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Message by H. H. the Dalai Lama on Liu Xiaobo

I am saddened by the Chinese Government sentencing Liu Xiaobo, a well-known Chinese writer, to an 11-year jail term.

By sentencing Liu Xiaobo and others like him, who use freedom of expression to publicly articulate their opinions, the Chinese authorities have not only violated the binding principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the freedom of expression mentioned in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China.

I urge the Chinese Government to release, as soon as possible, Liu Xiaobo and other political prisoners who were jailed for exercising their freedom of expression.

I offer my regards and prayers to Mr. Liu Xiaobo, his wife and other family members.

The Dalai Lama
December 28, 2009

   


   

CTA's Response-V

Beijing Wanting to Choose Tibet's Spiritual Leaders is a Political Tool

Introduction From the onset of China's occupation of Tibet, the Chinese Communist Party's outlook towards Tibetan Buddhism has been of extreme suspicion and fear. Tibetan people's way of life and their outlook towards the world is inextricably linked with fundamental precepts of Buddhism. This common philosophical thread and a shared culture bind Tibetans into a unified entity giving them a sense of national identity. For Tibetan people this basic identity is inseparable from their belief in Buddhist principles, which "encompasses the entirety of their culture and civilization and constitutes the very essence of their lives. Of all the bonds which defined Tibetans as a people and as a nation, religion was undoubtedly the strongest."1

[ read more ]

   


   

Statement by Lodi Gyari, Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, concerning the dialogue process with China

My attention has been drawn to an interview published in the Chinese media by Executive Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun of the Central United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party on December 8, 2009 concerning our dialogue process.

We are currently under discussion with the Chinese leadership on the next round of dialogue and so the timing and content of this interview are perplexing.  It is my understanding that the Chinese leadership is as desirous as our side in continuing a discussion, which we hope will ultimately lead to a mutually satisfactory negotiated solution to the Tibetan issue.  

[ read more ]

   


   

The Statement of the Kashag on the Twentieth Anniversary of the Conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Today, as we celebrate the confluence of the twentieth anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the International Human Rights Day, the Kashag first of all makes obeisance to His Holiness in utter gratefulness. The Kashag, at the same time, extends its best greetings to the Tibetans inside and outside Tibet.

[ read more ]

   


   

Ein Geschenk für die nationalen Minderheiten zum 60. Geburtstag der VR China:

Ein Weißbuch und zwei Hinrichtungen

Der militärische Aufmarsch und seine Botschaft

Am 1. Oktober feierte Peking den 60. Jahrestag der Gründung der Volksrepublik China. Die Feier war furchteinflößend. Militärisches Gerät rollte an den chinesischen Führern vorbei, die mit stocksteif mit stolzgeschwellter Brust dastanden. Regierungen in aller Welt sahen diesem militärischen Muskelspiel Chinas mit angehaltenem Atem zu. Ausländischen Firmen, die in der Rüstungsindustrie tätig sind, lief angesichts dieses potenziellen Marktes schon das Wasser im Munde zusammen. Sie wurden bitter enttäuscht. Vorgeführt wurde ein beeindruckendes Spektrum von fast 5000 hochentwickelten Waffen. Jede einzelne davon war in China hergestellt. Die Botschaft an die Händler des Todes war eindeutig: Es gibt keinen chinesischen Markt für Chinas Militärarsenal. Auf diesem hochwichtigen Gebiet will China absolut unabhängig und vollkommen autark sein.

  den ganzen Bericht lesen

CTA's Response IV

A Gift to the Minority Nationalities on the PRC's 60th Birthday: A white paper and two executions

The Military March and the Message

On 1 October, Beijing celebrated the People's Republic of China's 60th anniversary. The celebration was awe-inspiring. Military hardware rolled past Chinese leaders, who stood tall with pride and stiff with emotion.  This display of China's military muscle was watched by governments around the world with bated breath. Salivating at this potential market were foreign companies who do business in the weapons industry. They were bitterly disappointed. Almost 5000 pieces of impressive range of sophisticated weapons were on display. Every piece was made in China. To the merchants of death, the message is clear. There is no China market for China's military arsenal. In this vital area, China wants to be absolutely independent and wholly self-reliant.

  read the full report

Un regalo alle minoranze etniche in occasione del 60° anniversario della fondazione della Repubblica Popolare Cinese: un Libro Bianco e due esecuzioni capitali

La parata militare e il suo messaggio

Il1°ottobre, Pechino ha celebrato il 60°anniversario della Repubblica Popolare Cinese. I festeggiamenti sono stati impressionanti. Gli armamenti militari hanno sfilato al cospetto dei leader cinesi, gonfi di orgoglio e di contenuta emozione. I governi di tutto il mondo, con il fiato sospeso, hanno assistito all’esibizione della forza militare cinese. Le imprese straniere che fanno affari nel settore delle armi e che avevano l’acquolina in bocca pensando a questo potenziale mercato, sono stati amaramente delusi. È stata esibita una gamma impressionante di quasi 5000 pezzi di sofisticata tecnologia militare, ma ogni pezzo è stato fabbricato in Cina. Per i signori della guerra, il messaggio è chiaro: per rifornire l’arsenale militare di Pechino, il mercato cinese non esiste. In questo settore vitale, la Cina vuole essere assolutamente indipendente e del tutto autosufficiente.

  read the full report in Italian

 


   

Declaration of the 5th World Parliamentarian's Convention on Tibet

18 - 19 November 2009, Rome, Italy

I. PREAMBLE

The Fifth World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet, meeting in Rome on the 18th and 19th of November 2009 –

Defends the right of the Tibetan people to their own identity, culture and way of life;

Reaffirms its strong commitment to the people of Tibet and to the non-violent path they have chosen, under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama;

Reaffirms the critical role played by parliaments and parliamentary bodies in raising awareness of the difficult situation in Tibet within governments and international institutions and in formulating policies for the benefit of the Tibetan people;

Recalls the four previous meetings of the World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet, the resolutions and action programmes they have generated, and the impact of the resultant activities and initiatives;

Seeks a resolution for Tibet that guarantees genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the framework of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China; and

Proclaims that the message of the World Parliamentarians’ Conference on Tibet is resolutely not anti-Chinese but a statement of support for justice and truth with a sincere conviction that the Tibetan and Chinese peoples can find a way to coexist with mutual respect.

II. FINDINGS

The Fifth World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet,

FINDING that since the last meeting of the World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet in 2005 the situation in Tibet has deteriorated due to the government of the People’s Republic of China’s imposition of harsh measures on Tibetans and its harder line taken toward the Dalai Lama and his pursuit of autonomy;

MOTIVATED by the political protests that began in March 2008 in which Tibetans across the Tibetan plateau expressed their anguish in an unprecedented and overwhelmingly peaceful manner in response to the continuing repressive policies of Chinese authorities;

CONCERNED that Chinese authorities responded to the protests with a security crackdown across the Tibetan plateau that includes the documented detention of 735 Tibetans for exercising rights such as freedom of speech, religion, assembly and association;

OUTRAGED at the execution of Tibetans without following international standards of due process of law;

RECOGNIZING that the People’s Republic of China, as it seeks to be a responsible member of the international community, should acknowledge that with such status come duties and responsibilities to protect and respect those peoples under its control pursuant to international standards of justice and human rights as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

RECOGNIZING that the People’s Republic of China has a moral responsibility to address the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people through fair administration of rule of law under international standards of justice, respect for freedom of religion and expression, protection of the Tibetan people’s right to express their cultural identity and way of life, and implementation of genuine autonomy;

ACKNOWLEDGING the recent documentation by United Nations bodies, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council and the Committee Against Torture, national governments and non-governmental organizations, of the systemic violations of the human rights of the Tibetan people by Chinese authorities;

ACKNOWLEDGING that the People’s Republic of China has signed and ratified the U.N. Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but regrets serious gaps in its implementation, which is a root cause of Tibetan discontent;

RECOGNIZING the need for continuing support for both long-staying and newly-arriving refugees from Tibet, many of whom are young children, including in the areas of humanitarian assistance, education, health, and revitalization of settlements;

CONCERNED by the environmental degradation on the Tibetan plateau, the so-called “Third Pole,” as a result of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions, the mismanagement of natural resources by Chinese governmental and commercial interests, and the resettlement of Tibetan nomads into fixed communities, which separates them from their traditional livelihood and stewardship of Tibetan grasslands;

RECOGNIZING that Chinese policies to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change on the Tibetan plateau affect billions of people in Asia, and that the involvement and experience of Tibetans is integral to the successful implementation of climate change policies;

RECOGNIZING the invaluable contributions, financially and in other forms of support, by governments and citizens toward the well being of the Tibetan people and their effort to sustain their identity, particularly the host nation support by the government and people of India;

RECOGNIZING that international and governmental statements in support for dialogue in the wake of the protests that began in March 2008 were critical in setting the stage for the rounds of dialogue that occurred later in that year;

RECOGNIZING that in order for the negotiations between the Chinese government and the representatives of the Dalai Lama to be effective it is essential that the format of the negotiations be transparent and with the involvement of appropriate international supervision;

CONCLUDING that His Holiness the Dalai Lama, despite the continuing occupation of Tibet, is sincere in seeking a “middle path” solution for Tibet, not independence;

CONCLUDING that the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People proposed by the representatives of the Dalai Lama embodies his vision for genuine autonomy within the constitutional framework of the People’s Republic of China;

CONSIDERING the experiences of the many autonomous regions around the world, for instance Trentino-South Tyrol in Italy, which have shown that conflicts can be overcome by respecting the fundamental rights of distinct peoples and ethnic and linguistic minorities and enabling them to exercise the right to self-government while respecting territorial integrity of the state;

AFFIRMING the value of non-violence in mitigating conflict and misunderstanding and the potential of non-violent leadership as embodied by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for peace and stability in the People’s Republic of China; and

REAFFIRMING the resolutions and declarations made at all previous World Parliamentarians’ Conferences on Tibet, including the recognition of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile as the legitimate representatives of the Tibetan people.

III. ACTIONS

THEREFORE, the Convention is resolved to:

EXPRESS SUPPORT for substantive negotiations between the Chinese government and the representatives of the Dalai Lama toward a meaningful resolution of the Tibet issue, with the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy as a realistic and constructive basis for such negotiations;

CALL ON governments to urge the People’s Republic of China to fully respect the Tibetan people’s fundamental human rights and freedoms and to acknowledge their right to authentically participate in all issues regarding their present and future well-being;

URGE national governments to acknowledge that third-party facilitation is essential for the resumption of the dialogue and to guarantee its transparency;

CALL ON the People’s Republic of China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

ENCOURAGE governments to explore multinational mechanisms to work collaboratively on the challenges of climate change in Tibet, including with the direct participation of Tibetan stakeholders. To this end, participants of this convention will draft and publish an open letter expressing the key importance of Tibet as the “Third Pole” prior to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen;

COMMIT to engage relevant governments and institutions to ensure that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is welcomed appropriately when meeting with various government leaders and officials;

COMMIT to building capacity within national governments for dissemination of information and the implementation of policies on Tibet, such as the identification or establishment of an office within the Executive Branch of government to handle Tibet affairs;

COMMIT to identify members of an international parliamentarians network for Tibet. The network, in consultation with the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, will identify a secretariat. The network will facilitate greater coordination between parliamentary groups, share best practices, and be sufficiently supported in the international advancement of a near-term action plan to include:

(1) introducing a resolution or motion in parliaments reflecting the principal elements of the World Parliamentarians’ Conference on Tibet Declaration;

(2) requesting a full briefing on the Tibetan policy advanced by their governments, including in multilateral fora, in the areas of human rights, environment, security, development and other economic assistance and geopolitics;

(3) seeking tangible national and local governmental and private support for programmes that provide assistance to Tibetan communities, including inside Tibet and to long-staying and new refugees from Tibet;

(4) engaging in parliamentary exchanges with Chinese legislators and in outreach to Chinese constituents;

(5) visiting Tibet as part of a multi-national parliamentary delegation with the intent of determining the situation on the ground, including the status of Tibetan nomads and political prisoners;

(6) organizing parliamentary hearings before the foreign affairs and/or human rights committees with Tibetan representatives and, if they accept, Chinese government representatives to discuss the political and humanitarian situation in Tibet;

(7) promoting a campaign to gather the support for, endorsement of, and signature on this declaration by parliamentarians of democratic national and local governments, political parties, community leaders, religious organizations, Nobel Peace Laureates, opinion makers and all citizens of goodwill in the world.

 


  

Members of Parliament around the World gather in Rome to find a solution to the Tibet issue

Rome, 19 November: Yesterday, Matteo Mecacci, the President of the Italian Parliamentary Inter-Group for Tibet, Gianni Vernetti, the Vice-President of the Italian Parliamentary Group for Tibet and the former under secretary of State of the Italian government and Gianni Alemanno, the Mayor of Rome, welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama and around 200 parliamentarians from around the world to partecipate in the 5th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet.

His Holiness with the President of the Italian Parliament

Matteo Macacci said, “I welcome you to the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament on the occassion of the 5th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet. I am doing this because in the past, the Italian Parliament espressed full support for the Tibetan people’s struggle for human rights. Human rights i san inalienabile right of all people. As we say in Italy, if constant and consistent, a drop of water can dig a hole in a stone.”

His Holiness addressing the 5th World Parliamentarian Convention on Tibet

Gianni Vernetti in his address said, “This conference is made possible because there is an extraordinary institution, the Tibetan Parliament in exile. I have been to Dharamsala twice. I saw its functioning. The Tibetan people have chosen the ballot over bullets. Tibetan have been able to achieve this because of India, perhaps the greatest democracy in the world. Because of this, the Tibetans have achieved what thez have achieved in exile. This is to inform you that the Italian Parliament has passed several resolutions on Tibet in the last 10 years and supported the Middle-Way Approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”

In his address, Penpa Tsering, the speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, said, “There are 200 participants from 29 countries, including members of the Italian Parliament. I see that the number of parcipants has risen. The Chinese government has put pressure on individual members of parliaments around the world to stop them from attending this convention. This is not a meeting of anti-Chinese forces. It is a meeting of peace and how the issue of Tibet could be resolved peacefully. We look forward to an action-oriented conference.”

