News from Tibet
News related to Tibet
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One of the thousands of casualties of the protests against Chinese rule of March, 2008, is a man who was released from prison today. His name is Trinley Tsering, and he was a young monk at Kirti monastery, situated on the outskirts of Ngaba, a town in today’s Sichuan province which incorporates large areas of the historical Tibetan provinces of Amdo and Kham. He was arrested on March 28, 2008, 18 days after the start of the protests in the region and right in the middle of the crushing security crackdown that followed in which police shootings of peaceful protesters were reported to have killed as many as 20 Tibetans and wounded hundreds more. Tsering was charged with ‘leaking state secrets to forein countries’ by a Chinese court in Barkham county and given a nine year prison sentence for his alleged act of sharing news about the crackdown on his monastery with the outside world. And this morning, almost nine years to the day from his arrest, Tsering was released from Mianyang prison, located outside Chengdu, the same infamous prison where many other Tibetan political prisoners have languished over the years, including Rongye Adrak, the man who in 2007 strode on stage during a large public gathering to call for the return of the Dalai Lama, and dissident writer Theurang, among many others. But a strange thing happened to the released prisoner and the family members who had come to take him home – they were stopped from leaving Chengdu for several hours by the authorities and told that the authorities would escort them to his hometown, a journey of eight to nine hours by car. VOA has learnt from sources that the motive for the forced delay in travel was in order to ensure a late night time arrival in Ngaba which would prevent Tsering from receiving a hero’s homecoming welcome in broad daylight. Public welcomes for political prisoners were inconceivable even in the 1990s, after the harsh martial law like period of the early years of Chinese rule in Tibet starting in 1959 , but they’ve been taking place with the release of almost every political prisoner over the last five or six years. The Chinese authorities appear to be viewing the large public displays of affection and support for the released prisoners as a show of defiance and disapproval for their imprisonment, which almost always include harsh treatment, including beatings and torture, as recounted by many former political prisoners. So around 10PM tonight, Trinley Tsering and his family were dropped off near his home by the authorities, long after the expected welcoming crowd had departed. However, as seen in photographs received by VOA Tibetan, Tsering was received by his fellow monks. One photograph shows him with a sumptuous brocade shawl covering his prison issue lay clothes, an unmistakable sign of respect and honor. In the photograph, Tsering is seen sitting on the ground on a handwoven rug with flower vine design, appearing to be listening to purification prayers being recited to cleanse him of his time in Chinese prison, and for his entrance back into the clergy. Another photograph shows Tsering wearing his monk’s robe once again and holding ceremonial brocade offerings in his arms, considered auspicious in Tibetan tradition. While the Chinese authorities had sought to micromanage even the trip home of a political prisoner to deprive him of a daylight homecoming, it’s clear from the images coming out of Tibet, that the Tibetans view Trinley Tsering as a hero in brocade, even in the dead of night.
Hundreds of Tibetan community leaders, students, and supporters from the United States, Europe, and Australia gathered for the annual Tibet Lobby Day to urge their respective governments and parliamentarians to continue their support for Tibet and the Tibetan people. Tibet Lobby Day was held simultaneously in the U.S., Europe, and Australia from March 27-29, 2017. In the US capital of Washington DC, 130 Tibetans from twenty four states visited the offices of more than 250 U.S. members of congress during the two-day lobby program.
A Beijing based China Tibetology Research Center (CTRC) has recently organized a rare and unusual press conference in China's capital to criticize the Dalai Lama's forthcoming visit to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, his reincarnation process, and the future of Sino-Tibetan dialogue. During the press conference, Lian Xiangmin, Director of CTRC, not only stated Beijing's longstanding policy on Tawang issue, China’s determination, and desire to recognize Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama's reincarnation in China, but also the current state of Sino-Tibetan dialogue and the reasons behind its failure. Since Xiangmin's comments were widely covered and circulated in the Indian media, VOA Tibetan's Table Talk program invites Bhuchung K. Tsering, Vice President of International Campaign of Tibet and Kunga Tashi, China Liason Officer at the Office of Tibet in D.C to discuss the contents of his speech in this week's episode.
This video is reported to have been taken today (March 23, 2017) in Sertar Dzong, a town located in a Tibetan region of Sichuan province. It shows what appears to be random Tibetan pedestrians being attacked, beaten severely, and taken away in a bus by Chinese security. In order to protect the individuals VOA has removed the audio of voices expressing shock and sadness with one person saying over and over again that, 'they are doing this for no reason at all.' Sertar Dzong is in the same county as Larung Gar, the world's largest Buddhist institute where thousands of students have been evicted by the Chinese authorities since last summer, and their personal living quarters demolished systematically demolished by bulldozers.
