Archive for the ‘News, articles and statements’ Category

Old Tibet was happier, Tibetans say in new video from Tibet

September 25, 2009

http://www.tibetonline.tv/videos/77/unveiling-the-truth

Dharamsala, Sept 25: In a new video interview from Tibet released Friday, Tibetans say there was more freedom and happiness in old Tibet prior to China’s rule and blame Communist China of causing unprecedented misery to the people of Tibet during the last five decades of its rule.

Ven. Golog Rinchen Sangpo speaking on the making of his interview video in Tibet during a press conference organised by DIIR in Dharamsala, September 25, 2009,(Photo: TibetNet/Sangay Kep) The video, based on interview conducted by a 39-year old Tibetan Buddhist monk following the 2008 unrest in Tibet, shows elderly Tibetans speaking fearlessly against China’s repressive and discriminatory policies against Tibetan people since China took complete control over Tibet in 1958.

An edited version of the video was released by the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile at a press conference here this morning.

The video interview was conducted by Rinchen Sangpo, a monk of Tongkyab Monastery in Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP) in Amdo (Ch: Qinghai) Province. Rinchen, who presided over the press conference, said he interviewed a large number of Tibetans from all walks of life in Machen (Ch: Maqin) County and Gade (Ch: Gande) County in Golog throughout October 2008.

Rinchen, who spent his entire life in Tibet before escaping into India last year, said he was encouraged by his conviction to tell the reality and truth about Tibet to the outside world “after experiencing and witnessing decades of repression, economic marginalisation and ecological negligence of Tibetan areas” under the Chinese occupation. He said he finally sought the views of 15 interviewees on three issues: ‘What was the old world look like?’, ‘What sufferings they endured under the current Chinese government?’ and ‘What actually happened in 1958?’

In the video, the interviewees, all aged between 57 and 87, say the people of Tibet comparatively enjoyed more freedom and comfortable life prior to Chinese invasion of their country. They say their situation deteriorated dramatically under the Chinese rule. They complain that in the name of economic development, the Chinese government is carrying out systematic destruction of Tibet’s unique culture, language, religion and natural resources.

In the video, the interviewees even recount untold suffering, saying hundreds and thousands of Tibetans, including their near ones, either went missing or were killed under Communist China’s invasion.

As China mounted systematic oppression on Tibetans over the years, interviewees say, thousands more died due to torture, starvation or were driven to under extremely unbearable situation.

Speaking against China’s propaganda on Tibet, particularly the campaign of denouncing His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the interviewees openly express hope of Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet and reunion with their compatriots in exile.

A press release by the DIIR said the video is a “fresh testimonies of Tibetans living in Golog, Tibet’s Amdo Province detailing China’s repression on every aspect of Tibet’s identity for the last five decades of its rule”.

Rinchen arrived in India with his interview video at the end of December 2008. He said he was forced to escape Tibet before even completing his video interview entirely. According to him, Chinese government became aware of his secretive work and had issued an arrest warrant against him.

He said his video interview is a result of “whatever little work that he could accomplish in Tibet”.

“The ultimate objective and hope of the Tibetans inside Tibet is that they are eagerly awaiting reunion with their compatriots in exile and the day when His Holiness the Dalai Lama will return to Tibet,” Rinchen said in his local Golog dialect.

“Tibetans in Tibet don’t follow the Chinese government’s propaganda that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in exiles are not separatists. They know that Chinese communists are the real separatists dividing Tibetan people,” Rinchen said at the press conference.

“In Tibet, Tibetan people pray everyday to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama and hear his voice,” Rinchen said.

Rinchen said that Tibetans took to the street in March last year in a “sincere gesture of opposing the Chinese government’s wrong policies” in Tibet.

“Therefore, when Chinese authorities set up false campaign accusing His Holiness the Dalai Lama of instigating the unrest, Tibetan people could not take it any longer. So Tibetans from all three provinces of Tibet voluntarily and in unison rose up against the Chinese government,” Rinchen said.

