Statement of the Kashag on the Sixty-Fifth Anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day

On this day, sixty five years ago in 1959, the people of Tibet from the three traditional
provinces rose in protest against the repression of the Chinese communist forces in capital Lhasa.
Today also marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Martial Law imposed on 5th March 1989 after
repeated peaceful protests in Lhasa in 1987, 1988 and 1989, and the sixteenth anniversary of the
peaceful protests that erupted across Tibet in 2008. And since 2009, 157 Tibetans are known to have
self-immolated for more freedom inside Tibet and for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to
Tibet. On this solemn occasion, we remember and offer our prayers in honour of our compatriots who
have given their lives for the cause of Tibet. We stand in solidarity with those who are still suffering
under the brutal occupation of the People’s Republic of China.
Today, as we contemplate on the future of Tibet, we cannot ignore the developing events in
Tibet and beyond. Currently, the ongoing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exceeded two years; war
between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has engulfed Eurasia. The powerful nations continue to forge
alliances and China’s economy continue to decline. Increasing and intensified suppression of
fundamental rights of Tibetans and implementation of oppressive policies have resulted in an
unprecedented threat to the survival of distinct Tibetan national identity.
The PRC government’s policy of exterminating the Tibetan identity since its invasion of Tibet
has continued unabated for over seventy years. In the last decade, the PRC government has extensively
expanded its pervasive communist party organisations to the grassroots level, accelerated massive
population transfer within and outside Tibet and tightened control over movements and daily lives of
Tibetans by sending tens of thousands of “work teams” across Tibet. With surveillance through the
grid management system, Tibetans are compelled to spy on each other. Externally, Tibetans are
threatened with transnational repression. The PRC government is vigorously pursuing a policy of
“forging a strong sense of the Chinese as one single identity” by erasing the Tibetan identity;
promotion of Chinese language by banning and minimising the teaching and use of Tibetan language
and sinicisation of Tibetan Buddhism. Reinterpreting and conforming the content of Buddhist canons
to suit communist ideology and manipulation of monastic discipline and subjecting every Tibetan and
every household to “patriotic re-education” campaign are aimed at eradicating Tibet’s distinct religion,
culture and language. The Kashag has highlighted these policy measures and its implementation in its
previous statements.
The PRC government has issued various regulations and policy documents that contravene the
foundational principles of the Chinese Constitution and Law on Regional National Autonomy. On this
occasion, the Kashag would like to highlight how these regulations and policies are being used to
erode the Tibetan language and religion.

  1. Marginalisation of Tibetan Language
    The Chinese Constitution and Law on Regional National Autonomy guarantees the
    autonomous regions to enact regulations on the exercise of autonomy and separate regulations. The
    so-called ten “Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures” and two “Autonomous Counties” incorporated into
    China’s Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan Provinces have declared regulations autonomously in
    their respective areas in 1980s. However, the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has not
    enacted such regulations until now.


Although the governments of Tibetan autonomous areas are given less legislative power than
Chinese provinces, regulations of autonomous prefectures and counties stipulate that the heads of
various organs of government must be a Tibetan; organs of autonomous area must use both Tibetan
and Chinese as official languages when performing their functions; the Tibetan and Chinese languages
be used for recruitment examination; Tibetan language must be the main medium of instruction in
primary and middle schools; Tibetan language professional and curriculum for specialised courses in
Tibetan in universities and vocational schools in their respective areas, and the organs of government
must carry forward the Tibetan traditional culture. Similarly, the Tibetan Language Work Regulation
enacted in the 1990s facilitated the autonomous areas to establish offices to implement learning and
use of Tibetan language. Textbook editorial offices were established by respective provinces or
through collaboration of provinces and autonomous region.
Likewise, a mechanism for learning, use and promotion of Tibetan language on a trial basis
was announced in 1987. It stipulated that Tibetan should be the medium of instruction at primary and
middle schools; lower level government offices can refuse to acknowledge receipt of official letters
from higher offices if they are not written in Tibetan and lower level offices can write their official
letters to higher offices in Tibetan. However, the contents of the document were revoked through
amendments in 2002 and 2019. Instead, it was formulated that “courses in compulsory education shall
be in Tibetan and Chinese languages”, thereby, reducing the status of Tibetan to an optional language.
As stipulated in the Chinese Constitution, the “Law on the National Standard Spoken and
Written Language” guarantees that “all nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own
language”. Similarly, the Education Law and the Law on Regional National Autonomy and
Compulsory Education Law of 1986 stipulate that “schools and other educational institutions with
mainly ethnic minority students may use of their own language for teaching”. However, the provisions
that mandate the use of their own spoken and written languages for teaching were withdrawn when
Compulsory Education Law was revised. Similar provisions in regulations of autonomous areas,
prefectures and counties were either altered or abrogated as can be seen in Malho “Tibetan
Autonomous Prefecture” regulation of 2021 and Tibetan language work regulation of 2023.
As the laws framed by the Chinese Central Government on learning and use of Tibetan
language contradict themselves, the contents of regulations of the autonomous region, prefectures and
counties contravene one another. Irrespective of whether China is governed by law or not, the laws
formulated by the Chinese central government either in violation of the Constitution and the Law on
Regional National Autonomy have become the key instruments being used to erode the Tibetan
Alarmingly, the ongoing forced assimilation of nearly one million Tibetan children in Chinese
state-run colonial style boarding schools and promotion of Chinese language in a large number of
kindergartens established across Tibet not only deny Tibetan children the right to learn and use their
own language, they are also cut off from their way of thinking, custom and belief, which is giving rise
to a generation affected by forced assimilation. On 14th December 2023 the European Parliament
adopted with a large majority a resolution, strongly condemning the repressive forced assimilation of
Tibetan children in Chinese state-run boarding schools in Tibet. The resolution calls on the Chinese
government for the immediate abolishment of the boarding school system in Tibet, as highlighted by
UN experts.

  1. Destruction of Tibetan Buddhism
    In 2017, China’s State Council put into force Regulations on Religious Affairs to tighten
    control over the religious groups, religious schools and institutions, places for religious activities,
    religious figures, religious practices, and monastic properties. Furthermore, in 2022, the State
    Administration of Religious Affairs and Ministry of Finance enforced the Financial Management
    Measures for Religious Activity Sites, mandating that all the properties and wealth of monasteries and
    nunneries will be owned by the state and that the religious institutions must report their assets, revenue


