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NEWS AND INFORMATION ABOUT TIBET AND THE TIBETAN PEOPLE
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WNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show - Tibet Wild

WNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show - Tibet Wild | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Leading field biologist George Schaller talks about his 30 years spent exploring in the most remote stretches of Tibet: the wide, sweeping rangelands of the Chang Tang and the canyons and ravines of the southeastern forests. In Tibet Wild he tells how more roads, homes, and grazing livestock, and are increasingly causing clashes between the wildlife and people. He works with local communities, regional leaders, and national governments to protect the unique ecological richness and culture of the Tibetan Plateau.

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Handbook of Tibetan Iconometry - new edition published

Handbook of Tibetan Iconometry - new edition published | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

The Handbook of Iconometry (Tibetan title: Cha tshad kyi dpe ris Dpyod ldan yid gsos) constitutes a lavishly illustrated treatise laying down the iconometic principles and measurements at the heart of the 17th-century art of Tibet. The book was produced in ca. 1687 at the instigation of the famous scholar and statesman sde srid Sangs rgyas rgya mtsho (1653–1705). Today, the original is kept in the Tibet Autonomous Region Archives (Lhasa). The Handbook includes more than 150 meticulously prepared drawings of buddhas, bodhisattvas and divinities, 70 script types and 14 stupa models all extrapolated from the rich heritage of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist art.


Handbook of Tibetan Iconometry: A Guide to the Arts of the 17th Century
Edited by Christoph Cüppers, Lumbini International Research Institute, Nepal, Leonard van der Kuijp, Harvard University, Ulrich Pagel, School of Oriental and African Studies, London. With a Chinese Introduction by Dobis Tsering Gyal.


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China cracks down on Tibet protests

China cracks down on Tibet protests | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

China's government says it has detained 70 people in ethnic Tibetan areas as it cracks down on self-immolation protests against Chinese rule. Beijing has stepped up its efforts to blame the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, for the protests, in which nearly 100 Tibetan monks, nuns and lay people have set themselves on fire since 2009.

 

The harsh measures are a sign new Chinese leaders installed in November are not easing up on Tibet despite international condemnation. The protesters are calling for Beijing to allow greater religious freedom and the return from exile of the Dalai Lama, who lives in India.

 

On Thursday, Voice of America, a US-government-financed broadcaster, denied accusations by Chinese state television and a government newspaper that it encouraged the burnings. The US state department has expressed concern about the "deteriorating human rights situation in Tibetan areas" and the use of criminal laws against people associated with protesters.

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Fire Extinguishers, Tibet, and Tiananmen Square

Fire Extinguishers, Tibet, and Tiananmen Square | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

In the most critical parts of China’s sanctum sanctorum, Tiananmen Square, a bright red fire extinguisher has been positioned every ten or twenty meters in case someone sets him or herself on fire.

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Distress at death sentence for Tibetan accused of 'inciting self-immolation'

Distress at death sentence for Tibetan accused of 'inciting self-immolation' | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

A Tibetan monk named Lobsang Kunchok was given a suspended death sentence*, and his nephew Lobsang Tsering sentenced to ten years for "intentional homicide" connected to the self-immolation of eight Tibetans in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba), although five of the self-immolations never occurred. The two Tibetans were caught up in a new drive by Chinese authorities to criminalize the self-immolations in Tibet. The severe sentences are the first to be imposed against individuals who have allegedly ‘incited’ or ‘coerced’ Tibetans to self-immolate.

Konchok Rangdrol's curator insight, February 4, 2013 7:44 PM

THe Chinese are now going to start executing and torturing other citizens they could not terrorize before, and they will do it by suggesting that citizens are "inciting self-immolation", are they serious? And where are the Chinese people, silently allowing this to go on? The government officials are seriously lacking in insight, and should end the terrorism against Tibetans and monastics!

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As self-immolations near 100, some Tibetans ask, Is it worth it?

As self-immolations near 100, some Tibetans ask, Is it worth it? | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

A crowd of Tibetans came here to India’s capital last week, bearing flags and political banners and a bittersweet admixture of hope and despair. A grim countdown was under way: The number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule in Tibet had reached 99, one short of an anguished milestone.

