Saturday 8 December 2012

Burning Tibetan calls for independence

Phayul[Saturday, December 08, 2012 18:47]
Tibetan self-immolator Pema Dorjee set himself on fire demanding the Dalai Lama's return and Tibet's independence outside the Shitsang Monastery in Luchu, eastern Tibet on December 8, 2012.
Tibetan self-immolator Pema Dorjee set himself on fire demanding the Dalai Lama's return and Tibet's independence outside the Shitsang Monastery in Luchu, eastern Tibet on December 8, 2012.
In no respite to the wave of fiery protests inside Tibet, a second Tibetan today set himself on fire protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet. 

Pema Dorjee, 23, set himself on fire in the Luchu region of eastern Tibet at around 4:30 pm (local time). A group of exiled Tibetans from the region told Phayul that he succumbed to his injuries at the protest site.

“Martyr Pema Dorjee set himself on fire in front of the main assembly hall of the Shitsang Monastery in Luchu,” the group said. “A large number of Tibetans who were at the Monastery to offer prayers witnessed the self-immolation protest.”

Today, the 25th day of the 10th month of the Tibetan Lunar calendar is observed as Gaden Ngamchoe, the day of Je Tsongkhapa's Parinirvana. Tibetans all over, observe this day by offering lamps in monasteries, temples, stupas, and at homes to venerate the mortal departure of Lama Tsongkhapa, a great 14th century Tibetan Buddhist master.

According to Sonam, an exiled Tibetan, Pema Dorjee raised slogans calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibet’s independence.

“Pema Dorjee raised slogans calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, independence of Tibet, unity of Tibetans and for the land of Tibet to be ruled by Tibetans,” Sonam said citing a contact in the region. 

“There are heavy restrictions placed around the monastery as of now,” the same source added.

Pema Dorjee is a native of Chokhor village in Shitsang region of Luchu. His village is located at around a distance of 30kms from the Shitsang Monastery. 

With two self-immolations today, the ongoing wave of fiery protests in Tibet, which began in 2009, has witnessed 94 Tibetans set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama.

The exile Tibetan administration maintains that the current situation in Tibet has stemmed from “several decades of Chinese misrule in Tibet” and discontent of the Tibetan people arsing from “political repression, cultural assimilation, economic marginalisation, and environmental destruction.”

Urging people not to remain “idle bystanders,” the elected head of the Tibetan people Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay recently called for a Global Solidarity Day to be observed on December 10, Human Rights Day.

Sikyong Dr Sangay urged Tibetans and supporters to “light a candle or lamp, observe a minute’s silence, and a say a prayer for all those who have died for the cause of Tibet, and locally organise vigils and rallies."

Tibetan monk passes away in latest self-immolation protest

Phayul[Saturday, December 08, 2012 17:47]
Tibetan self-immolator Kunchok Phelgye in an undated photo.
Tibetan self-immolator Kunchok Phelgye in an undated photo.
DHARAMSHALA, December 8: The alarming escalation in self-immolation protests continues in Tibet with another Tibetan setting himself on fire protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

In fresh reports coming out of Tibet, Kunchok Phelgye, a 24-year-old-monk from the Sumdo Monastery in Dzoege region of eastern Tibet passed away in his self-immolation protest today.

The exile base of the Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala, in a release, said that Kunchok Phelgye set himself on fire in front of the main assembly hall of the Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery at around 5:20 pm (local time).

“Kunchok Phelgye was enveloped in flames and his hands were joined in prayers as he raised slogans for the long life and return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kyabje Kirti Rinpoche, the exiled head of Kirti Monastery,” the release said citing sources in the region. “He also raised slogans calling for the return and reunification of Tibetans.”

Kunchok Phelgye succumbed to his injuries at the site of his protest.

Monks of the Monastery surrounded Kunchok Phelgye’s burning body and began to recite the prayer, “Losang Gyalwa Kungi Nyingje Ter…” (usually recited in Kirti Rinpoche’s honour). Later, Kunchok Phelgye’s body was carried to his quarters in the Monastery where hundreds of monks and local Tibetans continue to visit to offer their last respects and prayers.

24-year-old Tibetan monk Kunchok Phelgye's body burns outside the Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery in Dzoege, eastern Tibet after he self-immolated demanding the reunification of Tibetans on December 8, 2012.
24-year-old Tibetan monk Kunchok Phelgye's body burns outside the Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery in Dzoege, eastern Tibet after he self-immolated demanding the reunification of Tibetans on December 8, 2012.
“Right now hundreds of monks are gathered and offering prayers for the deceased,” the release said. "Local Chinese authorities have now placed Taktsang Lhamo Kirti monastery and the surrounding villages under security blockade."

Kunchok Phelgye has nine members in his family. His parents are Kunchok Kyab and Dolma Tso.

Since his early childhood, he was a monk at the Sumdo Monastery and in 2010 joined Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery to continue his Buddhist studies.

In the same Dzoege region, Kunchok Kyab, a 29-year-old father of two, set himself on fire on November 30. He was forcibly taken away by Chinese security personnel, reportedly to a hospital in Barkham, where he passed away on December 1.

The United States this week expressed its “deep concern and sadness” over the “increasing frequency” of self-immolations by Tibetans and blamed China for further exacerbating tensions in the region.

The U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Maria Otero in a statement issued December 5 accused Chinese authorities of responding to the wave of fiery protests with “measures that tighten already strict controls on freedoms of religion, expression, assembly and association of Tibetans.”

