Tibetan Monk Self-Immolates In Kham Region Of Tibet

Reports today of another Tibetan self-immolation in protest against China’s illegal and violent occupation of Tibet. According to account around 4 Pm local time a Tibetan monk engulfed himself in flame in downtown Kyegudo, a town in Tibet’s Kham region.

Photo via Lobsang Jinpa

UPDATE July 10

Confirmed information that this latest Tibetan to sacrifice their life to oppose and expose the tyranny of Chinese rule in Tibet was named Mr Sonam Tobgyal, aged 26.

 

China Is Not Fit To Host The 2019 World Dog Show

Chinese citizens and local officials clubbing a Tibetan mastiff

Chinese citizens and local officials clubbing a Tibetan mastiff

Image: archivenet

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in choosing China to host the 2019 World Dog Show (WDS) is using the failed and cynical argument of ‘constructive engagement’ with China, claiming locating the WDS there will result in moderation, progress and awareness. Similar ‘justifications’ were employed by the US State Department and Presidential Administrations in support of granting China ‘Most Favored Nation Status’. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), in selecting Beijing as host for the 2008 Olympics, responded to international concerns by claiming that awarding China the Games would encourage improvements in human rights, while uncritically accepting the hollow assurances of the Chinese Regime to respect such rights and principles. A circus of duplicity and hypocrisy currently being replayed as the IOC considers China to be the venue for the 2022 Winter Olympics!

Decades of so-called constructive engagement with China, oiled by the allure of a powerful Chinese economy, has dominated US policy on China, to the exclusion of any meaningful action in terms of human rights, and issues such as Tibet . The resultant compromises has produced a largely ineffectual and vacillating strategy, that at one time issues platitudes on human rights and freedom, while simultaneously appeasing the Chinese regime to maintain and secure economic interests. Meanwhile such contact and cooperation has spectacularly failed to end or meaningfully reduce the torture, close forced labor camps, or halt the campaigns of mass forced sterilizations. Nor has collaborating with China’s authorities moderated the vicious tyranny against the peoples of Tibet, East Turkistan and Southern Mongolia, who are victims of a cultural genocide. In light of such realities the assertions of the FCI justifying China as host for the WDS reveal a disturbing naivety and gullibility.

Of all nations China is the least suitable country to serve as host the World Dog Show, its totalitarian Regime is guilty of a horrendous range of human rights atrocities, censorship and propaganda dominate Chinese society. Free speech is brutally suppressed and the people of China are denied political, civil and religious freedoms. Given this record how can anyone of integrity and normal intelligence begin to accept any claims issued by the Chinese authorities regarding the ‘Yulin Dog Meat Festival’ and the general abuse which dogs across China suffer.

 

Denial & Distortions Of A Luxembourg Scholar On Tibet

Mr Albert Ettinger

Mr Albert Ettinger

Image:tibetonline

China’s regime has been operating a campaign of ideological warfare on the issue of Tibet since its troops invaded and occupied that nation in 1950. Historical facts have been distorted, fabrications engineered and disinformation promoted, all with the aim of asserting that Tibet has been since ancient times a part of China. See HERE

In an effort to support such bogus claims and add a veneer of supposed objectivity China’s Ministry Of Propaganda has a handful of western academic friends, who from time-to-time compose supposedly truthful accounts of Tibetan history that just by chance happen to conform to the propaganda rhetoric spewed out by the Chinese authorities.

The latest such example being from a Mr Albert Ettinger, which ‘Tibet Online’, an official mouthpiece of the Chinese Regime, describes as a Luxembourg scholar who has recently produced two books that regurgitate the official line of the Communist Party Of China towards Tibet.

His interview with that website is far from the balanced, objective and detached tradition of  academia, indeed the tone’s disturbingly similar to the racism and imperialistic arrogance that saturates the thinking of the Chinese regime on the subject of Tibet. On reading his remarks it is difficult to avoid concluding that we are witnessing the views of an apologist. Some may go further and question if Mr Ettinger is  guilty of actively concealing, evading and rebuking the misery, human rights atrocities, cultural genocide and violent denial of freedom which Tibet’s people have suffered under the tyranny of Chinese rule?

Clearly that individual has some interest in history so being European perhaps the name Harry Elmer Barnes resonates for him. Formerly a mainstream American historian Barnes towards the end of his career adopted a Holocaust-denial stance and became convinced that allegations made against Germany and Japan, including the Holocaust, were wartime propaganda used to justify the United States’ involvement in World War II.

Now no one would seriously consider that Mr Ettinger, no doubt a European dedicated to democratic values, freedom and human rights, as being any form of Holocaust Denier. Yet his willingness to repeat the propaganda claims of a totalitarian regime that has been shown to be guilty of the most appalling oppression and violent denial of human rights casts a perplexing and disturbing shadow.

