Wednesday, December 31, 2008






Monday, December 29, 2008

Indian supporters on nationwide “Free Tibet” yatra

Indian supporters led by Dr Mahesh Yadav, Founder of Mahatma Gandhi Tibet Freedom Movement concerned to-Global Amity Foundation, are on a nationwide 50-day “Free Tibet” campaign.

“Free Tibet, Security of India, and Violence and Terrorism Free World” are the message of this long countrywide “Jago Bharat Jago Tibet Yatra”, started from the Indian city of Bhopal. The yatra, covering India’s twelve biggest states, include regular press conferences, public seminars and discussions on the issues all along its way.

According to the organizers, various programs have been organized in different rural and urban cities like Bhopal, Mandideep, Obeidullahganj, Budhni, Hoshangabad and Itarsi as part of the yatra to educate Indians about the issue of Tibet and accordingly garnering their support for the cause.

MGTFM Free Tibet and Peace Activists, Dr. Manmohan Kurapa and Siddharth Bhatia are taking part in the Yatra.“Indian public, political leaders and media are supporting and appreciating this ‘Jago Bharat Jago Tibet Yatra,” says Dr Yadav, while commencing the yatra on Saturday at Rajghat, in New Delhi.

While addressing media in Delhi, Dr. Yadav urged United Nations, Government of India, world leaders and, all Noble Peace Laureates and Human Rights and Peace-award winners to support the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Tibetan people in their struggle to “save Tibet for world peace”."If we are serious over the rights of animals, and talk about human rights, then why are we silent on the issue of Tibet?” Dr Yadav says.

He warns that failure to support and help fulfill the peaceful and non-violent struggle of Dalai Lama will endanger world peace in the long run.Indian Free Tibet and peace activists flag off a 50-day nationwide “Jago Bharat Jago Tibet Yatra” in Bhopal.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ensinamento com Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche

É com enorme prazer que vos informamos da presença de Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche em Lisboa, para um dia de Ensinamentos PúblicoS.

Tema: ”Desenvolver a Paz Interior”

Data: Hoje, 28 de Dezembro, pelas 16h

Local: Sala Mediterrânica do hotel Marriott em Lisboa (Av. dos Combatentes nº 45)

A contribuição será de 10 euros, não sendo necessária inscrição prévia.


Rinpoche foi reconhecido pelo 16º Karmapa e outros Mestres tibetanos como o 8º Tsétrül Rinpoche, lider da tradição Taklung Kagyu.Nasceu no Tibete e desde a infância estudou com os mais eminentes mestres budistas do nosso tempo, tal como Kangyur Rinpoche (seu pai), Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche e o Karmapa. Desde a sua chegada à Europa em 1975, o Rinpoche estabeleceu na Dordgone (França), vários centros de retiros, e organiza regularmente sessões de formação com vários dos maiores Lamas tibetanos deste século de todas as 4 escolas budistas.Em todas as suas actividades o seu objectivo principal é o de partilhar a sabedoria e técnicas das autênticas tradições budistas com todos aqueles que a queiram estudar e praticar.

China relocates over 300,000 Tibetans in 2008: Report

Chinese government has moved some 300,000 Tibetan farmers and herders from 57,800 families into permanent brick houses in Tibet this year, under a government-led program, Chinese state-controlled news agency said Saturday, a controversial practice rights groups say has been marked by gross abuses.
“Another 312,000 farmers and herders from 57,800 families moved from shanty homes into new solid brick houses in Tibet this year under a government-subsidized housing project aimed at improving living conditions,” China’s Xinhua news agency reported Saturday.
"I only spent 18,000 yuan (2,647 U.S. dollars) on the construction of my new house, and the rest, totaling more than 40,000 yuan, were all granted by the government," the report cited Drolkar, a resident of the Yamda Village near Tibetan capital Lhasa as saying.
The report said, like Drolkar, all 208 families in the village moved into new brick houses this year.
To date, 860,000 farmers and herders from 170,000 families have moved into the new houses, the government statistics show, the report said.
The report said the five-year housing project was started in 2006 with a plan to build “solid homes for 220,000 families.”
Once finished, it would mean housing for 80 percent of the region's farmers and herders by the end of 2010, the report said of the controversial resettlement program that recalls the socialist engineering of an earlier era.
China calls the project the "comfortable housing program," and its stated aim is to present a more modern face for Tibet, which China has controlled since 1950 after sending troops to occupy the region.
It claims that the new housing on main roads, sometimes only a mile from previous homes, will enable small farmers and herders to have access to schools and jobs, as well as for the sake of ecological conservation and for the health of the farmers and herders.
Saying Tibet has been experiencing double-digit economic growth for the last 16 years; the Xinhua report quoted a communist official as saying: “Farmers and herds people re the beneficiaries of the economic development" under China.
Independent reports however, indicate otherwise.
China’s broader aim seems to be remaking Tibet - a region with its own culture, language and religious traditions - in order to have firmer political control over its population.
Forceful resettlement of nomadic Tibetans in Tibet and in adjacent ethnic Tibetan areas of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces actually began way back in 2000 and have taken place more intensively since 2003.
Observers say the massive mass relocation is linked to Beijing's effort, launched in 1999, to develop China's poor, restive west and bind it to the bustling east. Since then, human rights groups say, China has also been forcing nomadic Tibetan herders to settle in towns to clear land for development, while leaving many unable to earn living.
To prepare for an influx of millions of tourists in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the resettlement drive was more vigorously implemented across the Tibetan plateau.
Ahead of the Beijing Olympics, Chinese state media reported of increasing relocation of nomadic herdsmen in Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu provinces and the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) into fixed residences, but said they were done so to help protect the environment and boost their living standards.
Between 2006 and 2007 alone, Chinese government relocated some 250,000 Tibetan farmers and herders, nearly one-tenth of the population, to resettle to new "socialist villages" from scattered rural hamlets. Reports show they were often ordered to build new housing largely at their own expense and without their consent.In doing so, these Tibetan nomads have been forced to abandon their traditional lifestyles with many driven to frustration and despair, unable to cope up with the pressures of earning their livelihood through means alien to their traditions and upbringing.
Also resettlement often involve the slaughter of animals belonging to the mostly nomadic herders, relocation to poorly built accommodation and inability to find work due to lack of skills, US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said its June 2007 report.
Others are forcibly evicted to make room for public works projects, like dams and roads, the group said in the report.
China says its presence in Tibet has resulted in modernization of the predominantly Buddhist Himalayan country.
Critics rubbish the claim and say modernisation in Tibet has been crushingly imposed by the Chinese authorities along with draconian measures that restrict freedom of expression, freedom to follow a religion of choice and curtailment of opportunity.
While pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into road-building and development projects in Tibet, China is maintaining a large military presence and keeping close tabs on the citizenry through a vast security apparatus of cameras and informants on urban streets and in the monasteries to contain its tight grip on the restive Himalayan region and to quell any impending demonstrations, like the one that broke out in March, against its rule.
Xinhua’s latest report on relocation of Tibetans appears to be part of a major propaganda drive on Tibet launched by China last month to highlight what it calls the “social and economic development of Tibet over the last 30 years.”
Chinese media report last month said starting November 5th China’s top nine state-run media, including the official Xinhua news agency and People's Daily Online, will start “a series report on the last 30 years of Tibet after the reform and opening-up policy in China.”
The massive state-sponsored drive was described as a move to “help international readers to better understand Tibet”. The report said the purposeful coverage activity on Tibet would be jointly sponsored by the Publicity Department of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and the Publicity Department of the Party Committee of TAR, with the network sponsorship of China Tibet Information Centre.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

