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


ICT report: The impact of the Nepal earthquake in Tibet

Monks from Benchen monastery

Monks from Benchen monastery in Nepal distributing food and water.

As the world’s focus is turned to Nepal after the devastating earthquake, little is known about the situation in Tibetan areas close to the border, other than reports from the Chinese state media, due to tight information controls, restrictions on foreign visitors and lack of access to media.

Official Chinese reports refer to the deaths of 25 people in the Tibet Autonomous Region. The death toll may be lower than would be expected given the number of buildings destroyed because during this time of year many people in the area would be out in the fields carrying out agricultural work. But the figures still appear to be low, given the damage admitted in the state media. There are tight restrictions on information flow in the Tibet Autonomous Region due to the ongoing political crackdown- for more please see our full report.


U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom: China imposes “harsh policies of repression on Buddhists” across Tibet

In its just issued 2015 Annual Report, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) states that China imposes “harsh policies of repression on Buddhists” across the Tibetan plateau and recommended that the U.S. State Department re-designate China as a “country of particular concern” (CPC), where “particularly severe violations of religious freedom” are perpetrated or tolerated, and to take additional actions to promote religious freedom in China. Read more here.


Imprisoned Tibetan singer reportedly in poor health

lolo singerLolo, a popular Tibetan singer currently three years into a six year sentence, is said to be in poor health according to Voice of Tibet and Phayul. Lolo was arrested in 2012 after releasing an album with pointed political lyrics and songs like Raise the Tibetan flag, Children of the Snowland. He is being held in Xining city, a large metropolis near Tibet’s historic Kumbum monastery. For more please see the Phayul report, and to watch Lolo performing one of his songs prior to arrest please click here.


Statement of Richard Gere, Chairman of the Board of the International Campaign for Tibet

ICT Board member Tempa Tsering

Newest ICT Board member Tempa Tsering with Chairman Richard Gere, Keith Pitts, Pam Cesak and Jim Kane (members) and President Matteo Mecacci.

As Chairman, I am overjoyed to announce that the Board of the International Campaign for Tibet, which met in Washington, D.C. on April 29, 2015, has elected Mr. Tempa Tsering as its newest member.

Tempa comes with a great wealth of experience in serving His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people in various capacities for the past more than four decades. Presently, he serves as the Representative of H.H. the Dalai Lama in New Delhi.

Tempa is not only an old and dear friend of mine, but also a friend to all of us in the international Tibetan movement. This is an extraordinary opportunity for our organization to increase our depth and effectiveness as we move into the future.

Tempa Tsering’s biography and experience has been posted to our site here.