US Government believes “resumption of dialogue” on Tibet is “critical”


April 17, 2015

In its most recent annual Tibet Negotiations Report to Congress, the State Department notes that “The Dalai Lama’s representatives and Chinese officials from the United Front Work Department have not met directly since the ninth round of dialogue in January 2010.” The report adds that the Chinese government’s failure to address problems in Tibet “will continue to be a stumbling block to fuller political and economic engagement with the United States.”

The report is mandated by The Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 (TPA), as contained in the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228). The TPA provides that the report cover steps taken by the President and the Secretary to encourage the Chinese government to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives leading to a negotiated agreement on Tibet. The report also must address the status of any discussions between the two sides.

The latest report, covering 2013-2014, states:

“The U.S. government believes the Dalai Lama or his representatives can be constructive partners for China as it deals with continuing tensions in Tibetan areas. The Dalai Lama’s views are widely reflected within Tibetan society and he represents the views of the vast majority of Tibetans. His consistent advocacy of non-violence is an important factor in reaching a lasting solution. Chinese government engagement with the Dalai Lama or his representatives to resolve problems facing Tibetans is in the interests of the Chinese government and the Tibetan people. Failure to address these problems will lead to greater tensions inside China and will be an impediment to China’s social and economic development, and will continue to be a stumbling block to fuller political and economic engagement with the United States.”

“We are glad to see the US Government continue to support the Tibetans’ stance to solve the Tibetan issue through a negotiated solution. At the same time, the hardline position on Tibet reiterated earlier this week by the Chinese government in its “White Paper,” shows the need for the US Government and the international community to speak up jointly to let China know that this dangerous escalation will not be tolerated. Tibetans in Tibet are resisting in many nonviolent ways to the oppressive policies implemented by Beijing, but without international support, these efforts will not be able to improve the living conditions of Tibetans,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet.

The first Tibet Negotiations Report was submitted to the Congress by President George Bush on May 8, 2003. However, in July of the same year, the President delegated to the Secretary of State the submission of “certain recurring reports,” including on Tibet Negotiations Status, to the Congress “only to improve the internal management of the executive branch.” Since then the Secretary of State has been submitting the reports.

The full text of the report is available here »

Yushu: A Tibetan Town Rebuilt in Beijing’s Image


Note:  China removed this Tibetan town’s name (Kyigundo, Kham) and gave it a new Chinese name (Yushu)

After a massive earthquake destroyed 90% of Yushu’s buildings and claimed more than 2,000 lives, the price of recovery has been sacrificing identity

The monk leans forward and flips through the pictures. They were taken in the autumn of 2009, before the earth shook and the city fell, when we met at his monastery on an ordinary October day. Former students. Old classrooms. A friend that moved away. He lingers on a close-up of his face, as it was that day, sunlit and smiling. He shakes his head in disbelief. “Do I look so different?”

Everything does. It’s now been five years since a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit this county — known as Yushu in Chinese and Jyekundo in Tibetan — high on the Qinghai plateau. The county seat was then a small, Tibetan city, a place of dusty markets, monasteries, and low-slung courtyard homes. The tremor toppled almost every structure and trapped thousands in the wreckage. When the valley stopped shaking, the monk and his students emerged from their still-standing school to dig, barehanded, for what remained.

Owing to distance, bad roads and altitude, it took days for rescue workers to make it to the town. But when they did, they arrived in force. Convoys of green army trucks rolled south from the provincial capital, Xining, bearing tents and blankets, cement and soldiers. Before local and foreign press, the central government promised to rebuild the city — and they did, though it is difficult, at times, to recognize the city that they built.

Beijing has poured more than $7 billion into transforming this county. Visitors no longer arrive exhausted from a 17-hour ordeal on the overnight bus. There is an airport and miles of fresh-paved roads. The main street has a brand new school with a spacious, spotless playground. And every family was given enough money to build a new, 80 sq m home.

There are also, at every turn, reminders of this. There are signs thanking the People’s Liberation Army, state-owned enterprises, and Communist Party officials. “Gratitude. Self-strengthening. Innovation. Harmony,” reads one banner. “Develop activities to promote national unity,” reads another. On the road into town, Xi Jinping, Chairman of the Communist Party and President of the People’s Republic, waves at motorists from a massive red billboard: “Unite all Chinese. Realize the China Dream.”

The ruling party’s dream for this region is, and has always been, at odds with what many ethnic Tibetans want. This is the edge of Chinese empire, a contested space where everything has two names and two histories. What Tibetans call colonization, the ruling CCP calls “serf liberation.” Even as monks burn themselves alive to protest Chinese rule, state media trumpet campaigns to improve Tibetan livelihoods through road building and water treatment.

In this sense, the story of Yushu/Jyekundo feels like the story of contemporary Tibet told in fast-forward. The earthquake’s destruction sped the influx of non-Tibetans to the once isolated town. These CCP-backed soldiers, officials and fortune seekers brought money and resources — first shovels and water, and then scaffolding and cranes. But the help was not offered without condition and has resulted in heightened state control.