A coordinated international response might soften Chinese intransigence over Tibet

After years of talking to Tibetan exiles about conditions in their homeland, Chinese officials have made it clear that they were not serious about it. Unless the international community adopts a coordinated position on Tibet¹s autonomy this may not bode well for either Tibet or for China¹s relations with the world.

During the March uprising in Tibet, Chinese officials were pushed to reopen six-year old discussions with the Dalai Lama. Deng Xiaoping had years ago said "anything was negotiable except independence," and Tibetans had long ago abandoned their earlier claim to independence in favor of autonomy. With no progress after six rounds of discussions, Deng¹s words rang hollow and the Dalai Lama had largely given up on Beijing. The tragic March crackdown moved him to try again in talks in May, July and November. After the Olympics, however, the Chinese remained indifferent and the talks broke down. In the past couple week, Chinese public pressure to stop European leaders from meeting the Dalai Lama has created a problem that will surely not go away. Though European leaders ignored such pressure this time, the international community needs to develop a coordinated response to reject such bullying and encourage a Chinese rethink.

Chinese indifference was on display in the recent breakdown. After a July Chinese request that Tibetans outline under the PRC constitution the autonomy they seek, Tibetan representatives produced a "Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People." The memorandum elaborates Tibetan "aspirations" for autonomy in 11 policy areas, including language, culture, religion, education, environmental protection, utilization of natural resources, economic development and trade, public health, public security, population migration and cultural, educational and religious exchanges with other countries. All of these are covered by existing unfulfilled national ethnic autonomy policies enacted under Article 4 of the PRC Constitution, except those relating to public security, migration and external exchanges, which appear instead to track the Article 31 "one country, two systems" Hong Kong formula.
The Chinese government has long refused to apply Article 31 to Tibet, though the language of the article offers no justification for this. Such model is believed to have been fashioned after the failed 1950 Sino-Tibetan "17-point Agreement," under which China originally committed to Tibetan autonomy. Though a few outside critics have criticized the Tibetan for demanding too much, no reason is offered as to why they should accept less than genuine autonomy. Because of China¹s refusal to provide any significant degree of autonomy under its national ethnic minority laws, Tibetans have proposed a hybrid combining elements of both formulas.

Similar to Hong Kong, their proposal includes a specification that local laws within the scope of autonomy not be subject to central approval ­ as now required in minority areas ­ and that the terms of their agreement with the Central Government not be subject to the Central Government¹s unilateral amendment. They further seek Hong Kong ­style control over immigration into the Tibetan areas and local public security, as well as control over external relations in non-sensitive commercial and cultural areas. Such autonomy is typically expected for indigenous peoples under international practice, as is spelled out in the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Tibetans have also proposed to unify contiguous Tibetan areas. Chinese officials frequently emphasize that this would constitute one quarter of the landmass of the present day PRC. These large, mostly mountainous, and often arid areas are in fact already designated as Tibetan areas by the PRC ­being divided into 13 contiguous areas instead of one. This proposal, like all others, is subject to negotiation, which China has so far refused.
To everyone¹s dismay, the Tibetan memorandum only met with Beijing's derision and became the basis for the worldwide campaign of isolation. It seems the discussions were only designed to smoke out and block Tibetan aspirations. In the Chinese official statement issued on November 10, 2008, the Tibetan request for "genuine autonomy" is treated as a request for "a high degree of autonomy," as promised to Hong Kong. China accuses Tibetans, in seeking such "high degree of autonomy," of seeking "half-independence" and "covert independence." No explanation is given why the exact same language applied to Hong Kong means only autonomy.

The Tibetans are further accused of continuing to "collude with such dregs as 'democracy activists', 'falunkun (falun gong) elements' and 'Eastern Turkistan terrorists,'" though no evidence of this is given. In seeking control over Chinese migration into Tibet, the Dalai Lama is accused of "ethnic cleansing."The exile government is characterized as a "small group of splittists," and the meetings are cast as private meetings designed to persuade the Dalai Lama to "give up his splitting activities." The statement declared, "We never discussed the so-called ŒTibet issue" and will "never make a concession."

Despite China¹s dismissive attitude, a large mid-November Tibetan exile meeting in Dharamsala, India, decided to continue efforts at genuine autonomy ­ determined to suspend this fruitless series of talks and find more effective nonviolent strategies.

That this problem will persist is made clear by recent Chinese bullying of foreign leaders not to meet the Dalai Lama. To dissuade French and current EU President Nicolas Sarkozy from meeting the Dalai Lama, China called off a December Sino-EU summit slated to discuss the financial crisis. Similar bullying tactics have targeted Germany, the UK, the US, the Vatican, Poland, India and the Czech Republic ­ the latter being next scheduled to take up the EU presidency.
As with the fiasco over the Olympic torch last summer, Chinese bloggers have again called for a boycott of French goods. While Chinese officials cautioned people to react ³calmly,² their tendency to manipulate such nationalist outbursts is transparent. They may, however, be cool to a Chinese boycott of French goods, given the risk that Europeans could react in kind or Tibetans could react by calling for a global boycott of Chinese goods ­ probably a more daunting prospect for the Chinese than for the other side.

The Dalai Lama is clearly winning the battle for hearts and minds in the West. A recent public opinion poll on the popularity of world leaders, commissioned by the International Herald Tribune, found the Dalai Lama was the most respected world leader among Western Europeans and Americans. The Chinese leader languished near the bottom. Perhaps Beijing has not fully considered the cost of their unseemly attacks on this revered Tibetan monk.

Of course, Western business leaders concerned about Chinese trade sanctions stand on the other side, posing a difficult dilemma for Western leaders. Dothey have the moral integrity to meet with the Dalai Lama in the face of China¹s condemnation and possible commercial sanctions?

Coordinated effort by national leaders worldwide may be the only way to cut the cost of such political virtue. This should not be conceived as conspiracy, but rather as a coordinated effort to maintain an open door to the Dalai Lama and reject Chinese efforts to isolate him. This should be accompanied by constructive efforts to help China to better understand its international obligations to this indigenous national minority.

