EU, Parliament officials ignore China pressure to welcome Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama called on Europe to engage in ‘constructive criticism’ of China after being welcomed by the President of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on September 15 following high-profile visits to Paris and Brussels.
Despite pressure from the Chinese mission to the EU to cancel the meetings – framed by the Chinese side as “repeated persuasion” – the Dalai Lama held discussions with European Parliament President Martin Schulz and members of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Mass expulsions at globally renowned Buddhist institutes in Tibet follow demolitions
News has emerged of mass expulsions of religious practitioners from two major religious institutes in eastern Tibet, following the demolition of monks’ and nuns’ homes that began in July at Larung Gar in Serthar. Footage of the demolitions at Larung Gar in August received by ICT depicts homes being razed by Chinese work teams with heavy equipment.
Around 1000 religious practitioners were compelled to leave another major monastic encampment, Yachen Gar, although demolitions have not been reported at Yachen Gar. Three Tibetan nuns have committed suicide apparently linked to distress at the demolitions and restrictions at Larung Gar.
Tibet once again in the spotlight at United Nations in Geneva – High Commissioner and governments concerned while Tibetans and ICT call for rights
The 33rd session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in Geneva once again saw Tibet and China in the spotlight, as High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid prominently expressed concern with regard to human rights violations in the People’s Republic of China and urged the Chinese government to cooperate with United Nations institutions. ICT, on behalf of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, delivered an oral statement on the state of freedom of religion in Tibet.
Imprisoned Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk faces false ‘separatism’ chargesA Tibetan man imprisoned for his advocacy for Tibetan language depicted in a New York Times video interview still faces criminal charges, according to his lawyer, and police are pushing for a trial.
Tashi Wangchuk, 31, has been detained by police in his home area of Jyegudo since January 2016, following an interview with the New York Times on Tibetan culture and language. He faces charges of ‘separatism’, although he has not advocated Tibetan independence.
Tibetans Rally for Religious Freedom at United Nations in Geneva
Tibetans and their supporters gathered at the United Nations in Geneva on September 16 for a rally to highlight injustice in Tibet, express solidarity with Tibetans, and to call for religious freedom. Tibetan Buddhist monks recited prayers to open the rally, which also featured a statement by Richard Gere, Chair of the International Campaign for Tibet. Speakers included the niece of a prominent Tibetan lama, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who died in prison last year; Uyghur leader in exile Rebiya Kadeer; European Parliamentarians, and Tibetan monk Golog Jigme, who escaped into exile after suffering torture in prison.