May 26, 2020
Republican senator Scott Perry has introduced a bill in the United States Congress to recognize Tibet as an independent nation.
US Representative Scott Perry has also introduced a similar bill for Hong Kong.
JANUARY 28, 2020
HOUSE PASSES TIBET HUMAN RIGHTS BILL
The 2002 Tibetan Policy Act, in a series of congressional moves to strengthen America’s stance towards China.
The Tibet Policy and Support Act, introduced by Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, alongside a bipartisan roster of cosponsors, passed with an overwhelming vote of 392-22.
The legislation would establish as US policy that the succession of Tibetan Buddhist leaders, including a future 15th Dalai Lama, be left solely to the Tibetan Buddhist community, without interference from the Chinese government.
The bill states that if Chinese officials interfere in the process of recognizing a successor or reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, they will be subject to sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act.
It also calls for the establishment of a US consulate in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Tibet is an internationally recognized autonomous region within the People’s Republic of China, though many Tibetans dispute the legitimacy of China’s rule.
Earlier , US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded that China should immediately make the Panchen Lama’s whereabouts public and uphold its international commitments to promote religious freedom. Pompeo’s statement, calling where he called the Panchen Lama one of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism with spiritual authority second only to the Dalai Lama, had irked Beijing.
Jan 30, 2020
Tibetan Govt-In-Exile questions China’s intent behind closing Dalai Lama’s residence over coronavirus outbreak
over China’s intent behind the decision to shut Dalai Lama’s official residence as part of its efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus, describing it as a political move aimed at stopping the Tibetans from celebrating their upcoming New Year((Losar (Tibetan New Year)
The Potala Palace is not just under the Chinese government but is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
WHY TIBET MATTERS TO CHINA ?
What should be made explicitly clear in these answers is that China’s interest has nothing to do with an affinity for the Tibetan culture, people, or identity. That sounds like a heavy bias on my part, but it’s evidenced by 6 decades of China’s horrific activities in Tibet.
China has two general reasons for wanting Tibet. The first and most significant is natural resources and land use. Given China’s population density and industry, this is fairly self-evident. As one statistic already shows, 80% of Tibet’s forests have been removed by the Chinese (54 billion dollars worth). Citing such statistics can gone on for a long while, but it gets super depressing. Not to mention how much toxic and nuclear waste has been dumped in Tibet. It’s been a horribly destructive occupation.
The second reason is a fatuous show of identity. The licence for China’s invasion is that “Tibet” was historically part of “China”. And China wants Tibet because it was a part of themselves that they’ve “lost”. But, as the other posts do well in pointing out, so were a dozen or more other places we now recognize as independent countries. Those who would make the argument that China has the right to occupy Tibet because it’s “theirs” must extend that precedent to, say, China invading Iran. After all, it’s theirs. So is South Korea. So is the Ukraine. And there’s no reason for Mongolia to exist. Afghanistan is out. It’s a childish claim and it falls apart under scrutiny.
To reiterate my first point, China has systematically destroyed the fabric of Tibetan existence. Ninety-five percent of the religious buildings (monasteries, temples, shrines, etc) have been razed. The Tibetan people have been murdered, tortured, subjugated, threatened, starved, imprisoned, burned-out, mutilated. Tibetan women were sterilized and many, when pregnant, were given forced abortions. Add to that the murder of about 1,200,000 Tibetan people (mostly non-violent Buddhists, a heck of a lot of them monks – and you have the genocide of nearly 1/3rd of the population) China does not have warm and soft feelings about Tibet. And it’s certainly not bringing Tibet back into the family as a sympathetic reunion with a prodigal son
WHAT IS THE CONFLICT BETWEEN TIBET & CHINA?
Chinese occupation 1935 – The man who will later become the 14th Dalai Lama is born to a peasant family in a small village in Tibet.
1949 – Mao Zedong proclaims the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), a communist state born out of a brutal and bloody civil war. Zedong threatens Tibet with “liberation”.
1950 – The Dalai Lama, now aged 15, officially becomes head of state. 1951 – Tibetan leaders are forced to sign a treaty dictated by China. The treaty, known as the “Seventeen Point Agreement”, professes to guarantee Tibetan autonomy and to respect the Buddhist religion but also allows the establishment of Chinese civil and military headquarters at Lhasa (Tibet’s capital). The Chinese government regards the Seventeen Point Agreement as a legal contract that was mutually welcomed by both governments and by the Tibetan people. However, the Tibetan people – including the 14th Dalai Lama – consider it invalid and as having been signed under duress. The Seventeen Point Agreement and its interpretation is one of the central themes of the Tibet-China debate. The Agreement can be read here.
1950s– Gradually mounting resentment against Chinese rule leads to outbreaks of armed resistance. 1959 Tibetan uprising & its aftermath
1959 Tibetan uprising & its aftermath
1959 – Full-scale uprising breaks out in Lhasa. Tens of thousands die when the Chinese brutally suppress resistance.
