Kashag’s Statement on 64th Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day

Today is the sixty-fourth anniversary of the Tibetan People’s Uprising against the occupation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1959, the thirty-fourth anniversary of the PRC`s imposition of the first martial law in Tibet in 1989 after three successive annual mass protests in Tibet’s capital Lhasa and the fifteenth anniversary of the peaceful protests that erupted across the three traditional provinces of Tibet in 2008. On this solemn occasion, we remember and honour our compatriots and martyrs who have given their lives for the cause of Tibet. We stand in solidarity with their family members and with those who are still suffering under the oppression of the PRC`s occupation. 

We extend warm welcome to our distinguished guests comprising of four-member European Parliamentary delegation led by Mr Mikulas Peksa, nine-member Parliamentary delegation of Mexico led by Mr. Salvador Caro Cabrera, members of Tibet Support Groups, Mr. Arunas Valinskas, Member of Parliament, Lithuania, and Mr. Damon Wilson, President of National Endowment for Democracy. We wholeheartedly thank them for coming all the way to join with us on this momentous occasion as a gesture of their political support for the Tibetan people.

Sixty-four years ago, on this day, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama was invited to a theatrical show at the Chinese military headquarters in Lhasa. Against the tradition, His Holiness was ordered to attend the show accompanied by a limited number of unarmed guards. When this information reached the Tibetan people, they rose in unison in mass uprising to implore His Holiness the Dalai Lama not to attend the show and to protest against the repressive policies unleashed by the PRC government in Tibet. The uprising broke out as memories of the so-called democratic reforms imposed in Kham and Amdo few years ago were still vivid. Tibetans were subjected to simultaneous land reform and cooperative system by confiscating their land, livestock and means of production in the name of collectivisation and raising the taxes. In the name of religious reform, monks and nuns were forced to disrobe and monasteries were demolished. When Tibetans protested, lamas and lay leaders were imprisoned through deception. Tibetans were massacred and suppressed by labelling them as “bandits” and “rebels”. The Tibetans also witnessed how the PRC leadership in Tibet blatantly violated the terms of the 17-Point Agreement for about eight years. 

The Tibetan National Uprising averted the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan spiritual and political leaders to the Chinese army camp, thus turning the fate of the Tibetan people. Guarded by Tibet’s deities and oracles and escorted by soldiers of the Tibetan National Army and Chushi Gangdruk Defenders of the Faith Volunteer Army, His Holiness the Dalai Lama along with ministers of the Kashag safely made their way into exile in freedom, followed by some 80,000 Tibetans, including Tibetan government officials. It laid an unshakable foundation for Tibetans in their spirit and courage to resist every attempt made by the PRC government to erase the Tibetan national identity.  

The invasion of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Government led to the death of an estimated 1.2 million Tibetans, destruction of more than 6,000 monasteries, as well as deforestation and destruction of wildlife and exploitation of mineral resources. Failing to learn lessons from the immense destruction caused to Tibet, the PRC authorities are repeating the mistake and even blindly carrying out harmful actions to cover its guilt. 

In the 1980s, while implementing reform and opening-up policy, Deng Xiaoping put forward his strategic thinking on development based on two overall situations. Firstly, to open up and develop the eastern coastal areas with the help of central and western regions. Secondly, the coastal areas in turn help accelerate the development of the central and western regions when they reach a level of moderate prosperity in late 1990s. However, at the start of the new millennium, the so-called Western China Development Programme was implemented. The “Programme” involved projects such as West-to-East Power Transmission, West-to-East Gas Pipeline, Qinghai-Tibet railway, Returning Farmland to Forest and Grazing to Grasslands, infrastructure development and so on. In reality, these are colonial policies aimed at exploiting the resources of the western region and maintaining national security rather than improving the livelihood of the local people. Looking at the programme being implemented for a targeted period of fifty years, there are hardly any projects which are of real benefit for Tibet and Tibetan people’s livelihood. Hence, Deng Xiaoping’s strategic thinking on development has become an empty slogan. Not only has the wealth gap between China and Tibet grown wider, the Tibetan region and Tibetans have today become a mere romanticized objects for wealthy Chinese. Today, Xi Jinping continues to advocate common prosperity, but how long will it take to see it materialize is difficult for anyone to say. 

To consolidate sense of community for the Chinese nation, the PRC government is currently implementing a policy of one nation, one culture, one religion and one language through Sinicisation of Tibetan Buddhism and promotion of Chinese language across Tibet. Tibetan children are forced into a vast network of colonial-style kindergartens and boarding schools to learn Chinese language and way of life.  The PRC government is enforcing an assimilationist language policy in these schools in complete disregard of the universally-adopted education system and international human rights standards. In a report on 6 February this year, the United Nations Independent Experts voiced alarm over the PRC government’s policy aimed at assimilating over a million Tibetan children culturally, religiously and linguistically through a residential school system. The so-called Tibet Statistical Year Book 2021 recorded 4,491 pre-primary school children in 2000, which has sharply risen to 23,414 in 2010 and 150,934 in 2020. 

