Alternative BRICS Summit in Dharamsala

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Press Release: For Immediate Release

Alternative BRICS Summit in Dharamsala

Tibet Campaigners demand action from BRICS leaders as Xi Jinping attends first summit as China’s Head of State

Photos of the campaign can be viewed here:
Tibet at BRICS Summit 2013

25 March 2013

Press contacts:
Tashi Dolma, Tibetan Women’s Association: Tibetan, Hindi +91 9459553943
Dorjee Tseten, Students for a Free Tibet – India: English, Tibetan +91 9911 521 009

Dharamshala: As government leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and China prepare to meet for the BRICS Summit in Durban, Tibetans demand action for Tibet as China’s new President Xi Jinping travels to Durban for his first summit as Head of State, and highlight Xi Jinping’s Tibet Challenge.

A two-day summit starting tomorrow will witness a historic meeting of Xi Jinping with government leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa in Durban, South Africa, while the self-immolations in occupied Tibet – now totaling at least 110 – show no sign of abating. “In the months since Xi Jinping was elevated to the top of the Chinese Communist Party, there has been an increase in China’s hardline response to dissent in Tibet, with a heightened military presence, mass detentions and a campaign to “criminalize” family members of self-immolation protesters.” said Tashi Dolma, President, Tibetan Women’s Association. “These actions and China’s anti-Dalai Lama propaganda are exacerbating tensions in Tibet. Through this campaign we will explain the nature of Xi Jinping’s “Tibet Challenge”, and call on BRICS leaders to act collectively and with principle, to press Xi to lift China’s crackdown and urgently review China’s policies in Tibet.”

“Tibet is Xi Jinping’s number one challenge and he has to address the legitimate grievances of Tibetans living in occupied Tibet and bring about an end to the tragic wave of self-immolations.” said Dorjee Tseten of Students for a Free Tibet India. “Recently Indian MP Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to raise the ongoing critical self-immolation issue inside Tibet with his counterpart Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit. This is also a challenge to other BRICS leaders not to shy away from this reality, and press President Xi to use his new position to find a just and lasting solution for Tibet.”

Tibetans and supporters from the BRICS nations have issued a joint statement urging their respective government to discuss the Tibet issue with Xi Jinping. We received news of another self-immolation yesterday by a 30 years old mother of four. Tibetans inside Tibet are continuing to resist against brutal security measures by Chinese police. “Tibet today is one of the most repressed and closed societies in the world, where merely talking on the phone can land you in jail. Support for the Dalai Lama can be prosecuted as an offence against the state,” Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee said.

We have also sent an open letter to the embassies of the BRICS nations in India including Indian PM office. In the letter we asked concerned government not to hide from the truth about China’s brutal repression of the Tibetan people. We appealed them all to urge President Xi to alleviate the situation by lifting the crackdown in Tibet and urgently review China’s policies in Tibet. We have also urged them to press Mr. Xi to allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit all Tibetan areas as a matter of urgency.

Notes:
1. See Resistance in Tibet: Self-immolation and Protest, a timeline report which documents the current wave of self-immolations and protests across Tibet http://issuu.com/internationaltibetnetwork/docs/resistanceintibet_selfimmolationsandprotest

2. See reports from International Campaign for Tibet http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/distress-death-sentence-tibetan-accused-inciting-self-immolation
and
http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/thousands-tibetan-pilgrims-face-troops-religious-ceremonies-eastern-tibet

March 27 India Tibet discussion

An Academic Dialogue: What Does the Tibet Leverage Mean for India Today?

TWA organizes a crucial Panel Discussion on the eve of Hu Jintao’s India visit

March 27 India Tibet discussionNew Delhi, March 27, 2012: In the wake of heightening Tibetan resistance and desperation, intensifying Chinese military response, and Asia’s looming water crisis threatening the future of regional stability, there is no doubt that the global eye has shifted east.

To view pictures of the event, please see the bottom of this page or visit TWA’s Flickr page here.

In preparation for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to New Delhi tomorrow, the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) hosted an “Academic Dialogue” today to present imperative viewpoints to decision-makers and the public regarding Sino-Indian-Tibetan affairs. Four speakers debated “What the Tibetan Leverage Means for India Today,” and engaged in a question-and- answer session after their individual 15-minute statements.

The event, held at the Casuriana Hall of New Delhi’s India Habitat Center, commenced with a moment of silence to respect those who are contributing to the peaceful resolution for Tibet crisis – “Tibetan, Chinese, or other, alive or passed on.” Special recognition was made to yesterday’s self-immolation by Jamphel Yeshi (27) in New Delhi on March 26.

