January 2020

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འབྲེལ་གཏུགས་གསར་འཕྲིན།

Contact

A Digest of Tibetan Issues, News and Community Information RGD No. HPENG/2013/51798 | Volume: XXII

Issue: 01 | January 31, 2020

Contents

Nepal-China Agreement Targets Tibetans

by Aparna Ramachandran The Nepali Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali has offered a written clarification to Members of Parliament about an agreement signed in secrecy with China during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal in October last year. The governments of China and Nepal have reportedly agreed to hand over people crossing “each other’s” borders Continued on page 3

HR in Tibet “Continue to Worsen”

by Mary Trewartha and Tenzin Dadon The United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China* (CECC) released its report for August 2018 to August 2019 on January 8; it states that Congress and the Trump Administration should urge China to stay out of the Dalai Lama’s succession plans, allow unrestricted access to Tibet and recognise the role Chinese policies play in

News Features 01-11 Tibetan Headlines 12 International Headlines 13 NGO Profile 14 People Story 15 Community News 16 Volunteer Story and Lha news 17 Charities & Organisations 18-19 Activities & Information 20-21 Jobs & Advertisements 22-23 McLeod Ganj Map 24

Continued on page 4

Religious Activities Banned

By Tenzin Samten The Education Department of China has ordered parents of children in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, not to engage their children in any religious activities or to take their children to faraway places during the current long winter holiday, or they will face the consequences, reports the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)*. Continued on page 3

Tibet Sees Influx of Travellers Avoiding Coronavirus

by Ray Sorensen Chinese and Tibetan people living in mainland China are travelling to Tibet to escape strict quarantines imposed on nearly 20 cities across the country in an effort to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus, officially called Novel Coronavirus 2019nCOV, first appeared in the city of Wuhan in midContinued on page 5

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Losar

February 24 - 26 : Losar - Tibetan New Year Tibetan offices closed for holiday. *Lha Charitable Trust will be closed for the Losar holiday from February 17 - 29. Lha will reopen on March 2. We wish you all a very Happy Losar and may you have a wonderful year ahead. For any URGENT enquiry, please contact 9882323455 / 7018766504

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Contact magazine is published by Lha Charitable Trust

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Lha Charitable Trust

Institute for Social Work & Education Lha is an award-winning, grassroot and non-profit institute for social work and education based in Dharamshala, India. It is one of the largest social work organisations providing vital resources for Tibetan refugees, the local Indian population and people from the Himalayan regions. Lha offers free language and IT classes, a community soup kitchen and many other programmes and activities. Through rehabilitation resources and social and educational services, Lha facilitates an easy transition for the Tibetan refugee community to India. For more information about Lha, please visit: www.lhasocialwork.org Facebook: Lhasocialwork Twitter: Lhasocialwork Contact magazine is published monthly by Lha Charitable Trust. It has been a popular source of news and information on Tibetan issues, and the Dharamshala community, for 21 years and is acknowledged in Lonely Planet and other international travel resources. It is available free of charge and distributed around Dharamshala, Delhi and various diplomatic missions in India. Copies are sent to Tibetan schools, settlements, offices and NGOs in India and abroad. Contact is updated daily on our website www. contactmagazine.net. Contact is registered under the Registrar Office of the Newspaper, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India; registration number HPENG/2013/51798. Please Note: The articles, stories and other material in Contact represent the views of the authors and are not necessarily the views of the Contact editing staff or Lha Charitable Trust. Please email comments on this issue to: editor@contactmagazine.net

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Lha collects all kinds of donations from clothing, shoes, books and language resources to computer and medical supplies, as well as any other useful items to pass on to needy people in the area. Monetary donations are extremely helpful and are greatly appreciated, whether large or small. In India a little money goes a very long way! Lha Contacts: office@lhasocialwork.org (0) 98823-23455 / 1892-220992 Please also see Lha’s additional websites: www.tibetnature.net www.samdhongrinpoche.com www.tibetfairtrade.com www.contactmagazine.net

One problem with our current society is that we have an attitude towards education as if it is there to simply make you more clever, make you more ingenious… Even though our society does not emphasise this, the most important use of knowledge and education is to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds. The proper utilisation of our intelligence and knowledge is to effect changes from within to develop a good heart. - His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Acknowledgement

Contact magazine is a wonderful example of the collaboration between Lha staff and volunteers from all over the world. The team at Lha provide the continuity for the magazine from the office while the majority of articles are written by volunteers, some of whom drop by and write one or two articles while others go on writing for us for months or even years after they have left Dharamshala. Some give us occasional editing help. Our two proofreaders, Clifford Martin and Ailsa Newcombe, have been making a vital contribution from Britain over the last two years. We are deeply grateful to every one of our volunteers, without their commitment, enthusiasm and dedication Contact would not exist: Thank you and tashi delek!

Want to know More?

Contact magazine is sponsored by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD). TFD’s kind contribution has made this publication possible.

Contact magazine | January 2020 | Page No 2

If reading Contact inspires you to learn more about the Tibetan situation please see the Tibet-Related Websites feature on page 21 for information about where to find out more.


News Features Nepal-China Agreement Targets Tibetans Continued from page 1

illegally or without proper documentation within seven days of their custody. This is seen as a move targeting the already vulnerable Tibetan refugees who cross over into Nepal from Tibet to flee Chinese persecution. This clarification by Minister Gyawali was due to the legislation in the Nepalese constitution requiring the government to appraise Parliament within one month of the session’s resumption about any international treaty or agreement the government has signed. Higher officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the above agreement will come into effect “soon”, as the internal procedures required to bring this into play are being worked out. “It may still take at least one month to bring this into implementation,” said an official, asking not to be named. While such legislation may be relevant for border security, experts say that this provision will immediately target “refugees” from Tibet who cross the border to make a safe passage to India and elsewhere through the United Nations refugee agency in Nepal. China officially claims that there are no Tibetan refugees in the world, but simply those who have crossed the border illegally. The report cited that the “gentleman’s agreement” Nepal

Continued from page 1

had reached with the international community in the early 1980s, under which Kathmandu agreed to provide “safe passage” to those fleeing Tibet, and adhering to a “nonrefoulment policy” on humanitarian grounds, will be overridden. This will dramatically restrict the likelihood of illegally entering Nepal from Tibet on the Chinese side of the border. The report further quoted officials as saying Nepal would stick to its gentleman’s agreement, but only verbally. Nepal is home to 13,514 Tibetan refugees, the vast majority of whom have been born there and are undocumented. According to the report, this “was the first point of the 20-point agreement signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal”. While it will officially come into effect from February “Nepal seems to be under an influence to enforce it before time”. The agreement is facing criticism within Nepal. Nepal has not signed the United Nations Convention Relating to Refugee Status which guarantees their refugee populations certain rights; New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch says that Nepal cannot send back refugees to countries with threats to their life or freedom, due to several international legal obligations and that they are bound by the principle of non-refoulment.

Religious Activities Banned

Parents of children at Lhasa Chengguan Haicheng Elementary School have been sent an official announcement from the Education Department. Parents have been told to follow the seven-point guidelines which relate to school projects, healthcare and forbidden behaviours, including the ban on engaging in religious activities The seventh point states, “Students are not allowed to participate in any form of religious activity during the break, and in principle long-distance travel with students is not allowed. In the event of an accident, all consequences are the responsibility of the parents”. “By banning schoolchildren from religious activities, Chinese authorities are infringing upon basic principles of freedom of religion, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which China agreed to — and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which China ratified in 1992,” said ICT in a statement. ICT reported that the prohibition of children’s participation in religious activities in Tibet was also announced during summer and winter holidays in 2018 and 2019. A separate report by Radio Free Asia in May 2018 said that Chinese authorities in Tibet’s Chamdo city ordered children and their parents to avoid attending religious festivities during the Buddhist holy month of Saga Dawa,

with warnings of unspecified punishments for people who did not comply. A separate report, Tibetan Buddhist Temples Monitored, Monks Controlled, was published on bitterwinter.org, a magazine that focuses on religious liberty and human rights in China. This states that China has intensified its efforts to curb the development of Tibetan Buddhism through surveillance and indoctrination. It mentioned that over 200 HD surveillance cameras were installed in Youning Temple, a 400-year-old renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple in Huzhu Tu County in Kham [Ch:Qinghai] province. Notices saying “You are in a surveillance area” have been displayed throughout the place of worship, the report stated. The article added that the government spares no money or effort to teach Tibetan monks Han culture and indoctrinate them with patrotism and other propaganda. “Now Uighurs and Tibetans are persecuted, are being ‘hanified’ gradually. The CCP aims at stopping the development of Tibetan culture and religion, cutting them at the root,” said a monk to bitterwinter. *The International Campaign for Tibet works worldwide to help Tibetans in their peaceful struggle for democracy and human rights, and seeks to preserve Tibet’s ancient culture of wisdom.

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News Features HR in Tibet “Continue to Worsen” Continued from page 1

Tibetan self-immolations. The report quotes CECC Chair Representative James McGovern and Co-Chair Senator Marco Rubio as saying that human rights and the rule of law in China “continued to worsen” over the past year. At the report’s launch, McGovern spoke of China’s persecution of Tibetan Buddhists and mentioned that the new Tibetan Policy and Support Act, already passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, could be passed shortly by the full House of Representatives. This will make it official US policy that only the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Buddhist community can decide on his succession — and will sanction any Chinese officials who attempt to appoint their own Dalai Lama in the future. [Please see report on page 7] The report included mention of the Chinese government crackdown on previously allowed religious practices in Tibet, their expansion of mass surveillance and the damage to Tibet’s environment, which plays a crucial role in the global ecosystem. The report looks at China’s efforts to “Sinicise” Tibetan Buddhism, meaning to forcefully bring it under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, and which includes many restrictions on religious practices for monks, nuns and lay people. The report describes China’s insistence on its right to “choose” the next reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as “One of China’s most shocking attempts to dominate Tibetan Buddhism”, and continues: “The [Chinese] government’s position violates international standards of religious freedom, which guarantee the right of religious communities ‘to train, appoint, elect or designate by succession appropriate leaders’,” quoting a United Nations declaration on eliminating religious discrimination and intolerance. The report also calls for the US to take action to obtain the release of political prisoners in China, including the Panchen Lama who was abducted at the age of six and has not been seen since. It notes the restrictions on access to Tibetan language education experienced by Tibetans, as well as the repression of Tibetans’ freedom of speech and assembly, and their freedom of movement. It also notes that foreigners continue to be denied access to Tibet. The report describes the criminalising of ordinary social activities under China’s “anti-crime and vice” campaign, imprisoning Tibetans who meet or campaign to reclaim their property which has been expropriated by government officials. Tibetans are expected to inform the

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authorities of anyone engaging in “splittist” activities or low key local political or religious activities, and citizens are subject to pervasive surveillance including, allegedly, secretly installed surveillance apps on Tibetans’ phones. The report notes that two Tibetans self-immolated during the period of the report, and a further selfimmolation has taken place since then, and recommends that the US government urge China to “recognise the role of restrictive [Communist] Party policies and government measures […] in Tibetan self-immolations and protests.” Environmental issues are highlighted, with the damaging effect of Chinese policies on Tibet’s ecosystem, including the removal of nomads from their ancestral grazing lands, and the threat to China’s rivers which has the potential to affect millions of people living downstream in south east Asia. The International Campaign for Tibet** (ICT) President Matteo Mecacci said, “The Chinese government continues to oppress the Tibetan people and to crush their vibrant culture; it does this through a centralised and authoritarian form of government that clearly represents a tangible security threat, not only to the Tibetans, the Uighurs, the people of Hong Kong and the Chinese people themselves, but to the world. The new report from the CECC provides a number of urgent recommendations that the US government should follow to support the just aspirations of the Tibetan people.” CECC Chair, Rep James McGovern said, “The notion that a government can come in and appoint a religious leader and that it would have any credibility at all is ridiculous. It is ridiculous. We find all of this very offensive as people who believe in religious freedom [...] China needs to know there’ll be a consequence. It will be more than just a press release saying that we object to this [...] We have no quarrel with the Chinese people. It is with Chinese leaders who are trying to suppress individuals’ right to freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom to be able to be who they want to be.” *The Congressional-Executive Commission on China is an independent agency of the United States government which monitors human rights and rule of law developments in the People’s Republic of China. ** The International Campaign for Tibet is a non-profit advocacy group working to promote democratic freedoms for Tibetans, ensure their human rights, and protect Tibetan culture and the environment.


