An Exiled Tibetan’s “Open Letter” to Xi Jinping

This Open Letter by Tenzin Tsultrim was first published in Phayul on 13th March 20223.

Illustration: Stellina Chen

An Open Letter to Xi Jinping

Dear President Xi Jinping,

Tashi Deleg for Tibetan Losar 2150 Year (Water Hare)

First, I would like to wish you a successful third-term.

I think you are the first top leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after (late)Jiang Zemin, to visit Tibet. I believe, the 2021 visit was your third visit to Tibet. From the Chinese official media, I found out that you have also visited Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

On 19 July 2011, when you visited Lhasa as a Vice-President of the PRC, you mentioned, “The fine traditions of the Tibetan culture are preserved and promoted…Like other regions in the country, Tibet is showing the dynamism of development that points to a prosperous future.”

For the past few years, there have been increasing crackdowns in Tibet. The demolitions of Gaden Rabten Namgyaling school in Kardze and Buddha statues in Kham are further creating an environment of fear and distrust inside Tibet. It also highlights Chinese leaders’ mismanagement in Tibet. Increasing the number of surveillance cameras and police posts might give the communist officials in Tibet a sense of control over the Tibetan people. In short, allowing your sycophant officials to bring further restrictions on the Tibetan people would generate further alienation and may impede your dream of rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

On 17 August 2021, during the 10th meeting of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs, you talked about “Common prosperity”, where you stressed the need to “adhere to a people-centered development philosophy and called for efforts to achieve common prosperity through high-quality development.” I think common prosperityis also about treating everyone with equal respect and giving them equal rights.

 In your Report of 2022 to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, you again mentioned “Common Prosperity”. You said, “We have ensured a more complete and lasting sense of fulfillment, happiness, and security for our people, and we have made further progress in achieving common prosperity for all.” However, in Tibet, for the past few years, many uncommon events have happened.

For instance, Tibetan people were restricted from visiting monasteries during the new year. In the name of the bilingual education policy, young Tibetan children were barred from learning their mother tongue. Research findings from Tibet Action Institute reveal that countless young Tibetan children were sent to faraway boarding schools to educate them in the Chinese language and culture. I think there cannot be “Common Prosperity” if the common Tibetan people are not treated with equal respect and rights. Hence, it is not by coincidence that rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Freedom House across the world are highlighting the growing repression and curtailment of basic human rights in Tibet. By curbing human rights and restrengthening the surveillance systems in Tibet, you can monitor their movements and eavesdrop on their conversations and but you cannot monitor their sentiments.

In your latest Report, you also declared that “…We must strengthen the great unity of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and the great unity of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation at home and abroad. By doing so, we will create a powerful collective force working with one heart and one mind to realize the Chinese Dream.”

One cannot expect unity by eradicating the identities of a few. For instance, the geographical topographies of Tibet, East Turkestan, and Southern Mongolia are different from that of China, one cannot just re-engineer to make it similar to that of China’s topography. If one tries to pursue this, then the result would be a man-made disaster. For the Tibetan people, Uyghurs, and people from Southern Mongolia, culture is very close to their hearts, and without respecting their culture, it is very difficult to win their hearts and minds.

Since you are around 70 years old, I think it would be routine for you to do health check-ups, including your heart rate. Instead of collecting DNA, I think it is also high time to check the grievances rate in Tibet, East Turkestan, and Southern Mongolia. The implementation of a few months Zero-Covid policies in Tibet, particularly in Lhasa, the Capital of Tibet has led to outcry and protests from hundreds of Chinese migrant workers. Imagine the decades of bottled-up grievances of Tibetan people, Uighurs, and Southern Mongolian people. China has already spent billions of Yuan on roads, bridges, housing, and on surveillance mechanisms.

I think it is time to spend on human capital and improve human rights conditions without any Chinese or Socialist characteristics. The countless amount of money Communist China has spent for many decades on its image-building exercise within China and outside has been completely thrown out of the window. Covid-19 proved to be the final nail in the coffin. If China sincerely believes in upping its image, I think the time has come for it to give genuine rights and freedom to the oppressed people from Tibet, East Turkestan, and Southern Mongolia to decide their future.

I believe this is my second letter to you. The first letter I sent to you is through the Apple Daily of Hongkong, now defunct and its founder Jimmy Lai jailed.

Next time, when you are in India, please visit Dharamshala, there is a direct flight from Delhi. The Tibetan amchis(doctors) from Men-Tsee-Khang are known to tell the root causes of many diseases by reading the pulse. In short, many problems in the world could be solved effectively if you know the source of the problems.


Tenzin Tsultrim (A Tibetan living in exile)

(Views expressed are his own)

The author is a research Fellow at the Tibet Policy Institute, a think tank under the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamshala, India

 P.S. I request anyone who knows the Chinese language to translate the above letter.

