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Indian MP calls for international focus on immolations in Tibet

I n t e r n a t i o n a l

See Page 7..... Vol. 02, Issue 83, Print Issue 7, March 31, 2013

Tibet Motion Passed in Australian Senate

30-year-old mother of four, Kalkyi, self-immolates in Tibet

B o d - K y i - Cha-Trin

See Page 3....

A Voice For Tibet Bi-monthly


His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrates Tathagata Tsal Buddha statue in Sikkim By Alice Reetham: 26 March 2013

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young speaking at a Tibet rally in Canberra, Australia, 18 March 2013. Photo: Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Facebook page By Central Tibetan Administration Media – 21 March 2013

Dharamshala: The Australian parliament passed a motion on the Tibet situation on March 20. The motion, detailed below, was submitted by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young of the Green Party. The Senate notes the Australian Government’s efforts to urge the Chinese authorities to: (a) Address the underlying causes of tension in Tibetan regions. (b) End the use of harsh policies, such as increased surveillance and violent crackdowns, which have only exacerbated the security situation in Tibetan areas. (c) Lift restrictions on access to Tibetan regions, including for international media and diplomats. (d) Resume substantive talks with the Dalai Lama’s representatives to prevent the situation deteriorating further.

Campaigners challenge BRICS leaders

Dharamshala: On March 25, as part of a three-day tour, His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrated a colossal 128-foot hammered copper statue of the Buddha - which he had earlier named Tathagata Tsal - at Ravangla in Sikkim, northeast India. Accompanied by Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, His Holiness was escorted to the base of the statue where he cut a ribbon and opened the doors to the chamber beneath. The chamber is elaborately decorated with fierce deities on the inner walls and scenes from the Buddha’s life on the outer walls. Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and State Governor His Eminence BP Singh then joined His Holiness. Final prayers were said, auspicious rice was thrown in view of the statue, followed by a ritual circumambulation. State Chief Secretary Mrs R Ongmu gave an exuberant welcome address to the dignitaries gathered in the pavilion below the statue, and invited His Holiness to launch a book about the Tathagata Tsal. The assembly was also addressed by Mr Chamling, who emphasized that his government is based on Buddhist values, and is committed to supporting the state’s various religions and inculcating positive values in the people. He added that he hoped the new Buddha statue complex, which incorporates a library and a study centre, would attract pilgrims from far and wide. His Eminence BP Singh next called attention to His Holiness’s fondness for Sikkim. He also compared Mr Chamling to the great Indian Emperor Ashoka - who established Buddhism throughout India – and urged the public to remember the Buddha’s teachings on non-violence and compassion. His Holiness greeted the crowd and said, “I’ve come to consecrate this outstanding statue, which we did according to the rites of Vajrakilaya, because this locality has historical connections with that meditational deity. The place itself is quiet, open and peaceful and the statue adds to the natural beauty of

His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his way to perform the consecration of the Tathagata Tsal statue in Ravangla, Sikkim, 25 March 2013. Photo:Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

the landscape, which I hope will inspire an inner transformation within the pilgrims who come here.” He continued that he has known the chief minister for many years, and expressed his admiration for his projects to build on

Sikkim’s Buddhist heritage. Recalling his own connections with the state, His Holiness said that, although he has visited several times since 1959, he first came whilst passing through on his way to the Buddha Jayanti celebrations in Bodhgaya in 1956. See Page 6..

The five BRICS summit leaders are depicted at an event in Dharamshala, 25 March 2013. Photo: TPI By Alice Reetham: 25 March 2013

Rinpoche and niece’s 2012 deaths confirmed as result of self-immolation

Dharamshala: An alternative BRICS summit was held in Dharamshala, northern India, on March 25, during which campaigners for the Tibetan cause demanded action from the real summit being held in South Africa and attended by the new Chinese president, Xi Jinping. The fifth annual BRICS summit is an international relations conference attended by premiers from its five member states Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.   The alternative BRICS event was held at the Gu Chu Sum exhibition hall in McLeodganj (Upper Dharamshala) and

World powers express concern for Tibet

UN Human Rights Council. Photo: File

See Page 5 ...

By Pat de Brun: 14 March 2013

World TB Day Marked in Dharamshala

Geneva: The EU, USA, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden and Austria expressed concern about the critical human rights situation in Tibet on March 12, during the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council. “The EU is profoundly saddened by the numerous selfimmolations in Tibetan-inhabited areas,” said the EU delegate to the council, adding that Europe’s 27 member states encourage China to “re-engage in constructive dialogue with the Tibetan See Page 3 ...

British Tibet groups lobby UK parliamentarians

Thubten Nyandak Rinpoche (45) and his niece Atse (23). Photo: File

Mr Tsering Wangchuk, kalon of the exile CTA’s health department. Photo: TPI By Yeshe Choesang: 25 March 2013

Dharamshala: On March 24, the health department of the exile Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan Delek Hospital in Dharamshala, northern India, marked World Tuberculosis Day by promoting the theme Stop TB in My Lifetime to the Tibetan community. In a written statement, Kalon (minister) Tsering Wangchuk of the health department, said, “March 24 commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch discovered the cause of tuberculosis - the TB bacillus. Since then, March 24 is observed every year as World TB Day...” Mr Wangchuck continued, “Tuberculosis is a preventable disease which can be…cured easily by prompt and proper diagnosis and treatment. Every year, more than nine million people are affected by and more than two million people die of TB worldwide. “The burden of tuberculosis in our Tibetan community has decreased over the decades due to improvement in economic conditions and medical facilities. However, due to lack of See Page 4...

By Matthew Singh Toor: 27 March 2013

Dharamshala: The case of a high-ranking Tibetan religious figure and his niece, a nun, who died in 2012 has been confirmed as an incidence of self-immolation. On March 27, the exile Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamshala, northern India, said that reports from Tibet confirmed that Tulku Athup (45), also known as Thupten Nyendak Rinpoche, and his niece Atse (23), set fire to themselves at the Rinpoche’s residence in Dzogchen monastery, Minyak Lhagang, Kham region on 6 April 2012. At the time, the Chinese authorities described the case as an “accident”, and the press and media did not highlight it. A few days before the self-immolations, Tulku Athup said he would light many butter lamps for all those who have self-immolated for the Tibetan cause and asked his students to engage in meritorious activities such as saving the lives of animals.

It has now emerged that, on the day of his death, Tulku spoke to his family by phone and said, “Today I am ending my life with ease by offering butter lamps for all those Tibetans who have set themselves on fire for the cause of Tibet.” Immediately after the call, he and his niece set themselves alight. Chinese police from Dartsedo immediately visited Dzogchen monastery where, fearing closure of the institution, officials told them that Tulku and his niece died due to an accidental fire. The police then withdrew and, ever since, the Chinese authorities have imposed severe restrictions across the region. Tulku Athup joined Lhagang Dragkar monastery at a young age and later studied at Drepung monastery in Lhasa and Kirti monastery in Ngaba. Tulku and Atse’s self-immolations have pushed the confirmed total since 2009 to 114, 96 of which have resulted in death.

Clockwise from top left: Representatives of UK-based Tibet groups deliver a letter to the British prime minister; Lobbyists meeting with members of the APPGT; Tibet Freedom March in London. Photos: Tibet Society.

By Pat de Brun: 18 March 2013

Dharamshala: Tibetans and their supporters have lobbied around 150 British parliamentarians to help find a lasting solution to the Tibet issue. The lobby was organised on March 10 by a coalition of UK-based Tibet groups, including the Tibet Society and Students for a Free Tibet UK. See Page 7 ...



March 31, 2013 Dharamshala



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Self-immolation is the highest form of non-violent struggle By Yeshe Choesang: 13 March 2012 Every day we wake up and switch on our computers, TVs or radios, to learn the latest tragic news from Tibet- be it another self-immolation protest or the Chinese authorities locking down an entire Tibetan town or monastery, or detaining or imprisoning another Tibetan. Despite international condemnation, Beijing has imposed new criminal laws to crack down on human rights movements in Tibet with no consideration to international law. These Chinese laws aim to prevent self-immolation protests by severely punishing self-immolators’ families on charges of incitement. Despite what the communist regime, led by the newly appointed President Xi Jinping, says, the international community has clearly indicated that it knows Tibetans are fighting for peace, justice and freedom and are fully committed to non-violent means. It has now been confirmed that 114 innocent Tibetans have self immolated since 2009. Unlike the 20th century freedom struggles, in which millions died in wars, the Tibetan martyrs of the 21st century have sacrificed their lives for their country without harming their enemies. China is not only the enemy of freedom of the press, it also the enemy of non-violence and peace. The modern world must learn that non-violence is an effective way of displaying dedication and motivation without harming others. Tibetan people are respected worldwide as a kind, loving and peaceful people, and China should be held responsible for its violent actions. The self-immolators have not harmed a single Chinese person, but have simply voiced their protest against the authorities. Clear evidence of this can be found in the messages they have left behind. The international community should take note of this and offer support to the grief-stricken families of those who have died. Beijing’s accusations over the of self-immolations are groundless, with the Chinese authorities providing false grounds for the acts in an attempt to sway the minds of the international community. Beijing is the only the regime which blames His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in exile for this crisis. When we open our eyes to take a wider perspective, we see that Tibet is not the only victim of the Chinese regime. The people of Eastern Turkestan and Inner Mongolia face the same problems, and

they also criticise China for committing cultural genocide in their territories. Beijing continues to rule these regions with an iron fist, claiming they are a part of China, and using economic pressure to force other countries to back down from intervention, on the basis that they should not interfere with ‘internal’ matters – when morally, the international community should be taking action to address these issues. The Chinese regime is powerful and armed with every kind of modern weaponry – except for a weapon that can prevent Tibetans from setting themselves on fire, or one that can stop that fire from spreading. If only China could see that it already has the tools to stop the self-immolations – namely dialogue, the easing of restictions and the granting of genuine freedom of religion. But the hubris and deep-set habits of that powerful state apparently leave it blind to the answer. Imagine a world in which China wisely relaxed its repressive grip on Tibet, respected the religious practices of the Tibetan people by withdrawing its cadres from monasteries, and began open negotiations with the exile Central Tibetan Administration. China’s leadership was once able to compromise and show respect for the differences between itself and Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. It now needs to approach the Tibet issue in a similar way. This century has seen the fall of totalitarian regimes across the world. But China’s is the cruellest regime on earth. Hundreds of writers, intellectuals and spiritual leaders are imprisoned or ‘disappear’ every year, and have included the Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo and eleventh Panchen Lama. Under its one-party system, China is unnaccountable for the way it implements, or fails to implement, its own rules, laws and systems. It is time for the Chinese people to wake up, or be woken up, to realise what kind of country they live in. They have every right to know that there are only a few totalitarian states left on this earth, most of which are now turning towards democracy and open society. Let us fight together for democracy, peace and freedom, using logic and non-violence to change this corrupted world, including the Chinese communist regime, for the better , in the name of bequeathing a peaceful world to our future generations.