“The United States is deeply concerned and saddened by the continuing violence in Tibetan areas of China and the increasing frequency of self-immolations by Tibetans,” Otero said. “Official rhetoric that denigrates the Tibetan language, the Dalai Lama, and those who have self-immolated has further exacerbated tensions.”

Now, 93 Tibetans have set themselves on fire inside Tibet demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama since the fiery wave of protests began in 2009.

US says China further exacerbating tensions in Tibet

Phayul[Thursday, December 06, 2012 16:54]
The United States government has expressed its “deep concern and sadness” over the “increasing frequency” of self-immolations by Tibetans and blamed China for further exacerbating tensions in the region.

The U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Maria Otero in a statement issued December 5 accused Chinese authorities of responding to the wave of fiery protests with “measures that tighten already strict controls on freedoms of religion, expression, assembly and association of Tibetans.”

“The United States is deeply concerned and saddened by the continuing violence in Tibetan areas of China and the increasing frequency of self-immolations by Tibetans,” Otero said. “Official rhetoric that denigrates the Tibetan language, the Dalai Lama, and those who have self-immolated has further exacerbated tensions.”

In February 2009, Tabey became the first known Tibetan inside Tibet to set himself on fire protesting China’s rule. Since then 92 Tibetans have self-immolated, demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile. The recent escalation in protests witnessed 28 self-immolations in the month of November and massive protests by thousands of Tibetans, including by school students.

Otero, who also serves as the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights in the Obama Administration noted that senior U.S. officials have directly raised the issue of Tibetan self-immolations with their Chinese government counterparts. 

“The U.S. Government has consistently urged the Chinese government to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions,” the statement reads. “These policies include increasingly severe government controls on Tibetan Buddhist religious practice and monastic institutions; education practices that undermine the preservation of Tibetan language; intensive surveillance, arbitrary detentions and disappearances of Tibetans, including youth and Tibetan intellectual and cultural leaders; escalating restrictions on news, media and communications; and the use of force against Tibetans seeking peacefully to exercise their universal human rights.”

Last week, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, Michael Posner met with family members of three Tibetan self-immolators in Washington D.C. Without revealing the identities of the family members, fearing Chinese retribution, the State Department said that Posner expressed Washington’s “deepest condolences and grave concern” over the critical situation in Tibet.

Otero, who has met the Dalai Lama on several occasions, called on China to engage in dialogue with the Tibetan spiritual leader, while expressing her hope that the “tragic acts of self-immolation end.”

“We call on the Chinese Government to permit Tibetans to express their grievances freely, publicly, peacefully, and without fear of retribution. We call on China’s leaders to allow journalists, diplomats and other observers unrestricted access to China’s Tibetan areas. We call on the Chinese Government to engage in dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions.”

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi last month, the Dalai Lama said China’s repressive policies and the unbearable situation in Tibet are forcing Tibetans to set themselves of fire in Tibet.

"The unbearable situation in Tibet is the cause for these unfortunate events. I am very sad about the turn of events. These are symptoms of fear, hard line suppressive policy practiced by China in Tibet. The time has come for China to think more realistically," reporters quoted the 77-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader as saying.

Tibetan writer Dolma Kyab awarded by Chinese writers’ group

Phayul[Wednesday, December 05, 2012 17:24]
Dolma Kyab in an udated photo
Dolma Kyab in an udated photo
A Tibetan writer serving a ten and half year term has been awarded the ‘Liu Xiaobo Courage to Write Award 2012’ by the Independent Chinese PEN Centre, an official affiliate of International PEN, the global association of writers dedicated to freedom of expression and the defense of writers suffering governmental repression.

Dolma Kyab and WU Yilong were honoured last month on the occasion of PEN International’s Day of the Imprisoned Writer; an annual, international day intended to recognise and support writers who resist repression of the basic human right to freedom of expression and who stand up to attacks made against their right to impart information.

Dolma Kyab, 36, a.k.a Lobsang Kelsang Gyatso (pen name) was arrested on March 9, 2005 in Tibet’s capital Lhasa where he was teaching History at a Middle School. 

A passionate writer, he maintained a commentary manuscript written in Chinese titled “Himalaya on Stir,” which was a compilation of 57 chapters written on various topics about democracy, sovereignty of Tibet, Tibet under communism, colonialism, religion and belief etc. He also wrote on the geographical aspects of Tibet touching on sensitive topics about the location and number of
Chinese military camps in Chinese occupied Tibet etc.

He was sentenced to ten and half years in prison and is currently imprisoned at Chushul (Ch: Qushui) Prison in central Tibet. 

Dolma Kyab was born in 1976 in Ari Village, Chilen (Ch: Qilian)County, Tsochang, eastern Tibet.

After completing his schooling in 1995, he joined a Teachers Training Centre and served as a teacher in a Middle School in Chilen County. He later went to a University in Beijing to continue his studies. In 2003, he came to India to learn English and Hindi languages and returned to Tibet in May 2004.

In a letter from prison smuggled out by friends, Dolma Kyab appealed for help from United Nations committees on human rights, saying that he was imprisoned because of the ideas expressed on Tibet in his unpublished manuscript.

The other awardee WU Yilong, 45, is a freelance writer and a prominent human rights activist based in Zhejiang Province.

