British MP condemns China’s human rights abuses in Tibet

Teresa condemns China’s human rights abuses in Tibet  and raises concerns about the Panchen Lama on his 24th Birthday

April 25, 2013 by Teresa Pearce MP

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Teresa yesterday met with Tsering Passang, a member of Tibetan Community in Britain, to discuss his concerns about China’s continued human rights abuses in Tibet.

Mr Passang explained that the situation in Tibet is extremely distressing, and is characterised by continued human rights abuses.  He explained that the instances of self-immolation are increasing as the Tibetan people struggle to fight against their oppression.

He also explained that today is the 24th birthday of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Panchen Lama, who was taken from his home at the age of 6-years-old. He has not been seen since this time, and nobody yet knows what happened to him.

Teresa said:

“Human rights abuses in Tibet cannot be ignored by the international community. The introduction of oppressive policies, and the unfair oppression of legitimate protests, cannot continue. The increase in cases of self-immolation by Tibetan people in protest against their repression shows how desperate their plight is, and how crucial it is to peacefully resolve this situation as soon as possible.

I am very concerned about the welfare of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Panchen Lama, who was taken by the Chinese authorities when he was just six-years-old. This means he could have been the world’s youngest political prisoner.

Today marks his 24th birthday, and neither he, nor his family, have been seen since the day he was taken. I think it is crucial that pressure groups, governments and other international bodies continue to press China to answer questions about his whereabouts.

The Tibetan people should be given all the support necessary to ensure they can enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted. Religious freedom should be a right, not a privilege.

I have previously written to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to ask what action is being taken to support the Tibetan people, and I will continue to press the Government to work effectively with other concerned governments to resolve the grievances of the Tibetan people, and to ensure that their human rights are respected.”

Author: Tsering Passang (Tsamtruk)

Tsering Passang is passionate about Tibet and the Tibetan issue. He was born in a Tibetan refugee camp in western Nepal. An NGO professional with nearly 20 years of experience in international development charities, Tsering has led Tibetan Community UK from 2014 to 2016 as its Chairman. Amongst his pioneering initiatives as the Community Leader, Tsering spearheaded "Tibetans Helping Tibetans" initiative and within months, it resulted in securing the sponsorship of 30 Tibetan refugee children for their education in India from 25 UK-based Tibetan families. Prior to his current appointment as the Director of Tibet Foundation, Tsering served as Special Adviser to the Tibet Society, the world's oldest Tibet support group. He also worked for Tibet Relief Fund for over eight years, raising vital funds for Tibetan children’s education in India and Nepal. From 2001 to 2007, he worked for Tibet Foundation as Art & Culture Programme Manager. Tsering has conducted multiple field trips to India and Nepal over the past two decades. After returning from his 2008 personal trip to Mustang, Tsering saw a need to provide training to those Tibetan teachers working in rural areas. Within a year, with the support of western teaching professionals, Tsering initiated the vital training programme for the teachers. Over 50 Tibetan refugees and ethnic Tibetan teachers from Mustang, Manang, Dhorpatan, Pokhara and Kathmandu attended the trainings delivered in Mustang, Kathmandu and Pokhara. He developed partnerships with the local NGOs and schools in Nepal. From 2014 to 2016, Tsering served on the boards of Tibet Society and Tibet House Trust. He also served as the Chairman and a Trustee of the Tibetan Refugee Charitable Trust. Tsering continues his advocacy work on Tibet. He has attended and engaged with parliamentarians, special advisers and officials from the UK, UN, the US and EU. Tsering has also spoken at important public and closed forums – audience included governments representatives, policymakers, rights advocates, lawyers, journalists, NGO professionals, university students and researchers. In addition to his writings on the Tibetan affairs, published in the British, Nepalese and Tibetan media, Tsering was interviewed by the BBC, Sky News and Reuters. He is also frequently interviewed by the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and Voice of Tibet. Tsering has conducted special interviews with leading Tibetan political figures - President of the Tibetan Government-in-exile (Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamsala) and His Holiness the Dalai Lama's former Special Envoy (Washington-based) and former Representative (London-based) for a Tibetan YouTube channel – LondonNey Production. Tsering’s personal blog: www.tsamtruk.com Tsering's latest initiative is the creation of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) - an advocacy group with the object of highlighting the issues affecting the Tibetans, Uyghur Muslims as well as other peoples persecuted by the Chinese regime.

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