Wednesday, 28 November 2012

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bangalore day 1:

On 26th of November afternoon, His Holiness the Dalai lama visited the Christ University Bangalore and spoke to the members of the Christ family. Here is the summary of His Holiness's speech:
"My dear elder brothers and sisters and younger brothers and sisters, treat me as a fellow human being for mentally, physically and emotionally we are all same people.Christians have made the greatest contribution to education. But they also indulge in conversions, sometimes causing problems. It is much better if we kept our own religious faith. Else, it will lead to confusions.

The Tibetan leaders have contributed much in the field of education. There are instances of certain institutions like the Ramakrishna Mission which have directly contributed to society.
Excepting for this, most religious leaders of these communities keep themselves isolated – they are either seen meditating or even half asleep. 
The 20th Century made a lot of advancements in science and technology, but it was marked by a lot of bloodshed. Around 200 million people were killed through violence and civil war during the century. The 21st Century has also faced violence in pockets, especially through terrorism. However, people belonging to the ages 30 years and below, who truly belong to the 21st Century, can change the future world - make it a better and peaceful place to live in. The younger generation must think more at a deeper level.
Think towards bridging the gap between the rich and poor, end corruption and crime. Science has now confirmed that a compassionate heart is the key to the good health of an individual as well as society. This is why I believe that religious faith and reason must go together"

The Tibetan Self Immolations

Tibetan Self-Immolations through November 26, 2012.
Since 2009, at least 85 Tibetans have set themselves ablaze to protest what they say is Beijing's repression of their culture and religion.  Nearly a third (23) of those self-immolations occurred in the past month, as China prepared for its 10-yearly power handover.
Talking about the second phase of self immolation in Tibet: "But now in this phase we have laypeople staging these immolations in ways that are much more determined in an attempt to get a response from Chinese authorities, by having immolations in clusters, very close together, many on the same day or within a few days and many in the same place" 
-Robert Barnett of New York's Columbia University
"We've got the provinces that sort of surround the Tibetan autonomous region all having self-immolations in the last couple months, as well as the diversity of the people involved, in terms of age ranges, in terms of occupations.  Both laypeople and monks and nuns [are] involved in these self-immolations.  Without a doubt, it's really reaching a crisis point,"
-James Leibold, a Tibet analyst for Australia's Latrobe University in Beijing
He also talks about Xi Jinping : "Sadly, we hear the same rhetoric coming out of Beijing, and Chinese officials continually blaming a few black hands for collaborating with the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan community to stir up trouble and to damage China's ethnic unity and harmony.  There's just absolutely no will, it seems, to admit a failure of policy"

adapted from VOA

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Situation of Tibetans inside Tibet

The Central Tibetan Administration solemnly maintains that the Chinese government’s treatment of Tibetans in Tibet is in breach of the rights to life, liberty and security and the freedom of expression, religion, culture and education. Today, in Tibet:
  • Any expression of opinion contrary to Chinese Communist Party ideology can result in arrest;
  • The Chinese government has systematically covered religious institutions in an attempt to eradicate allegiance to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibetan nationalism and any dissention;
  • Tibetans are subject to arbitrary arrest and detention;
  • Those imprisoned are often denied legal representation and Chinese legal proceedings fail to meet international standards;
  • Torture still prevails in Chinese prisons and detention centres despite it being in contravention of the United Nations Convention Against Torture;
  • Due to subsistence difficulties, inadequate facilities and discriminatory measures, many Tibetan children are denied access to adequate healthcare and schooling;
  • The rate of imprisonment for political reasons is far greater than in other areas under Chinese rule;
  • Children are not exempt from China’s repression of freedom of expression. There are Tibetan political prisoners below the age of 18, and child monks and nuns are consistently dismissed from their religious institutions.
  • Enforced disappearances, where a person is taken into custody and the details of his detention are not disclosed, continue to occur;
  • Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, recognised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama, has been missing since 1995;
  • More than 70 percent of Tibetans in Tibet now live below the poverty line;
  • Thousands of Tibetans continue to flee their homeland in pursuit of freedom, livelihood, and education in the exile community, where the Indian government gives facilities that the Chinese government cannot even think of, much less provide.
Continual international pressure is essential in encouraging the Chinese government to abide by the regulations of the covenants of human rights.

