Wednesday, November 26, 2008

China Postpones EU Summit to Protest Dalai Lama Visit

China has postponed a summit with the European Union next week in protest of a planned visit to Europe by Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
A statement Wednesday from the EU says Chinese authorities made the decision because the Dalai Lama will be visiting several EU countries at the time of the summit.
The summit was originally scheduled to take place on December 1. In the statement, the EU said it regrets China's decision.
The EU stressed, however, that it plans to continue to promote its strategic partnership with Beijing at a time when the world's financial situation calls for close cooperation.
Earlier this month, China warned that French President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to meet with the Dalai Lama in Poland in December would hurt relations.
France holds the EU's rotating presidency until the end of next month.
In Poland, the Dalai Lama and Mr. Sarkozy will attend ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace prize to Lech Walesa, the anti-communist activist who later became president.
The Dalai Lama will also visit the European Parliament.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

China asked to end violence against women in Tibet

Tibetan exiles and supporters held a candle light vigil here this evening to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and to highlight the grave treatment Tibetan people, especially the women, face inside Tibet under Communist Chinese regime.

The rally organized by the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), one of the largest non-governmental organizations of Tibetan exiles, was joined by members of a local Indian women’s organization Jagori Himachal and several vesting tourists.

A statement released by TWA to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women said Tibetan women inside Tibet were commonly subjected to “torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading forms of treatment or punishment” if found guilty of raising pro-Tibet or pro-Dalai Lama expressions.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holy Tibetan Words

Dalai Lama's elder brother Gyalo Thondup speaks out in Dharamsala

The Dalai Lama's elder brother, Gyalo Thondup, a former resistance leader whose meeting with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 began a series of contacts between Tibetans and the Chinese leadership, spoke publicly today in Dharamsala, India, to urge a continuation of engagement with China "because we have no choice". Thondup, who no longer serves in an official capacity, said that he also wanted to counter Chinese representations of the discussions following his own conversations with the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979.

Eighty-year old Gyalo Thondup, a former chairman of the Tibetan cabinet (Kashag) in Dharamsala, was prompted to give a rare and detailed address to the media today after hardline comments by a Chinese official last week denying that Deng Xiaoping had said that "except independence all other issues can be settled through discussions". The Dalai Lama's Special Envoy Lodi Gyari had reminded the Chinese side of Deng's statement during the most recent eighth round of dialogue in the first week of November, but later his dialogue counterpart Zhu Weiqun, Executive Vice Minister of the Central United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party, said: "Comrade Deng Xiaoping had never made such a statement. It is a falsehood made by Gyari and is a complete distortion of Deng Xiaoping's statement." Gyalo Thondup said today that he was "shocked" by Zhu's comments, because "it was myself to whom the late paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, said that "except independence all other issues can be settled through discussions" on March 12, 1979.
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Em entrevista, ministro Chinês fala acerca do Tibete

P.f. clique em

Independência não, diz China

Enquanto os representantes Tibetanos de várias partes do mundo se reunem em Dharamsala, no maior encontro de sempre de Tibetanos, a "Reunião Especial", com o intuito de discutirem futuras estratégias políticas, a China afirma que "a independência da Região Autónoma Tibetana nunca poderá ser considerada, mas que no entanto as portas das negociações com os representantes do Dalai Lama permanecem abertas."
Zhu Weiqun, vice-ministro executivo do Departamento de Trabalho da Frente Unida do Comité Central do Partido Comunista da China realizou tais afirmações durante um encontro com estudantes Chineses em Paris: "Para o governo central não é possível falar com os representantes pessoais do Dalai Lama acerca do apelidado assunto do Tibete. O governo Tibetano no exílio é ilegal e o governo central não dialogará com ele".

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Labrang monk official who spoke out seized from monastery as detentions continue across Tibet

There are fears for the safety of a senior monk, Jigme Guri (or Gyatso), whose account of a period in detention following the March protests in his monastery, Labrang (Chinese: Xiahe) was videoed and uploaded on Youtube. Jigme Guri (also known under the honorifics 'Akhu' Jigme and Lama Jigme), deputy director of his monastery's 'Democratic Management Committee' and Director of Labrang's Vocational School, was taken from his monk's quarters at Labrang last Tuesday (November 4) by around 70 police and is now being held in Lanzhou, the provincial capital of Gansu province. Images included in this report show 42-year old Jigme in hospital following torture during his period of detention from March 22.

Labrang monk Jigme Guri, who gave an authoritative account of his earlier detention on a video in which he shows his face and gives his full identity, is now being held in an unknown location in Lanzhou, according to a Tibetan source. It is Jigme Guri's third detention, and there are serious fears for his welfare after he endured severe torture during a 42-day period of imprisonment from March 22.

Jigme Guri had not taken part in the protests at Labrang on March 14 and 15, but the authorities suspected him of being a ring-leader. In a video account later posted onto Youtube, which is now subtitled in English, Jigme described how on March 22, while he was waiting on the street near his monastery for his shoes to be mended, he was dragged into a white van by four uniformed guards. He was taken to a guest-house run by local paramilitary police near Labrang, in Sangchu county, Kanlho prefecture, Gansu province. Jigme's account of his ordeal, broadcast on Voice of America after they obtained a copy of the video, is published below in English translation. (The video can be viewed online at:

On arrival in detention, Jigme said: "I was put on a chair with my hands tied behind my back. A young soldier pointed an automatic rifle at me and said in Chinese, 'This is made to kill you, Ahlos [a sinicized form of the Tibetan word for 'friend', used by some Chinese as a derogatory term for Tibetans]. You make one move, and I will definitely shoot and kill you with this gun. I will throw your corpse in the trash and nobody will ever know.' When I heard this, I was not terrified by the gun pointed at my head but thinking that this man is not only a soldier or security personnel, but also a law enforcement officer; however, here he is pointing a gun at an ordinary citizen and uttering such words. It made me very sad, as if my heart was shattered into two pieces."

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

China reafirma que tentativa separatista do Tibete será um fracasso

A China reafirmou hoje que qualquer tentativa de independência do Tibete vai fracassar. Ao mesmo tempo, centenas de tibetanos no exílio estão reunidos na Índia para analisar o caminho a seguir e uma eventual radicalização de sua luta.

" A nossa posição sobre o Tibete é clara e decidida. Qualquer tentativa de separar o Tibete da China vai fracassar", declarou o porta-voz do ministério chinês das Relações Exteriores, Qin Gang.