and expenditure to the relevant departments of the Chinese Government every year. Similarly, under
the Measures for the Management of Religious Activity Venues enforced in 2023, religious
institutions should establish democratic management committees composed of religious figures,
representatives of local religious community and other relevant personnel, who in turn will be
inspected by a committee formed of local religious groups, representatives of the local religious
community and empowered registration offices. And the religious sites must reflect Chinese
characteristics in style, architecture, sculpture, painting and decoration.
Furthermore, the Measures on the Management of Religious Affairs of “TAR”, which was put
into force in 2021, states that the “religious activities must be carried out based on the need of the time
and the excellent traditional Chinese culture” and “monastic rules and disciplines should be improved
and reformed”. It mandates that “curriculum of religious institutions should include courses on
politics, laws, regulations and policies, Chinese language and history of the relationship between Tibet
and the motherland, building a strong sense of the Chinese nation’s community and modern science
and these studies must comprise 30% of monastic education.” It further states that the “process of
recognition of inheritance and succession of the Living Buddha of Tibetan Buddhism must be handled
in accordance with the Measures for the Administration of the Reincarnation of the Living Buddha of
Tibetan Buddhism and the relevant regulations of the autonomous region and it should not be subjected
to interference and control by foreign organisations or individuals”. Similarly, inspection bodies have
been established at all levels of governments till township to oversee religious activities at multiple
level of society. Moreover, religious affair liaison officers and intelligence personnel are appointed by
religious management committees in villages.
The Regulation of the Management of Religious Affairs of Karze Tibetan Autonomous
Prefecture revised in 2023 also contained most of the above provisions. In addition, monks and nuns
who seek to engage in religious activities in areas outside their jurisdiction must obtain permit from
local democratic management committee and county-level Buddhist association, after which, the
Buddhist associations of both their place of residence and where the activities to be held are required
to file the same to the religious affairs department of the respective local governments. The
monasteries and nunneries must get approval from the provincial government for religious activities
to be undertaken for a year before the end of its preceding year and not to make alterations in
contravention to the proposed plan.
In short, these regulations are aimed to directly control the numbers, recognition, eligibility
and curriculum of monks and nuns, properties, revenue, expenditure and management of monasteries
and nunneries. These also mandate the Chinese Communist Party’s misappropriation of Tibetan
people’s authority to select reincarnation of Trulkus, restriction on all religious activities and
movement of monks and nuns across administrative areas. These additional and extreme measures
expand on the existing Chinese central government’s regulations to control over Tibetan Buddhism.
Reports of arbitrary beatings, arrest, imprisonment and sentencing of Tibetan monks, nuns,
teachers, students, writers and common people continue unabated since the launch of “patriotic
education” campaign in Tibet for the last thirty years. Many fear China’s new and sweeping “Patriotic
Education Law” that came into force on 1st January this year, which facilitates the authorities with
power to punish and hold officials accountable. It all points to impending release of policy documents
that will be immeasurably more draconian in Tibet.
The Kashag in its 10th March statement last year highlighted the forced and mass relocation
of Tibetan population carried out supposedly in the name of ecological preservation in central Tibet
and damming projects along the major rivers of Machu (Yellow river), Drichu (Yangtse) and Zachu
(Mekong) in Kham and Amdo regions. Recently, China has ordered local Tibetans and monasteries of
Wonpoto area in Dege in eastern Tibet to relocate to carry out construction of Kamthok Hydropower
dam on Drichu river as part of the 13 dam construction project started few years ago. On 14 February
2024, video footage emerged out of the area shows a large number of local Tibetans pleading to local
government authorities and encircled by Chinese security forces. Subsequently, on 20 February,


another footage revealed Tibetans kneeling and crying in desperation while pleading to Chinese
officials. Reports continue to emerge of arrest of large number of Tibetans. These footages offer a rare
glimpse into the real plight and sufferings of the Tibetan people. Implementation of this dam project
will make the area vulnerable to earthquake and it will lead to loss of invaluable Buddhist cultural
relics and artifacts in the local monasteries dating back more than 600 years. It will adversely affect
the welfare and livelihood of thousands of Tibetans and cause irreversible damage to the ecology.
Such acts undertaken solely for economic gain are nothing but short-sighted and no one can guarantee
that the devastating consequences will not befall on Chinese people living in the downstream of
During the UN Human Rights Council’s fourth Universal Periodic Review of China’s human
rights record held on 23rd January this year, despite China’s efforts to evade scrutiny, 21 countries
raised the issue of Tibet  more than double the number in the last review  explicitly expressed
serious concerns over the worsening human rights situation in Tibet, particularly emphasising their
concern over China’s assimilation of Tibetan children through colonial-style boarding schools and
sinicisation of Tibetan Buddhism.

  1. Our Hope and Appeal
    We call upon the PRC government to allow Tibetans to learn, use and develop Tibetan as their
    official language as guaranteed in the Chinese Constitution and Law on Regional National Autonomy.
    The use of Tibetan language in the offices across Tibet and Tibetan classes in schools, higher
    educational and vocational training centres with Tibetan as the medium of instruction should be
    restored. Likewise, the Tibetan language test in university entrance exam and government staff
    recruitment exam must be reintroduced. We call on the PRC government to correctly recognise that
    these are not only fundamental provisions for the implementation of regional national autonomy, but
    also the basis for equality and harmony of all the nationalities.
    During the long history of friendly relations between Tibet and China in general and
    particularly since Tibet established priest-patron relationship with successive rulers who reigned over
    China from Mongolian Yuan dynasty until Chinese Communist Party, Tibetan Buddhism unstintingly
    bestowed spiritual guidance to the emperors and the people of China, immensely benefiting them.
    Even today, despite the fact that Tibetan Buddhism can certainly help the government and people of
    China when their fine traditional culture is facing decline, the Chinese government is ruthlessly
    resorting to suppression and destruction of Tibetan Buddhism. Tragically, this will only result in
    harming the interest of both Tibetan and Chinese people.
    Although, the Chinese government has attempted to reinterpret the Buddhist canons to suit its
    ideology and expound it as excellent traditional Chinese culture, however it cannot even touch upon
    the basics of Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist science. The Tibetan Buddhist culture which is based
    on core practice of love, compassion and altruism is pitted against violent and revolutionary struggle
    built on self-promotion by communist regime. Consequently, it is a matter of great concern that
    ordinary followers of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet are subjected to constant threat of persecution and
    hatred. The dire situation in Tibet is corroborated by the fact that Tibet scored zero in political rights
    and civil liberties in the Freedom House report, which was released on 29th February this year.
    The Central Tibetan Administration is committed to pursuing the Middle Way Policy to resolve
    the Sino-Tibet conflict through dialogue. Therefore, we reiterate that the PRC government must
    immediately cease its misguided policy of eradicating the Tibetan identity and culture, which could
    cause deep wound and antagonism between Tibetan and Chinese people. We call on Tibetans inside
    Tibet to use legal means to give timely suggestions to the local governments on its misguided and
    extreme policy measures and to uphold rights of the Tibetan people guaranteed in the Chinese
    Constitution and the Law on Regional National Autonomy.