extracted from CTA website

"Statement of Sikyong Lobsang Sangay on Allegations Related to Radio Free Asia"

 "Dharamsala, INDIA – It is unfortunate that the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and my name have been dragged into internal matters related to the Tibetan Service of Radio Free Asia (RFA). I want to categorically state that I have never approached either RFA President Ms. Libby Liu or members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on matters related to RFA personnel.  I, therefore, have nothing to do with developments between RFA management and Mr. Jigme Ngapo.  Allegations of interference on personnel matter are completely baseless.
CTA takes great pride in maintaining fiscal integrity and transparency. Every dollar we receive in humanitarian and development assistance is accounted for, and, as required, funders receive clear, complete and timely statements on use of their funds.
RFA Tibetan Service was established to provide truthful and objective service to Tibetans particularly to listeners in Tibet deprived of unbiased and timely news and information. I want to thank the U.S. Congress and Government for establishing and funding this important program."
shared from CTA website

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Why Was Ngapo Jigme, Director of RFA’s Tibetan Service, Suddenly Dismissed? - By Woeser

By Tsering Woeser
Originally published in High Peaks Pure Earth, November 13, 2012

I was deeply taken by surprise and was shocked to learn that Mr. Ngapo Jigme, the director of Radio Free Asia’s Tibetan service was suddenly dismissed on November 1. As far as I know, Tibetan intellectuals, media professionals, Chinese intellectuals studying the Tibet issue and international Tibet Studies experts, who live abroad, have all expressed that they did not understand what happened and were very surprised.

In 1985 Mr. Ngapo Jigme left Tibet, and worked for His Holiness Dalai Lama and the International Campaign for Tibet. He also studied at the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at University of Virginia. He is well versed in all three languages of Tibetan, Chinese and English, and he possesses the outstanding spirit of an independent intellectual. Since 1996 when the U.S. Congress approved to establish the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia, he had become absolutely the right person for the job and shouldered the important task as the founder. At present, under the 16 year devoted leadership of Mr. Ngapo Jigme, the Tibetan service of RFA, with over 30 journalists and editors, has become an important Tibet-related media, which can be called a shining example in the world. But he was suddenly dismissed without any reasons being given.

I have heard when the person in charge announced the dismissal of Mr. Ngapo Jigme in the presence of the staff of the Tibetan service, he refused to give any reasons for the dismissal. Meanwhile, the security personnel of RFA were ordered to escort Mr. Ngapo Jigme out of the building, and the action itself is tantamount to banishing him from the building. Nobody can understand why Mr. Ngapo, who is upright and has been dedicated to his work, is treated with such humiliation after having worked conscientiously for the media and journalism for 16 years.

I once worked for the media within the system under Chinese Communist Party control, and I knew well the ways how autocratic power works. But it has never occurred to me that, in a democratic society, dismissing one from his post can be done in such an autocratic way as well. The reasons for for the dismissal were neither explained, nor was the character and dignity of the person concerned taken into account.

By the way, I was also dismissed. By coincidence, it also happened after I had worked for 16 years. But at the moment, should I take the opportunity to praise the way in which the Chinese Communist Party authorities dismissed me? It happened in the office of the Party Secretary of TAR Federation of Literary and Art Circles. Smiling, one Tibetan and one Han Chinese official said to me gently, “because of your attitude toward your work, we’ve decided to allow you to resign voluntarily.” At that time I refused to resign on my own initiative, and answered, “I won’t resign on my own initiative, it’s fine for you to dismiss me.” This was handled not so badly as they did not order the security guards of the work unit to escort me out of the building, while leading a big black dog on a leash.

Judging by this −−− viewed from the fact that the person in charge did not give the reasons for the dismissal of Mr. Ngapo, comparatively speaking, the officials of CCP are more frank and honest. On one occasion 8 years ago, they clearly told me that the reason for them to deprive me of my position as the Editor for the journal Tibetan Literature was because I wrote a book and committed “very grave political mistakes.” At the time, the Deputy Director of the General Administration of Press and Publications gave the following explanation: “[The book] takes such serious political standpoints as praising the 14th Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa, and believing in and propagating religion, and the viewpoints [expressed in it] are erroneous. Some compositions, in a certain degree, have already entered into a certain political mistakes…” See, the CCP officials even made their reasons for dismissing me public.