"Nenhum governo do mundo reconhece o chamado governo tibetano no exílio", acrescentou.
Quase 500 dirigentes tibetanos no exílio começaram a debater na segunda-feira, na região norte da Índia, uma eventual radicalização da luta sobre o estatuto do Tibete depois do fracasso das negociações, iniciadas em 2002, com a China.

O encontro em Dharamsala, capital do exílio tibetano, é a maior reunião em 60 anos da comunidade tibetana. Nesta cidade vive exiliado desde 1959 o Dalai Lama, líder espiritual dos tibetanos.

A opção de um possível endurecimento da posição dos tibetanos, ou seja reivindicar a independência e não uma simples autonomia, será discutida até Sábado.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tibetan exiles gather in India to discuss the future of Tibet

They are there for a landmark meeting that is widely expected to determine the direction of the movement that has struggled for decades to win autonomy from China.

The weeklong meeting that begins Monday was called by the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, who says new ideas are needed following the repeated failure of talks with China.

Today, the Dalai Lama's envoys to the last round of talks with Beijing issued a statement saying they had presented China with a detailed plan on how Tibetans could meet their needs of autonomy within the framework of the Chinese constitution.

But China has apparently rejected the plan and the statement says recent Chinese statements distort the position and proposal the envoys have outlined.

Chinese officials say no progress was made in the talks two weeks ago, and they call the Tibetan stance "a trick" and say it lacks sincerity.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dalai Lama's "Special Message" for Tibetans in and outside Tibet

While sending my greetings to all Tibetans in and outside Tibet, there are a few important issues I would like to present to you.
Since I was very young, I realized that the transformation of our governance into a democratic system was of utmost importance for Tibet's immediate and long-term interest. Therefore, after taking responsibility as the spiritual and political leader of Tibet, I worked hard to establish such a democratic set-up in Tibet. Unfortunately, we were unable to achieve it under the harsh repression of the People's Republic of China. However, immediately after coming into exile, judicious reforms were introduced in the structure of our governance and a newly-elected parliament was constituted. Despite being in exile, the process of the democratization of the Tibetan community has made good headway. Today, the Tibetan community in exile has completely transformed into a modern democracy in the true sense of the word, having an administration with its own charter and a leadership elected by popular vote. We can be proud at this moment when the Tibetan people themselves are ready and able to take responsibility for Tibet.
The reason I have persisted in encouraging the establishment of a democratic system is based entirely on the need to secure a solid and sustainable future system of governance for Tibet. This is not because I was reluctant or wanted to shirk my responsibility. It is extremely important that we take stock of history and our past experience, as well as learn from the present world situation in order to keep up our struggle. All Tibetans should uphold and strengthen the institution of the Central Tibetan Administration, by means of which we will be able to preserve the Tibetan cultural heritage in exile until the issue of Tibet is resolved.
Since coming into exile, we have exercised the essential functions of a democratic system by inviting our people to express their opinions about important political decisions on the future of Tibet. The current, mutually beneficial Middle-Way Approach was formulated in the early 1970s as a result of much deliberation and discussion with leaders who represented the Tibetan people such as the Speaker of the House. Moreover, I have specifically stated in the Strasbourg Proposal that the Tibetan people will make the final decision.
After the break in contacts with the PRC in 1993, we conducted an opinion poll of the Tibetans in exile and collected suggestions from Tibet wherever possible on the proposed referendum, by which the Tibetan people were to determine the future course of our freedom struggle to their full satisfaction. Based on the outcome of this poll and suggestions from Tibet, our parliament in exile, passed a resolution empowering me to continue to use my discretion on the matter without seeking recourse to a referendum. Therefore, until now we have followed the Middle-Way Approach and eight rounds of talks have taken place since contact with the PRC was restored in 2002. Despite this approach receiving widespread appreciation from the international community, as well as the support of many Chinese intellectuals, there have been no positive signs or changes in Tibet. Indeed, PRC policies towards Tibet and the Tibetans have remained unchanged.
After the sixth round of talks in 2007 with officials of the PRC, there were no plans to hold further talks in the immediate future. But, because of the urgency of the situation in Tibet after the events of March this year, we held informal discussions in the beginning of May, followed by the seventh and eighth rounds of talks in July and at the beginning of November, so as not to leave any stone unturned. Nevertheless, no real progress was made.
In March this year, Tibetans from the whole of Tibet known as Cholka-Sum (U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo), regardless of whether they were young or old, male or female, monastic or lay-people, believers or non-believers, including students, risked their lives by courageously expressing their long-felt dissatisfaction with PRC policies in a peaceful and lawful way. At that time I was hopeful that the PRC government would find a solution based on the reality on the ground. However, on the contrary, the Chinese government has completely ignored and rejected Tibetan feelings and aspirations by brutally cracking down on them, using the accusation that they were 'splittists' and 'reactionaries' as an excuse. During those testing times, out of profound concern and a deep sense of responsibility, I exercised whatever influence I have with the international community and with China, including writing personally to President Hu Jintao. But my efforts hardly made any difference.
Since everyone was preoccupied with the issue of the Beijing Olympics, it did not seem appropriate to consult the general public at that time. Now, since the time is more appropriate, in accordance with clause 59 of the Charter for Tibetans-in-exile I have on 11th September, requested our elected leadership to convene a Special Meeting soon. It is my hope that participants will be able to gather the opinions of their respective communities and be able to present them on this occasion.
Taking into account the inspiring courage being shown by people all over Tibet this year, the current world situation, and the present intransigent stance of the government of the PRC, all the participants, as Tibetan citizens should discuss in a spirit of equality, cooperation and collective responsibility the best possible future course of action to advance the Tibetan cause. This meeting should take place in an atmosphere of openness, putting aside partisan debate. Rather, it should focus on the aspirations and views of the Tibetan people. I appeal to everyone concerned to work together to contribute as best as they can.
This Special Meeting is being convened with the express purpose of providing a forum to understand the real opinions and views of the Tibetan people through free and frank discussions. It must be clear to all that this special meeting does not have any agenda for reaching a particular predetermined outcome.
The Dalai Lama
14 November 2008
N.B Translated from the Tibetan.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

A message to all members of Candle4Tibet

Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend the G20 Summit this Saturday in Washington, D.C., his first visit to the U.S. since the March uprising in Tibet, and we must make Tibet a key issue that haunts him on this trip.

Just days ago, in a televised press conference, Chinese government spokesperson Zhu Weiqun accused the Dalai Lama of promoting ethnic cleansing and apartheid, calling off the dialogue process and declaring that China would never compromise on Tibet.

