Tibet Society has written to >1000 #GE2017 candidates to #VoteTibet2017 Pls Support & Donate Today

Tibet Society is funded by donations. Support #VoteTibet2017 Please Donate Today http://www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/607/#donate 

Tibet Society has written to over 1000 #GE2017 candidates to #VoteTibet2017 Pls

Please consider supporting our work, this is a snap election in the UK so our need is urgent. We are campaigning with #VoteTibet2017 We are doing this with committed volunteers and asking supporters to contact their prospective candidates. This is real grassroots activism.

If we had more money we could communicate our message more and mobilise more supporters … we would love to experiment with some social media advertising. £10 could help us reach 3000 more people using adverts on twitter or facebook.

Please click on our link and Donate via paypal – Please support Tibet Society and help us to keep Tibet alive! if you can. Please take action and join our campaign, if you can support us with money that is great, but please do take this chance to support Tibet!

The 2016 Brexit vote means a significant change in the relationship of the UK to the Chinese government. Trade will be the priority, Tibet will not.

The challenge for Tibet Society is therefore to see that in the new Parliament of 2017, Tibetans are not forgotten as they struggle to protect their culture, religious freedom, and fragile environment.

VOTE TIBET 2017 #VoteTibet2017

Tibet Society is calling on our members and supporters in the UK to help us gather pledges from parliamentary candidates to support human rights for Tibetans in Tibet.
Ask your General Election candidates to pledge support for Tibet. This is our opportunity to build parliamentary support for Tibet.
The candidate’s pledge
“I will use my position as an MP to support human rights for Tibetans in Tibet including the freedom to determine their own future.”
Take Action!
Find your parliamentary candidates (see https://whocanivotefor.co.uk/ )
Ask them to pledge support for Tibet via email, twitter or facebook
Let us know who has pledged – email us at info@tibetsociety.org and share on social media using #VoteTibet2017
If you need help identifying your candidates, message or email us.
#VoteTibet2017
Thank you ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ་།
https://www.facebook.com/VoteTibet/
https://twitter.com/votetibet   @votetibet
https://twitter.com/tibetsociety  @tibetsociety

#VoteTibet2017 #VoteTibet #TibetSociety #GE2017
#VoteTibet2017, #VoteTibet ,#TibetSociety ,#GE2017

 Donate to Tibet Society
Tibet Society is funded primarily by donations and memberships. Your support will help us to continue our work to end the plight of Tibetan people, through lobbying, campaigning and awareness-raising.

Please support Tibet Society and help us to keep Tibet alive!

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Take Action! Find your parliamentary candidates & Ask them to pledge support for Tibet via email, twitter or facebook

Tibet Society is funded by donations. Support #VoteTibet2017

Please Donate Today http://www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/607/#donate

#VoteTibet2017 #VoteTibet #TibetSociety #GE2017

vote_tibet_2017_twitter_02

Take Action!
Find your parliamentary candidates (see https://whocanivotefor.co.uk/ )
Ask them to pledge support for Tibet via email, twitter or facebook
Let us know who has pledged – email us at info@tibetsociety.org and share on social media using #VoteTibet2017
If you need help identifying your candidates, message or email us.

#VoteTibet2017
Thank you ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ་།
https://www.facebook.com/VoteTibet/
https://twitter.com/votetibet @votetibet
https://twitter.com/tibetsociety @tibetsociety

#VoteTibet2017 #VoteTibet #TibetSociety #GE2017

#VoteTibet2017 #VoteTibet #TibetSociety #GE2017

Take Action on #VoteTibet2017 Please Join Tibet Society or Donate Today ….

 

 

Tibet Society is funded by donations. Support #VoteTibet2017 Please Donate Today http://www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/607/#donate

Tibet Society has written to over 1000 #GE2017 candidates to #VoteTibet2017 Pls

Please consider supporting our work, this is a snap election in the UK so our need is urgent. We are campaigning with #VoteTibet2017 We are doing this with committed volunteers and asking supporters to contact their prospective candidates. This is real grassroots activism.

If we had more money we could communicate our message more and mobilise more supporters … we would love to experiment with some social media advertising. £10 could help us reach 3000 more people using adverts on twitter or facebook.

Please click on our link and Donate via paypal – Please support Tibet Society and help us to keep Tibet alive! if you can. Please take action and join our campaign, if you can support us with money that is great, but please do take this chance to support Tibet!

