To mark the 73rd founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China
A coalition of UK-based Tibetan, Hong Kong and Uyghur communities are staging a public protest in central London to highlight the CCP regime’s continued brutal crackdown and curtailment of freedom of speech and human dignity in their countries.
British rights groups and NGOs such as Free Tibet, World Uyghur Congress and Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities are supporting these communities, who are calling for their basic freedoms, human dignity and democracy.
Resist the CCP Day – Joint London Rally
Date: Saturday, 1st October 2022 | From 6.00pm – 9.00pm
6pm – We meet in Piccadilly Circus (Piazza), where a brief ceremony will be held.
7pm – We begin our march from Piccadilly Circus (Piazza) to the Chinese Embassy, 49 Portland Place, London W1B 1JL. We march via Upper Regent Street and Oxford Circus. The Main Rally will be held at 8pm opposite The Chinese Embassy. Speakers from concerned communities will remind the CCP regime about China’s continued atrocities in their occupied nations.
Please join us, show your support and solidarity with the peoples of East Turkistan, Hong Kong and Tibet.
NEW DELHI–The Communist regime in China has started an arbitrary collection of DNA from residents in many towns and villages throughout the Tibetan region, according to a new report.
The Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamshala, India, said that these efforts indicate the extent of the regime’s surveillance state, describing DNA sampling as a long-term tactic to control the Tibetan population.
“The [Chinese regime’s] escalation of the illicit collection of Tibetan’s DNA samples for the purpose of ‘crime detection’ originates from its desperate attempts to establish legitimacy to rule Tibet, and therefore such efforts are solely meant to secure their stability,” Tenzin Lekshay, spokesperson of Central Tibetan Administration, also called the Tibetan government-in-exile, told The Epoch Times.
Human Rights Watch, a New York-based non profit said in a Sept. 5 report that the Chinese regime is systematically collecting blood samples for DNA collection across the regime–even from children at kindergartens.
This comes along with a significant increase in “policing,” according to the Human Rights Watch, which cited government reports of 2019 from the region’s police calling for bids from contractors to build DNA databases or announcing the construction of one. The report said that the ongoing efforts are to “establish police presence” at the grassroots level throughout the Tibetan region.
“China is a surveillance state where they are putting so much money on internal security. Inside Tibet, China installed more security cameras than doors and windows,” said Lekshay.
Since 2008, due to increased surveillance at the border, only a handful of Tibetans could escape to neighboring India unlike in previous years, according to Lekshay.
“China’s collection of genetic samples without consent violates Tibetan rights under international law and strengthens its already ruthless surveillance regime,” he said.
Tsering Passang, the chairman of the advocacy group Global Alliance for Tibet and Persecuted Minorities, said the communist regime was stepping up efforts to repress the local population.
“The mass DNA collection is probably their last resort to control Tibetans through biotechnology,” said Passang, adding that the DNA sampling shows that the Chinese regime believes the Tibetans have become too political.
The Human Rights Watch study said that the latest campaign carried out in January was called “The Three Greats” meaning, “Great One-by-one Inspection, Great Investigation, and Great Mediation.” This campaign involved police in the newly-established village police stations visiting each household and questioning residents about their views.
Reports about the Chinese regime collecting genetic information in Tibet and other regions are not new. In 2017, Human Rights Watch reported about the collection and acceleration of the indexing of DNA in the northwest Xinjiang region for a nationally-searchable database.
Work on the latter titled the “Forensic Science DNA Database System” started in the early 2000s as part of a larger police information project known as the Golden Shield, according to Human Rights Watch.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) issued another study in 2020 about the Chinese regime building the world’s larrgest police-run DNA database in close collaboration with industry partners from across the globe.
“Yet, unlike the managers of other forensic databases, Chinese authorities are deliberately enrolling tens of millions of people who have no history of serious criminal activity,” said the report.
Venus Upadhayaya reports on wide range of issues. Her area of expertise is in Indian and South Asian geopolitics. She has reported from the very volatile India-Pakistan border and has contributed to mainstream print media in India for about a decade. Community media, sustainable development, and leadership remain her key areas of interest.