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US Congressional commission expresses grave concern over self-immolations in Tibet By Yeshe Choesang: 19 March 2013

Washington DC: The US bipartisan Congressional Executive Commission on China expressed its deep concern and sadness over the accelerating self-immolation crisis by Tibetans inside Tibet on March 18, and urged Beijing to resume dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his envoys without preconditions. Chairman Sherrod Brown and Co-chairman Christ Smith urged the Chinese government to end its repressive policies against the Tibetan people. “We hope for an end to these tragic self-immolations soon,” said Senator Brown in a statement. “The Chinese government can reduce tension, but not through its current policy of harsher regulations and heavier security. “Ending policies that deny Tibetans their freedoms of expression, association, and religion, while showing greater tolerance for cultural diversity and resuming a dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions, would go a long way toward easing tensions.” Congressman Chris Smith added, “In recent years, Chinese officials have tightened controls on Tibetan Buddhism and monastic institutions, used excessive force against peaceful demonstrators, promoted resettlement and educational policies that have threatened and disrupted Tibetan culture and language, and closed Tibetan areas off to the outside world. Reversing these policies and allowing international observers into the region would do much to alleviate the situation.” Senator Brown went on to say, “This month marks five years since the start of the mostly peaceful protests that swept across the Tibetan plateau in March and April 2008, in opposition to Chinese policies that infringe on the culture, language, religion, and livelihood of Tibetans.

Senator Sherrod Brown, chairman of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China and Co-chairman Christ Smith Express Grave Concern Over Tibetan Self-Immolations. Photo: file

“Following the protests, policies that were already harsh have intensified. Since 2009, [to date] there have been a reported 107 instances of selfimmolations in which Tibetans have called for Tibetan freedom and the Dalai Lama’s return, most occurring within the past year.” In a report released in August 2012, the Congressional Executive Commission on China noted how the self-immolations had spread geographically, and also from the Tibetan Buddhist monastic community to the lay population. Senator Brown said his

commission will continue to “monitor the situation and issue periodic updates” - the most recent having been issued on March 8. The commission was instated by the US Congress in October 2000, with the legislative mandate to monitor human rights and the development of rule of law in China. It consists of nine senators, nine members of the House of Representatives, and five senior administration officials appointed by US President Obama to submit an annual report to Congress.

Tibetan activists in Dharamshala portray a corrupt and violent Chinese government By Yeshe Choesang: 21 March 2013

Dharamshala: Tibetan activists in Dharamshala, northern India, staged a street protest on March 21, led by actors dressed as Chinese President Xi Jinpin, a Chinese soldier and a Tibetan man in chains. The protestors, who marched down Temple Road in McLeodganj (Upper Dharamshala), demanded that China end the severe punishments imposed on the family members of self-immolators in Tibet, and urged the international community to support multilateral action regarding the Tibet situation. President Xi Jinpin was depicted holding an oversized banknote, representing China’s conflation of truth with money and trade, whilst the soldier was depicted carrying a gun, to symbolise the Chinese authorities’ consistent use of violent force against innocent Tibetans. The event was organized by three Tibetan NGOs - Students for a Free Tibet, the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress and the Regional Tibetan Women’s Association – who issued the following statements: This is not the first attempt by the Chinese authorities to manipulate the real cause of the selfimmolation protests in Tibet. In the past, they have offered bribes and even threatened heavy sentences for the family members. Through this protest action, we call on the Chinese government to stop the crackdown and ludicrous disinformation campaign. We would like to caution the international community – especially the news

Activists portray President Xi Jinpin, a Chinese soldier and a Tibetan man, during a protest in Dharamshala, 21 March 2013. Photo: TPI

media – to ensure their coverage of this issue does not unwittingly reinforce China’s attempt to put the blame on Tibetans, who are the victims here. In the past, the Chinese authorities have detained many Tibetans in relation to the self-immolations, to shift the blame…without dealing with the real causes of the self-immolations - failed Chinese policies in Tibet and decades of oppressive rul. The self-immolators have repeatedly called for the return of His holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet. The continuing self-immolations by Tibetans inside Tibet are one of the strongest political statements to highlight the heights of oppression under which Tibetans have been suffering for such a long time.

Tibetan Women’s Association campaigns for Chinese president to end repression in Tibet By Matthew Singh Toor: 15 March 2013

New Delhi: As Xi Jinping formally assumed the Chinese presidency on March 14, 200 Tibetan women staged a Shout Out to Chinese Leaders campaign at Jantar Mantar in Indian capital New Delhi. Members of the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) cried out slogans to an effigy of the Chinese president, including “Xi Jinping, end the repression in Tibet!”, “Xi Jinping, resolve the Tibet crisis now!” and “Xi Jinping, face the Tibet Challenge!” The campaign was the first of its kind, and included Tibetan women from 33 chapters across India and Nepal. Speaking at the event, TWA President Tashi Dolma, said, “Today, as Xi Jinping formally assumes the title of president and as we commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 2008 spring uprising in Tibet, we are shouting out to the Chinese leaders to review their failed policies in Tibet, to end the crisis inside Tibet, and significantly fulfill the genuine aspirations of the Tibetan people, who sacrificed their lives calling for freedom for Tibetans inside Tibet and for the dignified return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama...“ TWA General Secretary Nyima Lhamo added, “With this campaign, we want to remind the new Chinese leadership that the moment is now for them to face

the Tibet challenge. The Chinese government must realize that Tibet presents an opportunity for them to present themselves as a civilized and progressive society and fulfill their claimed domestic policy of harmony and [their] foreign policy of progress.” The shout-out event was part of a three-day mass solidarity campaign titled Tibetans Stand Together in Joy and Sorrow, and included a sit-in protest, the lobbying of Indian leaders, a peace march, prayer meetings and a signature campaign. A stream of speakers addressed the sit-in at Jantar Mantar. Shri Nitin Gadkari, former president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, told the crowd that he is “aware of the grim situation inside Tibet and remain saddened over the heightened repression.” He added, “I have and will always stand by the Tibetan people and their unwavering struggle for freedom.” Smt Jaya Jaitley, politician turned social activist, lauded the spirit of Tibetan women and assured them, “These impeccable tenets of the Tibetan nonviolent struggle and the powerful role of Tibetan women will persevere and bring triumph to the Tibetan freedom movement.” Other speakers during the campaign included women’s empowerment activist Ms Kamla Bhasin, Gandhian and social activist Ms Radha Bhatt, Burmese democracy activist Dr Alana Golmie, and members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.

The Chinese government’s attempt to conceal the reality by deploying the military and punishing innocent Tibetans, or offering bribes, will only further exacerbate the situation. Tibetans will not stop resisting until and unless China addresses the real issue of the Tibetan people. Therefore, we call for the setting up of an intergovernmental mechanism to put pressure on China on a multilateral front to end the military crackdown and the crisis in Tibet. The husband of Dolkar Tso, who self-immolated near Tsoe Monastery in Kanlho on 7 August 2012, was secretly detained by Chinese security personnel after he rejected a bribe from the local Chinese authorities. Family members of Sangay Gyatso (27) who passed away in his self-immolation protest…on 6 October 2012, was offered a bribe of one million Chinese Yuan (US $158,599) to sign a document stating that his self-immolation was not targeted against China’s rule over Tibet. On 28 January 2013, a Tibetan monk named Lobsang Konchok was given a suspended death sentence, likely to be commuted to life, and his nephew Lobsang Tsering was sentenced to ten years, over false allegations of having links with the self-immolations, with no proper trial and process. News of the arrests of self-immolators’ relatives is of utmost concern to Tibetans and supporters everywhere.



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30-year-old mother of four, Kalkyi woman dies after self-immolation in Tibet


March 31, 2013 Dharamshala


Tibetan man dies after self-immolation in Medshul town, Amdho Province By Samuel Ivor: 25 March 2013

Kalkyi, a 31-year-old Tibetan woman who died after setting herself ablaze in Dzamthang, Amdho region, 24 March 2013. Photo: TPI By Yeshe Choesang: 24 March 2013

Dharamshala: A Tibetan woman died in eastern Tibet on March 24 after setting herself ablaze - the latest in a wave of self-immolation protests against China’s hardline policies. Tseyang Gyatso, a Tibetan currently living in Dharamshala, told TPI that Kalkyi, aged 30, selfimmolated at 3.30pm local time, near Dzamthang Jonang monastery in Dzamthang township, Ngaba county, Amdho region. Kalkyi’s was the 110th selfimmolation in Tibet since 2009. Mr Gyatso added, “Local Tibetans protected Kalkyi’s body from the Chinese authorities shortly after the protest. The body was then taken to Jonang

Monastery where a traditional prayer service is being held by monks.” Kalkyi was from Yultso village in Dzamthang county. She is survived by her husband, Drupe, and four children - a young daughter, Bhumo Chung, and three sons, Denam, Pochung, Sopo all aged under 15. Kalkyi is the fifth Tibetan from Dzamthang county to self-immolate in protest against Beijing’s policies in Tibet. In the past three weeks, two other people also set themselves alight in separate incidents in Ngaba County. Konchok, a 30-year-old woman, and Thokmey, a 28-year-old Buddhist monk, selfimmolated just days before Xi Jinping was officially inaugurated as Chinese president.

Tibetan monk and laywoman self-immolate in Ngaba county

Lobsang Thokmey from Kirti monastery, Ngaba county, who self-immolated on March 16. Photo: TPI By Yeshe Choesang: 17 March 2013

Dharamshala: In two separate incidents, a Tibetan monk and laywoman have become the 108th and 109th people to self-immolate in Tibet since 2009. Reports have emerged that both self-immolations occurred in Ngaba county, Amdho region, eastern Tibet. The Venerable Kanyak Tsering from Kirti monastery in Dharamshala, northern India, told TPI that, “Thokmey, a 28-year-old Buddhist monk, set himself on fire outside Kirti monastery [Ngaba] on March 16 at 2.40pm local time. His fellow monks extinguished

the flames and took him to hospital, where he later passed away. “However, a large number of armed Chinese security forces immediately arrived at the hospital and forcibly took away Thokmey’s body.” Thokmey is survived by his parents - Rogtrug and Depo - one sister and three brothers. On March 17, hundreds of exiled Tibetans and their supporters commemorated his death with a candlelight vigil in Dharamshala. Another source reported that, “Konchok Wangmo, a 30-year-old Tibetan woman, burned herself on March 13 in Dzoge county at around 11pm at night. She died of burn injuries, on the same day the incident happened. “Konchok staged the self-immolation protest at the Chinese official building in Taktsa township.The Chinese authorities took away her body and then cremated her without informing her family, and only later handed over the ashes to her husband.” The authorities reportedly told Konkchok’s husband, Dolma Kyab, that, if asked about his wife’s death, he must respond that she committed suicide as a result of a family crisis. Dolma was taken away by Chinese police after the incident and his condition is unknown. Konchok is the 15th Tibetan woman to self-immolate in Tibet since 2009.

