info-graphic by @tibettruth
On the bone-chilling streets of Paris yesterday some Tibetans and their supporters could be forgiven thinking that they were witnessing a momentous change of policy by the Central Tibetan Administration as Doctor Lobsang Sangay peppered his keynote speech with references to liberty, justice. and democracy. The Harvard law school graduate began his address by envisioning raising the national flag of Tibet above the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet’s symbol of nationhood and independence was a prominent feature of the event, and formed a huge stage backdrop. Yet this is the man who had boldly declared that he is not asking for democratic rights within an autonomous Tibet!
Unfortunately a careful examination of his words reveals not so much a demand from Doctor Sangay and his CTA colleagues for a free and democratic Tibet, but a cynical misappropriation of the rights and political aspirations of Tibetans inside Tibet. When mentioning such freedoms he very carefully avoided officially endorsing the demands made by compatriots under Chinese tyranny. Indeed his speech on referencing ‘liberty’ or ‘democracy’ emphasized repeatedly that such objectives were what ‘Tibetans’ wanted with the obvious corollary that such aims were not being demanded by the Central Tibetan Adminstration. This is evidenced by the policy adopted and promoted by Lobsang Sangay and his colleagues within the CTA which is actively seeking a condition of ‘meaningful autonomy’ for Tibetans. In that objective Doctor Sangay has stated that no separation from China is being sought but only the just and full application of communist Chinese laws on autonomy’ In that context he made it clear during a 2013 interview, given at Washington’s Council on Foreign Relations that as part of his autonomy proposals democracy was not being sought for Tibetans in Tibet!
Now given that’s the agreed and formalized policy of the Central Tibetan Administration clearly notions of national freedom and independence are effectively anathema to Lobsang Sangay, marginalized, ignored and rejected as barriers to progressing talks with a Chinese regime ever suspicious of covert agendas. On March 13 China again dismissed any prospect of talks on what is called ‘high autonomy’ for Tibetans. Meanwhile the officially sanctioned ideology that autonomy is the only ‘realistic’ solution continues to forced upon a Tibetan Diaspora. However in trying to prevent Tibetans from expressing their support for a free and independent Tibet the thought-police of the CTA have gone too far and unleashed a wave of outrage and opposition.
The intensity and scale of unease at the manipulation of protests in New York and Dharamsala has revealed just how embedded within Tibetan communities globally is support for Tibetan national freedom. The very same Tibetans who Lobsang Sangay and his Administration require the goodwill and political support of, which brings us back to possible motive for his flag waving address in Paris. Some Tibetans on various social media sites are already posting glowing comments of support for his speech describing it as ‘powerful’ and ‘strong’ yet they clearly have been fooled by appearance and failed to note the detail of his comments.
What was declared in Paris was not an approval of, or expression showing solidarity with the cause and rightful demands of Tibetan in Tibet but a carefully engineered and duplicitous display that was more concerned with promoting Lobsang Sangay and presenting an illusion that the Central Tibetan Administration is allied with and shares the objective of national liberation so courageously expressed by Tibetans under China’s genocidal rule. Don’t be fooled people!
In light of the censorship that was forced upon Tibetans at the March 10 rally for Tibet we have composed an open letter to the organizers of that event, asking them to address the hugely important issues their actions and decision to exclude and marginalize any inclusion of Tibetan independence at the protest has presented. In deciding upon such a censorial course of action they have set in motion a wave of outrage and disappointment while alienating many Tibetans who wish to express solidarity with the cause being waged by their brothers and sisters inside occupied Tibet. This violation of freedom-of-speech is not acceptable, is hugely damaging to the wider Tibetan struggle and demands to be forcefully exposed and challenged, our communication is composed in that spirit and has been made open and widely circulated to better inform subscribers and Tibetans globally.
Info-graphic by @tibettruth
Paris, France on March 14 is to host an event titled ‘Europe Stands With Tibet’ sounds like a gathering that’s in solidarity with the Tibetan people, right? Wrong! This rally should be more correctly termed ‘A Platform To Promote The Surrender Of Tibet’s Right To Nationhood’ Why so? Well take into account that its been organized and promoted by the Central Tibetan Administration and will feature as main speaker Doctor Lobsang Sangay who will be peddling his message of autonomy under Chinese rule, in the hope of appeasing China.