London [UK], September 4 (ANI): Tsering Passang, a London-based Tibetan rights activist, said that democracy is one of the best gifts Dalai Lama has given to the people of Tibet.
However, he added that the Chinese Communist Party has become the No. 1 enemy of democracy, freedom and justice as persecution continues in China, Tibet and East Turkistan.
The radical political reforms, introduced by the Dalai Lama on September 2, 1960, became the watershed period for Tibetans. Ever since that, this date has been celebrated as Tibetan Democracy Day among the Tibetan diasporas.
Tibetans worldwide celebrate their 62nd “Democracy Day” on September 2. As part of the Tibetan Democracy Day celebration, speeches and traditional cultural performances are organised each year on this day.
Mangtso Sar-zhe, a specially composed Tibetan Democracy song, is also sung on this day to cherish the Dalai Lama’s gift to his people. Tibetans elect their political leaders directly through elections.
Tsering Passang, Founder and Chairman of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities, in his social media post on September 2 also wrote, “We thank and remember the Dalai Lama once again today – 2nd September – the Tibetan Democracy Day.”
Tibetan Democracy Day Celebrated in London
In London, the small Tibetan Community organised the Tibetan Democracy Day event, which was attended by nearly 50 people. Lobsang Chodon Samten, the Secretary at the Office of Tibet, addressed the gathering.
The Tibetan Community also used the occasion to hold their Annual General Meeting (AGM) afterwards. After presenting their work report to the members, the community leaders were thanked for their full voluntary service whilst also facing scrutiny from the members over the financial accounts.
The outgoing council members welcomed and introduced the new community leaders by offering ceremonial Khatas (a Tibetan ceremonial scarf that represents purity, respect, auspiciousness and good wishes), who was recently elected through voting.
The incoming and outgoing council members were presented Khatas by the Office of Tibet. To mark the 62nd Anniversary of Tibetan Democracy Day, an event was organised at Aubert Community Centre in London on Saturday.
The event was attended by TCB (Tibetan Community in Britain) Board members, Tsering Passang, Founder and Chairman of the Global Alliance for Tibet and Persecuted Minorities (GATPM) and the Tibetan Diaspora in the UK.(ANI)
As the Dalai Lama’s 87th birthday is celebrated by Tibetans and their friends worldwide, it is a very good time to reflect on the Four Principal Commitments of this great moral leader and Champion of Peace, writes Tsering Passang, Founder & Chairman of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama turns 87 on July 6th, 2022. He was born in Taktser, Amdo, north-eastern Tibet, in 1935.
After the Grand Welcome Reception upon his arrival in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, the young Dalai Lama’s Official Enthronement Ceremony was held in 1940. Many foreign dignitaries, including from Great Britain, attended the Grand Ceremony. This historical event affirms Tibet enjoying its independence status. Some decades earlier, Tibet had signed treaties with other countries. Archived in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Offices (FCDO), the ‘Simla Treaty’ of 1914, signed between the representatives of Great Britain and Tibet, is well-documented.
After Mao Tsetung came to power on 1st October, 1949, the communist leader declared the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The illegal invasion of Tibet by Communist China soon followed through military force.
The young Dalai Lama had to assume Tibet’s Political Leadership when he was merely 16 years old. It was around this turbulent period in Tibet’s history when the Chinese government forced representatives of the Tibetan Government to sign the so-called ‘17-Point Agreement’ in May 1951. In Beijing, the Tibetan delegation had no choice but to sign the Agreement as the Chinese side were threatening to use further military force to destruct Tibet.
Despite the unfortunate and disadvantageous situation, the young Dalai Lama and his government ministers did their best to cooperate with the Chinese government over the following years until the Tibetan Leader was forced into exile, in March 1959.