The 2016 Brexit vote means a significant change in the relationship of the UK to the Chinese government. Trade will be the priority, Tibet will not.

The challenge for Tibet Society is therefore to see that in the new Parliament of 2017, Tibetans are not forgotten as they struggle to protect their culture, religious freedom, and fragile environment.

VOTE TIBET 2017 #VoteTibet2017

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Tibetan rights activists Tashi Wangchuk’s UN Report & trial imminent – Lobby @BorisJohnson #Tibet

Tibetan rights activists Tashi Wangchuk’s UN Experts Communications Released – trial could happen imminently and he is looking at a sentence of 15 years.

In the United Kingdom, you can email Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk or tweet him @BorisJohnson

Tashi Wangchuk, from Yushu  ཡུལ་ཤུལ་གྲོང་ཁྱེར། 玉树市 in eastern Tibet. He was arrested after asking China’s authorities to ensure that the Tibetan language is taught throughout Tibet. China’s own constitution  guarantees that Tibetans have the right to use and develop their own languages.China has sharply scaled back the teaching of Tibetan in recent years, despite guarantees of cultural autonomy in the Tibetan regions.

 

UN Experts Communications Released on Tashi Wangchuk signed by UN Special Rapporteurs covering a range of mandates including on torture, human rights defenders, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, cultural and minority rights and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Tashi Wangchuk: Five Special Procedures mandate holders have expressed “serious concern at the arrest, the initial incommunicado detention and the continued detention of Tashi Wangchuk, as well as his limited right to counsel, the denial of presenting the evidence against him and the irregularities in the criminal investigation”.

The UN Experts also raise strong concern about the use of “separatist” charges against Tashi Wangchuk, and state that these charges “criminalize the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression and his defense of cultural rights”.

The experts’ statement on Tashi Wangchuk is available at: https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadPublicCommunicationFile?gId=22981

Tashi Wangchuk’s trial could happen imminently and he is looking at a possible sentence of 15 years; to take action:

In the United Kingdom, you can email Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk

 

Tibet Society is funded by donations. Support #VoteTibet2017 Please Donate Today http://www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/607/#donate 

Please click on our link and Donate via paypal – Please support Tibet Society and help us to keep Tibet alive! if you can. Please take action and join our campaign, if you can support us with money that is great, but please do take this chance to support Tibet!

 

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Tibet & middle-way? @Heritage Lobsang Sangay, Tibet’s Prime Minister on China & Tibetan People

Dr. Lobsang Sangay, President, Central Tibetan Administration

Tibet’s Prime Minister in Exile and an expert panel discussion on the way forward.

The Dalai Lama has long advocated a “middle way” – neither assimilation nor independence — in Tibet’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China.  It is an approach that has been endorsed by the U.S. government as the most promising framework in which to “support the aspirations of the Tibetan people to safeguard their distinct identity,” (in the words of the 2002 Tibet Policy Act) and maintain the U.S. position that Tibet is part of the PRC.  What is the future of the middle way approach?  What are the policy options for the United States?

 

One China Policy and the Middle Way Approach  of the Tibetan People http://www.heritage.org/asia/event/one-china-policy-and-the-middle-way-approach-the-tibetan-people via @Heritage

 

Lobsang_Sangay,_Tibetan_Prime_Minister

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My reincarnation can’t be born in place with no freedom: The Dalai Lama

dalai-lama-260517My reincarnation can’t be born in place with no freedom: The Dalai Lama

Asked if a world without organised violence is possible, Dalai Lama replied, “theoretically, it is possible.”

THE DALAI Lama has said that he will die in India, and his reincarnation cannot be recognised in an environment which does not have freedom — a clear reference to China. The topic of reincarnation has been a burning issue, since China considers the spiritual leader as a “splittist”, a charge denied by the 14th Dalai Lama.

Speaking at the Express Adda on Wednesday, the Dalai Lama held forth on a variety of questions — preservation of Tibetan culture, a world without violence, his commitment to vegetarianism (despite being a non-vegetarian for health reasons), the concept of analytical meditation, the relationship between religion and politics, and even, his thoughts on life on another planet.

