Action Agains The Repression In Tibet
Posted 27 March 2008 - 02:27 PM
It is specially important since the 27 countries will meet in Slovenia Friday 28th of March to elaborate a common decision in this matter (among others, such as Kosovo, etc...).
Here is the topic in Slovene: http://www.dharmalin...=showtopic-1081
Here, you can download the letter: http://www.dharmalin...cije/Tibet.html
Below is the translation of that letter:
Subject: Repression in Tibet
Dear Mr. President,
dear Mr. Prime Minister,
dear Mr. Deputies,
Events of exceptional gravity are taking place in the entire Tibet, not only in Lhasa and the so called autonomous region, but also in the regions of Kham and Amdo, which are now included in the provinces Gansu, Qinghai and Sichuan.
The Tibetans are gathering in Lanzhou, Beijing and other cities for peaceful manifestations, and are being hunted down by the police and army forces.
Despite the remarks from some personalities from the Chinese government itself, the Chinese army and paramilitary forces continue to punish the peaceful demonstrations with an extreme violence.
And like so many other citizens, we are still shocked and amazed at the weak and reluctant international and Slovene response to this situation.
The appeal to withhold this violence, launched from Brussels on Friday 14th of March, is shamefully insufficient, and the conduct of the Government of the People's Republic of China remains simply unacceptable.
We urge you to put pressure on the Government of the People's Republic of China so that it implements the following demands:
- Immediate withdrawal of the armed forces and paramilitary forces; and ending of this virtual state of martial law which has been established in all Tibet.
- Release of all political prisoners, including those arrested in these last days.
- Accepting and allowing the international media to enter Tibet and to exercise their work without obstacles.
- Unconditional hosting of a mission from an independent International Committee responsible for investigating the causes and consequences of these recent events and submitting the necessary recommendations in the view of durable solutions.
- Finding reasonable and peaceful solutions to the issue of Tibet through sincere and serious negotiations with the representatives of the Government Tibetan in Exile.
- It should be clear to the Chinese government that absence of efficient progress on these points would lead to a fast reassessment of Slovenia whether to maintain its participation at the Olympic Games of Beijing, or not.
Already sensitive to the efforts that you will implement in this sense and also in the direction of a higher estimation of the whole issue of human rights in China, for Tibetans as well as for all other inhabitants of China, we are awaiting information of further decision from the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union and present you with the expression of our highest consideration.
Office of the Slovene Prime minister
Kabinet predsednika Vlade Republike Slovenije
Gregorčičeva 20, 25
President of the Parliament
Predsednik Državnega zbora RS
Šubičeva ulica 4
President of Slovenia
Predsednik Republike Slovenije
Dr. Danilo TÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¼rk
Urad predsednika Republike Slovenije
Minister of foreign affairs
Minister za zunanje zadeve
Dr. Dimitrij Rupel
Prešernova cesta 25
Amnesty International Slovenije
International Tibet Support Network
c/o Free Tibet Campaign
28 Charles Square
Other Replies To This Topic
Posted 27 March 2008 - 03:51 PM
Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:09 PM
Can we prove that there were real Tibetans killing? Or were these people Tibetans sold off to the Chinese cause or Chinese disguised in Tibetans, just to try to show to the world that Tibetans too are so violent.
And such demands are unfair, since Tibetans have a reason to fight for their freedom while Chinese are killing out of greed for power, resources...
It's a pity that there is no more TSG in Slovenia to lead any efficient protest in favor of Tibet, since the leaders of ex-TSG have changed the name and purpose of the association to support their own projects (while still using the resources of the ex-TSG).
Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:27 PM
It is indeed questionable. One can only say that it seems that the Chinese government has already set a another Potemkin village for the foreigners (see here and here). It might not be mere exception.
Posted 28 March 2008 - 06:06 AM
Prime Minister of Republic of Slovenia Office
President of the Parliament of Republic of Slovenia
President of Republic of Slovenia Office
Foreign Minister of Republic of Slovenia
Amnesty International Slovenije
International Tibet Support Network
Bye & take care,
Posted 29 March 2008 - 07:52 PM
Posted 30 March 2008 - 08:54 AM
I am in Dharamsala, the home of the the Tibetan Government in Exile, in Northern India. Last night I had the opportunity to attend an open discussion on the current trouble in Tibet. The meeting was held by two Tibetans: Jigmay and Jampa, each representing his own NGO: International Campaign for Tibet, ICT (one of the largest NGOs working in/for Tibet, based in Washington DC), and Tibet Watch. This message is about what was discussed: the facts about Tibet; what is occurring there now and what can be done to change the situation.