On the sixth day of the Tibetan New Year, 15th February 2024, the US House of
Representatives passed the bipartisan bill “Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act”
with supermajority. We wholeheartedly thank and applaud the wisdom and integrity of the members
of the US Congress for supporting truth and justice. We hope that this bill, which aligns with the 16th
Kashag’s strategy to gain recognition to Tibet’s true historical status to serve as leverage for the Middle
Way Policy, will be passed in the US Senate. This historic bill will definitely inspire other democratic
countries and strengthen the Tibetan people’s spirit and determination in keeping their identity alive.
The Kashag will continue to reach out to other countries in this regard.
The unshakable hope and determination of our Tibetan brothers and sisters inside Tibet are the
driving force for the 16th Kashag’s resolve to work towards the realisation of the just cause of Tibet.
To that end, the Offices of Tibet have been firmly given clear and specific responsibilities, while
Sikyong and Kalons are making every effort in undertaking advocacy campaigns by reaching out to
governments, parliaments, think tanks and media. Recently, around 170 participants from over 40
countries attended the 9th International Conference of Tibet Support Groups that was successfully
held in Brussels. Likewise, over 500 activists from the Voluntary Tibet Advocacy Group (V-TAG)
have carried out impactful campaigns in 32 regions. Under the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama and support of the state oracles and guided by strategy of cooperative effort and moving forward,
these efforts have helped us catapult the issue of Tibet to a new level on the international stage. The
Kashag would like to thank all those who made this possible. Nonetheless, we must continue to pool
our collective efforts until resolving the issue of Tibet is achieved.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has singularly led Tibetans on the path of democracy and
established a vibrant democratic system in exile. Therefore, Tibetans living in the free countries have
the unavoidable duty to make it robust, efficient and sustainable. Meanwhile, we have to grasp every
opportunities arising from the changing global situation and actions of the Chinese government. We
urge all the Tibetans that they must not fail to recognise our opponent and forge unity and make
cooperative efforts in the larger interest of our common cause. At the same time, Tibetans must remain
vigilant and confront the PRC government’s insidious tactics of infiltration into our exile community
and transnational repression.
Taking this opportunity, the Kashag would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to the
governments and people of India, United States and other countries and Tibet supporters around the
world, who are committed to truth and freedom. As the Tibetan identity is facing existential threat,
you are our backbone and source of inner strength to keep our struggle for freedom alive.
Finally, I pray for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. May the truth of Tibet’s cause
prevail! May the Tibetans in Tibet and those in exile be reunited.

The Kashag
10 March 2024

ICT’s Tibet Roundup—2024 Issue 1 (Jan. 1-31)


  1. High-level corruption cases in Tibet
  2. Tibet two sessions conclude
  3. Introduction of measures for cadres in the Tibet Autonomous Region
  4. Pushing Chinese as lingua franca in Tibet for ‘ethnic unity’
  5. Imprisonment of political prisoner emerges after 7 years
  6. Tibetan woman detained for social media video posts
  7. Consolidation of borders emphasized during Lhasa Guard District Party Committee meeting
  8. Chinese embassy hosts new year reception for Tibetans in Nepal
  9. Xi’s ‘12 musts’ directive for United Front work
  10. Party Secretary of Tibet Autonomous Region stresses Sinification of Tibetan Buddhism
  11. Tibetans forced to commemorate 130th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s birth
  12. Chamdo County-level temple management committee grassroots party-building meeting
  13. Widespread fire in Drayab likely caused by rocket debris
  14. Government-facilitated tourism: 843 Tibetans toured Nepal in 2023
  15. Transmission of electricity from Tibet to Chongqing in Southwest China
  16. Rural Work Conference in Lhasa
  17. Leaked document corroborates China’s concerning economic indicators

1. High-level corruption cases in Tibet

Tibetans in Tibet have long complained about corruption and rent-seeking by Chinese party and government officials. These complaints are not unfounded, as evidenced by the following corruption cases involving two former high-level government leaders.

Zhang Yongze, former vice-chairman of the government of the officially designated Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), has been sentenced to 14 years in prison and fined 5 million yuan (US$ 703,000) by the Xi’an Intermediate People’s Court of Shaanxi province for accepting bribes totaling over 51.81 million yuan. The court also ordered the seizure of Zhang’s illicit funds and assets according to state media on Jan. 10, 2024. Zhang, 55, had spent most of his career in the TAR after he began work in 1997.

Zhang, who held various influential positions from 2003 to 2021, including head of the TAR’s Environmental Protection Department, was found guilty of abusing his position to facilitate projects and cadre appointments in exchange for bribes. He was also found guilty of misusing his position for sexual favors and other pleasures. Despite the severity of the charges, the court imposed a lenient penalty due to Zhang’s confession, disclosure of additional bribery facts, admission of guilt and return of ill-gotten gains. Zhang, 55, faced disciplinary action by China’s anti-graft bodies in January 2022 and was subsequently expelled from the party and removed from public posts in July 2022.

In another corruption case, Jiang Jie, former vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) of the TAR, faced expulsion from the Communist Party of China and dismissal from public office after a case review by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the State Supervision Commission. The investigation revealed serious violations, including engagement in corruption, power and sex transactions, according to state media. Jiang Jie’s actions, violating various disciplines and regulations, led to the termination of his party membership, dismissal from public office and termination as a delegate to the 10th Communist Party of China TAR regional congress, as well as the confiscation of his illegal gains. The case has been referred to the procuratorate for review and prosecution.

2. Tibet two sessions conclude

The recent conclusion of the two sessions of the Tibet Autonomous Region in Lhasa, comprising the political consultative conference and the people’s congress on Jan. 9 and 10 respectively, did not bring forth any significant announcements beyond routine proceedings.

During the closing ceremony, Wang Junzheng, the party secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, underscored the primary goals of the two sessions. These involved supporting the “two establishments”—establishing Xi Jinping as the core of the entire party and solidifying the role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era, as outlined in the party’s historical resolution. Additionally, the sessions aimed to uphold the “two safeguards”—ensuring Xi’s core status within the CCP and preserving the central authority of the party.

Wang summarized the party’s policies in Tibet, emphasizing the focus on “cultivating a strong sense of the Chinese nation’s community, engaging in profound anti-separatist efforts, fostering high-quality economic development, intensifying ecological and environmental protection, implementing measures to rejuvenate borders and improve people’s livelihoods, and enhancing the modernization of grassroots social governance.” He reiterated the commitment to adhering to General Secretary Xi Jinping’s crucial directives on Tibet work and the party’s governing strategy for Tibet in the new era.

3. Introduction of measures for cadres in the Tibet Autonomous Region

The Tibet Autonomous Region recently introduced the “Measures for Enhancing the Performance of Cadres in the Tibet Autonomous Region (Trial),” a guiding document suggesting the reinforcement of cadre assessment methods. This includes dealing seriously with cadres who are “Buddhist,” those in a “flat state” and those with unsatisfactory work. The issuance of these “Measures” follows the nationwide release of the “Outline of the Party and Government Leadership Building Plan.”

The document highlights Tibet’s efforts in promoting the “four major events” of stability, development, ecology and strong borders. The objective is to establish the region as a national model for unity and progress, a pioneering area for high-quality plateau economic development, a national ecological civilization highland and a nationally secure border area. The “Measures” act as a guiding principle for cadre selection, emphasizing strict adherence to the cadre’s political commitment and evaluation systems. They also advocate for the simplification of files on the political quality of party members and cadres, with the exclusion of those deemed politically unfit.

