Tibet is at the bottom of the Freedom Index!

Three recent developments bring to bear global attention on the Tibetan issue starkly. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in its Third Periodic Review report (6 March) notes that numerous issues related to human rights of theTibetan people require serious and urgent attention of the international community. A few days later Freedom House released its Freedom in the World Index for 2023 which ranks Tibet as the world’s least free country. Finally, and most importantly, are steps being taken by the Communist Party of China (CPC) to further intensify Sinicization of Tibet by launching a community consciousness programme to make Tibetans more aware of the CPC and its efforts to build a Tibet with Chinese characteristics. Every step that the CPC takes to Sinicize Tibet is being closely watched by the rest of the world, however, what matters is the degree to which action is taken to stem the onslaught against Tibetan culture and identity.

The CPC’s attempts to Sinicize Tibetans have taken one step ahead with the recent inauguration of a ‘Chinese Nation Community Consciousness Building Research Center’ in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) to promote “national consciousness” reports Tibet Rights Collective (TRC). According to State media, the centre will conduct research on how to promote “community consciousness” among Tibetans, focusing on promoting the Chinese government’s policies in the region. TRC reports that the “Three Consciences” education and propaganda group in Lang County, Nyingchi City, TAR aims to promote national consciousness, citizen consciousness, and rule of law consciousness, especially to Tibetan religious figures to control their thoughts and beliefs.

TRC reports that the campaign began in May 2022, as the CPC expressed concerned that Tibetan religious figures could be supporting the non-violent resistance movement and encouraging resistance to Chinese rule.Tibetan religious figures have been subjected to re-education programmes before, but this campaign is even more extreme. Monks and nuns are being asked to renounce and condemn traditional Tibetan Buddhist practices, including Tsethar, the practice of releasing animals from captivity, and Saka Dawa, a holy month of fasting and abstaining from meat. Many Tibetans see this as an attempt to strip them of their religious and cultural identity and force them to accept Chinese rule.

The “Three Consciousness Campaign” is the latest in a series of measures taken by the CCP to control the Tibetan population. The Chinese government has been accused of human rights abuses in the region, including torture, forced labour, and religious persecution.The campaign has sparked international condemnation, with human rights groups and governments calling on China to respect the rights of the Tibetan people. It is in this context that one must see the release of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ ‘Concluding Observations’ in its Third Periodic Review of China on 6 March. This report underscores numerous issues related to human rights of the Tibetan people under the Chinese government which require serious and urgent attention of the international community. Tibet Press reports that these issues include a serious onslaught on Tibetan culture and religion, forced relocation of nomad communities, poor treatment, and exploitation of Tibetan culture,

and brainwashing and forced assimilation of Tibetan children through CPC-run boarding schools.

Near simultaneously, Freedom House, a global watchdog of human freedoms around the world released its report (9 March) titled “Freedom in the World 2023 Report” which ranks Tibet as “World’s least-free country” along with South Sudan and Syria. The report has been successively released for the third year after similar Freedom House reports in 2021 and 2022 that Tibet has won the dubious distinction of being ranked at the bottom of community of nations. Freedom House in its report found that both Chinese and Tibetans living in Tibet lacked basic rights. However, the Chinese authorities are particularly rigorous in suppressing any signs of dissent among Tibetans, including manifestations of Tibetan religious beliefs and cultural identity, as per the news report.

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), a prominent Tibet advocacy group in the US and Europe, said, “After more than six decades of illegal occupation, China has turned Tibet into the world’s least-free country…. With Tibet once again at the bottom of Freedom House’s global freedom scores, it’s imperative that the global community take action to resolve the decades-long conflict in Tibet”. The ICT also mentioned about the bipartisan bill which was recently presented by Democratic and Republican representatives of US for passing “Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Conflict Act” which acknowledges Tibet as an ‘unresolved’ issue and makes it an official US policy that China must resume talks with Dalai Lama to determine Tibet’s legal status under the international law.

The world has witnessed a “return of Mao’s Cultural Revolution” in Tibet since Xi Jinping took over as Chinese President. His openly expressed aim of wiping out Tibet’s distinct cultural and social identity by assimilating Tibetans into a “uniform” Chinese identity has given rise to fears among the Tibetan population and human rights activists globally.During his visit to Tibet in July 2021, Xi addressed Chinese administrative officials of Tibet and local Communist cadres calling on them to take necessary measures to convert Tibetan Buddhism into a ‘Buddhism with Chinese Characteristics’. His call for attack on the religious faith of Tibetans exposed the failure of Chinese authorities to “tame and discipline the Tibetans even 70 after their colonial rule over Tibet”.

