Tibetan street sellers in Lhasa are targeted as part of a drive to “clean up” the streets.

In an attempt to tidy up the city, China has boosted video monitoring and examinations of street sellers in and around Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. However, sources within the independent region claim that the measures are intended to remove Tibetan hawkers from the streets.

According to the sources who refused to be named for security concerns, local officials in the city of about 560,000 people started the “Clean Up Lhasa” program on March 20 and have since started checking all street sellers in and around the Jokhang Temple, or Tsuglagkhang.

The four-story Buddhist monastery in Barkhor Square in Lhasa is regarded by Tibetans as the most holy and significant shrine in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

According to a Tibetan living in the area, Chinese officials are also banning Tibetan merchants who sell other foods like sha-kampo, preserved yak and sheep flesh, and tsampa because they claim they lack the appropriate food permits.

One can see that only Tibetan merchants are targeted under this program, despite the Chinese government’s implicit claim that it is intended to keep the city of Lhasa sanitary, he told Radio Free Asia.

According to the source, authorities are also ordering Tibetan street sellers to cease selling Tibetan music CDs and are questioning them without cause.

For Tibetans who earn their livelihood as market sellers, he said, “This has caused so much trouble.”

increased vigilance

China continues to exert strong control over Tibet, limiting Tibetans’ right to peacefully display their Buddhist cultural and political identity. Tibetans frequently protest to Chinese officials about prejudice, violations of their human rights, and policies they claim are intended to erase their national and cultural identity.

The most recent action comes after increased security measures were implemented in Lhasa and other important cities before recently occurring politically sensitive events, during which time officers examined people and their mobile phones at random for communication with people outside of the area.

According to Gyal Lo, a Tibetan academic and the author of the book Social Structuration in Tibetan Society: Education, Society, and Spirituality, “Eventually under all these campaigns, the Chinese government wants to eradicate or eliminate any place or business that caters to bring the Tibetan brotherhood together,” this is the Chinese government’s ultimate goal.

According to material on the Lhasa Police website, officials have so far questioned close to 30 street sellers as part of the “Clean Up Lhasa” program and will continue to check hawkers.

Another Tibetan source stated that some street sellers keep selling their goods because it is how they support themselves.

Although there was no information on those who were taken or where they were being kept, he said that other protesters who attempted to challenge Chinese officials had been imprisoned.

Under the pretext of such efforts, the Chinese government is attempting to eliminate the only source of revenue for many of these Tibetan sellers, he claimed.

Given that Lhasa is a major tourist destination, the Chinese government may be using the effort to support its assertion that it has enhanced Tibet’s economic growth, according to Xiang Xiaoji, a Chinese lawyer living in New York.

He explained to RFA that “they don’t want the tourists to see Tibetans on the street as vendors.” “They want to portray Tibetans as leading happy, prosperous lives.”

G-7 leaders are urged by experts to ask Xi Jinping to ask Tibet’s colonial boarding schools to close.

Human rights specialists from around the world debate the peril that China’s imperial actions in Tibet pose to Tibetan culture in a worldwide webcast.

Experts from around the world made an appeal to the G7 world leaders, who will meet in Hiroshima on May 19–21, to ask Chinese President Xi Jinping to halt his ongoing project of colonial boarding schools in Tibet. The experts made their appeal in New Delhi, Milan, London, and Dharamshala on March 31. They expressed grave concerns about the constantly deteriorating human rights situation in Chinese-occupied Tibet. In a worldwide webcast discussing the topic “China’s Colonial Practices and Threat to the Cultural Identity of Tibet,” numerous human rights concerns recently brought up by the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights were thoroughly discussed. (CESCR).

