Tibet – I Stand With Tibet
CHINA ‘RESOLUTELY OPPOSES’ THE US-TIBET RELATIONS
In my analysis, the ‘Tibet Crisis’ began with the Communist takeover of mainland China in 1949. Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong took the blessings of the Soviet Union to launch a military attack on Tibet for China wanted to resolutely oppose the US-Tibet relations formulated by the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
China ‘Resolutely Opposes’ New US Law on Tibet
People walk past snow-covered trees outside the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China, Dec. 19, 2018.
President Trump signs Reciprocal Access to Tibet into Law: “A Message of hope and justice to Tibetans in Tibet….”
I extend profound appreciation to the President Donald Trump for signing the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act into law,” CTA President said.
Dharamshala: US President Donald Trump has signed into law the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018, which will impose a visa ban on Chinese officials who deny American citizens, government…
China denounced the United States on Thursday for passing a new law on restive Tibet, saying it was “resolutely opposed” to the U.S. legislation on what China considers an internal affair, and it risked causing “serious harm” to their relations.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.
The law seeks to promote access to Tibet for U.S. diplomats and other officials, journalists and other citizens by denying U.S. entry for Chinese officials deemed responsible for restricting access to Tibet.
Beijing sent troops into remote, mountainous Tibet in 1950 in what it officially terms a peaceful liberation and has ruled there with an iron fist ever since.
China: wrong signals
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing that the law “sent seriously wrong signals to Tibetan separatist elements,” as well as threatening to worsen bilateral ties strained by trade tension and other issues.
“If the United States implements this law, it will cause serious harm to China-U.S. relations and to the cooperation in important areas between the two countries,” Hua said.
The United States should be fully aware of the high sensitivity of the Tibet issue and should stop its interference, otherwise the United States would have to accept responsibility for the consequences, she added, without elaborating.
Difficult life in Tibet
Rights groups say the situation for ethnic Tibetans inside what China calls the Tibet Autonomous Region remains extremely difficult. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said in June conditions were “fast deteriorating” in Tibet.
All foreigners need special permission to enter Tibet, which is generally granted to tourists, who are allowed to go on often tightly monitored tours, but very infrequently to foreign diplomats and journalists.
Hua said Tibet was open to foreign visitors, as shown by the 40,000 American visitors to the region since 2015.
At the same time, she said it was “absolutely necessary and understandable” that the government-administered controls on the entry of foreigners given “local geographic and climate reasons.”
Rights groups welcome law
Tibetan rights groups have welcomed the U.S. legislation. The International Campaign for Tibet said the “impactful and innovative” law marked a “new era of American support” and was a challenge to China’s policies in Tibet.
“The U.S. let Beijing know that its officials will face real consequences for discriminating against Americans and Tibetans and has blazed a path for other countries to follow,” the group’s president, Matteo Mecacci, said in a statement.
Next year marks the sensitive 60th anniversary of the flight into exile in India of the Dalai Lama, the highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
China routinely denounces him as a dangerous separatist, although the Dalai Lama says he merely wants genuine autonomy for his homeland.
STAND UP FOR NATURAL RIGHTS OF JEWS AND TIBETANS
I stand up for Natural Rights of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria; and I stand up for Natural Rights of Tibetans to their ancestral Homeland. I support His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Five-Point Peace Plan to stop Communist China’s Colonization of Tibet.
BLOG: UN: JEWS CAN’T LIVE IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA, BUT 7.5 MILLION CHINESE CAN COLONIZE TIBET
August 31, 2017
By Ezequiel Doiny
On August 30, 2017 Bloomberg reported,
“United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Israel to stop settlement construction in the West Bank…. We believe that settlement activity is illegal under international law.”
Why has United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres never made similar statements about Tibet?
Tibetan students in New Delhi demonstrate at UN Information Center (photo: R.T.Y Rohini)
In his 5-point peace plan, the Dalai Lama called to stop Chinese colonization of Tibet.
“When the newly formed People’s Republic of China invaded Tibet in 1949/50, it created a new source of conflict. This was highlighted when, following the Tibetan national uprising against the Chinese and my flight to India in 1959, tensions between China and India escalated into the border war in 1962. Today large numbers of troops are again massed on both sides of the Himalayan border and tension is once more dangerously high.
“The real issue, of course, is not the Indo-Tibetan border demarcation. It is China’s illegal occupation of Tibet, which has given it direct access to the Indian sub-continent. The Chinese authorities have attempted to confuse the issue by claiming that Tibet has always been a part of China. This is untrue. Tibet was a fully independent state when the People’s Liberation Army invaded the country in 1949/50.
“Since Tibetan emperors unified Tibet, over a thousand years ago, our country was able to maintain its independence until the middle of this century. At times Tibet extended its influence over neighboring countries and peoples and, in other periods, came itself under the influence of powerful foreign rulers – the Mongol Khans, the Gorkhas of Nepal, the Manchu Emperors and the British in India.