Following the introduction, four speakers offered insight into Sino-India-Tibet realities: Mr. Tempa Tsering, Special Representative for the Delhi Bureau Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama; Dr. Mohan Guruswamy, Chairman and Founder of the Centre for Policy Alternatives and author of ‘Chasing the Dragon: Will India Catch Up with China?’; Former Major General Vinod Saighal, internationally acclaimed political author and Executive Director of Eco Monitors Society (EMS); and Tenzin Tsundue, writer, 2001 winner of the Outlook-Picador Award for Non-Fiction, and renowned Tibetan activist.

March 27 India Tibet discussionTempa Tsering began the discussion with an overview of past and present Tibetan history, relating notable events to a declining trust among Asian neighbors today. Tsering highlighted sources of Tibetan inspiration for nonviolent resistance and insisted that military might is not a sole source of power. He called on other countries to represent their stated principles, and suggested that India can contribute to progress in Sino-Tibet affairs under the Middle Way Policy, a path continuously encouraged by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Mohan Guruswamy followed Tsering with a compelling assessment of Indian and Chinese military positioning, the statehood of Tibet, and a review of the Indian policy of compassion toward troubled governments and citizens. “When the Tibetans threw out the Chinese in 1913, they came to India: we are a place of refuge. We are home to Afghans, Ugyurs, Burmese, Pakistanis, Tamils… it is the nature of India.” Dr. Guruswamy insisted that though Tibetan activities have a strong impact on the Indian community, India would not go to war over Tibetan issues—India can only continue to pressure for the resumption of dialogues.

Tenzin Tsundue started off by acknowledging United States and India’s inability to assist Tibet—country efforts that are thwarted by business interests. Tsundue recognized India’s particularly immense desire to lessen neighborly tensions and claimed that “India gives us [Tibetans] our strength, our confidence—India is our guru.” Tsundue pointed to Tibetan unity on the boycott of Losar in honor of self-immolations, defining the “Tibetan Leverage” to be the Tibetan freedom struggle itself. “If there is any leverage India seeks—it’s the Tibetan people—they make the Tibetan freedom struggle a threat to China.” He warned of an impending Chinese collapse that will drastically damage the western corporate investment that has propped China up. “We are already free and have nothing to lose aside from Chinese insecurity.” Tsundue asserted that if China has any fear, it is of the unity and the spiritual strength of the Tibetan people. He affirmed that ‘this is the leverage Tibetans have to offer.’

Major General Vinod Saighal contended that ‘dialogues’ are among equals, and the western recession has eliminated the ability of many governments continue respectable dialogue with China. “Money talks… the day that India can ‘talk’ will be the day India tells China to talk to a representative of His Holiness.” Until then, General Saighal suggested Tibetan nonviolence itself to be the ‘Tibetan Leverage,” as a force the world has never seen before.

An audience of students of various levels, news media, concerned citizens, and intellectuals responded to the statements with follow-up questions and requests for elaboration during the preliminary question an answer session, held before a break for hi-tea.

In response to a question requesting concrete examples of potential Indian action, Tempa Tsering claimed that India had already done everything within its political limitations, and Guruswamy agreed and said that ‘Freedom is something people must earn themselves.” Tenzin Tsundue pointed to the many political calculations that failed to predict the Arab Spring or the fall of the USSR—human efforts. He suggested that India recognize historical Tibetan independence in order to claim their right to Arunachal Pradesh under the bilateral treaty signed between Tibet and British India in 1914.

The panelists also responded to inquiries regarding foreign response to self-immolation and media coverage of Tibetan events. Guruswamy said that while India is ‘unhappy to see people immolating, it has a responsibility as a rising power.’ Tsundue asserted that ‘Tibetans will fight and win our freedom, but we will not kill ourselves – we may set ourselves on fire, but we will not hurt the other. This is our spirit’.

Upon breaking for hi-tea, approximately ten policemen in plain-clothes, led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, ambushed Tenzin Tsundue while he was speaking with guests and “preventatively arrested” him around 5:30 p.m. TWA officials pleaded with the authorities to let Tsundue complete his commitment, but were met with violent shoves. Tsundue was dragged to his feet and forced out the back door, and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Tenzin Tsundue’s unexpected detainment proved a stark reminder of the reality –‘Tibet’s leverage’-that spawned today’s panel discussion.