ICPC while announcing the award, reiterated that freedom of expression, including freedom to write and publish, is "inalienable and fundamental human rights” and named 8 new honorary members, including Tibetan writers Tashi Rabten, Kunchok Tsephel Gopey Tsang, Kunga Tseyang, and Gangkye Drubpa Kyab.

UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that Dolma Kyab’s detention is arbitrary, contravening articles 13, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and falls within category II of the categories applicable to the consideration of cases submitted to the Working Group.

Monday 3 December 2012

£400 Tadra Donation - Nov 2012



Dear Bath District Tibet Support Group,
 
today we received your very generous donation of 494 €. I would like to thank you all in the name of TADRA Project and the 500 TADRA children !!!!

The goal of TADRA Project is to save streetchildren and orphans in Tibet as the chances of survival at sometimes -30C are extremely low. With the help of your donations we are able to offer this children a place in one of our two children villages and change their desperate situation from desolation to hope and happiness.

What better gift could we give this children.


In our villages the children are welcome into a big and loving family of  500 children who all experienced a similar terrible ordeal in their young lifes. They all arrived with terror and pain written all over they sad faces but now thanks to you they won't have to fight for survival anymore, they will sleep in soft beds, receive food, medical attention and lots of love and understanding. Slowly they start to trust again and as a reward we can hear their wonderful laughter. But it doesn't stop there, we help to give them a chance for the future with our own TADRA schools they can visit and we support them up to University. TADRA village will always be their home and we look after them until they can support themselves.

Our TADRA Project is purely voluntarily only the helpers in Tibet receive a salary in accordance with local custom. Even our travels to Tibet are paid privately to make sure that 100% of your donations benefit the children. So once again a big thank you for your donation which will make a huge difference for our children.

I sent you two pictures of one of our children, one before its arrival in the village and the other one year after. No words needed......!

With kind regards

Beate Renz

TADRA-Project Switzerland


Original German

Liebe Bath District Tibet Support Truppe

Heute durften wir von Ihrer Organisation 494 Euro empfangen. Für diese grosszügige Spende möchte ich mich im Namen des TADRA-Projektes und den 500 TADRA-Kindern ganz herzlich bei Ihnen bedanken!

Das TADRA-Projekt hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt, den Strassen- und Waisenkindern in Tibet zur Hilfe zu kommen. Bei Temperaturen, die oft unter – 30 Grad C fallen, haben diese Kinder denkbar schlechte Überlebenschancen.
Den härtesten Fällen können wir so einen Platz in einem unserer 2 Kinderdörfer anbieten und damit ihr Leben von Dunkel auf Hell, von Trauer auf Lebensfreude und von Hoffnungslosigkeit auf Zuversicht verändern.
Was kann man einem Kind schöneres und sinnvolleres schenken?

Die Kinder gelangen so in eine grosse, liebe- und verständnisvolle Familie mit 500 Kindern, die denselben steinigen Lebensweg durchlaufen mussten. Sie alle kamen gezeichnet und mit freudlosen Gesichtsausdrücken ins Kinderdorf. Im Dorf mussten sie nicht mehr um die tägliche Nahrung kämpfen, durften in einem warmen Bett schlafen und erhielten Kleidung, medizinische Versorgung und viel Liebe und Verständnis. Langsam öffneten sie sich und fanden Ihr Kinderlachen wieder. Die Hausmütter und all die Geschwister kümmern sich rührend um die Ankömmlinge. Auch für ihre Zukunft wird gesorgt. Sie dürfen in die dorfeigene TADRA-Schule und dem Bildungsweg im besten Fall bis hin zur Universität folgen. Das TADRA-Dorf wird künftig für immer ihr Zuhause sein und wir begleiten sie, bis sie selber für ihren Lebensunterhalt sorgen können.

In unserem kleinen Projekt arbeiten ausnahmslos alle ehrenamtlich. Die Angestellten vor Ort erhalten ein ortsübliches Salär. Wir alle tragen auch sämtliche Kosten, auch für unsere Reisen selber. Somit können
wir Ihnen garantieren, dass 100 % Ihrer Spende den TADRA-Kindern in Tibet zugutekommen wird.

Haben Sie herzlichen Dank für Ihre wertvolle Spende, mit der wir in Tibet sehr viel bewegen können!

Mit herzlichen Grüssen

Beat Renz
TADRA-Projekt – Projektgruppe Schweiz

Saturday 1 December 2012

Concern over Tibetan filmmaker’s well being following murder charges

Phayul[Friday, November 30, 2012 15:09]
By Phuntsok Yangchen 

Tibetan filmmaker Golog Jigme Gyatso in an undated photo. (Phayul file)
Tibetan filmmaker Golog Jigme Gyatso in an undated photo. (Phayul file)
In a strange turn of events which have raised serious concerns over the well being of Golog Jigme Gyatso, a Tibetan filmmaker, Chinese authorities in eastern Tibet have framed murder charges against the missing Tibetan monk.

Jigme was earlier believed to have been detained after he went missing under mysterious circumstances in September. He had assisted imprisoned filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen in secretly shooting his documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind”.

Speaking to Phayul, Ajam Amchok, a Tibetan living in south India said Chinese officials in Kanlho have made an announcement offering 2,00,000 Chinese Yuan (US$ 32,116) for information on Jigme. 

The same announcement alleges Jigme of murder.

“Such allegations by the Chinese authorities have created strong suspicion among local Tibetans that Jigme could have died in prison after suffering severe torture at the hands of Chinese prison guards,” Ajam said citing sources in the region. “People believe that Chinese authorities are trying to shift blame by framing charges against the Tibetan monk filmmaker.”