For two-and-a-half hours on Wednesday afternoon, he captivated a packed hall and regaled the audience with his trademark humour. Asked about his reincarnation, he said, “If the situation remains like this, then I will die in this country.” While he said that it is not necessary for his reincarnation to be born in the country where he dies, he added that if the reincarnation is recognised in a place which does not have “freedom”, it would be impossible to accept that.

Asked about the future of the Dalai Lama as an institution, he said that “as early as in 1969”, he had stated that it was a decision which would have to be taken by his people. The 81-year-old, however, said that sometime back, they decided that when his age reaches around 90 years, they would have a “more serious discussion” on the issue.

Reiterating that the decision should be taken by his people, he quipped that the Chinese government was showing more seriousness. “The Chinese communists should first accept the concept of rebirth. Then communists should accept reincarnation. And then they have the moral connection to Dalai Lama’s reincarnation,” he said.

On the Chinese government describing him as a “splittist”, he denied the charge and said that he has not been seeking independence of Tibet from China since 1974. The Dalai Lama said the basic human nature is “compassion”, and people are usually against war. “People are fed up of violence,” he said, as they have “common interests”, rather than “national sovereignty”.

Asked if a world without organised violence is possible, he replied, “theoretically, it is possible.” He said he does not believe prayers bring about “peaceful society”, but the citizenry has to “work for it”. “If we meet Jesus Christ or Buddha and ask them to bring peace, they will ask us who created violence? It is human beings who have created it, they have to stop it. Work for peace… the easy thing to do is to pray,” he said.

Explaining the futility of reciting prayers without understanding their meaning, he said that the Tibetan mantra, “Om Mani Padme Hum”, when chanted in a hurry, sounds like “money, money, money…” The spiritual leader of Tibetans said he does “analytical meditation” where he can see the “whole picture”. He stressed the need to focus on “training of mind” during meditation. He also reiterated his commitment to preservation of Tibetan culture and language.

While he emphasised the importance of modern education, he said that education should include the value of compassion instead of only focussing on “material values”. “Maintain peace of mind, then face remains handsome,” he quipped. Replying to a question, he said while religion has the responsibility to instill “moral principles” in politics, the “institution of religion should be separate from the State”. He said that in India, people have been living in religious harmony for years, and he renewed his commitment to promote “religious harmony”.

Saying that he was leading a “retired life” since 2011, the Dalai Lama, when asked about America under President Donald Trump, said, “I love America… consider America as leading nation of the free world.” But, on Trump, he said that it is “too early to say” and he should better keep quiet. Describing Indian traditions as his “guru” and himself as the “chela” (disciple), he said the roles had reversed now.

Asked about his opinion on extra-terrestrial life, he said he feels that there is life beyond Earth, and it is difficult to accept that only Earth can have life in the entire universe. Asked if he was troubled by reports about a man tied to a jeep being used as a human shield or people being killed in the name of cow protection, the Dalai Lama said his “nature” is positive. But, he said, in a country of more than one billion, “there must be some mischievous people”, and added that media too has a responsibility.

He promoted “vegetarianism”, although he admitted that he was a “non-vegetarian” because of health reasons. The Dalai Lama was in conversation with The Indian Express’s Executive Director Anant Goenka and National Opinion Editor Vandita Mishra. Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change.

Guests at the event in the past include Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, filmmaker Karan Johar, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Niti Aayog Vice Chairperson Arvind Panagariya, writer Amitav Ghosh, cricketer Rohit Sharma, economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and, most recently, actor Saif Ali Khan.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/dalai-lama-tibet-my-reincarnation-cant-be-born-in-place-with-no-freedom-express-adda-4674082/

Tibet Society is helping to get the truth out of Tibet and encouraging people to stand with Tibetans. Please support our work.  http://www.tibetsociety.com/content/view/607/35/

 

 

 

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Satellite photos at #Lhasa Airport in occupied #Tibet show #China ’s J-11 fighter jets. (Lhasa Gonggar Airport ལྷ་ས་གོང་དཀར་གནམ་གྲུ་ཐང་ 拉萨贡嘎机场 )

Lhasa Gonggar Airport ལྷ་ས་གོང་དཀར་གནམ་གྲུ་ཐང་ 拉萨贡嘎机场

Satellite photos at #Lhasa Airport in occupied #Tibet show #China ’s J-11 fighter jets.