*Michael C. Davis is a professor of law at Chinese University of Hong Kong. For further analysis of this issue see Michael C. Davis, Establishing a Workable Autonomy in Tibet, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol 30, 227-58, May 2008. Click here to read the article:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008





Tuesday, December 23, 2008

NGO worker sentenced to life imprisonment: harsh sentences signal harder

ICT report, December 22, 2008

A Tibetan who worked for an international public health NGO has beensentenced to life imprisonment and six other Tibetans to long prison terms for allegedly passing on information about the situation in Tibet, according to a report published in the Chinese press. Wangdu, a former Project Officerfor an HIV/AIDS program in Lhasa run by the Australian Burnet Institute, wascharged with “espionage” by the Lhasa City Intermediate People’s Court.Three other Tibetans were sentenced from 10 to 15 years for “providing intelligence” to the “Dalai clique”, including two exile Tibetan NGOs named in the official report, and a second former NGO worker sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.

The sentences are unprecedented in their severity for Tibetans accused of passing on information to people outside Tibet. This new development indicates a harder line approach to blocking news on the current crackdown in Tibet, and also appears to represent a challenge to NGOs working on the plateau. The official report, published in the Lhasa Evening News in Chinese and translated below into English, also underlines Beijing’s view that the Dalai Lama was responsible for the wave of protests against Chinese rule that swept across Tibet from March onwards. Hundreds of Tibetans remain in custody following more than 125 overwhelmingly peaceful protests over asix-month period from March 10. A definitive number of prisoners is not known due to the security crackdown and the Chinese authorities’ efforts to silence Tibetans, including the warning implicit in the sentencing of Wangdu and the six other Tibetans detailed in this report.

The article in the Lhasa Evening News on November 8, translated in full into English below, reported the sentencing of seven Tibetans including former Jokhang monk and health worker Wangdu (Chinese transliteration: Wangdui).Migmar Dhondup (Chinese transliteration: Mima Dunzhu), who also worked foran NGO and is known as a passionate conservationist, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for “espionage”. Both Migmar Dhondup and Wangdu were accused of collecting “intelligence concerning the security and interests of thestate and provid[ing] it to the Dalai clique…prior to and following the‘March 14’ incident”.

The Chinese authorities blame the Dalai Lama and the exile authorities for“inciting” the protests that swept across the Tibetan plateau for several months from March 10 onwards, with exile organizations such as the Tibetan Youth Congress accused by Beijing of being explicitly involved in organizing the protests. This is despite the evidence that the overwhelmingly peaceful protests were spontaneous expressions of deeply-felt resentment against more than 50 years of Chinese rule. The Lhasa Evening News report states that the“crimes” of the four Tibetans prove that the “March 14th incident “was well planned by the Dalai Clique and its ‘Tibetan independence’ separatist forces, and was deliberately created after they had colluded with ‘Tibetan Independence’ elements within Tibet in a well organized and pre-meditated manner.”

Phuntsog Dorjee, a former political prisoner who once worked at the Snowlands Hotel in Lhasa, was sentenced to nine years, and Tsewang Dorjee to eight years. Both were accused of working with Wangdu in order to send information outside Tibet.

The three other Tibetans named in the report were charged with crimes relating to their alleged contact and communication with exile NGOs and the Tibetan government in exile. Yeshi Choedon (Chinese transliteration: YixiQuzhen) was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for espionage after she allegedly provided “intelligence and information harmful to the security and interests of the state to the Dalai clique’s ‘Security Department’.” Sonam Tseten (Chinese: Suolang Cidian) was sentenced to ten years “for the crime of illegally sending intelligence abroad”. The Dharamsala-based NGO Gu ChuSum, which helps former political prisoners, was named as the recipient organization of this information. Sonam Dakpa (Chinese: Suolang Zhaba) wasaccused of being a member of “the Dalai clique’s ‘Tibetan Youth Congress’”and was sentenced to ten years for allegedly sending information abroad.

Since the protests broke out across Tibet on March 10, the Chinese authorities have sought to impose an information blackout and for a period of several months virtually sealed off the plateau from the outside world.Thousands of Tibetans have been detained, with extreme brutality a routine feature of their detention. Some Tibetans are profoundly psychologically disturbed upon release, with others unable to walk or speak, or with brokenor dislocated limbs. There are serious fears for the welfare and safety ofWangdu, Migmar Dhondup, and the five other prisoners now sentenced in Lhasa.Their current whereabouts is unknown.
These latest terms of imprisonment exceed other sentences imposed on Tibetans accused of communicating, or attempting to communicate, information to the outside world. Most recently, a Tibetan female cadre, Norzin Wangmo,was sentenced to five years for speaking to a friend on the phone about thesituation in Tibet. Exact details of the charges are unknown. (See ICTreport, “Disappearances continue across Tibet: Tibetan woman sentenced fortalking on telephone,” ICT, November 19, 2008, .)
In November 2007, two Tibetan men were sentenced to nine and ten years for ‘espionage’ after they were accused of attempting to pass on images and information about a protest by a Tibetan nomad, Runggye Adak. It is notable that these prison sentences were longer than the one imposed on Runggye Adak himself, who was given an eight yearterm after he took to the stage at the Lithang Horse Festival, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan on August 1, 2007 and called for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. (Sentencing details in a report by theCongressional-Executive Commission on China, Life imprisonment for ‘open-minded, talented’ Tibetan health worker Wangdu.

