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Tibet question

The Statesman | Perspective

December 25, 2008

The West must force China to give Tibet genuine autonomy, says Michael C Davis

After years of talking to Tibetan exiles about conditions in their homeland, Chinese officials have made it clear that they were not serious. Unless the international community adopts a coordinated position on Tibet's autonomy this may not bode well for either Tibet or for China's 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 favour of autonomy. With no progress after six rounds of discussions, Deng's 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 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 Tibet's autonomy this may not bode well for either Tibet or for China's relations with the world. After the Olympics, however, the Chinese remained indifferent and 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 that Tibetan "aspirations" for autonomy in 11 policy areas, including language, culture, religion, education, environmental protection, utilisation 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 a 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 criticised the Tibetan for demanding too much, no reason is offered as to why they should accept less than genuine autonomy. Because of China's refusal to provide a significant degree of autonomy under its 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 government's 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 expected for indigenous peoples under international practice, as is spelt out in the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Tibetans have also proposed to unify contiguous Tibetan areas. Chinese officials frequently emphasise 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 everyone's 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 10 November 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", 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 characterised 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 'Tibet issue'" and will "never make a concession".

Despite China's 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 "calmly", 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. Do they have the moral integrity to meet with the Dalai Lama in the face of China's condemnation and possible commercial sanctions?

Coordinated effort by 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 an 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 minority.

(The writer is a professor of law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong)

(Reprinted with permission from YaleGlobal.com)


Kashag Welcomes UN Chief's Tibet Remarks and Reaffirms Its Commitment to Dialogue

The Kashag welcomes the remarks made by Mr. Ban-ki Moon, the Secretary-General of the UN, saying that "I hope the Chinese authorities will continue to resolve all these issues through dialogue. The dialogue started some time ago between the representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government. I hope this will continue in a sincere manner so that all the concerns coming from Tibet will be resolved smoothly and harmoniously."

These forthright remarks by the Secretary General of the world body indicate the concerns of the international community as whole on the current sad state of Tibet. We believe that such remarks will serve as an impetus for the Chinese authorities to resolve the issue of Tibet to the satisfaction of the Tibetan and the Chinese people.

At the same time, we are dismayed by the remarks made in response to the Secretary General's comments by the Chinese foreign ministry's statement saying that the door to dialogue is still open while reiterating many pre-conditions that make it impossible for the dialogue process to move forward.

The statement said, "The key is whether the Dalai Lama examines and corrects his political stance, abandons his wrongful position on 'Tibetan independence' and genuinely matches his words with actions."

In fact, this attitude of the Chinese authorities is the real obstacle to the advancement of the dialogue process. This attitude is the one that firmly closes the door for further dialogue.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has committed himself to the Middle-Way Approach since 1979. His Holiness is not seeking Tibet's separation from China. Therefore His Holiness has no reason to correct his political stance. All his actions absolutely match his words. The whole world knows His Holiness the Dalai Lama's position of not seeking Tibetan independence for last three decades. Therefore, the PRC's assertion about wrong position on Tibetan independence is absolutely baseless and unsustainable. Their imagination about His Holiness’ position on Tibetan independence shows either they want to distort His Holiness the Dalai Lama's intention for their political purpose or their lack of will to address the problem of Tibet. Nothing is farther from truth in saying that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is seeking Tibetan independence or semi-independence or independence in disguise. However, we are confident that such obvious untruthful statement can not mislead or fool the enlightened international community.

During the latest round of talks held in Beijing in November, the two envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Mr. Lodi Gyari and Mr. Kelsang Gyaltsen, presented, at the instance of the Chinese counterpart during the earlier meeting, a memorandum on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people. The memorandum puts forth the Tibetan position on genuine autonomy and how the specific needs of the Tibetan nationality for autonomy and self-government can be met through application of the principles on autonomy of the constitution of the People's Republic of China. On this basis, His Holiness the Dalai Lama felt confident that the basic needs of the Tibetan nationality can be met through genuine autonomy within the constitution of the PRC. Now that the memorandum has been made public, any sensible person can verify from the document whether His Holiness the Dalai Lama is seeking independence or semi-independence or independence in disguise.

This is to reiterate that we are sincere in our commitment to the dialogue process and are serious that the issue of Tibet be resolved within the framework of the Chinese constitution for the benefit of both Tibetans and Chinese people. Therefore, we are always ready to have dialogue with PRC at anytime, anywhere if the PRC authorities wish to do so.

December 18, 2008
Dharamsala


Secretary-General's press conference

Geneva, Switzerland, 12 December 2008

[unofficial transcript]

SG: Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, it is a real pleasure to see you. I am particularly pleased to be able to come to Geneva and share some time with you as we are coming to the close of this year. It will be a good opportunity for us to see what has gone and what will be lying ahead next year. Thank you very much for taking time. I know that these will be very busy days for all of you.

I will make a brief statement and then will be able to take your questions.

Q: M. le Secr¨¦taire g¨¦n¨¦ral, ce ne sont pas les sujets de pr¨¦occupation qui vous manquent, mais je voudrais aborder un th¨¨me que vous n¡¯avez pas ¨¦voqu¨¦, c¡¯est celui du Tibet. En avril dernier vous avez lanc¨¦ un appel pour que les conversations s¡¯engagent entre les tib¨¦tains et les chinois. Ces conversations sont dans l¡¯impasse. Est-ce que vous pensez prendre une initiative pour les relancer? Merci

[Mr. Secretary ¨ | g ¨ silence | n ¨ | general, these are not the subjects of pr ¨ | occupation that you are missing, but I would like to address a th ¨ me that you don ¡¯ have not ¨ | voque ¨ | C ¡¯ is that of Tibet. Last April you launched ¨ | a call that ¡¯ s conversations between Tib engage ¨ | and some Chinese. These conversations are in the ¡¯ impasse. Do you think taking an initiative to revive? Thank you]

SG: This is an issue which has raised many concerns in the international community. I hope the Chinese Authorities will continue to resolve all these issues through dialogue. The dialogue started some time ago between the representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government. That was a good move, an encouraging move by the Chinese Authorities. I hope this will continue in a sincere manner so that all the concerns coming from Tibet will be resolved smoothly and harmoniously.


UN CHIEF URGES CHINA TO CONTINUE TIBET DIALOGUE

Friday, December 12, 2008

GENEVA (AFP) — United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday called on China to continue its dialogue with representatives of the Tibetan leader-in-exile the Dalai Lama.

"I hope the Chinese authorities will continue to resolve this issue through dialogue," Ban told journalists.

China said last month that talks on the future of Tibet had failed to make progress and insisted it would not compromise on the status of the Himalayan region.

"Our contacts and talks failed to make progress and they (the Dalai Lama's representatives) should assume full responsibility for it," said Zhu Weiqun, executive vice minister of the Communist Party's United Work Front Department.

But Ban said he hoped the dialogue would continue "in a sincere manner, so all the concerns concerning Tibet will be resolved smoothly and harmoniously."

In March, protests against Chinese rule in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, erupted into violence that spread to other areas of western China with Tibetan populations.

Tibet's government-in-exile said more than 200 Tibetans were killed in a subsequent Chinese crackdown.

Ban would not be drawn on the recent meeting between the Dalai Lama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy which has provoked a furious response from Beijing.

China is against any foreign leaders meeting with the Dalai Lama, whom it accuses of seeking independence for Tibet -- a claim the Nobel Peace Prize laureate denies, saying he wants meaningful autonomy for the Himalayan region


His Holiness the Dalai Lama Lauds Chinese Activists Call for Democracy in China

I am 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. 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.

I would like to urge 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.

THE DALAI LAMA

Friday, December 12, 2008


In occupied Tibet - appalling Human Rights situation

Turin, 10 December: As the world celebrates today 60th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Amnesty International in collaboration with Region of Piemonte, Italy organised a day long programme in which human rights activists from Tibet, Uganda, Chile and Mexico were invited to share their peoples’ suffering.

The speakers spoke on issues relating to killing of women in Mexico, torture in Chile, Child soldier in Uganda and cultural genocide in Tibet.

