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


ICT highlights extra-legal detentions in Tibet on U.N. International Day of Enforced Disappearances

On the occasion of the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on August 30, 2014, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) calls for an end to a wave of enforced and extra-legal disappearances across Tibet, in particular following intensified repression after the self-immolations began in 2009.

There has been a new spike in enforced disappearances since the self-immolations in Tibet in 2009. The authorities’ draconian response to the more than 130 self-immolations across Tibet has included reprisals against those allegedly associated with self-immolators, including friends, families, witnesses to the act, and even entire communities.

“Enforced disappearance has been used as a tactic by the Chinese authorities in Tibet to spread fear and attempt to ensure allegiance to the Party-state,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet. “We are highly concerned about the cases of ‘disappearances’ connected to self-immolations – such as friends, family, and individuals who may have simply witnessed a self-immolation,” Mecacci added.

Tibetan blogger detained for political writings; monk given secret 9-year sentence

Dawa Tsomo

Dawa Tsomo (Image: RFA)

A young woman was detained in Kham in late August after blogging about “sensitive” topics, according to a Radio Free Asia report. Dawa Tsomo, a resident of Yushul prefecture, had recently written about the living conditions of Tibetans in Yushul following the devastating 2010 Yushul Earthquake. It is not yet known if she will be formally charged for her writings. In a separate report, it has been discovered that a monk from restive Driru county in Kham has been handed a 9-year sentence after a secret trial. Geshe Tsultrim Nyendak, the monk, has allegedly been tortured in prison. He was taken away almost two years ago, after Chinese authorities came to suspect that he had been involved in protests in the region.

Pangri-na Rinpoche, whereabouts unknown for years, found in poor condition in Chinese prison

Pangri-na Rinpoche

Pangri-na Rinpoche prior to his arrest. (Image: TCHRD)

Pangri-na Rinpoche, a reincarnate lama from the Kardze region of Kham, was located by chance when a Tibetan ran across him while visiting another prisoner in Mianyang Prison. Rinpoche is described as being ’emaciated’ and barely recognizable. He was first targeted by police after nuns from a nunnery under his care participated in a peaceful protest march during the 2008 Tibetan Uprising. According to the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, local Tibetans are very concerned about his health and fear that he has been treated poorly. For more please read the full TCHRD report here.

Thoughts on ethnic autonomy from a Tibetan in Tibet


Shokjang (Image: High Peaks Pure Earth)

The website High Peaks Pure Earth released the translation of an article by a young Tibetan writer named Shokjang on September 2nd. In the article Shokjang responds to ideas floated by Chinese intellectuals and officials such as Liu Junning and Ma Rong. So far the debate over reforms to the Chinese ethnic autonomy system has been dominated by Chinese voices, including those such as Ma Rong who have advocated abolishing the ethnic autonomy system. Shokjang aligns himself with others such as Wang Lixiong who oppose this suggestion, and he instead proposes strengthening it:

Today one of the most alarming concerns of the educated individuals of most ethnic minorities is the predicament of their language and culture with its fate nearing the precipice of extinction. If there is any veracity to Beijing’s commitment to real autonomous administration of these nationalities, then the implementation of policies concerning the protection and preservation of language and culture of ethnic minorities must be upheld seriously. On the contrary, if we blame all the internal conflicts and acts of hostility among ethnic groups on the system of ethnic autonomous administration, then as Wang Lixiong suggests, isn’t it “the destruction of the ultimate armour of ethnic minorities?”

To read the full article please click here.