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Restoring Freedom for Tibetans
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Speaker Concludes Weeklong Visit to Switzerland

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 16:50
  Dharamshala: Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Ven. Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, concluded his seven-day visit to Switzerland on Wednesday, 6 September. Speaker’s visit was organised by the Tibetan community of Swiss and Liechtenstein from 31 August to 6 September. On 4 … Continued

CTA President Speaks on Tibet’s Environment at Iberoamericana University, Mexico City

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 14:01
  Mexico City, September 7: On the final day of his four-day visit to Mexico City, President of the Central Tibetan Administration, Dr Lobsang Sangay made an appearance in the Prime Time Morning News of the Televisa TV network with senior anchor … Continued

TTV Director Attends 4-day Workshop on Video Shooting and Editing in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 18:34
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Namgyal Tsewang, Director of Tibet TV of the Central Tibetan Administration, attended the 4-day workshop on using smartphone as a tool for video shooting and editing from September 1- 4, 2017. The workshop is named ‘Liberal Video … Continued

CTA President to Address Annual Conference of North American Tibetan Association in New York City

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 14:20
Washington DC, 06 September 2017: 16th North American Tibetan Association conference is scheduled to be held at New York City from 8 – 10 September 2017. Dr Lobsang Sangay, Honorable president, Central Tibetan Administration is the Chief guest on the … Continued

Progress of ‘Year of Campaign-2017’ Reviewed in Mexico City

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 14:08
Mexico City: The Liaison Officer of Tibet Support Group Desk of the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of the Central Tibetan Administration,Sonam Sangmo represented DIIR at the North America Regional Meeting in Mexico City.). The meeting, that was … Continued

The Real Beauty of a Human Being Lies in its Smile: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 22:24
Dharamshala: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama interacted with students and faculty members of University of California San Diego and a handful of attendees from Mumbai, at Tsuglagkhang, Dharamshala today. His Holiness began his address by imparting, in brief, knowledge … Continued

President Sangay Reiterates the Tibet Narrative at the National Autonomous University of Mexico

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 14:58
Mexico City: President of the Central Tibetan Administration, Dr Lobsang Sangay on the morning of 5 September, visited the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and spoke at the Faculty of Philosophy. Before the start of the talk, President Sangay … Continued

Tibetan Parliament Congratulates New Members of the Union Cabinet of India

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 22:36
Dharamshala: The Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Ven Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok conveyed his congratulations to the new members of the Union Council of Ministers including Nirmala Sitaraman, Piyush Vedprakash Goyal and Anand Kumar Dattatreya Hegde in the wake of recent … Continued

CTA President Talks Tibet at Tech Monterrey University and Casa Tibet in Mexico City

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 20:30
SANTA FE: President Dr Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration addressed a packed auditorium at the Santa Fe campus of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Studies on Monday, 4 September 2017. In his address, Dr Sangay drew … Continued

His Holiness the Dalai Lama to interact with students from UCSD via Live Webcast

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 14:33
Dharamshala: A live webcast of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s interaction with students from the University of California, San Diego at his residence in Dharamshala, HP, India will be aired tomorrow on September 6, 2017. The interaction falls follows … Continued

Speaker of TPiE Addresses Swiss Tibetan Community on 57th Tibetan Democracy Day

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 14:04
Switzerland: Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile attended the 57th Tibetan Democracy Day celebration at Swtizerland organised by the Tibetan community of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Other guests at the celebration include Ven. Thupten Lekmon, Abbot of Rikon Monastery, … Continued

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Expresses Sadness about Flooding in Assam and Bihar

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 21:43
Dharamshala: His Holiness the Dalai Lama today wrote to Shri Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, and Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam to express his profound sadness at the loss of life and devastation of property caused by … Continued

President Dr Lobsang Sangay Speaks at ITN Regional Meeting

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 14:27
Mexico: The Americas Regional Meeting of Tibet Groups was held in Mexico from 1- 3 September 2017 in the heart of Mexico City organized by International Tibet Network. There were 43 participants from US, Canada and Latin America namely Chile, … Continued

A Robust Exile Democracy is Tibetan People’s Contribution to the World: CTA President at Loyala Marymount University, LA

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 17:48

Los Angeles: Democracy without borders is the Tibetan policy. At mega level, the seperation of church and state by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the robust Tibetan democracy in exile are the Tibetans are making to the world,” President of Central Tibetan Administration was speaking at the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on 1 September.

Speaking on ‘Tibet: Religion & Politics’, the President discussed the grim political and human rights situation inside Tibet and expressed the Central Tibetan Administration’s commitment to resolve the Tibet issue through the mutually beneficial Middle Way Approach.