4. Pushing Chinese as lingua franca in Tibet for ‘ethnic unity’

In 2023, the Nyemo County Party Committee in Lhasa City implemented three measures focusing on “point and aspect, quantity and quality, and practicality and effectiveness” to deepen the spread and usage of the Chinese language in Tibet, implementing the policy to spread Chinese under the theme of “national common language education and training.”

As part of its diverse strategies, the committee had sent batches of village leaders for intensive training outside the region to promote Chinese language. Additionally, it guided various departments, including the United Front, education, and other industries, to send CPPCC members, teachers and students from different backgrounds to Beijing, Hebei and other locations for study tours, according to the United Front Work Department of CCP Central Committee on Dec. 27, 2023, summarizing activities in 2023 in the implementation of promotion of the “national common language.”

The city’s village cadres underwent Chinese language training under the “Language Training Plan” and received completion certificates from the TAR Mandarin Promotion Base. Mobile party schools were conducted in agricultural and pastoral areas, reaching over 15,000 cadres and the general population. Hundreds of farmers and herdsmen were taught the Chinese language through the method of “daily paired learning, weekly individual self-study and monthly intensive training.”

To facilitate communication, cadres and party members are required to install the “Tibetan Translator” software, with a high usage rate of 96.8%. This effort aimed to break down communication barriers between cadres and the public and strengthen the “sense of community of the Chinese nation.”

In recognition of their efforts, Nyemo County was given accolades in 2022 as a model collective for “ethnic unity and progress” at the district and city levels. In 2023, it was further recommended as a national-level model county for ethnic unity and progress.

5. Imprisonment of political prisoner emerges after 7 years

Recent information has emerged regarding the imprisonment of Lhakdor, a Tibetan resident of Palyul (Chinese: Baiyu) County in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. In 2016, he was reportedly sentenced to 11 years in prison for allegedly possessing Tibetan independence-related media on his phone, according to the exile media outlet Tibet Times’ report on Dec. 29, 2023. During a trip from Kardze to Lhasa in July 2016, he was detained by the police after they examined his phone and accused him of spreading rumors. Lhakdor’s family was present when the Palyul County People’s Court issued the sentence. Despite being described as a patriotic Tibetan involved in small businesses and regular travel, he has been allowed only one family visit in the seven years since his imprisonment. Requests for additional visits have been consistently denied on various grounds.

6. Tibetan woman detained for social media video posts

Tsering Tso, a 39-year-old from Trika (Guide), Tsolo (Hianan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai, was arbitrarily detained on December 25, 2023, on charges of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” after she posted three video clips on social media a few days earlier criticizing a police checkpoint in Drachen (Baqing) County in Nagchu City, TAR, as a violation of her right to privacy.

In one of the videos from Dec. 19, Tsering Tso expressed frustration with the police checkpoint’s intrusion into her privacy during her journey from Yushu to Lhasa. She argued that her purpose for traveling to Lhasa was her private matter, and she emphasized her understanding of the law, asserting her right to privacy. According to Tibet Watch’s translation of one video clip, Tsering says, “Take a look at this [Drachen County] police checkpoint. I came from Yushu to go to Lhasa. They [police] asked what I was going to do there. I told what I was going to do was my right to privacy. What right do you [police] have to know? They consistently infringe on our privacy as if we have no right to privacy. He [the police] also said that the other people have no problem [with the questions]. It is their business that they don’t understand the law. I understand the law. I want to make clear that going to Lhasa is my work.”

This recent detention follows her 15-day administrative detention in Yushu City from Oct. 26 to Nov. 10, 2023, for posting 17 critical comments from Oct. 8 to 25, 2023 on Douyin, the Chinese TikTok, criticizing the government and its staff.

7. Consolidation of borders emphasized during Lhasa Guard District Party Committee meeting

The 16th plenary (enlarged) meeting of the 6th Lhasa Guard District Party Committee, an administrative body overseeing the military and political affairs within Lhasa Guard District, was held from Jan. 25 to 26. Xiao Youcai, holding the concurrent titles of member of the Standing Committee of the TAR Party Committee, secretary of the Lhasa Municipal Party Committee and first secretary of the Lhasa Guard District Party Committee, in his speech emphasized implementation of Xi Jinping’s directives on strengthening the military and the party’s strategy for “governing Tibet in the new era.” According to a state media report, he underscored the need to consolidate borders, stabilize Tibet, and ensure long-term peace and stability for Lhasa while promoting “high-quality development.” Emphasis was also made on building an army through politics, training troops for war readiness and fostering military-civilian coordination.

8. Chinese embassy hosts new year reception for Tibetans in Nepal

The Chinese Embassy in Nepal hosted a Tibetan Wood Dragon New Year reception in Kathmandu on Jan. 28, attended by Ambassador Chen Song and Wang Li from the “China Tibetan Culture Protection and Development Association.” The event was attended by nearly 1,000 Tibetan residents of Nepal. Ambassador Chen highlighted China’s economic progress under the party’s leadership and its active global engagement. He called for Tibetans in Nepal to “participate in the construction of their hometown, safeguard national unity and ethnic unity, continue to serve as bridges and links, and contribute their share to comprehensively promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through Chinese-style modernization,” according to a state media report. In the recent past, there has been an uptick in the Chinese government’s efforts in propagating propaganda and outreach to the Tibetan diaspora community in line with the CCP’s United Front strategy.

9. Xi’s ‘12 musts’ directive for United Front work

The second issue of “Qiushi” magazine published on Jan. 16 carried Xi Jinping’s article on United Front work. The article outlines 12 imperative guidelines derived from his speech at the Central United Front Work Conference on July 29, 2022. These directives underscore the critical role of the United Front as a strategic tool for achieving the party’s governance goals. Key points include emphasizing people’s support and collective strength, maintaining a “balance between unity and diversity,” advancing China’s political party system, fostering a sense of community among ethnic groups, promoting religious development in line with Chinese characteristics, engaging non-Communist Party intellectuals and individuals from new social strata, supporting the non-public sector’s economic growth, strengthening ties with Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and overseas Chinese communities, cultivating non-CCP representative figures, understanding the laws governing United Front work and ensuring the party’s overarching leadership in this endeavor. These guidelines serve as a comprehensive framework to guide and consolidate the party’s United Front efforts across diverse sectors and regions.

