Clampdown on Delhi Protests

Source: Kevin Frayer/Associated Press
Delhi, Friday March 30. Tibetan residents in Delhi have been forced to endure even more tenuous and harsh security checks on the eve of President Hu Jintao’s visit. Districts with Tibetan residents have effectively been placed under house arrest as authorities aim to repress any form of protests against the Chinese government.

Paramilitary officers have been active in much of the Tibetan neighbourhood, Tenzin Norsang, joint secretary of the Tibetan Youth Congress, was arrested and held in a local jail. After being contacted on his cell phone, Norsang said there was an additional 156 Tibetans being imprisoned including 23 women. These figures were later confirmed by a police official wishing to keep his anonymity, who said 151 people had been arrested by Tuesday, with further prisoners en route. Before communication was lost, Tenzin said: “Indian police are doing what we want. Either let us condemn Hu Jintao’s visit or detain us.”

On the Wednesday before President Hu arrived, Tibetan groups protested outside the Oeroi Hotel where he would residing, however their efforts were stopped by troops with activists reporting two girls and a boy were later detained.

For much of these Tibetans there is a sense of conflict. On one hand, they protest for their freedom, his holiness the Dalai Lama, their country; however the police who oppose them are simply following orders from their government following pressure from the Chinese authorities to avoid any high profile protests that have occurred in recent years.

Tenzin Dolkar, a grassroots co-ordinator for Students for a Free Tibet India, was in Delhi and involved during President Hu Jintao’s visit. For four days she continuity protested, evading police for much of it before being arrested on the final day. She says:

“The police were generally very good to us. Although I think they are just following orders, most of them known about our situation and sympathise with. However, I do wish there took a more gentle approach when we are protesting. Most of the Tibetans I know in prison have generally been treated well but sometimes they have been beaten up, especially when protesting directly outside the Chinese embassies.”

For exiled Tibetans residing in India, protesting is neither protected or a given right, hence many find themselves suppressed in their attempts. However their efforts is a clear sign that support for a free Tibet is rife across the world, and the Chinese Government can no longer hide behind the shroud of deceit it has long relied on.

ATWLT Group

Report from TWA’s 10-day Advanced Leadership Training in Delhi, November 2011

Full report from 2011’s Advanced Tibetan Women’s Leadership Training now available

ATWLT Group

The Empowerment through Action Desk (ETA) of TWA, organized a 10 – day Advanced Leadership Training (November 21st to 30th), second in the series  and held in Delhi. The training was led by 3 core trainers – Vicki Robinson from Canada, Lynda Ongel Lepcha, director & senior trainer at Holistic Training Solutions based in New Delhi and Dhardon Sharling, research & media officer (TWA) and member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile. TWA’s ETA coordinator Nyima Lhamo led sessions on building basic leadership skills while guest trainers and resource speakers also graced the training.

28 young women professionals (graduate students, professional workers, settlement officers, journalists and political activists) from different parts of India and Nepal attended the training.

[important]The detailed designed report is available in PDF format here.[/important]

The training course was divided into three phases – Identifying, Building and Practicing leadership skills. The final phase was an outbound training which included: participation in NDTV studio debates, site-specific project proposal and implementation, and a visit to the Indian Parliament and lobbying Indian leaders and media barons.

The final day witnessed a panel discussion titled ‘Women’s leadership in the 21st century, a noble achievement’, which proved to be a highlight of the 10-day training. The four distinguished panelists were: Dr. Kiran Bedi, Social Activist & retired Indian police officer, Youdon Aukatsang, Director of Envision and Member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Jaya Jaitley, Political Activist & former President of Samta Party, and Vinod Saighal, (Retd) Major General.

2011 Environment day slogans in Delhi

TWA Joins Indian Environment Ministry’s Campaign on World Environment Day

Tibetan Women in India add 20,000 trees to Planet Earth

2011 Environment day slogans in DelhiNew Delhi: This year India is for the first time the global host of United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) campaign; ‘Forest: Nature at your service.’ Five thousand Tibetan women belonging to 33 regional chapters of the Tibetan Women’s Association (RTWA) based in India observed the World Environment Day by planting 20,000 trees in 10 Indian states.

According to TWA’s president Dolkar Lhamo Kirti, “curbing deforestation is a highly cost-effective way to reduce emissions and we need to plant 130 million trees to make up for the loss of trees in the past decade.”

Tenzin Woebum, officer of TWA’s ‘Women’s Environment and Development Desk’ (WEDD) says “TWA’s ‘20,000 trees for planet earth’ was the culmination of UNEP’s new campaign to plant a billion trees this year.”

In India’s capital city, TWA’s delegation comprising of Dolkar Lhamo, Tenzin Woebum and members of RTWA Delhi took part in the ‘Green Walkathon’ organized by the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) along with Department of Environment, Government of Delhi. Jairam Ramesh, Indian Minister of state for Environment and Forests acknowledged his appreciation of the Tibetan presence before flagging off the rally at India Gate. Professor Kiran Walia, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Women and Child Development, also addressed the gathering of approximately 500 participants, including various stakeholders.

Later in the afternoon, the Women’s Environment and Development Desk (WEDD) of TWA along with Delhi Greens (Environmental NGO based in Delhi) lead the ‘Earth-o-Care campaign’ to raise public vigilance about the degrading environment and its impact on Tibet, the Third Pole. The organizers visited various public places in the city in a fuel-free green bus clad with banners and placards carrying the slogans: ‘If Tibet Dries, Asia Dies,’ ‘Climate Justice for Tibet Third Pole’ and ‘Tibet is Melting, Cut Co2’.

TWA’s WEDD also launched a four minute video titled ‘10.10.10. – Global Day of Action for Climate Justice.’ The video can be viewed on YouTube.

The World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action.

The mission of the Women’s Environment & Development Desk at TWA is to raise awareness about the adverse impacts of climate change upon Tibet’s unique ecosystem and Tibetan women. The TWA environment desk is committed to disseminating timely and useful information that highlights to the international community the critical issue of climate change in Tibet and engaging in proactive measures, sustainable developmental projects and campaigns to combat the destructive environmental policies that are denying the human rights of Tibetans living inside Tibet.

Also view the photographs on Flickr.

Tibetan Women in India add 20,000 trees to Planet Earth 2011

Tibetan Women in India add 20,000 trees to Planet Earth 2011

Tibetan Women in India add 20,000 trees to Planet Earth 2011