The president expressed its concern over the worsening human rights situation inside Tibet, the self immolation protests and urged that more governments, intellectuals, changemakers to raise the Tibet issue and pressure Chinese government to support the win-win proposition of the Middle Way Approach,

“China has destructed 98 percent of monasteries and disrobed 99.5 percent of monks and nuns. However, His Holiness and the Tibetan people has worked so hard towards it revival, that today the revival of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture has become a success story,” he said.

“149 Tibetans have committed self-immolation in Tibet. Only because of repressive failed policy of China,” he stated, adding that the Administration has consistently and categorically discouraged such drastic actions.

President Dr Sangay also pointed Tibet’s significance as the third pole and the water tower of Asia. “It is a lifeline to over 1.4 billion people down the stream, which is endangered now. Tibet’s climate affects weather of North America and other parts of the world. NASA reports that by 2100 its glacier will melt down. This will happen because of urbanization and industrialization of Tibet.”

President Dr Lobsang Sangay with City Mayor Tri Ta, Council woman Kimberly Ho, Chief of Police Ralph Omelas.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Sangay met US Congressman Alan Lowenthal at his office and shared their views and thoughts of the present situation in Tibet, Tibetan community in exile. During the brief meeting US Congressman shared that he saw active Chinafication in Tibet.

He said improvement of human rights is important and urgent in Tibet and reiterated US’ support for MWA. As appealed by Dr. Sangay, Congressman assured that he will support for the appointment of Special Coordinator for Tibet.

Points shared by Dr. Sangay: Preservation of Tibetan language and culture, Buddhism has been revived despite demolitions of monasteries and disrobing of monks and nuns. Environmental importance of Tibet being the third pole and being the water tower benefitting 1.4 billion inhabitants down the stream (Asean countries).

Tibetan Assoc. of Southern California hosted a luncheon in the honour of President Dr. Lobsang Sangay. The luncheon was attended by US Congressman Alan Lowenthal, Congresswoman Judy Chu and other honoured guests includes Mayor of Westminster Tri Ta, Mayor of Garden Grove Steve Jones, Council woman of Garden Grove Thu Ha Nguyen, Former Mayor of Garden Grove Bao Nguyen, Field representative of Congressman Lou Correa Christy Le, Deputy Chief of staff of Congressman Alan Lowenthal Mark Pulido, Executive Director of VOICE and human rights activist Trinh Hoi, and Dr. Christopher Chapple, Director of Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

Dr. Sangay with Congressman Alan Lowenthal and Congresswoman Judy Chu and executive members of Tibetan-Assoc-of-Souther-California.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal shared his thoughts on the situation inside Tibet that was witnessed during the high-level delegation visit to Tibet. Congresswoman Judy Chu shared her experience during her visit to Nepal and Dharamsala with leader Nancy Pelosi. She expressed her solidarity with the Tibetan people in Nepal.

Both Congressman Alan and Congresswoman Judy Chu epressed that US Govt supports freedom, democracy and dialogue for peaceful resolution of Tibet issue. The duo expressed deep respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama  and said that His Holiness inspires them to work for human rights.

In the evening, President Sangay was also hosted at the City Hall of Westminister by Mayor Tri Ta, Council Member Kimberly Ho, City Manager Eddie Manfro, Chief of Police Ralph G. Ornelas and other staffers of the City Hall.

Dr. Sangay will grace the event of 57th anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day on 2 September and depart for Mexico same afternoon.

A Robust Exile Democracy is Tibetan People’s Contribution to the World: CTA President at Loyala Marymount University, LA

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 13:34

President Dr Lobsang Sangay speaking on ‘Tibet: Religion & Politics’ at Loyala Marymount University, Los Angeles.

Los Angeles; Democracy without borders is the Tibetan policy. At mega level, the seperation of church and state by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the robust Tibetan democracy in exile are the contributions that Tibetans are making to the world,” President of Central Tibetan Administration was speaking at the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on 1 September.

Speaking on ‘Tibet: Religion & Politics’ to over a hundred scholars and students, the President discussed the grim political and human rights situation inside Tibet and expressed the Central Tibetan Administration’s commitment to resolve the Tibet issue through the mutually beneficial Middle Way Approach.

The president expressed its concern over the worsening human rights situation inside Tibet, the self immolation protests and urged that more governments, intellectuals, changemakers to raise the Tibet issue and pressure Chinese government to support the win-win proposition of the Middle Way Approach.

President Dr Lobsang Sangay speaking on ‘Tibet: Religion & Politics’ at Loyala Marymount University, Los Angeles.

“China has destructed 98 percent of monasteries and disrobed 99.5 percent of monks and nuns. However, His Holiness and the Tibetan people has worked so hard towards it revival, that today the revival of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture has become a success story,” he said.

“149 Tibetans have committed self-immolation in Tibet. Only because of repressive failed policy of China,” he stated, adding that the Administration has consistently and categorically discouraged such drastic actions.