After arriving in India, the Dalai Lama established the Tibetan Government-in-exile (formally known as the Central Tibetan Administration), which is based in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, northern India. With the generous assistance of the Government of India and some foreign aid organisations, the Dalai Lama and his administration started rehabilitation and educational programmes for tens of thousands of Tibetan refugees who followed him into exile. The major mission of the Central Tibetan Administration is to regain the political freedom of the Tibetan people, which is still to be achieved.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s long-term vision of reforming the old theocratic Tibetan society into a modern-day democratic system gained great successes after bringing major structural changes. In 2011, the Dalai Lama voluntarily and proudly relinquished all his remaining Political Authority, which he inherited, to the directly elected Tibetan leadership.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has often said that he now enjoys full retirement. Tibetans in Tibet and those in exile’s devotion towards the Dalai Lama is unquestionable. The bond between the Tibetan people and His Holiness the Dalai Lama is very much intact.
At 87, His Holiness is very healthy, joyful, and very committed to serving the Tibetans and humanity at large.
On this special occasion of the Dalai Lama’s 87th birthday, the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities extends very warm wishes to His Holiness. May Your Holiness live a long and healthy life.
As we celebrate a great moral leader and most principled human being in the world, it is a good time to make a reflection on His Four Principal Commitments.
The Four Principal Commitments of The Dalai Lama
Firstly, as a human being, His Holiness is concerned with encouraging people to be happy – helping them understand that if their minds are upset mere physical comfort will not bring them peace, but if their minds are at peace even physical pain will not disturb their calm. He advocates the cultivation of warm-heartedness and human values such as compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment and self-discipline. He says that as human beings we are all the same. We all want happiness and do not want suffering. Even people who have no religious belief can benefit if they incorporate these human values into their lives. His Holiness refers to such human values as secular ethics or universal values. He is committed to talking about the importance of such values and sharing them with everyone he meets.
Secondly, as a Buddhist monk, His Holiness is committed to encouraging harmony among the world’s religious traditions. Despite philosophical differences between them, all major world religions have the same potential to create good human beings. It is therefore important for all religious traditions to respect one another and recognise the value of their respective traditions. The idea that there is one truth and one religion is relevant to the individual practitioner. However, with regard to the wider community, he says, there is a need to recognise that human beings observe several religions and several aspects of the truth.
Thirdly, His Holiness is a Tibetan and as the ‘Dalai Lama’ is the focus of the Tibetan people’s hope and trust. Therefore, he is committed to preserving Tibetan language and culture, the heritage Tibetans received from the masters of India’s Nalanda University, while also speaking up for the protection of Tibet’s natural environment.
In addition, His Holiness has lately spoken of his commitment to reviving awareness of the value of ancient Indian knowledge among young Indians today. His Holiness is convinced that the rich ancient Indian understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions, as well as the techniques of mental training, such as meditation, developed by Indian traditions, are of great relevance today. Since India has a long history of logic and reasoning, he is confident that its ancient knowledge, viewed from a secular, academic perspective, can be combined with modern education. He considers that India is, in fact, specially placed to achieve this combination of ancient and modern modes of knowing in a fruitful way so that a more integrated and ethically grounded way of being in the world can be promoted within contemporary society.
[Photo caption: In this April 5, 2017, file photo, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets devotees at the Buddha Park in Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh, India. More than 150 Tibetan religious leaders say their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, should have the sole authority to choose his successor. A resolution adopted by the leaders at a conference on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, says the Tibetan people will not recognize a candidate chosen by the Chinese government for political ends. ( AP Photo/Tenzin Choejor, File)]
Born in Taktser, Amdo, north-eastern Tibet, in 1935, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama turns 87 today, July 6th. The Tibetan Spiritual Leader’s birthday is celebrated by Tibetans and their friends worldwide.
Whilst wishing His Holiness a very Happy 87th birthday, the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Communities are very pleased to organise warm tributes from our friends in the UK to the Dalai Lama on this special occasion.
Hon. Tim Loughton | Member of the UK Parliament | British Minister (2010 – 2012)
“Hello, I’m Tim Loughton, member of the United Kingdom Parliament here at Westminster, in London, and I am the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, and it’s my privilege, on behalf of the All-Party Group, to send our very best wishes and happy birthday to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the occasion of his 87th birthday.