TAKE ACTION: If you are in the US please send the below message to your Congressional Representatives. Please also call your Congressperson and the State Department and urge President Bush to make a public statement in support of Tibet.
Please call the following:
Assistant Secretary to the Bureau of East Asian & Pacific Affairs, Christopher Hill: 202-647-9596Under Secretary for Democracy & Global Affairs: Paula Dobriansky: 202-647-6240 or 202-647-6704Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi: 202-225-0100
President Bush has an important opportunity to hold the Chinese government accountable on Tibet before he leaves office by publicly:

* expressing disappointment in the Chinese government's lack of progress in resolving the Tibet issue and failure to meaningfully address the legitimate concerns of the Tibetan people.
* calling for an end to China's brutal crackdown in Tibet and pressuring Chinese authorities to allow international observers and foreign media into Tibet.
* calling for the immediate release of Tibetans detained following the uprising in Tibet last spring.
* condemning the Chinese government's attacks against the Dalai Lama and his efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the Tibet issue.

Tibetans and Tibet supporters will converge in Washington D.C. this Saturday, November 15th to protest Hu Jintao's visit.
Let's join together in a universal light protest to support the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet in their freedom.
Let us Light up the World!

Visit Candle4Tibet at:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

For centuries, Tibet and Mongolia had shared a strong cultural and historical relationship. Following the collapse of the Manchu (Qing) Dynasty in 1911, Tibet and Mongolia declared independence and, subsequently signed a treaty of friendship and recognition of each other’s independence in 1913.

For sometime the existence of the treaty between Tibet and Mongolia, as having been concluded in early 1913, was considered questionable by some writers.

Recently, the original Tibetan (but not the Mongol) text of the Tibet-Mongol Treaty of 1913 was rediscovered, making one important part of the original document available to scholars for the first time.

Exiled Tibetans gather in India to discuss new way

It's been almost 50 years since the Tibetan god-king fled across the Himalayas and created his government-in-exile in this hill town. Decades later, the Dalai Lama and his followers are still in Dharmsala.

And the struggle for Tibet? That, they increasingly say here, has been futile.

"We have failed to bring any positive change inside Tibet," said Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the government-in-exile. "The majority of Tibetans are increasingly frustrated and want more forceful change."

Now, nearly everything is on the table for discussion. Starting Monday, exiled Tibetans from around the world will gather in Dharmsala, called together by the Dalai Lama for a six-day meeting that could end years of carefully moderated policies toward Beijing.

In a town of often-feuding exiles, many now have at least one thing to agree upon: Their movement has reached a crossroad. The Dalai Lama is growing old, a young generation of activists want tough talk toward China and Beijing is moving thousands of ethnic Han Chinese into Tibet.

"In ten or 15 years, when we look back at this, we're hopeful that we'll see this as a historic conference," said Tsewang Rigzin, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, one of the more militant activist groups. "We know that we have to be rational and reasonable, but we also need to change the political stand of the Tibetan people."

For 20 years, the exile movement has been guided by the Dalai Lama's "middle way," which rejects demands for outright independence but calls for limited autonomy for Tibet. Until very recently, the Dalai Lama had insisted on conciliation, repeatedly telling Beijing that progress for Tibet could come only through talks, and insisting he did not want independence.

Conciliatory talk, though, brought little but disdain from China. Instead, Beijing derides the Dalai Lama as a "splittist," saying he really wants a Tibetan nation. For years, talks between Beijing and the Dalai Lama's envoys have ended in stalemate.

In October, the man who turned patience into an art form appeared to finally grow impatient.
The Dalai Lama said in a speech that after years of pursuing the middle way "there hasn't been any positive response."

"As far as I'm concerned I have given up," he added.

From those statements came his call for the special exile conference. Many specifics remain vague, but any issues can be discussed (though changes in policy would require approval by the government-in-exile). The Dalai Lama himself now remains silent, worried any statements would be seen as support for a particular policy.

So what sort of agendas could emerge from the conference?

The days of CIA-backed Tibetan military units ended decades ago, and even the most hard-line exiles see no hope in fighting China's army.

Today, the clearest divide is between those favoring Tibetan autonomy and those favoring independence. But there are also endless sub-permutations, with various factions urging more protests, angrier protests, boycotts, more pressure on Western nations and, among a small group, a push for sabotage of China's infrastructure.

With China heightening its rhetoric — on Monday, Beijing officials accused the Dalai Lama's envoys of trickery — the exile debate has also become sharper.

"The tough line taken by China is increasing divisions among the exiles, and uncertainty about what it should do," said Robbie Barnett, an expert on modern Tibet at Columbia University.
In many ways, these debates can seem pointless. China has 1.3 billion people and the world's largest army. The Tibetans number perhaps 6 million, and are lead by a devout pacifist who hasn't been home since fleeing amid a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

But the discussions are taken deadly seriously in Dharmsala, where movement leaders hope for a time when changes in China will lead to meaningful change in Tibet.

Certainly, this is a time of turmoil in the Tibetan exile movement.

Bloody anti-government riots in March in Lhasa, Tibet's capital, were brutally put down. Shaken by reports of anti-Chinese attacks, the Dalai Lama threatened to resign unless his followers stopped their violence.

That was followed by the Beijing Olympics, which many Tibetan activists had hoped would offer the best stage in years for demonstrations. Instead, protests in Europe during the Olympic torch run faded into near-silence after China was hammered by an earthquake.

The lack of protests, in turn, helped reinforce divisions between Tibetan exiles who back the Dalai Lama's relentless pacifism and a far angrier young generation, many born in exile, increasingly desperate for action.

Most importantly, though, there is the Dalai Lama, 73. While people close to him insist he remains in good health for his age, he has been hospitalized twice since August and his travel schedule has been curtailed.

In a movement that often sways between centuries, it can be hard to differentiate between the Tibetan struggle at large and the Dalai Lama himself.

On one side there is a modern protest movement, with Web sites and hip T-shirts and Richard Gere speeches. On the other is a leader who came to power because Buddhist mystics proclaimed him the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama.

He is a holy man who became a master at public relations, and who remains a god to his followers.

"I have heard of this middle way, but I don't know much about it," said a former businessman, his hair combed into a pompadour, waiting recently in a Dharmsala refugee center. Days earlier, he had fled Tibet, fearing the police because he'd joined the March protests. He asked that his name not be used, fearing retribution against his family.

As for the conference, he wasn't worrying about it: "I will do what His Holiness wants, no matter what."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tibetans' risky journey into exile

In September 2006, two groups of people crossed paths in the snow-capped Himalayas - one seeking freedom, the other adventure.
A brutal shooting threw them together, changing their lives for ever.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

China cracks down in Tibet to avert rioting

China has intensified its military presence in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa amid fears Dalai Lama supporters plan to repeat bloody March rioting.

