Official Resolution of Solidarity
Since the year of 1959, the government of China has, boasting proud satisfaction in the accomplishments of its misdeeds, continued to churn out numerous kinds of propaganda claims which sought to make a virtue of its evil perpetrations, such as by claiming to have peacefully liberated Tibet. In particular, since the year 2008, when large-scale protests took place in all the three traditional provinces of Tibet, the government of China has persisted in resorting to implementing a policy of violent repression and intimidation, showing not an iota of interest to even listen to the demands of the Tibetan people. From whatever section of the Tibetan peopleliving across the land of Tibet peaceful calls to address their concerns were made – be it by abbots, lamas, geshes, and other monks and nuns; writers and artists; official and students; ordinary masses of Tibetan people such as farmers, herdsmen, and others – China invariably unleashed its police force known as the Public Security Bureau personnel, as well as the paramilitary People’s Armed Police Force personnel to launch a crackdown on them. These were accompanied by imprisonments, executions, beatings, enforced disappearances, and so on. In that way, the government of China has continued to trample on the basic human rights of the Tibetan people. The latest report from the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy shows that from the year 1991 until the 15th of September 2017, the government of China had taken away and detained a total of 5065 Tibetan people for alleged political offences. Of them, a total of some 1652 Tibetan political detainees had been put on trial and given sentences. Besides, there were a total of 2057 Tibetans whose whereabouts have remained unknown after they were detained, with their names having been not seen among those who were tried or in any other type of list.
Under its policy of imperialist expansion China has not only invaded and occupied Tibet but also continued, even to this day, to exert pressure and subject to harassment other neighbouring countries across their territorial borders as well. In particular, it bears mentioning that the dispute between China and India became all the more worse after it was found out in June this year that Chinese army personnel had begun to build a road into the Bhutanese border territory of Doklam. Besides, on the 15th of August this year, which happened to be the Independence Day of India, the Chinese army again made efforts to intrude into Indian territory over the latter’s Ladakh region. There has, in fact, been a succession of incidents in which troops from India and China faced off each other across their territorial borders following such intrusions over the issue of maintaining the peace and tranquillity in those areas. Before the annexation of the territory of Tibet by the government of China, there was no basis for any dispute and deployment of large bodies of troops on any border region between India and China.
In the annual report published in January 2017 by Freedom House, a human rights organization based in Washington, DC, capital of the United States of America, detailing the results of a survey of the situation in the different countries, it was revealed that of the 18 countries whose democracy score had dropped significantly, China was among those with the worst record of trampling on the human rights of its citizens. The survey also revealed that in terms of political freedom and civil liberties, the situation in Tibet under Chinese occupation rule was the worst possible on record. At the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva too, the United States of America, the European Union, Germany, Canada, France, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic strongly criticized the government of China for its record of gross violations of human rights. Likewise, more recently, Prince Zeid bin Ra’adZeid al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, raised the issue of human rights situation in Tibet during the 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Focusing especially on the cases of prominent Tibetan religious leader Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche who had died in Chinese prison and the Tibetan language rights activist TashiWangchuk, among others, he strongly highlighted the absence of human rights and religious freedom for the Tibetan people living under Chinese rule. To state it all briefly, there has never been even an iota of positive development so far in the rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of the Tibetan people. On the contrary, China even now continues to strengthen its restrictions on the human rights of the Tibetan people, and their freedoms of speech, press, internet activities and so on.
Likewise, due to coercive pressure and restrictions imposed by the government of China, information about many of the protests taking place in Tibet fails to reach the outside world. For example, on the 19th of August last year, a Tibetan nun named Tsering Dolma committed suicide in protest against the forced demolition of residences of monks and nuns being carried out by the government of China at the Serta Larung Gar Buddhist Academy. And although it was learnt that she had left behind a note explaining her decision to end her own life, the government of China applied pressure to publicize a false information which sought to suggest that the nun did not commit suicide but had died due to illness. Recently, about a year afterwards, the nun’s handwritten suicide note emerged to reach us and it said: “I feel greatly saddened in my heart, and the reason for that is the government of China is denying freedom even to those pursuing religious study. Even their tiny residences are being demolished without any second thought. It is better that I die.” Likewise, on the 8th of August this year, the government of China began to carry out at the Ogyen Samtenling Choegar located in Palyul County of the so-called Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, the work of demolishing at its Yachen Gar Buddhist Centre a total of about 2000 residences of monks and nuns and expelling a total of about 2000 monks and nuns to be carried out within this year. And we have come to learn that the government of China has been harassing the Yachen Gar Buddhist Centre over the past several years, putting the religious centre in a multitude of serious troubles. The Chinese government had already recorded the details of the registration and other kinds of identity documents of the resident monks and nuns. And with that list in hand, it had, from about the 10th of August, ordered the monks and nuns at the religious centre to carry out the demolition of their own residences and to clean up the area. As regards the bigger residences and those built with cement work, which were difficult to pull down, the Chinese government has sent in its own demolition teams whose work has resulted in injuries to residents. One of such injured residents that we have come to know about is said to be a nun. This year, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of the United States of America,when releasing his government’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2016, included China among the countries of the world with the worst record of lack of respect for religious freedom. And he strongly emphasized the point that in Tibet and other regions the government of China not only deprived the people of their religious freedom but also carried out all sorts of campaigns such as “love the nation, love your religion” as means to persecute them.
