Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet

[ICT] Two Tibetans, including a prominent writer, who had just been released after serving several years in prison have been detained again in the last few days. Both Tibetans, writer Gangkye Drubpa Kyab – who wrote a book on the protests in Tibet in 2008 – and 35-year old Samdrub, are from Serthar in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in eastern Tibet.

According to Golog Jigme, both Tibetans may be accused of some sort of political activity; it is not known if they may face new charges. Radio Free Asia reported that after a grand Tibetan reception for Gangkye Drubpa Kyab following his release, police took him back again into custody, and “warned him that if he does not change his thoughts and embrace the official political line, he could be thrown back into jail”. Read more

[WaPo] A month ago, I never would have imagined I would be standing in front of the Potala Palace in Tibet, streaming a live video on Facebook and talking openly about economic and cultural discrimination and environmental pollution under Chinese rule.

And yet there I was, free to speak, unhindered by the Foreign Ministry minders who had brought us on a rare trip here. It was, as far as I know, the first-ever Facebook Live conducted in Tibet. Read more



[ICT] Xi Jinping visit to Qinghai reveals strategic importance of Tibet’s water, minerals; highlights CCP’s advanced plans

The visit of China’s Party chief and President Xi Jinping to north-eastern Tibetan region in Qinghai, in August signalled its importance to the Chinese leadership’s well-advanced long-term plans. Xi’s visit revealed the Party’s priorities in that region and beyond in terms of militarization of the plateau, the strategic importance of Tibet’s water and the intensified focus on exploitation of minerals, particularly lithium and uranium.

Making a visit to a nomad settlement village during his trip, Xi Jinping reiterated the retrograde official line about removing pastoralists from the grasslands, despite the scientific consensus among rangelands experts in the PRC and internationally that the indigenous knowledge of pastoralists and herd mobility are crucial to the protection of the environment. An award given by Xi to a People’s Liberation Army battalion based on the border near India raised hackles in South Asia.

In an indication of the oppressive measures against religious practice in Tibet, Xi warned that greater efforts needed to be made “to make religions […] follow a sinicized direction”. Read more

[BBC] A Tibetan search engine, backed by the Chinese authorities, has been launched.

Yongzim claims to be better at handling complex searches involving several words in the language than any alternative.

But a spokesman for the government in exile, the Central Tibetan Administration, told the BBC it could also be used as a "platform to promote propaganda to legitimise the illegal occupation of Tibet."

Tibet is governed as an autonomous region of China. Beijing cliams a centuries-old sovereignty over the Himalayan region, yet the allegiances of many Tibetans lie with the exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, seen by China as a separatist threat. Read more