 

Yet as that milestone hung over the estimated 5,000 Tibetans who gathered in a small stadium, so did an uncertainty about whether the rest of the world was paying attention at all. In speeches, Tibetan leaders described the self-immolations as the desperate acts of a people left with no other way to draw global attention to Chinese policies in Tibet.

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Political repression, cultural assimilation causing Tibet to burn says new think-tank report

Political repression, cultural assimilation causing Tibet to burn says new think-tank report | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Tibet Policy Institute (TCI) - a think tank that functions as a research-oriented intellectual platform for the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) - has revealed in its first report that the political repression and cultural assimilation are triggering the self-immolation protests in Tibet. The white paper titled "Why Tibet is Burning?" is also the first report of the Tibet Policy Institute since its inception last year.

 

Sikyong (Tibetan prime minister-in-exile) Lobsang Sangay released this research publication which explains the fundamental reasons behind the ongoing wave of self-immolations inside Tibet and the alarming escalation in the protests witnessed in the past few months.

 

The principle reasons listed in the 91-page report for Tibet's fiery protests are political repression, Chinese communist leader's views and policies on Tibet, and cultural assimilation, destruction of Tibetan Buddhism. Besides, social discrimination, strangling the Tibetan language, environment destruction, Tibetan Nomads and ending their way of life and economic marginalisation, population transfer and western China Development Programme are the other reasons given in the report.

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China, Tibet, and religious oppression: Center on Foreign Relations podcast

China, Tibet, and religious oppression: Center on Foreign Relations podcast | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Ellen Bork, director of Democracy and Human Rights at the Foreign Policy Initiative, leads a conversation on the relationship between China and Tibet and the ongoing religious persecution in Tibet, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.

 

Listen or download at http://www.cfr.org/china/china-tibet-religious-oppression/p29815

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Jailed Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen shifted to better conditions

Jailed Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen shifted to better conditions | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

 Some news which appears to be good from China, and some that isn't: Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen has been moved to a women's prison where conditions are not as harsh, according to his friends and associates at the Switzerland based group Filming for Tibet. They say that Wangchen has been transferred to the Qinghai Provincial Women's Prison, the main prison for women in China's Qinghai province. He had been held at the Xichuan labor camp in Siling, in eastern Tibet. 

After months of non-communication with the outside world, Wangchen was able to tell a visitor that he is in better health, even though he spent six months in solitary confinement in Xichuan. Detained in March 2008, he was sentenced to six years in prison for subversion in December, 2009. His request for an appeal of his sentence was denied in January 2010. The use of state security charges are typically used to detain journalists who have run afoul of the Beijing government.

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Large yak herd found in Tibetan park

Large yak herd found in Tibetan park | Tibet Central | Scoop.it
Yaks are coming back. At least they are in a remote reserve on the Tibetan Plateau. Researchers recently counted nearly 1,000 wild yaks in a rugged northern area of the plateau known as Hoh Xil, which is nearly the size of West Virginia and has very few human residents, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which helped conduct the census.  Decimated by hunters in the middle of the 20th century, wild yaks are listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which is one step above "endangered." The animals once ranged in huge numbers throughout Tibet, Nepal, India and western China. Now the population across their entire range may be about 10,000, although the IUCN said this is only a rough estimate in the absence of solid numbers. The animal is protected in several areas throughout its range, such as in Hoh Xil.
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Lhakar: Tibetan pride - A growing number of Tibetans are, every Wednesday, reclaiming and embracing their Tibetan identity

Lhakar: Tibetan pride - A growing number of Tibetans are, every Wednesday, reclaiming and embracing their Tibetan identity | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Tibet has once again become the centre of international attention after a wave of self-immolations. Beyond these tragic acts, Tibetans are looking for new forms of protest against Chinese rule, such as Lhakar, a weekly celebration of Tibetan traditions. A growing number of Tibetans are, every Wednesday, reclaiming and embracing their Tibetan identity and making a political statement by wearing traditional clothes, speaking Tibetan eating in Tibetan restaurants, reciting Tibetan prayers and buying from Tibetan-owned businesses. Though in many ways these activities and practices are nothing new – Tibetans have long taken pride in their language and culture – the labeling of such activities as ‘Lhakar’ and the now global spread of this movement is both novel and significant.