The Tibetan Youth Congress and the Centre for Himalayan Asia Studies and Engagement (CHASE) mutually arranged the webcast, which took place on March 31st evening. (TYC). John Jones, the Policy and Research Manager of “Free-Tibet” in the United Kingdom, Marco Respinti, a senior Italian journalist and Director-in-Charge of “Bitter Winter,” a multilingual newspaper on religion from Milan, and Ms. Rinzin Choedon, the National Director of “Students for a Free Tibet India” from Dharamshala were the experts who took part in this webinar. The webinar’s co-host and joint secretary, Tsering Chomphel, gave the vote of gratitude, and a security and international affairs expert, Prof. (Ms.) Aaayushi Ketkar of the Special Centre for National Security Studies at JNU, moderated the question-and-answer period. The seminar was conducted by CHASE Chairman and seasoned Tibetologist Vijay Kranti.

Rinzin Choedon concentrated particularly on the ongoing Chinese effort to compel Tibetan children to enroll in a network of private schools built and managed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) throughout Tibet. The Chinese Communist Party is deliberately using these institutions to corrupt the entire new generation of Tibetans with the goal of eliminating Tibet’s very identity. More than a million Tibetan children have already been forcefully removed from their homes and placed in these institutions. Because it has the ability to totally eradicate a rich culture that belongs to the entire world, this is a worry not only for the people of Tibet but for all of humankind, she said. She continued, “We Tibetans and allies of Tibet have been pressing this problem on different venues for some time. I take notice of the foreign worries being expressed on some stages of the United Nations and some parliaments. It is encouraging to see that some UN-affiliated human rights organizations are now bringing up this subject.

The process of eradicating Tibetan identity has acquired particular impetus, according to Rinzin, since President Xi Jinping took office. “The process of destroying Tibetan culture and identity has already been going on in Tibet for decades,” he said. Unfortunately, under President Xi’s leadership, this effort has grown more contentious.

On March 6th, the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights of the United Nations (CESCR) released its most current report, which Marco Respinti gave a thorough study of. He drew attention to a number of grave issues raised by the CESCR, including the forced relocation of Tibetan nomadic herders, the closure of Tibetan language schools that had been operating on a voluntary basis, a massive campaign to eradicate Tibetan culture and language, the Sinicization of Tibetan society, particularly through the imposition of the coerced boarding school system on Tibetan children, and the suppression of other human rights of Tibetans. In response to the Chinese government’s rejection of these CESCR allegations and labeling them as “lies,” he stated, “Over the last few years, the CCP’s stance has actually become quite untenable even for the most pro-PRC zealot. In actuality, it is difficult to conceal the CCP’s wrongdoings. Even the CCP frequently altered its account of its own offenses. However, the inability to conceal objective truths has also had a significant impact on PRC’s responses. Bullying both its captives and its opponents, the PRC today largely reacts to charges by asking, “So what?And that’s really concerning.

In order to emphasize the Chinese government’s uncompromising stance toward such results from international organizations, Marco said, “The CCP will continue to threaten and persecute Tibet’s cultural identity unless the world has a way to halt it. As a spectator, I am unable to advise which strategies the world should use to pressure the PRC to behave more humanely. I can only speculate that Tibetans and other peoples will continue to travel their own pathways of misery until the world finds it more advantageous to trade with the PRC’s power or revere the CCP’s hybrids.

The continuing blood testing and DNA collection of the Tibetan people in Tibet by the Chinese authorities was specifically brought up by John Jones, a longtime China observer who also closely monitors the human rights situation in Tibet. He described the effort being run by his organization, “Free-Tibet,” in Britain and numerous other Tibet support organizations throughout Europe and the USA to prevent the American firm Thermo Fisher Scientific from providing DNA testing tools to the Chinese police force. “We are currently actively addressing and educating the employees of this business about the risks associated with this type of widespread monitoring for the Tibetan community. Our effort aims to awaken employees’ consciences and persuade this business to refrain from supporting the Chinese government’s barbaric act, the guy said.

