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Tibetan Diaspora observes Tibet Lobby Day

Published in Latest news
Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Tibetans in the US and Australia marked the Tibet Lobby Day on (March 27 and 28) to call for action on Tibet issues including deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet and lack of freedom of religion and speech in Tibet.

The US based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) in association with Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) and Tibetan Associations in the US met with representatives of various US Senators to advocate on issues such as disappearance of 11th Panchen Lama, demolition of Larung Gar, environmental damages and arrest of language activist Tashi Wangchuk and writer Shokjang, among other issues.

Tibetans in Australia also met with several MPs and Senators to amplify the Tibet issue in Canberra. Stating human rights should come first, Senator Scott Ludlam in his message to the Australian government suggested that the government use its strong relationship with China to speak freely and honestly. Read more

Security has been intensified in an area of Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) where a 24-year old Tibetan farmer, Pema Gyaltsen, set fire to himself on March 18 near a monastery.
A video has emerged from another area in Kardze, Serthar (Chinese: Seda), which appears to show Tibetan pedestrians in traditional clothes being attacked and brutally beaten by police. A voice over removed from the video footage, circulated by Voice of America, reflects shock and sadness among onlookers, with one voice saying over and over again, “They are doing this for no reason at all.”
Tensions are high in the Serthar area, which is close to the religious institute of Larung Gar, also in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan, the Tibetan area of Kham. Images and video of more demolitions at the religious institute over the last few days are circulating on social media. Read more

As the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council is coming to an end on March 24, the human rights situation in Tibet and China has once more been in the focus of civil society organizations and concerned governments.

While facing a changing environment due to potential policy shifts of the U.S. government with regard to the Human Rights Council, advocates for human rights in the People’s Republic of China and also Tibet, among them the International Campaign for Tibet, sent a joint letter to Permanent Missions to the UN in Geneva, asking governments to sustain the call for accountability of the Chinese Government by making a joint statement, and by coordinating national statements, at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council. 

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in his report to the Human Rights Council, expressed concern with regard to the situation in Tibet. He stated: “The Government of China had stated its intention to play a leadership role in the Human Rights Council, and so far it had performed remarkably in lifting hundreds of millions of people from poverty. However, it should respect the rights of human rights defenders, and cease to restrict cultural and religious rights, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet.“ Read more

A 24-year-old Tibetan man set himself on fire Saturday in a protest against Chinese rule in the Himalayan region, the first reported self-immolation of 2017, sources told RFA's Tibetan Service.

Pema Gyaltsen, from Nyagrong (in Chinese, Xinlong) county in Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, around 4 p.m., and police swiftly removed his charred body from the scene, Tibetan sources told RFA.

Two sources from the Tibetan exile community said Gyaltsen, an unmarried farmer, was taken to a hospital in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. One source said the man later died, but the other said his contacts in the region believed he was still alive in hospital. Read more

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