The Truth about Tibet: Hear Their Stories

 
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This past weekend, leaders from the world’s wealthiest and most powerful countries met in Northern Ireland for a G8 summit. Unsurprisingly, the conference centered around the topic of Syria where civil war has led autocrat, Bashar al-Assad, to utilize chemical weapons against resistance groups. While the political situation in Syria is no doubt dire, Tibetan rights advocates found the parallels hard to ignore. Expressing his frustration Tibet activist, Tenzin Jime, wrote, “If a conference for Syria can be ‘strongly’ supported, surely the G8 can also give support to the Tibetan people who have suffered occupation for over 60 years, increasing economic marginalization and brutal repression, and yet continue to steadfastly conduct a non-violent campaign for justice.”

Indeed, despite Tibet’s dedication to peaceful protest, their work has lead to little avail. In fact, conditions appear to be worsening. In March, Human Rights Watch released a report noting a drastic increase in surveillance and prosecutions as well as limitations on movement and communication beyond Tibet’s borders. The establishment of 600 new police stations and patrol groups known as “Red Armband patrols,” has further alarmed activist groups; and for good reason. Working alongside grassroots administrations tasked explicitly with the job of collecting personal information on the neighborhood people, these patrols use computers and video equipment to track individuals and raid homes. Despite these conditions, Tibet’s peaceful resistance continues with minimal international action while the numbers of those who have resorted to self-immolation as a form of protest, have increased.

As governmental control over free speech increases, Tibet loses one of its most critical tools for peaceful protest. Exiled to India in 1959, spiritual leader of the Kirti monastery, Kyabje Kirti Rinpoche, has taken an active role in speaking out and raising awareness of China’s oppression. We at 3 Generations are dedicated to providing survivors of genocide, trafficking, war, and human rights abuses with a platform to share their stories. As China continues to crack down on free speech, Mr. Rinpoche’s accounts become increasingly valuable. Donate now and help make it possible for us to share Mr. Rinpoche’s story with the world.  

 

Thank you for checking out our page. For more information, check out the Human Rights Watch Report at:

 

www.hrw.org/news/2013/03/25/chinas-failing-policy-tibet-self-defeating

 

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDQQqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hngn.com%2Farticles%2F5715%2F20130619%2Fsyria-ruled-g8-summit-tibet-feels-excluded.htm&ei=EHzEUa6bLO6o4AOnuICIAg&usg=AFQjCNEEuSrBSpAFtQi315xSQ9A-ikNgpg&sig2=4bE4gkehaWixa5bIVoK8nQ&bvm=bv.48293060,d.dmg

Today, you have an opportunity to show your solidarity with the people of Tibet.

Learn the history of Tibetan resistance & the significance of Tibetan Uprising day, read about the ongoing repression of the Tibetan people in Chinese occupied Tibet and discover how you can take action. 

The Past

For over six decades, Tibet has been under Chinese occupation. The People’s Liberation Army in 1950, markedly the inception of a campaign to brutally repress the religion and culture of Tibetans, garrisoned the independent nation. Initially, the People's Republic of China implemented an ostensibly ‘accommodating’ policy- allowing the Dalai Lama to retain his authoritative position, agreeing to allow Tibet to self-govern and respecting Tibetans freedom of religion - all the meanwhile covertly undermining Tibetan authority, confiscating land from the Tibetan aristocracy, looting monasteries, and introducing Communist propaganda.

By the mid-1950's, the Chinese government needed to secure the strategically crucial region in order to enact the next stage of their plan. The 'neccesity' compelled the PRC to accelerate their Tibetan social transformation scheme. The PRC's pace of monastery and temple destruction escalated and hundreds of thousands of monks and nuns were driven out from their religious communities. Anti-Chinese protests sprouted up throughout the region, dissidents becoming more fervent each year. With rumors of the PRC's intention to depose of the Dalai Lama, demonstrations reached their apex in the March 1959 Tibetan uprising. Tens of thousands of Tibetans assembled around the Dalai Lama's home, vowing to protect the Tibetan leader with their lives. The Dalai Lama, under the threat of capture, imprisonment and even death, was forced to flee to India where he remains exiled. 

