Australia Tibet Council

Enabling everyone in Australia to be part of change in Tibet


[ICT] Tibetans across Tibet celebrated the Dalai Lama’s 81st birthday yesterday by burning incense and praying before his image placed on shrines. Celebrating the Dalai Lama’s birthday is not permitted in Tibet in the context of a virulent political campaign against the religious leader.

In Kathmandu, Nepal, a peaceful celebration by the Tibetan community that was also attended by some foreign diplomats was broken up by Nepalese police in riot uniform. Twenty-eight people, both Tibetans and Nepalese, were detained and held in police custody for several hours. Read more


[ICT] President Barack Obama met with the Dalai Lama this morning (June 15, 2016), marking the fourth time the two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have met at the White House since Obama took office.

President Obama expressed support for the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach during their discussion, and encouraged direct dialogue between the Dalai Lama and his representatives and Chinese authorities. Read more


[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