Lobbying prior to G20 for save Tibetan lives campaign

TWA delegation stages ambush meeting with visiting Chinese leader Lu Hao

Lobbying prior to G20 for save Tibetan lives campaignHigh-level lobbying with Indian leaders marks Global Day of Action to Save Tibetan Lives

The Tibetan press release (PDF) can be viewed here. Please also find pictures of the two-day campaign at the bottom of this post, or here.

November 3, New Delhi: In the light of the eleven unprecedented acts of self-immolation of young Tibetans in Tibet since 2009 (with the latest reports of a 12th incidence and the 6th case of self immolation death) and ensuing crackdown in Tibet, TWA’s delegation – comprising of president Dolkar Lhamo Kirti and Research and Media officer Dhardon Sharling – embarked on two days of face-to-face lobbying with Chinese and Indian leaders in India’s capital Delhi.

This morning, TWA’s president managed to instigate a brief meeting with Lu Hao, member of 17th Communist Party of China Central Committee, Member of the Tibet Work Leading Group and secretary of the CPC Gansu Provincial Committee. The southwestern corner of Gansu is home to a large Tibetan population of more than 400,000 and contains seven Tibetan counties including the autonomous county of Pari and the Kenlho Tibetan Autonomous prefecture.

Dhardon describes what occurred; “at 10:50 am, Dolkar staged an ambush encounter which interrupted a meeting between Lu and two other foreign diplomats at the lobby of Hotel Taj Mahal, while I hid behind a marble pillar witnessing the meeting and silently taking pictures from my phone camera.”

Within the two minutes Dolkar quickly briefed Lu Hao on the current self-immolation crisis in Tibet and requested that he heed to the demands of the petition titled ‘Tibetans call for Global Intervention to save Tibetan lives in Tibet.’

“After a formal mutual greeting ‘Nyi-Hao’ (meaning hello in Chinese) and offering of khathak (white scarf), Lu listened to me for a minute, after which Lu told me that he is in India for a different purpose (an exchange programme with the International Department of the Communist Party of China) and that he is not in a position to accept the petition and the scarf” said Dolkar.

“The awe and anxiousness on Lu’s face and in the gestures of the visiting Chinese delegates was palpable on seeing Dolkar dressed in Chupa, holding a khathak and a petition,” said Dhardon.

Both Dolkar and Dhardon were then frisked by the hotel security staff and asked to leave the hotel to enable Lu and his delegation to head to their meeting venue. TWA delegates later left the petition and the khathak in the hands of the Chinese Embassy staff present at the hotel, to be passed on to Lu.

According to Dolkar, “the petition included two appendixes: 1) Demands to the People’s Republic of China and from the G-20 leaders and 2) The factsheet of the 11 self-immolation cases in Tibet since 2009, and urged the Chinese leadership to end the repression in Tibet that has caused the self-immolations. It also earnestly requested Lu Hao to raise these demand to Hu Jintao and for the Chinese leadership to commence meaningful negotiations with the Tibetan Leadership in Exile during the lifetime of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in order to attempt to peacefully resolve the Tibet issue.”

Lu and his 12-member delegation left Beijing on October 29 for a good will visit to three countries on invitation of Indonesia’s Golkar Party, India’s Foreign Ministry and Pakistan People’s Party. Lu arrived in Delhi on November 2 and will leave for Agra on November 4 and then head to Pakistan.

During his India visit Lu stressed to the Indian government the “need of strengthening bilateral relations and furthering cultural exchange programme between the two countries.”

According to Dolkar, “while the year 2011 has been marked as India-China year of Exchange, ironically, the 15th round of border talks between India and China is scheduled to be held in Delhi this month and India took a decision this week to deploy 90,000 soldiers at the Indo-Chinese border.

“We have made assertive explanations to the senior Indian leaders that ‘strong, bilateral Sino-India ties’ can be achieved only if the long-standing issue of Tibet is resolved and only when India bolsters its stand on Tibet and sheds its acquiescence to China,” said Dhardon.

On November 2, on the eve of the G-20 summit and coinciding with the global action – ‘Enough! Global Intervention Now to save Tibetan Lives’ – TWA’s delegation held meetings with senior leaders of the ruling Indian National Congress: Mani Shankar Aiyar, former union cabinet minister and current chairman of Congress party’s “political training department and the department of policy planning and coordination” and Dr. Karan Singh, former ambassador to United States and UNESCO, and the present Chairman of Foreign Affairs Department of Indian Government.

Sonia Gandhi's response to TWA's save Tibetan lives letter
Click to enlarge

Though an attempted meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi did not take place, a petition was delivered to Sonia through Dr. Karan Singh. A petition was also handed over to the Minister for Environment and Forests, Jayanti Natarajan at her office at CGO complex soon after she arrived from Beijing on November 3 morning.

An exclusive meeting with BJP leader Sushma Swaraj took place at her residence on November 3; as the leader of the opposition party, Sushma agreed to table the Tibet issue during the upcoming winter session of the parliament beginning November 22.

“We have urged the Indian leaders to push the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) led Government to raise the Tibet issue with the Chinese leadership at constant intervals and, importantly, to pressurize the Chinese Government to settle for meaningful negotiations with the Tibetan Leadership in Exile,” said Dolkar.

As an organization dedicated to the middle way approach which seeks genuine autonomy for Tibet, TWA believes that beside high-level lobbying with governments in order to seek multilateral diplomatic intervention for Tibet, direct engagements with member of Chinese leadership are effective ways to attempt to address the crisis in Tibet and, significantly, to accomplish the aspirations of the Tibetan martyrs.

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 and Action in Exile.’

November 2

November 2

November 3

November 3

November 3, 10:50 am, Hotel Taj Mahal, New Delhi

November 3, 10:51 am, Hotel Taj Mahal, New Delhi

November 3, 10:40 am, Hotel Taj Mahal, New Delhi

November 2

Press Contacts:

Dolkar Lhamo Kirti: 00-91-9718065086

Dhardon Sharling: 00-91-9718065086

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)