Friday, September 11, 2009

Press Release of Protest in Japan Against the Exhibition, "Tibet: Treasure for the Roof of the World"

Immediate Press Release

The Tokyo Protest Rally Against the Exhibition, "Tibet: Treasure from the Roof of the World” on September 18th and 19th, 2009. Since the International Alliance Against “Tibet: Treasure from the Roof of the World” Exhibition (IAATE) created the campaign website in June this year we have sent the director of the Ueno museum, Mr. Seiichi Mizuno, the Tibet exhibit committee and the cooperate sponsors of the exhibition an open letter.

In the letter we asked to include the accurate modern Tibetan history (especially from the Chinese invasion in Tibet in 1949-50), so that the exhibition could help facilitatethe steps towards resolving fifty years of Chinese oppression in Tibet. Unfortunately, the response from the Tibet Exhibit Committee which represents all participated cooperate sponsors such as The Ueno Royal Museum, Daiko Advertising Inc., Asahi Newspaper, TBS, JAL and Nippon Express made us keenly aware that they have no intention to consider our requests by sending us a three sentence replyletter. This exhibition is clearly controlled by the Chinese government, which is the current owner of those Buddhist artifacts in the exhibit. The exhibition fails to include the accurate history of Tibet and gives a wrong impression to the visitors of the exhibition, many of whom share the Buddhist faith of the Tibetan people, and revere the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.

Therefore, we have no choice but to intensify our media outreach campaigns to tell the truth about the modern history of Tibet that has been intentionally hidden from this exhibition. Tibetans and their supporters are planning a protest rally on September 18th (private viewing for the media & V.I.P.) and 19th (the general opening day) near the Ueno Royal Museum. We sincerely ask the members of the media not only to widely report about the protest rally but also to draw more attention to the untold issue - Tibet’s ongoing suffering under Chinese oppression. Over the past year, the Chinese government has engaged in a comprehensive cover-up of the torture, disappearances and killings that have taken place across Tibet since a wave of protests swept the plateau from March 10, 2008.

Beijing has also engaged in a virulent propaganda offensive against Nobel Peace Laureate the Dalai Lama. Therefore, to proclaim the truth about Tibet the Tibetans and their supporters will be distributing fryers near the Ueno Royal Museum on September 18th (private opening for the media and V.I.P.) and September 19th (general opening.) They will be having a protest rally on September 19th.

This year On October 1, China celebrates its the 60th year-anniversary of the establishment of The People’s Republic of China. This is also the 60th anniversary of Tibet’s invasion by the PRC and it is likely to be marked in Lhasa by a display of military strength.

Before the occupation, Tibet was a nation with an established sovereign government, currency, postal system, language, legal system and culture. Since then, the Tibetan people have become marginalized in their own country, the Tibetan culture has been severely restricted, and tens and thousands of Tibetans have died as a result of the occupation, through torture, execution, suicides and starvation. The Chinese government has systematically destroyed many monasteries that represent Tibet’s cultural identity. Tibetans are arrested, tortured and imprisoned by simply reciting the words, “Free Tibet” or displaying the Tibetan national flag. Religious freedom has been increasingly restricted; monks and nuns continue to be beaten, arrested and imprisoned for refusing to denounce the Dalai Lama, their spiritual and temporal leader.

Following a wave of overwhelmingly peaceful protests across the plateau in 2008, Tibet remains under de facto martial law. These protests are the graphic illustration of the deep-seated frustrations of the Tibetan people and an indication of the failure of China’s Tibet policy. Tibet Silent Protest March by IAATE The International Alliance Against “Tibet: Treasure from the Roof of the World” Exhibition.

Date: 11:30 AM, Saturday, September 19, 2009
Starting time: 12 O’clock noon.
Place: Takecho-park, 4-21-1 Taito, Taito-ku, Tokyo(Metro: JR Okachimachi, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Okachimachi)
Rally route:Takecho-koen ~ Kasugadori ~ Takeyamae ~Okachimachiekimae ~ Uenohirokoji (Ueno Matsuzakayamae) ~Tenjinshita Kosaten Usetsu ~Ikenohata Icchome ~ Uenoonshikoen
Dispersing place: Uenoonshikoen (around 12:30 AM)
Guest Speaker: Mr. Lhakpa Tshoko (Representative of Liaison Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Japan)
*Note: We ask the protesters to dress in black to show our respect and grief to all Tibetans who have been killed by the Chinese occupation.

In April 2009, five Tibetans were sentenced to death (three suspended) and two to life imprisonment on charges of arson in Lhasa on March 14, 2008, which lead to worldwide condemnations of the sentences that urged China to review their due process by the international human rights organizations and the governments. This is the only period in which protests have continued in Tibet despite the severity of the crackdown. Since January 2009 there have been more than 20 separate protestssome were solitary events and others involved hundreds of people. All have been peaceful.