The “12 musts” as stated in the article are:

  1. must give full play to the role of the United Front as an important means
  2. must secure support of the people and pool strength for our cause
  3. must strike the right balance between commonality and diversity
  4. must uphold, develop and improve China’s new model of political party system
  5. must make fostering a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation the main task in the Party’s work related to ethnic affairs
  6. must develop religions in the Chinese context
  7. must foster close bonds with non-CPC intellectuals and personages from new social strata
  8. must facilitate the healthy growth of the non-public sector of the economy and encourage those working in this sector to achieve success
  9. must exert the role of united front work to win hearts and minds of people in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese
  10. must strengthen the ranks of non-CPC representative figures
  11. must grasp the laws governing united front work
  12. must enhance the Party’s overall leadership over united front work


10. Party Secretary of Tibet Autonomous Region stresses Sinification of Tibetan Buddhism

On Jan. 5, a symposium with representatives of monastic communities was conducted in Lhasa, according to state media on Jan. 6, 2024. Wang Junzheng, the secretary of the Party Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region, emphasized the necessity of fully implementing the party’s strategy for governing Tibet and its religious work guidelines in the “new era.” The focus was on guiding Tibetan Buddhism to adapt to socialist society and actively promoting its Sinification. He emphasized the importance of adhering to the “two safeguards” and understanding the “two establishments” by the monastic community. He also highlighted the achievements of “Three Consciousnesses” education and urged consistent implementation, innovation and clear communication to unite religious circles closely under the party and the Central Committee.

Yan Jinhai, chairman of the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region, in his speech discussed the enhanced awareness among monks and nuns regarding the state’s supremacy over religion and the importance of citizenship and rule of law. Yan stressed that all levels and departments should align with the objective of Sinifying Tibetan Buddhism, handle religious affairs in compliance with the law, enhance and introduce innovations in temple management, and more effectively utilize the positive influence of Tibetan Buddhism in fostering social development and stability.

11. Tibetans forced to commemorate 130th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s birth

To commemorate the 130th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s birth, the Advanced Buddhist College in Beijing organized a “national common language recitation competition” on Dec. 22, 2023, with the theme “Commemorating the 130th Anniversary of Chairman Mao’s Birth.” According to a report on the website of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on Dec. 28, 2023, 22 Tibetan Buddhist monks at the college were compelled to participate in the competition to “express deep memories of Chairman Mao and boundless affection for the motherland.”

At the event, Wang Zhigang, secretary of the Party Committee of the Academy, stressed the importance of ideological consistency with the Party Central Committee led by Xi Jinping. He instructed the Tibetan monks to strengthen their Chinese language skills, enhance their “five identities” and foster a “strong sense of the Chinese nation’s community.”

According to Radio Free Asia, Chinese authorities in Tibet forced Tibetans to celebrate the 130th anniversary of Mao’s birth on Dec. 26 by crediting Mao with the “peaceful liberation of Tibet” in 1950. A young Tibetan in Lhasa told RFA that officials used Mao’s birthday “to spread false information and distort facts about Tibet’s past history, in the hope of making the Tibetan people believe this disinformation.”

12. Chamdo County-level temple management committee grassroots party-building meeting

The 2023 grassroots party-building work report review meeting of the party secretary of the county-level Temple Management Committee of Chamdo (Changdu) City was convened via video conference on Jan. 25, according to the Chamdo United Front via state media. Representatives from various departments, including the Municipal Religious Affairs Bureau and the Municipal Buddhist Association, participated in the meeting alongside county-level cadres and temple management committee officials. During the meeting, 11 party group secretaries of the county-level temple management committees presented on-site work reports, which were evaluated on the spot, while the remaining secretaries submitted written reports. The meeting emphasized the strengthening of political construction within each temple management committee, focusing on understanding the significance of the “two establishments” (Xi Jinping stands as the undisputed core leader of the Chinese Communist Party, and Xi Jinping’s principles serve as the foundation for the future) and enhancing ideological awareness to forge a strong sense of the Chinese nation’s community and the Sinification of Tibetan Buddhism. Additionally, it called for adherence to legal regulations in religious affairs management and the Sinification of Tibetan Buddhism, alongside efforts to improve party-building work and standardize party organization construction within temple management committees.


13. Widespread fire in Drayab likely caused by rocket debris

A significant fire that broke out in the Drayab region of Kham, Tibet, is believed to have resulted from a rocket booster crash. Videos shared on social media depict intense flames, possibly caused by a rocket booster blast on Dec. 26. The incident in Drayab, within the traditional Tibetan province of Kham, occurred without a prior evacuation notice, unlike the precautionary announcement for seven townships in China’s Guangxi Autonomous Region. The video shows a damaged section, likely from a rocket booster, crashing in a hilly area, causing widespread fires. The incident is suspected to be linked to China’s Long March 3B rocket launch on the same day. Despite the lack of confirmation, the timing and location suggest a connection between the booster crash and the rocket launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

14. Government-facilitated tourism: 843 Tibetans toured Nepal in 2023

The Tourism Development Department of the Tibet Autonomous Region disclosed that the department facilitated 23 tour groups in 2023 comprising 843 individuals to travel to Nepal, including 41 tour guides and staff, according to a Chinese state media report on Dec. 26, 2023. Although the notice for outbound tourism was issued in January 2023, the first Tibet outbound tourism group embarked on its journey from Kyidong (Gyirong) port to Nepal on July 29.

Wang Xiaodong emphasized that the Tibet Autonomous Region Tourism Development Department will continue to foster both inbound and outbound tourism. They aim to enhance the promotion of overseas tourism, organize groups for exchanges with countries like Russia, Belarus, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

15. Transmission of electricity from Tibet to Chongqing in Southwest China

On Dec. 22, 2023, Chongqing Electric Power Trading Center Co., Ltd. announced the transmission of 2.768 million kilowatt-hours of power from Tibet to Chongqing, a major city in Southwest China, for the first time, according to state media. Per the state media report, this transmission is expected to pave the way for substantial consumption of Tibetan electricity in Chongqing in the future.

16. Rural Work Conference in Lhasa

On Jan. 24, the Rural Work Conference of the Tibet Autonomous Region Party Committee took place in Lhasa. Wang Junzheng, party secretary of the TAR, instructed studying and implementing General Secretary Xi Jinping’s directives on the “three rural” work (agriculture, rural areas and farmers) for the “revitalization of the countryside.” Wang emphasized the need to thoroughly implement the instructions of the Central Rural Work Conference held in December 2023. The CCP aims to industrialize Tibet’s rural areas in the name of ensuring food security, increasing farmers’ and herdsmen’s incomes, and enhancing rural infrastructure. Measures toward this goal included promoting agricultural modernization, supporting employment transfers and developing “characteristic agriculture,” according to the report by state media. Wang emphasized the party’s leadership in rural affairs and instructed effective implementation of policies. The meeting, conducted via video and telephone conference, was attended by provincial leaders, military region officials and members from relevant party committees and the government.

17. Leaked document corroborates China’s concerning economic indicators

A leaked document of the Central Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee on Learning and Implementing Xi Jinping’s Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era dated Jan. 9, 2024, provides instructions for implementing frugality by party and government organs down to the county level across China. The five-page document titled “Notice on Conscientiously Implementing the Spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Instructions and Promoting Party and Government Organs to Get Accustomed to Tightening Life” carries three points for implementing austerity measures considering concerning economic conditions in China. The leaked document corroborates analysts’ conclusion on China’s concerning economic indicators.

