Tibetan Headlines

  • Feb 23: UN Support

    A group of United Nations human rights experts has called on China to release Tashi Wangchuk, the Tibetan human rights activist currently in prison in China, “immediately” and to “drop” all the allegations arising from his appearance in an article and video documentary in the New York Times. Two representatives of the Central Tibetan Administration are in Geneva for a week-long advocacy. read more →
  • Feb 22: Jokhang Closed

    The Jokhang Temple in the Tibetan capital Lhasa has been closed for three days following the fire over the weekend in the temple compound, raising concerns about the extent of the damage. Reports are coming through that although the temple has been open since the fire, new drapes obscured some artefacts and the second floor was closed. There are reports that the Holy statue of Jowo Shakyamuni is intact. read more →
  • Feb 21: Sentenced

    Tsegon Gyal, 55, a Tibetan journalist, musician and former political prisoner, has received a three-year prison sentence for “inciting separatism”. He is in a prison in Qinghai’s capital Xining. He was detained in December 2016 and tried in May last year with no access to a lawyer, and has had only one visit from his family. He wrote a blog criticising China’s policies. read more →
  • Feb 19: Fire!

    A shrine in the Jokhang Temple compound in Lhasa has been destroyed by fire. The fire was put out by the fire brigade and nobody was hurt, however some buildings, artefacts and sacred relics have been damaged. The cause of the fire is not known. The sacred Jokhang temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is undamaged; it was built by Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century. read more →
  • Feb 16: Losar Wishes to our Readers!

    The team at Contact magazine wishes all our readers a very happy Losar and hope this New Year will be full of fun, joy, health, peace, success and prosperity. Tashi Delek to you all from Contact and Lha Charitable Trust!!! Tibetan new year - Losar 2145 – Year of the Earth Dog. read more →
  • Feb 16: Dhondup Wangchen Testifies

    Dhondup Wangchen, the Tibetan filmmaker and former political prisoner, has testified at a hearing of the United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China, giving evidence about his arrest, detention and surveillance following his release from prison. He spoke of the Chinese repression in Tibet and of the impending threat of China’s regime to the rest of the world. He said, “Every attempt for more freedom or democracy is oppressed by China”. read more →
  • Feb 14: Surveillance in Tibet

    The Chinese government in the Tibet autonomous region has issued new instructions that Tibetans living there should report on the activities of “criminal gangs” connected to the “separatist forces of the Dalai Lama” and his “group”, as well as “foreign hostile forces”. There are reports that due to lack of employment opportunities for Tibetans, many work in the surveillance industry which requires them to spy on their compatriots. read more →
  • Feb 13: Independence Day

    Students for a Free Tibet celebrated Tibetan Independence day in McLeod Ganj, with parallel activities planned to take place around the world by Tibetans and supporters. SFT held an exhibition and hosted a night of Tibetan songs and music. This year’s Independence Day theme is Gyallu, or the Tibetan national anthem and it is being sung in front of the Chinese consulate in New York City. read more →
  • Feb 12: Journalists Obstructed

    The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) – a Beijing-based association for foreign journalists working in China – says that their working conditions in many parts of China, including occupied Tibet and Eastern Turkistan, deteriorated last year. Their recent survey reports journalists being severely beaten, detained and harassed, with around 50 correspondents reporting interference last year while attempting to gather information, including physical obstruction from accessing a location. read more →
  • Feb 10: Released!

    Geshe Tsewang Namgyal, a monk from the Draggo monastery, has been released after serving six years in prison for his participation in a peaceful demonstration in Draggo during the Lunar New Year. The demonstration was broken up by the Chinese authorities who fired on the participants, killing six people. He was tortured in prison and has been left with a disability. read more →

International Headlines

  • Feb 23: Apostrophe Rebellion

    Kazakhstan is changing its alphabet – again! In October last year it was changed from the Cyrillic alphabet to a Latin one and now, after an uproar about apostrophes, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has issued a decree to change it again and apostrophes have been replaced by accents, using the same system as its neighbour Turkmenistan. read more →
  • Feb 14: Oxfam Scandal

    British based aid charity Oxfam is undergoing investigation after revelations that Oxfam staff working in Haiti after the earthquake there in 2011 used prostitutes. Further claims have arisen of staff paying for sex with under age girls and demanding sex in return for aid, as well as inappropriate sexual behaviour in other countries. Now Oxfam International chairman Juan Alberto Fuentes has been arrested in Guatemala on a separate, but related, issue. read more →
  • Feb 11: Resistance Leader Dies

    Gene Sharp, the inspiration for modern grassroots non-violent political resistance, including the Arab Spring, has died at home in Boston aged 90. His From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation published in the early 1990s became in effect a handbook for non-violent revolt. Sharp served time in prison for civil disobedience, refusing to fight in the Korean war. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize numerous times. read more →
  • Feb 9: Jihadists Captured

    Two British men who are believed to be the last two members of notorious Islamic State (IS) “Beatles” cell have been seized by Syrian Kurdish fighters. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh belonged to the “execution cell” which has beheaded more than 27 Western hostages and tortured many more. Their ringleader, Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, was killed in an air strike in Syria in 2015. read more →
  • Feb 8: More Surveillance

    Police in China are using sunglasses equipped with facial recognition technology to identify suspected criminals giving rise to fear that the technology will be used to track political dissidents or profile ethnic minorities. China is a world leader in facial recognition technology and has what it calls "the world's biggest camera surveillance network" with around 170 million CCTV cameras already in place and more on the way. read more →
  • Feb 7: Rohingyas to Return?