The Courier-Mail can reveal that increased numbers of soldiers and police are patrolling the streets of the capital. Military personnel armed with machineguns are conducting routine patrols around Lhasa's historic Barkhor district. Snipers are also positioned on rooftops and stairwells.During a four-day visit to the Buddhist kingdom, The Courier-Mail also witnessed monks being bundled into a police van close to Lhasa's historic Jokhang temple.

Pro-Tibet organisations say authorities are routinely jailing monks and nuns.Bai Ma Cai Wang, Vice-Governor of the Tibet Autonomous Region Government, also confirmed that 55 Tibetans had been sentenced to jail terms ranging from three years to life after the March riots.The riots flared after monks staged peaceful protests. Up to 200 were killed and more than 1300 Tibetans were arrested during the unrest, which was beamed around the world.Mr Bai Ma said the Beijing-backed Tibetan Government had "moderately adjusted" the military and police presence in recent days because of "separatist activities".

The revelations come just days after an eighth round of talks between the Dalai Lama's envoy and Beijing ended without progress.The Chinese authorities fear a militant uprising by Tibetan youth, who they say are seeking independence for their country.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is among a host of world leaders who have criticised China's human rights record in Tibet.But Mr Bai Ma said: "The Tibetan people enjoy full rights in terms of management of their own affairs."The senior Government figure was speaking on Tuesday during an hour-long meeting with an Australian delegation led by Queensland Liberal backbencher Michael Johnson and including two journalists.Mr Bai Ma also confirmed Tibet's economy had been seriously damaged by the March uprising. Tourism has been severely cut back, from about 4.5 million visitors in 2007 to just 400,000 this year.Mr Johnson - who is accused by Labor and Greens MPs of being a pro-Beijing sympathiser - said China should consider allowing the Dalai Lama to visit his homeland, which he fled in 1959."As a friend of China, I would say that some kind of reconciliation must take place between Beijing and the Dalai Lama," Mr Johnson told The Courier-Mail.

Lhasa was a place of beauty this week as a snow storm layered the mountains framing the spiritual hub with a thick coat of white powder.But there were also scenes straight out of a virtual police state.During the visit, The Courier-Mail saw dozens of snipers and soldiers patrolling the city's narrow laneways and religious squares.Squads of five or six, with machine and assault rifles draped menacingly, marched slowly along narrow lanes packed with vendors and Buddhist pilgrims.

The Courier-Mail was among the first foreign news outlets allowed into Tibet since the March uprising.While China has pumped a huge level of investment into Tibet, there is a strong perception of a country divided and fearful of itself.Few Tibetans speak English but several monks who did said there was a strong desire for the exiled Dalai Lama, who remains in the remote Indian city of Dharamsala, to return to his homeland.It is hard to extract information. Even the brave are wary of saying too much.Several monks said China had "bugged" some of the city's key tourist sites, such as the Potala Palace, to eavesdrop on potential troublemakers.

Despite the Dalai Lama denouncing the March violence - which the Chinese claim caused a direct economic loss of $70million - he is seen as a political agitator and foe.Chinese authorities say he orchestrated the March riots and was also instrumental in helping to disrupt the Olympic Torch Relay as it wound around the globe.There is no evidence to support this claim, but in the Land of the Snows, the truth is unfathomably hard to pin down.Despite the building of a modern rail service from China, Lhasa's streets are almost completely devoid of Western faces.

Every Chinese or Tibetan official The Courier-Mail spoke to, in Lhasa and Beijing, spoke derisively of the Dalai Lama. Mr Bai Ma even claims he remains a distant memory for many Tibetan Buddhists."The image of the Dalai Lama as spiritual leader in the Tibet people's minds has already gone away," he said.It is an extraordinary boast, but one impossible to verify. In economic terms, Tibet has made solid progress since it emerged from a centuries-old feudal system, during which the poor were forced to pay outrageous taxes to the privileged few.But the guns and soldiers on the streets of Lhasa shows at what cost.


China on the rack at UN torture talks

China came in for fierce questioning on its commitment to end abuses on Friday, as the UN committee against torture conducted its first review of the Asian nation in seven years.

Among other controversial matters, the UN committee addressed the wave of arrests in Tibet after nationalist unrest last March, the house arrest of family members of dissident rights activist Hu Jia (胡佳) and overall conditions of detention in the country.
The committee’s rapporteur Felice Gaer also quizzed Beijing on the number of people sentenced to death, the fate of North Korean emigrants and the harassment of pregnant women to “persuade” them to have an abortion.
Gaer said she was “perplexed” by China’s response, which consisted of highlighting the relevant laws in place to combat abuses, while the committee “expects information on concrete measures to make sure these [laws] are being implemented.”
“The lack of information makes it difficult to do a serious and independent assessment of the allegations by rights groups about torture and ill treatment,” she said.
But Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong (李保東) said progress had indeed been made in combating torture.
Some 40 trials involving 82 people accused of extracting confessions by torture took place last year, for example — down from 64 trials involving 119 people in 2006, he said.
China is routinely criticized by rights groups and Western countries over its human rights record, which it rejects as interference in its affairs.

Friday, November 7, 2008

China Has Sentenced 55 Over Tibet Riot in March

Fifty-five Tibetans have received prison sentences for their actions in the March 14 ethnic riot that engulfed Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in western China, according to a senior Chinese official quoted Wednesday by Xinhua, the state news agency.

The report was the first by an official news source stating the number of sentences handed down after the riot, which erupted days after monks staged peaceful protests in Lhasa.

The prison sentences range from three years to life, Xinhua reported.

The report in Xinhua was based on comments made Tuesday by Baema Cewang, vice chairman of the Tibet regional government, when he met with Michael Andrew Johnson, a visiting member of the Australian House of Representatives.

Xinhua did not give details of how the sentences were handed down or what sort of trial the prisoners had received, if any.
The report came as envoys of the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of the Tibetans, met this week in Beijing with Chinese officials to discuss Tibet policies and the status of the Dalai Lama, who has not been allowed to return to Tibet since fleeing to India in 1959.

The Dalai Lama has called for autonomy in Tibetan regions of China and has not advocated outright independence. But he is facing growing pressure from younger Tibetans to take a more aggressive stand since the Chinese government has made no substantive concessions.

News agencies in China had reported that as of April 29, 30 people had been convicted of arson, robbery, disrupting public order and attacking government offices, among other crimes related to the riot, which was the worst outburst of ethnic violence in China in recent years. It was unclear whether any or all of these people were included in the 55 who were reported to have received prison sentences.