Tenzin Samphel KAYTA from Tibet Bureau, Geneva told the hall-packed audience that Tibet was independent before Communist China took control all over Tibet in 1959. Over 1.2 million Tibetans, one fifth of Tibet population died as the direct result of the invasion. More than 6’000 monasteries were smashed to ground. Although Chinese constitution guarantees religious freedom, freedom of expression etc, Tibetan people have been deprived of these rights. Chinese government enforced patriotic education campaign in which monks and nuns are forced to vilify His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Possessing photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is illegal. This campaign not only targeted in monasteries but also extends to lay people.

Since Tibetan children are denied proper education in Tibet, every year around 2’500 to 3’000 children risk their live by crossing treacherous Himalayan Mountain to India in order to receive better education.

Since March this year, Tibetan people inside Tibet courageously and spontaneously roused up against Chinese government for its 49 years of misrule and discriminatory policies. The peaceful protestors were discriminately shot by Chinese armed police leaving over 200 dead, over 6000 injured and more a thousand disappeared as of today. At present, Tibet including Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai remain under de facto martial law. Huge military personnel have been stationed in and around monasteries as well as in Lhasa and imposed strict restriction movement.

Also the Chinese government have put in place heavy surveillance on phone conversation and internet. No independent tourist or journalists are allowed into Tibet. In such deplorable situation, Mr. Kayta appealed to the international community for their help to protect those helpless Tibetan inside Tibet. Finally, he thanked the local government, Amnesty International, Association Italy- Tibet and Tibetan sympathizers for their wholehearted support for just Tibetan cause. The documentary film “Leaving Fear Behind” was also screened after the conference. Over 200 people including president of Regional Council, town officials were present during the conference.


The Statement of the Kashag on the Nineteenth Anniversary of the Conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Today, as we commemorate the confluence of the nineteenth anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the International Human Rights Day, and the Himalayan Festival, the Kashag extends its warm regards and greetings to the Tibetans in and outside Tibet, as well as to all the peace-loving people of the world.

[ more ]


His Holiness meets with Czech Foreign Minister

His Holiness the Dalai Lama this morning had breakfast meeting with Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Foreign Minister at the Foreign Ministry.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Czech Foreign Minister, Karel Schwarzenberg boarding the Government plane leaving for Brussels, Belgium.

In welcoming His Holiness, the Foreign Minister said, “It is the greatest honour for us and we also need a bit of spiritual enlightenment”.

In response, His Holiness said, “I appreciate the Czech people, Government, President Havel, Parliament and Forum2000 for your support and always showing genuine concern and sympathy.”

“This moment in history, we are passing through difficult moment. Tibetan Nation is passing through death sentence. Tibetan culture is being eliminates. The Chinese Government sees Tibetan culture as a threat”, His Holiness said.

It was a open and friendly meeting which lasted one hour.

After the meeting, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s motorcade drove to the Prague’s military airport. From their His Holiness the Dalai Lama flew together with the Czech Foreign Minister together on their Government’s military plane to Brussels.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Prague, Czech Rep.

Tibet is facing a death sentence
PRAGUE, 1 December – Tibet is facing a death sentence, said His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to Prague, Czech Republic. His Holiness said that his faith towards the Chinese government is thinner and thinner and thinner but had great faith in the people of China.

[ more - incl. Photo-Gallery ]


Communique of the Special International Tibet Support Groups Meeting

Monday, 1 December 2008, 12:15 p.m.

Delhi: The Special International Tibet Support Groups Meeting, held in India, the second home of the Tibetan people, concluded today with a strong call to action, condemnation of the PRC’s intransigent approach on Tibet, and an expression of solidarity with the Tibetan people at a time of crisis.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama had asked Tibet supporters attending the Special International TSG Meeting, called by the Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India, to “provide suggestions to our elected leadership on the best possible course for the realisation of the Tibetan people’s fundamental aspirations”. The gathering followed the Special General Meeting of the Tibetan People held in Dharamsala, base of the Tibetan government in exile, from 17-22 November.

The Special TSG meeting opened with one minute’s silence for those who have died in Tibet, particularly since the uprising from 10 March 2008 onwards, and for those killed in the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

More than 100 delegates from over 30 countries expressed a sense of urgency due to the brutal crackdown in Tibet and the Chinese government’s recent propaganda offensive following talks with the Dalai Lama’s representatives. Continued commitment to a non-violent approach and support for the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination was agreed.

Outrage was expressed at the Chinese government’s hardline stance against the Dalai Lama, with particular reference to lack of progress in talks with Chinese officials. Participants pledged to support Tibetans in seeking a new framework for engagement. They welcomed the fact that the Memorandum of Genuine Autonomy had been made public by the Dalai Lama’s representatives prior to the Special Meeting in Dharamsala in November.

During lively and intense debate, many delegates pressed for the Tibetan government in exile to reassess the Middle Way approach (which currently seeks genuine autonomy within the framework of the PRC) in favour of independence if there is no substantive improvement in the Tibetans’ situation in the near future and sincere engagement from the Chinese side.

Delegates to the Special International TSG Meeting reaffirmed their commitment to putting the needs and wishes of Tibetans in Tibet first. They expressed heartfelt admiration for the great courage of the Tibetan people in their peaceful resistance across the plateau since March. The protests are a rejection by the Tibetan people of Chinese rule in Tibet, expressing a resentment that has built up over nearly 60 years since China’s invasion and reached a breaking point. Through their dissent, Tibetans are conveying the message that the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile represent their interests, and not the Chinese government. The meeting expressed profound concern over the continuing suffering of the Tibetan people, now under de facto martial law, and the delegates’ solidarity with political prisoners and the families of the hundreds of disappeared.

The meeting welcomed the recent Special General Meeting of the Tibetan People, which provided opportunities for diverse opinions from the Tibetan community to be openly expressed and discussed. This was an important democratic forum that should be continued in order to strengthen Tibetan institutions and civil society in exile. Delegates noted that while the meeting was held in exile, efforts were made to ascertain the views of Tibetans in Tibet, despite an intense climate of fear and Chinese government restrictions. The Special General Meeting re-affirmed the solidarity of Tibetans from across the Tibetan plateau, just as Tibetans in Tibet from all three provinces (U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo) have demonstrated strong unity in their assertions of Tibetan national, cultural and religious identity.

Delegates highlighted the 21st century relevance to the world of the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual tradition and culture, especially in terms of offering alternative ways forward for conflict resolution.

The meeting re-affirmed TSG recognition of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile as the pre-eminent and legitimate representatives of the Tibetan people. Delegates agreed to continue to work to achieve formal recognition of the Tibetan government in exile in the international community.

Delegates recognised the importance of preserving the institution of the Dalai Lama, and acknowledged that the Dalai Lama’s leadership extends to millions of Buddhists worldwide and peoples of many different countries in the Himalayas, Mongolia and beyond.

Delegates agreed to intensify their efforts in order to bring an end to the injustices in Tibet. Advocacy work with stake-holder governments in the region was discussed, including protection of vulnerable Tibetans in Nepal at a time when the Chinese government has stepped up its influence in the region. Tibet is of tremendous geopolitical significance. Delegates also agreed that awareness must be raised, particularly in Asia as a matter of urgency, about Tibet’s critical importance as the earth’s ‘third pole’ and a watershed of Asia’s great rivers affecting millions of people.

It was noted that the Chinese political campaigns have led to further unrest and increased tensions between Chinese and Tibetans. There is a risk that this could intensify further in the build-up to the 50th anniversary of the 10th March uprising in 2009. There was particular commitment at the meeting for developing new strategies for targeted outreach to the Chinese people, particularly given the upsurge in anti-Tibetan sentiment and Chinese nationalism as a result of distorted representations of the situation in Tibet by the Chinese government.

Specific suggestions and recommendations on advocacy, monitoring, campaign action, Chinese outreach and the dialogue process will be presented to the Tibetan government in exile following the meeting.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama to meet former Czech President Havel

Prague: 28 November - His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit Prague, the capital of Czech Republic at the invitation of former President Václav Havel and Forum2000 from 29 November to 1 December 2008.