John brought up the expertise of Dr. Gyal Lo, a well-known Tibetan advocate. In describing his own family’s experience, Dr. Gyal Lo said, “He saw how within three months of being sent to a residential nursery, children started to talk to each other only in Chinese, despite having been reared speaking Tibetan. John expressed relief that the topic of China’s colonial boarding schools in Tibet was now being discussed on international platforms, saying, “It is heartening to see that news magazines like Time and Newsweek and UN bodies have started taking up this issue.” The participants supported John’s appeal to the world leaders who are going to participate in the upcoming G-7 summit to take action.

Richard Gere requests that US legislators support Tibet.

As the US Congress discussed how to put pressure on Beijing over claimed human rights abuses in the Himalayan region, Hollywood actor Richard Gere expressed anger over the “cruelty” of Chinese policies in Tibet on Tuesday.

The “Pretty Woman” actress testified before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and accused Chinese officials of forcibly dividing Tibetan families, outlawing their language, demolishing sacred sites, and collecting DNA without consent.

Gere, a lifelong supporter of Tibet who has appeared before Congress numerous times, said that the Chinese Communist Party’s ethnic policies “have been largely predicated on containment, denial, destruction and assimilation for decades.”

The 73-year-old claimed that Beijing had oppressed the Tibetan people through “cruelty, collective violence, and persecution,” adding that they were under “pervasive surveillance system” control.

Over the ages, Tibet has alternately been independent and under Chinese rule. China claims that in 1951, it “peacefully liberated” the mountainous terrain and introduced infrastructure and education to the previously impoverished area.

However, a large number of displaced Tibetans charge China’s Communist Party of oppression, abuse, and the destruction of their culture.

According to three United Nations specialists, about a million Tibetan children have been taken away from their families and subjected to “forced assimilation” at Chinese residential schools.

“Identifiable mechanisms” like random arrest, forced relocation, rape, abuse, and vanishing are all tactics that Beijing’s integration practices have used in the past, according to Gere.

He urged the US and its partners to “speak with a single voice” regarding the necessity of Beijing resuming negotiations that would result in “meaningful autonomy” for Tibetans.

Gere urged Washington to pressure China at the UN to stop the removal of pastoral herdsmen from their native territories and urged Congress to approve legislation emphasizing US support for the Tibetan people.

He encouraged legislators to produce a report on China’s attempts to shape how the world views Tibet and its spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, as well as to reduce US support for the involuntary gathering of DNA and other types of personal health information.

We will never lose when we stand together, a Tibetan activist chimes.

On Tibetan National Uprising Day, campaigner for Tibet Chime Lhamo discussed Tibet at the College Freedom Forum 2023. The Tibetan people continue to rise up, and if we stand together, we will never be vanquished, she told the crowd, adding that the Chinese government has realized that brutality, re-education centers, and abuse of our political inmates have no impact on us.

In front of hundreds of students and audience members, Tibetan activist Chime Lhamo discussed the Tibet issue, Tibetan National Uprising Day, Chinese government-run boarding schools for Tibetan children to eradicate Tibetan identity, and Tibetan freedom movements on March 10, 2023, at the College Freedom Forum at Francisco Marroqun University in Guatemala.

The Tibetan activist gave a brief introduction to his homeland by displaying a picture of Tibet on the screen and stating, “This is Tibet, the way of life of the people, and here it is on a map. The original Tibet, known as the roof of the world, the Tibetan plateau provides water to nearly 2 billion people worldwide.

According to Chime, “all Tibetans born after 1959 were born as activists, in 1959 because that was the year the Chinese government occupied my country, killing over a million people, destroying thousands of our homes, and thousands of monasteries. These incidents caused my people to cross the Himalayas on foot to follow our spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, into exile. Among the 80,000 people who left was also my grandparents.

As a refugee, the Tibetan activist stated: “I was born in a refugee camp in southern India. Until I moved to Toronto, Canada, at the age of 11, I had no passport, but an identity issued by the Indian government, which I had to renew every year to maintain my precarious political existence as a person without a homeland, or, in other words, a stateless person who yearned to return home, but could not.”

