday (November 15) in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county town. The two women were filmed walking calmly down the street, dressed in traditional Tibetan chubas, bearing photographs of the Dalai Lama aloft and calling “Long live the Dalai Lama!”

No information is yet known of the identity of the two Tibetan women, although footage is circulating online of their demonstration. Two Kirti monks in exile in Dharamsala, India, said: “We have not heard from anyone who saw them being arrested, but we know that the local authorities in Ngaba have never ever spared any peaceful demonstrators in the streets since 2008. Even on the remote chance that they weren’t arrested at the time, armed forces would be deployed to hunt down those protesters. Tensions are still very high in Ngaba.”

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counter terrorism cover

Dangers of China’s counter-terrorism law for Tibetans and Uyghurs

Special report by ICT & FIDHM

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From the desk of the President: At times of uncertainty and division

As we all reflect on the results of one of the most consequential presidential elections in US history, we want to reassure you that at the International Campaign for Tibet, we are busy assessing the changes and challenges ahead. While international issues and the respect of human rights were not central during the presidential campaign, […]

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Inside Tibet: News and analysis of emerging developments in Tibet

November 8, 2016

  • Tibetan ‘Living Buddhas’ visit to Mao Zedong’s birthplace and military camp sends strong political signal of Party dominance
  • New alignment of Xinjiang and Tibet regional leadership in climate of intensified security, surveillance and ‘counter terror’
  • Report by Congressional-Executive Commission on China shows dramatic increase of Chinese in Tibetan areas linked to railway opening
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Distressing scenes at Tibetan Buddhist Academy Larung Gar as monks and nuns compelled to leave

November 3, 2016

Distressing scenes of monks and nuns being forced to leave Larung Gar Buddhist Institute in the last few days have emerged on footage shared on social media. Many monks and nuns have been compelled to sign a document stating that they would not return to the globally renowned religious centre in Serthar (Chinese Seda) eastern Tibet (in present-day Sichuan province), where thousands of Tibetan and Chinese monastics have studied over the years.

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Labrang Jigme

Respected scholar monk Labrang Jigme released from prison

October 27, 2016

A respected scholar monk known as Labrang Jigme returned home yesterday after being released two months after his five-year prison sentence expired.

Jigme Guri, a monk at Labrang monastery in Amdo, who had been previously imprisoned and severely tortured in 2008 and 2010, is well-known as a writer and intellectual who is the only known Tibetan to record on video in Tibet an account of his own imprisonment and views on Chinese policies against the Dalai Lama in which he gave his full identity. He gained tremendous popularity among Tibetans particularly for his writings and determination to bear witness. Tibetan writer Woeser writes: “Because of this, Tibetan people everywhere recognized him as a hero of their people, naming him ‘Labrang Jigme’.” His release from prison yesterday was greeted with great relief; there have been serious fears for his welfare as he was believed to have been hospitalized while in prison.

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Suffocating religious freedom in Tibet: China’s draft regulations on religious affairs

October 25, 2016

“These tiny hermitages, built from the foundation with money that our parents accumulated, and with the blood and tears of our friends, were where we received transmissions and meditated.”

From “From Larung Gar By Woesel Nyima”[1], an anonymous Tibetan commenting on the demolition of housings at the Buddhist institute of Larung Gar, Eastern Tibet.

In the past months, the Tibetan Buddhist institute of Larung Gar in eastern Tibet has come into the focus of international attention, as Chinese authorities have ordered the demolition of large parts of this authentic place of Buddhist religious life, which over the past years has become a destination for thousands of Buddhist practitioners, from Tibet and China.[2] While the Chinese authorities’ measures at Larung Gar have come under scrutiny by a concerned international public, the Chinese government has drafted a revision of its religious affairs regulations[3] that may have a far reaching effect on Tibetan Buddhism, as it will consolidate the state’s repressive approach towards religious groups.

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Tom Lantos

US Congress’ Human Rights Commission Asks China to Reverse Larung Gar Demolition Policy

October 20, 2016

The Co-Chairs of the United State Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, Representatives James P. McGovern and Joseph R. Pitts have expressed concern at the demolition and related action at the Tibetan Buddhist institute of Larung Gar saying “these actions by Chinese authorities clearly violate the religious freedom of the persons affected and the Tibetan community at large.”

In a letter to the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, dated October 19, 2016, they said, “We strongly urge your government to reverse course, stop the demolitions and evictions, rebuild and restore the affected infrastructure, and permit all those people under Chinese jurisdiction who wish to pursue their Buddhist faith to do so without government interference or “guidance.””

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