It was widely believed that Jigme was rearrested after he went missing while returning back from the Chinese city of Lanzhou to Tsoe in Amdo, Tibet on September 20.

Jigme was first arrested in March 2008 from Labrang Tashi Khyil and was detained for seven months during which he was brutally tortured and beaten. He was rearrested in March 2009, during which he was kept in custody for about 40 days. Since then, he has been rearrested many times.

Jigme had assisted Dhondup Wangchen in secretly shooting his documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind” that shed light on the lives of Tibetans in China in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The film, featuring a series of interviews with Tibetans talking about how China had destroyed the Tibetan culture, violated religious freedom and their undying reverence for the exiled leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was smuggled out of Tibet and later released worldwide.

This month, Dhondup Wangchen was awarded the 2012 International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists in recognition of his “courageous reporting” and “risking their lives and liberty to reveal abuses of power and human rights violations.”

He is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for making the film and has been reported in poor health.

Fears over major protests in Barkham

Phayul[Friday, November 30, 2012 20:43]
DHARAMSHALA, November 30: In reports just in, a Tibetan man today set himself on fire in Shagdom region on Ngaba, eastern Tibet in an apparent protest against China’s occupation of Tibet.

The Tibetan man has been identified as Kunchok Kyab, 29, from Akyi region of Zoegey in Ngaba.

According to the exile base of Kirti Monastery in Dharamshala, the situation in the region, at the time of filing this report, is being described as 'very tense' with fears over eruption of major protests in the region.

“At around 9 am (local time) Kunchok Kyab set himself on fire near a gas station in the Shagdom region of Ngaba,” Kirti Monastery said in a release. “Shortly afterwards, Chinese security personnel arrived at the site and bundled him away after dousing the fire.”

“He was taken straight to regional headquarters of Barkham and it is not yet known whether he is dead or alive.”

According to the release, a group of young Tibetans, after seeing Kunchok Kyab being taken away, immediately followed the Chinese police vehicles. The wellbeing and whereabouts of those young Tibetans are also not yet known.

“According to latest reports coming in at 7 pm IST, a large number of local Tibetans have gathered to demand for the return of Kunchok Kyab and the young Tibetans,” Kirti Monastery said. “The crowd is planning to carry out a major protest and the situation has become very tense.”

Kunchok Kyab has two children, a nine-year-old and a six-year-old. 

The deepening crisis inside Tibet has witnessed large scale anti-China protests and a series of self-immolations that has now seen 90 Tibetans set themselves on fire, since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

November alone has reported 28 self-immolations and protests by thousands of Tibetans, including by school students in Chabcha and Rebkong

Toll climbs to 89

Phayul[Thursday, November 29, 2012 14:58]
Tibetan self-immolator Tsering Namgyal, 31, who passed away in his fiery protest on November 29, 2012 seen here in an undated photo.
Tibetan self-immolator Tsering Namgyal, 31, who passed away in his fiery protest on November 29, 2012 seen here in an undated photo.
 In fresh reports coming out of Tibet, a Tibetan man set himself on fire today in Luchu region of eastern Tibet in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

Sources have identified the Tibetan as Tsering Namgyal, 31, a father of two, from Zamtsa Lotso Dewa region of Luchu.

“Tsering Namgyal set himself on fire near the local Chinese government office in Luchu earlier today for the cause of Tibet,” Sonam, a Tibetan monk living in south India told Phayul, citing sources in the region. “Tsering Namgyal passed in his fiery protest.”

Further details on the self-immolation protest are not available at the time of filing this report.

The burning body of Tibetan self-immolator Tsering Namgyal
The burning body of Tibetan self-immolator Tsering Namgyal
Tsering Namgyal is survived by his wife Choekyong Tso, their two children, Dorjee Kyi, 7, and Kalsang Dolma, 3, and his parents.

This is the third self-immolation protest in Luchu region in the last ten days. On November 26, Gonpo Tsering, 24, father of three children, all below the age of six, passed away in his fiery protest while raising slogans for Tibet’s freedom, human rights in Tibet, and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile. Earlier on November 22, Tamding Kyab, 23, a nomad and former monk, passed away in his self-immolation protest in the same region.

Following the self-immolations, Luchu has been placed under heightened restrictions with the deployment of a large number of Chinese security personnel and armed forces.

89 Tibetans inside Tibet have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile since the wave of fiery protests began in 2009. The recent alarming escalation in the self-immolation protests has now witnessed 27 Tibetans set themselves on fire in the month of November alone.

Speaking to CNN, US Ambassador to China, Gary Locke in an interview broadcast on November 27, said the United States is “very concerned about the situation, the heightened tensions in the Tibetan areas, the deplorable self-immolations and of course just the Chinese policies of the Chinese government at all levels.”

“Preserving the ethnic, religious, linguistic identity of the Tibetan people is a top priority for the U.S. government just as we are very concerned about all human rights issues and we believe that human rights has to be a fundamental part of U.S. foreign policy and we, very much urge the Chinese government publicly and privately to adhere to the universal principles, universal declaration of human rights, which are also part of the Chinese constitution,” Locke said.

In September, Locke had visited two Tibetan monasteries in the Zungchu region of Ngaba in eastern Tibet as part of a broader business trip to the region.

