Thursday 19 December 2013

Tibetan monk dies of self immolation in Sangchu - Update

Phayul[Thursday, December 19, 2013 15:02]
Tsuiltrim Gyatso lie on the ground after his self immolation/Dec. 19, 2013/photo provided by source
Tsuiltrim Gyatso lie on the ground after his self immolation/Dec. 
19, 2013/photo provided by source
Undated photo of Tsuiltrim Gyatso who died after setting himself ablaze in Amchok town, Sangchu County, Dec. 19, 2013/file
Undated photo of Tsuiltrim Gyatso who died after setting himself ablaze in Amchok town, Sangchu County, Dec. 19, 2013

DHARAMSHALA, December 19 - A Tibetan monk of Amchok monastery died after he set himself on fire today in Amchok town, Sangchu County (around 2.30 PM local time). 

Tsuiltrim Gyatso, aged 43, is confirmed dead, and his body is at Amchok monastery where around 400 monks are conducting prayers as part of the post death rituals for the deceased, a Tibetan source told phayul. 

According to the Tibet Times, Tsuiltrim had left behind a handwritten note in Tibetan calling for unity amongst Tibetans, return of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama and the release of the jailed Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima. 

Survived by his aged mother Lhamo Kyi his father Tamdin Tashi died several years back.

Tsuiltrim becomes the 125th Tibetan to set himself on fire to protest the Chinese government since 2009.
The handwritten note left behind by Tsuiltrim Gyatso
The handwritten note left behind by Tsuiltrim Gyatso

Senior Tibetan monk dies in custody: Tibetan right group

Phayul[Thursday, December 19, 2013 14:23]
Ngawang Jamyang/file
Ngawang Jamyang/file
DHARAMSALA, December 19 - One of the three Tibetan monk from Driru County arrested on Nov. 23 from Lhasa has been tortured to death in police custody and his body handed over to his family on December 17, a Tibetan right group said today. 

According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Ngawang Jampel, 45; died in police custody less than a month after his arrest along with fellow monks Kalsang Choklang and another monk on 23 Nov. this year in Lhasa where the three had gone for annual vacation. The whereabouts and conditions of the other two monks remain unknown, the right group said. 

“It was clear that Ngawang Jampel was beaten to death while in secret detention. He was a healthy, robust man when he left his monastery to visit Lhasa," the TCHRD quoted its source as saying.

Kalsang Choklang/file
Kalsang Choklang/file
Ngawang is the latest in the list of well-informed and educated Tibetans being targeted by Chinese authorities, the TCHRD believes. It also said that Ngawang has been on Chinese authorities' target since the nationwide protests in 2008 when Ngawang was arrested and jailed for two years for his alleged connection with the "exile separatist forces."

Family members cremated Ngawang's body at a crematorium near Sera Monastery in Lhasa. Prayers and other post death rituals are being conducted at the deceased’s home in Driru County.

The TCHRD further noted that the police have threatened the deceased’s family against speaking about Ngawang’s death to others, especially "exile separatist forces". 

Armed Chinese police and security personnel arrived last month at Tarmoe monastery where only a few monks and the monastery's temple caretaker were present. The police asked where the rest of the monks had gone and demanded keys to the locked rooms of the monks who were on vacation. The monks told the police they did not have the keys. Armed police immediately surrounded the monastery, and broke into the rooms ransacking them, and took away several personal belongings including laptops, cellphones, CDs, and other items. The police seized two laptops from Ngawang's room, said the source.

Ngawang Jampel born in 1968 in Totho Village in Driru County. In 1987, he became a monk at Tarmoe Monastery in his hometown. Two years later, he left for India to pursue further studies at Sera Je Monastery in south India. In 2007, he returned to his native town after 19 years of vigorous study of both Buddhism and modern sciences. 

After completing his two year prison term in 2010, he worked for sometime as a teacher of Buddhist debate at Choeling Monastery. He also started debate classes for both monk and lay communities at Tarmoe monastery which now remains closed due to the crackdown since 23 November 2013. The TCHRD said he was well respected by the local community for his numerous social welfare activities such as helping to peacefully mediate disputes and helping local Tibetans to shun harmful habits such as gambling.

Ngawang's death came as a huge shock to the residents of Driru, especially the monks of Tarmoe monastery. “He [Ngawang Jampel] was the most efficient administrator, teacher and a very conscientious person. Tarmoe would never be the same again without him,” TCHRD quoted its source. 