President Dr Sangay also pointed Tibet’s significance as the third pole and the water tower of Asia. “It is a lifeline to over 1.4 billion people down the stream, which is endangered now. Tibet’s climate affects weather of North America and other parts of the world. NASA reports that by 2100 its glacier will melt down. This will happen because of urbanization and industrialization of Tibet.”

Following the hour-long talk, the President fielded questions from members of the audience and students.

Democracy is the biggest gift from His Holiness to his people: Swedish MP Carl Schlyter

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 22:29

 

Attendees to the occasion showing their respect during the Tibetan National anthem, Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

Dharamshala: Under the bright blue sky that engulfed Tsuglagkhang today, new strong bonds were formed and existing bonds were strengthened.

Today marked the 57th anniversary of Tibetan democracy, celebrated by the Tibetan Diaspora across the world. The jubilant occasion was celebrated at Tsuglagkhang, Dharamshala, as an official function that was graced by members of Kashag, Parliamentarians, Tibetan Chief Justice Commissioners, along with the public.

Shri. Kaul Singh Thakur, honorable Health Minister of Himchal Pradesh, and Carl Schlyter, Member of Swedish Parliament, were Chief Guest and guest of Honor respectively at the function.

Cultural Dance Performance by students of Petoen School. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

Officiating President, Honorable Kalon for Department of Religion and culture, Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok, from the statement that was issued by the Kashag, said “In recent months we have also witnessed two cases of self-immolations in exile. While the Kashag empathizes with the intention of the self-immolators, but we believe that the life of every Tibetan is precious and that we must be alive to fight for our cause.”

“Therefore, the Kashag appeals to every Tibetan inside and outside Tibet to refrain from resorting to drastic actions such as self-immolation. Specifically, the Kashag not only discourages self immolation protests in exile but we urge the exile Tibetans to pursue more powerful means by honing one’s educational, professional and personal competency to substantially contribute to the Tibetan cause.”

“As recognized by many intellectuals and world leaders alike, the Chinese government should accept the fact that His Holiness the Dalai Lama presents the best opportunity and solution to resolving the issue of Tibet. While we remain committed to constructively engage with the Chinese leadership, we call on them to resume dialogue with the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”

Officiating President and Kalon for Department of Religion and Culture, Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok’s addressing the crowd. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

Member of Parliament and guest of Honor, Carl Schlyter, in his address, said “His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama did the most difficult thing which other leaders in position of power would not dare do. He gave away his power to his people as a gift, in the form of Democracy”.

He mentioned how the Swedish people and Tibetans shared a common ground, through the Middle Way Approach advocated by His Holiness.

“There is a saying among our people, which conveys that if you understand what your adversary wants then you can always come to a mutual solution that is favorable to both sides. The saying is called ‘the golden path of the middle way’.”

“Sweden remains a war free country for almost 203 years. You, like us, have the right to freedom, the right to live in your country. I know and hope that you will be able to achieve that in the near future”.

MEP Carl concluded his address by saying that His Holiness is known across the globe as ‘the Champion for world peace’ and it is the duty of every other political leader to take him as an example and aspire for world peace.

Member of Swedish Parliament and guest of Honor, Carl Schlyter addressing the crowd. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

Honourable Deputy speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, from the statement issued by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, said,” The Tibetan democracy is particularly a special one, for it has been gifted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama with great ingenuity of method and compassion and has evolved on that fundamental basis. All Tibetan people in general, but especially those living in exile, have been in continuous enjoyment of their democratic rights. In particular, we would like to appeal to all Tibetans to uphold with great importance the duties that are inherent in each of them at one’s individual level by giving primary importance to the greater good of the Tibetan society, acting with solidarity to bring forth the collective strength of the Tibetan people to an ever higher level. This has become more imperative now than ever before”.

“Ever since the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the incessant campaigns introduced in Tibet, that grossly violates human rights and trample on the human decorum, such as Cultural Revolution, has propelled the continual existence of Tibetan religion, culture and people into ‘uncertainty.’ Recent campaign of ‘Education activities with special focus on implementing the Four Stresses and Four Loves” has subjected the minds and conducts of the Tibetan nomads, farmers, youths, students, monks and nuns to an involuntary conditioning and conformation to the communist Chinese ideologies of ‘protection of the unity of Motherland’. Such propagandist campaigns in Tibet condemn the Tibetans in perpetual darkness, devoid of freedom of thought, movement and religion”.

He concluded his address by offering his gratitude on behalf of all the Tibetans, to the governments parliaments, organizations and individuals, especially to the Central and State governments of India, for their support towards the just cause of the Tibetan people.