News Features Tibet Sees Influx of Travellers Avoiding Coronavirus Continued from page 1

December 2019. Since then,there are reports of thousands of people across China being infected. According to the World Health Organisation about 60 cases of the Coronavirus have been reported in 14 countries outside China, including the United States, Canada, France, Australia, Japan, Nepal, Malaysia and the Philippines. At the time of going to press, 170 deaths have been reported, nearly all around Wuhan. No deaths have been reported outside China. On January 22, in an effort to control the spread of the virus, China quarantined Wuhan, a city of more than 11 million people and the centre of the outbreak. Subsequently, the government has imposed travel bans on nearly 20 other cities across China, subjecting more than 55 million people to travel restrictions, according to Al Jazeera. Prior to the travel ban Tibet saw an influx of travellers arriving by plane from mainland China seeking to escape Coronavirus, including both Han Chinese and resident Tibetans returning home from stays in China. According to Radio Free Asia on January 23, one day after the government imposed the travel ban, a plane carrying 128 passengers from Wuhan arrived in Xining, capital of the Tibetan province of Amdo [Ch: Qinghai]. In a statement the government said authorities were screening all passengers for symptoms of Coronavirus infection. A video of a woman walking in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, stating that she had travelled from Wuhan and is not afraid of falling ill went viral on social media raising concerns among Tibetans that travellers could bring the disease to their region. Radio Free Asia reports that there are currently no cases of the Coronavirus in Tibet, making it the only region in China to remain unaffected. The health department in Lhasa has instructed anyone travelling from mainland China to report themselves for registration and avoid contact with crowds for several weeks. The incubation period of the virus is still unknown, according to the New York Times. On January 27 the Tibet Autonomous Region activated a second-level emergency response and closed popular tourist sites, including the Potala Palace in Lhasa, as a precaution against potential spread of the Coronavirus, reports Xinhua.com. The Asia Times reports that flights from Wuhan to Lhasa and to Urumqi, the capital of East Turkestan [Ch: Xinjiang] in north western China, continue despite the quarantine in Wuhan and the cancellation of other flights out, and says that people fear that China is not concerned about infection in these two regions because of the politics there. The Asia

Times quotes an “anonymous Tibetan scholar from Lhasa” as saying, “China deliberately let these infected people go to Tibet and Xinjiang, two most visible regions in Chinese politics to challenge against their ethnic assimilation.” Another of their souces, a female Uighur activist from London, with family in East Turkestan, is quoted as saying, “Knowing the reality that it is far difficult to control and treat the coronavirus in Tibet and Uighur (Xinjiang) that there are far lesser medical facilities and transportations. China has deliberately exposed these two fragile societies to this dangerous disease”. “China always claims that Tibet and Uighur are inalienable parts of China. If it’s so, why did they treat us as if we are less important than its Han people”, she continued. The World Health Organisation says it is too early to declare the outbreak of 2019nCOV an international public health emergency, a declaration used for the most dangerous epidemics, though Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says no one should interpret this as meaning the WHO does not think the situation is serious. The virus is currently an emergency for China and has a high probability of becoming an international emergency. According to the World Health Organisation, symptoms of Coronavirus infection include fever, runny nose, cough, and shortness of breath or breathing difficulties. In severe cases the infection can lead to pneumonia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, kidney failure, and death. There is currently no vaccine for the virus. The 2019nCOV belongs to a family of Coronaviruses that cause a variety of illnesses including the common cold, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). These viruses originate in animals and transmit to humans. It is not yet known in which animal the 2019nCOV originated or how it made the jump from animals to humans. According to the Business Insider, the virus is spread from person to person through coughs and sneezes. Effective methods for protecting against contracting the disease include avoiding close contact with people exhibiting signs of cold-like illnesses such as a fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat; frequent handwashing, and avoidance of touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid direct contact with animals in affected areas. The New Scientist reports that face masks offer some protection but are not foolproof. Rather, avoiding large crowds and public areas is a more effective protection. Anyone experiencing a fever, runny nose or a cough should report their symptoms to their local health authority immediately.

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News Features 35,000 People Gather in Bodh Gaya for Teaching by Tenzin Dadon His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama concluded his five-day teaching on January 6. An estimated 35,000 people from 67 countries – primarily China and Taiwan – attended the teaching. His Holiness began the teaching with Gyalsay Thokme Sangpo’s Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva (Laklen sodunma). He advised that one cannot calm an unruly mind by taking drugs although they might appear to help a little. He said that much more effective antidotes are the ancient practices of non-violence and compassion and in addition, there are practices for developing singlepointed concentration and insight into reality. He further commented that study, reflection and meditation are ways to generate wisdom. On January 3, His Holiness conferred the Avalokiteshvera Initiation. He said, “I am constantly aware of bodhichitta which brings about a peaceful state of mind. To be altruistic is to be helpful. If you have a warm heart, you’ll have more friends.” He further added, “Taking and keeping the bodhisattva vow strengthens our determination to engage in the practices of a bodhisattva. Observing the ethics

of this vow even for one day is immensely beneficial.” This time he gave the vows relying on the rite in the chapter on ethics from Asanga’s Bodhisattva Grounds (Bodhisattvabhumi), an approach which he announced had declined and that he wished to restore. From December 4 to 6 he resumed teachings from The Wheel of Teachings on Manjushri Empowerments (Jamyang Choekhor) – a teaching he started in December 2018. He remarked that as someone who has relied on Manjushri’s mantra since he was a child, he is convinced of its effectiveness in improving intelligence. As part of the threeday Manjushri teachings, he gave the permission of a deity called Jetsunma Nakmo. During the teaching His Holiness said, “these days, when we watch the news, we see reports of poor people suffering in Bangladesh and Africa. It occurred to me that you might consider making a contribution to helping such people from the Prayer Festival funds.” Following His Holiness’s advice, the Great Prayer Festival Committee announced that they would make a donation to the UNHCR – the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Secular Ethics and Universal Responsibility by Okechukwu Onwunli His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his views on the importance of secular ethics and the enduring ties between the Chinese and Tibetan people at an event hosted by the Office of Tibet at the Tibetan Community Centre, Phuntsok Deshe in Queens, New York. From his residence in the Tibetan Monastery of Bodh Gaya in Bihar, via video conference facilities, His Holiness spoke to an American audience of mostly Tibetan and Chinese students living in and around New York City. The talk began with the Dalai Lama addressing the lack of education about inner values and mental wellbeing in modern education systems. He stressed that ancient Indian knowledge about mindfulness and the handling of emotions should be regarded as an element of psychology, and more appropriately as a knowledge base for universal use, regardless of religious tradition. Hygiene of one’s mind should be held in similar regard to hygiene of one’s body. A form of universal secular ethics can be used to foster a wider sense of community and a global responsibility, not through private prayer but through education.

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His Holiness went on to discuss the long ties between Tibet and China, alluding to the 641 CE union of Princess Wencheng to Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo and a time where China was historically a Buddhist nation. He mentioned that such enduring ties between Tibet and China make them brothers and sisters, the differences between them being more recent and essentially political. “Now things are changing.” said His Holiness, regarding Tibetan–Chinese relations; saying he feels that top Chinese officials are in consideration of a more “realistic approach”, rather than hard-liner policies against Tibet. He also expressed his long desire to one day make a pilgrimage to spiritual sites in China. The gathering concluded with a Q&A session where enquiries from the student participants were put to the Dalai Lama. When asked about the likelihood of his reincarnation, His Holiness indicated that Buddhist teachings do not depend on the institution of the Dalai Lama and that the matter of its continuation is up to the Tibetan people upon his death. He continued to convey that universal responsibility should replace otherwise short-sighted national interests.


News Features US Support for Tibet: Bill Approved by Mary Trewartha The Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA) is now halfway through the United States Congress. The bill, which will upgrade US political and humanitarian support for Tibetans,was approved by a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives on January 28 and the focus will now be on the Senate for the next stage. Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters, including members of the International Campaign for Tibet, sent more than 12,000 messages to their members of Congress asking them to support the bill. The TPSA builds on the landmark Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, and will make it official US policy that China should not interfere in the selection of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, including a future Dalai Lama; forbid China from opening a new consulate in the US until a US consulate is allowed in Lhasa; address water security

and environmental issues in Tibet; formalise funding for humanitarian projects for Tibetans until at least 2025 and commend the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in exile for adopting a democratic system of government. The bill needs to be passed by the entire Senate before being sent to President Trump to be signed and become law. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “We are supporting the Tibetan people’s right to religious freedom and genuine autonomy […] we are sending Beijing a clear signal they will be held accountable for interfering in Tibet’s religious and cultural affairs[…] This legislation also deploys American diplomatic weight to encourage a genuine dialogue between Tibetan leaders and Beijing. It’s unacceptable that the Chinese government still refuses to enter into a dialogue with Tibetan leaders. The Congress will and must continue to take action to hold china accountable.”

US Funding for Tibet, 2020

by Tsering Wangdue The United States Congress has once again shown steady support to the people of Tibet by the provision of approximately US$19 million (£15 million) to support Tibet programmes through the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (HR1865), reports the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)*. The report stated that the bill was passed by the House of Representatives on October 28 and by the Senate on November 12 then signed by President Donald Trump on December 20, 2019. Washington-based non-government organisation (NGO) ICT reports that the Further Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2020 Budget provides over US$8 million (£6 million) grants, via Tibetan NGOs, to support activities that preserve cultural traditions and promote sustainable development, education and environmental conservation in Tibetan communities in the Tibet Autonomous Region and in other Tibetan communities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It has also provided US$6 million (£4.5 million) for programmes to promote and preserve Tibetan culture and language in refugee and exile Tibetan communities; development and the resilience of Tibetan communities and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in India and Nepal, and to assist in the education and development of the next generation of Tibetan leaders from these communities. Over US$3 million (£2.3 million) is allocated for programmes to strengthen the capacity of the CTA. The funding is dependent on the funds being administered by the United States Agency for International

Development. Another US$2 million (£1.5 million) is allocated for humanitarian assistance for Tibetan refugees in Nepal and India; Cultural Tibetan exchange and fellowship programmes; funding for the office of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues at the State Department and funding for broadcasting into Tibet by Radio Free Asia and Voice of America. The National Endowment for Democracy provides grants from funds allocated by US Congress to support the democratic aspirations of people all over the world, including the Tibetan people. “While these programmes are a minuscule part of America’s overall foreign aid budget, this investment yields big dividends for Tibetans and their efforts to preserve their culture and identity in the face of China’s oppression,” said ICT President Matteo Mecacci. “The Central Tibetan Administration would like to express its deep gratitude and thank the US government and Congress once again for their generous assistance towards the Tibetan community,” said Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, CTA President. The United States has been providing funding support for the Tibetan people both inside and outside Tibet since 1988 through humanitarian assistance, economic development, educational assistance and other efforts. *The International Campaign for Tibet works worldwide to help Tibetans in their peaceful struggle for democracy and human rights, and seeks to preserve Tibet’s ancient culture of wisdom.