In response, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “At a time when we are passing through a difficult period, there are many people who show concern and express the willingness to do something. I appreciate the efforts of all people who come here to discuss ways and means to discuss the Tibet problem.
“Yesterday, I visited two autonomous regions in Italy. These autonomous regions have full freedom but yet remain within Italy. The Chinese constitution provides certain freedoms. If these freedoms are fully implemented, then conditions will improve.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama explained and said, “We have two hands. Our right hand is always there to reach out to the Chinese government. Then there is our left hand. There are many people who want to help. To them, we extend our left hand.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, “I have nothing to personally ask of the Chinese government. Even the continued existence of the institution of the Dalai Lama must be decided by the Tibetan people. The issue of Tibet is the issue of the six million Tibetans. Whether the Chinese government likes it or not, there is a problem in Tibet. If the CCP reduces censorship, things can be solved. If things become transparent, there will be less problems.”

Later in the day, His Holiness the Dalai Lama at a pace press conference explained his three commitments: promotion of human values, inter-faith harmony and resolving the Tibetan issue. After this short presentation, His Holiness the Dalai Lama fielded questions from the members of the international media.

His Holiness addressing the medias

At the plenary session, there was a recorded message screened fro the participants from Vaclav Havel, the first president of Czechoslavia and later of the Czech Republic.

Richard Gere, the Hollywood actor and an important friend of Tibet and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, read out a message of support from Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US Congress. This will be uploaded later on this web site.


His Holiness and Parliament's President Fini meeting with various MPs

His Holiness speaking to the medias

His Holiness with Matteo Mecacci, the President of the Italian Parliamentary Inter-Group for Tibet (right), Gianni Vernetti, the Vice-President of the Italian Parliamentary Group for Tibet (left)

His Holiness greeting the Mayor of Rome (centre) and friends of Tibet

  


  

His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits the Regional Autonomous Governments of South Tyrol and Trento in Italy

Rome, 17 November: “Welcome to our country, city and home, Your Holiness” said President Luis Durnwalder of South Tyrol. His Holiness the Dalai Lama today visited Bolzano and Trento, the capital cities of the Regional Autonomous Governments of South Tyrol and Trento, in Northern Italy. His Holiness expressed his appreciation for the support from the people and governments of the two autonomous regions.

His Holiness with President Durnwalder (center) and members of the government of South-Tyrol

President Durnwalder asked about the situation in Tibet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that the situation inside Tibet was worst. After 10 March 2008 demonstrations across Tibet, he had hoped that the Chinese government would address Tibet’s real problem. Unfortunately this hasn’t happened.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama showed President Durnwalder the map of Tibet showing all the places where peaceful demonstrations took place in 2008. While looking at the map President Durnwalder asked where Lhasa was. After showing where Lhasa was, His Holiness pointed on the map where he was born in Amdo.

Despite the grim situation in Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said things are changing. More Chinese scholars were showing sympathy and understanding of the Tibetan struggle. Over 800 articles in Chinese have been written on the Tibetan issue and many were written from Mainland China.

While in Bolzano as part of the Series “Meet the Nobel Laureates” organized by European Academy Bolzano, His Holiness the Dalai Lama in questions and answers session spoke about his childhood, reincarnation, Tibetan Buddhism, non-violence and the Tibetan issue.

His Holiness speaks at the European Academy Bolzano

After meeting President Lorenzo Dellai of Trento in the afternoon, His Holiness addressed the round table discussion on Autonomy of Tibet. Both President Luis Durnwalder and President Lorenzo Dellai also spoke at the conference. The two days conference was organized by Autonomous Province of Trento in cooperation with Department of Legal Sciences, University of Trento and European Academy in Bolzano.

His Holiness at a conference on Autonomy for Tibet

His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his appreciation on such conference being organized on autonomy. He said that this kind of conference sends a strong signal to China that the Tibetans issue will not go away.

“We also want autonomy in People’s Republic of China. You enjoy all the rights mentioned on paper. In our case, even though the (Chinese) constitution mentions these rights but nothing is implemented,” he said.

The Tibetans have few 1000 years old history. “We have developed our own language and script, civilization. It is not from China,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

“Not a single Tibetan consider themselves as Chinese,” he said. “Wherever I go, people say Dalai Lama of Tibet and not Dalai Lama of China.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama also made reference to Tibetan Buddhism and it is not called China’s Tibetan Buddhism.

However, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said we (Tibetans) are not seeking independence from China. And there has not been any change in Chinese government’s position. They fear that if they give more freedom, it will bring more trouble.

Tomorrow, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address the 5th World Parliamentarians’ Convention for Tibet on 18 November in Rome. Over 200 Parliamentarians from 28 countries including over 100 Italian MPs will attend this important convention. The two days convention will be held in the Lower House of the Italy Parliament organized by the Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet.

Audience for Tibetans in Trento

Goodbye Bolzano

His Holiness addressing the Autonomy conference in Trento

His Holiness arrives at the office of Autonomous Province of Trento

His Holiness greets well wishers in Bolzano

Lunch in honour of His Holiness by Trento government

President Lorenzo Dellai of Trento presenst a present to His Holiness

His Holiness in discussion with President Lorenzo Dellai

Kalon Tripa, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche at a conference on Regional Autonomy in Trento

  


  

Photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to
Italy 16 - 19 November 2009



His Holiness arrives at Bolzano-Airport and received by President of South Tyrol, Mr. Durnwalder
 

 
 


His Holiness with Tibetans at the Hotel in Bolzano

   


  

Press Release

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in South Tyrol, Italy and will address the 5th World Parliamentarians’ Convention for Tibet in Rome on 18 November


16 November, Bolzano: His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Bolzano, the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol in Italy this morning. President Luis Durnwalder of South Tyrol welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Bolzano airport. On arrival at the hotel, both Italians and Tibetans gathered to welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Tomorrow morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama will meet with President Luis Durnwalder and the entire South Tyrol Government. In the afternoon, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will travel to the Autonomous Province of Trento. President Lorenzo Dellai of Trento will host a luncheon in honour of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In Trento His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address the conference on Regional Self-Government, Cultural Identity and Multinational Integration: Comparative Experience for Tibet. Both President Luis Durnwalder and President Lorenzo Dellai will also address the conference. The conference is organized by Autonomous Province of Trento in cooperation with Department of Legal Sciences, University of Trento and European Academy in Bolzano.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the guest of the Regional Governments of South Tyrol and Trento - an autonomous region in Northern Italy with a special statute. On 17 November evening His Holiness the Dalai Lama will leave for Rome.

In Rome His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address the 5th World Parliamentarians’ Convention for Tibet on 18 November. Over 100 Parliamentarians from 28 countries will attend this important convention. The two days convention will be held in the Lower House of the Italy Parliament organised by the Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet.

President Gianfranco Fini, the President of the Lower House of Italian Parliament will welcome and meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Parliament. Both President Fini and Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno will also address the convention.

The first World Parliamentarians’ Convention for Tibet was held in New Delhi in 1994, then in Vilnius (Lithuania), Washington DC (USA) and Edinburgh (United Kingdom).

During His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s last visit to Rome, Mayor Gianni Alemanno presented the prestigious Rome Honorary Citizenship on 9 February 2009 to His Holiness.

On 19 November His Holiness the Dalai Lama will return to India.

Contact:
Mr. Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa
Representative
Italian mobile: +39 32 80 38 53 25

   


  

Tibet issues highlighted at the UN session in Geneva

Geneva: A non governmental organisation today told the United Nation's Human Rights Council that the "human rights situation in Tibet needed a special focus from the Council".

Mr. TENZIN KAYTA speaking on behalf of Society for Threatened drew the Council’s attention to the situation in Tibet. He lauded the High Commissioner for Human Rights for expressing concern over the human rights situation in Xinjiang and Tibet. High Commissioner N Pillay in her address last week to the Council, called upon the Chinese authorities “to respect human rights in upholding the law” and encouraging them “to reflect on the underlying causes of such incidents, which include discrimination and the failure to protect minority rights.”

Mr. KAYTA expressed great concern on the issue of population transfer of Chinese settlers into Tibet threatening the very survival of Tibetan culture. According to official Chinese publications, between 1990 and 95, the total population on the Tibetan Plateau is 10,102,000, out of which Tibetans constitute 4,821,500, only 48 per cent. He warned that if this trend continues and the international community fails to intervene, the Tibetans will disappear in a sea of Chinese settlers and of course, their rich cultural heritage completely overwhelmed. He also drew the Council’s attention on the issue of Chinese government’s resettlement programme of Tibetan nomads.

The UN three Special Procedure mandate holders including Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous Peoples in its joint official inquiry to China on 3rd October 2007 stated “these (resettlement programmes) policies have had a very adverse impact on the traditional lifestyles and living patterns in Tibetan areas, affecting directly the fabric of traditional Tibetan life and devastating the economy of these communities. The implementation of these policies contributes to the challenges that Tibetan cultural and religious identity face today.” Mr. KAYTA concluded by urging Chinese authorities to live up to the pledge made in February that they would receive one Special Procedure mandate-holder this year and also the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mr. Douglas Griffiths, Deputy Permanent Representative, Chargé, ad interim of U.S. Mission to the United Nation said, “We followed closely the recent disturbances in China’s Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region and last year’s unrest in Tibetan areas. We urge the Chinese authorities, as they work to maintain order, to respect the safety and legal rights of all of China’s citizens and to make efforts to find a solution to legitimate grievances.”

In the afternoon, a parallel event was also organised in the UN to discuss on China’s education policy in Tibet. The panelist included Mr. Lobsang Nyima Langmo Gombatsang, ex-middle school teacher in Tibet and Mr. Tseten S. Chhoekyapa, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Central and Eastern European Countries based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mr. Langmo Gombatsang explained the evolution of Chinese government’s education policy in Tibet. He said that Tibetan language wasn’t in his school curriculum. All subjects were taught in Chinese language. While in school, he like many other Tibetan students doesn’t know how to write their names in Tibetan. He said that it was the efforts of the late Panchen Lama who ensured that Tibetan language was given greater attention in school curriculum when he saw Tibetans were deprived of Tibetan language education. He said that the Chinese officials consider Tibetan language, culture and religion as threat to the Chinese totalitarian regime in Tibet.

Mr. Tseten S. Chhoekyapa, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave an overview of human rights and political situation inside Tibet. The documentary film “Tibet: Murder in the Snow was screened after a short introduction by Mr. Ngawang C. Drakmargyapon, Representative of the UNPO as moderator of this event. Many NGOs including representatives from foreign missions to the UN attended.

    


  

Updated: Photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to Prague

Rebiya Kadeer speaking at the Asian conference

His Holiness with former South African President de Klerk

His Holiness with Czech Prime Minister Mr. Jan Fischers at official residence

His Holiness and former President Vaclav Havel

His Holiness with Paula Dobriansky, Former Under-Secretary of State for Global Affairs, U.S. State Department

His Holiness and Nobel Laureate Jody Williams

Former President de Klerk of South Africa, Havel, His-Holiness and Rebiya Kadeer

A present for former PresidentHavel

 

Photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to Prague

His Holiness arrives at Prague, coming from Bratislava 

His Holiness meets Czech Human Rights Minister 

His Holiness at the residence of Prague's Lord Mayor 

With Lord Mayor Mr. Pavel Bem

His Holiness greeting Rebiya Kadeer 

His Holiness addressing the Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in Asia opening reception

  


  

His Holiness the Dalai Lama received the Jan Langos Award and spoke on Compassion

Bratislava (Slovakia), 9 September - His Holiness the Dalai Lama today received International Jan Langos Award. In his acceptance address, His Holiness thanked the Jan Langos Foundation for presenting the award to him.

“It was a great honour to receive the award of Jan Langos, also a freedom fighter who followed non-violence”, said His Holiness. “This award means a lot to me.” His Holiness said he considers the award "new encouragement" for his efforts to find a "mutually agreeable solution" for China and Tibet. His Holiness also spoke our promotion of human value and religious harmony.

As His Holiness the Dalai Lama was presented the award, the audience applauded continuously and gave a standing ovation. The award is in memory of the prominent former Slovak dissident Mr. Jan Langos who challenged communism and totalitarian regime in the former Czechoslovakia.

 

The Jan Langos Foundation said, "the International Jan Langos Award is bestowed on His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in recognition of his lifelong resistance against oppressive regime in China. Furthermore, the Foundation wants to recognise his consistent and non-violent struggle for human rights and promoting the principles of love, tolerance and compassion worldwide."

Earlier in the morning, the Lord Mayor Andrej Durkovsk received His Holiness in front of the City Hall. The Mayor said, “your visit here in Bratislava is very important and special not only to me but to the people of Bratislava.”

 

Then His Holiness the Dalai Lama opened an exhibition on Tibet in the city centre. This exhibition will be open for six months. While addressing the members of the press, His Holiness said that media had a very important role to play in promoting human value and religious harmony.

 

After lunch, the Vice-Chairman of the Slovakian Parliament and leaders of the four Opposition Parties called on His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the hotel. One of the Opposition Party leaders said they would soon setup a Tibet Group within the Slovakian Parliament. His Holiness thanked them for their support.

 

In the afternoon, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave a public talk on Compassion. Over 4000 people filled the Pasienky sports indoor stadium in Bratislava.

In all the four public engagements today and when His Holiness returned to the hotel from the public talk, large number of people turned out to greeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama. As a sign of appreciation and solidarity they clapped their hands.

Tomorrow, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will travel to Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic. His Holiness will address an international conference on Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in Asia on 11 September.

  


  

PRESS RELEASE

His Holiness the Dalai Lama to address an international conference on Asia in Prague and receive a human rights award in Slovakia

Geneva, 8 September: His Holiness the Dalai Lama will today begin a five days visit to Slovakia and Czech Republic in Eastern Europe.

