The central Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) and its 56 regional chapters across the four continents commemorated the 56th Anniversary of Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day at their respective regions.
RTWA Dharamsala and the Central TWA commemorated the historic day at Martyrs’ pillar, Tsuklagkhang. Honorable Kalon Gyari Dolma attended the function as the chief guest and other heads of the major NGOs as the guests of the honors.
After the function, a peace march was organized from the Martyrs’ pillar to Kachari, Dharamsala. Nuns, students and public joined the march and commemorated the day.
12th March is celebrated every year as the Tibetan Women’s National Uprising day, on this 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.
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.
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.
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.’
Today as we celebrate the 29th year of re-establishment of Tibetan Women’s Association in exile. Fore mostly, we hearty honour and remember all the great women martyrs who led and took part in the greatest uprising on March 12, 1959 and bravely sacrificed their lives in the struggle. We share our solidarity with all our brothers and sisters who set themselves alive with fathomless courage and dream to free Tibetans from Chinese repression and make every Tibetan’s dream come true.
TWA is a historic association run by Tibetan women from all three provinces to struggle against Chinese oppression, take equal responsibility to preserve her unique culture and to maintain a high-quality of social and political activism. It was initially founded on 12th March 1959 when Tibetan women led an uprising to revolt against China’s brutal occupation of Tibet, killing almost a million Tibetans and destroyed thousands of monasteries.
This association was reinstated in exile on 10th September, 1984 by Tibetan women under the guidance and blessing of His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama. His Holiness the Dalai Lama mentioned about the disappearance of Tibetan Women’s organization that existed before and also expressed importance and benefits of having such organization in society on 6th September, 1984, in his address at the pre-advisory meeting on the selection of the ninth members of the Tibetan Parliament. TWA has a very humble beginning with 800 Tibetan women as the members of the association and opened 12 regional chapters across India.
Today, TWA is the one of the oldest NGO in our exile community, encompasses 16,000 members in 56 regional chapters across four continents (Asia, America, Europe, and Australia).
With blessing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and remembering the undying spirit of fellow brothers and sisters, we put our best effort to bring up Tibet issue on International platforms to spread the awareness and get justice to our cause. At the same time, our focus remains on strengthening our exile community by supporting the education of women, organizing various trainings and workshops to empower Tibetan women in exile.
We have clearly stated our projects, campaigns, activities and future plans at the XIth Working Committee Meeting held this July at Dhondenling Tibetan settlement.
In the recent years the Tibetan community has come to know of the massive environmental destruction in Tibet besides global warming and climate change as the wreaking havoc on the Tibetan plateau. The rapid environment degradation has caused floods in the neighboring countries and desertification of grasslands in Tibet. An old gentleman named Phurgyal from a small village below Mungra town, eastern Tibet could not bear to see further desertification of grassland near his village and took the greatest initiative and effort to plant trees on the desert. He started his work in 2003 and the land which was once a desert is now a forest. Tibetan Women’s Association has translated Phurgyal’s documentary into English with the hope and determination to submit, discuss and distribute this great initiative at international and national environment platforms.
June 2013, we have started with a yearlong project titled ‘Legal Empowerment of Tibetan Women in Exile’, a direct outreach program and essentially an educational and empowerment program on Human Rights and women’s legal rights. The program aims to encourage women to pursue justice rather than wait for its appearance, informs them about its means and procedures, and also emphasizes the strength of sisterhood and to overcome the atrocities against women. We remain committed to expand this project after the evaluation meeting and public interest demands so.
This year we welcomed interns from Middle East countries to share and understand each other’s livelihood, culture and struggles. We believe we are able to learn and promote one another’s unique culture and powerful struggle through such exchange programs. Alongside, we are even working on comparative articles in order to observe and study the two different ethnic’s struggles. We believe all these works are significant moves to spread awareness on Tibet.
We the Tibetan Women’s Association appeals for:
1. Middle Way Policy as adopted by Central Tibetan Administration in exile is the approach to resolve the issue of Tibet, and to bring about stability and co-existence between the Tibetan and Chinese people based on equality and mutual favorable policy. Therefore, we strongly appeal International committees and Tibet support groups to urge and pressure China to restart the dialogue and forgo all the misconception it held against the policy.
2. Tibetans inside Tibet are suffering under the Chinese hard line policies over last 60 years; this callous policy aims to destroy the root of Tibetan ethnicity and we therefore request the International committee to send North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to Tibet.
3. Tibetans struggle has been the most peaceful resistance, yet China holds discriminative and ruthless policies against Tibetans and connects our struggle to that of terrorism and splitists. China has accused His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, the world’s renowned ambassador of peace and non-violence as splitist and exile Tibetans’ democratically elected political leader, Dr. Lobsang Sangay as a terrorist. China will solely be responsible for aftermath of such bigotry and injustice.
4. The unbearable hard line policies and injustice have compelled many Tibetans to self-immolate. However the Chinese government has never communicated to the Chinese people about the reality behind self-immolations; therefore it is high time for international community and people to unite and stand for Tibet.
5. We urge United Nation’s Committee on Enforced Disappearance to pressure China to release His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama, Tulku Tenzin Delek and all the political prisoners. We remain very much concerned about their health conditions and well being.
We the Central and Regional Tibetan Women’s Association have appealed to the International Court of Justice, UNICEF, UN-Women and United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights to intensify their pressure to stop China from framing and plotting the family members, friends and relatives of self-immolators as murderers and inciters. We remain committed to continue with more such campaigns.
To conclude, we pray for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s long life and may we reunite in Tibet very soon.