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News Features Larung Gar Abbot’s International Centres Shut Down by Kritika M Narula Larung Gar’s senior abbot Khenpo Sodargye issued a statement on December 30, 2019 about the closure of the Bodhi Institute of Compassion and Wisdom, an American non profit organisation, led by Khenpo Sodargye, which aims to propagate Buddhist teachings and philosophy around the world. He declared that all affiliated organisations will be dissolved, all activities being undertaken under the name be terminated and websites shut down. The move, according to the statement, is in response to conjecture about the conduct of “illegal activities” in the name of the Bodhi Institute. It is, however, suspected that there is more to the closure of the centres. The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)* has cited an anonymous Chinese disciple of Sodargye who is convinced that these reasons mentioned in the statement were “written by Sodargye under the direction of the Chinese authorities”. The concluding sentence in the statement, “I will continue to love the nation as well as the religion and be in the service of the faithful public. I hope the faithful public will remain honest and be law-abiding”, has raised concern as it insinuates underhand motives of the Chinese authorities. The disciple was also reported to believe that the closure of the Bodhi Institute was part

of the agenda of the interrogations conducted with both abbots of Larung Gar, Khenpo Sodargye and Khenpo Tsultrim Lodro, in November 2019. ICT said in a press release, “The closure of Sodargye’s international centres may represent an effort to restrict his religious and moral influence, which has grown in recent years. As recently as 2014, Sodargye was featured on the cover of Chinese magazine Renwu Zhoukan (People Weekly). This was probably the first time a Buddhist monk or a Tibetan had been featured on the magazine cover. Larung Gar in Tibet is one of the largest and most influential centres of Tibetan Buddhist studies in the world. It has survived multiple attempts at demolition by the Chinese authorities in the past – including the destruction of the living quarters and expulsion of thousands of monks, and the construction of walls and checkpoints to prevent re-entry of those expelled. In April 2019, Larung Gar was also closed to new enrolments by the Chinese authorities. *The United States based International Campaign for Tibet is the largest Tibet support group, helping Tibetans in their peaceful struggle for democracy and human rights and seeking to preserve Tibet’s ancient culture of wisdom.

Condemnation for Tibet Clause in China–Myanmar Economic Treaty by Kritika M Narula Myanmar has drawn criticism from the Central Tibetan Administration for referring to Tibet, along with Taiwan and East Turkestan [Ch: Xinjiang], as “inalienable parts of China” in a joint declaration with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping on January 18. The declaration was an output of the recent visit of the Chinese President to Myanmar to sign the 33 agreements on Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) contracts for the second China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), commonly referred to as the “One Belt One Road Initiative”. The agreements, signed by the Chinese President and Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar, epitomise the strength of China-Myanmar bilateral relations — and the ninth agreement has created a furore. It includes expression of China’s support for Myanmar’s development and stability, reciprocated by Myanmar’s commitment to the One China Policy. All China’s bilateral

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ventures look at this commitment of the partner to the One China policy as a pre-requisite of sorts. The text of this particular joint agreement, which has been published on the official website of Myanmar’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, went on to state that Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang are “inalienable parts of China”. The Information Secretary of the Central Tibetan Administration, Mr Tsewang Gyalpo Arya, has rebuked these provisions. Arya was quoted as saying that “the Chinese government’s insistence that Tibet is an alienable part of it from history is nothing but empty posturing without a grain of truth”. The statement has elicited similar reactions from Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry who decried the joint statement as false. This is not the first time Myanmar has drawn condemnation for its disregard of international human rights. It is also not the first time China has inserted the clause of commitment to the One China Policy in its bilateral agreements. When China announced financial aid for development in Nepal last year, similar words were used, with China referring to Tibetan affairs as “China’s internal affairs”.


News Features 12 Tibetans Jailed Under China’s Anti-Crime Campaign by Ray Sorensen China has jailed 12 villagers in Sog county, Tibet as part of a nationwide anti-crime campaign that some human rights activists say the communist regime is using to target advocates of Tibetan culture and religion. The accused were convicted of “running a criminal gang” and sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to almost two years. China Daily reported the defendants had “exploited and harassed villagers, propagated superstitious ideas, and spread the evil of religion”. Tibet Daily reported the prisoners had been accused of fraud and “using religious influence to interfere with the affairs of local government”. According to Tibet Daily, all 12 prisoners confessed and will not appeal against their sentences. Authorities have not released the identities of the prisoners except for that of one man identified only by the name of Druk. Phayul.com reports that the arrests of the 12 prisoners in Sog county are tied to China’s nationwide campaign to “root out dark and evil forces”. The government launched the crackdown in January 2018 and claims a goal of ridding the country of organised crime.

According to The Diplomat, the campaign has mobilised Chinese civil society including the judicial branch, the Ministry of Security, the procuratorates, lawyers, the media and even ordinary citizens in a “People’s War” against crime, a concept created by Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution. According to the Associated Press the campaign has greatly expanded the range of offences for which people can be arrested and jailed to include political and ideological activities the ruling Communist Party considers a threat. Under the campaign, supporting His Holiness the Dali Lama and advocating for the Tibetan language are deemed threats to the social order. Human Rights Watch has criticised China’s anticrime campaign stating that it purposely targets political dissidents and those who support His Holiness the Dali Lama, alongside drug dealers and loan sharks. China has defended its campaign, reporting that it has successfully busted more than 1,200 organised crime gangs and seized more than US$700 million (£540 million) in criminal assets.

Crackdown in Sershul by Rupert Eyles In a crackdown late last year by Chinese police, Sershul, which is in Kardze in Kham [Ch: Sichuan], more than 30 Tibetan monks from the Dza Wonpo Monastery as well as local laypeople were imprisoned for over a month. According to local sources, in late November and early December 2019, people were detained due to suspicions that they were harbouring images of the Dalai Lama and contacting Tibetans living outside the country, or demonstrating an uncooperative attitude toward officials. While in prison they are reported to have been fed only tsampa and forced to complete two weeks of re-education classes. During this period, reports the International Campaign for Tibet, Chinese troops in riot gear held intimidating military drills in the town, searched homes and interrogated people. Tibetans in the town were also warned that they would not be allowed to participate in any future “political”

activities. The ICT’s source is quoted as saying, “The place has become like a ghost town,” and adding that local people were frightened to leave their homes on account of the intense crackdown. These detentions follow the arrest of seven Tibetans from the same town for peaceful, pro-independence protests in November of last year. Four of those arrested were monks from Dza Wanpo Ganden Shedrub Monastery who were caught distributing pro-independence leaflets at local Chinese administrative offices. All seven, we understand, remain in prison. These protests were triggered by a Chinese government campaign targeted at Tibetan nomads in the area, which forced families to replace images of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with pictures of Chinese national leaders. Nomads were forced to settle and cut down their livestock numbers, which, due to insufficient government subsidies, has put a serious strain on livelihoods. News of this crackdown has been slow to reach outside Tibet due to the security clampdown in force. Back in 2012, Dza Wonpo monastery came under increased police scrutiny when monks refused to fly the Chinese national flag on the monastery’s rooftop, leading to multiple arrests.

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News Features China’s “Two Sessions” Season by Ben Byrne January was local “two sessions” season across China. These meetings include provincial-level law makers and political advisors and focus on local economic and social development plans for the coming year. Delegates work towards the achievement of a full Xiaokang society, which roughly translates as a moderately prosperous society in all aspects. It is the stated goal of the central government in Beijing to achieve this by 2021, the centenary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. The 11th Tibet Regional Committee meeting included contributions from Che Dalha, Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region since 2017; Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and Dzongkha Adan, Vice Director of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, among others. The committee agreed on the intention to retain religious freedom and poverty alleviation as priorities in 2020. According to Chinese state media, the Global Times, Che Dalha said that although absolute poverty in Tibet was basically eliminated by 2019, poverty alleviation would remain central to government efforts in 2020. The Tibetan regional government plans to allocate roughly

$2 billion (£1.5 billion) this year to “further consolidate the achievements of poverty alleviation”. Further developments in the e-commerce and tourism sectors are part of the plan to help villagers shake off poverty. Zhu Weiqun spoke about the relationship between a “stable religious situation” and economic growth. Based on the precepts that “modern monks should elaborate on the rules and doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism in line with the socialist society and social development”, and that “freedom of religion is guaranteed but monasteries must never undermine national unity”, Zhu said that he has carried out a series of severe crackdowns on separatist forces hidden in monasteries in the past decade. He reported to the committee that “the success of religious work in Tibet has provided valuable experience for Xinjiang* and other parts of the country”. Dzongkha Adan provided support for Zhu’s views by stating that “monks and nuns, while being Buddhists, were Chinese citizens first of all”. Zhu himself maintained that his efforts were “welcomed by the majority of monks”. * East Turkestan, or Xinjiang as it is known in China, is the Muslim ethnic minority area of north western China whose Uighur population suffer similar repression under Chinese rule to that experienced by Tibetans in Tibet.

Tibet at The United Nations by Tsering Wangdue The Tibet Bureau Geneva has released a report on the activities of the Tibet Bureau Geneva in 2019 under the remit of advocacy for Tibet at the United Nations. There were four categories: UN Human Rights Councils; Side Events, UN Special Procedures and the Geneva Forum. The report states that even though China has accepted 284 recommendations out of 346 made at the UN Human Rights Council, it has refused some critical recommendations on Tibet and other minority areas under its rule. China has repeatedly refused to facilitate free access to Tibet and East Turkestan [Ch:Xinjiang] for foreign media, UN officials and foreign officials; as well as refusing to cease interference in the selection and education of religious leaders, to end persecution on the basis on religion and belief, and to stop the restriction of free movement of Tibetans and Uighurs. The report also states that a number of side events have been held on UN premises in order to strengthen UN

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advocacy for the Tibetan cause. All the speakers, as well as representatives from the Central Tibetan Administration and other non government orgnisations, Tibetan activists at these events have spoken of the situation inside Tibet and the restrictions on Tibetans’ basic human rights such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of movement and assembly, and the freedom to preserve and practise one’s own language and culture. “The report highlights the common message of ‘hope and never give up’ adopted by Tibetans in the struggle for freedom, we have come a long way and there is much more ground left to cover. We convey our sincere gratitude to all our supporters for their consistent support in our struggle and appeal to them to continue to do so until we reach our goal.” said Representative Chhimey Rigzin in his foreword to the report. The offices of Tibet, or Tibet Bureaus, are the official agencies of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration which are based in India. There are 13 Offices of Tibet located in different parts of the world, their primary work is advocating and garnering support for Tibet’s freedom in addition to providing cultural and religious centres for the Tibetan diaspora around the world.


