President Obama meets with Dalai Lama on July 16

Obama meets with the Dalai Lama at the White House Map Room, July 16, 2011.
Shrugging off warnings from China, U.S. President Barack Obama met with Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Saturday in a bid to highlight the need for human rights protection in the Beijing-ruled Himalayan territory.

The two Nobel laureates held their pre-noon 45-minute talks in the White House residence’s Map Room-not the Oval Office where the president welcomes heads of state-as U.S. officials attempted to keep the meeting as low key as possible.

Obama hosted the talks despite a warning by Beijing to call off the meeting, which it likened to interference in China’s internal affairs. It warned that bilateral ties could be damaged.

The Dalai Lama said the meeting was “wonderful,” pointing out that Obama showed “genuine concern” for the plight of the Tibetans, who are facing a harsh crackdown by the Chinese authorities.
Obama is the “president of the greatest democratic country, so naturally he is showing concern about basic human values, human rights, religious freedom, these things,” the 76-year-old leader told reporters as he retreated to his hotel after the meeting.

“So naturally he shows genuine concern about the suffering in Tibet and also some other places,” the Dalai Lama said, describing the talks as a “spiritual reunion.”
‘Enduring support’
The White House said the meeting “underscores the president’s strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans.”
Obama also wanted to highlight “his enduring support for dialogue between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and the Chinese government to resolve differences,” the White House said in a statement before the talks on Friday.

The Dalai Lama’s special envoy, Lodi Gyari, said Obama told the Tibetan spiritual leader that he “respected and supported” his Middle Way approach to resolving the Tibetan issue and gave an assurance that the issue would continue to be raised by the U.S. with the Chinese government at all levels of bilateral talks.
Obama wanted the Dalai Lama to continue the Middle Way approach, under which the Tibetan people will not push for independence from China but seek “meaningful” autonomy within China’s borders.
The U.S. leader also asked the Dalai Lama, who retired in March as political leader of the Tibetan government in exile, to continue to shepherd the dialogue between his envoys and the Chinese authorities in a bid for greater autonomy for Tibet, Gyari said.
“The Dalai Lama agreed and said it is his responsibility to do everything for the interest and benefit of the Tibetan people,” Gyari said.
The Dalai Lama’s envoys have held nine rounds of talks with Beijing but there has been no breakthrough.
Obama last met the Dalai Lama at the same venue in February 2010 in talks which also infuriated Beijing.

Saturday’s meeting was held as the Dalai Lama wrapped up a nearly two-week visit to Washington where he led thousands in a Buddhist meditation ritual.
China accuses the Dalai Lama of being a separatist, a charge denied by the 76-year- old spiritual leader. He says he is only seeking “genuine” autonomy for the Himalayan territory that Beijing has ruled since 1950.
China reaction

China reacted angrily at the scheduled meeting between Obama and the Dalai Lama, suggesting that it was an interference in its internal affairs.

“The issue regarding Tibet concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we firmly oppose any foreign official to meet with the Dalai Lama in any form,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, state news agency Xinhua reported Friday.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese embassy in the United States have lodged “solemn representation” with the United States over the issue in Beijing and Washington respectively, Hong said.

“We request the U.S. side to honor its serious commitment that recognizes Tibet as part of China and opposes ‘Tibet independence,’ to immediately withdraw the decision of arranging [the] Obama-Dalai Lama meeting, and to avoid interfering in China’s internal affairs and damaging China-U.S. relations,” the spokesman said.

Last week, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, and top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi met the Dalai Lama, raising concerns in Beijing.
The Obama-Dalai Lama talks came as Beijing stepped up its crackdown in Tibet and in Tibetan-majority areas in China.

Strenge begrensninger i Tibet i forbindelse med kommunistisk feiring

On 25 June 2011 an important meeting was held in Lhasa, “Tibetan Autonomous Region” (“TAR”) to deal with stability and security in the region for a smooth commemoration of founding day of communist party according to the official website Chinatibetnews.com . On