Foreign Policy Analysis: UK quietly shifts China policy as trust between countries erodes

By Dan Sabbagh Defence and security editor

15 March 2023 |The Guardian

British stance edges closer to the US, but many MPs want government to go further and designate China as a threat

There has been a significant shift in policy from ‘golden era’ of cooperation hoped for by David Cameron in 2015.Photograph: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA

While Britain’s conflict with Russia is playing out on the battlefield of Ukraine, escalating tensions between London and Beijing are largely unfolding a little more discreetly at home: in universities, among researchers and in hi-tech and other strategic businesses.

It may not be a high-profile drama of poisonings and deadly weapons supply, but hundreds of Chinese researchers have been turned away from British projects over the last couple of years, as trust between the two countries has been eroded.

A further 50 researchers, already in the UK, have also been quietly asked to leave the country, accused of being linked to the China’s People’s Liberation Army.

It already reflects a significant shift in policy from “golden era” of cooperation hoped for by David Cameron in 2015 at the time of state visit to the UK by China’s president, Xi Jinping – long before the publication of Monday’s refreshed integrated review of defence and foreign policy.

Ironically, the refresh was put in train by the short-lived premiership of Liz Truss, with the purpose of ratcheting up Britain’s hostility to China, changing the UK’s overall stance from “systemic competitor” to “threat” – a position rejected by Rishi Sunak.

Ultimately the document fought shy of the threat designation, choosing to define Beijing as posing an “epoch-defining and systemic challenge with implications for almost every area of government policy”. But it allows the UK to come a little closer to the US, which increasingly sees China as its long-term, defining competitor.

A review by the Pentagon last year described China as a “pacing challenge”, and a “comprehensive and serious challenge to US national security” – anxieties that underline Monday’s confirmation that Australia will get nuclear propulsion technology from the UK and US so its submarines can match Beijing’s in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Policy experts say escalating the rhetoric dramatically would only serve to unnecessarily increase existing tensions at a time when there is western concern about whether Beijing is prepared to supply weapons to Russia for the war in Ukraine.

Charles Parton, a former British diplomat with 22 years of China experience, said there was nothing extra to be gained, adding: “It doesn’t make for good policy. They are a threat, but we have to cooperate on areas like climate change, which we never had to do with the Soviet Union. But we also have to recognise that Beijing sees itself in an existential struggle with western capitalism.”

The analyst pointed to a 2013 speech, re-published in 2019, in which the Chinese leader spoke of “the eventual demise of capitalism and the ultimate victory of socialism” in what would inevitably be “a long historical process”.

Reflecting such thinking, Britain’s intelligence community has emphasised its concern that authoritarian China could one day take control of critical technologies such as artificial intelligence. Last October Jeremy Fleming, the boss of spy agency GCHQ, said China wanted to “gain strategic advantage by shaping the world’s technology ecosystems”.

After a long period of laissez-faire, a handful of takeovers of British firms by Chinese companies have being blocked under the recently passed National Security and Investment Act, including the purchase of Newport Wafer Fab, the UK’s largest silicon chip factory.

Chinese espionage activities in the UK are often subtle and long term – and nefarious activity difficult to spot. In an exceptional case, MI5 did issue a warning in January last year about lobbyist Christine Lee, accusing her of seeking to improperly influence MPs and peers, using money she was said to have raised from “foreign nationals” in Hong Kong and China.

But Lee was not prosecuted either, partly reflecting the UK’s effort to proceed discreetly and what the intelligence community insists is outdated legislation. When three Chinese spies posing as journalists were expelled in 2020, the story did not emerge until the following year because their removal was hushed up.

The problem for the government is there is political frustration with any perceived gradualist approach. Conservative MPs repeatedly rebelled with Labour support, demanding tougher sanctions, when the government tried to restrict the use of Huawei equipment in British phone network.

An attempt to force the UK to reconsider trade deals with a regime defined in a UK court as genocidal – aimed at Beijing – failed by 11 votes in 2021.

High-profile critics, such as former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith, complained on Monday that the UK “did not kick out the Chinese officials who beat people up on the streets” – referring to the UK response to an incident in October when a pro democracy protester was beaten Chinese officials outside the country’s consulate in Manchester. Six diplomats left two months later, without agreeing to be questioned by UK police.

Meanwhile, Labour’s Stephen Kinnock called for an “in-depth strategic audit” of the UK’s relationship with China and “no return to the utterly failed ‘golden era’ strategy” – indicating that politicians still want to go further than officials or experts are recommending.

This article was publised in The Guardian.

Journey of an Exile Tibetan Leader: From Harvard to Dharamsala

The Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities are pleased to re-share a very candid interaction of Dr. Lobsang Sangay, former Sikyong, President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), from 2011 to 2021 (aka Tibetan Government-in-exile), with his academic audience at Harvard University Asia Centre, as part of the Tsai Lecture Series.

Dr. Lobsang Sangay,
Photo: Harvard University

Sangay’s latest public engagement is believed to be an open account of his personal aspiration, challenges, opportunities as well as securing solutions to China-Tibet conflict as top elected leader of the Tibetan Government-in-exile, since leaving his two-terms in office as the Sikyong.