World powers express concern for Tibet at UN Human Rights Council ....... Continued from front page people and to allow free access to the Tibetan autonomous area.” The delegate urged China to take steps to implement the right to freedom of expression, including via the internet, as well as freedom of assembly, and called for the release of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo along with other prisoners of conscience. The delegate deplored “the widespread use of the death penalty” and called on the Chinese authorities “to take immediate steps to reduce its application whilst moving towards a moratorium.” The US delegate said that China’s policies undermine the language, culture and traditions of ethnic religious minorities, thus heightening tensions in Xinjiang and Tibetan areas of China. “The recent decision to use criminal proceedings against the families and associates of Tibetans who have self-immolated has further increased tension,” the delegate stated, and continued that China continues to silence dissidents through arrest, conviction, forced disappearances, illegal detention and other forms of intimidation. The delegate concluded by highlighting tightened controls on the internet, persecution of human rights lawyers and the intimidation of activists’ families, and said China is impeding civil society, harassing domestic and international journalists and limiting religious freedom. Germany expressed its continued concern about human rights violations in China. Its delegate raised strong concerns about the recent reports of “detention and harsh sentences against Tibetans, charging them with incitement to self-immolation.” The delegate called on the Chinese authorities to respect fundamental rights and the rule of law and urged China “to address the deep-rooted causes of ongoing self-immolations in a peaceful manner, respecting the cultural and religious rights of Tibetans.” The delegate further encouraged China to facilitate a visit by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the near future. The Czech Republic’s delegate, who has consistently raised the Tibet issue in the UN, said, “We would

like to address the overall human rights situation in China as there is a lack of effort by authorities to debate this issue. We remain deeply concerned by the continuing self-immolations in Tibet.” The delegate also raised the issue of the detention and prosecution of Tibetans “who have allegedly been associated with self-immolation protests of other Tibetans, like Mr Lorang Tsering and Mr Lorang Konchok.” The Austrian delegate called upon the Chinese authorities to ensure that the rights of all minorities, including Tibetans and Uighurs, are respected, as guaranteed in China’s constitution. The Swedish delegation also expressed its government’s concern about the rights of Tibetan and Uighur people. Mr Tenzin S Kayta, speaking on behalf of the Society for Threatened Peoples, said that the human rights situation in Tibet areas has significantly deteriorated since March 2008, and that the dignity of Tibetans and their very basic human rights have been severely violated. “107 Tibetans from all walks of life have selfimmolated [to date] since February 2009,” he said, “while calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet. Sadly, of this number, 90 have died. “There is a direct relationship between selfimmolations and China’s political repression, economic marginalization, environmental destruction and cultural assimilation in Tibet.” Mr Kayta continued that there is no space for protest to express one’s grievances in Tibet today, citing the example of 17-year-old Jigme Dolma who, in June 2012, protested in Kardze region of eastern Tibet, was beaten by the Chinese security forces and, two months later, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. He added that Chinese officials are saying, “We have nothing to hide. Anyone can come and see by themselves”, but that China has failed to accept visitation requests by twelve UN special procedures mandate holders, as well as foreign journalists and diplomats. Mr Kayta concluded that the international community must hold China accountable to its pledges and obligations to protect human rights, religious freedom and freedom of expression in Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.

Dharamshala: Reports have emerged from eastern Tibet that a Tibetan man self-immolated and died on March 25, becoming the 111th Tibetan to selfimmolat in the country since 2009. Lhakyab Jinpa, a Tibetan man living in India, told TPI that, according to sources inside Tibet, 43year-old Lhamo Kyab set himself alight in Medshul Town, Sangchu county, Amdho province (Chinese: Xiahe Xian, Gannan prefecture in Gansu). The Chinese authorities’ protocol after previous such protests has included mass media blackouts and police crackdowns. All of the self-immolators since 2009 have called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland. Many have also called for the preservation of the Tibetan language, an end to the heavy restrictions on freedom of religion in the country, and the granting of Tibetan independence.


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Tibetan self-immolations in Tibet 2009-2012. Photo: File

China sentences two Tibetans to prison: Monk and popular singer By Matthew Singh Toor: 13 March 2013

Dharamshala: A Buddhist monk and a popular Tibetan singer have been sentenced to five and six years in prison, respectively, by a Chinese court in Siling (Chinese: Xining, capital of Qinghai Province), Amdho region, eastern Tibet. According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) in Dharamshala, northern India, Lobsang Jinpa (31), from Nyatso Zilkar monastery, was sentenced to five years on February 23. His monastery is located in Tridu (Chinese: Chenduo) county in Kyegudo (Chinese: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. Lobsang was detained on 1 September 2012, along with four other monks, during a massive raid on the monastery by Chinese security forces. During the raid, many monks were beaten and the personal possessions of the five detainees were confiscated. Sources reported that the incident was a reprisal against a peaceful protest at the monastery on 8 February 2012 Two of the monks, Sonam Sherab (41) and Sonam Yignyen (45) were previously sentenced to two years. Ngawang Monlam (31), who has a

Buddist monk Lobsang and Tibetan singer Lolo. Photo: TPI

leg disability, was detained for a month and then released. Tsultrim Kalsang (26) has spent the last few months recovering in hospital recovering from injuries sustained during his initial detention. It appears likely that he will be sentenced once he is released from hospital. According to another source, Lolo (30), a popular Tibetan singer, was sentenced to six years in prison, also on February 23. Lolo was first detained on 19 April 2012 for releasing an album which included songs with politically-charged lyrics such as, “Raise the Tibetan flag, Children of Snowland”. He was subsequently released but then detained again and sentenced.

Buddhist monk dies after self-immolation in Luchu county Hundreds of confiscated satellites lie rusting after being declared ‘illegal’ by the Chinese authorities. Photo: File By Alice Reetham: 27 March 2013

Dharamshala: On March 10 – the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day - Chinese officials escalated their crackdown on access to foreign media in Tibet by dismantling satellite dishes at Labrang Tashi Kyil monastery in Labrang county, Amdho region, eastern Tibet. The monastery’s administration was ordered to remove and then burn the dishes, and was then told they should be replaced with smaller statesanctioned dishes and receivers, which receive only state-controlled programmes - thus blocking access to international media. The new receivers are allegedly fitted with automatic recorders and cameras, and used as surveillance devices by the Chinese government television control office. If phrases such as ‘Free Tibet’ or ‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama’ are detected by the devices, officials are alerted and sanctions implemented. In January this year, the Chinese authorities confiscated televisions and dismantled satellite equipment at 300 monasteries in the west of the area. Cash rewards were promised for anyone who informed the authorities about Tibetans retaining ‘illegal’ devices, with arrests and fines imposed on those found in possession of them. The Chinese Communist Party issued a statement that the move was justified because foreign media had been responsible for encouraging security lapses in the recent past. “Under the guise of combating ‘separatism’ the Chinese government is blatantly violating Tibetans’ rights to the freedom of expression, religion, culture, and movement,” said Sophie Richardson, China director of Human Rights Watch. “The authorities have a responsibility to uphold public order, but that cannot be used as a blanket justification for the kinds of measures to limit communications that the Chinese authorities are imposing in Tibet.”

By Yeshe Choesang: 29 March 2013

Dharamshala: Reports have emerged from Amdho region, eastern Tibetan, that a Buddhist monk has died after setting himself ablaze in protest against Chinese rule, pushing the confirmed selfimmolation toll in Tibet to 114 since 2009. Kanyak Tsering from exile Kirti monastery in Dharamshala, northern India, told TPI, “Konchok Tenzin, a 28-year-old a monk from Mogru Samphelling monastery in Lhuchu county, eastern Tibet [Chinese: Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province], died after burning himself on a road junction near his monastery on Tuesday evening, at approximately 7am local time.” Kanyak reported that locals from Luchu county immediately “took his body for cremation near the monastery after holding a traditional prayer service”, in an act of resistance against the Chinese authorities, which bar customary religious rituals and enforce speedy cremation of Tibetans who self-immolate. Konchok is survived by his parents - Lhakho and Lhamo Tso - and six brothers and sisters. He was the youngest of his siblings and joined Mogru

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Konchok Tenzin at a prayer service near Mogru monastery, Lhuchu county, 26 March 2013. Photo: TPI

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March 31, 2013 Dharamshala


Pressure mounts on Labrang monastery after expulsion order

The sprawling Labrang monastery in Sangchu county, Kanlho Prefecture, Gansu Province. (Photo: Diego Torres on Demotix) By Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy and Matthew Singh Toor: 22 March 2013

Dharamshala: A former monk from Labrang Tashikyil monastery in Gansu Province, eastern Tibet, has revealed that the Chinese authorities last year issued an order to expel monks who had come from Tibetan areas outside of Gansu to pursue their religious studies. Samten Jigme (name changed) told the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) that the order is now being implemented not only at Labrang monastery but also at Rongwo monastery in Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren) county in Malho (Chinese: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Samten fled Tibet and arrived in India this month. He reported that formerly there were about 1,300 monks at Labrang but the number may now have been reduced to 999 - the limit set by the Chinese authorities. The expulsion order has not as yet been fully implemented, as the monastery’s abbot - a member of the Buddhist Association of China (BAC) - has repeatedly petitioned the Chinese government. BAC is a party body that controls and manages Buddhism in the People’s Republic of China. The partial implementation of the order has created a number of practical difficulties. Many senior monks at Labrang, including geshes, scripture teachers and disciplinarians, hail from outside Gansu, and their expulsion would directly affect the functioning of the monastery - particularly Buddhist learning and scholarship. Those senior monks have been ordered to apply for themtho (residential permits) in order to remain at Labrang. However, this option is not available to ordinary monks at Labrang, who are soon likely to be expelled. Moreover, 270 monks have been waiting for the past three to four years for permission from the Chinese authorities to sit entrance exams to gain admission to Labrang, and there is little doubt that the delay

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is a purposeful strategy by the authorities. Labrang monastery is a seat of higher Buddhist learning and attracts monks from all over the Tibetan plateau. In recent years, requests to enroll there have grown, following widespread expulsion drives at the larger monasteries in Tibetan capital Lhasa and areas outside the ‘Tibetan Autonomous Region’. The historic Kumbum Monastery in Qinghai Province, Amdho region, houses around 700 monks and has a relatively lenient admission process. However, unrestricted commercialization of Kumbum for the purposes of tourism has affected the standard of its religious education, driving many devout monks to seek admission to Labrang. The Chinese government spent millions of yuan on beautifying the monastery for tourists, but it now fails to attract serious dharma students. Samten Jigme told TCHRD that the frequency and intensity of ‘political education’ classes at Labrang have increased recently, with lessons being held two to three times a month. The classes are normally run by ‘work team committee’ members. However, in the face of stiff opposition and non-cooperation by the monks, the Chinese authorities now force senior monks and staff to conduct them. The strategy of using senior monks to indoctrinate younger monks is being applied in many other areas in Tibet. In January this year, 30 senior monks from major monasteries in the ‘Tibetan Autonomous Region’ were taken to Nagchu Prefecture to conduct ‘political education’ under the the guise of religious teachings, in monasteries including Bekar in Diru (Chinese: Biru) county in Nagchu. Recalling a somewhat apologetic speech by Labrang’s abbot in 2009, Samten Jigme reported to TCHRD that the abbot had told a gathering of monks his sincere wish was to save Labrang from suffering the fate of many other major monasteries which were being forced to do the Chinese government’s bidding. Many major monasteries, such as Sera, Drepung and Gaden, in Lhasa, and Kirti, in Ngaba, face frequent crackdowns resulting in disruption of normal religious classes and increased cases of detentions, disappearances, torture and imprisonment. The abbot referred to the distribution of antiDalai Lama propaganda literature by the Chinese authorities at Labrang - in which he took an active, albeit involuntary, role - following the 2008 protest uprising. The literature blamed His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the “Dalai clique” for instigating the protest. The abbot’s involvement alienated and hurt the sentiments of many monks, and was openly criticized by some Tibetan writers.


