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CNN Report – Tibet: Tensions on the Roof of the World

December 30, 2016

CNN reporter Matt Rivers was given permission to report from Lhasa in September 2016- the first time a CNN team has been given access to the Tibet Autonomous Region since 2006. In the story he filed, Rivers compares the Chinese-imposed isolation in Tibet to that of North Korea, and notes that government minders followed him constantly and recorded the responses Tibetans gave to his questions. In a rare moment free of official oversight, he spoke to a young Tibetan laborer who complained about Tibetans receiving substantially lower wages than their Chinese counterparts for the same work.

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As the Dalai Lama Turns 80, Tibet Still Suffers

Published online July 5, 2015 by The Wall Street Journal.
Please read the full article here.

On July 6 the Dalai Lama, whose spiritual wisdom and friendship have been touchstones for both of our lives, is turning 80 years old.

Since his harrowing escape from Chinese-occupied Tibet into exile on horseback through the high Himalayas into India in 1959, the Dalai Lama has become a towering figure on the world stage. He is a religious leader and a man whose message of peace and the universal values of love, compassion and respect has never mattered more.

Reaching one’s 80th birthday is a significant milestone in any culture, none more so than in Tibet. It is a moment to celebrate.

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Tibet 101 Briefing

A short note on recent Tibetan-Chinese relations

April 23, 2015

For the briefing on the history and update on the current human rights situation in Tibet for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, April 21, 2015.

When I began preparing my remarks for this briefing two weeks ago, I started with a mention of Radio Free Asia’s April 10th report of a Tibetan protester who burned herself to death. This was to be the 138th such protest by a Tibetan since 2009. The protester, Yeshi Khando, a 47 year old nun of the Chokri Ngagon Nunnery, set herself on fire and died close to the prison and police station in Kanzi, in eastern Tibet. Chinese Security forces immediately took away her body and later informed her family. But as of today, her body has not been handed over to her family.

Before I had compiled any further details of this story, another death took place on April 15th, this time by a 50 year old man, NeiKyab. Such deaths by fire are commonly referred to as “self-immolations”, a term much too mild, perhaps even suggestive of a religious practice or offering of some kind. In reality they are simple acts of protest and desperation. We know from the previous 137 who have died in similar manner, through their last words with friends and family and testaments they have left behind, that each one of them made their sacrifice hoping to draw attention to the unbearable injustice of Chinese rule over the Tibetan people. And almost every one of them have called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

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On account of Facebook’s deletion of information more than 20,000 people signed a petition

February 12, 2015

(Translated from Radio Free Asia’s Tibetan Service program, Woeser’s Forum, broadcast on February 7, 2015)

On account of the deletion of information from my Facebook account, the International Campaign for Tibet, based in the United States capital of Washington, D.C. launched a petition campaign to protest it. This showed that the issue of Facebook’s deletion of information is not insignificant or violent or bloody.

On the contrary, it is a video footage and related report on 23 year old Tibetan monk, Kalsang Yeshi, who lost his life after committing self-immolation in front of a police station on December 23. Therefore, the International Campaign for Tibet on January 5 launched an online petition campaign not only wanting explanation from Facebook for the deletion of the information, but also for the respect of freedom of expression.

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Dalai Lama one of top ten most admired people in the world

February 3, 2015

The Dalai Lama is seventh on an international list of the most admired people in the world, according to a new poll that gathered information from panelists in 34 countries.

Bill Gates topped the international list compiled by YouGov, while the Dalai Lama came top in France and Sweden, and ranked highly in Norway, Germany and Denmark. He did not figure prominently in the list of admired people in China and Nigeria. Pope Francis was placed just ahead of the exiled Tibetan leader in the international list.

YouGov, an internet polling company, concluded: “Humanitarians are more globally admired than top world leaders like Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II, according to a new poll of 25,000 people in 23 countries.” The list can be viewed here.

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National Government disingenuous on Dalai Lama visa

City of Cape Town – Statement by the city’s executive mayor, Patricia de Lille The City of Cape Town wishes to reiterate that the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates is continuing as planned – despite the fact that it appears that the National Government has refused a visa to His Holiness, the Dalai […]

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Nepal’s Shame

Published online April 16, 2014 by US News and World Report.
By Ellen Bork

Nepal is doing China’s bidding by mistreating Tibetans.

