Statement of Tibetan Women’s Association issued on the 56th Anniversary of Tibetan Women’s National Uprising Day

banner-fbToday 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[1] 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[2]. 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.’

 

[1] http://www.tchrd.org/2015/02/annual-report-2014-human-rights-situation-in-tibet/

[2] http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/china-promotes-mixed-marriages-in-tibet-as-way-to-achieve-unity/2014/08/16/94409ca6-238e-11e4-86ca-6f03cbd15c1a_story.html

 

 

A pregnant woman commits suicide after hearing her husband’s death in Chinese prison.

imageTWA remain concerned about how the political unrest in Tibet and the use of lethal force by Chinese forces against peaceful Tibetan protestors are making the lives of Tibetans including women and children doomed. We urge the Chinese government to review their draconian policies on Tibet and address the legitimate grievances of Tibetan people inside Tibet.

Last week, a Tibetan woman who was seven months pregnant committed suicide when she heard her husband died in Chinese prison. Her husband was identified as Jinpa Tharchin, one of the five identified people from Dema Shupa Township who died in the Chinese prison due to severe torturing on August 18, 2014.

On August 12, 2014, Chinese security forces opened fire on unarmed T10592924_901684919847027_2773610051494619665_nibetan protesters in Denma Shugpa Village in Lishu (Ch: Luoxu) Township in Sershul (Ch: Shiqu) County, Kardze, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. According to the sources, at least ten Tibetans were injured. The unarmed civilians were protesting for the detention of Wangdak, a 45-year-old village leader on the previous night. Wangdak has complained local Chinese government for banning the observance of the Denma Horse Festival. Wangdak argued that the celebration of the festival is a part of Tibetan culture and religious practice. He reasoned out that banning such festival is a violation of the religious freedom of Tibetans. According to the sources, wangdakWangdak was also arrested for complaining against the harassment of Tibetan women by the Chinese authorities. Currently, the situation in Denma Shupa village is becoming more intense as the Chinese armed forces have surrounded the village and civilians above the age of 16 were arrested randomly. So far, five arrested civilians have died inside the prison as a result of severe torture and denial of medical care.

The reports coming from Tibet also said that Dawa Lhamo, a 65 year-old relative of Wangdak has been rendered paralyses due to brain hemorrhage caused by severe torture at the prison, she was taken to a hospital after her condition worsen on August 23. However, her relatives were not allowed to accompany her for the treatment.

 

The detail of the news are also available on:

http://tibet.net/2014/08/27/death-of-tibetan-protestor-in-police-firing-drives-his-pregnant-wife-to-commit-suicide/

http://www.tchrd.org/2014/08/tchrd-condemns-chinese-police-shooting-of-unarmed-tibetans-in-kardze-2/

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/suicide-08262014203210.html

 

Statement of TWA on the 55th Anniversary of the Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day

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Today, Tibetans inside and outside Tibet commemorate the 55th anniversary of Tibetan Women’s Uprising. On 12th March 1959, thousands of Tibetan women from all the three provinces of Tibet stood up against the Chinese forces thereby triggering a peaceful resistance that continue even today.

During the uprisings and thereafter, we lost hundreds of Tibetan women in the brutal crackdown enforced by the Chinese forces. We hail them as martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet.

The Tibetan Women’s Association, which was initially established in Lhasa on 12th March 1959, was reinstated in India on 10th September 1984. The core purpose of establishing this association is to continue the works of all the great women of Tibet, who have sacrificed themselves to preserve our identity, freedom and our culture. We pledge that the hardships endured by these martyrs for the cause will not go in vain and that we will continue to stand resolutely united and be of firm commitment the to the cause of Tibet. We also revere all women who made great efforts and sacrifices during the hardest period of early years in exile.

Today, the situation inside Tibet is faced with intensification of crackdown and systematic repression on Tibetan people. The results are evident in the spate of self-immolations that persists. Since 2009, 127 Tibetans in Tibet including 19 women have set themselves alight calling for the return of His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans. In exile, since 1998, six Tibetans have self-immolated to protest against the callous crackdowns inside Tibet. We stand in solidarity with all the supreme sacrifices made by these martyrs.

Today in Tibet, any expression of identity and patriotism is dealt with in the most severe manner. The arbitrary arrests and sentencing of Tibetan singers, writers and social activists, who work for the welfare of all the Tibetans, have increased over the years. The Chinese authorities also continue to criminalize the family members, friends and relatives of these self-immolators by calling them as murderers or inciters.

In august last year, the intermediate court in Ngaba region, meted out death sentence to Dolma Kyab, husband of Kunchok Wangmo who self-immolated on 13th March 13 last year. The court charged Dolma kyab for murder of his wife. In December 2013, Geshe Ngawang Jamyang, a senior Tibetan monk from Diru was beaten to death by Chinese police. In January this year, Kunchok Dakpa, a young Tibetan man was beaten to death. He was arrested for his participation in May 2013 protest against mining in Diru in May 2013. These incidences bring to light the harrowing human rights situation inside Tibet.