This is the first visit to Europe by His Holiness the Dalai Lama after the Beijing Olympics. After Prague, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will travel to Brussels and to Poland.

During the visit, His Holiness will meet President Václav Havel and address the Tibet Group in the Czech Parliament on 1 December. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will give a public talk - Compassion: The Basis of Happiness on 30 November. The

public talk’s tickets were sold out within two days in mid November. His Holiness’ public talk will be live webcast and visit www.forum2000.cz for details.

Italian fencer Margherita Granbassi, who won a medal in Beijing Olympic, will present her fencing mask to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 30 November in Prague. "I hope the same mask that protected me in Beijing will help him protect his people," said Granbassi.

Former President Havel was the first head of state to extend an official invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama after becoming the first democratically elected President of Czechoslovak after the fall of Communism in November 1989. In February 1990, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Czechoslovak.

This is the seventh visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Czech Republic.

 

His Holiness The Dalai Lama extends his condolence towards the terrorist attack victims in Mumbai

27 November 2008

His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of the Republic of India
Prime Minister’s Office
New Delhi

Your Excellency,

I am deeply saddened and shocked by the series of deadly attacks in different parts of Mumbai that has resulted in the loss of many precious lives and injury to many others since last night. I would like to convey my deep condolences to you and through you to the members of the bereaved families as well as to all those affected by these dastard acts.

I have always admired the resilience of the people of India and have no doubt that they will not be deterred by such anti-human activities. I would like to reiterate my solidarity with the Indian people, particularly the people of Mumbai, as you confront the menace of terrorism and violence.

With my prayers,

Yours sincerely

Dalai Lama


His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets with the Press

Date:
23 November 2008

Venue:
Main Temple, Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, India
His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets with members of the press.

Webcast:
watch now

 


Recommendations of the First Special General Meeting Convened Under Article 59 of the Charter

The Private Office's letter addressed jointly to the Speakers and the members of the Kashag (Cabinet), dated 11 September 2008, stated, "In order to hold an extensive discussion and debate with regard to the Tibetan cause in the light of recent emergency events in Tibet and the international scenario, His Holiness the Dalai Lama wishes to convene a Special General Meeting around November or December of this year under article 59 of the Charter. Timing and participants of the meeting should be planned at the earliest by the Parliament and the Private Office should be informed accordingly."

[ read more ]


SUMMARY OF THE MEMORANDUM ON GENUINE AUTONOMY FOR THE TIBETAN PEOPLE

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari (2nd R) and Envoy Mr Kelsang Gyaltsen (3rd R) address media on the 8th round of talks they had held with the Chinese leadership between 30 October - 5 November in China. Mr Thubten, secretary for Information (1st R) and Mr Sonam N Dagpo, secretary for International Relations and one of the senior assistant to the envoys are present at a press conference in Dharamsala

INTRODUCTION

During the seventh round of talks in Beijing on 1 and 2 July 2008, the Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, Mr. Du Qinglin, explicitly invited suggestions from His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the stability and development of Tibet. The Executive Vice Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, Mr. Zhu Weiqun, further said they would like to hear our views on the degree or form of autonomy we are seeking as well as on all aspects of regional autonomy within the scope of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Accordingly, during the recent eighth round of talks we presented the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People to the vice Chairman, Mr. Du Qinglin and held extensive discussions with our Chinese counterparts on November 4th and 5th in Beijing.

In recent days the Central United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party has issued statements about our talks in Beijing and in particular about the content of the memorandum we have presented to them. These Chinese statements distort the position and proposal we have outlined in our paper. In order to enable the public, concerned governments, parliamentarians, non-governmental organisations and individuals to gain a comprehensive and full understanding of the Tibetan position on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people, we are releasing today the memorandum.

Our memorandum puts forth our position on genuine autonomy and how the specific needs of the Tibetan nationality for autonomy and self-government can be met through application of the principles on autonomy of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, as we understand them. On this basis, His Holiness the Dalai Lama felt confident that the basic needs of the Tibetan nationality can be met through genuine autonomy within the PRC.

SUMMARY OF THE MEMORANDUM

The Constitution of the PRC contains fundamental principles on autonomy and self-government whose objectives are compatible with the needs and aspirations of the Tibetans. Regional national autonomy is aimed at opposing both the oppression and the separation of nationalities by rejecting both Han chauvinism and local nationalism. It is intended to ensure the protection of the culture and the identity of minority nationalities by empowering them to become masters of their own affairs.

To a very considerable extent Tibetan needs can be met within the constitutional principles on autonomy. On several points, the Constitution gives significant discretionary powers to state organs in decision-making and on the operation of the system of autonomy. These discretionary powers can be exercised to facilitate genuine autonomy for Tibetans in ways that would respond to the uniqueness of the Tibetan situation. Given good will on both sides, outstanding problems can be resolved within the constitutional principles on autonomy. In this way national unity and stability and harmonious relations between the Tibetan and other nationalities will be established.

TIBETAN ASPIRATIONS

Tibetans have a rich and distinct history, culture and spiritual tradition all of which form valuable parts of the heritage of humanity. Not only do Tibetans wish to preserve their own heritage, which they cherish, but equally they wish to further develop their culture and spiritual life and knowledge in ways that are particularly suited to the needs and conditions of humanity in the 21st century.

As a part of the multi-national state of the PRC, Tibetans can benefit greatly from the rapid economic and scientific development the country is experiencing. While wanting to actively participate and contribute to this development, we want to ensure that this happens without the people losing their Tibetan identity, culture and core values and without putting the distinct and fragile environment of the Tibetan plateau, to which Tibetans are indigenous, at risk.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s commitment to seek a solution for the Tibetan people within the PRC is clear and unambiguous. This position is in full compliance and agreement with paramount leader Deng Xiaoping's statement in which he emphasised that except for independence all other issues could be resolved through dialogue. Whereas, we are committed, therefore, to fully respect the territorial integrity of the PRC, we expect the Central Government to recognise and fully respect the integrity of the Tibetan nationality and its right to exercise genuine autonomy within the PRC. We believe that this is the basis for resolving the differences between us and promoting unity, stability and harmony among nationalities.

BASIC NEEDS OF TIBETANS

Subject Matters of Self-government

  1. Language
  2. Culture
  3. Religion
  4. Education
  5. Environmental Protection
  6. Utilisation of Natural Resources
  7. Economic Development and Trade
  8. Public health
  9. Public Security
  10. Regulation on population migration
  11. Cultural, educational and religious exchanges with other countries

RESPECT FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THE TIBETAN NATIONALITY

Tibetans belong to one minority nationality regardless of the current administrative divisions. The integrity of the Tibetan nationality must be respected. That is the spirit, the intent and the principle underlying the constitutional concept of national regional autonomy as well as the principle of equality of nationalities.

There is no dispute about the fact that Tibetans share the same language, culture, spiritual tradition, core values and customs, that they belong to the same ethnic group and that they have a strong sense of common identity. Tibetans share a common history and despite periods of political or administrative divisions, Tibetans continuously remained united by their religion, culture, education, language, way of life and by their unique high plateau environment.

The Tibetan nationality lives in one contiguous area on the Tibetan plateau, which they have inhabited for millennia and to which they are therefore indigenous. For purposes of the constitutional principles of national regional autonomy Tibetans in the PRC in fact live as a single nationality all over the Tibetan plateau.

In order for the Tibetan nationality to develop and flourish with its distinct identity, culture and spiritual tradition through the exercise of self-government on the above mentioned basic Tibetan needs, the entire community, comprising all the areas currently designated by the PRC as Tibetan autonomous areas, should be under one single administrative entity. The current administrative divisions, by which Tibetan communities are ruled and administered under different provinces and regions of the PRC, foments fragmentation, promotes unequal development, and weakens the ability of the Tibetan nationality to protect and promote its common cultural, spiritual and ethnic identity. Rather than respecting the integrity of the nationality, this policy promotes its fragmentation and disregards the spirit of autonomy.