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1 July 2011, China celebrates the 90th fouding day of the Chinese Communist Party and also “60 years of Peaceful Liberation of Tibet”. Restrictions have been escalated in Tibet leading to arrest of many Tibetans and monitoring of monks in the monasteries. In the meeting, the regional Party Secretary Zhang Qingli made an important speech at the conference to maintain stability. He said, “all the heads and the leaders should ensure stability in their particular region. And the leaders should be able to take responsibility that no protests will occur in their region. Especially all the leaders should have to prioritize their work and to maintain stability in the society should be kept on the forefront. They should immediately have work distribution after the meeting and all effort should be made to have a stable society. The work should be distributed to all the staffs and they should acquire a new dimension in stabilizing the society. That Tibet should become a stable place for a long time and produce a result that they should celebrate the 90 years of Chinese Communist Party and 60 years of Peaceful Liberation on Tibet.” In the evening of 25 June 2011, a meeting was held in Lhasa for the Public Security Bureau (PSB) and People Armed Police (PAP) to take oath by them to keep the society stable and to bring security to the people. The police displayed their arms and ammunitions and marched in the police ground to swear on ensuring stability on the society and to maintain peace. The district police officers, active duty troops and armed police officers and soldiers carried out a collective oath to ensure a stable society to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the Communist Party of China on its 90th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet. After the meeting, beginning from 26 June 2011, all units around “TAR” held meetings to distribute work so as to have stability during the celebration. The Drepung Monastery work unit and the police stationed in the premises held meetings to describe the importance of the staffs to maintain peace and stability in the “TAR”. Due to the forthcoming celebrations there have been increased restrictions in Lhasa and monks from the monastery around Lhasa area are restricted to move around freely to Lhasa. The hotels and guest houses are being checked round the clock, passes are being checked for fear of any protest. Especially the former political prisoners are being questioned and Tibetans coming from outside Lhasa are being arrested if they do not have permits to stay in Lhasa. This action of restriction to people in the “TAR” area especially in Lhasa is a violation of human rights of the Tibetans in Tibet. The restrictions should be lifted immediately. Note: Pictures of the meeting is available on our website www.tchrd.org

Heavy Restrictions in Tibet Prior to Communist Founding Day

On 25 June 2011 an important meeting was held in Lhasa, “Tibetan Autonomous Region” (“TAR”) to deal with stability and security in the region for a smooth commemoration of founding day of communist party according to the official website Chinatibetnews.com . On 1 July 2011, China celebrates the 90th fouding day of the Chinese Communist Party and also “60 years of Peaceful Liberation of Tibet”. Restrictions have been escalated in Tibet leading to arrest of many Tibetans and monitoring of monks in the monasteries.

In the meeting, the regional Party Secretary Zhang Qingli made an important speech at the conference to maintain stability. He said, “all the heads and the leaders should ensure stability in their particular region. And the leaders should be able to take responsibility that no protests will occur in their region. Especially all the leaders should have to prioritize their work and to maintain stability in the society should be kept on the forefront. They should immediately have work distribution after the meeting and all effort should be made to have a stable society. The work should be distributed to all the staffs and they should acquire a new dimension in stabilizing the society. That Tibet should become a stable place for a long time and produce a result that they should celebrate the 90 years of Chinese Communist Party and 60 years of Peaceful Liberation on Tibet.”

In the evening of 25 June 2011, a meeting was held in Lhasa for the Public Security Bureau (PSB) and People Armed Police (PAP) to take oath by them to keep the society stable and to bring security to the people. The police displayed their arms and ammunitions and marched in the police ground to swear on ensuring stability on the society and to maintain peace. The district police officers, active duty troops and armed police officers and soldiers carried out a collective oath to ensure a stable society to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the Communist Party of China on its 90th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet.

After the meeting, beginning from 26 June 2011, all units around “TAR” held meetings to distribute work so as to have stability during the celebration. The Drepung Monastery work unit and the police stationed in the premises held meetings to describe the importance of the staffs to maintain peace and stability in the “TAR”.

Due to the forthcoming celebrations there have been increased restrictions in Lhasa and monks from the monastery around Lhasa area are restricted to move around freely to Lhasa. The hotels and guest houses are being checked round the clock, passes are being checked for fear of any protest. Especially the former political prisoners are being questioned and Tibetans coming from outside Lhasa are being arrested if they do not have permits to stay in Lhasa. This action of restriction to people in the “TAR” area especially in Lhasa is a violation of human rights of the Tibetans in Tibet. The restrictions should be lifted immediately.
Note: Pictures of the meeting is available on our website www.tchrd.org

Tragediene ved Kirti-klosteret markeres med demonstrasjon foran den kinesiske ambassaden

PRESSEMELDING 23.05.2011 Demonstrasjon foran den kinesiske ambassaden 23.05.11 i solidaritet med de 300 munkene som er forsvunnet fra Kirti-klosteret i Tibet siste måned. I dag feirer Kina 60 års ”peaceful liberation of Tibet”. I 60 år har

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Kina utøvet og utøver fortsatt så mye undertrykkelse av tibetanere i Tibet at Kina ikke tør å åpne Tibet til verden. Hva er det de er redd for? I 60 år har ikke Kina klart å vinne tibetanernes hjerte, hva sier det om Kina? Vi har valgt denne dagen til å markere vår avsky mot undertrykkingen som skjer i Tibet. Generelt, og for å vise vår solidaritet med de tre hundre munkene som er forsvunnet fra Kirti klosteret i Tibet