TWA was founded in 1959 in Lhasa, Tibet, and is the second-largest Tibetan non-governmental organization in exile. TWA is committed to the Middle Way Policy seeking genuine autonomy within the framework of PRC, and believes that thought-provoking discussion is one of the effective ways to mark President Hu Jintao’s visit to India and suggest the continuation of dialogues among government representatives.

Press Contact:
Kirti Dolkar Lhamo, President, TWA: 0-9882291202
Dhardon Sharling, Communications officer, TWA: 0-9418791189

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Crucial Panel Discussion

TWA to organize Crucial Panel Discussion on India-China-Tibet relations on the eve of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s India visit

TWA to hold a CRUCIAL PANEL DISCUSSION – An Academic Dialogue: What Does the Tibetan Leverage Mean for India Today?

In preparation for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s crucial visit to New Delhi, the Tibetan Women’s Association is hosting an “Academic Dialogue” to present imperative viewpoints to decision-makers and the public. The three-hour discussion (3 pm to 6 pm, including hi-tea) will occur on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at Casuarina hall, Gate number 3, at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

The honorable speakers are:
-Alka Acharya, Associate Professor, JNU and member, National Security Advisory Board of the Government of India.

-Tempa Tsering, Special Representative, Delhi Bureau Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama


-Mohan Guruswamy, Chairman and Founder of Centre for Policy Alternatives


-Vinod Saighal, former Major General, Writer and Executive Director of Eco Monitors Society

-Tenzin Tsundue, Writer and Activist

The discussion will be moderated by Rogan Motis, International Affairs and Environmental Issues analyst.

contact Dhardon Sharling for further updates and to request an invitation:
twaeventsandcampaigns@gmail.com
mobile # 0-9418791189

Crucial Panel Discussion

________________________CONCEPT NOTE_________________

An Academic Dialogue: What Does the Tibetan Leverage Mean for India Today?

Sponsored by The Central Tibetan Women’s Association

March 27, 2012

Casuraina Hall, India Habitat Center

In the wake of heightening Tibetan resistance and desperation, intensifying Chinese military response, and Asia’s looming water crisis threatening the future of regional stability, there is no doubt that the global eye has shifted east.

Static Sino-Tibetan dialogue has exacerbated the baleful potential of such issues, jeopardizing the balance of peace and stability for the entire region, and arguably the world. Given that Asia has not developed mechanisms to collectively address security issues of such magnitude, the potential to avoid chaos is dwindling. As a result, destructive forms of competition, manipulation, and violence reign unchecked and the benefits of seeking long-term stability through compromise remain muted.

Growing miscommunication among frustrated parties has provoked louder actions and reactions in the name of a common goal: stability. Because means to such an end vary, constructive dialogue reflecting a united Asian effort must ensue. Namely, Indian-Sino-Tibetan relations must reclaim the political table, and with creative, future-oriented zeal.

On one hand, Indian hospitality toward the Central Tibetan Administration and Tibetan refugees has provided India with useful leverage against Chinese intimidation. Tibetan-Chinese relations blemish the Chinese reputation among world powers, particularly in the west, and control of such damage lies notably in Indian hands. India also maintains a distinct influence on Tibetan affairs as home to over 120,000 Tibetans and the CTA, lending India a prominent voice regarding vital neighborly security issues.

On the other hand, Chinese security gains are mounting. Chinese aspirations to dam the Brahmaputra River threaten countless lives in India and other Asian countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, Laos, Burma, and Pakistan. Environmental recklessness has brought deadly floods to Arunachal Pradesh, among other locations, whose shared border with Tibet has transformed into one of the top militarized zones on Earth. In the coming decades, scientists predict that water and resulting food shortages have the potential to affect millions, and India, home to one-sixth of the planet’s population, will bear the brunt of such devastation.

Numerous strategic advantages play into India’s enduring choice to host Tibetans, but are they being utilized? As patience continues to wane and the threats to Indian security mature, how should India’s stake in Sino-Tibetan relations adapt?


In preparation for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s crucial visit to New Delhi, the Tibetan Women’s Association is hosting an “Academic Dialogue” to present imperative viewpoints to decision-makers and the public. This panel discussion will accommodate great thinkers who represent a variety of viewpoints regarding the topic of What does the Tibet Leverage Mean for India Today? The Tibetan Women’s Association is committed to the Middle Way Approach and believes that, thought-provoking discussion is an effective way to mark President Jintao’s visit to India and suggest the continuation of dialogues among government representatives.