In late 2011, I visited Kathmandu to look into the situation of Tibetan refugees. Nepal provides a home to a community of approximately 20,000 refugees who left Tibet after the 1959 departure of the Dalai Lama; in 1989, no longer willing to allow settlement by newly arrivals, it became a way station to Tibetan refugees on their way to India. The 1989 change in policy was made in response to Chinese pressure, and I’d heard that under even greater pressure, Nepali authorities were mistreating Tibetan residents and even intercepting and repatriating refugees to China.

I didn’t have to wait long to see some evidence first hand. While on my way to call on an unofficial representative of the Dalai Lama, my driver got a call saying that the representative had been taken to the police station. He was later released. On the same day, a visiting U.S. official working for an undersecretary of state with responsibility for the Tibet issues portfolio also encountered police at her various appointments in the Tibetan community. Later we were advised that the harassment was probably related to the holding of a Tibetan mourning ceremony for a prominent figure and that Beijing had signaled its displeasure, leading to the harassment of various Tibetans.

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Tibetans Repressed in Nepal, Rights Group Finds

April 1, 2014

Published online April 1, 2014 by The New York Times
By Edward Wong and Bhadra Sharma

BEIJING — Under enormous pressure from China, the Nepalese government restricts the political freedoms of Tibetan refugees living in Nepal, subjects them to abuse and harassment by the security forces, and spies on them for Chinese officials, according to a report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch.

The 100-page report, “Under China’s Shadow: Mistreatment of Tibetans in Nepal,” documents the repression faced by Tibetans who cross into Nepal, often illegally, from neighboring Tibet, which has been ruled since 1951 by the Chinese Communist Party. The report also discusses how some of those refugees might never enter Nepal proper, saying there are “serious concerns that Nepal may at times forcibly return Tibetans to China.”

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Michelle Obama Tibet

The First Lady’s Travel Journal: A Taste of Tibetan Culture

March 26, 2014
By: First Lady Michelle Obama, The White House Blog

First Lady Michelle Obama, Sasha, Malia and Mrs. Robinson are greeted by Tibetan students at the Zangxiang Village Tea House in Chengdu, China.

Chengdu is sometimes known as the “Gateway to Tibet” because it is located just a few hours from the towering mountains and rich culture of Tibet, which is a region of China. There are roughly 6.5 million Tibetans in China, and they are one of the largest and most well-known minority groups in the country.

For centuries, Tibet was largely unknown to the outside world — but today, Tibetan Buddhism (the main religion in this area) and its spiritual leader in exile, the Dalai Lama, are known across the globe for their teachings on compassion, forgiveness and tolerance. Tibet is also known for its beautiful, majestic landscapes. Some of the world’s tallest mountains are located there – if you want to scale Mount Everest, you can start from a base camp in Tibet.

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At the 55th anniversary of the Tibet uprising, a European Tribute

March 10, 2014

The European Economic and Social Committee’s President, Henri Malosse, was a special Guest and speaker at the ceremony of the 55th anniversary of the Tibet uprising that took place today in Dharamsala (India). As the only president of the European Union to visit the government of Tibet in exile, he wanted to pay tribute to the victims of the repression in Tibet and through them to all the people deprived of liberty in China and everywhere in the world.

“The Tibet question is universal”, said Henri Malosse from the stage, “it is a question of liberty, democracy and solidarity, which are the values at the foundation of the European Union”. As such, Europe has these values as a legacy and must defend them everywhere they are in danger in order to find a sustainable solution. Thus, support must be brought to the Middle way approach of Tibetans – Umaylam – and to the dialogue with China. It is the same approach that claims for a European involvement in the recent events in Crimea, not by following the other actors such as Russians or Americans, but by being more coherent and imposing dialogue between all the stakeholders. These thoughts were shared by the delegation of EESC members: Anne-Marie Sigmund, Madi Sharma and Tomasz Jasiński.