We are very happy to extend to Albert Ettinger the courtesy of featuring a rejoinder from him on this matter, should he choose, meanwhile for the purposes of balance and to enable our subscribers to reach their own views of Mr Ettinger’s opinions his interview may be seen: HERE

Meanwhile what of the somewhat obscure publishing company that has released his book? According to the Chinese report his works were published by “Germany (sic)  based Zambon Press” this company seems a touch difficult to locate, if anyone can discover their German contact details we’d like to hear from you.

Open Letter To Donald Tusk On His Advocacy Of Talks Between China & Dalai Lama’s Representatives

Mr Donald Tusk

Image:themalaysianinsider

Attention of: Mr Donald Tusk European Union Council President

Dear Sir,

Re: Your Recent Advocacy That China Resume A Dialog With The Dalai Lama’s Representatives

We understand that, during the 17th bilateral EU China summit in Brussels, you reportedly urged Prime Minister of China, Li Keqiang, to institute negotiations with the Dalai Lama.

“I expressed our concerns on freedom of expression and association in China, including the situation of the persons belonging to minorities (sic) such as Tibetans and Uighurs…In that context, I have encouraged China to resume a meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives.” Source: Radio Poland June 30, 2015

As someone dedicated to democratic values and representation you will cherish deeply the central political obligation that a government should reflect the aspirations and rights of its people. That duty takes on particularly acute responsibilities when, through armed aggression a state finds itself under foreign occupation and its people suppressed, requiring a government in exile to be established. Under those circumstances, as prevailed with France during the Second World War, the exiled authority champions its people’s cause for national freedom. No doubt De Gaulle observed with humility and pride the resistance and determination of the French Resistance to oppose occupation and regain independence for France. Indeed Poland’s recent history and emergence from the oppression of foreign control surely emphasizes the critical importance of such values to you.

In 1949 Tibet, a formerly independent nation, that displayed all the characteristics of a sovereign country, was invaded by communist China. Since that time it has been under a vicious military occupation, its culture eroded and people sorely oppressed by a range of violations and draconian policies. Despite the tyranny which has been waged against Tibet the hope for national freedom has burned undiminished, like the once occupied people of your county. Tibetans yearn for the re-establishment of their nation’s freedom and have during the years displayed remarkable courage and resolve to resist Chinese tyranny and express their right to assert the fact that Tibet is an independent nation under illegal occupation. There is a wealth of testimony, some presented to the United States Congress, the European Union, the United Nations and individual Parliamentarians which records the fact that Tibetans share a common aspiration for their country’s independence. This has also been recognized by the Dalai Lama: “I also know that every Tibetan hopes and prays for the full restoration of our nation’s independence” (HH The Dalai Lama March 10-1994).

Such hopes and determination have not changed, indeed as witnessed by the widespread Uprisings of 2008, and with recent and ongoing protests, both collective and individual, the Tibetan people remain as determined as ever to assert their nation’s legitimate right to independence and oppose China’s occupation. This is a central point and one that relates deeply to the democratic principles you uphold and also to the rights of a people suffering foreign occupation and oppression, who have every right to expect their authorities in exile to represent and honor their struggle for national freedom. Presently we have a situation where the political aspirations of Tibetans inside Tibet, who constitute the overwhelming majority of Tibetan people, are being ignored by their own exiled Administration. Which instead of standing in solidarity with the objectives of the resistance to Chinese rule inside Tibet is promoting a compromise solution. One which would in essence consign Tibetans to a dangerous and uncertain fate as another ‘national minority’ of China with some form of supposedly improved autonomy, as formalized under Communist China’s national and regional laws on autonomy.

This is not the freedom envisaged or expressed so courageously by Tibetans who take to the street to face Chinese bullets, prison and torture. In advocating talks between the representatives of the Dalai Lama and China’s government  the European Union is failing to recognize or support the legitimate rights of the Tibetan people, or their struggle inside Tibet for independence. Instead it endorses a ‘solution’ that would mean the demise of Tibet as an international issue and the execution of Tibetan national identity. Moreover, it does so in full knowledge that inside occupied Tibet, the Tibetan people are enduring the most brutal violations and suppression, not for autonomy but to declare their nation’s freedom.