Honorable health minister of Himachal Pradesh and Chief Guest, Shri. Kaul Singh Thakur addressing the crowd. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

Shri. Kaul Singh Thakur, honorable Health Minister of Himchal Pradesh and chief guest of the function in his address mentioned the importance of democracy and said that it was the best form of government since the power, in a democratic form of government, lies with the people and with that opportunity, we can elect a candidate of our choice who is better suited to carry out the basic functions of the government.

“On this occasion, I also pray to God that His Holiness is blessed with good health and long life so that he may continue to spread the message of peace and continue to bless us in the future and that the aspirations of the Tibetans will come true”.

“We are always here to help and provide you the facilities you require to reach that goal”, he further added nearing the conclusion of his address.

The function also featured cultural performances and presentation of awards to meritorious students and Tibetan Entrepreneurship Development investment award winners, under the Department of Finance, Central Tibetan administration.

 

Member of Swedish Parliament and guest of Honor, Carl Schlyter presenting the Gaden Phodrang award. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

Honorable health minister of Himachal Pradesh and Chief Guest, Shri. Kaul Singh Thakur Presenting the Gaden Phodrang award. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

Officiating President and Kalon for Department of Religion and Culture, Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok presenting the investment award to young Tibetan entrepreneurs. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok presenting the Gaden Phodrang award. Photo/Tenzin Phende/DIIR

 

CTA President Embarks on Maiden Mexico Visit

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 19:19

President of Central Tibetan Administration, Dr Lobsang Sangay.

Mexico: President of Central Tibetan Administration, Dr Lobsang Sangay on Saturday embarked on his first official visit to Mexico during which he will call on Mexican intellectuals, journalists and opinion makers and deliver a series of talks.

Tomorrow on 3 September, President Dr Sangay will address a meeting of International Tibet Network’s Regional Meeting of Americas.

He will also speak at Universities and a gathering of Tibet Mexico Tibet.

On 5 September, the President will give a radio interview to The Newsweek of Spanish Edition and a TV interview for Telivisa News, one of the most prominent TV channel in Mexico.

The visit, a five-day long affair, will be followed by President’s visit to Washington DC on 7 September.

Kashag’s Statement on 57th Anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 15:10

On this special occasion of the 57th anniversary of the Tibetan Democracy Day, the Kashag offers its deepest reverence and bow in deep gratitude to Tibet’s most revered leader and the pioneer of Tibetan democracy, His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama. The Kashag extends its heartfelt greetings to all Tibetans, and to our friends around the world.

In accordance with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s great vision and wise counsel, Tibetan democracy came to light on this day, 57 years ago. Before the Chinese occupation of Tibet, even at a young age, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama set up a reforms committee in an attempt to make structural changes in the Tibetan political and administrative system and transform them into a modern democratic institution. But owing to many formidable challenges the changes weren’t implemented. However, soon after his arrival in India, His Holiness followed his vision by making the political system of exile Tibetans a democratic institution.

In exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama made groundbreaking efforts in preserving the unique religion, culture, language and identity of Tibetans. Hence, in India, the Central Tibetan Administration exile was established; schools, settlements, monasteries, universities and institutes of learning were also built in exile. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has over the years overcome many trials and tribulations and has through his visionary leadership continued to steer the Tibetans through the right trajectory.

His Holiness established and steered the democratic system of CTA through timely administrative and legislative reforms. Tibetan democracy was greatly strengthened with the election of representatives from all the provinces of Tibet and religious sects in the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies now called The Tibetan Parliament in exile. In an effort towards ensuring equal gender representation, female representative was elected in 1964 and seats for women were reserved in the parliament at a time when women in other democracies in the world were disenfranchised. Taking stock of the increasing number of Tibetans in diaspora, reserved seats were provided to represent Tibetans in almost 40 different countries. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile is now a full-fledged and a vibrant legislative body both in terms of representation as well as its constitution.

Similarly, the Kashag was re-established in exile and procedures of appointing the Kalons were improved. In 2001, His Holiness announced his status as semi-retired and called for the first direct election of the Kalon Tripa, the executive head of Central Tibetan Administration. A decade later His Holiness made a historic change with the announcement of devolution of his political responsibilities to the elected political leader. His Holiness declared on August 08, 2011 at the swearing-in-ceremony of Kalon Tripa that he has fulfilled his’ long cherished goal’ of bringing democracy to the Tibetan people. An amendment to the charter in 2012 changed the title to Sikyong. The English title for Sikyong is the President of CTA.

Despite the many hardships faced by an exile community including an increasingly scattered Tibetan population, the Tibetan community has over the last five decades successfully transformed into a fully functioning democracy that is lauded by many and has become an paragon of virtue for other exile communities.  His Holiness’ farsighted and visionary leadership made this possible. We therefore take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to our most esteemed leader.