THE NATURE AND STRUCTURE OF THE AUTONOMY

The exercise of genuine autonomy would include the right of Tibetans to create their own regional government and government institutions and processes that are best suited to their needs and characteristics. It would require that the People’s Congress of the autonomous region have the power to legislate on all matters within the competencies of the region and that other organs of the autonomous government have the power to execute and administer decisions autonomously. Autonomy also entails representation and meaningful participation in national decision-making in the Central Government. Processes for effective consultation and close cooperation or joint decision-making between the Central Government and the regional government on areas of common interest also need to be in place for the autonomy to be effective.

A crucial element of genuine autonomy is the guarantee the Constitution or other laws provide that powers and responsibilities allocated to the autonomous region cannot be unilaterally abrogated or changed. This means that neither the Central Government nor the autonomous region’s government should be able, without the consent of the other, to change the basic features of the autonomy.

Implementation of genuine autonomy, for example, requires clear divisions of powers and responsibilities between the Central Government and the government of the autonomous region with respect to subject matter competency. Currently there is no such clarity and the scope of legislative powers of autonomous regions is both uncertain and severely restricted. Thus, whereas the Constitution intends to recognise the special need for autonomous regions to legislate on many matters that affect them, the requirements of Article 116 for prior approval at the highest level of the Central Government - by the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress (NPC) - inhibit the implementation of this principle of autonomy. In reality, it is only autonomous regional congresses that expressly require such approval, while the congresses of ordinary (not autonomous) provinces of the PRC do not need prior permission and merely report the passage of regulations to the Standing Committee of the NPC “for the record” (Article 100).

The exercise of autonomy is further subject to a considerable number of laws and regulations, according to Article 115 of the Constitution. Certain laws effectively restrict the autonomy of the autonomous region, while others are not always consistent with one another. The result is that the exact scope of the autonomy is unclear and is not fixed, since it is unilaterally changed with the enactment of laws and regulations at higher levels of the state, and even by changes in policy. There is also no adequate process for consultation or for settling differences that arise between the organs of the Central Government and of the regional government with respect to the scope and exercise of autonomy. In practice, the resulting uncertainty limits the initiative of regional authorities and impedes the exercise of genuine autonomy by Tibetans today.

Dharamsala, 16 Nov. 2008

  Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People


Statement of Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari, Head of the Tibetan Delegation, following the 8th round of discussions with representatives of the Chinese leadership

Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and I, accompanied by senior 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, visited China from October 30 to November 5, 2008. We returned to India on November 6, 2008.

The main purpose of this trip was to follow up on the discussions held during the seventh round in July this year. We presented a memorandum to the Chinese leadership on genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people.

In Beijing we 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 November 4, 2008. We also had a day-long discussion Mr. Zhu Weiqun, Executive Vice Minister, and Mr. Sithar, Vice Minister of the Central United Front Work Department, on November 5, 2008. An official from the Tibet Autonomous Region, Pema Trinley, Executive Vice Governor, was also present in the Chinese side. We 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. It was moderated by Mr. Lhakpa Phuntsok, Director of the Center. We also visited the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

This morning we briefed Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche, Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet, in New Delhi about our discussions. 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.

Our host for this visit was the Central United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party. The United Front Work Departments of Beijing City and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region were also involved with our visit. We thank them for their hospitality.

New Delhi

November 6, 2008

Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari meeting Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Minister of the Central United Front Work Department Du Qinglin on November 4, 2008 in Beijing. Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen is to his right and Executive Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun is to the left of Vice Chairman Du. Credit: CTA/DIIR

Special Envoy Kasur Lodi Gyari and Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and their team at the meeting with Executive Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun and Vice Minister Sithar and their team on November 5, 2008 in Beijing. Credit: CTA/DIIR


His Holiness the Dalai Lama Congratulates
US President-elect Barack Obama

Barack Obama last met His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2005 at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee event (Photo: barackobama.com)

November 5, 2008

H. E. Barack Obama
President-elect of the United States of America
Washington, DC U.S.A.

Dear President-elect Obama,

Congratulations on your election as the President of the United States of America.

I am encouraged that the American people have chosen a President who reflects America's diversity and her fundamental ideal that any person can rise up to the highest office in the land.  This is a proud moment for America and one that will be celebrated by many peoples around the world.

The American Presidential elections are always a great source of encouragement to people throughout the world who believe in democracy, freedom and equality of opportunities.

May I also commend the determination and moral courage that you have demonstrated throughout the long campaign, as well as the kind heart and steady hand that you often showed when challenged.  I recall our own telephone conversation this spring and these same essential qualities came through in your concern for the situation in Tibet.

As the President of the United States, you will certainly have great and difficult tasks before you, but also many opportunities to create change in the lives of those millions who continue to struggle for basic human needs.  You must also remember and work for these people, wherever they may be.

With my prayers and good wishes,

Yours sincerely,

THE DALAI LAMA


A Tibet Centre opened at the birth place of Heinrich Harrer

Knappenberg, Austria: An International Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies’ inaugural ceremony was held on 31 October at the birth place of late Mr. Heinrich Harrer, the author of the famous book Seven Years in Tibet. Over 350 people including Vice-Governor of the region of Kärnten, Members of Parliament, Mayor and various dignities were present at the ceremony.

A message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Patron of the institute was read by Mr. Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, the Representative of His Holiness based in Geneva, Switzerland.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message said, “There is a great deal in Tibet’s religious culture, its medical knowledge, peaceful outlook and respectful attitude to the environment that can be of widespread benefit to others. We have been successful in preserving these traditions so far, but in the long term we will need the continued support of the many friends we already have around the world and many more.”

“I am very happy to know that an International Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies is being established under the auspices of the Tibet Centre in Hüttenberg, Austria, with whose citizens we Tibetans have a longstanding friendship.”

International Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies is funded by the Kärnten regional government of Austria. The late Governor Mr. Jörg Haider was the key supporter and instrumental in securing five years funding for the project. Funding from a government is first of his kind in the Western Hemisphere. The late Mr. Haider died in a tragic car accident only three weeks ago. He visited Dharamsala with a team from Austria.

The Institute will offers authentic Tibetan Studies and knowledge through seminars, lectures, workshops, short- and long term courses, cultural events and exhibitions. The main of the institute is to bringing benefit to people's mental and physical wellbeing as well as the development of happiness and peace in the world. One of the other aims to bring together different cultures and wants to foster the dialogue between different religions. The establishment of the institute will also preserve and promote Tibetan religion and culture.

The Institute will provide courses on Tibetan Medical & Astrology and Buddhist Philosophy with collaboration with Tibetan Medical & Astrology Institute, Dharamsala and Centre for High Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India. Also, it will invite visiting lecturers from India, Europe and America. In September, a road show was organized about the Institute planned program across Austria.

The courses will start in mid November. From Sept 2009, the institute will offer diploma certificates for those students who want to become professionals in Tibetan Massage and Tibetan Physical Therapy as well as Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and Psychology.

Geshe Tenzin Dhargye, who was deputed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to manage the planning of the project is now the Director of the Institute. He has been working on the project for the last two and half years. Geshe Dhargye was earlier involved with the Kalachakra Initiation in Graz, Austria in 2003.

In his address, Geshe Dhargye thanked the Kärnten Government of Austria, all the political parties, various religious organizations and the public for their support. He said two key supporters of the project, the late Mr. Harrer and late Mr. Haider were not present, but he was very happy that their wife’s Mrs. Carina Harrer and Mrs. Claudia Haider were present.

The long term aim of the institute is to become a university of Tibetan studies in Austria. For more information about International Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies, visit www.tibetcenter.at


Press Release

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Envoys leave for China for 8th Round of Talks.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's envoys Kasur Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, accompanied by three senior assistants are arriving in Beijing for the 8th round of talks with the representatives of the Chinese leadership.

They will be in Beijing as a follow-up of the 7th round of talks.

They will be there for about a week.

The Envoys had their final briefing from Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, Kalon Tripa, in New Delhi.