As with recent Tibetan demonstrations in New York and Dharamsala it is likely that the issue of Tibetan independence will not be welcome, at what we understand is to be tightly restricted and orchestrated meeting. Tibetan communities are being bused across Europe to attend and ensure that this propaganda theater has a compliant and obedient audience. No doubt Tibetan flags will be tolerated but that will be a distraction, the central message will be that ‘We are only seeking genuine autonomy’ a condition if ever realized under the brutal oppression of the Chinese regime will not be allowing any degree of Tibetan national identity and certainly will arrest, torture and shoot anyone who dares to raise Tibet’s national banner.
Don’t be mislead either should you read of or hear the cynical use of the term ‘freedom’ by the Harvard trained lawyer. While it sounds suggestive of independence it’s used by Lobsang Sangay as it may exist under the various forms of ‘autonomy’, for anyone who doubts such an assessment we refer you to an interview Video Here in which he made clear that his proposals on resolving the issue of Tibet ruled out the prospect of democratic rights for Tibetans in Tibet!
This is an individual who while cloaking himself in the Tibetan flag and delivering carefully scripted rhetoric designed to appeal to and manipulate the exiled Tibetan community, is opposed to Tibetan independence and has willfully ignored the demands and political aspirations of Tibetans inside occupied Tibet.
If anyone reading this truly wishes to stand with the Tibetan people they will not be doing so by attending this event in Paris, better to show your solidarity with the peaceful resistance being waged by Tibetans in Tibet, join and get active with those organizations who clearly state an objective of national liberation and independence for Tibet.
Image:capture from facebook video posted via sonam samanatha
In exile Tibet’s cause reached a disappointing low on March 10, a date commemorating the 1959 Lhasa Uprising and a central focus to honor Tibetans inside Tibet who continue their courageous and peaceful resistance to Chinese tyranny. For the second year running New York was the stage upon which a cynical game of manipulation and the promotion of political approved agendas was acted out.Unlike last year however, when such covert actions were restricted to the prominent placement of slogans promoting the policy adopted by and actively followed by Doctor Lobsang Sangay and the Central Tibetan Administration events yesterday took a disturbing turn for the worse.
It would appear that in the land of free speech there is no place within the Tibetan
community of New York for any mention of Tibet’s independence or slogans calling for a
free Tibet. So what was going down? From various reports it appears that a coalition of
censorship and political conformity, comprising prominent figures within the Regional
Tibetan Youth Congress, Regional Tibetan Women’s Association, Tibetan Community and
Chushi Gangdruk had agreed upon excluding from the organized rally any voices or protests that dissented from the officially approved call for ‘genuine autonomy’.
The resulting scenes were deeply troubling with Tibetans, by their own people, being
marginalized, bullied and censored simply for daring to promote the rightful national
freedom of Tibet. As you may imagine the sense of outrage, frustration and sadness which emerged was a cause of much debate and division, resulting in division, accusations and genuine anger. Understandably so, after all the struggle being waged inside Tibet seeks not submitting to Chinese communist laws on autonomy but demands nation liberation and independence, it is the duty and birthright of exiled Tibetans to stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Tibet towards that just objective.
The resultant reaction across various social media platforms has been volcanic to say the
least, especially upon Facebook, people rightly condemn what was a blatant attempt to
censor any mention of Tibetan independence by silencing and ostracizing those who dared to shout for national freedom. Much finger-pointing, excuses and denial have been offered in the subsequent exchanges on the subject with calls for unity and tolerance, yet those who seek to castigate pro-independence Tibetans as being responsible for causing
disabling division are being duplicitous and delusional in their criticism.
Why so? Well the origins for this regrettable incident are to be correctly sourced not to people holding a conviction who support Tibet’s independence, nor can it be explained in any reasonable manner to an unwillingness to tolerate different views on Tibet. The seeds of this divisive and damaging schism were engineered in the political laboratories of a Central Tibetan Administration that for years now has been actively promoting a policy of appeasing China’s regime. It’s Middle Way ‘solution’ seeks not an independent Tibet but merely the application of Chinese communist laws relating to autonomy of so-called ‘ethnic minorities’.