Now this year we’ve been celebrating, recently in the United Kingdom, the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Well, your Holiness, Her Majesty has a few years on you, we’ve just celebrated her 96th anniversary, but I think your enthronement back in 1940 means your reign is 12 years longer than Her Majesty’s. But the thing you both have in common is, through all those troubled years, in good times and in bad, you have both been a symbol of continuity, of constancy, of strength and of peace. And for that we give great thanks and congratulate you on everything you have achieved in such an eventful 87 years, despite all the adversity.
It’s been my privilege to welcome you here to Parliament in previous years and to come to Dharamsala, the last time in 2018, where you granted us the honour of an audience. And that, of course, was just before the pandemic and the lockdown which changed the world so much. So this year, for the first time in a few years, I’m sure that Tibetans and supporters of yourself and the Tibetan people around the world will have the best party ever to celebrate your 87th birthday.
Our cause, your cause, the cause of peace and freedom and the fight against abuses of human rights by the Chinese government, is perhaps louder now than it ever has been. You have seen the violence and the aggression that’s been waged on the Tibetan people, both within Tibet and outside, over so many years. Many of us have joined that cause to give our support and raise the voices of those people in Tibet who are unable to be heard themselves because of the oppression by the Chinese. More recently, people have come to understand just how cruel the Chinese government can be, with the atrocities in Xinjiang against the Uyghur people, the oppression we’re now seeing in Hong Kong. But this is nothing new to those people who followed the Tibetan cause, and you have been a strength and a sign of hope and freedom for millions of Tibetans and supporters of Tibetans around the world. Here in Parliament, virtually every week now in the United Kingdom, the whole issue of China and human rights abuses is regularly raised. We called for and we got our government to boycott the Beijing Olympics, to not give the Chinese government that propaganda platform they so crave. We’ve recognised the genocide officially that is going on in Xinjiang and we will continue to fight the cause of the Tibetan people. That cause, I’m sure, will be ultimately successful, because it is a right cause, it’s a cause of goodness, of truth and of peace, which are all values that you represent and with which you inspire so many people worldwide.
So let me repeat our heartiest congratulations and good wishes for your 87th birthday from all your many friends and supporters, here in Parliament in London and across the United Kingdom. And I hope you’re going to have quite a party as well, because many people will want to celebrate you from around the world in just a little while’s time, to celebrate your 87th birthday. So your Holiness, the very best for your 87th birthday, and may there be many, many more to come.”
Benedict Rogers Esq. | Human Rights Advocate | Co-founder & CEO, Hong Kong Watch | Co-founder and Vice Chairman, Conservative Party Human Rights Commission
“On the occasion of the 87th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I’d like to join with others, with Tibetan friends and friends of Tibet around the world, in paying tribute to His Holiness, sharing some brief reflections on the significance of his life, his example, the values that he teaches and embodies, and also to wish His Holiness a happy birthday.
When he was just two-and-a-half years old, he was recognised as the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhist people and, in 1940, he was enthroned as the Dalai Lama. So for most of his life he has served in the role of spiritual leader for the Tibetan people. And he has embodied the values of peace and justice, he’s been a courageous, non-violent defender of the rights of the Tibetan people, an outspoken voice of conscience against the appalling injustices inflicted on his people. But he’s also been an inspiring advocate of peace and reason: his advocacy of the Middle Way, a willingness to talk with Beijing and to try to find solutions, which has only been rebuffed by the brutal dictators in Beijing but was an example of how to seek dialogue, how to reason, or how to try to reason, with a brutal dictator. He has been a model of reason and of peace and of dialogue, but never losing that central commitment to justice, because peace can never be achieved without justice. Peace and justice go together and I think he embodies that teaching.