The UN Committee also mentions China’s ongoing campaign of putting an end to the traditional lifestyle of Tibetan nomads who regularly migrate along with their yaks, sheep, and cows with changing seasons. These nomads account for about one-third of original Tibet’s six million population.Chinese authorities have been forcing Tibetan nomads to sell off their animals and settle into designated, small, and newly developed crowded settlements where a strong Chinese surveillance system can keep them under close watch, as per the news report.In the report, the UN Committee has highlighted “coercive labour programs implemented in Tibet and a systematic ban on the use of the Tibetan language.” The report has particularly focused on “the Chinese government’s extensive resettlement policy and forced assimilation of Tibetan children at state-run boarding schools.”

This concern gained international momentum in recent years after  reports  from occupied Tibet about hundreds of thousands of Tibetan children, being forcibly taken
away from their families and being admitted to residential schools which are run by the CPC cadres.Tibetan Youth Congress leader Gonpo Dhundup notes that Xi Jinping is also using a similar way to convert future generations of Tibet who would look Tibetan in their physical appearance, but their brains and hearts will be programmed as “perfect communist cadres of China,” as per the Tibet Press report. The UN Committee report has called for independent international investigations into the current Tibetan situation. Tibetans around the world need to rally in support of their brethren in TAR and impress upon the world community to rapidly ostracise China for its human rights violations of Tibetans.

Source:  https://www.tibetrightscollective.in/news/chinese-nation-community-  consciousness-building-research-centre-inaugurated-in-occupied-tibet-2
Source:            https://www.newsweek.com/china-tibet-human-rights-culture-language-  1786558

This year, the “Tibet” government has set aside more than $1 billion for frontier security and defense.

This year, frontier defense and unification initiatives will cost the local Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) government alone more than 7 billion yuan (more than 1 billion US dollars). The Nyingchi-Ya’an portion of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway, which is currently under building, will also receive about 54 billion yuan in investment, according to China’s official chinadaily.com.cn on March 27.

According to the story, which was based on information from Tibet Daily and the region’s Development and Reform Commission, the TAR government will spend more than 143 billion yuan ($21 billion) on 191 important initiatives this year.

It was claimed that 8.2 billion yuan would be used to enhance and secure people’s means of subsistence. According to the announcement, projects would build a local observatory, public institutions, public health facilities, and childcare infrastructure.

It was unclear if this involved opening more contentious residential schools with the express purpose of Sinicizing Tibetan children. In spite of harsh, repetitive critiques from UN human rights specialists in their most recent findings, China has supported these institutions.

More than 40% of the initiatives scheduled to start up and resume this year will receive more than 18 billion yuan in funding during the first quarter.

According to the story, among the roughly 54 billion yuan to be allocated to important infrastructure projects are those to refurbish Terminals 1 and 3 at Lhasa’s Gonggar Airport, a number of road and bridge projects, and the development and use of renewable energy in remote areas.

The growth of distinctive industries, such as renewable energy, green industries, tourist building facilities, highland agriculture, and livestock farming, was said to be allocated more than 71 billion yuan.

According to the report, more than 1.2 billion yuan will be spent on green civilization projects, such as waste and trash gathering and dumping systems for cities, as well as projects for security and preservation.

Reincarnation, the Dalai Lama, and China’s growing Tibet issue

Unveiled as the third-most significant spiritual figure in Tibetan Buddhism is a youth of Mongolian and American descent.

The tenth manifestation of the Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoché, the third-highest ranking spiritual figure in Tibetan Buddhism, has been revealed to be a young American-Mongolian boy.

The child, who is thought to be around eight years old, was reportedly seen for the first time taking part in a ritual alongside the 87-year-old Dalai Lama earlier this month in Dharamshala, in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

The Dalai Lama revealed the discovery of the tenth manifestation of the Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoché to 5,000 monks and women and 600 Mongolian disciples during this event.

In Mongolia, the news “provoked intense excitement among Buddhists, contempt among secular nationalists, and alarm among those who fear that it will provoke the wrath of the country’s enormous and powerful neighbor, China,” according to the paper. The news went almost “unnoticed” outside Buddhist and diplomatic circles.

According to The Times, the kid is now “at the center of a tense geo-political chess game being played out between powerful governments in east Asia,” and “the survival of one of the leading religions in the world may depend upon the outcome.”