“It is, of course, not uncommon for states to be subjected to foreign influence or interference. Although so-called satellite relationships are perhaps the clearest examples of this, most major powers exert influence over less powerful allies or neighbours. As the most authoritative legal studies have shown, in Tibet’s case, the country’s occasional subjection to foreign influence never entailed a loss of independence. And there can be no doubt that when Peking’s communist armies entered Tibet, Tibet was in all respects an independent state…
“Human rights violations in Tibet are among the most serious in the world. Discrimination is practiced in Tibet under a policy of ‘apartheid’ which the Chinese call ‘segregation and assimilation’. Tibetans are, at best, second class citizens in their own country. Deprived of all basic democratic rights and freedoms, they exist under a colonial administration in which all real power is wielded by Chinese officials of the Communist Party and the army.
“Although the Chinese government allows Tibetans to rebuild some Buddhist monasteries and to worship in them, it still forbids serious study and teaching of religion. Only a small number of people, approved by the Communist Party, are permitted to join the monasteries.
“While Tibetans in exile exercise their democratic rights under a constitution promulgated by me in 1963, thousands of our countrymen suffer in prisons and labor camps in Tibet for their religious or political convictions…
“The massive transfer of Chinese civilians into Tibet in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949), threatens the very existence of the Tibetans as a distinct people. In the eastern parts of our country, the Chinese now greatly outnumber Tibetans. In the Amdo province, for example, where I was born, there are, according to the Chinese statistics, 2.5 million Chinese and only 750,000 Tibetans. Even in the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region (i.e., central and western Tibet), Chinese government sources now confirm that Chinese outnumber Tibetans.
“The Chinese population transfer policy is not new. It has been systematically applied to other areas before. Earlier in this century, the Manchus were a distinct race with their own culture and traditions. Today only two to three million Manchurians are left in Manchuria, where 75 million Chinese have settled. In Eastern Turkestan, which the Chinese now call Sinkiang, the Chinese population has grown from 200,000 in 1949 to 7 million, more than half of the total population of 13 million. In the wake of the Chinese colonization of Inner Mongolia, Chinese number 8.5 million, Mongols 2.5 million.
“Today, in the whole of Tibet 7.5 million Chinese settlers have already been sent, outnumbering the Tibetan population of 6 million. In central and western Tibet, now referred to by the Chinese as the “Tibet Autonomous Region”, Chinese sources admit the 1.9 million Tibetans already constitute a minority of the region’s population. These numbers do not take the estimated 300,000-500,000 troops in Tibet into account – 250,000 of them in so-called Tibet Autonomous Region.
“For the Tibetans to survive as a people, it is imperative that the population transfer is stopped and Chinese settlers return to China. Otherwise, Tibetans will soon be no more than a tourist attraction and relic of a noble past. “
Why has United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres never complained about Chinese settlements in Tibet as he complains against Jewish settlements?
In a better analogy of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel plays the role of Tibet, the dozens of Arab countries that surround it are like China. The Palestinian Arabs serve as the spearhead of the dozens of Arab Nations that are trying to engulf the world’s only Jewish State (smaller than New Jersey) the same way gigantic China is trying to absorb Tibet.
Since United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is not planning to go to the Tibet to condemn the Chinese presence there as illegal, he should not come to Israel to call for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Judea and Samaria.
TIBETAN IDENTITY – MISS TIBET 2017 TENZIN PALDON
I congratulate Miss Tibet 2017 Tenzin Paldon for winning the crown in beauty pageant for women of Tibetan Identity. This event helps to project Tibetan Identity to the World. Beauty Pageants always involve National Identity.
Miss Tibet wins crown for most controversial beauty pageant
By Sugam Pokharel, CNN
Updated 5:16 AM ET, Mon June 5, 2017
Nine contestants of the Miss Tibet Pageant 2017 pose for a photo during a press conference on 30 May 2017.
- Miss Tibet draws objections from exiled community, feminists and China
Organizer Lobsang Wangyal says its intended to empower Tibetan women
(CNN)This is no ordinary beauty contest.
There are virtually no sponsors, judges are hard to find — and so are the participants. Moreover, it is embroiled in a hefty dose of controversy.
Welcome to Miss Tibet.
The 15th edition of the beauty pageant for exiled Tibetan women wrapped up on Sunday in the small town of Dharamsala in northwestern India — home to the Dalai Lama and the headquarters of Tibetan government-in-exile.
This year the contest saw a record number of nine participants. None of the contestants have ever been to Tibet and are part of India’s 100,000-strong Tibetan community that was established 1960 after the Dalai Lama fled across the border.
Tenzin Paldon, 21, claimed the crown in the grand finale attended by more than 3,000 people, according to organizers.
“With this title, I will try my best to take it to an international level — to speak up regarding my country, Tibetan causes, and culture as much as I can,” she told CNN.
Tibet: Fast facts
Miss Tibet 2017 Tenzin Paldon poses for a photo after winning the crown on June 4, 2017.