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i forrige måned. Den norske Tibet-komité og det Tibetanske samfunnet i Norge arrangerer en demonstrasjon foran den kinesiske ambassaden i dag 23. mai kl. 15.00-16.00. Det skal holdes en symbolsk sultestreik foran Stortinget 24. mai fra kl.07.00-22.00. Kirti-klosteret i Ngaba regionen Tibet har vært under ubekreftet unntakstilstand siden 16. mars, etter at Phuntsog, en 21 år gammel munk fra klosteret satte fyr på seg selv i protest mot de kinesiske myndigheters undertrykkelse. To eldre Tibetanere er allerede døde som et direkte resultat av å ha blitt slått hardt av det kinesiske politiet, bare fordi de sammen med noen andre seniorborgere hadde prøvd å stoppe det kinesiske politiet fra å ta med de 300 munkene. Ingen vet hvor munkene er nå. En bølge av arrestasjoner har blitt gjort de siste dagene. Situasjonen blir verre og verre hver eneste dag som går i Kirti-klosteret. For mer informasjon se følgende nettsider: Artikkel publisert av New York Times. Artikkel publisert av BBC. Kontakt: Tsomo Svenningsen Styremedlem, Den norske Tibet-komitè Tlf: 950 14859 Epost: info@tibet.no , gyachungtsang2003@yahoo.com

Free Liu Xiaobo

TIBETANS AND SUPPORTERS STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH LIU XIAOBO AND ALL PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE DETAINED BY CHINA

Oslo, Norway, 8 December 2010

On 10 december Tibetans and supporters around the world will take part in celebrations with Chinese human rights defenders to express their support for Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

“This honour for Liu Xiaobo is an honour for all prisoners of conscience, including hundreds of Tibetans, persecuted by China for exercising freedom of speech,” said Chungdak Koren Director of the Norwegian Tibet Committee, part of the International Tibet Network. “We join Tibet Groups around the world in saluting Liu Xiaobo’s courage and integrity, and stand today with the people of China to celebrate this tribute to a man who has worked tirelessly for their right to freedom of expression.”

The voices calling for reform in China are getting louder and stronger with more and more Chinese and Tibetan advocates risking their lives to promote the freedom they desire. Thousands of prisoners – Chines as well as Tibetans – continue to be held behind bars, serving long sentences for speaking out and voicing their opinions . Before Liu was sentenced in 2009 he said in his ‘Final Statement’, “Freedom of expression is the basis of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth. To block freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, to strangle humanity and to suppress the truth.”

“By awarding this prize to Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Committee has illuminated the human and political rights of the people in China and Tibet and created a sense of hope,” said Wenche Thingnes Vice Chairwomen of the Norwegain Tibet Committee . “We now expect governments around the world to follow the Committee’s moral leadership, to press China’s leaders to release Liu Xiaobo and all the heroic Chinese and Tibetan human rights defenders that remain in prison, and urge them to take meaningful steps to implement the political and human rights reforms that these brave advocates are risking their lives to promote.”

Norwegian Tibet Committee appreciate the symbolism and poignancy of the empty chair at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on 10 December, since neither Liu XIaobo nor any close family members are able to collect the award. We look forward to the day when Liu, and thousands of others currently detained by China, can take their chairs and freely express their views to the world without reprisal.

Press Realse 8 December 2010
Contact: Chungdak Koren
Mobl: +47 95024443

Chungdak Koren valgt som medlem til det eksiltibetanske parlamentet

Pressemelding 02.05.2011

Av Olav Gunnar Ballo
Styreleder i Den norske Tibet-komité

Chungdak Koren valgt som medlem til det eksiltibetanske parlamentet.

Daglig leder i Den norske Tibet-komité, Chungdak Koren, stilte til valg som én av fem kandidater til de to plassene Europa har i tibetanernes eksilparlament i Dharamsala i India. Parlamentet har til sammen 44 plasser og ble opprettet i september 1960 som en direkte konsekvens av at Dalai Lama måtte flykte i eksil fra Tibet den 10. mars 1959. Det er parlamentsvalg hvert femte år, og dette var det 15. parlamentsvalget i rekken. Alle eksiltibetanere har stemmerett, og 83 000 tibetanere registrerte seg denne gang.

I Norge stemte 23 av 25 stemmeberettigede tibetanere ved valget 20.03.11. Dette var annen valgomgang, der det i Europa skulle velges to blant de fem kandidatene som fikk flest stemmer i første valgrunde i oktober 2010. Valget av Chungdak Koren som Europas representant gjør henne til den første eksilparlamentariker fra et nordisk land til det eksiltibetanske parlamentet.

Det var samtidig direktevalg av Kalon Tripa (statsminsiter for den eksiltibetanske regjeringen). 42 år gamle Lobsang Sangay vant valget med 55% av stemmene. Han er født i India, men flyttet til USA i 1995, der han er utdannet jurist fra Harvard.

Dalai Lama sa i sin årlige 10.mars-tale at han ønsket å gi fra seg sin politiske makt over til den folkevalgte eksilregjeringssjef. Han ønsker at det tibetanske folket får et fullverdig demokratisk styresett. Lobsang Sangay og det eksiltibetanske parlamentet vil dermed spille en nøkkelrolle i å følge opp den politiske arven etter Dalai Lama.

Det eksiltibetanske parlamentet kommer sammen i India i mai for å gjennomføre lovendringer som tilrettelegger for overføring av den politiske makten fra Dalai Lama til sin første samling nå i mai. Dalai Lama vil fortsatt være åndelig leder for Tibets befolkning.