How do people find spiritual leaders?
The Jetsun Dhampa is regarded as the head of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia and is a highly esteemed person in that religion. After the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, the infant, who allegedly has a sibling, is now acknowledged as the third most significant spiritual figure in the faith.

According to The Times, Tibetan Buddhists think that after death, a lama, or spiritual leader, “is reincarnated in a child, who is identified after extensive rituals and divinations.”

But according to CNBC, “such recognitions have frequently been a source of tension between Tibet and China,” as China asserts its authority over Tibet and tries to regulate the acceptance of reborn leaders. China has previously declared that only Buddhist spiritual leaders appointed by its own government’s authorized nominees will be recognized.

Will the action incense China?
Utpal Kumar, the editorial director for First Post, claims that the acknowledgment of the tenth Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche has left the Xi Jinping government “stumped.” Nobody would be “surprised,” he continued, if China tried to coordinate a media effort to make sure that the next Dalai Lama has Beijing’s approval while exerting pressure on nations like India and Mongolia to not indulge such “Tibetan ‘fancies'”.

Chinese rule over Tibetan Buddhism’s spiritual authorities has a lengthy past. The Panchen Lama, the second-highest Buddhist spiritual figure, was abducted by the government in 1995 when he was only six years old, according to The Washington Post. “He hasn’t been seen since, nor has his family.”

Tibetan Buddhism specialist Robbie Barnett of SOAS University of London told The Times that China might interpret the news of the new Jetsun Dhampa as a threat to their historical claim to unilateral discretion in selecting lamas. “These things can cascade into conflict with China, which could penalize Mongolia in harmful ways,” he continued.

The Dalai Lama traveled to Mongolia on several occasions in 2016. According to The Times, Beijing retaliated against the trips by “cancelling diplomatic meetings, delaying loans, and closing the border” with the nation. Subsequently, bowing to pressure, the Mongolian government declared that he would not be allowed to enter the nation once more.

Due in part to “fear of China, based on its responses in the past,” according to Barnett, who also emphasized “the extraordinary predicament of landlocked states that are completely vulnerable to powerful neighbors,” Mongolia’s government has not yet responded to the most recent events.

Who is going to succeed the Dalai Lama?
According to The Times, the debut of the new Jetsun Dhampa “may serve as a kind of practice run for an even more significant reincarnation: that of the Dalai Lama himself.”

According to The Washington Post, the replacement has historically been “chosen by a group of disciples close to the previous holder of the title, who seek the reborn person of the Dalai Lama after his death.” However, the Chinese government has hinted that it may choose its own Dalai Lama in an effort to censor his views and beliefs.

According to the Dalai Lama, his replacement may not come from land under Chinese rule but rather from one of the nations that practice Tibetan Buddhism, such as India, Nepal, Bhutan, or Mongolia. The Times reported that such a development “would breathe new life into the faith, but put the under consideration nation in the sights of China’s government.”

The Observer reported in 2021 that he believes “discussions of his death are premature” because he believes he will live to be 113 years old. However, there is already a “power struggle” going on over who gets to choose his rebirth.

According to Robert Barnett, a Tibetan scholar, “we are looking at the highly likely situation that when the 14th Dalai Lama dies, there will be two Dalai Lamas named in his place.” “One chosen in accordance with the directives left behind by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and one selected by the Chinese Communist party.”

India-China relations to see a rockier turn with Dalai Lama unveiling US-born reincarnation

The Dalai Lama’s move to anoint the 10th Khalkha has caught Beijing by surprise; experts say the decision is an internal affair of the Dalai Lama-led Tibetan religious order

The Dalai Lama

Tibetans have always zealously guarded their religious hierarchy, something China considers to be its private preserve.

In a recent interview with Japan’s Kyodo News, Penpa Tsering, president of the Tibetan government-in-exile, warned China not to interfere in selecting a successor to the Dalai Lama, the current spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists. “No government should have a role in this spiritual matter and I think it is much wiser for China not to interfere,” he cautioned.

Tsering’s words could well have been prophetic. On March 27, the 14th Dalai Lama, the frail 87-year-old, announced the reincarnation of the third-most-senior Lama or spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism and the head of the Gelugpa school in land-locked Mongolia.

The tenth Khalkha, Jetsun Dhampa Rinpoche, was anointed by the Tibetan spiritual head in a ceremony attended by some 600 Mongolians, who travelled to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh to attend an event that has huge ramifications in this running battle between the Dalai Lama and the Communist Party of China, and for the survival of Tibetan Buddhism.

