Tuesday 19 March 2013

Tibetans and Chinese discuss crisis in Tibet

Phayul[Tuesday, March 19, 2013 15:37]
Representative Lobsang Nyandak with Chinese scholars and students during an open exchange in New York on March 16,2013.
Representative Lobsang Nyandak with Chinese scholars and students during an open exchange in New York on March 16,2013.
 In an open exchange of ideas between Tibetan and Chinese on the current crisis inside Tibet, more than a dozen Chinese scholars and students met with Tibetans in New York at a gathering organised by the Office of Tibet on March 16.

Lobsang Nyandak, Representative of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the Americas, took part in the discussions, explaining the Central Tibetan Administration’s Middle Way Policy.

He reiterated that the Central Tibet Administration’s Middle Way Policy is a win-win solution for both the Tibetan and the Chinese government in exile and called for democratic reforms in China. 
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama always said that the democracy is like a medicine that would cure all of China’s social ills,” Nyandak said.

Responding to questions on the wave of Tibetan self-immolations, Nyandak explained the exile Tibetan administration’s stance that it “does not encourage any drastic measures, including self-immolation” and stressed that Dharamsala has no role in inciting the self-immolations as often claimed by the Chinese government.

Zhang Boshu, a visiting scholar at the Institute of Human Rights at Columbia University in New York, who was sacked from his position as assistant researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 2008 after he published an article on Tibet was among the attendees.

Zhang noted that there is “absolutely no inherent animosity” between the Tibetans and the Chinese peoples and that the problem lies in the institution of the Communist Party.

Also in attendance was Chinese Internet activist Wen Yunchao, better known by his online alias “Beifeng,” who is currently a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Human Rights Institute. Wen has 80,000 followers on Twitter.

At the end of the meeting, which lasted for nearly five hours, Chinese participants said that the meeting was “extremely helpful in gaining a better understanding of the Tibetan issue.”

According to the organises, the attendants concurred that the root of the problem lie in the authoritarian rule of the Communist Party and that the only way forward for both China and Tibet is to work towards gradual democratic reforms in China.

Tibetan woman self-immolates on eve of Xi’s appointment as president

Phayul[Sunday, March 17, 2013 23:57]
Exile Tibetan media are reporting on a self-immolation protest by a Tibetan woman on the eve of Xi Jinping’s formal selection as the new President of China earlier this week.

According to Tibetan news reports, Kunchok Wangmo, in her 30s, set herself on fire protesting China’s rule at around midnight on Wednesday, March 13 in the Dzoege region of Ngaba, eastern Tibet. She passed away in her fiery protest.

Xi, communist party general secretary, was formally appointed to the largely ceremonial post of president by the rubber stamp parliament on Thursday, completing China’s once in a decade leadership transition.

Chinese authorities took possession of Kunchok Wangmo’s body and carried out the cremation without informing her family members. They later handed over the remains.

Kunchok Wangmo’s husband Dolma Kyab, has been arrested after he refused to comply with local Chinese authorities’ orders to declare internal family feuds as the reason for her self-immolation.

The present condition and whereabouts of Kyab are not known.

Due to intense restrictions on all communication channels in the region, information on the self-immolation protest and the later fall out of Kyab’s arrest is not yet known. 

Kunchok Wangmo is the 15th Tibetan woman to set herself on fire demanding freedom and the return of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile. 

In the same week, a monk at the Kirti Monastery set himself on fire on Friday in Ngaba region, taking the toll to two in the week marked by China’s leadership transition. 

On March 16, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the brutal killings of peaceful Tibetan protesters by Chinese armed forces in 2008, Lobsang Thokmey, 28, a monk of the Kirti Monastery in Ngaba set himself on fire. 

Lobsang Thokmey carried out his fiery protest at the Kirti Monastery and later succumbed to his injuries.

109 Tibetans living under China’s rule have torched their bodies since 2009 protesting China’s rule.

Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, in his March 10 Tibetan National Uprising Day statement this year blamed China’s occupation and repression in Tibet for driving Tibetans to self-immolation.

“The prohibitions of peaceful protest and harsh punishments compel Tibetans to resort to self-immolation. They choose death rather than silence and submission to the Chinese authorities,” Sikyong Sangay said.

Sunday 17 March 2013

Kirti monk marks March 16 with self-immolation, Toll rises to 108

Phayul[Saturday, March 16, 2013 23:56]
Tibetan self-immolator Lobsang Thokmey.
Tibetan self-immolator Lobsang Thokmey.
A Tibetan monk in Ngaba region of eastern Tibet has become the 108th Tibetan living under China’s rule to self-immolate, marking five years since the 2008 peaceful protests in the region.

Lobsang Thokmey, 28, a monk at the Kirti Monastety set himself on fire today at around 2:40 pm (local time). He passed away in his protest. 

