Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet


[ICT] Protests against an enormous open-air mining project in northern Tibet continued for a third consecutive day on Thursday (June 2). Tibetans marched down the main street in Amchok and raised a banner in front of the local government office this time, following earlier demonstrations at the site of the mine. The mine has previously been the site of two self-immolations by Tibetans.

Videos of the demonstrations, which have been shared widely on Tibetan social media accounts and posted to Youtube, show Tibetans chanting slogans calling for the government to protect the environment and to respect the faith of Tibetan Buddhists, who see Gong-Ngon Lari mountain as a holy place. Demonstrators have also quoted Xi Jinping’s speeches, which voiced support for ecological and environmental protection, in articulating their opposition to the mine.

Another video captured a large convoy of armed police arriving in Amchok township, and one picture showed a number of police in riot gear in the township center. Tensions remain high and there are fears that riot police might use violence to end the demonstrations, as they have during previous environmental protests. Read more

 


Human Rights Watch have released a new report about the increased crackdown on dissent in Tibet. The report, Relentless: Detention and Prosecution of Tibetans under China’s ‘Stability Maintenance’ Campaign, documents the Chinese government’s detention, prosecution, and conviction of Tibetans for largely peaceful activities from 2013 to 2015.

The authorities have detained people for types of expression and assembly that are protected under Chinese and international law and had been previously tolerated. Many of these cases took place in rural areas or involved segments of society not previously targeted.

The research found that many of those detained and prosecuted were local community leaders, environmental activists, and villagers involved in social and cultural activities, as well as local writers and singers. In the previous three decades, the authorities had rarely accused people from these sectors of Tibetan society of involvement in political unrest. Buddhist monks and nuns, who constituted over 90 percent of political detainees in Tibet in the 1980s, represent less than 40 percent of the 479 cases documented here.

The full report can be downloaded here: https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/05/22/relentless/detention-and-prosecution-tibetans-under-chinas-stability-maintenance


Chinese authorities have sentenced yet another Tibetan writer to prison for seven years and six months after holding him incommunicado for more than a year.

Lobsang Jamyang (Pen-name: Lomik), a prolific and courageous writer who is also a monk from the local Kirti Monastery was sentenced on charges of “leaking state secrets” and “engaging in separatist activities” at a close-door trial held at Lunggu (Ch: Wenchuan) County in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. His family members were not informed about the trial and were not provided any details on the exact date of his sentencing. Read more


As China publishes its online database of Communist Party approved Tibetan Buddhist reincarnations, with more than 400 names added last week, a vibrant online debate among Chinese and Tibetan netizens has followed a scathing critique of policies on religion in Tibet focusing on the Party’s attempts to control reincarnation by a Tibetan scholar in the PRC. Read more