“Those born in Tibet were born in an outdoor jail whose walls are eroding faster and faster. Tibet has consistently been listed by Freedom House as the least free country in the world, coupled with South Sudan and Syria. In Tibet, it is illegal to take pictures of the Dalai Lama, and flying the Tibetan flag could put your life in danger. This is how Tibetans live inside Tibet, and every day the Tibetan identity, pastoral culture, and language are assaulted, according to campaigner Chime, who also noted that Tibet is the least autonomous nation in the world.

“Culture is what defines us as individuals as it is the way of life of an entire civilization, the communal training of the mind that directs the community’s behaviors, ideas, and emotions. The Chinese government is attempting to do this in an effort to destroy Tibetan culture among Tibetans. The Tibetan worker explained the actual situation in Tibet, saying, “The Chinese government has realized that brutality, re-education centers, environmental devastation, forced abortion of our women, and abuse of our political inmates do not work on us. Tibetans continue to stand up.

“Since 2009, 159 Tibetans have self-immolated, which is the act of setting oneself on fire without harming anyone but oneself, in protest, a cry for the world, for all of you, calling for two things: His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet and freedom for Tib,” the Tibetan activist said, explaining that Tibetans inside were sacrificing their lives to bring about the return of their spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the freedom Since Tibet has been purposefully imprisoned, you won’t hear about the thousands of demonstrations that are ongoing there.

According to a study recently published by the Tibet Institute, 800,000 Tibetan students are attending British residential institutions. This is a strategy employed by the Chinese government that is based on the genocide playbook, but it conceals a hidden policy that forces even younger children, even preschoolers, to attend these state-run colonial boarding schools where they are taught to speak, read, write, think, and even dream in Mandarin Chinese instead of Tibetan, Chime continued. This means that children as young as four or five years old are being taken away from their parents.

‘Tibetan educational sociologist Dr. Gyalo, has seen this firsthand with his own little grand nieces. He says that they behave like strangers in their own home, that when they return from these Chinese boarding schools, these children stay away from their families, don’t hug each other, don’t kiss.’ Dr. Gyalo is a Tibetan sociologist specializing in education who has seen this phenomenon in his own little nieces.

People like me were able to grow up and ask questions, such as why I am a stateless person and why my people can’t return to their homeland, and we will continue to fight to find an answer to the question of how we will do so, because of our elders and ancestors, our communities, who toiled so hard and gave everything they had to build and invest for the next generation. In actuality, today is March 10, the day of my people’s national revolt. This is the spirit that is inside of me here with you today, it is a constant reminder of the responsibility and duty of each and every one of us to make sure that we are fighting for a free world,” said the Tibetan activist, recalling the Tiberian uprising that began in 1959 in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. There, hundreds of thousands of Tibetans rose up, held hands, and vowed to protect themselves and not back down.

This is March 10, the Tibetan Uprising Day, and this is probably the first march I missed in the streets with a megaphone, shouting at the top of my lungs “Free Tibet,” “Tibet belongs to the Tibetans,” but because I want to be here, I missed it. The UN committee has issued a statement calling for the immediate abolition of boarding schools in Tibet, but this is just the beginning, we have so much work to do.

The Tibetan activist urged people to oppose autocracies and defend freedom, saying, “The rise of autocracies today is only possible because of the intricate web of oppression they have. It is therefore all the more crucial that we, the people, remain united, because when we remain united, we will never be defeated.”

Tibetan protesters rally in Vienna against Chinese Communist Party on National Uprising Day

Hundreds of Tibetans gathered in Vienna on Tuesday to mark National Uprising Day and protest against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The demonstration was organized by the Tibetan Community in Austria and Switzerland and took place outside the Chinese Embassy.

Protesters chanted slogans demanding human rights and an end to Chinese occupation of Tibet. They also called for the release of political prisoners and an independent investigation into allegations of human rights abuses in Tibet.