To speed up assimilation, marriages between Tibetans and Chinese are rewarded to promote “model family of ethnic harmony.” Likewise, thousands of Tibetan children are being sent to so-called Tibetan schools in Chinese areas. In the name of job placement, mass transfer of young Tibetans as surplus laborers to Chinese areas are undertaken on a large scale. There is massive increase in the number of Chinese officials and work teams being sent to the Tibetan areas. Moreover, 5,570 Tibetan residents of Chone County and Batse County were forcibly relocated to Guazhou County in Jiuquan on the pretext of dam construction and water conservation in their regions. 2,257 families in Drukchu County were resettled in Lanzhou Xinqu in the name of migration for ecological conservation. Furthermore, Tibetans in Tsoe City, Thewo County and Chone County are set to be relocated. 13,415 local residents were displaced due to hydropower projects under the Ministry of Water Resources on Gyalmo Ngulchu (Salween), Nyagchu (Yalung) and Zachu (Mekong) rivers. Similarly, more than 13,000 Tibetans in Ngaba Prefecture were relocated and over 3,000 are planned to be displaced. These mass relocation of Tibetans are equivalent to Stalin’s policy of forced resettlement of millions of ethnic minorities over many decades in the 1930s which was declared illegal and criminal repressive acts by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on 14 November 1989. 

Similarly, over 100,000 Tibetan nomads from about twenty counties in Nagchu, Ngari and Shigatse prefectures were relocated to City No. 4 constructed in Sinburi in Gongkar County in the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). It raises serious doubt and suspicion as to how will this project provide sustainable livelihood for the relocated people and for what purpose will their native land be used for. 

The PRC government, in the name of combating separatism and maintaining social stability, is controlling every movement of Tibetans with measures more draconian than the time of the Cultural Revolution. Every town, village, street, pastoral areas and grasslands are constantly surveilled using latest technology through Grid Management System. Last month, a so-called “Regulations on Network and Information Security” in TAR came into force. It tasked government departments, state and public organs above the county level to monitor and control information on the internetThe regulation criminalises even forming and participating in social media group with “separatist forces”. The Chinese government has intensified its campaign of forcibly indoctrinating Tibetans including students, nomads, farmers and even monks and nuns with communist ideology. Large-scale collection of data from Tibetans through DNA extraction, Iris scan and facial recognition are being carried in the name of social management. 

In March last year, 81-year-old Taphun died after setting himself on fire in front of the police station near Kirti Monastery in northeastern Tibet in protest against the PRC government’s repressive policies. He became the 157th confirmed and known Tibetan to self-immolate in Tibet since 2009. The Kashag again appeals to the Tibetans to preserve their lives in order to contribute all their energy for the cause of Tibet.

Extremely concerning reports of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial imprisonment of Tibetan writers, intellectuals, language advocates, human rights and environmental activists and those advocating against animal slaughter continue to emerge from Tibet.  Tibetan political prisoners are released in failing health condition and are kept under constant surveillance. Last July, Jigme Gyatso, a former political prisoner arrested during the 2008 pan-Tibetan protest, died of poor health. Another former political prisoner, Geshe Tenzin Palsang, who was sentenced to prison in 2012, passed away last September. A Tibetan was reportedly beaten to death by the Chinese police for allegedly carrying groceries to an old age home. Tibetans are beaten to death for simply performing religious activities. Also, arrest of Tibetans for keeping photos of His Holiness the Dalai Lama continues unabated. 

The whereabouts of the Eleventh Panchen Lama Tenzin Gedhun Yeshi Thinley, popularly called Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, still remain unknown following his abduction by the Chinese authorities in 1995. The Central Tibetan Administration will make every effort to seek the immediate release of the Eleventh Panchen Lama and other Tibetan political prisoners and appeal for continued support from the governments, human rights organizations and individuals. We thank everyone who takes initiative in this advocacy campaign. 

The Law of the People’s Republic of China on National Regional Autonomy stipulates that the chairman and vice-chairman of the regional congress, chief and deputy chief prosecutors of the People’s Procuratorates, president and vice-president of the People’s Court of the national autonomous areas, heads of the autonomous regions, prefectures and counties should be those from the nationality exercising regional autonomy in that area. However, in the so-called TAR, the representation of Tibetans in the leadership at the county, prefectural and regional levels is barely 43%. And if the roughly 80% Tibetans who make to the powerless bodies like political consultative conference is not taken into account, the percentage of Tibetan representation will definitely be much lower. In the overall leadership of the “TAR”, about 10% are so-called Chinese cadres aiding Tibet dispatched from China, which shows how much authority the PRC government gives to the Tibetans to govern themselves. Similarly, in the last year alone, around 139 Tibetan officials in the “TAR” were placed under investigation and expelled under the pretext of transgression of law and corruption. Many suspect this as the Chinese government’s established mechanism aimed at stifling capable and promising Tibetan officials and the skills and potential of the Tibetans. The current year report of the so-called People’s Procuratorate of the TAR reported the investigation in some cases from 1990, which completely disregards the judicial prosecution period. 

Tibet’s capital Lhasa was placed under severe lockdown continuously for over 100 days last year under the zero-Covid policy, causing enormous hardship in the people’s daily life which pushed some to even commit suicide. Some were also arrested for distributing videos and information on the situation and their whereabouts remain unknown. According to information trickling out from Tibet, after the sudden lifting of the lockdown in December 2022, many Tibetans died due to lack of medical facilities as large number of dead bodies were seen being carried to the crematorium daily. The offices of the Central Tibetan Administration and Tibetan community held weekly prayer services for the deceased and for those affected by the pandemic.