Chinese government considers Driru as one of the most restive regions brewing anti China sentiments and activities in the Tibet Autonomous Region, the source said. "They fear that instability in Diru could cause ripple effect in other areas in the TAR. Therefore, they have been engaged in forcing Tibetans in Driru to rigorous 'Thought Education Campaign' since September." 

French lawmakers propose Tibet Resolution in the National Assembly

Phayul[Wednesday, December 18, 2013 10:19]
Noël Mamère, Jean-Patrick Gille at the press conference. Paris, Tuesday 17 December 2013
Noël Mamère, Jean-Patrick Gille at the press conference. Paris, Tuesday 17 December 2013
PARIS, December 18: Deputies Jean-Patrick Gille from the Socialist Party, and Noël Mamère from the Greens Party on Tuesday presented a Tibet resolution in the French Parliament appealing to "restart dialogue between the Chinese authorities and the representatives of Tibetan government in exile".

The proposal was made in the backdrop of a visit to the French parliament on Tuesday by Wu Yingjie, deputy secretary of Tibet's regional committee of the Communist Party of China, on the invitation of France-China Friendship group. 

The resolution also called upon France and European Union to appoint a Special Coordinator for Tibetan Affairs. Deputies Gille and Mamère, who serve as co-presidents of the Tibet group at the French lower house also called upon the French government to take an active role in the Tibet impasse.

"It is now urgent that France lobby the Chinese government to end its repressive policy towards the Tibetan minority, particularly with regard to places of worship, and reaffirm her support for Tibetans, with regard to respect for human rights and freedom of expression that are the foundation of our foreign policy," said a joint press statement by the two who are part of the ruling coalition. 

Referring to ongoing spate of self-immolations in Tibet, Deputy Gille said that the self-immolations are "non-violent" and "sadly the most visible part of the the daily struggle" of the Tibetan people. 

Gille noted that the proposed resolution reaffirms the right of the Tibetan people to "freedom of conscience", in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 36 of the Constitution of PRC and "condemns the threat to language, culture, religion, heritage and the environment of Tibet" and the violations thereof by China.

Deputy Mamere said it also reiterates "support for the Middle Way Approach advocated by the Dalai Lama, whose purpose, as clearly stated in the Memorandum of 2010, is to establish" real autonomy for Tibet within the framework of PRC.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Its only a matter of time before big cracks appear

China's thirst for social networks will help the country's citizens smash through its rigid state control, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has claimed.
He said during a conference in London on Monday that popular sites such as Weibo and WeChat would help to liberalise the People's Republic.
Schmidt spoke of a meeting he had had with leaders of the country's Communist Party earlier this month. According to reports, he told President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang that the Chinese government's efforts to stifle public opinion online would ultimately prove to be fruitless.
In recent months, China has passed stringent censorship and libel legislation on social media, including the imposition of penalties for anyone who creates "online rumours" that are reposted more than 500 times.
"They’re heavily regulated but to me the most interesting thing about talking to the Government, from the President all the way through to the governors, was they are obsessed about what is going on on the internet," Schmidt said, according to theDaily Telegraph.
"So they passed these laws, which Mr Xi pushed through, which are horrific, are that if you have more than 500 people you ‘incite’ you are heavily criminally liable. Everyone in China has more than 500 followers because there are so many Chinese people so it essentially puts everyone at risk.
"Weibo and WeChat will move. You simply cannot imprison enough Chinese people when they all agree to something. You won’t be able to stop it even if you don’t like it."
The Google man added that the huge drift of citizens towards social networks would lead to a "liberalisation of the country". ®