Watch this full speech delivered on March 8, 2023, at the Harvard University Asia Center, by Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Former Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration and Senior Visiting Fellow, East Asian Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School.

About the Lecture Series: The Tsai Lecture Series, established in 2000 with a generous endowment from Felix Tsai, allows the Asia Center to invite notable leaders in academia, government, business, and other professions to Harvard. The annual lecture is open to the public, and it offers perspectives from a range of disciplines and different regions in Asia. Past speakers have included the late Surin Pitsuwan, former Secretary-General of ASEAN, Pritzker Prize-winning architect and humanitarian Shigeru Ban, internationally renowned human rights lawyer, and advocate Asma Jahangir, the Honorable Caroline Kennedy, and the Honorable Kathleen Stephens. 2021 Nobel laureate Maria Ressa delivered the most recent Tsai Lecture in May 2022.

Biography of the speaker: Lobsang Sangay is a Senior Visiting Fellow at East Asian Legal Studies Program, Harvard Law School. He was a democratically elected Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration and served two terms (2011-21). Lobsang completed his BA and LLB from Delhi University. He did his LLM ’95 and SJD ‘04 from Harvard Law School and received Yong K. Kim’ 95 Memorial Prize for excellence in dissertation and contributions to the understanding of East Asia at the Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, akin to track III, he organized seven rounds of meetings/conferences between Tibetan, Western and Chinese scholars most notably, the first ever meeting between HH the Dalai Lama and 25 Chinese scholars and students.

He was a researcher for the report “Tibet: Human Rights and the Rule of Law”, published by the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, Switzerland (2008). He also published Legal Autonomy of Tibet: A Tibetan Lawyer’s Perspective, in the Journal of East Asia and International Law and “Education Rights for Tibetans in Tibet and India,” in John D. Montgomery, ed. Human Rights: Positive Policies in Asia and the Pacific Rim, SOKA University Press. He wrote an article, Tibet: The Exile’s Journey published in the Journal of Democracy (2004). He was selected as one of the twenty-four Young Leaders of Asia by the Asia Society (2006). He has spoken at international conferences such as Forum 2000, Halifax Security Forum, and Oxford Union. He has written numerous Op-eds in major newspapers including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and appeared on many international TV networks like BBC and CNN.

He was awarded the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse, College Historical Society (CHS), Trinity College, Dublin (2014) and Salisbury University Presidential Medal for Distinguished Community Leadership (2015). He has visited various capitals and parliaments around the world and played an important role in the passage of Tibetan Policy and Support Act 2020 signed by the United States Government.

He was most recently a lecturer at the Harvard Law school in the Fall of 2022, teaching a class on China and Tibet and presently teaching a reading group on Tibet at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Source: Harvard University Asia Centre

UK-based Chinese Dissident Dr. Shao Jiang presents “an opportunity for Tibetans and Chinese to fight together against the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party and to fight for our freedoms shoulder to shoulder”

At the invitation of Tibetan Community UK, Chinese dissident Dr. Shao Jiang addressed the 64th commemoration anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day at the Indian YMCA in London on 10th March 2023. He said, “CCP’s invasion and occupation of Tibet have brought much suffering to the Tibetan people. These include not only suppression of civil and political rights, religious freedom and cultural genocide, but also the economic exploitation of millions of Tibetans”.

Dr. Shao Jiang addressing the 64th commemoration annual of the Tibetan National Uprising Day event in London

Jailed for his role as Student Leader during the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Dr. Shao Jiang highlighted Communist China’s “economic exploitation on three levels: land seizure, the plundering of resources, and labour exploitation” in Tibet. He added that “the discussion of these issues may provide new perspectives for finding a way out for the Tibetan people.”

The Chinese dissident also stated that the recent White Paper movement in China saw the active involvements of “a number of Tibetan students and workers, especially women”. He said that “Tibetan students and workers who are still in detention are all women, including Tsering Lhamo, Zamkar, Dechen, Kalsang Dolma and Delha”.

The dissident-scholar noted that most of those Chinese arrested were also women, adding, “Women are leading new round of movement. The White Paper movement including class, nationalities and gender issues, has provided an opportunity for Tibetans and Chinese to fight together against the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party and to fight for our freedoms shoulder to shoulder”.

For full speech please watch this video.

Dr. Shao Jiang addressing the 64th commemoration anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day at Indian YMCA in London, organised by Tibetan Community UK

Dr. Shao Jiang:

“Today marks the 64th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising. CCP’s invasion and occupation of Tibet have brought much suffering to the Tibetan people. These include not only suppression of civil and political rights, religious freedom and cultural genocide, but also the economic exploitation of millions of Tibetans. Today I want to highlight this economic exploitation on three levels: land seizure, the plundering of resources, and labour exploitation. I hope that the discussion of these issues may provide new perspectives for finding a way out for the Tibetan people.  