Monday 26 November 2012

Third self-immolation in a day takes toll to 85

Phayul[Monday, November 26, 2012 23:49
 In more alarming reports coming out of Tibet, a Tibetan man - the third in a single day - set himself on fire in Luchu region of Kanlho, eastern Tibet protesting China’s rule over of Tibet.

A group of exile Tibetans from Luchu identified the Tibetan self-immolator as Gonpo Tsering, 24 years of age and father of three children, all below the age of six.

“Martyr Gonpo Tsering set himself on fire in front of the main prayer hall of the Ala Deu-go Monastery in Ala region of Luchu at around 6 pm (local time) today,” the group told Phayul citing sources in the region. “While engulfed in flames, he raised slogans calling for Tibet’s freedom, human rights in Tibet, and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.”

Gonpo Tsering succumbed to his injuries at the site of his protest.

Local Tibetans carried his charred body inside the Monastery where monks and a large number of Tibetans from the surrounding regions assembled, against official orders, to offer prayers for the deceased and express their solidarity.

According to reports, Chinese security personnel and armed forces were immediately deployed in the region. Restrictions have been heightened as Chinese authorities are currently said to be investigating the protest.

Gonpo Tsering is survived by his wife, their three children, and his parents.

This is the second self-immolation protest in Luchu region. On November 22, Tamding Kyab, 23, a nomad and former monk, passed away in his self-immolation protest. He was cremated in the morning of November 25.

Gonpo Tsering is the third Tibetan to self-immolate today. Earlier, a young Tibetan, Wangyalset himself on fire in the middle of Sertha town raising slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Wangyal’s condition and whereabouts are not yet known after Chinese security forces took possession of his charred body. 

In Amchok region of Labrang, Kunchok Tsering, 18, passed away after he set himself ablaze near a mining site in the region.

The deepening crisis inside Tibet has witnessed large scale anti-China protests and a series of self-immolations that has now seen 85 Tibetans set themselves on fire, since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

November alone has reported 23 self-immolations and protests by thousands of Tibetans, including by school students in Chabcha today and in Rebkong earlier this month. 

Chinese officials have reacted to the self-immolation protests with further restrictions and threats. According to the Dharamshala based rights group Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Chinese government officials in eastern Tibet have obtained signed statements from village officials and leaders to prevent any self-immolation under their jurisdiction. 

“From now onwards, each household will be made to sign a statement not to do any self-immolation. Those who refuse to sign such statements will attract immediate detention,” TCHRD said in a release today.

Third self-immolation in two days

Phayul[Monday, November 26, 2012 17:24]
Tibetan self-immolator Kunchok Tsering in an undated photo.
Tibetan self-immolator Kunchok Tsering in an undated photo.
 In unrelenting reports of self-immolations coming out of Tibet, another Tibetan set himself on fire today in an apparent protest against China’s occupation of Tibet.

Kunchok Tsering, 18, passed away in his self-immolation protest today in Amchok region of Labrang, eastern Tibet. He carried out his protest near a mining site in the region, the same place where Tsering Dhondup, 35, father of three, passed away in his fiery protest on November 20. 

According to reports, monks of the Amchok Monastery and a large number of local Tibetans are currently gathered at the deceased’s home to offer prayers. 

Kunchok Tsering is survived by his wife, Sangay Tso, 19 and parents Phagkyab, 40 and Gonpo Tso, 37, and an elder brother.

Earlier today, a young Tibetan Wangyal set himself on fire in the middle of Sertha town raising slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

According to eyewitnesses, Wangyal’s hands were clasped in prayers as he ran raising slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom for the Tibetan people.

Wangyal’s condition and whereabouts are not yet known after Chinese security forces took possession of his charred body.

Also today, over a thousand school students in Chabcha, eastern Tibet carried out amassive protest after local Chinese officials distributed papers denouncing Tibetan self-immolators and disrespecting Tibetan language. Chinese security personnel used violent force to break up the peaceful demonstrations, causing severe injuries to many students.

The deepening crisis inside Tibet has witnessed large scale anti-China protests and a series of self-immolations that has now seen 84 Tibetans set themselves on fire, since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

November alone has reported 22 self-immolations and protests by thousands of Tibetans. Yesterday, Sangay Dolma, a nun, passed away in her self-immolation protest in front of the Chinese government office in Dokarmo town of Tsekhog, Malho, eastern Tibet.

Chinese authorities in the region have reacted by announcing a series of strict measurestargeting the ongoing wave of self-immolations with further restrictions, punishments, and threats. 

Chinese government authorities in Malho region issued a five-point notice on November 14 giving stern orders to local officials “to punish self-immolators and their families; even those who had offered condolences and prayers to the bereaved family members and relatives.” The notice further announced the cancellation of government aid to families of self-immolators as well as development projects in villages where similar protests have taken place.

The exile Tibetan administration has maintained that the reasons for the self-immolations are self-evident: political repression, economic marginalisation, environmental destruction, and cultural assimilation. .

“The blame and solution for the present tragedy in Tibet lies entirely with Beijing,” Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, said earlier this month. “We firmly believe that an end to repression will effectively end the cycle self-immolation.”

Toll jumps to 83

Phayul[Monday, November 26, 2012 16:19]
In the alarming escalation in self-immolation protests inside Tibet, a Tibetan nun set herself on fire in an apparent protest against China’s occupation of Tibet on Sunday, November 25.

