Kalon Dicki Chhoyang of Department of Information and International Relations, CTA and Pema Chedon, the research and media officer of Central Tibetan Women’s Association attended the 5th biennial Nobel Women’s Initiative international conference DEFENDING THE DEFENDERS in The Netherlands.
114 women human rights defenders and organisations working to advance the global agenda to protect women’s human rights defenders gathered at Santpoort-Noord, The Netherlands, over the weekend. Six women Nobel Peace Prize Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative hosted this conference.
The participants comprised of human rights defenders, peace activists, advocates, researchers, donors and journalist from over 20 countries gathered to brainstorm on how best to protect women human rights defenders. Past conferences took place in Guatemala, Ireland, and Canada.
Kalon Dicki Chhoyang, head of the Department of Information and International Relations was invited to moderate a panel discussion on “Networks save lives: protection strategies for WHRDs (Women’s Human Rights Defenders).” She also spoke about Tibetan women as human rights defenders in Tibet.
Calls on Xi Jinping to face the Tibet Challenge by holding talks with Tibetan Leadership
The campaign video ‘Xi Face the Tibet Challenge’ can be viewed here:
September 16, 2014, Dharamsala:
On the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA), the largest women’s political organization in exile, while wishing Shri Narendra Modi ji a happy 64th birthday, urges the Indian Prime Minister to raise the crucial issue of Tibet with his Chinese counterpart.
TWA calls on Xi Jinping to face the Tibet Challenge by holding talks with the Tibetan leadership in exile, particularly with the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
On the eve of Xi Jinping’s India visit, TWA is re-releasing a campaign video titled #Xi Face the Tibet Challenge. This campaign was initially launched on March 14, 2013, the day Xi Jinping formally assumed the Chinese presidency. Over 200 Tibetan women representing 33 regional chapters of TWA staged the campaign at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi with three key slogans: Xi Jinping, end the repression in Tibet, Xi Jinping, resolve the Tibet crisis now, and Xi Jinping, face the Tibet Challenge.
“Sadly, over the last 18 months, we didn’t see the Chinese Government under Xi’s leadership address the legitimate grievances of Tibetan people inside Tibet,” said Ms. Tashi Dolma, President of TWA.
The situation in Tibet is exacerbated by a deepening crackdown by the Chinese government on any forms of peaceful expressions for freedom by the Tibetan people, thus deepening the anguish Tibetans feel. Human rights situation in Tibet is marked by deterioration of rights protection and an intensification of clampdowns. There have been arbitrary shootings, arrests, and the indiscriminate use of force – actions which have reduced Tibetans to the level of a subject people. The denial of religious freedom and large-scale government sponsored settlements by non-Tibetans threaten to obliterate Tibetan identity.
For the last 18 years of TWA’s history in exile, TWA has been calling on the Chinese government to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet. But their stringent and repressive policies have engendered a forbidding situation that has spiraled a spate of self-immolations inside Tibet, of 131 Tibetans including 21 Women.
“Therefore today, as Xi Jinping steps into India, the exile homeland for Tibetans, we call on him to review China’s failed policies in Tibet, to end the crisis inside Tibet and significantly to fulfill the genuine aspirations of the Tibetan people who sacrificed their lives calling for ‘freedom for Tibetans inside Tibet’ and for ‘the dignified return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama back to Tibet’,” said Tashi Dolma,
A week prior to Xi Jinping’s India visit, TWA has submitted appeal letters to the Indian Prime Minister and the Indian Minister for External Affairs urging them to raise Tibet. TWA leaders will also engage in a two-day direct lobby campaign with the Indian leaders.
Tashi Dolma, President – 9459553953
Nyima Lhamo, General Secretary – 9882502821
A week prior to Xi Jinping’s India visit, Central Tibetan Women’s Association has submitted appeal letters to the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and the Indian Minister for External Affairs Ms. Sushma Swaraj urging them to raise Tibet.
Mr. Narendra Damodardas Modi
Prime Minister of the Republic India
Date: September 9, 2014
Subject: Requesting to bring forward Tibet’s issue during Chinese President’s visit.
