15 April 2013
Dawa Gyaltsen released from Chusul prison early: Chinese authorities suspected of evading another death in detention
The Tibet Post International
Buddhist monk Thupge arrested in Sershul county, eastern Tibet By Alice Reetham: 11 April 2013
Dharamshala: A Buddhist monk from Shershul County, eastern Tibet, has been arrested by the Chinese authorities for staging a protest on April 8 calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the country. Jigdrel Tenzin, a Tibetan man living in India who has close contacts in Shershu, has reported that 20-year-old Thupge, a monk from Mang-ge monastery, staged a lone protest at around 3.30am local time. Chinese authorities arrived at the scene and took him into custody. Thupge, the son of Migyur and Yiga, is a native of Mang-ge village in Karze region. His condition and whereabouts are unknown.
Chinese police and security forces in front of Jokhang temple, Lhasa, 8 December 2012. Photo: Tsering Woeser By Alice Reetham: 06 April 2013
Dharamshala: The Chinese authorities have released long-serving political prisoner Dawa Gyaltsen. 47-year-old Dawa was serving an 18year sentence but was released two years early in what is suspected to be a bid to avoid another death in detention. Dawa, a former bank accountant, was detained for distributing and posting Tibetan independence leaflets, and was released sometime last month for “good behaviour”, according to information received by exile Tibetan sources with contacts in Tibet. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) in Dharamshala, northern India, has said there is speculation that the move by the authorities was actually an attempt to avoid the responsibility of him dying in custody. It is not uncommon for Tibetan torture victims to die shortly after their release. Dawa spent the majority of his sentence in Chushul Prison, near Tibetan capital Lhasa, which is renowned for its mistreatment and torture of detainees. Sources have reported that his condition is now critical. A former prison-mate, now living in India, has reported that, “Ten years ago when I was with him in the prison, I always saw him sick and confined to his cell.” Dawa was detained along with his younger brother, Buddhist monk Nyima Dhondup, and two other monks - Mazo and Agya - in 1995, for distributing “political documents” and “inciting counter-revolutionary propaganda”. The group was sentenced in May 1997. Labeled the
ringleader, Dawa received 18 years imprisonment. His brother received 13 years, and Mazo and Aqya both received eight years. Prior to sentencing, Dawa was held for 14 months in Seitru Detention Centre, Lhasa, where he was subjected to interrogation, beatings and torture. During this time, he met Tibetan activist Tenzin Tsundue, who had been detained for ‘illegally’ entering Tibet. Speaking during a deposition he filed on 3 July 2006 to the Spanish National Court, Tenzin described how Dawa was mistreated by the prison authorities. “Once he showed me his wrists,” he said. “There were clear scars of torture - a ring of white scar tissue ran around his wrists. He told me that when he was first arrested he was handcuffed and thrown into a dark room without food for ten days. “To keep him alive, the jailors would splash water on him once a day. The handcuffs tightened around his wrists. They ate into his flesh, forming sores, and pus. After ten days when they unlocked the shackles, the metal rings ripped off skin from his wrist. He said he was not given medical attention and it took many months for the sores to heal.” During the 2008 Tibet uprising, Dawa was kept in solitary confinement for around six months, along with other prisoners including Dolma Kyap and Tsering Wangchuck. Dawa Gyaltsen was born in Shentsa county, Nagchu prefecture, in the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region. Preceding his arrest, he worked at a bank in Nagchu, and was married with two children.
....... Beijing releases Tibetan activist Jigme Gyatso after 17 years in jail ..... Continued from front page
described his condition as “very weak”. The leader of the Association of Tibetan Freedom Movement (more properly translated as the Tibetan Independence and Truth Group), Jigme was sentenced to 15 years’ hard labour on charges of endangering national security and being a “counter-revolutionary ring leader”. In 2004, China increased his sentence by three years for “inciting separatism”. Jigme had cried out in prison for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He was not due to be released until March 2014. In May 1998, during a visit by a European Union delegation, a group of prisoners, including Jigme, shouted pro-Dalai Lama slogans. Prison staff responded with violence and after the incident nine inmates were reported dead. Human rights groups worldwide have campaigned on Jigme’s behalf – among them Amnesty International, which designated him a prisoner of conscience. The Chinese authorities have been accused of beating and torturing Jigme whilst he was in jail, and he was hospitalised for an unknown period during his term. One of Amnesty’s reports claimed that, a year into his sentence, Gyatso was
beaten so badly that he could barely walk. Jigme’s friend Jamyang Tsultrim, who now lives in exile in India, has recently been in touch with contacts in Tibet and said, “Those who saw him reported that he was very weak. He was limping and reported having heart problems and high blood pressure. His vision was also weak.” During his visit to China in November 2005, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture met with Jigme and subsequently appealed for his release. In response, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stated that Jigme’s detention was arbitrary and therefore violated his rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. A report in 2009 by the World Organisation Against Torture - a coalition of non-governmental organizations fighting against arbitrary detention, torture, extrajudicial executions and other forms of violence - stated that Jigme Gyatso had become “very frail”, was suffering from kidney dysfunction and could “only walk with his back bent.” In 2011, Amnesty said Jigme was suspected to be “seriously ill as a result of torture and ill-treatment in custody”.
Shershul county, eastern Tibet. Photo: File
Portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama auctioned in United Kingdom By Alice Reetham: 12 April 2013
Dharamshala: Two signed portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, by figurative artist Lisa Andrews, have been auctioned by the Buddhist Community Centre UK (BCCUK), raising £6,200 (approximately Rs 500,000). The paintings were auctioned at a charity dinner in Reading, England, and the money raised will go towards the renovation of a building set to become a new Buddhist monastery and community centre in Aldershot, which will be open to the public. Ms Andrews said the portraits are intended to encapsulate the spirit of His Holiness, and portray his characteristic sense of humour. They are especially valuable, as only a very small number of such images are believed have been signed by the Tibetan spiritual leader himself. “I love to use oil paint, as the fluidity of the paint merges and flows to mirror my energy and emotions,” said Ms Andrews. “I paint people, and in particular their faces, as I find this both the most challenging and enjoyable. My paintings seek to capture more than just a photographic image of my subject, but also to include the person’s energy.
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A portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, painted by Lisa Andrews. Photo: Gurkhas.com
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Sikyong sends condolences over death of former British PM Margaret Thatcher By Central Tibetan Administration: 12 April 2013
Dharamshala: The exile Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamshala, northern India, has expressed its condolences over the death of former British prime minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher. In a letter to Baroness Thatcher’s son, Sir Mark Thatcher, the CTA’s political leader, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay said, “With her passing away, the world has lost a great leader - a woman who lived an exemplary life, to prove that there is no glass ceiling a woman with determination cannot break, and thus acting as a great inspiration for humankind.” Remembering the ex-prime ministers’ stand on the Tibet issue in her later years, Dr Sangay quoted a passage from her book, Statecraft : Strategies for a Changing World - “The Chinese claim to Tibet is dubious on historical grounds. In the late 17th and 18th centuries, Tibet became a Chinese protectorate. However, in the 19th century,
Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013 ), former prime minister of the United Kingdom. Photo: File
Beijing’s control weakened until it was virtually symbolic. Between the overthrow of the empire in
1912 and the Chinese communist invasion of 195051, Tibet functioned as an independent state.”