Since the occupation of Tibet, the CCP carried out two rounds of looting of Tibetan land and resources. The first round was from the 1950s to the early1980s, the second round is from 2000 to the present. In the 1950s, in the name of ‘land reform’, the CCP confiscated the land traditionally used by Tibetans for farming and grazing, forcing farmers and nomads to join communes. The command economy led to long-term poverty and famine among Tibetan farmers and nomads. The Tibetan land was used by the CCP as a strategic foundation to build military bases, third-line factories, forest farms and agricultural farms to exploit resources in Tibet.  

The second round of land seizure in Tibet started around 2000 and is still ongoing. The implementation is in the name of ‘relocation and resettlement’, ‘national parks’, ‘border villages’, ‘poverty alleviation’ and so on. The land-grabbing goes hand in hand with the plundering of natural resources including grasslands, forests, minerals and water resources. Industrialisation and urbanization have not benefited the Tibetan people but turned Tibet into a vital source for the supply chains of the world factory that China has presented itself to be. Many companies and politicians in the West have been complicit in this process.  

Over the past 20 years or so, the CCP has driven more than two million Tibetan farmers and herders out of their land. Some of them have become unemployed, while others have become ‘cheap labour’ in the gig economy. Since Tibetans are forced to use Chinese in both education and work, not only are they at a disadvantage in finding a job, but even Tibetans with the same or higher skill levels are paid only one-third of the wages of the Han Chinese. This is one of the reasons why the proportion of Tibetans living in poverty is much higher than that of the Chinese.

Workers in the gig economy are inevitably subjected to further exploitation due to their scattered and disorganized status. Only by developing independent labour organizations can Tibetan workers protect their rights. Under CCP’s tight control, it is very difficult for Tibetans in Tibet to form independent trade unions, and this is where Tibetan exiles can play an important role. There is a lot we can learn from the experiences of workers’ organizations in other countries including the UK and Ireland, to build a broader alliance with the international labour movement. 

Last November, the White Paper movement erupted in China. A number of Tibetan students and workers, especially women, had been actively involved. From what we know so far, Tibetan students and workers who are still in detention are all women, including Tsering Lhamo, Zamkar, Dechen, Kalsang Dolma and Delha. This is similar to the situation of Chinese participants. Most of those arrested were also women. Women are leading this new round of movement. The White Paper movement including class, nationalities and gender issues, has provided an opportunity for Tibetans and Chinese to fight together against the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party and to fight for our freedoms shoulder to shoulder.”

Please click here to visit Dr Shao Jiang’s blog.

Thousands across Europe to gather in Rome to call on Chinese Communist regime to end the illegal occupation of Tibet – Europe stands with Tibet

The Europe-wide Joint 10th March Rally will be held in Rome, Italy on Friday, 10th March 2023.

This pan-European rally is organised by the Tibetan Community Italy, with a full cooperation of the Tibetan Communities in Europe. In addition to Tibetans, supporters and invited speakers, Europe-based elected Tibetan MPs and representatives from the Offices of Tibet are also joining the official rally.

This political and solidarity rally is believed to be the largest Tibet gathering in Europe since the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in Wuhan, China.

Details of the Rome Rally:



Rally Route: Gathering – 13:30 / rally 14:00 from Largo Corrado Ricci – Via Fori Imperiali Arrival – Piazza della Madonna di Loreto

The rally is supported by Associazione Italia-Tibet, Swiss-Tibetan Friendship Association and International Campaign for Tibet.

From Archive: Europe stands with Tibet – Paris Rally in 2015

Each year, Tibetans worldwide commemorate March 10th as the anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of Lhasa in 1959. Read Tsering Passang’s detailed account on Why Tibetans worldwide commemorate March 10th

On this day, hundreds of towns and cities across Europe will also be raising Tibet’s National Flag to show their support and solidarity with the Tibetan people. In London, the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG) will raise the Tibetan National Flag at the Woolwich Town Hall on the same day.

From Archive: Tibet Flag Raising ceremony at Woolwich Town Hall, London; 10th March 2022

Tibet was illegally invaded by the Chinese Communist Party regime soon after it came to power on 1st October 1949, establishing the People’s Republic of China. On Mao Tsetung’s order, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops invaded Tibet from the eastern frontiers in 1950 and thereafter. Tibetans fought back and strongly resisted the foreign invasion for many years but there was no match against China’s well equipped and organised military troops. This fateful illegal invasion of Tibet by China occurred after the founding of the United Nations in 1948.

Tibetans continue to call for freedom, justice and human rights in China’s occupied Tibet and around the world. A few weeks leading to the 10th March each year, the Chinese authorities put additional security measures in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, to prevent protests. Tibetans in Lhasa as well as in other parts of Tibet have told their their contacts overseas not to call them especially during these few months.

During this year’s 64th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising protests across the globe, over 100,000 Tibetans are expected to take to the streets who will be chanting “UNO – Where are you?”, “UNO – We want justice”, “Free Tibet, China out of Tibet”, “China: Stop Killing Tibetans” and “Human Rights in Tibet.”