The riot involved Tibetans attacking Han Chinese living and working in Lhasa, a high-altitude city on a desert plateau that has drawn many Han settlers in recent years because of financial incentives put in place by Chinese officials.

The Chinese government has actively encouraged Han migration to ethnic minority regions in western China, particularly Tibet and Xinjiang, and that in turn has led to rising tensions between locals and the Han settlers who come seeking jobs and business opportunities.

The March riot led to a government crackdown in the autonomous region and other Tibetan areas in western China, particularly in the mountainous redoubts of Sichuan Province.

Advocacy groups supporting greater rights for Tibetans or Tibetan independence have released a steady stream of reports about detentions and executions, including of monks and nuns. Few of the reports have been independently confirmed.

Xinhua cited Mr. Cewang as saying that after the violence in March, the police detained 1,317 people, of whom 1,115 were subsequently released.

The March violence resulted in the deaths of 18 civilians and one police officer, while 382 civilians and 241 police officers were injured, Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

Previously the authorities had said 22 people were killed in the rioting. Exile groups have said scores of Tibetans were killed in the crackdown that followed.

Xinhua reported that rioters also burned 120 houses and 84 vehicles and looted 1,367 shops, causing an economic loss of about $47 million.

The Chinese government has accused the Dalai Lama of organizing the riot in order to disrupt the Olympic Games, which took place in Beijing in August.

The Dalai Lama has denied the accusations. In recent weeks, he has expressed disappointment in the pace of negotiations with the Chinese government over the status of Tibet and has said Tibetans in the future might push for independence using strategies other than the moderate “middle way” that he has long advocated.


Written Ministerial Statement on Tibet (29/10/2008)

David Miliband commented on the discussions taking place on Tibet between the Chinese Government and representatives of the Dalai Lama. In a Written Ministerial Statement he said:
'A new round of talks on Tibet between the Chinese Government and representatives of the Dalai Lama is likely to take place shortly. These talks are hugely important for the future of Tibet. They provide the only forum in which there is any realistic possibility of progress to resolve the differences between the parties involved.
The Chinese Government has said that it is serious about dialogue and that it hopes for a positive outcome. It has set conditions for dialogue which we believe the Dalai Lama has met. The Dalai Lama has made clear that he is not seeking separation or independence. He has said repeatedly that he is seeking a resolution to the situation of Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution, a point he made explicitly in an interview with the Financial Times on 24 May during his visit to the United Kingdom. He said: he was "not seeking separation, not seeking independence, but within the framework of the Chinese Constitution, meaningful realistic autonomy [for Tibetans]". He has maintained a clear opposition to violence.
The British Government has a strong interest in the dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama's representatives, although we are not a party to it. No government which is committed to promoting international respect for human rights can remain silent on the issue of Tibet, or disinterested in a solution to its problems.
Britain has been clear under this Government about our commitment to the people of Tibet. We remain deeply concerned about the human rights situation there. My Rt. hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out our concerns to Premier Wen during discussions in the spring and again when they met in Beijing during the Olympic Games. I have made the same point to Foreign Minister Yang on a number of occasions since the unrest in March this year in Tibet. We have consistently made clear that we want to see the human rights of the Tibetan people respected, including through respect for their distinct culture, language, traditions and religions. Our interest is not in restoring an order which existed 60 years ago and which the Dalai Lama himself has said he does not seek to restore.
We are also concerned at more immediate issues arising directly from the unrest of this spring, including the situation of those who remain in detention following the unrest, the increased constraints on religious activity, and the limitations on free access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region by diplomats and journalists. These issues reinforce long-held unease on the part of the Government about the underlying human rights situation in Tibet.
Other countries have made similar points. But our position is unusual for one reason of history that has been imported into the present: the anachronism of our formal position on whether Tibet is part of China, and whether in fact we harbour continued designs to see the break up of China. We do not.
Our ability to get our points across has sometimes been clouded by the position the UK took at the start of the 20th century on the status of Tibet, a position based on the geo-politics of the time. Our recognition of China's "special position" in Tibet developed from the outdated concept of suzerainty. Some have used this to cast doubt on the aims we are pursuing and to claim that we are denying Chinese sovereignty over a large part of its own territory. We have made clear to the Chinese Government, and publicly, that we do not support Tibetan independence. Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People's Republic of China. Our interest is in long term stability, which can only be achieved through respect for human rights and greater autonomy for the Tibetans.'


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tibetan envoys to remain silent on talks before ‘Special Meeting’

Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari (2nd from L), with Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen to his right, meeting with Chinese representative Du Qinglin (3rd from L) and Zhu Weiqun on November 4, 2008 in Beijing. Envoys of the Dalai Lama ended two days of talks Wednesday with Chinese officials on the future of Tibet. The envoys say they have been advised not to make statements on the outcome of the talks before the ‘Special Meeting’ to be held later this month. (Phayul/Photo - CTA)
Tibetan envoys are not to make any statement on the outcome of the eighth round of talks with Chinese leadership before the proposed “Special Meeting” to be held later this month, according to a statement issued Thursday by the Dalai Lama’s Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari.
“As a special general meeting of the Tibetan people is being convened later this month at the suggestion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we have been advised not to make statements about our discussions before this meeting,” Mr Gyari said in the statement.The Tibetan delegation ended two days of talks Wednesday and returned to India today.Special Envoy Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, accompanied by three aides Sonam N. Dagpo and Bhuchung K. Tsering, both members of the Task Force on Sino-Tibetan Negotiations, and Kalsang Tsering from the Secretariat of the Task Force, left for China on October 30 to hold eighth round of talks, which was started since 2002, but only began formal discussion on Tuesday.
Hundreds of leading Tibetan exiles will gather from 17 to 22 November in Dharamsala for a special meeting to discuss the future course of action on the issue of Tibet. The meeting was called by the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama in response to lack of any signs of progress in the dialogue process and the worsening state of affairs within Tibet following the widespread anti-China protests that broke out in the region earlier this year.
Ahead of the latest round of talks with the Chinese government officials, the Dalai Lama 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 maintained that he would be left with no option but, to ask Tibetan Government-in-exile in consultation with Tibetan people to decide the future course of the dialogue process.“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 on October 25 at a huge function in Dharamsala.