Tibet was invaded by the Chinese army in 1949. Since then it is estimated that over 1.6 million people have been killed and 6000 monasteries destroyed. There are reports of imprisonment and torture. For example a woman, on a film I saw today, was jailed in prisons and concentration camps for 17 years for saying 'free Tibet'.
The area now known as the Tibetan Autonomous Region covers an area half the size of the original country. In this message, Tibet means the whole of the original country.
The majority of Tibetans are Buddhists. To them, the Dalai Lama is the living Buddha. In other words, he is as important to them as Jesus Christ is to Christians and Mohammad to Muslims. In occupied Tibet it is ILLEGAL to mention his name; own a picture of him, let alone display one. In the past, becoming a monk (or a nun) was extremely common, the right of any person. The main monasteries of the country: Drepung, Gendun and Sera, each had many thousands of monks studying there. Nowadays, in Drepung, for example, there is a limit of 800. Buddhist philosophy is taught by learned monks, and then debated at length amongst the students. In Tibet now, teachers are unable to travel between monasteries and debating is not allowed. Monastic life, like a lot of other cultural life in the country, still exists for tourist purposes only.
The current problems began on 10 March when a group of monks from Drepung Monastery began a peaceful march to mark the 49th anniversary of the failed uprising. As this is illegal, the demonstrators were locked in their temple. In protest, the monks of Sera then began a hunger strike. As news of these events spread, so other demonstrations began. For three days the Chinese kept this information out of its own news, but then began its propaganda campaign. Pictures of Tibetans: monks and lay people smashing shops and throwing rocks at the Chinese police, were the images seen by the people of China and (apparently) other news stations around the world. It is suggested (although cannot be verified) that the monks causing the trouble were, in fact, Chinese policemen in monastic robes. Either way (false or real monks), the view that was portrayed was of a violent Tibetan youth. The reason for the blackout for three days was it took that long to rid Tibet of the majority of foreign journalists and tourists alike.
The demonstrations in Tibet sparked off more than 50 other protests all over China. At last night's meeting, it was not discussed what happened to the people involved in these other 50 protests, but the volunteers of ICT and Tibet Watch have gathered the following facts, by speaking to friends and family within Tibet (now very difficult as most phone lines are cut), and talking to new refugees arriving in Dharamsala since the uprising. They have the names of more than 130 dead, and pictures of about half of these are displayed graphically on the walls of the town where I am staying. Around 1200 have been arrested, mostly at night, and while there are claims of surrender of some Tibetans, it is believed this is as a result of a gun being put in their faces.
The Dalai Lama is not calling for Independence, rather autonomy. However, regardless of whether he and the Tibetans are requesting total or partial freedom, the fact remains that they are on their own. No country officially supports Tibet. As a result, the Chinese are really at liberty to do exactly as they please. Multi-billion dollar trade deals between China and the US/EU has removed negotiating power away from the Tibetans. Apparently Vaclav Harvel, the first president of the Czech Republic did recognise the Dalai Lama as the official leader of Tibet and within hours of him doing so had lucrative contracts cancelled by China. Therefore, despite the eyes of the world being on China this year because of the Olympics, the Chinese Government does not appear to care what the world thinks.
China, however, does care what its own people think and this is why their own media initially blocked the news and then put it out with as anti-Tibetan/anti-Dalai 'clique'. And why are they so afraid of their won people? In China, there are about 56 ethnic minorities, also suffering from human rights abuses. If these people, along with many thousands of poverty stricken Chinese hear of the troubles in Tibet, this could lead to more unrest and more unrest could lead to uprisings and an eventual revolution. This in turn would be the end of the dictatorship.