As a listener of the Tibetan service of RFA for many years and also as a columnist who has written for RFA for the past six years, I know well how valuable the free and open platform for speech provided by the Tibetan service of RFA is. While it reports the news about the situation in Tibetan areas in China and Tibetan communities abroad in a timely fashion and truthfully, it upholds the values of an independent, balanced and pluralistic media, and adheres to the principle of freedom of speech and the impartiality of news. It also presents various voices so as to enable a variety of views to be expressed.The reason why the Tibetan service of

RFA has had great influence in Tibetan areas in China is precisely the result of the principle upheld by Mr. Ngapo over the past 16 years. I don’t know whether this is exactly the reason why he was dismissed, and one can only speculate about this. Because if it is the case, then this should be considered as dubious and a disgrace in a democratic society.

His Holiness Dalai Lama has repeatedly emphasized the importance of the truth, and the basis of truth relies on precisely the freedom of journalism. Just as His Holiness stated, “Unfortunately, in certain places in the world, news reports are generally censored and distorted,” and “vigorous censoring of news is immoral.” The autocratic regimes attempting to monopolize truth have always tried every means to control information and to hide the truth. The media under CCP control has always had only one voice, and the media serves as the mouthpiece and propaganda tools for the party. Thus, free media abroad is the irreplaceable channel for Tibetans inside Tibet to gain access to information and truth. In the struggle against autocracy, what we need to guard against the most is exactly using autocratic means to combat autocracy. If anybody wants to change the open and pluralistic Tibetan service of RFA into a propaganda tool and mouthpiece, then, the service will not only lose its current influence, but also seriously undermine the image of His Holiness Dalai Lama and obstruct the democratic process in Tibetan exile communities.

Thus, Radio Free Asia should clearly explain their reasons for dismissing Mr. Ngapo. This is not a personal issue for Mr. Ngapo alone, in reality, this has caused people from all circles to worry about the future of the Tibetan service of RFA. One will also be concerned with the negative impact it has for campaigns for Tibet abroad and the perplexity it has caused for people in Tibetan areas in China, in particular, at the juncture when the current situation in Tibet has never been so severe.

Finally, I would like to express my greatest admiration for and pay my respects to Mr. Ngapo −−− thank you for leading the Tibetan service of RFA for the past 16 years. While the service has provided truthful news for Tibetan listeners and has reported the serious situation in Tibet to the outside world, it has also shown the value of the principle of impartiality of news, balanced news reporting, the supervision of public opinion etc. Mr. Ngapo has made a great contribution to the success of the service, and indeed his achievements are great. I would like to say to you that justice is in the hearts of people, and history will always be restored to its original condition. And all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will see all the truth, the false, the good and the evil.

November 8, 2012, Lhasa 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Dalai Lama: Please take action

"Dear brothers and sisters, Please take action wherever you come from. Now already in many countries there are parliamentary support groups and Tibet support groups. So, I think you should be closely in touch and mobilise more voice. (The Tibetan struggle) is entirely based on non violence and compassion. We are actually passing through a difficult period.The main reason why I came here is (to show) my respect to you all. I always consider our supporters are not pro-Tibetans but rather pro-justice and pro-nonviolence. Your support for Tibet’s cause gives encouragement and moral support. A struggle which is strictly based on non violence, like ours, should succeed.
I consider these Tibetans burning - certainly these people have courage and determination to sacrifice their own life, so they can easily harm other people - but I think these people although they practiced a little bit of violence but I think in principle they still practice non violence. Now, things are serious. Whether Chinese government agrees or not, there are problems and these problems are neither good for Tibetans or for the people of China. So, therefore we have to find a solution based on mutual understanding and mutual respect between Han brothers sisters and Tibetan brothers and sisters, the use force will never get satisfactory results. The Chinese government is very powerful militarily but just relying on using force will not solve the problems. It creates more problems, more resentment."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama urged the group of around 200 people from 43 nations at the Second Special International Tibet Support Groups Meeting aimed at “exploring ways to press the Chinese government to end its repressive policies” in Tibet at Dharamsala.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dr. Lobsang Sangay: Tibet is the test of China's rise

