His Holiness the Dalai Lama talks about retirement
Dharamshala: - In November His Holiness' retirement once again resurfaced in the media, during Karan Thapar show Devil's Advocate on CNN-IBN in late November, the Dalai Lama was quizzed on his full retirement.
On being asked if he is serious about his retirement plans, His Holiness said: "Oh yes, of course. Since 2001 we have put in place a political leadership in exile. So theoretically the more than 400-year-old tradition of the Dalai Lama institution as head of both the temporal and spirituality has ended. Since then my position is something like a semi-retired position. The major decisions are taken by the elected political leadership. So in order to utilise fully democracy, I felt better not to involve myself in any sort of these works. Of course, I can devote my efforts in other fields like in the promotion of human values and religious harmony. So I am thinking about retirement."
When asked if he has set any date of retirement, His Holiness said: "No. Firstly, I have to discuss with the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. I want to inform them about my intention (retirement), although I had already briefly mentioned to them about this."
While in Kalimpong on December 14th , His Holiness attempted to alleviate the worries of the Tibetan people by saying, "I want to hand over the ceremonial role such as signing of legislatures and documents to the democratically elected leadership. But some Tibetans inside Tibetan are anxious and confused that the Dalai Lama is now no longer interested about the Tibetan struggle. No, it is not," he said.
The Tibetan Children's Village celebrates reaching 50
Over 5,000 people from a multitude of nations, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, celebrated the 50th anniversary on October 29th. The daylong event hosted by the students of the TCV included calisthenics performances, a marching band, cultural dances and songs.
The Tibetan leader spoke about the TCV's achievements since its humble beginnings 50 years ago, "The Indian government rented us two empty bungalows for the purpose near my present home at Dharamshala and I appointed my elder sister, Tsering Dolma, to run it. The result was overwhelming - for almost before we knew where we were - over 800 tiny children has been placed in our care within months. My sister and her voluntary helpers had to improvise the barest necessities of life of this enormous family. This, the Tibetan Refugee Nursery, was the beginning of TCV. Since then it has grown from strength to strength," His Holiness said.
Election Campaign for the 2011 Kalon Tripa Begins
The preliminary round of voting took place on the 3rd of October around the world for the next Kalon Tripa who will take office in 2011. The result of the election was six final Kalon Tripa candidates, who were Lobsang Sangay (22,489 votes); Tenzin Namgyal Tithong (12,319); Dolma Gyari (2,733); Tashi Wangdhu (2,101); Lobsang Jinpa (1,545); Sonam Tobgya (605)
40,000 Signatures on Petition for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's Release
Tibetans and their supporters came together for a global day of action today for the release of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a highly revered religious leader and community organizer from eastern Tibet who is currently serving a life sentence in a Chinese prison. In cities around the world, demonstrators delivered a 40,000 signature petition to Chinese embassies and consulates denouncing China's unjust imprisonment of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. In Dharamshala alone, more than ten thousand petition signatures were sent by fax and courier to Chinese authorities in Beijing and to the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.
17th Gyalwa Karmapa Stands Down as Representative of Kyagu Tradition
Karma Sherab Tharchin and Sonam Damdul, Two Tibetan parliament members who represent Kagyu Tradition in the Tibetan Parliament in exile, on May 10th held a press briefing about His Eminency the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje's resignation as representative for Kagyu Tradition at the upcoming Religious Affairs Meeting.
At the Kagyu General Body Meeting in Norbulinka, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of Karma Kagyu tradition, a statement from the Karmapa was issued outlining his main reasons for his standing down. "I am offering the chance to the three eminent heads of Drukpa, Drigong and Taklong Kaygu traditions," the Karmapa said in his statement.
Liu Xiaobo wins 2010 Nobel Peace Prize
"No medal or diploma will be presented today," said Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland on December 10th pointing to the vacant chair left by imprisoned Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised his "long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China," adding that it has "long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace".
The decision sparked fury by China and international support for his release, including Obama and His Holiness. "Awarding the peace prize to him is the international community's recognition of the increasing voices among the Chinese people in pushing China towards political, legal and constitutional reforms," the Dalai Lama said.
President Obama meets with Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama
US President Barack Obama met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the first time on February 18th, provoking an angry response from the China. Emerging from the hour-long meeting, His Holiness told reporters he "very happy" with the session, saying he spoke to President Obama about the promotion of human value, religious harmony, a greater leadership role for women around the world and the concerns of the Tibetan people. He said the President was "very much supportive."
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, "The President commended the Dalai Lama's 'Middle Way' approach, his commitment to non-violence and his pursuit of dialogue with the Chinese government."
Tibet's Female Writer Receives "2010 Courage in Journalism" Award
Tibetan writer and blogger Tsering Woeser received the "2010 Courage in Journalism" award in recognition of her efforts to report on human rights abuses in Tibet on October 19th. Woeser, who is based in Beijing, could not receive her award in person because the Chinese government refuses to grant her a passport.