News Features HRW: China Intensifies its Abuse

by Ray Sorensen Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that in 2019 China increased its repression of human rights through restricting the internet; cracking down on activists and non government organisations (NGOs); deploying biometrics, artificial intelligence and big data to monitor and control behaviour; extending censorship and manipulating the discussion about its human rights abuses within the international community. In its World Report 2020, HRW, an international NGO which advocates on behalf of refugees, migrants, children and political prisoners, accuses the Chinese government of committing human rights abuses in East Turkestan [Ch: Xinjiang], Hong Kong and Tibet, as well as outside its borders during 2019. HRW says that in addition to continued restrictions on freedom of religion, speech, assembly and movement, in 2019 Chinese authorities in Tibet increased surveillance of phone and online communication and are using a nationwide anti-crime campaign to intimidate and persecute members of the Tibetan community who express sympathy for His Holiness the Dali Lama or opposition to the Chinese regime. The report raises the alarm on a call by leaders of the Tibetan Autonomous Region for increased Sinicisation polices which would subject the monastic community to

tests of their political re-education and require Chinese central government approval on the succession of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. HRW says that in 2019 China’s repressive regime reached beyond its borders to interfere with, and silence, anti-Chinese demonstrations in universities and to influence media and politicians around the world. In the report, HRW notes that many governments, including the United States and the European Union, have expressed concern over China’s human rights abuses, but China is able to weaken international condemnation through financial incentives and intimidation. The Associated Press reported that Kenneth Roth, head of HRW, said upon releasing the report that while other nations commit serious human rights abuses, no other government flexes its political muscles with such vigour and determination to undermine the international human rights standards and institutions that could hold it to account. China has rejected the report, according to the Associated Press, stating that the Chinese people determine the state of human rights in the country. The report hit the global headlines when HRW chief Kenneth Roth was refused entry to Hong Kong where he was due to launch the report.

Does China’s New Law Mean Ethnic Cleansing for Tibet? By Rupert Eyles Earlier this month, the Tibet Autonomous Region’s (TAR) People’s Congress passed new legislation which, they say, will “strengthen ethnic unity” in the region, effective May 1. While the full text has not yet been released, the law (the first of its kind in the TAR) is said to include ways for local governments to promote unity and requires compliance from companies, religious centres, schools and other institutions. It also identifies Tibetans as Chinese ethnic minorities and calls on all Tibetan residents to stand up to separatism. According to the Chinese state-run Global Times, the law stipulates that “Tibet has been an inalienable part of China since ancient times, and it is the common responsibility for the people of all ethnic groups to safeguard national reunification.” The new law appears to mirror one passed in East Turkestan [Ch: Xinjiang], the Muslim minority region of north western China, four years ago, which facilitated crackdowns on the region’s ethnic Uighur community and imposed tight controls on freedom of expression. It also precipitated the opening of a network

of detention camps which currently house approximately one million political prisoners, mostly Uighur Muslims. The Central Tibetan Administration’s Information Secretary Mr TG Arya has condemned the new law, stating that it “aims to achieve complete sinicisation of the Tibetan plateau through ethnic cleansing. China wants to gain legitimacy to diminish the Tibetan ethnicity through systematic state-sponsored migration of Han Chinese into Tibet. It is a gross violation of international law and the Chinese constitution to deny the Tibetans their proper identity”. Global lawmakers also criticised the new legislation: United States Senator Macro Rubio told the Catholic News Agency that “as the Chinese Communist Party continues its attempts to wipe out Tibetan culture, the US and freedom-loving nations should condemn the blatant violations of human rights”. Despite over 60 years of occupation, Tibetans still continue their resistance to China’s occupation. Since February 2009, 156 Tibetans have self-immolated inside Tibet, calling for freedom, an end to occupation and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

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Tibetan Headlines Jan 28: Padma Shri Award Robert Thurman, a renowned scholar of Tibetan Buddhist tradition, is to be awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award by the government of India for his revolutionary contribution to Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies. Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), congratulated him saying, “Your abiding dedication […] and your achievements today have made us proud.” Padma Shri Award is the highest civilian honour awarded in India. Jan 26: India’s Republic Day The CTA held a ceremony to mark the 71st Indian Republic Day at CTA headquarters in Dharamshala. Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok, Minister of the Department of Religion and Culture, congratulated the people and the government of India saying, “India has garnered worldwide admiration for its booming growth in every field and especially for the thriving democracy and diversity.” Jan 24: Young Tibetans Conference The fifth Global Vision for Young Tibetans Conference: Mindful Tibetans with a Global Vision is underway at Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Gangtok, with 58 participants from India and Nepal. The CTA’s Health Minister addressed the opening ceremony with a presentation, The Importance of Youth Leadership. The conference was organised by the ENVISION trust which works to foster employability in young people. Jan 23: Tibet Interest Group A Tibet Interest Group (TIG) was formed in the European Parliament in a meeting chaired by Ms Molly Scott-Cato, MEP and attended by seven MEPs, nine assistant MEPs and staff of the Office of Tibet and the International Campaign for Tibet. MEP Mikulas Peksa of Czech Republic was elected President: he proposed the TIG hold regular meetings and work to secure more members and strengthen the group. Jan 19: Sikyong Election Candidate Gyari Dolma, former Home Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-exile, or CTA, has become the first publicly announced candidate for the 2021 election for the office of Sikyong (President). The former Minister was a renowned legislator and the first female elected as the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile during her term. Jan 18: Fake Tibetan Monk Yang Hao, 47, a Tiawnese man, has been sentenced to five years in prison for raping two women in 2004. He escaped to China but was deported back and charged for his crime. He pretended to be a Tibetan monk and travelled around Taiwan conducting Buddhist rituals and religious services during which he forcibly raped unsuspecting female worshippers.

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Jan 10: New Roads for Tibet 2,000 kilometres of new rural roads are to be built in Tibet this year according to a report in the Chinese official news agency Xinhua. Xinhua’s report also stated that their local authorities have said that “Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region has built or renovated a total of 43,400 km of rural roads over the past five years” bringing “modern roads to 2,276 villages”. Jan 9: Winning Film The Crossing, a short animation film created by Free Tibet, the London-based Tibet advocacy group, has won best animated short film at the International Film Festival for a Culture of Peace (FICCPaz) in Mexico. The film tells the story of a Tibetan woman leaving her home and escaping the Chinese regime by fleeing across the Himalayas. Jan 9: “Toilet Revolution” A report in Chinese state media Xinhua states, “Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region has built and renovated 1,909 public toilets in the past three years [...] The toilet revolution in Tibet has greatly improved public health facilities for both locals and tourists”, but suggests the main aim is to improve toilets for tourists. Xinuha also reports that China is to build 30 new towns along the Tibetan-Indian border. Jan 7: Military Drill China has carried out a major military exercise along the Tibet-India border, deploying their latest equipment including tanks, vehiclemounted howitzers, helicopters, heavy artillery and anti-aircraft missiles. The new tank and howitzer were commissioned to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, reported as having the capability to “enhance PLA combat capability plateau regions”. Jan 3: Most Admired His Holiness the Dalai Lama is among the ten most admired men in the world, according to the annual American-based Gallup Poll. Top man for the 12th time is former President Barak Obama who this year ties with Donald Trump for first place, with his wife Michelle Obama in the top woman spot for the second year running. Jan 1: Archaeological Find Archaeologists have found evidence of mixed crops grown up to 5,000 years ago in Tibet. Surveys carried out at the junction of the Nyangchu and Yarlung Tsangpo rivers found crops, stone walls, a drain and other stoneware, according to Chinese state media Xinhua. A spokesman said the findings “provide important research materials [...] clues about pre-history lifestyles and the spread of crops”.


International Headlines Jan 30: End to Culling The culling of unwanted newborn male chicks being outlawed in France. Around seven billion male chicks are killed around the world each year by the poultry industry when they are not wanted for meat or eggs. The French government is working on determining the gender of embryos while still inside the egg. France is also looking to end castrating piglets without anaesthesia by the end of next year. Jan 30 : Smokers Reprieve A study published in the journal Nature found that healthy cells waiting in a reservoir for a chance to emerge, can replace smoke-damaged ones in the lungs of smokers when they quit. Some of the people in the study had smoked more than 15000 packs of cigarettes in their lifetimes, but within a few years of quitting the cells lining their airways showed no signs of damage. Jan 27: NBA legend dies US basketball legend Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles at the age of 41. Eight others, including Bryant’s 13-yearold daughter Gianna, also died in the incident. Bryant, who frequently travelled by helicopter to avoid the notorious traffic in LA, was taking Gianna to play basketball at his academy outside the city. Jan 27: China at Bottom Rank China has the greatest decline in global ranking in the Democracy Index 2019 published by the Economist Intelligence, ranking 153rd out of the 165 independent states surveyed. China’s ranking has dropped with its intensified discrimination against “minorities”, and continued digital survelliance. The survey was based on electoral processes and pluralism; functioning of government; political participation; political culture and civil liberties. Jan 25: Brats on the Beat Around 20 children have been recruited for an indigenous community police force in western Mexico following a deadly attack blamed on a drug cartel. The children aged between eight and 14 were handed rifles and sticks and paraded in the town of Chilapa. Local media said the recruitment was intended as a message to the Mexican President about the lack of security forces in the area. Jan 22 : Water Crisis Millions of residents in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city, have been drinking water contaminated by dangerous toxins that can cause liver and central nervous system diseases, according to a study by South African company Nanotech Water Solutions. Three million people may be at risk while Herbert Gomba, Harare’s mayor, says of the water, “It’s safe, according to reports from our quality team”. Jan 18: Forced Pregnancy Test Hong Kong Airways have apologised after cabin crew on a flight to Saipan forced a passenger to take a pregnancy test before allowing her to board. The passenger, who was not pregnant, described her ordeal as “very humiliating and frustrating.” Part of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan has become a popular place for people to give birth as it makes them eligible for United States citizenship. Jan 16 : Putin Power Play Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has effectively governed Russia since 2000, has proposed constitutional changes that could allow him to extend his grip on power beyond his Presidency. Putin’s proposal will weaken the powers of the President and increase those of the Prime Minister, a position that Putin may take up after leaving his current role in 2024. Jan 13: Taiwan Victory Tsai Ing-wen, the President of Taiwan, has been elected to a second term

of office with a record 8.2 million votes - over 57% of the ballot. The election was dominated by Taiwan’s relationship with China, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened to take it back by force. Ms Tsai is committed to maintaining Taiwan’s independence, her opponent wanted closer ties with China. Jan 10: Recycled Olympics Tokyo is gearing up for the Olympic and Paralympic games later this year. 18,000 beds are needed for the Olympics and 8,000 for the Paralympics: bed frames are being made from recyclable cardboard; mattresses from polyethylene materials which will be reused to make plastic products; in addition consumer devices are being recycled to make medals and the Olympic torch is made from aluminium waste. Jan 9: Smuggler Apprehended In Uganda officers detained a woman attempting to smuggle banned cosmetics by bus across the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She had stuffed the cosmetics into a babygro and tried to pass this off as a baby. Uganda’s customs commissioner tweeted, “Some smugglers never cease to amuse!” Tonnes of the banned skin-lightening products are smuggled into Uganda every year. Jan 6: Escalation of Tension Tension in the Middle East is escalating following the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad by the United States, for which US President Trump faces severe criticism. Iran has now relinquished its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal and the Iraqi government has voted to remove all foreign troops - including the 5,000 US troops - from the country. Trump has posted tweets threatening military action. Jan 6: Norway Defies China A delegation of Chinese athletes to the skiing resort Meraker in Norway demanded that Meraker library remove a book on Falung Gong, a religious sect banned in China. The library refused, telling the local newspaper, “We have freedom of speech in Norway”. They said the Chinese visitors claimed that if they were seen with the book they could face being sent to prison or a labour camp in China. Jan 6: India Stands Firm The new Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane has said in his acceptance speech that in dealing with China on border issues, India should “be firm”. Speaking to The Print, he stressed the need to focus on India’s border with Tibet and to be prepared for “any eventuality”. Jan 7: Women’s Rights Actress Michelle Williams gave an impassioned speech about women’s rights when she received her Golden Globe Award. Her comments, which alluded to abortion, have been applauded by her fellow actors but criticised by United States anti-abortion commentators. She said, “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose”. Jan 8: Ikea Pays Out Ikea, the Swedish furniture company is to pay damages of $46m (£35m) to the parents of a child killed by a chest of drawers. The item of furniture was under recall having already killed three other toddlers: it is unstable if not fixed to the wall and can fall over, suffocating a child trapped underneath. This is the largest settlement for wrongful death in United States history. Jan 3: Fire Devastation Australia is gearing up for an escalation of the bush fires that are devastating the south east of the country as temperatures and wind speeds rise. The navy has begun evacuating hundreds of people trapped in the town of Mallacoota with a naval ship set to rescue 800 people. Thousands of people are fleeing the fires in New South Wales where a state of emergency has been declared.emergency has been declared.

