Archive | Public Statements on Tibetan Issues RSS feed for this section

Senior American officials call for international coalition to press China on religious freedom in Tibet

July 27, 2018
Describing the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom as “just the beginning,” Vice President Pence and other U.S. government officials repeatedly raised China’s human rights violations in Tibet as they promised ongoing new efforts to combat religious freedom violations around the world. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who recently re-affirmed America’s commitment to seeing the release of the Panchen Lama, answered a question about religious freedom in Tibet by describing a new multi-lateral effort to end China’s assault on Tibetan Buddhism:

We had a number of Tibetan Buddhists testify and speak here, and people that have experienced the persecution that’s taken place for years in Tibet… What we are working on doing and pulling together is an international consortium to press China about religious freedom… It’s Tibetan Buddhists, it’s Uighur Muslims, Christian house church leaders, Falun Gong – there’s a whole series, and this has been going on for some period of time. We’re trying to do is get that international coalition pulling together to push on the Chinese Government to let people practice their faith freely as they see fit.

Read full story Comments are closed
VP Pence and Golok Jigme

Vice President and Secretary of State meet Tibetan activist, discuss China’s human rights violations

July 26, 2018

The aspirations of the Tibetan people were heard at the highest levels of the United States government this week when a well-known Tibetan activist was among a select group of survivors of religious persecution who met with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Golok Jigme, a Tibetan Buddhist monk who was jailed and tortured by Chinese authorities for speaking out against their oppressive rule in Tibet, talked with the two American leaders in the sidelines of the U.S. State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. The three-day event in Washington D.C. was a first-of-its-kind gathering of elected officials, international organizations, religious leaders and civil society members to advocate for greater religious freedom around the globe.

Jigme told Pence and Pompeo that the people of Tibet—a historically independent nation that China has occupied for nearly 70 years—are prevented from receiving teachings from the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. In fact, Tibetans can be punished simply for having portraits of the Dalai Lama.

Jigme urged Pence to encourage China’s leadership to work with the Dalai Lama to resolve the Tibetan issue and allow the Tibetan people to have true religious freedom.

Read full story Comments are closed

State Department notes ‘severe’ repression in Tibet in 2017 Human Rights Report

April 20, 2018

The State Department’s latest Human Rights Report, released on April 20, 2018, documents pervasive repression and high levels of deployments by the paramilitary People’s Armed Police in Tibet. Among other issues, the report tracks the many fronts Chinese authorities have opened in their attacks on the Dalai Lama, including strengthened punishments for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members who secretly harbor religious beliefs, and the detention of Tibetans who express support for him.

“The U.S. report on the situation of human rights in Tibet confirms the information that the International Campaign for Tibet has been gathering about the deteriorating situation in Tibet,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet. “This message from the Administration complements a series of legislations before the United States Congress, including the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, and their approval would strengthen the call for human rights in Tibet,” Mecacci added.

Examining the ethnic dynamics of Chinese rule in Tibet, the report notes that ethnic Chinese CCP members hold “the overwhelming majority of top party, government, police, and military positions” in Tibet, and that on the national level, none of the members of the CCP Politburo or the Standing Committee of the Communist Party are Tibetan.

Read full story Comments are closed

Testimony of Dhondup Wangchen at the Hearing by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on “Tibet From All Angles: Protecting Human Rights, Defending Strategic Access, and Challenging China’s Export of Censorship Globally”

February 14, 2018

Honorable Senator Rubio and Representative Smith,

I am very grateful for this opportunity to testify before the Congressional Executive Commission on China on my experiences in Tibet under the Chinese authorities.

My name is Dhondup Wangchen. I was born on October 17, 1974 to a family of Tibetan farmers in Bayen which is in the province we call Amdo. In today’s administrative divisions, Bayen is in Tsoshar prefecture, Qinghai province, People’s Republic of China.

I arrived in USA on December 25, 2017 and it was the first time in many years that I felt safety and freedom. The reunion with my family in San Francisco was a wonderful moment that I had looked forward to in the past years, with a mixture of anxious joy and the hesitation a man feels who was hindered to be the husband he ought to be for his loving wife; a man who was not given the chance to stand by with fatherly advice to his children in a world full of challenges, and a man denied being the son needed for his aging parents, tormented by the thought that they wouldn’t see each other again in their lifetime.

Read full story Comments are closed

Congressman Jim McGovern speaks in House about China’s new controls on Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Academy

January 31, 2018

Congressman Jim McGovern took to the floor of the House of Representatives on January 30, 2018 and raised the issue of China’s new administrative controls on the Tibetan Buddhist monastic center of Larung Gar, as outlined in a Human Rights Watch report. Congressman McGovern said, “It is a significant blow to freedom of religion in Tibet and China, and a matter of great concern to all members of Congress.” His remarks are given below along with the Human Rights Watch report.

Read full story Comments are closed

Message from Richard Gere, Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, to the Tibet Solidarity Rally in New York on December 10, 2017

December 2017

Tashi delek dear Tibetan brothers and sisters. As I write to you today, we have just concluded a successful visit to Capitol Hill and our year-end meetings of the Boards of Directors from the United States and Europe. I am sorry I cannot join your gathering in New York today but would like to express my solidarity at this critical time in Tibetan history.

Your rally is timely as the situation in Tibet is both dire and rapidly evolving. Following this recent visit to Washington, I can assure you there are many different people, from many communities throughout the world who care deeply about Tibet and have come together in their work to do whatever they can to help address the situation.