Looking for the welfare and respecting the aspirations of the people is the basic condition for a government to earn legitimacy. Hence, if a government flagrantly implement policies of eradicating a nationality, then the people have the natural right to protest the government’s policy and even reject the government for their own protection. 

The Central Tibetan Administration is hoping to find a mutually-agreeable way forward to discuss Tibet’s future status based on the Middle-Way Policy. In this regard, we are ready to engage with the PRC government based on equality and friendship to seek a mutually beneficial and lasting solution. Moreover, we urge the PRC government to immediately stop its flawed policy of eradicating the Tibetan identity. 

We welcome the reintroduction of the bipartisan and bicameral Bill of Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict in both the Houses of the US Congress in February 2023 by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, Congressman Jim McGovern, Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Todd Young. It will reinvigorate the hope and determination of the Tibetan people. The Bill is aimed at finding a resolution to Sino-Tibet conflict while recognising the true historical status of Tibet and urgency of the current situation. Similarly, on 14 December, the Canadian Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the Middle-Way Approach and supporting the resumption of a dialogue between the Tibetan representatives and the PRC government. The said Bill and Resolution will certainly give meaningful leverage to the Middle-Way Approach as a win-win solution to the Sino-Tibet conflict. 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama emphasises the cultivation of love, compassion and concern for the well-being of others with a sense of oneness of humanity. If we can practice his advice in our daily lives, it will certainly pacify the enmity in this world engulfed in war and overcome the problems of natural calamity, pandemic, and famine. 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not only the protector and symbol of Tibet and the Tibetan people, but also an unparalleled leader revered across the world for his commitment to promote human values and religious harmony, preservation of Tibet’s Buddhist culture and revival of ancient Indian knowledge. We will resolutely oppose the PRC government’s baseless accusations of labelling His Holiness the Dalai Lama as separatist and every attempt to obstruct His Holiness’s meritorious service for the world. Moreover, the PRC government will lose the key to resolve the Sino-Tibet conflict if it fails to positively recognise the historic bond between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people and the reality of the current situation.  

I would like to take this opportunity to express the Tibetan people’s sincere gratitude and appreciation to India for providing us a second home and its unwavering support as well as to the United States and other Governments, Parliamentary Tibet Support Groups including the newly-formed Parliamentary Tibet Support Groups in Mexico and Spain following the Eighth World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet, Tibet Support Groups and individuals who support truth and justice. We also thank the Tibetan Associations, Voluntary Tibetan Advocacy Groups and Non-governmental Organizations for their voluntary advocacy campaigns. 

Finally, I pray for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the simultaneous fulfillment of all his wishes. May the truth of Tibet prevail soon and peace spread across the world.

The Kashag

Press Release: CTA Welcomes Introduction of Bipartisan Tibet Bill Promoting a Resolution to Tibet-China Conflict

Press Release

The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Welcomes the Introduction of Tibet Bill in the US Senate Declaring the Tibet–China Conflict as Unresolved

The CTA welcomes the introduction of the bipartisan Tibet bill called “Promoting a Resolution to Tibet–China Conflict” in the US Senate on 20 December 2022. Senator Jeff Merkley, Co–chair of the Congressional Executive Commission on China; Senator Todd Young, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and Senator Patrick Leahy, a long–time supporter of Tibet and a dear friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, have introduced the bill.

The bill will make it a policy of the United States that the Tibetan People are a people entitled to the right to self–determination under the international law and that their ability to exercise this right is precluded by the current People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) policies; and that the conflict between Tibet and the PRC is unresolved, and that the legal status of Tibet remains to be determined in accordance with international law. The legislation makes it clear that the only path ahead is to embrace His Holiness‘ Middle Way approach, which is based on negotiation in good faith and without pre–conditions, to establish genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the framework of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China.

Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration, welcoming the bill’s introduction in the Senate says:

“We Tibetans have always felt immense gratitude to the United States for its leadership in advancing a peaceful resolution to the Sino–Tibetan conflict emanating from China’s illegal occupation of Tibet and continued implementation of its repressive policies against the Tibetans inside Tibet. With this bill, the US not only raises its commitment to promoting the Tibet cause to an even greater level, but it also serves as a beacon of hope for those striving for peace, democracy and freedom through dialogue and negotiation. The CTA remains firmly committed to the Middle Way Approach of seeking genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people as a way forward to resolve the long–standing Sino–Tibetan conflict. Therefore, I urge the members of US Congress to support and endorse the successful passage of the bill through both Houses of Congress and from the President’s desk. I sincerely thank Senator Leahy, Senator Merkley and Senator Young for introducing the bill, which builds on the incredible bipartisan support the United States has always shown for our just cause“.

Representative Namgyal Choedup of the Office of Tibet, Washington DC looks forward to the bill’s passage through both the Houses of Congress and says:

“China’s rule in Tibet clearly lacks historical legitimacy, popular opinion and diplomatic support. We have suffered enormous abuse from the PRC government over many decades, yet we have always sought to settle our differences through peaceful dialogue. This bill would allow the United States to back its consistent calls for dialogue with more force and urgency while giving a renewed sense of hope to Tibetan people inside Tibet who continue to suffer under the Chinese rule”.