TWA remain gravely concerned about the continued abduction of the XIth Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima who will turn 25 years old this year. The imprisonment of Tulku Tenzin Delek despite his ailing condition is worrisome.

TWA calls on the Chinese leadership to acknowledge their 60 years of failed policies in Tibet that has proven to be catastrophic and review their policies and deal sensibly with the Tibet challenge.

TWA’s steadfast commitment to resolving the long-standing issue of Tibet through the Middle Way Policy seeking genuine autonomy for Tibet, remain strong. In this light, TWA has sent appeal letters and substantial reports to the concerned UN bodies and other world governments to urge the Chinese government to resolve Tibet’s issue through dialogue and non-violence.

TWA respects His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the spiritual leader of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet and as the global ambassador of peace and compassion. We abhor the Chinese government’s hurling of abuses against His Holiness and the ruthless warnings issued by the Chinese leadership to the world leaders refraining them from meeting with His Holiness.

We also received response letter from the Indian Nursing Council for our appeal to the council to reconsider and reassess the resolution passed as per the letter dated 25th March, 2013 titled ‘Equivalency-Foreign Nationals’.

TWA dedicates this 55th anniversary to the women inside Tibet. This year, TWA announces a fellowship program for young women in Tibet pursuing professional studies. The fellowship will be imparted to the target group through a reliable international foundation.

Despite the draconian policies of the Chinese government to weaken the use of Tibetan language, Tibetans inside Tibet have been taking creative and sustained efforts to preserve and promote Tibetan language, culture and identity. This inspires Tibetans in exile to follow suit.

In a bid to laud their efforts, this year TWA announces two informal researchers’ seats (in Tibetan language) for two Tibetan women in exile. The research topics are ‘Intermarriage between Tibetans and Chinese under China’s rule in Tibet’ and ‘Intermarriage between Tibetans and foreigners in exile’. The details will be made available on TWA’s website after April 1 this year.

In exile, in honor of the 19 Tibetan women who died of self-immolation protests, TWA announces an honorary award of 25,000 INR to Tsering Dolkar, also known as ‘Tibetan Mother Teresa,’ for her work for humanity and the haggard.

TWA believes that the Tibetan struggle is not only a political struggle of the Tibetan people against the Chinese Communist regime, but also essentially a struggle against injustices that bears moral weight on the international community to respond to travesty of justice taking place at an unprecedented stage, thus stirring the human conscience. Beginning March 12, TWA launched an online petition addressed to Navanethem Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council. The petition urges governments and people of the world to urge China’s government to response to the negotiation extended by the representatives of the His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Today, Tibetan women across the globe commemorate this day by offering offer our deepest respect to human rights defenders across the globe. We pledge to dedicate ourselves to work for human rights, peace, and freedom in Tibet and the other regions of the world where peace is held hostage by brutal regimes.

This is a request of TWA to the older generation to educate the younger generation about the values that exist in our culture and the younger generation must know and practice the essence of our unique culture. Tibetans in exile should not fail to preserve and promote our culture and tradition while we are struggling for a better livelihood. People inside Tibet endeavor to preserve the culture even under the duress of occupation.

With firm affirmation of our faith in the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we pray for his long life.  May all the Tibetans be soon united in Tibet.  12 March Poster final

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 16,000 member organization with 56 chapters in four continents; Asia, US. Europe and Australia. TWA’s slogan is ‘Advocacy for Home, Action in Exile.’

Issued by

Central Tibetan Women’s Association,

March 12, 2014

 

TWA urges the UN Delegation visiting China to heed to status of Tibetan Women in Tibet

bookThe Tibetan Women’s Association [i] is pleased to learn that an experts team representing ‘United Nations Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice’ will undertake its first visit to the People’s Republic of China [ii] from 12 to 19 December 2013, to appraise the progress made towards achieving gender equality and the protection and promotion of women’s human rights.

 

TWA also takes note of that commitment made by Ms. Francas Raday, chair of the Working Group, towards assessing the legislative reforms and policies that have been implemented by the Government of China to promote women’s rights and gender equality. In addition to the expert groups’ area of focus- women’s economic and social life, achievements and good practices to eliminate discrimination against women and also obstacles to their empowerment, TWA urges the team to pay special attention to the status of Tibetan Women inside Tibet.

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A research report published by TWA titled ‘The Status of Tibetan Women inside Tibet Mirrors China’s Critical Disengagement with its International and National Commitments-2013’ launched today in  Dharamsala on the occasion of World Human Rights Day, covers the status of women in the fields of Education, Employment, Prostitution, Healthcare, Family-Planning Policy, Justice, Torture, Religious Freedom, Political Freedom and Employment. The report has made 15 recommendations[iii] for the Chinese Government and the United Nations. Whilst it calls for international intervention to address the status of women in Tibet, it sense the need for adequate reforms to ameliorate the living standards of women in Tibet and significantly to keep China a strict adherent of its national and international commitments.