The establishment of a full-fledged democratic polity in exile and the foundations of the freedom struggle, which is based on the principles of non-violence, have won many supporters and allies, in particular that of many Chinese intellectuals and democracy activists. The pinnacle of unity among Tibetans that was once pertinent during the reign of the three great kings of Tibet has once again been revived under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

However, unfortunate incidents of internal bickering and regional discord have in recent past negatively impacted Tibetan unity. It is incumbent upon a democratic polity to champion the cause of diversity of opinion but when infested with vested interests, it not only weakens the fabric of the community but also sows the seeds of discord and disharmony. Therefore, we once again urge every Tibetan to keep in their heart the wise counsel of His Holiness the Dalai Lama calling on Tibetans to be united for the common cause of Tibet.

Since the invasion of Tibet by communist China in 1949, over a million lives have been lost. The Chinese government continues to deny basic freedom for Tibetans and their failed policies in Tibet have exacerbated the human rights situation in Tibet. Consequently, 149 Tibetans have resorted to self-immolation protest since 2009. They have clearly expressed the aspirations of the Tibetans—restoration of freedom for Tibetans and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

The Chinese government, instead of addressing the legitimate grievances of the Tibetan people has resorted to greater repression and in worse case, the criminalization of self-immolation. The abject disregard for basic human rights and a violation of the basic principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In recent months we have also witnessed two cases of self-immolations in exile. While the Kashag empathizes with the intention of the self-immolators, but we believe that the life of every Tibetan is precious and that we must be alive to fight for our cause. Therefore, the Kashag appeals to every Tibetan inside and outside Tibet to refrain from resorting to drastic actions such as self-immolation. Specifically, the Kashag not only discourages self immolation protests in exile but we urge the exile Tibetans to pursue more powerful means by honing one’s educational, professional and personal competency to substantially contribute to the Tibetan cause.

On the occasion of Tibetan Democracy Day, the Kashag would like to appeal to the Tibetan public to heed to the ethical practices of Buddhism. Tibetans are expected to not be ostentatious and instead invest in the health and educational pursuits of fellow Tibetans, especially that of the younger generation of Tibetans and thereby strengthen the social and educational foundations of the Tibetan freedom struggle. Tibetans are expected to put their efforts in preserving the unique Tibetan religion, culture and language, which form the very basis of our Tibetan identity.

Although the Constitution of PRC as well as the National Regional Autonomy Law provides for the right to preserve and promote one’s language and religion, however reality suggest otherwise. Tibetans in Tibet are denied this right and face impediments in practicing their language and religious faith. The systematic clampdown on religious institutes and members of the monastic community are akin to the days of the Cultural Revolution. Since last month, demolition and eviction of residents at Yachen Gar have begun. The large scale demolition and forced eviction of monks and nuns at Larung Gar that began in July last year evinces the attempt of Chinese Government to control Tibetan culture and religious life and is an act of trampling on the basic religious freedom and fundamental rights of the people in Tibet.

Starting from March of this year in the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region, a propaganda campaign called the “Four points of importance and four points for affection” was started. Under the banner of “To love your country, give importance to unity”, the fight against separatism and defamation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been amplified. If the Chinese government is genuine in their approach to resolving the long-standing issue of Tibet, it is expected of them of refrain from shifting the blame on His Holiness and instead benefit from His Holiness’ wise leadership.

As recognized by many intellectuals and world leaders alike, the Chinese government should accept the fact that His Holiness the Dalai Lama presents the best opportunity and solution to resolving the issue of Tibet. While we remain committed to constructively engage with the Chinese leadership, we call on them to resume dialogue with the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In autumn this year, we will witness an important change in the composition of the Chinese leadership during the 19th Party Plenum. With this change in leadership, we hope for a lasting resolution to the issue of Tibet through the Middle Way Approach. The Kashag reaffirms its commitment to the Middle Way Approach as envisioned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in gaining genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the framework of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China.

Statement of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile on the occasion of 57th Tibetan Democracy Day

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 15:00

Today is a day of unique importance when we mark the completion of 57 years since the establishment of the democratic path in the running of the Tibetan people’s political system. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the most exalted Bodhisattva of the Lotus-Holding Manifestation and the champion of world peace, had, though of a tender young age, assumed the supreme temporal and spiritual leadership of the Snow land of Tibet. And not long after having done so, His Holiness undertook visits to the neighboring countries of China and India. And having been greatly inspired by the democratic system prevailing in India, His Holiness sought to reform the political system of Tibet, so that, it too will conform to the requirements of such a system. Unfortunately it became impossible for him to carry out his noble wishes because Tibet was invaded by the armed forces of the communist Chinese government. In addition, the ever-worsening situation in Tibet became such that His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself was left with no choice but to escape his homeland in 1959. More than 80,000 Tibetan people followed in his footstep to flee into exile. Immediately after stepping foot on Indian soil, His oliness the Holiness the Dalai Lama established a newly central Tibetan administration and, along with it, a Tibetan parliament in exile with its members constituted from Tibet’s different religious traditions and the three historical provinces of Tibet. And so, on the 2nd of September 1960, the first Tibetan Parliament in Exile was inaugurated with its members formally taking their oaths. The event also marked the establishment of the noble path of democracy for the Tibetan people and is rightly recognized as a historic day.

