June 4th Forum “Whose June 4th: Hong Kong. China. Britain, The World?”

2022 六四論壇 「誰的六四:香港.中國.英國.世界」

89.6.4 ,一串沉重的數字 曾經,每年維園燭光晚會 公開悼念天安門事件死難者 承傳歷史真相及民主聲音

2020年國安法實施,維園燭光悼念不再 隨後,香港人漸散落異鄉 「六四」還可以怎樣走

5位來自不同年代的香港人,無畏無懼,再度發聲

2022六四論壇 「誰的六四:香港、中國、英國、世界」

主持:丘文俊(前沙田區議員)

嘉賓:吳呂南博士(民運人士) 黃偉國博士(香港政治及文化研究獨立學者) 楊穎宇博士(前考評局經理、歷史學者) 鄭家朗先生(前香港眾志副主席)

特別鳴謝: VIIV Band

#64 #六四 #天安門事件 #六四維園 #香港維園 #八九民運 #8964 #六四論壇 #城市論壇 #64論壇 #香港民主 #2022六四論壇

00:00 – Intro (Music by VIIV Band)

00:30 – 論壇主題及嘉賓介紹

1:50 – 歷史學者看「六四」

2:35 -「六四」對香港及中國的影響

4:11 – 1989-2019的「六四」發展

6:48 – 1989後才出生,「六四」真有其事?

7:55 – 倫敦「六四」30多年的堅持

10:11 – 最深刻的倫敦悼念

11:26 – 「六四」悼念,是別國的事?

14:18 – 國安法後,「六四」還可怎樣走

14:59 – 「六四」在香港及世界的變化

18:58 – 深刻的2020年維園「六四」

21:45 – 政權打壓催化思潮?

23:22 – 倫敦「六四」悼念也在變?

26:44 – 「六四」的身份認同

29:01 – 今年的倫敦「六四」活動

31:22 身處海外可如何傳承「六四」

32:38 如何從國際線看「六四」

34:31 「六四」悼念活動只是開始

36:12 如何從國際線看「六四」(續)

37:14 令「六四」成為建立多元文化契機

39:40 從「六四」理解社會運動的初心

41:11 香港的抗爭運動何去何從

46:26 嘉賓總結

Recalling Tibetan Gratitude on the occasion of HM The Queen’s 70th Platinum Jubilee

This Buddhist Sand Mandala was presented to Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of HM’s Golden Jubilee celebration on 3rd June 2002 by Tibetans.

On the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we wish Her Majesty a very happy celebration, a good health and a long life. British public across the country are in full jubilation, thanks to her Majesty.

This week’s Platinum Jubilee also reminds me of the Golden Jubilee we celebrated exactly 20 years ago.

On 3rd June 2002, a delegation from Tibet Foundation presented a special gift, made from sand particles – the sacred Sand Mandala, to Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of HM’s Golden Jubilee Celebration.

The symbolic gift from the Tibetans was received by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, at The Highgrove, Prince Charles’s residence.

The Tibetan delegation was led by Lama Doboom Tulku, former Private Secretary to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who was also the Director of Delhi-based Tibet House at the time. Several Buddhist monks from Switzerland and India were also part of the Tibetan delegation. Phuntsog Wangyal (Founder and Chairman) was joined by his colleagues – Susan Burrows (Trustee), Karma Hardy (Manager) and Tsering Passang (Art & Culture Programme Manager) and David Hallowes.

The Tibet Foundation organised the two-week long Tibetan cultural events to mark The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Celebration.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet sent a special message to Her Majesty The Queen via Tibet Foundation, which was delivered to HRH The Prince of Wales on 3rd June 2002. In his message, the Tibetan Spiritual Leader wrote:

“Due to the long-standing historical relations that exist between Britain and Tibet, the Tibetan people have always thought of Britain as a country with which they have a close connection. I myself have had great admiration for the British Royal family since I was a young boy in Tibet. I remember reading about them and seeing newsreels of various members of the family visiting and comforting people in war torn London.

Since 1959, many Tibetans have lived happily in the United Kingdom, enjoying freedom and success. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Her Majesty’s Government and the people of Britain for so generously giving Tibetans in Britain the chance to share in the country’s prosperity whilst allowing them to preserve their own identify and unique culture.