He is loved and respected around the world, and rightly so, and has been an inspiration to so many people. In my own work in human rights around Asia, both throughout China, in Hong Kong, for the people of Tibet, for the Uyghurs, and also in places like Myanmar or Burma, I have always been inspired and encouraged by His Holiness’s teachings. I’ve read his autobiography, I’ve read some of his other writings, I’ve recently written a new book on the human rights situation under the Chinese Communist Party regime throughout the territories that the CCP currently rules. The book looks at Tibet, the Uyghurs, Hong Kong, repression in mainland China, threats to Taiwan, and the Chinese regime’s complicity with Myanmar and North Korea. And, for the chapter on Tibet, I learnt so much through the research that I did for the chapter. I interviewed Tibetans who have escaped from Tibet and who shared their stories with me, and I had the great privilege of interviewing, via email, His Holiness, and I was profoundly grateful for the insights and comments that he and his office shared with me specifically for my forthcoming book. You can read those when the book is published.
But I want to say that, as the world increasingly focuses on the human rights situation in China, and rightly so, and long overdue – as we reflect and focus much more than we have in the past on the genocide of the Uyghurs and the dismantling of freedom in Hong Kong and the threats to Taiwan, let us never, ever forget the tragedy in Tibet. It is so important that we continue to remember Tibet, that we stand with Tibet, and that we learn from Tibet, because what is happening in Hong Kong and to the Uyghurs has been happening to Tibet for decades, and there is much that we can learn from Tibet’s experience. And above all, there is so much that we can learn from His Holiness’s example.
So I wish again His Holiness a happy birthday. I hope he will have many more years to continue to inspire us and teach us and encourage us. Thank you very much – and I stand with the people of Tibet, today and every day.”
Dr Richard Moore | Philanthropist/Motivational Speaker | Author – “Can I Give Him My Eyes?” | Founder/C E O Children in Crossfire
“I’d like to wish His Holiness a very happy 87th birthday – and that’s from everyone at Children in Crossfire here in Ireland and also at a personal level. I first met His Holiness back in 2000 when visited Derry, in Northern Ireland, to speak to a group of victims who were affected by the conflict here. I was also affected by the conflict. I lost my sight as a ten-year-old boy growing up in Derry when I was shot by a burly soldier back in 1972. But that day, when I heard His Holiness speak to everyone, it was the first time that I’d seen my story and my experience in the context of forgiveness. His Holiness spoke a lot about forgiveness that day and his words resonated with me and resonated with other victims in the room. So it’s at times like this that you realise the value that His Holiness is, to me, to other people and to the rest of the world. When you consider the suffering and the hardship that the Tibetan people have had to experience, when you consider the fact that His Holiness has had to live in exile for most of his life, but yet he still talks about peace, he still talks about forgiveness, he still holds out the hand of friendship to the people that you might think injured him and hurt his people so much. To me, that is an amazing example of compassion.
And on this day of his 87th birthday, I think the world, and especially leaders throughout the world, should redouble their efforts to support someone who has only ever promoted a peaceful approach to a very difficult situation. Your Holiness, I hope you have a fantastic birthday, and I appreciate who you are, I appreciate all your support and I am so grateful to know you and to call you my friend.”
(From Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities | 2nd July 2022)
The Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities are delighted to present Tributes from United Kingdom to celebrate the 87th Birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. As part of the celebration, we will be highlighting His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Four Principal Commitments.
The Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities would like to thank our amazing friends – Hon. Tim Loughton MP, Benedict Rogers Esq. and Dr Richard Moore for sharing their warm Tributes to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his 87th Birthday.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to China, LSE IDEAS China Foresight hosts a webinar discussing Professor Ho-fung Hung’s latest book City on Edge: Hong Kong under Chinese Rule.
Happening today – July 1st 2022 | 1pm – 2.30pm
The 2019 protests and the 2020 National Security Law ushered in a new phase for Hong Kong’s existence as a global metropolis, financial centre, and enclave at the edge of a great power. In the context of local social and political grievances, the gradual undermining of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ has long been met with fierce resistance on part of Hong Kong society.
As the City’s freedoms seem all but extinguished, what future is possible for a Hong Kong under Chinese rule? What lessons should be drawn from the City’s experiences over the last decades and what does this mean for our assessment of China’s future as a global power as well as the country’s relationship with the West?