Woeser, born in Tibet in 1966, originally worked as a journalist in China before moving to Lhasa. She rose to fame after the publication of her second book, Notes from Tibet, and her subsequent refusal to self-criticize, resulting in the loss of her job as an editor for the Tibetan Literary Association. Since then, she has increasingly explored the use of social media. Her blog, "Invisible Tibet", found at woeser.middle-way.net, is one of the best known in China today. Woeser also commentates for Radio Free Asia, communicates via Facebook and Skype, conducts interviews with Tibetan refugees, and continues to write books for publication in Taiwan. Today, Woeser lives in self-imposed exile in Beijing.
Wikileaks Reveal China's Attempts to Limit His Holiness' Movements
A collection of confidential documents released by WikiLeaks in late November and December revealed China attempted to limit Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama's movements by politically pressuring many international countries. Other documents discuss the international communities concern about Tibet and the free Tibet cause.
The UK's Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in China, Chris Wood reported that in May 2009, the Chinese government demanded that the UK not allow His Holiness to travel to London. The British government did not meet the demands so they requested that government officials not meet with the Dalai Lama. Dan Wood also reported that local authorities in Gansu Province had detained a British Consul, reflecting the authorities' angst over foreigners traveling to the Tibetan regions of the province. The French government also voiced its angst over China's threats, French DCM Nicholas Chapuis noted that the Beijing city government had threatened to break its sister-city relationship with Paris if the Dalai Lama were to receive an honorary citizen award from the French capital. Despite these threats the Parisian mayor, Bertrand Delanoe bestowed His Holiness with the honorary citizen award on June 7th, 2009.
A further cable relating to US and Chinese relations, dated the April 30th, 2009, stated that the Chinese Vice Foreign Miniser, He Yafei hoped the United States would deny His Holiness a visa, and if not, then agree to hold no official meetings with him, including President Obama. However the US official replied, "there were serious concerns among the U.S. public, the Administration and Congress over the situation in Tibetan areas of China. China should take steps to address Tibetans' legitimate grievances and engage the Dalai Lama's representatives in productive dialogue. Denying a visa to the Dalai Lama was not being contemplated."
Another leak in March 2009 revealed that during Kevin Rudd administration as Australian Prime Minister he had urged China to strike a deal with the Dalai Lama for autonomy in Tibet. In the cable between himself and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, he urged her to use her stature to have ''a quiet conversation'' to push the idea with Beijing's leaders. He also said that the West should be prepared to use force against China "if everything goes wrong".
China Harasses Prize Winner's Friends
It has been reported that in the week following the announcement of Liu Xiaobo's awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in early October, dozens of people who openly agreed with him have been detained, beaten, harassed or put under house arrest.
The members who signed the Charter 08 experienced increased harassment. Writer Zhao Shiying, when asked if he would like to comment Liu's award said "I'm so sorry. I have a lot to say, but I don't dare to talk. I've been confronted several times by police already since Liu Xiaobo won the prize." He added "Anyone who signed the charter" is getting police attention, he said. "I hope you understand this life we lead."
Many of these signatories have received very threatening phone calls from Chinese police as they prepared an open letter on Thursday night calling for Liu's immediate release. The letter, signed by more than 100 Chinese intellectuals, called upon the "Chinese authorities to approach Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Prize with realism and reason." It also asks police to stop "these illegal actions."
US Top Official Discusses China-Tibet Talk Process with Tibetan Leader
US Ambassador to New Delhi, India, Timothy J. Roemer Thursday (24th of February) met the political and spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The two discussed various issues including the dialogue process between Tibetans and China and global issues, such as environment and the recent situation in Middle East and Arab.
Roemer and his wife Sally, who reached Dharamshala on Wednesday afternoon for a two-day visit, flew back to Delhi after the talks. Talking to reporters at Gaggal airport prior to his departure, Roemer said the meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama was "the first time in many years by a US ambassador".
Asked what transpired during the meeting, he said the dialogue process between Chinese government and the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai lama, which came to a standstill after the ninth round of talks held in January last year, were among the "many important issues" that came under discussion.
Earthquake kills many in East Tibet
An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 shook Tibet's Kyigudo county on the 14th of April, killing upwards of 10,000 people. Approximately 85% of Jeigu buildings were destroyed in the quake. Speaking at a press conference at the main Tibetan temple in Dharamshala, His Holiness said, "Actually, I also come from that area. So naturally very sad. The people, their living standards low, and education also quite backward. And then, last 50, 60 years, constant problems. The fear become their way of life. On top of that, this major disaster happened. So very, very sad."