Thubten Samphel
Secretary, Information
30th October 2008

Contact: Mr. Thubten Samphel Information Secretary, Department of Information and International Relations Phone no: 01892; 222510,222457, 22466


Clarifications on His Holiness' Tibet Remarks in Dharamsala on 25 October 2008

During celebrations of the 48th founding anniversary of the Tibetan Children’s Village on 25 October here in Dharamsala, His Holiness the Dalai Lama made some remarks on the issue of Tibet that are now being quoted out of context in some media reports. Consequently, to clarify the situation we are issuing the gist of His Holiness’ remarks below as well as a separate translation of a transcript of what he really said.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that Tibetans have long been pursuing a path to find a solution to the issue of Tibet that would be mutually acceptable to Tibetans and Chinese. This has received widespread appreciation from the international community, several governments included. More importantly, it has gained the support of many Chinese intellectuals.

His Holiness went on to say that, unfortunately, the Chinese leadership has so far not responded positively to our overtures and does not seem interested in addressing the issue in a realistic way. Beginning in March this year, a series of protests and demonstrations erupted in Lhasa and in many other traditional Tibetan areas. These were clearly a spontaneous expression of the Tibetan people’s deep-seated resentment and dissatisfaction over more than five decades of repressive Chinese communist rule.

Since the Chinese Government has accused His Holiness of orchestrating these protests in Tibet, he called for a thorough investigation to examine these allegations, even offering access to Central Tibetan Administration files and records here in India. So far, this offer has not been taken up, but the situation in Tibet becomes graver by the day. Therefore, His Holiness said that it is difficult for him to continue to shoulder such a heavy responsibility when the present Chinese leadership does not seem to appreciate simple truth, reason and common sense. In the absence of any positive reciprocal response from the Chinese leadership, His Holiness feels that if he cannot help find a solution, he would rather not hinder it in any way. His Holiness feels that he cannot afford to pretend that his persistent efforts to find a mutually satisfactory solution to the Tibetan problem are bearing fruit.

Therefore, on 11 September His Holiness called a special meeting of Tibetans from all parts of our community in exile to engage in wide-ranging discussions with the aim of identifying realistic and non-violent options for the future course of our struggle. His Holiness concluded that when all is said and done it is for the Tibetan people themselves to decide about their collective future.

Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Dharamsala, 28 October 2008


Kashag Outlines Policies on Women Empowerment

Wednesday, 15 October 2008, 4:50 p.m. Dharamshala: The Kashag (Cabinet) of the Central Tibetan Administration on Tuesday outlined an eight-point policy to empower Tibetan women's equal participation in the successful establishment of non-violent and democratic Tibetan community as envisioned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Kashag underscored the need to strengthen women's role in the administrative and politics of the democratic Tibetan community during this year’s democracy day celebration.

Although no gender discrimination of any kind have taken place in the history of Tibet, the Kashag said the need to empower Tibetan women has become clearly pertinent since women lag behind their male counterparts in taking part in administration and politics in the exile community.

The policy will focus on providing necessary assistance and facilities to the Tibetan nuns to undertake and make progress in the field of higher studies in religious studies. The Kashag will continue the on-going efforts on reviving the Bhikshuni ordination of Tibetan nuns.

Under its new policy, the Kashag will study the number of Tibetan women’s participation in various regional administrative institutions such as local Tibetan assemblies, board of directors of co-operative societies and Rawang Denpai Legul Tsokchung and group leaders in the Tibetan settlements based in India, Nepal and Bhutan. Accordingly, efforts will be made in encouraging and increasing the number of their participation.

It emphasizes that the Tibetan settlements should make efforts in having women as representatives and welfare officers.

To provide equal opportunities for school graduates in selecting their courses for further studies and for those who are opting for jobs, the Central Tibetan Administration will take note of career counseling in the respective schools.

It will make efforts to implement the provision enshrined in the Basic Education Policy for Tibetans in Exile that “priority shall be given to female candidates for the posts of pre-primary teacher and assistant.”

The new policy will lay special consideration on the health of mother and child in order to develop a future posterity with good morals and facilitate a steady growth on population. Moreover, special workshops and necessary facilities will be given to those women who have formed their new families to help them become good mothers.

The policy emphasizes that girls’ team in sports should be developed at same level as that of boys in schools.

It also underlines the need to conduct workshops for the general public to explain the objectives of the policy to empower women.

  Click here to read the original announcement in Tibetan


DIIR submits report on ‘torture against Tibetan people’ to the UN

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Geneva: The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), through its Tibet Bureau based in Geneva, submitted a report on “ the continuing use of torture against the Tibetan people” to “the United Nations Committee Against Torture on Violations by the People’s Republic of China Against The People of Tibet”, on 29 September.

The report details narrative of events from 2000 to 2008, presenting evidence of torture used against Tibetan people under the political and religious repression imposed by the Chinese government in Tibet.

It presents a detailed account of the Chinese government’s violations of the convention against torture by attributing those with ‘evidence of torture in connection with recent protests in Tibet’, ‘torture as a common practice in Tibet even before the March demonstration’, ‘failure of China’s legal system to ban the use of torture’, ‘absence of independent judiciary’ and the ‘Chinese authorities threat of disciplinary action against lawyers’.

The report, which evaluates China’s compliance with the convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment (torture convention) with respect to Tibet, said, “China continues to engage in widespread and systematic violations of the torture conventions against the Tibetan people.”

China has also failed to make genuine progress in the areas of concern noted by this committee in its ‘1996 and 2000 Concluding Observations’, which is supported by the recent findings of the Special Rapporteur on Torture, following his mission to China, noted the report.

The report asked the committee to examine China’s compliance with the Torture Convention taking into consideration the significant events in Tibet since 2000.

It said significant measures were implemented to curtail and repress the free practice of religion in Tibet, to deny the Tibetan people any meaningful right of free expression, and to marginalize Tibetans through a concerted effort to support the influx of Chinese settlers.

These measures have been enforced through police intimidation, arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture used to punish and terrorise the Tibetan communities. Indeed, across a broad array of economic, social and political rights, the Chinese government has failed the Tibetan people, the report added.

The report is critical of the increasing repression and economic marginalisation of Tibetans, which culminated in a sustained and widespread series of protests – almost all peaceful – throughout Tibet beginning on 10 March 2008.

Chinese authorities responded by detaining thousands of Tibetans, many of whom were treated with extreme brutality both while being detained and during their detention, shooting and killing unarmed protesters, locking monks and nuns inside their monasteries, imposing a heavy police and military presence in all cities and most towns of any significant size as well as remote nomad encampments, severely restricting travel within Tibet, and instituting “patriotic education” campaigns within the monasteries, the reported noted.

The Central Tibetan Administration urges the United Nations Committee Against Torture to scrutinize China’s compliance with the Torture Convention with particular attention to Tibet.

It also requests the committee to address the continuing use of torture against the Tibetan people and submit recommendations for its consideration in order to end the use of torture in Tibet.

Click here to read the full report


STATEMENT

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is back in Dharamsala after undergoing medical tests and treatment following some discomfort recently.

The physicians have informed His Holiness that his general health condition is good but strongly advised him to curtail his travel schedule. In the immediate future the physicians have advised him to take good rest before resuming his schedule.

We are therefore cancelling his proposed travel to Europe in October. His Holiness very much regrets the inconvenience this will cause to the organizers of his programs as well as to those who were looking forward to participating in them. We hope everyone will understand the situation.

September 13, 2008
Office of H. H. the Dalai Lama
Dharamsala, India

 

MITTEILUNG

Seine Heiligkeit der Dalai Lama ist nach Dharamsala zurückgekehrt, nachdem er sich aufgrund von gesundheitlichen Beschwerden in den letzten Wochen medizinischen Untersuchungen und Behandlungen unterzogen hatte.

Die Ärzte haben Seine Heiligkeit mitgeteilt, dass seine allgemeine körperliche Verfassung gut sei, rieten ihm aber dringend an, sein Reiseprogramm einzuschränken. Die Ärzte rieten ihm, sich jetzt genügend Zeit zur Erholung zu nehmen, bevor er sein Programm wieder aufnimmt.

