Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Tibet. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Tibet. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Κυριακή, Ιανουαρίου 25, 2015

China to ban use of Tibetan sky burial for tourism. (Some travel agents have shown disrespect to the tradition)

China has set out to make a new law to regulate the traditional Tibetan practice of sky burial, which involves feeding bodies of the dead to birds. Official sources in Tibet have indicated that the use of sky burial sites as tourist attraction may be banned.
"It will be the first time for Tibet to regulate sky burials using legislation, which shows respect and offers protection to the millennium-old tradition," the official media quoted Samdrup, an official with the standing committee of the regional People's Congress.

The Regional People's Congress of Tibet, the local legislature, recently passed a bill to better regulate sky burials, covering issues like management of the site, environmental protection and qualification of ritual hosts. The purpose is to "better protect sky burials".

Chinese government has stopped the use of burial sites for tourism on several occasions in the past three decades, but the local officials have allowed it from time to time for developing tourism, sources said.

State media said that the traditional ritual has become controversial after tourists guides began leading tour groups to view the ceremony. There have been complaints that some travel agents have shown disrespect to the tradition. Tibetans and Mongolians cut bodies of the dead, and feed them to vultures and other predatory birds. It is regarded an act of generosity and a ritual that allows the soul to ascend to heaven.

The Tibetan government issued a provisional rule in 2005 that banned sightseeing, photographing and video recording at such burial sites, or publishing reports and pictures describing the rituals.

The law has been violated extensively as thousands of tourists crowd around the burial sites to watch the traditional practice. Even some monks are known to be involved in guiding tourists to the burial sites for collecting donations for their shrines. 


Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 13, 2014

US President Raises Tibetan Rights Issue with Xi Jinping

DHARAMSHALA: President Barack Obama raised the Tibet issue during a joint press conference in Beijing on Wednesday with Chinese president Xi Jinping, the Daily Mail reported.
‘We are not in favor of independence,’ President Obama said at the press conference.

‘But we did encourage Chinese authorities to take steps to preserve the unique cultural, religious and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people,’ he said.

President Obama said he and President Xi ‘had a very healthy exchange around these issues,’ and he told the Chinese head that ‘it is so important for us to speak out for the freedoms that we believe are universal, rights that we believe are the birthright of all men and women, wherever they live, whether it is in New York or Paris or Hong Kong.’

‘We think history shows that nations that uphold these rights – including for ethnic and religious minorities – are ultimately more prosperous, more successful, and more able to achieve the dreams of their people,’ he added.

In February this year, President Obama met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and reiterated his support for the preservation of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic traditions of Tibet.

The President extended support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach policy and reiterated that Chinese government should have constructive dialogue with His Holiness’ representatives without any precondition. President Obama asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama about Tibet and His Holiness explained the current situation. President Obama expressed his deep concern about the worsening human rights situation in Tibet and Tibetan areas in China.


Σινοαμερικανική Συνεργασία Αλλά και Διαφωνίες

Ο Αμερικανός πρόεδρος Μπαράκ Ομπάμα και ο Κινέζος πρόεδρος Σι Τζινπίγκ έπλεξαν χθες το εγκώμιο της σινοαμερικανικής συνεργασίας τερματίζοντας μια ασυνήθιστα παραγωγική επίσημη επίσκεψη με συνέντευξη Τύπου, στην οποία φάνηκαν οι πάγιες διαφωνίες για θέματα όπως οι διαδηλώσεις υπέρ του εκδημοκρατισμού στο Χονγκ Κονγκ και η ελευθερία του Τύπου.

Οι δύο ηγέτες χαρακτήρισαν τη συμφωνία–ορόσημο για την κλιματική αλλαγή ως παράδειγμα για το πώς οι δύο μεγαλύτερες χώρες του κόσμου μπορούν να συνεργαστούν σε κάποιους τομείς, ενώ ανταγωνίζονται σε άλλους.

«Οταν η Κίνα και οι ΗΠΑ συνεργάζονται, μπορούμε να γίνουμε άγκυρα για τη διεθνή σταθερότητα και προπέλα για την παγκόσμια ειρήνη», είπε ο κ. Σι. Ομως οι διαφορές ήταν εμφανείς στις ερωτήσεις που έθεσαν οι δημοσιογράφοι μετά τις τοποθετήσεις των δύο ηγετών.

Απαντώντας σε ερώτηση που τέθηκε προς τον κ. Ομπάμα σχετικά με το αν οι ΗΠΑ υποκινούν αστάθεια στο Χονγκ Κονγκ, ο κ. Σι προειδοποίησε τις ΗΠΑ και άλλες ξένες χώρες να μην αναμειχθούν στις διαδηλώσεις στο Χονγκ Κονγκ, τις οποίες απέρριψε ως παράνομες.

Παράλληλα ο κ. Σι απέρριψε την άποψη πως η στροφή του κ. Ομπάμα προς την Ασία, στην οποία περιλαμβάνεται περιφερειακό εμπορικό σύμφωνο χωρίς τη συμμετοχή της Κίνας, είναι μια απόπειρα των ΗΠΑ για ανάσχεση της Κίνας. Επίσης υποβάθμισε τον πρόσφατο καταιγισμό αντιαμερικανικών δηλώσεων στα κρατικά κινεζικά μέσα ενημέρωσης δηλώνοντας: «Δεν νομίζω ότι αξίζει να ασχοληθούμε με αυτό».

Συνολικά, οι δηλώσεις του κ. Σι ήταν μια σπάνια ευκαιρία να ακούσει κανείς τον Κινέζο πρόεδρο σε αυθόρμητες απαντήσεις. Δύο χρόνια μετά την έναρξη της θητείας του, ο κ. Σι δεν δίστασε να απομακρυνθεί από τις συνηθισμένες δηλώσεις περί της σημασίας των σχέσεων ανάμεσα στις «μεγάλες δυνάμεις».