The demonstration coincided with the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising, when Tibetans rose up against Chinese rule. The protest was also held in solidarity with similar demonstrations taking place around the world, including in India and Nepal.

The Tibetan Community in Austria and Switzerland released a statement condemning China’s policies in Tibet and expressing their solidarity with the Tibetan people. The statement called on the international community to take action to hold China accountable for its actions in Tibet.

The protest in Vienna comes amid heightened tensions between China and the West over human rights issues. The United States and other countries have imposed sanctions on Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

The Tibetan protesters in Vienna are hoping that their demonstration will draw attention to the plight of their people and help to bring about change in Tibet.

Over the years, China’s repression of Tibet has persisted: Cycling for a Free Tibet

Taiwan’s “2023 Cycling for a Free Tibet” was organized on February 8 by Tibetan activists and allies, who claimed that China’s persecution of Tibet had not abated over the years and had instead just found new methods to subjugate Tibetans. DNA is taken from Tibetans to increase Tibetan monitoring, and Tibetan children are compelled to attend residential schools that resemble prison camps in order to obtain a Chinese education.

The Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan’s then-President, Tashi Tsering, created the yearly event, Cycling for a Free Tibet, in 2011. Since then, the pastime has expanded significantly and has become more popular every year. Cycling in a circle also represents the reality that the fight for a Free Tibet will go on as long as it is necessary.

The 64th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising will be celebrated on March 10, 2023, marking the conclusion of this year’s “Cycling for a Free Tibet,” with the theme “Oppression Continues, Resistance Persists,” which began on February 8, 2023, with awareness campaign programs at various locations in Taiwan.

The Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan’s Executive Director, Tashi Tsering, stated: “This year commemorates the 64th commemoration of Tibetan national Uprising Day. I still recall that there were only seven Tibetans carrying Tibetan banners, images of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and English chants when the first march took place in Taipei in 2004. However, after 20 years, the yearly March 10th march has grown in significance for Taiwanese citizens or, at the very least, for the country’s social movement.

Under Xi Jinping’s slogan of “the sense of community for the Chinese nation,” Tibetan children are compelled to attend boarding schools that resemble concentration camps in order to receive a Chinese colonial education; Tibetans’ DNA is collected in order to increase surveillance of them; religious persecution has increased; and Tibetan culture and traditions are being eradicated.

“Seventy years after the 17 Agreements were signed in 1951, Tibetans are still having difficulty. When discussing the rising number of people opposing the Chinese government, Tashi said, “We have seen not only Tibetans, but also East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia, Hong Kong, and even the Chinese themselves, fight against the tyranny of the Chinese Communist rule.

According to a statement from Cycling for a Free Tibet, Tibet has a long history of independence and a distinctively rich religious, cultural, and political heritage. Tibetans have been denied their independence since 1951, when the Chinese Liberation Army entered Tibet and compelled the local government of Tibet to sign the 17th Point Agreement, also known as the Agreement between the Central People’s Government and the Local Government of Tibet. 10,000 people participated in a national demonstration in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, on March 10, 1959, which led to a violent assault by the Chinese troops and police. The greatest political and religious figure in Tibet, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, was forced to escape with hundreds of other Tibetans to India.

According to the statement, the courageous Tibetans have continued to demonstrate against the aggressor since the 1959 rebellion, with significant demonstrations taking place in Lhasa and across Tibet in 1987, 1988, and 1989. There were numerous demonstrations across the region in March 2008, just before China held the Beijing Olympics, which were violently suppressed. More than 150 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 to protect their faith, honor, and views both inside and outside Tibet as the Chinese government’s persecution of Tibetans intensifies.

The statement continued, “The religious, cultural, language and other customs of Tibet, as well as its delicate natural environment, have been badly harmed by repressive policies under Chinese imperial control and a firm policy of integration and Sinicization.

The statement concluded, “Today, 64 years later, the oppression of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party has not only not stopped, but has intensified; however, Tibetans are still resisting, and for 64 years, the search for the truth will not stop, and the resistance to totalitarianism will continue. The Tibetan people are still resisting.”