According to the Dharamshala based Kirti Monastery, Lobsang Thokmey doused his body with kerosene in front of his monastic quarters in the west of the Kirti Monastery and started running towards the east.

“Lobsang Thokmey was in flames as he began running with the Buddhist flag in his hands,” the Kirti Monastery said in a release. “Before he could reach the main gate, he fell on the ground.” 

Monks and people gathered at the scene of the protest carried Lobsang Thokmey to the local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. 

“A large number of Chinese security personnel arrived at the hospital soon after Lobsang Thokmey was admitted and later forcibly took away the deceased’s body to the regional headquarters of Barkham,” the same source said.

It is not yet known what slogans Lobsang Thokmey raised during his self-immolation protest.

He is survived by his parents Rogtrug and Depo and one sister and three brothers. 

Lobsang Thokmey became a monk at the Kirti Monastery at a young age and was currently enrolled in the pharchin class.

“His conduct was excellent and he was very diligent in his studies,” the Kirti Monastery recalled contacts as saying.

On March 16, 2008, around 28 Tibetans were shot dead on a single day by Chinese security forces during the peaceful protest in Ngaba as part of the wider uprisings that engulfed the entire Tibetan plateau. 

On the third anniversary of the 2008 killings, Kirti monk Lobsang Phuntsok set himself on fire at a busy market place in Ngaba on March 16, 2011, triggering in earnest the continuing wave of self-immolations.

A year later on March 16, 2012, another Kirti monk Lobsang Tsultrim torched his body, marking the anniversary of the March 16 killings and protests in the Ngaba region. 

Since Kirti monk Tabey’s self-immolation protest in 2009, as many as 108 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire protesting China’s occupation and demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

The exile Tibetan administration earlier called the unprecedented number of self-immolations “ultimate acts of civil disobedience against China’s failed rule in Tibet.”

“Concrete steps that the leaders of the world need to take immediately are to send Ms Navi Pillay of UNHCR on a visit to Tibet and investigate the real causes of self immolations, and convene a meeting to discuss and address the crisis in Tibet,” Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people said last month.

150 UK MPs urged to raise Tibet with PM Cameron

Phayul[Saturday, March 16, 2013 09:35]
Lobbyists taking part in Tibet Lobby, in Westminster Hall, Houses of Parliament, London March 13 2013. (Photo/Paul Golding)
Lobbyists taking part in Tibet Lobby, in Westminster Hall, Houses of Parliament, London March 13 2013. (Photo/Paul Golding)
Tibetans and supporters in the United Kingdom took part in the fifth annual Tibet Lobby this week at the Houses of Parliament and in local constituencies around the UK.

About 300 supporters, either in face-to-face meetings or through letters, lobbied at least 150 MPs on Wednesday.

Organisers said the focus of this year'slobby was “to call on MPs to ask David Cameron to make a public statement of concern on Tibet and to urge the UK government to work with other governments to find a solution to the Tibet crisis.”

At Westminster, about 60 Tibetans and supporters met with their MPs in Central Lobby and raised their concerns and called on them to take action for Tibet. Organisers said the response was “positive” with most MPs “committing to take the recommended actions.”

The MPs agreed it was time for another debate on Tibet in the House of Commons, given that the last debate was in December 2011.

The same day, representatives of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet laid a wreath at Westminster Abbey “to mark the Tibetan National Uprising anniversary and remember all the victims of China's 63-year occupation.”

The wreath-laying, at the Memorial to Innocent Victims of Oppression, Violence and War, was accompanied by a short multi-faith service. 

Fabian Hamilton MP (Lab, Leeds North East and chair of the APPGT), gave a short address drawing particular attention to those who have died due to China's occupation of Tibet and been imprisoned for defending the freedoms and human rights of the Tibetan people.

The wreath-laying ceremony was organised by Tibet Society and APPGT.

Earlier on March 10, the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day, approximately 600 Tibetans and Tibet supporters took to the streets in central London to call for an end to China's occupation of Tibet, for the Chinese government to respect the rights of the Tibetan people and for the UK government to stand up and take action.

Tibet Freedom March heading along Whitehall, London on March 10, 2013, the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day. (Photo/Paul Golding)
Tibet Freedom March heading along Whitehall, London on March 10, 2013, the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day. (Photo/Paul Golding)
Gathered opposite Downing Street, representatives from the organising coalition of UK-based Tibet groups delivered a letter the Prime Minister urging him to “publicly speak out on the Tibet issue and to work with other governments to urge China to end the repression in Tibet.”

Demonstrators carried placards, waved Tibet flags, and raised slogans for "Free Tibet," "Human Rights for Tibet," and "Long Live the Dalai Lama."