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NGO Profile TYC’s Path to Independence by Aparna Ramachandran The building sits on the side of the road and if it wasn’t for the yellow board, my gaze would have gone right past it. I walk up a small flight of steps that seem rather unassuming. As I push open the glass door, I see several desks, computers, and people going about with paperwork, often engaged in conversation. My request for an interview is met with enthusiasm and a simple dignity that makes me want to know more about the current office bearers of the Tibetan Youth Congress [TYC]. I sit down with Tenzin Lhamo and Tenzin Norzom; the information secretary and a researcher for TYC. They have just taken up their roles a few months back after contesting in the elections and will be holding office for the next three years. We sit in their conference room filled with plaques, certificates and photos of previous office bearers starting with the founding members. The four men I see on the very first photo started TYC because they believed it was the way forward for gaining independence. Bringing Tibetan youth together was important and a strategic imperative for the Tibetan story and struggle to have more torchbearers. While gaining independence was the primary goal in 1970, since then TYC’s vision has expanded to take into account the mass cultural genocide happening in Tibet. With the destruction of monasteries, suppression of Tibetan language and culture and denial of religious freedom TYC now works to create awareness of these issues. At present one of their main goals is to promote and preserve Tibetan tradition and culture in the face of the 21st century. While social media is often the conduit for creating awareness today, in the 1970s the lack of technology meant travelling and forging relationships with the Tibetan community, colleges, students and student leaders in various parts of the country. This involved demonstrations, protests, public speaking and, more centred around the situation in Tibet, the responsibilities of young people and their role in the struggle for independence. At the start, TYC was the only organisation within the exile community and received incredible support from the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Everyone involved believed that this was the way forward for independence. However, during the third tenure, His Holiness began speaking about “The Middle Way” approach and the Tibetan community saw the value in that. TYC faced an uphill road as they believed it was one of many ways that independence could be obtained. But, by taking a stand that was different from His Holiness, they drew a lot of questions, flak and criticism and were tagged as anti-Dalai Lama by the public. This proved to be a major challenge in getting the momentum going again. The entire Tibetan community believes independence is their birthright and the differing viewpoints in the approach to independence stems from a deep distrust of the Chinese government and policies. Seeing the changes happening in

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Taiwan in real time TYC believes they won’t do well under Chinese rule and want complete autonomy. However, they understand that there are different perspectives and respect the varying approaches as it unifies the community towards a single goal. Despite having come this far, their application to join the United Nations has been rejected each time. They believe the Chinese presence at the UN is a large impediment. They recently organised a protest at the UN in Geneva when it was China’s turn to speak at the Human Rights Commission. Their conviction stems from the historical evidence that Tibet has always been a free nation. Starting with 13 regional chapters, TYC worked for the preservation of Tibetan culture. Fast forward to today where they organise grass-root level training for Tibetan youth in addition to exhibitions and political rallies, with an international network of collaborators. In every hunger strike, exhibition, movement and protest for independence, they say there will always be a TYC presence. In an effort to encourage and promote education, TYC recognises and rewards toppers from different streams, colleges, and schools. They also organise Tibetan language competitions and cultural fests. Based on interacting with them and seeing their work, I am inclined to believe that there is no single grand gesture, but a series of small ones to bolster faith, create awareness and change things. In keeping with the theme, they wear the chupa [Tibetan national dress] to work because they see it as a tangible part of their culture and don’t see it as only important during festivals and special occasions. Additionally, they are constantly in touch with the Tibetan language, using it for all official communication whether on their letterhead or on social media. Except for press releases, all communication is in Tibetan and they see this as a celebration of their biggest conduit to culture: their language. Even on social media their posts are always in Tibetan accompanied by an English translation. Representing as they are a large portion of the Tibetan community, they are very aware of the social responsibility their words and actions carry. They see social media as a way to reach members of their community while contextualising the struggle for the 21st century. Currently having 88 chapters around the world, TYC has grown from a modest beginning to being recognised by, and affiliated to, several international and national organisations. Several of their activists have been jailed, but they still persist. With a modest salary, the TYC staff work zealously because they believe in the cause. The price, however, is having being born outside Tibet and never having been there, but yearning to go and see what their parents and grandparents saw, cherished, and called home. They sign off with: “If not now, when? If not you, then who?”.


People Story Amchi Thokmey’s Story by Tenzin Samten continues, “These days, non-government organisations are Amchi Thokmey [Amchi is the Tibetan word for Doctor] holding marches, but only within India. No one will stop has become a household name at Dr Lobsang Dolma’s you and there is no impact. These marches should aim to Memorial Clinic. I went to see him at the clinic at Dolma enter Tibet - even though it is obvious there is no chance Chowk, McLeod Ganj, Dharamashala. The small clinic of getting into Tibet - at least the goal and attempt should is always buzzing with patients from all parts of India be that, and it will create some ruckus and get international and local Tibetans going in and out the whole day. It has attention.” He stresses that these organisations’ focus been 42 years since Thokmey joined this clinic – initially shouldn’t be on reports of what they have done during the to practice and gain experience in the field of Tibetan year or their term of office, but rather on the effectiveness medicine – and he assures me of their programmes in keeping the that he has no plans to leave his cause of Tibet alive by garnering work yet, saying this is how he more international attention. finds ways to help people who As I asked him about him are less fortunate. being among the first generation Thokmey was born in a place of Tibetans to come into exile, he called Kyunglung Ngulkhar in recalled that back then Cholsum the Ngari region on the northern Unity was the only Tibetan side of Tibet. He came into exile organisation, apart from the in 1959 at the age of eight or nine Central Tibetan Administration, with his whole family, arriving and said he had worked as its in Ladakh where he settled for executive member for ten years. Doctor Thokmey reading a patient’s pulse several years. Later, in 1965, his He believes that although the hard Photo: Contact family, along with other Tibetans, work of his generation of Tibetans moved to Manali. As a child, Thokmey studied Tibetan has not resolved the Tibetan independence movement, with a Bon Lama [Bon is the traditional religion of Tibet]. they have built a strong community in exile for today’s He then studied Tibetan medicine in the 1970s with Kungo generation. He expressed sadness over the fact that today Bashi Wangyal, a renowned former teacher at Men-tsee- every Tibetan seems to leave and move on to the West khang, an institute based in Dharamshala who’s objective is and fears that the foundations his generation built in India to preserve, promote and practise Sowa Rigpa, the ancient could soon collapse. Tibetan system of medicine, astronomy and astrology. I asked him if he has any quick tips for better health. Later he studied under Lobsang Dolma Khangkhar, a much He laughed off my question, and answered, “food habit.” loved and revered doctor who was He continued, “If you eat too much then the owner of the clinic, now and sleep, you will get sick for sure, known as the Memorial Clinic, and even if not immediately.” He explained who was known for treating many that one needs to divide the stomach cancer patients. He told me that into four parts: use two for food; one now the clinic is run by his teacher’s for water or tea and one part should be daughter, Dr. Passang Gyalmo. left empty – there should be a space Thokmey said with a heavy heart for circulation. He said the philosophy that his teacher passed away just of Tibetan medicine “should be when she was at the peak of her introduced into Tibet schools”. For Dr Lobsang Dolma Khangkar Memorial profession. the younger generation of Tibetans, Clinic at Dolma Chowk, Mcleod Ganj For ten years Thokmey served as he urged them to follow His Holiness Photo: Contact the member of the Tibetan Parliament the Dalai Lama’s messages, work on representing the Bon religion. With a big, calm smile on the unity of Tibetans and on the preservation of Tibetan his face, Thokmey says that he failed in politics, saying culture and tradition. he feels that his efforts throughout his tenure achieved no With the nature of his profession, I asked him if he concrete results. He speaks passionately about how he has experiences anxiety when hearing about the numerous always been a free Tibet campaigner. “We should fight for illnesses affecting our community. “No”, he told me, “We a free Tibet (Rangzen) and it is our right! When I say fight, know that there are preventative methods, precautions and I don’t necessarily mean that there should be a war,” he solutions for all illnesses. That’s what I have studied.”

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Lha and Community News TYC’s Social Service

Members of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) provided 15 days of social services to the general public who were visiting Bodh Gaya for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings there at the beginning of this month. Their services included any help needed by anyone, including elderly people who needed picking up in wheelchairs, guiding newcomers from the railway station to the pilgrim locations and setting up a lost and found centrefor the duration of the teaching.

Remembering the 10th Panchen Lama

The Gu-Chu-Sum Movement Association of Tibet held a Tibetan essay competition to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the death of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Lama. The Panchen Lama is the second highest spiritual leader of Tibet, the 10th Panchen Lama greatly influenced the preservation of the Tibetan culture, tradition and particularly the Tibetan language following the Chinese invasion of Tibet. The competition was held at the College for Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah in Dharamshala, to raise awareness of the contribution and influence of the 10th Panchen Lama in the preservation of the Tibetan language.

Long Life Offering for His Holiness the Dalai Lama Dolma Yangchen, the Tibetan Women’s Association’s (TWA) President, together with other TWA staff, visited major Tibetan settlements in India to save animals from being butchered. The campaign was part of their Mercy Release Programme and was made as an offering for the long life and greater health of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In Ladakh, they set free 113 goats and sheep, and goats and cows were released in Tibetan settlements in Odisha, Mainpat and Bhandara. They released cows in the Tibetan settlements at Bylakuppe, Mundgod, Hunsur and Kollegal. In the Tibetan tradition of mercy release, the chosen animals are marked and will not be killed; they are allowed to live until they die of natural causes.

