Archive for the ‘Tibet’ Category

TAKE ACTION: SIGN ON – More Tibetans burn as thousands protest China’s policies

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Over 1,000 students protested against Chinese policies in Tibet on Monday, and a further four self-immolations were also reported in the region.

The immediate cause of the student protest was the release of a book claiming that the Tibetan language was irrelevant and that self-immolations were “acts of stupidity”. At least 20 students were reportedly admitted to hospital after the protest was broken up by armed police.

The latest self-immolations bring the number of tragic incidents in which Tibetans have set themselves on fire to 85 since 2009, with 21 this month alone. At least three of the Tibetans, aged between 18 and 24, died from their burns, while the condition of the fourth protester is unknown.

China claims that Tibet has long been part of its territory, but until Beijing asserted control in the 1950s, the region enjoyed substantial autonomy. Since then, Han Chinese suppression of Tibetan culture and language has sparked huge resentment in the region. The Tibetans’ spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has lived in exile in India since a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

China’s new leadership has a chance to start afresh with Tibet and its other restive provinces, and they must seize it. That starts with recognising that Tibetans have widespread and legitimate grievances – and that the Chinese authorities’ brutal attempts to crack down and eliminate perceived troublemakers is doomed to fail. With this change of course, real improvements in this troubled relationship, and to the lives of 3 million Tibetans, are possible. Without it, Tibetans will continue to burn.

TAKE ACTION and sign on petitionHERE

Selbstverbrennungen von Tibetern. Niemand will verantwortlich sein

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Die Selbstverbrennungen von Tibetern gehen weiter. Die chinesische Regierung macht den Dalai Lama dafür verantwortlich. Dieser geißelt die Unterdrückung. Gibt es einen Ausweg?
Artikel lesen:Frankfurter Allgemeine

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay: “China must cease human rights violations in Tibet”

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

2 November 2012, the United Nations human rights chief urged China to address the allegations of rights violations in Tibet, which have led to an alarming escalation of “desperate” forms of protest in the region, including self-immolations.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said she was disturbed by “continuing allegations of violence against Tibetans seeking to exercise their fundamental human rights of freedom of expression, association and religion,” and pointed to “reports of detentions and disappearances, of excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators, and curbs on the cultural rights of Tibetans.”

Ms. Pillay, who has had several exchanges with the Chinese Government on these issues, according to a news release from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said authorities need to do more to protect human rights and prevent violations.

“I call on the Government to respect the rights to peaceful assembly and expression, and to release all individuals detained for merely exercising these universal rights,” she said.

Among the cases reported is that of a 17-year-old girl who was severely beaten and sentenced to three years in prison for distributing flyers calling for Tibet’s freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama. Others have been sentenced to up to seven years in prison for writing essays, making films or distributing photos of events in Tibet outside of China. Serious concerns have also been raised about fair trial standards, and the torture and ill-treatment of detainees.

The human rights chief appealed to Tibetans to refrain from resorting to extreme forms of protest and urged community and religious leaders to use their influence to help prevent any further loss of life.

“I recognize Tibetans’ intense sense of frustration and despair which has led them to resort to such extreme means,” she noted, “but there are other ways to make those feelings clear. The Government also needs to recognize this, and permit Tibetans to express their feelings without fear of retribution.”

Ms. Pillay also urged the Government to allow independent and impartial monitors to visit and assess conditions on the ground and to lift restrictions on media access to the region. There are currently 12 outstanding requests for official visits to China by UN Special Rapporteurs on various human rights issues, including freedom of religion and belief.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

“Deep underlying issues need to be addressed, and I call on the Government to seriously consider the recommendations made to it by various international human rights bodies, as well as to avail itself of the expert advice being offered by the UN’s independent experts on human rights,” she said, adding that OHCHR stands ready to assist on these issues and promote best practices with regard to the protection of minorities.

In a separate development, OHCHR today welcomed last week’s announcement of the passage of China’s first mental health law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

“We have only just received the Chinese text of the law and we have not yet managed to analyze it in detail but we understand that it addresses some key areas of concern. For example, it provides that individuals with psychiatric conditions who are deemed unlikely to cause harm to themselves or others should not be held in psychiatric institutions against their will,” OHCHR’s spokesperson, Rupert Colville, told reporters in Geneva.

“The law should provide an important framework for civil society in China to monitor and advocate on mental health care issues, and for persons suffering such disabilities to better claim their rights and entitlements,” he added.


Thursday, December 8th, 2011

“Why do you think Tibet matters when we discuss here in Durban on how to halt the negative impacts of Cimate Change?”

This question was raised by Woebum Tenzin, a Tibetan women representing Tibet 3rd Pole to a room full with people that had participated at the tiresome United Nations climate change negotiations at the COP17, in Durban at a side event that was hosted by Society for Threatened Peoples Int’l and ECOTERRA Int’l.

“Because Tibet is the roof of the world, the Planet’s ‘Third Pole’, home to around 46,000 glaciers, that are storing 40% of the world’s freshwater.” Mrs Woebum responded to her own question. “ Tibet is warming at least twice as fast as the rest of the world.” she added.

Showing pictures of glaciers 20 years ago and today, Mrs Woebum informed the attentive audience that 20 percent of Tibetan glaciers have already retreated.

If the current trends continue and governments don’t start to take collective responsibility for all live on Earth, Tibet’s glaciers might be gone within a decade. These glaciers feed the rivers that are the lifeblood of Asia, providing water for billions of people in ten nations downstream of Tibet.” Mrs Woebum added.

Tibet is virtually an island in the sky so vast it deeply affects wind circulation, draws the Asian monsoons deep inland, affecting even storm tracks of the north Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

China, that had occupied Tibet against the will of the peaceful Tibetan people in the 60ies, is aggressively blocking and damming the rivers that flow into the neighbor countries, heavily opposed by worried neighbor countries.

Sixty one dam projects are under construction, in the planning stage or have already been built by China on the Tibetan highplatea. Twenty one hydroelectric dam projects in the Mekong River alone are under construction, in the planning stage or have already been built. Thirty six hydropower projects in Upper Yangtze River at the current date. Twenty four dams at the Selween River.

“China is building countless smaller dams in order to create the energy that is needed for the construction of the megadams.” said Payal Parekh Ph.d, an independant Energy and Climate researcher that informed the audience about the negative impacts of dams on climate change.

As the climate change on Tibet’s fragile mountain ecosystem continues or even accelerates, their effects will resonate far beyond the plateau, changing the water supply for billions of people and altering the atmospheric circulation over half the planet. More than ever before, the need to save the Tibetan Plateau from ecological devastation is urgent because it is not a question of the survival of Tibetans, but also half of the humanity.

For more information call Rebecca Sommer (temporary cell in Durban +270997099726