A listing of the top news developments in and around Tibet during the previous week.


Fears for the safety of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s sister and niece detained after his cremation: home area ‘like a military zone’

Dolkar Lhamo

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s sister, Dolkar Lhamo.

There are fears for the safety of the sister of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, Dolkar Lhamo, and her daughter, who are still being held by police following his cremation at a remote detention facility in his 13th year of imprisonment. Police acting on orders of higher authorities have seized his ashes from Tibetan lamas who were carrying them back to his home monastery in Kardz after the high-security detention facility where he apparently died.


Monk who self-immolated left note calling for the Dalai Lama’s return

Gesar Square

The location for the self-immolation of Sonam Topgyal on July 9 (2015) in Kyegudo, Yushu. The image shows the complete rebuilding of the area since the 2010 earthquake, with almost no Tibetan features, despite its importance as a centuries-old historic and cultural center.

Sonam Topgyal, the monk who self-immolated on July 9 (2015) in the center of a city rebuilt by the Chinese authorities, had experienced imprisonment and the demolition of his family home before he set himself on fire. He left a note tucked into his prayer book saying that China’s policies are aimed at eradicating Tibet’s religion, culture and traditions, and destroying the environment. Tibetans have no recourse to express their views about the situation, he added. See our translation of the note, which was discovered after his self-immolation, here.


VOA’s Losang Gyatso testifies before the Congressional-Executive China Commission

A panel of Chinese, Tibetan, and Uyghur experts in front of CECC members during the hearing.

A panel of Chinese, Tibetan, and Uyghur experts in front of CECC members during the hearing.

Losang Gyatso, the Service Chief of Voice of America’s Tibetan Service, spoke at a public hearing on religious freedom in Xi Jinping’s China on July 23. Part of his testimony is excerpted below- read the rest in our report.

Today, there are many known and probably many more unknown Tibetans languishing in China’s prisons for simply expressing their dissent with the oppressive rules and regulations governing Tibetan lives and the institutions and figures of Tibetan Buddhism. Writers and artists are imprisoned for simply writing or singing about their love for Tibet’s mountains and lakes, culture, or history. Many more are detained for refusing to denounce their religious heads, such as the Dalai Lama, during reeducation campaigns at temples and monasteries.


Tibetan political prisoner Lobsang Yeshi dies in prison

The Central Tibetan Administration has reported the death of Lobsang Yeshi, one of the Tibetans imprisoned since last year following a series of anti-mining demonstrations in the Chamdo region of eastern Tibet:

Due to severe beating in the prison, Lobsang Yeshi sustained grievous injuries and suffered dizziness as a result of poor health. Recently he was hospitalized and succumbed to his injuries on 19 July. The Chinese authorities confiscated the dead body and refused to handover to the family members despite repeated pleas from the family members.