Livelihood Programme: Bakery Course A bakery course was held as part of the Lha Livelihood Programme 2019, eleven local Tibetans participated in the free course which took place between December 9 and January 15. The students were given training in baking different kinds of cakes and Tibetan baked delicacies. On the final day of their class, the students gave a display for their funders and organisers, they baked nearly 30 different kinds of cakes, muffins, buns, doughnuts etc. The students said how very much they appreciated the opportunity to take part in the training and expressed their thanks to Lha, The Tibet Fund and their trainer for making this course available to young Tibetans. Karma Jigme, one the participants who has been a school dropout and a cafe worker says, “Even though we cannot learn everything in a month’s time, the instructor was great and he taught us how to bake different types of bread, cakes, muffins, and also Tibetan baked delicacies. He taught us everything he knew and the students also showed great interest. We used to buy cakes from outside but now I will bake cakes for our coffee shop … I just baked a cake for our volunteers today!” Lha’s Livelihood Programme, which has been running since last year, aims to help Tibetan youngsters learn new skill sets and provide them with the opportunity to become self-reliant. Lha held eight courses last year: four batches of Tibetan Traditional Massage and Spa; two batches of Cookery and one batch each of Bartender and Bakery. The courses were made possible with funding aid from The Tibet Fund and we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to The Tibet Fund for believing in, and supporting, our work. The 2020 Livelihood courses will begin from March, please look out for further announcements via our official Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Contact magazine | January 2020 | Page No 16


Volunteer Story & Lha News Lha could not provide the services we do without the support of our wonderful volunteers who help in so many ways and inspire us with their enthusiasm. Every month we ask a volunteer to share their story. This month, Linus Haring from Germany shares his story with us. Volunteer job at Lha: English Teacher

Falling in Love with Tibetan Culture

My name is Linus and I’m 19 years old. Back in Germany, I knew barely a handful of things about Tibetan culture, but for some reason it really attracted me. That’s why right after graduating from high school, I applied for a ten month-long voluntary service in the middle of the Tibetan exile community. I had no idea what would be expected of me there, but I knew that I wanted to do something completely different from my sheltered childhood and teenage years in the German countryside. Since October 2019, I’ve been staying at Tsecholing Monastery just below McLeod Ganj, teaching English to young local monks who are between 10 and 18 years old. To my satisfaction, this experience gave me some confidence about my teaching skills. That said, I also realised that I feel much more comfortable playing with children than teaching them, and therefore developed a preference for teaching adults. Consequently, when my little monks went into their winter holiday, starting in late December, I was glad to say “Yes” when an Austrian acquaintance of mine asked me to take over her English Beginner’s Class at Lha. For about one month now, I’ve been teaching from 10.30 to 12 each morning – and it’s been a fabulous month! The guidelines provided by Lha turned out to be extremely useful, allowing me to teach beginner’s level English on a logical step-by-step basis. But the best thing might be that I really like my students, and I do believe that this feeling is mutual. I already knew before my work at Lha that I’m sort of in love with the Tibetan people – I’ve never met one I didn’t like but my latest experiences made me feel this sympathy even deeper. Apart from that, Lha was also a place where I could meet a whole bunch of incredibly likeable, fellow westerners who are contributing a lot as volunteers. I really hope that my regular schedule for the work I originally applied for will allow me to return to this institution after February, which has long been planned to be my holiday month. All in all I’m extremely glad that I trusted my guts in my choice of what to do in my first year after high school. It must have been fate that led me to this place, where an admirable culture with a wise religious leader leads a dignified, hopefully temporary life outside its homeland.

Planning to Visit Dharamshala? Volunteer at Lha

Lha Charitable Trust is the largest volunteer host based in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh - where His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration - or Tibetan Government-in-exile - are based. Lha offers an opportunity for you to share your knowledge and skills with the Tibetan refugee, local Indian, and Himalayan communities while gaining hands-on experience of working with a non-profit, community social work organisation. Some of our volunteers are involved with teaching and tutoring English, French, German and computer studies. Others participate in the daily English conversation classes. Lha also offers below services. Tibetan Homestay: Lha arranges homestays with refugee families, giving visitors the chance to experience the Tibetan life style and to connect and learn about each others’ cultures. Homestays include accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Reception and Orientation: Our services help smooth your arrival in Delhi and your onward travel to Dharamshala. We also orientate you to the Tibetan community here. Avoid the scams at Delhi Airport! Highly recommended for people who want a stress-free arrival, especially if you are arriving late at night or early in the morning, and can be purchased online in advance of your travel to India. For information and to book these activities please visit the Lha website - see below

Contact magazine is published by Lha Charitable Trust

Lha Charitable Trust is an award-winning, grassroots, non-profit organisation and one of the largest Tibetan social work institutes based in Dharamshala, India. Lha has been striving to provide vital resources for Tibetan refugees, local Indian communities, and people from the Himalayan regions for over 20 years. For more information, please visit www.lhasocialwork.org Contact magazine online www.contactmagazine.net Facebook: Contact News / Twitter: Contact News

Contact magazine | January 2020 | Page No 17


Charities And Organisations Central Tibetan Administration

Tibetan Library (LTWA)

TCHRD

The CTA serves in Dharamshala as the government in exile of Tibet. It is democratic with judiciary, legislative, and executive branches. Within the Executive branch there is the Kashag, consisting of the departments of Religion and Culture, Home, Education, Finance, Security, Information and International Relations and Health, and Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay. Location: Near Library Phone: 01892-222218 Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:00 am-5:00 pm Email: kashag@tibet.net Web: www.tibet.net

The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives has the purpose to restore, protect, preserve, and promote Tibetan culture in all its aspects. They offer courses in Tibetan and Hindi language and Buddhist philosophy and can provide affordable accommodation for those enrolled in two or more courses. Location: Gangchen Kyishong Phone: 9882255047 Email: ltwa1970@gmail.com Web: www.tibetanlibrary.org

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democrac (TCHRD) advocates for human rights and provides education on the human rights situation in Tibet. The centre publishes journals and articles, as well as conducting workshops and campaigns. Location: CTA, Dharamshala - 176215 Phone: 01892-223363 Email: office@tchrd.org Web: www.tchrd.org

Delek Hospital

Lha Charitable Trust

Delek Hospital is a small, Tibetan run hospital in Dharamshala. It has 45 inpatient beds, holds outpatient hours from 9am to 12pm Monday through Friday, and can handle most small procedures. Patients are responsible for a 10 Rupees registration fee. The hospital has a pharmacy on site. Location: Kharadanda Rd, Dharamshala; Delek Clinic, Bhagsu Rd, Dharamshala Hours: Outpatient, Mon-Fri: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm; Specialist clinics, Mon-Sat: 2:00 pm-4:30 pm; Emergencies, 24 hours daily Phone: 01892-222053 / 223381 Email: delek@bsnl.in, hospitaldelek@yahoo.com Web: www.delekhospital.org

Lha, a Tibetan grassroots NGO based in Dharamshala, is one of the largest social work organisations providing vital resources for Tibetan refugees, the local Indian population, and people from the Himalayan regions. Lha offers free English, French and Chinese classes, cultural exchange programs, IT classes, vocational training, health and environmental awareness education, distribution of clothes and medicine, a community kitchen, and many other programs and activities. (see back page) Location: Temple Road, McLeod Ganj, Opposite State Bank of India Phone: 01892-220992, 988-2323-455 Email: office@lhasocialwork.org Web:www.lhasocialwork.org

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama The Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama (OHHDL) is the personal office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The office organises his schedule, including appointments and travel plans, diplomatic and personal correspondence, and liaises with officials of the Central Tibetan Administration. Location: McLeod Ganj, Phone: 01892-221343 / 221210 Email: ohhdl@dalailama.com Web: www.dalailama.com

Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) The TYC is an advocacy and political action organisation with chapters around the world. The TYC organises cultural exhibitions, educational campaigns and social welfare activities. Location: Tipa Road, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala -176219 Phone: 01892-221554 Email: president@tibetanyouthcongress.org, tyc@tibetanyouthcongress.org Web: www. tibetanyouthcongress.org

Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) The TWA conducts workshops on gender sensitisation and domestic violence throughout Tibetan settlements in India, provides Tibetan women with education scholarships and connects women with international sponsors. Location: Bhagsu Road, McLeod Ganj Phone: 01892-221527 Email: tibwomen@gmail.com Web: www. tibetanwomen.org

Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) School TCV provides care to Tibetan children by creating a nurturing environment and fostering Tibetan values and culture while delivering a modern education. There is an Upper and Lower residential school in Dharamshala and day school in McLeod Ganj, with other branches throughout India. Location: Dharamshala Cantt.176216 Phone: 01892-221354 / 221348 Email: headoffice@tcv.org.in Web: www.tcv.org.in

Tibetan Medical & Astro Institute Men-Tsee-Khang, also called Tibetan Medical & Astro Institute, is a facility for research, training and practice of traditional Tibetan medicine. Patients may seek treatment at Men-Tsee-Khang for both acute and chronic conditions. The facility provides extensive training and produces traditional pharmaceuticals. Location: Gangchen Kyishong, Phone: 01892-223222 / 223113 Email: info@men-tsee-khang.org Web: www.men-tsee-khang.org

Sambhota Tibetan Schools Society The society was established in 1999 to provide educational and administrative guidance to all Tibetan schools in remote areas of India and Bhutan that do not fall under the guidance of Tibetan Childrens Village. Today there are 65 schools under this organisation after the take over of CTSA Schools. Location: Khanyara Rd, Dharamshala176215 Phone: 01892 - 246422 / 246423 Email: stss1999@gmail.com Web: www.sambhota.org

Tong-Len Charitable Trust Tong-Len’s mission is to help displaced communities in North India achieve a secure and sustainable future. Tong-Len projects include educational and health programmes, childhood education and sponsorship, primary and nursery tent schools, and children’s support hostels. Volunteer opportunities available. Location: Top Floor, Bank Of Baroda, Kotwali Bazaar, Dharamshala-176215 Phone: 01892-223930 Email: jamyang@tong-len.org Web: www. tong-len.org

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) SFT is an international NGO that promotes the Tibetan cause among the non-Tibetan community. The organisation attempts to build international solidarity by advocating for a free Tibet through chapter organisations at Universities around the world. Location: Jogiwara Road, McLeod Ganj Phone: 9882786875 Web: www.sftindia.org, Web: www.studentsforafreetibet.org

Tibet Charity Tibet Charity provides programmes including English and computer classes, an animal care programme and a variety of medical and educational financial support programmes. Location: Temple Road, McLeod Ganj Phone: 01892-221790 / 221877 Email: director@tibetcharity.in Web: www.tibetcharity.in

Contact magazine | January 2020 | Page No 18

The Kangra District Red Cross Society The Kangra District Red Cross Society renders its humanitarian services, projects and activities with the help and the co-operation of people at all levels of society by donation. Location: Red Cross Bhawan, Dharamshala Phone: 01892-224888 / 9418832244 Email: sharmaopl12345@gmail.com Web: www.redcrosskangra.org

Gu-Chu-Sum Gu-Chu-Sum Movement Association of Tibet is an organisation of former political prisoners of Tibet and former activists currently in exile that engages in their complete assistance including medical, financial, basic education and vocational training. It also organises lobbies and advocacies about human rights abuses in Tibet. Web: www.guchusum.org Location: Jogibara Road, McLeod Ganj, Phone: 01892-220680 / 220679 Email: guchusum1991@gmail.com

Tibet World Tibet World is a charitable trust (Reg No 136/2015) “Where Tibet meets the world & the world meets Tibet”. Education programmes: international language courses, training, workshops and a winter programme for schoolchildren. Cultural programmes: folk show, talks, sharing stories, monk chat, compassion + wisdom = happiness workshops, cultural tours, engaging volunteering options, cultural exchange and collaboration programmes. Location: Jogiwara Road near Post Office, McLeod Ganj Phone: 9816999928/8353005268 Email: info@tibetworld.org