The 14th Dalai Lama has established the Tibetan government in exile in the northern India and has been tirelessly working towards a peaceful solution with the Chinese government. His non-violent approach to resolve conflicts and to find peaceful solutions have been applauded and led to his being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The envoys of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese officials have been engaged in a dialogue process to discuss the status of Tibet since September 2002. Unfortunately, the seven years of sporadic dialogues have not led to any substantive negotiations. The talks have not met the expectations of the international community for a meaningful progress towards a mutually agreeable solution for Tibet. IAATE firmly believes that all parties who are involved in the exhibition must exhibit these Tibetan artifacts with a fair and comprehensive explanation of its cultural and political background. They should facilitate a meaningful dialog between Tibet and China to resolve the ongoing issue.

The humanitarian and honorable efforts of the Japanese corporations will be recognized by the international community. IAATE will continue to work on influencing future promoters and corporations in Japan who will organize events that involve “China’s Tibet” to raise awareness, remind them of Tibet’s suffering and urge them to take humanitarian responsibility to promote an impartial truth of modern Tibetan history.

For Further information of our campaign please visit:
For more details of the protests and rallies please contact:Eli WAKAMATSU / Masaki KAMATAEmail; press@seichi-tibet.comTel; Masaki Kamata JPN +81 (0)50-3735-7901(Japanese )Eli Wakamatsu UK +44 7711 746 172 (English/Japanese)ITSN Member *International Tibet Support Network

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama prays during a ceremony to comfort the victims of Typhoon Morakot, in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung.

China called off events planned with Taiwan, in apparent retaliation for the Dalai Lama's visit to the island, officials said Tuesday, as Tibet's spiritual leader led thousands in prayer.

(AFP/Sam Yeh)

Tibetan Democracy Day

The exile Tibetan government today said the younger generation Tibetans must take up political responsibilities. “The Kashag believes that they will be more responsible than ever before in political and administrative affairs of our society,” said Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, the Kalon Tripa of the exile Tibetan government.

Rinpoche was speaking at the 49th anniversary celebrations of the Tibetan democracy here. The former academician who is serving his second term as the prime minister of the exile Tibetan government echoed His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s wishes for harmony between Tibetan and Chinese peoples. He said that efforts should be made to build friendship with Chinese people and not create differences and animosity. For full statement click here

The Kalon Tripa also said education, intellectual freedom, healthy exchange of differing ideologies are indispensable components of a true democracy. He expressed “immense gratitude” and paid “obeisance” to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his extraordinary efforts to transform the Tibetan polity into a genuine democracy.

Also present at the official function at Tsuglakhang courtyard was a French Senate delegation led by Sen. Jean Francois Humbert, Tibetan chief justice commissioner and justice commisioners, the speaker of the Tibetan parliament and members of the parliament, government officials, heads of NGOs, schools, monasteries etc.

The Speaker of the Tibetan parliament, Penpa Tsering, said in his address to the gathering that the Tibetans in exile must ensure more participation in elections. Expressing his disappointment over low turnout of voters in previous assembly elections he said every Tibetan eligible to vote must used the voting right for a more vibrant democracy. He advised everyone to be responsible citizens of the exile Tibetan government and help enhance democracy. The Tibetan exiles will go for Kalon Tripa polls in 2011.

September 2 is a special day and an official holiday for Tibetans around the world as they celebrate their democracy day.

This year completes 49 years since the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama declared democracy for Tibetans in 1960 and promulgated a constitution for a future Tibet, based on the principles of modern democracy.

To support his declaration of democracy, the Dalai Lama established a Tibetan Government-in-exile, with a parliament directly elected by the people. As part of democratic reforms, the Dalai Lama, in 1991, announced the “Charter for Tibetans in exile”, which, amongst other things, expanded the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies, (now called Tibetan Parliament in exile) and were empowered to appoint the Cabinet (Tib: Kashag).

Speaking in 1991, after announcing this landmark decision, the Dalai Lama said: “Change is coming to the Tibetan political system. It is unfortunate that it happens in exile, but this does not stop us learning the art of democracy….This democratization has reached out to Tibetans all over the world…. I believe that future generations of Tibetans will consider these changes among the most important achievements of our experience in exile.”

As part of further democratization, in 2000, the Tibetan leader instituted another reform, requiring exile Tibetans to directly elect their Prime Minister with full administrative power. In 2001, for the very first time, Tibetans from 27 countries voted on a single day, with more than 80 percent electing Professor Samdhong Rinpoche as the first Kalon Tripa elected directly by the people.

To mark the day, the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy will be holding a lecture by Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche on “Tibetan Democracy” later in the day.