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China jails three Tibetans on charges of ‘splitting’ China

Thabkhe, Kalsang Dhondup and Lobsang, who have been imprisoned on charges of ‘state subversion’. Photo: People’s Daily By Matthew Singh Toor: 21 March 2013

Dharamshala: Three Tibetans have been sentenced to prison on charges of “state subversion”, after they allegedly “spread text and images” relating to Tibetan independence. According to the Chinese state-controlled media, People’s Daily, on March 18 the Intermediate People’s Court in eastern Tso-ngon, Amdho region, northeastern Tibet (Chinese: Haidong Prefecture in Qinghai Province), sentenced Jigmey Thabkhe to five years in prison, with his civil and political rights suspended for three years, Kalsang Dhondup to six years, with his rights suspended for four years, and Lobsang to four years, with his rights suspended for two years. The People’s Daily stated that, the “three Tibetan men have been charged with subversion and splitting the country”, and that they had “spread text and images” related to Tibetan independence to foreign organisations. The court apparently invoked Article 103 of the Chinese Criminal Law to punish the ‘offenders’, saying that the provision addresses those who “organize, plot or carry out the scheme of splitting the state or undermining the unity of the country”. No statements have been issued detailing the terms of the sentences, or the ages or condition of the detainees. However, many family members of selfimmolators in Tibet have reportedly been given jail sentences after refusing to blame self-immolations on family or personal problems, and this may be the real agenda behind these prosecutions. On March 18, another state-controlled media, Xinhua, reported that the Chinese authorities had arrested Tenpa Gyatso on February 18. The 32year-old monk was accused of ‘organising’ the selfimmolations of Rinchen (15) and Sonam Dhargye (16) on February 19. The exile Tibetan political analyst Nyima TJ has written, “Since 2009, the Chinese authorities have been trying to denigrate those who selfimmolate, and even punishing their relatives and friends to prevent the wave of self-immolations… Without providing a single piece of evidence, the authorities have fabricated many stories about the self-immolators, via state-controlled media such as People’s Daily, claiming they were alcoholics, mentally ill, etc… “The Chinese authorities in Beijing have pointed the finger at the Tibetan people, and started to blame the Tibetan administration and His Holiness the Dalai Lama… However, the self-immolation protests have continued. No matter how much [the Chinese authorities] have maintained hard-line policies… or how strongly they have cracked down on the Tibetan people, it doesn’t seem to work. Therefore, the authorities in Beijing must realise the error of their policies.”

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By Yeshe Choesang: 14 March 2013

Dharamshala: The Chinese authorities have detained a monk from Kirti monastery, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county, eastern Tibet. The arrest took place on March 9 - the eve of the 54th Tibetan Uprising Day. Kanyak Tsering, a monk from the Kirti monastery community in Dharamshala, northern India, told TPI that 29-year-old Tsepak was arrested whilst visiting his sick aunt. Tsepak’s whereabouts, the nature of the charges against him, and his current condition remain unknown. At the time of his arrest, he was in the third year of his master’s degree in Madhyamika (Buddhist philosophy studies). Tsepak was previously detained in 2011, whilst studying at Beijing Nationalities University, and held for several months, with no explanation from the Chinese authorities. Sources inside Tibet suggest that Tsepak has now been charged with providing information on the situation in Tibet to the outside world.

The Tibet Post International

Monastery under siege and monk detained following book publication By Pat de Brun: 19 March 2013

Dr Dinesh Anand BDS (MIDA)

Kirti monk Tsepak detained for a second time: Condition unknown

Tsepak, a Tibetan monk who ‘disappeared’ after being arrested by the Chinese authorities in Ngaba county. Photo: TPI


awareness about the disease, poor treatment compliance by patients and unreliable treatment regimen by private practitioners, the incidence of drug-resistant form of tuberculosis is on the rise and thus posing a serious health problem in our community.” The kalon added, “Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis is not only difficult to treat but also takes more than two years of treatment. [It] costs more than 200,000 rupees…causing an enormous economic burden to patients, community and the administration at large. “You and your near and dear ones who experience any signs and symptoms of TB, such as cough for a prolonged period, mild fever during night time, perspiration, chest pain, weight loss and loss of appetite, should immediately seek medical care from the nearest Indian government or health department medical facility. “Patients must fully comply with their treatment,” said Mr Wangchuk, “and take necessary precautions like covering one’s mouth to ensure that they do not infect others”. He added that he hoped and prayed TB would soon be eliminated from the Tibetan community in exile. “We all must realize that TB patients are like one of us who desire happiness and must therefore be treated with love and compassion, without any sort of discrimination. Lastly, I urge all members of our community, young and old, to join together for this collective effort to prevent and control TB in our community.” On March 25, Margaret Chan, head of the World Health Organisation, told reporters, “We have gained a lot of ground in TB control through international collaboration, but it can easily be lost if we do not act now. “Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis presents a huge threat, with an estimated 630,000 people now ill worldwide with this form of the disease. About 60% of the cases occur in Brazil, China, Russia and South Africa.”

Dharamshala: A monk from Tongkyab Monastery remains ‘missing’ since his detention earlier this month by the Chinese People’s Armed Police in Gade (Chinese: Gande) county, Golok (Chinese: Guolo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, eastern Tibet. According to a statement by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), “On 11 March, the day after the 54th anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising, Tritsen, 26, a monk from Tongkyab Monastery, was detained on unknown charges. Police detaining the monk gave no explanation for the sudden detention.” Sources from the area have relayed to TCHRD that Tritsen was probably detained in connection with a book he had authored. Denpai Khalang (Breath of Truth), was released and distributed at Tritsen’s monastery on March 8. It contains essays on selfimmolation by Tibetans and features a biography of Lama Soeba - a reincarnated lama from Tongkyab who self-immolated last year. Tritsen was detained whilst visiting his elderly mother, who lives nearby. Tongkyab Monastery has experienced a spike in armed police presence since monks there held a prayer ceremony on March 14 to mourn the loss of life in the self-immolation protests, and to mark the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day. On March 17, a group of local officials arrived at the monastery and called a meeting with the monks. In a strong indication that Tritsen’s detention was related to the views expressed in his book, the officials pressed the monks to turn themselves in if they had morally or materially supported the book’s publication. The officials were followed by ten Audi SUVs carrying security personnel from the county government. According to sources inside Tibet,

Tritsun’s photo on the cover of his book Breath of Truth. Photo: TCHRD

around 100 government and security personnel are now stationed at Tongkyab. The security officials extended their stay for a month and even asked the monastery to let them lodge, without charge, at a nearby guesthouse owned by the monastery. The monastery reportedly appealed that this would severely affect its main source of income for feeding, sheltering and educating the monks. In response, the county officials have apparently erected tents on the monastery campus. ‘Political education’ meetings are reportedly now being held on the steps of the monastery’s prayer hall. Sources say that, at the first meeting on March 17, officials issued stern warnings against the holding of prayer ceremonies, saying they are illegal, and that illegal activities would result in the confiscation of registered monks’ IDs. The fate of unregistered monks at the monastery remains unknown. Tongkyab Monastery houses around 200 monks, of whom half are officially registered and recognized by the Chinese authorities. Non-possession of ID leaves a monk unrecognized by the government. Laws barring under-18s from joining a monastery have now been in place for decades, and have severely affected religious teachings at Tongkyab.

Tibetan Day School students honour self-immolator Kalkyi’s four children

Yang La, director of the Tibetan Day School in Dharamshala, addresses students bearing photos of the Tibetan self-immolators, 25 March 2013. Photo: TPI By Matthew Singh Toor: 25 March 2013

Dharamshala: On March 25, around 150 students from the Tibetan Day School in Dharamshala, northern India, held a ceremony in solidarity with the surviving children of a woman who selfimmolated in Tibet. Kalkyi (30) set herself ablaze near Dzamthang Jonang monastery, Ngaba County, Amdho region, at around 3.30pm local time on March 24, and died from her injuries. A resident of Yultso village in Dzamthang county, she is survived by her husband Drupe and four children - daughter Bhumo Chung and sons Denam, Pochung and Sopo - all aged under 15.

At the day school ceremony, students held up photos of the 110 Tibetans who have self-immolated in Tibet since 2009, led by four children carrying a coffin draped in the Tibetan national flag and bearing a photo of Kalkyi with her husband and three of her children. Yang La, the Tibetan Day School’s director, explained that Kalkyi’s children were of the same ages as the students gathered, and asked the students how they would feel if they were to lose their mother. She also explained that Kalkyi had selfimmolated in protest against Chinese oppression of Tibet, Tibetans and Tibetan culture. She continued that, having lost their mother, Kalkyi’s children would be prevented from being cared for by other Tibetans who might want to show solidarity. She added that the the self-immolators whose photos the students were holding up had sacrificed their lives for all Tibetans. Yang La concluded that Kalkyi must have realised that her own and other children would remember her self-immolation, and that those and all Tibetan children must have hope for the future. A march then proceeded three times around McLoedganj (Upper Dharamshala) main bazaar, and finished at the martyrs’ memorial at the Tsuglagkhang (main temple).