Save Tibetan lives press conference before G20

Global Day of Action calls for global diplomatic intervention for Tibet

Save Tibetan lives press conference before G20
Photo by David Huang

Dharamsala, November 2: On the eve of the G20 Summit, Tibetans and their supporters joined a Global Day of Action to highlight a Campaign for Global Intervention, an urgent call to world leaders to exert multilateral pressure on Chinese President Hu Jintao to ease tensions in Tibet. In Dharamsala the 5 major Tibetan NGOs held a press conference, coordinated by International Tibet Network.

So far thousands of people worldwide have supported this new campaign to resolve the escalating crisis in Tibet, where ten young Tibetans have self-immolated since March 2011; if you have not already done so, please support us by signing and sharing these petitions: Stand up for Tibet and Avaaz – Save Tibetan lives.

“These unprecedented acts by Tibetans are the ultimate form of non-violent action and TYC recognizes these as valuable sacrifices,” said Tsewang Rigzin, President of Tibetan Youth Congress. “China’s merciless and violent crackdown is intensifying Tibetan grievances and exacerbating this crisis. So long as the occupation of Tibet persists so will the resistance against it by the Tibetan people.”

Statements of concern following the self-immolations in Tibet have been issued by a number of governments, such as the United States, Germany and also the European Parliament. Campaigners are calling for a more coordinated, multilateral approach, including a joint démarche and the urgent creation of an appropriate and effective multi-lateral mechanism through which future diplomatic measures concerning Tibet can be agreed. Lobbying efforts have won the support of parliamentarians around the world, see www.StandupforTibet.org.

“Today, in 60 cities around the world, Tibetans and supporters are saying Enough! Enough to China’s violent, military rule over Tibet, and Enough to world leaders for failing to hold Beijing accountable for its atrocities in Tibet. Inaction now will only lead to the tragic loss of countless more Tibetan lives, and we cannot stand by and let that happen,” said Dorjee Tseten, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet India.

“The government of the People’s Republic of China should immediately release all those detained since 16 March 2011 and account for the whereabouts of all those who have self-immolated since 2009,” said Lukar Jam, Vice President of Gu-Chu-Sum Movement for Tibet.

“This growing tragedy, if left unchecked, could spiral even further into a nation-wide crisis across Tibet, unless the world acts now. We are calling for global diplomatic intervention to save Tibetan lives,” said Kirti Dolkar Lhamo, President of Tibetan Women’s Association.

“We are calling for a global advocacy and grassroots campaign, to put pressure on our governments to take action for Tibet at this critical time,” said Chime Youngdung, President of the National Democratic Party of Tibet.

“Since 2009, 11 young Tibetans have lit themselves on fire in an unprecedented series of actions protesting Chinese rule and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet,” said Tsering Choedup, Asia Coordinator of the International Tibet Network, a global coalition of more than 180 Tibet Groups.

The harsh reaction of the Chinese government authorities to the 2008 protests across Tibet and the follow-on compulsory “patriotic reeducation” or “legal education” at Tibetan monasteries. Although protests in Tibet have been initiated and joined by all sectors of the society, including students, monks and nuns are frequent targets of repression given that religious practice connected to the Dalai Lama is viewed as subversive by the Chinese government. Elements of the security crackdown in Tibet that began as a reaction to the 2008 protests are ongoing with tightened control all around the country.

Our Demands:

The People’s Republic of China must:

1. Immediately remove security personnel from the Ngaba (Ch: Aba) and Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) regions and from individual monasteries. All monks must be allowed to return unconditionally to their respective monasteries in the Ngaba and Kardze regions.

2. Release all those detained in connection to the 10 self-immolations since 16 March 2011 and account for the whereabouts and well-being of all those who have self-immolated since February 2009.

3. Allow foreign diplomats and independent foreign media unfettered access to all Tibetan areas, especially the regions of Ngaba and Kardze.

4. Immediately suspend the implementation of religious and security policies in Ngaba.

We call on G20 Leaders and other Governments to:

1. In partnership with other concerned governments, insist that the People’s Republic of China accede to the above demands, including allowing diplomats and media access to Tibetan areas.

2. Express their concern about the situation in Ngaba directly to Hu Jintao in the fringes of the G20 summit in Cannes, France.

3. Jointly démarche (officially reprimand) China concerning the situation in Ngaba, seeking a full accounting for the removal of monks from Kirti Monastery, including an explanation of the pretext or conditions under which monks were removed and their current whereabouts.

4. Urgently establish, with other concerned governments, an appropriate and effective multi-lateral mechanism through which future diplomatic measures concerning Tibet can be agreed.