Read full story Comments are closed

ICT Vice President Bhuchung Tsering’s statement at the Roundtable on “Tibetan Buddhist Today”

September 15, 2017

Following is the prepared statement by ICT Vice President Bhuchung Tsering at the Roundtable on “Tibetan Buddhist Today” held by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the International Religious Freedom Roundtable at the United States Congress on September 15, 2017. Other participants of the Roundtable were Dr. Tenzin Dorjee, USCIRF Commissioner; Sarah Cook, Senior Research Analyst for East Asia, Freedom House; and Tina Mufford, Senior Policy Analyst, USCIRF. Judith Golub, Director of Congressional Affairs & Policy and Planning, USCIRF, moderated it.

Read full story Comments are closed

Nomads in ‘no man’s land’: how China’s policies risk the extinction of Tibetan pastoralism

September 15, 2017

Following is the English version of an article by ICT President Matteo Mecacci in Spanish that appeared in Newsweek En Español (September 11, 2017 issue). The issue’s cover story was on Tibet and included an interview with Dr. Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration.

Nomads in ‘no man’s land’: how China’s policies risk the extinction of Tibetan pastoralism

Read full story Comments are closed

Testimonies at Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing on Tibet

The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission held a hearin on “Tibet:Freedom of Religion” on July 12,2017 in the US Congress. Following are the prepared testimonies of Dr. Tenzin Dorjee, Arjia Rinpoche, Nyima Lhamo and Todd Stein. Dr. Tenzin Dorjee » Arjia Rinpoche » Nyima Lhamo » Todd Stein » Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing […]

Read full story Comments are closed

Written submission by the International Campaign for Tibet to the hearing “Tibet: Freedom of Religion” by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the United States Congress

July 12, 2017

We thank the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the United States Congress for providing us the opportunity to submit this statement for the record on the state of freedom of religion in Tibet.

The International Campaign for Tibet would like to draw attention to the impact of a new set of laws promulgated by the People’s Republic of China on the practice of Tibetan Buddhism.

Read full story Comments are closed

Pelosi Recalls Dalai Lama’s contribution to Global Peace in a Birthday Message

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement on the 82nd birthday of the Dalai Lama (which falls on July 6, 2017) calling him “one of the greatest voices for human rights and peace across the globe.” Drawing attention to Tibetans in Tibet who “remain deprived of their fundamental freedoms and are struggling to preserve their […]

Read full story Comments are closed
Tibetan Youth Leadership Program

ICT’s 2017 Tibetan Youth Leadership Program

June 13, 2017

Twelve Tibetan students from colleges in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania participated in the International Campaign for Tibet’s 2017 Tibetan Youth Leadership Program (TYLP) held in Washington, D.C. from June 3 to 9, 2017.

Read full story Comments are closed

ICT Reception for Sikyong Lobsang Sangay

ICT hosted a reception to welcome Dr. Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration, to Washington, D.C. on May 23, 2017. Those attending included Member of Congress, Congressional staffers, serving and former Administration officials, representatives of NGOs, staff of Office of Tibet, the Tibetan community and ICT Board members and staff. ICT President Matteo […]

Read full story Comments are closed

ICT writes to countries attending China’s Belt and Road Forum not to put trade before human rights issues

May 12, 2017

The International Campaign for Tibet has written to governments in Europe that are sending delegates to China’s first Belt & Road Forum (BRF) not to put trade before human rights. The letter urged them to include the deteriorating human rights situation in China, and in particular in Tibet, in their bilateral talks with their Chinese counterparts, and to include references to human rights and the rule of law in any joint statement adopted at the summit.

The Belt and Road Forum, part of China’s One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR), will be held on May 14 and 15, 2017 in Beijing. It aims to put China at the center of global economic affairs and to expand links between it and countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. However, given China’s political situation, there is fear that this will lead to strengthening the effort of countries that put trade before human rights and respect for a community’s culture and environment.

“While this initiative might benefit some countries’ economic development, the international community has an equally important responsibility in ensuring that human rights are not sidelined in the face of economic interests and trade relations with China,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet.

Read full story Comments are closed
Dalai Lama and Congressional Delegation

Leader Nancy Pelosi Remarks at Public Ceremony Hosted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Honor of Bipartisan Delegation Visit

May 10, 2017

Dharamsala, India – U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks at a ceremony hosted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Tsuglagkhang Temple in honor of the visit by a bipartisan Congressional delegation.

“What we see here today in support of the Tibetan people – we have said, as we stayed here – we have said to the top leadership of the Chinese Government. We recognize that China weighs heavily on any country, any corporation, any person – Richard Gere can attest to that – who speaks out for the Tibetan people. China uses its economic leverage to silence the voices of friends of Tibet. But if we do not speak out against oppression in Tibet because of China’s economic power, we lose all moral authority to talk about human rights anywhere else in the world.

Read full story Comments are closed

Pelosi Asks Trump to Raise Violations of Human Rights in China and Tibet During Meeting with Xi Jinping

April 6, 2017

Ahead of a U.S. visit by President Xi Jinping of China, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to President Trump saying, “violations of human rights in China and Tibet challenge the conscience of the world”.

Leader Pelosi added, “I believe, Mr. President, that if we do not speak out clearly for human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out for human rights anyplace in the world.”

Read full story Comments are closed
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.

Read full story Comments are closed

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.

Read full story Comments are closed