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Another Tibetan sets himself on fire, dies to protest Chinese rule

Another Tibetan sets himself on fire, dies to protest Chinese rule | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

A Tibetan man protesting China's rule of the region set himself on fire Saturday, his death believed to be the first case of self-immolation this year -- but one that adds to a grim, growing toll. The death took place in Gansu province in northwestern China. It was reported by Free Tibet, a London-based organization that campaigns for self-determination for Tibetans, and by the U.S.-based Radio Free Asia. Free Tibet said the man was 22, while Radio Free Asia put his age at 19.

 

By December 2012, 95 Tibetans had carried out the act, with 28 self-immolations in November alone when China's political elite ushered in its next generation of leaders during its Communist Party Congress. At least 81 of them died, according to the International Tibet Network, a coalition of some 150 pro-Tibet groups.

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Tibetan monks lose their TVs as China's censors raid monasteries

Tibetan monks lose their TVs as China's censors raid monasteries | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

It’s been a tough year for Tibetan monks and things have just gotten tougher after Chinese authorities confiscated TVs in 300 monasteries and wrecked satellite gear that Beijing claimed was broadcasting "anti-China" content.

An article from the state-run Qinghai news agency spotted by Reuters claimed that the local government in Tibetan-dominated Huangnan prefecture, Qinghai province, took the drastic measures in a bid to stop the flurry of self-immolations that have occurred this year.  

 

"At this critical moment for maintaining social stability in Huangnan prefecture ... (we must) strengthen measures and fully fight the special battle against self-immolations," the article claimed, according to Reuters. It said these measures include “guiding public opinion on the Dalai issue” and “blocking outside harmful information”. Tibetans in rural areas have apparently been singled out by the Chinese authorities for using satellite TV to tune into anti-Chinese programmes from outside the country.

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BOOK: The Museum on the Roof of the World: Art, Politics, and the Representation of Tibet

BOOK: The Museum on the Roof of the World: Art, Politics, and the Representation of Tibet | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Claire Harris' fascinating new book covers both historical material as well as the work  of contemporary Tibetan artists. 

 

Harris, C. E. 2012. The Museum on the Roof of the World: Art, Politics, and the Representation of Tibet. University of Chicago Press.

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Second solo show by Tibetan artist Tenzing Rigdol opens at Rossi & Rossi in London

Second solo show by Tibetan artist Tenzing Rigdol opens at Rossi & Rossi in London | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

The show will feature a brand new body of works along with a crucial earlier painting from 2004, Brief History of Tibet, which during recent years has been travelling as part of the exhibition Missing Peace. His works, using hand blocked scripture, silk collage and printed images alongside more traditional painting techniques, are the impassioned product of collective influences and interpretations of age-old traditions

 

Often making reference to philosophy and addressing issues of human conflict they have strong political undertones, an unavoidable element in his art. His Tibetan heritage plays a deeply important, vital part in his life as well as his artworks which can be viewed as portraits of his homeland. Often containing highly charged images such as photographs of the Dalai Lama, protesting youths set amongst tongues of flames directly alluding to the recent immolations of nuns and monks. 


More Information: http://www.rossirossi.com

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Special issue of Cultural Anthropology explores self-immolation as protest in Tibet

Special issue of Cultural Anthropology explores self-immolation as protest in Tibet | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

"Tibet has no history of self-immolation as sacrifice, religious offering, or political protest. Yet, in the last year alone, roughly thirty-five Tibetans have set themselves on fire. The overwhelming majority of self-immolators are inside Tibet, in the People’s Republic of China, and almost exclusively in northwestern Sichuan and southeastern Qinghai provinces (corresponding to the Tibetan regions of northern Kham and southern Amdo).

 

In this special issue of Cultural Anthropology, we collectively ask why. Why are so many Tibetans resorting to the singular act of setting the body on fire? What combination of cultural, historical, political, and/or religious reasons inspire these acts?"  http://www.culanth.org/?q=node/526

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VIDEO: Watch a Tibetan Wheel of Life mandala take form

VIDEO: Watch a Tibetan Wheel of Life mandala take form | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Lama Losang Samten explains some of the history and symbolism behind the Tibetan "Wheel of Life" mandala.

