Tuesday 23 December 2014

Another Tibetan dies in flames, thousands gather in solidarity:Tawu

Phayul[Tuesday, December 23, 2014 22:28]
Kalsang Yeshi/file
Kalsang Yeshi/file
Another Tibetan has reportedly died by setting himself ablaze in less than 24 hours of the self-immolation by a Tibetan woman in Ngaba yesterday.

Kalsang Yeshi, a 37 year old Tibetan monk of Nyitso Monastery in Tawu in eastern Tibet, set himself on fire right in front of the police post in the premises of the monastery today around 11 AM (local time), said Lobsang Jinpa, a Tibetan from Tawu now residing in India.

Kalsang had studied at the Ganden Jhangste monastery in south India in the past after he left home in Thewa village in Kunor township, Tawu County, according to Jinpa, who accompanied him during his flight to exile. “I knew him very well. We came into exile together in 1997. I met him a few years ago when I went to Tibet,” said Jinpa.

Graphic image/charred body of Kalsang Yeshi, 37, who died after immolating himself, Dec. 23, 2014
Graphic image/charred body of Kalsang Yeshi, 37, who died after immolating himself, Dec. 23, 2014
Around a thousand local Tibetans have gathered outside the Tawu County police station demanding that the authorities return the body to the family.

Kalsang called for the return of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, said Jinpa, citing an eyewitness. Kalsang collapsed to the ground within minutes of sustaining severe burns.

Police have immediately taken away the charred body despite protests from the local Tibetans who appealed to the police to hand over the body to the family.

Kalsang was held in high esteem by the local Tibetans for his contribution towards the preservation of Tibetan culture and religion. He taught Tibetan and Buddhism to local Tibetans, especially elders and children, said Jinpa.

Authorities fear of more protests by the Tibetans who have gathered in huge numbers outside the police station. Communication lines have been cut off to monitor the tense situation in the area as the authorities fear more Tibetans will join in tomorrow.

Kalsang became 135th Tibetan to self immolate in protest against the Chinese government since 2009 and 116th to succumb to the burns. His self immolation is the third by a Tibetan in just less than a month. 

20 yr old Tibetan woman immolates self to death

Phayul[Monday, December 22, 2014 18:00]
(graphic content) Charred body of Kyi
(graphic content) Charred body of Kyi
 A 20 year old Tibetan woman has died after she set her body on fire around 2PM (local time) today in Tibet's Ngaba County.

A Tibetan exile source with contacts in the region said the deceased has been identified as Tsepey Kyi from fourth village of Meruma township in Ngaba County.

The same source said Kyi succumbed to her burn injuries within minutes of her self immolation protest and her body was immediately taken away by the police. Police have cordoned off the site of her self immolation and stepped up restrictions around the area making it difficult to acquire more information.

Tsepey Kyi is daughter of Chime Dorjee and Chenpa of Chudotsang family. Kyi's parents have also been taken away from their home by the police but it is not known if they have been detained.

Kyi is the 134th Tibetan to resort to self immolation as a form of protest against the Chinese government and 115th to die after self immolation protest.

Less than a week ago, another Tibetan named Sangay Khar died after he set himself ablaze in Amchok town in Sangchu County. 

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Breaking: Tibetan dies after setting self on fire

Phayul[Tuesday, December 16, 2014 19:43]
Palden Khar
Palden Khar
A Tibetan man has died after he set himself on fire earlier today in Amchok town, Sangchu County, Kanlho Tibet Autonomous Prefecture in Gansu province.

Sangyal Khar set himself on fire right in front of the Police Station Tuesday around 9 AM (local time).

A Tibetan source said that Khar's charred body was taken to Sangchu County by the Chinese police who refused to hand over the body to his family despite protests from the local Tibetans.

The situation in Amchok town remains tense as authorities cordoned off the area and put restrictions on local people's movement and communication lines.

Khar became the 134th Tibetan to immolate self, and 114th to succumb to the burns. 

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Last week, the Irish broadcaster RTE transmitted several reports from Tibet. RTE was participating in a Chinese government-controlled media trip to the region, which RTE described as "carefully choreographed". In its reports, RTE challenged the authenticity of China's version of Tibet presented on the trip, saying a true picture "remains out of reach".
In the first of two video reports, RTE's Philip Bromwell reports from Lhasa, which he describes as a "modern, sprawling city".RTE logoDuring an interview at the Jokhang temple, a monk says he hopes Dalai Lama will return to Tibet. However, when he is asked why some Tibetans are protesting, the Chinese interpreter interrupts, the monk looks concerned and only says, "This is a difficult question for me".

In its report, RTE refers to the self-immolation protests Which China blames the Dalai Lama for inciting. In addition, China counters claims that it restricts religious freedom and expression of culture in Tibet by stating it has brought development and prosperity to Tibet. However, RTE notes China has responded to the protests with"tighter security and surveillance" which is "far from subtle", such as security cameras disguised as prayer wheels.

RTE also makes it clear that there is clear message the Chinese government wishes to convey, as Tibetans provided for interview praise the government. For example, a lecturer at a college of Tibetan medicine says, "Tibet has received support from the government and has been well-developed and grows very rapidly." At a thangka painting workshop, the manager says "Business has been better than before because the government has fully supported this business."