China trying to change the demography of Tibet

Lhasa, Tibet:

According to a report in Tibetan media, the Chinese community Party is working on policies aimed at altering the demography of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

“There are reports that some as young as eight or nine years have been sent to the indoctrination facilities. The indoctrination is also aimed at overcoming resistance within the local population to the PLA’s efforts to recruit more Tibetans. In December this year, the Tibet Action Institute issued a report that Chinese authorities in Tibet had set up a wide network of boarding schools for Tibetan children to separate them from parents, and reduce their exposure to their own language and culture,”.

It is estimated that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has coerced over half a million Tibetans into forced labour programs strewn into secret locations all across China.

China’s rampant misinformation campaign and state-sponsored distortion of historical truth has already brought the Tibetan civilization to the brink of extinction.

“The sinicization of Tibetan history, arts and culture is well underway. The world community must raise questions about human rights violations in Tibet and come together for the Tibetan cause,” the report read.

It is viewed that Chinese authorities are attempting to recruit more Tibetans in order to offset the disadvantages of posting ethnic Han soldiers at high altitudes, especially under the Western Theatre Command.

They believe that the first responder troops at high altitudes need to be Tibetans, who can function effectively in areas with low oxygen, the report read.

Tibet is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party government based in Beijing, with local decision-making power concentrated in the hands of Chinese party officials.

Tibet was a sovereign state before China’s invasion in 1950 when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) entered northern Tibet.

Ecological damage in Tibet

Tibetans in Dharamshala held a candlelight vigil to protest the destruction of a 99-foot statue of the Buddha in Kham Drago in Kardze Prefecture. Along with the statue, the authorities also destroyed 45 huge prayer wheels that had been constructed near Drago monastery. The Chinese demolition of the statue in end December 2021 happened after the demolition in October 2021 of a school attached to the Drago Monastery in Sichuan Province. The destruction of a Buddha statue that had been officially approved six years ago, shows that China intends to keep tight control over religion in Tibet at any cost. The destruction of Tibetan culture and identity apart, the world also needs to hold China responsible for complete neglect of Tibet’s ecosystem as we shall presently see.

In late October 2021, local Chinese authorities in Kham Drago had condemned the Gaden Rabten Namgyaling, a school administered by Drago Monastery, and monastery officials were ordered to demolish the school building in three days with the threat that a government team would destroy the building and confiscate school property if it was not done by them. More recently Chinese authorities in Drago County demolished a 99-foot statue of Buddha, as well as 45 huge prayer wheels that had been erected near Drago monastery, Tibet Watch notes. Wang Dongsheng, the county chief is said to be responsible for the demolition. Wang was involved earlier in the destruction of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy also in Sichuan Province. The huge Buddha statue was first built in 2015 with a financial contribution of 4,000,00 Yuan (US$ 6.3 million), whereas 1,800,000 Yuan (around US$ 282,500 million) was spent on the prayer wheels by local Tibetans set in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. The demolition took place from 12 December onwards with “military troops heavily deployed in the crossroads of its vicinity to prevent any form of protest,” according to Tibet Watch.

The statue was formally established because the Buddhists believe that it would prevent famine, war and potential catastrophes of fire, water, earth and air. Local authorities, at the time of demolition, invalidated the documents related to the construction and said that the statue’s height was not allowed in the vicinity. The Tibet Watch report states that “This tragic wave of demolition follows the forced demolition of the nearby Gaden Namgyal Monastic School in late October 2021. As a result, over a hundred of its young students were expelled and ordered an immediate return to their homes.” The Dharamshala vigil in December 2021 was a reminder to the people of Tibet of the support they have from outside Tibet and of China’s repressive policies.

