Two Tibetan men released after serving prison for 2008 protests

Local Tibetans welcome Woeden in his hometown after his release.

Local Tibetans welcome Woeden in his hometown after his release.

Two Tibetan men, Woeden and Lobsang Gyatso, were released earlier this year after serving prison for their participation in 2008 uprising in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, according to information received by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

In March 2008, a series of protests rocked many parts of the Tibetan plateau with a large chunk of protests concentrated in Ngaba area. Among them was A’khyam Township located in the lower part of Ngaba County (Tib: Ngamey), where local Tibetans staged a major protest on 22 March 2008.

Woeden and Lobsang Gyatso, both of whom belonged to Akhyam Township, took part in the protest and were detained the same day by local police. Both men were sentenced on 24 June 2008 by the Intermediate People’s Court in Barkham, capital of Ngaba Prefecture, and imprisoned at Mianyang Prison, located in Wujia Township in Mianyang Prefecture near Chengdu.  [Read more...]

Tibetan writers Jangtse Donkho and Buddha released from prison

“The greatest mental suffering of Tibetans is not that there is no place to complain about their sufferings but that they are not allowed to complain.”

~ Nyen

Jangtse Donkho

Jangtse Donkho aka Nyen

Two Tibetan writers, Jangtse Donkho (pen name: Nyen/“The Wrathful”) and Buddha were released earlier today on 20 June 2014 after serving four years in Mianyang Prison in Sichuan Province.

Jangtse Donkho was arrested on 21 June 2011 from his home in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County and accused of writing a “reactionary” essay entitled ‘What Human Rights Do We Have Over Our Bodies?’ which commented on the Chinese government’s bloody suppression of the 2008 Uprising. The essay was published in the Shar Dungri (Eastern Snow Mountain) literary journal, which was later banned. Jangtse Donkho was 33 at the time of his arrest. Before his arrest, he was working as a researcher at Kyungchu (Ch: Qiongxi) town, Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. Donkho wrote the book Rolang (Eng: ‘Zombie’) and along with Buddha, edited a few more journals including Du Rab Kyi Nga (Eng: ‘Consciousness of the Century’).

Buddha is a writer, poet, and medical doctor whose work is regarded as influential in Tibetan society. He was detained on 26 June 2011 at the hospital where he worked in Ngaba County town. He was 34 at the time. [Read more...]

Roar of the Snow Lion: Tibetan writer Tashi Rabten released after 4 years in prison

Tashi Rabten aka Theurang

Tashi Rabten aka Theurang

Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) welcomes the release of writer Tashi Rabten, also known as Theurang, who served four years at Mianyang Prison in Sichuan Province. He was sentenced on charges of “inciting activities to split the nation” by the Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Intermediate People’s Court on 2 June 2011.

Tashi Rabten was a student at the Northwest Nationalities University in Lanzhou, Gansu Province. He went missing on 26 July 2009, when the university closed for summer vacation. His whereabouts remained unknown until 6 April 2010 when he was traced to a detention center in Ngaba’s Barkham County.

The sentencing of Tashi Rabten violated, among others, article 19 of the United Nation’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which calls for the protection of freedom of expression. China signed the ICCPR in 1998 and since then it has dragged its feet on ratifying the covenant despite numerous recommendations from UN member states during China’s first and second Universal Periodic Review in 2009 and 2013 respectively.  [Read more...]

Monk calls for love and harmony to prevail in last note before self-immolation

Lobsang Palden's whereabouts and condition remain unknown after his self-immolation

Lobsang Palden’s whereabouts and condition remain unknown after his self-immolation

A monk from Kirti Monastery has become the 128th Tibetan to carry out self-immolation protest against Chinese government’s repressive policies in Tibet since 2009. In his last note, Lobsang Palden, 20, has called for love and harmony to prevail over hatred and repression:

“[Y]ou should be able to [live in] harmony with your neighbors – people of the world in general and the Chinese in particular. This is because, if there is love and harmony, we will be able to air our views, no matter what they are and to whom we want to air them.”

Lobsang Palden, a monk from Kirti Monastery in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Tibet’s northeastern province of Amdo self-immolated on 16 March 2014 at around 11:40 am, according to sources from inside Tibet.

The self-immolation occurred at ‘Martyrs’ Street’, which was named so by locals after a series of self-immolation protests was staged on this stretch of the road in Ngaba town. [Read more...]

China announces unprecedented harsh measures to deter self-immolations in Tibet’s Dzoege County

Document issued by Dzoege County government in Chinese

Document issued by Dzoege County government in Chinese

In April 2013, the local government in Dzoege (Ch: Ru-ergai) County in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture (Sichuan Province) announced that it was taking every man, woman, and child hostage. In a document recently smuggled out of Dzoege County dated 8 April 2013, the government announced that if there was a self-immolation it would punish the immolator’s village, monastery, and family. Unlike previous policies that targeted people for “inciting” self-immolations or punished people for refusing to provide a government sanctioned explanation of the immolation, Dzoege government is punishing people explicitly because of what somebody else did.

The document issued by Dzoege County government contains 16 articles and begins by targeting the self-immolator’s family—the internationally recognized “natural and fundamental group unit of society” (ICESCR Art. 10; ICCPR Art. 23). Family members of self-immolators will be blacklisted (Art. 6) and subject to criminal sanctions, such as the deprivation of political rights (Art 2). They will also be deprived of employment with the government (Art. 1), excluded from all welfare benefits for 3 years (Art. 4), denied ownership of their houses and lands (Art.10), prevented from starting a business (Art. 10), and barred from traveling to Lhasa or to foreign countries (Art. 11). [Read more...]