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The Tibet Post International

Indian MPs call on prime minister to raise Tibet issue with Chinese leaders


March 31, 2013 Dharamshala


Tibetan exile parliament vows to fulfill aspirations of Tibetans inside Tibet By Central Tibetan Administration Media – 18 March 2013

A three-day Tibet Advocacy Campaign was held in Delhi from March 13 to 15. Photo: TPI By Pat de Brun: 18 March 2013

New Delhi: A three-day Tibet Advocacy Campaign was held in the Indian capital Delhi from March 13 to 15 to coincide with the budget session of the Indian parliament. The advocacy team met with over 20 MPs from various political parties and from both houses of parliament - the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha including Ninong Ering, the Minister of State for Minority Affairs. The campaign was jointly organized by the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) and Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) India, and was coordinated by the International Tibet Network, in response to the unprecedented wave of self-immolations inside Tibet. It aimed to garner government support and diplomatic intervention to address the Tibet situation. TWA General Secretary Nyima Lhamo said, “The advocacy team engaged the Indian parliamentarians in a strategic discussion, to ensure institutional support and tangible action to assert multilateral pressure on the Chinese leadership to resolve the Tibet crisis.” Dorjee Tseten, National Director of SFT India added, “Through this campaign, we have appealed to the parliamentarians to urge Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to raise the issue of selfimmolations in Tibet during his meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the upcoming BRICS summit, scheduled to be held in Durban this month.” Mani Shankar Aiyar, former minister and now a member of Rajya Sabha, told the team that the situation inside Tibet needs urgent intervention

SFT Canada receives human rights award

Members of Students for a Free Tibet Canada. Photo: TPI By Yeshe Choesang: 23 March 2013

Toronto: Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) Canada was honoured with an award at the 17th Annual JS Woodsworth Awards on March 22. The awards are presented annually to individuals or organizations

and therefore could potentially lead to a diplomatic expression from the Indian leadership to its Chinese counterpart. Former minister Ram Vilas Paswan, now also a Rajya Sabha MP and chief of the Lok Janshakti Party, showed the team a letter written on January 22 urging the prime minister to “sympathetically look into the matter of heightened repression in Tibet”, and a subsequent acknowledgement from Prime Minister Singh. In a swift response to the advocacy campaign, independent Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrashekar tweeted about the self-immolations in Tibet and subsequently sent a letter to the prime minister drawing his attention to the issue. “I urge you to support the cause of Tibetan freedom,” wrote Mr Chandrashekar, “by issuing a strong statement in light of current human rights violation and crisis in Tibet, and raise this issue with the Chinese president at the upcoming BRICS meeting on 26 and 27 March 2013, in Durban, South Africa.” Tsering Choedup of the International Tibet Network reported that, “Within two days, eleven MPs signed the Stand up for Tibet pledge, which has already garnered 50,000 signatories. The copies of the signed pledge and an exclusive appeal letter were delivered to the Prime Minister’s office.” The campaign also appealed to Indian parliamentarians to facilitate an invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to address the Indian parliament, and to invite Dr Lobsang Sangay, the Sikyong (political leader of the exile Central Tibetan Administration) to make a presentation on Tibet to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Indian parliament.

from across Ontario for outstanding commitment to advancing human rights and equity. SFT Canada was nominated by Member of Provincial Parliament Cheri DiNovo, who said, “SFT does phenomenal work in advancing the cause of human rights in Tibet. Their grassroots organizing and leadership training have empowered young people to become influential leaders in social justice movements.” Urgyen Badheytsang, SFT Canada’s national director, accepted the award on behalf of the organization, saying it “really belongs to the people inside Tibet who continue to resist, risking everything in their peaceful movement against a brutal regime, and inspire us to work for social justice for the Tibetan people and for people around the world.” JS Woodsworth, after whom the award was named, was a pioneer in the fight against racial and religious discrimination in Canada, and stood up for the right of all Canadians to vote, regardless of skin colour.

Exile Tibetan intellectuals hold Dharamshala conference on self-immolations and Chinese Repression By Alice Reetham: 29 March 2013

Dharamshala: Tibetan scholars, writers and journalists from across India and from abroad compared notes at a two-day conference - China’s Repressive Policies and the Crisis of Burning Tibet - which began in Dharamshala, northern India, on March 28. Hosted by the Tibet Policy Institute of the exile Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the conference was also attended by 70 senior CTA civil servants and representatives from all the major Tibetan NGOs based in Dharamshala. The delegates discussed the causes and ramifications of the selfimmolation crisis in Tibet. Mr Ngodup Dongchung, Kalon (minister) of the CTA’s Department of Security gave the keynote address, in which he discussed the Tibetan policy of non-violence and said that, upon His Holiness the Dalai Lamas’ advice, the Tibetan movement in Tibet has employed peaceful protest, especially since 2008. “Other international struggles should look at our path of non-violence,” Mr Dongchung said, “and see the benefits of it. Those directly involved in

Dharamshala: The 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile began its fifth session on March 18 in Dharamshala, northern India, and pledged to strengthen its efforts to garner stronger support from the international community to end the sufferings of Tibetans inside Tibet and to fulfill their aspirations. In his opening remarks, Speaker Penpa Tsering said the house would pass a resolution to express its condolences to and solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet, and hold deliberations to find a lasting solution to the escalating crisis in the country. “We know in our hearts the sufferings of Tibetans inside Tibet, and we pledge to redouble our efforts to let the international community know this and take action,” he said. Mr Tsering continued that the Tibetan leadership in exile, led by the Kashag (cabinet) and Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, had made the international community clearly aware that the Chinese government’s repressive policies in Tibet are the root cause leading to the tragic wave of selfimmolation in the country. He said Tibetans in exile wholeheartedly participated in the Tibetan People’s Solidarity Rally in Indian capital Delhi in January and February, in a nonviolent, legal and dignified manner, and added that one strength of Tibetans in exile is their unity in pushing the world to act on the Tibet crisis. The speaker expressed deep gratitude to all Tibet Support Groups and those who have supported the Tibetan people’s non-violent struggle for freedom and dignity. He also expressed concern over the lack of willingness by the Chinese government to address their failed policies in Tibet, adding that the current



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Thupten Samphel, Ngodup Dongchung and Kasur Kirti Rinpoche address a two-day conference on the self-immolation crisis, 28 March 2013. Photo: TPI

Tibet can see the magnificent result of this method. Although this cannot be seen immediately, it will become clear in generations to come.” Kirti Rinpoche, the head of the Kirti monastery community in exile and in Tibet, next addressed the conference, saying that, “Under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibetans are making peaceful protests. However, this does not mean that they cannot fight with the Chinese.” The Rinpoche explained that, “Historically, Tibet was a great country which fought wars with China and once had the ability to change the Chinese

dynasty. Tibet also used to fight wars with India and at one time conquered India as far as the river Ganges. “I would like to give you an example of when Tibetans have followed His Holiness’ advice. In 2008, the Chinese military enforced tight security in Kirti monastery in Ngaba region [Amdho, northeastern Tibet]. They drew a line which the monks were not allowed to cross. However, one night a monk crossed the line to visit the toilet. “The Chinese military questioned him and he replied, “I am going to the toilet.” Despite his answer, the authorities beat the monk. Many other monks gathered, asking them to stop the beating. See Page 6...

The 15th Tibetan Parliament-in-exile begins its fifth session at the Kashag auditorium in Dharamsala, 18 March 2013. Photo: TPI

crisis will not end unless the Chinese leadership brings positive change. Mr Tsering said he hoped the new Chinese government, under President Xi Jinping, would resolve the Tibet issue by finding truth from facts rather than engaging in cover-ups and a blame game. “The time has come for the Chinese government to respond positively to the sincere overtures made by the Tibetan leadership towards resolving the issue of Tibet through dialogue,” he said. “The Tibetan leadership remains committed to pursue the mutually beneficial Middle Way policy.” The house also expressed its condolences over the

passing away of former officials of the exile Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), namely former Kalon Trisur Juchen Thubten Namgyal, Kalon Trisur Sonam Topgyal, Kasur Alak Jigme, Mr Jampa Kalden, former secretary of the security department, and the Venerable Tarha Tenzin Choenyi, former secretary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “We mourn their demise and honour their remarkable service and contribution during the Tibetan freedom struggle,” said Mr Tsering. The house will also discuss and approve the CTA’s annual budget for 2013-2104 during its ten-day session.

Influential Chinese and Tibetans gather for dinner reception in New York, USA By Alice Reetham: 29 March 2013

Dharamshala: A dinner reception was held by the Office of Tibet in New York on March 22 and attended by nearly 60 Chinese people. The event took place at Norling Tibetan Restaurant in Jackson Heights and was part of an ongoing effort to reach out to the Chinese in the US. His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative for the Americas, Lobsang Nyandak, addressed the gathering and explained the importance of mutual understanding between Tibetans and Chinese, particularly in the face of the ongoing crisis in Tibet. The gathering was attended by Chinese residents of New York including dissidents, activists, bloggers, students and scholars. Among them were pro-democracy activist and journalist Hu Ping - currently the editor of the influential New York-based Beijing Spring magazine - Jing Zhang, executive director of Women’s Rights in China, and Professor Peter Kwong from Hunter College in Manhattan. Professor Kwong, who previously organised His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s two visits to his college,

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s representative Lobsang Nyandak addresses a gathering of Tibetans and Chinese in New York. Photo: Office of Tibet

told the gathering, “At this point, most Chinese, even including the educated Chinese people, do not know much about the Tibetan issue. So it is very important to provide such opportunities for the two sides to meet.” Influential Tibetans at the occasion included Rinchen Dharlo, president of the Tibet Fund, representatives from the Tibetan Youth Congress and the Tibetan Women’s Association, together with staff from the Office of Tibet, New York.

Tibetan campaigners challenge BRICS summit leaders

....... Continued from front page

conducted jointly by Students for a Free Tibet India (SFT) and the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA). It featured a skit during which actors wearing caricature masks of the BRICS participants were petitioned by Tibetan activists. A press conference after the event highlighted the challenge Xi Jinping faces with the Tibet issue. President Xi Jinping was scheduled to meet with government leaders from the BRICS member states in Durban on March 26 and 27. Since Xi Jinping’s elevation to leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, China’s hard-line response to dissidence in Tibet has escalated, with increased military presence, mass detentions and a campaign to ‘criminalise’ family members of self-immolation protesters. “Tibet is Xi Jinping’s number one challenge”, said SFT’s Dorjee Tseten, “and he has to address the legitimate grievances of Tibetans living in occupied Tibet and bring about an end to the tragic wave of self immolations.” The TWA and the SFT have undertaken a lobby process in India this year, meeting elected leaders and requesting that urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to raise the Tibet issue during the BRICS summit. Letters have been sent to the embassies of all the BRICS nations in India, asking them not to hide from the truth about China’s repression of Tibet. Campaigners hope that, if the Tibet issue can be raised at the summit, the BRICS leaders will be urged to act collectively to press Xi Jinping to lift the current crackdown and revoke China’s policies in Tibet. Campaigners for the Tibetan cause from within the BRICS nations have also released statements calling for their leaders to urge Xi Jinping to address the ongoing crisis in Tibet at the summit. In a multi-campaign-group press release issued on

March 25, Elizabeth Gaywood of the Tibet Society South Africa, stated, “As a South African, I am proud that we overcame apartheid, but the actions of governments around the world played a part in our success. Now we need to do the same for Tibet - to unite and champion the Tibetan people’s right to freedom.” In the same press release, Vijay Kranti of the Indian Core Group for the Tibetan Cause said, “I appeal to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh – political leader of the world’s largest democracy - to speak out in support of the people of Tibet and to encourage presidents Zuma, Putin and Rousseff to join him in urging Xi to resolve the Tibet issue swiftly and peacefully.” BRICS was established in 2006 and its five member states are notable as emerging economies with a significant influence on regional and global affairs.

