According to the Associated Press "Another Tibetan has set himself on fire in western China to protest government policies" and he's not the only one. In addition to this 19 year old monk that recently set himself ablaze, everyday Tibetans are protesting all the ways in which their government has chosen to ignore the cries of its people. Self immolation, large marches and rallies, and various other public protests are continuing to take over the streets of Tibet.
While we are awaiting the funds to help Tibet in bigger ways, we are continuing to cultivate relationships with Tibetan people and organizations such as the Tibet Fund. The Tibet Fund's goal is "to preserve the distinct cultural and national identity of the Tibetan people." We have a similar goal: this year we plan to film Tibetan survivors and refugees, allowing them to share their stories, and hopefully encouraging the type of support and help that this region desperately needs.
In the past three months several news reports have been released on the increasing number of Tibetans committing self-immolation to protest Chinese policies.
The Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet provides insight with his statement, “Self-immolation is a window into the deep suffering and frustrations that Tibetans everywhere are feeling, and is an urgent cry for help that the global community cannot ignore."
3 Generations continues to support the Tibetan community. Through our website and social media outlets we share our survivor stories and the latest news to help build awareness and encourage action to end current atrocities in Tibet.
Additionally, we are conducting research and actively fundraising in order to film and share more survivor stories. We invite you to listen, learn, and take action.
Since our last report the situation has not improved for Tibetans in China. Additionally, the changing role of His Holiness the Dalai Lama makes the preservation of Tibetans’ cultural identity even more challenging. However, we fully support the Tibetan Government in Exile and continue to deepen our involvement with the Tibetan community. We are currently researching new survivors as well as actively fundraising to film their stories.
Please visit our website to view and share Tibetan Survivor stories.
We'd like to share a report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This report is available online, but we wanted to highlight their recommendations to the US Government:
"The staff traveled to Tibet to identify areas of common ground, particularly in the areas of equitable economic development, environmental protection, and cultural preservation. Discussions between U. S. and Chinese officials on Tibet issues are often contentious. Chinese officials tend to characterize U.S. interest in the human rights situation in Tibet and Washington’s advocacy of dialogue between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Beijing as unwelcome intrusions into China’s internal affairs. Beijing objected when the Congress passed the Tibet Policy Act in 2002, and lodged formal protests when Congress later awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor. Nonetheless, we believe it remains vital for the U.S. government, consistent with the Tibet Policy Act, to continue to urge the government of China to pursue reconciliation with the Dalai Lama and other Tibetans in exile through mutually respectful dialogue. Reconciliation would not only help resolve a long-standing political and humanitarian crisis, but also allow the expertise, resources, and energy and Tibetans in exile to assist in the economic development of Tibet and the protection of its fragile environment and unique culture.
While that dialogue continues, there are steps that the United States can take that might not only bring direct benefits to the Tibetan people, but also begin to build a foundation of trust between Washington and Beijing on Tibetan affairs. Given Beijing’s stated objectives for Tibet, and in light of some of the economic development, environmental protection, and cultural preservation projects we observed there, we believe there is room to explore collaborative efforts in Tibet. Accordingly, we make the following recommendations for the U.S. government:
• Working in concert with officials in Beijing and in Tibetan regions of China, identify specific projects in the areas of sustainable economic development, environmental protection, and cultural preservation that could be undertaken jointly. Possible areas include lessons learned by the United States in dealing with discrimination and prejudice, bilingual education, environmentally sound mining practices, collection of data on glacier melt and river management, historically accurate restoration of cultural relics, collaborative research on Tibetan Buddhist teachings, etc. Projects could be implemented through a combination of non-governmental and official channels, with both private and public funding;
• Cooperating with Chinese officials, seek to scale up existing U.S.- funded NGO activities in Tibetan regions, studying what works and replicating success stories in other ethnic minority prefectures; and
• Encourage China to relax restrictions on movement of U.S. government officials, journalists, tourists, and pilgrims to and from Tibetan regions, and, consistent with the Tibet Policy Act, press China to permit the United States to open a Consulate in Lhasa.
Restrictions on access to Tibet make it harder for China to tell the positive stories of Tibet, even as they afford corrupt or brutal officials protection from scrutiny. Tibet should be as open as any other part of China. Establishing a full-time diplomatic post in Lhasa would not only allow greater support for U.S. citizens traveling to Tibet, but also signal our government’s enduring commitment to working with Chinese authorities and the Tibetan people to promote sustainable economic development, environmental protection, and cultural preservation."
What do you think? We'd love to hear your thoughts, especially since His Holiness the Dalai Lama is relinquishing his political power to devote more time to his role as a spiritual leader. Share your thoughts here or find us on Facebook and Twitter.
The Truth About Tibet aims to provide Tibetans with the opportunity to tell the world about their personal experiences under Chinese rule. Through this project, we hope to build awareness and help work towards the end of the current atrocities taking place in Tibet.
Thanks to your generous support, we have been able to publish Penpa's extraordinary story. You can watch it here: http://www.3generations.org/story/articletype/articleview/articleid/38/penpa.aspx.
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3 Generations Founder and President