Tania Branigan is a Guardian leader writer. She spent seven years as the Guardian’s China correspondent.
Bi-yu Chang is Deputy Director of the Centre of Taiwan Studies and Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS, University of London. Her research interests are in the areas of identity politics, nation-building, cultural politics, and theatre. In recent years the focus of her research has taken a spatial turn, including place identity, spatial construction, and cartographic representation. Since 2016, she has been researching the politics of Taiwan’s tourism, unpicking the intricate relationship between identity, place, and power. She has twice been awarded Taiwan Fellowship (2016, 2019) and is now working on a new project on the relationship between textbooks after education reform and Taiwan’s identity politics. She is co-editor of and contributor to many books and has published articles in journals both in Chinese and English. In recent years, she published her monograph Place, Identity, and National Imagination in Post-war Taiwan(2015) and co-edited a book Positioning Taiwan in a Global Context: Being and Becoming(2019), both by Routledge. In 2021, her chapters appear in Taiwan: From Language to Identity and Ideology (edited by Chris Shei), Taiwan’s Contemporary Indigenous Peoples, (edited by Dafydd Fell, et al.), and in Italian Journal di Limes (il numero 9/21, special edition “Taiwan, l’anti-Cina”).
Ho-fung Hung is the Henry M. and Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University. The author of the award-winning The Protest with Chinese Characteristics (2011) and The China Boom (2015), he has been featured or cited in media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC News, The Guardian and South China Morning Post.
Christopher R. Hughes is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he also served as Director of the Asia Research Centre from 2002 to 2005. His PhD (from the LSE) was on the topic Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism: National Identity and Status in International Society and was awarded the British International Studies Association best thesis of the year prize for 1995. He teaches specialist courses in the International Politics of the Asia Pacific, Chinese Foreign and Security Policy and Foreign Policy Analysis. His research focuses on the Asia-Pacific with special reference to Chinese foreign policy and politics, with monographs on Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism (Routledge 1997), China and the Internet: Politics of the Digital Leap Forward (edited with Gudrun Wacker, Routledge 2003) and Chinese Nationalism in the Global Era (Routledge 2006). He has various articles on Chinese politics and foreign policy, the international politics of the Asia Pacific, international relations theory and foreign policy in leading academic journals.
On 5th July, human rights campaigners are organising two major public events in central London to expose the killing and persecution of innocent Uyghurs by the Chinese authorities. The Commemoration event will be held in front of the British Parliament. The loud public Protest will be held outside the Chinese Embassy.
2022 marks the 13th anniversary of the Urumqi Massacre by China. On 5th July 2009, a peaceful protest – demanding justice for two Uyghur factory workers murdered by a racist mob – was violently crushed down by the riot police. This sparked widespread clashes and riots and the deaths of dozens of people, both Uyghur and Han nationals. A violent crackdown by the authorities killed, disappeared and arrested thousands of Uyghurs.
Organised by the Stop Uyghur Genocide and Uyghur Community UK, these protests will bring UK parliamentarians, activists as well as labour unions, human rights and community groups together in support of the Uyghur people’s freedom struggle.
At 4:30pm, a number of UK parliamentarians will show their support to the Uyghur cause by attending the photographs display of Uyghur detainees, sourced from the leaks, in Parliament Square, Westminster.
This will be followed by a strong rally with cross-community speakers outside the Chinese Embassy from 6pm. Loud chanting of “Stop Uyghur Genocide” and “Free East Turkistan” is expected to echo the walls of the Chinese Embassy.
Urumqi is the largest city in East Turkistan (Ch: Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region). The annual demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy also coincides with the monthly solidarity protest at this site, which is regularly organised by the Uyghur Solidarity UK with its partners.
East Turkistan was invaded soon after Mao Tsetung and his comrades established the Peoples’ Republic of China on 1st October 1949. In 2021, the Independent Uyghur Tribunal made a ruling that the Chinese State has committed genocide against the Uyghur minorities in their homelands. Subsequently, parliaments around the world have also passed resolutions to this effect and continue to call for action against China. Over a million Uyghur Muslims are locked up in “concentration camps” who are being persecuted by the Chinese State.
