Plight of Tibetan ‘substitute teachers’ in Rebkong County

Tibetan 'substitute teachers' petition local government authorities on 30 April 2014. (Photo: Tibet Times)

Tibetan ‘substitute teachers’ petition local government authorities on 30 April 2014. (Photo: Tibet Times)

In the People’s Republic of China, a ‘substitute teacher’ is someone who is employed to teach in a primary or middle school but is not on the official payroll and in the vast majority of cases are “high school graduates who did not go to a university or college.[i]

In contrast, their public teacher counterparts or ‘formal teachers’[ii] are expected to have “at least a three year college education” to work as a primary school teacher, while middle school public teachers “should have four years of university education”.[iii] Furthermore, unlike their substitute teacher colleagues, public teachers are on the official payroll.

In regards to rural Tibetan regions, substitute teachers have played a fundamental role in increasing the availability of education. However, despite playing a crucial role in providing education to some of the most disadvantaged regions in Tibet, they have never been granted the same degree of benefits as their public teacher counterparts. [Read more…]

Tibetan singer secretly sentenced to five years in prison amid major crackdown in Rebkong

Tibetan singer Shawo Tashi sentenced to five years in prison

Tibetan singer Shawo Tashi sentenced to five years in prison

A Tibetan singer has been secretly sentenced to five years in prison following his arbitrary detention in November 2012 in Dowa Township in Rebkong (Ch: Tongren) County in Malho (Ch: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

Shawo Tashi, 40, was charged with “distributing photographs of self-immolation protesters; writing last notes left by self-immolation protesters on these photographs; participating in protest against Chinese government and singing patriotic Tibetan songs”, according to information received by TCHRD.

Sources with contacts in Rebkong cannot immediately confirm the exact date of sentencing, however, they believe he is now being imprisoned at a prison in Siling (Ch: Xining) city, capital of Qinghai Province. [Read more…]

Chabcha student protesters sentenced up to four years

A grainy picture (taken on mobile phone) of the People's Armed Police contingent during the Chabcha protest.

A grainy picture (taken on mobile phone) of the People’s Armed Police contingent during the Chabcha protest.

Eight Tibetan students have been sentenced to varying prison terms for “illegally holding demonstration” last year by the Chabcha (Ch: Gonghe) County People’s Court in Chabcha County in Tsolho (Ch: Hainan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, according to a report published today on the official “China’s Tibet website”. (Please click here for the report in Tibetan.)

According to the report, the county court passed the judgement on 10 April 2013 at around 10 am (local time), sentencing eight Tibetan youths from Tsolho Vocational School in Chabcha County for holding demonstration on 26 November 2012. They were charged of “causing harm to social stability”. [Read more…]

China uses religious propaganda to counter Tibetan self-immolations

In a rare departure from its usual propaganda narrative on Tibetan self-immolations, the Chinese authorities called His Holiness the Dalai Lama, along with His Eminence Kirti Rinpoche “the root cause” of self-immolations in Tibet. In earlier statements, the Chinese leadership had been careful to directly blame Dalai Lama, instead blaming the so-called ‘Dalai clique’ or ‘separatist forces’ for self-immolations.

On 7 March 2013, Chinese state media quoted Wu Zegang, governor of Ngaba (Ch: Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province as saying, “We oppose the self-immolation … first of all, [we should find out] the root cause of the [self-immolation] problem, the root cause is the 14th Dalai Lama, and Kirti Rinpoche, who live outside [Tibet].”[i] But the fact that there had been no credible evidence to prove this reckless claim is beside the point for the Chinese authorities whose fanatical drive to stamp out popular Tibetan protests and criminalize the so-called instigators, inciters and abettors of immolations have only increased repression, instability and violence in Tibet.
[Read more…]

Pressure mounts on Labrang Monastery after expulsion order

Chinese authorities in Gansu Province last year issued an order to expel monks who had come from Tibetan areas outside Gansu to pursue their religious studies in monasteries (including the famed Labrang Tashikyil Monastery) located in the province.

This was revealed by Samten Jigme (name changed), a former Labrang monk, in his testimony to TCHRD. Samten Jigme fled Tibet and arrived in India this month.

The order is now being implemented at Rongwo Monastery in Rebkong (Ch: Tongren) County in Malho (Ch: Huangnan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, according to Samten Jigme. (For more on Rongwo, please see here, here, and here)
[Read more…]

Longlife prayers for Dalai Lama removed, ban on phonecalls with outsiders

Chinese officials scraped off a longlife prayer for Dalai Lama carved on a rockface near the besieged Nyatso Zilkar Monastery in Tridu (Ch: Chenduo) County in Kyegudo (Ch: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

According to information received by TCHRD, the incident happened soon after the 54th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan national uprising on 10 March when monks carved on the nearby rockface a prayer that Tibetan Buddhists recite for the long life of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
[Read more…]

Monastery under siege as monks face expulsion while another detained for writing book on immolations

A monk from Tongkyap Monastery has gone ‘missing’ since his arbitrary detention earlier this month by People’s Armed Police in Gade (Ch: Gande) County in Golok (Ch: Guolo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province.

 According to information received by TCHRD, on 11 March, the day after the 54th anniversary of Tibetan national uprising, Tritsun (pen name: Tri Bhoe Trak), 26, a monk from Tongkyap Monastery was detained on unknown charges. Police detaining the monk gave no explanation for the sudden detention. Tritsun’s incommunicado detention has severely affected his aged mother, Phagmo, who is the only member in his family.
[Read more…]

Monk survives self-immolation but loses both legs

A Tibetan monk who self-immolated in protest against the Chinese government in February last year has survived but had both of his legs amputated, according to information received by TCHRD.

Sonam Rabyang, 42, a monk from Lab Monastery set his body on fire on 8 February 2012 at Triwang (Ch: Chen wen) town, capital of Tridu (Ch: Chenduo) County in Yulshul (Ch: Yushu) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province. [Read more…]