During my own visits to your country I have always been received with great affection by the British people. I have also had the honour of meeting with a few members of the Royal family. His Royal Highness Prince Charles has been deeply concerned over the tragic situation in Tibet and his support has been a source of much encouragement. I shall never forget my meeting Her Majesty the Late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1996. I was deeply impressed and inspired.”

Phuntsog Wangyal (left) founder of Tibet Foundation; Ven. Tenzin Phuntsog from Rikon Tibet Institute, Switzerland; HRH The Prince of Wales; Ven. Lama Doboom Tulku (right), former Private Secretary of HH The Dalai Lama and former Director of Tibet House, New Delhi; and Ven. Lobsang Monlam from Gyudme Monastery in south India, presenting the making of a sand mandala for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee on 3rd June 2002. The symbolic Buddhist Mandala gift was received by HRH The Prince of Wales on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen at The Highgrove, countryside residence of Prince Charles.

(From the Archive: International Campaign for Tibet| May 31, 2002)

Dalai Lama deeply inspired by late British Queen Mother’s life

The Dalai Lama said that he was deeply impressed and inspired by the late Queen Mother of Britain and encouraged by the concern shown by Prince Charles over the situation in Tibet. This was part of the message the Dalai Lama sent to the London-based Tibet Foundation, which is organizing a series of programs from June 1 to 16, 2002, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, which falls this year.

The message said: “Due to the long-standing historical relations that exist between Britain and Tibet, the Tibetan people have always thought of Britain as a country with which they have a close connection. I myself have had great admiration for the British Royal family since I was a young boy in Tibet. I remember reading about them and seeing newsreels of various members of the family visiting and comforting people in war torn London.

“Since 1959, many Tibetans have lived happily in the United Kingdom, enjoying freedom and success. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Her Majesty’s Government and the people of Britain for so generously giving Tibetans in Britain the chance to share in the country’s prosperity whilst allowing them to preserve their own identify and unique culture.

“During my own visits to your country I have always been received with great affection by the British people. I have also had the honour of meeting with a few members of the Royal family. His Royal Highness Prince Charles has been deeply concerned over the tragic situation in Tibet and his support has been a source of much encouragement. I shall never forget my meeting Her Majesty the Late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1996. I was deeply impressed and inspired.”

The Dalai Lama offered his “prayers for the happiness, prosperity and long life of Her Majesty and her subjects in this Golden Jubilee Year.”

The Tibet Foundation’s programs include creation of sand mandalas butter sculptures, by visiting Tibetan monks from India and Switzerland, photo exhibition, films and lectures on Tibetan medicine, religion and culture. You can visit www.tibet-foundation.org for a detailed program.

International Campaign for Tibet – Dalai Lama deeply inspired by late British Queen Mother’s Life

Unite for Democracy: Joint Rally of Ukrainian & Hongkongers

To mark the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, major rallies will be held on 4th June this year in London and across Britain. Chinese democrats and their supporters will also observe this poignant anniversary in countries around the world. A day to remind the CCP regime that democracy should prevail for all the humanity.

It is safe to state that protest related to the Tiananmen Massacre anniversary will not be taking in China or Hong Kong or in other occupied territories this year after the Chinese regime in Beijing enforced the Hong Kong National Security Law on 30th June 2021. Scores of human rights activists from Hong Kong and other parts of China are still locked up in prisons due to their democracy activism.

Protest 1: In London, the “Unite for Democracy” Rally will be held in Whitehall, opposite 10 Downing Street, the official residence of British Prime Minister on Saturday, 4th June from 4pm to 5.30pm. Organisers of this rally include Democracy for Hong Kong, Hong Kong Aid, Hong Kong Liberty, Fight for Freedom Stand with Hong Kong, Hong Kong Assistance and Resettlement Community and Hongkongers in Britain.

Supported by Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities, Stop Uyghur Genocide, Free Tibet and World Uyghur Congress, this rally is co-organised with Support Ukraine and London Euromaidan PLAST.

Leading activists including author Nathan Law, Finn Lau, Simon Cheng, Benedict Rogers and Luke de Pulford will address the rally.

Please come to show your support for democracy and against the threat posed by China and Russia to human rights, the rule of law, freedom and democracy.