While India may have no role to play in this decision, Beijing believes that by giving shelter to the Dalai Lama, New Delhi is interfering in Beijing’s internal matters. China openly meddles in all matters related to the Dalai Lama and Tibetans, and an already strained bilateral relationship between India and China may get even bumpier.

“I don’t think the Chinese would be surprised by this decision. His Holiness (the Dalai Lama) has said different things about his successor, including a lady successor, at different times, so it is not for anyone to decide who will be taught the scriptures, other than the head of the order,” Gautam Bambawale, former Indian ambassador to China, told Moneycontrol.

Calling the Dalai Lama’s decision on Monday an ‘ace of spades’, the ex-Indian envoy to Beijing said that neither the Indian government nor the people of India have any role to play in the choice, which is strictly speaking, not tantamount to announcing a successor. “I don’t think there is any reason for either China, the US or any other country to object because it is purely an internal decision of the Tibetan Buddhist order,” he said.

The Dalai Lama believes that he will live up to the biological age of 113 and has no immediate plans to announce his reincarnation as head of the influential Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Communist Party of China has traditionally called him a ‘splittist’ as President Xi Jinping pursues his policy of Sinicisation of Tibet with Beijing abrogating the power of official reincarnations of high lamas of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Yet, at this advanced age, the cancer survivor managed to stump Beijing with his decision to anoint the tenth Khalkha this week.

US-born Lama

According to unofficial reports, the eight-year-old boy, who was born in the US in 2015, was anointed as the Tenth Khalka in a ceremony at Mongolia’s Gandantegchinlen Monastery, the country’s biggest monastery, at the end of February. It was attended by the Abbot of the monastery and the high Lamas of Mongolia.

However, experts state that the eight-year-old was accorded legitimacy after he was declared a reincarnation on March 8, at the culmination of the exercise that the Dalai Lama undertook when he visited Ulan Bator in 2016.

The tenth Khalkha is one of the twin boys named Aguidau and Achiltai Attanmar. He belongs to one of the richest business and political empires in Ulan Bator. The Dalai Lama institution in Dharamshala declined to comment over the real identity of the new Mongolian Tibetan leader as they feel he would be targeted by the Chinese regime.

Sandwiched between allies Russia and China, Mongolia has played a key role in the Dalai Lama Institution — often under intense pressure — as it was the Mongolian King Altan Khan who offered the title of Dalai Lama (Ocean of wisdom) to the third Gelugpa, Lama Sonam Gyatso, who in return conferred the title of `Brahma’, the king of religion, on Khan.

Former Indian ambassador to China Vijay Nambiar believes the nomination of the Khalka is a natural decision. “Given that China has taken unilateral decisions regarding Tibet, the Dalai Lama’s decision is to be expected. It is an essential part of the autonomy of the Tibet religious hierarchy,” he told Moneycontrol.

Nothing to do with New Delhi

Asked if it could lead to worsening of already-strained bilateral relations between India and China, he said that while “it would tighten relations between India and China, New Delhi has nothing to do with this decision, which is an independent one.”

China, Nambiar said, has nominated its own Panchen Lama as the man to succeed the Dalai Lama, “but let us also remember that the Dalai Lama has in the past said that he may not have a successor so let us not see this appointment as necessarily his successor.”

Tibetan exiles have traditionally worried that China might just simply appoint its own successor. In 1995, after the Dalai Lama named a boy in Tibet as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama, the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, China put that boy under house arrest and installed another in his place. Many Tibetans spurn the Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama as a fake.

That the Dalai Lama’s decision could have surprised China is being attributed to the fact that Beijing is yet to offer a reaction a full 24 hours after the anointment.

According to a tibetologist, contemporary Tibet shows signs of development.

According to a scholar at the China Tibetology Research Center, the industrialization of Tibet represents Chinese urbanization, and the growth of Tibet and ethnic groups has always been a top priority for the central government.

According to a China Daily piece written by Kelsang Drolma, the central government established a strong base and provided the legal assurance for Tibet’s development by implementing steps for the freedom of social output.

According to the tibetologist, Tibet is currently a communist society where all employees have identical rights and independence in all facets of life.

The Communist Party of China has led the Chinese people, including members of all ethnic groups, in promoting socialist modernization and adopting a modernization path with Chinese characteristics based on the reality of the situation since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, particularly since the launch of reform and opening-up, according to the article.

The development of Tibet has progressed in the right path and over time acquired its own traits. The economic framework of Tibet has experienced a significant change with the long-term backing of the central government and the help of other regions, according to Kelsang Drolma.