Philip Bromwell concludes the first report saying, "A carefully choreographed trip like this perhaps is only ever going to reveal one version of events but even inside Tibet it seems a true picture of what life is really like here remains out of reach."

In the second report, Philip Bromwell visits Kongpo prefecture (Chinese: Nyingchi) located east of Lhasa, to examine recent changes in Tibet.

The report looks at the rapid development of Tibet. Whilst showing images of construction on an industrial scale, the report says of Tibet, "One thing is clear. It's changing, quickly." As well as economic development, the report also highlights the issues of large-scale immigration of Han Chinese and tourism. In 2013, almost 13 million tourists visited the Tibet Autonomous Region, compared to a population of 3 million Tibetans.

RTE notes that China rejects criticism that Tibet's unique way of life and its environment is being threatened, by reiterating its claims to have brought prosperity to Tibet and is protecting Tibetan culture.

Philip Bromwell concludes, "This trip has given us a fascinating glimpse of a beautiful region, but in terms of seeing the true Tibet, well, that may have already disappeared from view."

Further reading & listening:
Inside Tibet - RTE's multimedia report    
Tibet: A rare insight - RTE Radio broadcast (4 minutes)

Undercover reports from Tibet:
BBC evade ban, report from inside Tibet: December 2013 (video)
BBC: Lhasa under heavy security and predominantly Chinese: Sept 2013 (audio)
France24: Seven Days in Tibet - extended undercover report: June 2013 (video)

Chinese state media reports compliments for China's work in Tibet

China's state media has reported that a senior UK politician has told a meeting in Lhasa that the “Chinese government has done a great job in developing Tibet to the current stage, where people live happily”.
The reports have not been independently verified but if correct, the comments by Lord Davidson at the Chinese government's Fourth Forum on Development of Tibet back Chinese propaganda and provide a deeply misleading picture of life for Tibetans.

Misrepresentation of Tibet

Lord Davidson described economic development in Tibet as "remarkable" and is quoted as saying:
"Many western reports are written by enthusiasts of the Dalai Lama. And they may feel uncomfortable when their presumptions or assumptions are challenged. It is uncomfortable and expensive to have their prejudice challenged."
Free Tibet Director, Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren said:
“We hope that the comments attributed to Lord Davidson significantly misrepresent his contribution at this event. If the reports are accurate, Lord Davidson should have acquainted himself with the facts before regurgitating China’s propaganda on Tibet.
Economic development in Tibet is far from what it seems from the window of a car or a plush meeting room in Lhasa.”

Tibetans far from 'happy'

The UN Economic, Cultural and Social Rights committee recently issued a report noting that Tibet is the worst area in China for child malnutrition. Immigration of Han Chinese people into Tibet, the use of Chinese labour and restrictions on freedom of movement for Tibetans have excluded them from most of the benefits of the economic development that has taken place.
China's heavy investment in transport infrastructure is designed to help China's security forces move quickly around Tibet and make it easier for Tibet's natural resources - including copper, gold and lithium - to be exported to China.

Western media blocked

The report stated that Lord Davidson said Western media did not report Tibet because travel there was too “costly”. In reality, international media are banned from Tibet by the Chinese government.
Chinese state media does not report criticism of its Tibet policies so it is possible that Lord Davidson also addressed issues such as human rights abuses in Tibet.
Lord Davidson is a senior spokesman for the Labour Party in the UK Parliament's House of Lords.

Take Action

Tibetans are constantly under surveillance and subject to arrest at any time. Since 2012 at least eleven singers have been arrested, joining thousands of other political prisoners in this occupied country. Pleasetake action

Monday 6 October 2014

Tibetan immolates self in Golok

Phayul[Monday, October 06, 2014 19:35]
Kunchok, 42,
Kunchok, 42,
DHARAMSHALA, October 6: A Tibetan man immolated himself near a police station in Gade County, Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, eastern Tibet on September 16, a day before another Tibetan set himself ablaze in Tsoe County, Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, according to the UK based Tibet Watch.

Kunchok, 42, set himself on fire on 16 September near a police station Tsangkor Sholma township, Gade County, before onlookers doused the flames and rushed him to hospital. He became the 133rd Tibetan to resort to self immolation as a form of protest against the Chinese government.

"News of his protest has just emerged as local Tibetans did not want to put him or those who assisted him at risk of arrest," said Tibet Watch.

“I failed to accomplish my wish,” Kunchok kept saying after regaining consciousness at hospital.

A father of two, Kunchok has sustained serious burn injuries and is currently undergoing treatment. His family, however, are concerned that he will succumb to his burns.

Details of the hospital are being withheld to prevent him from being detained by security forces, said the Tibetan Watch. "Most surviving self-immolators are detained incommunicado; those who die in custody or whose bodies are taken by the police are usually cremated by the authorities who return the ashes to the family, preventing them from conducting normal funeral services."