For this year’s London protest details, please click here.

China attracted strong criticisms over human rights failures from UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva

On 3rd March 2023, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) issued its “Concluding Observations” at the Third Periodic Review of China.

For this Periodic Review in Geneva, China has sent a high-level delegation, consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Front Department of the CPC Central Committee, the Supreme People’s Court, Ministry of Education, National Ethnic Affairs Commission, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, National Health Commission, National Religious Affairs Administration, National Disease Prevention and Control Administration, the State Council Information Office, and National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council, as well as the governments of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region. No Tibetan and Uyghur nationalities were part of this high-level delegation.

Whilst welcoming some positive measures taken by the Chinese State including, “The ratification of ILO Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29); and the ratification of the ILO Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105);” and “The adoption of the fourth National Human Rights Action Plan (2021-2025)”, the UN rights body was quite vocal about Beijing’s human rights failures. The UN Rights body specifically called on China for an “end to forced relocations and the state-run boarding school system in Tibet”.

The committee, consisting of independent experts, moreover expressed concern that Tibetans and Uyghurs amongst others living under China’s brutal rule, “face severe restrictions in the realization of their right to take part in cultural life, including the right to use and teach minority languages, history and culture.”

Some related excerpts on Tibet from the Committee’s “Concluding Observations”: 

“Indigenous peoples

27.  Noting the information provided during the dialogue with the State party, the Committee remains concerned about reports that resettlement of nomadic herdsmen, particularly Tibetan ones, is carried out in the State party without proper consultation and in most cases without free, prior and informed consent, particularly in the western provinces and in autonomous regions. The Committee is also concerned about reports that large numbers of small-scale farmers and nomadic herders, including from ethnic autonomous areas, have lost their traditional lands and livelihoods owing to poverty alleviation schemes and ecological restoration resettlement measures, and that compensation for expropriated property is often insufficient to maintain an adequate standard of living (arts. 1(2) and 2 (2)).

28.  The Committee reiterates its recommendation[1] that the State party take all necessary measures to immediately halt non-voluntary resettlement of all nomadic herders, including Tibetan ones, from their traditional lands and non-voluntary relocation or rehousing programmes for other rural residents, such as small-scale farmers and that the State party carry out meaningful consultations with the affected communities in order to examine and evaluate all available alternative options, and offer full, adequate and timely compensation for expropriations already carried out.

Cultural and linguistic identity and expression in education

88. Noting the information provided during the dialogue with the State party, the Committee remains concerned about reports that ethnic minorities continue to face severe restrictions in the realization of their right to take part in cultural life, including the right to use and teach minority languages, history and culture. The Committee is concerned about reports of closures of schools providing instruction in minority languages, as well as in the Tibetan, Uyghur and/or Kazakh languages. The Committee is also concerned about reports of the large-scale campaign to eradicate Tibetan culture and language, as well as the general undermining of the linguistic identity of ethnic minorities by the assimilation policy of the State party, known as sinicization, including the coerced residential (boarding) school system imposed on Tibetan children (arts. 13, 14 and 15). 

89. The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party take all necessary measures to ensure the full and unrestricted enjoyment by peoples and minorities of their right to enjoy fully their own cultural identity and take part in cultural life, and to ensure the use and practice of their language and culture, and immediately abolish the coerced residential (boarding) school system imposed on Tibetan children, as well as allowing private Tibetan schools to be established. The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure that Mandarin is not the only language allowed as the language of instruction vis-à-vis ethnic minorities and peoples.

Cultural heritage and practices of religious minorities

90.  Noting the information provided during the dialogue with the State party, the Committee is concerned about reports of increasingly tighter regulation of religious practices in the context of the State party’s counter-terrorism and counter-extremism strategies, particularly increasing restrictions on expression of Muslim religious practices which put persons practicing standard tenets of Islamic religion and practice at risk of criminal sanction and/or being coerced into re-education in VETCs and/or being coerced into employment schemes which de facto amount to forced labour. The Committee is also concerned about reports of systematic and massive destruction of religious sites such as mosques, monasteries, shrines and cemeteries, particularly in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and in the Tibet Autonomous Region (art. 15).

91. The Committee reiterates its recommendation[1] that the State party take adequate measures to protect cultural diversity and the cultural practices and heritage of religious minorities, including the religious practices of Tibetans, Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Hui, and Mongols, including by protecting and restoring religious sites.”

The Committee considered the third periodic report of China,[1] including the fourth periodic report of Hong Kong SAR, China,[2] and the third periodic report of Macao SAR, China,[3] on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at its 5th and 7th meetings[4] held on 15 and 16 February 2023, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 30th meeting, held on 3 March 2023.

Click here for Committee’s full “Concluding Observations

English Town Hall to raise Tibet Flag, Tibetans worldwide mark China’s occupation of Tibet – 10th March 2023

Photo Archive: Tibet Flag Raising on 10th March 2020

The London Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG) will once again raise the Tibetan National Flag on 10th March 2023 at the Woolwich Town Hall in show of support and solidarity with the people of Tibet.