Department of Information & International Relations

Central Tibetan Administration


December 20, 2022                                   

US sanctions on Chinese officials raise pressure on Beijing

The Biden administration’s sanctioning of two Chinese officials over their abuse of Tibetans’ human rights builds pressure on China’s government to resolve its longstanding conflict in Tibet, the International Campaign for Tibet said today.

Coinciding with Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury instituted sanctions on Wu Yingjie and Zhang Hongbo. Wu was the Tibet Autonomous Region Party Secretary between 2016 and 2021 and Zhang was director of the TAR Public Security Bureau from 2018 to this year. Both were accused of “serious human rights abuse” of the Tibetan people and included in a list of 40 sanctioned individuals from nine countries.

Under the sanctions, the US freezes Wu’s and Zhang’s property in the United States and Zhang and his family are specifically barred from entering the country.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Dec. 12 responded to the US sanctions of Wu and Zhang, saying, “Affairs related to Tibet are purely China’s internal affairs and brook no interference from any other country.”

The International Campaign for Tibet said today: “By sanctioning Chinese officials for their human rights violations against Tibetans, the US has once again put the spotlight on the dire situation in Tibet. The Communist regime’s decades-long, brutal occupation of Tibet has been a model for its abuse of Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, Mongolians and Chinese. The Biden administration should be applauded for raising pressure on Beijing through these sanctions.”

Promoting a resolution to the Tibet-China conflict

The next step, ICT said, is for the US Congress to pass the bipartisan Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act. This legislation provides a pathway to solving the Tibetan issue while keeping in consideration Chinese interests.

At the same time, the bill enables the United States to protect the rights of the Tibetan people until China resumes the dialogue process with Tibetan leaders—which has been dormant since 2010—and takes it to its logical conclusion.

ICT also strongly believes that other governments and international bodies, in particular the European Union, should follow this initiative by the United States. The EU should actively promote the extension of sanctions to those individuals and entities in the Chinese state and party apparatus responsible for systematic human rights violations in Tibet. In particular, it should consult nongovernmental organizations and take their suggestions into account.

About Wu Yingjie

Wu served in the Tibet Autonomous Region—which spans about half of Tibet—for many years prior to his elevation to the highest post of Party Secretary in 2016.

In his first statement as Party Secretary, Wu declared the vital importance of a deepened “struggle” against the Dalai Lama, using retrograde political language stating that the authorities must “expand positive propaganda, thoroughly expose and criticize the Dalai.”

He also served as Commander of the TAR “Stability Maintenance Corps” and is associated with a harsh and violent crackdown, particularly in Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu) prefecture-level city. The Stability Maintenance Corps is based on Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s focus on “long-term stability”—political propaganda for the eradication of dissent and enforcement of compliance to Chinese Communist Party policies.

Wu, who was born in Shangdong, began his career at the Central Party School in Beijing and, unusually for a TAR Party Secretary, spent virtually his entire career in Tibet, beginning in the closing years of the Cultural Revolution on a farm in Nyingtri (Chinese: Linzhi). He even went as far as claiming himself as a “local Tibetan,” saying that he was “brought up by the Party, the people, the Tibetan Plateau and all the ethnic groups of Tibet” and that he loves “the land and the hardworking people here.”

Wu said there should be a “clear-cut stand to eliminate the negative influence of the 14th Dalai Lama’s use of religion, and guide the religious believers to treat religion rationally, downplay the negative influence of religion, and live a happy life for this lifetime.”

The Treasury Department emphasized that Wu’s “policies involved serious human rights abuse, including extrajudicial killings, physical abuse, arbitrary arrests, and mass detentions in the TAR. Additional abuses … include forced sterilization, coerced abortion, restrictions on religious and political freedoms, and the torture of prisoners.”

About Zhang Hongbo

As the director of the TAR Public Security Bureau, Zhang Hongbo oversaw the institutionalization of initiatives to suppress Tibetan rights. The Biden administration said, “During Zhang’s tenure, the TPSB engaged in serious human rights abuse, including at TPSB-run detention centers that were involved in the torture, physical abuse, and killings of prisoners, which included those arrested on religious and political grounds.”

Zhang was head of the Public Security Bureau when the nationwide political campaign in China against “black” and “evil forces” was used as an excuse in Tibet to crack down on “separatism in the name of religion” and loyalty to the Dalai Lama.

The US further said Zhang and his immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act for his involvement in a gross violation of human rights.

Read the US Treasury Department announcement.

British government pledges to curb overseas influence, Chinese infiltration

The British government is planning a slew of measures aimed at curbing infiltration and influence operations by foreign governments, including probing recent attacks inside the Chinese consulate on a Hong Kong protester and the possible closure of the Beijing-funded Confucius Institutes in universities.

Home Office minister for security Tom Tugendhat said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had pledged during his bid for leadership of the ruling Conservative Party that “Confucius Institutes pose a threat to civil liberties in many universities in the United Kingdom and he will be looking to close them.”

He said the government is assessing how to respond to the beating of Hong Kong protester Bob Chan by Chinese consular staff on Oct. 16.

 “There is no place for those who abuse their diplomatic privilege or the liberties of this country in order to oppress citizens here,” he told the House of Commons on Tuesday.