Sunday 5 October 2014

Dalai Lama may return to Tibet

 The Dalai Lama said Thursday that informal talks with the Chinese are continuing over his possible return to his homeland of Tibet — if only for a visit — and cautiously praised Chinese President Xi Jinping as a realist.
The Dalai Lama, 79, sat down for an interview in his temple in the north Indian town of Dharmsala before a celebration of the 25th anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize, after a month of media speculation of a thaw between the exiled leader and the Chinese government.
The two sides have sparred for years over the future of Tibet. The Dalai Lama argues for autonomy for the Himalayan region he fled in 1959, while the Chinese accuse him of being a separatist. Just this week, another gathering of Nobel winners was canceled in South Africa after that country refused the Dalai Lama a visa, reportedly under pressure from China.
Meanwhile, the Chinese have continued to increase their control over the Tibetan region, with the opening of a new railway line last month that will give greater access to its rich natural resources. Foreign travel is still greatly restricted. And more than 130 people have self-immolated to protest the Dalai Lama’s exile and press for freedom for Tibet since 2009, including two during Xi’s recent visit to New Delhi.
Elsewhere in China, the streets of Hong Kong have been filled in recent days withthousands of pro-democracy protesters.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Kate Bush support Tibet

I came across this image of Kate Bush dressed in Traditional Tibetan Costume and with a bit more searching I found this note on Kate Bush's web site that supports Tibetans.  I think its dated 2011 and says...

A note for Tibet

From Kate... Everyone will know that events in Tibet have taken a terrible turn. I want to express my sadness at such a gentle and spiritual culture suffering so greatly.I am so shocked by the desperate measures being taken by people whose only way to call out for help is by taking these horrific actions. I would feel ashamed if I didn't express my feelings. I just hope the world is listening to them.

Thank you

Saturday 16 August 2014

Tibetan writer Woser detained at Lhasa airport

Phayul[Saturday, August 09, 2014 09:30]
Woser, who has never seen the Dalai Lama in person, pays her respect to the Tibetan leader before an interaction with Chinese human rights lawyers on Skype/highpeakspureearth
Woser, who has never seen the Dalai Lama in person, pays her respect to the Tibetan leader before an interaction with Chinese human rights lawyers on Skype/highpeakspureearth
DHARAMSHALA, August 9: An outspoken Tibetan writer who lives with her Chinese husband in Beijing told the Radio Free Asiathat she was “intimidated” by Chinese authorities during questioning that lasted for three hours on Wednesday.

Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser said Chinese authorities detained her on her arrival at the Gonkar airport, around 60 miles from the capital Lhasa.

The Beijing based Tibetan writer who supports the exile Tibetan government’s policy of Middle Way Approach said on Twitter that airport security authorities took pictures of her lingerie, medicine, cosmetics, books, DVDs and even copied the contents of her laptop.

“They also thoroughly checked my cell phone.

“Last year I had the same problem, but this time the one thing I couldn't tolerate was that they even interrogated my 72-year-old mother yesterday,” she said.

Her mother lives in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Woser and her husband Wang Lixiong were briefly put under house arrest to prevent the couple from attending a dinner at the US Embassy residence last month as US Secretary of State John Kerry visited China.

Tsering Woeser was awarded the 2013 International Women of Courage Award by the U.S. State Department in March 2013, but was banned from traveling to Washington to receive the award.

At the award ceremony, Kerry praised Woeser for her courageous writings on Tibetan people and their causes at a time of deteriorating human rights. "Tsering Woeser has emerged as a clarion voice of the people, even as the Chinese government has worked to curtail the flow of information from Tibet," Kerry said at the time.

UK politician's Tibet visit under fire

Labour's Lord Davidson in hot water over Tibet comments made in China

Lord Davidson is a Labour party front-bencher in the House of Lords, the UK's upper house

by CHRIS GREEN SENIOR REPORTER Thursday 14 August 2014

Lord Davidson is a Labour party front-bencher in the House of Lords, the UK's upper house

A senior Labour peer who praised the “remarkable accomplishments” of the Chinese government in Tibet while attending a conference in the disputed region has been accused of taking part in a “cynical exercise in propaganda”.
Lord Davidson of Glen Clova, a front-bench member of the House of Lords, has been participating in the Fourth Forum on the Development of Tibet in Lhasa this week. His party says it is “deeply concerned” about the human rights situation there.
In a video released by China’s state-run broadcaster China Central Television, the shadow Advocate General for Scotland is seen telling a journalist: “It’s very clear that the investment that has been put into Tibet has raised the standards of living of people here quite remarkably. I was hearing about the doubling, more or less, of the longevity of the population. These are remarkable accomplishments achieved in a very short time.”
At the end of the two-day conference, which was organised by China’s Communist Party and concluded on Wednesday, a “Lhasa Consensus” was issued which was extremely critical of the Dalai Lama. China claimed it had the backing of all 100 attendees although this has not been confirmed.
One part of the agreement read: “Participants unanimously agree that what they have actually seen in Tibet differs radically from what the 14th Dalai and the Dalai clique have said.
“The Dalai clique’s statements on Tibet are distorted and incorrect. Many Western media reports are biased and have led to much misunderstanding. Seeing is believing. Participants express the aspiration to introduce the real Tibet to the world.”
The document also said attendees agreed that Tibet “enjoys sound economic growth, social harmony, deep-rooted Tibetan culture and beautiful natural scenery, and the people enjoy a happy life”.
The idyllic picture of Tibet painted by the Lhasa Consensus is rather different from reality, where the violent repression of protests at Chinese rule is common. In the past three years, more than 120 Tibetans are thought to have resorted to self-immolation, many of them dying in the process.
Lord Davidson could not be reached to clarify his comments, which may have been manipulated or taken out of context by China’s state media. It is unclear who paid for his trip to Lhasa.
Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, director of the UK-based group Free Tibet, which campaigns against China’s “occupation” of the region, said he should never have attended the conference in the first place. “The statement issued at the end of this event makes clear that the whole thing was an utterly cynical exercise in propaganda which Western participants blindly or willingly allowed themselves to become part of,” she said.
“It remains to be seen whether the claims that they all agree with the outrageous and wholly inaccurate statements in the ‘consensus’ are actually true. Many may well be surprised to find themselves endorsing these views. Nevertheless, an invitation to an event on Tibet organised by the State Council Information Office of China belongs in the bin, not on the mantelpiece.”
On the second day of the conference, police in China’s Sichuan province reportedly opened fire on a group of Tibetan demonstrators who were protesting about the detention of a respected village leader. Ten people were seriously wounded in the incident.
“As Lord Davidson was enjoying China’s hospitality in Lhasa, unarmed Tibetans were being shot by China’s security forces,” Ms Byrne-Rosengren said. “This highlights how grave his misjudgement was in attending this meeting. We look forward to hearing his urgent response.”
A spokesman for Lord Davidson’s law firm Axiom Advocates said he could not be reached for comment. A Labour Party spokesperson said he had attended the conference in a personal capacity.
“As part of the People’s Republic of China, it is in Tibet’s interest to build long term stability,” they added. “But that can only be achieved through respect for human rights and greater autonomy for the Tibetans. Labour remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation there.”