Upon reaching the Chinese Embassy, Member of Parliament and long-time Tibet supporter, Tim Loughton MP, addressed the rally, calling on the free world to "draw attention to the liberties that are denied to [Tibetans] by China in their own country."

"We offer an olive branch to China if they really mean what it says in their constitution about respecting the autonomy of regions within the borders of China," said Loughton. 

"Start a new dialogue and if you do, if you really are serious about respecting the rights, identity, and culture of the Tibetan people inside and outside your boundaries, then the world will be behind you. We will be behind you."

Thubten Samdup, the Dalai Lama's Representative for Northern Europe and the UK, read out the March 10 statement from Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people.

Monday 11 March 2013

Over 1200 German towns raise Tibet flag, France working on Tibet resolution

Phayul[Monday, March 11, 2013 23:40]
Tibetans and supporters mark the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on March 10, 2013.
Tibetans and supporters mark the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on March 10, 2013.
DHARAMSHALA, March 11: The Tibetan national flag was raised in more than 1200 German cities and towns on Sunday to mark the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day.

Tibet advocacy group, Tibet Initiative Deutschland, in a release today said that Tibet demonstrations were also carried out in more than 20 cities all over Germany.

1236 German cities, municipalities and counties, including the regional capitals Bremen, Hannover, Magdeburg, Potsdam Saarbr├╝cken, Stuttgart, and Wiesbaden raised the Tibetan Flag at town halls, public buildings and on their websites, the group said.

In the national capital Berlin, a demonstration and a ‘Tibetan Flag-Performance’ was held in front of the Chinese embassy.

“All over the world the Tibetan flag stands as a symbol for the Tibetan right of self-determination,” said TID-Executive Director Nadine Baumann. “In Tibet even owning the flag is prohibited and will be punished.” 

In Paris, the capital city of France, hundreds of Tibetans and supporters, including French, Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese, together marked the 54th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.

The event began at the Place de Trocadero, where homage was paid to all those Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives for Tibet, including the 107 self-immolators who set themselves on fire protesting China’s rule.

In his address, Jean Patrcik Gilles, a member of the French National Assembly and a co-president of the Tibet Group in the assembly, reiterated his support for the cause of Tibet and underlined the importance of dialogue for a durable solution of the Tibetan issue.

Tibetans and supporters raise the Tibetan flag outside the Chinese embassy in Berlin, Germany on March 10, 2013.
Tibetans and supporters raise the Tibetan flag outside the Chinese embassy in Berlin, Germany on March 10, 2013.
He told the gathering that the Tibet Group would be meeting French President Francois Hollande before the President’s scheduled visit to China to urge him to press the Chinese leadership to enter into constructive dialogue with the Tibetan leadership.

Gilles also said the Group is working on a parliamentary resolution on Tibet and a possibility to send a parliamentary delegation to Dharamshala, the exile Tibetan headquarters in India.

Later, a protest march was held in front of the Chinese embassy during which demonstrators called for resumption of the Sino-Tibetan dialogue process and demanded unfettered access to international media and diplomats to assess the ground situation inside Tibet.

Sunday 3 March 2013

Have you seen this bike

If you have seen this bike around Corsham then you will know that its only a few days to go until we show Escape From Tibet at Hartham Park.  The bike was Borrowed from Spindles and has done a great mobile advertising job around town.   

Cargo Bike advertising Escape from Tibet

For those who want to know the bike was made from 3 mountain bikes and is an extended cargo bike.  Its currently work in progress hence the tatty paint work. 

Friday 1 March 2013

China asked to accept Dalai Lama as religious leader

(TibetanReview.net, Feb28, 2013)
Expressing grave concern over the continuing spate of self-immolation protests in Chinese ruled Tibet, The Archbishop Dr John Sentamu of York has on Feb 27 asked the British government to impress upon China to recognize and accept the Dalai Lama as a religious leader. He believed this would lead to a dialogue and an end to the series of self-immolations by protesting Tibetans.
Speaking in a debate in the House of Lords on Tibet, the Archbishop has said the Dalai Lama was not only a spiritual and religious leader for the people of Tibet, but recognised the world over.
A similar suggestion was made by Lord Steel of Aikwood, who said that dialogue between the Chinese authorities and the Dalai Lama as a spiritual leader could bring an end to dozens of self-immolations by pro-Tibet protesters, reported christiantoday.com Feb 27.
In her response, Baroness Warsi, Senior Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, has said the UK Government was "deeply concerned" about the high number of self-immolations in Tibet and that its concerns were being raised "regularly" with the Chinese authorities.
"We continue to encourage all parties to work for a resumption of substantive dialogue as a means to address the Tibetan concerns and to relieve tensions," she was quoted as saying.
And she has further said: "Of course, we continue to make the case to China that any economic progress can be sustained only if there is social progress as well."

Read more http://www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/293/51/#26-feb-2013