(Lhasa Gonggar Airport ལྷ་ས་གོང་དཀར་གནམ་གྲུ་ཐང་ 拉萨贡嘎机场 )

Despite the absence of any insurgencies there is continued expansion of militarization across Tibetan plateau, including a ‘counter-terrorism’ drive. The photos also appear to show new #SAM Surface to Air Missiles.

In the coming years China may narrow the gap with the US & Russia in terms of strategic nuclear capabilities. Beijing’s recent flight tests of advanced DF-5C intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) is likely to change the rules of the game in the Asian-Pacific region.

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force fighter aircraft is an upgraded version of copies of the Russian-made Sukhoi Su-27. Manufactured by the Chinese company, Shenyang Aircraft Corp, it reportedly incorporates the J-16’s advanced  Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.

 

J-11 fighter jets Armament:
Guns: 1× 30 mm (1.18 in) cannon
Missiles x 10: 2 under fuselage, 2 under air ducts, 4 under wings, 2 on wingtips  and to carry combinations of Missiles including radar-guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles
Rockets: Unguided rocket launcher
Bombs: Free-fall cluster bombs

 

Lhasa Gonggar Airport (Chinese: 拉萨贡嘎机场, Standard Tibetan: ལྷ་ས་གོང་དཀར་གནམ་གྲུ་ཐང་; IATA: LXA, ICAO: ZULS) is the airport serving Lhasa, the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is about 62 kilometres (39 mi) southwest of the city in Gonggar County of Shannan. The airport is close to the road to Tsetang, the seat of Nêdong District and the capital of Shannan. At an elevation of 3,570 metres (11,710 ft), Lhasa Airport is one of the highest in the world. It was built in 1965, a second runway was built in 1994

 

Tibet Society is helping to get the truth out of Tibet and encouraging people to stand with Tibetans. Please support our work.

#TibetSociety @tibetsociety #China #shenyang #j11 #fighteraircraft #WMD #FreeTibet

 

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Yak brings Tibet message to London on his bike

A Tibetan nomad completes his solo cycling tour of 13 European countries – covering over 5000 miles, and then leaves for Japan to further his mission to highlight China’s abuse of human rights in his homelands.

Image

Rinpo Yak with Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington North

[London, 13 August 2013] He is 42, father of two young teenagers. He says he is in good health and loves cycling. Since 2000, Rinpo Yak has cycled across 44 of the 50 states in the US – covering over 8,400 miles. In March this year, coinciding with the anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising, Yak set out his latest global solo cycling tour from Brussels, the European Union’s Headquarters.

Since 2009, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) of Amdo Province in eastern Tibet has witnessed the largest number of Tibetans resorting to self-immolations in protest of Chinese government’s misguided policy on Tibet. Showing solidarity with his brethren in Tibet, Yak said,

Image

Rinpo Yak with Amnesty International HQ officials (Wednesday 7th August)

“I am a Tibetan from Ngaba. I have been living in the US with my family since 1998 after fleeing Tibet into Nepal the year before. My main mission for undertaking this global cycling tour is to raise the deplorable condition of human rights in Tibet whilst carrying the messages of over 120 self-immolated Tibetans, who died calling for freedom and the return of our Spiritual Leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to the international community.”

In Europe, Yak cycled across 13 countries where he met with over 120 public figures such as parliamentarians, government officials and human rights advocates. Yak arrived in Britain two weeks ago after cycling across Europe, including Belgium, France, Germany, Norway, Holland, Spain and Italy. London was the final stop in his European leg of the cycling tour, where he had meetings with government officials, parliamentarian and NGOs representatives. In addition to media interviews, Yak also met with local Tibetan communities and Tibet support groups across Europe.

On his arrival in the British capital on 2 August, Yak gave a live interview with Washington-based Voice of America’s (VOA) Tibetan Language programme from their London studio. Yak said that the European countries were showing overwhelming support and solidarity with the Tibetan people, and the public figures he met with were also candid about the growing influence of China’s economic power, indicating clear challenges to the Tibetan struggle in the years ahead.

Honouring Yak’s arrival, Thubten Samdup, London-based Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and members of Tibetan Community in Britain hosted a cordial reception at The Office of Tibet. They applauded Yak’s individual initiative for the Tibetan cause, which was very inspiring and motivating.

