London — Chairman of the three major political parties in the UK and Conservative ex-minister Tim Loughton stood up in the House of Commons to speak for Tibet issues, by presenting the Tibet (Reciprocal Access) Bill, which would require an annual report to Parliament on the restrictions imposed on UK nationals visiting Tibet, and allowing those involved in imposing such restrictions to be denied permission to enter the UK.
On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, introducing the Ten Minute Rule Bill, the Conservative ex-minister Tim Loughton called on the UK government to replicate the US success of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.
“It may seem like a remote issue - but it’s an important principle for human rights of minorities throughout the world, and the Tibetans have suffered for far too long,” Loughton said.
"As Chairman of the APPG on Tibet, I have just presented a ‘Ten Minute Rule Bill’, which aims to emulate the ‘Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act’ that passed through the US Congress with cross-party support," he added.
The President of the Tibetan government in-Exile, Dr Losabg Sangay recently referenced the Freedom House report that ranked Tibet as the least free country in the world behind Syria for consecutive years and called on the UK government to replicate the US success of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.
The communist-totalitatarian regime in China recently imposed agressive and repressive policy to restrict access to Tibet for independent observers in order to maintain an iron grip in the region while at the same time avoiding any form of external scrutiny.
The routinely blocks access to Tibet for foreign journalists, NGOs, diplomats and foreign citizens of Tibetan heritage. Freedom House, an independent think tank that monitors and ranks annually the level of freedom and democracy globally, ranked Tibet again this year as the second least free region of the world, behind only Syria.
At the end of 2018, the US Congress passed the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which calls for access to Tibet for American officials, journalists and tourists on par with the access their Chinese counterparts have to the US.
The Tibetan government in-Exile has repeatedly urged Chinese authorities to put an end to the closure and isolation of the Tibet, to guarantee the fundamental freedoms of all Tibetans and to allow unfettered access to Tibet. They also call on the United States to fully implement the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act and to hold accountable the Chinese officials responsible for blocking access to Tibet.
'China continues to remain as the world’s worst abuser of press freedom and jails the largest number of journalists in its prisons,' Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on July 13, 2019, adding 'China remains “the world’s largest prison for journalists”: Reporters without Borders'.
In its newly released 2019 World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders evaluated 180 countries in terms of journalistic freedom and the degree to which governments across the world censor their own press. China is ranked 177th, with only Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan ranked worse.
Dharamshala, India — His Holiness the Dalai Lama explains the importance of warm-heartedness and intelligence in answer to a question from a young girl at his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on June 10, 2019.
Dharamshala, India — Explaining "unsurpassed enlightenment is the goal you seek when you generate the awakening mind," the spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that "we need to understand that we are seeking to attain a state in which all defilements and faults have been eliminated and in which perfect realization—omniscience—has been achieved."
The ‘Heart Sutra’ was recited three times in the languages of the Buddhist Republics of the Russian Federation, Kalmykia, Buryatia and Tuva. Once His Holiness the Dalai Lama had arrived the Main Temple Sunday morning, May 12, 2019, greeted the eminent Lamas and the audience and taken his seat on the throne, the ‘Heart Sutra’ was chanted once more in Russian.
“So to conclude this series of teachings, today we’ll conduct a ceremony for generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta,” His Holiness announced. “As far as the awakening mind is concerned we need to understand that we are seeking to attain a state in which all defilements and faults have been eliminated and in which perfect realization—omniscience—has been achieved. Unsurpassed enlightenment is the goal you seek when you generate the awakening mind. You aspire to become a Buddha for the benefit of all sentient beings.
“In terms of practice, compassion is important in the beginning, middle and end. The ‘Prayer of Maitreya’ states that bodhichitta is the factor that leads you away from the lower realms, to higher realms and finally to that deathless state where you are free from aging and death. Since the time of the Buddha, the great Indian masters who followed him cultivated bodhichitta. This is why we refer to the Buddha as the teacher, the Dharma as the actual refuge and the Sangha, like Nagarjuna and so forth, as companions on the path to enlightenment.
“To achieve Buddhahood we also need to realize emptiness. The Middle Way propounded by Nagarjuna is important, so much so that Bhavaviveka criticized what he called Asanga’s and Vasubandhu’s recklessness in neglecting to accept and follow it. However, if we only read Nagarjuna, we won’t reach a very deep understanding. Addressing the challenges posed by other points of view has the effect of broadening and enriching our sense of discernment. Studying a variety of treatises has a clarifying effect.”
His Holiness explained that to conduct the ceremony for generating the awakening mind you can follow the extensive rite described in Asanga’s work the ‘Bodhisattva Grounds’, or the shorter version in Shantideva’s ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’. He suggested that today he would use the verses that begin, ‘With a wish to free all beings ...’
He observed that the Buddha is someone who has travelled the path and teaches from his own experience how to overcome afflictive emotions, ignorance and their residual stains. By following his teaching we can eliminate all mental defilements, because of which he can be seen as the highest teacher.
