Through a collection of essays written by Tibetan scholars like Tsering Shakya and cultural anthropologists who have spent large portions of their working life dedicated to understanding Tibetan culture and history, we are given an intricate analysis of the situation in Tibet. What we won’t get from news sources, rumors, and biased viewpoints is actual analysis that starts at the foundation of the Tibetan culture. I think you’ll find a wealth of information here.
Here is the link to the front page of this particular forum on the Immolations:
Here is a link to Tsering Shakya’s essay which I found compelling and honest.
Journalists are sneaking by road blocks and security in Tibetan areas. The videos and pictures coupled with eyewitness and interview testimonial provide concrete information about the ongoing events in Tibet. What we see does not represent a people who live in freedom.
Today March 10, 2012 53 years after the failed uprising in Lhasa took the lives of so many people and saw the final dismantling of Tibetan society as it was known for thousands of years; I want to thank the brave journalists who have borne witness to the military crackdown in Tibet. Please continue investigating and reporting on Tibet.
|From Phayul……….Breaking News: Three Tibetans self-immolate in Serthar|
It’s been nearly a year since Phuntsog set himself on fire and essentially kicked off the stream of immolations that have continuously escalated attention to the situation in Tibet. Mainstream media is finally carrying the story with more vigor than in the past 10 months. Potentially this could create an avalanche of support for Tibet in ways we have not seen in the past.
If you are willing to vocalize your support, contact your local and national government representatives and ask them to take a stronger stance toward China.
Below are several links to reports that highlight attempts by journalists to investigate one of the biggest and most ignored stories of last year; one that shows no signs of abating this year. Let’s spread the word and make sure that Tibetan‘s receive the attention and assistance they deserve.
Join your local Tibetan community on March 10th to commemorate the 1959 uprising and please attend prayer vigils that are being held February 8th around the world. Contact your local Tibetan organization for details.
Tibet TV Online - Tibetan Version
Lobsang Sangay- English Version
As Chinese everywhere were celebrating the first couple of days of the Year of Dragon on
January 23rd and 24th, 2012. Chinese police fired indiscriminatelyon hundreds of Tibetans who had gathered peacefully to claim their basic rights in Drakgo, Serthar, Ngaba, Gyarong, and other neighboring Tibetan areas. Six Tibetans were reportedly killed and around sixty injured, some critically.
Because of gruesome acts such as these and the systematic repression of Tibetans, the resentment and anger amongst Tibetans against (the) Chinese government has only grown since the massive uprising of 2008. Ever since the invasion of Tibet, the Chinese government has claimed that it seeks to create a socialist paradise. However, basic human rights are being denied to Tibetans, the fragile environment is being destroyed, Tibetan language and culture is being assimilated, portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are banned, and Tibetans are being economically marginalized.
Tibet is in virtual lockdown. Foreigners have been barred from travelling to Tibet now and the entire region is essentially under undeclared martial law. I urge the Chinese leadership to heed the cries of the Tibetan protestors and those who
have committed self-immolation. You will never address the genuine grievances of Tibetans and restore stability in Tibet through violence and killing. The only way to resolve the Tibet issue and bring about lasting peace is by respecting the rights of the Tibetan people and through dialogue.
As someone deeply committed to peaceful dialogue, the use of violence against Tibetans is unacceptable and
must be strongly condemned by all people in China and around the world. I call on the international community to show solidarity and to raise your voices in support of the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people at this critical time. I request that the international community and the United Nations send a fact-finding delegation to Tibet and that the world media be given access to the region as well. The leaders in Beijing must know that killing its own family members is in clear violation of international and Chinese laws, and such actions will cast further doubts on China’s moral legitimacy and their standing in world affairs.
I want to tell my dear brothers and sisters inside Tibet that we hear your cries loud and clear. We urge you not to despair and refrain from extreme measures. We feel your pain and will not allow the sacrifices you have made go in vain. You all are in our heart and prayers each and every day. To my fellow Tibetans, I request you not to celebrate Losar (Tibetan New Year), which falls on February 22 this year. However, please observe the basic customary religious rituals such
as burning incense, going to temple and making traditional offerings. To demonstrate our solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet, I
urge Tibetans and our friends around the world, to participate in a worldwide vigil on Wednesday, February 8, 2012. Lets send a loud and clear message to the Chinese government that violence and killing of innocent Tibetans is unacceptable! I request everyone to conduct these vigils peacefully, in accordance with the laws of your country, and with dignity.
U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke speaks with Charlie Rose on his role with China, the increasing human rights infractions, economics and some future trends.