Protest 2: London Remembers June 4th – Candlelit Tiananmen Massacre

In the evening from 7.30pm to 10pm, there will be a Candlelit Vigil outside the Chinese Embassy in London (49-51 Portland Place London W1B 1JL) on 4th of June 2022. Last year’s Tiananmen Massacre anniversary in London drew the biggest protesters with speakers from different persecuted communities and their supporters since it started 33 years ago.

Speakers include: Isaac Chun Man (Hong Kong Demosisto), Nabila Khan (Amnesty International UK), Ben Rogers (Hong Kong Watch), Rahima Mahmut (Stop Uyghur Genocide), Representative from Ukrainian Community, Ma Jian (Nobel Peace Literature Nominee), Jabez Lam (Chinese Solidarity Campaign), Sean Cha (Democracy for Hong Kong), Tsering Passang (Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities), Pete Radcliff (Labour Movement Solidarity with Hong Kong (UK)), John Molone (PCS Union), Vicky Blake (Union of UCU), Nick Weeden (Anti-Chinese Communist Party Alliance), Wing Tat Lee (Former Hong Kong Legislator) and Dr. Shao Jiang (Tiananmen Students Leader).

Please come to show your support for democracy and against the threat posed by Chinese Communist Party to human rights, the rule of law, freedom and democracy.

Link: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/blogs/countdown-china/london-remembers-june-4th-candlelit-vigiltiananmen-massacre-33-years?fbclid=IwAR1g0fsKHjMeT9BbdP6UX5gXImkPpiR3MObaafaFzw7f2bfS7CzZY9UtNhc

Tiananmen Massacre Anniversary to draw thousands outside London’s Chinese Embassy: June Fourth Vigil Rally

This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the 1989 pro-democracy movement and the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Chinese democrats and their supporters will join with the Tiananmen mothers in support of their demands for truth, accountability and justice for all the victims.

The Candlelit Vigil will be held outside the Chinese Embassy in London (49-51 Portland Place London W1B 1JL) on 4th of June 2022 from 7:30–10 pm and it is expected to draw the biggest crowd ever for this protest in London. Last year’s Tiananmen massacre anniversary in London drew the biggest protesters with speakers from different persecuted communities and their supporters since it started 33 years ago.

今年是1989年民主運動和六四屠殺33週年。我們一如既往地聲援天安門母親,堅定不移地支持她們對調查真相、追究責任、還受難者以正義的訴求。我們將於 2022 年 6 月 4 日晚上 7:30-10 點在倫敦中國大使館前舉行燭光集會。

Organisers of this year’s Candlelit Vigil:
– London Remembers June 4th
– Friends of Tiananmen Mothers
– Amnesty International (UK)
– Chinese Solidarity Campaign
– Democracy for Hong Kong (D4HK)
– Liberty for Hong Kong
– Hongkongers in Britain

Hashtags: #6432Justice #TiananmenMothers #TAM33 #TiananmenMassacre #june4th #64truth #八九六四 #北京大屠杀 #天安門大屠殺 #天安门母亲 #六四33

For further information, please visit the event page of the organisers:

https://www.facebook.com/events/4346598108777030?ref=newsfeed

Vigil held in London for the Missing Tibetan Spiritual Leader, The 11th Panchen Lama

Vigil outside Chinese Embassy, London | 17 May 2022

Over 20 Tibetans and their supporters gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy in central London to mark the 27th anniversary of the forced “disappearance” of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama, the second highest Tibetan spiritual leader.

Born 25th April 1989, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was recognised as the true reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as per the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, on 14th May 1995. Within days of his public recognition, on 17th May 1995, the six-year old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima disappeared with his parents and Jadrel Rinpoche, Head of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, who was in secretly in touch with the Dalai Lama in India regarding the 11th Panchen Lama’s search. Jadrel Rinpoche was appointed as the Head of the Panchen Lama Search Committee, entrusted by the Chinese Government.

Six months later, China announced its own 11th Panchen Lama, Gyaincain Norbu as the reincarnation of the previous 10th Panchen Lama. For more, please click here.

The vigil, held outside the Chinese Embassy in London from 6pm to 8pm, was organised by Tibetan Community UK and Free Tibet.