The 14th Dalai Lama and most of his ministers flee to India; some 80,000 Tibetans follow him. India houses more than 150,000 Tibetan refugees to this day.
1965 – Chinese government establishes Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). The TAR is essentially the area of Tibet within the People’s Republic of China. It is the second-largest and least densely populated provincial-level division of China.
1966 – Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution reaches Tibet and results in the destruction of a large number of monasteries and cultural artefacts. A sociopolitical movement set into motion by Mao Zedong, the Cultural Revolution’s stated goal was to preserve communist ideology in the country by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements and to re-impose Maoist thought as the dominant ideology.
one of peace and continues to seek dialogue with China, with the aim of achieving genuine self-rule for Tibet within China.
1988 – China imposes martial law after riots break out. 1989 – The 14th Dalai Lama is awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
1993 – Talks between China and the Dalai Lama break down
Tibet is a region on the Tibetan Plateau in Asia, spanning about 2.4 million km2 – nearly a quarter of China’s territory. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres. The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, Earth’s highest mountain, rising 8,848m above sea level.
Tibet has been occupied and ruled by China since 1951 in “a calculated and systematic strategy aimed at the destruction of their national and cultural identities.” This has often been described by the Tibetan people and third party commentators as “a cultural genocide”. The unsuccessful Tibetan Uprising of 1959, in which Tibetans rebelled in an attempt to overthrow the Chinese government, led to the fleeing of the 14th Dalai Lama to India. He has lived in exile ever since. A few hundred Tibetans initially followed the 14th Dalai Lama into exile, and since then hundreds of thousands have followed.
The Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama The Dalai Lama is essentially the political and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Dalai Lama is also an important figure beyond sectarian boundaries. He is a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet and is an international advocate for Buddhist values and traditions. Each Dalai Lama is considered a manifestation of the Bodhisattva (Buddha) of Compassion. They are believed to have postponed their “nirvana” & chosen to be rebirthed in the service of humanity.
The next most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism is the Panchen Lama. The Dalai Lama is traditionally involved in recognising the Panchen Lama, and the Panchen Lama is part of the process by which each new Dalai Lama is chosen.
The 14th Dalai Lama is the current Tibetan leader in a line that stretches back to the 1300s. He is one of the most recognised faces in the world and is also a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
After the death of the 10th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was announced by the 14th Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama. However, only three days after the announcement, Chinese authorities kidnapped the 6-year-old child and his family and instead installed another boy, Gyaincain Norbu, in his place as the 11th Panchen Lama. Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the original 11th Panchen Lama, has not been seen in public since 17 May 1995.
WHY PANCHEM LAMA MATTERS
The catch is this: the 11th Panchen Lama – whoever he is – will have a powerful role in the selection of the 15th Dalai Lama – whoever he is. With the current Dalai Lama ageing (he is 81), there arises the possibility of two power centres in Tibetan Buddhism – one in exile, and one in Tibet. This would seriously affect the Tibetan independence movement and seriously divide the Tibetan people as well.
Recent developments 2007 – The Dalai Lama hints at a break with the centuries-old tradition of selecting his successor, saying the Tibetan people should have a role in the process. He voices support for Tibet’s political leadership to be democratically elected. 2008 – Anti-China protests escalate into the worst violence Tibet has seen in 20 years, five months before Beijing hosts the Olympic Games. Pro-Tibet activists in several countries focus world attention on the region by disrupting progress of the Olympic torch relay.
BAD HUMAN RIGHTS CONDITIONS
Tibet has internationally been recognised as one of the most unstable regions in the world, constantly featuring among the top targets of human rights violations. Tibet was invaded by 35,000 Chinese troops who systematically raped, tortured and murdered an estimated as many as 1.2 million Tibetans – one-fifth of the country’s population. Since then, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed and thousands of Tibetans have been imprisoned.
Hundreds of Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule since 2009, with more than 100 dying from their injuries. The numbers are murky due to the absence of official records and the suppression of free press in communist China. However, reliable records show that between 1949 and 1979 the following atrocities occurred: 173,221 Tibetans died after being tortured in prison, 156,758 Tibetans were executed by the Chinese, 432,705 Tibetans were killed while fighting Chinese occupation, 342,970 Tibetans have starved to death, 92,731 Tibetans were publicly tortured to death, 9,002 Tibetans committed suicide.
In Tibet today, there is no freedom of speech, religion, or press and arbitrary detainments continue. The 14th Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959, now lives among over 100,000 other Tibetan refugees and their government in exile. Forced abortion, sterilisation of Tibetan women, and the transfer of low-income Chinese citizens threaten the survival of Tibetan culture. In some Tibetan provinces, Chinese settlers outnumber Tibetans 7 to 1. The Chinese government has never made a formal apology for their atrocities in Tibet