Hosted by the Tibet Policy Institute of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) here in Dharamshala the conference is titled “China’s Repressive Policies and the Crisis of Burning Tibet”.
Some 70 senior civil servants of the Central Tibetan Administration, as well as representatives from all major Tibetan NGO’s based in Dharamshala, are attending the conference to discuss in depth the major causes and ramifications of the current crisis of self-immolation protests in Tibet.
The keynote address was given by the Kalon for the Department of Security of the CTA, Mr. Ngodup Dongchung.
Mr Ngodup discussed the Tibetan’s method of non-violence. He said that under His Holiness the Dalai Lamas’ advice, the movement by Tibetan’s in Tibet has been only through peaceful protest, especially since 2008. He highlighted this as very precious and valuable advice that should be explained to the world. Other international struggles should look at our path of non-violence and see the benefits of it. Those directly involved in Tibet can see the magnificent result of this method, although this cannot be seen immediately, it will become clear in generations to come.
He furthered this saying that he cannot see that it is necessary for anyone to give advice to those living in Tibet, as they have done many things that we have no idea about.
Chinese authorities accuse the Tibetan administration and His Holiness the Dalai Lama of encouraging the self immolators. However it is not suitable to encourage them as their consciousness is much higher than ours.
Today I would like to say that those who write on the Tibetan websites or blogs anonymously that they should think carefully about what they say, said Mr Dongchung, he explained this by saying that people should not write anything false and also for them to take responsibility for what they write. People have to be careful that what they write does not become a tool for the Chinese.
Kasur Kirti Rinpoche, the spiritual head of Kirti monasteries, was a special guest at the inaugural session on March 29; he addressed the conference in the morning.
He began by highlighting the importance of all the Tibetan’s are flowing with the Tibetan Administration due to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s advice. He spoke of the Tibetan self immolators, who are also going the way of non-violence due to His Holiness’ recommendation.
Kirti Rinpoche said that under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama the Tibetan’s are following a peaceful protest, however this does not mean that they cannot fight with the Chinese.
He explained that in history, Tibet was a great country who fought wars with China; they once held the ability to change the Chinese Dynasty. Tibet also used to fight wars with India and at one time they conquered India up to the river Ganges. When China first occupied Tibet, they fought.
I would like to give you one example of many where Tibetan’s follow His Holiness’ advice, he said; in 2008 the Chinese military had very tight security in Kirti monastery in Ngaba region, they drew a line where the monks were not allowed to cross. However, one night a monk crossed the line to visit the toilet.
The Chinese military questioned him, he replied “I am going to the toilet” in spite of his answer the authorities beat the monk. Many other monks gathered, asking them to stop the beating. Following this, more military personnel came and beat all the monks with kitchen knives, some receiving serious injuries and had to go to hospital. Through all of this, the monks did not fight back, following His Holiness the Dalai Lama's advice they sat on the ground.
To date 113 Tibetan’s have self immolated, these people of course, have been killed. These self immolations in Tibet are not stopping; he said that the suffering of Tibetan’s in Tibet is too much for him to explain.
Kirti Rinpoche then spoke of happenings in Tibet, saying that recently some cell phone professionals come from Beijing to investigate to cell phones in the monasteries. If information is found then they arrest and imprison the people that own those phones.
He spoke of another example of the Chinese oppression; if Tibetan’s from Kham and Amdho region travel to Lhasa they also have to go through many checkpoints and show many documents, if they cannot produce these documents then they are expelled. Chinese people do not have to adhere to these rules.
Kirti Rinpoche finished by speaking of the targeting of Tibetans for the clothes they wear. Now the situation is that Tibetans wear traditional clothes and Monks who wear robes in the street face problems as they are targeted by the Chinese authorities.
“The Tibet Policy Institute has invited Tibetan scholars and writers to brainstorm on how the crisis in Tibet can be resolved so that Tibetans in Tibet no longer need to resort to the desperate act of self-immolation to press their case of the tragedy unfolding in their land,” said Thubten Samphel, director of the institute.
The institute explains itself as saying it "serves as a think tank of the Central Tibetan Administration. It serves as an intellectual hub for Tibetan scholars across the globe and to articulate their views on the issue of Tibet in the hope that these views will shape the perception of the international community and the policies of the concerned governments to Tibet."