“The assessment will be coming forward urgently,” Tugendhat said of the probe into the Manchester attack, and promised a coordinated response.

Speaking amid a global investigation into Chinese police-run “overseas service centers,” some of which have been ordered to shut down by foreign governments for operating outside of diplomatic channels, Tugendhat said a forthcoming national security bill would strengthen the government’s legal powers to deal with agents of foreign governments operating on British soil.

“Coercion, harassment or intimidation linked to a foreign power that interferes with the freedoms of individuals will be criminalized under the new foreign interference offense in the bill,” he said. “Existing criminal offenses against a person, such as assault, may also have sentences increased using the state threats aggravating factor in the Bill where they are undertaken for, on behalf of or with the intention to benefit a foreign power.”

He said the bill would also include a foreign influence registration scheme, in which organizations with close ties to overseas governments would be required to register as agents of a foreign power. Similar measures are already in place in Australia and the United States.

British media have reported the existence of three undeclared “service centers” in the United Kingdom, including Hendon, Croydon and Glasgow.

Chinese dissidents in exile and the Spanish-based rights group Safeguard Defenders have reported that dozens of such “service centers” operate outside of China, and that people associated with them have targeted dissidents for harassment and threats, including coerced repatriations.

Newcastle cuts ties

Meanwhile, councilors in the northeastern city of Newcastle on Wednesday voted unanimously to end the city’s “twinned sister” status with the northern Chinese mining city of Taiyuan.

Moving the motion, Liberal Democrat Cllr. Wendy Taylor said the Chinese government under Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping had ignored international norms and showed scant concern for universal values ​​like human rights, freedom and democracy, according to an account of the meeting on the Newcastle Stands With Hong Kong Facebook page.

Cllr Jane Byrne cited a recent Amnesty International report detailing a deterioration in China’s human rights record, including unfair trials, intimidation and torture, saying she would stand with those fighting for freedom and democracy, the report said.

A Newcastle Stands with Hong Kong spokesperson, who gave the pseudonym K for fear of reprisals targeting loved ones back home, said many British officials are aware of the seriousness of the threat posed by Chinese infiltration.

“Everyone is very concerned right now about infiltration via Confucius Institutes and overseas law enforcement, but they have yet to act on that,” K said.

K said part of the issue was that many countries feel economically dependent on China.

“The fundamental issue is whether other countries are so economically dependent on China that China feels it can ignore international law and human rights law,” K said. “Continuing to allow slow infiltration by China will only expand its ambitions, and sooner or later lead to the same situation as we have seen with Russia.”

“The international community, while reducing Chinese infiltration, must also reduce its dependence on China,” they said.

International Threat

British-based scholar Wang Jianhong said such infiltration is a threat to the international order.

“The United Kingdom was relatively slow to recognize and act on that threat,” Wang said. “But the fall of Hong Kong and the beginnings of the pandemic in Wuhan as well as the human rights crisis in Xinjiang have all prompted the British government to change policy.”

“I hope they actually follow through with shutting down the Confucius Institutes, expelling the Chinese Consul-General in Manchester and thoroughly investigating the Chinese Communist Party’s secret police stations,” Wang said.

Analysts have told RFA they expect China’s “wolf-warrior” diplomacy to become more entrenched now that Xi Jinping has begun an indefinite third term in office, amid growing reports of bullying and physical violence by Chinese diplomats overseas.

Britain’s foreign secretary urgently summoned a top Chinese diplomat in response to the assault on Chan, who was dragged into the Chinese Consulate in Manchester and beaten by a group of unidentified men during an altercation over a ripped protest banner on Oct. 16. 

But protesters and MPs have said the response hasn’t gone far enough, calling for the expulsion of those involved, including Consul General Zheng Xiyuan, who admitted to pulling Chan’s hair

200 detained in Tibet’s capital Lhasa over COVID protest


From Radio Free Asia

Around 200 residents of Tibet’s capital Lhasa were detained in the wake of massive protests in the city last week against COVID lockdowns that left many restricted to their homes without adequate food or medical care, RFA has learned.  The Oct. 26 protest included both Han Chinese and Tibetans living in the city, and was Lhasa’s largest since a 2008 uprising, later crushed by Chinese security forces by Tibetans calling for greater freedoms under Chinese rule.

Chinese authorities have now detained around 200 Lhasa residents in the wake of last week’s protest, RFA learned from Tibetan sources speaking on condition of anonymity to protect their safety. “Though many of these detainees are of Chinese origin, there are also a number of Tibetans coming from other parts of Tibet and from Chengdu,” one RFA source said, referring to the capital city of western China’s Sichuan province. “They are currently being held inside buildings owned by development companies inside the Tibet Autonomous Region,” or TAR, the source added.

Also speaking to RFA, a second person said that it has been difficult so far for outside sources to identify the Tibetans currently being held. “But the main allegations against them appear to be that they took a lead role in organizing the protests. Most of them appear to be working-class residents of the city.” “One of my friends is among those who were detained, and I have no information about what conditions are like for them now or even if they have adequate food,” the source said.