There’s a problem though, and one lying in a dark corner that explains events at the rally yesterday, the Chinese regime has long dismissed such overtures from the CTA as a veiled bid for independence. So from the perspective of the Central Tibetan Administration the issue of Tibetan independence is deeply problematical, indeed it is regarded as an obstacle to progressing talks with China, as such a response was needed.
How best to reassure China that the CTA was not advocating an independent Tibet? Statements to that effect were clearly not enough, actions were needed, some physical manifestation perhaps to help dispossess the Chinese government of its suspicions? So in addition to relentlessly affirming via official statements that only genuine autonomy is being sough a covert campaign has been set in motion that’s manipulating various global protests for Tibet, along with the exile Tibetan community into endorsing the official proposals of the CTA. False choices are being presented in which supporting the Middle Way is portrayed as being loyal to the cause of Tibet and His Holiness, while advocates of Tibet’s rightful independence are marginalized as being disloyal, extreme or unrealistic. Such has been the toxic and cynical narrative increasingly clouding the exiled Tibetan movement.
To the disadvantage and embarrassment of Tibet’s cause there are a significant number of Tibetans in New York who for reasons of conformity, lack of understanding, personal gain or wishing to demonstrate what in reality is a misplaced loyalty now act as censorial attack-dogs for the policy of surrender being pushed by Doctor Lobsang Sangay and his colleagues within the Central Tibetan Administration. Their unthinking obedience is betraying the sacrifices and common political aspirations of their brothers and sisters inside occupied Tibet, such treachery, for that is what it is, needs to be urgently exposed and challenged, in that regard we hope that their disgraceful attempt to silence fellow Tibetans who support Tibet’s independence will serve as a call to action!
‘Today Tibetans all over the world gather to commemorate an unforgettable event in the history of our country. We observe and honor the thousands of valiant Tibetan men and women who on this day in 1959 filled the streets of Lhasa to revolt against the Chinese Communist occupation forces.On that day, Tibetans stood up against the Chinese government with the courage and determination to proclaim and protect the Tibetan Government and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Thousands of Tibetans lost their lives and therefore as we commemorate this day, Tibetan Youth Congress pays our deepest respect and homage to our brothers and sisters inside Tibet and in exile who have sacrificed their lives through various forms of protests against China’s illegal occupation of our nation and vow to continue our work for the freedom and independence of Tibet and the Tibetan people until the Tibet issue is resolved.
Tibet was brutally occupied and the Tibetan people fought back. This resistance continues to this day. These courageous Tibetan’s resistances remind us and the rest of the world that it was not a “peaceful liberation” as China claims. Therefore, we take the opportunity to honor and dedicate today to the Tibetans inside Tibet who day in and day out endure the illegal Occupation yet continue to find ingenious ways to resist it for our freedom – for our future.
The Tibetan people continue to be oppressed, discriminated and denied even basic human rights. Tibetans have been systematically arrested, detained, tortured, and killed for merely carrying out non- violent protests against China. The brutality of the regime and its intolerance towards political dissent is evident in the way it has over the decades treated political prisoners. Most recently on 5 December 2014 Tenzin Choedak, died two days after he was released on “medical parole” nine years short of the completion of his 15-year prison term. In fact he was barely alive at the time he was returned to his family. Choedak had reportedly dislocated jawbones, damaged kidneys and was vomiting blood. He was physically emaciated and had suffered brain injury. Every bone in his feet was broken. According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy this suggests that he may have been subjected to the falaka, or foot whipping torture technique. The falaka involves beating the sole’s of the victim’s feet with a heavy cable or whatever else is available. It causes extreme pain up the victim’s body and the feet to swell. Choedak was imprisoned for his alleged involvement in the popular 2008 Uprising where hundreds of Tibetans lost their lives. Prior to his arrest, Choedak worked with a European non-governmental organization associated with International Red Cross. His responsibilities were mainly environmental protection in Lhasa and Shigatse region of Tibet. He was only 34 years old.
