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TCHRD Releases Assessment Report on China’s Human Rights Action Plan

As the Chinese government prepares to issue its second National Human Rights Action Plan (2013-2015), the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) issued a brief assessment report on China’s first National Human Rights Action Plan (2009-2010) on the sidelines of the 20th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva.


The report, titled The Plan That Never Was: Reassessing China’s Assessment Report on NHRAP (2009-2010) looks at some of the claims made by the Chinese government in fulfilling its human rights obligations, particularly in Tibet.


In April 2009, the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) issued the NHRAP (2009-2010), which guaranteed human rights in five major sections viz.: Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Civil and Political Rights; Rights and Interests of Ethnic Minorities, Women, Children, Elderly People and the Disabled; Human Rights Education for the Public; and Performing International Human Rights Duties and Conducting Exchanges and Cooperation in the Field of International Human Rights.


On 14 July 2011, the State Council Information Office of the PRC issued the Assessment Report on the NHRAP (2009-2010), prepared by a group of officially approved experts and scholars. The report called the Chinese government’s performance during the action plan period a success, saying all provisions and guarantees made in the plan were implemented within the two-year time frame.


The TCHRD report reexamines the Chinese government’s assessment report by highlighting cases of arbitrary arrests, illegal detention, torture, disappearances, and other acts of abuse of official power that continue to occur on an endemic scale particularly since the 2008 Tibetan uprising. During the plan period, new official regulations and Party directives continued to restrict Tibetan peoples’ rights to expression, peaceful assembly, movement and religious freedom. Particularly the Fifth Tibet Work Forum in 2010 rearticulated the failed official policy of accelerating development and striking down hard on any expression of deep-rooted Tibetan grievances.


The report was distributed at the United Nations by TCHRD executive director Ms Tsering Tsomo, and assistant director Mr Jampel Monlam.


The report can be accessed at: http://www.tchrd.org/images/plan/online-english.pdf

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EU and seven Governments expressed concern about Human Rights in Tibet at UN Meeting

Geneva, 28 June: EU and seven countries – United States of America, Czech Republic, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada and Belgium spoke about China’s abuses of human rights in particular Tibet at UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva yesterday.

Tenzin Samphel Kayta at the United Nations Human Rights Council.


Danish delegate on behalf of the European Union said, “Regarding the rights of persons belonging to minorities, the EU is alarmed by the deterioration of the situation in Tibet and Tibetan-populated areas, especially in the Sichuan Province. The EU is gravely concerned by the news of mass arrests and detentions, following more self-immolations in Lhasa and elsewhere, as well as reports that Tibetan Autonomous Region has been closed to foreigners. The EU calls upon the Chinese authorities to ensure that the human rights of persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, notably Tibet and Xinjiang are fully respected, including their right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion or belief, as well as their right to enjoy their own culture and use of their own language.”

US ambassador said that China silences dissent through arrests, convictions, forced disappearances, and extralegal detentions; has tightened controls on the Internet; persecutes human rights lawyers; intimidates activists’ families; impedes civil society; and limits religious freedom.  Government policies undermine Tibetan and Uighur linguistic, religious, and cultural traditions.

Belgium delegate calls upon Chinese authorities to put an end to disappearance and arbitrary arrest. To clarify fate of all persons who are disappeared. Belgium is very concern at the situation of Tibetan areas where demonstrations have been repressed and immolation of monks reflects the feeling of Tibetan people that they are not fully enjoying cultural and religious rights.

Swedish delegate reiterates its concern about human rights situation in China including setbacks in areas of rule of law and freedom of expression and harassment of human rights defenders.

Chinese authorities heavy handed measures in Tibet an Tibetan populated give caused for concern. Sweden calls on China to ensure rights of person belongs to minorities including in Tibet and Xinjiang are fully respected.

Canadian  delegate said that “we remained concerned about issues related to freedom of religion around the world, ….. and policies restricting religious practice in Tibetan areas of China.

Czech delegate said that “in relation to continued tension in Tibetan inhabited areas, we reiterate our calls on the Chinese authorities to allow unfettered access to all areas for independent monitoring including diplomat and journalist.