Tibetans and their supporters chanted loud slogans – “Release Release Panchen Lama”, “Religious Freedom in Tibet”, “Where is Panchen Lama”, “Shame on CCP”, “Human Rights in Tibet”, “Language Rights in Tibet”, “Religious Freedom in Tibet”, “Stop the Genocide in Tibet”, “Stop the Torture in Tibet” and “Stop the Killing in Tibet”.

After singing the Tibetan National Anthem Mr Tenzin Kunga spoke briefly on behalf of the organisers. He said that the gathering of Tibetans and their supporters in front the Chinese Embassy on this occasion was to send a strong message to the Chinese communist government to ask tough questions on the whereabouts of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. He further added that the forced “disappearance” case of the Panchen Lama would be followed-up.

Read this article by Tsering Passang – China Must Return the Stolen Tibetan Child – The 11th Panchen Lama

Useful links:

Release the Panchen Lama: http://releasethepanchenlama.org 

Tibetan Community UK: www.tibetancommunityuk.net

Free Tibet: www.freetibet.org

Vigil outside Chinese Embassy, London | 17 May 2022
Vigil outside Chinese Embassy, London | 17 May 2022

Indian PM Modi in Buddha’s birthplace on the holiest day to show India’s continued support to the Buddhist world

Buddhists worldwide celebrate the holiest day in their annual calendar – Vaishakha Buddha Purnima Divas on Monday, 16th May.

The day is recognised as the Birth, Enlightenment and Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha, who was born in Lumbini, Nepal. After attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya in Bihar, northern India, Lord Buddha preached his first sermon at Sarnath and attained Nirvana in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh. According to Buddhist tradition, Queen Mahamayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama at around 623 B.C. in Lumbini, which was recognised as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1997.

Organised by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) in Delhi with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Buddhist leaders from over a dozen countries including Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Peace laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama will release their messages as a part of the celebration.

The Chief Guest for the event will be Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, while the Guest of Honour will be Union Culture and Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy with Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal as special guest.

The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) is a global umbrella Buddhist body headquartered in New Delhi, India. Established under the patronage of the supreme Buddhist religious hierarchy, it currently has a membership drawn from 39 countries, of over 320 organisations, both monastic and lay, that include world bodies, national and regional federations, orders, temple bodies and monasteries, international organisations, institutions etc.

Meanwhile, on the same day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who himself is a Hindu Brahmin, will be in Lumbini to visit the sacred Mayadevi temple to offer prayers. He will also deliver an address at a Buddha Jayanti event organised by the Lumbini Development Trust under the aegis of the Government of Nepal.

According to reports, Prime Minister Modi will also participate in the Shilanyas ceremony for the construction of a unique centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage.

The construction of the unique India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage with a universal appeal will be undertaken by New Delhi-based International Buddhist Confederation under the auspices of the Lumbini Development Trust with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. International Buddhist Confederation is a grantee body under the Ministry of Culture. The Buddhist Centre will be the first Net Zero Emission building in Nepal.

India’s continued support to the Buddhist communities is a welcome development at a time when the Communist China engages in the total destruction of anything to do with Buddhism. This includes the destruction of Buddha statues in Tibet. According to reports, Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns were kicked out from their monasteries and nunneries whilst the Chinese authorities also demolished Buddhist learning centres in Tibet in recent years.

Message from Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Peace laureate, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

(By Tsering Passang, London)

How ‘Doppa’ became symbol of Uyghur resistance against Communist China

May the 5th is celebrated as Doppa Day. But what is it and how did it all get started? Tsering Passang, Founder and Chairman of the Global Alliance for Tibet & Persecuted Minorities, explains it all.

The Doppa symbol of Turkic Identity and East Turkistan Movement | Source: National Awakening

A young Uyghur activist, journalist and former political prisoner, named Tahir Imin, started the Doppa Festival in 2009. This festival was first held in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (aka East Turkistan), hometown of the young Uyghur activist. The festival was broadcast by the Central China TV (CCTV) in Beijing. By 2011 the festival gained popularity and spread in other parts of the country. A seminar on Doppa festival was even organised by the Yakan (Shache) county and Kashgar Prefecture local government.

Let’s not forget the history: After Mao Tsetung came to power and with the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on 1st October 1949, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops invaded East Turkistan. The ongoing subjugation including crimes against humanity, the Uyghur genocide committed by the Chinese State is very well documented.