Chinese police ‘fire on Tibetan protesters’

From the BBC 
Ten people were injured when Chinese police opened fire on Tibetan protesters demonstrating against the detention of a village leader, two activist groups and overseas news reports say.
The incident is said to have taken place on Tuesday in Sichuan province's Ganzi prefecture, also known as Kardze.
Arrests were also made and some people fled, the activist groups said.
The incident does not appear to have been reported in Chinese state media.
Obtaining independent confirmation of events both in Tibet and in ethnic Tibetan areas in surrounding regions is extremely difficult.
Both access to these areas and information flow out of them is tightly controlled.
Chinese state media does confirm some of the incidents but not all. Accounts from activist groups have proved reliable in the past.
Armed police
According to UK-based group Free Tibet, a village leader named Wangdak was arrested on Monday over a dispute with local authorities.
The group said the row related to alleged harassment of female members of a dance troupe at a celebration villagers had been ordered to stage for senior officials.
The US-based International Campaign for Tibet said it also related to a dispute over official restrictions on a traditional gathering at a local horse festival.
After Mr Wangdak was detained, a crowd of Tibetans gathered to protest.
Both groups said armed police were deployed, used tear gas and then opened fire.
Mr Wangdak's son was among those who were shot, both activist groups said.
Free Tibet said at least two people were shot but the nature and cause of the other injuries was not clear.
The village was now surrounded and many adults had gone into hiding,Radio Free Asia reported, citing a Tibetan exile monk.
Many ethnic Tibetans live in Gansu and Sichuan provinces, which lie near Tibet. Activists say China enforces tight restrictions over Tibetans' religious and cultural activities.
China argues its investment into Tibetan areas has greatly advanced standards of living.
In recent years more than 100 young Tibetans have set themselves on fire in what activists say are protests against Chinese rule. Most of these incidents have taken place in Tibetan communities outside Tibet.
There have also been other shootings. Last year, activist groups said Chinese police opened fire on Tibetans who had gathered to mark the Dalai Lama's birthday, injuring several.

Monday 23 June 2014

China opens 24 police stations in monasteries in Labrang

Phayul[Saturday, June 21, 2014 12:25]
police officers affixing an official Public Security Bureau nameplate to their new office in a Tibetan monastery in Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
police officers affixing an official Public Security Bureau nameplate to their new office in a Tibetan monastery in Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
DHARAMSHALA, JUNE 21: In a move to further step up surveillance and control of Tibetan monasteries, China has established more than twenty police stations in monasteries in Labrang in Gansu province this week. An official report called it a part of “recent focus on policing monasteries” in the region that has seen several self immolation protests by Tibetans since 2009.

The International Campaign for Tibet said the move is a part of Chinese government “policies of placing almost every monastery in Tibet under direct government rule and intensifying Party presence in both rural and urban Tibetan areas.”

“Following the protests that swept across Tibet in 2008, the Chinese government has adopted a strategy of actively stepping up Party presence as the answer to 'instability.’ This has led to a more pervasive and systematic approach to 'patriotic education', the ‘management’ and securitization of monasteries and a dramatic increase in work teams and Party cadres in rural as well as urban areas of Tibet,” the Washington DC based NGO said in a report on its website.

The ICT said the Chinese government seeks to replace loyalty to the Dalai Lama among Tibetans with allegiance to the Chinese Party-state, and in doing so, to undermine Tibetan national identity at its roots.

Speaking about the policy in February, 2012, Communist Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region Chen Quanguo said that ranks of cadres stationed in monasteries should ensure that monks and nuns “become an important force in loving their country, loving their religion, observing regulations, abiding by laws, safeguarding stability, and building harmony.”

Chinese Communist Party cadres, the ICT said, are being encouraged to befriend monks and nuns and gather information about them and their family members, while guiding them to be "patriotic and progressive".