The day is officially marked by Tibetans worldwide as the 64th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising of Lhasa in 1959. Read Tsering Passang’s detailed account on Why Tibetans worldwide commemorate March 10th.

Cllr. Leo Fletcher, The Mayor, and Cllr. Anthony Okereke, The Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, will be joined by representatives from The Office of Tibet, Tibetan Community UK and Greenwich Tibetan Association as well as local Tibetans on Friday morning at the Town Hall, Woolwich, southeast London. As the Tibetan National Anthem is sung the Mayor of the London Royal Borough of Greenwich will raise the Tibet Flag whilst being witnessed by other councillors, officials, Tibetans and residents.

This annual Tibet Flag Raising is organised by the Mayor’s Office, Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG) and the Greenwich Tibetan Association (GTA) of the Tibetan Community UK. The RBG is home to over 100 Tibetans, which is the single largest concentration of Tibetans in one borough in the whole of UK.

Tsering Passang, Founder and Chair of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities, who coordinated the Tibet Flag Raising, said: “We are once again pleased with the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s decision to raise the Tibet Flag in show of support and solidarity with the people of Tibet. Tibetans are still being persecuted in their own country by the Chinese regime for their fundamental beliefs. This noble act by the Royal Borough of Greenwich sends the right message to China’s regime that the UK stands with the people of Tibet as they continue to endure persecutions and brutal crackdown. Tibetans are denied human rights, religious freedom and free speech in China’s occupied Tibet. We thank the Mayor and the Royal Borough of Greenwich for their continued support and solidarity with the people of Tibet.”

The Tibet Flag was first raised at the Woolwich Town Hall in London in September 2015 to honour and welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The Tibetan spiritual leader gave public talks and Buddhist teachings to over 10,000 people at The O2 Centre in September 2015, which falls within the boundaries of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Tibetans worldwide are observing their 64th anniversary of the National Uprising Day of 1959 in Lhasa, when tens of thousands of Tibetans revolted against the illegal occupation of their country by Mao Tsetung-led Communist Party of China (CCP). China’s invasion of Tibet forced the Nobel Peace laureate Dalai Lama into exile in India in March 1959 where he set up the Central Tibetan Administration (de facto Tibetan Government-in-exile).

The Tibetan Community UK and Free Tibet are organising protest and rally in central London on the same day to mark the 64th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day.

London Schedule – 10th March 2023:

TIBET FLAG RAISING – Woolwich Town Hall – From 10.15am to 11.15am at Woolwich Town Hall, Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ

PROTEST AND RALLY12:00pm – Whitehall, opposite Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA March route: Whitehall – Trafalgar Square – Piccadilly Circus – Oxford Circus – Portland Place 1:00pmChinese Embassy, Portland Place, 49-51 Portland Place, London WB 1JL)

TIBETAN CULTURAL EVENT – Indian YMCA – 2pm onwards – Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6AQ

50th Anniversary Tour – Sacred Music and Cham Dance by Tibetan Monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery

The Tashi Lhunpo Monks are visiting the UK between May-August 2023 on a 50-date tour, commemorating fifty years since their Monastery was re-established in exile with concerts and sand mandala exhibitions.

The 50th anniversary concerts feature buddhist chants, masked dances in ceremonial costumes and ancient Tantric musical instruments, evoking the atmosphere of sacred Tibet. Performances also include spoken explanations of the significance and stories behind the dances and prayers, providing a fascinating glimpse into an ancient cultural tradition, far removed from modern Western society.

Founded in Tibet by the First Dalai Lama in 1447, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery was renowned for its scholarship of Mahayana philosophy and the Tantric tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Following the Chinese invasion of Tibet, twenty elderly monks from Tashi Lhunpo escaped religious persecution and undertook a perilous trek across the Himalayas, where Tashi Lhunpo Monastery India was re-established in the early 1970s.

Fifty years on, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in India is now home to over 400 monks and is once again becoming one of the most important centres of Buddhist learning.

The 50th anniversary tour begins Lighthouse Poole on Tuesday 2 May will be visiting venues in England, Scotland and Wales including dates with Music at Oxford, Newbury Spring Festival Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury Manchester Museum Kings Place Songlines, Howard Assembly Room, Universal Hall Promotions, Queen’s Theatre, Quay Arts, Ucheldre Holyhead Strode Theatre, New Theatre Peterborough, The Sidmouth Folk Festival.

For full details and booking links please visit:

China Must Return the Stolen Tibetan Child – The 11th Panchen Lama

London rally to mark the Tibetan National Uprising Day of 1959, China’s occupation of Tibet

On Friday 10th March, Tibetan Community UK and Free Tibet are organising protest and rally in central London to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day in Lhasa in 1959. Read Tsering Passang’s piece – Keeping The Flame Alive: Why Tibetans Worldwide Commemorate March 10th.