List of Self-Immolations in Tibet (11 to date; 10 in 2011 and one in 2009)

27 February 2009, Ngaba: Tapey, mid-20s, of Kirti Monastery. Whereabouts unknown.

16 March 2011, Ngaba: Lobsang Phuntsok, 20, of Kirti Monastery. Died 17 March 2011.

15 August 2011, Kardze: Tsewang Norbu, 29, monk of Nyitso Monastery. Died at the scene, 15 August 2011.

26 September 2011, Ngaba: Lobsang Kelsang, 18, monk of Kirti Monastery. In hospital. Lobsang Kunchok, 19 , a monk of Kirti Monastery. In a different hospital to Lobsang Kelsang.

3 October 2011, Ngaba: Kelsang Wangchuk, 17, monk of Kirti Monastery. In hospital.

7 October 2011, Ngaba: Choephel, 19 former monk of Kirti Monastery. Died 11 October 2011. Khaying, 18, former monk of Kirti Monastery. Died 8 October 2011.

15 October 2011, Ngaba: Norbu Dramdul, 19, former monk of Kirti Monastery. Taken away, whereabouts unknown.

17 October 2011, Ngaba: Tenzin Wangmo, 20, nun of Ngaba Mamae Choekorling Nunnery. Died at the scene, 17 October 2011.

25 October 2011, Kardze: Dawa Tsering, 38, monk of Kardze Monastery. Status unknown, possibly being cared for in Kardze Monastery after refusing hospital treatment.

Tibetans protest as Hu Jintano arrives at G20

Tibetans and supporters protest in 60 cities as Hu Jintao arrives at G20

Tibetans protest as Hu Jintano arrives at G20
Image from http://standupfortibet.org/

Call on World Leaders to Help End China’s Repression in Tibet, which has led to 11 Tibetans self-immolating

Dharamsala, November 1: Celebrities, politicians and other prominent individuals, including Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and musicians Radiohead (see Stand up for Tibet) have joined over 20,000 people in supporting a new campaign calling for coordinated global action to resolve the escalating crisis in Tibet, where ten young Tibetans have self-immolated since March 2011. On the eve of the G20 Summit, Tibetans and their supporters in 60 cities are joining a Global Day of Action to highlight a Campaign for Global Intervention, an urgent call to world leaders to exert multilateral pressure on Chinese President Hu Jintao to ease tensions in Tibet.

WHAT: Press Conference by Major Tibetan NGOs

WHERE: Young Buddhist Hostel, Jogiwara Road, McLeod Ganj (Opposite Mt. View Hotel)

WHEN: 11am, Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Statements of concern following the self-immolations in Tibet have been issued by a number of governments, such as the United States, Germany and also the European Parliament. Campaigners are calling for a more coordinated, multilateral approach, including a joint démarche and the urgent creation of an appropriate and effective multi-lateral mechanism through which future diplomatic measures concerning Tibet can be agreed. Lobbying efforts have won the support of parliamentarians around the world, see www.StandupforTibet.org.

Our Demands:

The People’s Republic of China must:

1. Immediately remove security personnel from the Ngaba (Ch: Aba) and Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) regions and from individual monasteries. All monks must be allowed to return unconditionally to their respective monasteries in the Ngaba and Kardze regions.

2. Release all those detained in connection to the 10 self-immolations since 16 March 2011 and account for the whereabouts and well-being of all those who have self-immolated since February 2009.

3. Allow foreign diplomats and independent foreign media unfettered access to all Tibetan areas, especially the regions of Ngaba and Kardze.

4. Immediately suspend the implementation of religious and security policies in Ngaba.

We call on G20 Leaders and other Governments to:

1. In partnership with other concerned governments, insist that the People’s Republic of China accede to the above demands, including allowing diplomats and media access to Tibetan areas.

2. Express their concern about the situation in Ngaba directly to Hu Jintao in the fringes of the G20 summit in Cannes, France.

3. Jointly démarche (officially reprimand) China concerning the situation in Ngaba, seeking a full accounting for the removal of monks from Kirti Monastery, including an explanation of the pretext or conditions under which monks were removed and their current whereabouts.

4. Urgently establish, with other concerned governments, an appropriate and effective multi-lateral mechanism through which future diplomatic measures concerning Tibet can be agreed.

Contacts:
Tenzin Chokey +919418247775, Dorje Tsetan +919805941166, Samten Choedon +919418936118 (English)
Lukar Jam +919418329348, Chime Youngdung +919418069179 (Tibetan)

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