On this new episode of China Uncensored, Chris Chappell tells how the communist-authoritarian regime in China is pushing Tibetan propaganda on unsuspecting American citizens in US public libraries. He noticed that "It's just one more front in the Chinese Communist Party's battle of the mind."
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Will there ever be a free Tibet? After decades of cultural genocide, religious persecution, murder, and disappearances, tensions between China and Tibetans are boiling. On an other previous episode of China Uncensored, titled: "Why There is No Free Tibet", Chris Chappell tells the bloodstained history of modern Tibet, from the invasion by the Chinese Communist Party in 1950, to the exile of the Dalai Lama, the questionable death of the Panchen Lama, riot after riot, protest after protest, a flood of immigration from Han and Hui Chinese ethnicities, even to the Chinese regime's decision to ban reincarnation without government permission. And with over one hundred self-immolation since 2009, what does the future hold for Tibet.
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Dharamshala, India — Dr Lobsang Sangay, the president of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) sends a reassuring message to Tibetans inside Tibet on 5th February, 2020. He expresses strongly that all will be able to overcome this new endemic soon.
With the current outbreak of Coronavirus in China which consequently affected the world population and the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring global public health emergency on 30th January 2020. Tibetans inside Tibet are at critical risk with poor medical equipment under the Chinese authority when a case of the Coronavirus surfaces.
Sikyong emphasizes in his message that Tibetans inside Tibet must feel anxious and uneasy. It will be very tense at the time of the ongoing of the Virus but surely it will calm down and diminish very soon, he assures. The elected president asks the people to take care and follow strictly the steps of precautions set by the experts. He also adds that he is praying for the wellbeing of the Tibetans inside Tibet and those infected by the virus in China.
As recommended by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tibetan Buddhist monasteries of various traditions across India and worldwide have been observing mass prayers to pacify the physical and mental pain suffered by the Tibetans inside Tibet, Chinese brothers and sisters and people worldwide and prayers for China to be able to tackle against this eroding epidemic, he stresses.
With over 31,400 official reports of Coronavirus affected cases worldwide, Tibetans inside Tibet are doing their part to fight against this Wuhan virus. Tibetans advised themselves to avoid large public gatherings. Distribution of masks and handy medical aids are made available among the population in Tibet by volunteered Tibetan monks and laypeople. Monasteries are closed for visitation for public safety and Tibetans voluntarily blocking roads as the Chinese Authorities haven’t taken steps to help control the transportation of people from outside Tibet initially. The Chinese authorities banned all airlines from Wuhan traveling to the rest of the world except the en route to Tso-Ngon in Amdo, East western province of Tibet (Ch; Qinghai) and Lhasa (the capital city of Tibet).
Washington DC — Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday afternoon to update the 2002 Tibetan Policy Act, the latest in a series of congressional moves to strengthen America's stance towards the communist-authoritarian regime in China.
The Tibet Policy and Support Act, introduced by Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, alongside a bipartisan roster of cosponsors, passed with an overwhelming vote of 392-22.
The legislation would establish as US policy that the succession of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, including a future 15th Dalai Lama, be left solely to the Tibetan Buddhist community, without interference from the Chinese government.
The bill states that if Chinese officials interfere in the process of recognizing a successor or reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, they will be subject to sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act. It also calls for the establishment of a US consulate in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
The ongoing repression and occupation of Tibet is an international issue. "It should be clear that we support a positive and productive US-China relationship," McGovern said ahead of the vote. "But it is essential that human rights of all the people in China are respected by their government."
On the House Floor, McGovern says his bill “reaffirms America’s commitment to the idea that human rights matter.”
Video of McGovern’s remarks on the House Floor shortly before passage (YouTube)
Full Text of the Bill (PDF)
On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representative passed, by a vote of 392 to 22, a bipartisan bill introduced by Congressman James P. McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, to update and strengthen the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 and address the ongoing oppression of the Tibetan people by the Chinese government.
In the seventeen years since the original Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 was signed into law as part of the FY2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act (P.L. 107-228), the human rights situation in Tibet has gotten considerably worse.
The Chinese government refuses a dialogue with Tibetan leaders. Chinese officials continue to threaten the religious freedom of Tibetans to select Buddhist leaders, including a future 15th Dalai Lama – in clear violation of China’s international obligations to protect religious freedom. The policies of the Chinese government have severely degraded Tibetan religion, culture, language, livelihoods, and the environment.
Key Quotes from Chairman McGovern’s remarks on the House Floor shortly before the bill’s passage:
- “Our bill updates and strengthens the Tibetan Policy Act of 2002 to address the challenges facing the Tibetan people. But perhaps as importantly, it reaffirms America’s commitment to the idea that human rights matter. That we care about those who are oppressed, and we stand with those who are struggling for freedom. That we have a moral obligation to do something when we see something that is not right.”
