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

Pressure China to enter into appropriate water-sharing agreement

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c/o International Tibet Network
1310 Fillmore Street, #401
San Francisco,
CA 94115, USA

22 March 2013

To: Environment Ministers of the Governments of India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Laos, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.
cc Mrs Irina Bokuva, Director General, UNESCO

Your Excellencies,

Today is World Water Day 2013 in the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. We are writing to share our concerns about the impact of China’s policies – especially its dam-building programme – on Asia’s regional water security, and to urge your government to join forces with other downstream nations to pressure China to enter into appropriate water-sharing agreements.

Over the last sixty years, China’s policies in Tibet, often called the earth’s “Third Pole” and the source of Asia’s great rivers, have led to widescale environmental degradation. This includes poisoned river and groundwater through unregulated mining, grasslands ecosystem degradation, and disrupted watershed and ecosystem services in the headwaters of these rivers, which has worsened already acute and chronic flooding downstream from Tibet, including your countries. In turn, global climate change is warming the Tibetan Plateau at twice the rate of the rest of the world, and the impact of this on Asia’s water supplies is exacerbated by China’s extensive dam-building programme, to harness hydro-power and divert water to mainland China. This programme threatens the safety, security, and sustainable livelihoods of more than one billion people downstream.

By claiming authority over the Water Tower of Asia, China is wielding considerable power over its neighbouring countries, yet it has not signed a single water sharing agreement. We urge you to act now to secure your future water supplies, by joining together with your counterparts in other nations downstream of the Tibetan plateau, and bring China to the negotiating table to sign appropriate regional and international water-sharing agreements.

Yours faithfully,

Ms Dhardon Sharling, Co Chair, on behalf of The International Tibet Network Secretariat, Tibetan Women’s Association and Tibet Justice Centre
dhardon@tibetnetwork.org

Tibetan Women’s Association along with its 56 Regional Chapters appeal to the United Nations on Global Human Rights Day

An appeal to United Nations on Global Human Rights Day

 

The Chinese colonization of Tibet and continuous implementation of cruel policies are an attempt to genocide the Tibetan’s ethnic traditions, culture, language and religion, and has wounded the hearts of six million Tibetans.  As this crisis becomes an unforgettable and ruthless part of our history, we, the Tibetan Women’s Association will continuously stand up for our cause with a focused and determined spirit to face this injustice.

According to reports from reliable resources, since 2009, 89 Tibetans have self-immolated inside of Tibet. It is an undeniable truth that these martyrs have set themselves on fire to voice how minorities are suffering under the Han Chinese. They are suffocating under the inhumane policies that deny their basic human rights such as the freedom of expression, the freedom of religion and the freedom of preserving ones native language. These repressions are undoubtedly expressed in the testaments left by these self-immolators.

Even though the situation has become extremely severe and intense, to this day, China has not taken any steps to resolve the conflict as a result of their failed policies. Instead, unashamedly, they consistently accuse others for what they have done and continue to do. Therefore, it must be considered clear that China is untrustworthy in their statements and actions.

Hence, we, the Tibetan Women’s Association are writing this letter to the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and all the Friends of Tibet and urging all of you that Tibet needs your support and intervention in this serious matter. To solve Tibet issue with your help, we have developed the following four significant points that can serve as actions for these leadership bodies:

1. UNO must send their peacekeeping operations into Tibet.

2. International leadership must recognize that self-immolation and other peaceful protests occurring inside Tibet are considered the  highest form of non-violent acts.

3. Under the safe guard of International forces, Tibetans must have self determination rights.

4. International leaderships must put pressure on China to end their colonization of Tibet and closely monitor the Han Chinese imperialism.

Mingyur la CEDAW

TWA submits crucial report on Nepal to UN CEDAW

Shadow report on Nepal addresses the treatment of Tibetan women in Nepal

Mingyur la CEDAWDharamsala: On the first day of the 49th session of the United Nations Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Tibetan Women’s Association has respectfully submitted a shadow report on Nepal in response to Nepal’s combined fourth and fifth periodic report. Nepal is among the eight countries whose periodic reports will be reviewed at the CEDAW meeting (July 11 -29). Past reports submitted in 1997 and 2003 by the Government of Nepal have lacked any mention of refugees or internally displaced people. The report submitted by Nepal this year makes slight mention of refugee women in Nepal, but does not reference the plight of Tibetan women. Nepal claims that they have “been providing adequate protection and treatment to refugee women victimized by gender-based violence” but TWA claims that events documented since the submission of Nepal’s first report to CEDAW in 1997 would show otherwise.

The ten-paged report deals extensively with the rights of female refugees in Nepal, particularly the treatment of Tibetan women in Nepal by Nepali police during arrest and the contradiction to the stipulations of Article 3 and 4 of the Convention. These articles are meant to guarantee basic human rights and fundamental freedoms and to accelerate equality between men and women. The report also dwells on the impediments on the political rights of Tibetan Women in Nepal despite Articles 7 and 8 of the Convention, which guarantee political, public and international participation for women.

Through this report, TWA has placed four recommendations for the Government of Nepal to:

1) Fully implement the provisions of CEDAW, ensuring that the stipulations therein are translated into appropriate legislation to effectively protect the rights of women in member countries.

2) Take all necessary action to end arbitrary arrests, including unlawful and preventive arrests, of Tibetans and others engaged in peaceful political activity or otherwise going about their daily lives.

3) Publicly oppose the deportation of any Tibetan who faces a risk of persecution or torture under the Chinese government, and taking all necessary action, including the issuance of warnings and the imposition of disciplinary action, against Nepali police who threaten Tibetans with deportation.

4) Issue orders to all police officers to cease sexual assaults on female protesters and conduct investigations into sexual assaults on protesters that have taken place since the submission of the last CEDAW report, and thereby have the individuals responsible prosecuted.

TWA’s report is now made available on the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights:
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/docs/ngos/TWA_Nepal49.pdf

The vice president of TWA chapter in Nepal, Mingyur will attend the meeting for two weeks (July 15 to 29). Mingyur will represent Tibetan women in Nepal, observe the proceedings of the meeting and lobby the state participants.

As an organization committed to defending the rights of Tibetan Women, TWA has complete faith in the United Nations and its convention for the protection of women’s rights as the strongest avenue to report the true status of Tibetan women as oppressed citizens in Tibet and as
threatened refugees in host countries (in this case, Nepal) that employ an unnecessary hard-line policy.

TWA is the second largest Tibetan Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the world with a focus on the human rights of Tibetan women in Tibet, Tibetan women in exile, and refugee women from Tibet. In keeping with their mission, TWA has developed this shadow report to
address the treatment of Tibetan women in Nepal. TWA’s slogan is advocacy for home and action in exile.