 

TWA also would like to reiterate that much is expected from this visit as it is the first Special Procedures visit since the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter went in December 2010. TWA urges the Working Group to pay attention to the recommendations enclosed with this letter.

 

TWA will closely follow the delegation’s preliminary findings which will be delivered via a press conference scheduled to be held on 19 December 2013 in Beijing.  TWA also anticipates a veracious account and a substantial report with conclusions and recommendations which the team will present to the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council in June 2014.

 



[i] Largest Tibetan Women’s Organization based in Dharamsala, Exile India, with a global network of 16000 women members.

[ii] The team is scheduled to visit Beijing and Shanghai in addition to Kunming and the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, both in the Yunnan Province.

[iii] Recommendations

The Tibetan Women’s Association calls on the Chinese Government to:

  • Abide by its national and international commitments in the field of human rights, education, employment, health, freedom of expression and environment.
  • Modify the education policy of the PRC, to take into greater account Tibetan language and cultural particularities.
  • Engage in a combat against human trafficking, in pursuance of the PRC’s legal commitments.
  • Implement the principles of gender equality so that Tibetan women are given alternatives for earning a living.
  • Provide greater transparency in terms of public health–transparency that will bring an end to censorship regarding information on public health of Tibetans.
  • End discrimination in the health field towards all Tibetans, including Tibetan women and children.
  • End socio-economic and political pressures that force women to undergo abortion and sterilization.
  • Implement in concrete terms the mechanisms of complaint and enforcement guaranteed by the Chinese constitution.
  • Ensure and respect the rights of people living in territories controlled by China for access to a fair and transparent judicial system.
  • Include in its legislation a definition of torture that incorporates mental torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, thus conforming to the United Nations Convention against Torture.
  • Authorize visits to Chinese prisons by independent control organizations, and for these visits to take place freely, without intimidation or censorship by the authorities.
  • Release Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, Tibet’s Panchen Lama and allow him to freely fulfill his religious vocation.
  • Abolish its patriotic re-education campaign, as its elements qualify as inhumane and degrading treatment, if not torture.
  • Secure and protect Tibet’s fragile environment and respect Tibetan stewardship.

 

TWA calls on the United Nations, World Governments and the International Community to

  • React to the Chinese Government’s failure to abide by its national and international commitments.
  • Ensure that the Chinese Government doesn’t not make a mockery of the UN and International Conventions, which protect human rights and human dignity.
  • Pressure China to heed to the 14 recommendations placed by TWA in this publication.

 

TWA observes the 65th annual United Nations’ Human Rights Day

Dec-10,-2013-banner_facebook2013 marks the 65th annual United Nations’ Human Rights Day and 64th year of Chinese occupation of Tibet, since 1949. Even after more than six decades of China’s violation of human rights in Tibet, this year, China has made it to the 47-seat United Nations Human Rights Council. Either the governments have elected China in the council with hope to see positive changes or to maintain their trade relationship with China as it is the world’s rising power. Which ever the case, we sincerely hope China is serious about improving human rights conditions in Tibet and the United Nations and UN Human Rights Council will maintain its commitments on human rights.

 

In marking this year’s annual United Nations’ Human Rights Day, Central Tibetan Women’s Association earnestly requests Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Amnesty International, International Court of Justice, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Committee Against Torture and UN Women to support for the release of Tulku Tenzin Delek in order to get medical treatment as his physical condition is very critical and we also request to focus on health condition of all political prisoners who are suffering with serious illness in China’s prison and detention centers.

 

In the morning, at the f2ormal function of the Central Tibetan Administration, TWA launched the new researched book ‘The Status of Tibetan Women in Tibet’ and at the main gate of the Tsuklagkhang (Dalai Lama’s temple), three non-governmental organizations (Students for a Free Tibet, Gu-Chu-Sum and Central Tibetan Women’s organization) organized a mass campaign to support the release and well return of Dhondup Wangchen by signing on a thousand of paper cranes made by the three NGOs. The signed paper cranes will 3be posting to the embassy of the People’s Republic of China in New Delhi.

 

In the evening, at 2pm, TWA organized a talk on human rights ’64 years of violation of human rights in Tibet under Chinese occupation, since 1949′ for the foreigners. The guest speakers for the talk were Tenzin Nyingji, a researcher at the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) and John Gaudette, a legal intern at TCHRD. Nyingji focused on ‘Human Rights situation in Tibet’ and John focused on ‘Crime against Humanity in Tibet’.

Central Tibetan Women’s Association

                                                Dharamsala