Rinchen Sangpo was born in Akyong, village in Golog, Amdo. In 1965, he went to the village primary school as a child. At 14, he was ordained as a monk at the Tongkyab Monastery and remained there until 2008.

Rinchen Sangpo is credited with setting up two primary schools in Tibet’s Amdo Province. He said Chinese authorities closed down one of the schools two years ago.

Thupten Samphel, information secretary at the DIRR, commended Rinchen for his selfless work. By conducting the video interview and bringing it out of Tibet, Samphel said Rinchen had sacrificed everything and even risked his own life for the cause of Tibet.

Dalai Lama to deliver Keynote address at Tibetan-Chinese conference

July 27, 2009

Phayul[Monday, July 27, 2009 13:38]

Dharamsala, July 27, 2009 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama will deliver a keynote address to a ‘unique’ conference that will be attended by Chinese and Tibetan scholars, writers, journalist, advocates in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 6, 2009, a press release issued by the conference organizers said.

Convened by the International Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association, “the International Sino-Tibetan Conference” from August 6 to 8 will be attended by over 100 Chinese and Tibetan delegates from all over the world.

“The objective of the conference is to create a better understanding between the two communities and to explore ways for a peaceful solution of the Tibetan issue,” said Mr. Jonathan Sisson of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation.

“This is in the interest of both the Chinese and the Tibetan peoples,” said Dr. Tashe Thaktsang of the Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association. “In addition, it will serve the long-term development of China and contribute to peace and stability in Asia,” Thaktsang added.

Mr. Yan Jiaqi, a leading Chinese liberal scholar who had served in the Political Reform Commission under the leadership of then Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang in the 1980s, will be a guest speaker. Mr. Yan Jiaqi also served as Director of the Institute of Political Research of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and has written several books, including A Ten Year History of the Cultural Revolution.

The conference is expected to be a platform for clarification of views and opinions held by both the communities, especially in the wake of last year’s protest across Tibet, and its projection by the Chinese government as an ‘anti Chinese protests’.

To interpret these events as “anti-Chinese” agitation orchestrated by the “Dalai clique”, as Chinese authorities have done, is to misunderstand the reasons of the demonstrations, said the organizers.

In his 10 March 2009 statement, the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “We need to look to the future and work for our mutual benefit. We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China.”

As primary stakeholders, representatives of Chinese and Tibetan civil society have an important role to play in the efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution of the Tibet question, the organizers said in their press release. “In the recent past, concerned Chinese and Tibetan individuals have taken steps to encourage a better mutual understanding. This has had a positive impact and a need was felt to have a larger gathering to be held in Switzerland given its history of hosting numerous reconciliation events.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will meet the press on the same day at the Hotel Intercontinental, Geneva.

DALAI LAMA – AN APPEAL TO THE CHINESE PEOPLE

June 7, 2009

PLEASE READ FULL STATEMENT: http://www.dalailama.com/ne… filmed and edited by tOM Music & audio recording: “THE MESSAGE” by Chris Hinze from the album “TIBET IMPRESSIONS”

World: An Interview With the Dalai Lama – nytimes.com

June 7, 2009

Chinese report on Tibet reveals the roots of unrest

June 7, 2009

Chinese rule in Tibet is built on ethnic
inequality and perpetuates a self-serving elite,
a groundbreaking new report by Beijing academics has declared.
By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
The Telegraph (UK)
May 22, 2009

Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
urged his countrymen on Tuesday not to be
provoked by any Chinese military crackdown
coinciding with the Tibetan New Year this week.
With this year marking the 50th year of his exile, the Dalai Lama said ther

The report, written by scholars in Beijing, has
been hailed by both Tibetans and Chinese as a
revealing look at the troubled region.

It suggests that a new Tibetan “aristocracy” has
seized power in the region. Unlike Tibet’s
previous rulers, who were supported by the tribes
and by the monasteries, the new Tibetan ruling
cadres are funded by Beijing in return for absolute loyalty.