‘Occupy Movement’ in Tibet: Chinese police force elderly Tibetans to end sit-in demonstration against land grab in Ngaba

A copy of the petition submitted by local Tibetans against China's land grab in Ngaba

A copy of the petition submitted by local Tibetans against  land grabbing in Ngaba

A group of 16 elderly Tibetans has been forced to end a month-long sit-in demonstration against appropriation of their land following intimidation by local police in Village No. 1 in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province.

According to information received by TCHRD, the group of demonstrators represents 16 families in Village No. 1 whose land, spanning 40 mu (one mu equals 67 square meters of land), had been seized in 1986 after local government promised to provide government jobs to the affected families.  The promises made by the government never materialised leaving the families more impoverished than before.

On 14 September 2013, the affected families submitted a petition to local authorities making three key demands. The petition was written in Chinese language and bore the thumbprints of the 16 elderly Tibetans whose names are Chindrong, Pugo, Zonpo, Detso Kyi, Muney, Tsekyi, Peltse, Tenpa Gyaltsen, Phulkyi, Nak Dhonkho, Jhakho, Dhonkho, Norkho, Choedup, Kelsang Sonam, Kundup (names transliterated from their Chinese versions). [Read more...]

Prominent Tibetan writer released after completion of 3-yr prison term

Jolep Dawa acknowledges friends and well-wishers on his release from Mianyang Prison

Jolep Dawa acknowledges friends and well-wishers on his release from Mianyang Prison

A prominent Tibetan writer, editor and teacher was released earlier today after the completion of his three-year prison term from Mianyang Prison in Sichuan Province.

According to information received by TCHRD, Jolep Dawa, the founder and editor of a Tibetan language journal called Durab Ki Nga (This Century’s Self) was released at around 9 am on 30 September 2013, after being imprisoned in Mianyang for three years on trumped up charges of “separatism”. At the time of his sentencing, Jolep Dawa was 39 and a father of two.

Jolep Dawa was arrested by state security officers on 1 October 2010 in Chengdu and was detained for a year at Jinchuan County Detention Centre before his sentencing. After his arrest, Chinese police raided the bookstore cum DVD rental store (run by Dawa’s wife Zamlha) and confiscated his personal computer and diary along with some of his writings. [Read more...]

Tibetan master tailor dies in self-immolation, body seized by police

Shichung, a master tailor and father of three became the 121st Tibetan to die of self-immolation protest in Tibet.

Shichung, a master tailor and father of three became the 121st Tibetan to die of self-immolation protest in Tibet.

A Tibetan man known for his master tailoring skills has died of self-immolation protest in front of his home in Thawa Village in Gomang Township in Ngaba (Ch: Aba) County in Ngaba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province. The total number of self-immolation protests inside Tibet has now reached 121.

According to information received by TCHRD, Shichung, 41, set himself on fire at around 4 pm (local time) on 28 September 2013 to protest against China’s repressive policies in Tibet. At the time, local Tibetans were participating in a prayer ceremony conducted every year in the village.

Shichung conducted his self-immolation protest in front of the gate of his house, which lies close to the highway that connects Ngaba to Golog (Ch: Guoluo) in neighboring Qinghai Province. Eyewitnesses said that on the day of the prayer ceremony, sometime in the afternoon, Shichung left the prayer ceremony and headed toward his home. There, at his house, he lighted a butter lamp in front of a portrait of the Dalai Lama. Moments later, he was seen engulfed in flames outside his house. He walked forward around forty steps and died. [Read more...]

Dissenting Voices: TCHRD releases English translation of Ancestors’ Tomb

Cover page of Ancestors' Tomb

Cover page of Ancestors’ Tomb

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) is pleased to announce the release of Ancestors’ Tomb, a book written by a Tibetan university student in Ngaba in the Tibetan province of Amdo.

Mar Jang-nyug (pseudonym) is a Tibetan writer who was born and brought up in Marong village of Ngaba in the Tibetan province of Amdo. Ancestors’ Tomb reveals the oppressive nature of Chinese rule in Tibet. With his writings, Mar Jang-nyug bears witness to the suffering and pain endured by Tibetans and exposes the authoritarian workings of the Chinese government.

Through an array of prose and poetry, the book describes the dictatorial nature of the Chinese government, its relentless marginalization of Tibetan language and culture, destruction of environment through unrestricted deforestation and mining and its ever-increasing violations of human rights. [Read more...]

Ancestors’ Tomb: ‘My Mother was a maidservant of the Communist Party’

An old Chinese Communist Party propaganda poster.

An old Chinese Communist Party propaganda poster.

Mar Jang-nyug (pseudonym) is a Tibetan writer born and brought up in Marong village of Ngaba in the Tibetan province of Amdo. TCHRD presents another translated and edited essay from the author’s forthcoming book, Ancestors’ Tomb. This essay was written on 25 March 2012, a few months after the death of the author’s mother.

Ancestors’ Tomb is replete with accounts of unaddressed grievances and unfulfilled aspirations, at once personal and yet political, as is demonstrated by the tortured body of the author’s mother and her legacy to her son of a wounded heart, both bearing witness to brutalities bygone and present.

The invoking of memories about Ngaba during the nascent stages of Chinese rule is telling in that it gives a historical context – resonant with the underlying Buddhist theme of cause and effect – to the spate of self-immolation protests in Tibet in recent years. [Read more...]