Sources tell Phayul that Sangay Dolma, a nun, passed away in her self-immolation protest in front of the Chinese government office in Dokarmo town of Tsekhog, Malho, eastern Tibet. The exact time of her self-immolation protest could not be ascertained immediately.

Sangay Dolma’s nunnery is located near Sangag Mindrol Dhargeyling Monastery. 

According to various sources, a large number of local Tibetans gathered to carry out the last rites of Sangay Dolma.

At the filing of this report, prayers are being carried out at the deceased’s nunnery. It is also being reported that Sangay Dolma has left a note before carrying out her fiery protest.

The situation in the entire region has been tense over the past weeks with the ongoing spate of self-immolations. Local Chinese officials have cut off internet in the region and interrogated Tibetans who have communicated with outsiders using their phones.

Local Chinese government officials have been speaking to Tibetans, ordering them not to self-immolate and disallowing them from expressing their solidarity and offering condolences to the families of the self-immolators.

The deepening crisis inside Tibet has witnessed large scale anti-China protests and a series of self-immolations that has now seen 83 Tibetans set themselves on fire, since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

November alone has reported 21 self-immolations and protests by thousands of Tibetans, including by school students in Chabcha and Rebkong regions of eastern Tibet.

China cracks down on Tibetan student protest

Phayul[Monday, November 26, 2012 15:00]
A Tibetan student injured by Chinese forces for taking part in a peaceful protest in Chabcha, eastern Tibet on November 26, 2012.
A Tibetan student injured by Chinese forces for taking part in a peaceful protest in Chabcha, eastern Tibet on November 26, 2012.
 In reports coming in, over a thousand Tibetan students in Chabcha region of Tsolho eastern Tibet have been carrying out major protests against the Chinese government since early this morning.

Confirmed reports and images that have reached Phayul show students carrying severe injuries being carried to hospitals after Chinese armed forces cracked down on the peaceful protesters.

The students are from the Chabcha Sorig Lobling School.

“Over one thousand school students began a protest march early today in Tsolho region against the policies of the Chinese government,” Mogru Tenpa, a Tibetan parliamentarian told Phayul. “The students raised many slogans, including calls for freedom and equality of nationalities.” 

Around two hours later, Chinese armed forces began a severe crackdown on the students, most of whom are in their early to middle teens.

“Chinese force started to severely beat the students without provocation, injuring many,” Tenpa said. “According to sources in the region, four students have been severely injured and many more have been hospitalised.” Other sources tell Phayul that the number of injured could be much higher.

The Chabcha Sorig Lobling School is currently under complete lock down and Chinese security forces have sealed the area.

“Parents and local Tibetans outside the school have been barred from getting in touch with the students inside the school by Chinese security forces,” the same source said. “Communication lines in the region have also been affected following the protest.”

There are also reports that Chinese security forces fired live rounds during the protest, although it is not clear whether the shots were fired at the students or in the air to disperse the protesters.

Other sources tell Phayul that the protests this morning were triggered when local Chinese officials distributed a paper denouncing Tibetan self-immolators and disrespecting Tibetan language.

Earlier this month, thousands of Tibetan school students in the Rebkong region of eastern Tibet carried out a major street protest in front of the local Chinese government offices.

5000 to 6000 students demonstrated in the streets of Rongwo town raising slogans for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return and rights of the Tibetan people. 

The deteriorating situation inside Tibet has witnessed 82 self-immolations since 2009 in Tibet and major protests by thousands of Tibetans. Chinese security forces have retaliated with violent force, opening random fire and beating peaceful protesters.

Calls for Dalai Lama’s return

Phayul[Monday, November 26, 2012 13:48]
 In confirmed reports coming out of Tibet, a Tibetan student set himself on fire today in Sertha region of eastern Tibet in an apparent protest against China’s rule.

The young Tibetan man has been identified as Wangyal, a student of Sertha People’s Middle School.

Speaking to Phayul, Sertha Tsultrim Wozer, a Tibetan living in south India said Wangyal set himself on fire in the middle of Sertha town earlier today and raised slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

“Martyr Wangyal set himself ablaze on one of the main roads leading to the town centre at around 11:20 am (local time),” Wozer said. “Eyewitnesses say his hands were clasped in prayers as he ran raising slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom for the Tibetan people.”

Wangyal ran to the golden horse statue in the middle of Sertha town and fell on the ground.

“Chinese armed forces immediately arrived at the scene of the protest and took Wangyal away after dousing the flames,” the same source added.

Wangyal’s condition and whereabouts are not yet known although eyewitnesses say his entire body was engulfed in flames and he could have suffered major injuries. 

Wangyal is around 20 years of age and an orphan. He has three brothers and one sister.

The deepening crisis inside Tibet has witnessed large scale anti-China protests and a series of self-immolations that has now seen 82 Tibetans set themselves on fire, since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

November alone has reported 20 self-immolations and protests by thousands of Tibetans, including by school students in the Rebkong region of eastern Tibet.

The Dharamshala based exile Tibetan administration has said that it will observe a Global Solidarity Day on the occasion of the Human Rights Day on December 10 following the continuing wave of self-immolations. 

The Central Tibetan Administration noted that the escalation in self-immolations “clearly reflect the gravity of Tibet’s current situation,” while urging Tibetans and supporters to “light a candle or lamp, observe a minute’s silence, and a say a prayer for all those who have died for the cause of Tibet, and locally organise vigils and rallies.”