To mask their shortcomings, and reinforce their
power, they have spread propaganda blaming the
Dalai Lama for Tibet’s social problems, the
report concludes. “They use every opportunity to
play the separatism card,” said Phun Tshogs Dbang
Rjyal, a Communist party member in Tibet who is quoted by the report.

Four students at Beijing University, China’s most
prestigious academic institution, travelled
through Tibet in the aftermath of widespread
riots in March 2008. Their conclusions provide a
more balanced look of Tibet’s social problems,
highlighting problems in the local government and
the education system, than any account previously published in China.

It was commissioned by Gongmeng, or the Open
Constitution Initiative, a think tank founded in
2003 by some of China’s most prominent liberal
lawyers and university professors.

“This is the first independent analysis of the
situation in Tibet from within China,” said
Nicholas Becquelin, a research director at Human
Rights Watch. He added that the report was a
break from a series of “highly ideological”
reports. “This is a factual analysis of the
underlying social factors,” he said.

Last years unrest began in Lhasa but quickly
spread through Tibet and its neighbouring
regions, leading to an armed response by Chinese
soldiers and the loss of over 140 lives,
according to the Tibetan government-in-exile.

China has previously blamed the Dalai Lama for
fanning the violence, and said that over 100
agents of Tibet’s religious leader had organised the protests.

Senior Communist Party figures, such as Feng
Lanrui, a former State Council strategist, are
part of the think tank’s circle of advisors.

It also highlighted the tensions caused by a
drive to industrialise the region and move Tibetans from farms into the cities.

Once unskilled Tibetans have moved to Lhasa, it
concludes, they find it hard to compete for jobs
with better-educated Han immigrants.

Yang Ziyun, the editor of the report, said the
report had won support on internet forums, but
has not yet been published formally. “We are not
sure how it will be received,” she said.

Petition to President Obama to Host in Washington Face to Face Talks between H.H. the Dalai Lama and president Hu Jintao

June 7, 2009

May 27, 2009

Carlos Mundy, author of The Rainbow Warrior, a
novel whose main character is inspired on His
Holiness The Dalai Lama
(www.therainbowwarrior.net) has launched a
website http://www.tibet-in-peace.org where there is a
petition to President Obama to host face to face
talks in Washington between H.H.The Dalai Lama
and President Hu Jintao and also requests that
President Obama secures the immediate release of HH The Panchen Lama.

The aim is to get one million signatures before
the Petition is sent to the White House.

Please visit http://www.tibet-in-peace.org, sign the
petition and send the link to as many people as possible

http://www.tibet-in-peace.org/home.html

Text of the Petition:

President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington DC
USA

Dear President Obama,

Your Presidency has bought to the world a ray of
hope and a new open style of government. Your are
looked upon by people all over the world to lead
us into a new era of peace and prosperity as the
head of the most powerful nation in the free world.

We the signatories of this petition are very
concerned by the gross abuses of human rights in
Tibet that are well documented by the United Nations and many NGO’s.

The stubbornness of the Chinese government in
accusing the Dalai Lama of seeking independence
for his country while at the same time refusing
to have meaningful peace talks without any
preconditions is only increasing to the tensions
in Tibet and to more human rights abuses.

We are certain that the solution to this deadlock
is that as leader of the Free World, you
host, direct face-to-face talks in Washington
between His Holiness The Dalai Lama, a man of peace, and President Hu Jintao.

We also request you secure the release of H.H.
The Panchen Lama Gedhun Choeky Nyima who has been
incarcerated by the Chinese regime along with his
whole family for over 14 years and since he was only 6 years old.

We believe that this meeting will be very useful
to finding an everlasting solution to the plight
of the Tibetan people and save Tibet and its ancient culture from extinction.

Human rights must be given priority over any
economical interests but having said this, the
solution of this problem that is now over five
decades old will be also very beneficial to the
world economy, as it will ease many tensions.