In the year 1961, a gist of the constitution for a future free Tibet was published and in 1963 the democratic constitution of Tibet was proclaimed. Later, in the year 1991, the number of members of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile was increased; along with it the parliament was made a true lawmaking body. During that year, the members of the 11th Tibetan Parliament in Exile debated and adopted the Charter of the Tibetans in Exile, to which His Holiness the Dalai Lama duly granted his assent. Since becoming a true lawmaking body that year, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile has discussed and adopted some 27 legislative acts as well as rules and regulations and has also been making amendments to them as and when needed to this day. In the year 2001, as long standing wish and ordered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, calling for the Kalon Tripa to be directly elected by the Tibetan people, the 12th Tibetan Parliament in Exile amended the relevant laws and related rules and regulations at its 11th session. The system of direct election of the Kalon Tripa by the Tibetan people through universal franchise was thus established. In particular, in the year 2011, keeping in view the current and long term interests of the Tibetan people, and after appraising a multiplicity of pros and cons and the reasons underlying them, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in an extraordinary act of broadmindedness, made unequivocally clear his intention to devolve all his historical political and administrative powers to the leaders elected by the Tibetan people themselves. Accordingly, a special session of the 14th Tibetan Parliament in Exile was held and the 25th amendment of the Charter of Tibetans in Exile passed. And in a follow up to this development, the 15th Tibetan Parliament in Exile discussed and adopted amendments to the relevant acts as well as rules and regulations during its second session. Through developments such as these and on the basis of the relevant legislative acts and rules and regulations adopted by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, the guidance and wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the savior of the Tibetan nation and people and their symbolic representative, were fully implemented. The result of this has been that the leaders elected by the Tibetan people assumed full responsibility in carrying forward all aspects of the functioning of the Central Tibetan Administration in keeping with democratic principles.

The Tibetan democracy is particularly a special one, for it has been gifted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama with great ingenuity of method and compassion and has evolved on that fundamental basis. All Tibetan people in general, but especially those living in exile, have been in continuous enjoyment of their democratic rights. In particular, we would like to appeal to all Tibetans to uphold with great importance the duties that are inherent in each of them at one’s individual level by giving primary importance to the greater good of the Tibetan society, acting with solidarity to bring forth the collective strength of the Tibetan people to an ever higher level. This has become more imperative now than ever before.

Concerning the situation of the Tibetan people living under the oppressive rule of the government of China, there is no question at all of talking about democratic rights. They are totally bereft of even those freedoms that are inalienable to all humans, such as the freedoms of movement, speech and expression, religion, language, protection of one’s culture and so on. Under the Chinese rule, the Tibetan language, the very basis of the Tibetan ethnic identity and culture, is getting decimated with the implementation of what China calls its common language policy for the whole country. Because of it, the Tibetan people living under Chinese rule are carrying out enormously praiseworthy deeds with great courage and determination to halt the decline and to preserve the Tibetan language and culture. We offer our admiration to them for their efforts. We, the entirety of the Tibetan people, living in freedom in other countries, whatever our means and circumstance may be, should never engross ourselves in our own immediate personal concerns and interests and instead pay ever greater attention to the learning, use, and promotion of the Tibetan language. This has become a matter of utmost importance, for it is concerned with the fundamental question of whether the Tibetan ethnic identity and culture will survive on this globe or not.

Since the 27th of February 2009 till date, it has been clearly learnt and confirmed that a total of 149 Tibetan people had self-immolated in protest against the government of China for the cause of the Tibetan nation and people. They or their remains were almost all seized and taken away by the Chinese armed police force or the Chinese army. Those who survived were later tried and given jail sentences. Among them were Kirti Monastery’s monks Lobsang Gyatso, Lobsang Kelsang, and Lobsang Konchog. Recent reports suggest that these three monks had been released from prison. However, apart from a mere mention of the fact that Lobsang Konchog’s right leg had been amputated, there is neither clear information about the torture and beating suffered by them during their imprisonment nor about the physical conditions of these monks after their release. In view of this situation, we feel it necessary to let the government of China know that it should bear full responsibility for the physical well being of all the surviving Tibetan self-immolators. To the wider outside world, we appeal to governments, those supporting the issue of Tibet, and independent human rights monitoring groups to seek to meet with those survivors, or to find out about their health conditions, and make deliberate efforts to find proper treatment for them outside the People’s Republic of China.

