Tibetan Women’s Association congratulate Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche on being appointed as the Chancellor of Sanchi University

prof Samdhong RinpocheWe the Central Tibetan Women’s Association would like to congratulate Former Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Lobsang Tenzin on being appointed as the Chancellor of Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies based in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on 25 April 2013.

Today, being appointed as the Chancellor of Sanchi University is high recognition that highlight your wisdom and profundity of Tibetan Buddhism and tradition. It is honour of Tibetan people to have such an eminent and distinguished scholar, teacher and philosopher, leader and a life-long campaigner for Gandhian principles especially that of non-violence or peaceful resistance.

Brief biography of Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche:

Venerable Prof. Samdhong Lobsang Tenzin, the 5th Samdhong Rinpoche, was born on 5th November, 1939 in Jol, Eastern Tibet. At the age of five, he was recognized as the reincarnation of 4th Samdhong Rinpoche and enthroned in Gaden Dechenling Monastery at Jol. He started his religious training at Drepung Monastery in Lhasa and completed his (Uma Nyinpa) – middle school of the Madhyamika School of Buddhism at the age of 12.

He fled to exile in the year 1959 after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. On 4th February 1960 he received the Bhiksu ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. From October 1961, he served as the religious teacher of Tibetan School in Shimla, and later acting principal of Shimla Tibetan School in 1963. Then again he worked as religious teacher of Darjeeling Tibetan School in 1964.

From 1965 to 1970 Rinpoche was the Principal of Dalhousie Tibetan School. He received his Lharampa Degree in the year 1968 and Ngagrimpa Degree in 1969. From 1971 to 1988 he was the Principal of Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS, Varanasi). From 1988 to 2001 he worked as the Director CIHTS. In 1990, he was a member of the Drafting Committee Constitution of the Future Polity of Tibet and Law for the exiled Tibetans.

From 1991 to 1995 he was specially appointed by His Holiness as one of the deputies of ATPD and later was unanimously elected as its Chairman. From 1996 to 2001 he was elected member of the Parliament from Kham province and also its Chairman. In year 2001, he became the first directly elected Kalon Tripa of Central Tibetan Administration and served in this position till 2011.

Commemorating the 24th Birthday of 11th Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima

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Although the birthday of the Panchen Lama is meant to be a festive occasion, the current situation is not a cause for celebration. Today, April 25, 2013, is his 24th birthday, but he is forced to celebrate once again under severe restrictions at an unknown place.

 

Gendun Choekyi Nyima was born on April 25, 1989 at Lhari Zong of Nagchu District in Tibet. He is the son of Kunchok Phuntsok and Dechen Choedon. On May 14, 1995, he was recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. A few days after the recognition, the six-year-old boy disappeared along with his family and caretakers.Even after eighteen years of disappearance, the faith and belief of the Tibetan people in thePanchen Lama is still as strong as ever. During the 2012 Kalachakra, TWA interviewed a few Tibetans from Tibet regarding the Panchen Lama, and all the interviewees clearly indicated that the years have not lessened their faith and belief in him. They still hope and look forward to seeing him again.

 

The severe restrictions onTibetan culture and religion through the Chinese occupation of Tibet are part of a larger purpose of genocide. Over sixty years, China has implemented various laws and policies to accomplish this aim. Nonetheless, China has failed. The abduction of the six-year-old Gendun Choekyi Nyima is desperate act by China to control Tibetan culture – but in doing so, they have galvanized an international movement for his release and for Tibetan freedom. Moreover, the disappearance of such a high reincarnate lama like the Panchen Lama reflects the wider trend of imprisonment of “dissident” Tibetans.

 

Despite repeated urges and interventions from international agencies and human rights organizations calling China to disclose information on the Panchen Lama, the Chinese government has so far refused to share any details. In April 2012, the Chinese embassy in Delhi said that Gendun Choekyi Nyima and his family are safe and in perfect health and that they do not wish to be disturbed. According to Chinese law, those who are eighteen years old and above are considered adults, capable of making their own decisions and responsible for their own lives. Now the Panchen Lama GendunChoekyi Nyima is twenty-four years old, an adult completely in the position to make his own decisions. The Chinese government, in true spirit of the law it has drafted, should allow him to exercise his right to self-determination.

 

At the conclusion of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) meeting in March 2013, President Xi-Jingping stressed the moral reform of the nation. If China truly aspires to accomplish this dream, its first step should be to release the Panchen Lama and all political prisoners. Likewise, another moral responsibility of Xi-Jingping should be to free the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Gyaltsen, who was a close friend of his father Xi-Zhongxun.