ICT’s Tibet Roundup—2024 (March 16-31)


  1. Family of imprisoned Tibetan businessman sues Lhasa police for mistreatment
  2. University spot for hefty investment for non-Tibetans
  3. Newly identified unaccounted-for Tibetans after Derge dam protest
  4. Senior municipal United Front leader’s monasteries visit indicates party’s continued focus on Sinicization
  5. United Front’s national security preaching tour
  6. Tourist fees for visiting Tibetan landmarks
  7. Chamdo deputy mayor stresses stability maintenance and state ideology alignment in religious site inspection


1. Family of imprisoned Tibetan businessman sues Lhasa police for mistreatment

In a rare and bold move, Gonpo Kyi and her husband Choekyong have sued Lhasa police for the mistreatment they endured for requesting a fair trial for Dorjee Tashi, Gonpo’s imprisoned brother, in December 2023. The incident occurred when the couple staged a sit-in outside the Tibet Autonomous Region Higher People’s Court in Lhasa to demand a retrial for Dorjee Tashi, who is serving a life sentence in Drapchi prison. They were detained and beaten by the police for their sit-in instead of being granted access to Dorjee Tashi in prison.

The lawsuit accuses the police of arbitrary detention and beatings, as well as denying Gonpo Kyi medical treatment for her injuries. However, due to strict government censorship, obtaining full documentation of the legal proceedings has been challenging. It’s alleged that the Lhasa city police, in collusion with the court, prevented the couple from meeting Dorjee Tashi in prison and denied their requests for a fair trial for his case.

Dorjee Tashi is serving a life sentence after being arrested in 2008. Initially facing political charges, he was later convicted of loan fraud, a charge he and his family dispute.

Despite being imprisoned since 2008, the details of Dorjee’s case only became clear when ICT was able to obtain a part of his testimony in August 2021 wherein he wrote details of his arrest, pretrial torture and petition for a fair trial.

Gonpo Kyi, Dorjee’s sister, has been staging sit-ins in front of the TAR People’s Court in Lhasa since June 2022 demanding justice for her brother.

2. University spot for hefty investment for non-Tibetans

Reuters on March 21 reported that Tibet’s government under China extends a perplexing proposition to prospective college exam candidates, allowing them to secure a spot in universities in exchange for a hefty investment of 3 million yuan ($417,000) from their parents.

This university spot in exchange for significant investment raises several concerns.

Past anecdotal evidence of such abuse of the system has not been considered. Although a university spot in exchange for investment is rarely heard of, anecdotes of Chinese students from towns and cities in China using their connections to usurp spots reserved for Tibetans have been reported multiple times in the past by Tibetan students. Unlike the past practices of usurping spots meant for Tibetans through personal networks and bureaucratic corruption, the government of the officially designated Tibet Autonomous Region offering such a scheme is concerning for the systemic problems that come to light, as well as in encouraging potential Chinese settlers in Tibet.

The scheme appears to exploit the access to education affirmative action in Tibet. Equity and fairness in access to education, particularly for local Tibetan students who face increased competition from wealthier students coming from outside the region, are a huge concern.

The issue also highlights broader socioeconomic challenges, including rising unemployment rates among young people in China. While the scheme may bring capital into Tibet, it risks exacerbating inequality and widening the gap between wealthy urban centers and marginalized regions like Tibet.

3. Newly identified unaccounted-for Tibetans after Derge dam protest

Exile Tibetan language media outlet the Tibet Times reported on March 28 that, while most of the Tibetans, including numerous monks, who were detained, severely ill-treated and beaten by Chinese police since late February 2024 in Derge (Chinese: Dege) county of Kardze prefecture, Sichuan province, have been released recently, some of the Tibetans remain missing. More than 10 Tibetans, including university students, who were disappeared after submitting petitions against a proposed hydropower station over the Drichu (Jinsha) river, are yet to be accounted for. Some of them have been identified as Rigzin, Thubphur, Dechen Dolma, Yangkyi, Dechen Palmo, Rinchen Dolma and Tsedrub.

Besides the newly identified unaccounted-for Tibetans, two individuals, Tenzin Sangpo, a senior administrator of the local Wonto Monastery, and a village official named Tenzin, who were arrested on February 23, are still under arrest and have been handed over for prosecution. They are suspected of organizing the protests against the Kamtog (Gangtuo) dam project.


4. Senior municipal United Front leader’s monasteries visit indicates party’s continued focus on Sinicization

On March 18, Kelsang Tseten, a member of the Standing Committee of the Lhasa Municipal Party Committee and Minister of the United Front Work Department, visited remote monasteries in Meldrogongkar county, Lhasa City. While the visit was framed by Chinese state media as a chance to investigate living conditions, it raises concerns about the suppression of religious freedom in Tibet.

Tseten’s emphasis on political control and adherence to Chinese Communist Party doctrine in his instructions to the cadres stationed in the monasteries indicates a focus on curtailing religious expression. His demands for the “three consciousnesses” campaign to infiltrate the monasteries and strict adherence to regulations by the monastics indicate the CCP’s continued focus on “Sinicizing” Tibetan Buddhist monastics, meaning to make them subservient to the Chinese government.

Furthermore, directives to investigate “hidden dangers” and expand propaganda activities reinforce government surveillance and control over religious institutions.

5. United Front’s national security preaching tour

In efforts to bolster the so-called “three consciousnesses”—national awareness, citizen engagement and adherence to the rule of law—campaign among farmers, herdsmen, monks and nuns, the Dzogang (Zuogang) county CCP and government under Chamdo (Changdu) Prefectural-level city dispatched officials from the United Front Work Department of Zuogong County on a “three consciousness” tour across 14 villages and temples. With a focus on reaching out to 500 individuals, including monks, nuns and residents, the officials preached the significance of supporting the Communist Party’s leadership and prioritizing state laws over religious regulations as part of the “Eighth Five-Year Plan” for legal popularization. According to state media, they emphasized the cultivation of “politically reliable monks” and the safeguarding of national security with content focused on the National Security Law of the People’s Republic of China. The Tibetans were instructed to abide by China’s law and uphold national security.

Similarly, on March 21, the United Front Work Department and the District Justice Bureau conducted the “Law into Religious Venues” campaign in monasteries in Nedong County, located in the Lhoka Prefectural-level city. According to Chinese state media reports, this campaign is part of the promotion of the “Eighth Five-Year Plan” aimed at propagating Xi Jinping’s thoughts on the rule of law. During this campaign, monks “receive education” on China’s laws concerning religion, including the “Religious Affairs Regulations,” “Measures on Management of Reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism” and other state religious regulations.

6. Tourist fees for visiting Tibetan landmarks

Several prominent Tibetan historical, cultural and religious landmarks, including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka Palace, have been converted into tourist attractions by Chinese authorities in Tibet. While Tibetans revere these landmarks as invaluable embodiments of their culture, religion and civilizational heritage, the Chinese authorities impose a tiered ticketing system with prices varying according to season.