The scholar also mentioned how Tibet’s economic foundation is steadily getting better. More than 90% of the population lived as serfs and were subject to extreme economic abuse prior to Tibet’s calm independence in 1951. The Tibetan people were guided by the central government in achieving development through communist industrialization practices, which enabled them to escape destitution and seek high-quality development, in order to improve the situation.

By ensuring that all 74 counties in Tibet, the only contiguous province in China that is plagued by poverty, were lifted out of poverty by the end of 2019, the poverty alleviation program helped the Party realize its promise to leave no one behind on the path to moderate prosperity. According to the story, this also assisted China in achieving its first centennial objective of creating an all-around fairly affluent society.

The Qinghai-Tibet and Sichuan-Tibet roads were built after Tibet was peacefully freed, significantly reducing the distance between Tibet and the rest of the nation. According to Kelsang Drolma in the story, the opening of new schools gave the inhabitants of the region a window into a world of contemporary education.

It further stated that these democratic changes made in the wake of Tibet’s independence contributed to the toppling of the previous order and allowed the Tibetan people to live with respect, practice their freedom of action, and embrace contemporary lifestyles in a communist democratic nation. Today, their requirements are fulfilled and their rights are safeguarded by national laws and rules.

More than 80% of Tibet’s budget is spent on enhancing people’s lives in order to increase the feeling of gain and contentment of the Tibetan people. In actuality, the standard of living for Tibetans has been rising more quickly than the national and central-western averages.

The piece claims that the improvement of healthcare, education, and other areas has particularly enhanced the material and spiritual well-being of the Tibetan people. According to the researcher, Tibetan cultural texts written in the Tibetan script are permitted to be disseminated not only through books and classrooms but also through television and the internet thanks to laws and regulations regarding the protection and development of ethnic languages and scripts included in China’s Constitution.

The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau has the hardest topography and most peculiar species spread in the entire globe. The Tibetan central government has been encouraging environmentally friendly and sustainable growth in order to preserve this beautiful land. According to Kelsang Drolma, it has also started massive environmental protection initiatives, such as converting farmlands into woods and meadows, and given model funding support for Tibet’s green growth.

According to the researcher, Tibet is indeed making significant progress toward modernization that is in tune with nature and adheres to the new Tibet governance policy of the central government, which upholds the Party’s leadership, the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, and the system of regional ethnic autonomy while fostering ethnic unity.

Tibet had the longest streak of double-digit GDP development in the nation at the end of 2017, at 24 years. The traditional barriers to industrial development have been removed, green development enabled by industrial empowerment has accelerated, digital industrialization has evolved rapidly, and technological innovations have become a driver of the region’s development as a result of Tibet’s increased focus on high-quality development since 2018, according to Kelsang Drolma.

The scholar went on to say that while Tibet’s development successes were made possible by the cooperation and diligence of all the ethnic groups residing in the independent region, Tibet’s industrialization serves as an excellent illustration of what the Chinese modernization model is capable of.

Who is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism

Dalai Lama, who is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, has appointed a Mongolian monk named Khamba Lama as the head of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia. This move is seen as a strategic move by the Dalai Lama to challenge China’s influence in the region, as Mongolia is a close neighbor and ally of China.

China has long been sensitive to any activities that it perceives as challenging its authority in Tibet, which it considers a part of its territory. The appointment of a Mongolian head of Tibetan Buddhism is likely to be viewed by China as a provocative act, as it could be seen as an attempt to expand the influence of Tibetan Buddhism beyond Tibet and into China’s sphere of influence.

The article also notes that the Dalai Lama has been in exile in India since 1959, and has been a vocal critic of China’s policies in Tibet, including its treatment of Tibetan culture and religion. The Dalai Lama has also been a strong advocate for Tibetan autonomy, which China has consistently opposed.

Overall, the appointment of a Mongolian head of Tibetan Buddhism by the Dalai Lama is likely to be seen as a move that will further strain China’s already tense relations with the Tibetan spiritual leader and his supporters.

Leader of Tibetan diaspora begs China not to select a new Dalai Lama

The present spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, will be replaced, but the president of the Tibetan government-in-exile has cautioned China not to meddle in the process.

In a recent interview with Kyodo News, Penpa Tsering stated that “no government should have any role in this spiritual matter and I think it is much wiser for China (not to interfere),” adding that the 14th Dalai Lama will eventually decide on the successor.

Tsering questioned “how can China have a hand in that” given that the Tibetan government-in-exile has “nothing to do” with the choosing procedure. But he added that he hadn’t “directly” questioned the Dalai Lama about it.

Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama, escaped to India in March 1959, shortly after an unsuccessful revolt by Tibetans against China’s rule over the Buddhist area high in the Himalayas. Later, he created an administration in exile in Dharamsala, India.

One of the main points of contention between Tibetans and Beijing, which views the Dalai Lama as a rebel who seeks to split Tibet from China, is who will succeed the 87-year-old spiritual leader. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the chosen replacement will be a rebirth of the spiritual leader.

As part of a heritage left by its rulers, China claims to have the unique power to determine who the reincarnations of Tibetan Buddhist religious leaders, including the Dalai Lama, are.

The Tibetans, however, will not accept a replacement chosen by China, according to the Dalai Lama.

Tsering, who was chosen to serve as the government-in-exile’s second president in 2021, repeated his demand for communication with the administration of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who was recently voted to an unprecedented third term as president.

Tsering also emphasized the significance of the Dalai Lama’s “middle way approach,” which wants a nonviolent settlement of the Tibet problem with the Chinese government by identifying a basis for coexistence.

Through a “17-point agreement,” Tibetans and the Chinese government have been attempting to settle the dispute over Tibet’s position within China since 1951, but little has been accomplished.

Tsering stated that according to his government, Xi’s policy only prioritizes “economic development” and ignores the “aspiration of their own people.”

Tsering continued that it is critical now more than ever to educate the foreign world about Tibet’s past. We modified our strategy because, in light of current Chinese rhetoric, everyone believes that Tibet has been a component of China for a very long time.

Tibet’s Environment at Stake

The natural resources and environment of Tibet have frequently been misused. Peace and tranquillity in the formerly sovereign nation have rapidly deteriorated ever since China’s government conquered Tibet without authorization in the 1950s.

In a world where environmental issues are currently the most threatening, Tibet is also dealing with serious environmental issues, but instead of getting the proper attention, the issues are dismissed as a straightforward territorial conflict.

The world has ignored the environmental degradation that has occurred there as well as the reality that Tibetans lack the rights to even speak out against issues hurting their own land and way of life due to China’s authoritarian rule in Tibet and their depiction of Tibet as a part of themselves. There are serious environmental issues that Tibet will soon have to deal with. Beijing is currently splintering and destroying Tibet’s nature-dependent systems for their own gain, utilising it as a dumping ground and wreaking environmental havoc. According to Tibet Press, China, which currently rules Tibet, views the area as a dump rather than a safe haven and does not give Tibet the resources it needs to safeguard this extremely fragile yet important ecosystem and distinct biome. Through environmental destruction and degradation encouraged by Beijing’s policies, Tibet has been forced to confront the grim truth of climate change. According to reports, major lithium and nuclear (uranium) mines have an impact on the monsoon cycle in addition to having a significant carbon footprint due to hydrocarbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration attended the opening of the oneday seminar organised by Smt. Ruby Mukherjee, the Regional Convenor of Eastern Region III, Core group for Tibetan Cause-India, at the EZCC Hall (Salt Lake-Kolkata). The PRC’s abuse of human rights in Tibet, the destruction of Tibet’s environment (deforestation, illegal mining, dam construction—violation of the right to water), the awarding of the Bharat Ratna to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the veracity of China’s border with India, and the liberation of Kailash Mansarovar were the main topics of the seminar. On January 4, a traditional Bengali dance performance in Sikyong’s reception marked the start of the day-long lecture. The chief guest and other dignitaries on the dais were given ceremonial Tibetan khatags after Smt. Ruby Mukherjee’s introductory remarks. Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the principal guest of the occasion, spoke to the crowd and emphasised the long-standing historical and cultural ties between Tibet and India that date back to the seventh century. In his lecture, he focused on Tibet as a preserver of ancient Indian traditions, emphasising the introduction of Buddhism from India after Tibetan letters were derived from Devanagri.He also informed the audience of China’s violations of Tibetans’ human rights and cultural practises, such as the establishment of colonial boarding schools to keep young Tibetans away from their traditions, the use of a grid-lock system to
restrain Tibetans, the collection of DNA samples and iris scans to track down dissidents inside Tibet, among other alarming issues. Furthermore, “almost 80% of Tibetan youngsters were made to attend colonial-style Chinese boarding schools where they were not taught the Tibetan language or culture but rather were instructed in the Chinese mentality.