 

Since the enforced disappearance of Gendun Choekyi Nyima is already an international matter, China must disclose information on him. It is also high time for China to release all political prisoners, including Tulku Tenzin Delek.

 

From this year onward, May 17, the day China abducted 11th Panchen Lama, as determined by the Kashag and the Parliament in exile, is to be commemorated as an International Solidarity Day for Tibet.

 

The Central and Regional Tibetan Women’s Association will never give up our search for the 11th Panchen Lama and never stop calling for his safe return to Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. We also would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the Tibet support groups for their help. We request once again to all international committees and support groups to urge the Chinese government to accept the dialogue extended by Tibetan leaders in exile. Tibet needs your practical help to resolve its intense situation.

 

Office of Central Tibetan Women’s Association, April 25, 2013.

Tibetan NGOs call whereabouts and release 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima

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Dharamsala: Four Tibetan NGOs dedicated today’s Lhakar action for the release of 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima whose predecessor 10th Panchen Lama was specifically vocal on Tibetan cultural and identity. Hundreds of Tibetans gathered at Mcleod square wearing Panchen Lama’s face masks demanding his whereabouts and his eventual release. A simultaneous petitioning campaign also took place where people were asked to call the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. All the signed petition including the ongoing online petition (1) will be delivered to Mr. Zhu Weiqun, Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department and copied to the Chinese Embassy in Delhi.

 

“We urge Chinese government to release the Panchen Lama so that he will be reunited with his family and thousands of followers who have been waiting for his release for the last 18 years. We also urge the Chinese government to release all the prisoners of conscience.” said Tashi Dolma, President, Tibetan Women’s Association.

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Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama, and his family have been missing for 18 years. This year the Panchen Lama will turn 24, and Tibetans, Tibet Supporters, and Buddhists all over the world are deeply concerned about his well-being.

“The last time we heard anything about the Panchen Lama from the Chinese government side was in 2010. In March 2010, Tibet’s then Chinese-appointed Governor, Padma Choling, told reporters that “Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family are now living a good life as ordinary citizens in Tibet.”(2). said Mrs. Gang Lhamo, General Secretary, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet. “Without evidence this statement remains empty and we demand you prove that it is true.”

 

P1020588A number of human rights mechanisms including the UN Committee Against Torture, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, as well as the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, have called for his whereabouts to be revealed.

 

“The Chinese government’s intention behind appointing their own 11th Panchen Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu is but to take over the political, financial and cultural powers that come with being the head of the Tashi Lhunpo monastery, ” said Gang Lhamo, General Secretary of Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet. “Forced to become the 11th Panchen Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu has to act and live a life, not chosen for by himself. Tibetans in Tibet have to recognize and worship him under duress. These actions not only highlight the lack of freedom and human rights, but also how the Chinese government undermines and insults Tibetan people’s tradition, culture and religion.”

 

P1020546Panchen Lama is one of the most important religious leaders in Tibet. The 10th Panchen Lama passed away mysteriously in 1989. His reincarnation, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, recognized at age 6 in 1995 was taken into custody by the Chinese government along with his family and to date no one knows his whereabouts.

According to information received by Ven. Ngawang Woebar, the former President of Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet said, “His parents are currently placed under house arrest in their home town; they are not allowed to make any outside contact. Police officials are reportedly escorting and monitoring all their movements. Panchen Lama’s mother seem to have sadly expressed that she is the most unfortunate mother who has to live in constant fear and worry not knowing if her son is still alive or not.”

 

END

Coordinated by International Tibet Network www.tibetnetwork.org

 

ORGANISED BY:

Tibetan Women’s Association www.tibwomen.org

Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet http://9103.org

Students for a Free Tibet-India www.sftindia.org

Regional Tibetan Youth Congress – Dharamsala

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

1. www.freepanchenlama.org/take-action/

2. Padma Choling, Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region: ‘Dalai-picked ‘Panchen’ Lives Normal Life’ (Xinhua) 2010-03-07 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/07/content_9550348.htm

 

BACKGROUND:

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was 6 years old in 1995 when he was recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the 11th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, one of Tibet most important religious leaders.

 

He was born on April 25, 1989 in central Tibet. As soon as he was recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama, Chinese authorities took him and his family into custody. Few other people, particularly Chartral Rinpoche, the head of the search party was arrested and sentenced for leaking his information to the Dalai Lama.

 

The Chinese government asserted its political motive into the reincarnation search by installing another young boy, Gyaiancain Norbu as the 11th Panchen Lama. The replacement was kept in Beijing and recently given a political title in the Chinese government, equivalent to that of a member of parliament or congressmen. He was routinely asked to make propaganda statement for the Chinese government.