To listen click here: Charlie Rose/Gary Locke
Yesterday Wednesday January 18, 2012 marked a crucial and important demonstration of the power of the internet to mobilize, educate, and influence our world. If you visited sites like Wikipedia, Google, Reddit, and our own WordPress you quickly would have realized something was different. Even more you may have been educated about two pieces of legislature circulating the U.S. Congress and Senate. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) on the surface appear to be aimed at controlling piracy of music, film and other copyrighted works found in plenty on the internet. I’m all for putting an end to piracy, for artists, musicians, writers, film makers to be able to protect their original work from being freely distributed across the internet. However the wording of the bills is a tad more sinister and instead infringes on the neutrality of the net that we now have. In other words it amounts to censorship and corporate and government control of internet content. If you aren’t in on the details of these two bills click here for information.
Yesterday’s internet blackout, a flood of Tweets and other social network activity and messages sent to Senate and Congress representatives has caused the momentum of these two bills to come to a near grinding halt. And it is this that excites me because it shows us how powerful the internet is in advancing a cause, spreading the word, creating a viral or epidemic like movement that actually creates change and makes a difference. From Tahrir Square to a blacked out Wikipedia the internet is playing an essential role in our collective ability to rise up and demand change in systems that do not serve the vast majority. While it is absolutely imperative that we as global citizens remain vigilant and aware of infringements on our rights it is also important that we recognize opportunities to plant seeds of change.
As we move into a politically sensitive time (Losar and March 10) I urge each of you to think about ways to utilize the internet on a global scale to affect change in Tibet. How can a movement that demands intervention on behalf of Tibet become viral through the use of the internet? What is the message that will stir activism on a grand and global scale not just among Tibetans and a few supporters? How can the message be made relevant to a larger audience and create a sense of urgency like never before?
There are many Tibetan related organizations all advocating for Tibet and Tibetans. Were they to unite under the exact same messaging and create a campaign that is more compelling and inspiring than ever and clearly states what is at stake beyond human rights, then a movement that is currently stalled could find new footing and new life. Disseminating the message consistently, actively, and without the confusion of middle way versus freedom or independence is imperative.
This is how we get governments to take action and change their continued passive stance on Tibet and China. As I keep saying the power of the people is more powerful than any government in existence today or ever. There are more of us than there are of them and when we really see that dynamic then we see where the ultimate power lies and we can unite fearlessly and create a world that is just for all beings.
In the wake of last year’s immolations, I had hoped that the New Year would bring a different story out of Tibet, but alas not. The immolations continue and today (yesterday in Tibet) a 16th Tibetan is reported to have set himself on fire in Aba, Sichuan Prefecture. This makes four people setting themselves on fire in the past week. The Associated Press distributed the most recent story noting that unrest followed the immolations and Tibetans in the area rose up in spontaneous protest only to be met with the usual military force. Woeser is quoted on her blog saying, “A young Tibetan person self-immolated … the local area has erupted in public protests and marches, and they have been met with military police fire and suppression. There are Tibetan casualties.” Phayul has posted a more detailed account of the situation in Ngaba (Aba), an area that has seen 11 immolations since March of last year.
My heart goes out to Tibetans across the globe, especially to those in the Ngaba area who must at this point be traumatized beyond simple comprehension. There is nothing I can say that will alleviate the emotional turmoil of my husband and our friends who are constantly worried about their families in Tibet. Those whose hearts break a little more with each immolation, with each death, with each report of turmoil in Tibet. I have no words to comfort and am instead filled with frustration, sadness and anger. Especially I am angry at governments who shake their fingers at China, condemn their repressive policies and ask them to behave themselves, but continue unabated trade relations. Why should China change anything when it seems the world is at their feet? When the Rupert Murdoch’s of the world eagerly and greedily reap the rewards of business dealings with China, promoting foreign investment in a country run by heartless thugs who lie, cheat, murder and behave with arrogant pomposity as they strut upon the world’s stage.
Nothing will change in China until we the people unite to overthrow corrupt people and their corporations holding sway on China’s economic growth. Not until we the people demand that governments across the globe place economic sanctions on China demanding that they adopt democracy, adhere to human rights expectations and until they are expelled from their position on the U.N. Human Rights Council. China has no right what-so-ever to be on the Human Rights Council, they have not in any way earned a place at that table. In my estimation their presence weakens and undermines the U.N. as an entity formed for the good of humanity; instead, China’s membership represents an insult to humanity.
I don’t believe that Tibetans will stop killing themselves. I want them to but I don’t think they will. This is the most attention that Tibet has received in years and maybe they see a certain kind of success in making the gravity of their situation known to the world by sacrificing their precious lives. I can’t help but wonder how many deaths will serve as the tipping point. How many will have to set themselves ablaze before meaningful intervention into the Tibetan situation occurs?
Rest in Peace. Bhod Gyalo!
Phayul Dec. 2, 2011
Fiery sacrifice by a Tibetan in Chamdo
By Tendar Tsering
Tenzin Phuntsok, a former monk in his forties, reportedly self-immolated in Chamdo area of Tibet on Thursday. Tenzin Phuntsok is believed to have survived the self-immolation and has been taken to a local hospital.