We are quite sure that as soon as you meet His
Holiness The Dalai Lama you will feel the need to act.

Yours sincerely,

http://www.tibet-in-peace.org/sign.html

Tibetans “ready to die” to protect sacred site

June 7, 2009

Hundreds of Villagers in the Tibet Autonomous
Region (TAR) are “facing off against armed
security forces” over a planned gold mine on what
the Tibetans consider a sacred Mountain.

“Tibetans have historically worshiped the site”
explains a May 24 report by Radio Free Asia
(RFA). But now the Chinese mining and timber
company, Zhongkai Co., has been authorized to go
ahead with their proposed gold mine.

The villagers have declared that they are “ready
to die” to protect the sacred site.

RFA recently interviewed several local villagers,
who provided some detail on the otherwise unreported situation.

According to one villager, the standoff began
after “a contingent of police and security forces
arrived” on May 16. The Tibetans began protesting several weeks earlier.

When the security forces appeared, the villager
continues, as many as 500 Tibetans gathered on
the road that leads to the mine site and have stayed there ever since.

Another villager explains that all cellphones and
landlines have been blocked and the protesters
have been isolared from the rest of the village.
“We can’t reach any of the protesters,” the villager states.

“Today another four vehicles with roughly 30 to
40 soldiers in them went to the protest site. But
the Tibetans all put religious books on their
heads and are vowing to resist even if it means
sacrificing their lives,” he adds.

The villagers also say that the soldiers and
police have declared that they are willing to
“force their way through” to get to the site.

Ransacking Tibet

This ongoing standoff is connected to a much
wider scheme to ransack Tibet of its mineral resources, particularly its gold.

According to a 2007 report by Students for a Free
Tibet (SFT), there are at least seven foreign
mining companies in Tibet right now: five of them
from Canada and two from Britain.

The People of Tibet have absolutely “no voice
when it comes to how their natural resources will
be used,” says the SFT’s Stop Mining Tibet campaign website.

This ongoing standoff is unfortunate proof.

Based in Canada, Stop Mining Tibet is pushing for
a moratorium on all resource extraction in the
occupied region “until the Tibetan people can
freely determine the use of their own resources –
particularly non renewable resources.”

It is an immense challenge, but also one that we
must take on as diligently as those Tibetans who
are putting their lives on the line right now: in
the name of justice and the preservation of their way of life.

From Dharamsala Tibet protesters recount Chinese atrocity

June 7, 2009

Dharamsala, May 29: Two Tibetan brothers involved in last year’s protests against Chinese rule in Tibet have reached Dharamsala, putting the total number of escapees from last year’s anti-China unrest in recent weeks at nine.

Tsewang Dhondup shows his wounded arms during a press conference in Dharamsala, Thursday, May 28, 2009. He said he was shot twice by Chinese police during an anti-China protest in Kardze, Sichuan Province, last year. (Photo by Dhonyoe) Tsewang Dhondup, 38, and Lobsang Thupten, 31, from Tehor, in Dagko (Ch: Luhuo) County, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, arrived here this week.

The two brothers joined hundreds of other protesters in a massive protest march against Chinese authorities in Dragko County on 24 March, 2008, which they said was led by nuns from the Ngangong Nunnery and monks from Palden Chokri Monastery.

The “peaceful protest” march ended with deadly shootings by the armed Chinese police, reportedly leaving at least two men dead and more than ten severely wounded.

Tsewang, who also suffered two serious gun shots while trying to help a 20-year old monk named Kunga from Chokri Monastery hit by a bullet, says the the actual casualties from the incident could be even much higher.

During the protest, the two newly arrived refugees said, the marchers chanted “Long live the Dalai Lama,” “Tibet Belongs to Tibetans,” “China Quit Tibet” and “Return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.”

“Around 4:30 pm on March 24, a massive protest demonstration led by around 150 nuns from Ngangong Nunnery broke out in Dragko. Several more monks from Palden Chokri and hundreds of lay people, mainly farmers later joined the march,” Tsewang explains.