While the wanton destruction of Tibetan culture and identity by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is a well-known fact, the destruction of Tibet’s ecosystem remains less known. A US-based journal (Jianli Yang, Providence, 28 December 2021) has recently claimed that China is dumping toxic waste in Tibet and further that it does not provide adequate resources to the region to protect its ecosystem. The carbon footprint of China’s industrial activities, mining of lithium, and mining for nuclear minerals in Tibet has deeply affected the monsoon cycle in the region claims Providence, a US based journal. China has also repeatedly ignored the Montreal Protocol, which explicitly bans the use of hydrocarbons, according to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development. This has caused drastic harm to the ozone layer that envelops the Earth’s atmosphere and protects us from harmful UV rays. Excessive industrial mining has not only robbed Tibet of its natural resources but has also left the land barren and infertile.

This wilful negligence of Tibet’s ecosystems led overseas Tibetan communities to come together during COP26. They voiced their concerns about Tibet’s fragile environment and its importance to the world. Two days ahead of the COP26 inaugural in November 2021, the Dalai Lama, in a video message, had reiterated his concerns about the effects of climate change impacting the Tibetan Plateau — the world’s ‘third pole’. “At least in Asia, Tibet is the ultimate source of water. We should pay more attention to preservation of Tibetan ecology” the Dalai Lama said. A Washington Post story (26, December 2016) noted that Tibetans in Sichuan province had seen and felt the impact of the large lithium mine in the region on their environment. The land they worshipped was threatened and the river their animals drink from became poisoned.

Earlier, reports emerged of a sudden mass death of fish in Lichu River in Minyak Lhagang, Dartsedo County in Karze Prefecture due to the release of contaminated waste from the mine. This brought hundreds of local Tibetans out on the street, who protested against Gangzhi Rongda Lithium Co Ltd that had released mine waste into the Lichu River, a tributary of Nakchu/Yalong river, which merges with Yangtse river downstream. Downstream, precious yaks died from drinking the contaminated water.  

Lichu river incident is not the only instance of environmental degradation. Others include the open-pit Muli coal mine in Tsonub (Haixi) Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, which spread a layer of black coal dust across the landscape, causing grassland degradation and the loss of permafrost. Similarly, the Jiajika Lithium mine in Lhagang (Tagong) township, Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, in the Kham region, twice (first in October 2013 and then in May 2016) leaked toxic chemicals into the local water supply, killing fish and local livestock. Thus, the Chinese are fully aware of the damage their policies cause to Tibet’s environment but are unwilling to do anything about it. Now we know the reason why China did not attend CoP26!

Just how serious the environmental crisis in Tibet due to China’s policies is highlighted in written testimony by the International Campaign for Tibet for the Congressional/Executive Commission on China Hearing (21 September 2021). The testimony points to the wanton destruction of Tibet’s forests and the large-scale and forcible re-location of Tibetan nomads from their homelands. Data sources claim that over 1.8 million Tibetan nomads had been settled into sedentary households in a bid to undermine Tibetan identity and to profit from mining, logging, and damming Tibet’s rivers. China is destroying the world’s third pole, i.e., Tibet. The world must hold it responsible for this and make it accountable. If this is not done today, the world will pay for China’s deliberate lust for minerals with the lives of future generations.

Respect for Tibetans in China still a far-fetched dream

Chinese Administration believes that Tibetan society was primitive, feudal and ruled by a handful of aristocrats. The aristocracy was increasingly becoming oppressive and the people of Tibet were being subjected to harsh punishments until the China liberated Tibet and Tibetans in the 1950s. Chinese government maintains that Tibet is an integral part of China and their administration never discriminates between Tibetans and Hans (the dominant ethnic group in China) politically, socially and economically. To further justify this stance, they have started focussing on major infrastructure development activities in Tibet area viz. laying/improvement of railway networks, dam sites, establishment of new PLA setups, residential facilities for troops and general public (who fulfils political, demographic and security criteria), flourishing of new villages, and excavation/exploration of minerals, including gold.