Most of the Han Chinese detained in the protest were later freed and allowed to return home, and though Tibetan detainees were told they would be freed by Oct. 29, there is no evidence that any have been released, he added. China’s lockdown in Lhasa began in early August as COVID numbers there and throughout China began to climb. Lhasa residents have said on social media that the lockdown order came without leaving them time to prepare, with many left short of food or cut off from medical care.

As of Thursday, 18,667 Tibetans in the TAR have tested positive for COVID according to official Chinese records. Formerly an independent nation, Tibet was invaded and incorporated into China by force more than 70 years ago. Chinese authorities maintain a tight grip on the region, restricting Tibetans’ political activities and peaceful expression of cultural and religious identity.

Videos emerge of rare protests in Tibet


Footage has emerged showing what appear to be rare large-scale protests against strict Covid-19 measures in the Tibetan regional capital, Lhasa. 

Multiple videos on social media show hundreds demonstrating and clashing with police. They are said to be mostly ethnic Han Chinese migrant workers.

The city has been under lockdown for nearly three months as it battles a wave of infections.

Tibet is one of the most tightly guarded regions in China.

The protests are said to have taken place on Wednesday afternoon and stretched on till the night.

One video shows hundreds of people gathered on the streets, with officials blocking them at one end. A message calling for calm can be heard on a loudspeaker, with an official asking for people to “please be understanding and to go back”. 

Another video shows scores of people on the streets at night, and a man can be heard commenting on the scene.

“[They] have been locked up for too long. And a lot of people in this community are people who have just come to work and earn money. If they could get that in mainland China, they wouldn’t have come here,” he says in Mandarin.

Yet another video showed people marching in the streets with the caption “We just want to go home”.

The BBC was unable to independently verify the videos, which have been removed on Chinese social media but reposted on Twitter.

Tibetan sources have told news outlet Radio Free Asia (RFA) that protesters warned they would “set off a fire” if restrictions were not lifted – though it is not clear what this meant.

Another source said there were fears that scuffles between civilians and police officers could turn violent.

One Lhasa resident told the BBC that she didn’t see the protests as she was still under lockdown, but had seen numerous videos circulating in chat groups.

“People are locked at home everyday and life is so hard. Prices in Lhasa now are so high and landlords are chasing people for rent. The workers also aren’t allowed to go back to their hometown. They have no other way out,” said the resident, who only wanted to be identified by her surname, Han.

“People were asking for a solution – if they might be able to leave.”

Ms Han said she had been in lockdown for almost 80 days, adding that people were allowed to roam inside the compound for several hours a day – but couldn’t go beyond that. 

“Who knows what the real number [of Covid cases] are now? Every day we can hear that people need oxygen. The government can report whatever numbers they want.”

The BBC has seen multiple posts on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, from people who said they were trapped in Lhasa as a result of Covid measures.

“Today is the 77th day of the lockdown in Lhasa. I don’t know how long it will continue to be like this. I [cant find] hope. Can you understand… how hard it is for migrant workers?” the post said.

“We haven’t had any income for three months – but expenses have not been reduced even by a penny. My friends in Lhasa – how long can you go on like this?” said another post. 

There has been no official comment or state media reports on the protests, although local officials on Thursday said eight new Covid cases had been reported in Lhasa.

On Chinese social media platforms, all footage of the incident has been scrubbed, although checks on Douyin found that many were searching for terms related to the protest, such as “what happened in Lhasa tonight”.

Lhasa has been in lockdown since late August. Rights groups have claimed that several Tibetans have killed themselves since it began.

China’s zero-Covid policy has saved lives, but also exacted a punishing toll on the Chinese people and economy, with increasing public fatigue over lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Wednesday’s protest is said to be the biggest the city has seen since an uprising in 2008, which saw at least 19 people killed.

Chinese security forces were accused of using both brutal beatings and lethal force against protesters back then. In the wake of that incident, Tibet was closed to foreigners and tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers were sent to the region. 

Tibet is governed as an autonomous region of China, and Beijing says it has developed considerably under its rule. 

But rights groups say China continues to violate human rights, accusing Beijing of political and religious repression. Beijing denies any abuses.

UN Human Rights Council – 51st session

An oral statement that was delivered on 27th September by FIDH at the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The Chinese delegation raised a point of order against it (saying the speaker “abused the platform of the Council to attack the leader of the Chinese people in violation of the rules of procedure of the Council”), but the President let the speaker continue.

Forwarded by International Campaign for Tibet Brussels

UN Human Rights Council – 51st session

Item 4: General Debate – Oral statement on thehuman rights situation in China

27 September 2022

Mr. Vice-President,

FIDH and its member organization International Campaign for Tibet condemn Beijing’s relentless repression and forced assimilation of communities in Tibet and Xinjiang through the implementation of laws, policies, and actions that are grossly inconsistent with international human rights law, including treaties to which China is a state party.

We welcome the OHCHR’s recent report on the human rights situation in Xinjiang, which confirms that serious human rights violations have been committed against Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim communities, and that some of these violations may amount to crimes against humanity. We call on the Human Rights Council to convene a formal discussion on the findings and recommendations of the report at the next session.

In Tibet, the Chinese authorities continue to systematically apply policies that violate the fundamental rights of Tibetans, in particular under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. It is deeply disturbing that Chinese authorities have significantly increased policing, including arbitrary collection of DNA from residents (including from children) in many towns and villages throughout the Tibet Autonomous Region. This further strengthens Beijing’s surveillance capabilities over the Tibetan people and represents a serious intrusion on the right to privacy.