After returning from their eighth round of talks, the envoys, this morning, briefed the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-exile Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche in New Delhi, and were advised to refrain from making any statement on the outcome of the talks, at least, before the forthcoming ‘Special Meeting.
Mr Gyari described the main purpose of the latest round of talks as a “follow-up” on the discussions held during the seventh round in July this year. He said his team presented a memorandum to the Chinese leadership “on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people”, but gave no further details about the move. In Beijing, the Tibetan delegation met with Mr. Du Qinglin, Vice Chariman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on Tuesday and had a “day-long discussion” Mr. Zhu Weiqun, Executive Vice Minister, and Mr. Sithar, Vice Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on Wednesday.
“An official from the Tibet Autonomous Region, Pema Trinley, Executive Vice-Governor, was also present in the Chinese side,” Kasur Gyari said.The delegation also had a briefing, organized by the United Front, by experts on Chinese Constitution and the Law on Regional National Autonomy at the China Tibetology Research Center. During the visit, the Tibetan delegation was taken to the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region by Chinese authorities purportedly to demonstrate Beijing's handling of minority concerns.

China rejects 'semi-independence' for Tibet: state media

A senior Chinese official told envoys of the Dalai Lama during talks in Beijing this week that any type of independence for Tibet was not an option, even "semi-independence", state media said on Thursday.

"Regardless of the time or the circumstances... Tibet independence is out of the question," said Du Qinglin, a top Communist party official in charge of relations with non-communist groups, the Xinhua news agency reported.

"Semi-independence is out of the question. Independence in disguise is out of the question," Du was quoted as telling the envoys "recently".

The Dalai Lama has long championed a "middle path" policy with China which espouses "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet, rather than the full independence for the remote Himalayan region that many younger, more radical activists demand.

Envoys of the Tibet spiritual leader, who has lived in exile for nearly half a century, ended two days of talks Wednesday with Chinese officials in Beijing on the future of Tibet.

Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, Kelsang Gyaltsen and three aides left for the Chinese capital on October 30 but only began formal discussions on Tuesday, according to the Tibet government-in-exile in India.

During their visit, the envoys were taken to the Muslim autonomous region of Ningxia by Chinese authorities to demonstrate Beijing's handling of minority concerns, according to the exiled administration.

Du's official title is director of the Communist Party's United Front Work Department.
The department, traditionally charged with handling ties with organisations outside the party, represents China in meetings with Dalai Lama envoys.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Strong support for Tibet from next US President

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) congratulates Barack Obama on his election to be the 44th President of the United States and anticipates strong support from the Obama Administration for Tibetan issues.

"The Tibetan people will have a friend and strong supporter in President-elect Obama," said John Ackerly, President of the International Campaign for Tibet. "This is a critical time for the Tibetan issue and we are confident that the Obama Administration will continue the existing support for Tibet and provide new energy for the efforts of the Dalai Lama to engage with the Chinese government. If we build on what Senator Obama has said about Tibet in the past, then we can expect even stronger initiatives from the Untied States in the future," Ackerly concluded.

Senator Obama has a strong record of support for Tibet and has met with the Dalai Lama to discuss human rights issues. Senator Obama attended a private Senate Foreign Relations Committee briefing with the Dalai Lama in November 2005 and has featured a photograph of himself with the Dalai Lama from that briefing in the media section of his presidential campaign website. Senator Obama has personally urged Chinese President Hu Jintao to resolve the situation in Tibet through dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, and this spring, when demonstrations spread across the Tibetan plateau, Senator Obama telephoned the Dalai Lama in India to discuss the situation. The Senator subsequently called on the Chinese to show restraint in dealing with the protests. Comments by the Senator on his phone call are available on the ICT website at Senator Obama was also a Senate sponsor of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal Act, which awarded the nation's highest civilian honor to the Dalai Lama in October 2007.

The Obama-Biden campaign has pledged to actively engage China on a number of issues, including human rights in Tibet and China's crackdown on democracy and religious freedom activists. The campaign has pledged to "be frank with the Chinese about such failings and will press them to respect human rights."

Among the senior foreign policy advisors to the Obama campaign is Gregory B. Craig, the first U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, appointed by then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 1996.

As a long-serving member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Joe Biden has been a consistent voice in support of Tibetan issues and a force behind the establishment of Radio Free Asia which is crucial to disseminating news unfiltered by Chinese state media to communities inside Tibet.

The International Campaign for Tibet thanks Senator John McCain for his support for Tibet in this campaign year and especially for his public appeal for the fair treatment of Tibetan political prisoners.

Senator McCain held a highly publicized meeting with the Dalai Lama in Aspen, Colorado in July, commenting afterwards that the Dalai Lama’s "nonviolence approach and his lifelong approach of seeking common ground around cultural and religious divides are an inspiration for all of mankind and to millions of Americans."


China re-arrests monk who exposed Chinese crackdown to foreign media

Jigme, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, who provided a rare first-hand account of China's crackdown on Tibetan protesters to foreign media has been arbitrarily arrested by Sangchu County People's Armed Police(PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB) this afternoon from one of the Tibetan homes in Labrang for unknown reason according to confirmed information received by the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) from reliable sources.

According to the source, " Around fifty People Armed Police (PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials in several military trucks came to Labrang this afternoon at around 1:00 PM (Beijing Standard Time) and barged into a Tibetan home from where they arrested Jigme and took him away in a military vehicle. And nobody knows where he was taken to and for what reason".

Jigme a.ka. Jigme Guri, a monk of Labrang Monastery in Sangchu County (Ch: Xiahe Xian) Kanlho "Tibet Autonomous Prefecture" ('TAP'), Gansu Province, was earlier arrested on 22 March 2008 by four armed forces while returning to his monastery from a market and he was known to have been detained and tortured for two months in the detention centre for his suspected role in one of the biggest protests that took place in Labrang on 14 March 2008. He was released on medical ground after months of detention where he was intensively interrogated to extract confession by means of torture that he was left unconscious twice from injuries he suffered.

At the beginning of September, the Voice of America's Tibetan Service in its Wednesday program Kunleng aired a video from Jigme giving detail accounts of Tibetan people's aspiration, torture and inhumane treatment meted out to monks of Labrang Monks who were detained during March Protest at the County government headquarters. In a telephone interview with the Associated Press on 12 September, Jigme gave detail accounts of the Chinese crackdown on Tibetans which is still going on months after the events. He later went into hiding fearing authorities' repercussion for exposing Chinese brutal crackdown on Tibetans.