Chungdak Koren, som har bodd i Norge siden hun kom hit fra India i 1969, blir dermed en av 44 parlamentarikere som skal delta i denne viktige beslutningsprosessen for Tibets befolkning.

Styreleder i Den norske Tibet-komiteen; Olav Gunnar Ballo, sier at valget av Chungdak Koren til tibetanernes parlament i India er en historisk begivenhet, siden ingen fra Norge har deltatt tidligere. Fordi Norge har tildelt Dalai Lama fredsprisen, har landet en helt spesiell posisjon i tibetanernes bevissthet. Dette gjør at valget av Koren som tibetanske parlamentariker også bør få oppmerksomhet blant norske politikere og i norsk presse, avslutter Ballo.

Kontakt:
Olav Gunner Ballo. Tel : 99268883
Chungdak Koren. Tel: 95024443

Hunger Strike in Delhi undertaken by three young Tibetans

CALL TO INVOKE YOUR CONSCIENCE
Three members of Central Executive Committee of TYC has taken a FAST UNDER DEATH in Delhi from April.16.2011 and their physical condition is deteriorating day by day. His Holiness the dalai Lama has appealed to the international community to raise their voice against the terror tactics of CCP. Over hundred monks from the Kirti Monastery in Dharamsala is undertaking peace march from Dharamasala go Delhi. The entire population of Ngaba County came out in the streets with their demand for withdrawal of armed military forces from the Monastery. We take this spontaneous upsurge of local Tibetan as an unmistakable expression of their resentment against the indifference of the Chinese Communist regime and their failure to respect the basic human rights in Tibet.

Please invoke your own sensitivity/conscience to the effect of the festering tragedy of monks of the Kirti Monastery and raise your voice against CCP by joining the Rally Hunger Strike at Chinese Consulate, 240 St. George St. Toronto (from 9am to 3pm (Monday to Friday). Please join the Rally Hunger Strike if your conscience does not allow Military attack on a Monastery, a place of worship.

Contact Mr. Jampa for further information: 647-706-1559
TSEWANG RIGZIN
President
Cell no: +91 – 980-524-7259
Office No: +91 – 1892-221554
E-mail: wewillfreetibet@gmail.com

3 unge tibetanere sultestreiker i Delhi

CALL TO INVOKE YOUR CONSCIENCE

Three members of Central Executive Committee of TYC has taken a FAST UNDER DEATH in Delhi from April.16.2011 and their physical condition is deteriorating day by day. His Holiness the dalai Lama has appealed to the international community to raise their voice against the terror tactics of CCP. Over hundred monks from the Kirti Monastery in Dharamsala is undertaking peace march from Dharamasala go Delhi. The entire population of Ngaba County came out in the streets with their demand for withdrawal of armed military forces from the Monastery. We take this spontaneous upsurge of local Tibetan as an unmistakable expression of their resentment against the indifference of the Chinese Communist regime and their failure to respect the basic human rights in Tibet.

Please invoke your own sensitivity/conscience to the effect of the festering tragedy of monks of the Kirti Monastery and raise your voice against CCP by joining the Rally Hunger Strike at Chinese Consulate, 240 St. George St. Toronto (from 9am to 3pm (Monday to Friday). Please join the Rally Hunger Strike if your conscience does not allow Military attack on a Monastery, a place of worship.

Contact Mr. Jampa for further information: 647-706-1559
TSEWANG RIGZIN
President
Cell no: +91 – 980-524-7259
Office No: +91 – 1892-221554
E-mail: wewillfreetibet@gmail.com

Tibetan writer appeals to the UN Human Rights Council

A Tibetan writer-activist monk, Lhaden, released his book in Tibetan language titled Tse Sok Le Trun Pe Kecha (rough translation: Words Uttered With Life On Risk) this month timed at the third anniversary of 2008 Mass Uprising in Tibet and the ongoing 16th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Lhaden has meticulously written the book for over three years on his observations and arguments regarding causes and consequences of the mass uprising by Tibetans in 2008. The 255 pages book with five chapters also covers commentaries on the Jyekundo (Ch: Yushu) earthquake, leaders in Tibet and religion etc. The first chapter of the book exclusively covers 2008 mass uprising with a timeline of protest events, causes, scope, clamp down, analysis by Chinese scholars, police brutality and government propaganda against the Dalai Lama.

Lhaden appeals to the UN Human Rights Council to seriously listen to voices of the oppressed people instead of being a platform for trumpeting by the seat holders or a platform for discussions amongst the free people only. He wrote poetically “while putting on mortgage my life, I offer this book as a voice of the oppressed and as an appeal” for the UNHRC to take actions in Tibet.
Lhaden was born in 1980 at Dida Village, Pema County, Golog “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture”, Qinghai. Originally named as Lhaden (popularly called Di Lhaden), he was also known by his ordained name Thubten Lobsang Lhundup. At eleven years old he was admitted to his local monastery and four years later joined Serthar Buddhist Institute. When he became 28 years old, he went to Lhasa to study at Drepung and Sera Monasteries, however, he had to return to his native place shortly. Lhaden takes a keen interest in writing and has been doing active writing since he was 22 and won many accolades. Since 2008, he has been visiting various places in Tibet to experience and record observations for his book Tse Sok Le Trun Pe Kecha.