Mister President, within the UN system there’s an abundant body of evidence that points to a consistent and broad range of abuses in China, which in many cases amount to the most serious international crimes.

We urge the Council to establish an impartial and independent mechanism to collect and analyze evidence of such abuses with a view to contribute to the promotion of accountability for perpetrators and redress for the victims.

Thank you.

Tibet Lobby Day returns in person, promotes Resolve Tibet Act

By International Campaign for Tibet | September 27, 2022

Tibet supporters met with members of Congress and Congressional staff last week at the first in-person Tibet Lobby Day in years, building crucial support for a new Tibet bill and sharpening Tibetan Americans’ advocacy skills.

Tibet Lobby Day 2022 brought over 100 Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters to Washington, DC on Sept. 22-23 for more than 80 meetings with Congressional offices.

This year’s participants—who included Thondup Tsering of Amherst, Massachusetts, who is a member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile—came from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Washington, DC.

Traveling all over Capitol Hill and opening up about how China’s illegal occupation of Tibet has harmed them and their families, the Lobby Day participants made one main request of their members of Congress: Support the Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act, a bipartisan bill introduced in July by Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

Known as the Resolve Tibet Act, the bill will push the Chinese government to resume negotiations on Tibet’s future with the Dalai Lama’s envoys for the first time since 2010. The legislation will also support the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination.

“Several Congressional offices we met were excited about the bill. We look forward to more members of Congress cosponsoring the legislation as a result of the Tibet Lobby Day participants,” said Franz Matzner, government relations director of the International Campaign for Tibet, which organized the Lobby Day alongside other groups including Students for a Free Tibet and Tibetan associations around the country.

Matzner added, “It also was thrilling to witness so many Tibetan Americans, especially young people, speak up about their personal experiences and call on their elected leaders to take action. The Chinese government has hidden a great deal of its oppression in Tibet from the outside world, so we at ICT are committed to empowering Tibetan Americans to raise their voices and shine the light of truth on Tibet.

“That’s exactly what this Tibet Lobby Day helped do.”

Lobbying on Capitol Hill

This year marked the first time Tibet Lobby Day—an annual event since 2009—took place in person since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The return of face-to-face lobbying allowed Tibetan Americans and Tibet supporters from around the United States to meet with their legislators on Capitol Hill.

One of the highlights of the event was the meeting with Sen. Patrick Leahy, the retiring Vermont Democrat, who took time out of his busy final months on the Hill to greet Sonam Lhakhang, President of the Tibetan Association of Vermont, Namgyal Choedup, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration to North America, Tencho Gyatso, ICT’s Interim Vice President, and others.

The meeting turned emotional as Leahy, the longest-serving member of the Senate, spoke movingly and tearfully about his and his wife’s many years of friendship with the Dalai Lama.

Leahy showed the lobbyists a photo he took in the 1980s of a man in Tibet hugging his baby son while holding a picture of the Dalai Lama. Although Chinese police arrest Tibetans for owning photos of the Buddhist leader, the man wanted Leahy to photograph him with it.

To thank Leahy for his incredible support of Tibet, Representative Choedup presented him with a “thangka” (a Tibetan traditional painting) and a “khata” (a Tibetan greeting scarf).

Celebrating 20 years of US Tibet policy

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., another longtime presence in the Senate, also met with constituents from her home state during Tibet Lobby Day.

In addition, Feinstein provided a video message for Lobby Day about the 20th anniversary of the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002, a law she introduced alongside Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., and Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. Feinstein is the only member of that quartet who is still in Congress.

Feinstein’s video played during the reception for Tibet Lobby Day at ICT’s office on the evening of Sept. 22. At the reception, Choedup addressed the participants and gave a brief overview of the Central Tibetan Administration’s approach to the United States.

The reception also featured a five-and-a-half-minute video on the TPA’s 20th anniversary, showing how the bill codified support for Tibet in US law for the first time and set the stage for two decades of American political and programmatic initiatives on Tibet.

The next step, ICT leaders said, is to pass the Resolve Tibet Act, which can carry Tibet policy forward to a long-awaited peaceful resolution of China’s occupation of Tibet.

But Lobby Day, they added, is not all serious.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Gyatso, ICT’s Interim Vice President, said. “We have people who got married after coming here,” she added to laughter before inviting the participants to a dinner featuring authentic Tibetan cuisine.

Lhakhang, the Tibetan Association of Vermont President, said he was asked by the community members to participate in this year’s Tibet Lobby Day so that he can offer their gratitude to retiring Senator Leahy and also to urge their members of congress to support the Resolve Tibet Act.

“It was a successful event,” he said.

Watch the celebration of the Tibetan Policy Act at the Tibet Lobby Day reception.

See highlights from Tibet Lobby Day 2022.

Representative Bawa Raises Tibet’s Issue at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Meeting with Human Rights and Pro-democracy Activists.

Taiwan: Despite drawing much criticism and threat from Beijing, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi-led delegation of five Democratic lawmakers visited Taiwan on Tuesday, 2 August becoming the highest ranking US official to visit the country since 1997.

