Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dalai Lama meets Danish PM, Foreign Minister

His Holiness the Dalai Lama called on the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Foreign Minister, Mr. Per Stig Møller, yesterday in two separate meetings upon his arrival in the Danish capital Copenhagen.

Prime Minister Rasmussen said he was pleased to meet with the Tibetan leader. Rasmussen said there are not many Buddhists in Denmark but many Danish people admire and have great respect for His Holiness.
Denmark supports human rights for the Tibetan people, he said. His Holiness was accompanied at the meeting by his Secretary Tenzin Taklha and London-based Representative Mr. Tsering Tashi.The 73 year old Tibetan leader left his north Indian home Thursday for Denmark to give teachings and a public talk on "Peace Through Inner Peace."
His Holiness said that all his trips abroad are spiritual and educational in nature and that in this connection he tries to fulfill his two main commitments of promoting warm-heartedness as a member of the same human family and inter-religious harmony as a religious practitioner, according to the Office of Tibet, London, which is coordinating His Holiness’ visit.
The meeting between His Holiness and the Danish Foreign Minister focused mainly on the Tibet situation, said Office of Tibet, London. His Holiness is scheduled to address a press conference today. Tibetans and Danish supporters gave a warm welcome to His Holiness at his hotel. This is the Tibetan leader’s eighth visit to the Scandinavian country with the first taking place in 1973.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tibetan Government-in-Exile: 6 Women Protesters Hurt by Gunfire

The Tibetan government-in-exile says at least six Tibetan women suffered gunshot wounds when Chinese security forces opened fire on a group of protesters in western Sichuan province bordering Tibet.

Witnesses say the protesters gathered Sunday to demonstrate against forced relocation from their homes, prompted by the construction of a major hydroelectric dam. They say security forces converged on the protesters and opened fire.

There is no word on the condition of those reported hit by gunfire. Witnesses say security forces took them away from the scene.
There is no Chinese confirmation of the reported incident in Sichuan's Tawu County.

The Tibetan government-in-exile accuses Beijing of trying to force ethnic Tibetans from their ancestral lands in order to extract minerals and other resources from the region.

China court announces verdict on 6 monks

A court in Chamdo sentenced six Tibetan monks to various prison terms last Friday (May 22, 2009) in connection with a bombing incident in January this year, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said today in a press release.
The Tibetan NGO that monitors human rights situation in the restive Himalayan region raised questions over the trials saying there is little information about whether the convicted monks had access to legal representation and the right to defend their case.
Jomda County People’s Court tried the monks. Abbot Tenzin Gyaltsen, 37; Nyi-chig, 50; ex-treasurer Ngawang Tashi, 51; Tashi Dorjee, 30; have been sentenced to 15 years in prison while Chant leader Jamyang Sherab, 42, was sentenced to 13 years and Tsering Palden, 36, to 12 years in prison.
The monks were arrested on January 9 and 10 from Den Choekhor monastery for their alleged involvement in a bomb blast that took place in Choekor Township, Jomda County, Chamdo Prefecture, “Tibet Autonomous Region” (“TAR”). A few sporadic protests followed the incident, according to the centre.Their charges included bombing, participation in protests and refusing to sign documents denouncing the Dalai Lama, the centre said citing unnamed sources.
Meanwhile, the centre also said families of two Labrang monks serving lengthy prison sentences have been denied permission to visit the monks since their arrest more than year ago. The two, Tsultrim Gyatso, 37; and Thabkhay, 34; were sentenced last Thursday (May 21, 2009) by the Kanlho Intermediate People’s Court, to life and to 15 years in prison respectively for alleged participation in a protest on March 15 last year in Labrang.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Court sentences 3 youths to jail terms

A court in Zoege County has passed jail sentences on two Tibetan brothers and another youth on Thursday (May 7, 2009) according to the Voice of Tibet radio service.
Jampel, aged 29, and Lama, aged 23, of Chashang Taringtsang family of Ngaba County have been sentenced to four years in prison while Namkho, aged 27, of Chashang Kyajigtsang family has been sentenced to three years in jail.
However, exact information about the charges put against the three Tibetan youths is unavailable, according to Tsering, a monk of Kirti monastery who told the radio yesterday that the three are currently held at Zoege County.
Tsering said that the Tibetans who are being tried at various courts in the region are not being provided legal representation by lawyers of their choice, and that the sentencing is as arbitrary as the charges leveled against them.
Ngaba County last year saw one of the bloodiest crackdowns by Chinese security forces after protests in the Tibetan capital Lhasa spread across the restive Himalayan region.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

This Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, CNN's Fareed Zakaria speaks with the Dalai Lama about Tibet and its years of struggle with China.
CNN wants to know: What would you ask the Dalai Lama?"