Από την πλευρά του, ο κ. Ομπάμα επέμεινε στο ζήτημα της συνεργασίας. Και εκείνος αμφισβήτησε έντονα την άποψη πως η νέα έμφαση των ΗΠΑ στην Ασία συνιστά απειλή, λέγοντας ότι «η συζήτησή μας έδωσε την ευκαιρία να απορρίψουμε τον ισχυρισμό ότι η στροφή μας προς την Ασία έχει σχέση με την ανάσχεση της Κίνας».

Ο κ. Ομπάμα είπε ότι διαβεβαίωσε τον Κινέζο ομόλογό του ότι οι ΗΠΑ δεν έχουν καμία σχέση με τις διαδηλώσεις στο Χονγκ Κονγκ. «Αυτά είναι ζητήματα που θα αποφασιστούν από τον λαό του Χονγκ Κονγκ και της Κίνας»είπε, αν και δήλωσε την υποστήριξή του στο δικαίωμα της ελεύθερης έκφρασης.

Συνολικά οι αναφορές του κ. Ομπάμα στα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα ήταν προσεκτικά σταθμισμένες. Επισήμανε ότι οι ΗΠΑ δεν αναγνωρίζουν την Ταϊβάν ή το Θιβέτ και επαίνεσε τη συνεισφορά της Κίνας στις συνομιλίες με το Ιράν. Σχετικά με τη μη μετάδοση της συνέντευξης Τύπου από την κρατική κινεζική τηλεόραση, CCTV, o καθηγητής Διεθνών Σχέσεων Σι Γινχόγκ υποστήριξε ότι οι αξιωματούχοι του τμήματος προπαγάνδας δεν ήθελαν να δει η κινεζική κοινή γνώμη τον κ. Ομπάμα να μιλάει για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα ή για το Θιβέτ, αν και ο Αμερικανός πρόεδρος «δεν είπε σκληρά πράγματα που θα ενοχλούσαν τον οικοδεσπότη του».

(από την εφημερίδα "ΚΑΘΗΜΕΡΙΝΗ", 13/11/2014)


Παρασκευή, Οκτωβρίου 31, 2014

China approves new railway in Tibet

China has approved construction of a railway linking Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region to Nyingchi in its east, local authorities said Friday.

According to the plan approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, the Lhasa to Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet railway runs 402 km from Nyingchi to Xierong, a stop on the Lhasa-Xigaze line.

The 32-km section from Xierong to Lhasa will be electrified.

The new Tibet line was one of three rail lines approved by the country's top economic planning body. The other two are from Ordos in the northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to Ji'an in the eastern Jiangxi Province, and from Datong in the northern Shanxi Province to Zhangjiakou in neighboring Hebei Province. The total investment of the three is 250 billion yuan (40 billion US dollars).

The Tibet project will cost 36.6 billion yuan and take seven years to complete. Sate-owned China Railway Corporation will build and operate the line.

The designed speed for passenger trains will be 160 km per hour. The line will have a cargo capacity of 10 million tonnes per year.

"The Lhasa to Nyingchi railway section is conducive to improving the regional road network and transportation capacity to better integrate Tibet with other parts of China," said Yang Yulin, a Tibet railway official.

After completion, the Sichuan-Tibet railway will form a ring with the Qinghai-Tibet railway, which will bring more economic benefit, according to Wang Daiyuan with the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences.

Transport has long been a bottleneck for tourism in Tibet. More tourists will be able to visit Tibet via the Sichuan-Tibet railway, said Wang.

The Qinghai-Tibet railway began operations in 2006, introducing railway transportation into Tibet for the first time in history. The railway links Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, with Lhasa.

In August, a 251 km railway line linked Lhasa and Xigaze, the second city in the region.

Tourist arrivals in Tibet reached 12.9 million last year from 1.8 million in 2005. The region's gross domestic product reached 80 billion yuan in 2013, compared with 34 billion yuan in 2006.

Lines connecting Xigaze with Yadong, Jilung and Nyalam border ports are being planned.

 Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

Παρασκευή, Σεπτεμβρίου 26, 2014

China accelerates tourism development in Tibet

Tourism authorities have been working to make southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region a major destination, a senior tourism official said Friday.

"Tibet is the last classic treasure on the map, with its religious mystery, sound environment and many historic sites," Du Jiang, deputy director of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), told Xinhua in an interview.

Compared with other regions in China, Tibet has plenty of space to develop, given its rich and relatively untapped tourist resources, Du said

Tibet received 12.91 million domestic and overseas tourists last year, up 22 percent from the previous year, according to CNTA data.

The influx of tourists brought Tibet 16.5 billion yuan (2.7 billion US dollars) of revenue in 2013, or more than one-fifth of the local economy.

Du stressed that tourism authorities and local governments will strike a balance between development and ecological protection. 

Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

Σάββατο, Σεπτεμβρίου 13, 2014

Tibetans enjoy splashing fun on bathing festival

Crowds of Tibetans, young and old, bathed themselves in the Lhasa River on Saturday despite the early autumn chill on the Tibet Plateau.

"The water is chilly, so start with your feet. The sun is blazing and the water will soon feel warm enough," said 60-year-old Droma to Deyki, a quiet young woman who was hesitating whether to get into the water. "Come on, you can't afford to miss the fun of bathing."

The bathing festival, known in Tibetan as "Karma Rigkyi", is a week-long holiday that falls in the seventh or eighth month of the Tibetan calendar.

This year, the bathing week lasts from Sept. 9 to 15, or the 14th to 20th day in the eighth month of the Tibetan calendar.

The Tibetans traditionally believe the river water, which comes from the melting plateau snow, has healing effects and can wash away diseases.