 

http://youtu.be/VctLUseUCmA

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There is no religious freedom in Tibet says Tibetan PM

There is no religious freedom in Tibet says Tibetan PM | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

China has become more open to religion. It is funding monasteries and restoration of Buddhist monuments? Lobsang Sangay: "The funding and restoration is for tourist purposes. The monasteries are funded if they stay "patriotic" . Practising religion is another matter. In all the 7,000-odd monasteries they have, democratic management committees of Chinese Communist Party members control recruitment and disciplining of monks. They throw you out if you disagree. What kind of freedom is that? In practice there is no religious freedom. That is why most of the self-immolators are monks."

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China pushing Tibet into total isolation as self-immolations near 100

China pushing Tibet into total isolation as self-immolations near 100 | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

China has been moving to complete Tibet’s isolation in recent weeks. Radio Free Asia recently reported that Chinese officials have confiscated and burned satellite dishes in eastern Tibet to keep Tibetans from listening to exile broadcasts that carry news of self-immolation protests in other areas. Likewise, last year Students for a Free Tibet reported that Chinese officials in eastern Tibet were strengthening restrictions on internet cafes, requiring all patrons to register with a government ID.

 

According to the Washington Post, officials have also confiscated Tibetans’ passports to replace them with electronic ones—without actually providing the new passports. This has left most Tibetans inside Tibet unable to legally travel to India or Nepal, where rights groups are located.

 

This makes Western journalists dependent on reports from exile Tibetans with relatives in the affected areas; advocacy groups like the International Campaign for Tibet and Free Tibet; and Radio Free Asia (RFA), which is largely funded by the U.S. government. Because so much news from inside Tibet comes either from advocacy groups or explicitly ideological media outlets like RFA or Phayul.com, much of it also goes unreported in the mainstream press.

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99 monks have set themselves on fire since February 2009

99 monks have set themselves on fire since February 2009 | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

On Tuesday, Kunchok Kyab, 26, set fire to himself near the monastery in an apparent protest against Chinese rule. The Tibetan farmer, married with an infant son, died from his injuries, reported Tibetan exile media.

 

His self-immolation, the third in Bora, took the total to 99 since the first such protest in February 2009, according to the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India. More than 80 such desperate acts have happened in the past 12 months alone.

 

"We can understand those that self-immolate, as their feelings of frustration are shared by all Tibetans," said a wheat farmer, 23, near Labrang Monastery. "We all want the Dalai Lama to return and religious freedom for Tibet, that's why they do it."

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Dalai Lama stresses science and secularism at 2013 Jaipur Literature Festival

Dalai Lama stresses science and secularism at 2013 Jaipur Literature Festival | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

As an eager audience settled into their seats on a chilly Thursday morning, the first day of the Jaipur Literary Festival, six monks from the Drepung Loseling monastery, clad in orange robes, sat on the stage with their legs crossed and hands pressed together as in prayer. A calm settled over the audience as the monks’ deep, throaty chants echoed across the front lawns.

 

The soothing voices set the stage for this year’s festival, whose theme is the influence of Buddhism on literature and philosophy, and for Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, who was speaking later in the afternoon with the author Pico Iyer, his friend and biographer. Mr. Iyer, who has been speaking with the Dalai Lama over a period of 34 years, is the author of “The Open Road,” a book that draws on these conversations.

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28 year-old Tibetan is latest self-immolator — 2nd this year, 97th since 2009

28 year-old Tibetan is latest self-immolator — 2nd this year, 97th since 2009 | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

A young Tibetan man set himself on fire and died outside a police station in China’s Sichuan province on Friday in a challenge to Beijing's rule in Tibetan areas, according to sources in the region.

It was the second Tibetan self-immolation this year and the 97th since the wave of fiery protests began in February 2009 aimed at highlighting opposition to Chinese rule and seeking the return of Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Tsering Phuntsok, 28, set himself ablaze at about 3:15 p.m. local time outside a Chinese police station in Marthang (in Chinese, Hongyuan) county in Sichuan’s Ngaba (Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Tibetan sources said.