For the Potala Palace, the seat of the Dalai Lamas, the off-season runs from March 16 to April 30, 2024, with tickets priced at 100 yuan per person. During the peak season (May 1 to October 31), the price rises to 200 yuan for Line 1 and 100 yuan for Line 2. Similarly, the Norbulingka Palace, the summer residence of the Dalai Lamas, has a set price of 60 yuan per person. Access to Jokhang Temple, the holiest shrine in Tibet, appears to be controlled through a daily ticket reservation limit, though the price is yet to be announced.

7. Chamdo deputy mayor stresses stability maintenance and state ideology alignment in religious site inspection

In a recent development, Dolkar, the deputy mayor of the municipal government, embarked on an inspection tour of temple management committees and religious sites in Menda (Mianda) Township, Kama (Gama) Township, and Chawe (Chaiwei) Township in Kharub (Karuo) District in Chamdo Prefectural-level city, TAR, according to a state media report on March 18.

Dolkar’s emphasis on stability maintenance reinforces the implementation of surveillance and control within religious institutions infringing upon the rights of religious freedom and autonomy of religious communities.

Furthermore, the directive to strengthen temple management and the implementation of “Three Consciousnesses” education to promote ethnic unity are indicative of coercion and manipulation of religious practices and beliefs to align with state ideology.

Kalon Norzin Dolma Arrives in Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington : Following her successful visit to Australia, Kalon Norzin Dolma of Department of Information and International Relations, CTA arrived in Wellington, New Zealand on 19 November 2023.

Kalon was warmly received at the airport by Robin Greenberg , a member of Wellington chapter of Friends of Tibet(FoT).

Kalon Norzin Dolma then went to meet the members of the Wellington based FoT and thanked them for their long standing support to the Tibetan movement. She informed them of the critical situation in Tibet, where culture genocide is going on through the sinicisation of Tibetan buddhism and boarding school. She also briefed them about the policy of Middle Way Approach of CTA for resolving the Sino Tibet Conflict. The meeting also had productive discussion on some future activities.

Later in the evening, Kalon was invited for a dinner reception hosted in her honour by organisers of Asia Pacific Security  Innovation Summit.

On 20 November, Kalon Norzin Dolma will be participating as one of speakers on “Soft Power Statecraft” at the Annual Summit of Asia Pacific Security Innovation (ASPI) Forum, leading New Zealand think tank in strategic partnership and cooperation in International Relations.

Kalon will also be meeting the members New Zealand Tibetan Community and Tibet supporters at Mount Eden Memorial Hall in Auckland on 21 November .
Kalon Norzin Dolma is accompanied by Representative Karma Singey of Office of Tibet, Canberra. Kalon will return to India from Auckland, New Zealand on 22 November.

Reported by OOT, Canberra 

Abducted Tibetan Student Escapes to Safety Recounted Their Experiences of being in a human trafficking operation. 

October, Free Tibet – 

One of four students who went missing in March 2023 has escaped a human trafficking operation and returned home safely. Free Tibet’s research partner, Tibet Watch, has been told of the student’s ordeal.

Prior to their disappearance in March, eight students were contacted by a Chinese businessman from Sungchu (Ch: Songpan) County in the Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. The man promised the students that he would help them escape to India and arrange for them to have jobs when they arrived, assuring them that they need not worry about money, passports, or safety.

As instructed, the eight students then ran away from their school in Chuchen (Ch: Jinchuan) County to meet with the businessman in Lhasa. At this point, despite assurances from the man that money would not be an issue, he began to ask questions if they had brought enough money with them. This prompted four of the students to grow suspicious of the man and decide to find their own way to India, which eventually led to their detention by Chinese authorities.

Those students that remained with the man were taken to the border with Myanmar, where they were handed over to strangers believed to be members of a criminal organisation. The students were loaded into a truck and driven into Myanmar over multiple days, driving only during the night and resting in the daytime. During the journey they were made to change trucks several times and obtained a number of checkpoint permit documents.

At some point during their journey, on the Myanmar side of the border, the students were separated and taken to different locations. The student who later escaped back to Tibet was taken to a compound in a forest, surrounded by electric fencing and barbed wire, containing a four/five storey building.

The student was initially allowed to rest for a couple of days and was given food. However, after this, the strangers demanded that the student pay them over 1,000,000RMB (roughly £113,830). When they discovered that the student did not have enough money they gave them two options: either work off the debt, or ask his parents to pay.

The student was allowed to contact their family over the phone to ask for the money. The family were told that a criminal organisation had bought their child from a human trafficking group, and that to get them back would cost 3,000,000RMB (roughly £341,430). The criminal organisation claimed that, since they had bought the child rather than kidnapping or abducting them, they were legal owners and not committing any criminal act.

The family agreed to pay this price to rescue their child but also contacted the police for assistance. The family have stated that they found the police uncooperative; Tawu County police told the family that, since the matter was concerning foreign human trafficking operations, it was out of their jurisdiction and refused to offer any help.

The family transferred over the money, however the criminal organisation then demanded more to cover additional expenses of food, travel, and permits. While the family initially refused to pay this amount, as they had already given so much, they were left with no choice but to do so.

Seeking guidance, and fearing for the safety of their child, the family asked a Buddhist Lama for advice. The Lama prophesied that the child should escape as soon as possible, otherwise it would become impossible to do so. Still trapped in the compound in Myanmar, the family were able to relay this message to the child, who then took the opportunity under the cover of night to jump from the second storey of the building and flee into the forest.

The child was able to reach a village near the Myanmar border, where they called their family to come and rescue them. Three members of the family entered Myanmar and were able to safely bring the child home.

Now back in safe hands, the student shared their harrowing experience. They said that there were many more young people just like them in the compound. Some young adults were recruited into the trafficking gangs through brutal tests of torture and murder, other people were forced to contact their friends to lure them into being trafficked. They also claimed that those who were not able to accomplish this task were tortured and sold on, or had their organs harvested.

As they were separated in Myanmar, the safety, wellbeing and whereabouts of the other three students who are still missing is unknown. We will report any further updates as they are received.

Information supplied by Tibet Watch

Announcement of Visa Restrictions to Address Forced Assimilation in Tibet

AUGUST 22, 2023

The State Department is taking steps to impose visa restrictions under the authority of Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on People’s Republic of China (PRC) officials for their involvement in the forcible assimilation of more than one million Tibetan children in government-run boarding schools.  These coercive policies seek to eliminate Tibet’s distinct linguistic, cultural, and religious traditions among younger generations of Tibetans.

We urge PRC authorities to end the coercion of Tibetan children into government-run boarding schools and to cease repressive assimilation policies, both in Tibet and throughout other parts of the PRC.  We will continue to work with our allies and partners to highlight these actions and promote accountability.

Mandie McKeown, Executive Director

International Tibet Network.