“Despite our repeated appeals not to take drastic actions, self-immolations continue in Tibet,” Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people said. “Therefore, I appeal to the international community and governments to stand for justice by answering the universal aspirations of Tibetans in Tibet: the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.”

Self-immolations bring tears to my eyes

Phayul[Monday, November 26, 2012 03:03]
His Holiness the Dalai Lama being interviewed by PP James from Doodarshan in Varkala, Kerala, on November 24, 2012. (Photo/OHHDL/Jeremy Russell)
His Holiness the Dalai Lama being interviewed by PP James from Doodarshan in Varkala, Kerala, on November 24, 2012. (Photo/OHHDL/Jeremy Russell)
 Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said that the ongoing wave of self-immolations inside Tibet brings tears to his eyes.

The 77-year-old Tibetan leader was speaking to a reporter from the Indian national television channel Doordarshan in south India on Saturday.

“As Deng Xiaoping said, ‘Seek truth from facts’ and act accordingly. What’s happening is very sad; it brings tears to my eyes,” the Dalai Lama said. “People are not doing this because they are drunk or have family problems, but because they live in constant fear.“

81 Tibetans; monks and nuns, young mothers and students, artists and writers, farmers and nomads, have set themselves on fire since 2009 protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet and demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile. 

In the interview, the Tibetan leader noted that he sees the self-immolations as a symptom of problems that Tibetans did not create and reiterated his appeal that the Chinese authorities investigate the real causes of the fiery protests.

Meanwhile, a senior Chinese leader in the troubled region of eastern Tibet has called for a further intensification of the crackdown on Tibetan protesters in a speech in Ngaba.

"Our struggle with the Dalai (Lama) splittist clique is long-term, arduous and complicated. In fighting separatism and upholding stability we can never relax our work in the slightest," AFP quoted Sichuan Communist Party head Wang Dongming as saying.

"We must strengthen and be innovative in accordance with law in our management of the monasteries and unite the people in the common task to fight separatism and maintain stability."
The month of November is witnessing an alarming escalation in the fiery protests with 19 self-immolations already, making this the deadliest month since the protests began. Thousands of Tibetans, including school students, have carried out mass protests and rallies against China’s rule.

Earlier this month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged China to “promptly address the longstanding grievances that have led to an alarming escalation in desperate forms of protest, including self-immolations, in Tibetan areas.”

Pillay said she was disturbed by "continuing allegations of violence against Tibetans seeking to exercise their fundamental human rights," and urged China to allow independent and impartial monitors to visit and assess the actual conditions on the ground, and to lift restrictions on media access to the region, as a confidence-building measure.

Seven deaths in seven days

Phayul[Saturday, November 24, 2012 13:28
 In more alarming reports coming out of Tibet, another Tibetan set himself on fire in an apparent protest against Chinese rule on Friday, November 23 in Tsekhog (Ch: Zeku) region of eastern Tibet. 

Tamding Dorjee, 29, set himself ablaze near the entrance of the local Chinese administrative office of Dokarmo town in Tsekhog region of Malho at around 6:30 pm (local time).

According to exile sources, Tamding Dorjee raised slogans for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with folded hands while engulfed in flames. He passed away at the site of his protest.

Following the self-immolation protest, thousands of local Tibetans gathered to offer prayers and attend the funeral which was carried out later in the night. 

Latest reports indicate that local Chinese authorities have cut off Internet and phone lines in an attempt to contain the spread of the news.

With Tamding Dorjee’ self-immolation protest, 81 Tibetans have now set themselves on fire in Tibet since 2009, demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.

The alarming escalation in the fiery protests has already witnessed 19 Tibetans burn themselves in the month of November alone with seven self-immolations in the last seven days. 

The protests continue even as Chinese authorities announced heightened restrictions and the implementation of a five-point notification giving stern orders to punish self-immolators, their families, their villages and even those who had offered condolences and prayers to the bereaved family members and relatives.” 

Prayer service in Dharamshala

Yesterday, thousands of Tibetans and supporters including the Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioners, Speaker Penpa Tsering, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, Kalons, members of parliament, and school students attended a prayer service held in honour of Tibetan self-immolators at Tsug-la Khang, the main temple in Dharamshala.

Special prayers were offered for Wangchen Norbu, 18; Tsering Dhundup, 35; and Lubum Gyal, 18 who set themselves on fire in protest against China’s occupation of Tibet.

Wangchen Norbu, 25, set himself ablaze on Monday near the Kangtsa Gaden Choephel Ling Monastery. He passed away at the site of his protest.

He raised slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile, release of the Panchen Lama and freedom for Tibet.

On Tuesday, Tsering Dhondup, 35, set himself ablaze on a ground near the entrance of a mining site in Amchok region of Labrang Sangchu. He succumbed to his injuries at the site of his protest.

Tsering Dhondup is survived by his wife Tamding Tso, their three children, and his parents.

Lubum Gyal, 18, set himself ablaze in Dowa town of Rebkong, eastern Tibet on Thursday in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

Speaking at the prayer service, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay said the prayer services were significant as they send a message of solidarity from exile Tibetans to Tibetans inside Tibet.

“We hold the prayer services in honour of the self-immolators’ families, Tibetans in prison and for those Tibetans who have lost their lives for Tibet,” Sikyong Sangay said.

The Dalai Lama recently told reporters that China’s repressive policies and the unbearable situation in Tibet are forcing Tibetans to set themselves of fire in Tibet.