Monks of Labrang Monastery and other Tibetans in Sangchu took to the streets in large numbers in March to show solidarity with Tibetans demonstrating in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. On 9 April, monks at Labrang Monastery disrupted a government-sponsored media tour and afterwards two monks who defiantly spoke in front of the media have disappeared since then. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) expresses it strongest condemnation of Chinese security officials' arbitrary arrest of Jigme for airing the grievances and peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression and opinion. The Centre expresses its deepest concern on the prevailing circumstances on many parts of Tibet, which have been active in the past protests across Tibet.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

China Hits Back at Dalai Lama

China today accused the Dalai Lama of playing tricks of ‘retirement’ and called “groundless” his disappointment. A commentary on Xinhua, the official news agency said the Tibetan leader’s statements on Sunday “confound black and white and disregards facts” and were made to gain “public attention and sympathy.”
"My trust in the Chinese government has become thinner, thinner, thinner," the Dalai Lama said Sunday in Tokyo at a press conference at the Foreign Correspondent's Club. "Suppression is increasing and I cannot pretend that everything is OK."
Xinhua added that the Dalai Lama's remarks came at a time when China's central government 'is to' arrange another round of contacts and negotiations with his private representatives. However, the Tibetan delegation headed by Lodi Gyari began talks this morning with Chinese representatives.
The Tibetan delegation will return to Dharamsala on November 6 after the latest round of talks, the third since the uprising in Lhasa in March, Tibetan government's Information Secretary Thubten Samphel told PTI.
China said the accusations of ‘cultural genocide’ and ‘handing down death sentence’ were intended at ‘arousing concerns over Tibet to add weight to his separatist ambitions.’
Media reports from Japan indicate that the Dalai Lama has acknowledged his approach of obtaining genuine autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule has failed."
Our approach failed to bring some positive change inside Tibet," the Dalai Lama said. "I have to accept the failure.""My trust in the Chinese government has become thinner, thinner, thinner," he said.
The Dalai Lama also admitted that criticism among Tibetans of his negotiating approach toward China was growing.
The Tibetan leader said that it is for the Tibetan people now to decide future strategy for Tibet. "There are no alternatives except to ask people. I remain myself completely neutral," he said.

Diálogo entre Pequim e Dalai Lama fracassou


Foi assim que o Dalai Lama qualificou ontem, em Tóquio, o resultado do diálogo com a China sobre a autonomia do Tibete. O líder espiritual tibetano, que já há dias se afirmara desiludido com a atitude de Pequim, adiantou que tenciona manter o silêncio até ao encontro especial com os tibetanos no exílio, agendado para a segunda quinzena deste mês.

"As coisas não estão a correr bem. Tenho de admitir o fracasso", disse o Dalai Lama em conferência de imprensa na capital nipónica. O líder tibetano, de 73 anos, adiantou que tenciona manter-se "completamente" neutral. "Se eu disser que prefiro esta [solução], isso pode tornar-se um obstáculo para que outras opiniões apareçam livremente."

O Dalai Lama aproveitou a ocasião para, mais uma vez, pedir aos tibetanos que estejam abertos a todas as opções, já que a exigência de uma maior autonomia acabou por ser rejeitada por Pequim, a mesma Pequim em que o líder religioso confia cada vez menos.

"A minha confiança no Governo chinês tornou-se cada vez mais frágil. A repressão no Tibete aumentou e eu não posso fingir que tudo está bem", disse o Prémio Nobel da Paz de 1989, que admitiu ainda um aumento de críticas por parte da própria comunidade tibetana, descontente pela ausência de resultados nas negociações com Pequim.

Na véspera, numa declaração aos jornalistas que o aguardavam à sua chegada a Tóquio, o Dalai Lama foi frontal ao denunciar a situação no terreno: "Os tibetanos são condenados à morte. Esta antiga nação e a sua herança cultural estão em vias de morrer."

No próximo dia 17, na cidade indiana de Dharamsala, todas as correntes tibetanas no exílio deverão reunir-se para debater a estratégia a seguir face à política chinesa no Tibete.

O Dalai Lama, que esteve recentemente internado num hospital de Nova Deli em Outubro e foi objecto de uma cirurgia para lhe serem retiradas pedras dos rins, foi inquirido sobre a eventualidade da sua reforma. O líder espiritual não iludiu a resposta. "Há pessoas que me dizem ser impossível o Dalai Lama reformar- -se. Respondo-lhes que a minha reforma é o meu direito como ser humano. E tenciono fazê-lo", garantiu. Mas o líder tibetano que partiu para o exílio em 1959, onde, desde então, mantém a luta política e religiosa pelo seu povo, acaba por explicar a razão pela qual se mantém no activo: gostaria de passar a autoridade para um governo local quando uma solução fosse alcançada, algo que se torna cada vez mais longínquo face à intransigência demonstrada pelos responsáveis chineses que não só recusam a independência do Tibete como também uma autonomia alargada.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tibetans will decide strategy with democracy: Dalai Lama

The people of Tibet should and will decide negotiation strategy with China later this month through a genuinely democratic manner, the Dalai Lama said Sunday.

Dalai Lama The Tibetan spiritual leader, accused by Beijing of masterminding a separatist movement, is in Japan for a week at the invitation of a Fukuoka-based Buddhist organization

During a joint interview with Japanese media at a Tokyo hotel, he explained that envoys from Tibetan communities will meet for a week at Dharamsala, India, beginning Nov 17, and international groups supporting Tibet will gather in Delhi later in the month to decide Tibet's approach toward achieving "realistic autonomy" from China.

Envoys for Tibet's government in exile left India on Wednesday for talks with officials in Beijing, but the Dalai Lama said he hasn't received word yet on how the meeting has been going.
While he said he hasn't given up hope or resigned from his position, the Dalai Lama said he could no longer take direct responsibility for discussions with Beijing, and decisions will be made based on a consensus of the people through a democratic process.

The meeting of Tibetan communities and international organizations could alter Tibetans' strategy with China, and the Dalai Lama said he intends not to talk of his preferences until the meetings are over.

Tibetans believe in genuine democracy "unlike the communist democracy in China," he said, explaining that "people may not express (their thoughts) freely" if he were to voice his position.
However the Dalai Lama repeated during the interview that his ultimate goal is not to gain independence from Beijing but to make sure Tibet's cultural and religious heritage is not destroyed.

"We are not seeking separation from China" because remaining a part of the rapidly growing economy will help Tibet's development, he said.

Preserving Tibetan Buddhism and its ideology will benefit China as well, where "very dirty, corrupted capitalism" is emerging, he added.

"But the Chinese (government) ignores these things, continues to accuse us, and is full of suspicion," the Dalai Lama said, criticizing the regime for having "no ear but only mouth."
China has controlled Tibet since invading the region in the 1950s. Beijing has ruled its people through what the Dalai Lama described as "use of force to keep stability," which has caused scores of riots. Frustration reached its peak this spring, when antigovernment monks rioted.
The Dalai Lama criticized Beijing's crackdowns on the Tibetan people during and after the clashes. Tibet "very much hoped that the Chinese government may see reality, and how many grievances are in Tibetan mind," the Dalai Lama said, but he expressed disappointment that China has only continued to blame him as the mastermind of separatists and the riots.