Sikyong also criticised China’s aggressive strategy of “consolidating the idea of a single Han national identity,” which tries to eradicate and Sinicize Tibetan identity and has prompted Tibetans inside Tibet to self-immolate as a method of peaceful protest. The PRC’s environmental degradation on the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) in Tibet, which jeopardises Assam and Bangladesh’s water security and could even trigger a natural disaster in these riparian areas, was also brought to their attention. In 2018, muddy water was witnessed pouring from Tibet down the Brahmaputra, which was presumably brought on by upstream construction. To transport water from the Brahmaputra to the parched areas of western China, the Chinese government is building a tunnel more than 1,000 kilometres long.

The tunnel will extend from close to Tsangmo in Tibet to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang. For more than 50 years, Chinese activities in Tibet have raised concerns within India’s security establishment. However, a recent development has increased the threat to Indian interests to entirely new heights. China has started a number of large-scale development projects to grow its economy. Now, the Chinese government is said to have started a brand-new project amid the towering peaks of the Tibetan plateau that is extravagant even by China’s lavish standards. China is reportedly working to construct the longest tunnel in the world, a project that might seriously harm the north-eastern provinces of India’s agriculture.

According to media reports, the Chinese government is constructing a 1,000 km long tunnel to transport water from the Brahmaputra to the dry parts of western China. The tunnel will extend from close to Tsangmo in Tibet to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang. Two of the largest rivers in the Indian subcontinent, the Brahmaputra and the Indus, originate in Tibet. The Indus River travels through Pakistan before entering the Arabian Sea via northwest India. Before it meets the Bay of Bengal, the Brahmaputra flows through northeastern India and Bangladesh. Both rivers rank among the biggest in the world. The Brahmaputra river’s course has been changed by China for a long time. The Brahmaputra River, which runs through Tibet before passing through the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam on its way to Bangladesh, is known in China as Yarlung Zangbo. In Xinjiang, there is a serious water deficit. China plans to import water from Tibet to help with the water deficit. This makes the tunnel that carries water from Tibet to Xinjiang all the more unique. Building it will cost $147.3 million per kilometre. Through this tube, almost 300 billion gallons of water can be sent annually. The tunnel China is constructing has raised more worries throughout the rest of the world.

Experts have really already issued warnings that this tunnel will obliterate Tibet’s wildlife. A further
risk that the project will enhance is earthquake activity. Such grandiose undertakings have reportedly been attempted in the past, but their outcomes were disastrou


 China’s growth at the dawn of the 21st century was poised to be one based out of global collective values. It was stated that the upcoming years of development would be led by a peaceful Chinese nation, that intended to overturn the global order in favour of the developing world from that of the developed world. However, in a complete opposite, the Chinese rise to the top, seems to be causing significant worry to the developing world more than any it has ever faced in the previous decades. Excessive examples in the Chinese neighbourhood have brought forward the true intensions of the Chinese Communist Party in achieving a hegemonic position in the global world order. A prominent strategy in the process, thus, as seen by the CCP, is to encapsulate many if not all the disputed regions under its own stronghold. Such aspirations however in the Chinese view can only be achieved through Sinicizing regions that have been causing trouble in assimilating into Chinese culture.China’s attempt of Sinicization, in any case, in the Tibetan Buddhist identity is no hidden secret to the world. The billion-strong nation’s wider plan of integration of disputed regions, is based out of a sinister minded plot of Sinicizing regions into its own culture.

Sinicization is known as the process in which non-Chinese communities are forced under the influence of Chinese culture, specifically in the language and their cultures. The Chinese Communist Party has been attempting to declare a successor to the Dalai Lama for years but has been unsuccessful in doing so as well. The succession plans of the 14th Dalai Lama are an integral aspect of China’s approach of integrating the Tibetan region into China. Yet, in recent times, Chinese prospects have seemed to intensify in order to capitalize on an inevitable future where a successor would have to emerge either by the CCP’s directions or through the preaching’s of the Buddhist religion itself.

Recently, two internal documents recovered by Tibetan researcher revealed the extensive plans of the CCP’s to control the reincarnation of the next Dalai Lama. Although the 14th Dalai Lama has made it clear that the reincarnation process would only initiate within the value systems and preaching’s of Buddhism; and any attempt to superficially name a successor by the CCP would remain discredited within Buddhist communities around the world as well as in the Tibetan region. However, China has been reaching out tot other international Buddhist communities through financial investments as well as facilitating renovation of important Buddhist sites and financing construction of monuments with Buddhist linkages.The investments in the regions, specifically in Southeast Asia, which has a majority Buddhist population, has been invariably linked to the multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

Yet, for the CCP, the plans on the succession are part of an integral resolution to their Tibetan issue once and for all. The CCP views the next selected Dalai Lama to be a part of their outreach ofquenching the Tibetan question while also curbing the growing animosity within the region by installing a leader of their choice and not through the religious process of Buddhism. This in itself is a significant cause for concern for regions and countries that value human rights and have constantly voiced their worry on the same.