A non-profit anti-censorship body has called on Eric Schmidt and Google to lead by example and call China’s bluff on web censorship with a simple two-pronged approach. co-founder Charlie Smith claimed in a blog post that Google should switch its China search service to HTTPS by default, as it does in the US, which means Beijing would have to block it completely or not at all, rather than the selective search results it blocks today.
Secondly, Smith urged Google to redirect users trying to visit blocked sites to a mirrored version of that site hosted by the Chocolate Factory.
He argued that if the authorities are prepared to let developer site Github continue, having appeared to back down over blocking the HTTPS site outright earlier this year, then Google would be in an even stronger position if it stood up to Beijing.
“They have sometimes made Google services like Gmail excruciatingly difficult to use,” he wrote. “But given how essential Google’s services are to so many individuals and businesses, blocking the company entirely would have immediate and disastrous economic consequences.”
As for site mirroring, it’s something has done recently to ensure users inside the Great Firewall can visit the blocked Reuters China and China Digital Times sites, so it could certainly be done with little effort, Smith argued.
Smith continued:
It would be easy for Google to make a change to its search engine, so that when a person clicks on a link that Google knows is blocked, they would redirect that user to an unblocked version of the page, hosted on an unblockable proxy. They could also add a small indication in their search results which would basically say: “This page is blocked in your country, but we have taken the liberty to protect your liberty by redirecting you to a mirror of this page”. Google is already half way there. Google caches most internet pages and provides them to users. The cache is hosted on a separate domain, which is blocked in China. Google can simply host the cache on a subpath, say (and in country specific domains) to bypass the block. The great firewall will no longer be able to prevent visitors from China accessing this cache without blocking Google entirely.
Google currently has less than a five per cent share of the Chinese search market, and it makes little from Android thanks to highly localised content and the popularity of third party app stores in the PRC – so on the one hand there appears to be little preventing the firm from getting more proactive.
However, despite relocating its search servers to Hong Kong in a well publicised move in 2010, it still has three offices in China and has shown itself to be pretty risk averse in the region since.
For example in January this year it turned off a censorship alert service just six months after rolling it out to Chinese users.
It could also be argued at a push that while Beijing is happy to let the likes of Github get away without being blocked wholesale, if Google did the same it would simply represent too big a challenge to its authority to look the other way.
Despite Eric Schmidt’s claims that global censorship could be over in a decade, therefore, it’s likely that Google itself is prepared to do little to make this a reality.
The news around’s site mirroring and the blocking of Reuters China and The Wall Street Journal by Beijing has gained much media traction in the past fortnight – so much so that notorious Taiwanese animators NMA have got in on the act.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

We have had some entries to the competition

The Competition details can be found here

20 year old monk immolates self in Golok

Phayul[Monday, November 11, 2013 21:43] from
 A 20 year old Tibetan monk has set himself ablaze earlier today in Tibet's Pema County in Golok, a Tibetan source told phayul. 

A monk of Akyong monastery, Tsering lit himself up in protest against the Chinese government and its hardline policies, the same source said. Engulfed in flames, Tsering collapsed after walking a few metres. Chinese police on street patrol arrived at the scene and doused the fire. Tsering was rushed to the county hospital where he is kept under strict police surveillance. 

Tsering is the 123rd Tibetan to set his body ablaze in protest against China since 2009.

November 12 Update: The 20 year old Tibetan monk who set himself ablaze yesterday died on the way to Xiling hospital, a Tibetan source said. 

The source told Phayul that Tsering Gyal succumbed to his burn injuries yesterday around 10 PM (local time) as he was being moved to a bigger hospital in Xiling city.

Before breathing his last, Gyal had said, “Today, I burned myself for the re-union of Tibetans. My only hope is the unity among Tibetans and the preservation of the Tibetan language and tradition. If we do that, all the Tibetans will be re-united.”

Tsering Gyal set himself ablaze in Pema County in Golok to protest against the Chinese government and its hardline policies. Engulfed in flames, Tsering collapsed after walking a few metres from a giant lotus made up of concrete at the centre of the town towards the County headquarters. 

Witnesses have told our source that he was chanting "Gyalwa Tenzin Gyatso khyen" (may His Holiness the Dalai Lama know) before collapsing. Chinese police on street patrol arrived at the scene and doused the fire. 

At midnight, Tsering’s charred body was taken to Aakyong monastery where over 200 monks from Akyong, Peyag and Gomang monastery performed post death rituals. 

A large number of armed forces have now been deployed in Pema County and a strict monitoring of people's movement in and out of the county is in place.

Gyal is the 123rd Tibetan to have immolated self in protest against the Chinese government since 2009. 

A Message To William Hague

I sent this today
Dear Foreign Secretary
please do not vote for China to be on the Human Rights Council today.
China's human rights record is getting worse and they are a long way off being responsible world citizens.
China is also about to wreck the Tibetan Plateau with large scale mining against the wishes of the Tibetan people
Cheap crap from China isn't worth it

Many thanks
Richard Moulton

And here is the reply

Dear Mr Moulton,

Thank you for your email of 11 November to the Foreign Secretary on Human Rights in China.  I am replying on behalf of the China department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

You asked that the UK vote against China’s re-election to the UN Human Rights Council.  As a matter of policy, the UK does not reveal its voting intentions regarding UN issues, so unfortunately I cannot comment directly. However I can assure you that we carefully consider every country that stands for election to the UN Human Rights Council, and will continue to engage China on human rights issues, including through discussion of its specific pledges to the UN Human Rights Council as part of its bid for membership.

We remain very concerned about the situation in Tibet. We consistently raise these concerns with the Chinese authorities. We did so most recently with the Chinese Embassy in London at official level on 24 October 2013. Our human rights concerns are also addressed in detail in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Annual Human Rights Report (, published on 15 April, and in the update to it, published on 17 October 2013.