Since 2008, about 70 Tibetan writers, bloggers and cultural figures have been harassed, beaten, detained and arrested over the content of their work by the Chinese authorities in Tibet. There has been an escalating attack on freedom of expression and information in Tibet since the mass uprising. State authorities are using the recent political unrest in Tibet as justification to further suffocate Tibetans’ free speech rights. The authorities routinely exploit vague domestic legal provisions to criminalize the peaceful expression of Tibetan intellectuals regarded as “politically dangerous”.

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) appeals to members of the UNHRC to take actions against the gross human rights violations taking place in Tibet and request the UN human rights mandates to take preemptive measures to protect Lhaden.

Tibetansk forfatter appellerer til FNs menneskerettighetsråd

A Tibetan writer-activist monk, Lhaden, released his book in Tibetan language titled Tse Sok Le Trun Pe Kecha (rough translation: Words Uttered With Life On Risk) this month timed at the third anniversary of 2008 Mass Uprising in Tibet and the ongoing 16th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. Lhaden has meticulously written the book for over three years on his observations and arguments regarding causes and consequences of the mass uprising by Tibetans in 2008. The 255 pages book with five chapters also covers commentaries on the Jyekundo (Ch: Yushu) earthquake, leaders in Tibet and religion etc. The first chapter of the book exclusively covers 2008 mass uprising with a timeline of protest events, causes, scope, clamp down, analysis by Chinese scholars, police brutality and government propaganda against the Dalai Lama. Lhaden appeals to the UN Human Rights Council to seriously listen to voices of the oppressed people instead of being a platform for trumpeting by the seat holders or a platform for discussions amongst the free people only. He wrote poetically “while putting on mortgage my life, I offer this book as a voice of the oppressed and as an appeal” for the UNHRC to take actions in Tibet. Lhaden was born

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in 1980 at Dida Village, Pema County, Golog “Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture”, Qinghai. Originally named as Lhaden (popularly called Di Lhaden), he was also known by his ordained name Thubten

Lobsang Lhundup. At eleven years old he was admitted to his local monastery and four years later joined Serthar Buddhist Institute. When he became 28 years old, he went to Lhasa to study at Drepung and Sera Monasteries, however, he had to return to his native place shortly. Lhaden takes a keen interest in writing and has been doing active writing since he was 22 and won many accolades. Since 2008, he has been visiting various places in Tibet to experience and record observations for his book Tse Sok Le Trun Pe Kecha. Since 2008, about 70 Tibetan writers, bloggers and cultural figures have been harassed, beaten, detained and arrested over the content of their work by the Chinese authorities in Tibet. There has been an escalating attack on freedom of expression and information in Tibet since the mass uprising. State authorities are using the recent political unrest in Tibet as justification to further suffocate Tibetans’ free speech rights. The authorities routinely exploit vague domestic legal provisions to criminalize the peaceful expression of Tibetan intellectuals regarded as “politically dangerous”. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) appeals to members of the UNHRC to take actions against the gross human rights violations taking place in Tibet and request the UN human rights mandates to take preemptive measures to protect Lhaden.

Meldinger om ny hendelse ved Kirti-klosteret i Tibet

Meldinger som har kommet etter en større hendelse nylig ved Kirti-klosteret, Ngaba (Ch: Aba), Amdo (Sichuan). Munker i Kirti-klosteret i Dharamsala har fortalt Voice of Tibet at en ung

munk ved navn Phuntsok satt fyr på kroppen sin og ropte slagord. Brannen ble slukket mens munken var i livet, men han ble deretter muligens slått til døde av politiet. En annen melding rapporterer at han fortsatt er i livet. Dette høres ut som om en større protest har funnet sted med munker og legfolk. Politi og militært personell har satt området under tett sikkerhet. I dag, den

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16. mars, er det tre år siden minst ti tibetanere ble skutt og drept under protestene som oppstod i Kirti-klosteret i 2008. Voice of Tibet sender denne historien på tibetansk og kinesisk, og vil oppdatere sin nettside om hendelsene. International Tibet Network er i kontakt med andre nyhetskilder for å få mer informasjon om hendelsene ved Kirti-klosteret.

Message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama March 14th 2011

Message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Fourteenth Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies
March 14th 2011

To the members of the Fourteenth Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies,

It is common knowledge that ancient Tibet, consisting of three provinces (Cholkha-sum) was ruled by a line of forty-two Tibetan kings beginning with Nyatri Tsenpo (127 BCE), and ending with Tri Ralpachen (838 CE). Their rule spanned almost one thousand years. During that time, Tibet was known throughout Inner Asia as a powerful nation, comparable in military power and political influence with Mongolia and China. With the development of Tibetan literature, the richness and breadth of the religion and culture of Tibet meant that its civilisation was considered second only to that of India.