Tsering Passang, Founder and Chairman of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities, said, “It is time that leaders in China take responsibility for their brutal actions against the persecuted communities including Uyghur minorities. I welcome and appreciate the continued support the UK parliamentarians have given to the persecuted communities including the Uyghur Muslims. Their voice in the UK parliament plays a vital role in exposing China’s brutalities against the people of East Turkistan, Tibet, Hong Kong and others. I urge our parliamentarians to continue their support.”
Chushi Gangdruk was formally established on June 10 1958. Commander Andruk Gonpo Tashi was the founder of this pioneering Tibetan organisation which aimed at unifying Tibetans, whilst pursuing armed resistance against the invading Red Chinese forces. Chushi Gangdruk translates to the “Four Rivers, Six Ranges” in Tibetan.
Each year, Tibetans in diasporas commemorate the founding anniversary of Chushi Gangdruk, which started in Tibet soon after Tibet was invaded by Communist China’s PLA from the eastern frontiers.
Hosted by Sonam Wangchen from Toronto (Canada), this discussion with Professor Carole McGranahan provides a detailed account of the origin of Chushi Gangdruk and the Tibetan resistance under Andruk Gonpo Tashi.
Based at the University of Colorado, Boulder Prof. Carole McGranahan is an anthropologist and historian specializing in contemporary Tibet, whose research focuses on issues of colonialism and empire, history and memory, power and politics, refugees and citizenship, nationalism, senses of belonging, gender, war, and anthropology as theoretical storytelling. Since 1994, she has conducted research in Tibetan refugee communities in India and Nepal on the history and politics of the guerilla army Chushi Gangdrug, culminating in my book Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Histories of a Forgotten War (Duke University Press, 2010).
When the Communist Chinese government ordered its so-called People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to march into Tibet in 1949, the people of Tibet’s eastern region were the first to experience the threat of Chinese invasion. The people of Kham and Amdo rose up and confronted the Chinese army at the onset of the invasion of our motherland. Pitched battles were fought under the command and banner of local chieftains. However, there was no proper organization and strategy, no unity, and only uncoordinated efforts to combat the common enemy were made.
In 1956 the Chinese introduced the so-called “Democratic Reforms” in Kham starting with the eastern region of Tibet. They began to impose communist ideology and destroyed Tibetan religion and culture. They conducted mass arrests and executions of Tibetan religious leaders and other prominent leaders. People of these areas could not tolerate the brutal Chinese atrocities and rose up in arms against them. Disorganized and ill-equipped volunteer fighters could not withstand the mighty Chinese army that overwhelmed them, grasped their territory and spread like oil drops on paper. Volunteer defenders gradually retreated toward Central and Western Tibet.
By 1957 a large number of volunteer defenders from various parts of the eastern region of Tibet had gathered around Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. The Khampas felt the need to form a united organization to confront the Communist Chinese aggression. But by that time, the Chinese had started to exert pressure and our government’s position was rather helpless. So, in order to evade Chinese suspicion and surveillance on our activities and also to enable the different groups of the defenders to come in close contact with each other, the late Andruk Gonpo Tashi from Lithang and other leaders from the eastern regions made a camouflage plan to make extensive religious offerings at Lhasa. Accordingly, with the consent of the Tibetan government, the preparations for making the now famous golden throne of Chushi Gangdruk for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama were underway. Then the leaders made a request to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to bestow the Kalachakra Initiation and His Holiness kindly accepted the request. However, since a similar request had been made earlier by one Amdo Jimpa Gyatso, the two parties co-sponsored the Second Kalachakra Initiation in 1957. In appreciation of the Initiation and for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a grand Tenshuk (Longevity) Offering Ceremony was performed by the Khampas. The offering of Tenshuk to His Holiness on the new golden throne was meant to symbolize the enthronement of His Holiness as ruler of the entire Tibetan territory and also for reaffirmation of faith in His Holiness as supreme being.