During the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process we called on China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to set a timetable to do so. China has until March 2014 to respond to all concerns raised during the UPR process. The UPR, and the meetings of the UN Human Rights Council, provide regular opportunities to engage with China with the aim of improving its human rights record.

I can assure you that British Ministers are robust in their defence of human rights, and will be discussing these issues with Chinese counterparts this autumn and beyond. We are seeking dates for the next UK-China Human Rights Dialogue which we hope will take place in early 2014.  As the Foreign Secretary has said, we must have a foreign policy based on our values.

China Department
Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Monday 4 November 2013

Stop China getting onto the UN Human Rights Council - message from AVAAZ

Update 12th November: 1,000,000+ !
Send a message to William Hague!

Tibetans who refuse to fly the Chinese flag above their homes risk being beaten or shot in the latest attempt to break their spirits. But now is the best moment in ages to bring hope to Tibet's proud, but desperate people.

China’s leaders are mounting an intense campaign to draw a veil over their rights abuses and persuade governments to vote them onto the UN Human Rights Council. So if enough of us shine a light on what’s going on in Tibet -- squashing an ancient religion, banning journalists, dawn arrests -- we can get China to back away from its hard-line policy to be sure of getting the 97 votes it needs.

Let’s show the Tibetan people that the world hasn’t forgotten them.China is feeling the heat as 13 governments just called them out on human rights in Tibet. Sign to stand with Tibet, then share this with everyone. When one million have signed we’ll deliver it to all UN delegations, and make it massive in the media: 

Pressure on China is mounting. In an unprecedentedly strong show of support, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, US, UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland and Austria just called on China to protect freedom of assembly, religion and association in Tibet. This request arrives just days after a Spanish court indicted China's former President for genocide in Tibet!

The situation is really dire. More than 120 people have taken their own lives by setting themselves on fire to protest the suffocation of the Chinese occupation and hundreds of thousands of Tibetans have been wiped out. China's ongoing policies systematically suppress the Tibetan language, force people from their homes, and strictly control the Tibetans' movement and religion.

China’s failed policies hurt China too, but having dug themselves in this deep, they need pressure to change course. This is the week that change can start. If enough of us speak up while China is under the global microscope, we can make sure our governments know we haven’t forgotten Tibet. Sign now and tell everyone -- let's build the biggest petition ever for Tibet and demand they hold China to account: 

Proud Tibetans are struggling against China's brutal rule and long for change, but they can’t do it alone. No one can create changes that big alone. 

That’s why we've come together for Tibet before. Let's make this the moment where the whole world commits to the survival of the Tibetan people.

Our community was made for this moment.

With hope,

Ben, Alice, Patricia, Alex, Ricken, Emily, Sayeeda and the whole Avaaz team


UN criticises China's rights record at Geneva meeting (BBC)

Dalai Lama Says China Has Turned Tibet Into a ‘Hell on Earth’ (New York Times)

Spain probes Hu Jintao 'genocide' in Tibet court case (BBC)

Four Tibetans Shot Dead as Protests Spread in Driru County (Radio Free Asia)

China denounces Spanish court's Tibet case against ex-president (Reuters) 

Friday 25 October 2013

Free the Flag Competition

‘Free the Flag’
 Photo Competition for a Free Tibet
Just grab your camera, i-phone, tablet (anything you can make a photo with), and your A5 cardboard flag and off you go.

Take the flag to your favourite places or on holiday, wherever you feel free and happy and capture the moment including the flag, add a little comment and    e-mail it to us

The flags are available at all our 'Cafe Momo's' and from Green Ginger in Corsham High Street or by post for £1 (email us) 

Your photos will be published on our website bathdisttibet.blogspot.comfor everybody to see and admire.

Last entry is the  01.03.14 and we announce the winner at our last 'Cafe Momo' in March 2014.

1stPrize will be a Café Momo Hamper
2ndPrize Large Prayer Flags
Small Prayer Flags for 5 runners-up

More Prizes to follow
We wish you all Good Luck, Fun and Freedom

Current Entries can be found here

Bath District Tibet Support Group

Sunday 20 October 2013

Cafe Momo - Health Care in the Himalayas


Health Care in the Himalayas

 Sunday 17th November 2-5pm

At 2pm, a talk and slide show by Andrew Gammie on his 10 years as a clinical engineer in Nepal where he developed appropriate health care technology for the local people.

Regular Café 3pm onwards

 Everyone Welcome!