CHAIRMAN’S NOTE November – December 2017

It is with great sadness that we learn yet again of the self-immolation of a Tibetan, this time a 63 year old monk, Tenga, who set himself alight on 26th November at Kardze, eastern Tibet. While he was burning, he called out for freedom for Tibet. His charred body was taken away by police and has not been returned to his family. This brings the total of 150 of self-immolations since 2011. Still the United Nations and the news media remain silent on this issue in Tibet. As I have said many times before, the economic gains of trade with China makes the subject of Tibet taboo, and now Western nations who in the past supported Tibet are muted on the subject. However, Tibet will remain a thorn in China’s side until she realises that the Middle Way approach promoted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in exile needs to be addressed to the satisfaction of both Tibet and China.

Human Rights Day 10th December: As you are aware, His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama, Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, has been held incommunicado by China since his recognition by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1995 at aged 6. He is now aged 28 years, but no one has seen him since his abduction, even though the international community and the UN Human Rights Commission have made enquiries as to his whereabouts. All China has said that he is well and that his parents do not want him to be disturbed. Surely that as an adult he should now be able to speak for himself. In Auckland we will be focussing on HH the Panchen Lama by holding a vigil on Sunday 10th December at Aotea Square from noon until 1 pm. We hope that you will join us. Wellington branch will hold a vigil outside the Chinese embassy on Monday 11th December to let China know that His Holiness and Tibet have not been forgotten.

Team Tibet – Home Away from Home Documentary: Thank you to those who attended the screenings of Robin Greenberg’s documentary “Team Tibet – Home away from Home” at the film festivals and later fundraisers. So far about $2000 has been raised, final figures will be determined by February. This has been earmarked as a scholarship for higher education for a Tibetan, through the Central Tibetan Administration in India.

Members will be delighted to learn that Robin’ s documentary has so far won two awards:
An Award of Excellence from the IndieFest Film Awards on 3rd November, and an Award of Excellence: Documentary Feature from the Accolade Global Film Competition Award on 30th November. Our heartiest congratulations to Robin for her unpaid dedication over 20 years to bring the documentary to fruition.

We are now on facebook, thanks to Tenzin Choedon. Check out the facebook page Friends of Tibet NZ facebook.

If your email address has changed, please let me know by sending me an email to

Wishing you all A Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year for 2018

Best wishes and Tashi Delek

Thuten Keasng
National Chairman