"The Obama administration also could take up the issue of Tibet more seriously with the new Chinese leadership appointed at the 18th Party Congress. Tibetans in Tibet are crying out for justice, including the autonomy and freedom to worship they have been promised by Beijing over the years. Some 72 Tibetans have set themselves on fire, 70 of them since March 2011, and five in one day this month alone. The common cry of all self-immolators is the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.
Helping resolve the issue of Tibet is not only in synch with American values, but it is also a strategic imperative. America and the rest of the world have a vital stake in China's rise from an economic giant to a potential superpower. With regard to the development of real stability in China and peace in Asia, a litmus test will be China's willingness to grant genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the constitution of the People's Republic of China.
Solving the Tibet problem will help improve relations between China and India. It will allow Tibetans to resume their traditional role of being responsible stewards of Tibet's immense natural resources, including the management of Asia's great rivers that originate in Tibet and on which hundred of millions of Asians depend for their livelihood and their very survival.
This I believe is the current sentiment of many in China and the aspiration of Tibetans in Tibet. President Obama's leadership on this shared sentiment will give a much-needed human rights dimension to America's Asia pivot."
excerpted from the article of Lobsang Sangay in WALL STREET JOURNAL

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

H.H. the Dalai Lama:An Appeal To All Chinese Spiritual Brothers And Sisters

"I am deeply pained by this ongoing suffering.  I am very worried where all these tragic developments might lead to ultimately.  I do not believe that repressive measures can achieve any long-term solution.  The best way forward is to resolve the issues between the Tibetans and the Chinese leadership through dialogue, as I have been advocating for a long time.  I have repeatedly assured the leadership of the People's Republic of China that I am not seeking independence.  What I am seeking is a meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan people that would ensure the long-term survival of our Buddhist culture, our language and our distinct identity as a people.  The rich Tibetan Buddhist culture is part of the larger cultural heritage of the People's Republic of China and has the potential to benefit our Chinese brothers and sisters."
April 24, 2008

H.H. the Dalai Lama: An appeal to the Chinese

"Since ancient times, Tibetan and Chinese peoples have lived as neighbors. In the two thousand year old recorded history of our peoples, we have at times developed friendly relations, even entering into matrimonial alliances, while at others we fought each other. However, since Buddhism flourished in China first before it arrived in Tibet from India, we Tibetans have historically accorded the Chinese people the respect and affection due to elder Dharma brothers and sisters. This is something well known to members of the Chinese community living outside China, some of whom have attended my Buddhist lectures, as well as pilgrims from mainland China, whom I have had the privilege to meet. I take heart from these meetings and feel they may contribute to a better understanding between our two peoples."
March 28, 2008

Five Point Peace Plan-H.H. the Dalai Lama

  1. Transformation of the whole of Tibet into a zone of peace;
  2. Abandonment of China's population transfer policy which threatens the very existence of the Tibetans as a people;
  3. Respect for the Tibetan people's fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms;
  4. Restoration and protection of Tibet's natural environment and the abandonment of China's use of Tibet for the production of nuclear weapons and dumping of nuclear waste;
  5. Commencement of earnest negotiations on the future status of Tibet and of relations between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.
September 21, 1987

Sunday, 4 November 2012

UN-Pillay: China must urgently address the Human Rights issues in TIBET

Statement from Navi Pillay, UN Human Rights Chief:
"I am disturbed by the continuing allegations of violence against Tibetans seeking to exercise their fundamental human rights of freedom of expression, association and religion. The reports of detentions and disappearances, of excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators, and curbs on the cultural rights of Tibetans.
I have had several exchanges with the Chinese Government on these issues. But more needs to be done to protect human rights and prevent violations.I call on the Government to respect the rights to peaceful assembly and expression, and to release all individuals detained for merely exercising these universal rights.
I recognise Tibetans’ intense sense of frustration and despair which has led them to resort to such extreme means, but there are other ways to make those feelings clear. The Government also needs to recognise this, and permit Tibetans to express their feelings without fear of retribution.
Social stability in Tibet will never be achieved through heavy security measures and suppression of human rights. Deep underlying issues need to be addressed, and I call on the Government to seriously consider the recommendations made to it by various international human rights bodies, as well as to avail itself of the expert advice being offered by the UN’s independent experts on human rights.
My office also stands ready to assist constructively on these issues in the region and promoting best practices from around the world with regard to protection of minorities."