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March 31, 2013 Dharamshala

His Holiness the Dalai Lama consecrates Tathagata Tsal Buddha statue in Sikkim ....... Continued from front page 20 years ago, he said, the Japanese World Peace Stupa was inaugurated in Rajgir, in the presence of the president of India, but His Holiness pointed out that the real stupa needs to be built within ourselves, and that what we need is guidance about how to train our minds. His Holiness expounded on the Buddha’s teachings, saying they contain many methods to train the mind, because of the wide variety of people’s dispositions. “We should study this in the collections of Buddhist scriptures, in the volumes of the Kangyur and Tengyur,” he said. “Books are not just to be treated as objects of respect - we need to open and read them. We need to find out how the mind works, how the emotions function. Prayer is not enough. We have to train ourselves. Buddhist literature is so rich in knowledge about the mind that it is now attracting the interest of modern scientists, who see these methods as authentic sources of inner peace.” The secretary of the Ecclesiastical Affairs Department, Tsechokling Rinpoche, offered the final words of thanks, expressing his gratitude to His Holiness, and the other dignitaries and guests assembled, for attending the occasion. In the afternoon, His Holiness returned to the pavilion to teach Ngulchu Thogme Sangpo’s 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas. He explained that the word ‘dharma’ means ‘holding back’ or ‘saving you from suffering’. “It does so by training us to combat the destructive emotions that give rise to suffering,” he said, “enabling us to transform ourselves so that

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we become free from it.” His Holiness also discussed the differences between the theistic religions, which tend to worship a creator god, and the non-theistic traditions, including Buddhism, which do not postulate a creator - instead teaching about the law of causality, or karma. “Buddhism teaches that if you do good, you achieve a happy result,” he said, “and if you do bad, you create the causes for suffering and discomfort. From this point of view, our experience of pain and pleasure is in our own hands. Today, all the world’s major religious traditions flourish in India, where respect for other traditions and harmony among them is an ancient but living reality. “Once we’ve gone over this text together, don’t just forget it and let it gather dust on the shelf. Just having it in the house is of no help - you have to read, think about it, and become familiar with it. You have to apply the teaching in your daily life, day by day.” His Holiness reiterated that the Bodhisattva paths have to be practiced, and not merely remain the object of prayers. “Just as the Buddha did, you have to practise and gather merit,” he said. “This is how we will make our lives meaningful. The 37 Practices teach about the common paths, and then discuss ways to develop the awakening mind of enlightenment. After this come skillful means, wisdom and the Six Perfections, and finally dedication. This completes the 37 practices.”


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His Holiness the Dalai Lama congratulates Pope Francis

The newly elected Pope Francis on the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica. Photo: AP By Yeshe Choesang:14 March 2013

Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has congratulated Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, who has been chosen as the new Pope of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Bergoglio, who will be known as Pope Francis, was chosen on March 13 and is the first Pope from the Americas in more than a millennium. “May I offer you my greetings and sense of joy on your historic election as the Pope,” His Holiness said in a statement. “Although I am not very familiar with many Catholic saints, I do know about St Francis, having visited Assisi and attended interreligious gatherings there. “His discipline, the simplicity of his way of life and his love for all creatures are qualities that I find

deeply inspiring. I am moved to know that his is the name you have chosen for your papacy.” Recalling his cordial meetings with Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI, His Holiness looked forward to meeting the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church. “I am very pleased to have met and enjoyed friendly conversations with your immediate predecessors,” he said, “and, for the last 40 years or so, have participated in fruitful exchanges with my Christian brothers and sisters. I hope that I may have the honour of calling on you too, sometime in the near future.” Leaders across the world, including US President Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also congratulated Cardinal Bergoglio on his election.

H.H the Dalai lama

The Tibet Post International

Maintain peace through dialogue: His Holiness the Dalai Lama engages with students in Delhi By Samuel Ivor: 25 March 2013

Dharamshala: On March 22, His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed a group of class ten to twelve students from nine schools in the vicinity of the Indian capital Delhi, and made a plea for the creation of a more peaceful world for the younger generations. “The potential for conflict remains,” he said, “but despite our different views and interests it should be possible to maintain peace through dialogue, rather than resorting to the use of force.” His Holiness warned of the potential for conflict and the depletion of resources on the planet, and reiterated the need for a non-violent approach. “I often describe myself as a son of India,” he said, “because my brain is full of Indian thought and my body has been sustained these last 50 years and more by Indian rice, dal and roti.” The spiritual leader emphasized the need for ethical values with a secular basis, adding that whether we are happy or not depends on our attitude, and that compassion leads to a calmer mind. “Placing all our hope on material development is clearly mistaken - the ultimate source of happiness is within us,” he said. Highlighting the multitude of religious faiths and beliefs in India, His Holiness told the students, “You too have a responsibility to think of humanity’s welfare, and those of you who are believers have a responsibility to build an understanding with

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with students in New Delhi, 23 March 2013. Photo: Jeremy Russell/OHHDL

people of other faiths... Here in India, the concepts of secularism and secular ethics have evolved and from this springs ahimsa - the sense of doing others no harm. Such ancient values are very relevant in

today’s world”. His Holiness then drew upon Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, and responded to questions with quotes and prayers.

A brighter future depends on the new generation: His Holiness teaches in Sikkim and West Bengal By Alice Reetham: 28 March 2013

Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave teachings in northeast India on March 26 and 27, beginning at Ravangla and Gangtok, Sikkim, and moving on to Salugara, West Bengal On the morning of March 26, His Holiness walked in sunshine to the teaching pavilion in front of the Tathagata Tsal (Buddha statue) at Ravangla, to address an audience of thousands. He first summarized the Buddha’s life and then began the White Tara Long Life Empowerment, highlighting the Buddha’s compassionate wish to liberate all sentient beings from suffering. Next, His Holiness discussed the concept of emptiness, saying that, when the Heart Sutra explains that the five aggregates are empty of intrinsic nature - that form is empty and emptiness is form - this does not mean that there is no form, but that form is dependent on other factors. He continued that a warm heart is fundamental to everyone and that if you cheat, bully and exploit others, you will have no inner peace. The assembled crowd was then led through a concise ceremony to generate the awakening mind of Bodhichitta - the Bodhisattva’s aspiration - as part of the Long Life Empowerment. Referring to the White Tara Empowerment, His Holiness said, “This comes from the close visionary lineage of the fifth Dalai Lama. I’ve received the empowerments and transmission and done the retreat, and I thought to give this here because Sikkim has some connections to the fifth Dalai Lama’s teachings.” A long-life offering was then made to His Holiness, after which he left by car for Gangtok. The road was lined with devotees burning incense and holding khatas (ceremonial scarves) and flowers. Arriving at the Manan Kendra in Gangtok, His Holiness was received by members of the Sikkim state government and escorted to the Himalayan Buddhist Cultural school, where around 1,000 students were gathered. The minister for human resource development gave a welcoming address and two students offered khatas. The gathering received a surprise when, just as His Holiness was about to speak, a small boy of around two or three years spontaneously approached the the platform to offer his greetings. His Holiness then addressed the students, saying, “Dear young brothers and sisters, I am extremely

Sikkim’s Chief Minister Pawan Chamling pays his respects to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Ravangla, Sikkim, 26 March 2013. Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

happy to meet with you young people. Time is always moving on - nothing can stop it. “The 20th century has passed and with it much of my own generation. It was perhaps the most important century in history, in terms of change and technological development, but it was also an era of immense violence. “Some estimate that 200 million people died as a result of violence in the 20th century. This is why it is important to take the opportunity to make the 21st century more peaceful.” His Holiness discussed global problems, including population growth, the decline of natural resources and the widening gap between rich and poor, emphasising that we have a chance to take a new direction to remedy our past mistakes. He continued that the role of the older generation is to educate the younger generation about the mistakes they made. “Those of you here who are not yet 30 years old truly belong to the 21st century,” he said. “The future is in your hands. Whether this century turns out to be happy or full of fear and destruction is up to you.” His Holiness then considered the issue of trust, describing it as the basis of friendship and a warm heart, but adding that if we are self-centred and preoccupied with ourselves, then there is a lack of trust, which leads to fear and suspicion. “Many well-known scientists are now beginning to acknowledge that warm-heartedness is good for our physical health,” he said, “because it brings inner peace. They have evidence that a healthy mind is a major factor in maintaining a healthy body.” His Holiness concluded that he speaks to others only as a human being, and that the only difference between him and the students was their age. On March 27, His Holiness travelled to Sey Gyue Monastery in Salugara, West Bengal, where he was

greeted by crowds of devotees and the monastery’s new abbot, Akya Yongzin Rinpoche – the former abbot of Gyud-med (lower) Tantric College. Upon entering the main temple, he paid his respects to various representations of the body, speech and mind of the Buddhas, and then explained that he would be teaching Longchen Rabjam’s Resting the Mind in its Natural State and Je Tsongkhapa’s Concise Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. “Once you’ve listened to the teaching,” His Holiness said, “especially if you have a copy of the text, don’t just count yourself fortunate, but review what you have heard, think about it again, and try to incorporate it into your life. If you can, make notes or record the teaching and listen again.” The spiritual leader explained the reason he advises people to stick to their own religious faith, whilst cultivating respect for other faiths, is that all religions share a common message of love, compassion and tolerance. He remarked that India has several home-grown religions as well as providing a home for outside religions. “I am a Buddhist following the Nalanda tradition,” His Holiness continued. “I have studied many of the classic texts by the Nalanda masters, who rigorously answered the challenge of other schools of thought. From a Buddhist point of view, the idea of atman, or a soul - a being that goes on permanently from life to life - is mistaken. But such views have been helpful to their followers and as such are worthy of respect.” He then pointed out that the one billion people in the world who describe themselves as non-believers can also find happiness, if that is what they wish. To do this, he said, they need a calm and subdued mind, undisturbed by anger, fear and suspicion. Turning to differences within Buddhism, His Holiness said that it is clear that all Buddhists follow essentially the same Vinya, or monastic discipline, and that Tibetan Buddhism as a whole belongs to the Nalanda tradition. He added that not only do all Tibet’s Buddhist traditions rely on study of the works of Nagarjuna and other Nalanda masters, but that one of the first teachers of the Nyingmas was Shantarakshita who, in his day, was a reputed professor at Nalanda. The remainder of His Holiness’ schedule in West Bengal included further teachings on Resting the Mind in its Natural State and Concise Stages of the Path to Enlightenment.

Exile Tibetan intellectuals hold self-immolation conference in Dharamshala ....... Continued from page 5 Following this, more military personnel came and beat all the monks with kitchen knives. Some received serious injuries and had to go to hospital. Through all of this, the monks did not fight back. Following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice, they simply sat on the ground.” Kirti Rinpoche continued, “To date, 113 Tibetan’s have self-immolated. These self-immolations in Tibet are not stopping. The suffering of Tibetans in Tibet is too much to explain.” The Rinpoche then detailed several examples of Chinese oppression in Tibet. First, he spoke about Chinese cell-phone experts from Beijing investigating cell-phone use in monasteries, then arresting and imprisoning monks.