On the eve of Uyghur Doppa Day, the Executive Council of the East Turkistan Government in Exile released a Statement, which said: “Given that the doppa is a symbolic but straightforward way of expressing East Turkistani / Uyghur national identity, the East Turkistan Government in Exile has encouraged Uyghurs and other East Turkistanis to wear their doppas daily. The doppa has essentially transformed into a symbol of resistance to China’s attempts to eradicate the unique culture, national identity, and very existence of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.”

The Statement further said, “The East Turkistan Government in Exile also encourages friends, supporters, and all who sympathize with the Uyghurs to wear a doppa in solidarity with East Turkistan and its people, especially on May 5th – Uyghur Doppa Day.” 

Uyghur Doppa Maker | Source: Wikipedia

Doppa is a four-cornered hat that is an essential part of the traditional Uyghur dress. It is also traditionally worn by the Turkic peoples in Central Asia. Often brightly studded or embroidered with a distinctly Islamic and Turkic aesthetic, they are a point of pride for the Uyghurs of East Turkistan. It is said that there are over 250 different types of Doppas. The Doppa can signify gender, one’s hometown, which reflects a particular artistic tradition of where it’s produced. 

Uyghur Doppa Maker | Source: Asia Trend

The celebration of Doppa Day has clearly facilitated intercultural dialogue among the communities concerned. China’s deliberate policy of banning the Doppa in schools and other public places has alarmed the Uyghur people who fear that the Chinese government is on a mission to annihilate their traditional Uyghur culture. 

Uyghur culture is a unique blend of East Asian, Central Asian and Islamic cultures as Uyghur cities such as Kashgar and Urumqi were historically major cities on the Silk Road which connected Asia in thought, commerce and society far before the invention of digital mass communication. Uyghur people are predominantly Muslims and speak the Uyghur language which is a Turkic language more closely related to Turkish and Kazakh than it is to its neighboring languages of Mandarin and Tibetan, it is traditionally written in Arabic script.

Last year, during the formal launch of the Stop Uyghur Genocide, a London-based non-governmental organisation, which campaigns for the rights of the Uyghur people, the Uyghur Community presented Doppas to some leading British supporters. Benedict Roger, CEO of the Hong Kong Watch, who was seen wearing the Doppa at a London rally, proudly explained that he was wearing the traditional Uyghur attire to show support and solidarity with the Uyghur people.

Uyghur Community UK , Stop Uyghur Genocide and Supporters | Photo: Rahima Mahmut

Who is Tahir Imin?

Tahir Imin, who was born in 1981, studied Islamic religion and Arabic in an underground religious school after graduating from high school. He taught at a religious centre which was later banned by the Chinese government. Tahir was imprisoned twice by the Chinese government due to his involvement in Uyghur cultural and religious activities. He was put in Xi Hu Lao Jiao Suo prison from 2005 to 2007.

Tahir Imin pictured in this photo with his family–wife Huriyat and daughter Shehribanu | Photo: Tahir Imin

After Chen Quanguo took up the highest Party Secretary position in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region from 2016 to 2021, it was almost impossible for Tahir to remain in his own homelands. Chen Quanguo, who previously served as the Party Secretary in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), is notoriously known for his hardliner position in Tibet. So, in 2017, Tahir fled the country and eventually moved to the United States. After he began speaking up about his experiences and human rights abuses of the Uyghur people at the hands of the Chinese authorities, the regime retaliated against him by imprisoning his family members, forcing his wife to divorce him, and not allowing him to contact his daughter.

Despite the difficult challenges, Tahir continued speaking out against the Chinese regime and its continued violations of civil, religious, political and human rights in East Turkistan. He subsequently founded Uyghur Times, a news agency which focuses on news from his homelands. An interview with Tahair Imin is available here.