French delegate joined with Swiss said that self-immolation in Tibet is of great concern.

A representative from Human Rights Watch said, “Since the immolation by two Tibetans outside Lhasa’s Jokhang temple on May 27, 2012, Human Rights Watch has documented other restrictions on freedom of association and assembly. Security forces in Lhasa have been carrying out sharply increased identity checks on the streets of the city. Tibetans from areas where protests have recently taken place, in eastern Tibet, have been ordered to leave not only the capital, but the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) as well. Those expelled are not known to have been accused of any wrongdoing and there are no reports to date of non-Tibetans being expelled. In addition, Lhasa authorities have imposed a ban on public gatherings of more than three people in the city.”

Human Rights Watch expressed concern that the progressive denial of rights to Tibetans is likely to further exacerbate tensions in the region, and urges the Chinese government to uphold its obligations on the freedom of association.

During morning session, Mr. Ngawang C. Drakmargyapon made a joint statement behalf of 4 NGOs. He said, “today the Tibetan people not only continue to suffer from  massive human rights violations but their survival as a distinct people is being threatened due to policies implemented by the Chinese authorities, be it on language, cultural expression, religion, development or their way of life as in the case of Tibetan nomads.”

He urged the Council to consider that the forcible eviction of Tibetan nomads from their ancestral land is actually eliminating a unique Tibetan lifestyle which for centuries had played a crucial role on the Tibetan Plateau.

In the afternoon session, Mr. Tenzin Samphel KAYTA on behalf of Society for Threatened Peoples said that the Human Rights Council has failed to pay attention on human rights crisis unfolding in Tibetan inhabited areas in China since March 2008.

He further said, “The Chinese communist work teams are permanently stationed in monasteries and nunneries conducting a “Patriotic re-education” session which disrupts normal religious discourse. Monks and nuns are forced to denounce their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. Those who failed to oblige can be punished with arrests and expulsion.”

In March 2012, among many others, nearly 20 of the 22 monasteries in Diru County in Nagchu Prefecture in Tibet Autonomous Region had to be closed after monks refused to denounce their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The Article 4 of China’s Constitution and Autonomy Law (REAL) promulgated in 1984 which guarantees the freedom of all nationalities “to use and develop their own spoken and written languages…”.

China’s crack down is not only confined to monastic’s institutes.

On 2 April 2012, the Chinese authorities in Kardze County forcibly closed a locally-funded Tibetan school offering classes in the Tibetan language and culture, according to the Indian-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy. The fate of the school’s director, Nyendak and a teacher, Yama Tsering remains unknown.

He said, “The Tibetan plateau is engulfed in human flames.  So far 41 Tibetans had immolated themselves “ for freedom” and “return of their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama” and 31 reported dead. Sadly,the Chinese authorities’ response has been brutal suppression rather than listening to their genuine grievances.”

He urged the Council to call upon China to allow UN independent experts to ascertain situation on ground and implement the invitation to the High Commissioner for Human Rights for a fact-finding which devote adequate time in Tibet.

In this ongoing Human Rights council, many governments and NGOs representative had not only expressed great concern over the Chinese communist regime’s denial of basic human rights of Tibetan people but also urged Chinese authorities to respect rights of Tibetan and Uyghur and allow unfettered access into all restive Tibet regions.

This meeting will continue till 6 July and will be dealing on issues including racism.



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Kalon Tripa Embraced by Public and Leaders During Historic Australia Visit


Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay has reached the final stage of his historic visit to Australia. During the week-long visit to Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, he has been welcomed by scores of political leaders, the media and packed public audiences.
Kalon Tripa’s visit has come at a critical time for the Tibetans inside Tibet, who remain engulfed in an escalating cycle of resistance and repression. As his first to Australia since taking the office of Kalon Tripa, the visit served to affirm Dr Lobsang Sangay’s position as Tibet’s new political leader and the continuity of the Tibetan struggle following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s full devolution of political power to the democratically-elected leadership of the Central Tibetan Administration.  
The visit also follows a marked strengthening of Australia’s diplomatic and economic relationship with China. The two countries celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations in 2012. Today China is Australia’s largest trading partner and Australia is China’s seventh largest trading partner.  
The Tibetan political leader urged that Australia and other countries raise the Tibet issue to greater prominence in their relations with China. He also focused on educating the Australian public on the crisis in Tibet today and brought renewed energy to the Tibet movement in Australia.
The visit, which incorporated four major Australian cities and more than 40 engagements, included important political meetings, high-profile media interviews, Chinese outreach, discussions with China scholars, public engagements and meetings with the Tibetan communities.
In Canberra, the national capital, Kalon Tripa met with close to 50 lawmakers, constituting more than 20 percent of the Australian parliament, and conveyed the aspirations of the Tibetan people and the commitment of Central Tibetan Administration towards finding a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue. He urged Australia to play a more constructive role on Tibet as part of its deepening engagement with China and as a member of the international community.
Parliamentarians from all parties sent a strong message of support for the Tibetan people by welcoming the new political leader to Parliament House and engaging in robust discussions. Four MPs have already made strong statements on the situation in Tibet to the Australian Parliament this past week. They include Michael Danby MP, Chair of the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet and Chair of Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade; and Mr Harry Jenkins, former Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Kalon Tripa told Australia’s political leaders that the international community has a key role in determining how China behaves on the world stage. With Australia having a level of engagement with China shared by a few other countries, Kalon Tripa cautioned the Australian government against adopting a “zero-sum mindset” in its dealings with China. He argued that one can enjoy a strong economic relationship while upholding basic values of freedom and democracy.

Kalon Tripa being interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald’s political editor

Kalon Tripa’s hearing on “Democracy in Exile: A case for Tibet” was well received by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade – a parliamentary committee examining international relations and, for Tibet, the most important body in the Australian parliament.

In Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, Kalon Tripa took part in roundtable discussions with top China scholars and contributed to the discourse on regional geopolitics. Leading think tank The Sydney Institute hosted a talk by Kalon Tripa titled Tibet in the Asian Century. Kalon Tripa addressed the geopolitical and environmental significance of Tibet in today’s world.
Australia’s strong interest in the Tibetan leadership was reflected in wide media coverage. Kalon Tripa was interviewed by all major Australian newspapers, broadcasters and news agencies, including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, ABC TV, ABC Radio, Sky News and AAP. Kalon Tripa’s hour-long address to the National Press Club, a key platform for national and international leaders, was broadcast live on ABC TV, Australia’s main public broadcaster.
In Sydney and Melbourne, the two biggest cities in Australia, Kalon Tripa spoke to sold out audiences at public talks organised by Australia Tibet Council, the national Tibet Support Group.
Kalon Tripa’s meetings with local Tibetan communities and Tibet Support Groups provided a strong sense of direction to the Tibet movement in Australia. Kalon Tripa’s visit followed the first Tibet lobby day in Australia, held earlier this year, and helped build on the momentum of political activism for Tibet. His visit will soon be followed by the second Australian parliamentary delegation to Dharamsala, due in July.
Kalon Tripa returns to India tomorrow after making a brief stopover in Brisbane to meet with the local Tibetan community there.

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‘Censorship morally wrong, 1.3 billion Chinese should know the truth’

 His Holiness the Dalai Lama greeting a young fan on his arrival in Inverness, Scotland, on 23 June 2012/Photo/Jeremy Russell/OHHDL
 INVERNESS: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has disapproved the Chinese government’s censorship policy as morally wrong, saying the country’s 1.3 billion people have a right to know the truth.

“Totalitarian regimes like China’s have for several decades depended far too much on cruelty, so fear and distrust are part of their atmosphere. This is why they try to conceal reality,” His Holiness said in an interview with the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) in Inverness, Scotland, on Saturday. INSP is the publishers of the magazine known in Britain as The Big Issue, but whose material appears in 122 publications, in 40 countries, in 24 languages.

“The 1.3 billion Chinese have a right to know the reality of their situation and they have the ability on that basis to judge right from wrong. For this reason, censorship and restricting people’s movements are morally wrong and limit their creativity,” he said.