This video is reported to have been taken today (March 23, 2017) in Sertar Dzong, a town located in a Tibetan region of Sichuan province. It shows what appears to be random Tibetan pedestrians being attacked, beaten severely, and taken away in a bus by Chinese security. In order to protect the individuals VOA has removed the audio of voices expressing shock and sadness with one person saying over and over again that
The New York and New Jersey regional chapter of the Tibetan National Congress (TNC) organized a three day exhibition titled, ‘The Knowledge Treasury of Tibetan Independence’ infront of the United Nations building in New York City to highlight Tibet’s past independence status. The exhibit includes Tibet’s past currencies in various denominations, past treaties and agreements with other countries, and other symbols of an independent state like Tibet's past flag, army, etc. Considering Tibet’s past independence status, the group is demanding the United Nations to grant the Dharamsala based Central Tibetan Administration a non-member observer status in the world body. Ahead of this campaign, the group has released a press statement asking the UN body to address the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people and recognize its past status. It said, “The granting of observer status to the Central Tibetan Administration in the UN General Assembly would allow the General Assembly to address the suffering of the Tibetan people, and contribute to international peace and security, and the promotion of respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms. Granting of observer status would also be a valid and honorable step for the General Assembly to take, fifty-six years after it first called for the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination”. Tseten Lhagyal, the President of TNC’s New York and New Jersey chapter tells VOA that the organization had spent many months working on the exhibition documents, and that they intend on holding similar exhibitions in various cities of the United States and other countries within the next months. More on the report below:
New herbal products were launched at the celebration of the 56th anniversary of the Men-Tsee-Khang (Tibetan Medical and Astro. Institute) held at Tibetan Colony at Majnu ka Tilla in Delhi on March 23, 2017. The chief guest of the function, Kasur Ngodup Drongchung, the representative of the Dalai Lama in New Delhi, launched the herbal products. The herbal products are of syrups for cold and flu, cough and lung congestion, hair oil for dandruff, and dental soothers. The Men-Tsee-Khang has four clinics, one wellness center (massage center), and one export cum coordination office in Delhi with 41 medical and non-medical staff including eight doctors. Full report below:
The Tibetan Women's Association(TWA) and Students for a Free Tibet(SFT), both based in Dharamsala, North India observed 'World Water Day' on March 22, 2017. TWA organized street awareness campaigns where they called on every individual to save water in their daily lives and to understand the importance of making conscious decisions to use water efficiently, which is in tune with the International Water Day theme. The Students for a Free Tibet's India chapter, on the other hand, focused on the consequences of the diversion of Brahmaputra water by China, and its impact on India. The representatives of the organizations also discussed China's hydroelectric dam projects and its long-term negative fallout on India with Indian tourists at the main temple of Tsuglag-khang in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala. Full report below:
Tibetans in Lathong, Chamdo County, Eastern Tibet were ordered by the Chinese authorities to cancel their planned township horse festival about two months ago. According to a source in Dharamsala, North India, the officials arrested two Tibetans suspected to be the leading organizers of the festival about a week ago. Although one of them was later released, the whereabouts of the other remains unknown. Nyingmig, who is originally from Lhathog and currently resides in Dharamsala, tells VOA that the winter horse festival was planned and announced via Wechat, a social media app. Another Tibetan in New Delhi who wants to remain anonymous confirmed the arrests of the individuals. Severe restrictions placed on the internet and communication within the region has made it difficult to obtain further information on the detainees.
VOA Tibetan has learnt that Pema Gyaltsen, the young man who carried out a self-immolation protest in Kham Nyarong on March 18, and whose condition was unclear after he was taken away by Chinese security, is still alive today. He is believed to be in a hospital. In the provincial capital city of Chengdu. It is unknown whether any family members are being allowed to be with him, especially after several people who were friends and family who had gone to demand his body following his protest were forced to stay in stress positions all night and severely beaten by the Chinese police before being allowed to leave.
Three Tibetan students from the Dehradun, India based Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) School Selakui and their biology teacher, Mr. Lhakpa Wangyal were selected to participate in the first Asia-Pacific Schools Initiative (APSI) community. Nyima Tenzin, Tenzin Tselha, and Tsering Dhondup are the Tibetan participants at the event, where students from other countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, and UAE are also taking part. Listen to Tseten Chodon's report on the participants as they represent Tibet and Tibetan schools in the educational program organized by the Center for Escalation of Peace (CEP) at Jhalawar, Rajasthan, India.