No other details are available at the time of reporting. Click here for full story
For the past several days I’ve wrestled with whether or not to post the video showing Palden Choetso in flames. It’s a disturbing video, a surreal visual to be sure and at first I wondered if it was authentic, so vivid and unreal is the image of her engulfed in bright orange flames. Not until she falls does it become believable. The mere idea of a human being or any living being on fire is so incredibly difficult to fathom, and seeing it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.
We will never know what was going on in her mind as the reality of pain bore down on her in the moments during the event that claimed her life, but our hearts and prayers go out to her and her family and friends as well as those who were witness to this tragic event.
The image of her burning is disturbing, but not grotesque or gory however, keep in mind that this is a real person under those very real flames. If you’d like to read more here is the story from the SFT website.
“shocking images of Palden Choetso, a 35-year-old nun from Geden Choeling Nunnery in Tawu, eastern Tibet, who died after lighting herself on fire on November 3, has been obtained from sources in Tibet. One video shows Palden Choetso standing upright as flames engulf her body. Additional footage shows Tibetans’ response to the self-immolation, including nuns protesting and chanting “Freedom to Tibet”; thousands of Tibetans at a candlelight vigil early on the morning of her funeral; and Chinese security forces converging on Nyitso Monastery”.
Click here for video Palden Choetso
Here is an update on Dawa Tsering from Radio Free Asia.
Warning: Video is graphic
This video smuggled out of Tibet shows31 year-old Dawa Tsering badly burned and under the care of his friends. Dawa has refused formal treatment and is being cared for by monks at the Kardze monastery and a brother -in-law with medical training. Youtube video
Peace doesn’t come from the barrel of a gun, or the blade of a bayonet nor bombs reigning down on innocent human beings from military aircraft. Yet this is exactly the sort of peaceful liberation brought to Tibet in October of 1950 by the People’s Liberation Army of China’s Communist Party. The celebration commemorates May 23, of 1951 the day the 17 – Point agreement was signed by Tibetan representatives, under a fair amount of duress. In meetings between Tibetan and Chinese delegations in Beijing prior to the signing, it was made quite clear that the Tibetans could sign the agreement and be liberated peacefully or by force if they chose not to sign. With no viable means of military support, having been all but abandoned by India, Great Britain and America what else was to be done? There was no jubilant celebration of the 17 – Point Agreement ever by any Tibetans. The choices were clear, sign and avoid hostility and blood shed or refuse and incur the wrath of the PLA. With small hope that China would uphold some of the agreements that could possibly allow Tibetans some level of self-rule and with nowhere else to turn the agreement was signed though not with joy or a sense of happiness; probably foreboding would be a better term to describe the mood.
Conveniently China never discusses the incongruency between their claims that Tibet was always part of the motherland and why an agreement was needed if that was actually so. Nor does it discuss the details of the agreement, in particular the ones they failed to uphold such as number 3: “In accordance with the policy towards nationalities laid down in the Common Programme of the Chinese Political Consultative Conference, the Tibetan People have the right to exercise national regional autonomy under the unified leadership of the Central People’s Government”. – That’s never happened. Nor has number 4: “The central authorities will not alter the existing political system in Tibet. The central authorities also will not alter the established status, functions and powers of the Dalai Lama. Officials of various rank shall hold office as usual”.
Additionally points 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, have not been followed or have been executed in such a manner as to assist in the eradication of Tibetan language and livelihood. Since points 2 and 8 both deal with integrating the Tibetan army into the PLA they should be considered as one point. The 17th point simply states that the agreement takes effect immediately upon signing so it’s unimportant when considering failure to uphold all points of the agreement. Essentially what remains overall is an utter failure to uphold the points of the agreements that would have allowed Tibetans some degree of autonomy and empowered them to make some decisions of benefit to their culture.
To have this 60 year celebration thrown in the face of Tibetans now, after several failed uprisings, imprisonment, torture, and current struggles at Kirti monastery in Karze is an insult. And arrogantly foolish on the part of the CCP; think Tibetans are pissed off now? Just wait! Leading up to this big happy celebration all of the TAR, Kham and Amdo were closed to foreigners out of fear of unrest that of course would embarrass and expose the CCP for the liars they really are.
Who could possibly believe the hyped up propaganda imposed by these Chinese Imperialists? Only the indoctrinated and those without the means or wits to discover the truth. It’s a façade, a lie, a whitewashing of the real truth that in fact China has not brought peace or stability to Tibet. That was never their purpose in the first place. Tibet is their stronghold against India and the reason why there are so many PLA and PAP forces stationed in Lhasa and surrounding areas. As an added bonus China has discovered a veritable gold mine of tourism in Tibet. Now if they can only squelch the discontent long enough to actually allow tourists in.