Some commentators have described this position as a heartless and cynical betrayal of Tibet’s legitimate right to external self-determination by the European Union. What is certain is that the wishes of some six million Tibetans are being willfully ignored, their participation and choice in determining the future status of their country dismissed, on the suspect grounds that a compromise solution accepting communist Chinese rule is the most attainable prospect. Yet the Dalai Lama himself, whom the European Union seems to support unconditionally has previously acknowledged: “I have always stated that the central issue is that the Tibetan people must ultimately choose their own destiny. It is not for the Dalai Lama, and certainly not for the Chinese to make that decision. It should ultimately be the wishes of the Tibetan people that should prevail”. (HH The Dalai Lama Yale, 1991)

Any Parliamentarian would surely welcome the democratic principles espoused in that statement and support the rights of the Tibetan people to determine their nation’s future status. In that context will you kindly share with us in what way promoting the Dalai Lama’s personal ideas on seeking a solution for his country in any way honors the wishes of his people or embraces their rights? As to your description of Tibetans as some sort of ‘Chinese minority’ we would remind your office that the Tibetan people are not an ethnic minority, but as determined by an International Lawyers Conference on Tibet in 1993 constitute a people and as such retain the rights to self-determination

“..the Tibetan people satisfied the requirements and are a “people” for international law purposes” Paragraph 4.5

“..three resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly (Nos 1353, 1723 and 2079) have recognized the status of Tibetans as a “people”. Resolution No. 1723 expressly refers to the right of the Tibetan people to self-determination”

Paragraph 4.6 The Conference also concluded that the Tibetan people possessed an “abiding desire” for: “The establishment of an independent Tibetan state”

Paragraph 4.10 It was also agreed that: “The Tibetan people are entitled to..the exercise of the right to self-determination” Paragraph 4.11

Chaired by the Honorable Michael Kirby (then Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Commission of Jurists) the Conference made a recommendation to communist China and the Tibetan Government in Exile to begin negotiations to: “..facilitate the exercise of the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination” Paragraph 8.9 (Conference of International Lawyers-Self-Determination and Independence for Tibet’ London 6th to 10th January 1993)

Given the legitimacy of the Tibetan peoples rights, and in recognizing the collective will of Tibetans inside Tibet for their nation’s freedom, as evidenced by the mass protests and individual actions across the three regions of Tibet , why should Tibetans be asked to accept any less than external self-determination and independence? We would therefore call upon your office to support the legitimate rights of Tibet’s people, including their right to national freedom, and to endorse only negotiations that have as an objective such rights.

#teamGlasto4TIBET Smashes For Tibet Glastonbury Festival

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Well that’s it folks another Glastonbury Festival has ended, the army of tents that has populated the green fields of England’s county of Somerset are being packed away, the lines of dazed and happy festival-goers head to the train and coach stations and local highways get tailbacks as the great convoy heads home. It’s been an amazing few days of music, sleep has been in short supply, the buzz simply too much, that’s sure been the case with our project #teamGlasto4TIBET. Once again we ensured that Tibet made a very visible presence across the festival with Tibetan flags appearing at major performances. None more so of course than that of Ms Patti Smith, whose passionate set was briefly joined by an on stage appearance of the Dalai Lama who received a fabulous welcome from the crowd, who sang Happy Birthday to him. As he looked out into the ocean of faces there before him flew the Tibetan national flag, a colorful and powerful reminder that the cause of his country is not forgotten and continues to attract the concern and support of people around the world. We were very proud and honored to be at the center of such action, as we were earlier in the day during a talk given by the Dalai Lama at which #teamGlasto4TIBET raised Tibet’s national emblem.

It’s vital that the issue of Tibet is given maximum exposure, after all China’s waging an ideological ware against the cause of Tibet so it becomes of critical importance to counter the propaganda and censorship. That is why #teamGlasto4TIBET was across the Glastonbury Festival not only to provide a statement of visual support for Tibet but in cooperation with our online activism enabling the issue to be shared, discussed and highlighted across the internet. Coordinating a presence at the site with live discussions on social media such as Twitter and Facebook generated massive exposure, reaching people across the world who maybe previously had little knowledge of the issue. Such actions would not be possible without the dedication, solidarity and kindness of a whole bunch of folks who contributed towards those objectives, in that regard let’s hear it for our warriors for Tibet; John Tumbridge, Abbie Learoyd-Smith Luis Vilchis for keeping Tibet’s flag flying at the festival and sharing some wonderful images. Speaking of which, a shout-out to our Twitter friend @plutoscave for sharing amazing screen captures of the television stream. Thanks also to Peter Yerod for being an active member of the #teamGlasto4TIBET Facebook group. Appreciation must also be given to colleagues running @tibettruth, who have worked tirelessly over the past few days getting information out across Twitter and generating massive awareness on Tibet. Special mention must also be made to our friends in England who designed and administered the #teamGlasto4TIBET action pack, an awesome job indeed.

It’s been huge, thanks to all our friends and subscribers who have been following and sharing news of our activism on Glastonbury Festival, let’s hope that we can meet again next year.