The first leg of the visit will be Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia where His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be presented the International Jan Langos Award on 9 September. The award is in memory of the prominent former Slovak dissident Mr. Jan Langos who challenged communism and totalitarian regime in the former Czechoslovakia. The Jan Langos Award ceremony will take place at the Pavol Orszagh Hviezdoslav Theatre in Bratislava.

The Jan Langos Foundation said, "the International Jan Langos Award is bestowed on His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in recognition of his lifelong resistance against oppressive regime in China. Furthermore, the Foundation wants to recognise his consistent and non-violent struggle for human rights and promoting the principles of love, tolerance and compassion worldwide."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will open an exhibition on Tibet on 9 September and in the afternoon will give a public talk on Compassion at the Pasienky sports indoor stadium in Bratislava.

On 10 September, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will travel to Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic where His Holiness will address an international conference on Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in Asia on 11 September. Nobel Laureates, international experts, diplomats, Parliamentarians, scholars and writers will address the conference. The one-day conference is organized by the Prague based organization Forum2000.

Nobel Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ms. Jody Williams and Mr. Frederik Willem de Klerk, former President of South Africa will take part in the conference’s discussion on Challenges for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in Asia. Ms. Paula Dobriansky, Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, U.S. State Department will moderate the discussion.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Mr. Václav Havel, the former Czech President will meet on 11 September.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will depart for New Delhi, India on 12 September morning.

  


  

CTA’s Response to Beijing’s Comments on De-militarisation and ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

TibetNet[Saturday, September 05, 2009 13:14]

From 31 October to 5 November 2008, the two Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mr. Lodi Gyari and Mr. Kelsang Gyaltsen, along with senior aides, visited China to present to the Chinese leaders the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People. The Chinese government rejected all the proposals in the memorandum. They said the latest proposal was nothing but another way of seeking Tibetan independence, semi-independence and ‘independence in disguised form.’

A week after the rejection and to justify their rejection of the modest and moderate proposals by Dharamsala, the Chinese leaders went on the offensive. In an unprecedented move, the executive vice-minister of the United Front Work Department of the CCP, Zhu Weiqun held a press conference on 10 November. In attendance was Sithar, a vice-minister of the United Front. To give the impression that Beijing’s comprehensive rejection of the Tibetan proposal had the support of the Tibetans in Tibet, Pema Thinlay, a Tibetan who is the vice-chairman of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region, was hauled in to the meeting with the international media.

At the press conference, Zhu Weiqun raised two issues that are of concern to the Tibetan people: de-militarisation of the Tibetan plateau and the stopping and reversal of the population transfer into Tibet. On de-militarisation, Zhu Weiqun said, “Fourthly, the Dalai Lama and his clique ask us to disband and withdraw the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from the ‘greater Tibetan-inhabited area,’ meaning we have to evacuate our forces from our own territory… If we withdraw our armed forces, how could it be possible for the Central Government to provide national defense. Obviously, this is a deliberate lie!”

On the second point, Zhu Weiqun said, “Fifthly, the Dalai Lama and his clique request, in his so-called greater Tibetan-inhabited area, to purge all other ethnic groups other than ethnic Tibetans…the Dalai Lama will intentionally expel and purge these civilians affecting thousands who have been living there from generation to generation. Such a vicious initiative indicates to us that if one day the Dalai Lama held power and authority in ‘Greater Tibet,’ he would immediately, without any hesitation or mercy, exercise racial discrimination, isolation and ethnic cleansing.”

The press conference was covered by the international media. It was also extensively reported and commented on in the Chinese media and duly played up. The holding of the press conference and the detailed explanation by Zhu Weiqun of the reasons for Beijing’s comprehensive rejection of the Tibetan proposal was to avert any international criticism. More importantly, the press conference was held and widely publicized for domestic reasons. The anti-splittist rhetoric China constantly spews out has become a potent tool for the Chinese Communist Party to remain in power in the ongoing, sometimes loud, sometimes silent, three-way discourse between the ordinary people and “the vested interests on which it (CCP) depends for its power”(1) on the nature of the political arrangement for future China. The ordinary people are all those out in the streets every day, crying out for justice on one issue or the other whenever their interests have been trampled on. The vested interests are that vast interlocking network consisting of the bureaucracy and the business community and the patronage system that exists between the two and the patronage system that exists within officialdom and the market. This system has been manipulated by the vested interests to their enormous personal enrichment. Minxin Pei, the author of China’s Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy, calls this a “predatory state.” This is the system the CCP supervises and is dependent on for its legitimacy.

Zhu Weiqun’s press conference and China’s comprehensive rejection of the Tibetan proposal and its comprehensive mis-interpretation, so publicly, of the ideas in the proposal is mainly addressed to these two constituencies on which the regime draws its legitimacy and on which its power rests. The spectre of the so-called “ethnic cleansing” and the old Tibetan proposal for a zone of peace are repeated and highlighted because the regime wants to deflect swelling public anger against official corruption away from officialdom to be focused on “splittists” and “splittist ideas.” The press conference also re-assured the vested interests that their vast interests in Tibet are protected and the status quo will be maintained.

Otherwise, there is no earthly reason why the Tibetans’ main request be mis-interpreted as those of “ethnic cleansing” and PLA withdrawal from Tibetan areas. The main Tibetan request in the latest proposal is that Beijing must carry out and implement the rights given to the minorities as they are enshrined in the constitution of the People’s Republic of China. Tibet as a zone of peace and PLA withdrawal from Tibetan areas are old Tibetan suggestions made more than 20 years ago, nearly as old as the economic reforms that have transformed China. Why are the Chinese leaders citing old Tibetan proposals and ideas to reject the latest proposal? This is like insisting that China today is not a market-oriented society because the founder father of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong, vowed to make China a socialist society based on a command economy. The inescapable suspicion is that the Chinese leadership is not serious about the talks. Or that Mao was not a true communist because his mother happened to be a devout Buddhist. Otherwise, if there is the will and resolve to solve the issue of Tibet based on the latest Tibetan proposal, this matter can be tackled within minutes. The latest Tibetan proposal is formulated within the Chinese constitution, not without. The constitution gives the right to the sovereign authority to place its armed forces where it wants. This is something China promptly proceeded to do when Hong Kong returned to the motherland’s lap in 1997.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s idea that in future Tibet be transformed into a zone of peace and a sanctuary of environmental protection is his vision for his people and the plateau that has nourished the Tibetans for these thousands of years. This is not a pre-condition for any talks.

To label the Tibetan request that China’s population transfer onto the plateau and the reversal of this process as “ethnic cleansing” is playing to the international gallery and the deep revulsion this provokes around the world. It is also a dishonest description of the Tibetan people’s deep concern. China’s describes itself not as a nation state but as a multi-ethnic state. In a multi-ethnic state, the minorities have every right to protect and promote their culture. One way of doing this is to establish rules and regulations that ensure that Tibetans remain the majority in the areas they inhabit.

Such rules and regulations are established for Hong Kong to prevent the former British colony from being swamped by people from the Mainland. Article 22 (4) of the Basic Law of the Kong Kong Special Administrative Region states, For entry into Kong Hong Special Administrative Region, people from other parts of China must apply for approval. Among them, the number of persons who enter the Region for the purpose of settlement shall be determined by the competent authorities of the Central People’s Government after consulting the government of the Region.”

The Basic Law has specific rules and regulations on migrating and settling in Hong Kong, official, business and private visits. The Basic Law provides on a daily basis 150 One-way Permits (OWPs) for people who wish to go on a family reunification trips. 60 quotas are issue to children holding Certificate of Entitlement (CoEs) who enjoy the right of abode in Hong Kong, 30 to spouses separated for 10 years or more and their accompanying children, and 60 to applicants belonging to other categories. Included in other categories are spouses separated for less then 10 years and their accompanying children, unsupported children who need to join their relatives in Hong Kong, persons going to Hong Kong to take care of their aged parents and so forth.

These rules to regulate the flow of population from the Mainland to Hong Kong have helped preserve Hong Kong’s prosperity and its distinct identity. The same rules can be applied to Tibet. There are more than 30 autonomous regions in the world.

In the great majority of autonomous arrangements, the state controls customs, borders and immigration of foreign citizens. These powers, though, can be exercised jointly or can be divided between the state and the autonomous government. Special attention must be paid to internal immigration and to residency requirements because immigration can have a profound impact on culture and can lead to cultural destruction, especially when citizens of the larger state immigrate into the autonomous territory.

The Holy See and the Federated States of Micronesia are exceptions as they have full control over customs, borders and all aspects of immigrations. While Canada has power over borders and customs on Inuit land, the Inuit may exclude non- Inuits, Canadians and foreigners from entering their territory. Canadian military exercises on Inuit land require Inuit agreement. Further, the Inuit have exclusive jurisdiction over deciding who is Inuit. Similarly, the Navajo Nation controls entry into its territory as well as who may reside there.

In some situations, these powers are divided between the state and the people. For example, in Palestine, Israel and Palestine jointly control the borders. The Hong Kong government administers and controls customs and immigration, subject to the ultimate jurisdiction of the PRC, while the PRC administers and controls these matters in the TAR.(2)

This arrangement to control population flow is not “ethnic cleansing.” If this arrangement to control, regulate and supervise in-migration of the majority population into minority regions is not put in place, the result will be the ethnic annihilation of the minority nationality like the Manchus.

The tragic cases of the Manchus, the Mongols in Inner Mongolia and the Uighurs spell the same danger for the Tibetan people. The present-day north-eastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning constitute Manchuria, the traditional homeland of the Manchus, who were China’s last imperial rulers. Now, because of mass Chinese migration, the Manchus are an irrelevant and forgotten minority in what was once Manchuria. According to China’s 2000 census, Chinese in Heilongjiang make up 95% of the population. The Manchus are only 3%. In Jilin, Chinese constitute 91% of the province’s population. The Manchus are only 4%. In Liaoning, Chinese are 84% of the population and Manchus 13%. China’s demographic bulldozing over the years of the Manchu ethnicity and culture has resulted in the fact that, according to a Xinhua report of 9 March 2007, there are less than 100 elderly Manchus who could speak the Manchu language.

The same, tragic fate awaits the people of Inner Mongolia and Eastern Turkestan or Xinjiang.

Chinese experts concluded that the natural resource of Southern Mongolia is good for only five million people to live on. However, there is currently a population of 30 million inhabiting there. When the Communist Chinese rule was established in 1947, majority of the population in most of Southern Mongolia's leagues were Mongolian and many leagues were populated with only Mongols. To take Sunit Right Banner of Shiliin Gol Aimag as an example, there were only two Chinese in the whole league in 1947, while in 1984, of the total population of 70,000, Mongolian population became less than even one third. There existed some control over the migration of Chinese population into Southern Mongolia between 1950 and 1960 but still five million strong Chinese were transferred into the region. However, after this period no control imposed at all and Chinese migrants moved into the region as they pleased. With China's reform of 1980s and the transition to market economy in the 1990s, with more Chinese investment coming into the region, Chinese migration into Mongolia became an issue that is not considered an "issue" Thus the Chinese migrants moved into Southern Mongolian like locust, causing the current ration between the Chinese and Mongolian population of 30 million against four million. From this ratio it is not hard to predict the future trend of population development of the region.(3)

The autonomous Xinjiang region currently has a population o 21 million, of which approximately nine million are Muslim Uighurs and eight million are Hans. There are also 45 other ethnic groups, but their numbers are comparatively small.

In 1949, Hans accounted for less than seven percent of Xinjiang's population - compared to almost 40 percent today. The Han population is concentrated in urban centres such as Urumqi, Shihezi and Karamay, where living standards are generally much higher than in the countryside.

Xinjiang is in fact a large, sparsely population area that has been a site of heavy army and police concentrations since 1949, and is used as a base for nuclear testing, military training, and prison labor facilities. The population of 18 million includes several Turkic-speaking Muslim ethnic groups, of which the Uyghurs, numbering eight million, are the largest. The percentage of ethnic Han Chinese in Xinjiang has grown as a result of government policies form six percent in 1949 to 40 percent at present, and now numbers some 7.5 million people.(4)

Tibetans are concerned about what has happened to the Manchus and is happening in Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang. The Tibetan demand that China’s ongoing population transfer of Chinese settlers to Tibet be stopped and reversed grows out of the fear that the Tibetans will be reduced to a dwindling minority in their own homeland and their culture made irrelevant and seen only in museums. Tibetan fears about being swamped by Chinese settlers grow out of China’s demographic attrition of Tibet, especially after the People’s Republic of China’s takeover of Tibet. Tibet Under Communist China: 50 Years explains.

Beijing’s policy of Sinicising Tibet by transplanting a Chinese majority onto the plateau has been consistent since the early period of the Communist takeover. Beijing encourages Chinese settlers to migrate to western regions—including Tibet—by offering discriminatory incentives, such as preferential schooling and business opportunities and a more lenient childbearing policy in view of “the sparse population of those regions”.

Mao Zedong gave the first public indication of Beijing’s population transfer policy in 1952 when he propos­ed a five-fold population increase in the western half of Tibet, later named the “Tibet Autonomous Region”.1 Mao pronounced, “Tibet covers a large area but is thinly populated. Its population should be increased from the present two or three million to five or six million, and then to over ten million.”

In 1955 Chinese President Liu Shao-chi told the late Panchen Lama that Tibet was a big unoccupied country and China had a big population which could be settled there.

Five years later, in 1960, Premier Zhou Enlai explained, “The Chinese are greater in number and more developed in economy and culture but in the regions they inhabit there is not much arable land left and underground resources are not as abundant as in the regions inhabited by fra­ternal natio­na­lities.” In that same year, an internal Chinese document advised that “Tibet’s population of 1.2 million” should be increased to three million and should include settlers from China.