Despite the knowledge of brutality and risk to their lives, Tibetans inside Tibet continue to resist and fight. Tibet continues to burn. The number of self-immolations inside Tibet since 2009 has now reached an unprecedented 136 with the latest activist Kelsang Yeshi, a 38 year-old monk who self immolated on 23 December 2014. His slogan at the time of burning were the most common expressions demanding the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans. These self-immolations protests clearly indicate that Tibetans inside Tibet want freedom and independence from the current illegal occupation of Tibet. The Tibetans inside Tibet are doing every bit they can to express their aspirations. Those of us living in exile have a responsibility to fulfill those aspirations and towards our movement.
10 March is a day when we reflect upon history and the events that unfolded in Lhasa. We must understand what the uprising was for and most importantly when we observe this Tibetan National Uprising Day, we must work to fulfill the wishes and demands of those that sacrificed their lives for Tibet. 10 March is also a day to remember who we are and where we are headed to and as a Tibetan to pledge your commitment and responsibility for your country – and in doing so, understand that unity, optimism and strategy lies at the core of our struggle. We call upon Tibetans living in exile and inside Tibet to remain united and steadfast in our movement. The Chinese government will never be able to break the will and spirit of the Tibetan people. Tibetans in Tibet and in exile remain more defiant than ever and today we send a message to China that until and unless the Beijing government changes its stance on Tibet, the Tibetan people will continue to rise and resist and our Revolution will grow stronger and bigger.
Finally, on this day we pay our humble respect and tribute to our spiritual leader His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. We Tibetans remain forever grateful for the work he has done for Tibet, the Tibetan people and humanity. The message of love and compassion that His Holiness preaches is the ultimate way to bring peace in the 21st century across the world. We pray for the long life of His Holiness and wish him a very Happy Birthday as he turns 80 on July 6 later this year. On behalf of Tibetans inside Tibet and in exile – Thank you, your Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Translated copy of TYC March 10 Statement via Dossier Tibet
Many female activists today celebrate International Women’s Day and may be arranging last minute travel arrangements to attend the United Nations’ Commission On The Status Of Women’s meeting (CSW59) beginning March 9. Meanwhile in a world far away from the chrome and tinted glass gatherings scheduled to reflect on two decades since the Beijing Declaration was agreed; which in theory secured and advanced women’s human rights, in occupied Tibet and indeed China itself women continue to be subject to a range of disturbing human rights atrocities.
On Friday March 6, in the Ngaba area of Amdo region of occupied Tibet, a 40 year-old woman, named as Norchuk died following her self-immolation protest against the illegal and violent occupation by China of her homeland. Her body was confiscated by Chinese paramilitary and hastily cremated, denying her relatives any chance to conduct traditional Buddhist ritual.
Her sacrifice and the oppressed condition of women inside Tibet though is absent from the Twitter streams on the subject of International Women’s Day and CSW59, you will find virtually no mention of the suffering relating to Tibetan women. Nor indeed reference to China’s forced sterilizations, a gross violation of women’s human rights that has been greeted by evasion, silence and denial from the mass ranks of the ‘Concerned Sisterhood’.
The same day that Norchuk offered up her life a team of Chinese security police raided the Beijing home of activist Ms Li Tingting and arrested her. Yet a deafening silence seems to have greeted news that she and three other Chinese female activists, who were planning to hold a peaceful protest in Beijing against sexual harassment, have been jailed, their whereabouts presently unknown and facing possibly disturbing consequences. http://www.livenewspak.com/china-detains-at-least-4-feminists-ahead-of-international-womens-day/ Despite this latest example of state oppression against women by China’s regime instead of outrage and opposition from those attending the CSW59 we witness a callous indifference.
Will anyone attending the CSW59 meeting raise a word in protest or concern about such injustice? Can we hope that the tyranny, inequality and marginalization suffered by Tibetan women since China invaded Tibet in 1950 will be condemned? Is it likely that women’s NGOs will be speaking out against China’s vicious policy of population control, in which women are brutally denied the most basic of rights and forcibly sterilized? What words of opposition will be made against the censorship, and torture that targets any women who express the slightest dissent against the grim excesses of the Chinese regime?
Women do not enjoy human rights under the totalitarian nightmare enforced by the Chinese regime, there exists only fear, pain, repression, censorship, you comply to the dictates of the state or suffer the consequences. That their plight is consistently ignored, denied and evaded by women NGO’s and the United Nations, makes a mockery of any claim that such bodies are dedicated to championing women’s human rights.