Exiled Tibetans protest outside UN HQ in Geneva

Exiled Tibetans protested in front of the iconic “Broken Chair” in Geneva ahead of the 36th United Nations Human Rights Council Session against the atrocities being committed by the Chinese Government and demanded independence for Tibet.

Holding placards ‘Who is responsible for self-immolation -The Chinese government’ and raising slogans “we want justice”, exiled Tibetans protesters called for a “Free Tibet”.

ANI quoted Dawa Norbu, representative of Tibetan community of Switzerland, saying, “We are here to protest ahead of the 36th United Nations Human Rights Council Session meeting as we want to make them (UN members) aware of the prevailing human rights situation in Tibet. We want our voices to be heard and the reason is why UN is not acting against the Chinese government. We want to make them aware that what wrong Chinese Government has done in past few years.”, “Chinese have demolished Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Institute, one of the largest centres of Buddhist learning in Tibet. Now, they are trying to control the entire Buddhist institutes in Tibet,” he added.

Voicing concern over the increasing Chinese oriented development activities, others present at the protest voiced that they were concerned about indigenous Tibetans who live in the absence of freedom of speech, freedom to practice their religion, about arbitrary arrests that are made and the Human rights violation of those arrested who have no access to the lawyers, languishing in jails and deprived of justice.

Tibetans raised issues ranging from the gross violations of human rights in Tibet, the resurgence of immolation protests in Tibet to the 1949 China’s illegal occupation of Tibet.

Sources:ANI, Reuters





Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal despite China’s warning

Dalai Lama is all set to visit Arunachal Pradesh. The spiritual leader will be visiting Tawang after 8 years interval from April 4 to 13. The visit will take place despite China’s warning of “severe damage” to Indo-China relations.

Beijing has issued a statement, expressing concern over the visit of Dalai Lama. China stakes claim of 90,000 sq kms in Arunachal which it refers to as “South Tibet”. Defying China, Dalai Lama will travel to Arunachal Pradesh accompanied with Union Minister Kiren Rijiju.

A change is seen in the actions of the Narendra Modi’s administration, which is raising public engagement with Dalai Lama. The earlier governments had been reluctant in this matter.

China regards Dalai Lama a dangerous separatist and has expressed its disapproval of providing a state to Lama for carrying out “anti-China” activities.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh said, “He is going there as a religious leader, there is no reason to stop him. His devotees are demanding he should come, what harm can he do? He is a lama.” He also said that India is going to be more assertive while dealing with China.

News Sources: Times Of India, Live Mint

Image Source: Reuters

China furious as Barack Obama meets the Dalai Lama

Barack Obama on Friday met the exiled spiritual leader and fellow Nobel laureate The Dalai Lama at the White House. This is the first time Obama met him since 2011; a meeting that had triggered an angry response from China stating that the meet harmed the ties between the two nations.

“The president is currently meeting w/His Holiness the @DalaiLama in his capacity as an internationally respected religious & cultural leader,” the US national Security Council said on Twitter. China, who had for long been successful and still tries not to allow foreign dignitaries to meet the Dalai Lama, were quick to respond through the foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying who issued a statement stating, “China is firmly opposed to this. We urge the US side to treat China’s concern in a serious way and immediately cancel the planned meeting.”

Picture Courtesy – Indian Express

More than 120 people has committed suicides and set themselves ablaze in the Tibetan parts of China fighting for their independence as tensions keep growing with every single day. “The Dalai Lama is essentially a political fugitive whose group instigates separatist activities including self-immolations,” the state-run Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

The United States of America however as always played a diplomatic role as the nation’s spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden went on to say that though the country supported Lama’s approach but that did not mean that they necessarily supported to the demand of a separate nation for Tibet. In a statement, she went on to say that, “We do not support Tibetan independence. The United States strongly supports human rights and religious freedom in China. We are concerned about continuing tensions and the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas of China.”

Will China’s new policy ever come into play?

As China welcomed their new leaders to take the reins of power in Beijing on March 2012, a shocking event was unfolding 2000 km away. In the mountainous region of western Sichuan, on the Tibetan plateau, three teenage Tibetan monks set themselves on fire on the eve of the Communist Party congress.

The young monks called for freedom in Tibet and the return of the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. A monk of 15 years old, the youngest monk ever, died from his injuries. Over 70 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2011.

Free Tibet protest held in New York
Image courtesy: demotix.com

Over the past decades Chinese government and the six million Tibetans they govern have been sharing a very strained relationship. The government tries to backlash on free Tibet by emphasizing their development act in Tibetan areas, saying its rule has brought huge economic benefits to what was a poor feudal society.

Today more than two million Tibetans have been as resettled by the Chinese government over the last seven years recorded by Human Rights Watch. Hundreds and thousands of Tibetans, monks including nomads were forced into so called ‘socialist villages’ reports the group.

To closely monitor the situation at street-level to prevent a repeat of mass protests a new security system is designed in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, in March 2008. In addition, about 300,000 nomadic herders have been relocated and settled since the early 2000s and the authorities have reportedly announced their intention to turn an additional 113,000 into sedentary dwellers by the end of 2013.

However, in a separate case some Buddhists in China’s Tibetan areas are now able to openly worship their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama and due to an experimental change in policy, some temples can openly display portraits of the Dalai Lama and no one is allowed to criticize him.

But the media has still been unable to confirm the claims. If this change in policy is true, it could represent a significant relaxation of the Communist Party’s attitude towards the Dalai Lama.