In February 1985 the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi announced its government’s intention to “change both the ecological imbalance and the population lack” not just in Tibet but also in other “sparsely populated outlying regions”. Chinese “migration should be welcomed by the local population, and should result in a population increase of 60 million over the next 30 years in those regions”. The announcement went on to say, “This is a very conservative estimate. As a matter of fact, the increase might swell to a hundred million in less than 30 years.”

Two years later, in June 1987, Deng Xiaoping admitted that Chinese were being encouraged to move to Tibet because, as he put it to Jimmy Carter, the local population “needs Han immigrants as the (Autonomous) Region’s population of about two million is inadequate to develop its resources”.

Then, on May 12, 1993, Beijing’s high-level secret meeting—code-named 512 and held in Sichuan Province—envisaged that the further flooding of Tibet with Chinese nationals would offer the final solution to the Tibetan problem. This “solution” is aimed at making it demographically “impossible for Tibetans to rise as in the case of Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang (East Turkestan).

Before 1959 the government of independent Tibet estimated the total population of Tibet—which includes Kham, Amdo and U-Tsang—at six million. In 1959, the Chinese Government indicated that the population of Tibet was over six million—nearly 1.3 million inside the “TAR” and nearly five million in Tibetan areas outside the “TAR”. Again, in 1988, Beijing Review stated that of the total Tibetan population of six million, two million were living in the “TAR” and four million in the Tibetan regions outside the “TAR”.

However, data compiled from Chinese publications issued between 1990 and 1995 put the Tibetan population across the plateau at only 4,906,500. These are rather confusing statistics. It is fair to assume that the death of 1.2 million Tibetans and escape of over 100,000 must have resulted in the decrease of one million between 1959 and the 1990s. But such a steep decline between 1988 and the 1990s is hard to account for.

In addition, it has not been possible to get reliable data regarding the number of Chinese settlers in Tibet. Many Tibet-watchers believe that Beijing understates the size of the Chinese population on the plateau due to its increasing sensitivity to international criticism. Independent research carried out in the early 1980s showed over seven million Chinese settlers in Tibet. Since then, there has been a very visible increase in the number of Chinese economic migrants. However, official Chinese publications issued between 1990 and 1995 show only 5,280,500 non-Tibetans (Chinese and other minorities) in Tibet.

According to these statistics, the total population of Tibet is 10,102,000, out of which Tibetans constitute 4,821,500 (48 percent). In the “TAR”, official Chinese publications of 1995 show a miniscule Chinese presence. The publications show Tibetans constituting 2,275,000 (96.4 percent) out of the total population of 2,360,000.12 The largely barren and inhospitable terrain of the “TAR” explains why the proportion of Chinese settled in this region is substantially lower than in other parts of Tibet. Nevertheless, resident Tibetans and foreign visitors to the “TAR” maintain that the true number of Chinese population is many times more than the official claim. The Alliance for Research in Tibet states: “Given significant populations of Chinese in all TAR prefectural capitals and most county seats, a pattern identical to that observed outside the TAR, the true proportion of Chinese in the TAR is more likely to be nearer that of other autonomous Tibetan areas.”

The Chinese population transfer to the “TAR” was carried out in earnest in the 1980s when Beijing launched the campaign to “Help Tibet Prosper”. In May 1984 Radio Beijing reported that, “Over 60,000 workers, representing the vanguard groups to help in the construction work in the TAR, are arriving in Tibet daily [number of days not specified] and have started their preliminary work. They will be helping in the electricity department, schools, hotels, cultural institutions and construction of mills and factories.” Another 60,000 Chinese “workers”—mainly from Sichuan Province—arrived in the “Tibet Autonomous Region” in the summer of 1985.16 By 1985 there were 50,000 to 60,000 Chinese civilian residents in Lhasa alone; and within three years this figure doubled.

The influx of Chinese settlers into the region accelerated further in the early 1990s due to Deng Xiaoping’s personal encouragement of the movement of larger numbers of Chinese “comrades” into Tibet to “impart scientific and technological know-how and share their scientific expertise”. In January 1991, Beijing Review reported that about 300,000 workers were prepared to join new construction projects in the “TAR”. In Lhoka alone about 28,000 Chinese settlers arrived between 1987 and 1992; some 27,000 arrived in Nagchu between 1989 and 1992; and 43,860 in Ngari between 1986 and 1992.

During this boom period, Lhasa was described by resident Chinese entrepreneurs as the “Land of Gold”, and few were inclined to leave. In one telling example, a Chinese official—having met with surprising success in an informal business venture—was prompted to send his wife back to China to sound out his friends and relatives. She returned with 30 of her enterprising compatriots. Around the same time, Mao Rubai, Vice-Chairman of the “TAR” government, was quoted as saying that there were one million Chinese settlers (excluding military personnel) in the region.

But it is the fertile borderland Tibetan territories outside the “TAR” which have the highest concentration of Chinese migrants. These territories include the whole of Amdo and a substantial portion of Kham. Official Chinese statistics published between 1990 and 1995 show the total population of these regions as 7,742,000, of which Tibetans constitute 2,546,500 (32.89 percent). The publications show the break-up of population in these regions as follows:

Qinghai (Amdo) Province, total population 4,749,000, Tibetans 972,600 (20.48 percent). Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Kanlho and Tibetan Autonomous County of Parig in Gansu Province, total population 837,000, Tibetans 357,700 (42.74 percent). Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Karze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Mili Tibetan Autonomous County in Sichuan Province, total population 1,820,000, Tibetans 1,105,000 (60.71 percent). Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Yunan Province, total population 336,000, Tibetans 111,200 (33.10 percent).

Chinese settlement in these non-“TAR” Tibetan regions followed close on the heels of the invading PLA troops in 1949. Soon after Beijing’s military incursion, a contingent of civilians—administrators, staff and their families—arrived in these areas, paving the way for more civilians to establish themselves in larger towns. During three mass migrations—in 1955, 1959 and 1965—about 175,000 Chinese entered Amdo.

Apart from these conspicuous migrations, between 1962 and 1976 Beijing sent such a large numbers of prisoners to Amdo that the area acquired the sobriquet “China’s Gulag”. According to the human rights activist, Harry Wu, over one million prisoners were shipped to Amdo’s labour camps and jails which served as “human storehouses for victims of successive Chinese purges”. Most of the prisoners were not permitted to return to China on release. Instead, they were given employment in 26 prison-run factories in Amdo. Although the total number of employees in these factories is not known, some of them have a labour force numbering up to 100,000 each.

In the Kham area outside the “TAR”, the influx of Chinese escalated from 1962 onwards when thousands upon thousands of migrants from neighbouring Chinese provinces were sent there as “builders, workers, and technicians”, particularly to work clear-felling the region’s ancient forests in the state lumbering industries. Beijing claims that the migrants are needed to help develop Tibet’s economy. Tibetans, on the other hand, see no obvious benefits from their presence; they consider the mass migration of Chinese a drain on the economy and insidious attempt to Sinicise their country. In this context, the late Panchen Lama stated that, “The expense of keeping one Chinese in Tibet is equal to that of four in China. Why should Tibet spend its money to feed them? ... Tibet has suffered greatly because of the policy of sending a large number of useless people. The Chinese population in Tibet started with a few thousand and today it has multiplied manifold.”

During Beijing’s Third Forum on Work in Tibet, decisions were made to accelerate the integration of Tibet into China’s economic needs. The major thrust of the strategy was “to open Tibet’s door wide to inner parts of the country and encourage traders, investment, economic units and individuals from China to Central Tibet to run different sorts of enterprises.”

In recent years Beijing has conceived massive projects to help the migration of the poor or displaced Chinese population to Tibet. One of them is the Western Poverty Reduction Project. A component of this project is to develop agriculture in the Dulan area of Amdo and relocate 58,000 Chinese settlers there. In the year 2000 the World Bank withdrew its US$40 million loan to this project in the face of protests from Tibetans and their international supporters. However, China is adamant to go ahead with the project using its own finances.

The transfer of Chinese settlers into Tibet has had devastating economic effects on Tibetans. Settlers threaten the livelihood of Tibetans; they are central to the government’s policy of integrating Tibet into the Chinese economy. Over the years, the settlers have come to dominate the Tibetan economy; they own virtually all the businesses in Tibet. In 1992 a western tourist conducted a covert survey in Tibet. He observed that there were 12,227 shops and restaurants in Lhasa city (excluding the Barkhor), of which only 300 were owned by Tibetans. In Tsawa Pasho, southern Kham, the Chinese owned 133 business enterprises whereas the Tibetans owned only fifteen. The ownership ratio was similar in other Tibetan towns: 748 to 92 in Chamdo, 229 to three in Powo Tramo. The situation is far worse in the urban centres of Amdo, where, according to one British journalist, Tibetans are reduced to “tourist curios”.

Population transfer has also greatly impacted the kind of development that takes place in Tibet. Beijing’s subsidies, and much of the infrastructure in place, are directed towards maintaining a distinct, controlling Chinese community in Tibet. This can be seen to be mainly urban, administrative, mercantile or military, and segregated from the bulk of Tibetan communities.(5)

It is against this background of the recent history of Chinese settlement in Tibet that the Tibetans continue to demand that the current Chinese population transfer be stopped and reversed. Our demands accord with the rights given to the minority nationalities as enshrined in the constitution of the People’s Republic of China.

Article 4 of the constitution of the People's Republic of China states that "regional autonomy is practised in areas where people of minority nationalities live in concentrated communities; in these areas organs of self-government are established to exercise the power of autonomy...all nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages and to preserve or reform their own folkways and custom." This article ensures that Tibetan people's distinct identity based on language, religion and culture will be preserved. But the continuing influx of the Chinese people on to the Tibetan areas threatens the very existence and identity of the Tibetan people. Therefore, such population transfer should be halted so that the aims and objectives of the article 4 of the Chinese constitution can be achieved.

As for the status of those Chinese who are already in the Tibetan areas, the two sides must decide on this issue through the adoption of just laws. We do not expect these Chinese to be withdrawn immediately from the Tibetan areas. We are aware of the present ground realities and the complications involved in such a withdrawal. However, we are against the presence of large number of Chinese population in the Tibetan areas not because we want to split from China, but to preserve the distinct identity of the Tibetan people.(6)

Instead of letting out shrill cries that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is advocating the de-militarisation of Tibet and plotting plans for the ‘ethnic cleansing” of Tibet, the Chinese authorities must come up with an effective medicine for China’s Tibet headache. One medicine stares Beijing in the face. Christian Le Miere, the editor of Jane’s Intelligence Review, writing for Foreign Affairs, explains.

The Chinese Communist leadership aims to stifle any future dissent in the western regions through a dual strategy of economic development and demographic inundation. It is unlikely, however, that Beijing will be able to subjugate six million Tibetans and eight million Uighurs with just cash and karaoke. Higher incomes and modern lifestyles are seen as scant compensation for the perceived loss of more than a millennium of cultural and religious heritage.

If Beijing hopes to find a longer-term solution to its western problem, it will need to implement a far more radical policy. The best approach may already exist: China could expand the category of Special Administrative Regions (SARs), which now exist in Hong Kong and Macau, to the country's western provinces.

The concept of SARs was created in the 1990s, in an attempt to appease the United Kingdom and Portugal, the two imperial powers that previously ran Hong Kong and Macau, respectively. According to the laws establishing the SARs, the territories are afforded "a high degree of autonomy" and "executive, legislative, and independent judicial power."

In addition, the SAR arrangement requires security forces to be comprised of local citizens, while residents inside SARs are granted protections covering freedom of speech, press, assembly, privacy, and, perhaps most significant if such a program were to be adopted in Tibet, religion. The checks and balances built into the SARs' governance allows for the guarantee of these rights far more effectively than under the Chinese constitution, which nominally provides similar freedoms.

For China's western regions, the most appealing bylaw of the SARs would be Article 22, which requires Chinese citizens from outside the SARs to apply for approval from local authorities for entry.(7)


Footnotes

(1) Will China Implode? By Isabel Hilton in The Daily Beast, 1 August 2009

(2) Autonomy and the Tibetan Perspective, published by the Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Centre, New Delhi, 2005, p. 20-21

(3) A Road to Extinction: Statement of Inner Mongolia People’s Party, 8 August 2007

(4) www.uyghuramerican.org

(5) Tibet Under Communist China: 50 Years, published by the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration, Dharamsala, in 2001 and reprinted in 2006, p. 45 - 49

(6) Briefing paper by the Kashag for the Offices of Tibet on the Sino-Tibetan Dialogue Process, issued by the Department of Information and International Relations, CTA, Dharamsala, 23 August 2006, p. 4

(7) China’s Western Front: Can Beijing Bring Order to Its Restive Provinces by Christian Le Miere in Foreign Affairs, September-October 2009

  


  

The Statement of the Kashag on the Forty-Ninth Anniversary of the Tibetan Democracy Day

Today marks the forty-ninth anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's outstanding efforts to transform the nature of Tibetan polity into a genuine democracy. On this auspicious occasion, the Kashag — as a way of expressing its immense gratitude to His Holiness for his gift of democracy to us Tibetans — makes obeisance to him. The Kashag also extends its affectionate greetings to the Tibetans inside and outside Tibet; to the governments, parliaments, peoples and the Tibet support groups who are supportive of Tibet and the Tibetans; as well as to all the peace-loving people cross the globe.

During the past 49 years, a great change — political, economic and social — has taken place across the world, including in Tibet and China. Tibetan democracy has also kept pace with this global trend for change and progressed over the years. The highest organ of Tibetan democracy, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPiE), has been elected 14 times and the political leadership or the Kalon Tripa twice by the general Tibetan populace thus far. Hence, going by the conditions as set forth in the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile, our democracy has today become complete both institutionally and system wise. Moreover, the fact that the Tibetan people at the grassroots level are now able to effectively participate in all processes of democracy, including the periodical elections, has become something that the peoples and communities across the world covet. Particularly, during the preliminary opinion poll that was conducted in 1996 as well as during the last year's special meeting convened under Article 59 of the charter, Tibetans at the grassroots level freely exercised their individual freedoms to correctly determine — without being swayed by hearsay — the short- and long-term aspirations of the Tibetan people as a whole. This — being a clear indication of the maturity of democratic culture among the Tibetan people — has not only gone a long way in fulfilling the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama but it also serves as a source of great encouragement for those of us in the leadership. The Kashag would like to, therefore, express its sincere appreciation to all of the Tibetan people for this.