 

For the last eighteen years, concerned people and human rights entities all over the world have urged the Chinese government to release the Panchen Lama to no avail. The whereabouts and wellbeing of the Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is a serious concern and the Chinese government should heed the call of devotees and supporters for his immediate release.

Alternative BRICS Summit in Dharamsala

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Press Release: For Immediate Release

Alternative BRICS Summit in Dharamsala

Tibet Campaigners demand action from BRICS leaders as Xi Jinping attends first summit as China’s Head of State

Photos of the campaign can be viewed here:
Tibet at BRICS Summit 2013

25 March 2013

Press contacts:
Tashi Dolma, Tibetan Women’s Association: Tibetan, Hindi +91 9459553943
Dorjee Tseten, Students for a Free Tibet – India: English, Tibetan +91 9911 521 009

Dharamshala: As government leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and China prepare to meet for the BRICS Summit in Durban, Tibetans demand action for Tibet as China’s new President Xi Jinping travels to Durban for his first summit as Head of State, and highlight Xi Jinping’s Tibet Challenge.

A two-day summit starting tomorrow will witness a historic meeting of Xi Jinping with government leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa in Durban, South Africa, while the self-immolations in occupied Tibet – now totaling at least 110 – show no sign of abating. “In the months since Xi Jinping was elevated to the top of the Chinese Communist Party, there has been an increase in China’s hardline response to dissent in Tibet, with a heightened military presence, mass detentions and a campaign to “criminalize” family members of self-immolation protesters.” said Tashi Dolma, President, Tibetan Women’s Association. “These actions and China’s anti-Dalai Lama propaganda are exacerbating tensions in Tibet. Through this campaign we will explain the nature of Xi Jinping’s “Tibet Challenge”, and call on BRICS leaders to act collectively and with principle, to press Xi to lift China’s crackdown and urgently review China’s policies in Tibet.”

“Tibet is Xi Jinping’s number one challenge and he has to address the legitimate grievances of Tibetans living in occupied Tibet and bring about an end to the tragic wave of self-immolations.” said Dorjee Tseten of Students for a Free Tibet India. “Recently Indian MP Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to raise the ongoing critical self-immolation issue inside Tibet with his counterpart Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit. This is also a challenge to other BRICS leaders not to shy away from this reality, and press President Xi to use his new position to find a just and lasting solution for Tibet.”

Tibetans and supporters from the BRICS nations have issued a joint statement urging their respective government to discuss the Tibet issue with Xi Jinping. We received news of another self-immolation yesterday by a 30 years old mother of four. Tibetans inside Tibet are continuing to resist against brutal security measures by Chinese police. “Tibet today is one of the most repressed and closed societies in the world, where merely talking on the phone can land you in jail. Support for the Dalai Lama can be prosecuted as an offence against the state,” Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee said.

We have also sent an open letter to the embassies of the BRICS nations in India including Indian PM office. In the letter we asked concerned government not to hide from the truth about China’s brutal repression of the Tibetan people. We appealed them all to urge President Xi to alleviate the situation by lifting the crackdown in Tibet and urgently review China’s policies in Tibet. We have also urged them to press Mr. Xi to allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit all Tibetan areas as a matter of urgency.

Notes:
1. See Resistance in Tibet: Self-immolation and Protest, a timeline report which documents the current wave of self-immolations and protests across Tibet http://issuu.com/internationaltibetnetwork/docs/resistanceintibet_selfimmolationsandprotest

2. See reports from International Campaign for Tibet http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/distress-death-sentence-tibetan-accused-inciting-self-immolation
and
http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/thousands-tibetan-pilgrims-face-troops-religious-ceremonies-eastern-tibet

Today a Tibetan Women Self-immolated in Ngaba

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Today a Tibetan women Self-immolated in Ngaba.

31 years old Kalkyi(Kelsang Kyi) from Yultso village in Dzamthang county self-immolated today around 3:30 pm (Tibet time).

Kalkyi set herself on fire near Zamthang Jonang Monastery in Dzamthang township in Golok Pema, Ngaba in Amdo region, eastern Tibet (Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province in China). According to the sources, local Tibetans protected her body from Chinese authorities and taken to the monastery to say the prayers.

She is married to Drupe and has four children; a young daughter- Bhumo Chung and three sons-Denam, Pochung, Sopo, all are under fifteen. She is the 110th Tibetan and 16th Tibetan women from Tibet to set on fire to protest against China’s repressive policies. The common call of all the self-immolators is return of His Holiness the xivth Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibet.

This continuous increase of self-immolation cases clearly shows that Tibet has remained under lock down with a heavy military presence and Tibetans living under the constant threat of arbitrary detentions, disappearances, and the ruthless military control of Tibetan areas.