    Myanmar has been showing foreign envoys the preparations that are being made for the reception of returning Rohingya Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in the face of brutal military oppression in their home Rakhine state in Myanmar, and hostile negotiations have been taking place between the two countries to facilitate their return. There is widespread concern about their treatment in Myanmar. read more →
  • Feb 6: Maldives Emergency

    A 15-day state of emergency has been declared in the Maldives with parliament suspended and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom arrested as a crackdown on the opposition intensifies. President Abdulla Yameen has refused to comply with a court order to release political prisoners and the army have been ordered to resist any move to impeach him. read more →
  • Feb 5: Peace Prize Nominees

    Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Alex Chow Yong-kang, who led the 2014 Occupy protests – known as the “Umbrella Movement” – have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a US congressional group “in recognition of [the trio’s] peaceful efforts to bring political reform and self-determination to Hong Kong and protect the autonomy and freedom”. read more →
  • Feb 3: Ancient Civilisation Revealed

    Evidence has emerged that the Guatamalan civilisation of Maya was far more advanced than previously realised and probably more akin to sophisticated cultures like ancient Greece or China. Archaeologists using the new Lidar laser technology have found more than 60,000 hidden Maya ruins beneath the forest canopy, including houses, palaces, elevated highways, and defensive fortifications showing that previous estimates of population were millions short of reality. read more →
  • Feb 2: McGovern Condemns China

    American Congressman Jim McGovern has condemned the Chinese government’s recent decision to put the running of Larung Gar into the hands of Communist Party cadres and lay officials saying, “Congress must ensure there are consequences for China’s egregious actions to control and destroy Tibetan Buddhism”. Larung Gar was a world renowned Tibetan Buddhist centre of learning in Tibet but has been much reduced by the Chinese authorities. read more →

Dharamshala Voice

A True Calling

There are five Rigpa* in the Tibetan culture, and Sowa-Rigpa is one of them. It is the traditional Tibetan medicine, a complex ancient medical system which incorporates a host of other ancient systems that include traditional Chinese medicine, Indian Ayurvedic medicine and the Unamic-a Perso-Arabic-medical system which has its roots read more →

Perhaps, Someday….

Back in 1969, when I was a rather young girl who really wanted to meet the Dalai Lama, I set out overland to go to India. Shall we point out, travel was not easy then? Quite a few of us were traveling to India, the media called it the “Hippie read more →

Volunteer story of the month: Volunteering from Wales

Name: Ailsa Newcombe Unlike most of Lha’s volunteers I have never been to McLeod Ganj, nor India, nor Tibet, but I have been volunteering for Lha for eight months now. I live in Wales, part of the United Kingdom, on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. Like McLeod Ganj, read more →

Tibetan News

Dr Yeshi Dhonden Honoured

Dr Yeshi Dhonden, former personal physician to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has been named as one of 73 recipients of this year’s Padma Shri Award, India’s fourth highest civilian award. Dr Yeshi Dhonden has served patients from all over the world from his clinic in McLeod Ganj. He is read more →

EU calls for Immediate Release of Tibetan Political Prisoners

All eyes were on Europe last week, and this time it wasn’t because of Brexit. The European Parliament passed a resolution calling on China to respect its constitutional provisions to protect the human rights of Tibetans and other Chinese citizens. The non-legislative resolution was passed during the Human Rights and read more →

Mining in Tibet: More Suffering for the Nomads

As the Chinese development machine marches on, more than 10,000 nomads have been forced from their land in Tibet’s Lhathog region. For generations, a community of Tibetan nomads has lived around the Yulung Zangter Mountain in Kham Lhathog County of eastern Tibet. Now, in the name of development they are read more →

Dalai Lama Teaches Chinese Devotees

Tibet’s 82-year-old spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, held the final session of his series of teachings in Bodh Gaya this month on January 22 and 23. He dedicated it Chinese devotees from mainland China, inviting them to come and sit at the front of the teaching pavilion. The read more →

China Recalls Tibetan Pilgrims

Tibetans who have travelled from Tibet to Nepal and India for pilgrimage purposes and to visit relatives have been ordered to return to Tibet immediately. Voice of Tibet (VOT) has reported that the directive is mainly aimed at the large number of Tibetans who are attending the ongoing teachings of read more →

The Worst Abuser of Internet Freedom

China has once again been named by Freedom House* as the worst abuser of internet freedom in the world. It specifically mentions Tibet and the effects there of these tight restrictions. It goes on to mention the response of the Chinese authorities to events such as self-immolations in Tibet,which includes read more →

30,000 Flock to Hear His Holiness in Bodh Gaya

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s second three-day teaching this month in Bodh Gaya was Nagarjuna’s Commentary on Bodhicitta and Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo’s Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva. Around 30,000 people attended, including 10,000 monks and nuns and 3,300 foreign visitors from 70 different countries. This teaching was organised at the read more →

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