The PRC consolidated their control after the abortive "Lhasa Uprising" and the Communist Party of China implemented the Great Leap Forward, a campaign that motivated one of the deadliest mass killings in history. No group suffered more than the Tibetans during this time, 1 in 5 dying from 1959 to 1962.  

Despite variations in China's policies over the years, there has always been a continuity of extreme repression of the Tibetan’s way of life. The Chinese government's relentless desire to destroy the independent and distinct Tibetan identity has only become more inflamed.

The Present

The peaceful protests of 2008, demonstrative of the ineffectiveness of China's control and the strength of Tibetan culture, led to a response of heightened repression. Over the last 5 years, the Chinese government has overtly replaced Tibetan textbooks with Chinese textbooks in an attempt to erase the Tibetan language, detained writers, singers and entertainers as an act of cultural repression and even installed civilian cadres in Tibetan monasteries so to monitor monks and impose curriculums designed to denigrate the Dalai Lama and destroy that aspect of Tibetan Buddhism. Regardless of the Chinese government’s attempts to suppress Tibetan identity, Tibetans have held on firmly to their beliefs and traditions. However, their long struggle to persevere in the face of oppression has prompted Tibetans to resort to another, more desperate, form of protest. Since 2009, more than 100 Tibetans have self-immolated in an effort to draw attention to the dire situation of the Tibetan people. Those who have committed suicide by fire have chosen to sacrifice their lives in order to raise attention to the despair of their people.

The Tibetan people have had to endure an assault on their culture; their language; their religion and ultimately, their identity for the last 63 years. Without world recognition and support, these gross human rights abuses will continue unabated and the people of Tibet will continue to suffer.

The NOW

Today, March 10, marks the 54th Anniversary of Tibetans National Uprising Day.  Today, Tibetans and supporters from all around the world will join together to commemorate the major protests of 1959 and draw attention to the Tibetan struggle for survival.  

Take this opportunity to say ENOUGH by standing together for Tibet and join a protest near you! 

Links:

In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.

 - Dalai Lama

This past week, a young Tibetan woman, 17 years of age, set herself on fire in the Qinghai province of western China. Wangchen Kyi is the 8th child to self-immolate out of protest to the despotic rule of the Chinese government over the ethnic Tibetan region. Wangchen’s action corresponded with a dramatic upsurge in the extreme form of protest in November. Radio Free Asia reported that last month alone there were at least 22 self-immolations of a total of 86 Tibetans that have set fire to themselves since 2009.  Activists have attributed the recent rise in public outcry to the protestors increased sense of despair over the marginalization of the Tibetan religion and culture by the Chinese government. 

China continues to maintain that it protects Tibet’s rights, allowing the Tibetan people to sustain their culture and to practice their religious faith. All the meanwhile, the government continues to tighten its control over Tibetans freedom of expression, religion, assembly and movement.  This past year, the Chinese government introduced an entirely new set of regulations demonstrative of an even more severe intervention by the state. Under a Tibet-specific policy, named “the Four Stabilities,” the Chinese government has granted itself strict control over the news, media and communications in Tibet.  Also involved in this program is an intensified political education (designated ‘patriotic education sessions’) and circulation of propaganda throughout villages and schools. The “Complete Long-term Management Mechanism for Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries” grants the Chinese government even greater control over Tibetan’s religious life as government officials are to now be stationed in every single monastery. Traveling is now also incredibly limited in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) – restricting movement within and to the TAR.

China’s policies have only aggravated the situation in Tibet. The government’s effort to suppress speech has clearly led to more fervent outbursts. Wangchen’s last breaths were spent calling out for the long life of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people. We cannot let her cries go unheard.

Help us in utilizing our most powerful tool: the truth. The Tibetans struggling for their freedom need our assistance in raising awareness to their plight.