The contest though faces controversy on multiple fronts: conservative members of the Tibetan community, and feminists object to the pageant on moral grounds, and China, which regards Tibet as an integral part of its territory and objects to winners participating in any international event.
It’s been organized by Lobsang Wangyal since 2002 with the motto “Celebrating Tibetan Women.”
He used $10,000 of his own in money to stage the event plus $1,300 raised via Generosity.com.
This year, said Wangyal, two Tibetan businessmen living in Taiwan and US provided the cash prizes for the winner ($1,550) and runner-up ($775.)
Barred from China and silenced in the US, this beauty queen isn’t backing down
Wangyal told CNN many Tibetan women want to participate but are held back by Tibetan culture — which is deeply religious and conservative.
“[Tibetan women] think what will society have to say? Will people call me different names? Will they talk behind my back? They are so scared and they latch onto that fear,” Wangyal said.
Tibetan elders aren’t happy about the contest either. They see it as a cultural betrayal to Tibetan culture and not compatible with Buddhist culture. Traditionally, Tibetan women wear modest, full length robes.
The three-day event included a swimsuit round.
“Yes, this is a democratic society but the young generation should remember that we don’t have a country, we don’t have a home, we are refugees – all we have is our tradition and religion. They should focus on conserving and nurturing that,” said Dharamsala-based Tibetan shopkeeper Thinley Kalsyang, 67.
“Also remember, Buddhism focuses on inner beauty and not your skin and petite body,” he added.
Paldon says the older generation is not well-educated.
“They find it problematic for showcasing our skin. I believe that if you are good in heart, nothing else matters. If you wear a traditional attire, if inside you are a bad person, that is not good,” said Paldon.
The nine contestants of the Miss Tibet Pageant 2017 pose for a photo during the Swimsuit Round at Asia Health Resorts in Dharamshala, India, on 2 June 2017.
Tenzin Lungtok, Secretary of Culture and Religion for the exiled Tibetan government, declined to comment when asked if he supported the event.
- 2016 Miss Tibet winner Tenzing Sanganyi faced a backlash for her poor knowledge of Tibetan language. She told CNN she took that as a constructive criticism.
“I cannot blame them. They are concerned about our culture. As refugees, we have to conserve our culture and language. So, if I’m representing a modern Tibetan woman, I should have been more fluent with my language,” Sanganyi said.
China is another major objector.
Wangyal says Chinese government doesn’t directly interfere in the event but often the winners are met with heavy Chinese interference when they try to participate in international pageants.
For example, Miss Tibet 2004 Tashi Yangchen told CNN she withdrew from a Miss Tourism Pageant held in Zimbabwe after she was pressured to wear a sash labeled “Miss Tibet-China”.
“The organizers pressured by Chinese officials gave me two options: to participate as a guest or as a “Miss Tibet-China”…I chose to walk out of the event,” Yangchen said.
The Miss Tourism organizers didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
HOLDING UP SKINNY WOMEN WITH FAIR SKIN AND STRAIGHT NOSES?
Tibetan Feminist Collective, a New York-based group, also attacked the event’s format, saying it promoted and adhered to Western standards of beauty.
Tenzin Paldon, the winner of Miss Tibet 2017.
“Holding up skinny women with fair skin and straight noses on a pedestal holds us back as a society, although it is not limited to our particular group. We Tibetans vary immensely in terms of physical features – something to be celebrated and embraced,” the group said in a statement.
Wangyal says he is committed to creating what he describes as a more liberal Tibetan society, believing the beauty pageant empowers Tibetan women, who lack confidence. It’s something this year’s winner agrees with.
“It’s a great achievement and also a role model to all young Tibetan women — that if you believe in something, you can achieve it,” says Paldon.
“With this title, I want to help other women achieve their goals.”
CNN Intern Karma Dolma Gurung contributed to this report
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HOPE FOR TIBET FROM SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
Opening of new Tibetan Community Center in Salt Lake City, Utah may bring some cheer to Tibetans in Occupied Tibet. Survival of Tibetan Language, Culture, and historical traditions is of importance to sustain Tibetan Resistance Movement.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
By PEGGY FLETCHER STACK The Salt Lake Tribune
(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Members and friends gather at the Tibetan Utah Community Center in Salt Lake City Wednesday June 22 where the Dalai Lama will be speaking.
South Salt Lake • On Tuesday, Utah Tibetans shared the Dalai Lama with the world. A day later, they had the spiritual leader all to themselves.
It was a moment of triumph for the Beehive State’s tiny Tibetan populace — 272 members — as the globe-trotting luminary stepped into the community’s newly renovated warehouse-turned-sanctuary in South Salt Lake.
The group was scurrying to finish it last fall, when His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama canceled his planned Utah visit for health reasons. When he rescheduled for this week, the Tibetans wanted to showcase their faith and devotion in the space.
And they enlisted a lot of local support.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams recruited the help of Utah AFL-CIO boss Dale Cox, who tapped his stable of electricians, plumbers, contractors and others to donate their work.