Yak then took part in the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle festival on the following day, which organisers estimated some 50,000 cyclists joined in the streets of London. Yak stood out from the cyclists as he was flying Tibetan national flag on his bike!

During the week, Yak participated in an action protest jointly organised by Free Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet outside the InterContinental Westminster Hotel in central London. The two leading Tibet groups have been urging the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) to withdraw from their involvements in ‘The InterContinental Resort Lhasa Paradise’, which is opening soon in Lhasa. The Tibet campaigning groups maintain that the IHG presence and its naming of the hotel as the “Lhasa Paradise” is a ‘propaganda gift to the Chinese regime’ which is responsible for gross human rights abuses throughout Tibet, and severe repression, surveillance and denial of human rights in Lhasa in particular. The campaigners also said that the Chinese authorities may use the hotel and its business facilities to discuss and implement further repressive measures in Tibet.

Whilst acknowledging their Tibet campaigning work, Yak visited offices of several groups, including Free Tibet and Tibet Society, and urged them to continue their support for Tibetan people. They also helped Yak with facilitating meetings and media contact.

The main highlights of Yak’s London engagements were his meetings with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Member of Parliament, Amnesty International and the BBC World Service. Accompanied by London-based Tibetans, Rinpo Yak urged the Foreign Office to note Tibetan people’s aspirations when dealing with the Chinese government. He further urged Britain impress upon China to review its hardline policies in Tibet, address the genuine grievances of the Tibetan people through dialogue and allow unfettered access to Tibet for the media and UN. The Tibetan delegate reiterated that Tibetans in Tibet were simply calling for their freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Despite the British Parliament in summer recess at present, Jeremy Corbyn, an MP for Islington North, met Rinpo Yak (pictured above) with several Tibetans at the weekend in his constituency. The Labour MP, who has previously raised Tibet issue in the Parliament, was quoted in the local newspaper – The Islington Tribune, by saying,

”It was a pleasure to welcome Rinpo to Islington as part of his cycling tour around the world for human rights and against cultural suppression in Tibet. We have a locally based Tibet support campaign which I am happy to work with during their lobby of parliament on the treatment of Tibetan people, and as a fellow cyclist I admire his stamina in visiting 12 counties in Europe and over 40 states in the USA as part of his world tour to highlight the treatment of the people of Tibet.”

Yak spent some time with Temtsel Hao, producer at the BBC World Service Chinese programme. Later, the BBC World Service published an article about the meeting on its Chinese website. A local newspaper also reported Yak’s stopover in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, south London, which is home to nearly 100 Tibetans.

At the meetings, Yak asked concerned officials to write messages of support and pledges to act in his notebooks, which he plans to present to the Dalai Lama and then the European Union and United Nations.

The Tibetan Community in Britain, Greenwich Tibetan Association and Kailash Momo Tibetan Restaurant hosted receptions, farewell dinners and made donations to Rinpo Yak. Individual Tibetans offered khatas and spontaneous donations in support of Yak’s exemplary mission for the Tibetan cause.

After his successful UK and European cycling tour, Yak left for Japan on the morning of 12 August to continue his mission. From Japan, Yak plans to cycle to Taiwan and possibly China. His final destination is India, where Yak hopes to receive an audience with the Dalai Lama.

(This report was compiled by Tsering Passang, who assisted Rinpo Yak’s key engagements in London with Lodup Gyatso. It first appeared on the Tsamtruk Network blog: http://tsamtruk.wordpress.com)

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UK-China relations – no change, no apology

 

What we are seeing in news reports about UK-China relations, initially published in Xinhua (the Chinese state-run news agency) and then taken up by The Telegraph, which ran a piece featured in its financial pages written by Liu Xiaming, China’s Ambassador to the UK, is no more and no less than PR spin by China. It is smoke and mirrors, attempting to persuade people that something has changed in UK-China relations so an invitation can be extended to David Cameron to visit Beijing in the autumn without any loss of face.

The truth is there has been no change in British policy on Tibet; David Cameron has not apologised to China for meeting the Dalai Lama when he was in London last year, the government’s stand on Tibet being part of the People’s Republic of China remains unaltered, and recently on Sky News Nick Clegg asserted the UK would not back down from confronting China on human rights issues.