In order for us to attain greater heights towards true democracy, these conditions are indispensable: education of the people; intellectual freedom; awareness of and understanding/tolerance among the various viewpoints, positions and ideologies; wisdom to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong by eschewing narrow parochialism, etc. Not only is it important that these conditions be improved further but it is also all the more important indeed to be able to choose institution over individuals and duties over rights by judiciously applying the Buddhist concept of the Four Reliances.

In today’s time, the rate at which the political, economical and societal changes taking place globally as well as in Tibet and China, it is difficult to predict the future about anything. Therefore, all the Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet must tread cautiously so that we do not make mistakes and lose opportunities.

Last year, the Tibetan people inside Tibet, even at the great risk to their lives and properties, took out a peaceful protest and as a consequence, a large number of Tibetan people had to undergo extreme torture and loss of property. No doubt their sacrifices will not go in vain and will contribute greatly to the realisation of the cause of Tibet. The Kashag would like to appeal to all the Tibetans that it is important for us now to see to it that we do not put the lives of common people in danger and also make every possible effort not to create any differences and animosity between the Chinese and Tibetan nationals.

Under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan people in exile everywhere are not only trying to improve understanding with the Chinese people but we also express sympathy and support to people affected by natural calamities wherever it may be. This is in accordance with the tenets of the Buddha’s teaching as well as the very nature of the Tibetan people. Last year, when earthquake hit China’s Sichuan province, the Tibetan people in exile did everything they could in terms of offering prayers and contributing to the relief efforts. Moreover, His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his strong desire to visit the affected areas to console and offer prayers but he could not visit due to the political situation. Recently, when a typhoon hit Taiwan, His Holiness the Dalai Lama immediately sent condolence message and offered prayers for the victims and their families. Following the request made by the people of Taiwan, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is now there, visiting the affected areas and providing spiritual comfort to the people living in these areas. The spiritual service he is conducting in Taiwan is not only aimed at the wellbeing of all sentient beings but also at the improvement of relations between the Chinese and Tibetan peoples.

A time has, now, come for the third generation young Tibetans in exile, who are equipped with both traditional and modern education, to be able to take up political responsibilities. The Kashag believes that they will be more responsible than ever before in the political and administrative affairs of our society.

Finally, the Kashag prays for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the spontaneous fulfilment of all his wishes. May the Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet be reunited to enjoy the fruits of democratic freedom!

The Kashag

2 September 2009


N.B. This is the English translation of the Tibetan original. If there are any discrepancies, please consider the Tibetan final and authoritative.

  


  

Interview: H. H. the Dalai Lama in Swiss TV's 'Club

Sprache: English / Untertitel: Deutsch
Language: English / Subtitle: German

 


 

 

Message by H. H. the Dalai Lama regarding
Aung San Suu Kyi

MESSAGE

I am deeply saddened by the extended detention of Aung San Suu Kyi to a further period of house arrest.

As a fellow Buddhist, I would like to once again appeal to the Burmese authorities to show magnanimity and understanding by releasing her. Doing so will not only contribute towards reconciliation but also will be a goodwill gesture.

The Dalai Lama

August 12, 2009

 


 

Geneva, August 8, 2009

Final Document of the 2009 Sino-Tibetan Conference ‘Finding Common Ground’ in Geneva

A Sino-Tibetan conference ‘Finding Common Ground’ was held in Geneva from 6−8 August 2009 attended by Chinese and Tibetan scholars, educators, writers and human rights advocates. The aims of the conference are to inform the Chinese people and the international community that Tibetan culture and way of life are gravely endangered and that the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people are seriously being violated by the Chinese regime. In addition, the conference aims to outline effective measures to support the Tibetan people in their struggle to regain their freedom and to sustain and promote its unique culture. In this way, the conference will also respond to the heartfelt remarks made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in His opening address.

[ read more ]

 


 

Interview Deutsche Welle | 03.08.2009

"Ich bin kein Separatist"

Während seines Deutschland-Besuchs sprach der Dalai Lama mit der Deutschen Welle über das Verhältnis zur chinesischen Regierung und seine Hoffnung auf einen stärkeren Dialog.

[ Interview, Audio und Video ]

 


 

Reports, Pictures & Videos

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to Germany and Switzerland 2009

From July 29 - August 7, 2009, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has visited Germany and Switzerland for five days each.  In Frankfurt, His Holiness has given Buddhist teachings and attended a symposium on global ethics at the invitation of three organisations based in Germany, Tibethaus Deutschland e.V., Deutsche Buddhistische Union e.V. and Pagoda Phat Hue, a Vietnamese Buddhist community.

[ read more ]

 


 

Statement of H. H. the Dalai Lama

I am deeply saddened and concerned with the worsening situation in East Turkestan (Xinjiang), especially with the tragic loss of lives.

I earnestly urge the Chinese authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with the situation in a spirit of understanding and far-sightedness.

I offer my prayers for those who lost their lives, their families and others affected by this sad turn of events.

THE DALAI LAMA
July 8, 2009

 

Déclaration de Sa Sainteté le Dalaï Lama

Je suis profondément attristé et préoccupé par la situation aggravante du Turkestan oriental ( Xinjiang ), tout particulièrement par la perte tragique de nombreuses vies humaines.

J'appelle les autorités chinoises à exercer leur retenue et à gérer la situation dans un esprit de compréhension et avec une vision à long terme.

J'offre mes prières à tous ceux qui ont perdu leur vie, leur famille, ainsi qu'à tous ceux qui sont affectés par cette triste situation.

Le Dalaï Lama
Le 8 juillet 2009

 


 

Interview Dalai Lama / WELT online

"Gier macht Unternehmen krank"

20. Juni 2009, 13:41 Uhr

Er sagt, er sei ein marxistischer Mönch. Dennoch sieht der Dalai Lama zu Marktwirtschaft und Globalisierung keine Alternative. Reichtum sei nichts Schlechtes. Es komme nur darauf an, wie wir ihn verwenden. Jörg Eigendorf traf das Oberhaupt der Tibeter – und sprach mit ihm auch über Faulheit und Wutausbrüche.   [ mehr ]

 


 

Interview Dalai Lama / manager-magazin.de

"Gier, Spekulation und Intransparenz haben die Krise verursacht"

Von Andreas Nölting, 25. Juni 2009

Das geistliche Oberhaupt des tibetischen Volkes, der Dalai Lama, hat sich erstmals in einem deutschen Medium zu den Ursachen der weltweiten Wirtschaftskrise geäußert. Er fordert neue Werte für die Ökonomie und hofft, dass sich die Marktwirtschaft ändert und mehr globale Verantwortung übernimmt.  [ mehr ]


Tibet at UN

Rights groups highlight human rights situation in Tibet at UNHRC

Wednesday, 17 June 2009, 5:06 p.m.

Geneva: Leading human rights groups and Tibetan representatives attending the 11th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 11 June in Geneva raised a series of issues concerning Tibet prior to the Council's adoption of the Universal Periodic Review process on China.

China had rejected 50 recommendations made by the Council, which includes denying access to Tibetan areas for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other United Nations bodies, diplomats and the international media.

[ read more ]


Tibetan NGOs inform UN about appalling human rights situation in Tibet

Friday, 12 June 2009, 3:19 p.m.

Geneva/Dharamshala: Two Tibetan non governmental organisations have expressed their concern over the deprivation of rights to the Tibetan children to study their history and cultural heritage, and China's policy of repression and indoctrinating Tibetans living inside Tibet to denounce His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan delegates raised the issues of human rights violations in Tibet during the second week of 11th session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, 8 June.

[ read more ]


UN hears cases of human rights abuses in Tibet

Thursday, 4 June 2009, 2:43 p.m.

Geneva: The issues of human rights violations in Tibet were raised at the 11th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council on human rights violations taking place around the world.

During the three-week session which has begun 2 June in Geneva, several UN Special mandates holders will present their reports, including cases of rights violations submitted by victims in their respective countries.

[ read more ]


His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Statement
on the 20th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Students' Democracy Movement

On occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square students' democracy movement, along with others who take an interest in Chinese affairs, I respectfully honour those who died expressing the popular demand for the government to be more accountable to its people.

The students involved in the Tiananmen Square movement were neither anti-communist nor anti-socialist. Their speaking out in defence of the Chinese people's constitutional rights, in favour of democracy, and taking a stand against corruption, truly conformed to the underlying beliefs of the Chinese Communist government. This was confidently stated by the then party chief Zhao Ziyang. Therefore, the forthcoming 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China presents a great opportunity to review the events of June 4, 1989.

Great changes have taken place in the People's Republic of China since 1989. Today, it is a global economic power poised to become a superpower. It is my hope that the Chinese leaders have the courage and far-sightedness to embrace more truly egalitarian principles and pursue a policy of greater accommodation and tolerance of diverse views. A policy of openness and realism can lead to greater trust and harmony within China and enhance its international standing as a truly great nation.

THE DALAI LAMA
June 4, 2009


CHINA'S BRUTALITY IN TIBET EXPOSED

  Video Footage (contains scenes of violence, gruesom pictures!!)

Though there are many footages of the protests taking place throughout Tibet last year that were splashed across the world, the following are one of the rare footages of police beating of protestors, the suffering and death of a captive, and Para-military presence in Lhasa, which managed to make its way to the outside world.  [ read more ]


Spanish judge requests to interrogate Chinese ministers over Tibet

Europe News  /  May 5, 2009, 13:10 GMT

Madrid - Spanish judge Santiago Pedraz announced Tuesday he had requested to interrogate eight Chinese political and military leaders, including three ministers, about possible crimes against humanity in Tibet.

The suspects named by Pedraz include Chinese Defence Minister Lian Guanglie, State Security Minister Geng Huichang and Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu.

The others are Chinese Communist Party Secretary for Tibet Zhang Qingli, Politbureau member Wang Lequan, Ethnic Affairs Commission leader Li Dezhu, Lhasa Popular Liberation Army commander Tong Guishan and Chengdu military commando political commissioner Zhan Guihua.

Pedraz earlier accepted to investigate a complaint lodged by several Tibet support groups, which accused China of a 'generalized and systematic attack' against the Tibetan population following riots in March 2008.

The repression led to the deaths of about 200 people and to the disappearances of nearly 6,000, while 1,000 people were seriously injured, according to the complaint.

The Tibet population was persecuted for 'motives which have been universally recognized as unacceptable,' the judge said in a document after hearing witnesses.

Pedraz said he could interrogate the suspects at his National Court in Spain, or before a Chinese court.

Another National Court judge is currently investigating an alleged genocide in Tibet in the 1980s and 90s.

Spain's National Court has investigated a string of alleged human rights crimes in other countries, arguing that they fall under universal jurisdiction.

Read more:
"Spanish judge requests to interrogate Chinese ministers over Tibet - Monsters and Critics" -


UN Racism Conference

Geneva, 24 April 2009: The UN Durban Review Conference was held from 20 – 24 April in Geneva to review progress and assess implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Actions (DDPA).

In 2001, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy and International Campaign for Tibet had attended the third world conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa. However, due to procedural manoeuvred played by China particularly on TCHRD's accreditation, the third Prepcom decided not to take action on applications of certain NGOS. This decision automatically results expulsion of TCHRD as EU stated that it was a “de facto expulsion” from the conference.

Despite the absence of the leading Tibetan independent human rights watchdog in exile, issues of racism and discrimination that Tibetans have been confronting under China's occupation of Tibet since 1959 were raised by several ECOSOC status NGOs in the final day of the conference.

Mr. Tenzin Samphel KAYTA on behalf of Society for Threatened Peoples said “since the third Durban World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa in 2001, one encouraging development is that a growing number of Chinese and Tibetans are reaching out to each other, including by establishing associations. An increasing number of Chinese nationals are showing deep interest into Tibetan Buddhism and appreciate the cultural heritage of the Tibetan people.

He said “as we all know incitement is one of the greatest sources of racism and racial discrimination, especially when the State involved. In March 2008 when massive protests erupted on the Tibetan Plateau, the Chinese Government quickly in a very derogatory manner defamed that the Dalai Lama “is a wolf in monk’s robes, a devil with a human face but the heart of a beast.”

Mr. Kayta called on the UN Human Rights Council to analyse on how it can promote intercultural and interreligious dialogues when the Tibetan people are forced to denounce their spiritual leaders through campaigns like the “patriotic re-education” and the “Anti-Dalai Lama” launched by the Chinese authorities.

Ngawang C. Drakmargyapon representing the Asian Indigenous & Tribal Peoples Network and Movement Contre le Racisme et Pour l'amitié entre les Peuples said “The decision pertaining to the TCHRD has no legal or moral basis.” Among other issues he said “it must be recorded that a procedural tool was used to deny participation of an NGO which denotes the name of a community “Tibetan”. He asked “Is it not identification and discrimination based on “ethnic origin?”. He further warned that “international community must not allow repeat such action in future which cannot legally and morally be justified.”

Dekyi Dolkar on behalf of International Campaign for Tibet said “for Tibetans in present-day China, the intensification of repression from the State in response to widespread popular protests since march 2008 has led some Tibetans to liken this period to the excesses of the Cultural Revolution. They are witnessing a deliberate and concerted effort of incitement by the Chinese authorities to portray Tibetans as suspicious, ungrateful, violent and anti-Chinese or even “terrorist”, a situation which they argue entrenches mutual distrusts, drives the two communities further apart and of course, makes a sustainable solution to the Sino-Tibetan problem all the more elusive. She calls on international community not to forget tragedy of millions of Tibetans suffered and continue to suffer under oppressive occupation and hard-line policies of the Chinese government.