They logged more than 2,500 volunteer hours, Cox said Wednesday, laboring weekends and holidays to finish the building.
“I promised them they would all go to heaven for their work,” Cox quipped. “I didn’t tell them about reincarnation until the end of the project.”
The community center did not disappoint.
It was decked out with silk banners, a Buddha tapestry, red-and-yellow potted plants and a specially made wooden throne in the middle for their revered leader. All the Tibetans wore traditional silk dresses or tunics and seemed filled with jittery anticipation.
The attendees stood and the hall fell silent as the Dalai Lama entered — with only the sound of his signature laugh at his entrance.
The Buddhist leader, who turns 81 next month, walked slowly up the center aisle, greeting people on both sides, clasping their hands and leaning in to hear their words of welcome. Selfie sticks were held high to capture the moment and the smell of incense perfumed the air.
Then the Nobel laureate, who calls himself a “simple monk,” took his seat, signaling the crowd to do likewise. He accepted gifts from the community and listened with obvious delight as Tibetan children entertained him with a song from their homeland.
“Beautiful,” the Dalai Lama said in English.
A report from the Utah Tibetan Association followed, describing the group and its accomplishments, including having paid back most of its $500,000 loan for the center.
That was due, in part, to help from the larger community and to “His Holiness’ fame.”
“Now we only have $40,000 to pay back,” association President Lobsang Tsering, said in Tibetan. “We would like to pray for His Holiness’ long life.”
With that, the community let out a collective laugh.
In a serious turn, the Dalai Lama, echoing some themes he addressed Tuesday during a speech at the University of Utah, offered a lecture on Buddhism in Tibetan (with simultaneous translation for others). Tibetans are guardians of ancient texts, he said, with an emphasis on logic and reason.
Tibetan Buddhism, he added, “produces the most scholars and teachers.”
He encouraged the assembled believers to check the writings against their reasoning and their experiences.
While consecrating statues and shrines are important, the mustard-and-maroon-robed monk admonished the Tibetans that studying ancient texts is even more crucial.
The Dalai Lama urged them to pass the language and discipline on to the next generation.
“Buddha was a teacher,” he said, “and I am a teacher.”
He bid the Tibetans farewell, was quietly helped out the back door and was gone.
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TIBET FASCINATION – TRIBUTE TO DAVID BOWIE
Tibet is a fascinating place with equally fascinating people. The following tribute to musician David Bowie(January 08, 1947 to January 10, 2016) captures an interesting facet of this artist.
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David Bowie’s fascination with Tibet and Buddhism
January 11, 2016 by JUSTIN WHITAKER
With the very sad passing of the great David Bowie, tributes have poured in from around the world. Bowie, as the NYTimes writes, “Transcended Music, Art and Fashion.” Among them a number have noted his youthful connections with Buddhism, which was growing in popularity in the England of the 1960s. Of particular interest is an in-depth blog dedicated to the songs of Bowie, aptly named “Pushing Ahead of the Dame: David Bowie, song by song.” In one post there, the author, Chris O’Leary, recounts Bowie’s early fascination with the Tibet and Buddhism of Heinrich Harrer’s 1952 book “Seven Years In Tibet”:
David Bowie discovered Buddhism in his early teens, thanks to his step-brother Terry’s beatnik leanings, the novels of Jack Kerouac and a few Penguin paperbacks that gave him the basic schematics of the religion. It was Harrer’s book that set him a-boil: “When I was about nineteen I became an overnight Buddhist,” he recalled in 1997. “At that age a very influential book for me was called “Seven Years In Tibet”…[Harrer] was one of the very first Westerners to ever spend any time in Tibet; in fact, one of the very first Westerners actually to go into Tibet and discover for himself this extraordinary existence and this incredibly sublime philosophy.” “Silly Boy Blue,” Bowie’s first Buddhist song, was inspired by Harrer’s descriptions of Lhasa and the Dalai Lama’s winter palace of Potala, the song opening with the yak-butter statues made for celebration days.
– Pushing Ahead of the Dame | Seven Years in Tibet
Rod Meade Sperry at Lion’s Roar writes that Bowie nearly became a Buddhist at Samye Ling, the monastery of up-and-coming “Crazy Wisdom” guru Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in Scotland in 1967:
“I was within a month of having my head shaved, taking my vows, and becoming a monk,” Bowie has said about that period of his life. But, as the story goes, he was torn and so sought Trungpa’s counsel. His reply to the famous young seeker? That he should remain a musician, for that was how he could be of the most benefit.
Writing for the Guardian in 2013, Sean O’Hagen casts doubt on how influential Buddhism was on the young Bowie:
In the mid to late 1960s, he immersed himself deeply, but often briefly, in whatever caught his imagination, whether Buddhism – he went on a retreat to a Buddhist community in Scotland in 1967 – or mime – studying seriously under Lindsay Kemp, his first artistic mentor.
