STATEMENT ON THE 57TH COMMEMORATION OF THE NATIONAL TIBETAN WOMEN’S UPRISING DAY

STATEMENT ISSUED BY TIBETAN WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION ON THE 57TH COMMEMORATION OF THE NATIONAL TIBETAN WOMEN’S UPRISING DAY – 12th March 1959.
Today, on the 57th anniversary of the National Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day, TWA recalls that fateful day when the Communist Chinese military forces invaded Tibet and bombed Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet. It was on March 12, 1959, that the peaceful nation called Tibet was shattered by the Communist Chinese Military forces. During this time the women of Tibet faced the Chinese invasion boldly by leading a peaceful but strong protest to resist the Chinese forceful occupation of our country.
As we commemorate the 57th National Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day, TWA pays tribute to the brave Tibetan Women from the three provinces of Tibet, who sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet. We, the present generation of Tibetan women inside and outside Tibet remain indebted to these great women and we shall keep their spirit alive and work towards fulfilling their dreams of a Free Tibet.
Over the last 57 years, there has been no improvement on Human Rights situation in Tibet under the Chinese repressive rule. The continuous implementation of intensive surveillance program in villages across the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) that was due to end in 2014, Human Rights Watch said that this policy of “village – based cadre teams” which was introduced in 2011, may become permanent.
“The Chinese government’s decision to extend its Tibet surveillance program indefinitely is nothing less than a continuous Human Rights violation”, said Sophie Richardson, China Director. “The new normal is one of permanent surveillance of Tibetans”. This was introduced in 2011 to prevent a recurrence of the protests that spread across the Tibetan plateau in 2008. In the name of improving services and material conditions in the villages, the Chinese authorities turned each village into a “fortress”.
However, the spirit and the determination of the Tibetan brothers and sisters inside Tibet under the Chinese brutal repression have not deterred them from taking out peaceful protests against the Chinese authorities. The self immolation was another form of peaceful protest against the Chinese regime and since 2009 over 143 brave Tibetans have sacrificed their lives for their country. They have called for freedom of Tibetan people and return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.
Many brave women have written songs and poems from their prisons and inspired the Tibetans who are in exile. The Tibetan Women in Exile, under the leadership of His Holiness the great 14th Dalai Lama, have re-established as one of the most strong and popular Women’s Organization since its establishment in 1984. During the past three decades, the Tibetan Women’s Association, with its 56 regional chapters and 17,000 members has launched various programs to empower Tibetan Women in exile and advocate the rights of women in Tibet.
The Association has contributed much towards preserving and promoting Tibet’s rich culture, education, religion and environment through their various planned programs which have resulted in producing empowered Tibetan Women in the exile Tibetan Community.
Meanwhile, the XIth Panchen Lama, Gedun Choekyi Nyima is still a captive in the hands of Chinese government. The TWA’s efforts to trace the young Panchen Lama through the United Nation’s representatives, leaders of world bodies have not yielded any result so far. It is over 20years since the young Panchen Lama and His family members were kidnapped by the Chinese authorities in 1995 and they have not revealed any information on where about of the young Panchen Lama. The Tibetan Women’s Association once more demands the Chinese government to let the world know the position in which the young Panchen Lama is living and his health condition. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, stressed the need for more research works on Panchen Lama after Norbu Dunzhub, a member of the Tibet Autonomous Regions United Front Work Department had claimed that Panchen Lama is “living a normal life”. TWA also urges international government and human rights bodies to put pressure on China to disclose information about his whereabouts and allow the Panchen Lama to take his rightful place at the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.
The latest attempt to control the reincarnation system of monks in Tibetan Buddhism, the Chinese government recently launched an online database of legal living Buddha’s which they say is to counter fake living Buddha’s that were using donations to support pro – independence activities in Tibet. They even brought out 870 governments – certified reincarnations in mainland China by the Buddhist Association of China.
The Tibetan Women’s Association strongly oppose the Chinese plan to mislead the world Buddhist population and will not accept the list as it does not feature the name of Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Moreover, the Communist Chinese does not believe in religion and according to them, the religion is poison. Therefore, the Chinese have neither the legitimacy nor credibility in the spiritual matters of Tibet.

Lastly, on the 57th anniversary of Tibetan Women’s Uprising Day, TWA would like to urge the Chinese President Xi Jingping to enter into a dialogue with the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to resolve the long standing political issue on Tibet.
With this affirmation of our full faith in the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we pray for His long life and may the people of Tibet be soon united in Tibet under the leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Dolma Yangchen (Mrs.)
President
Tibetan Women’s Association

Issued by Central Tibetan Women’s Association