Follow us on twitter & facebook to stay informed about what is actually happening in Tibet:

http://www.facebook.com/3Generations

http://www.twitter.com/3generations

And if you need more information about the ethnic conflict, read our recently launched history on Tibet:

http://www.3generations.org/conflict/world/tibet.aspx

Links:

A summary of the situation: Many people around the world still don't understand the situation in Tibet; and too many write it off as insignificant because they don't comprehend the full scale of oppression that Tibetans face daily. Since the 1950s, the People's Republic of China has occupied Tibet, against the Tibetan people's will and wishes. There was never a time in the history of China's sovereignty over the country that Tibet welcomed the situation. And why would they? Tibet has a long and rich history, with its own leaders, before China claimed it. The Chinese government claims that it has a "right" to govern Tibet based on an agreement that was signed by the Dalai Lama in the 1950s - but since then, on numerous occasions, the Dalai Lama has repudiated the agreement.

China has forced its culture and politics on Tibet and its people; and has outlawed many native practices and ideologies (i.e. the exile of the Dalai Lama). A high number of Tibetans have fled the country over the years and found sanctuary in places like India, but many find themselves feeling displaced. Those who have remained in Tibet face, in addition to cultural oppression, extreme poverty and a complete lack of democratic freedom. In Tibet, anybody, even tourists and other non-natives, can be arrested for expressing opposition to the government policies, and most are never granted a fair trial. These people are either living in complete fear or have accepted the situation and are resolved to live under extreme oppression. In America, and many other countries, we take for granted the ability to practice our beliefs, critique our government and express our opinions - but try to imagine what a world without that freedom would be like.

For more than 60 years now, since the Chinese government took control of the land, its estimated that at least a million Tibetans have been killed. Some have died in jail as political prisoners, others have been killed by law enforcement during non-violent protests, and many have committed self-immolation. Tibetans are calling out for our help...just take a moment to listen and you'll hear it.

What we're doing: At 3 Generations, we believe in the power of storytelling. Our goal is to end human atrocity by helping survivors share their stories with the world, and archiving these stories for the future. Over the years, we have filmed survivors of varying genocides and oppressive situations, and facilitated them in telling the stories of their lives and experiences in their home countries. We've worked closely with Tibetan refugees including Ngawang Sangdrol, a former Tibetan nun whose story is compelling. The details of her life are both touching and horrific, from going to live as a nun at a very early age, to frightening accounts as a tortured prisoner. It's important that we all hear her story so that awareness surrounding this particular issue can be raised. Also, the storytelling process is important in and of itself; it's therapeutic and has allowed the survivors we've worked with to release some of their pain.

What YOU can do: By supporting this project, you are helping to raise awareness for the situation in Tibet and allowing us to continue to provide this important outlet for survivors and their grief. The more people that understand the situation in Tibet by listening to the stories we've captured on film, the closer we get to standing together as a global community and helping to improve this dire situation and to ending atrocity as a whole.

Since the 1950s Tibet has been under Chinese rule and the Tibetan people have been ardently trying to regain their political freedom. Over the years Tibetans have organized and carried out many public protests, including self-immolation, to encourage the government to listen to them; unfortunately they’ve had little success. The Chinese government continues to stifle the cries of the Tibetan people by throwing protestors, journalists, and anyone openly opposing the current regime into jail, turning them into political prisoners. These political prisoners have no rights, are tortured and abused, fearing for their lives every day, and are in desperate need of our help. They aren’t just Tibetans either, many of these prisoners come from other countries as tourists on vacation or journalists looking to investigate the situation in Tibet. Can you imagine being thrown in jail, without a fair trial, because you took a picture of a public protest and wrote about it on your blog?

Clearly, Tibet needs our support and for us at 3 generations that starts with storytelling. There are still many stories to hear from Tibetan refugees and political prisoners and we are currently working on finding people willing and wanting to share these stories publicly. Before the end of the year we hope to have multiple new videos made that will raise awareness and expose the current state of socio-political conflict in Tibet. In the meantime, we are cultivating relationships with other organizations that are helping Tibet, such as the Tibet Fund. The Chinese government refuses to listen to the Tibetan people’s pleas for freedom, but we’re all ears.   

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Organization

3 Generations

New York, NY, United States
http://www.3generations.org

Project Leader

Jane Wells

3 Generations Founder and President
New York, NY United States

Where is this project located?

Map of The Truth about Tibet: Hear Their Stories