Useful Links:

Uyghur Times

Stop Uyghur Genocide

World Uyghur Congress

Uyghur Human Rights Project

East Turkistan Government in Exile

East Turkistan National Awakening Movement

Source: Uyghur Human Rights Project

Tibet’s President-in-exile Penpa Tsering accorded warm reception during his first US trip to Washington-DC to secure crucial support, Speaker Nancy Pelosy extends official invitation

Honourable Sikyong Penpa Tsering is a Tibetan politician. He is the second democratically elected Sikyong (or President) of the Central Tibetan Administration. He succeeded the last Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay on 27 May 2021. Penpa Tsering was the speaker of the Parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration (Tibetan Parliament in Exile) for two terms between 2008 and 2016. Sikyong Penpa Tsering made his first official trip to the US in April 2022. He received official invitation from Speaker Nancy Pelosy, a staunch Tibet supporter, who is also a close friend of the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

This comprehensive report (see below) was filed by the International Campaign for Tibet and it is also available here. Sikyong Penpa Tsering has acknowledged that the International Campaign (ICT) for Tibet has played a very important part for the success of his first official visit to Washington DC, which was co-ordinated with the CTA’s Office of Tibet based in the US Capital. The ICT is the largest Tibet support group in the world founded in 1988, with offices in Germany, Holland and Belgium.

Tibetan Sikyong (President) builds crucial support during Washington visit

The Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration visited Washington, DC last week, meeting with top US officials and influencers and building support for new initiatives on Tibet.

The Sikyong (President) of the Central Tibetan Administration visited Washington, DC last week, meeting with top US officials and influencers and building support for new initiatives on Tibet.

Penpa Tsering, who serves as the democratic leader of the Tibetan diaspora, had a full schedule in the US capital that included strategizing with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; calling on Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch, R-Idaho, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and House Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern, D-Mass.; sitting down with Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues Uzra Zeya; attending a luncheon with House Democracy Partnership members; visiting major DC think tanks; and engaging local Tibetan Americans and Chinese Americans.

From left: Sikyong (President) Penpa Tsering, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, International Campaign for Tibet Chairman Richard Gere, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery Abbot Zeekgyab Rinpoche and other Tibetan officials meet on April 28, 2022 during Sikyong’s week-long visit to Washington, DC

The visit raised expectations for new US measures to support the Tibetan people over the coming months.

“The bi-partisan US commitment and global leadership in supporting the Tibet cause is a source of great hope for Tibetans in Tibet and outside and will always be remembered,” Penpa tweeted during his visit.

This was Penpa’s first trip to Washington since his election as Sikyong one year ago.

Below is a summary of Penpa’s activities in Washington from April 25-29, 2022.

Monday, April 25

After arriving at Dulles International Airport the night before and greeting the local Tibetan American community, Sikyong held important meetings at the US State Department.

He met with Undersecretary of State Uzra Zeya, who began serving as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues in December 2021.

As the Special Coordinator, Zeya acts as the Biden administration’s point person on efforts to help resolve the Tibetan issue, promote Tibetan identity, protect Tibetan culture and heritage, and support the human rights of the Tibetan people.

Penpa also met with White House Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell and tweeted, “Was honoured to meet with US National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell, who for many years has worked on and well understands the case of Tibet. I look forward to expanding our cooperation to address the challenges Tibetans and the world face today.”

The first full day of Penpa’s visit was also the 33rd birthday of the Panchen Lama, the high-ranking Tibetan Buddhist leader who has not been seen in public since the Chinese government abducted him and his parents in 1995 when he was only 6 years old.

On his birthday, the State Department called on Chinese authorities to “account for [the Panchen Lama] Gedhun Choekyi Nyima’s whereabouts and well-being immediately and to allow him to fully exercise his human rights and fundamental freedoms.” This was met with a Chinese spokesperson’s reaction the next day claiming, “The so-called reincarnated spiritual child is just an ordinary Chinese citizen living a normal life. He and his family do not want their normal life to be disturbed by others.”

Penpa also met with Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain. The meeting included Zeekgyab Rinpoche, abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama. Zeekgyab Rinpoche took part in several of the Sikyong’s events throughout the week.

That evening, the Office of Tibet, along with the Capital Area Tibetan Association and International Campaign for Tibet, hosted a reception for the Panchen Lama’s birthday that included remarks from Penpa, Zeekgyab Rinpoche, Hussain, US Commission on International Religious Freedom Vice Chair Nury Turkel, former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former Ambassador Kelley Currie, State Department official Scott Busby and others.

https://fb.watch/cMFwtU0Er8/

Tuesday, April 26

On Tuesday, Sikyong had several other meetings at the State Department. He also called on several major civil society groups in Washington.