Take housing. With almost all the city destroyed, the Party vowed to help every family build a new home. Generous. But they did so according to their own logic, and their own plans. Over the last five years, local residents have taken to the streets to protest what they call widespread land confiscation. After losing their homes in the quake, they said, they were evicted to make way for the new, grand city plan.

There are questions, too, about whether this construction boom benefits Tibetans. The locals had little experience in airport building, highway paving or the rapid construction of imposing government offices. The government and state-owned enterprises are experts. In the past, visitors stayed at family-owned inns. Today, there is Gesar Palace, “a boutique five star hotel” run, according to the brochure, by the Hong Kong Evergreen Hotel Group. It has “18 private Chinese dining rooms,” 13 Karaoke machines, and very few guests.

For all the talk of unity, for the shiny new buildings and smooth roads, the gap between China’s avowedly atheist government and ordinary Tibetans seems as wide as ever. You can see it in the monk’s face. The trauma of the earthquake, the influx of outsiders, and the wholesale reimagining of the town where he’s lived for 26 years have aged him, as he knows well. Though he has just entered middle age he is walking more slowly, and talking more cautiously, than he did before.

He asked that I not use his name and I will not post his pictures. This is a sensitive time for his school. The trouble started when he offered free religious education to local students on winter break. Five hundred showed up, spooking local authorities taught to see crowds of Tibetans as a threat. He spent seven days in jail, but plans to keep teaching.

He continues to live as he always has, frugally, in monk’s robes. Asked about the future, of the city and his school, he seems less concerned with matters of politics than questions of faith. The person he loves more than any other, the Dalai Lama, recently conceded that he may be the last to fill the role, a sentiment that many here are still struggling to understand. Looking down at his rebuilt city, the monk ponders somberly, “My only wish is that he’s reborn someplace free.”

—with reporting by Gu Yongqiang

China to enforce Tibetan monastics’ patriotism – another step towards cultural genocide


China to enforce Tibetan monastics’ patriotism

All monasteries must be equipped with “national flags, telephone connections, newspapers and reading rooms”, Chen wrote, adding that roads to tie such facilities more closely to other parts of Tibet would also be built.

Propaganda activities aimed at leading more monks to “educate themselves in patriotism” will also be held, he said.

Chen has made hard-line comments before, including a 2013 vow to ensure that the “voice” of spiritual leader the Dalai Lama would “not be seen or heard” anywhere in the region.

This is just another example of China’s attempt to eliminate the Tibetan cultural.  This is known as “cultural genocide” and another example of crimes against humanity.

China choosing Dalai Lama like Castro naming pope: Tibetan exile leader


Reuters by Abhishek Madhukar

March 10, 2015

DHARAMSALA, India (Reuters) – For China to find a successor to the Dalai Lama would be like former Cuban leader Fidel Castro choosing the pope, the political head of Tibet’s exiles said on Tuesday, in response to comments by a senior Chinese official.

The Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet on Monday accused the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader of blasphemy for suggesting he would not be reincarnated when he died. The governor, Padma Choling, repeated that Beijing had the right to decide.

Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death. China says the tradition must continue and it must approve the next Dalai Lama.

“It’s none of Padma Choling or any of the Communist party’s business, mainly because Communism believes in atheism and religion being poisonous,” the prime minister of the government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, told Reuters.

“It’s like Fidel Castro saying, ‘I will select the next pope and all the Catholics should follow.’ That is ridiculous,” said Sangay, who resides in the Indian mountain town of Dharamsala, like the Dalai Lama.

Sangay’s comments came on the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against Beijing’s rule that prompted the Dalai Lama to flee to India, where he has lived since.

In New Delhi, Tibetans scuffled with police outside the Chinese embassy during an anniversary protest.

In an earlier speech, Sangay urged China to allow Tibetans to govern their region, but denied Beijing’s accusations that the Dalai Lama and the government in exile were “splittists” seeking Tibetan independence.

The Dalai Lama’s envoys were ready to engage in dialogue with their Chinese counterparts at any time, he added.

In the latest of dozens of deadly immolations to protest Chinese rule, a Tibetan women set herself ablaze and died on March 5 in Tibet’s Ngawa region, the International Campaign for Tibet said.

Exiles worry that China might simply appoint its own successor to the 79-year-old leader.

In 1995, after the Dalai Lama named a boy in Tibet as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama, the second highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, China put the child under house arrest and installed another in his place.

The Dalai Lama’s private office declined to comment. In the past, the Nobel Peace laureate has said the title could end when he dies.

He has also said he will not be reborn in China if Tibet is not free and no one, including China, had the right to choose his successor “for political ends”.

(Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Douglas Busvine; and Clarence Fernandez)

China issues 20 illegal Tibetan activities


Dharamshala: – Chinese authorities in Rebkong County, Amdho region of north-eastern Tibet (Ch: Tongren County, Qinghai Province, northwest China) have issued a notice of 20 “illegal activities related to the independence of Tibet”, according to sources in the region.