Meanwhile, the Tibetans have submitted petitions at the regional Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference held in Xining, Qinghai province, in January this year, appealing the government to stop deployment of troops in monasteries.

China has long considered Buddhism as a key element of Tibetan identity and monastic institutions as the hotbed of political dissidence.

Following widespread unrest against Chinese rule, largely led by monks and nuns, in 2008, Chinese government launched renewed and intensified "Patriotic Education" campaign covering almost every sections of society and mainly targeting the monastic institutions.

Under the campaign, Chinese “work team” officials are sent especially to monastic institutes on a regular basis to “educate” monks and nuns to be patriotic towards nation and one's religion, and to oppose ‘splittist’ forces, which include denouncing the revered Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, whom China reviles as a “splittist”.

Meted out with serious threats involving imprisonment and expulsion from monasteries, monks are compulsorily forced to give their signatures or finger prints to express their non-allegiance to the Dalai Lama.

Reports have surfaced in recent years of monks committing suicides in the aftermath of political indoctrination classes and in the face of growing religious oppression in the monastery.

Dhondup Wangchen released from prison

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Dhondup Wangchen released (source: Filming for Tibet)
Six years’ punishment for giving Tibetans a voice
The Tibetan film maker was driven by the police to his sister’s home about 3.00pm local time, after his release.
In a phone call with his cousin (Gyaljong Tsetrin) in Switzerland, Dhondup Wangchen said:
“At this moment, I feel that everything inside me is in a sea of tears. I hope to recover my health soon. I would like to express my feeling of deepest gratitude for all the support I received while in prison and I want to be reunited with my family”.
Mr Tsetrin, the president of Filming for Tibet and co-producer of Leaving Fear Behind, said:
“Though Dhondup is still under the control of the Chinese authorities I am very relieved that he could finally leave prison and has now the possibility to consult a doctor.”
During his incarceration he was subjected to prison labour and six months of solitary confinement. In 2013 he was moved to the Qinghai Provincial Women’s Prison, where he was the only male Tibetan political prisoner.

International recognition

Dhondup Wangchen and Golog Jigme travelled across Tibet in 2007 and 2008 documenting Tibetan voices on the eve of the Beijing Olympics and unprecedented Tibetan protests in Tibet.
These short interviews culminated in the documentary Leaving Fear Behind which has been translated into a dozen languages and screened in over 30 countries worldwide.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

China scraps human rights talk with UK

Phayul[Wednesday, April 16, 2014 09:33]
China has cancelled a bilateral human rights dialogue with Britain, accusing the British government of interfering in its internal affairs by using human rights as a pretext.

Chinese and British officials were to meet for a round of Human Rights Dialogue in London on Wednesday.

"The UK should stop making irresponsible comments and using human rights issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, to create the conditions for the human rights dialogue between China and the UK in the next round," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

"Britain's path on this issue is not helpful to dialogue and discussion on the subject of human rights, and not good for the stable development of the health of China-U.K. relations," Hua added.

In its annual human rights report, Britain listed China as "a country of concern" saying it had observed increased curbs on freedom of expression, association and assembly in 2013. The report had made references to human rights issues and unrest in Xinjiang and Tibet. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron had cited the resumption of the dialogue this spring as one of the successes of his December visit, which followed a diplomatic standoff between China and UK due to his meeting with the exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama in 2012.

"We are disappointed that the Chinese government this week unilaterally postponed the dialogue, which was due to take place on 16 April. It is not for us to say why it was postponed,” a Foreign Office spokesman told the Guardian

"We are now in discussion to agree new dates for the dialogue. We consider the dialogue to be an important part of our bilateral relationship with China. It was agreed at the last UK-China summit in December 2013 by the prime minister and Premier Li [Keqiang].

"We have registered our disappointment with the Chinese government. We believe a human rights Dialogue is essential, and are working on agreeing new dates."

Nicholas Bequelin, senior Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: "China is responding to a critique of its shortcomings on human rights by cutting back further on human rights engagement.

"I don't think that indicates that China is genuinely committed to the outcomes of this dialogue … China is trying to intimidate its international partners by walking away from the table."

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Little Tibet 2 showing at the Pound Arts Centre in Corsham Sat 24th May 2014

Little Tibet 2 will be showing at the Pound Arts Centre in Corsham on Saturday 24th May 2014, see trailer below.  The director Sonam will be there to take Q & As

Little Tibet 2 is a moving follow-up to Little Tibet where Sonam, a young Tibetan man living in the UK, went to Ladakh in search of the culture and traditions of his homeland, occupied Tibet.
In Little Tibet 2, Sonam traces his father's footsteps through Nepal to Mustang, where the Tibetan language is still widely spoken and the traditional culture of Tibet remains. Sonam encounters a Yogi, has an audience with the King of Mustang, meets western trekkers and investigates a fascinating restoration project training local woman in traditional arts and crafts enabling them to conserve temple wall paintings that are widely regarded as masterpieces of the fifteenth century.
The film's climax is an encounter with a veteran of the Tibetan guerilla army that operated from bases in Mustang during the 1960s and 1970s. Sonam learns about life in the 2000 strong army that included his father who fought with the guerillas. The encounter leads to the boarder of Tibet.