Penpa and Zeekgyab Rinpoche visited Freedom House, which recently declared Tibet the least-free country on Earth in a tie with South Sudan and Syria.

Afterward, Penpa met with scholars at the Brookings Institution. Later in the day, he joined the National Endowment for Democracy for a discussion about Tibetan democracy.

Sikyong also met with Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, who tweeted that, like Tibet, his country “experienced what it was like to live under the influence of a superpower and to be deprived of human rights.”

Lipavský’s message predictably sparked an outraged response from the Chinese government, which has illegally occupied Tibet for over 60 years and deprives the Tibetan people of their most basic freedoms.

Wednesday, April 27

Sikyong went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for meetings with Congressional leaders.

He and Zeekgyab Rinpoche met with Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., a longtime friend of Tibet and Co-Chair of both the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

For lunch, Zeekgyab Rinpoche visited the International Campaign for Tibet, an advocacy group that promotes human rights and democratic freedoms for the Tibetan people.

Rinpoche helped ICT celebrate several employees who have been with the organization for 10 years or longer.

Zeekgyab Rinpoche, abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, visits the International Campaign for Tibet on April 27, 2022.

Meanwhile, Sikyong continued meeting with State Department officials, as well as US Senate staff.

Thursday, April 28

Thursday was a full day of meetings for Sikyong with Congressional leaders. Richard Gere, the Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet, joined Penpa on Capitol Hill.

Their meetings included Risch, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member, and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

The House Democracy Partnership hosted a luncheon for Penpa that was attended by Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo.; Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa.; Andy Kim, D-N.J., David Cicilline, D-R.I., and French Hill, R-Ark.

One of the highlights of the day was the meeting hosted by Pelosi, who has been a dedicated supporter of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people for decades.

In addition to the House Speaker, Penpa and Gere, other participants included McGovern and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.

Gere told Radio Free Asia: “We are trying to burst the myths or narratives that the Chinese government has been presenting for many decades about Tibet being a part of China, which is not true.

“And we are trying to push for a genuine dialogue [between China] and His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” Gere added.

That evening, Penpa held a briefing with Washington journalists. Both the Press Trust of India and Asian News International published stories afterward, while Politico published an article about Penpa’s visit earlier in the week.

Friday, April 29

Penpa wrapped up his week in Washington with more meetings on Capitol Hill.

Afterward, he participated in a Colloquium on Thirty Years of Tibet-China Dialogue Engagement at George Washington University.

Finally, Sikyong met with the local Tibetan American community that evening.

Sikyong then departed for further stops on his North American trip, including Philadelphia and New York.

For the link to this original report by the International Campaign for Tibet, please visit the link here.

Useful links:

Office of The Speaker Congresswoman Nancy Pelosy

Central Tibetan Administration

International Campaign for Tibet

National Endowment for Democracy

Office of Tibet, Washington

Lelung Dharma Trust to host ‘Celebrating Peace and Cultural Diversity’ – Tibetan Peace Garden 23rd Anniversary

Date: Saturday, 14th May 2022 | Interfaith programme starts at 1pm

Venue: Tibetan Peace Garden (near Imperial War Museum), Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, St. George’s Road, London SE1 6ER

The Lelung Dharma Trust is hosting ‘Celebrating Peace and Cultural Diversity’ on the occasion of the Tibetan Peace Garden’s 23rd Anniversary on Saturday, 14th May 2022 from 12pm at the Tibetan Peace Garden, Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, St. George’s Road, London SE1 6ER. 

The main Interfaith programme starts at 1pm. It is expected to last about an hour. Leaders from different Faith communities will pray and give addresses, followed by songs and music from Tibet, Mongolia and India.

A key objective of this special event is to bring people together at a challenging time to celebrate and promote Peace and Cultural Diversity. The Tibetan Peace Garden was officially opened by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 13th May 1999. His Message of Peace is inscribed on the Stone Pillar in four languages: Tibetan, English, Hindi and Chinese. Located next to the Imperial War Museum, the Tibetan Peace Garden was commissioned by the Tibet Foundation, which is now closed.

The Lelung Dharma Trust is pleased to be involved with the Tibetan Peace Garden because the Peace Garden has the blessing and support from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Lelung Dharma Trust is committed towards preserving and supporting this important Tibet landmark.