VOA Tibetan has learnt that Pema Gyaltsen, the young man who carried out a self-immolation protest in Kham Nyarong on March 18, and whose condition was unclear after he was taken away by Chinese security, is still alive today. He is believed to be in a hospital In the provincial capital city of Chengdu. It is unknown whether any family members are being allowed to be with him, especially after several People who were friends and family who had gone to demand his body following his protest were forced to stay in stress positions all night and severely beaten by Chinese Police before being allowed to leave.
Following two months of severe crackdowns and intimidating military parades across Tibetan regions, Individual Tibetans have started to engage with their Chinese rulers using the only means open to them; street protests. VOA Tibetan has learnt that apart from the street protest in Amdo Ngaba on March 16 carried out by Lobsang Dargye, and the self-immolation protest in Kardze on March 18 by Pema Gyantsen, there was another confirmed solo protest carried out in Ngaba on the 18th. A young woman named Dukbey is reported to have marched down the main street of Ngaba Dzong around 3PM, and chanted slogans calling for the Dalai Lama’s long life, and greater freedoms in Tibet. Within minutes, security police descended on her and took her away, and her family has to date not been informed of her whereabouts. According to a photo of Dukbey that has emerged on social media, she is believed to be in her twenties. A source who wants to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation by Chinese authorities, Dukbey’s family name is Sonamtsang and she is from Rari town in Ngaba.
Tibetans and supporters in New York City organized a protest in front of the Chinese Consulate in solidarity with Pema Gyaltsen, a 24 year-old Tibetan man who self-immolated near Tsokha monastery in Nyarong, Eastern Tibet (today's Sichuan province) around 4PM local time on March 18, 2017. Speaking at the protest, President of the regional Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), Mr. Tenzin Kalden said, “We are here to show our solidarity with the Tibetans inside Tibet. Since 2009, there has been 146 self-immolators inside Tibet.” The regional Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) organized a prayer session later in the evening, where the President of TWA said, “We are organizing this prayer in solidarity with the Tibetans inside Tibet; we will try our best to raise awareness about Tibet's situation on international platform”
Monitors say a 24-year-old Tibetan man set himself on fire Saturday outside a monastery in China's southwestern Sichuan province, a region heavily populated by ethnic Tibetans who protest China's policies in their nearby homeland. A statement Sunday from the organization "Free Tibet" said the man self-immolated Saturday afternoon, drawing a large detachment of police and security personnel who took him into custody. Witnesses are quoted as saying Pema Gyaltsen was thought to be alive when arrested. But the statement said activists have been unable to confirm his current condition or whether he survived the ordeal. The statement also said police remained in the area to prevent the spread of information, and that Internet service in the region was cut. Analysts say Saturday's self-immolation is the first in the disputed region since December, when another male set himself on fire and died. Free Tibet says more than 140 Tibetan protesters have set themselves on fire since 2009, when anti-China protesters -- most of them monks and nuns -- began self-immolating to protest what locals describe as Chinese interference in Tibetan customs and religious practices. The majority of those protesters have died. Protesters also have sought to bring attention to demands for the return of their exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. Chinese authorities last decade criminalized self-immolation protests, and local courts have imprisoned scores of people for their alleged roles in supporting the protests.
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, inaugurated a three-day international Buddhist conference Friday in Nalanda district in Bihar, India. The Indian government is sponsoring the conference, titled "The Relevance of Buddhism in the 21st Century." In his opening address, the Dalai Lama told Buddhist delegates and experts from 35 countries that all religions share one principle — love and compassion — and that all must promote religious harmony in order to overcome both historical and current problems created in the name of religion. "In this very moment while we are enjoying joyfulness and peace, in the same planet, same human beings are killed [under acts] including in the name of religion," said the Dalai Lama, who has been living in exile in India since 1959. "It is unthinkable! The every source of compassion and forgiveness becomes a source of violence! It is like turning medicine into poison." One thousand delegates are attending the conference, according to the Indo-Asian News Service. Previously, some international Buddhist conferences barred the Dalai Lama because of China's opposition. This time, China did not send delegates to the conference, presumably because of the Dalai Lama's presence. A Chinese Buddhist professor working in Japan did attend the Friday meeting, according to Jangchup Choeden, the abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery in India. Speaking to VOA, Choeden said the Dalai Lama emphasized how a 21st-century Buddhist must be. "He said the 21st-century Buddhists must use their intelligence and conduct analytical observation rather than blindly follow the faith," he said. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is reportedly going to attend on Sunday and address the conference. Mukherjee met with the Dalai Lama in December, causing China to say it was "strongly dissatisfied." This was the Dalai Lama's first meeting with an Indian head of state in 60 years. China calls the Dalai Lama a "dangerous separatist." The Nobel Peace Prize laureate denies espousing violence and says he wants only genuine autonomy for Tibet.