Likewise, in the year 2007, Adrug Lopo, a nephew of former Tibetan political prisoner Runggye Adag, was released at 11 pm on 21st of August 2017 on completion of his 10-year jail sentence. However, it has still been not possible to find out about the health condition of this former religious Chant Master of Lithang Gonchen. Besides, the government of China continues to subject political prisoners in Tibet to untold torture and beating as well as criminal trial and imprisonment and other forms of persecution in gross violation of all the canons of the international law.

Freedom House, a human rights organization based in the US capital Washington, DC, has, in its annual survey of political rights and civil liberties for 2016, concluded that among the 18 countries with the poorest record during the year, China was re-designated the second worst violator. Likewise, during the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva too, China was strongly criticized for trampling on the basic human rights of its citizens. More recently, Mr. Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace laureate and well known Chinese democracy activist, succumbed to serious ailments after years of ill-treatment in prison, which made it amply clear that China remains among countries in this world with the worst human rights record.

In the name of its policy of freedom of religious belief, the government of China has set up in each monastic institution in Tibet what it calls a ‘Monastery Management Committee’. And this is the means by which it has made gross interferences in all aspects of the Buddhist cannons of teaching, practice, and contemplation of the religiously immersed Tibetan monks and nuns. And it has set limits on the enrollment number of monks and nuns in the monasteries and nunneries, thereby curtailing the Tibetan people’s religious freedom. It has also reduced all aspects of religious activities of the monks and nuns in those places of religious study and worship to mere showpieces meant to cater to the entertainment needs of the visiting tourists. Thus, all places of religious study and worship, large or small, in Tibet have been transformed by the government of China into a sort of market commodity meant to earn revenue for the government. In this connection, while releasing the US State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom Report for 2016, Secretary of State Mr. Rex Tillerson made it clear in his introductory remarks that China was among the countries in this world with the worst record of respect for religious freedom of its citizens. He was also emphatic in pointing out that while denying religious freedom in Tibet and other regions, China has also been persecuting the people in those regions through launching of all sorts of campaign actions.

Ever since the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the incessant campaigns introduced in Tibet, that grossly violates human rights and trample on the human decorum, such as Cultural Revolution, has propelled the continual existence of Tibetan religion, culture and people into ‘uncertainty.’ Recent campaign of ‘Education activities with special focus on implementing the Four Stresses and Four Loves” has subjected the minds and conducts of the Tibetan nomads, farmers, youths, students, monks and nuns to an involuntary conditioning and conformation to the communist Chinese ideologies of ‘protection of the unity of Motherland’. Such propagandist campaigns in Tibet condemn the Tibetans in perpetual darkness, devoid of freedom of thought, movement and religion.

Including the mineral exploitations and clearing of whole forestlands, the government of China remains in continuous plunder and destruction of Tibet’s natural environment beyond all limits. Ongoing destructive projects especially the copper mining activity at Diney in the Amnye Machen mountain range, the destruction of the gateway to the Hortsang Nyagong Dragkar Khando Phodrang, the mining and carting away of coal, the setting up of an aluminum plant and other projects near the Qinghai Lake, all of which severely damage the local natural environment while also bringing untold hardship on the livelihood of the local population. In the name of bringing economic development to Tibet, China has launched in Tibet a campaign called “striving to make people rich and the region prosperous” and uses that as a pretext to explore the territory for mineral resources wherever they could be found. Chinese entrepreneurs have been making huge investments to set up projects and businesses. As a result, the local Tibetan people are denied of all the opportunities to develop their own ethnic territory. All the opportunities to explore and extract Tibet’s natural resources and minerals, to undertake construction projects, to carry out road building works and so on are wrested from local Tibetans by Chinese entrepreneurs who come from regions outside of Tibet. In Sog County of Nagchu Prefecture in Tibet Autonomous Region this year, the Chinese government coerced the local Tibetan people to celebrate August 1, the Army Day of the People’s Republic of China, with the additional demand that during the celebrations marking the occasion, the participants must wear costumes made from furs of endangered wild animals. In particular, in an unprecedented move, China has embarked on projects to build railway tracks in parts of Tibetan border areas, irrespective of any question whether concerned neighboring countries were agreeable to them or not, while also making large scale deployment of its troops in those areas. What all this clearly shows is that, like in the case of Tibet, which it annexed through armed invasion, the communist government of China still continues to foster an ulterior motive of annexing territories of more neighboring countries.

