Co-chairman McGovern and Co-chairman Pitts, and other Members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, thank you for holding this important hearing today, and for inviting me to speak on the human rights situation in Tibet.
I am here as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Campaign for Tibet (or ICT for short), which, since 1988, has been working to promote human rights and democratic freedoms for the people of Tibet. I feel that it’s particularly appropriate for the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission to be holding this hearing today in light of Tom Lantos’ steadfast commitment to Tibet, and his deep relationship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
It is with profound sadness that I give these remarks today. Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was one of the most highly respected and revered Tibetan lamas. He was a teacher to tens of thousands of Tibetan and Chinese students. Arrested in 2002, Rinpoche spent the last 13 years of his life serving a life sentence for crimes he did not commit. After being tried in a closed session on charges of "terrorism and inciting separatism" and without due process of law, the worst possible outcome has arrived. Rinpoche has died in prison, while in the custody of the Chinese government. This is a profound tragedy for Tibetans and Buddhists throughout the world. The death of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche is a tragic reminder of the injustices endured by Tibetans for exercising their right to religious freedom, and of the grim state of human rights in Tibet.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives in the United States for a series of programs, which include celebration of his 80th birthday. Thousands of North Americans will be gathering in California and New York to participate in the different events highlighting the Dalai Lama’s contribution to the promotion of human values, religious understanding and leadership of the Tibetan people.
In these circumstances, the International Campaign for Tibet is dismayed by the planned demonstrations by some Buddhists in the name of "International Shugden Community" aimed at undermining the work of the Dalai Lama.
The Art of Peace Foundation, with artists including Sting, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Elbow, has created a collection of songs for the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. The album is a celebration of the Dalai Lama’s philosophy of peace, non-violence and compassion.
The collection, entitled The Art of Peace (#SongsForTibet), is in harmony with Tibet’s rich culture, in which Tibetan singers traditionally express their devotion to the exiled religious leader the Dalai Lama through song despite the oppressive political climate and lack of freedoms.
Proceeds of ‘Songs for Tibet’ will go towards Tibetan cultural-preservation projects and a unique scheme providing vocational education to Tibetans.
Following is the text of the statement made by ICT President Matteo Mecacci at Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights’s side event, "Lockdown in Tibet", on June 15, 2015 in Geneva, to coincide with the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The event focused attention on several fundamental human rights issues facing Tibet today: namely, restrictions on freedom of expression and movement, which in turn have a significant impact on the ability of Tibetans to exercise other fundamental human rights. The lack of access to Tibet for UN mandate-holders, foreign diplomats and journalists, among others, also severely impacts the protection and promotion of human rights in Tibet as well as the free flow of information out of Tibet.
December 10, 2018
A system of intense security and forced assimilation that Chinese Communist Party official Chen Quanguo first developed in Tibet is now being used in Xinjiang, where Chen and his forces have locked up at least 1 million ethnic Uyghurs and Kazakhs in prison camps because of their ethnicity, culture and religion.
The popular Tibetan blogger Druklo, known more widely by his pen name Shokjang, has been sentenced to three years in prison after being ‘disappeared’ nearly a year ago, according to Tibetan sources in exile.
Druklo (pen name: Shokjang) an intellectual, blogger and writer, is known for his reflective and thought-provoking articles on issues of contemporary concern such as ethnic policy and settlement of nomads. There was widespread dismay when he was detained by security police in Rebkong (Chinese: Tongren) on March 19 (2015), with numerous netizens expressing their sadness.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives and one of the most prominent supporters of the Dalai Lama worldwide, made an unannounced visit to Lhasa, Tibet, this week, meeting the Communist Party chief of the region.
Nancy Pelosi, who has been one of the most forceful critics of China’s policies and human rights record in Tibet, is leading a delegation of Congressional Democrats on a trip to China. The delegation has not yet made a statement about her visit or spoken to reporters, but prior to going into meetings today at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Ms. Pelosi said she had shared views on Tibet following her visit and hoped that "some of that conversation will be useful."