The Dalai Lama meeting David Cameron and Nick Clegg, May 2012

The Dalai Lama meeting David Cameron and Nick Clegg, May 2012

Despite the UK’s “very important” economic relationship with China, Mr Clegg said, “That doesn’t mean we should somehow give up on what we believe in when it comes to human rights and freedoms which we will continue to express in a respectful but nonetheless firm way.” And, as detailed by Liu Xiaoming in his article, it seems despite the UK’s adherence to human rights and freedoms and despite the apparent frozen relations between the UK and China, trade has not only continued unhindered, but has grown.

The Chinese government is pragmatic; they need trading relations to flourish in order to keep their population, who are expecting uninterrupted economic growth, happy. However, at the same time, they are not averse to trying their hand in bullying countries into accepting their viewpoint on all manner of issues, including when a leader of a country can and cannot meet the Dalai Lama. It is a game, albeit one that can have far-reaching consequences. But our government, and other governments, can and should do more to stand up to China’s flannel, stop kowtowing to its whims and use their influence to encourage China to bring real change in key areas of human rights and freedoms and rule of law.

Liu Xiaoming

Liu Xiaoming

In his article, Liu Xiaoming says, “Six months ago, I was interviewed on the BBC’s Newsnight by Gavin Esler. He quoted Rudyard Kipling’s famous phrase: “East is East, West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” I replied that the right way for East and West to meet is to “discard pride and prejudice and apply sense and sensibility.” I believe this is also the right way for China and Britain to meet and work for an even brighter future for Anglo-Chinese relations.”

Very nice sentiments, but will Liu Xiaoming and his colleagues in Beijing follow this belief and “discard prejudice and apply sense and sensibility”? If they did, there really could be progress on Tibet and for other minorities suffering under China’s rule.

Further reading:
Xinhua
24/6: British foreign secretary reiterates respect for China’s territorial integrity
The Telegraph

27/6: Cameron’s words to MPs have opened door to better relations!
27/6: 2 million ‘displaced’ by Chinese relocation policy
28/6: China and Britain have their differences but they also have a lot to offer each other
28/6: China may be softening on HHDL
Tibet Society
8/5: China seeks apology from UK; Clegg says UK must stand firm
9/5: Cameron: UK government “does not support Tibetan independence”
3/7: Hague smooths path for Cameron to visit Beijing

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Tibetan flag raised in Northampton

On 5 March 2013, a special ceremony was held at the Northampton Guildhall  in memory of those who died during the 10 March uprising in Tibet 54 years ago.

The guest of honour was Mr Thupten Samdup, the Dalai Lama’s Representative to the UK and Northern Europe. He was greeted by the Mayor and Mayoress Roger & Jenny Conroy, the Leader of the Council David Mackintosh, Keith Davies ex-Leader of the Council and many other Councillors, including the Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire Cllr Terry Wire. Mr Samdup inspired the packed hall with his words of compassion and wisdom.

Participants at Northampton Uprising Ceremony. Photo by Harry Wilson

The video of the song Burning in the Mountains by Jane Alston was shown. The song was inspired by the current wave of self-immolation protests in Tibet. The video includes harrowing scenes of self-immolation and also shows the Dalai Lama crying at this tragic loss of life.

Before the event began photos and names of the deceased were shown on a big screen with Rest in Natural Great Peace (sacred Tibetan music) playing in the background.

The ceremony included speeches, prayers and music. The Mayor, Roger Conroy, read out a heartfelt letter of concern from TV presenter, Gloria Hunniford. Ms Hunniford said, “It is a great honour to send love to this event and help keep the Tibetan lineage alive. My daughter TV celebrity, Caron Keating, was battling with cancer and she had the Dalai Lama’s photo by her bed and Tibetan monks stayed in her home. She gained incredible strength from their kindness and care. I wish you much success in this incredibly honourable cause. My very best wishes.”

Caroline speaking at ceremony. Photo by Harry Wilson

Caroline Scattergood, organiser of the event, spoke about Tsering Kyi, a 20 year-old Tibetan woman  who took her life in desperation to help Tibet, saying to her family, “Life is meaningless if we don’t do something for Tibet.”

David Mackintosh, leader of the Council, spoke on behalf of the Council and their 14 years of support for the Tibetan people. Mr Mackintosh revealed that the Council had been pressured by Chinese government officials to cancel the flag-raising ceremony, but the Council refused to yield saying, “It’s traditional now!”