When Tibetan women in Tiga County, 907.5 kilometers away from Kyigudo, heard of the food shortages in the quake area, they started baking 40,000 loaves of Tibetan traditional bread (worth around 150,000 Yuan) and sent the bread to quake survivors along with thousands of kilos of tsampa, cheese and butter, demonstrating Tibetan's dedication to their fellow man.
Language Reforms Spark Mass Protests
Over 9,000 Tibetan students from six schools in Amdho region of eastern Tibet took to the streets on the 19th October in protest over the new forced study of Chinese language.
The Tibetan students from Amdho region, Rebkong County (also known as Tongren) called for respect of their ancient culture, according to information received by The Tibet Post on Tuesday. The protesters carried banners, written in both Tibetan and Chinese, reading "Equality Among minorities" and "freedom of the Tibetan Language," sources said.
The anger was sparked by recent educational reforms in Amdo Province requiring all subjects to be taught in Mandarin and all textbooks to be printed in Chinese except for Tibetan-language and English classes. Tibetan teachers are also now required to attend workshops on the change of the language used in class from Tibetan to Chinese.
Detained Writers on Trial for Having Spoken of 2008 Tibet Protests
Three Tibetan writers, who were detained earlier this year, have been tried on charges of 'inciting activities to split the nation,' the Tibet Post International has learnt.
The writers, identified as: Jangtse Donkho, Kalsang Jinpa and Buddha were tried on October 28th by the Ngaba Intermediate People's Court. They were arrested over four months ago for the publication of articles concerning the 2008 Tibetan protests in the journal Shar Dungri (Eastern Snow Mountain).
In an article published by the alias writer Buddha, on the 16th of March 2008, he wrote, "The Chinese media reported that a large number of guns and ammunition were found in Chosrgyal temple - contrary to the teachings of the Buddha. This is sad and absurd.
For thousands of years, Han and Tibetan people have lived as neighbors, but the Han still have no idea of the beliefs and customs of Tibetans. We put dead animals and weapons in the temple to wash away sin, and as a lesson to our children. Isn't it Kuan Kung (the Chinese god of war) who really wields the machete?"
Kalsang Jinpa was also arrested for his views over the march uprising saying that, "the state media takes every opportunity to discredit, criticise and slander His Holiness and his followers. Something must be said"
During the court proceedings the men being charged were allowed a short period of time to talk to their loves ones, under the watchful eye of the Chinese police. "Buddha tried to hold his two-year-old son, but was unable to hold him because he was chained. So he kissed his child twice and asked his wife to make sure their son learned the Tibetan language. Then he was escorted away," a Tibetan source said.
During the trail Buddha also spoke about the sorrow he would feel if imprisoned saying, "If we are convicted of these charges, we will carry a heavy load on our hearts because of this injustice and because of the inequality among different nationalities, though we are citizens of the same country."
Four Magazine Editors Detained, Two Sentenced in Tibet
A Chinese court in Bharkham, eastern Tibet, has sentenced two editors of the local school magazine Namchak on charges of incitement to split the country and encouraging students to participate in 'splittist' activities. Two other editors have been detained on similar charges.
Our source Kanyak Tsering, who currently lives in exile, named the four young adults arrested on March 17 as: Sonam Rinchen (19), son of Rindor and Tamdho from Dzoge District, Ngaba county; Yargye and Dakden, both from Ngaba District of Ngaba region; and Sonam Dhondup (18), son of Drugkhar and Wotruk from Dzoge county.
Sonam Rinchen and Yargye have both received two-year prison sentences.
Kanyak Tsering told the Tibet Post International that on March 17 the four editors, who were students at Bharkham High School, commemorated the 2008 pan-Tibet demonstrations, in which 224 lives Tibetans lost their lives. They also occasionally used the school magazine to publish articles about China's Tibet policy, which included comparison of the equalities and rights afforded to 'minority' and 'mainstream' citizens in China. No official statement has been issued by the Chinese authorities, and the exact location of the four detainees remains unknown.
Tibetan Writer Speaks Out on Tibet Crackdown and Kyigudo Quake
"I often lose my patience and tolerance when I was reacting to against China's harsh policies toward Tibetan people that aggravating the extremely tense situation in Tibet," said Mr. Gedun Tsering, (20), a Tibetan writer and former teacher from Serdeu Township, Marthang County of Amdho Ngaba region of Tibet (Ch: Changrig Tibet Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province), who recently took refuge in India. In the books, he and several other Tibetan writers have focused the facts and figures on China's continuous violence against the Tibetans inside Tibet.
Speaking to TPI about 'The Alive Eye', Tsering said, "countless Tibetans have lost their life by Struggling for Truth and Justice in Tibet during 2008 peaceful demonstrations in all parts of Tibet. He said ."We expressed how we were suffered, angered and hatred the Chinese authorities and failed to keep of our patience and tolerance toward those communist authorities who carried out widespread persecution and massacre of the Tibetans in their homeland."