His Holiness called on the audience to imagine the Buddha in the space before them as a living person surrounded by his Eight Close Disciples, Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and so forth; the Seven Patriarchs like Kashyapa who came after him; the Seventeen Nalanda Masters, Nagarjuna and Asanga and their followers; the 84 Great Adepts (Mahasiddhas) such as Saraha and so forth.
His Holiness digressed to mention the distinction drawn by an 18th century Lama called Nyengön Sungrab between teachings that constitute the general structure of Buddhism and specialized teachings. Teachings belonging to the Sutras and works like Nagarjuna’s ‘Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way’ constitute the general structure that anyone can follow. Tantras, such as Kalachakra, that involve working with channels, winds and drops are specialized teachings intended for specific disciples.
Continuing to describe those imagined gathered around the Buddha His Holiness mentioned Tibetan masters as well as their Indian mentors: Nyingma masters like the 25 disciples of Guru Padmasambhava; Sakya masters of the LamDre tradition; masters belonging to the three Kadampa lineages; masters from the four major and eight minor Kagyu traditions and masters of the Renewed Kadampa tradition, the Gandenpas, Jé Tsongkhapa and his disciples.
“These figures are role models for us in terms of practice of the profound and extensive paths. Taking them as witness to your generating the awakening mind of bodhichitta you generate much merit and wholesome energy.
“We have to make bodhichitta our main practice. When I was about 13 years old, with Ngodup Tsognyi’s active encouragement, I took great interest in emptiness, but bodhichitta seemed remote to me. However, after I came into exile and especially after I received an explanation of ‘Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life’ from Khunu Lama Rinpoché, I began to integrate bodhichitta into my practice. Over time, as a result of effort, it has become close to me. You should do the same. Generate bodhichitta, pursue the practice and what happened to me can happen to you.”
His Holiness asked the congregation to kneel on their right knees and, keeping the visualization he had described vividly before them, to recite the Seven Limb Prayer—prostration, offering, confession—taking the Buddha and so forth as witness, rejoicing in their manifest qualities, requesting them to teach, beseeching them not to pass into the state of peace, and dedication.
At the end His Holiness encouraged those gathered before him to recite these verses three times every day after they wake in the morning and three times again in the evening. He explained how cultivating bodhichitta and setting an aspiration for enlightenment at the beginning can set the tone for the whole day, enabling you to spend your time meaningfully in the service of others. Then, at the end of the day, you’ll be happy to dedicate the virtue for the benefit of all.
Dharamshala, India — Tibet Post International recently has conducted an exclusive interview with President of the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest and most active exile Tibetan organisation, based in Dharamshala, Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
In the interview with President Tenzing Jigme in Dharamshala, India, reporter from the Tibet Post International Nikhil Kujur asked about TYC's contributions toward Tibetan community in-Exile and its potential role on independence struggle of Tibet.
Tibetan Youth Congress was formed in 1970, with the sole objective of restoring Tibet’s lost independence from the repressive Chinese communist rule. The organisation which claims over 30,000 strong members under its 85 regional chapters in 12 countries around the world, has organized some of the most dramatic “Free Tibet” protests over past 50 years, often targeting Chinese embassies and consulates in different parts of the world.
Tibet was forcefully occupied by China after Communist Chinese troops marched into Tibet in late 1949. The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959 amidst a mass Tibetan uprising on 10 March in Lhasa against Communist China's continuing presence in Tibet.
Click on the links below to find out more about the exiled NGO.
Dharamshala, India — The Clean Upper Dharamsala Project (CUDP) is an anitiative launched by the Tibetan Settlement Office in McLeod Ganj of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, India, that operates the solid waste management scheme for Upper Dharamsala while aiming a more sustainable future and a cleaner environment in Upper Dharamsala.
Upper Dharamsala is a hill station in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Green forests surround the little towns with the snow-covered Dauladar Himalayan range towering above. The arrival of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1960 had revitalized the area which virtually abandoned after a catastrophic earthquake in 1905. Since then, Upper Dharamsala has been the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
In an interview with Ngawang Sonam, environmental officer at Tibetan Settlement Office in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176219, India, reporters from the Tibet Post International Nikhil Kujur and Kalsang Choetso asked about human rights situation in Tibet.
According to the office, the Mcleod Ganj is the largest town,Upper Dharamsala also includes the communities of Gangchen Kyishong, Jogibara, Gamru, Heru, Bhagsu, Dharamkot and Naddi. At any given time, the area is home to 2000-3000 recently arrived refugees from Tibet as well as about 2000-3000 Tibetan monks from the Settlements.
Additionally, there are tourists waiting to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama, listen to his teachings, and to explore Tibetan culture and Buddhism. Consequently, the area has become a popular destination for tourists from throughout India and the world. Today there is 20,000 -25,000 population in the area.
The CUDP is the branch of the Tibetan Settlement Office, that reportedly operates the solid waste management scheme for Upper Dharamsala. The initiatives include a recycling programme with a "Paper-Recycling Workshop", a "Environmental Education and Awareness Programme", as well as the "Green Shop" which sells eco friendly products. CUDP says it has a total of 40 employees under the project.
Click on the links below to find out more about the exiled NGO.