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As Tibet burns, China makes arrests, seizes TVs

As Tibet burns, China makes arrests, seizes TVs | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

(BEIJING) — Chinese authorities are responding to an intensified wave of Tibetan self-immolation protests against Chinese rule by clamping down even harder — criminalizing the suicides, arresting protesters’ friends and even confiscating thousands of satellite TV dishes. The harsh measures provide an early indication that the country’s new leadership is not easing up on Tibet despite the burning protests and international condemnation.

 

Wang Lixiong, a scholar and an activist for minority rights, said that it was still early days for the new leaders, who customarily do not make dramatic policy changes while in a transition period. Wang added that he expected that any policy shifts they might enact would be minor, and that Tibetan demands for greater autonomy would not be met — leading to ever greater frustration.


Read more: http://world.time.com/2013/01/18/as-tibet-burns-china-makes-arrests-seizes-tvs/#ixzz2ILPGr32x.

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Chinese police arrest seven 'abetters' after Tibetan man's self-immolation

Chinese police arrest seven 'abetters' after Tibetan man's self-immolation | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Chinese police have detained seven people for helping persuade a Tibetan villager to set fire to himself, state media report. The move is the latest attempt by authorities to curb the spate of self-immolations. More than 90 monks, nuns and lay people have set fire to themselves since the spring of 2011, many in the last few months. Most of them, including a 19-year-old man, who burned himself on Saturday, have died.

 

Officials, who warned in December that anyone accused of abetting the protests could be charged with homicide, have offered rewards of up to 50,000 yuan (£5,000) for information on the planning and instigation of such cases. Security measures have intensified across Tibetan areas.

 

Kate Saunders, communications director at the International Campaign for Tibet, said there were fears for at least five Tibetans from other areas who appeared to have been detained since China's announcement that it would charge people with inciting or aiding self-immolations. She added: "This vicious cycle of reprisals can only exacerbate the situation and provoke further responses from Tibetans. It doesn't address any of the ultimate causes of the self-immolations.

Konchok Rangdrol's comment, February 4, 2013 7:49 PM
The immolations are horrifying, and they are testament to the atrocities and the sheer angst that is felt by many in the Tibetan communities. The idea that a monk or a nun, who all hold that life is precious, and would take their lives because of the suggestions of others is ludicrous. Not even the Chinese can claim to be so ignorant! And, with the Communists handing out rewards for information, they are practically inviting Chinese citizens or greedy Tibetans to testify against others! This is sheer lunacy on the part of the Chinese!
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Chinese artist paints portraits of Tibetan self-immolators to break silence among China's majority

Chinese artist paints portraits of Tibetan self-immolators to break silence among China's majority | Tibet Central | Scoop.it

Beijing-based artist Liu Yi is working on a series of black-and-white portraits he knows will never be shown in a Chinese gallery. His varied subjects — men and women, young and old, smiling and pensive — have one thing in common: They are Tibetans who have set themselves on fire to protest repressive Chinese rule. With each brushstroke, Liu is making a heartfelt plea: The burning must end.

 

Liu is rare among his contemporaries for addressing the largely taboo topic. Only a tiny handful of activists from the Han Chinese majority have spoken out. At the heart of the silence is Han Chinese indifference or even hostility to the Tibetan cause, despite some overlap with liberal Han activists who chafe at authoritarian controls.

 

Many among the majority see the immolations as part of attempts to break away from China and wonder why Tibetans aren't more grateful for government development of their region with rail links, expressways, houses and factories.

 

Han Chinese also tend to see Tibet, with its breathtaking mountain grasslands and yak-rearing nomads, as a wild and unknowable region. Although Han Chinese activists increasingly advocate the preservation of Tibet's pristine environment, most draw the line at political issues.

 

Tibetan poet and activist Woeser says "Tibetan and Han culture differs in that one is spiritual and the other is material. This difference is actually a gulf, it's hard to bridge."

 

Follow Gillian Wong on Twitter: http://twitter.com/gillianwong

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