Ancient literature on Tibetan herbal medicine also describes the water at this particular time as "sweet", "good for the throat and stomach" and "having cleansing and healing effects".

Throughout the bathing week, therefore, rivers and streams across the plateau region are filled with bathing crowds who swim, splash and pray for good health.

The bathing festival is often a time for massive cleaning, as some people also do their laundries in the river, including their whole family's clothing to bedding.

It is also a social occasion, as many people bring their tents and picnic and spend a whole day by the river, chatting and flying kites after bathing themselves.

"I like the traditional ways of life despite all the modern lifestyles and entertainment," said Dondrup, a 20-something man. "These centuries-old traditions often bring back sweet memories of my childhood and touch the deepest, softest part of my heart."

Dondrup, a driver, was washing his car with the river water after bathing himself.

Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

Τετάρτη, Αυγούστου 20, 2014

Double threat for Tibet (Climate change and human development are jeopardizing the plateau’s fragile environment.)

The plateau and its surrounding mountains cover 5 million square kilo­metres and hold the largest stock of ice outside the Arctic and Antarctic; the region is thus often referred to as the Third Pole. And like the actual poles, it is increasingly feeling the effects of climate change, but rapid development is putting it doubly at risk, the report says.

Released in Lhasa on 9 August by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the government of Tibet, the assessment aimed to address gaps in knowledge about the extent of the problems the 4,500-metre-high plateau faces. It finds that precipitation has risen by 12% since 1960, and temperatures have soared by 0.4 °C per decade — twice the global average.
In addition, glaciers are shrinking rapidly and one-tenth of the permafrost has thawed in the past decade alone. This means that the number of lakes has grown by 14% since 1970, and more than 80% of them have expanded since, devastating surrounding pastures and communities.
The plateau feeds Asia’s biggest rivers (see ‘Running wild’), so these problems are likely to affect billions of people, the report says. Pollution from human and industrial waste as a result of rapid development is also a serious risk.
But the assessment also suggests ways to combat the problems, calling on the Chinese and Tibetan governments to make conservation and environmental protection top priorities. It will help in the design of “policies for mitigating climate change and striking a balance between development and conservation”, says Meng Deli, Tibet’s vice-chairman.
“The Tibetan plateau is getting warmer and wetter,” says Yao Tandong, director of the CAS Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research in Beijing, who led the assessment. This means that vegetation is expanding to higher elevations and farther north, and growing seasons are getting longer. But some areas, such as the headwater region of Asia’s biggest rivers, have become warmer and drier and are being severely affected by desertification and grassland and wetland degradation.
Human activity, too, is on the rise. The population of the plateau reached 8.8 million in 2012, about three times higher than in 1951. And the number of livestock has more than doubled, putting more strain on grasslands.

Multiple menaces

Growing urbanization is creating more waste than the region can handle. Tibet has the capacity to treat 256,000 tonnes of domestic solid waste a year, less than the amount generated by its two largest cities, Lhasa and Shigatse. “You see a lot of rubbish lying around the plateau, including headwater regions,” says Kang Shichang, a glaciologist at the CAS Institute of Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute in Lanzhou. “It’s an environmental menace.”

A bigger threat comes from mining. According to the assessment, Tibetan mines produced 100 million tonnes of wastewater in 2007 and 18.8 million tonnes of solid waste in 2009. Because most of the mines are open pits and have limited environmental oversight, “air, water and soil pollution is particularly serious”, says the report. Officials release few details about actual pollution levels.

Pollution is coming not just from local sources. Dust, black carbon, heavy metals and other toxic compounds are being blown in from Africa, Europe and southern Asia. The dust and carbon residues are darkening glaciers, making them more susceptible to melting, and the toxic chemicals are poisoning crops, livestock and wildlife.

But the threats from mining and pollution are dwarfed by the potential repercussions of changes in ice and vegetation cover, the assessment says. Different surfaces — snow, grassland, desert — reflect and absorb different amounts of solar radiation, affecting how the air above them is heated. This means that changes in coverage are likely to affect the onset and strength of Asian monsoons. It also has important ramifications for the livelihood of downstream river communities because the glaciers, permafrost and ecosystems act as a giant sponge, helping to control the release of water and prevent floods. “The significance of the assessment goes beyond national borders,” says David Molden, head of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu.

Temperatures in the plateau are projected to rise by between 1.7 °C and 4.6 °C by the end of 2100 compared with the 1996–2005 average, based on the best- and worst-case global-emissions scenarios. So as urbanization and climate change tighten their grip, researchers worry that unbridled development will devastate the plateau’s environment. To protect it, the report says, the central government must evaluate local officials on the basis of their environmental, not just economic, achievements. It must also invest more in ecological compensation, for example by paying herders more to cut their livestock numbers. Moreover, it must be much more open about pollution incidents.

“Tibet will be a test case of how seriously China takes ecological protection,” says Yao. “Safeguarding the plateau environment is crucial not only for sustainable development of the region, but also to social stability and international relations.”

Πέμπτη, Αυγούστου 14, 2014

Tibet's intangible heritage well-protected, says official

LHASA, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government's efforts to preserve intangible heritage in Tibet and other ethnic regions have proven effective, said sources at the first Tibet development forum Wednesday.

"Of the 386 million yuan (62.7 million U.S. dollars) for cultural heritage preservation allocated by the central treasury between 2002 and 2009, about a quarter was spent in ethnic regions including Tibet," said Li Jianhui, a culture promotion official with the State Ethnic Affairs Commission.

Over the past eight years , the central treasury allocated a total of 97.2 million yuan to intangible heritage in Tibet Autonomous Region, said Li.

The plateau region is home to more than 1,000 intangible heritage items, including the famous Tibetan opera and the Epic of King Gesar, which have been listed as World Intangible Cultural Heritage items by UNESCO.

Preservation of cultural essence is aimed at passing on the heritage to future generations, said Li.

"A total of 4 million copies of the Tibetan language edition of King Gesar have been published, averaging one copy for each Tibetan adult," he said.

Other forms of intangible cultural heritage in Tibet include traditional music, dancing, craftsmanship and traditional herbal medicine and folkways.

More than 100,000 articles, nearly 2,000 audio and video clips and 45,000 pictures have been collected since Tibet started a census on intangible cultural heritage in 2006, according to figures provided by Tibet's regional government.

Κυριακή, Αυγούστου 03, 2014

M6.1 deadly quake rattles southwest China

Earthquake kills at least 175 and injures more than 1,400 others in Yunnan province.

An earthquake has struck southwestern China, killing at least 175 people in a remote mountainous area of Yunnan province, and causing some buildings, including a school, to collapse.

Some 1,400 people were injured and 181 missing, Xinhua and state broadcaster CCTV said, citing the authorities.
The official Xinhua news agency said that the epicentre of Sunday's quake was in Longtoushan town in Yunnan's Ludian county.
Communications have been seriously affected and rescuers are rushing to the scene, the report said.

Al Jazeera's Adrian Brown, reporting from Kunshan, China, said: "This quake has happened in a very very remote area of southwest China.

"The difficulty for rescuers is going to be the time it takes to reach this area."
Pictures posted online by state media showed troops stretchering people away, and bricks which had fallen off buildings damaging cars, Reuters news agency reported. 

'Not quake proof'
Many people rushed out of buildings onto the street after the quake hit, electricity supplies were cut and at least one school collapsed, Xinhua added.

"The problem is a lot of the structures in this area are simply not quake proof. This is a very impoversihed region and very remote", Brown reported.

The US Geological Survey said the quake registered at shallow depth of less than 1 mile (1.6 km). Chinese state media said was felt most strongly Yunnan, as well as in the neighbouring provinces of Guizhou and Sichuan.
The government is sending 2,000 tents, 3,000 folding beds, 3,000 quilts and 3,000 coats to the disaster zone, the report said.
Ludian is home to some 265,900 people, Xinhua added. China is frequently struck by quakes in this part of the country. A quake in Sichuan in 2008 killed almost 70,000 people.
A quake in the same region in 2012 kiled 80 people.
Earlier in the day a less severe quake struck Tibet, causing no casualties.

  • M 6.1 - SICHUAN-YUNNAN-GUIZHOU RG, CHINA - 2014-08-03 08:30:14 UTC....local time: 16:30.....

MagnitudeMw 6.1
Date time2014-08-03 08:30:14.1 UTC
Location27.26 N ; 103.50 E
Depth10 km
Distances258 km N of Kunming, China / pop: 1,023,674 / local time: 16:30:14.1 2014-08-03
22 km W of Zhaotong, China / pop: 109,400 / local time: 16:30:14.1 2014-08-03

  • M6.1 - 11km WNW of Wenping, China

  • Event Time

  1. 2014-08-03 08:30:13 UTC
  2. 2014-08-03 16:30:13 UTC+08:00 at epicenter
  3. 2014-08-03 11:30:13 UTC+03:00 system time
  • Location

27.245°N 103.427°E depth=10.0km (6.2mi)
  • Nearby Cities

  1. 11km (7mi) WNW of Wenping, China
  2. 29km (18mi) WSW of Zhaotong, China
  3. 91km (57mi) WNW of Weining, China
  4. 135km (84mi) ESE of Xichang, China
  5. 731km (454mi) NNW of Ha Noi, Vietnam

Κυριακή, Ιουλίου 27, 2014

China to upgrade transport infrastructures in Tibet (will also build more airports in Tibet)

China has vowed to further promote the development of transport infrastructures in Tibet to make travels on "the roof of the world" much easier.

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) said in a guideline that China aims to expand highways in the autonomous region to 110,000 kilometers by 2020.

China plans to complete a primary network of railways by then with 1,300 kilometers of rails in operation. The country will also build more airports in Tibet.

Building roads connecting rural areas has become the policy focus. The authorities plans to make sure that by 2020, every village in Tibet has at least one road connecting with the outside.

To that end, the MOT will beef up support to the construction of transport infrastructures in Tibet and make specific plans to ensure the accomplishment of these targets.

Tibet has received about 83 billion yuan ($13 billion) in transport investment during the last 20 years.

In ancient times, it usually took months even years for people living in the country's middle and eastern regions to get to Tibet.

Although airlines, railways and expressways have made travels to Tibet much more convenient, the transport infrastructures in the autonomous region are still outdated.

"The development of transport in Tibet is crucial to China's national security and lasting prosperity in the autonomous region, " said the MOT guideline.

Source:Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

Τρίτη, Απριλίου 15, 2014

Chinese Foreign ministry condemns Britain over latest human rights report

China on Tuesday condemned Britain for interfering in its domestic affairs, in response to a human rights report, a day after the British government said Beijing had called off human rights talks.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accused Britain of issuing the report with "irresponsible remarks made about the Chinese political system, rudely slandering and criticizing China's human rights situation."

Britain's path on this issue was not helpful for bilateral communication on human right subjects and was not good for the development of the Sino-British relationship, Hua told a media briefing on Tuesday.

Britain must immediately stop using human rights as a pretext for interfering in China's internal politics and judicial sovereignty, in a bid to ensure the next round of human rights talks between the two countries, Hua added.

Britain listed China as "a country of concern" in its annual human rights report last week, saying it had observed increased curbs on freedom of expression, association and assembly in 2013.

China reacted by calling off talks with Britain on Beijing's human rights record, which was scheduled on Wednesday, UK media reported.

The two countries had agreed to resume the regular meetings during a trip to China by British Prime Minister David Cameron in December.

Cameron's visit was aimed at spurring closer trade and business links between Britain and the world's second biggest economy and at drawing a line under a dispute involving Dalai Lama that had led to a diplomatic freeze.

"We are disappointed that the Chinese government last week unilaterally postponed the Dialogue, which was due to take place on 16 April," a British Foreign Office spokeswoman said.

"It is not for us to say why it was postponed. We are now in discussion to agree new dates," she said. 


Πέμπτη, Δεκεμβρίου 19, 2013

Tibetan Monk Self-Immolates to Protest China’s Rule (Graphic Photos). -The total number of Tibetans who set themselves on fire to protest against the Chinese repressive rule has now risen to 124.

DHARAMSHALA: A Tibetan monk died after setting himself on fire in Sangchu county in Kanlho prefecture in northeastern Tibet (incorporated into China’s Gansu Province) on Thursday (19 December), according to reports coming out Tibet.

Tsultrim Gyatso, a 44-year-old monk of Achok Monastery in Labrang Tashikhyil, set fire to himself on the main street in Achok town around 3 pm today. He died on the spot. The local Tibetans immediately took his body into the monastery, where prayer service was conducted by over 400 monks.

Photos of the incident showed his completely charred body in flames and people pouring water to douse the fire.

He left a note before he committed self-immolation. He wrote: “…Tibetans are driven to suffering and the treasures of Tibet are being looted under the repressive law of China. To whom can we tell the sufferings of the six million Tibetans? Thinking about these brings tears to my eyes. I have set myself on fire in fervent prayers for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet, the release of Panchen Lama from the prison and the well-being of six million Tibetans.”
  • The total number of Tibetans who set themselves on fire to protest against the Chinese repressive rule has now risen to 124. They have called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland and freedom for Tibetans.

The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in Dharamsala has repeatedly appealed to Tibetans not to take drastic actions, including self-immolation. In a White Paper issued by the CTA, political repression, cultural assimilation, religious persecution, economic marginalisation and environmental destruction under the Chinese rule are pushing Tibetans to take drastic forms of protests.

Many governments, parliaments and international bodies, including the United Nations, have passed resolutions and statements urging the Chinese authorities to end its repressive policies and address the problem of Tibet through dialogue. They have called on the Chinese government to open up Tibet to the international media to investigate the real situation prevailing there.
Photos of Tsultrim Gyatso after setting himself on fire in Achok town in Sangchu county in Kanlho in northeastern Tibet on 19 Dec. 2013/Tibet Times
Photos of Tsultrim Gyatso after setting himself on fire in Achok town in Sangchu county  in Kanlho in northeastern Tibet on 19 Dec. 2013/Tibet Times

The photo of the letter written by Tsultrim Gyatso before he set himself on fire in Achok town in Sangchu county in Kanlho in northeastern Tibet on 19 Dec. 2013/Tibet Times 
The photo of the letter written by Tsultrim Gyatso before he set himself on fire in Achok town in Sangchu county in Kanlho in northeastern Tibet on 19 Dec.



Τρίτη, Νοεμβρίου 26, 2013

Court ruling on Tibet raises concerns over Spain-China relations

[Source: Financial Times]
By Tobias Buck in Madrid and Simon Rabinovitch in ShanghaiThere is rising concern in Spain over a diplomatic and economic backlash from China, after a criminal court in Madrid called for the arrest of five former Chinese leaders for their role in alleged crimes of genocide in Tibet.The ruling, handed down last week, is aimed at Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese president, Li Peng, the former prime minister, and three other high-ranking ex-officials. The men are said to have held “political or military responsibility” in periods when the Chinese authorities are alleged to have committed human rights abuses against the Tibetan population.

All five now face the risk of detention should they travel to Spain or to countries that recognise Spanish arrest orders. However, former Chinese top officials almost never travel abroad, which means it is highly unlikely that the five former officials will ever appear in court in Madrid.

Beijing reacted angrily to the move all the same, denouncing the Tibetan support groups in Spain that initiated the case. The Chinese authorities called in the Spanish ambassador last Thursday to convey their displeasure, a message that was repeated at a meeting between Chinese diplomats and Spanish government officials in Madrid last week.
Hong Lei, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, said Beijing had sought clarification from Spain about the ruling. He added that China expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to Tibetan activist groups in Spain for “repeatedly manipulating the issue”.
José Manuel García Margallo, the foreign minister, has insisted publicly that Madrid has no desire to interfere in the country’s judicial process. But Spanish diplomats made clear the government is seriously concerned about the impact the spat could have on the country’s normally trouble-free relationship with a key trading partner.

“This is a very complicated situation,” one Spanish diplomat said.
Analysts said the diplomatic rift came at a particularly awkward time for Spain, which is hoping to deepen its economic relationship with China in the midst of afragile economic recovery.
Spain is trying to attract Chinese investment and big Spanish companies are trying to establish a foothold in China,” said Charles Powell, the director of the Real Instituto Elcano, a Madrid-based think-tank. “Given that the Chinese authorities have a major say in who wins contracts and who doesn’t Spain obviously fears that the Chinese authorities will not take kindly to this initiative [by the court].”

The criminal complaint that started the case was filed by a pro-Tibetan pressure group seven years ago. It made use of Spain’s relatively broad universal jurisdiction provisions, which allow judges to pursue criminal cases even if they took place outside Spain.
  There was next to no coverage of the arrest orders or Mr Hong’s response in Chinese state media, suggesting that Beijing is itself trying to contain fallout by limiting public discussion.
Speaking before the arrest orders, Zhu Weiqun, head of the religious affairs committee in the Chinese parliament’s advisory body, angrily denounced foreign courts for accepting such cases.
“It is absurd and ridiculous behaviour,” he said in an interview with European journalists in October. “People who think like this will only humiliate themselves. Whatever country’s courts accepts these lawsuits is also humiliating itself.”
He added that Western nations had in the past burnt, looted and pillaged China, but now that such actions do not work some are turning to lawsuits to pressure China. “If a country’s courts accept these cases, all it is doing is inviting enormous embarrassment for itself,” he said. “Go ahead if you dare.”