Aligned to all this cosmic adventurism, though, was his oddly old-fashioned attraction to showbusiness, vaudeville and musicals. As the pop-culture historian Jon Savage points out, Bowie’s eponymously titled debut album, released in 1967, is “almost defiant in the way that it contains almost no trace of contemporary pop modes. Despite Bowie’s deep interest in Buddhism, he had no sympathy with the hippy package: the record was a strange mixture of exaggerated, cockney vocals – inspired both by Anthony Newley and Syd Barrett – intricate arrangements and songs that constantly shifted tone and mood, from horror to farce, from Edwardiana to fairytales and back again.”
At the Hollowverse, Tom Kershaw writes that:
Like so many aspects of this man, Bowie is difficult to pin down–even to himself. By his own account, he’s tried about every religion in the book, saying:
I was young, fancy free, and Tibetan Buddhism appealed to me at that time. I thought, ‘There’s salvation.’ It didn’t really work. Then I went through Nietzsche, Satanism, Christianity… pottery, and ended up singing. It’s been a long road.
But in his advanced years, Bowie’s real spiritual views have come out. He said:
I’m not quite an atheist and it worries me. There’s that little bit that holds on: Well, I’m almost an atheist. Give me a couple of months. [in
The Hollowverse | The religion and political views of David Bowie
However, returning once more to “Pushing Ahead of the Dame” we find it argued that Buddhism was indeed an influence on early Bowie songs. There O’Leary writes that Bowie “meant for the backing chorus of his  single “Baby Loves That Way” to sound like chanting monks.” Have a listen:
And his 1967 “Silly Boy Blue” tells the story of a rule-breaking boy in the streets of Tibet’s capital city Lhasa:
Though some of his colleagues and friends in the late Sixties considered Bowie’s Buddhist leanings to be hip affectations, others saw a more fervent side of him. The journalist George Tremlett and Bowie’s housemate/lover Mary Finnigan attested that Bowie was serious about Buddhism, speaking to them for hours about it. Whether he truly meant to join a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Scotland, which he visited in late 1967, is very questionable. What’s not is that the symbols of Buddhism, its sutras, its concepts like reincarnation (see “Quicksand”), the Oversoul and astral projection (see “Did You Ever Have a Dream“), were essential to Bowie’s growth as a songwriter. Buddhism gave him a reservoir of imagery to use: it gave him a spiritual scaffolding.
Pushing Ahead of the Dame | Seven Years in Tibet
The Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet further spurred Bowie’s interest in and sympathy for Tibetan Buddhism.
When you’re kind of young and idealist we were protesting the invasion of Tibet by China. And thirty years later they’re still there. Nothing has really moved. And more than anything else it was the lectures that the Dalai Lama has been doing over the last couple of years that really prodded me a bit. Made me feel quite guilty that I’ve known about this situation quite well and quite intimately for many, many years—that I hadn’t actually come out and made my stance on what I feel about it. So I guess that song [Seven Years in
Tibet, below] in a way was to make some kind of amends.
Bowie, radio interview, 1997. [from Pushing Ahead of the Dame | Seven Years in
In that year he released the very dark “Seven Years in Tibet” with lyrics including: ‘Are you OK? | You’ve been shot in the head | And I’m holding your brains,’ | The old woman said…
Speaking of the song, Bowie noted:
The subtext of the song is really some of the desperation and agony felt by young Tibetans who have had their families killed and themselves have been reduced to mere ciphers in their own country.
Bowie, 1997. [from Pushing Ahead of the Dame | Seven Years in
A figure sitting cross-legged on the floor he’s clogged and clothed in saffron robes
His beads are all he owns
Slow down, slow down
Someone must have said that slow him down
Slow down, slow down
It’s pictured on the arms of the karma man
Karma Man (1967)
R.I.P. David Bowie (January 8, 1947 – Jan 10, 2016)
Copyright 2008-2015, Patheos. All rights reserved.
TIBET AWARENESS – ESSENCE OF TIBET – NATURAL FREEDOM
The very essence of Tibet is natural freedom and Tibetans have their natural right to enjoy freedom without foreign domination or interference.
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Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace and other tourist spots that capture the essence of Tibet
Posted on: 04:59 PM IST Sep 02, 2015 | Updated on: 5:03 pm,Sep 2,2015 IST
Tibet, the highest region on Earth is a dream come true for every traveler. Tibet is undoubtedly one of the most peaceful places that offer tranquility to tourists’ mind with its utmost beautiful natural scenery.
Keeping its old traditions alive, this place is a must visit for every person.
Here we bring you a list of aesthetic places that you should visit at least once in your life time.
Jokhang temple is the most sacred temple in Lhasa, Tibet. It was built by the Tibetan King Shrong Tsong Gompo. Tourists from all over the world visit this temple, Another attractive spot is the Bharkhor Bazaar that encircles the temple.
The Kharola glacier is seen through Tibetan praying flags from a nearby hill some 200km (125 miles) west to Lhasa, Tibet.
Potala Palace was built-in 17th century by the fifth Dalai Lama. This palace houses a great wealth of Tibet’s culture and art.