Central Tibetan Women’s Association would like to seek your intervention to bring forward Tibet’s issue during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India.
We appeal your Excellency to urge Chinese government to review their harsh policies on Tibet, which has incited greater resistance and acted as an unwavering catalyst to the increasing number of self-immolations as well as peaceful demonstrations.
To date we have seen a staggering 131 self-immolations in Tibet alone. At least 107 of these protesters are known to have died. The self-immolators have repeatedly called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and freedom in Tibet. Leaders across the world and Tibetans in exile have made numerous appeals to China to examine its policies. China, however, instead of responding to these appeals, has further intensified the suppression of Tibetans in Tibet. Moreover, we are now seeing a new level of repression in the punishment of not only the families of the self-immolators, but the entire community.
Last month, 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 Denma Shugpa Village in Lishu (Ch: Luoxu) Township in Sershul (Ch: Shiqu) County, Kardze, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture 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 Tibetan protesters in Dema Shupa Township in Lishu. 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. 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.
To resolve Tibet issue, the Middle Way Approach is the position of the Central Tibetan Administration in Exile. This approach was democratically adopted by the Central Tibetan Administration; its goal is to resolve the issue of Tibet and to bring about stability and co-existence between the Tibetan and Chinese based on equality and mutual co-operation. Therefore, we strongly appeal your Excellency to urge China to respond to the negotiations extended by the Exile-Tibetan leadership.
We believe that only coordinated and swift diplomatic action can stop this crisis. We thereby request you to kindly highlight the current crisis in Tibet during your meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
We remain deeply grateful to the Government of India for all the support and help bestowed upon us and more importantly for providing the requisite security for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to date.
Central Tibetan Women’s Association
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 17,000 member organization with 56 chapters in four continents- Asia, US. Europe and Australia. TWA’s slogan is ‘Advocacy for Home, Action in Exile.’
TWA 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 Tibetan 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, Wangdak 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 Tibetan Women’s Association and its global network of regional chapters successfully organized a series of actions during the 33rd Kalachakra initiation offered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and held in Ladakh from July 03-14, 2014.
TWA organized a series of public discussions oriented towards advancing public discourse on democracy, gender, women’s leadership, women and health and Tibet’s environment. The events catered to the general public and particularly Tibetan women who have converged in Ladakh for the Kalachakra program.
On July 5, TWA organized a public talk titled ‘Significance of Women’s Political Participation in Exile Tibetan Democracy.’ Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPIE), Mr. Penpa Tsering, Member of TPIE and women empowerment activist Ms. Dhardon Sharling and Asia program officer of National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and women empowerment activist Ms. Tenzin Palkyi engaged the mass audience on the vitals of democracy-women’s political participation.
On July 7 and 8, TWA organized an exclusive training program for Tibetan women devotees. Doctor Lhadon, Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute and Dr. Tsering Lhadol popularly known as Ama Shema, a Ladakh based obstetrician trained the women participants on women’s reproductive health, parenting and pre-natal and post-natal child care.
TWA also aimed to achieve advocacy at the international level and to this end, on July 13, TWA organized a panel discussion titled ‘Tibet the Earth’s Third Pole and its implication on Asia’s Future Sustainability.’ The panel of experts included; Dr. Chewang Norphel, environmental scientist and recipient of many national and international awards; Tenpa Gyaltsen Zamla from Tibet Policy Institute of Central Tibetan Administration and Dhardon Sharling, co chair of International Tibet Network. The 2- hour event discussed how in the age of climate change, Tibet’s environment is under threat thus posing greater threat to Asia and how this could be averted.
Pertaining to TWA’s slogan; ‘Action in Exile’, 160 women members hailing from 30 regional chapters based in India and Nepal were officially recruited by the Kalachakra Organizing Committee to provide organizing, security, disciplinary and social services during the two-week Kalachakra event that saw a gathering of over 1,63,000 devotees from 73 countries.
On July 15, TWA members and volunteers were blessed with a special audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
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.’