“This approach is short-sighted and has to change. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao too has spoken about the need for change and even democracy in China,” he added.

On the issue of Tibet, he said, “We are conducting a non-violent struggle in the spirit of reconciliation. It is worth supporting, because it must succeed. Our failure will support those who argue that you can only achieve your goals through force and violence.”He said nearly all the major rivers in that part of the world rise on the Tibetan plateau, which affects not only Tibetans, but about 1 billion people elsewhere in Asia.

“The other priority is preserving our peaceful and compassionate culture, which I believe continues to have a contribution to make in the world today,” he said.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said the self-immolations of Tibetans are very sad, but show a commitment to non-violence in that the people who have taken this step don’t want to harm others. “However, they are a clear sign of desperation,” he added.


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A Busy Day in Scotland


His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to members of the cross-party group on Tibet at Signet Library in Edinburgh, Scotland, on June 22, 2012. Photo/Dylan Drummond
Dundee, Scotland, 22 June 2012 - “Good morning, I feel very fresh today, last night I had enough sleep, a good nine hours! And today my blood pressure is good, which must be a blessing of being in Scotland. So I’m happy to be here on my fifth visit,” was how His Holiness opened his remarks before a meeting of Members of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Tibet and members of the Tibetan community in Scotland in the Signet Library.
In today’s interdependent world, to take care of ourselves we have to take care of everyone else too. Since significant material development began about three centuries ago, many people have been brought up in the context of material values with very little attention paid to inner values. We are biologically configured to respond and show others affection, so when we are subject to fear or strong anger our lives become unhappy. Promoting human happiness is one of His Holiness’s commitments, while actively working to encouraging inter-religious harmony is another.



He clarified how last year he had finally devolved his political responsibilities to the elected leadership of the Tibetan community in exile, and, having been semi-retired since 2001, last year he fully retired. What’s more he put an end to the political role of the institution of Dalai Lamas, which has prevailed since the Great Fifth Dalai Lama nearly 400 years ago. He mentioned that this had been an ambition since he was a child in Tibet, where he had tried to introduce reforms but had been obstructed by the Chinese who wanted any reforms that took place to be on their terms. After leaving Tibet in 1959, he made a commitment to democratize the Tibetan administration.


Asked about the current situation in Tibet, His Holiness conceded that from close-up it looks hopeless; there is immense oppression. And yet, despite what has happened over the last 50 or 60 years, the spirit of the younger Tibetans is still very strong.

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US: Tibetan Self-Immolations ‘Desperate Acts’ of Protest

The U.S. State Department says the spate of self-immolations in Tibetan areas of southwestern China are not the work of outcasts or troublemakers as China contends, but rather the desperate acts of people who are being denied their basic human rights.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Maria Otero also rejected China’s assertion that spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is encouraging the fiery protests.

“Clearly these self-immolations are not only desperate acts, but desperate acts born of the frustration and the despair that people feel as they see the increased violations of their human rights, and the increased restrictions [imposed] on Buddhist monasteries,” said Otero.

Otero also leveled fresh criticism at Beijing for its ongoing crackdown on Tibetan dissent, instead of engaging Tibetan officials in talks aimed at easing tensions in the far-flung Tibetan regions of China. She said members of her staff have discussed conditions in eastern Tibet with monks and found they are clearly committed to their way of life.

“They see [monastic] life as a real reflection of the beliefs of the Tibetan people,” said Otero. “And the only way they can respond to the restrictions and repressions [from Beijing] that are now becoming stronger and stronger is to take these acts of desperation.”

Otero spoke the same day two more Tibetan activists set themselves on fire to protest a widely-perceived lack of freedoms under Chinese rule.

The two protesters, one of whom died at the scene, were carrying Tibetan national flags and calling for the safe return of the exiled Dalai Lama as they launched their fiery protest in China’s western Qinghai province.

They were the 43rd and 44th Tibetans to self-immolate since March of 2011, when Chinese security forces launched a push to lock down the region to prevent public signs of dissent.