In the morning of the 24th of August 2017, a group of Tibetans,who were residents of Gangrong Village in Tsogo Township of Draggo County in the so-called Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, went to the nearby hilltop to perform incense-leaf burning religious ceremony and afterwards went for a picnic on a village land. And while picnicking there, a group of more than 30 county police personnel arrived at the place, surrounded them, and proceeded to check their identity papers one by one. And without providing any such thing as an explanation for their doing so, the police personnel went on a spree of indiscriminate beating of the Tibetan people with brutal force. Some 10 Tibetans were seriously injured. Among them was an around 70-year-old man named SonamTobdenthe seriousness of whose head injury warranted taking him to the provincial capital Chengdu for intensive care treatment. Besides, another man suffered broken ribs. He and the other seriously injured Tibetans had to be taken to the Draggo County hospital for urgent medical care. Likewise, in Kham Dragyab, Tibetans were subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention. Also, in the three counties of Drachen, Sog and Driru in the eastern part of Nagchu Prefecture, which were already under severe clampdown from earlier incidents, Tibetans were forced to celebrate China’s national army day of 1stOctober. An order was issued mandating that the Tibetan people wear festive costumes made from furs of wild animals during the celebration parade events.
Tibet is being referred to as the world’s third pole for its glacial geography and as a source of major river systems. However, today, China has built railways and all sorts of dams over its rivers, resulting in grossly disproportionate damage to the natural environment and this is becoming ever more glaring day by day, a fact explained by the research scholars in the concerned fields. In addition, Tibet’s natural environment is also being constantly devastated beyond all measures of sustainability by China’s ongoing destructive plundering that includes the extraction of its mineral ores and clearing of its forests for their timber resources. In this milieu China has been engaging in transporting coal and setting up aluminium plants, and numerous kinds of despicable fishing works in the neighbourhood of the Qinghai Lake. To put it all simply, these large numbers of industrial establishments dump their waste discharges into the Qinghai Lake, inflicting unbearably serious harm on the local people inhabiting the lake’s vicinity.
These days China is implementing in Tibet a campaign called “Education Activities with Special Focus on Implementing the Four Emphases and Four Loves”. These consist of emphasis on showing gratitude and loyalty to the Communist Party of China, emphasis on unity, emphasis on what one can contribute, emphasis on knowledge, and, likewise, love for the core (meaning the Communist Party of China and its top leader Xi Jinping), love for the motherland, love for one’s family, and love for one’s livelihood. The focus of this campaign is to familiarize the general masses of Tibetan farmers and nomads, those in schools and among monks and nuns in the monasteries and nunneries throughout Tibet with the communist Chinese ideology of so-called safeguarding the unity of the motherland. Its only aim is to thereby safeguard the ranks and privileges of those wielding the dictatorial powers. The flip side of this is that the situation in Tibet is such that it is plunged in total darkness with its people being denied any enjoyment of all human rights both in thought and action.
In particular, since the protest self-immolation by monk Tabey-la on the 27th of February in 2009, until the 18th of May this year, when 24-year-old Jamyang Losel-la of Chentsa Dzong in Domey died after he carried out a protest by immolating himself, there have been a total of 149 known and fully verified such cases of fiery protests by Tibetans in Tibet which included both males and females from the religious and as well as lay communities. Among them, a total of 127 protesters succumbed to their burns. And with regard to 22 other such protesters, it remains impossible to get any information, including even on the question whether they survived or died. To sum it all up, since the last session of the 16thTibetan parliament in exile held its third session, a total of four Tibetans have carried out protest self-immolations in Tibet. Elsewhere, Tibetans living in exile too have been relentless in carrying out peaceful protests of numerous kinds, condemning China for its occupation rule in their homeland and for its hardline policy of violent repression over the territory of Tibet. In particular, there have also been peaceful protests through the method of self-immolations with rising frequency among Tibetans living in exile as well. Just recently, on the 14th of July this year, Mr Tenzin Choeying, an Uttar-Madhyama class student at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Varanasi, and on the 29th of July in 2017, Dhondup Denub, a staff in the wood-painting section of the NorbuLingka Institute near Dharamsala, immolated themselves with raising of slogans of freedom for the fundamental cause of the Tibetan people. These show with utmost clarity that it is impossible for the Tibetan issue to be ever given up so long as the just cause of Tibet remains unfulfilled. There have in fact, thus far been 10 cases of protest self-immolations carried out by Tibetans living in exile. Within Tibet, a section of the people who had carried out protest self-immolations survived. Some of them were forcibly taken away at that time by the paramilitary Chinese people’s Armed Police Force personnel and the army personnel to be tried and sentenced. Among such persons, monks Lobsang Gyatso-la, Lobsang Kelsang-la and Lobsang Kochog-la of Kirti Monastery were released this year after completing their sentences. However, it turned out that monk Lobsang Konchog-la had come out with his right leg amputated. However, apart from that, it has not yet been possible to find out with any degree of clarity about the torture and beating the three had been subjected to during the period of their imprisonment and what health conditions they were in after their release. Because of it we request that there be efforts to find out about the health conditions of these three Tibetans as well as interest and attention towards trying to seek medical care for them abroad. And we remain emphatic that the government of China too should take responsibility for the health conditions of these Tibetan survivors of protest self-immolations. With all these in mind, this fourth session of the 16th Tibetan parliament in exile sees it as important to adopt an official resolution of solidarity.