Following two months of severe crackdowns and intimidating military parades across Tibetan regions, individual Tibetans have started to engage with their Chinese rulers using the only means open to them; street protests. VOA Tibetan has learnt that apart from the street protest in Amdo Ngaba on March 16 carried out by Lobsang Dargye, and the self-immolation protest in Kardze on March 18 by Pema Gyantsen, there was another confirmed solo protest carried out in Ngaba on the 18th. A young woman named Dukbey is reported to have marched down the main street of Ngaba Dzong around 3PM, and chanted slogans calling for the Dalai Lama’s long life, and greater freedoms in Tibet. Within minutes, security police descended on her and took her away, and her family has to date not been informed of her whereabouts. According to a photo of Dukbey that has emerged on social media, she is believed to be in her twenties. A source who wants to remain anonymous due to fear of retaliation by Chinese authorities, said Dukbey’s family name is Sonamtsang and that she hails from Rari town in Ngaba.
The 3rd session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament in Exile began its session in Dharamsala, North India on March 14, 2017. Mr. Karma Yeshi, Minister for the Department of Finance, Central Tibetan Administration, presented the proposed budget of 2439 million rupee for the fiscal year of 2017-18 in the parliament. The members of the parliament will discuss the proposed budget within the next few days. More on the session below:
As Tibetans around the world marked the 58th anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day, Chinese officials in Beijing vowed to "resolutely strike" against the "Dalai Lama clique's separatist activities." Che Dalha, the newly appointed chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, said Beijing would take "a clear-cut stand against separatism." China views the Dalai Lama, Tibet's Buddhist spiritual leader, as a dangerous separatist. The Nobel Peace laureate denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet. Che's remarks, reported by Reuters, came as Tibetans in Dharamsala, the Indian city that is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan administration-in-exile, held its annual commemoration of the Tibetan people's protest against Chinese occupation of Tibet that took place in Lhasa in 1959. Beijing refers to the action as a "peaceful liberation." "Despite the repression and crackdown, Tibetans in Tibet have been at the forefront of the Tibetan freedom struggle," said Lobsang Sangay, political leader of the Tibetan administration-in-exile. "Even today as we speak, there is a major military presence in Lhasa ... making it reminiscent of a war zone." Surveillance, displays of force International human rights groups and exiles routinely condemn what they call China's oppressive rule in Tibetan areas. They say pervasive surveillance and displays of military force are being used to intimidate and quell dissent. Since 2009, protests have included 145 Tibetans in Tibetan areas self-immolating, calling for "Freedom for Tibet" and "Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet." Elsewhere on Friday, from Sydney to San Francisco to Tokyo, Tibetans and supporters marked the anniversary of what is known as the March 10th Uprising. Indian police arrested 150 Tibetan activists affiliated with the Tibetan Youth Congress as they protested at the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi. In Minneapolis, the City Council was expected to vote Friday on a resolution in support of Tibetan self-determination, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In a letter Wednesday, the Chinese consul general in Chicago expressed "deep concerns" about the council's plans to declare March 10 as Tibet Day. Some cities, including Richmond, in the San Francisco Bay Area, flew the Tibetan national flag, which is banned in Tibet, to mark the event. The anniversary commemorations coincided with China's annual National People's Conference in Beijing. Beijing meeting On Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with official delegates from the Tibetan Autonomous Region in Beijing, according to state-run China Tibet Online News. He said Tibet must implement President Xi Jinping's 2012 comment, which has since been a major political slogan in Tibet: "To govern the nation, we must protect the borders, and to protect the borders, we must first stabilize Tibet." Li also talked about the importance of economic development in achieving stability in Tibet. VOA's Tsering Wangyal in New Delhi contributed to this report, which originated with VOA's Tibetan Service.
Following the Jataka tales teaching, the Dalai Lama presided over the first official 'Tibetan Women's Day' marked in his exile home of Dharamsala, North India on March 12, 2017. Tibet's spiritual leader spoke at the function along with Dr. Lobsang Sangay, political head of the Tibetan Administration in Exile, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, and Ms Lisa Singh, legislator from Australia. Listen to reporter Tenzin Sangmo's full coverage below: