Inside Tibet Reports
Inside Tibet reports contain in-depth reporting, monitoring and analysis on particular issues related to Tibet.
24 June 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Fears for three environmentalist brothers as ‘gaunt’ Karma Samdrup on trial after torture
There are fears for the safety of a leading Tibetan environmentalist and philanthropist, Karma Samdrup, his two brothers, two cousins, other relatives and supporters in a major case in which prominent Tibetans have been targeted and imprisoned despite no evidence of political activities.
27 May 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Tibetan sentenced to death after March 14, 2008 protests; other Tibetans sentenced for protecting him
A Tibetan from Kham, Sonam Tsering, who was featured prominently in Chinese official footage of the March 14, 2008 riots in Lhasa brandishing a knife, has been sentenced to death, suspended for two years. Five other Tibetans were sentenced to terms ranging from three to seven years for attempting to shelter him, according to a report in the official newspaper, the Lhasa Evening News (May 25).
17 May 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Police open fire at Tibetans protesting cement factory pollution
Police opened fire on Tibetans at a cement factory in the Tibetan area of Amdo (Labrang in Gansu) on Saturday (May 15) after local villagers, worried about pollution from the factory, started to rebuild a road that had been closed by the expansion of the factory.
5 May 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
“An eco-friendly tourist city”: China’s emerging reconstruction plans for Kyegu
Following Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s second visit to Kyegudo since the devastating earthquake struck the region on April 14 killing over two thousand people, details are beginning to emerge in the official Chinese press of reconstruction plans for the worst-hit town of Kyegu, Yushu (the Tibetan area of Kham) and its surrounding areas.
16 April 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Petition to Hu and Wen calls for Dalai Lama to visit Tibetan quake area: hundreds of monks join relief efforts
A petition addressed to China's President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao was received today by the Chinese-language website boxun.com, appealing for the Dalai Lama to be allowed to visit Tibet "to offer salvation for our dead and prayers for the victims."
14 April 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Hundreds killed in earthquake in Kyigundo, eastern Tibet: emergency appeals launched
Hundreds have been killed in the Tibetan area of Yushu, Kham (Tibetan: Kyigundo, also known as Jyekundo) in present-day Qinghai, when a series of strong earthquakes measured at magnitude 6.9 hit the region this morning.
22 March 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Tibetans mark Uprising anniversaries despite crackdown: Lhasa like a "war-zone"
Despite intensive security and a stepped-up military presence, Tibetans marked two significant anniversaries on March 10 and 14, and called attention to restrictions, with protests involving hundreds of people in Amdo, eastern Tibet.
9 March 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Promotions among Tibet military leaders signal Party approval
Recent shifts in military personnel in Tibet indicate that the Chinese government appears to be satisfied with how the military has handled the situation in Tibet and the protests that swept across the plateau since March, 2008.
2 March 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Protests and Harsh Sentences Continue in Tibet
A Tibetan farmer in Kham, eastern Tibet, has been sentenced to death with two years suspension, and two other Tibetans to life and 16 years imprisonment, for setting fire to a government office as part of a protest in February 2009. The protest occurred almost a year after a wave of protests swept across the Tibetan plateau from Lhasa on March 10, 2008.
19 February 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Tibetans celebrate Dalai Lama meeting with President Obama despite crackdown
In a second day of celebration, on February 18, Tibetans defied intense security by chanting prayers and setting off fireworks in the Amdo area of Tibet, where the Dalai Lama was born, marking his meeting with President Obama that day.
15 February 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Tension across Tibet as Tibetans mark New Year with prayers for the dead
Several hundred Tibetan monks and laypeople in the far eastern Tibetan area of Ngaba (Sichuan province) were surrounded by armed troops yesterday on the first of the five-day Tibetan New Year festival (Losar). The Tibetans had gathered together to pray for those killed in the crackdown following protests across Tibet that began in March 2008. At the same time, across the Tibetan plateau in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibetans held somber and devotional commemorations amid tensions as security was stepped up, according to reports from inside Tibet. Thousands of Tibetans made traditional Losar offerings at the Jokhang temple, with crowds queuing in the Tibetan Barkhor area observed by plain clothes and uniformed armed security personnel. In a Tibetan New Year address yesterday in Dharamsala, India, the Dalai Lama said: "We are not celebrating the New Year, Losar, in a very grand way; we are only performing the religious ceremony and rituals.”
29 January 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Top-level meeting in Beijing sets strategy on Tibet
The Dalai Lama’s envoys traveled to China for talks this week just days after the conclusion of a high-level meeting attended by President Hu Jintao, setting out Tibet policy for the coming years.
The Fifth Tibet Work Forum, held on January 18-20, is the most recent in a series of rare strategy meetings on Tibet that have now been held just five times since the Chinese took over Tibet in 1949-50. The meeting last week was attended by more than 300 of China’s most senior Party, government and military leaders. Notably, the Fifth Tibet Work Forum concluded days before envoys of the Dalai Lama, led by Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, arrived in China for the ninth round of Sino-Tibetan dialogue, some 15 months since the previous round. Speculation on the timing of the ninth round of dialogue so soon after the Fifth Tibet Work Forum has raised expectation that this could be a pivotal moment for Tibet.
22 January 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Leadership shifts in Tibet indicate Party priorities of military control and 'stability'
A former officer in the People’s Liberation Army, Pema Trinley (Chinese transliteration: Baima Chilin) has been appointed Governor of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), while former Chairman Jampa Phuntsog (Chinese: Xiangba Pingcuo) has taken early resignation from the post. The changes were announced at a routine meeting of the regional legislature in Lhasa, and appear to have been tailored to accommodate the retirement of Legqog (Chinese: Lieque) as Chairman of the legislature, who has reached the mandatory retirement age of 65. Leadership shifts in Tibet are closely observed for signs that the Party may be seeking to hold officials to account for policy failures that led to widespread protests across Tibet from March 2008 onwards, but there is no evidence in this case that the changes signal any new approach on policy or target particular individuals. Zhang Qingli, appointed in May 2006 as Party Secretary of the TAR, remains in place as the top Party boss.
4 January 2010| International Campaign for Tibet
Influential Tibetan lama sentenced to eight and a half years in prison
A Tibetan lama, Phurbu Rinpoche from Kham, has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. It is the first sentence known to have been handed down to an important and influential lama in Tibet since protests broke out across the plateau in March, 2008. Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche, a highly respected religious leader from Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) prefecture in Sichuan province (the Tibetan area of Kham) was detained in May 2008 and initially charged with illegal possession of weapons and ammunition, and charges relating to allegations he misappropriated a government-owned building. Phurbu Rinpoche was initially allowed to be represented by two leading lawyers from Beijing. However, they were not allowed to attend further legal proceedings and have since been disbarred along with over 40 other lawyers who took on high-profile human rights cases. The two Chinese lawyers defending Phurbu Rinpoche said that serious violations of Chinese law had occurred during his case and that the charges against him “lack factual clarity and sufficient evidence.”
17 December, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Tibetans defy security crackdown to demonstrate in support of imprisoned Tibetan lama
Security has been stepped up in of the Tibetan area of Kham, part of present-day Sichuan province, and dozens of Tibetans have been detained and beaten after peaceful demonstrations in support of the imprisoned Tibetan lama, Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, a highly respected religious teacher serving a life sentence. Increased numbers of armed police and troops have been stationed in towns and villages where protests occurred - in an area that is already tense since demonstrations against Chinese rule spread across Tibet in March 2008. The movement of people in protest areas is now restricted and in one area soldiers have warned local people that they will shoot to kill if necessary.
2 December, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Determination to resist repression continues in ‘combat-ready’ Chamdo, frontline of ‘patriotic education’
New reports indicate a continued determination among Tibetans in Jomda (Chinese: Jiangda) county in eastern Chamdo (Chinese: Changdu) prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region, to resist repressive measures imposed after protests that began in March 2008. This is despite a dramatic tightening of security in the area and the imposition of ‘emergency’ measures by the authorities including a “readiness to defend to the death key sites, key aims, and key areas at sensitive and highly critical periods,” according to a recent notice of new strategies issued by the Chamdo government.
16 November, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Founder of Tibetan cultural website sentenced to 15 years in closed-door trial in freedom of expression case
Kunchok Tsephel, an official in a Chinese government environmental department and founder of the influential Tibetan literary website, Chodme (‘Butter-Lamp’, www.tibetcm.com), has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of disclosing state secrets, according to reports from Tibet received by Tibetan exiles. Some of the charges are believed to relate to content on his website, which aims to protect Tibetan culture, and passing on information about last year’s protests in Tibet.
26 October, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Official confirmation of execution of Tibetans in Lhasa
Two Tibetans were executed in Lhasa for their alleged roles in the protests and rioting in Lhasa on March 14, 2008, according to reports by Tibetan exile organizations confirmed by the Chinese embassy in London on Friday (October 23). Lobsang Gyaltsen and Loyak were sentenced to death in April 2009 on charges relating to "starting fatal fires," according to a report in the Chinese state media. They are the first known executions of Tibetans in connection with the Lhasa riot on March 14, 2008 although others have been killed following torture in custody.
28 August, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Tibetan monk makes video appeal for return of Dalai Lama and end to repression in Tibet
A Tibetan monk, Kelsang Tsultrim from Labrang monastery in the Amdo area of eastern Tibet, has recorded a video at great risk about his fears for the survival of Tibetan religion and culture, the crackdown over the past year, and calling for the return to Tibet of the Dalai Lama.
17 August, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
New image of monk who set himself on fire: concerns for his welfare
There are continued concerns about the welfare and whereabouts of a young monk who set himself on fire in February 2009 as a form of protest after prayer ceremonies at his monastery were canceled. A disturbing new photograph of the incident, depicting Tapey standing in the middle of a road apparently motionless with flames around his body, has been received from Tibet and can be viewed here.
6 August, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Fears for missing Tibetan writer; continued crackdown on writers and artists
Tibetan bloggers have reported the disappearance of a young Tibetan writer and university student, Tashi Rabten (pen-name Te’urang), the editor of a banned literary magazine on the 2008 protests in Tibet and author of a new collection of work called “Written in Blood”. Tashi Rabten has not been seen by friends since July 26, the beginning of the summer holiday at the Northwest Minorities University in Lanzhou where he is a student.
4 August, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Move to allow Dalai Lama pictures prompts speculation: no policy change evident
In a move that has provoked some speculation, the Chinese authorities recently allowed Tibetans in Drango (Chinese: Luohuo) county in Kardze, eastern Tibet (part of modern-day Sichuan province) to celebrate the Dalai Lama's birthday with a prayer ceremony and to display images of the Tibetan religious leader. Any attempt to publicly mark the Dalai Lama's July 6 birthday is generally banned in Tibet.
17 July, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Crackdown on lawyers: legal think-tank shut down, fears for 'Leaving Fear Behind' film-maker Dhondup Wangchen
The Chinese authorities have intensified a crackdown against lawyers. Today a legal research center run by activist lawyers who have challenged state policies on issues including Tibet was shut down. In Tibet, there is further evidence that lawyers are being blocked from defending cases of Tibetans in prison following the protests that began last year, and as a result there are particular fears for the welfare and safety of film-maker Dhondup Wangchen, arrested last March after completing the documentary ‘Leaving Fear Behind’.
5 June, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Official acknowledgement of suicide of monk after protests due to 'stress'
The Chinese authorities have made a rare admission that a Tibetan monk committed suicide due to ‘stress’. Forty three year old Sheldrup (named in the Chinese official statement today as Shadri), had been tortured in custody after protests at his monastery in Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren) county in Qinghai province in April 2008, although this background was not acknowledged in the report issued today by Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency.
5 June, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Tibetan nun gives account of rape in custody
A Tibetan former nun in her thirties has given a harrowing account of her rape by Chinese Peoples Armed Police (PAP) officers after she was caught attempting to escape from Tibet near the border with Nepal. Although the incident happened four years ago, in September 2005, the pattern of abuse the former nun describes is consistent with other reports of the treatment of Tibetans caught attempting to escape into exile. Numerous Tibetan sources report facing torture and hard labor when caught by PAP border security during the journey into exile or from Nepal, although cases of rape appear to be less common.
1 June, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Bold report by Beijing scholars reveals breakdown of China’s Tibet policy
A bold and remarkable new report by a group of Chinese scholars in Beijing challenges the official position that the Dalai Lama “incited” the protests that broke out in Tibet in March 2008, and outlines key failings in the policy of the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on Tibet. The report, which is translated into English by ICT below, is the first such analysis from inside China and comes at a time of crackdown in Tibet when the PRC government is taking an increasingly hardline position against the Dalai Lama.
28 May, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
New images of burning of wild animal pelts in dramatic act of dissent
New images received from Tibet depict thousands of dollars worth of wild animal pelts being burned in the Tibetan area of Amdo, eastern Tibet, in a dramatic assertion of Tibetan identity at the height of the current crackdown on dissent. The photographs were taken in February 2009, during Tibetan New Year, at a time when Tibetans sought to mark the festival by mourning those killed in the protests. This was in defiance of the Chinese authorities' attempts to enforce celebration of the New Year.
21 May, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Deaths of two Tibetans after torture
Over the past year, since protests broke out on March 10, 2008, the Chinese government has sought to block all information reaching the outside world on the torture, disappearances and killings that have taken place across Tibet. A full accounting of Tibetans who died in protests since March 2008 is not yet possible as a result, and due to the intense climate of fear in the region (see report 'A Great Mountain Burned by Fire: China's Crackdown in Tibet').
6 May, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Labrang Jigme, monk who gave torture testimony, returns home
A senior Tibetan monk, Labrang Jigme, has been released from custody after six months of detention without charges following the involvement of two Chinese lawyers with his case. Li Fangping and Jiang Tianyong had recently become involved in investigating Labrang Jigme’s case due to fears about his welfare after he was seized from his monastery by armed police on November 4, 2008.
4 May, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Images of protest by Tibetan children and students obtained from Tibet
New images of a protest by Tibetan schoolchildren in Labrang (Chinese: Xiahe) on April 24 have been obtained from Tibet. The images confirm that several hundred students from Labrang Tibetan Middle School, including several children who appear to be as young as ten or 11, were involved in the protest against continuedvilification by the authorities of the Dalai Lama.
27 April, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Verdict on Tibetan lama deferred: Chinese lawyers’ statement on charges against Phurbu Rinpoche
The date for sentencing an important Tibetan lama being defended by two prominent Chinese civil rights lawyers has been deferred, according to sources in China. Phurbu Rinpoche, a highly respected religious leader from Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) in Sichuan province (the Tibetan area of Kham) was detained in May 2008 and is being charged with weapons’ possession.
24 April, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Fifth Tibetan sentenced to death
A fifth Tibetan has been sentenced to death on charges relating to arson on March 14 in Lhasa, according to a report in the official press on April 21.
9 April, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Two Tibetans sentenced to death in Lhasa
The Lhasa Intermediate People's Court in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), has sentenced two Tibetans to death on charges relating to "starting fatal fires", according to an official report published yesterday. These are the first known death sentences passed against Tibetans in connection with the Lhasa riots on March 14, 2008. Two other Tibetans were sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve and one other was sentenced to life imprisonment in a total of three separate cases of arson, reportedly involving the deaths of seven people, according to the state media. The full Xinhua report, published in English but apparently not yet in Chinese, is included below.
27 March, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Tensions high in Tibet on eve of ‘Serf Emancipation Day’
Tensions are high in Tibet on the eve of a compulsory celebration to mark ‘Serf Emancipation Day’ declared by authorities in the Tibet Autonomous Region, and intended to mark an end to Tibetan ‘feudalism’. For Tibetans, March 28 marks the defeat of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, the dissolution of the Tibetan government, and 50 years of separation from the Dalai Lama. March is also the one-year anniversary of the start of a wave of overwhelmingly peaceful protests that swept across the plateau and continue today, resulting in a violent crackdown by the Chinese authorities.
16 March, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Amdo monks taken for ‘study’ after peaceful protest
More than a hundred monks who held a peaceful candlelit vigil on the first day of Tibetan New Year (February 25) have been taken from their monastery, Lutsang, in Mangra county (Chinese: Guinan) in Qinghai (the Tibetan area of Amdo), for ‘study’ at an unknown location. According to a Tibetan source in exile with connections in the area, around 100 monks were taken from the monastery last week while a number of the remaining monks have undergone interrogation, torture and beatings, according to one source.
7 March, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
Detentions after peaceful protest in Kham; Tibetans resist government pressure to celebrate Losar Two young Tibetan women were detained on Thursday (March 5) in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi), a Tibetan area of Sichuan province (Kham) following a protest, in an atmosphere of increasing tension in the area. The two women, a nun and layperson, staged separate protests in Kardze town, handing out leaflets and calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet, respect for Tibetans' human rights, religious freedom, and the release of the Panchen Lama and Tibetan prisoners. According to one source some of the leaflets were in Chinese as one of the Tibetan women is a fluent Chinese speaker. The women were detained and their current whereabouts is unknown.
1 March, 2009 | International Campaign for Tibet
New protest today in Ngaba after officials ban prayer ceremony
News is emerging of a protest this morning (March 1, 2009) by several hundred monks from Sey monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), the Tibetan area of Amdo, after officials prevented them from marking a major prayer festival. Several hundred monks marched from the monastery after officials banned them from praying, calling to be allowed to celebrate the Monlam prayer festival, and for the authorities to release all Tibetan prisoners from the area, according to three Tibetan sources with contacts in the area including one eyewitness. According to one of the sources, the protest was dispersed when armed police and officials confronted the protestors and troops are now surrounding the monastery.
Inside Tibet Reports
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|Tibet: Lhasa and Beyond, takes readers from town to town, offering them a chance to get to know these places and the Tibetans who call them home. Each month features a different hometown, highlighting the significance of the area and juxtaposing it with Tibetans’ political turmoil.|