Wir sagen daher seinen geplanten Besuch in Europa im Oktober ab. Seine Heiligkeit bedauert sehr die Schwierigkeiten, die seine Absage den Veranstaltern wie auch den Teilnehmern bereitet, die sich auf seinen Besuch gefreut haben. Wir hoffen auf das Verständnis aller Beteiligten.

13. September 2008
Office of H. H. the Dalai Lama
Dharamsala, Indien


Tibet Film Screened at the Ongoing UNHRC Session

Geneva, 9 September 2008 - "Leaving Fear Behind", a documentary recently smuggled from Tibet was shown at a side event during the UN Human Rights Council's 9th session, which began on 8 September. The Human Rights session will look at human rights problems around the world.

Four NGOs with UN consultative status organized the side event. The screening of "Leaving Fear Behind" was attended by representatives from NGOs, government delegates from Germany, Sweden, Canada, Netherlands and Finland; and journalist. The film maker Mr. Dhondup Wangchen and his colleague Ven. Golok Jigme were arrested by the Chinese security officials in Tibet.

Mr. Gyaljong Tsetrin, the co-producer of the film and a former-political prisoner appealed to people working with UN human rights mechanisms to help secure the release of the film maker Dhondup Wangchen and Ven. Golok Jigme.

He expressed deep concern on reports from Tibet that many Tibetans interviewed in the film have been intimidated, harassed and detained after the documentary was released.

Over 108 Tibetans were interviewed by the film maker and colleagues.

Mr. Gyaljong Tsetrin said he fears for those Tibetans for simply exercising their fundamental right to freedom expression or opinion. He said that through the film the world must understand how desperately the Tibetans in Tibet His Holiness the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet.

He appealed to the international community to help Tibetans whose struggle is guided by peace and non-violence under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The briefing was moderated by UNPO Geneva Representative Ngawang C. Drakmargyapon.


Human dignity must be respected in any society said President Havel

“Human freedom, human rights and human dignity must be respected in any society”, said former President Václav Havel of the Czech Republic. He made these remarks while addressing the Asia-Pacific Security Challenges - Implications for Europe and the Atlantic Alliances in Prague.

In his welcome speech Czech Foreign Minister Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg said that human rights are the corner stone of Czech Foreign Policy. The Foreign Minister also said that his government foster human rights a

The two days conference was held in the Czech Foreign Ministry in Prague on 7 – 9 September 2008 and organized by the Prague Security Studies Institute. Over 150 delegates from all over the world attended the conference.

Mr. Anand Sharma, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs was the keynote speaker. He spoke about Global Security Concerns in the 21st Century. He said that Climate, Food and Energy challenges were no longer regional but global.

Mr. Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative based in Geneva was speaker on the panel Regional Democracy and human Rights. He said Tibet once a buffer state between the world’s two most populated states - Tibet and China was today a militarized zone. Even after 50 years of occupation, China continues to ruthlessly suppress the Tibetans. He said the merciless repression by the Chinese security forces on peaceful Tibetan protesters in March this year, resulted in over 200 killed, 6,000 arrested and thousands injured.

Mr. Chhoekyapa emphasized that the current crisis in Tibet is a manifestation of decades of Chinese repression - human rights violation, cultural and political discrimination of the Tibetan people. He expressed his deepest concern on Beijing’s policy of the massive migration of Han Chinese into Tibet and increasing the influential of “Chinese alcohol culture”, Mahjong game, and pop music among the Tibetans to weaken their religious belief and language.

“While China economically and military grows from strength to strength, my fellow Tibetans in Tibet continue to live in fear and discrimination. Today Tibetans are a minority and a second class citizen in our own land and our culture is being destroyed,” said Mr. Chhoekyapa.

In his concluding remark, he said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not seeking Tibetan independence or separation from People’s Republic of China, but a genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people. He said that we want to save Tibet’s rich culture, language and identity before China destroys them completely.


  A Personal Request by Kalon Tripa, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche (14 August 2008)

  Detail programme of 12-hour long Fasting and Prayer Service
to be observed by Tibetans, Tibet supporters and by the peace loving people of the world on 30th August 2008 or Last day of the 6th Month in Tibetan Calendar.


Statement of the Kashag on the occasion of worldwide fasting and prayer service on
30 August 2008

Today on 30 August 2008, the last day of the sixth month of Earth-Mouse Year in Tibetan Calender, Tibetan Solidarity Committee appealed the Tibetans, Tibet supporters and peace loving people all over the world to observe a symbolic fasting and prayer service for 12 hours. We are immensely fortunate and grateful that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has consented to take part in person here, but due to a slight indisposition this could not happen. However, His Holiness is observing the fasting and prayer from Mumbai today and we convey our immense gratitude and respect to him.

The Kashag of the central Tibetan Administration would like to heartily thank all the Tibetans, Tibet supporters and those believing in non-violence who are taking part to observe this symbolic fasting and prayer service.

This activity is not a protest led by hatred, rancour and anger but by the teachings of the Lord Buddha in all the vehicles to refrain from harming others and do everything to benefit others with love and compassion, which is the essence of spiritual practice. Mahatma Gandhi has shown us with his practical demonstration that this is only for spiritual practice but it can very well apply to the politics for the benefits of society and nations. Our effort of today symbolizes that this method is effectively relevant in the post-modern world also.

Due to the consistent effort and guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to pursue non-violent methods to resolve the Tibetan issue, it has been many years that most of the Tibetan movements remained free from gross physical violence. This garnered immense support from around the world for the just cause of Tibet. Our pursuit of non-violence has not only enabled us to keep alive the Tibetan issue but also compelled the People's Republic of China to respond to our policy of rapprochement irrespective of their sincerity. However, on account of some Tibetans being not able to completely give up violence in vocal expressions and thoughts, all our efforts till today instead of achieving a genuine result, is stuck in a vicious circle. If all the Tibetans have a genuine aspiration to resolve the just cause of the Tibetan issue, we have to strengthen our commitment and reinforce the power of non-violence. It is hard to achieve any results in resolving the Tibetan cause unless anger of the Tibetans subsides. Therefore, we take this opportunity to strongly appeal to all the Tibetans and particularly to the monks and nuns to get rid of any visible hatred and anger, and make every effort to develop undiluted thought leading to the cultivation of non-violence and thereby all our physical and vocal expressions become non-violent.

By observing this symbolic fasting and prayer service if we Tibetans are able to make way to advance a step further in pursuit of our non-violent movement, it is worth observing. Otherwise, if it turns into an opportunity that arouses feelings of hatred and anger, it is then, as the saying goes, "sending ransom to the west when the demon lies in the east".

On this special occasion, we hope that the observation of fasting and prayer by numerous people around the world will help the Tibetans to do away their bad karmic action and enhance meritorious virtues. This virtue may help Tibetans to get rid of their anger and hatred towards all sentient beings, especially the PRC authorities who oppress and torture the Tibetans and instead could help us to respond to them with love and compassion. Our sincere practice of non-violence will ultimately help change the mind of the PRC authorities to more compassionate. We hope and pray that all will firmly believe in non-violence. We strongly appeal to all the Tibetans to put concerted non-violent efforts to bring natural end to the torture and persecution in Tibet.

We pay our condolence and homage to those who lost their lives and those who are imprisoned ,tortured and beaten in the recent uprisings in Tibet. We pray that the lives sacrificed by the Tibetans become worthwhile and end the torture to the innocent Tibetans .We also pray and sympathise for the victims of the earthquakes in Sichuan and the one in South-western Tibet recently and the disaster caused by flood in some other part as well.

We end with the prayers for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's long life and may the just cause of Tibet prevail.

The Kashag
30 August 2008


His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Join Prayers on 30 August 2008

Since arriving in Mumbai yesterday afternoon, His Holiness the Dalai Lama underwent some medical tests. The doctors attending on him have given assurances that there is absolutely no cause for concern. All that he needs is a good rest.