Last Friday, the UN Chief for Human Rights seemed to have made a serious statement against the Chinese government regarding the longstanding issue of Tibet and solve the demands of Tibetans whose protests are escalating at an alarming rate, including self-immolation. Though she also suggested to the Tibetans that they are other forms expressing the grievances rather than such extreme forms like self immolation. She also pointed out that there are around 12 outstanding requests for official visit to Tibet from UN special Rapporteurs on Human rights issues. She also urged China to follow the recommendations made by various international bodies to the government of China.

Our take:

But this is also to request the UN bodies to kindly take more serious steps in addressing the grievances of Tibetans rather than just issuing some statements or making requests! Because you have already pointed out 12 outstanding requests of visit to Tibet and you know very well how many statements have already been issued from UN as well as other international bodies. So if you just keep doing those that don't yield any results, you are waiting for more lives of innocent Tibetans. You have also mentioned not to assort to extreme measures of protest like self immolation but this has become the responsibility of Tibetans because international offices tend to care about only when it rises to such an extend of extremity! 

A lot of Tibetans dwell out of Tibet, away from the direct repression of China but this does not mean that we are free. We are always involved with the Tibet issues and that is not free. The loss of every single Tibetan life is of so much regret and they are precious to cause of Tibet which has a very less population at the very first. About 63 Tibetans have set themselves to fire since 2009 and this will keep going if the Chinese officials tend not to address the issue!
The responsibility is with all of us. Saving Tibet is not just an issue of Tibetans rather it is a cause of whole humanity.

Friday, 2 November 2012

What does security mean in Beijing this once in a decade power handover?

The communist regime in China is gearing up for its once in a decade power transition that is said to take place on November 8. With the stink of Bo Xilai on China's political elite, they have convened the Communist Party's Central Committee behind the doors to conclude the appointments before the event of the transition coming up next week. Though the central committee of 500 senior members hold up the convention, the larger congress that consists of around 2000 party members are set to appoint the Vice President Xi Jinping after Hu Jintao and Vice Premier Li Keqiang to replace Premier Wen.
Now the weird thing in Beijing is that tight security is said to have been deployed for the next week. This tight security include hilariously things like closing the passenger seat windows for the Taxis so as to prevent pamphlet distributions. The use anti-government speech and writings is not allowed and it is considered as a threat to the national security in Beijing while it comes to be a birth right to speak out against the government for the rest of the world.
The drivers have been told to look frequently in their for ambiance so as to ensure there are no reactionary materials affixed. They have also been directed to seal the passenger doors as the windows and not allow the passengers their freedom of doing so.
The other bizarre targets of security officials in Beijing include selling of remote operated toys and helicopters. Besides any balls or balloons have put on the black list. In another citation, it is also found that pigeon owners were ordered to keep their birds in their coops.
This is a clear sign of backwardness of China in the name of their political and governmental forwardness. Use of any non-violent protest against the policies and formations of the governments are allowed every other parts of world. This is also an indication of how volatile the Chinese government is. The centuries old system of governance is in the a high risk with the advancement of this information age and it is time they conceded their lies that has disturbed the life many millions including the Chinese themselves as well as the Tibetans, the Mongolian parts, etc.
Wake Up China!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

French MP Luca: Tibet is dying at our silence

Mr. Lionel Luca is a member of French parliament as well as the president of Tibet Group in French National Assembly has spoken out bravely against China in a statement on 29th October. He has expressed is grave concern over the on going fiery chain of self immolation and appealed the wide international audience to act against China's policy over Tibet so as to bring a mutually beneficial resolution.
Excerpt from his statement:
"62 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009, including 7 self-immolations last week alone. Total indifference is triggering a succession of self-immolations of Tibetans to protest against the repression of Chinese government against freedom of religion and culture of Tibetan people, guaranteed by the constitution.
No government seems willing to react; thus, it is up to the people to do so by boycotting all Chinese goods, which will be the only means to exert pressure on a government that tramples International law.
Tibet is dying of our silence..."