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Wave of arrests contributes to Tibet’s growing isolation

Published online October 16, 2013 by Reporters Without Borders. Please read the full article here. The Chinese authorities have stepped up their persecution of independent Tibetan news providers in recent weeks, arresting three writers who are frequent information sources for external observers on the pretext that they carried out “political activities aimed at destroying social […]

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Amnesty International

China: End “outrageous” police violence against Tibetan protesters

Chinese authorities must end excessive use of force against peaceful Tibetan protesters, Amnesty International said after police fired on and injured dozens of demonstrators. Reports emerged today that Chinese police had opened fire on Tibetan protesters in the town of Diriu in the Tibet Autonomous Region on 6 October, injuring at least 60 people, some […]

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UN rights body helps keep spotlight on Tibet abuses

Radio Free Asia
October 9, 2013

The U.N. Human Rights Council may be criticized as ineffective by some but remains a useful forum to hold China accountable for alleged rights violations in Tibet, experts say as Beijing eyes a seat this year in the Geneva-based forum.

Reports from inside Tibet and from Tibetan-populated counties of Chinese provinces regularly cite cases of Chinese security forces firing on unarmed Tibetans protesting Beijing’s rule, of the beating and torture of Tibetan prisoners, and of other abuses.

Just this week, Chinese troops were accused of opening fire on a crowd of Tibetans demanding the release of a villager who had led protests against orders to fly the Chinese flag from their homes in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Driru (in Chinese, Biru) county, wounding about 60 of them.

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Lithuania’s debt to Tibet

Published online September 20, 2013 by the European Voice.
Please read the full article here.

Lithuania has repaid the Dalai Lama for his support during the last days of the Soviet Union, by resisting Chinese arm-twisting

If I were the Chinese Communist Party, I’d think twice before picking a fight with Lithuania. The pro-independence leadership in Vilnius, armed with nothing more than stubbornness and clear-sightedness, exposed the arrogant, brutal and mendacious approach of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Kremlin, and inspired captive peoples and nations throughout the evil empire, speeding its end.

Most outsiders told the Lithuanians that they were rash, unrealistic and even outright dangerous, especially after 11 March 1990, when the parliament issued a declaration restoring pre-war independence: how could a country of 3.7 million take on a nuclear superpower?

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EU Special Representative for Human Rights visits China

PRESS RELEASE Brussels, 20 September 2013 The EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Mr Stavros Lambrinidis, paid an official visit to China from 9-18 September 2013. Host ed by the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Affairs, who facilitated meetings throughout the visit, the mission included five-days in the ethnic Tibetan areas of Qinghai Province and the […]

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Dalai Lama and the President of Lithuania

Lithuanian President meeting with Dalai Lama highlights importance of EU solidarity

September 12, 2013

Many leaders in the world have met the Dalai Lama in recent years but it is only the second time that the exiled Tibetan religious leader has met the head of the country holding the EU Presidency, writes Vincent Metten.

On September 11, 2013 President Dalia Grybauskaite welcomed the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, to Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius. In a moving video, President Grybauskaite told the Dalai Lama she was ‘honored’ to receive him. The Lithuanian leader’s actions were all the more significant as they followed a deep freeze in China’s relations with the UK after UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s meeting with the Dalai Lama in London last year. The meeting was also an important signal as Lithuania currently holds the six-monthly rotating Presidency of the European Council.

Two years ago, President Grybauskaite’s Estonian counterpart, President Toomas Ilves, also met with the Dalai Lama. Many other leaders in the world have met the Dalai Lama in recent years such as US Presidents Bush and Obama, German Chancellor Merkel, the President of the European Commission Barroso, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofsadt, the late Czech President Vaclav Havel, and others. But it is only the second time that the exiled Tibetan religious leader has met the head of the country holding the EU Presidency.

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Show solidarity with Tibet, EU urged

Published online June 3, 2013 by Public Service Europe. Please view the report on The people of the Baltic know what it is to face political persecution, so the Lithuanian EU presidency would be an appropriate time to facilitate engagement between the Dalai Lama and China The Tibet issue is a litmus test for […]

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Human Rights Watch Report: “They say we should be grateful”

Published online June 27, 2013 by Human Rights Watch. Please view the report on Since 2006, the Chinese government has implemented large-scale programs to “rehouse”—through renovation of existing houses or construction of new ones—a majority of the rural population of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) under a policy called “Comfortable Housing.” In parallel, the […]

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