Forty-one year old Wangdu, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment is a former Jokhang monk from Dechen Township, Taktse County, around 25kilometers east of Lhasa. He previously served eight years in prison after
detention on March 8, 1989, the day martial law took effect in Lhasa afterthree days of protest and rioting. His three-year sentence to ‘reform through labor’ was extended to eight years' imprisonment after he and 10o ther political prisoners signed a petition stating that the 1951 17-PointAgreement was forced on an independent Tibet. According to the TibetanCenter for Human Rights and Democracy, Wangdu was detained again on March14, the day protests and rioting erupted in Lhasa after four days of variousdemonstrations to mark the anniversary of the March 10, 1959 Uprising.
Wangdu, who speaks fluent Chinese and once worked as a guide for Chinese tourists at the Jokhang, is still listed as a member of staff on the website of the Melbourne-based Burnet Institute, one of the leading medical research and public health Institutes in Australia. Wangdu worked on the HIVPrevention in Lhasa Project, which commenced in 2001 with AusAID and BurnetInstitute funding, and aimed to develop resources to be used to educate Tibetans about HIV. A former political prisoner who shared a cell in Tibet Autonomous RegionPrison (Drapchi) and carried out labor with Wangdu in the prison’sgreenhouses during his previous sentence told ICT: “During that time inprison [the early 1990s] I became very close to [Wangdu] and he started learning English with me from [another prisoner]. He is such an open-minded,talented, easy-going guy and got on really well with other prisoners while he was in Drapchi. He is very good at Tibetan literature and painting and Chinese language as well. He used to worry about the new generation in Tibet because they are losing their culture and their language, and he often criticized people for not being interested in anything other than money. The last time I saw him, when we said goodbye to each other, I was very sad.” Migmar Dhondup, who was also arrested in connection with the March 14protests and has been sentenced to 14 years imprisonment, is in his early thirties and also worked for an NGO doing community development work. He is originally from Tingri (Chinese: Dingri), in Shigatse (Chinese: Xigaze),Tibet Autonomous Region. Migmar Dhondup, who speaks fluent English and is very well educated, also used to work as a tour guide.
A full translation of the Lhasa Evening News article on November 8 reporting the sentences follows:
November 8, 2008, Lhasa Evening News, p. 2.
Lhasa City Intermediate People’s Court pronounces sentence in four “March 14incident” cases for the crime of endangering state security
Tibet’s Lhasa City Intermediate People’s Court in accordance with the lawand in open court publicly passed sentence in recent days in four “March 14incident” cases for the crime of endangering state security. Criminalresponsibility was pursued in accordance with the law against seven defendants, including Wangdui [Chinese transliteration: 旺堆, Tibetan:Wangdu].
A spokesperson for Lhasa City Intermediate People’s Court said that thefacts of the criminal cases were clear, and that there was solid and ampleevidence to fully prove that the “March 14” serious violent criminal incident that happened in Lhasa and elsewhere was meticulously planned bythe Dalai clique and hostile “Tibetan independence” splittist forces, andthat it was deliberately instigated by means of organized and premeditated communication with “Tibetan independence” elements within the borders.
The open trial at Lhasa City Intermediate People’s Court verified that the defendant Wangdu accepted tasks assigned by the Dalai clique’s “SecurityDepartment” of establishing an underground intelligence network in Lhasa, ofcopying large amounts of CD ROMs with content inciting splitting the nationas well as handbills inciting a “Tibetan people’s uprising”, which theco-defendant Mima Dunzhu (米玛顿珠, Tibetan: Migmar Dhondup] distributed within the borders. Prior to and following the “March 14” incident, they collected intelligence concerning the security and interests of the state and provided it to the Dalai clique. The actions of both people violatedArticle 110 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China,constituting the crime of espionage. The defendants Pingcuo Duoji [PhuntsokDorjee, Chinese transliteration: 平措多吉] and Ciwang Duoji [次旺多吉,Tsewang Dorjee] collected intelligence concerning the security and interestsof the state, and sent it abroad via Wangdu. The actions of both people violated Article 111 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China,constituting the crime of illegally sending intelligence abroad. Of theabove defendants, Wangdui and Pingcuo Duoji are recidivists and should be punished severely in accordance with the law. On October 27, Lhasa CityIntermediate People’s Court sentenced the defendant Wangdui in accordancewith the law to life imprisonment with deprivation of political rights forlife, for the crime of espionage; the defendant Mima Dunzhu was sentenced tofixed term imprisonment of 14 years with deprivation of political rights forfive years, for the crime of espionage; the defendant Pingcuo Duoji was sentenced to fixed term imprisonment of nine years with deprivation ofpolitical rights for five years, for the crime of illegally sendingintelligence abroad; and the defendant Ciwang Duoji was sentenced to eightyears imprisonment with deprivation of political rights for five years, for the crime of illegally sending intelligence abroad.
The defendant Suolang Zhaba [索朗扎巴, Sonam Dakpa] joined the Dalai clique’s “Tibetan Youth Congress” organization, and accepted the task assigned by that organization of collecting a large amount of intelligence concerning the security and interests of the state prior to and following the “March 14” incident, and of sending it to that organization. Such actions violated Article 111 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, constituting the crime of illegally sending intelligence abroad. On October 27, Lhasa City Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Suolang Zhabain accordance with the law to fixed term imprisonment of 10 years with deprivation of political rights for five years, for the crime of illegally sending intelligence abroad.
The defendant Yixi Quzhen [益西曲珍, Yeshi Choedon] accepted tasks assigned by the Dalai clique’s “Security Department”, and received financial aid from the Dalai clique’s “Security Department”, for providing intelligence and information harmful to the security and interests of the state to the Dalaiclique’s “Security Department”. Such actions violated Article 110 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, constituting the crime ofespionage. On November 7, Lhasa City Intermediate People’s Court sentenced the defendant Yeshi Choedon in accordance with the law to fixed term imprisonment of 15 years with deprivation of political rights for five years, for the crime of espionage.
The defendant Suolang Cidian [索朗次点, Sonam Tseten] accepted the taskassigned by the Dalai clique’s “9, 10, 3” [Gu Chu Sum] splittistorganization of collecting a large amount of intelligence concerning the security and interests of the state and sending it to that organization.Such actions violated Article 111 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, constituting the crime of illegally sending intelligence abroad. On November 7, Lhasa City Intermediate People’s Court sentenced the defendant Suolang Cidian in accordance with the law to fixed term imprisonment of 10 years with deprivation of political rights for five years, for the crime of illegally sending intelligence abroad.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

China says within rights to block some websites

China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday the country was within its rights to block websites with content illegal under Chinese law, including websites that referred to China and Taiwan as two separate countries.

China regularly blocks sites it finds unsavory, particularly those related to Tibet or critical of the Communist Party.

It considers self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province that must be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

Access to the Chinese-language versions of the BBC, Voice of America and Hong Kong media Ming Pao News and Asiaweek has been blocked since early December, according to a report by Asiaweek this week. They remained blocked on Tuesday.

"We can't deny that some websites continue to have problems that violate Chinese law," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.

"For instance, if a website refers to 'two Chinas' or refers to mainland China and Taiwan as two independent regions, we believe that violates China's Anti-Seccession Law, as well as other laws," he said.

"We hope that the relevant websites can comply with China's concerns and not do things contrary to Chinese law. This will help establish a good cooperation between China and the relevant countries, as well as China and the relevant websites."

China has the world's greatest number of Internet users, allowing its citizens vastly increased access to information.

In response, the country has set up a team of personnel who police the Internet to remove sensitive content and posts, warn bloggers who cross the line and block access to certain sites.

Asiaweek's first front cover in December features an article on taxi strikes that broke out recently across China. Its latest front cover is a tribute to volunteers during the Sichuan earthquake, which killed about 80,000 people.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

China closing down popular private schools, clinics in Tibet

The authorities in Lhasa and Karze (Chinese: Ganzi) have been monitoring privately run schools and hospitals and had begun shutting down those which were particularly popular with the local Tibetans, worried about their possible political implications, according to the exile Tibetan government’s online information service Dec 12. The campaign aims to hinder those dedicated Tibetans in carrying out welfare projects for the local residents and suspect political motives behind such activities, the report said.