The Chinese delegates interrupted several times when the above three speakers read their statement.

On the last day of the conference, a group of 15 members from Gu-Chu-Sum Association currently touring Switzerland performed a 20 minutes play at the “Geneva Book Fair”. The fair attracts almost 125'000 visitors. The political play highlights the torture suffered by Tibetan prisoner while in Chinese prisons in Tibet. And the discrimination ex-political prisoners faced after their release from prison.

Gu-Chu-Sum Association made up of former political prisoner were invited to Switzerland by Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.


For immediate release: 22 April 2009

CTA Condemns Tibet Sentences

“The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is deeply concerned that one Tibetan girl has been sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve and two other girls have been given long-term imprisonment,” Kalon Kesang Yangkyi Takla, Kalon for the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration, said Wednesday. “We strongly condemn the harsh sentences arbitrarily meted out to the three girls without truely conducting an open and fair trial,” Kalon Kesang Y Takla said.

Penkyi, twenty-year-old of Norbu village, Dogra township in Sakya County, has been sentenced to death for her alleged role in the last year's peaceful protests in Lhasa by the Lhasa Intermediate People's Court. Two other girls, Penkyi, aged 23, of Thantoe village, Margkyang township in Nyemo County has been sentenced to life imprisonment and 20-year-old Chime Lhamo, of Sholtoe village, Namling township in Shigatse Namling County, has been sentenced to jail for 10 years.

The recent verdict is totally against the claims of “China's tremendous achievements in the promotion and protection of human rights” during the UN Human Rights Council's periodic review of China's human rights record. The head of the Chinese delegation to the UN, Mr Li Baodong, said since the founding of New China in 1949, “ a fundamental social and political system for the promotion and protection of human rights has been established.” Moreover, China's first national human rights action plan stipulates that “every precaution shall be taken in meting out a death sentence and judicial procedures for death sentences will be stringently implemented”.

We are deeply concerned that despite these pledges, in addition to three Tibetans who were given death sentences on 8 April, another Tibetan has been given death penalty, Kalon Kesang Y Takla said.

The Central Tibetan Administration once again appeals to the Chinese goverment and the international community, especially the UN Human Rights Council to give due consideration on the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet.

Kalon Kesang Y Takla reiterated the Central Tibetan Administration's longstanding appeal that China should release forthwith all prisoners of conscience and accept an international body to investigate the conditions in Tibet.

Contacts:
Thubten Samphel / Sonam N Dagpo
Secretary Department of Information & International Relations
Ph: 0091 1892 222510 / 224662


For immediate release Urges
Release of All Political Prisoners

CTA Concerned About Death Sentence to Two Tibetans

The Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration is deeply concerned that two Tibetans have been sentenced to death and two others have been given suspended death sentences with two-year reprieve. The Kashag's concern on this kind of arbitrary sentences meted to Tibetans is exacerbated by the fact that there is no due process of law and the courts in the People's Republic of China are political instruments of the authorities.

Ever since the massive arrests that took place during the repression that followed to crush the protests which erupted throughout Tibet last year, the Kashag appealed to the PRC authorities to release all political prisoners and to provide them with proper medical treatment. The Kashag once again urges the Chinese authorities to free all Tibetan prisoners of conscience.

The Kashag believes that the China's massive and continued repression of Tibetans is fuelling even deeper resentment. In view of this the Kashag believes that the best way to resolve the issue of Tibet is to address the just concerns of the Tibetan people based on honesty and sincerity.

The Kashag 9 April 2009

Contacts:
Thubten Samphel
Sonam N Dagpo
Secretary Department of Information & International Relations
Ph: 01892 222510, 224662


The Kashag Announces Reshuffle of Office of Tibet Representatives

Friday, 27 March 2009

Dharamshala: The Kashag on Thursday announced reshuffle of representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the offices of Tibet (OoT) in Australia and London.

Sonam Norbu Dagpo, secretary for International Relations, Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR), has been posted as representative at the Office of Tibet in Canberra, Australia. Whereas, representative Tenzin Phuntsok Atisha will take over as the secretary for International Relations at the DIIR in Dharamsala, India.

Tsering Tashi, representative at the Office of Tibet in London, has been posted as the joint Secretary at the DIIR.

The Kashag has appointed Thupten Samdup, a former member of Tibetan Parliament as the new representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in London.


Press Statement

China’s Serf Emancipation Day Hides Repression in Tibet

China’s decision to observe tomorrow as the so-called Serf Emancipation Day is aggravating problems in Tibet. Tibetans consider this observance offensive and provocative. We believe the observance of the “Serf Emancipation Day” on 28 March is aimed at destabilising and creating chaos in Tibet by a few individuals with overriding self-interest. If the Tibetans, losing their patience, took to the streets in protest, the Chinese leaders will have the excuse to use even more brutal force to crackdown.

Already the whole of Tibet is under heavy security clampdown, with additional troops deployed. Despite these measures, Tibetans, considering conditions in Tibet unbearable, collectively and individually, are taking to the streets, distributing pamphlets calling for freedom, bringing down the Chinese flag and replacing it with the Tibetan flag. This year, Tibetans did not celebrate the Tibetan New Year to mourn those killed in last year’s crackdown on the widespread protests that erupted throughout Tibet. In a development unprecedented in the history of Tibet, Tibetans in Kanze in eastern Tibet have decided not to farm their fields in a unique form of civil disobedience to protest China’s heavy-handed rule. One monk, Tashi Sangpo of Ragya monastery in Golok in north- eastern Tibet was arrested on 10 March 2009, for allegedly hoisting a Tibetan flag. He escaped his captors and drowned himself in the nearby Yellow River. These acts and many more are the true Tibetan attitude to “emancipation” by China.

This day will be observed by Tibetans throughout the world and especially those in Tibet as a day of mourning. No less a figure than Hu Yaobang, the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, who visited Lhasa in 1980, apologized to the Tibetan people and said the conditions in Tibet were worse than pre-1959 Tibet.

The late Panchen Lama said in 1989, a few days before his untimely death, that on the whole China’s rule in Tibet brought greater suffering than benefit for the Tibetan people.

Since 1949/50 when China invaded Tibet, over 1.2 million Tibetans died as a direct result of Chinese communist rule and more than 6,000 monasteries were razed to the ground. Today, it is hard to come across a Tibetan family that has not had at least one member imprisoned or killed by the Chinese regime. This day will be observed as the day when the Tibetans as a people lost all vestiges of their basic individual and collective freedoms.

One justification for China’s "liberation" of Tibet is that old Tibet was feudal and repressive. This is a blatant distortion of the nature of Tibet’s old society. In the early mid-20th century, there was no big gap between the peasants in Tibet and China. Moreover, the Tibetan peasants enjoyed more freedom and better living conditions.

To prove that the old Tibetan society was repressive, the Chinese authorities are currently organising an exhibition of Tibetan prisons and the punishments meted out. However, the reality is that the size of Nangze Shar Prison in Lhasa, heavily used in Chinese propaganda, could accommodate not more than a score of prisoners. In fact, the total number of prisoners in the whole of Tibet before 1959 hardly crossed hundred. After the so-called liberation and emancipation of the Tibetan “serfs”, prisons have come up in every part of Tibet. In Lhasa alone, there are 5 major prisons with a total prison population between 3,500 - 4,000.

The best judge of whether they have been ‘liberated” is the Tibetan people. They vote with their feet and lives by crossing the Himalayas to seek freedom and happiness outside of their “liberated” Tibet. They also sacrifice their lives to inform the world of the terrible conditions prevailing in Tibet. This was massively demonstrated last year when a series of sustained and widespread protests erupted throughout Tibet. If the ‘serfs” are happy with their “emancipation”, why are they risking lives and limbs to protest Chinese rule in Tibet.

The Kashag 27 (Cabinet)
March 2009

Contact:
Thubten Samphel / Sonam N Dagpo
Secretaries
Department of Information and International Relations
Central Tibetan Administration
Ph: 01892 222510, 222457


UN Human Rights Council Discuss Tibet

Geneva, 16 March :The UN Human Rights Council currently in third-week of its 10th session in Geneva where numerous international NGOs raised issues concerning serious human rights violations taking place around the globe.

According to the agenda, this morning the Human Rights Council began its general debate on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, addressing a wide range of issues including the importance of the prohibition of torture and the abolition of the death penalty; ways to end discrimination against women and children; and the need to protect cultural rights, among others.

In the afternoon during interactive dialogue, among other NGOs, Tenzin Samphel KAYTA on behalf of the Society for Threatened Peoples said “the report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food stated that: “At a general level, human rights-based approaches to development cooperation recognize people “as key actors in their own development, rather than passive recipients of commodities and services”. All stakeholders should be involved in analysis and the programmes should focus on marginalized, disadvantaged, and excluded groups, and aim at reducing disparity.

He further said “ when a government implement resettlement programmes in the name of environmental protection the people involved have been required to slaughter most of their livestock and move into newly built housing colonies in or near towns, abandoning their traditional way of life while agricultural communities have had their land confiscated, with minimal compensation, or have been evicted to make way for mining, infrastructure projects or urban development.”

In conclusion, he said “the forced evictions of thousands of Tibetan nomads since 2003 is a dangerous strategy because their traditional livelihood system which is based on production of dried cheese, butter, yak meat and procurement of medicinal plants will now slowly be eliminated forever.”

In her statement, Dekyi Dolkar on behalf of Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights said “we are concerned by circumstances when those committed “to promote and protect all human rights” engage in extra-judicial killings, mass detentions, to the extent that the sheer scale of those detentions means that names, locations and other data cannot be ascertained in any meaningful way as evident from interventions by Special Procedure mandate-holders in many cases. Such acts can occur under conditions that resemble de facto martial law, or the denial to independent assessment of the occurrence, nature and extent of violations committed.

She also said “when foreign journalists, tourists, diplomats and UN officials and experts are not officially welcomed to hide something from an entire region and these policies encourage government officials and security forces to act with impunity and without restraint to merciless repression.”

She said in conclusion that “we remain dismayed by the lack of progress by the Human Rights Council to address many chronic human right realities and situations, including now faced by the six million Tibetan people and the uncertain fate of 1000 individuals reported to have been detained or disappeared since the Tibetan Uprising of March 2008.”

In this ongoing session, Tibetan participants consist of representatives from Tibetan Centre for Human Rights, International Campaign for Tibet and Tibetan UN Advocacy. They have been meeting with UN officials, Government delegates and NGOs to brief on current deplorable human rights situation inside Tibet. A press conference was held last week in the UN where international journalists were briefed on present human rights situation in Tibet. The latest reports of ICT and annual report of the TCHRD were also distributed.

The session will go on till 27 March.


The Kashag's Response to Premier Wen Jiabao's Tibet Comments

We welcome the statement of Premier Wen Jiabao expressing PRC leadership's willingness to continue contacts and consultations with the Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama during a press conference on 13 March 2009. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is always ready to engage with the Chinese leadership to find a mutually acceptable solution to the problems of the Tibetan people.

What His Holiness is seeking for the Tibetan people has already been presented to the PRC government in writing as a Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People by the Envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 31 October 2008 during the eighth round of talks. The Memorandum clearly outlines the aspirations of the Tibetan people strictly within the constitutional principles of the People's Republic of China. Premier Wen Jiabao appears to be trying to avoid acknowledging this document by referring to some past statements of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

On many occasions, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has reiterated that he is not seeking separation from the People's Republic of China. The Chinese Premier's allegations of His Holiness the Dalai Lama seeking separation is far from the truth. The international community is well aware of this fact and it does not need further clarification.

We hope that Beijing will demonstrate its sincerity in resolving the Tibetan problem.

Samdhong Rinpoche
KALON TRIPA

Dated: 14 March 2009


50 years in Exile

The Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the Tibetan people’s peaceful uprising against Communist China’s repression in Tibet. Since last March widespread peaceful protests have erupted across the whole of Tibet. Most of the participants were youths born and brought up after 1959, who have not seen or experienced a free Tibet. However, the fact that they were driven by a firm conviction to serve the cause of Tibet that has continued from generation to generation is indeed a matter of pride. It will serve as a source of inspiration for those in the international community who take keen interest in the issue of Tibet. We pay tribute and offer our prayers for all those who died, were tortured and suffered tremendous hardships, including during the crisis last year, for the cause of Tibet since our struggle began.  [ read more ]

other languages: German, French, Italian, Hungarian


STATEMENT OF THE KASHAG
ON THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE TIBETAN NATIONAL UPRISING DAY

Today, 10 March 2009, is the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan people's peaceful uprising against the repression and occupation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China. On this important anniversary, the Kashag pays its tribute and respect to those brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the national, religious and political cause of the Tibetan people in general, and, particularly, to those who have lost their lives during the non-violent protests carried out in the three traditional provinces of Tibet since last 10 March. We also express our solidarity with those Tibetans who continue to suffer hardships, torture and repression. The Kashag also extends its heartfelt sentiments and regards to all the Tibetans in and outside Tibet.

Looking back on the good and bad times experienced by the Tibetan people during the past 50 years, one witnesses numerous unimaginable changes that have taken place. Since the occupation of Tibet by the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese government unleashed a series of coercive and repressive campaigns under different forms and names, such as “suppression of reactionaries, democratic reform, class struggle, Cultural Revolution”, communes, imposition of martial law, infrastructure development and Western Development Programmes. All these were aimed at sinicising Tibet and eliminating the Tibetan identity. That the Tibetan people endured such depths of untold physical and mental hardships and sufferings under these campaigns are clearly indelible in the minds of all Tibetans and, therefore, need no repetition.

