In history, Tibet has been an independent country since year 127 BC. Nicknamed “The roof of the World” (Le Toit du Monde), its geographic position has kept it away from the world affairs for a long time. The 3 states of Tibet : U Tsang, Kham and Amdo, totalize 2.5 millions square km.
Today, when China mentions Tibet, they refer to the region they named in 1965 “Autonomous Region of Tibet”, which covers only U Tsang and a sma&ll part of Kham.
Invasion, then occupation of Tibet constitute aggression acts violating international law. U.N. adopted 3 resolutions about Tibet in 1959,1961 and 1965, denouncing the deprivation of fundamental rights and freedoms. Of the Tibetan People and in particular its right to self-determination. Up to now, these texts remained ignored.
“On this day, in 1959, Tibetans from across the social spectrum rose up to stage a defiant yet peaceful uprising against the illegal occupation of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China. Today,as we commemorate the fifty-eighth anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day, we remember and pay tribute to all those who have sacrificed their lives for our nation’s struggle. Till date, an estimated million Tibetans have perished and 98% of monasteries were destroyed under the Chinese occupation…
The Amnesty International Report 2015/2016 pointed to increasing restrictions on Tibetan monasteries by the Chinese government. The 2016 Freedom House report ranked Tibet in the second worst in political and civil rights after Syria.
In December last year the European Parliament demonstrated its concern about the issue of Tibet by adopting an urgency resolution on Tibet, calling on the resumption of dialogue with Tibetan representatives to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet.
In February this year, on the eve of 34th session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, in a rare and bold move, six independent UN experts made public a joint statement on a range of human rights violations in Tibet, particularly on the case of Larung Gar and Yachen Gar. In a sharply worded statement, the UN experts expressed alarm over China’s violations of international human rights laws and wide-scale religious repression in Tibet.
The 2016 annual report of the U.S. Congressional Executive Commission re-designated China among the Countries of Particular Concern (CPC). The Amnesty International Report 2015/2016 pointed to increasing restrictions on Tibetan monasteries by the Chinese government. The 2016 Freedom House report ranked Tibet in the second worst in political and civil rights after Syria.
A recent report issued by the Intermediate People’s Court of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) points to 1446 cases of detention and 1793 cases of indictment in TAR alone in the year 2016, in a widespread crackdown on Tibetans under the pretext of punishing criminals.
Panchen Lama, one of the most prominent symbolic characters of Tibetan Buddhism, kidnapped in 1995 just after being nominated at the age of 5 and jailed since then in a secret place. He certainly is the youngest political prisoner in the world.
Such repressive policies have driven Tibetans in Tibet to resort to desperate measures. The latest case is that of 33 year-old Tashi Rabten who died in self-immolation protest in December last year. He was the 145th Tibetan perishing in flames in a Tibetan street.
80% ot Tibetans in Tibet are illiterate. Every possible way is taken to prevent them from studying their language.In rural areas, there are no schools or fake ones. Besides, all administrative work is only in Chinese.
On the opposite, in the exiled community, over 92% of children go to school and learn Tibetan language.
Before it was invaded, Tibet counted 6,000 monasteries and historic monuments. In 1979, all were in ruins, except 13.. The Chinese cultural policy in Tibet aims at assimilating the Tibetan people and constitutes a “cultural genocide”.
The Chinese authorities have begun demolishing Larung Gar institute since last year. This resulted in the forced eviction of monks and nuns from the institute to realize their plan of reducing the 10,000 plus residents to 5000.
Before invasion, Tibet was covered with 221.000 sq km of very old forests. China’s systematic deforestation reduced this surface to slightly above 130,000 sq km.
Tibet is Asia’s water storage with its 35,000 sq km of lakes and its is from there that the most important rivers have their sources? Floods which devastated China in summer 1998 did but confirm the Tibetans long time worries. Uncontrolled deforestation of upper Yangtse was considered as the main cause for these floods.
Officially, 94 among the 160 known minerals are exploited in Tibet. China uses the Tibetan plateau to build its atomic weapons, its nuclear wastes and park nuclear bombs.
The surge in unregulated open-air mining activities in the sacred mountains of Amchok and Minyak county last year was met with widespread protests from local Tibetans. Given the severity of the case, the UN experts have questioned China on the environmental impacts of the mining activities at Amchok. As per the international environmental law, mining should be environmentally sustainable, culturally sensitive and economically beneficial to the local Tibetans.
Access to medical care is very expensive. Beijing boasts about offering free medical care for Tibetans, but those who can’t pay for the provision, (800 to 1,00 Yuan), that is half of them, are not cured, whatever their state. Even if some towns are correctly equipped, rural areas suffer from a large lack of medical staff and equipment.
As soon as he arrived in Dharamsala, in India, His Holiness the Dalaï Lama rebuilt a Tibetan administration ruling on the principles of modern democracy. Since 2011, he has no political function within the Tibetan Government in Exile.
As a spiritual leader, he estimated that Religion and State should be separate. Since then, Tibetans vote for their parliament representatives and a political leader, chief of a 8 members cabinet, social affairs, education, health, security… All exiled Tibetans can vote, wherever they are.
As soon as 1988, H.H. the Dalaï Lama proposed the Chines authorities to give a real automous status to Tibet. The legitimacy of this step got international recognition and lead to the award of Peace Nobel Prize for The Dalaï Lama in 1989.
In June last year, President Barack Obama met His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the White House and strongly applauded and supported the Middle Way Approach and urged the Chinese government to engage in meaningful dialogue with the envoys of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Taking this opportunity, I once again congratulate President Donald Trump on his election. We are encouraged to see the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson’s assurance that the Trump administration will continue to support the Tibetan cause, receive His Holiness the Dalai Lama and continue to encourage dialogue between Beijing and representatives of Tibet’s “government in exile” and/or the “Dalai Lama.”
This year, the Kashag unveiled the revised version of ‘Tibetan Women’s Empowerment Policy’ initiated by His Holiness’ vision of seeing Tibetan women contribute to global and peaceful leadership in the 21st century.
The Kashag has designated March 12 every year as ‘Tibetan Women’s Day.’