In Karze, a decree was issued on Dec 1, shutting down the most prestigious and recognized educational and health institutions in Karze, including the hospital and school run by Khangsar Kyabgon Tulku, the Lamdag Tulku hospital, and the Karze Intermediary Tibetan language school. It said local Tibetans had appealed to the authorities not to shut down schools and hospitals.

In Tibet’s capital Lhasa, the concerned departments had started monitoring private Tibetan schools, with plans to shut down many of the schools for similar reason, the report said.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Dalai Lama Expresses Happiness over Chinese Group’s Call for Greater Freedom

His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his pleasure over the recent launch of a Charter '08 by some 300 Chinese people who unusually sent an open call to the Chinese government for greater freedoms and an end to China's one-party rule. Reports say police detained two of the signatories before the statement was even issued.

The Tibetan leader, in a statement issued today, said he was greatly encouraged by the launching of a Charter ’08 by academics, artists, farmers and lawyers in China on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that their call for political, legal and constitutional reform is admirable.

“I personally believe that President Hu Jintao’s call for a harmonious society is a laudable initiative that can provide space to the viewpoints being expressed by a growing number of Chinese people. A harmonious society can only come into being when there is trust among the people, freedom from fear, freedom of expression, rule of law, justice and equality. “

He urged the Chinese leadership to ‘consider making efforts to bring about unity and stability in a civilized way.’

“I would also like to take this opportunity to call upon the government of the People’s Republic of China to release prisoners of conscience, including Hu Jia, who have been detained for exercising their freedom of expression.”

His Holiness also spoke about his reaction to the Charter '08 to the members of Polish parliament and the press yesterday.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Liu Xiaobo - one of China's most outspoken rights activists

Chinese civil rights activist Liu Xiaobo is one of the best-known critics of China's communist power apparatus, a battle he has been waging for the past two decades. Despite all the efforts by the state security organs to intimidate him, for the past two decades the author has over and again spoken out for political reforms, democracy and freedom of opinion in China.
The 52-year-old Liu, born in Changchun in north-eastern China, has since 2003 headed the Chinese chapter of the independent writers' organization Pen.

Liu Xiaobo can look back on a long record of time spent in jail.

After the bloody massacre against the democracy movement in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, Liu - who was already known for his literary criticism and philosophical writings - spent nearly two years in detention because he had defended the students' actions and demanded an investigation of the massacre. He also lost his position as a lecturer at Beijing Normal University.
After his release, Liu Xiaobo once again became active in the dissident scene. In 1996, he was sent to a re-education camp for three years.

As the internet developed in China, so so, did Liu Xiaobo become one of the most prolific critics of Chinese attempts to obstruct websites and to persecute internet authors in China.

For his activities, the international group Reporters Without Borders cited Liu Xiaobo in 2004 with its press freedom prize.

Last March, after the unrest in Tibet, Liu Xiaobo and other human rights activists joined in calling for a dialogue between the government and the Dalai Lama, as well as for genuine freedom of religion in Tibet. But they opposed demands for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.
Although China's state security apparatus had warned dissidents against speaking with foreign journalists during the Olympics, Liu Xiaobo continued to make himself available for interviews. He openly criticized the suppression of civil rights activists, petitioners and lawyers in connection with the Olympic games.

Human Rights Day: China violates Tibetans’ rights

The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being celebrated in all over the world today. But the human rights of Tibetan people continue to be violated by China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council..

Para continuar a ler esta notícia, p.f. aceda a:

Torture widespread, routine in Tibet, report says

The use of torture in the restless Chinese region of Tibet is widespread and routine and officials regularly ignore legal safeguards supposed to be in place to prevent it, a new report said on Wednesday.

Even when detainees are released, they may die of their injuries, be scarred for life mentally or physically and not be able to afford medical treatment or be denied it completely, the Free Tibet group said.

"Despite claims by the Chinese government that there are 'extremely few cases of torture', the evidence tells a different story," Free Tibet director Stephanie Brigden said. "There is no doubt that the Chinese government is permitting the use of torture as a weapon to suppress the Tibetan people."

China's Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment and calls to the spokesman's office of the Chinese-run Tibetan government in Lhasa went unanswered.

Chinese troops marched into Tibet in 1950 and the region's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959 after a failed uprising against Beijing's rule.

Mountainous and remote Tibet was rocked by anti-Chinese protests earlier this year, which China blamed on the Dalai Lama, whom it brands a separatist. He has repeatedly denied the claims.

Free Tibet said it had profiled numerous cases of torture carried out against people detained following the demonstrations, which spilled over into other ethnically Tibetan parts of China such as Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan provinces.

It said that one monk at the Labrang monastery in Gansu, Jigme Gyatso, had to be hospitalised for almost a month after his injuries received in detention.

"They would hang me up for several hours with my hands tied to a rope ... hanging from the ceiling and my feet above the ground. Then they would beat me on my face, chest, and back, with the full force of their fists," he said in the report.

"Finally, on one occasion, I lost consciousness and was taken to hospital. After I regained consciousness at the hospital, I was once again taken back to prison where they continued the practice of hanging me from the ceiling and beating me."

China has vowed to stamp out torture in its judicial system, described as widespread by some critics, in the face of international and domestic pressure.

Last month, the U.N. Committee Against Torture, in a rare public review of China's record, expressed dissatisfaction with a "very serious information gap" about abuses in the country where criminal justice information is often considered a state secret. Free Tibet, in the report issued to coincide with International Human Rights Day, said Chinese laws aimed at protecting detainees were regularly ignored in Tibet.

"The international community can no longer hide behind sound bites condemning China's human rights track record in Tibet and must now take specific actions to reverse the worsening crisis in Tibet," Brigden added.

China and envoys of the Dalai Lama have been meeting on and off for the past few years, but with little to show for their talks.

Beijing has rejected the Dalai Lama's calls for greater autonomy as being part of a plot for covert independence.

On Wednesday, the semi-official China News Service quoted Si Ta, a deputy head of the United Front Work Department which handles relations with non-Communists and ethnic and religious minorities, as repeating that the door to talks was always open.

"The Party still has expectations of the Dalai Lama and plenty of patience, but 'Tibet independence', 'half independence' or 'covert independence' are unacceptable," it paraphrased him as saying in Washington.


Tibetan Wins Human Rights Essay Contest in UK

Thupten Palden, a Tibetan student in London, has won the 2008 UK human rights hero essay competition.

Thupten, who is a recipient of Pestalozzi Scholarship to study in UK, was presented the honor by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UNA-UK), which is the leading independent policy authority on the UN, held an essay competition entitled “Who is your human rights hero”?

Thupten wrote his essay on Woeser, a well-known Tibetan author who lives under constant surveillance in Beijing.

"It is common for people to violate the rights of others because the victims are ignorant of their basic rights," Thupten said after receiving the award.