Beijing says the immolations incite separatism and are directed from outside the country. But representatives of the Dalai Lama, who lives in northern India, say protesters are driven to self-immolate in large part because they can no longer tolerate Beijing’s ongoing push against Tibetan culture and religion.

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Behind Self-Immolations, a Cultural Genocide?

BEIJING: The Chinese government must not “eliminate individualism” but instead encourage diversity of religion, culture and language, the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, stressed – after yet another Tibetan self-immolated last week in China’s Qinghai province.

Speaking at the University of Westminster in London earlier this week, the Dalai Lama exhorted the Chinese government to learn from the ‘success’ of pluralism in India, where he has lived in exile since he fled his homeland in 1959.

While he admitted, “Complete independence is… out of the question”, he bemoaned the “outdated” system of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which Tibetan advocacy groups accuse of crushing Tibetan culture.

The Dalai Lama’s speech follows the self-immolation of a Tibetan herder, Tamdin Thar, who died in Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, located in northwest China, last week.

The herder was at least the 38th Tibetan to have set himself on fire since 2009 and the 29th to have died. Last month, the immolations spread to the Tibetan capital Lhasa for the first time as two men set themselves alight outside a temple.

Last year, the Dalai Lama accused Beijing of “cultural genocide” in Tibet at a press conference in Tokyo and attributed the unprecedented wave of self-immolations to the government’s increasingly harsh crackdown on Tibetan culture and religion.

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Mohammed Abbas of Reuters interviews His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his visit to London, England, on June 20, 2012 ( Video )

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China unrealistic on Tibet, talks futile: Dalai Lama

Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama speaks during an interview in the Houses of Parliament in central London June 20, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Olivia Harris

By Mohammed Abbas

LONDON: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said on Wednesday resuming talks with China on his homeland’s future was futile unless it adopted a “realistic” stance, adding it was useless trying to convince Beijing he was not seeking full independence.

In comments likely to enrage a Chinese leadership already angry over his trip to Britain, the Dalai Lama also said a shift towards democracy and better human rights in China was inevitable and the Chinese people “really want change”.

The 76-year-old monk was speaking in Britain, which he is touring to spread a message of non-violence and compassion, touching upon issues including European economic woes, which he said were partly caused by “greed and ignorance”.

“The issue is (the people’s) basic right. In future, unless they start a realistic approach for the Tibetan problem inside Tibet, there’s not much to discuss,” the Dalai Lama told Reuters in an interview at Britain’s houses of parliament.

Beijing has snubbed British officials, warned of “serious consequences” and, according to an unsourced report in the British media that China did not confirm, threatened to relocate its Olympic team from the northern British city of Leeds in protest at the Dalai Lama’s meetings with British officials.

China considers him a separatist for his long struggle for Tibetan autonomy, and tensions over the issue are at their highest in years after a spate of protests and self-immolations by Tibetan activists, which have prompted a Chinese security crackdown.

China has ruled Tibet since 1950, when Communist troops marched in and announced its “peaceful liberation”. Beijing insists Chinese rule has brought development and prosperity and denies trampling Tibetan rights.

The Dalai Lama, who has accused China of “cultural genocide”, fled to India in 1959 following a failed uprising, and unrest has continued sporadically ever since.

Earlier this month, two of the Dalai Lama’s envoys to talks with China resigned over what they said was the deteriorating situation inside Tibet and Beijing’s lack of a positive response to Tibetan proposals for genuine autonomy.


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Milan Kow tow's to China and mires it's self in shame

Milano 22 June:

Today it has become public knowledge that Milan has pulled back from it's plan to give HIs Holiness the Dalai Lama Honorary Citizenship of the City

Due to pressure from Chinese Communists the city council have descided not to award the honor when they were previously going to do so.

Shamining it's self before the visit of His Holiness next week, city council member Pietro Tatarella said "Today, I am ashamed to be a representative of a council and a city that are scared,".

Such cowardice in the face of pressure from Chinese Communists has led other Italian Cities to step up and offer HIs Holiness Honarary Citizenship.


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