Following the fragmentation of central authority in the 9th century, Tibet was governed by several rulers whose authority was limited to their respective fiefdoms. Tibetan unity weakened with the passage of time. In the early 13th century, both China and Tibet came under the control of Genghis Khan. Although Drogon Choegyal Phagpa restored the sovereignty of Tibet in the 1260s, and his rule extended across the three provinces, the frequent change of rulers under the Phagmo Drupas, Rinpungpas and Tsangpas over the next 380 years or so resulted in a failure to maintain a unified Tibet. The absence of any central authority and frequent internal conflicts caused Tibet’s political power to decline.

Since the Fifth Dalai Lama’s founding of the Ganden Phodrang Government of Tibet in 1642, successive Dalai Lamas have been both the spiritual and temporal leaders of Tibet. During the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama, all the 13 myriarchies or administrative districts of Tibet enjoyed political stability, Buddhism flourished in Tibet and the Tibetan people enjoyed peace and freedom.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Tibet not only lacked adequate political governance, but also missed the opportunity to develop effective international relations. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama assumed temporal power in 1895, but was compelled to flee to Mongolia and China in 1904, due to the invasion of British forces, and to India in 1910, when the Manchu China invaded. Once circumstances allowed him to return to Tibet, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama re-asserted Tibetan sovereignty in 1913. As a result of what he had learned in exile, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama introduced modern education and made reforms to strengthen the government of Tibet. Although these steps produced positive results, he was unable to fulfil his overall vision, as is evident from his last political testament of 1932, the year before his death. Despite the lacklustre political leadership and short-comings of the regents and their administrations, the Ganden Phodrang Government has on the whole provided stable governance for the last four centuries.

Since I was young, I have been aware of an urgent need to modernize the Tibetan political system. At the age of sixteen, I was compelled to assume political leadership. At that time I lacked a thorough understanding of Tibet’s own political system, let alone international affairs.

However, I had a strong wish to introduce appropriate reforms in accordance with the changing times and was able to effect some fundamental changes. Unfortunately, I was unable to carry these reforms any further due to circumstances beyond my control.

Soon after our arrival in India in April 1959, we set up departments with Kalons (Ministers) in charge of education, preservation of culture and the rehabilitation and welfare of the community. Similarly, in 1960, aware of the importance of democratization, the first Commission of Tibetan People’s Deputies was elected and in 1963 we promulgated the Draft Constitution for a Future Tibet.

No system of governance can ensure stability and progress if it depends solely on one person without the support and participation of the people in the political process. One man rule is both anachronistic and undesirable. We have made great efforts to strengthen our democratic institutions to serve the long-term interests of the six million Tibetans, not out of a wish to copy others, but because democracy is the most representative system of governance. In 1990, a committee was formed to draft the Charter for Tibetans-in-Exile and a year later the total strength of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD), the Tibetans in exile’s highest law-making body, was increased. In 1991, the Eleventh ATPD formally adopted the Charter for Tibetans-in-Exile and assumed all legislative authority. Given the limitations of our life in exile these are achievements of which we can be proud.

In 2001, the Tibetan people elected the Kalon Tripa, the political leader, directly for the first time. Since then, I have been in semi-retirement, no longer involving myself in the day-to-day administration, but able to dedicate more time to general human welfare.

The essence of a democratic system is, in short, the assumption of political responsibility by elected leaders for the popular good. In order for our process of democratization to be complete, the time has come for me to devolve my formal authority to such an elected leadership. The general lack of experience and political maturity in our democratic institutions has prevented us from doing this earlier.

Given that the line of Dalai Lamas has provided political leadership for nearly four centuries, it might be difficult for Tibetans generally and especially those in Tibet to envisage and accept a political system that is not led by the Dalai Lama. Therefore, over the past 50 years I have tried in various ways to raise people’s political awareness and encourage their participation in our democratic process.

In my 10th March statement of 1969, for instance, I stated, “When the day comes for Tibet to be governed by its own people, it will be for the people to decide as to what form of government they will have. The system of governance by the line of the Dalai Lamas may or may not be there. In particular, the opinion of the forward-looking younger generation will be an influential factor.”

Similarly, in my 10th March statement of 1988, I stated, “As I have said many times, even the continuation of the institution of the Dalai Lama is for the people to decide.” Since the 1980s, I have repeatedly advised the Kashag, ATPD and the public that Tibetans should take full responsibility for the administration and welfare of the people as if the Dalai Lama were not there.

I informed the Chairman of the Thirteenth ATPD and the then Chief Justice Commissioner that I should be relieved of functions related to my political and administrative status, including such ceremonial responsibilities as the signing of bills adopted by the legislative body. However, my proposal was not even considered. On 31st August 2010, during the First Tibetan General Meeting (organized by ATPD), I explained this again in detail. Now, a decision on this important matter should be delayed no longer. All the necessary amendments to the Charter and other related regulations should be made during this session so that I am completely relieved of formal authority.