A night view shows the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
Tibetan women pray in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
Buddhist prayer flags flutter in the wind near Namthso Lake in Tibet June 7, 2009. It takes around 16 days to complete the pilgrimage around the lake which is 70 km (43 miles) long and 30 km (18 miles) wide.
Buddhist faithful offer ‘khada’ and pray in front of the “wish-fulfilling” stone monument near Namthso Lake in Tibet.
The world’s highest post office stands at over 5200 metres (17060 feet) near the base camp of Mount Everest, also known as Qomolangma, in Tibet. The post office services around 30 customers a day, and is only open for seven months of the year between April and October.
A dog sits at the front of the temple of Rongbo Monastery situated at the foot of the world’s highest mountain Mount Everest, also known as Qomolangma, in Tibet .
Cona lake is a major lake of northern Tibet lake and is the world’s highest freshwater lake at 4800 meters above sea level. In the picture, A woman is seen watering a yak near Cona Lake in Amdo county.
Ethnic Tibetans walk along a rapeseed field in Duilongdeqing County, Tibet.
Image courtesy: Reuters
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TIBET AWARENESS – NGABA – TIBET’S ROAD TO MARTYRDOM
The term ‘Martyr’ is related to Greek word ‘martys’ which means a witness, Latin word ‘memor’ which means mindful, and Sanskrit word ‘smarati’ which means (he) remembers. Hence, ‘Martyr’ as a person has to be described by sharing as to what that person witnessed, as to what he(or she) is mindful, and as to what he remembers. Martyr is a person who dies as consequence of exposure to long-continued suffering, torment, or torture. Martyr is a person who remembers his experience or experience of others who suffer and suffered. Martyr is a person who chooses to suffer or die rather than give up his faith or principles. Martyr is a person who assumes an attitude of self-sacrifice or suffering in order to arouse feelings in others for his faith or belief.
The news media often use the term “SELF-IMMOLATION” which usually means burning oneself in a public place, an act of suicide that attracts public attention. I understand ‘Martyrdom’ as principled resistance to injustice. Man is a Moral Being and by nature man cannot tolerate unfairness and unjust actions that he witnesses or experiences, or remembers. Tibetans are asking for fairness, justice and are opposing suppression, and oppression imposed by Red China’s prolonged or long-continued illegal, immoral military occupation of their Land. These Tibetan Martyrs arouse feelings in the hearts of others who come to know about their actions of Martyrdom. The feeling I experience is, Tibetan faith, belief in Freedom is their Natural Right, and no power on Earth can take away their Natural Right to be free in a Land where they are born with no shackles.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
|The Spirits of Special Frontier ForceAt Special Frontier Force, I host ‘The Living Tibetan Spirits’ to promote Tibet Awareness.|
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TIBET’S ROAD AHEAD
IMMOLATIONS ARE JUST ONE SIGN OF TENSIONS OVER COMMUNIST RULE
By BARBARA DEMICK
By the time Dongtuk arrived, the body was gone. A pack of matches lay on the ground, the only sign of the horror that had taken place. Dongtuk picked them up and fingered them.
About an hour earlier, one of the teenager’s best friends had siphoned gasoline from a motorcycle, swallowed part of it and doused himself with the rest. Then he had set himself on fire.
Standing at the scene near Kirti Monastery, where both had been apprentice monks, Dongtuk, then 17, considered the pack of remaining matches.
“At that point, I felt no doubt at all,” he said. “I wanted to die myself.”
Dongtuk’s friend, Phuntsog, was among the first of more than 140 ethnic Tibetans who have taken their lives through self-immolation, an act designed to telegraph the desperation of a people so marginalized as to have nothing left to lose.
Six million Tibetans live in China, many chafing under the stifling rule of the Communist Party.
Caption Tibetan monks Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times
Monks gather for debates in the courtyard at Kirti Monastery in Aba, in Sichuan province.
Caption Tibetan monk Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times
Dongtuk, a Tibetan monk now living in Dharamsala, India, considered self-immolation after his best friend committed suicide by that method, as many Buddhists have in acts of protest against the Chinese government.
In few places are the tensions so palpable, or the resistance so stubborn, as in Aba, known as Ngaba in Tibetan. With only 65,000 people, Aba has been an outsized source of trouble for the Chinese Communist Party for almost as long as the party has been in existence.
To avoid outside scrutiny, Chinese authorities restrict visits by foreigners to Aba unless chaperoned by the government. Nevertheless, a reporter from the Los Angeles Times has visited several times in the last few years, trying to understand what made the outwardly tranquil town such an engine for unrest.
Tibetans complain that they live, essentially, as second-class citizens in their own land. Their language, culture and faith are all under pressure. They attend substandard schools and, if they manage to get an education, lack the same job opportunities as the Han, the Chinese majority enjoy.
“The town is now packed with Chinese — the vegetable sellers, the shopkeepers, the restaurant owners. They don’t speak Tibetan at all,” said Dolma, 18, whose parents are farmers and, who, like many Tibetans, uses only one name. “My parents can barely speak Chinese. When they go to town to buy things, they can barely communicate.”