“Later over 300 armed Chinese police indiscriminately opened fire on the demonstrators, shelled tear gas and used electric prods and iron batons to quell the protest,” he said. “These Chinese forces showed no sign of restraint, not even a patch of sympathy in reacting violently to Tibetan people.”

“While trying to save Kunga’s life, I was also shot twice, one in the back piercing through to the front part little above my waist and another on my left arm leaving me almost unconscious,” Tsewang explains as he showed around the badly injured marks on his body to reporters during a press conference held here yesterday.

It was his brother Thupten who saw him hit by bullets and lying almost unconscious on the ground. Thupten says he quickly managed to take his brother on his motorbike to a safety. He said Kunga, whom he describes as a 20 year-old monk from Chokri Monastery and son of Tashi Gyaltsen, was already dead from the bullet hit.

Since then Tsewang says he struggled between life and death while managing to avoid arrest for almost a year and three months.

“It was my brother who took care of me all the time as we kept ourselves constantly on the run all the time from fear of being arrested,” Tsewang recounts.

“We even spent around six months with a family. We could not go back to our hometown as our names appeared in the Chinese government’s wanted list that carried a bounty between 15 and 20,000 Yuan on each of our head.”

“It has been a struggle between life and death for me. Unable to get proper medical help, the bullet wounds started to rot with maggots and pus causing unbearably acute pain.

“My health was getting bad to worse that at times I was even pushed to the edge of ending my own life.

“But then hope and determination to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the urge to tell the outside world about the sufferings of the Tibetan people under Chinese oppression made me stronger,” Tsewang says.

Lobsang Thupten (left) looks on as his brother Tsewang speaks during a press conference in Dharamsala on Thursday. The two avoided arrests by Chinese police for more than a year before escaping to India via Nepal.“Along the way we were generously supported by families. Above all I am now eternally indebted to my brother Thupten,” Tsewang says.

“Help Dalai Lama return to Tibet”

Asked by a visiting U.S. student on what could be done by Afro-American community for Tibet during the press conference, Tsewang appealed for a “thorough research” to verify the truths about the issue of Tibet.

“I urge international community to support Tibet on the basis of truth and not be swayed by the one-sided information propagated by China’s powerful propaganda machinery within China and around the world,” Tsewang said.

“I want to urge international community to help His Holiness the Dalai Lama return to his homeland, Tibet. And also you can help release all the Tibetan political prisoners and the Panchen Lama, the one rightfully recognised by the Dalai Lama.”

“Media people must be courageous enough to go deep into Tibetan villages and remote areas to independently assess the real situation of Tibet under Chinese rule. They must hear the real voices of Tibet that are effectively suppressed by Chinese government,” Tsewang insists.

“The degree of violence displayed by Chinese forces on us last year further testified to our long held notion that China has no respect and concern for the life and welfare of Tibetan people,” Tsewang disdainfully utters.

“I cannot even imagine how they (Chinese) managed to inflict so much violence on peaceful Tibetan protesters last year. After what they did in Tibet last year, I can only imagine the amount of resentment Tibetans hold against the Chinese government now,” he says.

The two brothers say they left Tibet with a “conviction and hope” to help alleviate the suffering of Tibetans in Tibet.

At the press conference, Tsewang and Thupten were joined by Tsering Gyurmey and Gonpo, who also took part in similar protest in Kardze last year and managed to arrive in India sometime last week.

Dalai Lama meets Chinese intellectuals, students

June 7, 2009

Boston, Massachusetts: At a meeting with a group comprised of a large number of Chinese intellectuals and students, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that it’s crucial and important for Tibetan and Chinese peoples to set up friendship societies as is being done in some places in Australia.

According to the Tibetan leader, 1989 events of Tiananmen Square was a staring point, which made it easier for the Tibetans to reach out to Chinese students who were forced into exile. The Chinese students protesters who came out of China underwent similar experience as the Tibetans and hence a mutual solidarity was formed.