  • Spain´s universal jurisdiction provisions have previously been used by investigating judges to pursue Israeli officials for alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip. They also formed the basis for a high-profile Spanish attempt in 1998 to prosecute Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator.
  • Stung by the repeated diplomatic and political backlash against such legal moves, Spain tightened its universal jurisdiction provisions in 2009. The Chinese case, however, predates that change.


Σάββατο, Μαΐου 18, 2013

Οι ανθρώπινοι δαυλοί του Θιβέτ.... Tears of Tibet ...

Ακραίες πράξεις σαν κι αυτές, αν και αυτοκαταστροφικές, πάντα θα διατηρούν το νόημά τους
Σαν σύμβολο ριζοσπαστικής πολιτικής διαμαρτυρίας, Θιβετιανοί μοναχοί και απλοί πολίτες αυτοπυρπολούνται σε δημόσιους δρόμους για λογαριασμό της συλλογικής αιτίας για ένα ελεύθερο Θιβέτ. Τείνουν να καταπίνουν κηροζίνη, να τυλίγονται συρματόσκοινο και θεληματικά να αυτοπυρπολούνται φωνάζοντας συνθήματα για ένα ελεύθερο Θιβέτ. Σε μοναστήρια διάσπαρτα στην οροσειρά των Ινδικών Ιμαλαΐων, Θιβετιανοί εξόριστοι προσπαθούν να κρατήσουν ζωντανό έναν αρχαίο πολιτισμό και μιαν αρχαία παράδοση.
Με πάνω από 50 χρόνια εξορίας και με σημάδια αυξανόμενης καταπίεσης από το Κινέζικο Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα που διοικεί τη χώρα, οι ελπίδες τους για ένα ελεύθερο Θιβέτ στερεύουν. Η επιθυμία τους είναι να δουν τον πνευματικό τους ηγέτη, τον Δαλάι Λάμα, να επιστρέφει στο παλάτι του στο Θιβέτ και την κινεζική κυβέρνηση να τους παραχωρήσει την αδικαιολόγητα στερημένη αυτονομία τους.
Περίπου 150.000 Θιβετιανοί έχουν καταφύγει και ενταχθεί δίπλα στον Δαλάι Λάμα στην εξόριστη κυβέρνηση που καθιέρωσε στην Νταραμσάλα της Ινδίας όταν απέδρασε από τη χώρα του το 1959, για να σωθεί από την καταπίεση και τις απειλές της Κίνας. Οι πρόσφυγες σπάνια αμφισβητούν τη φιλοσοφία της μέσης οδού, που ο πνευματικός τους ηγέτης κηρύττει, δηλαδή την εγκατάλειψη οποιασδήποτε βίαιης πράξης έναντι της Κίνας για την καθιέρωση ανεξαρτησίας στο Θιβέτ. Στα 77 του έχει ήδη αναγγείλει την αποχώρησή του ως πολιτικός ηγέτης, αφήνοντας αυτόν τον ρόλο στον πρωθυπουργό Λόμπσανγκ Σάνγκεϊ και τους υπουργούς του στην κυβέρνηση που καθιέρωσε στην εξορία.
Από το 2009, τουλάχιστον 101 Θιβετιανοί έχουν αυτοθυσιαστεί με τη μέθοδο της αυτοπυρπόλησης, με πάνω από 40 επιβεβαιωμένους θανάτους. Ο Δαλάι Λάμα έχει δηλώσει ότι δεν ενθαρρύνει τις διαδηλώσεις, ωστόσο η κινεζική κυβέρνηση ισχυρίζεται ότι η εξόριστη κυβέρνηση του Θιβέτ είναι αυτή που υποκινεί αυτές τις πράξεις. Αυτός διατηρεί τον ρόλο του ως πνευματικός ηγέτης περίπου 5.000.000 Θιβετιανών και παραμένει παράξενα ήσυχος για το θέμα των αυτοπυρπολήσεων, ενθαρρύνοντας την κινέζικη καλή θέληση να τους χορηγήσει την πραγματική αυτονομία που τους αξίζει.
Πολύ ευαίσθητο πολιτικό θέμα

Σε συνέντευξή του στο BBC ερωτήθηκε γιατί δεν έχει εκφράσει την έντονη καταδίκη του κατά των αυτοπυρπολήσεων, απαντώντας ότι αυτό είναι ένα πολύ ευαίσθητο πολιτικό θέμα και αν συμμετέχει σε αυτό, τότε η αποχώρησή του από την πολιτική εξουσία δεν θα έχει νόημα. «Ό,τι και να πω, η κινεζική κυβέρνηση το διαστρεβλώνει αμέσως. Η Κίνα δεν καταλαβαίνει ποια είναι η πραγματική αίσθηση του Θιβέτ και πώς νιώθουν οι Θιβετιανοί πολίτες». Επανειλημμένες συναντήσεις μεταξύ των εκπροσώπων του και των διαδοχικών κινεζικών κυβερνήσεων δεν έχουν φέρει κανένα απολύτως αποτέλεσμα για καλύτερη μεταχείριση των Θιβετιανών πολιτών και των προσφύγων που προσπαθούν να επιστρέψουν στη χώρα που τους γέννησε. «Η προσέγγισή μας κατέληξε σε ολοκληρωτική αποτυχία. Κανένα θετικό αποτέλεσμα δεν ήρθε στο να πάρουμε κάποιο είδος κατανόησης από την κινεζική κυβέρνηση και κάποια βελτίωση στο εσωτερικό του Θιβέτ.