- “It should be clear that we support a positive and productive U.S-China relationship but it is essential that the human rights of all the people of China are respected by their government.”
- “Unfortunately, the human rights situation in Tibet has gotten much worse. The Chinese government has refused to enter into genuine dialogue with Tibetan leaders. Restrictions on access to Tibet, for both Tibetans and foreigners, have been tightened. International journalists have stated that the isolation of Tibet is as bad as North Korea, allowing human rights abuses and environmental degradation to be concealed from the outside world.
- “Last year, the Congress passed the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act to demand that American journalists, diplomats, and tourists be given the same freedom to travel to Tibet that Chinese officials have to travel freely in America. I hope to see a report from the State Department, that was due in December, describing the steps the Administration has taken to implement this policy over the last year.”
- “The Dalai Lama should be commended for his decision to devolve political authority to elected leaders. The Tibetan exile community is also to be commended for adopting a system of self-governance with democratic institutions to choose their own leaders including holding multiple “free and fair” elections to select its parliament and chief executive.”
- “Standing together, the American people will remain steadfast partners of the Tibetan people.”
If passed by the Senate and signed into law by the president, Chairman McGovern’s bill would:
- Establish as U.S. policy that the succession or reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, including a future 15th Dalai Lama, is an exclusively religious matter that should be decided solely by the Tibetan Buddhist community.
- Send a clear message that Chinese officials who interfere in the succession or reincarnation process will be subject to targeted financial, economic, and visa-related sanctions, including those contained in the Global Magnitsky Act.
- Strengthen the role of the State Department Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues by including a mandate to work multilaterally to promote a genuine dialogue.
- Mandate that no new Chinese consulates should be established in the United States until a U.S. consulate is established in Tibet’s historical capital of Lhasa.
- Direct the State Department to begin collaborative, multinational efforts to protect the environment and water resources of the Tibetan Plateau. Support democratic governance in the Tibetan exile community.
Bodhgaya, India — The Nobel Peace Laureate, His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke about "Secular Ethics and Universal Responsibility" during a teleconference with Chinese and Tibetan students in New York from his residence at the Tibetan Monastery in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India on January 11, 2020.
Tibetan Youth Congress President Gonpo Dhundup along with other 14 TYC members have been detained by Indian police from the airport and Indo-China bilateral Summit venue just before Xi Jinping's arrival in India, on Friday, October 11, 2019.
Sources said TYC President and other five activists have been taken to Guindy Police Station. Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi who arrived in Chennai Friday morning was received by top Tamil Nadu officials at the airport. Modi had tweeted.Xi will land in Chennai later in the afternoon, and will proceed to Mahabalipuram, 50 km away, amid tight security.
Some of the Tibetan Youth Congress members holding their national flags and banners reading "free Tibet", Tibet Burning" and "Enough China," staging peaceful protests near Mamallapuram, Indo-China Summit venue and but they were later detained by the Indian police.
TYC General Secretary, Sonam Tsering said that the police had arrested 15 of his group’s members as they waited for the Chinese leader’s entourage in Chennai. “Initially, we tried to wait until Xi arrived at his hotel, but six of us were detained there, while police arrested six of our other Tibetan youth protesters from where they waited at the airport exit,” he stressed.
“We have three other protesters who were to demonstrate ahead of Xi’s arrival at the airport, but they were also arrested moments ago.” A short video clip shows Dhundup shouted slogans such as "Free Tibet" and “We want freedom,” as he was “wrestled away by a group of policemen” and taken away in a waiting autorickshaw.
Earlier on Friday, TYC issued a press statement saying it “strongly condemns” Chinese President Xi’s visit following China’s celebration of the 70th anniversary of Communist rule on October. 1, which is called recognition of “70 years of oppression and aggression against the people of Tibet.”
The statement also urged Indian Prime Minister Modi to take up the issue of Tibet with Xi during their informal summit and called on the Indian government to release TYC cultural secretary Yeshi Chomphel, Students for a Free Tibet-India national director Rinzin Choedon, and prominent Tibetan activist Tenzin Tsundue, along with Tibetan students who are being held by police prior to Xi’s arrival.
“We also urge the Indian government for the quick release of TYC President Gonpo Dhondup along with 11 students members of RTYC Bangalore who were arrested today just before the president Xi Jinping’s arrival at the summit venue,” the statement said.
On Sunday, October 6, Police have detained nine Tibetan activists for organising a protest, days ahead of a planned visit by President Xi to hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi. Tibetan protesters are the Members of Tibetan Students Association of Madras (TSAM), Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), and Students for a Free Tibet (SFT).
The Chinese Communist totalitarian regime (PRC) began their invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's illegal invasion and ruthless occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.