Charities And Organisations Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) Established in 1959, under the vision of HH the Dalai Lama, TIPA strives to preserve and promote Tibetan theatrical tradition. The Insitute imparts comprehensive training and lessons on Tibetan folk dance, folk song, traditional instruments and tradition of Tibetan opera. Location: TIPA Road, McLeod Ganj Dharamshala-176219 Phone: 01892-221478 Email: tibetanarts2012@gmail.com Web: www.tibetanarts.org

Learning and Ideas for Tibet (LIT) Learning and Ideas for Tibet (LIT) is a nongovernment, non-profit adult education centre in Dharamshala. LIT provides Free Education, Health Care and Skills Training to Tibetan Refugees to help eradicate poverty and illiteracy amongst the Tibetan population. Location: Underground Hotel Akash, Jogiwara Road, Mcleodd Ganj, Dharamsala 176219 Phone: (+91) 7590025915 Email: learningandideasfortibet@gmail.com Web: www.lit-dharamsala.org

Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution is a non-profit, educational organisation dedicated to the non-violent management of conflicts in the Tibetan Community and the world as a whole. They work to promote the approaches and tools of non-violent conflict resolution and democratic processes in the Tibetan community in exile and elsewhere. Location: Session Road, Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamshala 176215 Phone: 01892-226627 Email: tccrteam@gmail.com Web: www.tccr.org

Rogpa Baby Care Centre The Rogpa Baby Care Centre helps low-income Tibetan families to become self-sufficient by providing free child care for infants so that their parents can work. The centre needs volunteers to help with art, games, singing and other tasks including diaper changing. Location: Jogiwara Road, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala- 176219 Phone: 9857973026 Email: rogpa2004@yahoo.com Web: www.tibetrogpa.org

Gamru Village School Gamru Village School is a successful NGO that provides free high-quality education to any children who encounter serious barriers to education and who have a low standard of living. Location: Village Gamru, P.O Kotwali Bazaar, Dharamshala, Distt Kangra 176215 Phone: 9816105554 Email: tashu72004@yahoo.com Web: www.gamruschool.com

Women’s Team Volunteers needed to teach English to Indian women and children in the village of Kaniyara near Dharamshala. Contact Jitender. Email: jitenderje@gmail.com Phone: 7831956680 / 08894435595

Clean Upper Dharamshala Project Founded in 1994 to provide a waste management

system in and around McLeod Ganj, the Green Workers, the Handmade Recycled Paper Factory, the Green Shop and the Environmental Education Centre are part of the Clean Upper Dharamshala Project. Location: Bhagsu Road, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala - 176219 Phone: 01892-221059 Email: cudpswm@gmail.com Web: www.tsodhasa.org

Nyingtob Ling (Realm of Courage) Nyingtob Ling supports Tibetan children from disadvantaged families. The children make handicrafts and paintings. They are so friendly and love to have visitors. Location: Near Norbulingka, Sidhpur Phone: 01892 211042 / 9816028149 Email: nyingtob_ling@hotmail.com Web: www.nyingtobling.org

The Active Nonviolence Education Centre ANEC facilitates trainings, workshops and open forum discussions on nonviolent strategies to help resolve disagreements and differences at all levels of human society. ANEC welcomes volunteers from western countries to participate in informal panel discussions on ideas of regional and global peace and nonviolent strategies. Location: Tipa Road, Mcleod Ganj Phone: 9882077708 / 9882921477 Email: wangduemiddleway@gmail.com Website: www.anec-india.net

National Democratic Party of Tibet The NDPT is currently the only Tibetan political party. With 5000 members in 36 regional chapters throughout the world, the main aim and objectives of the NDPT are to prepare for the establishment of a political party in a future Tibet, to promote democracy, to educate the Tibetan people about the significance of political parties and to create awareness among the people about Tibetan issues. Location: Dharamshala–176219 Phone: 9882787633 / 9882673330 Email: tibetparty4@gmail.com Web: www.ndp4tibet.org

Norbulingka Institue Norbulingka Institue is a centre for Tibetan culture with studios and artists at work. The institution is dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan culture in its literary and artistic forms. Guided tours are available. You can visit temple, workshops, garden and the showroom of Tibetan arts and crafts. You can take a free tour of the studios and observe artists at work. The tour guides will explain each art form in depth. There is a restaurant on site. (See back cover inside) Location: Sidhpur, Dharamshala Phone: 9882144210 Email: info@norbulingka.org Web: www.norbulingka.org

Tibetan Dubbing Society Tibetan Dubbing Society, founded in 2015, is a non-profit organisation working towards preserving the Tibetan language through various forms of entertainment and dubbing animation movies into the Tibetan language for Tibetan children. Location: Near Norbulinga Institute Phone: +91-8629837735 Email: savetiblang@gmail.com Web: www.tibetdub.org

UpsideDown Dance Studio UpsideDown Dance Studio is the first and the only dance and fitness studio founded in Dharamshala in 2018 by Tenzin Migmar - a dance enthusaist and the winner of the first Tibet Got Talent. The studio plays the crucial role of making a space for anyone who would like to learn dance or hone their skills. It is also provides zumba classes under its fitness program. Location: Jogiwara Road, Sudher, near Gu Chu Sum, next to Korean Restaurant Phone: 8219754859 / 8207220070 Email: upsidedown569@gmail.com Facebook: UpsideDownDance Studio

BUS SCHEDULE

* Times and prices may vary. Please check with the bus stand ahead of departure. Leaving from the McLeod Ganj bus stand, unless otherwise stated: DELHI: Ordinary Bus: 4:00am (Rs 554), 6pm (Rs 580), 7:30 pm (Rs 570) Semi Deluxe Bus: 5pm (Rs 590) , 6:30pm (Rs 590) Full Deluxe Bus: (Rs683) AC Volvo Semi-Sleeper: 8:15 am (Rs 1243), 5:35pm (Rs 1275), 7:00pm (Rs 1275), 8:50pm (Rs1275) AC TATA: 5:50pm (Rs 972) AMRITSAR: Ordinary Bus: 5am (Rs257) *from Dharamshala DEHRADUN: Ordinary Bus: 2pm (Rs 560) 8pm (Rs 551); VOLVO: 7pm (Rs 1199) MANALI: Ordinary Bus: 7:10am (Rs358 *from Dharamshala / VOLVO: 11:30 pm (Rs 782) PATHANKOT: Ordinary Bus: 5am (Rs 136) * from Dharamshala SHIMLA: Ordinary Bus: 5am (Rs 408), 6am (Rs 360), 7:50am (Rs 375), 8:am (Rs 520) 7:45 pm (Rs 363), 12pm (Rs 367) *from Dharamshala, Semi-Deluxe Bus: 9:30pm (Rs455) *from Dharamshala FOR BOOKINGS: Location: Ticket stand under McLLo’s, McLeod Ganj Main square Hours: 10am-5pm, daily Phone: 220026 (McLeod bus stand), 224903 (Dharamshala) For deluxe buses, book through any travel agency. TA X I S A private taxi to Lower Dharamshala will cost you Rs 200. Cram into a jeep (from the bus stand), and it’ll only cost you Rs 20.

Contact magazine | January 2020 | Page No 19


Activities And Information Livelihood Programme Lha Charitable Trust in collaboration with Tibetan Health Spalon based in Dharamshala has announced a four month traditional Tibetan massage and spa course for Tibetans as part of their Livelihood programme. The Lha programme is funded by the Tibet Fund, USA. The course covers: • Tibetan Traditional Massage • Introduction to Swedish massage and Aromatherapy massage • Course weightings: Theory 30% and Practical 70% • Two months on-the-job training • Personality development, financial literacy, basic English and other complementary courses

Buddhist Philosophy Library Of Tibetan Works And Archives Web: Www.tibetanlibrary.org Location: Gangchen Kyishong, Between

Mcleod Ganj And Lower Dharamshala Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:30 - 11:45 Am Phone: 9882255047

yoga and reiki Yoga & Reiki Courses Location: Om Yoga Ashram,Near Dal Lake Mob: 9805693514 /981649432 Email: om.yoga@ymail.com Web: http://www.omashram.in Shivam Neelkant Yoga Kendra Location: Upper Bhagsu Phone: 098165-65138 Web: www.shivamneelkant.yoga.com

MASSAGE Nature Cure Health Club

Shiatsu Massage Location: Near Tibetan Ashoka, Jogiwara Road, Phone: 07833047078 Email: mahinder_m@hotmail.com Men-Tsee-Khang Location: Mcleod Ganj Branch Clinic,

1St Floor, Tipa Road (2 Mins From Main Square) Phone: 98828-60505 Email: therapycenter@men-tsee-khang.org Dorjee Spa Location: Pema Thang Guest House,

WHotel Bhagsu Road Phone:9816393673 9857108408 Whatsapp: 9816393673

Meditation

Languages

Tushita Meditation Centre Web: www.tushita.info Location: Dharamkot Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:30-11:30Am Phone: 0898-816-0988 Email: spc@tushita.info

Lotsawa Rinchen Zangpo Translators Programme Location: Rato Chuwar Labrang,

Shivan Neel Kanth Yoga Website: www.shivamneelkant.yoga.com Location: Bhagsu Nag, Near High Sky Phone: 09816565138 Email: Yogi_shivam@Yahoo.co.in

Tibetan Language Location: The Tibetan Library

Om Meditation Ashram

Location-Om Yoga Ashram,Near Dal Lake Mob: 01892 220333 /9805693514 Web: www.himalayanashram.com

Cooking Lha Tibetan Cooking Classes - For Groups Location: Lha Soup Kitchen, Temple Rd, Just

Below The Dalai Lama’s Temple Hours: Registration, 9:00-11:00Am Phone: 01892-220992

Indian Cooking And Knitting With Ms Rita Kapoor Location: Old German Bakery, 1St Floor,

Room No. 2, Opp. Buddha Hall, Bhagsunag Phone: 94592-06586 Indian Cooking Classes Location: jogiwara Rd, Next To Tibetan

Ashoka Guesthouse Hours: 10:00Am-6:00Pm Phone: 07833047078 / 0988230136 Email: mahinder_m@hotmail.com

Lhamo’s Kitchen: Tibetan Cooking Classes Location: Bhagsu Rd, Near The Green Shop Hours: 8:00Am-9:00Pm Phone: 981-646-8719 Sangye’s Kitchen: Traditional

Tibetan Cooking Classes Location: Lung-Ta Restaurant, Below The Tashi Choeling Monastery On Jogiwara Road Hours:10:00Am - 4:00Pm Phone: 981-616-4540 Email: sangyla_tashi@yahoo.co.in

Computer Classes Tibetan Career Centre, Dharamshala Location: Jogiwara Road, Mcleod Ganj Hours: 9:00Am-6Pm

Phone: 9882321424 /9880969175 Email: yesheadconsultant@tibet.net Lha Charitable Trust Location: Near Dolma Chowk, Mcleod Ganj Phone: 9882323455 / +91 (0)1892 -220992 Web: www.lhasocialwork.org