Meanwhile the Khampa volunteer leaders were having secret meetings, busy in laying out future plans and strategies. As a result of their common efforts it was finally and unanimously decided to form a united resistance organization against the common enemy, the Communist Chinese aggression. The leaders then signed a statement pledging their commitment to risk everything to resist the Communist Chinese. Upon the completion of religious ceremonies, the Khampa leaders and volunteer members gradually moved out of Lhasa in different routes towards the Lhokha area, south of Lhasa, and eventually assembled at Chaktsa Dri-Guthang (Chosen Rendezvous). The formal announcement of the formation of the Chushi Gangdruk (Land of Four Rivers and Six Ranges) Defend Tibet Volunteer Force was made on the 16th of June 1958 and since then it is commemorated every year to mark the anniversary of Chushi Gangdruk. It was the first time that all the regions of Kham and the Khampas of all regions came together under one organization and fought under one banner since the splitting up of Tibet during the reign of the last and evil King, Lang Tharma. Chushi Gangdruk included people from both Kham and Amdo regions, but since the number of Amdos were small , they served as one of the 37 allied forces in the organization. Later in exile, Amdo withdrew from the allied organization to form an Amdo party.
The leaders then turned their attention to the choice of formation insignia of the organization and the colour of the banner or the flag. After long debate they finally agreed upon and designed the organization’s insignia as a crossed sword on a yellow background. The significance of the background being such is that the Buddhist colour is yellow and the organization’s main intention was to defend Buddhism from Chinese Communism. The symbolic reasons for crossed swords were that the flaming sword representing the wisdom sword of Manjushree severs the roots of ignorance which was the root cause of communism. The other sword was the symbol of bravery and it was the only weapon that the Khampas or the Tibetans themselves could make. A great deal of importance was attached to it because in 1944, when a Tibetan delegation to the Afro-Asian Conference in Delhi made a point to meet Mahatma Gandhi, founder of the non-violence movement, as a traditional way of greeting the delegation it offered him white scarves, but Gandhi-ji wanted to know if the scarves were made by the Tibetans. When told that they were from China, he refused to take them, saying that he would like only something that the Tibetans themselves made with their own hands and methods.
As part of the Woolwich Heritage Action Zone programme, the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) team are providing their first training course to discover the history of Powis and Hare Streets in Woolwich.
Expert archaeologists from MOLA will deliver the FREE 2 day training course for Woolwich residents on 27th and 28th July 2022 from 11am to 4pm.
Over the two day trainees will take part in practical activities and learn how to:
Read historic maps
Record heritage buildings
Engage in the social history of Woolwich
No previous historic or archaeological experience is necessary. This training may be of interest for those wishing to understand more about their local heritage or to learn new skills.
Minimum age is 10 years old (with supervision) 16 years old (can go unsupervised.) Anyone above this age can apply.
The organisers also welcome trainees with specific learning (SENDS+) needs and accessibility (physical or mental) needs but support will be required for those under 25 years old – email MOLA team to discuss further.
Although this free training course is initially reserved for Woolwich residents only (Royal Borough of Greenwich) but local applicants are encouraged to register their interests who will be placed in waiting list.
Tsering Passang, Chairman of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities (GATPM), said: “We welcome this wonderful free training opportunity from the MOLA team. I know the organisers have been engaging with the local stakeholders when developing this course. The encouragement the organisers have given to the minorities groups is admirable. We are very pleased to be associated with the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) and its partners through the Woolwich High Street Heritage Action Zone (Woolwich-HSHAZ). We have already reached out to various stakeholders and continue to encourage all minorities groups in the Royal Borough of Greenwich to take up this free training offer. In addition to benefitting from acquiring new skills, this initial training could lead the trainees to new opportunities.”
As the places are limited, the organisers are encouraging early registration to avoid disappointment. So, please register it today!
GATPM Note: Any candidate from minorities groups who wishes to have an informal chat about the training programme may contact Tsering Passang, Woolwich HSHAZ Steering Group – 07927 376532 | email@example.com.