Aba is in China’s Sichuan province, outside what is known as the Tibet Autonomous Region but inextricably part of what Tibetans consider their homeland. The 10-hour drive from the provincial capital, Chengdu, follows winding canyons that eventually open up, at 12,000 feet, to grassland under a horizon-to-horizon stretch of Himalayan sky.
Aba is a special place. Three generations have suffered from the excesses of the Chinese Communists, and their attitudes have been passed down from generation to generation. – Kirti Rinpoche, the head of the Kirti Monastery who lives in exile in India
The town is composed of one long road, officially Route 302, although Tibetans now call it the “Martyr Road.” It is lined on both sides with red-metal shuttered storefronts — tea shops, shoe stores, businesses selling cellphones. Tibetan men wear long cloaks over their jeans; the women favor ankle-length skirts and floppy hats, with glossy black braids that cascade down their backs, and an occasional flash of coral jewelry.
Rising up like bookends on each side of Aba are gold-roofed Buddhist monasteries with white stupas, or prayer towers, that loom over the skyline. The largest, Kirti, is now known as the place people go to set themselves on fire.
After any self-immolation or protest, Aba is transformed into a military garrison. Checkpoints seal off travel in and out of town. Out come the security forces: the People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese paramilitary forces known as wujing in khaki uniforms, the SWAT teams in black and the regular police in blue.
Along with the riot shields, guns and batons, they carry another essential tool: a fire extinguisher.
Huge new compounds girded by barbed wire house the police and courts. In a 2011 analysis, Human Rights Watch reported government spending on security in Aba had increased 619% between 2002 and 2009.
“You always feel like you’re being watched,” said Dawa, a widow in her 50s who lived in Aba near the Kirti Monastery until four years ago. “I was never interested in politics. I never get involved. But at the back of my mind, I never felt relaxed. I always thought I could be arrested any moment.”
Aba has a long history as a town of troublemakers. For centuries, it was ruled by tribal kings who reported neither to the Tibetan government in Lhasa nor to the Chinese. In the 1930s, Aba was the first place where Tibetans collided with Mao Tse-tung’s Red Army, which was fleeing Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists in what became known as the “Long March.”
Aba became a center of resistance in 1959, and nomads fanned out into the mountains, launching guerrilla raids on Chinese installations with ancient hunting rifles or spears fashioned by local blacksmiths. In 1966, Mao’s Cultural Revolution brought more violence. Monasteries were turned into warehouses or government buildings or demolished. Monks were forced to shed their robes and live lives for which they were ill-prepared.
The terror ended with Mao’s death in 1976. The Chinese government started rebuilding the monasteries. With the country’s economic opening, Tibetans saw their standard of living rise along with that of others in China.
Aba became famous in the 1980s for exporting entrepreneurs, who spread out across China and beyond, selling Tibetan products such as wool and medicinal herbs and introducing Tibetans to blue jeans, coffee and the Sony Walkman.
Even as they prospered, the Tibetans couldn’t help but notice the Chinese were getting even richer. And the divide grew as the government began denying travel permits to Tibetans.
“The Han people have all the advantages. All the factories are located in Han areas. We don’t have passports so we can’t travel across borders,” complained one envious businessman.
Yangchen, a rail-thin Tibetan woman in her early 30s pushing a wheelbarrow of concrete blocks up a staircase, said she was unable to find anything other than manual labor despite being able to speak excellent Chinese. Even with that, she said, the going rate for such work for Tibetans, about $16 a day, was half of what ethnic Chinese are paid.
“Most of the businesses are owned by Han Chinese,” she added, “so they naturally prefer to hire other Chinese.”
The undercurrent of unhappiness with Chinese rule exploded on a Sunday morning in March 2008, in the courtyard in front of the Kirti Monastery, where monks were conducting prayers for the upcoming Tibetan New Year.
In the middle of the chants, one monk started speaking about independence. People shouted along, raising their fists in the air, ignoring the entreaties of older monks. It degenerated into a riot, with Tibetans hurling rocks at the police and trashing Chinese-owned shops, including the fanciest department store, which happened to be owned by a former People’s Liberation Army soldier.
Chinese troops used tear gas and smoke bombs, then switched to live ammunition.
At least 18 Tibetans were killed, including a 16-year-old schoolgirl. It was a galvanizing moment for a small town in which almost everybody knew somebody who died.
Dhukar, now 18, a slip of a teenager with a ponytail and chipped nail polish, was a student at a Chinese-language public school and so pro-Chinese that she could have been a poster child for the Communist Party. She spoke Chinese better than Tibetan, rarely wore traditional clothing and loved the war movies on television with the matinee idols playing Chinese soldiers.
Watching the riot from a second-floor tea shop overlooking the main street, Dhukar was horrified to see Tibetans throwing rocks at the soldiers. “I thought: ‘These soldiers are here to protect us,'” she said.