Whatever numerous methods, such as oppression, torture, deception, propaganda and brainwashing the Chinese government adopted, these, however, failed to change, even slightly, the mentality and inner strength of the Tibetan people. This is evident by the fact that people's faith in religion, pride in Tibetan identity, and, especially their faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama have remained unshakeable for three generations. This strength of the Tibetan people is not only cherished in their hearts but is also openly expressed and continued to be expressed, regardless of the danger it poses to their lives, through non-violent protests such as the ones that swept Tibet since last March. This has attracted the interest and support from the international community, which gives new hope and faith to the Tibetan people. These protests also constitute the most effective response to the massive propaganda that says China has “liberated” the Tibetan people who were ignorant and backward, that it has brought modern development, and that, except a few separatists, most Tibetans regard the Chinese government and the Communist Party as the Buddha. The Kashag admires and appreciates the courage and determination of the Tibetans in Tibet. We believe that they will continue to keep their courage and determination.

When nearly a hundred thousand Tibetans came into exile in 1959, they not only faced severe problems of climatic change, language barrier and difficulty in earning livelihood, but also became strangers without a friend. As everything was so strange that Tibetans recalled the old Tibetan saying; “except the sky and earth, everything else was unfamiliar.” However, soon after, many settlements, monastic and educational institutions were established in the host countries. Presently in India, Nepal and Bhutan, there are total of 49 Tibetan settlements, 223 monasteries including the great monastic institutions, nunneries, and tantric monasteries, 77 educational institutions in which modern education blended with the traditional values are taught, 54 community health centres and hospitals, 14 aged people home. All the facilities are in place for the Tibetans to fulfil their individual wishes and earn their livelihood. In addition, there are 11 Offices of Tibet around the world. The Tibetans living around the world have successfully formed associations in their respective countries and have been contributing towards the cause of Tibet. There are a large number of Tibetan Buddhist centres as a result of the widespread flourishing of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. These Buddhist centres have helped not only in providing immediate and long-term happiness and benefits to many people, but also in further gaining the goodwill and support of the international people for Tibet and the Tibetans. There is also an increasing number of the Tibet Support Groups.

Because of the goodwill and support of the international people and the Tibet Support Groups for the Tibetans and their culture, their democratic governments are obliged to support the Tibetan cause. As a result, the level of understanding of and support for the Tibetan cause has grown considerably in the international community. This could not, however, be accomplished with the hard work of Tibetan exiles alone. That this was accomplished by the grace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama indicates the depth and purity of spiritual bond between the Tibetan people and the lineage of the Dalai Lama institution. The kindness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in appearing in human life at this crucial period in Tibet’s history and winning the hearts of the people throughout the world as well as his great work and his teachings on interdependence, non-violence, and universal responsibility given to the people of the world have received high recognition and numerous prizes and awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, from individuals and organisations, governments, parliaments, universities, municipal councils, and NGOs in numerous countries. This has contributed to the happiness and benefit of human beings and has been beneficial to the Tibetan cause. The Kashag feels that this is the appropriate occasion to remember all this.

Transformation of the Tibetan polity into a full functioning democratic system and our just struggle into a non-violent one are outstanding achievements. Because of this, the People’s Republic of China is not able to ignore the issue of Tibet and the world is compelled to take an interest in and express support for the issue of Tibet.

As the framework of the Tibetan polity has now been transformed into a genuine and full functioning democratic system, it has created a firm basis for future popularly-elected political leaders to carry on the Tibetan struggle for generations to come until the issue of Tibet is resolved. The Central Tibetan Administration has enough resource to meet its administrative expenses through the voluntary tax payment from the exile Tibetans and the Corpus Fund.

Similarly, with the kindness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, thousands of Tibetans, generation after generation, received the opportunity to undergo traditional and modern education. Hundreds among them have become professionals such as scholars, technicians, engineers, administrators, businessmen, doctors, and nurses. Efforts are being made, more than ever before, to keep producing more professionals in the future. The foundation of human resource is being built for continuing the struggle for the just cause of Tibet as well as undertaking the development activities for future Tibet.

His Holiness’ long association with eminent modern scientists through continued interaction has resulted in a series of dialogue and exchange of ideas between Buddhism and modern science, which has provided a basis for forging a strong bond between the two.

Viewing Tibetan religion and culture and the Tibetan language, which is the foundation of the above, as a threat, the leaders of the People’s Republic of China have been putting every effort to wipe these out completely. However, Tibetan religion and culture as well as language is thriving and spreading just not in the Tibetan community but in the world also. The above accomplishments that can be termed extraordinary were achieved only due to the grace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We cannot repay the kindness of His Holiness in our lifetime. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan people’s peaceful uprising, the Kashag would like to take this opportunity to express on behalf of all Tibetans in and outside Tibet our gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and beseech him to live long.

The Kashag pays its tribute and appreciation to those public servants who have, while overcoming all the challenges, rendered, and continue to render sincere service under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama during this crucial period.

The Kashag, while briefly commemorating these achievements, express our gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Kashag would like to reiterate to the leadership of the People’s Republic of China that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the supreme leader and the sole spokesperson of the six million Tibetans.

According to civilized behaviour, it is the public who choose their representatives instead of being forced to accept one. If the Tibetans in Tibet are given opportunity to speak up freely without fear of retribution, the Chinese authorities would certainly get a clear picture as to who is the leader who can represent the six million Tibetans. Although, Tibetans from all the parts of Tibet have made, despite having no freedom, this very clear since March last year, the Chinese leaders have been insensitive and foolishly stubborn to accept this. This cannot fool the public.

It is evident that the baseless accusation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, severe harassment of the monks, nuns and the lay people with the imposition of repressive campaigns such as “patriotic re-education” and strike hard, celebration of the “emancipation” of millions of Tibetan people as “Serfs Emancipation Day,” a move that offends the collective sentiments of the Tibetans, on 28 March are all aimed at destabilising and creating chaos in Tibet by a few individuals with overriding self-interest. If the Tibetans, losing their patience, took to streets in protest, the Chinese leaders will have the excuse to use overwhelming force to crackdown.

In the early mid-20th century, there was no big gap between the peasants in Tibet and China. Moreover, the Tibetan peasants enjoyed more freedom and better living conditions. Telling the international community that the traditional Tibetan society was similar to serfdom and feudalism as that which prevailed in medieval China and Europe is a big lie. The Tibetans, who were largely engaged in handicrafts, agriculture and pastoralism as means of livelihood, had to pay some tax and were required to perform collective community work. Apart from that, no undue demand and pressure was on them. Tibetans enjoyed sustainable livelihood without being extremely rich or extremely poor. The Tibetan peasants belonged to three categories: state, individual and monastic estates. Each of the estate holders, in turn, looked after the interest of its peasants. Since the existence of Tibet until 1959, there had not been a time when the Tibetan peasants lost their freedom to live in fear and intimidation. Nor did they face starvation.

Most of the Tibetan exiles and those who have escaped into exile risking their lives during the past two decades are peasants, nomads, craftsmen and petty business people. Only few are the feudal lords. The participants of last year’s non-violent protests that took place across Tibet were peasants and nomads. There was almost no one who was the descendant of the feudal lords. If the Tibetan “serfs” are leading a happy life after their so-called emancipation, and if it is worth commemorating the “Serf Emancipation Day”, then why those who escape into exile and who participated in the massive protests were peasants and nomads?

We are concerned about the preservation and promotion of the valuable Tibetan religion and culture, which has the potential of bringing benefit and happiness to all sentient beings. We acknowledge the fact that not all aspects of our traditional Tibetan society are good. Far from restoring, there is no trace of the obsolete social and political system in the exile Tibetan community.

As a part of their mass propaganda, the Chinese government has been organising an exhibition of Tibetan prisons and the punishment meted out. However, the reality is that the size of Nangze Shar Prison in Lhasa, heavily used in the Chinese propaganda, could accommodate not more than a score of prisoners. In fact, the total number of prisoners in the whole of Tibet before 1959 hardly crossed hundred. After the so-called “liberation” and “emancipation” of the Tibetan “serfs”, prisons have come up in every part of Tibet. Looking at the size of prisons and the number of prisoners in Lhasa only, it is clear which period in Tibetan history is the most oppressed and darkest. In this 21st century of information revolution, the ideology that one-lie-told-hundred-times-will-become-truth can no longer be sustained.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama laid down, after much consideration and deliberation, a mutually beneficial Middle-Way policy in the early 1970s that takes into consideration the peaceful co-existence of the Tibetan and the Chinese people and the achievement of future aspirations of the Tibetan people within the framework of the People’s Republic of China. This policy was endorsed, after holding a series of extensive discussions, by the representatives of the general public, including the then Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and the Kashag. In 1979, when the late Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping proposed that “except independence, all other issues can be resolved through negotiations”, the Tibetan side was ready with a response.

Since then with the establishment of contacts, several rounds of talks were held and fact-finding delegations were despatched. However, these did not bear any concrete results, and the contact eventually broke off for over eight years. Since the restoration of contacts in 2002, we have engaged in eight formal rounds of talks and one informal round of talks, following the policy of one official channel and one agenda. These talks and contacts not only helped in clarifying the suspicions and broadening the understanding of our respective views and positions, but also provided an opportunity to clearly explain the essence of the Middle-Way policy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

After knowing the concerns and problems the Chinese government expressed on the Strasbourg Proposal, we addressed their concerns by giving a new document. This proposal as requested by the Chinese side during the 7th round of talks is called Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People, which is within the scope of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China. This document was given to the Chinese government on 31 October 2008 during the eighth round of talks. This Memorandum, which has now been made public by both sides, is the ultimate demand by the Tibetan side, after due consideration and accommodation of Chinese concerns. Not even a single part of the demands mentioned in the Memorandum can be compromised, and there is no need to do so either as the articles of the Memorandum were prepared exactly in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and its Law on National Regional Autonomy. There is no single demand that is not a legal.

If the Chinese side does not abide by its Constitution and the laws, we can do nothing. However, if the current government of the People’s Republic of China respects its Constitution and other related laws and regulations, it must accept the Memorandum we proposed. Calling the Memorandum a demand for “half-independence” and “disguised independence” or “covert independence”, without providing legal and rational explanations, is not a statement made by a right-thinking people.

Because of the political upheaval that shook Tibet last year and we being not able to achieve any concrete result in the Sino-Tibetan dialogue process, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in order to again solicit public opinion in a democratic way as to what future course of action we should take, convened a Special Meeting of the Tibetans in Diaspora in last November under the provision of Article 59 of the Charter of the exile Tibetans. About 600 representatives of the Tibetans in exile participated in the meeting and held extensive discussions for six days. In addition to collecting written suggestions from the exile Tibetans, efforts were made to collect suggestions, as far as possible, from the Tibetans in Tibet as well.

The outcome of this process was that over 80 percent of the suggestions advocated the continuation of the Middle-Way policy. Similarly, a majority of the Tibet Support Groups supported the Middle-Way Approach. As we have received public mandate, we will now pursue this policy with great confidence. We are, therefore, ready to continue our contact and talk on the Memorandum we proposed to the Chinese government. We will provide clarification on the Memorandum whenever required by the Chinese side, and continue our efforts towards achieving a meaningful national regional autonomy for all the Tibetans. The continuation of contact solely depends upon the action of the People’s Republic of China, and they should assume full responsibility for it.

We will further carry out our activities of keeping direct contacts with the Chinese people in order for them to clearly understand the issue of Tibet and not to be misled by the massive propaganda of the Chinese government.

Looking at the suffering that the Tibetan people undergo as a result of the repressive measures implemented by the authorities of the People’s Republic of China during the last few months, the Kashag, concerned about the likely occurrence of fresh protests, issued statements of appeal on 29 January and 21 February 2009 to the international community, the Chinese authorites, and the Tibetans in and outside Tibet to maintain peace and stability. His Holiness the Dalai Lama also reiterated the same in his message to the Tibetans in and outside Tibet during this Tibetan New Year. While appealing to all Tibetans to maintain peace and stability with utmost tolerance, the Kashag urge the Chinese authorities to immediately stop the harassment and torture of the Tibetan people. The Kashag request the peace-loving people of the world to pay attention to the situation in Tibet and persuade the Chinese authorities to exercise restraint.

As per the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama that “we should hope for the best and prepare for the worst”, all the Tibetan people in Tibet and in exile should, while taking lessons from our experience of past 50 years, come up with strategies and prepare ourselves with firm commitment in treading the path of non-violence until the truth of the issue of Tibet is resolved.

While taking this opportunity, the Kashag would like to express its heartfelt appreciation to the governments and the peoples across the world, particularly India, for supporting the Tibetans. Finally, the Kashag prays for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the spontaneous fulfilment of all his wishes. The Kashag also prays that the day may dawn soon when the Tibetans in and outside Tibet will celebrate their re-unification.

The Kashag
10 March 2009

N.B. Translated from the Tibetan original. If there are discrepancies between the Tibetan and English, please consider the Tibetan version as final and authoritative.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama receives the German Media Prize

February 10, 2009

His Holiness the Dalai Lama this evening received the German Media Prize in Baden Baden, Germany.

“This Award from the media is of special significance,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “In democracy, freedom of press is essential to inform the public about the truth. The truth must been know”, he said.

On his arrival at the hotel, a traditional Tibetan welcome song and dance was presented to His Holiness by the Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein’s dance group who were especial invited for the ceremony.

As the Tibetan national anthem was sung at the start of the German Media Prize ceremony, Tibetan national flag was shown on large video screens on the stage. Guest wore Tibetan national flag pins on their jacket.

During His Holiness’ address, he emphasized his three commitments – human value, religious harmony and the Tibetan issue. His Holiness spoke at length the importance of determination and compassion. On the issue of Tibet, he said that situation in Tibet was very tense.

“The preservation of the Tibetan culture is important not only for the Tibetans but for millions of other Asian population. It is one of the important religions of the world,” he said.

Mr. Roland Koch, the Prime Minister of the German state of Hesse, in his eulogy said His Holiness the Dalai Lama was a special person in the world and history. His Holiness had managed to make people curious about the fate of Tibetans and the nonviolent self-determination of Tibet.

He said there are sharp shooters positioned in tall buildings and lots of security forces in uniform carrying machine guns in Lhasa. However, we don’t see any pictures because for the last 12 months, Tibet has been closed to the media and no pictures are being allowed out.