10 de Dezembro de 2008

Hoje, dia em que se celebra o 60º Aniversário da Declaração Universal dos Direitos Humanos, apelamos à protecção dos direitos humanos dos Tibetanos que se encontram no Tibete.

Após as recentes conversações entre representantes de S.S. Dalai Lama e do governo Chinês, um porta-voz governamental Chinês afirmou que a China "nunca fará concessões" relativamente à questão Tibetana, rejeitando assim uma proposta pela autonomia apresentada pelos Tibetanos.

Desta forma apelamos a uma tomada de acção de modo a que o governo Português responda a este desenvolvimento negativo, no contexto das negociações Tibete – China, e desta forma reforce o compromisso de auxílio relativamente à resolução da questão Tibetana.

É urgente que o governo Português inicie esforços sólidos e multilaterais, para que os governantes Chineses juntamente com S.S. Dalai Lama ou os seus representantes, entabulem negociações sérias e conducentes à resolução da questão Tibetana.

A posição irredutível do governo Chinês não deve ser aceite pela comunidade internacional, dadas as contínuas violações de direitos humanos no Tibete, por parte das autoridades Chinesas. Assim como o profundo desejo pela mudança sentido por parte dos Tibetanos no Tibete e que se manifestou nos protestos ocorridos, esta Primavera, no planalto Tibetano.

Apelamos também junto do governo Português para que indague junto do governo Chinês acerca da situação em que se encontram:

1) Dhondup Wangchen, Tibetano da região de Amdo, detido em 26.03.2008 após ter realizado filmagens de Tibetanos expressando as suas opiniões relativamente à China e ao Tibete.

2) Jigme, monge do mosteiro de Labrang. Detido pela segunda vez em 4.11.2008 após relatar a tortura a que havia sido sujeito, quando em detenção.

3) Rangjung, jornalista arbitrariamente detido a 11.09.2008.

4) Sangye Lhamo, monja detida a 28.05.2008.

5) Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, líder religioso detido desde 2003.

O dia 10 de Março de 2009 marcará os 50 anos desde a grande rebelião Tibetana contra o domínio Chinês e posterior fuga de S.S. Dalai Lama para a Índia em 1959. Bastantes governos já deram aos Tibetanos um forte apoio durante todo este período. No entanto, e numa altura crucial para os Tibetanos, é urgente que os governos reforcem as suas acções.

A questão Tibetana não encontrará resolução até a comunidade internacional realizar esforços determinados com o intuito de facilitar as negociações entre ambos os lados.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Como sabem, e após os Jogos Olímpicos, o Tibete foi literalmente selado do exterior e com tristeza vimos desaparecer muitas das anteriores fontes de informação disponíveis.
Uma conhecida dinamarquesa visitou o Tibete em meados de Outubro e enviou-nos o seguinte relato:
"Soldiers in green camouflage uniforms are posted throughout the centre of Lhasa and small groups of them frequently patrol the streets armed with submachine guns.

Patrols go around Barkor anti-clockwise, i.e. against the flow of pilgrimsdoing korras around the Jokhang temple. These soldiers are typically armed with submachine guns.

There are armed soldiers posted on every intersection in the Tibetan part of Lhasa, including entrances to major alleyways. Temples and monasteries are also guarded by soldiers.

Armed soldiers are also posted on strategically located rooftops throughout
the Tibetan part of Lhasa, watching the flow of pedestrians below.

From Lhasa to the Nepal border there are checkpoints in all passes.

X was told by X guide that the open-air philosophy debates in Sera havebeen banned".
Para ver as fotos tiradas durante a sua visita, p.f. aceda a:


Legendary Canadian rock band RUSH has been nominated for a Grammy Award for the track Hope (Live For The Art OfPeace) on the Songs For Tibet.
The Art of Peace benefit album in the category of Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Other nominees for this category include Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and Zappa Plays Zappa.
The winner will be announced during the February 8, 2009Grammys.

The album features 20 of the world's top musical artists, including Rush,Sting, Dave Mathews, John Mayer, Alanis Morissette, Moby, Suzanne Vega,Imogen Heap, Garbage, Damien Rice, Underworld, and Duncan Sheik.

This Grammy nomination for this beautiful song called Hope underscoresthe album's message for the Tibetan people, said Michael Wohl, the Art ofPeace Foundation's Executive Director and album Executive Producer.
The songs on the album are a celebration of the philosophy of hope, peace,nonviolence and compassion as championed by the Dalai Lama.

The Grammy nomination comes at a critical time with the Chinese authorities stepped-up suppression of Tibet. March 2009 marks the 50th anniversary ofthe exile of the Dalai Lama, whose path of nonviolence has had little effecton the Chinese government's willingness to grant Tibetan's fundamentalrights and freedoms.

Songs for Tibet was released just days before the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a tribute to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people. It features acoustically driven songs that explore our shared humanity and common search for happiness, peace and freedom. Upon its release, the album immediately rocketed up the charts to become a top-seller throughout the world.

As a subtle form of protest and support, athletes at the Beijing Olympicsdownloaded the album in solidarity with Tibet and the Dalai Lama from <> .
The Chinese authorities reacted by using its censorship apparatus, known as The Great Firewall of China, to block access to major music download sites throughout China.
Songs for Tibet's worldwide success and China sheavy-handed response hit the headlines across the globe to make it one ofthe most significant and controversial protest events during the Beijing Olympics.
After a worldwide outcry, China made the album and sites available again. The album has become a symbol of the power and relevancy that music and individuals have to affect change in the world.
Significantly, the album download includes an exclusive 15 minute video of the Dalai Lama talking about the nature of peace, which, for the first time ever, is now allowed in China where footage of the widely respected spiritual and moral leader has normally been banned.

Recently, the Chinese authorities have similarly banned Guns N'Roses new album Chinese Democracy due to its title.

Besides raising awareness and support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama at thiscritical moment in history, proceeds that the foundation receives from the album will support projects important to the Dalai Lama for promoting peace.The album is distributed by Warner ADA and is available through most majorretailers and music download sites.

About The Art of Peace Foundation
The Art of Peace Foundation is a 501(C)(3) non-profit founded on the DalaiLama's belief of 'Universal Responsibility.' The Foundation's mission is to engage the world in a proactive way while remaining grounded in the DalaiLama's vision of non-violence.
Please visit

About Meridian Trust
The Art of Peace Foundation also works with their UK partner, MeridianTrust, to preserve Tibetan cultural traditions. Meridian Trust's patron is the Dalai Lama, who has asked them to raise the awareness of Tibetancultural traditions.

Record Europe - Entrevista a S.S. Dalai Lama

Para o programa da BBC "Record Europe", Oana Lungescu entrevista o líder Tibetano quando da sua visita a Bruxelas.