The leaked list obtained by the Tibet Post International (TPI)– which features prohibitions already in place against self-immolation protests and online advocacy of the independence of Tibet – bans activities including the publication and dissemination of articles, books, videos and audio recordings that promote “separatist goals or oppose China’s rule,” stated an anonymous source.

“Illegal associations formed in the name of the Tibetan language, the environment, and education are banned. Also banned are the organisation of gatherings or protest rallies supporting the equality of languages and the protection of animals,” the source added.

The source also revealed that the new rules stipulate: “Anyone violating these directives will be punished according to the law. Those who are organising or leading illegal activities will be severely punished according to the law.”

The list clearly shows the systematic compromise of the human rights of the Tibetan people by the Chinese government.

The notice – translated by TPI – of illegal activities and explanatory notes by the Chinese government are as follows:

1. To incite or praise drastic acts such as self-immolation.
2. To hang banners, posters, leaflets or speeches for Tibetan independence.
3. To write, draw, announce, sell or distribute books, art, audio recordings or videos endorsing ethnic separatism or nationalist views that are expressed too forcefully.
4. To establish illegal organisations or activities under the name of the Tibetan language, the environment or education.
5. To incite, plan or lead illegal activities that include protests or gatherings under the banner of the equality of languages, food security or the protection of animals.
6. To use social media including QQ and WeChat to send, download or publicise images, audio or videos that contain information related to Tibetan independence. Or, using the aforementioned social media, to spread rumours that undermine national unity or create social unrest and ethnic division. Also, to let others see or use messages on your mobile or computer related to Tibetan independence instead of deleting them immediately.
7. To provide information to outside separatist groups while maintaining relations with them.
8. To read, watch or listen to information related to the idea of Tibetan independence from newspapers, television or radio from a group outside of the state.
9. To legally or illegally travel outside of the state to participate in any religious events.
10. To hang images of the 14th Dalai Lama or of people fighting for Tibetan independence in public places.
11. To place stickers, posters or banners and/or to play music that implies support for Tibetan independence in automobiles.
12. To pray using butter lamp and smoke offerings, to chanting or to free animals for self-immolators or to express condolences to their families.
13. To plan to collect donations from separatist groups and individuals outside.
14. To publicise nationalist views that are expressed too forcefully and to discuss Tibetan independence in schools.
15. To use the force of religion and its tenets as well as race to destabilise societal order. Also, under the banner of ethnicity, illegal activities toward government officials and the public include to warn them, take revenge on them and to consider them as enemies.
16. To continue to maintain contact with outside separatist forces and to not pay attention to decisions maintaining social stability. And, to plan or force others to protest against the government.
17. To incite or plan prayer services for the 14th Dalai Lama at monasteries and public places during festivals and other holidays.
18. To incite or plan gatherings for praying for the 14th Dalai Lama under the banner of religion and tradition.
19. To intentionally create rumours about Tibetan independence by publicising messages, images, audio or videos of a variety of regular religious and traditional activities. To send biased publicity of legal activities – including reeducation campaigns, the closing of illegal organisations and the prosecution of criminals – to outside of the state and to publicise facilities to outside forces.
20. Other illegal activities include: to participate in festivals when outside forces carry out activities related to Tibetan independence. To destabilise the social order under the banner of forcing others to only speak Tibetan and to kill, sell or free animals.

The 20 points specify the illegal activities of the separatist force for Tibetan independence. Anyone violating these directives will be punished according to the law. Those who are organising or leading illegal activities will be severely punished according to the law. Those who are involved in illegal activities through force or incitement by others will be reeducated and helped to recognise the consequences of the nature of illegal activities. They will then be put under surveillance and their movements will be restricted. Those who are leading the illegal activities will have their family benefits immediately stopped. Government officials will not be severely punished if prosecuted under these directives.

Remembering Tenzin Choedak: A Son of Tibet


Tenzin Choedrak, a Tibetan social activist died two days after his release from prison at the age of 34. He was serving a 15-year prison term for acting as a ringleader of the March 2008 protests in Lhasa, Tibet [1].

In April 2008 Chinese police arrested Choedak for allegedly leading demonstrators during March 2008 protests in Lhasa. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in September 2008.

In violation of the Convention Against Torture and other international human rights treaties, to which China is a party to, Choedak was brutally tortured on a daily basis for months. As a result, he suffered from vision loss and other chronic diseases until his death. To prevent Choedak from dying in the prison, the Chinese government released him. However, two days after his release on medical parole, Choedak succumbed to his injuries.

When he was returned to his family, Choedak had dislocated jawbones and damaged kidneys. He was physically emaciated and vomiting blood because of a brain injury. All the bones in his feet were broken. This suggests that he may have been subjected to the falaka, or foot whipping, torture technique. The falaka involves beating the sole’s of the victim’s feet with a heavy cable or whatever else is available. It causes extreme pain up the victim’s body and the feet to swell. The technique was used in the PRC, the Middle East, and Romania.[2]

Before his detention, Tenzin Choedak was an employee of a European NGO affiliated with the Red Cross in Lhasa.

Tenzin Choedak before the Chinese government put him in prison and tortured him.

Tenzin Choedak before the Chinese government put him in prison and tortured