He also spoke of the legislation which requires Tibetans from Kham and Amdho region travelling to Lhasa to pass through many checkpoints and show their documents. He said If they cannot produce these documents, they are expelled, whereas Chinese people do not have to adhere to these rules. Thirdly, the Rinpoche spoke about the problem of Tibetan laypersons and monks who wear traditional clothes and robes in public being persecuted by the Chinese authorities. To launch the conference, Thubten Samphel, director of the Tibet Policy Institute anounced, “The... institute has invited Tibetan scholars and writers to brainstorm on how the crisis in Tibet can be resolved, so that Tibetans in Tibet no longer need to resort to the desperate acts of self-immolation

to press the case of the tragedy unfolding in their land.” “The institute serves as a think-tank for the Central Tibetan Administration. It also serves as an intellectual hub for Tibetan scholars across the globe, where they can articulate their views on the issue of Tibet, in the hope that these views will shape the perception of the international community and the policies of their governments regarding Tibet. Finally, Mr Mr Ngodup Dongchung said, “Today I would like to say that those who write on Tibetan websites or blogs anonymously that they should think carefully about what they say. People should not write anything false and should also take responsibility for what they write. People have to be careful that what they write does not become a tool for the Chinese government.”


The Tibet Post International

Canadian MP calls on Xi Jinping to resume dialogue over Tibet issue

David Sweet, Chair of Canadian Parliamentary Friends of Tibet. Photo: File By Yeshe Choesang: 23 March 2013

Dharamshala: A Canadian parliamentarian has raised his concerns about the critical situation in Tibet, and encouraged the new Chinese president to engage in dialogue with the leaders of the exile Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamshala, northern India. Speaking in the Canadian House of Commons on March 21, Mr David Sweet said: “The world watched over the past couple of weeks as the National People’s Congress in China met for the ceremonial formalities of installing its new president, premier, cabinet and leaders of its government. “New President Xi Jinping spoke of the earnest expectations of the people for a better life in his remarks to the People’s Congress last Sunday. I

would like to note that the world is watching how president Xi Jinping’s government lives by those words.” Mr Sweet continued that the situation in Tibet is becoming increasingly desperate under the violent crackdown of the Chinese government. “Given this urgency,” he said, “we sincerely encourage President Xi Jinping to meet with the leaders of the Tibetan government-in-exile to discuss the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way approach for peace, human rights and stability, and for a reasonable co-existence between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.” Mr Sweet also raised the Tibet issue in February, when he said, “Tibetans today live under such oppressive conditions that so threaten their culture, environment, religious freedom and human rights, that MPs have seen, shockingly, over 100 Tibetans lighting themselves on fire in protest. “We call on the leaders of China to meet in earnest with the leaders of the Tibetan government-inexile, to discuss the Dalai Lama’s third way for human rights and democratic, regional, cultural and environmental autonomy for Tibetans within China.” Mr Sweet is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale. He is also chair of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, and Parliamentary Friends of Tibet (PFT). PFT is aligned with similar governmental groups around the world, and includes MPs and senators from all parties.

Indian MP calls for international focus on self-immolation crisis in Tibet


By Pat de Brun: 20 March 2013

Washington DC: Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Democratic senator for New Jersey, has made a strong statement on the Tibet situation to the US Senate. In a wide-ranging and impassioned address on March 18, Mr Menendez expressed his “concerns about the continuing unrest in Tibet and the tragic trend of Tibetan self-immolations”. On the subject of self-immolation, the senator said, “We must understand that these sorts of acts are indicative of the deep sense of frustration felt by the Tibetan people. This is not a conspiracy of ‘foreign forces’ but indicative of the deep sense of hopelessness of a people denied their basic dignity.” The senator referred extensively to the Chinese constitution, which prohibits “discrimination against and oppression of any nationality” within the People’s Republic of China (PRC). He said that these guarantees are in direct conflict with the reality of life in Tibet, calling it “one of the most repressed and closed societies in the world, where merely talking on the phone can land you in jail.” Mr Menendez spoke proudly of American support for the Tibetan cause, saying, “We see Tibet as an issue of fundamental justice and fairness, where the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people, as embodied in the PRC’s own constitution, are not being respected, where their culture is being eroded, and where their land is being exploited.” The senator was unequivocal regarding the role that Congress can play in ensuring an improvement in the lives of Tibetans, and said, “I believe that responsibility falls to us to help the Tibetan people in their efforts to preserve their culture and identity.” He went on to point out four concrete actions the US can take in order to assist the Tibetan cause. First, he spoke about the importance of continued funding for programmes such as the Tibetanlanguage broadcasts of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, saying, “I cannot overstate the importance of these efforts to provide perhaps the

Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: File

only independent source of news to Tibetans who struggle under the heavy censorship regime.” The senator then urged the Senate to “embrace” the recent statement by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay on Tibet, and reiterated her calls “to adopt the recommendations of various UN bodies and to allow access to Tibet by independent international observers and media members, noting twelve outstanding requests for official visits to China by UN special rapporteurs on various human rights issues.” Thirdly, Mr Menendez called on the US State Department to insist on access to Tibet for its personnel, saying, “We need independent and credible reporting on the true situation on the ground, and the department should work with China to take steps to see that the principle of reciprocity is respected.” Senator Menendez’s fourth recommendation was for the State Department to open up meaningful

By Matthew Singh Toor: 18 March 2013

By Alice Reetham: 26 March 2013

Dharamshala: Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a member of the upper house of the Indian parliament, has called for the attention of the world, especially India, to be focused on the self-immolation crisis in Tibet. On March 19, letters were sent by Mr Chandrasekhar to the speakers of both houses - the Lok Sabha (House of the People) and Rajya Sabha (Council of States) - requesting that “Dr Lobsang Sangay, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile…be invited to depose before the standing committee on foreign affairs.” Further letters were sent on March 21, saying, “I think it would be fitting for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, especially given the fact that he is a spiritual leader and a person who espouses non-violence and dialogue, to address the Parliament and share his views on world and conflicts in specific.” Mr Chandrasekhar said an address by His Holiness to the nation would “go a long way in supporting and spreading [his] message of peace, tolerance and harmony for all the peoples of the world.” Emphasising India’s longstanding relationship with Tibet, Mr Chandrasekhar wrote that, “India

has a moral responsibility, as the world’s largest democracy, to be a flag bearer of hope to any people all over the world, including Tibetans, who are faced with lack of hope. People in Libya, Tunisia and Syria look at India as harbinger of hope because it represents hope for democracy, free speech and the future.” Discussing the letters on Tibetonline TV on March 25, Mr Chandrasekhar said, “The issue of IndoTibetan friendship and Tibet is something that has not been refreshed in recent times in the minds of Indian legislatures and the public in large.” He added that the situation surrounding the wave of self-immolations in Tibet is unacceptable and that the international community, in particular Indians in India, should be paying more attention as to why so many young Tibetans are setting themselves on fire. Mr Chandrasekhar’s statements follow the Tibetan People’s Solidarity Campaign, which took place in the Indian capital New Delhi from January 30 to February 2. Over 30 Indian parliamentarians and political leaders took part in the action, which aimed to draw global attention to the escalating crisis in Tibet.

British Tibet groups lobby UK parliamentarians

Brussels: A Tibetan man has begun a solo bicycle tour around Europe to spread awareness of the worsening human rights crisis in Tibet and the wave of self-immolations in the Himalayan region. Rinpo, from Minnesota, USA, began the tour in Brussels, seat of the European Parliament, on March 17, and will visit more than 150 towns and cities in 13 European countries. During the tour, he will appeal to European Union leaders, member states and the public to lend support to the young and ordinary Tibetans inside Tibet who are sacrificing their lives for the freedom of the Tibetan people and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet. Below, TPI publishes Rinpo’s press statement about his campaign: Since 2009, [at time of writing] 109 Tibetans have committed self-immolations inside Tibet. The messages these protesters have left behind are testaments to their motivations and aspirations of freedom for the Tibetan people and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

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....... Continued from front page

Around 300 supporters subsequently sought the MPs’ support during the fifth annual Tibet Lobby at the Houses of Parliament and in constituencies around the UK on March 13. The organizers issued a statement saying, “The focus of this year’s lobby was to call on MPs to ask [British Prime Minister] David Cameron to make a public statement of concern about Tibet and to urge the UK government to work with other governments to find a solution to the Tibet crisis.” The MPs agreed it was time for another debate on Tibet in the House of Commons, given that the last one was held in December 2011. Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet (APPGT) interacted with the lobbyists during a special meeting. They included Fabian Hamilton MP (Labour Party and chair of the APPGT), Cathy

Jamieson MP (Labour/Co-op) and Nic Dakin MP (Labour). On March 10, around 600 Tibetans and their supporters took to the streets of the British capital London to commemorate the 54th Tibetan National Uprising Day, calling on China to end its occupation of Tibet and respect the rights of the Tibetan people. Addressing the gathering, Tim Loughton MP spoke out against the UK government’s decision to refuse ministers permission to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his summer visit. He urged the new Chinese President Xi Jinping “to start a real dialogue” on Tibet. “We offer an olive branch to China, if they really mean what it says in their constitution about respecting the autonomy of regions within the borders of China.”


Self-immolations indicate frustration of the Tibetan people: US senator

Solo European bicycle tour spreads the word on situation in Tibet

Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar, member of the upper house of the Indian parliament. Photo: File.

March 31, 2013 Dharamshala

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dialogue with China, “to address the deeper strategic aspects of the Tibet issue”, including Tibet’s role in ensuring the water security of millions of people in South Asia. He highlighted the importance of resolving the Tibet issue from a Chinese perspective, saying, “Instability in Tibet is a factor in the broader question of social stability in the entire PRC. Peaceful resolution of the Tibet issue could go a long way in demonstrating to the world that China is indeed a responsible and constructive member of the community of nations.” In a heartfelt conclusion, the senator paraphrased His Holiness the Dalai Lama, saying, “Those who raise their voices of concern for Tibet do so not because they are pro-Tibet or anti-Chinese. They do so because they are pro-justice. I second this remark and look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate, and with China, to promote a durable resolution to the Tibet problem.”