Protest Monks Escape Tibet

Five Tibetan monks who took part in widely publicized 2008 protests against Chinese rule have arrived safely in the Indian capital after eluding Chinese security forces for more than a year.
The monks—identified as Gendun Gyatso, Kelsang Jinpa, Lobsang Gyatso, Jamyang Jinpa, and Jigme Gyatso—had disrupted a government-controlled tour by foreign journalists of Labrang monastery, in a Tibetan-populated area of China’s Gansu province, in April last year. Their demonstration, in which they called for freedom for Tibet, came amid widespread protests against Chinese rule throughout the Tibetan region beginning in March. Hearing after the protest that they had been targeted for arrest, the five escaped in separate groups into the hills near the monastery.“We lived like animals, moving from place to place. But this was better than prison,” Gendun Gyatso, one of the protest organizers, said in an interview.
After two months in hiding, Gyatso said, he and two friends found themselves surrounded one day by Chinese police. Gyatso and Kelsang Jinpa again escaped. Their companion was captured and remains in jail, Gyatso said.
Advised to escape Jamyang Jinpa, one of the monks who spoke to foreign journalists during the April protest, said that he first heard on a Radio Free Asia Amdo-dialect broadcast that the reporters had been invited to visit Labrang.“But we didn’t know the exact date,” he said.Jinpa said that he and monastery classmates Lobsang Gyatso and Jigme Gyatso then helped to plan the protest, feeling this would be a “good opportunity” to publicize concerns about Tibet.“We called for freedom for Tibet and for the release of Tibetan political prisoners, including the Panchen Lama,” Jinpa said.
Chinese troops surrounded Labrang monastery after the protest, Jinpa said, adding that he and his friends then fled into the hills dressed as laymen after a lama advised them to escape.Asked about the group’s present plans, Jinpa said that they now want only to go to Dharamsala, seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, to meet the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.Despite their escape, they have no special feeling of accomplishment, he said.“Too many people are still suffering in Tibet,” he said.
Massive protestsMuch of Tibet has been closed to foreigners since a peaceful demonstration last year in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, erupted into a riot that left at least 22 dead, ignited protests in three neighboring provinces, and prompted Beijing to dramatically increase its troop presence.The Tibetan government-in-exile in India says about 220 Tibetans died and nearly 7,000 were detained in the subsequent region-wide crackdown.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dalai Lama meets Chinese intellectuals, students

At a meeting with a group comprised of a large number of Chinese intellectuals and students, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that it’s crucial and important for Tibetan and Chinese peoples to set up friendship societies as is being done in some places in Australia.
According to the Tibetan leader, 1989 events of Tiananmen Square was a staring point, which made it easier for the Tibetans to reach out to Chinese students who were forced into exile.
The Chinese students protesters who came out of China underwent similar experience as the Tibetans and hence a mutual solidarity was formed."We are elder refugees and they are younger refugees," said the Dalai Lama.
A Harvard-Yenching Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy chaired the meeting, during which many Chinese students expressed their opinions about various aspects of the Tibetan issue including the Chinese Government's accusation against the Dalai Lama and western media's portrayal of Tibet-China problem.
The Dalai Lama said trust is "the key factor" for the harmonious society as promoted by Hu Jintao to succeed. However, the 73-year-old Nobel laureate said that the present Chinese policies are counter-productive to building such a society.
While responding to a series of questions His Holiness gave a broad picture of the Sino-Tibetan talks and his logics behind seeking genuine autonomy for the whole of Tibet comprising the three traditional provinces.
The meeting was co-sponsored by Harvard Education School, Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education.

ATJ observes World Press Freedom Day in Dharamsala

May 3, 2009, Dharamsala: Association of Tibetan journalists join the voice against suppression of freedom of press on the World Press Freedom Day.

The Association of Tibetan journalists calls on the governments of the world, especially those countries where freedom of press is suppressed, to respect freedom of press and freedom of speech in their countries.

Reports from Tibet and China of Beijing's crackdown on the media clearly show the extent to which a government can go in shutting up journalists who often become the victims of government atrocities.

Association of Tibetan Journalists (ATJ) considers this day significant for those whose voices are muted to serve the governments’ vested interests.

According to the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers (WAN), 673 journalists were arrested, 70 killed and 125 jailed worldwide as of 1st December 2008. China ranked among world's worst countries against press freedom in Freedom House's Report released on May 1.

The Association of Tibetan Journalists, therefore, call on world leaders of respective countries and China in particular, to release all those journalists imprisoned and stop committing crimes against the media.

In the year 2008, Konchok Tsephel, proprietor of Choemey Website; Dhondup Wangchen who made the film "Leaving Fear Behind"; Kunga Tsangyang, a well known writer-photographer; Khawei Tsesok editor Drokru Tsultrim, were arrested in 2008 and their whereabouts are still unknown.

However, ATJ welcomes the recent release from jail of Golok Jigme, arrested for assisting filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen. Rangjung from Seda TV was arrested in September 2008 and released soon after.

We welcome the releases decisions and urge the government of People’s Republic of China to release more Tibetans. ATJ strongly feels the need to examine the situation in Tibet at this stage.

Despite the claims by China that situation in Tibet is normal reports of undeclared martial law and an atmosphere of constant fear gripping the region continue to emerge out.

Tashi Wangchuk, President of ATJ said, "We are ready to visit the Tibetan areas to observe the situation independently and we expressed our willingness to do so. So far, we have received no response from Chinese government." “If the claims made by the Chinese government of Tibetans enjoying the ‘economic boom’ ‘cultural and religious freedom’ in Tibet it should allow independent international media into Tibet," he added.