Shirin Wheeler entrevista dois membros do Parlamento Europeu relativamente ao facto da Europa dever, ou não, adoptar políticas mais drásticas no seu relacionamento com a China:

Marco Cappato MP - Partido Radical Italiano from the Italian Radical Party
Markus Ferber MP - Partido Alemão do Centro- Direita

Monday, December 8, 2008

China Lodges Protest Over Dalai Lama-Sarkozy Meeting

China has summoned Herve Ladsous, the French ambassador in Beijing, and called the meeting between Sarkozy and Dalai Lama a "rude intervention" into Chinese affairs."The French side's wrong action grossly interfered in China's internal affairs and also severely hurt the feelings of the Chinese people," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a press release.Sarkozy defied Chinese ire and met the Dalai Lama on Saturday privately in Gdansk, Poland, at the celebrations marking 25 years of Nobel Peace Prize conferment on Lech Walesa, former Polish president and Solidarity leader. Sarkozy said, "There's no need to dramatize things."Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said it was up to France to "fully understand the damage" done to bilateral ties by Sarkozy's meeting with the Tibetan leader."It also severely undermined China's core interest, gravely hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and sabotaged the political basis of China-France and China-EU relations," Yafei said. An editorial in the People’s Daily, which acts as the voice of the ruling Communist Party, said, "He (Sarkozy) ignored China's repeated entreaties and stubbornly refused to shift, plainly determined to step over China's red line.""This malicious provocation concerns China's core interest in national unity and inevitably will exact a heavy price."Rama Yade, France’s government minister for human rights said Sunday on France's RTL radio that it wasn't worth turning the tensions into a "psychodrama.""I don't see what there is to debate about," Rama Yade said on France's RTL radio, noting that other world leaders have also met the Dalai Lama. "They should accept the situation."China accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking separation from ChinaChina, which sent military troops to occupy Tibet in 1949, reviles the Dalai Lama as a “separatist” trying to split Tibet from it, and regularly protests against countries that agree to visits by him or warns world leaders of diplomatic consequences if they meet him. However, the Tibetan leader has always maintained that his meetings and visits should not cause any obstacle in the ties between his host countries and China.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dalai Lama addresses European Parliament

The Dalai Lama addressed approximately 600 members of European Parliament today during a Plenary Session in Brussels. The Dalai Lama spoke on human values and the fate of Tibet. Commenting on European countries' relations with China, the Dalai Lama said that while it is important to maintain close ties, "if you are a true friend you will make clear your friend's faults".

A copy of his prepared statement that was distributed to members can be found below.

Sarkozy defies China with Dalai Lama talks

French President Nicolas Sarkozy defied China on Saturday by meeting the Dalai Lama and said Europe shared the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader's concerns over the situation in his homeland.

China called the meeting an "opportunistic, rash and short-sighted approach to handling the Tibet issue," despite Sarkozy saying he regarded Tibet as part of China and that there was no need to "dramatize" his encounter."

The meeting went very well ... The Chinese authorities knew perfectly well this meeting would take place before the end of the year," Sarkozy told reporters after his talks, which lasted about 30 minutes.

China called off a summit with the European Union last Monday in protest against Sarkozy's plan to meet the Dalai Lama, branded by Beijing as a "splittist" for advocating self-determination for his mountain homeland.

On Saturday, China condemned the meeting. "This development is indeed an unwise move which not only hurts the feelings of the Chinese people, but also undermines Sino-French ties," its official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

"The French side ... took an opportunistic, rash and short-sighted approach to handling the Tibet issue."

Sarkozy said the Dalai Lama, who welcomed him by draping a 'kata' or traditional Tibetan white scarf on his shoulder, had said at the meeting that he does not seek independence for Tibet. "I told him how much importance I attach to the pursuit of dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese authorities."

Asked about the situation in Tibet, Sarkozy said: "The Dalai Lama shared with me his worries, worries which are shared in Europe. We have had a wide discussion of this question." The Dalai Lama and other supporters of Tibetan self-rule say China is strangling the mountain region's cultural and religious traditions and subordinating Tibetans to an influx of Han Chinese migrants and investment, charges Beijing rejects.


The two met in the Polish port of Gdansk where they joined 25th anniversary celebrations of Polish pro-democracy leader Lech Walesa's winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Playing down any possible negative impact on Sino-French ties, Sarkozy said: "There is no need to dramatize things."

Beijing's unusually vocal criticism of Sarkozy's plan to meet the Dalai Lama is linked to the fact that Paris holds the European Union's rotating presidency, diplomats say.

In Paris, an official said there had been no sign yet of any Chinese boycott of French products. The EU is China's biggest trade partner and supermarket chain Carrefour employs tens of thousands of people in China and is the biggest purchaser of Chinese goods in France.

French companies were subjected to Chinese boycotts and demonstrations earlier this year after the Paris leg of the Olympic torch relay was disrupted by anti-China protesters.

Earlier on Saturday, the Dalai Lama called for dialogue and compassion to solve the world's problems.

"Warfare failed to solve our problems in the last century, so this century should be a century of dialogue," he told delegates, including Walesa, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

The Dalai Lama, who met Tusk privately on Saturday, praised Polish courage in resisting past oppression.

The 73-year-old monk is a popular figure in Poland, where some see in his struggle with China's communist authorities echoes of their own battles under Walesa against Soviet-backed communist rule that ended in 1989.The Dalai Lama fled into exile in 1959 after a failed insurrection against Chinese rule in Tibet, occupied by People's Liberation Army troops from 1950.


Friday, December 5, 2008



A Via Budista
Data e hora:
5 Dez - 19h
Donativo (aconselhado entre 1 e 5 eur)
Local: Cç. da Ajuda, 246 – 1ºD, Lisboa
O Treino da Mente
Data e hora:
6 e 7 Dezembro - 10h-18h00
Donativo (aconselhado 20 euros)
Local: Cç. da Ajuda, 246 – 1ºD, Lisboa
Autocarros: 732, 729 Eléctrico: 18
UBPTel: 21 363 43 63

China to build six more railway lines into Tibet by 2020

China is planning to build six more main railway lines and several branches to connect Tibet with other parts of China by 2020, a kind of move that usually distresses Tibetans and critics.
“By 2020, six main railway lines and some branches connecting Tibet Autonomous Region and Qinghai [Tib: Amdo] Province with other parts of China, are expected to be built and put into operation,” Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.
The report asserted that the construction of the more railway lines would enable a “closer economic and cultural exchange between Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the whole nation”.
Tibetans fear that such kind of development, solely imposed by Chinese Communist authorities in the name of progress, will further accelerate the Han migration into their Himalayan territory and dilute their population and unique Buddhist culture. They also argue China’s extensive railway networking across the Tibetan plateau, the largest and highest one in the world, will cause unprecedented negative impact on its fragile ecosystems.
According to Xinhua’s report, the six forthcoming railways tying with the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, are: Xining to Zhangye of Lanzhou-Urumchi 2nd Double Line Rail, Golmud to Dunhuang, Kuerle and Chengdu and Lhasa to Xigaze and Nyingchi prefectures.
The report said that the construction of the 2nd Line of Xining-Golmud Section of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway was now in full swing and would be finished in 2012.
China’s first launch of the controversial Qinghai-Tibet railway on July 1, 2006 was met with protest demonstrations from Tibetan exiles and supporters calling it a “new instrument” for Beijing’s alleged plan to “Sinicize” the restive Himalayan region and to exploit its rich untamed natural resources.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Artivist Film Festival - Lisboa

A 7ª arte dedicada aos direitos humanos, dos animais, da criança e à preservação do ambiente.