Οι πράξεις των Κινέζων ηγετών τούς εκφράζει καθαρά σαν στενόμυαλους εξουσιαστές του λαού. Χρησιμοποιούν μόνο το στόμα τους και ποτέ τα αφτιά τους. Είναι πάντα πρόθυμοι να πράξουν, αλλά ποτέ δεν είναι πρόθυμοι να ακούσουν». Ο Δαλάι Λάμα, που ζει πια σαν απλός μοναχός στην Ινδία, μακριά από την πολιτική εξουσία, ισχυρίζεται ότι οι Κινέζοι χρησιμοποιούν τα «ηλεκτρονικά όπλα» του 21ου αιώνα για να τον παρουσιάσουν ως διαχωριστή του λαού που θέλει να χωρίσει το Θιβέτ από την Ασιατική «μητέρα γη», αλλά εκφράζει την αυτοπεποίθησή του ότι μια λύση μπορεί να βρεθεί. «Οποιοσδήποτε λογικός ηγέτης δεν θα φέρει συνεχώς αυτό το είδος της τυφλής πολιτικής αυτοκαταστροφής. Μόνο με το πέρασμα του χρόνου κάποια πράγματα και ιδέες θα αλλάξουν. Γι’ αυτό είμαι αρκετά σίγουρος». Παρ΄ όλα αυτά, οι αυτοθυσίες και αυτοπυρπολήσεις αυξάνονται συνεχώς, με 14 συμβάντα και 11 επιβεβαιωμένους θανάτους να έχουν συμβεί μόνο το 2013. Επιπλέον, οι κινεζικές Αρχές, τον Φεβρουάριο του 2013, συνέλαβαν πέντε Θιβετιανούς μοναχούς με την κατηγορία ότι έπεισαν τρία άτομα να αυτοπυρποληθούν, επειδή πήγαν να επισκεφθούν ένα από τα θύματα στο νοσοκομείο.

Ο ηρωισμός μιας τέτοιας πράξης
Ως πολίτης ελληνικού έθνους, που πριν από 50 χρόνια υποδουλώθηκε με παρόμοιο τρόπο και βρισκόμενο κάτω από τις απειλές της Ευρωπαϊκής Γερμανοποίησης, που στοχεύουν να μας στερήσουν την εθνική μας ταυτότητα και οικονομική ανεξαρτησία, προσπαθώ να κατανοήσω την πράξη αυτή. Μετά από επαγγελματική εμπειρία με ανθρωπιστικούς οργανισμούς στην περιοχή του Νεπάλ και της Ινδίας, σαν θεατής της βαθιάς επιθυμίας των προσφύγων του Θιβέτ να επιστρέψουν στον τόπο της πολιτιστικής τους κληρονομιάς, δεν μπορώ πάρα να αναγνωρίσω τον ηρωισμό μιας τέτοιας πράξης, που, αν και μπορεί να χαρακτηριστεί σαν ακραία και αυτοκαταστροφική, μας θυμίζει πράξεις αρχαίων και σύγχρονων ηρώων όπως αυτές του Λεωνίδα, του Μάτση και του Αυξεντίου, που με τη δύναμη της θέλησής τους τροφοδοτημένη από τη δίψα τους για ελευθερία, έδωσαν τη ζωή τους χωρίς δεύτερη σκέψη για την εξυπηρέτηση της συλλογικής αιτίας και την ευαισθητοποίηση της διεθνούς φωνής να συμμεριστεί και να βοηθήσει την κατάστασή τους. 

  • Εμείς, ως ελληνικό έθνος ηρώων, που υποταχθήκαμε κάτω από τους κανόνες μιας ξένης κληρονομιάς, πολιτικής και εγωιστικών οικονομικών συμφερόντων μεγαλύτερων δυνάμεων, δεν μπορούμε πάρα να παρακολουθήσουμε με δέος και να καταλάβουμε ότι ακραίες πράξεις σαν κι αυτές, αν και αυτοκαταστροφικές, πάντα θα διατηρούν το νόημά τους.



Δευτέρα, Απριλίου 08, 2013

Tears of Tibet: A Seminar at European Parliament

DHARAMSHALA: In view of the ongoing self-immolations in Tibet, MEPs from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) will host a seminar titled “Tears of Tibet” at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday (10 April). The conference will assess the impacts of Chinese policies on human rights and the environment in Tibet, and the role of Europe Union.
“Tensions between the local Tibetans and the Chinese state have increased since the Tibetan uprising against the Chinese rule in 2008. Up to now we have unfortunately not seen any significant signs that the Chinese state is looking to achieve a genuine peace settlement,” ALDE said. Since 2009, over 114 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Tibet calling for freedom for Tibetans and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland.

ALDE said the conference aims to review EP action for a peaceful solution and to discuss how to change the approach/strategy in order to help the Tibetan people. It expressed its belief that the EU should have a stronger role in trying to solve the growing tension in Tibet. 

“From the feedback that we have received from different NGOs that represent Tibetan interest, this conference has had an enormous effect and upheld hope for a better future for the Tibetan communities,” it added.

MEP Kristiina Ojuland will give the welcome address and introduction.
Ms Kate Saunders, Director of Communications, International Campaign for Tibet, will give a presentation on ICT’s latest report on self-immolations “Storm in the Grasslands: Self-immolations in Tibet and Chinese policy”.

Ms Katia Buffetrille, an ethnologist and Tibetologist, will speak on “Focus on self-immolations and freedom of religion from a human rights perspective”.
Mr Roy Strider, Estonian writer, human rights and social justice activist, will speak on “Focus on the dangers and radicalisation in the Tibetan struggle for independence”.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative Mr Ngodup Dorjee will speak on Tibet’s environmental issues.
April 8, 2013 11:09 pm

What is happening in Tibet is genocide: Telo Rinpoche


Πέμπτη, Μαρτίου 07, 2013

What is happening in Tibet is genocide: Telo Rinpoche

ZURICH: Telo Rinpoche, the spiritual leader of the Kalmyk people of Russian Federation, has said what is happening in Tibet is genocide.

He said it was unfortunate that world leaders are not doing anything about the tragic situation in Tibet. Telo Rinpoche was speaking at a side-event at the UN in Geneva sponsored by five NGOs on “The People’s Republic of China: Threat to the Survival of Tibetan Buddhism”.

Rinpoche said that the survival of Tibetan Buddhism affects not only the Tibetan people but also the world. The preservation of Tibetan Buddhism is also the survival of Tibetan Buddhist science and philosophy, he said.

Telo Rinpoche said Tibetan Buddhism can be only studied through Tibetan language and the Chinese government is placing restrictions on Tibetan language.

Born to a Kalmyk Mongolian family in the US, he studied at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in South India at the age of 7 because the long tradition of Mongolians studying in Tibet was no long an option due to China’s occupation and repression in Tibet.

He said he was able to visit Tibet in 2003. Unfortunately, he said he was not allowed to travel or meet Tibetans freely.

Delegates participating in the side-event at the UN in Geneva on “The People’s Republic of China – Threat to the Survival of Tibetan Buddhism.”

The other speakers at the side-event were Kirti Rinpoche and Mr Adam Koziel from Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Poland. Ms Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch moderator.

“The present situation in Tibet is the result of 60 years of Chinese rule,” said Kirti Rinpoche, the spiritual head of Kirti monastic community in Ngaba, Tibet. Since 2008, the situation in Tibet has been worsening due to more repression.

Kirti Rinpoche welcomed and acknowledged the presence of both Chinese diplomats and individuals representing Chinese NGOs.

He said that the Chinese people are our friends and neighbours for centuries. They are many Chinese who are Buddhists, including many practicing Tibetan Buddhism. However, we are against the Chinese government policies in Tibet that undermine Tibetan religion and culture, he said.

“Tibetan monasteries and Buddhist centres are not for tourist attraction,” he said. “There are restrictions and controls on number of monks. If there is no monks in the monasteries, what hope there is for the future of Tibetan monasteries and Buddhism.”

107 Tibetans have self-immolations in Tibet and the majority of them have been in Kirti Monastery and Ngaba region. Kirti Rinpoche said that his immediate concern was for the safety of the families, relatives and friends of the Tibetan who have self-immolated. In late 2012, Beijing vowed to charge Tibetans “inciting” self-immolation with murder.

On 31 January 2013, Lobsang Kunchok, 40, of Kirti monastery and Lobsang Tsering, 31, from Ngaba, were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve and 10-year imprisonment respectively for allegedly inciting Tibetans to self-immolate by a Chinese court. On the same day, six more Tibetans from Labrang, Tibet, have been pronounced equally harsh sentences.

Ms Sophie Richardson, China Director of Human Rights Watch, said that China hasn’t presented any clear evidence of Tibetan inciting self-immolation.

Kirti Rinpoche said that China must be held accountable for its various pledges that it had made when joining different international bodies. China cannot get away by stating different standards of human rights or democracy, he added.

On completing his first leg of European lobby visit, Rinpoche this evening left for Brussels. He will then travel to France, the Nederland, Germany and United Kingdom.
.tibet.net 7/3/13

  • ΕΚ/Στήριξη στις ελπίδες του Θιβέτ: Ο 11ος Kiri Rinpoche στο ΕΚ

Η τραγωδία του λαού του Θιβέτ και η σκληρή αντιμετώπιση των διαδηλωτών, ειδικά εκείνων που αυτοπυρπολούνται από τις κινεζικές αρχές παρουσιάσθηκε σήμερα στο ΕΚ από τον Lobsang Tenzin Jigme Yeshe Gyamtso, 11ο Kirti Rinpoche, ο οποίος κατέθσε στην υποεπιτροπή ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων παρουσιάζοντας συγκεκριμένο αίτημα για στήριξη του αγώνα του Θιβέτ από τους ευρωβουλευτές.

"Το Θιβέτ ήταν ανεξάρτητη χώρα μέχρι το 1959 κι αυτό δεν μπορεί να αμφισβητηθεί από κανέναν" τόνισε ο Kirti Rinpoche σημειώνοντας ότι 107 Θιβετιανοί, πολλοί απ' αυτούς έφηβοι, έχουν αυτοπυρποληθεί την τελευταία τετραετία αντιδρώντας στην καταπίεση και την "εξαφάνιση της γλώσσας και του πολιτισμού του Θιβέτ".

Σημείωσε δε ότι είναι χαρακτηριστικό ότι οι αρχές αντιμετωπίζουν εκείνους που αυτοπυρπολούνται και τις οικογένειές τους ως τρομοκράτες.

Από την πλευρά της η επικεφαλής της υποεπιτροπής Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων του ΕΚ, Barbara Lochbihler (Πράσινοι, Γερμανία) σημείωσε ότι το ΕΚ από χρόνια παρακολουθεί στενά την κατάσταση στο Θιβέτ.

Τι μπορεί να κάνει το Κοινοβούλιο; Ο ίδιος ο Kirti Rinpoche ζήτησε κυρίως ένα: ψήφισμα που να καταδικάζει απερίφραστα την κατάσταση ζητώντας επιστροφή του Δαλάι Λάμα και απελευθέρωση του Θιβέτ, αποφυλάκιση των κρατούμενων ακτιβιστών, και ελέυθερη πρόσβαση εκπροσώπων της διεθνούς κοινότητας και των διεθνών μέσων ενημέρωσης στη "στέγη του κόσμου".


Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

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