"There is an iron curtain within their minds, never seeing reality. Never seeing others' views," he said.
"It is important to know the limitation of material value," the Dalai Lama said, explaining that repletion of the mind is far more valuable than financial wealth.

The Dalai Lama's health has been a concern after the 73-year-old underwent surgery for gallstones last month, but he said that although the operation was complicated, he has surprised his doctors with his quick recovery.

Kirti Monastery Still Tense After September Beating Incident

The International Campaign for Tibet has said the situation at Kirti in Ngaba county is tense a month after the September 24 incident in which monks were severely beaten up. The Washington D.C. based NGO said on its website that Monks had been under lockdown in the monastery since mid-March following a protest in which at least 10 people were shot dead by security forces. Kirti monastery was at the center of the protests in eastern Tibet following the March 14 unrest in Tibet.
Citing various sources, the ICT said the incident last month at Kirti was followed immediately by setting up of nine security checkpoints around the monastery. The checkpoints are reportedly positioned close to the demarcation of the monastery’s perimeter, said ICT. "The clash on September 24 appears to have been triggered when a Kirti monk was beaten up by security personnels for allegedly crossing the monastery perimeter. Sources told ICT that police officers from a checkpoint to the north of the monastery fired live warning shots in the air, and also into the ground immediately in front of the monk whom they apparently thought had crossed the monastery perimeter line. Sources also told ICT that the Chinese guards asked the monk to go back to the monastery, but the monk did not understand as he did not speak Chinese.
Citing sources in exile who have contacts there, the ICT said around 100 officers arrived at the scene, armed with weapons including clubs, shovels, and even meat cleavers. It said many of the monks immediately sat down and took off the outer cover of their robes to show they were showing they were unarmed and had no intention of resorting to violence.

Tibete está a ser "condenado à morte" - Dalai Lama

O regime chinês está a "condenar à morte" o Tibete, declarou hoje em Tóquio o Dalai Lama, chefe espiritual tibetano, que anunciou igualmente ter entrado em "meia-reforma".

O laureado com o prémio Nobel da Paz, 73 anos, que vive exilado na Índia desde 1959, chegou sexta-feira ao Japão para uma visita de uma semana para conferências sobre espiritualidade, sendo a sua primeira viagem desde que recentevente enfrentou problemas de saúde.

O Dalai Lama esteve internado em Outubro passado durante cerca de uma semana num hospital de Nova Deli devido a complicações renais.

"Os Tibetanos estão a ser condenados à morte. Esta antiga nação e a sua herança cultural estão prestes a morrer", declarou o chefe espiritual tibetano a jornalistas em Tóquio.

"A situação no Tibete é hoje similar a uma ocupação militar de todo o território. É como se estivéssemos sob a lei marcial. O medo, o terror e as campanhas de reeducação política causam muitos sofrimentos", acrescentou.

O Dalai Lama manifestara recentemente poucas esperanças no diálogo com o regime chinês, em vésperas de uma nova ronda de discussões em Pequim entre os representantes seus e responsáveis chineses.

Após várias décadas de combate político e religioso, o Dalai Lama anunciou hoje que entra em "meia-reforma" e que a futura linha política face às autoridades chinesas será discutida numa reunião no próximo dia 17, em Dharamsala (Índia), entre todas as correntes da comunidade tibetana no exílio.

"Vamos ouvir as sugestões do povo e depois as coisas vão tornar-se mais claras", afirmou.

"Não penso reformar-me totalmente, mas de momento não posso continuar a assumir uma responsabilidade directa nas negociações com o poder central chinês. A minha posição é totalmente neutra", precisou.

"Acredito na democracia, acho que as pessoas devem exprimir os seus sentimentos. Não devo impedi-las de expressarem as suas opiniões", sublinhou o responsável tibetano.

O regime chinês acusa o Dalai Lama de militar pela independência do Tibete, mas este afirma que apenas reivindica uma autonomia do antigo reino himalaio no contexto da China.


'A choked silence'; images from Tibet of crackdown

New images and footage from Tibet depict the continuing crackdown in Tibet and convey an atmosphere of fear and intimidation across the plateau. Although Beijing has sought to impose an information blackout, reports on the situation on the ground in Tibet continue to emerge following six months of protest across Tibet since the March 10 anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising. In some areas, there have been reports of a continued or even increased presence of troops and security personnel on the ground after the 2008 Summer Olympics, which supports fears that repression would intensify once the global focus shifted away from the Beijing Games. This photo-story presents new testimony from Tibet indicating the scale of the continued repression.

News of Tibetans facing trial in Tibet following the protests continues to filter through despite the dangers of passing on such information to outside sources, and despite the restrictions imposed on internet and cell phone communications. According to reports received in the last few days, two monks from Kirti monastery in eastern Tibet are appearing in Ngaba county [Chinese: Aba] court this week to face charges linked to dissent in recent months, together with Jamyang Nyima, a 30-year-old monk from Thongri monastery in Ngaba who was arrested on March 30 and several other lay people, whose names are not known. The two Kirti monks, Dorjee and Kungar, are both in their early twenties and were detained on April 23. According to the same reports from reliable exile sources, families of the defendants have not been informed of their whereabouts or status and fear that legal representation is not being made available to them. The same sources said that since the March protests began, around 20 people in the Ngaba area have been sentenced on charges believed to be related to their participation in protests and dissent.

Images taken by a Taiwanese-American tourist in eastern Tibet featured with this report show a heavily armed police presence in summer in the Tibetan area of Kham in the towns of Lithang (Ch: Litang) and Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) in Sichuan province. The visitor described the area as being "like a war-zone". Images of military on the streets of Lhasa in September are also shown with this report, together with further evidence of continued disappearances and detention, with Tibetans experiencing extreme brutality while in custody.

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Três monges Tibetanos detidos

Três monges Tibetanos foram recentemente detidos pela polícia Chinesa devido ao seu alegado envolvimento numa explosão, ocorrida no mês de Setembro.

Tenzin Rinchen, 17 anos, foi detido a 24 de Outubro e Ngawang Tenzin, 20 anos, juntamente com Tenzin Norbu, 19 anos, foram detidos a 30 de Outubro.

A explosão aconteceu no condado de Markham, na região de Chamdo, e levou à interrupção de transmissões televisivas.