The report published by the International Tibet Network and Tibet Justice Centre in a similar understanding as that discussed above, examined elaborately the Chinese preparations for a ‘Post Dalai Era’. The specific connotation of an era post the 14th Dalai Lama, the report states is adopted in order to convey China’s plan to capitalize on the succession race once the 14th Dalai Lama is no more.

It is quite evident that the CCP is concerting all its efforts to exploit the inevitable passing of the Dalai Lama to cement its stronghold upon the disturbed region. This invariably addresses many issues for the CCP in one go itself. Firstly, it addresses a long-standing debate on who rules over the Tibetan region; China’s legitimacy has always been questioned due to the presence of the Dalai Lama in India. Secondly, it helps the Chinese administration to quell human rights violations in the region by asserting dominance in the region through a self-installed Dalai Lama over the Autonomous Tibetan region. Finally, the succession also has worldwide implications in terms of Chinese hawkish aspirations in and around its neighbourhood.

China’s repeated attempts of human rights violations has been criticized globally and has deterred China’s plans in the Xinjiang region.However, it would not be an over statement to claim that China is willing to use its iron-fisted approach, ignoring global calls for restraint in Tibet, if the situation intensifies due to its succession plans.The ultimate goal of reshaping the Tibetan history is of topmost priority for the CCP as noted by many scholars. This may perhaps be due to various reasons, yet as the official channels of the Chinese Communist party describes it, it is stated thatsuch plans are a part of ‘China’s strategy to achieve long-term social stability’. Of course, the official narrative on the ill-intended Sinicization of the Tibetan culture is veiled through the motive of achieving long-lasting peace; yet it requires no decoding that Tibet is part of a larger plan of encapsulating regions that have been disputed for decades.

In any case, it is important to call out Chinese strategies for what they truly stand to mean; from Xinjiang to Tibet to Taiwan, Chinese intentions are a cause for concern to the world, for the buck shall not stop at Tibet if at all it manages to name the next Dalai Lama based on its self-interest; all the while discrediting the philosophical roots of the Buddhist culture. Hence it is important that vital stakeholder view any Chinese action with caution, for Chinese ploys are at the verge of causing severe instability not only in the Asian continent but also in the western world with its expansionist approach looming large all over the world.

China targeting Tibetan Buddhists since Mao’s Cultural Revolution

Lhasa, Tibet: According to the global think tank, China’s oppression on Buddhists in Taliban is not new, it’s been going on since Mao’s Cultural Revolution and Xi Jinping continued it.

This continued persecution has curtailed the little space available for religious freedom and is contrary to the Chinese government’s claim of religious freedom in Tibet.

According to think tank Global Order, the Chinese Communist Party has employed many methods to eradicate Tibetan Buddhism not only within Tibet but also outside Tibet. “In many locations, Tibetan monasteries have been demolished or restrictions on the number of monks and nuns have been severely increased,” the think tank said.

Earlier this month, media reports had said Chinese authorities in Sichuan province were arresting Tibetan monks and beating them over suspicion that they informed outside people about the destruction of the 99-foot tall Buddha statue in the country’s Luhuo county (Drago).

The Buddha statue in the Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Region was demolished in December by officials who said the statue had been built too high, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported citing Tibetan sources.

Local monastery monks and other Tibetan residents were forced to witness the destruction, and action experts called part of an ongoing campaign to eradicate Tibet’s distinct national culture and religion, the RFA report said.

Chinese officials so far have arrested 11 monks from Drago’s Gaden Namgyal Ling monastery on suspicion of sending news and photos of the statue’s destruction to contacts outside the region, RFA reported citing a source.

“As of now, we have learned that Lhamo Yangkyi, Tsering Samdrup and four other Tibetans have been arrested for communicating outside Tibet,” RFA quoted the source as saying citing contacts in Drago.

Religious believers in China can not rely on legal or constitutional safeguards of their faith, said Sophie Richardson, China director for New York-based Human Rights Watch after the arrest of monks over-sharing news of statue demolition.

Richardson also said that Beijing in its current phase of “ultranationalist and statist ideology” gives all power to the state, and regards civil society with suspicion and contempt.