Contact magazine | January 2020 | Page No 20

Phuntsok Gatsel Session Road Hours: 10:45-5Pm Email: lrztp.manager@gmail.com

*See Buddhist Philosophy Listing Hindi Lessons With Kailash Location: Hotel India House, Bhagsu Rd Phone: 01892-20063, 941-816-1947 Esukhia Online Tibetan Courses And Tibetan Immersion Spoken Location:Yongling School Buildding Phone: 8580796453 Email: contact@esukhia.org Sanskrit Language Study Program At Vikramashila Foundation India (Vfi) Location: Vikramashila Center, 1St Flr, Ketan

Lodge,Jogiwara Road, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamshala, HP Email: vikramashilafoundation@gmail.com

Art And Museums Tibet Museum Location: Near The Main Temple And

Namgyal Monastery Gate, Mcleod Ganj Hours: Tue-Sun: 9:00Am-5:00Pm Tibet Photo Exhibit: 50 Years Of Struggle And Oppression Location: Gu-Chu-Sum Hall, Jogiwara Rd Hours: Mon, Wed & Fri: 2:00Pm-5:00Pm Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) Web: www.tibetanarts.org Location: Tipa Road, Mcleod Ganj Phone: 1892-221478 Email: Tibetanarts2012@Gmail.com Kangra Art Museum Location: Near Bus Stand, Kotwali Bazaar in

Lower Dharamshala Phone: 01892 224214 Hours: Tue-Sun: 10Am-1Pm & 2Pm-5Pm

Men-Tsee-Khang Museum Location: Near CTA, Gangchen Kyishong Phone: 01892-223222 / 223113 Email: Info@Men-Tsee-Khang.org Hours: 9Am-5Pm. Closed On Sun, 2 & 4Th

Sat

Centre For Living Buddhist Art Location: Khanyara Road Website: Www.livingbuddhistart.com Email: sarikalochoe@hotmail.com Phone: 9418655401 Hours: 9 Am- 5 Pm


Activities And Information Health Services Perfect 32 Dental Clinic Dr Natasha Mehra Location: Near Hotel Mount View, Jogiwara Road, Mcleod Ganj Phone: 09218742046 Email: perfect32dentalclinic@gmail.com

Tibetan Physiotherapy Clinic

Specialist in muscle and joint pain Location: Near Delek Hospital, Gangchen Kyi hong, Hours: 10Am - 5Pm (Appointment Bases) Phone: 9882322783 / 9882321532 Email: jigten17@yahoo.co.in

Tibetan Delek Hospital

Location: Gangchen Kyishong, Between Mcleod Ganj And Lower Dharamshala Phone: 01892-22053 / 223381 Hours: Outpatient Services, Mon-Sat: 9:00Am-1:00Pm; Specialist Clinics, Mon-Sat: 2:00-4:30 Pm Emergencies: 24 Hrs Daily

Tibet-Related Websites

tibet.net - official website of the Central Tibetan Administration in exile phayul.com -Phayul is published in Dharamshala,has opinion, reviews, photos, etc contactmagazine.net - Contact magazine online news rfa.org/english/news/tibet - Radio Free Asia’s mission is to provide accurate and timely news and information to Asian countries whose governments prohibit access to a free press voatibetanenglish.com - Voice of America’s Tibet pages - VOA is an international multimedia broadcasting service funded by the US government thetibetpost.com - Tibet Post International online news tibetexpress.net - Tibet Express online news guardian.co.uk/world/tibet - the UK Guardian newspaper’s Tibet pages scmp.com/news/china - the South China Morning Post – one of the more independent news sources in China

News, information and campaigning:

dalailama.com - for broadcasts of His Holiness’s teachings, his schedule and information about Tibet and the Dalai Lama tchrd.org - Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy - a nongovernmental organisation and a research centre to protect the human rights of Tibetan people and promote the principles of democracy tibetanyouthcongress.org - an international non-governmental organisation that advocates full independence for Tibet from China studentsforafreetibet.org - a global grass roots group campaigning for full Tibetan independence tibetanreview.net - news, opinions, reviews and information freetibet.org: - UK-based campaigning organisation, also a good news source savetibet.org - Website of the International Campaign for Tibet and a good resource for news, campaigns, fundraising and projects tibetnetwork.org/home - a coalition of more than 190 Tibet organisations dedicated to campaigning to end human rights violations in Tibet and restoring rights to the Tibetan people tibetanjournal.com - Tibetan Journal - news, reviews and opinions rukor.org - a discussion site on Tibetan nomads and their fate bitterwinter.org - A magazine on religious liberty and human rights in China

Maanav Health Clinic

Location: Main Square Hours: 10:00 -12:30 Pm & 2:00-5:00 Pm Phone: 941-815-5795 Email: maanavcare@yahoo.co.in

Men-Tsee-Khang

Location: Below Delek Hospital, Gangchen Kyishong, Dharamshala 176215 Phone: 01892-223222 / 223113 Email: info@men-tsee-khang.org

Nature Cure Health Club

Location: Jogiwara Rd, Next To Tibetan Ashoka Guest House-Map #10 Hours: 9:30Am-6:30Pm Phone: 7833047078 / 9882320136 Email: mahinder_m@hotmail.com

Smile Dental Clinic & Implant Center

Location: Opposite, Walia Medical Store, Near State Bank of India ATM, Mcleod Ganj Phone: 7018354594 / 82629011445

Tibet Dental Centre

News:

Writings:

Location: near Gadhen Choeling Nunnery, Jogiwara road, Mcleod Ganj Hours: 9 am - 6pm (1 pm to 2pm : lunch break Email: thetibetdentalcenter@gmail.com Phone: 8826913151

highpeakspureearth.com/category/woeser - occasional translations of Woeser’s enormously popular blog – Woeser lives in Beijing and is continually harassed by the Chinese government for her courageous writings.

DHARAMSHALA CONTACTS Ambulance: 01892-102, 222189 Tibetan Delek Hospital Location: Gangchen Kyishong, Central Tibetan Administration Hours: Outpatient services: 9am-1pm, Mon-Sat; Specialist clinics: 2-4:30pm, Wed only; Emergencies: 24-hrs, daily. Phone: 222 053,223 381

Police Contact Information Location: Past St.John’s Church on the road to Dharamshala in Cantt. area. Phone: 221 483 Kangra Airport: 01892-232374 Bhagsu Taxi Union: 01892-221034 Tourism Office: 01892-224430 , 223325 Rail Booking & Enquiry: 01892-265026 Police Superintendent: 01892-222244

McLeod Ganj Post Office Location: Jogiwara Rd, Before the Peace Cafe Hours: 9:30am-1pm and 2-5pm, Mon-Fri; 9:30am-noon, Sat. Parcels and money orders can be sent in the mornings only. Phone: 01892-221 924

Contact magazine | January 2020 | Page No 21


Jobs And Advertisements 8 AUSPICIOUS HIM VIEW HOTEL

8 beautiful rooms with balcony facing the Himalayan Range. Enjoy the sunrise from your bed! Phone: 01892-220567 Cell: 9418236603 Jogiwara Rd (Map #9) Email: tseringd@aushimview.com

Our specialty: Chocolate Vegan cake, Gluten free cake, Fresh Coffee Beans, cappaccino, Chocolate chilli lollipop 9am to 7pm - Closed on Monday Moved to a new location**

**Opposite Tibetan Career Centre office and Gas Office, McLeod Ganj

Nature Cure Health Club

Enjoy traditional Taiwanese and Chinese food and a peaceful environment, just one minute from the Bus Stand, just behind Asian Plaza! (Map # 4)

To advertise here, Contact Lha office on Temple Road, Mcleod Ganj or call us on 9882323455

Jogiwara Rd, next to Tibetan Ashoka Guest House - Map #6 Whatsapp: 7833047078 Mobile: 09882320136 Email: mahinder_m@hotmail.com 20+ yrs’ experience: Swedish massage courses & treatment, Zen Shiatsu courses, Singing Bowl

Quantum Healing - Breath & Bowls Workshop A 3-part Soul Purification and Healing

NEED A DENTIST?

For all your dental requirements under one roof, in a sterile and state of the art clinic

Dr Natasha Mehra @ Perfect 32 Dental Clinic Location: Near Hotel Mount View Jogiwara Rd, McLeod Map #8 Email: perfect32dentalclinic@gmail.com /Call: 09218742046 Website: www.perfect32dentalclinic.in

Job Opportunities ASISTANT /HELPER NEEDED AT DENTAL CLINIC IN MCLEOD GANJ Smile Dental Clinic and Implant Center, located near the State Bank of India is looking for a female Tibetan to work as an assistant or helper at their clinic. Since most of their patients are Tibetans, they are particularly looking for a Tibetan. Interested candidates should contact them at 7018354594 / 8629011445 or visit the clinic in person.

LIBRARY OF TIBETAN WORKS & ARCHIVES Post Vacancy:Assistant Researcher & Translation Officer (Science Department) Qualifications:Any Bacherlor Degree in Science. Preference will be given to candidates having experience in translation. Maximum age for this post is 35 years old on February 29, 2020. Mandatory Documents: Copies of RC and Green Book and a Health Certificate Mode of Selection: Written test in Tibetan and English and interview Email: ltwa1970@gmail.com or submit the application to the office in person Last date of application: March 2, 2020.

Contact magazine | January 2020 | Page No 22

NOTICE Three-Year Course (Buddhist Philosophy and Tibetan Language) The second batch of three-year program (equiv. Bachelor degree) will be conducted in 2020. Those who would like to join this programwill also be accepted provided s/he has at least completed class XII and studied two years of Buddhist studies or Tibetan language. If interested you are requested to register your names at LTWA Administrative Office by 28 February 2020. Criteria As all classes will be taught in Tibetan and the course materials and texts will be in Tibetan ü-chen script, applicants are required to have a conversational understanding of spoken Tibetan and the ability to read the Tibetan ü -chen script as well. For further information please contact Office Secretary at office@tibetanlibrary.org or ltwa1970@gmail.com or visit our website www.tibetanlibrary.org


Contact magazine | January 2020 | Page No 23


Map Of McLeod Ganj

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Contact Newsletter

Mexican, Italian, Indian, Nepali Thali, Tibetan, Chinese, Continental, Thai Food, and South • TAROT READINGS Indian (No MSG) • WOOD CARVINGS Everything washed with sterilised water Wood-fired pizza over and clay tandoori oven Relaxed atmosphere and Japanese-style seating Live music every Sunday

LOCATION: Mcloed Ganj, Jogiwara Road, Opposite old Tibetan Reception Centre (down from post office) Open from 7:30 am till 11 :45 pm everyday Contact number: 7018 499 613 / 9958 690 441 Free Home Delivery Available!

(Map # 19)

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འབྲེལ་གཏུགས་གསར་འཕྲིན།

CARPE DIEM Restuarant & Pizzeria

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• MACRAME JEWELRY

LOCATION: Come to Zoha Arts located on Bhagsu Nag Road in Mcleod Ganj. Passing by Kunga Restuarant, Green Hotel and Thank Paintings next to Tashi Delek Restuarnt. (Map#20)

Timing of Tarot Reading: 1pm - 4 pm Mondays Closed!

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Managing Director Dorji Kyi Editor-in-Chief Jenny James Editor Tenzin Samten Circulation Manager Tsering Wangdue Designed by Karma Ringzin Topgyal Published by Lha Charitable Trust Web:www.lhasocialwork.org

www.contactmagazine.net Phone: 91(0)1892-220992 Email:

editor@contactmagazine.net Facebook: ContactNews Twitter: ContactTibet Printed at Imperial Printing, Dharamshala Phone: 222390 Email:ippdsala@gmail.com