Tibetans and their supporters will be gathering outside 10 Downing Street (UK Prime Minister’s Residence), London SW1A 2AA) at 12pm. After a short rally, the protesters will march to the Chinese Embassy (49-51 Portland Place, London WB 1JL) via Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus whilst chanting “Free Tibet” etc.

At the Chinese Embassy (protesters expected to arrive around 1pm), there will be rally, including Buddhist prayers for the World Peace and speeches from Tibetans and their invited guests.

Protesters’ loud chanting of slogans such as “Free Tibet”, “Human Rights in Tibet” and “China: Stop Killing Tibetans in Tibet” are expected to be heard within the walls of the Chinese Embassy. In the past, Chinese Embassy officials were seen taking photographs of the protesters through their windows.

After the rally, the Tibetan Community UK will host a cultural event at the Indian YMCA, W1T 6AQ where Tibetan food will be served. The official cultural programme starts at 4pm and ends at 6pm. Free Tibet and others will put up information and merchandise stalls.

Join the protest and show your support and solidarity with the Tibetan people.

Useful links:

Tibetan Community


GATPM joins NGOs worldwide to call on all the UN Member States at the HRC to support consensus renewal of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

The Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) is amongst the 169 NGOs worldwide to call on all the UN Member States at the Human Rights Council (HRC) urging their support for the consensus renewal of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders. This Open Letter campaign is organised by the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR).

Photo: ISHR

27 February 2023

To: All UN Member States

HRC52: Support consensus renewal of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

Human rights defenders are people who act with humanity, serve humanity and who contribute to and bring out the best in humanity. They are key to our daily lives – they work so our governments are more transparent and accountable, our environment cleaner and safer, our schools and workplaces fairer, and our futures more sustainable. As human rights defenders confront power, privilege and prejudice, they frequently face a wide range of risks and threats, including against their organisations and their families, friends and loved ones. Despite their vital contribution, both some governments and non-State actors are still seeking to silence defenders as they expose injustices and demand accountability for all.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders is integral to their protection and recognition, globally. It gathers and responds to information on the situation of defenders around the world, engages constructively with governments and non-State actors and provides expert recommendations to promote the effective implementation of the ‘Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’ (The Declaration on human rights defenders).

2023 marks 25 years since the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on human rights defenders. The adoption of the Declaration was a critical point in human rights history where it articulated how existing human rights law applies to the situation of human rights defenders, recognised the importance and legitimacy of human rights activity, and the need to protect it along with those who carry it out. It is apposite that this major anniversary coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, reflecting the integral role that human rights defenders play in the realisation of universal human rights. 

In 2022, the Human Rights Council reaffirmed the importance of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and its full and effective implementation, and that promoting respect, support and protection for the activities of human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders, is essential to the overall enjoyment of human rights, including in conflict and post-conflict situations. In 2021, the General Assembly passed by consensus with 85 State co-sponsors a resolution acknowledging the important and legitimate role that human rights defenders played in the COVID-19 response, as well as the challenges faced as a result.

At the 52nd session of the Council, States will consider a resolution extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for three years. This is a key opportunity for States and the Council to demonstrate their support and recognition for the indispensable role human rights defenders play to ensure that all people enjoy freedom, dignity, justice and equality.

Our organisations therefore urge all States to support the resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders by:

●   participating positively in the negotiations on the resolution;

●   presenting early co-sponsorship of the text;

●   resisting any attempts to dilute the mandate or State obligations; and

●   supporting consensus renewal of the mandate.