On the eve of her departure from Taiwan on August 3, Speaker Pelosi met with seven human rights activists at the National Museum of Human Rights in Taiwan, including pro-democracy activist Wuer Kaixi, Taiwanese human rights activist Mr. Li Mingzhe, who has been persecuted by China, Mr. Lin Rongji of Causeway Bay Bookstore in Hong Kong, and Mr. Kelsang Gyaltsen, Representative of Office of Tibet in Taiwan where they engaged in an hour-long roundtable discussion on varying subjects involving democracy and human rights.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the gathered human rights defenders to make Taiwanese aware of the Chinese dictatorship and defend Taiwan’s democracy.

Representative Kelsang Gyaltsen addressed Speaker Pelosi on the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet and the increasingly extreme policy of ethnic, religious and cultural genocide in Tibet by the CCP. He also apprised her of CCP’s so-called boarding schools technique as bait to coerce Tibetan children to study in boarding schools away from their parents, thus achieving the assimilation of Tibetan culture and religion, among other issues. He also called on joint organisers of global democracy meeting to be held in October to invite H.H. the Dalai Lama to the conference, stating it would send a clear and strong message to the CCP of the global solidarity to Tibet.

“Current CCP’s chairperson Xi Jinping’s approach to Tibet, the so-called “The Party’s New Generation Policy on the Governance of Tibet” focuses on the annihilation and assimilation of the Tibetan people, as well as eliminating the Dalai Lama’s influence in Tibet. These measures have stirred up even stronger resistance from the Tibetans,” said the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Taiwan remarking that Tibet has now become a ‘giant prison’.

He further attested that the decades-long genocide in Tibet should continue to receive much attention and support even though the world now is gripped by the Ukraine crisis. Lamenting the initial lack of support and attention from the international community when Tibet was being occupied, Representative mentioned things could have been different had China received the same pressure as Russia does now from the international community. As much criticism as Russia received for its presence in the UN’s Human Rights Council, Representative added China also deserves to be ridiculed and criticised for its presence in the UN and other international organisations considering its depreciating record of human rights violations. 

“No one can be certain that the tragedy that befallen Ukraine would not happen to Taiwan, a free, democratic, and robust country. Only when China transforms itself into a full-fledged democracy, can we truly eliminate the CCP’s destruction and threat to Taiwan and to the rest of the world?” he added.

In his concluding address, Representative Bawa thanked the continuous support of countries such as India, US, European countries and Taiwan, and requested Speaker Pelosi and the US government to pressure CCP into a dialogue with the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). 

Appointment as Kalon

Hon Warren Entsch, Co-chair of the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet has written to Kalon Norzin Dolma with congratulations on her appointment as Kalon for the Information and International Relations Department. He wrote: “I am writing to you to personally congratulate you on your recent appointment as Minister for Department of Information and International Relations with the Central Tibetan Administration. This is a wonderful achievement and recognition of your hard work, passion and unwavering commitment. I would also like to take this opportunity in my capacity as co-chair of the Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet to wish you all the very best success in your new role. The Australian All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet is fully com­mitted to supporting the non-violent struggle of Tibetan people for the restoration of freedom for Tibet. I sincerely look forward to meeting with you personally when the opportunity presents in the near future.” Read the letter here.

Severe restrictions on religious practice

The Chinese government has recently imposed a strict ban on religious activities on all Tibetan Party members and cadres in Tsolho (Ch: Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP) in Amdo (Ch: Qinghai Province) according to a reliable source. The ban required all party members to refrain from engaging in religious activities at home, being forced to get rid of personal religious altars and shrines.

The punishment for not complying with the order includes facing lay off from government jobs and deprivation of fundamental rights including denial of state benefits and subsidies: “Such measures have pressured Tibetan Party members in the region into removing personal Buddhist shrines and altars at their homes against their will.”

In Tibetan homes altars are commonly seen with images of Buddha or other spiritual leaders who stand in highest regard by performing rituals and offerings. It remains a crucial part of the practices in Tibetan Buddhism which is a galling reminder to the Chinese authorities of Tibetan culture and identity. In addition, strict bans are imposed on holding prayer services, implying further restrictions on funeral practices for deceased family members and relatives – a clear sign of assault on Buddhist customs and practices. “While the current decree is only being implemented in some areas, it is very likely to be expanded into other areas in the future.”

On 22 April 2021 the Chinese government introduced “Code of Conduct for Communist Party Members in the Tibet Autonomous Region for Not Believing in Religion (for trial implementation)” comprehensively detailing the prohibitions on the religious practices for party members in the “Tibet Autonomous Region”. This code forbids party members from engaging in religious activity both in public and private life, including “advising their religious family members and relatives to not set up altars, place religious objects, hang religious pictures and photos of religious personalities at home”.

Due to the Chinese government’s strict control and severe restrictions on the flow of information out of Tibet there have been limited or no reports or information over the implementation of the ban until now. The report of the ban imposed on the party members of the Tsolho TAP under this decree indicates and illustrates pervasive enforcement of the ban since it was introduced.

“Code of Conduct for Communist Party Members in the Tibet Autonomous Region for Not Believing in Religion” required the party members to adhere to Marxism materialism and atheism. They are also required to be fully loyal to the party and its constitution and advise their family members to realise that religion is incompatible with the Party’s founding principles and mission.

Click here for the full text.