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


New Report Highlights High Rate of Detentions of Tibetans by Chinese Government’s Suppression Campaign

The New York-based Human Rights Watch published a new report on May 22, 2016 that says the “Chinese government’s campaign to suppress peaceful dissent in Tibetan areas has continued to produce a high rate of detentions, prosecutions, and convictions since the outbreak of widespread unrest eight years ago.”

The 86-page report, “Relentless: Detention and Prosecution of Tibetans under China’s ‘Stability Maintenance’ Campaign,” shows how changing patterns of unrest and politicized detentions, prosecutions, and convictions from 2013-2015 correlate with the latest phase of the government’s “stability maintenance” campaign – a policy that has resulted in unprecedented surveillance and control in Tibetan villages and towns.

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay sworn in for second term

After winning the election for leader of the Central Tibetan Administration, Sikyong Lobsang Sangay was sworn in on May 27. Speaking in front of thousands of Tibetans in Dharamsala, Sangay spoke on his strategies and goals:

“We have to protect and preserve our unique Tibetan identity and tradition. We need to build self-reliance in the Tibetan world, in both education and economy.”

Dalai Lama named the most admired man in Mexico

Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama on an earlier visit to Mexico.

The Dalai Lama came out on top of a poll of Mexican citizens asking them to name their most admired man and woman. Others who finished high in the rankings included Barack Obama, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, Pope Frances, Malala Yousafzai, Angelina Jolie, and Oprah Winfrey.

China’s new railway through Tibet poses political and technological challenges

On the subject of the new rail line from Chengdu to Lhasa, under construction now, The Economist writes:

“The impact on Tibet of the Golmud-Lhasa line still reverberates. It fuelled a tourism boom in Lhasa that attracted waves of ethnic Han Chinese from other parts of China to work in industries such as catering and transport. The resentment it created among Tibetans, who felt excluded from the new jobs, was a big cause of rioting in Lhasa in 2008 that ignited protests across the plateau. The new line will cut through some of the most restive areas. Since 2011 more than 110 Tibetans are reported to have killed themselves by setting themselves on fire in protest at China’s crackdown after the unrest. Some of the self-immolations have happened in Tibetan-inhabited parts of Sichuan, including near Litang.”

Family of Tibetan political prisoner Lobsang Choedar fears for his health

Lobsang Choedar, a monk from Kirti monastery, is serving a 13 year sentence for calling for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. He had participated in a hunger strike in prison protesting the poor food and conditions, and sources in the region told RFA that although his condition has improved slightly, concerns remain over his health.