"The unbearable situation in Tibet is the cause for these unfortunate events. I am very sad about the turn of events. These are symptoms of fear, hard line suppressive policy practiced by China in Tibet. The time has come for China to think more realistically," reporters quoted the Tibetan spiritual leader as saying,

Friday 23 November 2012

self-immolation rocks Tibet, Toll reaches 80

Phayul[Friday, November 23, 2012 17:42]
Tibetan self-immolator Tamding Kyab, 23, in an undated photo.
Tibetan self-immolator Tamding Kyab, 23, in an undated photo.
DHARAMSHALA, November 23: In confirmed reports coming out of Tibet, another Tibetan set himself on fire late last night in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet.

The Tibetan man, the 80th to self-immolate inside Tibet since 2009, has been identified as Tamding Kyab.

“Tamding Kyab, 23 years of age, set himself on fire on November 22 at around 10 pm (local time) in the Kluchu region of Kanlho, eastern Tibet,” exile Tibetans hailing from the region told Phayul. “After local Tibetans recovered Tamding Kyab's charred body this morning, they carried it to his home."

Monks from the nearby Shitsang Monastery have been performing prayers at the deceased's home and also carried out the last rites today. A nomad, Tamding Kyab was earlier a monk at the Shitsang Monastery, where currently his younger brother is studying.

The charred body of Tamding Kyab placed under a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tamding Kyab passed away in his self-immolation protest against China's rule on November 22, 2012.
The charred body of Tamding Kyab placed under a photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Tamding Kyab passed away in his self-immolation protest against China's rule on November 22, 2012.
Tamding Kyab frequently spoke out the ongoing self-immolation protests and expressed his desire for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

"Whenever he heard of a self-immolation protest, he used to say, "How I wish I could also sacrifice my life" and often stated that without the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet, there is "no difference between living and dying" in this world," the same sources said citing contacts in the regions.

The same day, Lubum Gyal, 18, passed away after setting himself ablaze in Dowa town of Rebkong, eastern Tibet following heightened restrictions and the implementation of a five-point notification issued by Chinese authorities giving stern orders “to punish self-immolators and their families; even those who had offered condolences and prayers to the bereaved family members and relatives.” 

The alarming escalation in self-immolation protests has already witnessed 18 Tibetans set themselves on fire in the month of November alone, making this the deadliest month since the protests began. Thousands of Tibetans, including school students, have carried out mass protests and rallies demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.

Earlier this month, local Chinese authorities in Kanlho (Ch:Gannan) imposed a “near-total information blockade” in the region following seven self-immolations in the past month.

Local authorities clamped down on the Internet and mobile phone lines, imposing an indefinite ban on the sale of mobile SIM cards on three known shops in Sangchu, while restricting the sale of petrol and other flammable liquids in towns and villages in the area.

Also in the region, local Chinese authorities posted notices last month, offering 50,000 Chinese Yuan (US $ 7,913) for information on “the sources of scheming, planning, and instigating” self-immolations.

The exile Tibetan administration has maintained that the reasons for the self-immolations are self-evident: political repression, economic marginalisation, environmental destruction, and cultural assimilation. 

“The blame and solution for the present tragedy in Tibet lies entirely with Beijing,” Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, said earlier this month. “We firmly believe that an end to repression will effectively end the cycle self-immolation.”

Toll climbs to 79

Phayul[Friday, November 23, 2012 03:04]
In no respite to the spate of self-immolations inside Tibet, another Tibetan teenager passed away in his fiery protest Thursday, November 22.

In confirmed reports received by Phayul, Lubum Gyal, 18, set himself ablaze in Dowa town of Rebkong, eastern Tibet at around 4:20 pm (local time) in an apparent protest against China’s continued occupation of Tibet. 

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency also reported on the incident, confirming that the self-immolator (Libong Tsering) succumbed to his injuries.

“Lubum Gyal set himself on fire in protest against the Chinese government in Dowa town,” Sonam, an exile Tibetan with close contacts in the region told Phayul. “Soon, a large number of Tibetans gathered and rescued his body from falling into the hands of Chinese authorities.”

“Monks from the Dowa Monastery later carried out the last rites of Lubum Gyal at a nearby crematorium,” Sonam added.

According to the same source, the recent deployment of large numbers of Chinese armed forces and the severe restrictions placed on local Tibetans triggered Lubum Gyal’s fiery protest.

“Following the recent escalation in self-immolations and protests in Dowa and the adjoining regions, Chinese security personnel armed with automatic guns have forced strict restrictions on the movement of Tibetans,” Sonam cited sources as saying. “Moreover, higher ranked Chinese government and Communist Party officials have been paying frequent trips to Dowa to investigate the reasons behind the protests and to assure that no more protests take place in the region.”

The Chinese officials were reportedly implementing the five-point notification issued by the Malho Prefectural office and Malho People’s government on November 14 giving stern orders to local officials “to punish self-immolators and their families; even those who had offered condolences and prayers to the bereaved family members and relatives.” 

The notice, issued in Tibetan and Chinese languages, announces the cancellation of government aid to families of self-immolators as well as development projects in villages where similar protests have taken place.

Lubum Gyal is survived by his father Tsego.

The Rebkong region of Malho has now witnessed ten self-immolation protests in this month alone. Also, thousands of Tibetans, including school children, carried out massive protests calling for freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama earlier this month.

79 Tibetans have now set themselves on fire in Tibet since 2009.