His Holiness will therefore join from Mumbai in the 12-hour fasting and prayers for peace and freedom that are being organized in Dharamsala and elsewhere on Saturday, 30 August 2008 by the Tibetan Solidarity Committee.

Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Dated: 29 August 2008


UN experts seek whereabouts of the Panchen Rinpoche and Tibetans arrested earlier this year

The UN’s Committee against Torture (CAT), an independent body of experts asked China to provide a complete list of all Tibetan detained following the March 2008 demonstration in Tibet. This request also includes information on their current location, convictions, etc. The independent body of experts monitors the implementation of the UN’s Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by its State parties.
[ read more ]


The situation in Tibet is getting worse says world famous photographer Michel Comte

The Germany’s largest newspaper – Bild with over 17 million readers launched a photo exhibition “Pictures from Tibet” in Berlin on the eve of the Olympic Games in Beijing. The exhibition was organized under its campaign A Heart for Children.  [ read more ]


Grussbotschaft Seiner Heiligkeit des Dalai Lama zu den Olympischen Spielen

Zur Eröffnung der Olympischen Spiele in Peking entbiete ich der Volksrepublik China, den Organisatoren sowie den Sportlern meine besten Grüsse.

Ich habe von Beginn an, seit China sich beworben hat, die Austragung der Olympischen Spiele in Peking unterstützt. Es ist ein Augenblick grossen Stolzes für die 1.3 Milliarden Chinesen. Diese Spiele sollen dazu beitragen, den Olympischen Geist von Freundschaft, Offenheit und Frieden zu fördern.

Mit meinen Gebeten und besten Wünschen für den Erfolg dieses Ereignisses.

Der Dalai Lama
6. August 2008


What China is doing in Tibet is shameful - Italian Mayor

“What China is doing in Tibet is shameful and we must express our solidarity with the Tibetans,” said Mayor Achille Variati of Italian City of Vicenza. The Mayor officially received Mr. Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Geneva in Vicenza City Hall on 24 July.  [ read more ]


Press Release

July 17, 2008 - Office of H. H. the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibet Issue

In the light of recent news reports quoting Chinese officials that the issue of Tibet is only about the person of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we would like to take this opportunity to clarify once again that the issue of Tibet concerns the future of six million Tibetans in Tibet and not His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In fact, when the Chinese Government made a five-point proposal in 1981 which included that "the Dalai Lama will enjoy the same political status and living conditions as he had before 1959", His Holiness categorically made it clear to the Chinese leadership that the issue at stake was the well-being of six million Tibetans, and he personally had nothing to ask of the Central Chinese government.

His Holiness has stated right from 1969 onwards that even the continuation of the institution of the Dalai Lama is for the Tibetan people to decide.

In 1992 His Holiness declared that once we are able to return to Tibet with meaningful autonomy, he will not play any role in the future government of Tibet, let alone seek the Dalai Lama's traditional political position in the government. We would also like to make it clear, especially to our Chinese brothers and sisters that Tibetans, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, do not even dream of restoring the old society that prevailed in Tibet before 1959. As a matter of fact, democracy was introduced in the exile Tibetan community in 1960 through election of representatives to the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies (Parliament in exile).

Since 2001 Tibetans in exile have an elected political leadership and His Holiness considers himself in semi-retirement. However, he will continue to fulfill his life-long commitment to promote human values and religious harmony.

Following the resumption of talks with the Chinese government in 2002, His Holiness' envoys have also conveyed at every meeting that the issue is about the well-being of the Tibetan people and not of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Chhime R. Chhoekyapa
Secretary to His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Contact:
Mr. Tashi Wangdi: 1-347 563 5976 (USA)
Mr. Lobsang Nyandak: 1-908 821 7284


Erklärung des Sondergesandten Seiner Heiligkeit des Dalai Lama, Kasur Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari

Vom 30. Juni bis 3. Juli 2008 besuchten der Gesandte Kelsang Gyaltsen und ich Peking. Begleitet wurden wir von den leitenden Mitarbeitern der Task Force ‚Sino-tibetische Verhandlungen’ Sonam N. Dagpo und Bhuchung K. Tsering, sowie von Jigmey Passang vom Sekretariat dieses Arbeitsstabes.  [ weiterlesen ]
 


Statement by Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kasur Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari

Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and I accompanied by senior aides Sonam N. Dagpo, Bhuchung K. Tsering, both members of the Task Force on Sino-Tibetan Negotiations, and Jigmey Passang from the Secretariat of the Tibetan Task Force, visited Beijing from June 30 to July 3, 2008.
[ read more ]


S. H. der Dalai Lama

Medienmitteilung der Präsidialdirektion Bern  / 15.04.2008

Der Dalai Lama besucht im Oktober die Stadt Bern

Der Dalai Lama wird am 13. Oktober 2008 auf Einladung des Gemeinderates die Stadt Bern besuchen. Vorgesehen ist, eine öffentliche Veranstaltung mit dem geistlichen Oberhaupt des Buddhismus zu organisieren.  [ weiterlesen ]


A Lhasa without monks

We saw some Tibetans returning home, the police had arrested them and tortured them after the riots in march. One of them, they have laterally cut the flesh from a whole thigh, I saw it with my own eyes, it was in a horrible condition. He died at home due to loss of blood and destroyed by infections within days. They didn’t want to go to hospital because they were sure that they would fall in the hands of those who tortured them. [ read more ]

A rough translation in English of a news report by Mr. Federico Rampini, correspondent of La Repubblica in Beijing posted on 5 July.

Click here for his original report in Italian language
http://news.kataweb.it/item/464421/a-lhasa-senza-i-monaci

  Interviews mit Kelsang Gyaltsen, Gesandter S. H. des Dalai Lama

"Die Welt findet nur schöne Worte"

Die Frustration und Verbitterung der Tibeter wächst: Der Sondergesandte des Dalai Lama in Europa appelliert an die Vereinten Nationen, umgehend Beobachter nach Tibet zu entsenden. Interview: Edeltraud Rattenhuber  [ weiterlesen ]

„Kriegszustand in Tibet”

Kelsang Gyaltsen ist der Europabotschafter des Dalai Lama. Zu Gast bei der WAZ sprach der tibetische Sondergesandte über die Krise in seiner Heimat und ihre Unvereinbarkeit mit dem olympischen Geist.  [ weiterlesen ]


 New Head of Office of Tibet Geneva

In recent years the Chinese government is exerting increasing pressure on governments in Europe on the issue of Tibet. This development requires more concerted efforts by the Tibetans and our friends in Europe in order to ensure that the voice of the Tibetan people continues to be heard and counted. As a result, the Kashag, the Cabinet of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile has announced the reshuffle of a number of representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at various Offices of Tibet abroad.  [ weiterlesen ]


Botschaft S. H. des Dalai Lama zum 10. März 2008
49. Jahrestag des tibetischen Volksaufstandes

Anlässlich des 49. Jahrestages des friedlichen Aufstandes des tibetischen Volkes in Lhasa am 10. März 1959 ehre ich und bete für die vielen mutigen Männer und Frauen Tibets, die unaussprechliche Härten erduldeten und ihr Leben für die Sache des tibetischen Volkes opferten, und bekunde meine Solidarität mit den Tibetern, die zurzeit Unterdrückung und Misshandlung erleben. Auch grüße ich alle Tibeter in und außerhalb Tibets, alle Unterstützer der tibetischen Sache und alle, die Gerechtigkeit schätzen.  [ weiterlesen ]


 Kashag reshuffles representatives of the Offices of Tibet

Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 5:05 p.m.

Dharamshala: The Kashag today announced a major reshuffle in the post of representatives of the Offices of Tibet (OoT).

According to the announcement, Kasur Tashi Wangdi, the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New York, will head the new Office of Tibet in Brussels.

Former Kalon Lobsang Nyandak is appointed as the representative of the OoT, New York.

Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, the representative in Geneva, Switzerland, will take a new responsibility to enhance relations and political activities in European countries, from 17 March 2008.

Mr Tsetan Samdup (Photo), a former deputy secretary at the Oot London, has been appointed as the new representative in Geneva. He will take charge from 18 March.

