The 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Choekyi Nyima, was born on 25 April 1989 (the nineteenth day of the third Tibetan month in the Tibetan Earth-Snake Year) at Lhari, Nagchu District, in Tibet.
It is a well known fact that the Panchen Lama has always been an important figure in Tibet’s spiritual and political history. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on 14 May 1995 publicly announced Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the rightful incarnate of His Holiness the 10th Panchen Lama. A mere three days after this announcement was made, Chinese authorities abducted the six-year old boy, along with his parents and Chadrel Jampa Trinley Rinpoche, the head of the Search Committee for the 11th Panchen Lama, among others.
Despite the repeated attempts to gain access to the boy, no international agencies or human rights organizations have been allowed to visit him or his family and their condition continues to remain uncertain.
May 17th 2015 will mark 20 years of enforced disappearance. The young Panchen Lama, who was once the world’s youngest political prisoner, has turned into a 26 year old adult under Chinese custody; through this time, the young lama has been denied his fundamental rights, clearly highlighting the fact that Tibetans in Tibet do not enjoy basic human and child rights, and religious freedom.
We call on the Chinese government to know that we’ll never give up searching for the 11th Panchen Lama. Our goal is to ensure His safe return to Tashi Lhunpo Monastery and to see Him being restored to his religious and political rights.
Tibetan Women’s Association
Central Executive Committee
The Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) is the second largest Tibetan Non Governmental Organization (NGO) based in exile India and the only Women’s NGO in Tibetan history. We are today a 17,000 member organization with 56 chapters in four continents- Asia, US. Europe and Australia. TWA’s slogan is ‘Advocacy for Home, Action in Exile.’
On the March 14 International Day of Action for Rivers, Tibetan Women’s Association rejoice this day to remember the significance of Rivers in Tibet, lift our voices to celebrate rivers around the world and solute those who struggle to protect them. Tibet is the source for many of Asia’s principal rivers and the end of those same rivers lie the world’s largest deltas. Nearly 2 billion people depend on Tibet’s water for fishing, agriculture, industry and for drinking.
Chinese occupation of Tibet is not only destroying our culture and religion but they are destroying our land and water ways by pollution, diversion and damming.
On this International Day of Action for Rivers, we join the campaign ‘Rivers are in our hand’ to promote the importance of rivers and urge you all to unite, we demonstrate that this issue is not merely local, but global in scope. We have the power to protect these vital lifelines if we join together and act.
Today as we gather here to commemorate the 56th anniversary of Tibetan Women’s National Uprising day, we pay tribute to the brave Tibetan women from the three provinces in Tibet who 56 years ago staged a peaceful yet powerful resistance against the brutal Chinese forces staging a forceful occupation of Tibet.The spirit and resilience and conviction of that resistance have continued to this day and Tibetan women are at the forefront of this peaceful non-violent movement.
The 12th March uprising day is remembered not only by the Tibetan women but is also considered a historic day in Tibetan history. Hundreds of Tibetan women who took part in the uprising sacrificed their lives and many faced execution from the Chinese government during the Cultural Revolution. Today, we take this opportunity to honor and pay homage to all of them who had sacrificed their lives for the political struggle and freedom of Tibetan people. Their sacrifices have been the cornerstones of source of inspiration for generations of Tibetan people.
China’s invasion of Tibet and its continuous implementation of harsh policies to crackdown the freedom of Tibetans living inside Tibet have triggered Tibetans to resort to more extreme forms of resistance. Between February 2009 and present day,136 Tibetans inside Tibet have self-immolated and called for freedom of Tibetan people and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet. Six Tibetans in exile have self-immolated in expression of solidarity with the Tibetan people inside Tibet and in protest against the Chinese government’s draconian policies in Tibet. The sacrifices made by all these martyrs are engraved in our hearts and we stand in solidarity with them.
According to the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy’s (TCHRD) annual report on ‘Human Rights Situation inside Tibet’, there are 2110 listed Tibetan political prisoners in Chinese prisons. Under the harsh surveillance of Chinese authorities, there is random detention and criminalization of the family members, friends, and neighbors of the individuals arrested and convicted. TWA calls on the Chinese government to stop these arbitrary arrests of the innocent people and to release all the political prisoners including XIth Panchen lama Gedun Choeky iNyima ,Tulku Tenzin Delek and Jadel Rinpoche.
