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.