I want to acknowledge here that many of my fellow Tibetans, inside and outside Tibet, have earnestly requested me to continue to give political leadership at this critical time. My intention to devolve political authority derives neither from a wish to shirk responsibility nor because I am disheartened. On the contrary, I wish to devolve authority solely for the benefit of the Tibetan people in the long run. It is extremely important that we ensure the continuity of our exile Tibetan administration and our struggle until the issue of Tibet has been successfully resolved.

If we have to remain in exile for several more decades, a time will inevitably come when I will no longer be able to provide leadership. Therefore, it is necessary that we establish a sound system of governance while I remain able and healthy, in order that the exile Tibetan administration can become self-reliant rather than being dependent on the Dalai Lama. If we are able to implement such a system from this time onwards, I will still be able to help resolve problems if called upon to do so. But, if the implementation of such a system is delayed and a day comes when my leadership is suddenly unavailable, the consequent uncertainty might present an overwhelming challenge. Therefore, it is the duty of all Tibetans to make every effort to prevent such an eventuality.

As one among the six million Tibetans, bearing in mind that the Dalai Lamas have a special historic and karmic relationship with the Tibetan people, and as long as Tibetans place their trust and faith in me, I will continue to serve the cause of Tibet.

Although Article 31 of the Charter spells out provisions for a Council of Regency, it was formulated merely as an interim measure based on past traditions. It does not include provisions for instituting a system of political leadership without the Dalai Lama. Therefore, amendments to the Charter on this occasion must conform to the framework of a democratic system in which the political leadership is elected by the people for a specific term. Thus, all the necessary steps must be taken, including the appointment of separate committees, to amend the relevant Articles of the Charter and other regulations, in order that a decision can be reached and implemented during this very session.

As a result, some of my political promulgations such as the Draft Constitution for a Future Tibet (1963) and Guidelines for Future Tibet’s Polity (1992) will become ineffective. The title of the present institution of the Ganden Phodrang headed by the Dalai Lama should also be changed accordingly.

With my prayers for the successful proceedings of the house.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

11th March 2011

Skriftlig melding fra Dalai Lama til det eksiltibetanske parlamentet

Message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Fourteenth Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies
March 14th 2011

To the members of the Fourteenth Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies,

It is common knowledge that ancient Tibet, consisting of three provinces (Cholkha-sum) was ruled by a line of forty-two Tibetan kings beginning with Nyatri Tsenpo (127 BCE), and ending with Tri Ralpachen (838 CE). Their rule spanned almost one thousand years. During that time, Tibet was known throughout Inner Asia as a powerful nation, comparable in military power and political influence with Mongolia and China. With the development of Tibetan literature, the richness and breadth of the religion and culture of Tibet meant that its civilisation was considered second only to that of India.

Following the fragmentation of central authority in the 9th century, Tibet was governed by several rulers whose authority was limited to their respective fiefdoms. Tibetan unity weakened with the passage of time. In the early 13th century, both China and Tibet came under the control of Genghis Khan. Although Drogon Choegyal Phagpa restored the sovereignty of Tibet in the 1260s, and his rule extended across the three provinces, the frequent change of rulers under the Phagmo Drupas, Rinpungpas and Tsangpas over the next 380 years or so resulted in a failure to maintain a unified Tibet. The absence of any central authority and frequent internal conflicts caused Tibet’s political power to decline.

Since the Fifth Dalai Lama’s founding of the Ganden Phodrang Government of Tibet in 1642, successive Dalai Lamas have been both the spiritual and temporal leaders of Tibet. During the reign of the Fifth Dalai Lama, all the 13 myriarchies or administrative districts of Tibet enjoyed political stability, Buddhism flourished in Tibet and the Tibetan people enjoyed peace and freedom.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Tibet not only lacked adequate political governance, but also missed the opportunity to develop effective international relations. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama assumed temporal power in 1895, but was compelled to flee to Mongolia and China in 1904, due to the invasion of British forces, and to India in 1910, when the Manchu China invaded. Once circumstances allowed him to return to Tibet, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama re-asserted Tibetan sovereignty in 1913. As a result of what he had learned in exile, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama introduced modern education and made reforms to strengthen the government of Tibet. Although these steps produced positive results, he was unable to fulfil his overall vision, as is evident from his last political testament of 1932, the year before his death. Despite the lacklustre political leadership and short-comings of the regents and their administrations, the Ganden Phodrang Government has on the whole provided stable governance for the last four centuries.

Since I was young, I have been aware of an urgent need to modernize the Tibetan political system. At the age of sixteen, I was compelled to assume political leadership. At that time I lacked a thorough understanding of Tibet’s own political system, let alone international affairs.

However, I had a strong wish to introduce appropriate reforms in accordance with the changing times and was able to effect some fundamental changes. Unfortunately, I was unable to carry these reforms any further due to circumstances beyond my control.

