China holds Tibetan livelihood to ransom to secure political stability

Title page of the temporary regulation passed by Diru County government

Title page of the temporary regulation passed by Diru County government

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) recently published an update on the escalating repression in Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), in the Tibetan province of Kham.[i] The report quoted a source within Tibet who said that in addition to the continuing arrest and disappearance of Tibetans in Diru County for protesting Chinese policies including against mining activities, local government had issued a temporary regulation prohibiting “freedom of movement, speech and religion.”

The report mentioned that failure to abide by these regulations would result in severe punishments for the Tibetans, such as “dismissal from the monastery, cancellation of welfare provisions, and prohibiting the harvesting of the prized caterpillar fungus.” TCHRD has received scanned copies of the Tibetan version of the regulation. Due to the difficulty and risk involved in getting the regulation out of Tibet, TCHRD’s source was unable to scan the complete regulation.

The original regulation includes 4 chapters and 26 articles mainly focusing on the cracking down on separatism, the “Dalai clique”, putting restrictions on participation in religious gathering such as the Kalachakra Empowerment given by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in July 2014 in Ladakh in northern India. The regulation is referred to as “Information Handbook for the Enforcement of Two Separate Regulations issued by Diru County People’s Government” (Tib: diru mimang sizhung gi tenbep khag nyi kyi dril drak lad deb). According to the document, the regulation was passed in June 2014. Its subtitle encapsulates the essence of the regulation: “A temporary regulation on the illegal activities by participating, on one’s own [initiative], in the ‘Great Prayer Festivals’, through crossing the national boundaries, creating and spreading rumors in the public, propagating harmful information, traveling to areas outside of your own locality to [engage in religious] study.” [Read more…]

Tibetan farmer escapes imminent arrest for sharing religious texts

Ugyen Lhundup, 57, was a farmer at Thangka Village in Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Township in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. In 1999, he came to India and lived for some time to study Buddhism. In 2001, after attending the Kalachakra teachings at Bodh Gaya in the north Indian state of Bihar, he returned to Tibet taking along some CDs and books containing religious teachings, which he shared with others on requests from friends and relatives. He also made free copies of the CDs and distributed them among his social circle. It was then that he became a prime target for supervision and surveillance. On 21 October 2012, to escape imminent arrest, he left his house and farm in the care of his neighbor, and secretly left Tibet and reached India on 15 December 2012. Ugyen Lhundup shares his ordeal:

“In 2002, the head of County Public Security Bureau officer, Loga, summoned me at his office. At the PSB office, the officer confiscated my passport and threatened me with five to six months’ detention, if I did not stop questioning the confiscation of my passport. I was let go but without my passport.  [Read more…]