The Tibetan parliament in exile expresses admiration for the courage and determination of the patriotic men and women of heroism in Tibet who have sacrificed their all – their very lives and all conditions for their full enjoyment – for the fundamental cause of Tibet and fellow-Tibetans and, with a sense of solidarity, offer condolences to their surviving family members and dependents. And we pray that on the basis of their devotion to the supreme Bodhisattva Chenresig such of the patriotic men and women of heroism who have died may be reborn forthwith in the Snowland of Tibet. We also pray that Tibetans who continue to suffer torture and persecution under the repression and confinement of the government of China may win their freedom in all speediness. And we remind all Tibetans to take greater responsibility than ever before towards seeking the realization of the agonized calls, last testaments and demands of those fellow-Tibetans.
The Tibetan parliament in exile would like to express gratitude to the United Nation, the United Nations Human rights Council, human rights organizations like the Amnesty International, governments, parliaments, political leaders of nations, non-governmental organizations and private individuals for every possible help and support they have rendered and continue to render to Tibet and the Tibetan people. And we appeal to them to still keep making efforts to win speedy release for the Tibetan people who continue to suffer torture and ill-treatment under the oppressive rule of China, to drive home the point that the government of China should take responsibility for the health conditions of the Tibetan people they have already released from prison. In addition, we appeal to them to make every possible effort and lend ever greater support for the protection of those Tibetans people.
The Tibetan parliament in exile demands that the government of China release forthwith all Tibetan political prisoners – with His Eminence the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima at the centre of it all – who had been arrested and imprisoned for alleged political offences, and to emphatically follow it up with granting to the Tibetan people all the generally recognized human rights enjoyed by people across the world and as enshrined in international law. To sum it all up, the government of China should forthwith put to an end its policy of violent repression and brutality under which it carries out a large scale transfer into Tibet of its own Chinese population to occupy the territory and in connection with which it tramples on the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people, destroys their religious freedom, devastates their natural environment, brings ruination to their study, use and perpetuation of their linguistic heritage, controls to constrict their freedom in the day to day conduct of their routine affairs, and so on.
The Tibetan parliament in exile is cognizant of the fact that in an effort to realize the implementation of genuine ethnic nationality autonomy for the whole of Tibet on the basis of its mutually beneficial middle way policy, the Central Tibetan Administration continues to strive to bring about talks between representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the government of China. We accordingly call on the leadership of the government of China to firmly bear in mind the overall question of Tibet, adopt an open-minded approach, and forthwith establish contact for this purpose. And we accordingly call on the leaders of China to take the responsibility to change their policy of violent repression and brutality in Tibet during the soon to be held 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China.
In order that they may gain an appreciative understanding of the seriousness of the situation and true information on Tibet as at present with a view to solve its real problems, the Tibetan parliament in exile calls on impartial, independent monitoring organizations and, in particular, the United Nation to investigate the situationand thereby bring pressure on the government of China in an effort to ensure respect for the human rights of the Tibetan people like in the case of the people in other parts of the world.
The Tibetan parliament in exile admires and compliments the President of the African country of Botswana who recently said, with utmost pride and resolve, and without any trace of fear of the pressure being exerted by China, that he would in future invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his country again. Likewise, India and other countries have, in a show of high esteem and consideration for the entirety of his noble deeds, extended invitations to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the general masses of people in those countries have greatly benefited from them in the day to day conduct of their life through his messages of peace, compassion and kindness, tolerance and so on. Accordingly, it is our conviction that foreign countries should be able to extend invitations to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in disregard of the economic pressure being brought to bear on them by the government of China.
The Tibetan parliament in exile would like to express gratitude to countries across the world that are hosting Tibetan refugee communities, especially to the people as well as the central and state governments of India,for their help and support for Tibet and the Tibetan people in all kinds of ways by all means. Including the Central Tibetan Administration, all Tibetans in exile, whether as members of governmental and non-governmental bodies, the members of the Tibetan parliament in exile, and so on, should, at each individual level, shoulder the responsibility to strive to the best of one’s ability and strength to ensure that the sacrifices made by the Tibetan people in Tibet do not go in vain. It is as a reminder as well as an undertaking to carry out these that the Tibetan parliament in exile is unanimous in adopting this resolution.
Adopted by the Tibetan parliament in exile on this the 19th of September 2017
The above resolution was unanimously adopted by the 16th Tibetan parliament in exile at its 4th session on the 19th of September 2017.
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NOTE: In case of any discrepancy between this English translation and its Tibetan original, the latter should be taken as authoritative and final.