Soon after our arrival in India in April 1959, we set up departments with Kalons (Ministers) in charge of education, preservation of culture and the rehabilitation and welfare of the community. Similarly, in 1960, aware of the importance of democratization, the first Commission of Tibetan People’s Deputies was elected and in 1963 we promulgated the Draft Constitution for a Future Tibet.

No system of governance can ensure stability and progress if it depends solely on one person without the support and participation of the people in the political process. One man rule is both anachronistic and undesirable. We have made great efforts to strengthen our democratic institutions to serve the long-term interests of the six million Tibetans, not out of a wish to copy others, but because democracy is the most representative system of governance. In 1990, a committee was formed to draft the Charter for Tibetans-in-Exile and a year later the total strength of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies (ATPD), the Tibetans in exile’s highest law-making body, was increased. In 1991, the Eleventh ATPD formally adopted the Charter for Tibetans-in-Exile and assumed all legislative authority. Given the limitations of our life in exile these are achievements of which we can be proud.

In 2001, the Tibetan people elected the Kalon Tripa, the political leader, directly for the first time. Since then, I have been in semi-retirement, no longer involving myself in the day-to-day administration, but able to dedicate more time to general human welfare.

The essence of a democratic system is, in short, the assumption of political responsibility by elected leaders for the popular good. In order for our process of democratization to be complete, the time has come for me to devolve my formal authority to such an elected leadership. The general lack of experience and political maturity in our democratic institutions has prevented us from doing this earlier.

Given that the line of Dalai Lamas has provided political leadership for nearly four centuries, it might be difficult for Tibetans generally and especially those in Tibet to envisage and accept a political system that is not led by the Dalai Lama. Therefore, over the past 50 years I have tried in various ways to raise people’s political awareness and encourage their participation in our democratic process.

In my 10th March statement of 1969, for instance, I stated, “When the day comes for Tibet to be governed by its own people, it will be for the people to decide as to what form of government they will have. The system of governance by the line of the Dalai Lamas may or may not be there. In particular, the opinion of the forward-looking younger generation will be an influential factor.”

Similarly, in my 10th March statement of 1988, I stated, “As I have said many times, even the continuation of the institution of the Dalai Lama is for the people to decide.” Since the 1980s, I have repeatedly advised the Kashag, ATPD and the public that Tibetans should take full responsibility for the administration and welfare of the people as if the Dalai Lama were not there.

I informed the Chairman of the Thirteenth ATPD and the then Chief Justice Commissioner that I should be relieved of functions related to my political and administrative status, including such ceremonial responsibilities as the signing of bills adopted by the legislative body. However, my proposal was not even considered. On 31st August 2010, during the First Tibetan General Meeting (organized by ATPD), I explained this again in detail. Now, a decision on this important matter should be delayed no longer. All the necessary amendments to the Charter and other related regulations should be made during this session so that I am completely relieved of formal authority.

I want to acknowledge here that many of my fellow Tibetans, inside and outside Tibet, have earnestly requested me to continue to give political leadership at this critical time. My intention to devolve political authority derives neither from a wish to shirk responsibility nor because I am disheartened. On the contrary, I wish to devolve authority solely for the benefit of the Tibetan people in the long run. It is extremely important that we ensure the continuity of our exile Tibetan administration and our struggle until the issue of Tibet has been successfully resolved.

If we have to remain in exile for several more decades, a time will inevitably come when I will no longer be able to provide leadership. Therefore, it is necessary that we establish a sound system of governance while I remain able and healthy, in order that the exile Tibetan administration can become self-reliant rather than being dependent on the Dalai Lama. If we are able to implement such a system from this time onwards, I will still be able to help resolve problems if called upon to do so. But, if the implementation of such a system is delayed and a day comes when my leadership is suddenly unavailable, the consequent uncertainty might present an overwhelming challenge. Therefore, it is the duty of all Tibetans to make every effort to prevent such an eventuality.

As one among the six million Tibetans, bearing in mind that the Dalai Lamas have a special historic and karmic relationship with the Tibetan people, and as long as Tibetans place their trust and faith in me, I will continue to serve the cause of Tibet.

Although Article 31 of the Charter spells out provisions for a Council of Regency, it was formulated merely as an interim measure based on past traditions. It does not include provisions for instituting a system of political leadership without the Dalai Lama. Therefore, amendments to the Charter on this occasion must conform to the framework of a democratic system in which the political leadership is elected by the people for a specific term. Thus, all the necessary steps must be taken, including the appointment of separate committees, to amend the relevant Articles of the Charter and other regulations, in order that a decision can be reached and implemented during this very session.

As a result, some of my political promulgations such as the Draft Constitution for a Future Tibet (1963) and Guidelines for Future Tibet’s Polity (1992) will become ineffective. The title of the present institution of the Ganden Phodrang headed by the Dalai Lama should also be changed accordingly.

With my prayers for the successful proceedings of the house.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

11th March 2011