  1. ACAT Belgium
  2. ACAT Germany (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture)
  3. ACAT Italia
  4. ACAT RDC 
  5. ACAT Spain-Catalonia
  7. ACAT-France 
  8. ACAT-Liberia
  9. ACAT-Switzerland
  10. ACAT-UK (Action by Christians Against Torture – UK)
  11. Accion Solidaria on HIV/Aids
  12. Action by Christians against Torture in Togo (ACAT TOGO)
  13. Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture – Canada
  14. action by Christians for the abolition of torture – Congo
  15. Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT) – Cameroon
  16. Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture of Côte d’Ivoire
  17. Action of Christians for the Abolition of Torture in Burundi (Acat-Burundi)
  18. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
  19. African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum
  20. Agir ensemble pour les droits humains
  21. AlertaVenezuela
  22. Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man
  24. Alliance for Democracy in Laos
  25. American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  26. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  27. Amnesty International
  28. Amnesty International Mongolia 
  29. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  30. Asian Legal Resource Center 
  31. Association for Progressive Communications – APC
  32. Association For Promotion Sustainable Development
  33. Association for the respect of indigenous rights, sustainable development and human right
  34. Association for women and Children at Risk
  35. Association of balal
  36. Association of Women for Awareness and Motivation (AWAM)
  37. Aula Abierta
  38. Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM)
  39. Brot für die Welt
  40. Burkina Faso Coaltion of Human Right Defenders (CBDDH)
  41. Bytes For All, Pakistan
  42. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  43. Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
  44. Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL)
  45. Center to Alternatives to Development
  46. Centre for Human Rights & Democracy in Africa (CHRDA)
  47. Centro de Alternativas al Desarrollo (CEALDES) – Colombia
  48. Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)
  49. Child Rights Connect
  50. CIVICUS 
  51. CIVILIS Human Rights
  52. Collective of the Families of the Disappeared in Algeria (CFDA)
  53. Committee for Free Expression (Comité por la Libre Expresión C-Libre) 
  54. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization 
  55. Community Resource Centre (CRC)
  56. Coordiantion of Associations and Individuals for Freedom of Conscience
  57. DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
  58. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
  59. Emonyo Yefwe International 
  60. End Impunity Organization 
  61. Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y Acción Psicosocial – ECAP
  62. Euro-mediterranean federation against enforced disappearances 
  63. European Network Against Racism
  64. Federal Association of Vietnamese Refugees in the Federal Republic of Germany
  65. FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  66. Forum Menschenrechte
  67. Franciscans International
  68. Freedom House
  69. GALE, The Global Alliance for LGBT Education
  70. Geneva for Human Rights – Global Training (GHR)
  71. Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities
  72. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect 
  73. Global Human Rights Group
  74. Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 
  75. Global Observatory of Communication and Democracy (OGCD)
  76. Gulf Centre for Human Rights
  77. Habitat International Coalition
  78. Hallmark Media
  79. Human Rights Association (Insan Haklari Dernegi)
  80. Human Rights Concern – Eritrea (HRCE)
  81. Human Rights Council of Australia
  82. Human Rights Defenders Fund
  83. Human Rights House Foundation
  84. Humanists International
  85. Idheas. Strategic Human Rights Litigation
  86. IFEX
  87. ILEX Acción Jurídica 
  88. In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)
  89. Inclusive Bangladesh
  90. Indigenous Peoples Rights International
  91. Initiative for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Inc.
  92. Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA)
  93. International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI)
  94. International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka
  95. International Commission of Jurists
  96. International Commission of Jurists Australia 
  97. International Dalit Solidarity Network
  98. International Federation of ACATs (FIACAT)
  99. International Planned Parenthood Federation
  100. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  101. International volunteer organization for women education development 
  102. Intersex Society of Zambia
  103. Ivorian Human Rights Defenders Coalition (CIDDH)
  104. Journalists and Writers Foundation (
  105. Judicial Reform Foundation Taiwan
  106. Karapatan Alliance Philippines
  107. KIOS Foundation
  108. Law Society of England and Wales
  109. Lawyers without Borders Canada
  110. Maldivian Democracy Network
  111. Mauritanian association for socio-educational development
  112. MENA Rights Group
  113. Mesoamerican Initiative of Women Human Rights Defenders (IM-Defensoras)
  114. Mongolian Women’s Employment Supporting Federation
  115. Namibia Diverse Women’s Association (NDWA)
  116. Network of the independent Commission for Human rights in North Africa CIDH AFRICA
  118. Organization Solidarity Development
  120. Peace Brigades International
  121. People Forum for Human Rights(People Forum)
  122. PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) 
  123. Plateforme Droits de l’Homme 
  124. POS Foundation
  125. Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)
  127. Protection International Mesoamérica
  128. Public Verdict Foundation
  129. Rainbow Pride Foundation 
  130. Red Dot Foundation
  131. Refugee Council of Australia
  132. Renewable Freedom Foundation
  133. Riposte Internationale 
  134. Rivers without Boundaries
  135. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
  136. Safety and Rights Society (SRS)
  137. SAHR
  138. Scholars at Risk
  139. SHOAA for Human Rights
  140. Society for Threatened Peoples 
  141. SOS-Esclaves
  142. Speak Up 
  143. Struggle to Economize Future Environment (SEFE )
  144. Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU)
  145. Swedwatch
  146. Syrians for Truth and Justice – STJ
  147. The Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House
  148. The Community Action Center at Al-Quds University
  149. The Global Interfaith Network (GIN-SSOGIE)
  150. The Kvinna till Kvinna foundation
  151. The Norwegian Human Rights Fund
  152. The Regional Coalition for WHRDs in MENA (WHRDMENA Coalition)
  153. The William Gomes Podcast 
  154. Togolese Coalition of Human Rights Defenders 
  155. Tournons La Page
  156. Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO)
  157. Viet Tan
  158. West African Human Rights Defenders Network 
  159. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
  160. Women’s World Summit Foundation
  161. World Justice Project
  162. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  163. World Uyghur Congress (WUC)
  164. WWF International
  165. Yemeni Institute for Strategic Affairs 
  166. Youth Care Motivators
  167. Youth Initiative for Human Rights Serbia
  168. Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN)
  169. Zo Indigenous Forum (ZIF)

ISHR contact

Author: Salma El Hosseiny Email: Twitter@salma_ishr Link: International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) French version