“We are elder refugees and they are younger refugees,” said the Dalai Lama. A Harvard-Yenching Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy chaired the meeting, during which many Chinese students expressed their opinions about various aspects of the Tibetan issue including the Chinese Government’s accusation against the Dalai Lama and western media’s portrayal of Tibet-China problem.

The Dalai Lama said trust is “the key factor” for the harmonious society as promoted by Hu Jintao to succeed. However, the 73-year-old Nobel laureate said that the present Chinese policies are counter-productive to building such a society.

While responding to a series of questions His Holiness gave a broad picture of the Sino-Tibetan talks and his logics behind seeking genuine autonomy for the whole of Tibet comprising the three traditional provinces.

The meeting was co-sponsored by Harvard Education School, Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education.

Spanish Judge requests to question Chinese leaders over Tibet

June 7, 2009

Dharamsala, May 6 – A judge in Spain said he has requested to interrogate eight Chinese political and military leaders about possible crimes against humanity in Tibet, according to reports.

Zhang Qingli, Chinese Communist Party Secretary in Tibet (File photo)The suspects named by Spanish Judge Santiago Pedraz include Chinese Defence Minister Lian Guanglie, State Security Minister Geng Huichang and Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhm, a report by Deutsche Press Agentur said yesterday.

Other Chinese officials named for interrogation were Communist Party Secretary in Tibet Zhang Qingli, Politburo member Wang Lequan, Ethnic Affairs Commission head Li Dezhu, People’s Liberation Army Commander in Lhasa General Tong Guishan and Zhang Guihua, political commissar in the Chengdu military command.

Wang Lequan, Politburo member and Communist Party Secretary in East Turkestan (Xinjiang) Of them, Zhang Qingli, Wang Lequan and Li Dezhu have been reportedly associated as principal architects of Chinese repression in Tibet and other restive ethnic minorities.

Spain’s National Court, which handles crimes against humanity and genocide, accepted to hear a lawsuit filed by Tibet Support Groups on July 9 last year. It was admitted under the principle of “universal competence” adopted by the Spanish judiciary in 2005 and under which Spanish courts can hear cases of genocide and crimes against humanity wherever they occur and whatever the nationality of the defendant.

China, however, hit back at Spain which it accused of trying to interfere in its administration of the Himalayan region.

Li Dezhu, Chinese Communist Party’s racial theoreticianThe lawsuit claims that the repression last year in Tibet had resulted in the death of about 200 Tibetans and disappearance of nearly 6,000, while 1,000 people were seriously injured.

The Tibet population was persecuted for ‘motives which have been universally recognized as unacceptable,’ the judge said in a document after hearing witnesses.

Pedraz said he could interrogate the suspects at his National Court in Spain, or before a Chinese court.

Another National Court judge is currently investigating an alleged genocide in Tibet in the 1980s and 90s which was testified before it by three former Tibetan political prisoners, Palden Gyatso; Jampel Monlam and Bhagdro.

Spain’s National Court has investigated a string of alleged human rights crimes in other countries, arguing that they fall under universal jurisdiction.

A Spanish lawyer Dr Jose Elias Esteve and Alan Cantos of Comité de Apoyo al Tibet (CAT)were in India in February last year to ask Tibetans to testify before the Spanish court after India refused to set up a Rogatory Commission that would allow the Tibetans to testify in India, according to a report by Asian Age dated Febraury 17, 2008.

India, which is home to over one lakh Tibetan refugees, is the only country with a sizeable Tibetan population not to cooperate with the Spanish investigation. The United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands have agreed to assist in the case. “The reply from the Indian government was devastating, as it concludes by saying that India does not recognise the principle of universal jurisdiction. It argued that the apparent crimes had not been committed on Spanish soil, so Spanish courts were not competent to try them,” Asian Age quoted Jose as saying.