Tibetan immolates self in Tawu

Phayul[Tuesday, April 15, 2014 22:18]
Thinley Namgyal
Thinley Namgyal
DHARAMSHALA, April 15: A Tibetan man today set himself on fire to protest against China’s occupation of Tibet, said Tawu Lobsang Jinpa, a Tibetan living in exile with close contacts in a region.

Thinley Namgyal, 32, set himself ablaze around 12 noon (local time) in Tawu County of Kardze region, in the traditional TIbetan province of Kham. Thinley succumbed to his burns. His body was taken to Gangthel monastery and was later handed over to his family.

Thinley lived with his father Dulho and mother Pelha in Khangsar township, Tawu County. He became the 131st Tibetan to self-immolate in Tibet protesting against China’s occupation of Tibet and its hard-line policies since 2009.

Following Thinley's self immolation, Tibetans and supporters here took part in a candle light vigil to express solidarity with his protest and mourn his death. 

The candle light vigil was jointly organized by regional chapters of Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association and Students for a Free Tibet, India.

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Cafe Momo and the Competition Results

Here are results of the photographic competition

First Prize of the Cafe Momo hamper goes to Terry
Photo taken at Tharpaling Monastery Bhutan not far from the Tibetan border.
Caption:  "They see themselves as Brothers with the future in their hands."

image description

The following runners up get Tibetan wind horse flags

image description


image description

Lyra and Furface

image description

Di + Robert
image description


image description

Monday 24 March 2014

The Last Cafe Momo

Church House was packed with people spending an afternoon eating soup and cake while drinking tea and coffee.  The results of the photographic competition were also announced where first prize went home with a Cafe Momo Hamper which is presented below

 You can view the full results here

Tsering Passang who is the sponsorship Programme co-ordinator for Tibet Relief Fund showed a short film and gave a talk on the Fund's work in Nepal and India.  lots of questions were asked and Tsering had a lot to say.  We gave him a traditional send off


Monday 17 March 2014

Double self immolation protest marks crackdown anniversary

Phayul[Monday, March 17, 2014 22:59]
DHARAMSHALA, MARCH 17: Another Tibetan monk has immolated himself outside his monastery in Tsekhog County, Malho Prefecture, on Sunday, that saw double self immolation protests in Tibet.

A monk whose name is not yet known carried out the protest around 7.30 AM (local time) on Sunday. He was a monk of Sonag monastery in Jhador township in Tsekhog. As of now, it is not known if he is alive or dead.

Sources say that the authorities immediately cut down all communication lines including all micro-messaging apps to ensure that the news and pictures if any were not sent out.

Lobsang Palden, another Tibetan monk immolated himself at the 'Pawoe Sanglam' (Martyr's Street) in Ngaba town on Sunday, which marked six years since a brutal crackdown by armed Chinese forces on Tibetan protesters leading to the death of at least ten Tibetans including a monk in Ngaba.

March 16, 2014 marks the sixth year since protests by Tibetans in Ngaba in 2008 when several Tibetans died, were tortured or imprisoned in the run up to the Beijing Olympics. Three monks of Kirti monastery had died since 2011 by setting their bodies on fire on the same date (March 16) at the same spot which began to be known as 'Pawoe Sanglam' (Martyr's Street). They were Lobsang Phuntsok (2011), Lobsang Tsuiltrim (2012), and Lobsang Thokmay (2013). 

A Tibetan monk self immolates in Ngaba

Phayul[Sunday, March 16, 2014 20:37]
By Phuntsok Yangchen

DHARAMSHALA, March 16: A Tibetan monk today set himself on fire in protest against China’s occupation of Tibet and its hard-line policies in the restive Ngaba region, said Kanyag Tsering, a Tibetan monk of Kirti monastery here.

Lobsang Palden, a monk of Kirti monastery in his early twenties, set himself ablaze in protest against China’s hard-line policies at the ‘Pawoe Sanglam’ (Martyr’s Street) in Ngaba town around 11.30AM (local time). Chinese police immediately arrived at the protest site, doused the flame and took him away in a vehicle. It is not known if he is still alive or has succumbed to his burns.

March 16, 2014 marks the sixth year since protests by Tibetans in Ngaba in 2008 when several Tibetans died, were tortured or imprisoned in the run up to the Beijing Olympics. Three monks of Kirti monastery had died since 2011 by setting their bodies on fire on the same date (March 16) at the same spot. They were Lobsang Phuntsok (2011), Lobsang Tsuiltrim (2012), and Lobsang Thokmay (2013).

photo/provided by source
photo/provided by source
Before setting himself on fire, Palden had reportedly left a text message in his phone in which he prayed for his parents, family members, teachers and relatives. He also called for unity among Tibetans. “We should maintain cordial relations with others, particularly with Chinese because if we are united and have love for each other, no matter what our thoughts are, it will enable us to communicate with each other better,” the message says (translated from Tibetan by phayul)

Following his self-immolation protest, situation in the region remains tense with the local Chinese authorities deploying large number of armed security forces in Ngaba town. This is the third Tibetan self immolation protest of 2014.

Lobsang's younger brother is also a monk in the same monastery. His family 'Ashertsang' consisting of mother Namkho and step father Sherab lives in Meruma village in Ngaba. Lobsang had been in the monastery since his childhood.

Lobsang Palden became the 128th Tibetan to self immolate in Tibet protesting against China’s occupation of Tibet and its hard-line policies since 2009.

Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports about another self immolation by a Tibetan monk in Tibet's Tsekhog County earlier today. However, its authenticity could not be verified at this time. 

Sunday 9 March 2014

China bans TXTing and Tweeting in Parliament

The Register
Delegates at China’s largely ceremonial parliament, the National People’s Congress, have been warned to keep their smartmobes firmly in their pockets during the annual ten-day snoozefest meeting.
Such is the temptation to relieve the boredom at the Congress, which does little more than rubber-stamp decisions already made by the executive, that attendees are increasingly fiddling with their handsets.

However, according to a report in state-run Beijing Youth Daily, the organisers have given this year’s bunch the following strict instructions (tr Quartz):
Do not use your phones to send text messages or make phone calls during meeting; do not use your computer or phone to play games. Representatives are not allowed to use means such as Weibo and WeChat to live broadcast the conference.
The warning should come as no great surprise, given the Party's paranoid compulsion to strictly stage manage every element of China's appearance to the outside world.
As such, it wants to dominate the media narrative by allowing only its own official tweets of the event and not giving outsiders the chance to poke fun at pics of snoozing – or even worse, Candy Crush-playing - delegates.
As Quartz says, pics taken by delegates have also given bloggers the opportunity in the past to identify lawmakers wearing expensive jewellery or clothes which they shouldn’t be able to afford.
In a bid to prevent too much snoozing at the event, officials are also limiting speeches to ten minutes this year and have urged delegates to speak without a script in a “refreshing” tone. Good luck with that.
China is, of course, not the only place where public figures have been caught doing something they shouldn’t have with their smartphones.
In 2012, three ministers in Indian state of Karnataka were forced to resign after apparently watching porn on a mobile phone during a debate in the House.
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong this week pan-democrat lawmaker Albert Ho was fined by his party after being caught browsing pics of underwear models while finance minister John Tsang delivered his 90 minute budget speech.

Monday 3 March 2014


This sums up the smog situation in China

Chairman Mao - It's the capitalist roaders that create the SMOG

Sunday 2 March 2014

Some pictures from the last Cafe Momo 23rd Feb 2014

Everyone enjoying their soup and tea.

A selection of cakes
The Tibet Stall
Ben Powell on Guitar

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Wanted - China's Collapse

Last Tuesday evening Spanish MPs supported a Bill intended to appease China and shut down the Tibet lawsuit. This is disappointing, though not unexpected. It's been said that "Perhaps we should all pause to appreciate how truly momentous these Tibet lawsuits are: Arrest warrants have been issued for Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and others; Hu Jintao stands indicted as a genocidaire and an impartial court has found that acts of genocide have been committed in Tibet. Whatever happens now, these Tibet cases have already made history. No political act can erase these impartial judicial decisions. So truth has already had its victory."
The victory may be closer than you think after reading Robert Peston's article on the BBC today see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26225205 for details. He says that China has gone on a spending boom and borrowed lots of money to do it but there are still millions of poor people in China yet the Chinese rich are getting richer. It's a familiar story and we all know how it ends... BADLY. There will be a crash and a reckoning that will split China. I'll give it 5 years.
When this happens these the Chinese people will want to get rid of their old guard leaders who have squirrelled money away in the west to they will be at large. The following posters may therefore become useful as a way of tracking them down. Print off and distribute.


see you at Cafe Momo on Sunday 23 February @ Church House Corsham.
Did you see the delivery bike in Corsham High Street?

Sunday 16 February 2014

2014's first Tibetan self immolator dead, cremated without family's consent

Phayul[Saturday, February 15, 2014 23:50]
DHARAMSHALA, February 15: The Tibetan youth who set himself ablaze in Tibet's Tsekhok County on Feb. 5 has succumbed to his burns at a hospital in Xiling a day later, exile sources said. 

Phagmo Samdup, 27, who became the first Tibetan to resort to self immolation protest in 2014, was cremated by Chinese authorities at an undisclosed cremation site without informing his family, according to sources. 

Doused in gasoline, Samdup set himself on fire near Bhenchen School in Dokarmo town around 9.30 PM (local time) on February 5. Chinese police took him away immediately. 

Chinese authorities also forced his family to throw his remains in Machu River, a Tibetan source said, adding that they even confiscated a golden ring belonging to the deceased. 

Since 2009, 127 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet to protest against China’s occupation of Tibet and its hard-line policies.

Tibetan exiles remember Tibet - China Treaty

Phayul[Thursday, February 13, 2014 21:43]

DHARAMSHALA, February 13: Tibetan exiles here gathered today at the TCV Day school to commemorate what the organizers, Students for a Free Tibet, called ‘Tibet-China Peace Treaty of 821-822 AD - secure the past, shape the future'. The organizers have chosen today's date to mark 101 years since the proclamation of Tibetan independence by the thirteenth Dalai Lama.

A 7-feet tall replica of the stone pillar with the engraving of the Treaty which till stands in front of the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, was put on display for public viewing. Copies of the treaties were also distributed.

A discussion on the “Great Legacies of the Tibetan Empire’ and ‘Tibet-China Peace Treaty’ was participated by Geshe Monlam Tharchin, Member of Tibetan Parliament; Sonam Gyaltsen, Member of Tibetan Parliament and Dorjee Tseten, Asia Director of Students for a Free Tibet.