However, despite these efforts, incidents continue to be reported which refute the Chinese claims to reveal the prevalent discrimination being adopted between Han ethnic group and Tibetans. Tibetan youth are still unable to find employment in Chinese administration. They are reportedly engaged as low grade workers (electricians, drivers, mechanics, etc.) and often made to work in harsh terrain and adverse weather conditions viz. high altitude border areas. Their salaries are also low as compared to Han Chinese workers. Chinese officials continuously monitor their movements.

It is viewed that Chinese authorities are attempting to recruit more Tibetans in order to offset the disadvantages of posting ethnic Han soldiers at high altitudes, especially under the Western Theatre Command. They believe that the first responder troops at high altitudes need to be Tibetans, who can function effectively in areas with low oxygen.

The Senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has undertaken multiple visits including the visit by President and CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping to Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). The frequency of these trips signifies the emphasis laid by the Xi Jinping Government on Tibet, for further exploitation of natural/water resources, linkages with BRI and consolidation over disputed border areas. They may also be seen as part of Chinese Government’s strategic efforts to implement gradual sinicization of Tibet while overseeing progress of the various development projects implemented in the region to facilitate migration and upgrade military facilities.

In order to secure dominance over TAR, the CCP is working on policies aimed at altering the demography of the region. China’s National Strategic Project to Develop the West, introduced during the 1980s after the Cultural Revolution, encourages the migration of Chinese people from other regions of China into Tibet with bonuses and favourable living conditions. No doubt these policies have borne fruit for China. While Han Chinese constituted 8 percent of the population of TAR in the year 2010, the percentage rose to 12 in the Chinese census of 2020.

It is also reported that Chinese authorities have begun sending Tibetan children to special camps to be indoctrinated in a Sinicised worldview and given basic military training in order to prepare them to be inducted into militias. There are reports that some as young as eight or nine years have been sent to the indoctrination facilities. The indoctrination is also aimed at overcoming resistance within the local population to the PLA’s efforts to recruit more Tibetans. In December this year, the Tibet Action Institute issued a report that Chinese authorities in Tibet had set up a wide network of boarding schools for Tibetan children to separate them from parents, and reduce their exposure to their own language and culture.

It is estimated that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has coerced over half a million Tibetans into forced labour programs strewn into secret locations all across China. China’s rampant misinformation campaign and state sponsored distortion of historical truth has already brought the Tibetan civilization to the brink of extinction. The sinicization of Tibetan history, arts and culture is well underway. The world community must raise questions about human rights violations in Tibet and come together for the Tibetan cause.

Bike rally to boycott Beijing 2022 winter Olympic held in Dharamshala by exiled Tibetans

Dharamshala, India: : Tibetan who are living in Dharamshala have organised a bike rally in order to boycott the Beijing 2022 Olympics game.

A slew of long-distance rallies has taken place over the last few weeks campaigning and calling for the boycott of the Beijing 2022 Olympics over human rights violations in China, according to Phayul.
From touring the Himalayan border states along the Indo-Tibetan borders to cross-country biking from Bangalore to Delhi, several rallies have been held recently.

Earlier, on December 10, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC), Delhi kicked off its cross country bike rally from Bangalore to Delhi to boycott the Beijing 2022 Olympics boycott on human rights violation.

Meanwhile, in the press statement, the campaign lists its core aim as to “call upon and appeal to the basic human conscience of all the people and boycott Beijing Olympic 2022 as an expression of solidarity with people in Tibet, Xinjiang, South Mongolia, and Hong Kong who are suffering under Chinese repression and oppression.”

Further, along the Indo-Tibetan border on the world’s highest motorable road, Sonamling Tibetan Settlement Freedom Support Group organised a bike rally from Leh to Kardung La Pass thanking National Basket Ball Association player Enes Kanter Freedom for his support and calling for the boycott of the Beijing 2022 Olympics.

Enes Kanter Freedom has emerged as the new poster boy for the Tibetan Freedom Movement, inspiring many campaigns of varying sizes.