But she found out later that three young people she knew had been shot, two fatally. That night the Chinese television news “talked only about Tibetans throwing rocks, nothing about Tibetans getting shot,” she said. “I knew it was lies and that I couldn’t believe Chinese television again.”
Dongtuk was a 14-year-old monk at Kirti at the time. After the protests, the monastery was placed under siege, with barracks built on the grounds. The school he had attended was closed. Police conducted regular inspections, searching for banned photos of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. A closed-circuit camera was erected directly outside Dongtuk’s window.
“It was really a period of crisis,” he recalled.
The first self-immolation took place in February 2009. Religious authorities were threatening to prohibit the monastery from observing a scheduled prayer ceremony, especially infuriating one monk in his late 20s who set himself on fire.
That monk, named Tapey, didn’t die, but was left badly disabled and in police custody. There were no more self-immolations in Aba until 2011, when Dongtuk’s friend, Phuntsog, killed himself.
Dongtuk explained why he nearly followed suit.
“I thought somehow if I self-immolated, the news would spread overseas and it would gain support for Tibetans, and in the end it would help people live happy and peaceful lives,” he said.
Although he ultimately held back, many others didn’t. Among them were Dongtuk’s half-brother and Phuntsog’s brother, both of whom later burned themselves to death.
The most recent self-immolator in Aba was a 45-year-old barley farmer with seven children. He set himself on fire April 16 in the courtyard of his home so that firefighters would not be able to reach him before he perished.
Many of those who died were the descendants of Tibetans who had fought the Chinese in earlier generations. Phuntsog, 20, was the grandson of a resistance leader who fought the Chinese Communists in the late 1950s.
“Aba is a special place. Three generations have suffered from the excesses of the Chinese Communists, and their attitudes have been passed down from generation to generation,” said Kirti Rinpoche, the head of the Kirti Monastery, in an interview this year in India, where he lives in exile.
Out of 140 self-immolations in the last several years, more than a third took place in and around Aba. Hundreds of Aba residents have been arrested — and at least a dozen are still in prison — on homicide charges for helping self-immolators. These include shopkeepers who sold gasoline and people who helped with Buddhist funeral rites.
A 29-year-old homemaker, Dolmatso, was arrested in 2013 and held for more than 18 months on charges of being an accessory to murder, according to her brother. She had been on her way to pick up her daughter from school when a man burned himself.
“My sister didn’t know this man,” said Kunchok Gyatso, a Tibetan activist who works with an association of former political prisoners in Dharamsala, India. “Tibetans tried to load his corpse into a truck so that they could do a Buddhist funeral. She was helping.”
One result of the recent turmoil has been growing self-awareness of Tibetan identity. Unable to directly confront the Chinese, Tibetans have begun low-key initiatives to preserve their language, clothing and Buddhist traditions.
On June 21, when the Dalai Lama turned 80 on the Tibetan calendar, Aba residents dressed in Tibetan clothing to show their respect.
Tibetans in Aba are trying to bolster their mother tongue by banishing Chinese from their vocabulary. A computer is now a tsekor instead of a diannao, and a cellphone is a kapor, not a
“We keep a jar around so that if you say a Chinese word by mistake, you pay a fine,” usually about 15 cents, said a cultural activist in his 30s who asked not to be quoted by name because he feared Chinese authorities. “Then we will take the money in the jar and go out and have a meal together.”
Tibetans say the Chinese government has been paying more attention to the needs of Tibetans since the immolations began. Photos of the Dalai Lama were put back last year inside Kirti Monastery and are gradually making a reappearance on shop walls.
A few weeks ago, the prefecture to which Aba belongs organized a trip for journalists to see government-built housing for Tibetan nomads. Reporters were brought to the spacious home of a former nomad who had been the Communist Party secretary for his village and shown a guesthouse displaying large photographs of Mao and the late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping.
Last summer, many nomads could be seen pitching white waterproof canvas tents distributed free by the local government, replacing the bulkier traditional tents made of black felt. The local government also gave out lumber to build pens for yaks and freed up grant money for Tibetans to make additions to their homes.
A 21-year-old college student, Roumo, visiting her nomadic parents during school break, showed off her brand-new iPhone 5, and a solar panel powering a new flat-screen television.
“Life has changed so much. We have vehicles, phones, television, electricity,” said Roumo.
Said another Tibetan woman, Lhamo, a semi-literate homemaker in her 30s: “I don’t approve of self-immolation, but I have to admit we are getting more from the government. The self-immolators did make sacrifices to improve our lives.”
Still, she said many of her neighbors remain desperately poor.
“In my village, people eat nothing but tsampa,” she said, referring to roasted barley, a Tibetan staple. “They plant barley and before it comes in, they don’t have much to eat.”
And even among those who are doing well, resentments sometimes simmer. Tenzin is a middle-aged businessman who has a considerable real estate portfolio, drives an imported SUV and carries a recent model iPhone.
“I have everything,” he said. “Everything but my freedom.”
Copyright © 2015, LOS ANGELES TIMES