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Rinpo begins his solo cycle tour in Brussels, 17 March 2013. Photo: TPI

Despite appeals by governments and international agencies such as the United Nations and the European Union to the Chinese government to show restraint in dealing with peaceful protests, the repression does not seem to show any sign of improvement. On the contrary, the Chinese government is increasingly repressive and blunt in its reaction to these acts of protest. Of late, the Chinese authorities have started implicating the family members and whole villages of the immolators for alleged involvement in inciting immolations. Tibetans are living under constant fear of arrest, persecution, torture and even death. Unsubstantiated propaganda is being widely publicized using various media to blame His Holiness the Dalai Lama for inciting these immolations. The overall situation inside Tibet is becoming increasingly tense and urgent. The Chinese government is hell-bent on suppressing the unrest while totally overlooking the causes of these drastic acts of protest. Since the Chinese government is pushing Tibetans to the limit, it is the moral responsibility of the international community to intervene in whatever way it can to stop this repression and press the Chinese government to resolve the issue of Tibet once and for all. With this appeal from an ordinary Tibetan, and on behalf of the voiceless Tibetan brothers and sisters in Tibet, I am fervently urging the leaders, intellectuals, students, and ordinary citizens of Europe to: 1. Urge China to review its failed hard-line policies in Tibet and address the genuine grievances of the Tibetan people by resolving the issue of Tibet through dialogue. 2. Urge China to allow unfettered access to Tibet for the media, the United Nations and international fact-finding delegations to investigate and report on the real causes behind the self-immolations. 3. Support my initiative by signing a petition which I will submit to the leaders of European Union and its member states at the end of my campaign.

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March 31, 2013 Dharamshala


A Tibetan Painter’s Story: Thangka Artist Surya Lama

By Pat de Brun: 19 March 2013

Thangka painter Surya Lama in his shop-cum-studio McLeodganj, Dharamshala,: 26 March 2013. Photo: TPI By Samuel Ivor: 26 March 2013

Dharamshala: Born in the small Tibetan hamlet of Khasa, bordering the towering mountains of Nepal’s Sindhupalchowks district, Surya Lama grew up on the Trans-Himalayan trade route between Tibet and Kathmandu, among some of the highest peaks of the Himalayas. Sharing a chai in his shop in Dharamshala, northern India, and surrounded by four walls of glorious images of deities, auspicious symbols, and the Lord Buddha, Surya explains how he came to follow in the footsteps of the great Thangka painters. “When I came to India, I began my studies as a Buddhist monk. I lived and studied in a monastery in Ladakh” - a remote part of northern India that was once part of Tibet and sits on a trading route between China and the Middle East. “As a monk, I began my studies as a Thangka artist, with my teacher Kushog Dhompa. I was 16 at the time, and I was at Lamayuru Monastery.” Watching Surya Lama paint in his shop, one can see the religious devotion and concentration involved in the intricate art form. He sits cross legged before a homemade frame, upon which is stretched a canvas. A modest number of paints

litter his pallet, yet the work he creates is at times astonishing, ranging from small intricate images, as small as his hand, to enormous images four or five feet in height. Traditionally, Thangkas are painted on silk and embroidery. They are carefully mounted on silk, and often covered to keep them protected - a method that often allows them to last for decades. They are often used as important visual teaching tools in Buddhism, and adorn the walls of Tibetan monasteries and homes – treated carefully and tenderly revered. Although Surya’s shop is small, every inch of wall-space is covered with his masterpieces, and more scrolls sit neatly in the corner to be collected or sent abroad. “In my life, I like to paint as an artist. There were not many artists when I was younger - not many Thangka shopkeepers too. After Ladakh, I moved to Sidhpur, which is nearer the Dalai Lama’s residence here in McLeodganj, and continued my studies for another five years at the Norbulingka Institute. It took a lot of time to begin my own shop. It took many years and lots of work. I had no budget when I began, so I began by selling on the street. I used to have a table in the bazaar where I would sell and paint the images. I would spend a few months in

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Dharamshala, then I would travel to Ladakh and sell some paintings in the main town there - at Leh - and then for some months I would go to Goa in the south. I would often sell to pilgrims and tourists passing through the area.” Despite the relative comforts of his shop on Bhagsu Road, life is not always easy. “Now, over the last five years, it has become more difficult with modern technology. People sometimes come to the shops and take photos of the Thangkas, then choose not to buy them because their pictures are such high quality. They can even do this on their mobile phones now too. They leave and it’s copied very quickly. This is very difficult for me. It takes a long time to make each Thangka painting - at least six weeks for a standard image. “There is also an influx of fake or cheaply made Thangkas now. These are made either quickly with watercolours, or photocopied on large paper and framed to look real. This is a big issue when you spend so long on each painting and see this happening. It is also damaging to the tradition of Thangka painting. When I started, there was just one shop - now there are at least ten.” When asked how he feels to be part of one of the richest aspects of Tibetan tradition, Surya Lama describes how the skill has spread with the global diaspora. “Tibetan Thangka painting as a skill came along with Buddhism from Tibet among the many Tibetans who fled last century. Now I’m part of this. It’s a strong tradition. I sell my paintings but sometimes my business is very bad – it is difficult at times. Even though it can be difficult, I am part of Tibetan culture and tradition. “In India, we have freedom to sell paintings and Thangkas of deities. It’s harder in Tibet. Though in China now there is more Buddhism. They have images of the laughing Buddha - the fat one. We don’t use this however in our tradition! “When I paint the images, I use what I was taught by my teacher all those years ago in Ladakh. Each painting is slightly different, even if I try to make it the same. Each time we cannot recreate what was before - not exactly, at least. They are unique.” Surya Lama’s current shop, which opened in 2010, sits on Bhagsu road, past the bustling vegetable market of Amdho village. He says it is comfortable to work in. I am amazed as I watch and listen to the number of cars that edge past the doorway in the burgeoning tourist season, and the jarring drone of car horns. Despite the distractions, and the array of new Thangka shops that have appeared on either side of his in recent years, Surya Lama steadily continues to paint, almost in a state of meditation, as he focuses on the end of his brush. Surrounded by breathtaking images of Buddhist deities, and armed with a handful of colours, his work continues to inspire and amaze, as well as adding to the rich and diverse movement of Tibetan culture in exile.

European media has vital role in changing repressive Chinese policies: Kirti Rinpoche By Pat de Brun: 19 March 2013

Berlin: On March 18, Kirti Rinpoche met with Mr Markus Löning, the German human rights commissioner, at the foreign ministry in Berlin, to brief him on the current situation in Tibet particularly at Kirti monastery in Ngaba county, eastern Tibet. Kirti Rinpoche is the spiritual head of Ngaba area, and Kirti Monastery is the main monastery of the region. He visited the commissioner as part of a three-week lobbying tour of five European nations. The Rinpoche was also interviewed extensively by the German media, including Bild am Sonntag, the country’s largest newspaper. He said that the media has a vital role to play in bringing about a change in China’s policies towards Tibet. He also highlighted the fact that, of the 109 Tibetans who had self-immolated in Tibet to date, around 47 were from the Ngaba area, adding that the cause of the tragedy is China’s policy to destroy Tibetan religion, culture, environment and language. The Rinpoche said that, since 2012, the Chinese authorities have begun to arrest the families, relatives and friends of those Tibetans who selfimmolate, and that his immediate concern was for their safety. On January 31, Lobsang Kunchok (40) of Kirti monastery and Lobsang Tsering (31) from Ngaba, were respectively sentenced to death with a two-

In Kunchok’s words, the “Delhi office launch event in Majnu Ka Tila on 24th February 2013 was a big success. With this launch, Lhasa Capital became the first brokerage house in the Tibetan commercial hub – Majnu ka Tila, Delhi. Dorji Dewatsang (Director, Mandala Construction), was the chief guest at the event. Dorji La expressed his happiness at the launch and welcomed more Tibetan youth to try their hand at entrepreneurship. Sonam La, TCC chairman, also came to support the event, which was attended by more than 15 renowned entrepreneurs in MT. At the Delhi office, we have partnered with Thupten Jampa, owner of Earthlink Tours and Travels, and are expecting 20 to 30 new accounts in the next two to three months.” As per Tenzin Kunchok, “In next five years, Lhasa Capital will expand aggressively in the north-east, as well as in various Tibetan settlement areas across India. Lhasa Capital will continue to put more effort to educate Tibetan investors to participate in India’s growth story.” Hiring and retaining the right talent has been a major challenge for the company. With its new recruitment strategy, the firm attracts applicants from top-notch colleges. The company has also partnered with TechnoServe’s career centers to fill vacancies. In the last two months, the company was able to generate healthy 5-6% returns per month for many customers. The company is generating a good cash-flow and is willing to become aggressive in its expansion. The company’s focus on personalized customer service has led it to become the preferred broking house in Gangtok. The company has aggressive marketing plans (a website launch and customer training workshops) and hiring plans for rapid business expansion. Powered by strong commitment and an aggressive approach, Lhasa Capital team is looking to develop a long-term relationship with the Tibetan community. We wish them all the best!

Kirti Rinpoche with Mr Markus Löning, the German human rights commissioner, 18 March 2013. Photo: Office of Tibet

year reprieve and ten years’ imprisonment, for allegedly inciting Tibetans to self-immolate. “I am travelling in Europe to request governments to ask China to change its policy in Tibet,” the Rinpoche said. He went on to reveal that the Chinese authorities have installed CCTV surveillance within Kirti monastery, as well as stationing rapiddeployment uniformed security forces nearby. Kirti Rinpoche was recognised as the reincarnation of the tenth Kirti Rinpoche in 1946. He followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama into exile in India in 1959. The Rinpoche’s European tour has also included visits to Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the UK.


Advertisment Feature CELEBRATING ENTREPRENEURSHIP: TIBETAN ENTREPRENEURS ARE CREATING GREAT ENTERPRISES 28 years old. Investor turned entrepreneur. First Tibetan e-broking house for Tibetans. Winner of Business Plan Competition (organised by TechnoServe, funded by USAID). Passionate and ambitious in business. This is Tenzin Kunchok - founder of Lhasa Capital (a partner of Angel Broking) Tenzin Kunchok, a Tibetan refugee based in Gangtok and a veteran investor himself, identified a great business opportunity which no-one in the Tibetan community had previously tried. He believed that Tibetans need to be more financially aware and diversify their savings away from traditional fixed and savings deposits, into avenues which can yield higher returns. With this vision he started an e-broking business and took a franchise of Angel Broking in Gangtok. He managed to set up the business whilst holding a regular job, with the help of Rakesh, an experienced trader. Today, the company provides equity and commodity trading platforms, derivative products, and currency trading services. In only one year, the business has expanded from a single customer to over 100. Pure passion and consistent hard work has led Kunchok to this milestone. Now Kunchok is his own boss and has been confident enough to leave his regular job for the love of business. He plans to create fantastic job opportunities for Tibetans and serve the Tibetan community. Following ETB training, the firm has been able to open two new offices, in Cooch Behar (West Bengal) and Delhi (Majnu ka Tila).

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Mr Yeshe Choesang Miss Keary Huang Mr Matthew Singh Toor Mr Sangay Dorjee Miss Pema Tso Mr Samuel Ivor Miss Pema Tso Mr Matthew Singh Toor

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Keary Huang Tenzin Desal Sophie Jay Mr Samuel Ivor Mathew Singh Toor Yeshe Choesang Sangay Dorjee Pema Tso Alice Reetham Pat de Brun Himalayan Literacy Trust (Head Office) Room #2 2nd Floor, Exile House Temple Road, McLeod Ganj: 176219 Dharamshala, Distt. Kangra H.P., India

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