The Tibet-China Peace Treaty was signed between the Tibetan emperor, Tri Ralpachen and Chinese Emperor, Mu Tsung of the Tang Dynasty to establish peace and constitute the boundaries of Tibet and China.

The treaty that referred to Tibet and China as 'Nephew and Uncle' reads, “And in order that this agreement establishing a great era when Tibetans shall be happy in Tibet and Chinese shall be happy in China shall never be changed, the three jewels, the body of saints, the sun and moon, planets and stars have been invoked as witnesses; its purport has been expounded in solemn words, the oath has been sworn with the sacrifice of animals, and the agreement has been solemnized.”

SFT's Asia Director Dorjee Tseten said his organization is celebrating the legacy of the Tibetan Empire to challenge China’s false propaganda about Tibetan history as well as to strengthen the case for Tibet on the global stage. “In commemorating the historical legacy of the Tibetan Empire, we are not only securing our past but also shaping our future as we work towards fulfilling our vision of all Tibetans uniting in a free and democratic Tibet.”

Similar campaigns were also held in 20 cities around the world, said Dorjee.

Ngaba tense after 127th self immolation in Tibet

Phayul[Friday, February 14, 2014 22:23]
Lobsang Dorjee engulfed in flames/Feb. 13, 2014/photo provided by source
Lobsang Dorjee engulfed in flames/Feb. 13, 2014/photo provided by source
DHARAMSHALA, February 14: A 25 year old Tibetan youth set himself on fire on Thursday in Tibet's Ngaba region to protest China's hard-line policies in Tibet, said Kanyag Tsering, an exiled Tibetan monk with close contacts in the region.

Lobsang Dorjee, former monk of Kirti monastery doused himself in gasoline near Kirti monastery around 6.30 PM (local time). Chinese police arrived at the site and took him away, Kanyag added citing his source. 

“Chinese policemen arrived at the site, extinguished the fire on his body and took him away in a van. He held his head high with both hands folded,” said Tsering. It is not known if Lobsang, 127th Tibetan to immolate self, has succumbed to his burns. 

Lobsang is second eldest among his four siblings. His parents had been separated a few years ago. He lived in Golok with his mother and younger brother. He ran a car wash facility in Golog before moving back to Ngaba to live with his father in Chuklay Ghongma village in Ngaba. He was seen at the Kirti monastery's great prayer festival (Monlam Chenmo) recently. 

Following the incident, most entry and exit points to the town have been manned with check-posts with Tibetans being frisked and stopped for questioning.

Avaaz launches petition urging Xi to have tea with Dalai Lama

Phayul[Tuesday, February 11, 2014 17:13]

DHARAMSHALA, February 11: The online advocacy group, Avaaz has launched a signature campaign, “Xi Jinping, President of China have a tea with Tenzin Gyatso the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet”. The petition targeting 2000 signatures was created by Robert T from United Stated of America. The text of the petition reads, “it will benefit China—Han, Tibetans, and all minorities to break the cycle of resentment and repression left over from past inept policies.”

“Actions flowing from such a heart-to-heart meeting will benefit you personally, China's social harmony, relations with rest of Asia and whole world, the environment, and the millions of us worldwide who want you to be the historic Great Fifth President of China, who brings your great nation into harmony with itself and the global community.”

The petition so far has been signed by 1755 people and will be delivered to the Chinese president.

Last year, Avaaz launched another major signature petition “Is this Tibet’s Big Chance” urging the United Nation member states not to elect China into the Human Rights Council. It collected more than a million signatures.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Urge the Spanish Government to Stand Up for Tibet

Urge the Spanish Government to Stand Up for Tibet

Reports state that Spain's government are planning to change the independent judiciary of Spain, in a political move to close down a ground-breaking Tibet lawsuit that implicates Chinese leaders of genocide in Tibet. Take Action now to urge Spain's Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and other EU leaders to Stand Up for Tibet against China's pressure and retain the independence of judicial systems from political interference.

To: Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain
cc Leaders of European Union Member States
I am deeply concerned to learn that the Spanish government is planning to limit the independence of Spain's judiciary, in a move that could lead to a ground-breaking Tibet lawsuit, which implicates Chinese leaders, being shut down.
I am aware that China has reacted angrily to the indictment of Chinese former President and Party Secretary Hu Jintao for genocide and other grave crimes in Tibet, and the orders that warrants of arrest be issued against five Chinese leaders, including another former President and Party Secretary, Jiang Zemin. However, I urge you not to make any attempt to override Spain's universal duty to prevent and punish the most egregious human rights violations in Tibet, as offenses against all humanity.
I appeal to you to adhere to the democratic principles upon which Spain and the rest of the European Union is founded and stand fast in support of judicial independence from political interference.
I urge the whole of the European Union to Stand Up for Tibet; to stand with Spain in resisting China's unacceptable pressure against an impartial criminal investigation, and to support the internationally recognized human rights standards that these Tibet lawsuits are investigating. Such cases should be based on the strength of evidence and a commitment to serving justice, not the political power of the perpetrator.
It is an affront to Spain's judicial sovereignty, to the victims, and to universal principles of human rights that the Spanish government is considering surrendering to Beijing's political pressure.

see http://standupfortibet.org/spanish-lawsuit/