Mr. Koch a friend of the Tibetan leader for over 20 years is one of the senior politicians in German. He said, “What message will be give to the next generation, if we don’t support a peaceful struggle.”

A 20-member jury consisting of Germany's most important and influential media chief editors voted His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the 2008 Award.

The award announcement said, "In a time of religious tension, self-destructive, addiction to profit and ongoing violations of human rights, the Dalai Lama actively advocates reconciliation, tolerance, humility and respect. He represents the non-violent struggle for the rights of the Tibetan people, a struggle he has been leading for over 50 years from exile in India."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was in Venice in the morning to receive Honorary Citizenship of Venice.

Tomorrow His Holiness will return to New Delhi, India.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama is honored with Rome’s honorary citizenship

February 9, 2009

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was today presented the Honorary Citizenship of Rome. Hundreds of people welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the motorcade drove up the hill to the Rome City Hall.

The mayor of Rome received His Holiness in front of the City Hall, followed by a private meeting. Then senior Italian Governments ministers and officials were introduced to His Holiness including the Youth Minister, the Minister of municipal policies and the leader of the Senate Mr Maurizio Gasparri.

His Holiness then signed the Rome’s Golden book. As His Holiness walked into the Rome City Chamber, one could hear the chanting of Free Tibet and people waiving of Tibetan National flags.

The Mayor Gianni Alemanno, in his address prior to the presentation of the Honorary Citizenship appealed to Republic of China to resume dialogue with the representatives of the Tibetan nation for the autonomy of Tibet. He also called on the Italian Government to support this imitative.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama thanked Mayor Gianni Alemanno on behalf of the six million Tibetans. His Holiness said he felt honored and receive the award in the spirit as he received the 1989 Noble Peace Prize. His Holiness said, it was an “encouragement to support the non-violent and it gives me courage. I think that the Tibetans know that I am here in Rome to take the honorary citizenship will not feel abandoned.”

His Holiness said, while this award is being presented, the situation in Tibet is very tragic and things are extremely tense. He said that “our way of approach to resolve the Tibetan problem is to bring benefit to the Tibetan and the Chinese people.”

His Holiness reconfirmed his committed to his three Main Commitments in Life - the promotion of human values, religious harmony and as a Tibetan and the Dalai Lama his commitment to the Tibetan issue. Prior to leaving the Rome City hall, His Holiness briefly addressed few hundreds of people gathered at the Piazza del Campidoglio with Tibetan flags and banners.

In the morning, His Holiness met with a delegation of about 25 members of Tibet Group in the Italian Parliament. They asked His Holiness about the present situation in Tibet and what they can do for Tibet. His Holiness said one ancient nation is dying and the people of the free world had a responsibility to help.

At mid afternoon, after the ceremony at the Rome city hall, His Holiness left for Venice.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives in the ancient city of Rome

February 8, 2009

His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Rome, the capital of Italy this evening at the invitation of the Mayor of Rome. This is His Holiness’ first visit outside India in 2009.

His Holiness welcomed by Mr. Mario Vattani, Diplomatic advisor to the Rome's Mayor

The Lufthansa flight from Munich taxied at a special area in the Rome airport’s security restricted area for special guest. His Holiness the Dalai Lama was welcomed to Rome by Counselor Mario Vattani, the Diplomatic advisor to the Rome Mayor and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative Mr. Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa. Then the motorcade drove to the city centre with full police escort. The City of Rome has organized the protocol and the security arrangement for the visit.

There were hundreds of people eagerly waiting for His Holiness at the front of the hotel. Well wishers and members’ of the Tibetan community including monks from different Tibetan Buddhist Centers welcomed His Holiness. His Holiness slowly walked through the crowd talking to people.

Inside the hotel lobby, the Rome Mayor’s office had selected few key TV and news agencies to ask few questions to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His Holiness explained his three Main Commitments in Life - the promotion of human values, religious harmony and as a Tibetan and the Dalai Lama his commitment to the Tibetan issue. His Holiness expressed his deep concern about the present situation in Tibet. But he said that he remained hopeful for a solution to the Tibetan issue. Tomorrow morning His Holiness the Dalai Lama will meet with leading Italian TV, newspapers and magazine. Over 30 members of the Tibet Group in the Italian Parliament will call on His Holiness at the hotel.

In the afternoon, the ancient city of Rome will honor His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual and political leader with its highest honor – the Citizenship of Rome.


Press Release - February 5, 2009

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Europe

His Holiness the Dalai Lama to visit Rome, Venice (Italy) and Baden Baden (Germany) to be conferred Italian and German honors for his contribution to global peace and rights of Tibetans

5 February, Geneva - His Holiness the Dalai Lama will arrive in Rome, the capital of Italy on 8 February 2009 in the first leg of his visit to Europe. Rome and Venice will honour His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his contribution to world peace and human rights. In Baden-Baden, Germany, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be bestowed the Deutsche Medienpreis (the German Media Prize) for his spirit of "reconciliation, tolerance, humility and respect" and for representing "the non-violent struggle for the rights of the Tibetan people."

This is His Holiness the Dalai Lam's first trip abroad in 2009. The visit comes as Tibetans worldwide are preparing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is visiting Rome at the invitation of its Mayor, Gianni Alemanno, to receive the Honorary Citizenship of Rome. The ceremony will take place on 9 February afternoon. The Rome City Council had approved by an overwhelming majority a motion in September 2008 to the conferral of Honorary Citizenship to His Holiness for "his international efforts to find a peaceful solution for Tibet and for having affirmed the principles of human rights and peaceful conflict-resolution between nations."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will then travel to Venice to receive that city's Honorary Citizenship on 10 February. The Venice City Council unanimously approved a resolution for this purpose on 29 July 2008.

Media Control, one of Germany's leading market-research companies as well as an interpreter in media-studies, analysis, and evaluation, will present His Holiness the Dalai Lama the Deutsche Medienpreis (the German Media Prize) on 10 February afternoon in Baden-Baden. A 20-member jury consisting of Germany's most important and influential media chief editors voted His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the 2008 Award.

The announcement said, "In a time of religious tension, self-destructive, addiction to profit and ongoing violations of human rights, the Dalai Lama actively advocates reconciliation, tolerance, humility and respect. He represents the non-violent struggle for the rights of the Tibetan people, a struggle he has been leading for over 50 years from exile in India." Previous recipients of the German award include Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, King Hussein of Jordan, and King Juan Carlos of Spain.

On 11 February afternoon, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will return to India.

Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Central and Eastern Europe said, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama feels honored to receive these awards in the spirit with which he received the 1989 Noble Peace Prize."

In His Holiness the Dalai Lama Nobel Peace lecture then, His Holiness had said, "The awarding of the Nobel Prize to me, a simple monk from far away Tibet ...fills us Tibetans with hope. It means that, despite the fact that we have not drawn attention to our plight by means of violence, we have not been forgotten... I am deeply touched by the sincere concern shown by so many people in this part of the world for the suffering of the people of Tibet. That is a source of hope not only for us Tibetans, but for all oppressed peoples."

"The visit to Italy and Germany by His Holiness the Dalai Lama comes at a time when the Tibetan people in Tibet are facing increasing Chinese crackdown," said Chhoekyapa. "The Chinese authorities in Tibet have launched a 42-day "Strike Hard" campaign on 18 January 2009 resulting in the arrest of over 5,766 Tibetans in Tibet and the crackdown has created great fear amongst the Tibetans," he added. The Tibetan leadership in exile has asked the Chinese authorities to immediately call-off the "Strike Hard" campaign.

In His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message to the Chinese community on the occasion of the Chinese New Year on 25 January 2009, His Holiness said, "I hope and pray that in the coming year the People's Republic of China will be able to create a meaningful harmonious society by ensuring equality, justice and friendship among all its nationalities."

Contact:
Mr. Tseten S. Chhoekyapa
Representative of H. H. the Dalai Lama
0041 79 533 93 10
tseten(at)tibetoffice.ch


Press Release

His Holiness the Dalai Lama had been experiencing some mild discomfort in one of his arms over the last three days. On the advice of his personal physician, His Holiness left Dharamsala early this afternoon and arrived in New Delhi. After undergoing medical tests at Apollo Hospital, His Holiness was discharged early this evening after having been diagnosed to be suffering from a pinched nerve. Doctors have advised some medication. His Holiness is spending the night in New Delhi before returning to Dharamsala tomorrow.

Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

February 2, 2009


Statement of Appeal by the Kashag on the re-launch of "Strike Hard" campaign in Tibet

Subsequent to the very repressive and continued policies adopted by the PRC to suppress the protest by Tibetans in all the Tibetan regions last year, we are very disturbed to learn that beginning 18 January 2009, the Chinese authorities in Lhasa have launched a 42-day winter "Strike Hard" campaign in an effort to step up vigilance against eruption of political protests and to maintain stability in the politically restive region of Tibet.

Credible news sources have reported about officially sanctioned raids of Tibetan homes and hotels in Lhasa by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) which has rounded "5,766 suspects" for questioning. There is also report of firing incidence at Dege Monastery on midnight of 27th January. This campaign has taken on a political angle particularly after the March 2008 widespread uprising in Tibet and is being used as a tool to eliminate any political dissents.

We are dismayed to learn from a recent news report that as a result of the Chinese authorities' severe beatings and torture, Pema Tsepak, a young Tibetan boy died on 23rd January in Chamdo area. On 20th January, he took part in a non-violent protest along with two other young Tibetan boys, whose fate is not yet known.

There are further reports of increasing pressure on the Tibetans in Tibet to celebrate upcoming Tibetan New Year (tib:/losar/) despite their reluctance to celebrate as mark of mourning for the fellow Tibetans who have died in the March 2008 protests. In areas of Ngaba "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" and Kardze "Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture", in Sichuan, the Chinese authorities even promise financial incentives of 500 Yuan for each family and free crackers in a drive to celebrate Tibetan Losar.

The re-launch of the "Strike Hard" campaign and intensification of other PRC's hard-line policies will cause much more violation of fundamental rights and freedom of the Tibetan people. There is heightened sense of fear and intimidation in Lhasa and in other regions of Tibet. We are very doubtful of the PRC's intention behind re-launching of these campaigns, including patriotic education, which will only create atmosphere of further political unrest and, therefore, justify the use of more repressive measures.

We ask the PRC authorities to call-off the "Strike Hard" campaign and put an end to their hard-line policies in Tibet, immediately. We urge and appeal to the Parliaments, Governments and Individuals around the world to actively intervene so that unfortunate incidences of March 2008 may not be repeated again.

We also appeal to the Tibetans in Tibet to understand that despite the strict restriction and harsh repression, we should maintain our calm and draw on our non-violence perseverance in the long-term interest of our struggle. We strictly urge the Tibetans in Tibet not to engage in violence and to avoid any activities that will risk unnecessary imprisonment, detention and endangering your lives. We further urge you to do your all in preventing any animosity and clashes with Chinese people.

The Kashag (Cabinet)
29th January 2009

Contacts:
Mr Sonam N. Dagpo
Department of Information and International Relations
Central Tibetan Administration
Ph: 01892-222510, 224957, 224662


His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's message to the Chinese people on the occasion of the Chinese New Year

On the occasion of the Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival, I extend my affectionate greetings to all our Chinese brothers and sisters across the globe, including those living in Mainland China.

The past year witnessed many developments throughout the world and particularly in China, at times worrying us while at other times filling our hearts with happiness. Besides having to bear the brunt of natural disasters and other problems that hit the country, China also had the proud moments like hosting the world's greatest sporting event, the Olympic Games. The year that ended is, therefore, marked with great changes taking place everywhere.

These days, due to the global economic meltdown, the people of the world in general, and of the developing countries in particular, are plunged into an abyss of anxiety and suffering. To pray for the end of all sufferings of humanity, as well as for their happiness and well-being, is a responsibility that rests on all believers.

Besides having a long history of over 5000 years and a splendidly rich cultural heritage, China is also the most populous nation in the world. Moreover, it is emerging as a super power in terms of political, economic and military might. However, China cannot perform the responsibility of a super power in this modern and progressive world if there is no freedom, rule of law and transparency in the country.

President Hu Jintao's policy of creating a harmonious society is indeed laudable. Such a policy is indispensable for China as well, if it were to make a mark globally. Harmonious society should, however, come about through mutual trust, friendship and justice. It cannot be brought about by brute force and autocracy.

Not only should the Chinese citizens have economic facilities, but they should also enjoy the freedom of conscience, education and to know what is actually happening around the world. These freedoms are indispensable for human societies. If - in this fast-changing modern world - one does not keep abreast of the daily happenings around the globe, then it goes without saying that one will be naturally left behind. In China today, popular news outlets such as television, radio and Internet - including the international news services like the BBC and CNN are blocked - thus preventing its people from knowing the true information about the world's events. I am immensely disappointed by such negative actions of the Chinese government, which greatly hamper the fundamental rights as well as the short and long-term benefits of the Chinese people.

The 21st century is regarded as a century of information revolution. And yet some countries of the world, which includes China, impose restrictions on the free flow of information. Such actions are anachronistic and hence there is no way that these can be sustained in the long run. Therefore, I believe that China too will soon become more liberal in terms of disseminating and sharing information.

Last year, many Chinese intellectuals came out with a number of articles and other campaign activities, calling for freedom, democracy, justice, equality and human rights in China. Particularly in a recent development, we saw an increasing number of people from all walks of life signing up to an important document called the Charter '08. This is indicative of the fact that the Chinese people, including the intellectuals, are beginning to demonstrate their deep yearnings for more openness and freedom in their country. It is, therefore, a matter for all of us to take pride in.

While once again extending my warm greetings to the Chinese people, I hope and pray that in the coming year the People's Republic of China will be able to create a meaningful harmonious society by ensuring equality, justice and friendship among all its nationalities.

The Dalai Lama
25 January 2009

Note: translated from the Tibetan original

 

 

 

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