Sob o lema Fundir arte com activismo para uma consciência global, abre ao público dia 4 na FNAC Chiado passando depois toda a programação para o Fórum Lisboa de 5 a 7 de Dezembro.

O Artivist surgiu em 2004 e projectou até hoje mais de 300 filmes internacionais. Conta com o apoio das Nações Unidas e da Organização Internacional Prémio Nobel.


FNAC Chiado

Quinta-feira, 4 de Dezembro

20:30 ás 22:00h

Direitos da Criança e dos Animais

Destaque: Companions to None / melhor filme Direitos Dos Animais

Sexta-feira, 5 de Dezembro

20:30 ás 22:00h

Preservação Ambiental

Programação Fórum Lisboa

Sábado, 6 de Dezembro

1ª Sessão – 14:30 às 16:00h

Direitos Humanos e da Criança

Destaque: Bomb Harvest / melhor filme Direitos Humanos

2ª Sessão – 17:00 às 19:00h

Preservação Ambiental

Destaque: One Water / melhor filme Preservação Ambiental

19:00 às 19:45h – Conversa com o Realizador Phil Stebbing

3ª Sessão – 21:30 às 23:00h

Direitos dos Animais

Taking the Face – The Portuguese Bullfight / Pega de Cara – Tauromaquia Portuguesa - Estreia

Domingo, 7 de Dezembro

1ª Sessão – 14:30 às 16:15h

Direitos Humanos e Preservação Ambiental

Destaque: Eudaimonia / melhor curta Preservação Ambiental

They Turned our Desert Into Fire / melhor filme Direitos Humanos

2ª Sessão – 17:00 às 18:30

Direitos da Criança e Direitos Humanos

Destaque: Tibet: Beyond Fear / melhor curta Direitos Humanos

18:30 às 19:15h – Conversa com o Presidente da União Budista Prof. Dr. Paulo Borges

3ª Sessão – 21:15 às 23:15

Espírito Artivista Zeitgeist Addendum / Prémio Espírito Artivista

23:15 à 23:45h – Conversa com o Realizador Peter Joseph

ICT calls for EU Emissary to help resolve Tibet issue

Saying talks with China over Tibet issue has failed to make any progress, a Washington-based pro-Tibet advocacy group has called on the European Union to designate as soon as possible a “high profile European Emissary” to help resolve the issue of Tibet and also put an end to “tensions between China and Europe around Tibetan issues”.

The group’s call comes in the midst of the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama’s ongoing tour of three European countries.

“Such an initiative would be welcome in Europe where the Dalai Lama enjoys overwhelming support for his moral leadership and would be an appropriate outcome of the Dalai Lama's current visit to European countries,” the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said in a statement released Tuesday."

The mandate of an EU Emissary would be to represent the EU Council in engaging with the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama to collect views of both parties, identify the obstacles and suggest concrete recommendations to the EU Council on how to overcome these identified difficulties," ICT’s EU Policy Director Vincent Metten said in the statement.

Metten said that international calls for “results-based dialogue” by the Dalai Lama’s envoys with Chinese leadership had failed to produce progress.

ICT’s statement said Beijing had in fact increased its “anti-Dalai Lama rhetoric” following the latest round of talks between his envoys and the Chinese representatives held last month. The group said that the Chinese government had also “denounced the Sarkozy-Dalai Lama meeting and accused the French of engaging with a 'separatist'.”

“More engaged and substantial assistance is now required, or we will see the failure of an historic effort to achieve a just solution for Tibet through non-violence and dialogue,” Metten said.

Referring to China’s decision to walk away from long-planned Monday summit with the EU towards the last minute due to row over Tibet issue, Mr Metten said such an untoward action by Chinese government only “points to the urgent need to move Tibet from an irritant to a resolvable issue.”

"The people of Europe and their leadership will clearly not abandon the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans, and China feels so strongly about Tibet that it would risk other critical issues scheduled for discussion at the summit,” Metten said, adding “The EU should employ its experience in crisis management and find concrete ways to help the government of China and the Dalai Lama get to a solution."

Lately, the Tibetan leader, now 73, has also said he was losing "faith and trust” in dealing with Chinese leadership on the issue of Tibet. In the absence of any positive response from the Chinese leadership to his “middle-way” policy, the Dalai Lama said Tibetan populace must be prepared to take more active responsibility in deciding the future course of action.

“If the Chinese leadership honestly engages in talks, then I may be in a position to take up this responsibility again. I will, then, sincerely engage with them,” the Dalai Lama said in October at a huge public function in Dharamsala, his exile hometown in northern India.

Called by the Dalai Lama, leading Tibetan exiles from around the world, last month, concluded a first historic summit of its kind to make recommendations on future policy directions for Tibet.

ICT, while mentioning in its statement that the result of the Tibetan exiles’ November meeting has “favored the Dalai Lama's Middle Way approach” of seeking a solution based on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the People's Republic of China, pointed out the there is also a “growing frustration and solidarity between Tibetans in exile and in Tibet” after demonstrations against Chinese misrule broke out across the Tibetan plateau last spring.

The Dalai Lama arrived in Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, on Saturday to begin a series of high-profile visits in Europe. This is his first tour of Europe since he had to cancel his planned visits to the region in recent months due to health concerns.

On Sunday the Dalai Lama met with the Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek and on Tuesday he met with the country’s Foreign Minister Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg at the Foreign Ministry. He is also scheduled to address a plenary of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday. On December 6, at a ceremonial event in Gdansk, Poland, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy is scheduled to meet him.

From Dharamsala the Dalai Lama travels extensively around the world promoting human values, teaching Buddhism and, advocating for Tibetan rights and their struggle for greater freedom. He often meets with world leaders to present the case of Tibet.

The exiled Tibetan leader says he is sincere in his effort to seek a “real and meaningful” autonomy for Tibetan people within China, and opposes the use of violence.

But China, which sent military troops to occupy Tibet in 1949, reviles the Dalai Lama as a “separatist” trying to split Tibet from it, and regularly protests against countries that agree to visits by him or warns world leaders of diplomatic consequences if they meet him.