Mr Dawa Tsering, Additional Secretary at the Department of Information and International Relations will be the new representative at the Taiwan office.

Representative Tsegyam will be the secretary at the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.


 Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen to Head New Office

Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 9:36 a.m.

Dharamshala: Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen, the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama based in Geneva, Switzerland, will take a new responsibility to enhance relations and political activities in European countries.

The Kashag, in the notice issued yesterday said Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen will take the new responsibility, from the day when he relieves the post of representative of Geneva’s Office of Tibet.


 Video-Botschaft des Gesandten S. H. des Dalai Lama
 Video-Message of the Envoy of H. H. the Dalai Lama

Kelsang Gyaltsen, Gesandter S. H. des Dalai Lama für die EU und Repräsentant S. H. des Dalai Lama in Genf, berichtet monatlich über aktuelle Tibet-Themen in tibetischer Sprache.

Kelsang Gyaltsen, Envoy of H. H. the Dalai Lama to the EU and Representative of H. H. the Dalai Lama in Geneva reports monthly on current issues on Tibet in tibetan language.

#1 - Februar 2008 (in tibetischer Sprache, in tibetan language)

Video-Botschaft / Kelsang Gyaltsen Februar 2008 - kewego
Video-Botschaft / Kelsang Gyaltsen Februar 2008 - kewego

 
Themen Topics
Tibet im Jahr 2008 Tibet in the year of 2008
Chinesisches Generalkonsulat in Zürich sagt Feier anlässlich des tibetischen Neujahrs ab China's Consulate in Zurich calls off Tibetan New Year reception
S. H. der Dalai Lama in Deutschland, Mai 2008 H. H. the Dalai Lama in Germany, May 2008
S. H. der Dalai Lama in der Schweiz, Oktober 2008 H. H. the Dalai Lama in Switzerland, October 2008
©2008 The Tibet Bureau, Geneva
   

 The Tibet Bureau Dossier #1/08

Inhalt - Content (pdf, 153 kb)

  • On His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • Press reports on visits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • On the political issue of Tibet
  • Germany and Canada: After meeting the Dalai Lama
  • Buddhism in China
  • Repression inside Tibet

 


Archiv Presseartikel

 Lodi G. Gyari - Oped: Turning Point for Tibet  |  IHT  |  03.04.08
In the last few weeks, we have witnessed an uprising against the Chinese authorities' repressive policies on the Tibetan plateau the likes of which we have not seen in a generation. Beijing has responded with a crackdown on a scale never seen before in Tibet, all just months before the Olympics are to open in Beijing.  [ weiterlesen ]

 Ai Weiwei über Tibet „Es ist Zeit für die Wahrheit“  |  FAZ  |  30.03.08
Der chinesische Konzeptkünstler Ai Weiwei fordert ein Ende der Zensur in seinem Land: Hass und Wut können nur durch den freien Zugang zu allen Informationen besiegt werden, sagt er im Gepräch mit der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung.  [ weiterlesen ]

 Dalai Lama's Message to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao: Prove Your Accusations
The Dalai Lama has said that if he were in a room with Chinese President Hu Jintao or Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, he said he would quote Deng Xiaoping and ask them to seek truth from facts. Saying he had great respect for Premier Wen, the Dalai Lama told NEWSWEEK, "I would also ask him, "Please prove your recent accusations [that the Dalai Lama instigated the unrest in Tibet."  [ weiterlesen ]

 Twelve Suggestions for Dealing with the Tibetan Situation by Some Chinese Intellectuals
[ weiterlesen ]

 Beijing's claims of an "unwavering stand" in support of Tibet are groundless
XINING, China: Count the ways that China has sought to bring Tibet to heel since the People's Liberation Army rolled into the country in 1950, brutally ending a phase of nominal independence.  [ weiterlesen ]

 PRESS ORDERED TO FAN HATRED OF TIBETAN 'CLIQUE'
BEIJING — Throughout the crisis in Tibet, images of Tibetan rioters attacking ethnic Han Chinese have been shown over and over on Chinese television. Chinese officials have ordered the Chinese press to "incite patriotism and hatred of the Dalai Lama clique" among the Chinese people.  [ weiterlesen ]

 TIBET: TRY THE HONG KONG SOLUTION
China invented the idea of two systems in one country. It worked brilliantly. It can again
It is easy to get depressed about the trauma of Tibet and the suppression of Tibetan cultural and political aspirations. It is, after all, almost half a century since the Dalai Lama fled his country. He has never been able to return and recent events make it highly unlikely that he will in the foreseeable future.  [ weiterlesen ]

 Government leader in Tibet confirms protests by monks in Lhasa  |  11.03.08  |  AP
The head of China's regional government in Tibet confirmed Tuesday that about 300 Tibetan monks staged a protest march this week in the capital of Lhasa but said authorities diffused the incident without arrests.  [ weiterlesen ]

 China warnings could be aimed at dissent: rights groups  |  11.03.08  | AFP
China's warnings of a series of sinister Tibetan and Muslim threats could be part of a campaign to silence all manner of dissent ahead of the Olympics, rights groups and activists say.
[ weiterlesen ]

 Tibet: Chinesen unterbinden Protest von Mönchen Peking  |  11.03.08  |  dpa
Die chinesische Polizei hat laut Medienberichten Dutzende Mönche bei einem Protestmarsch in die tibetische Hauptstadt Lhasa gegen die Besetzung ihres Landes festgenommen.
[ weiterlesen ]

 China schnürt Korsett für Popstars enger  |  07.03.08  |  Tages-Anzeiger
Nachdem die isländische Sängerin Björk an einem Auftritt in Shanghai «Tibet! Tibet!» schrie, verschärft Chinesische Führung die Regeln für Konzerte ausländischer Musiker.  [ weiterlesen ]

 Massive Kritik an Pekings „Tibet-Entwicklung“  |  05.03.08  |  Die Presse
Nicht-Regierungsorganisationen warnen vor den negativen Folgen der neuen Eisenbahn nach Lhasa. Je näher der Beginn der Olympischen Spiele in Peking rückt, desto mehr häufen sich die Berichte von Nichtregierungsorganisationen über die Verletzung von Menschen- und Minderheitenrechten in der Volksrepublik.  [ weiterlesen ]

 Press Release: China’s Consulate in Switzerland calls off Tibetan New Year reception
    03.02.07  |  Tibetan Community in Switzerland & Liechtenstein

According to reliable sources the Chinese Consulate-General in Zurich, Switzerland, has cancelled a planned reception on February 2, 2008 on the occasion of the Tibetan New Year. The obvious aim of the planned reception was to invite as many Tibetans living in Switzerland and Liechtenstein as possible.  [ weiterlesen ]

 Stadt wartet auf Dalai Lama  |  21.01.08  |  RP Online

Mönchengladbach (RP) Am 17. Mai ist der Dalai Lama in Gladbach. Er ist das politische und religiöse Oberhaupt der Tibeter. Die Stadt macht sich fit für seinen Besuch. Franz Alt, der den Dalai Lama bereits 21-mal traf, zeigte den Film „Tränen über Tibet“.  [ weiterlesen ]

 Zwei Mönche aus dem Kloster des Panchen Lama begehen Selbstmord 
    20.01.08  |  DailyNet.de

Wie Radio Free Asia, www.rfa.org, aus Quellen in Tibet und aus Indien erfuhr, haben zwei ältere Mönche aus dem Kloster Tashilhunpo in der zweitgrößten tibetischen Stadt Shigatse Selbstmord begangen, weil sie der Ausgrenzungskampagne, die von den dort tätigen chinesischen Beamten gegen sie durchgeführt wurde, nicht mehr Stand halten konnten. Gyaltsen Tsepa Lobsang, 71, und Yangpa Locho, 71, wurden am 8. September bzw. am 4. November erhängt aufgefunden. Beide waren Mönche im Kloster Tashilhunpo, dem historischen Sitz des Panchen Lama und dem Schauplatz erbitterter antichinesischer Proteste Mitte der 90er Jahre.  [ weiterlesen ]

 

 

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