During celebrations on the 1st of August this year, marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping said in his speech that during times of emergency, the role of the Army is to protect the authority of the government. In this connection he stressed, among other things, that when supporters of democracy in the country staged protests on the Tiananmen Square in 1989, the People’s Liberation Army crushed them with violence and great bloodshed to drive home this point. What all these indicate with emphatic rising certainty is that the government of China is moving towards strengthening the sustainability of the communist party policy and the intensity of repression in the country with this end in view.

The Congress of the United States of America and, likewise, representatives from the European Union have expressed strong concern over issues such as the absence of basic human rights for Tibetans in Tibet and urged the government of China to make efforts to resume talks with representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Recently, a delegation led by the Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile visited the Indian parliament in New Delhi. The delegation met with a number of Indian parliamentarians and appealed them to seek support for the issue of Tibet. And members of the Indian parliament have promised to raise parliamentary support for the issue of Tibet as well as seek support from the different political parties. Nevertheless, in short, it is ultimately us, the Tibetan people, who has to bear the main responsibility to carry forward the struggle for our just cause. Thus, it is of great importance that we preserve our ethnic virtues, making sure to carry them forward without any sort of degeneration.

This year has seen a major earthquake in the Zitsa Degu region of Ngaba in Tibet while floods have hit Indian states such as Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat, as well as Nepal and other places. These catastrophes of nature have resulted in great losses in terms of deaths and injuries. The Tibetan Parliament in Exile is greatly saddened by such tragedies and we pray that such catastrophes may never occur again. We take the opportunity offered by this occasion to express our solidarity to the concerned families.

To all the governments, parliaments, organizations, and individuals who have supported the just cause of the Tibetan people and in other aspects, especially to the central and state governments of India and the Indian people, we offer our heartfelt gratitude.

Finally, we pray that His Holiness the Dalai Lama may live for hundred aeon and may all his wishes be fulfilled with spontaneity. May the just cause of the Tibetan people resolve in all speediness!

By Tibetan Parliament in Exile

2 September 2017

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* In case of any discrepancy between this text and its Tibetan original, the latter should be taken as authoritative.

 

Tibetans Welcome President Dr Lobsang Sangay at Denver and Santa Fe

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 03:07

President Dr Lobsang Sangay addressing Tibetan community in Denver.

DENVER, Colorado: The President of Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay arrived in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday, 29 August. Members of the Tibetan Association of Colorado along with local Tibetan Community accorded a warm traditional welcome to the President.

Upon his arrival, President Dr Sangay met Chuck Lief, president of Naropa University and a long time friend of Tibet, who has been supporting Tibetan community of Colorado. Dr. Sangay extended his sincere thanks for the friendship and support expressed by the president Lief.

At the Naropa University, President Dr Sangay addressed Denver Tibetans on importance of preserving Tibetan language, culture and values.

The president encouraged the parents to provide quality education to their children and to especially educate them on the Tibetan history, language and culture.

President Dr Lobsang Sangay addressing Tibetan community in Denver.

He advised them to send their children to take part in summer program in Dharamshala, India and to encourage them to study Tibetan language at the Weekend Tibetan language and culture schools.

President Dr Sangay urged the youth to engage in the movement by keeping themselves aware on Tibet, the current situation inside Tibet and the Tibet movements taking place all around the world.

He also inspired them to pursue their education and secure positions in the White House, Senate’s Office, House representative’s office, Office of the local Congressman/ woman, State Department and influence change on the Tibetan issue.

The President’s key message at the talk was for Tibetans to remain united. He discouraged regionalism and the false sense of belongingness arising out of loyalty to a certain ethnicity or province.

“Such loyalties may sound delightful and feel reassuring, but it’s extremely detrimental and poisonous to the larger Tibetan movement. Unity is the key for our success,” Dr Sangay said.

President Dr Lobsang Sangay addressing Tibetan community in Denver.

He also spoke on the activities and projects of different departments of the CTA, importance of Green book contribution, CTA’s Year of Gratitude 2018 and more.

On 30 August, President Sangay arrived in Santa Fe, and met the Tibetan community at the Santa Fe community hall.

In the hour long talk, the president spoke about the Middle Way Approach, and emphasised that the primary vision of the Middle Way Approach of the Central Tibetan Administration is to preserve and promote the unique identity of the Tibetan people, while ensuring the unity of the three provinces under the framework of a genuine autonomy.

He apprised the Santa Fe Tibetans on the constant efforts made by the Tibetan Administration in amplifying global Tibetan movement, overseeing the welfare of the Tibetan people in exile and increasing educational and employment opportunities for youth.

Dr Sangay later had an impactful discussion with the Tibetan youth, where he discussed the role of youth in the future of Tibetan movement.

The President will be visiting Santa Fe Indian School to talk to the faculty members and students of the school tomorrow and will fly to Los Angeles in the evening.

Tibetans welcoming President Dr Lobsang Sangay at Santa Fe.

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