Important Tibet religious event prohibited, organizers detained

July 26, 2023

Chinese police in northeastern Tibet have interfered in an important several days-long Buddhist ritual, the Kalachakra initiation ceremony, by stopping it and detaining the organizers.

A sand mandala, part of the ritual, has been destroyed, and devotees who protested against the police action were reportedly beaten and told to return to their homes, some of them having travelled from distant locations.

“We are deeply concerned about the ban on the Kalachakra in Tsolho Prefecture, as the authorities’ interference, apparently by force, represents a violation of the right to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance,” said the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT). Although ICT could not independently verify the reports due to information clampdown by the Chinese authorities, ICT believes the incidents are highly probable. “The Chinese authorities must restore Tibetan Buddhists’ right to freedom of religion and allow events such as the Kalachakra to be held without undue state interference.”


The Kalachakra (“Wheel of Time”) is a major practice in Tibetan Buddhism and was scheduled for July 20-23 at Samey-shi village in Gumong town in Mangra (Chinese: Guinan) County in Tsolho (Chinese: Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai.

It was to be led by the ritual master Athi Kalsang Tashi Gyatso Rinpoche, the head of Athi Monastery in Tsolho Prefecture. Athi Rinpoche as he is popularly known is the root teacher of around 2,000 families residing in the Logya, Tsonak, Joser and Rungon villages in the region.

The preparation was stopped July 19, the day before the ceremony began, during pre-initiation rites, despite the event reportedly having been approved by the authorities earlier.

According to sources, a large group of Chinese officials accompanied by armed police arrived at the venue in the early morning of July 19 and stopped the initiation process by destroying the sand mandala and forcing Athi Rinpoche to leave.

The officers detained the organisers for interrogation and shoved and beat the crowd of pleading devotees, ordering the congregation to return to their respective homes.

Videos circulating

Videos of the welcoming reception the public accorded to Athi Rinpoche was widely circulated on social media before it was scrubbed by China’s official censor.

Sources say that the wide circulation of the video may likely have drawn the attention of the central government to the influence of Buddhism, which led to the issuance of the order to stop the religious event.

It is unclear on what legal grounds the event was stopped.

Integral to spiritual education

Such teachings are an integral part of spiritual education in the Tibetan Buddhist community. They are also necessary for individuals who want to further their spiritual practice to the highest level.

It is for this reason that many devotees congregate when the Kalachakra initiation is bestowed by the Dalai Lama in exile. The Kalachakra is characterized by extensive preparation days before the actual initiation, most notably a sand mandala that is prepared before the initiation that devotees are allowed to see as the completed mandala after the initiation.

The timing of the Kalachakra initiation corresponds with the Choekor Duechen (the first turning of the wheel of dharma) falling on July 21 or the fourth day of the sixth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar, marked to honor the day Buddha first taught the four noble truths.

Other religious events cancelled

The 7th Athi Kalsang Tashi Gyatso is from Kumbum Tsotuk in the Tibetan region of Amdo. He was recognized as a reincarnate in his teenage years and enthroned in 1997. He resides in Kumbum monastery. He also studied at Labrang Tashi Kyil monastery.

Some Tibetan media also reported that a similar Kalachakra Initiation by 7th Gungthang Rinpoche of the famed Labrang Tashi Kyil Monastery in Kanlho (Gannan) Prefecture of Gansu in July was also cancelled.

The authorities cancelled the teachings scheduled to take place in Dzoege (Ruo’ergai), Ngaba (Aba) Prefecture, in Sichuan Province, citing the month of July as Gannan Prefecture’s 70th founding anniversary.

Sikyong Assures Diaspora Tibetans of Kashag’s Commitment to Serving Tibetan Cause

Auckland: Sikyong Penpa Tsering began his official engagements in New Zealand’s city of Auckland with an interview with Radio New Zealand, the country’s public broadcaster, followed by an interview with the daily newspaper New Zealand Herald earlier this morning on 15 June 2023.

On the same day, Sikyong Penpa Tsering met and addressed the Tibetan community in and around Auckland at the Palpung Buddhist Centre.

In his address, he highlighted the 16th Kashag’s vision and its commitment to service in accordance with the teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, strengthening the framework of the CTA, sustenance of the Tibetan settlements in exile and solving the housing issues faced in exile. In addition, Sikyong spoke about the dwindling number of Tibetans arriving from Tibet, and stressed the importance of paying attention to and learning Tibetan history, elevating the status of Tibetan cause at the global stage, and reintroduction of the new Tibet bill in the US Congress. This was followed by a Q & A session.

Later in the evening, Sikyong Penpa Tsering gave a public talk on Tibet at a Gala Dinner event at the Ellerslie War Memorial Hall in Auckland. He emphasised the different repressive policies imposed by the Chinese government inside Tibet, the political circumstance concerning the Tibetan cause, and the Chinese government’s oppression across the world. Sikyong expressed his gratitude to the Tibet supporters who were presented with mementoes by the Tibetan association and a cultural performance.

Ian Ravell, Former Deputy Speaker and first Chairman of the Parliamentary Lobby group for Tibet, also addressed the gathering. At the event, members of Friends of Tibet, Tibetan Children Relief Society and Chinese Tibetan Friendship Association gave an introduction to their respective associations.

Sikyong was accompanied by Tibet Information Office Representative Karma Singey, and the event was attended by members of the Tibetan community in New Zealand, members of Tibet Support groups, Manchurian Culture Associations and students of Dharma centres. The event was organised by the Auckland Tibetan Association.

This concludes Sikyong’s official engagements in Auckland, and he will leave for New Zealand’s capital Wellington tomorrow morning.

Article source:

Sikyong Assures Diaspora Tibetans of Kashag’s Commitment to Serving Tibetan Cause

Wellington: On the final day of Sikyong Penpa Tsering’s official engagement in New Zealand on Friday, 16 June, he met Friends of Tibet, Nyingjey Charitable Trust and Dharma students at the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington. He addressed the gathering on Tibet issue, the critical situation inside Tibet under the Chinese government’s policies aimed at eradication of Tibetan identity, Tibet’s environment, and the importance of Tibetan religion and culture. Sikyong also thanked them for their longstanding support to the Tibetan movement.

In the afternoon, Sikyong paid a visit to the Parliament in Wellington. The visit also included a luncheon meeting with members of parliament from different political groups organised by MP Simon O’Connor, National Party Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Co-Chair of Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

MP James McDowall of the ACT political party attended the meeting and MP Helen White of the Labour Party alongside MP Golriz Gharaman of the Green Party virtually joined the meeting. During the meeting, Sikyong raised the present critical situation inside Tibet, repressive measures imposed by the Chinese government to erode Tibetan identity, the importance of protecting Tibetan religion and culture, and environment. He also stressed urging the New Zealand PM to raise the issue of Tibet.

Sikyong was accompanied by OOT Canberra Representative Karma Singey.

The visit also included a brief tour of the parliament. Sikyong will leave for Sydney, Australia, at dawn tomorrow.

Article source:

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