Through this special event the Lelung Dharma Trust also aim to highlight His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s first two Principal Commitments:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

For information and inquiries, please contact: info@lelung.org | 07927376532

China’s “Genocide and crimes against humanity” highlighted in the US State Department’s latest 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

In its latest 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which was released on 12th April 2022, the US State Department once again highlighted that “Genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.” After Mao Tsetung came to power in 1949, East Turkestan (Ch: Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) was invaded by the People’s Republic of China.

After the US State Department released the latest report, Dharamsala-based Central Tibetan Administration filed a news report on its website, stating, “The report specifically highlighted the cases of Tibetan political prisoners Tenzin Nyima and Kunchok Jinpa who died after suffering severe beatings in prison; the forced disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama, the arbitrary arrest of Derung Tsering Dhundrup in 2019, Go Sherab Gyatso in 2020, Konmay in 2021, the denial of fair trial to four Tibetan monks from the Tengro Monastery in 2020, and the extrajudicial sentencing of Tibetan writers including Dhi Lhaden, among others. The report also noted the harsh prison conditions in Tibet including inadequate sanitary conditions and medical care as well as denial of visitation rights including attorney to the prisoners.”

The Global Alliance for Tibet and Persecuted Communities (GATPM) welcomes this latest Country Reports on Human Rights Practices by the US State Department. China’s ongoing gross violations of human rights as well as its crimes against humanity must be exposed and held accountable. As the leader of the free world the United States has done a remarkable job by releasing this latest Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

For full links to the relevant sections, please see the bottom of the Executive Summary: 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The People’s Republic of China is an authoritarian state in which the Chinese Communist Party is the paramount authority. Communist Party members hold almost all top government and security apparatus positions. Ultimate authority rests with the Communist Party Central Committee’s 25-member Political Bureau (Politburo) and its seven-member Standing Committee. Xi Jinping continued to hold the three most powerful positions as party general secretary, state president, and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

The main domestic security agencies include the Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of Public Security, and the People’s Armed Police. The People’s Armed Police continue to be under the dual authority of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Central Military Commission. The People’s Liberation Army is primarily responsible for external security but also has some domestic security responsibilities. Local jurisdictions also frequently use civilian municipal security forces, known as “urban management” officials, to enforce administrative measures. Civilian authorities maintained effective control of the security forces. There were credible reports that members of the security forces committed serious and pervasive abuses.

Genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. These crimes were continuing and included: the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians; forced sterilization, coerced abortions, and more restrictive application of the country’s birth control policies; rape; torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained; forced labor; and draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement.

Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: arbitrary or unlawful killings by the government; forced disappearances by the government; torture by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention conditions; arbitrary detention by the government, including the mass detention of more than one million Uyghurs and members of other predominantly Muslim minority groups in extrajudicial internment camps and an additional two million subjected to daytime-only “re-education” training; political prisoners; politically motivated reprisal against individuals outside the country; the lack of an independent judiciary and Communist Party control over the judicial and legal system; arbitrary interference with privacy including pervasive and intrusive technical surveillance and monitoring; punishment of family members for offenses allegedly committed by an individual; serious restrictions on free expression and media, including physical attacks on and criminal prosecution of journalists, lawyers, writers, bloggers, dissidents, petitioners, and others as well as their family members; serious restrictions on internet freedom, including site blocking; substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including overly restrictive laws that apply to foreign and domestic nongovernmental organizations; severe restrictions and suppression of religious freedom; substantial restrictions on freedom of movement; refoulement of asylum seekers to North Korea, where they have a well founded fear of persecution, including torture and sexual violence; the inability of citizens to choose their government peacefully through free and fair elections; serious restrictions on political participation; serious acts of government corruption; forced sterilization and coerced abortions; trafficking in persons, including forced labor; violence targeting members of national, racial, and ethnic minority groups; severe restrictions on labor rights, including a ban on workers organizing or joining unions of their own choosing; and child labor.

Government officials and the security services often committed human rights abuses with impunity. Authorities often announced investigations following cases of reported killings by police but did not announce results or findings of police malfeasance or disciplinary action. Enforcement of laws on corruption was inconsistent and not transparent, and corruption was rampant.

For full report on China, please click here.

For Tibet section, please click here.

For Hong Kong section, please click here.

For Macao section, please click here.