In the meantime, it seems there is little we can do. Here from Dharamsala, hundreds of monks and lay people are currently marching to Delhi and some are planning to try to get to Tibet. I met a monk I know from Sera (in South India) who had spent three days in prison and others have vowed to march on despite the possibility of being arrested or killed on entering China. I don't know what we can do, except the following: try to keep Tibet in the news; write to your dignitaries representing your country at the Olympics and request they boycott or wear a Free Tibet slogan, or carry the Tibetan flag. I hear both Sarkozy and Prince Charles are both considering not going to the opening ceremony. Ask your MP to discuss Tibet in parliament/congress; ask them to request a meeting between HH Dalai Lama and the Chinese President; and allow foreign journalists and the UN in to see what is happening there. Also, request the release of the Panchen Lama, the world's youngest political prisoner. Finally, if this means anything to you at all, copy it and send it to other people so it is not forgotten. I would add to attempt not to buy Chinese products too!
There are several websites with info on Tibet:
Here's hoping that the 130 dead have not given their lives in vain and here's hoping for a free Tibet one day.
Posted 05 April 2008 - 08:54 AM
Lobsang Palden: Tibetan Political Prisoner for 12 Years
While in Dharamsala, the home of the Tibetan Government in Exhile, I had the opportunity to listen to the story of Lobsang Palden, a Tibetan man in his mid 30s. In writing this I acknowledge that Tibet is not the only country where individuals are incarcerated for their beliefs (if only it were...) but in writing this I also want to show that this current situation is nothing new in Tibet. The difference is it is now in the news. Again I request that you help keep it there.
At the age of 20 Lobsang decided to become a monk. He joined the monastery in his town, but as he had not registered with the local (Chinese) police, he was thrown out. He, along with five of his friends protested at this. The protests included him saying 'Free Tibet' and 'Long live the Dalai Lama'. He also handed out leaflets with similar slogans.
He was arrested and interrogated, the police believing that India (ie the Tibetan Government in Exhile) was somehow responsible for these demonstrations. As they were not, he denied it. After being moved from the police cell to a main prison, and without any representation, he was eventually put on trail and sent to jail for twelve years.
Lobsang Palden was then moved back and forth between the two prisons and to a third which also housed criminals (Tibetan and Chinese) responsible for robbery and murder. During his time, he had no contact with his family and was tortutred. Methods included being hung by his ears; having an electric prod stuck in his mouth and being hit 'all over his body' by a plastic covered iron rod. The electric prod made his mouth bleed for days after. The beatings didn't leave so many visable bruises, but damaged his bones.
Once he became ill, and while he could go to the Chinese dispensary in prison, the instructions on the pill packet were written in Chinese which he couldn't understand. It turned out that the medicine was long out of date. On another occasion he was found with a mala (the rosary, or beads, used for counting prayers) and was put in solitary confinement, where it was very dark and cold, for a week. At weekends the guards were often not there and at this time he did not get fed.
Good to their word, the Chinese authorities released him after twelve years. One of his four friends was also released at a similar time, but the other three were given longer sentences and Lobsang still has no idea of their situation. On the day his was freed, he was escorted back to the original police cell. He could only go home once a family member would take responsibility for him. His cousin signed the papers and Lobsang Palden was told he would have to register with the police in his home town twice a week and would not be able to leave there for a year.
As his family had not been allowed any contact with him, I wondered what their reaction was on his release. He said 'I noticed only two things: one, they were releaved/happy I was alive and two, that this was my life and I could live it how I wanted.' In other words they were not angry at his protesting.
Lobsang was unable to find work and so fending for himself was very difficult. Shortly before the year was up he decided to try to escape to India. He had to borrow 6000 yuan (about 275 Euro) from friends, to pay for the guide to escort him across the Himalyas to Nepal and eventually on to India. Like with so many other Tibetans, this is a story in itself! He arrived in Dharamsala on 26 December 2007. During the recent troubles, Lobsang called his father and as a result this aged man was himself arrested and interrogated for a week.
And now? Lobsang wants to 'get an education' and eventually return to Tibet. When asked if he would do it again, he looked thoughtful. His answer appeared lengthy in Tibetan and then the translater said 'in Tibet, I cannot get an education. What other chances do we have if we don't stand up to the authorities.' So, yes.
Once the talk was over, I had one more question for Lobsang. I suggested that as he had only just been freed, this must all be very difficult to recount: no contact with family; not being able to follow his religion; the torture. No, he said, now I can FINALLY talk freely. I am able to tell my story. He hadn't smilied much during the talk, but now he did. I asked him if I could send this to you. He said 'this is why I am telling you about my life. Please tell other people what is happening in Tibet.'
Lobsang was arrested in 1994 and relased in 2006. His crime was speaking his mind.
Posted 10 April 2008 - 12:59 PM