Uprising Ceremony in Guildhall. Photo by Harry Wilson

Uprising Ceremony in Guildhall. Photo by Harry Wilson

A letter was read out from Micheal Ellis MP for Northampton. Mr Ellis said, “I am pleased that the people of Northampton will again have an opportunity to show their support for the Tibetan people. I would have liked to have been able to attend but I am required at the House of Commons.

“I remain very concerned about the situation in Tibet. The conduct of the Chinese government with regards to Tibet has repeatedly shown how little they respect the rights and will of the Tibetan people. I hope that the new Chinese leadership will show a reforming attitude to this matter and a new-found respect for Tibetan culture but until they do campaigners like those here today are so very important.

“I know the Prime Minister also feels strongly about this, and alongside the Foreign Secretary, have repeatedly raised the human rights issue with the Chinese Government at every available opportunity. This diplomatic pressure will continue and I hope we will all eventually see a peaceful and equitable resolution.”

Before the flag was raised the audience sat in silence and contemplation while healing Tibetan sounds flowed around them played by Rozz & Ant. The audience were asked to pray for Tibet and the deceaseds’ mothers and fathers and share in their loss and grief.

The flag was raised and we were left with this thought:

The true way to mourn the dead… is to take care of the living that belong to them. “So, Northampton will take care of Tibet.”

Tashi Delek

Photo by Harry Wilson

Flag-raising ceremony. Photo by Harry Wilson

The flag-raising & ceremony was organised by Shine a Light for Tibet, a Northampton-based voluntary group which raises awareness about the Tibet issue. For more info contact Caroline at cscatts43@yahoo.co.uk.

Further reading and links:
Uprising Anniversary 2013: UK report
Video of ”Burning in the Mountains” on YouTube
(Warning: video contains graphic images of self-immolations)

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The Dalai Lama’s Representative comes to Chipping Norton

On 2 March 2013, an “Evening for Tibet” was held in Chipping Norton, a thriving market town on the edge of the North Oxfordshire Cotswolds, an area of outstanding beauty, with rolling hills and idyllic limestone villages. The reason for the visit of the Representative of the Dalai Lama was his wish to speak to the people of Chipping Norton, as they are the constituents of our Prime Minister, David Cameron, who was invited but sadly declined the invitation as he was occupied elsewhere.

Mr Thubten Samdup, the Dalai Lama’s Representative to the UK and Northern Europe, addressed the packed Town Hall, requesting the audience to write to the Prime Minister, urging him to take a bolder, more critical stance over Tibet. He reminded the audience that the UK has a special connection with Tibet, having invaded the sovereign country in 1904, and subsequently developed an amicable relationship with the Tibetans, with British diplomats living in Lhasa until its occupation by China in 1950.

Mr Samdup also referred to the 107 self-immolations which have taken place in recent times and the ongoing struggle Tibetans face to not only to achieve freedom and determine their own future but simply to have their basic human rights recognised.

Escape-logoThe sufferings of the Tibetan people were made particularly poignant by the screening of the film Escape from Tibet. This highly acclaimed film, which depicts the flight across the Himalayas of a group of refugees and focusing on brothers Pasang and Tenzin, is an “astonishing record of endurance, of the triumph of the human spirit”, and everyone in the audience was deeply touched by it.

EFT-Pasang&Tenzin

Tenzin & Pasang in Escape from Tibet

Nick Gray, the director, was there to introduce his film, which remains highly relevant nearly two decades on, as Tibetans continue to make the hazardous journey to escape the hardships of living in Chinese occupied Tibet. Also in attendance was Tenzin, the 11 year-old in the film, who is now in his late twenties and a student in London. Tenzin recounted his memories of life in Tibet and his experience of fleeing his homeland. Both Nick and Tenzin answered questions from the audience.

Tibetan momos with chillies were dished up by Dolma and Sangmo , two Tibetan ladies in traditional dress, who had come from London to cook and serve them. Finally, Jane Alston sang her wonderful and moving song Burning in the Mountains, which was inspired by the Tibetan self-immolations.

“Evening for Tibet” was organised by Tibet supporter Diana Hughes.

Further reading & links:
Uprising Anniversary 2013: UK Report
Escape from Tibet – Details of film; purchase the book
Video of ”Burning in the Mountains” on YouTube (Warning: Video contains graphic images of self-immolations)

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