Since the Chinese government’s abduction of the six-year-old XIth Panchen Gendun Choekyi Nyima on 17th May 1995, there has been no information about his whereabouts and well being. This year marks 20 years since his disappearance. TWA urges international governments and human rights bodies to pressure China to disclose information about his whereabouts and allow the Panchen Lama to be restored to his rightful place at the Tashi Lhunpo monastery.
The human rights situation inside Tibet is continuously deteriorating; the Chinese government is not only exploiting the political and religious rights of Tibetan people, but also destroying the fragile environment on the Tibetan plateau. The Chinese government has been executing strategic measures to sinicize and alienate Tibetan people and culture. Consequently, beginning last year, the government publicly encouraged inter-ethnic marriage between Tibetan and Chinese people by introducing a government’s reward scheme. TWA constructs such act as a callous plot to annihilate the Tibetan cultural identity. As announced during the 55th anniversary of Tibetan women’s uprising day, today TWA is able to produce the result of research reports on ‘Inter marriage of Tibetan with Chinese in Tibet’ and ‘Intermarriage of Tibetan with foreigners in exile’. We hope these findings could benefit readers, researchers and policy makers in making a critical analysis of these policies. TWA has neither passed any judgments nor it is in our intention to attack any individual’s personal choices.
It has been 31 years since the reestablishment of Tibetan Women’s Association in exile. Today TWA is an internationally recognized Women’s Association advocating the rights of women in Tibet and empowering women in exile. Within these three decades, many Tibetan women have taken part in realizing and strengthening the mission of this association. Without such collective effort and determination we wouldn’t have achieved such milestones in our exile history. So, we take this occasion to express our sincere gratitude to all the women who have worked diligently for the last many years.
Over the 31 years of TWA’s history in exile, TWA has been advocating for the human rights situation inside Tibet through various means and methods: attending international conferences, distributing information kits to international audiences, doing researches on issues concerning Tibetan women, delivering appeal letters to international leaders and bodies, organizing various campaigns at the local and the global level. TWA has also initiated programs to empower Tibetan women in exile and the results of these programs have been bearing fruition. A truly empowered Tibetan society that caters to both women and men is what TWA aims to achieve so as to strengthen the social foundations of the Tibetan political struggle. Also on this significant occasion, TWA announces its 2015 Tibetan Women Fellowship for advanced study in the field of Gynecology. More details will be made available on TWA’s website.
On the significant occasion of 56th anniversary of Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day, TWA would like to remind the Chinese President Xi Jingping to pay heed to the call for dialogue from the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration. The Chinese leadership must realize that the middle way policy calling for dialogue is the best way forward to resolve the long-standing Tibetan political issue and the lifetime of His Holiness the Dalai Lama offers the best opportunity for the Chinese government to address the Tibetan political crisis.
TWA also calls on the Chinese government refrain from denouncing His Holiness the Dalai Lama and realize that in doing so they are hurting the sentiments of the global audience who respect His Holiness as the global icon of peace and a symbol for justice and freedom. TWA strongly condemn the protesters who call themselves as Shugden followers and who over the years have engaged in derogatory actions by criticizing and protesting against His Holiness the Dalai Lama. TWA calls on them to drop being the paid agents of the communist government of China.
This year marks 66years of China’s illegal occupation of Tibet. Within these six decades, the Chinese government’s efforts to repress the Tibetan people with their policies have failed. Tibetans continue to engage in peaceful and cultural forms of resistance and have openly and defiantly expressed their reverence and faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Tibetans in exile have been carrying the struggle forward, amplifying the voices of Tibetans inside and making sure that the sacrifice of the Tibetan martyrs including the self-immolators doesn’t go in vain. The protections of Tibetan identify, language, religion and culture remain at the forefront of this political struggle.
As we remember the sacrifice of Tibetan martyrs and pledge to work towards fulfilling the genuine aspirations of the Tibetan people inside Tibet, we pray for a long and healthy life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is the symbol of Tibetan identity and a global icon of peace and compassion.
TWA has 56 regional chapters spread across the globe and over 17,000 members outside Tibet. Today, TWA is the second largest Tibetan NGO and the only women’s NGO in exile that advocates human rights for Tibetan women in Tibet and works to empower Tibetan women in exile.
TWA’s slogan is ‘Advocacy for home, Action in exile.’
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Date: 9th March, 2015
Subject: Seeking immediate intervention to improve the human rights situation inside Tibet
The Central Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) is writing this appeal letter to seek your immediate intervention to stop China from its continuous implementation of harsh policies to crackdown the freedom of Tibetans living inside Tibet.
The human rights situation inside Tibet is continously deteriorating; recently China has deployed large numbers of Chinese security forces and increase the number of check points in Tibetan populated counties in Gansu and Qinghai provinces. The security fources are closely monitoring Tibetans gathered for religious festivals.
According to the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy’s (TCHRD) annual report on ‘Human Rights Situation inside Tibet’, there are 2110 listed Tibetan political prisoners in Chinese prisons. Under the harsh surveillance of Chinese authorities, there is random detention and criminalization of the family members, friends, and neighbors of the individuals arrested and convicted. Moreover, between February 2009 to present day, 137 Tibetans inside Tibet have self-immolated and called for freedom of Tibetan people and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.
China has been claiming that it has improved the social system and modernized Tibet extensively. However, in reality, most of the remote parts of the Tibet are still neglected from the progress. According to the report published by the TCHRD on the right to health ‘In the Shadow of Development: Maternal and Child Health in Crisis in Tibet‘, the serious inadequate system of public healthcare has resulted poor maternal and child health in Tibetan regions.
On the significant occasions of 56th anniversary of Tibetan National and Women’s Uprising days, TWA would like to urge Your Excellencey to arrange a committee to go inside Tibet and investigate the real human rights situation of Tibetans living inside Tibet.
TWA also would like to appeal Your Excellency to pressure China to resume the Sino-Tibetan dialogue with envoys of His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama and Central Tibetan Administration. We believe that this Middle Way Policy calling for dialogue is the best way forward to resolve the long-standing Tibetan political issue.
Calls on Xi Jinping to face the Tibet Challenge by holding talks with Tibetan Leadership
The campaign video ‘Xi Face the Tibet Challenge’ can be viewed here:
September 16, 2014, Dharamsala:
On the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), the largest women’s political organization in exile, while wishing Shri Narendra Modi ji a happy 64th birthday, urges the Indian Prime Minister to raise the crucial issue of Tibet with his Chinese counterpart.
TWA calls on Xi Jinping to face the Tibet Challenge by holding talks with the Tibetan leadership in exile, particularly with the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
On the eve of Xi Jinping’s India visit, TWA is re-releasing a campaign video titled #Xi Face the Tibet Challenge. This campaign was initially launched on March 14, 2013, the day Xi Jinping formally assumed the Chinese presidency. Over 200 Tibetan women representing 33 regional chapters of TWA staged the campaign at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi with three key slogans: Xi Jinping, end the repression in Tibet, Xi Jinping, resolve the Tibet crisis now, and Xi Jinping, face the Tibet Challenge.
“Sadly, over the last 18 months, we didn’t see the Chinese Government under Xi’s leadership address the legitimate grievances of Tibetan people inside Tibet,” said Ms. Tashi Dolma, President of TWA.
The situation in Tibet is exacerbated by a deepening crackdown by the Chinese government on any forms of peaceful expressions for freedom by the Tibetan people, thus deepening the anguish Tibetans feel. Human rights situation in Tibet is marked by deterioration of rights protection and an intensification of clampdowns. There have been arbitrary shootings, arrests, and the indiscriminate use of force – actions which have reduced Tibetans to the level of a subject people. The denial of religious freedom and large-scale government sponsored settlements by non-Tibetans threaten to obliterate Tibetan identity.
For the last 18 years of TWA’s history in exile, TWA has been calling on the Chinese government to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet. But their stringent and repressive policies have engendered a forbidding situation that has spiraled a spate of self-immolations inside Tibet, of 131 Tibetans including 21 Women.
“Therefore today, as Xi Jinping steps into India, the exile homeland for Tibetans, we call on him to review China’s failed policies in Tibet, to end the crisis inside Tibet and significantly to fulfill the genuine aspirations of the Tibetan people who sacrificed their lives calling for ‘freedom for Tibetans inside Tibet’ and for ‘the dignified return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama back to Tibet’,” said Tashi Dolma,
A week prior to Xi Jinping’s India visit, TWA has submitted appeal letters to the Indian Prime Minister and the Indian Minister for External Affairs urging them to raise Tibet. TWA leaders will also engage in a two-day direct lobby campaign with the Indian leaders.
Tashi Dolma, President – 9459553953
Nyima Lhamo, General Secretary – 9882502821