1. Recuperating Tibetan self-immolator faces jail threat, Financial difficulties

    Comment

    Phayul, September 17, 2012

     

    Dawa Tsering in an undated photo. (Photo/TCHRD)

    DHARAMSHALA, September 17: A Tibetan self-immolator, who is reportedly making good recovery from his burn injuries, faces an uncertain future coupled with jail threats and a slim chance of re-entering his monastery.

    Dawa Tsering, a monk at the Kardze Monastery in eastern Tibet, set himself on fire within the walls of his Monastery on October 25, 2011 during a religious ceremony. While engulfed in flames, he shouted slogans for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and the re-unification of the Tibetan people.

    The Dharamshala based rights group Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in a release today said Dawa Tsering’s health condition is “quite well” and “longs to return back to his monastery” citing an unnamed source with contacts in the region.

    “But his future remains unknown and uncertain because he might not be allowed to return back to his monastery. Instead, he would be jailed at any time,” TCHRD said.

    In a latest picture released by the group, the severity of Dawa Tsering’s burn injuries is clearly visible.

    Dawa Tsering in an undated photo before his self-immolation protest.

    Soon after his self-immolation protest, Dawa Tsering had refused medical attention and pleaded not to be taken away by the Chinese security personnel.

    His family has been taking care of him at their home in Kardze.

    “But the family is facing financial problems as they struggle to meet Dawa’s medical expenses,” TCHRD said.

    Kardze has witnessed repeated protests since the mass uprisings of 2008. Tsewang Norbu, a 29-year old monk from Nyitso monastery in Kardze passed away on the spot after setting himself ablaze protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet and demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile on August 15, 2011.

    A few months later in November, Palden Choetso, a 35-year old Tibetan nun from the Ganden Jangchup Choeling nunnery in the same region, passed away immediately after setting her body on fire demanding the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

    In April this year, more than 2000 Tibetans carried out a mass protest in Kardze, demanding the release of around 250 Tibetans who were arrested after Chinese authorities ordered the closure of a locally founded Tibetan organisation called the ‘Dayul Unity Association.’

    The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, which is currently holding its fourth session in Dharamshala, dedicated the entire proceedings of the first day to deliberate on the critical situation inside Tibet.

  2. Two Tibetan teenagers die in self-immolations

    Comment

    Mmegionline, August 29, 2012

    ABA: Two Tibetan teenagers have died after setting themselves on fire in Sichuan province, activists and United States’ media said.

    Lobsang Kalsang, an 18 year-old monk, and Damchoek, a 17 year-old former monk, set themselves on fire on Monday morning, London-based Free Tibet said. It happened outside the Kirti Monastery in Aba county, where many of the self-immolations have taken place.

    This brings the number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire since 2009 to 51, the group added. The BBC is unable to verify this figure. Foreign media are banned from the region, making reports hard to confirm.Chinese state media have confirmed some of the self-immolations but not all.

    “More than half of those who have set themselves on fire are believed to have died. The teenagers died on Monday evening after being taken to a hospital by Chinese authorities,” Free Tibet said. The young men were shouting slogans against Chinese rule and policies in Tibet as their bodies burned, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported, citing witnesses.

    “Witnesses saw them run about 20 steps with their bodies on fire, and then they fell to the ground,” two monks based in India told RFA. “Former monk Damchoek has been identified as the brother of Tenzin Choedon, a teenage nun who died after setting herself on fire earlier this year,” the reports said. Lobsang Kalsang’s roommate at the monastery was detained on Monday, both Free Tibet and RFA reported. “Aba county police said they had no information on the self-immolations,” an Associated Press report said.

    Kirti Monastery, which has been the focus of protests for more than a year, is surrounded by heavy security.China’s leaders blame the Dalai Lama, the Tibetans’ exiled spiritual leader, for inciting the self-immolations and encouraging separatism. He rejects this, and both activist groups and the Tibetan government-in-exile say the self-immolations are protests against tight Chinese control of the region and religious repression. (BBC)

  3. Two Tibetans die, burning protests top 50: groups

    Comment

    Lobsang Kalsang, a Buddhist monk, and former monk Damchoe died in hospital after setting themselves on fire in Aba town (AFP/File, Str)

     

    By Claire Cozens (AFP) , August 28, 2012

    BEIJING — Two teenagers burned to death in southwest China, taking to over 50 the number of Tibetans who have set themselves alight in protest against Beijing’s rule, rights groups said on Tuesday.

    Lobsang Kalsang, 18, a Buddhist monk, and former monk Damchoek, 17, died in hospital on Monday after setting themselves on fire in Aba town, which has become a flashpoint for such protests by ethnic Tibetans.

    China’s Tibetan-inhabited areas have seen an explosion in the violent form of protest since March 2011, when the self-immolation of a monk named Phuntsog at Aba’s revered Kirti monastery sparked riots and a police crackdown.

    The first recorded similar incident was in February 2009, and there have now been 51 such fiery protests, according to tallies compiled by overseas-based pressure groups Free Tibet and the International Campaign for Tibet.

    In 2009, a young Kirti monk doused himself in oil and set himself on fire carrying an image of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, before being shot by police and taken to a local hospital. Continue reading

  4. Tibetan man ‘beaten to death during police clash’

    Comment

    The Telegraph, August 14, 2012

    A Tibetan man was reportedly beaten to death during a clash with police in west China after two Tibetans set themselves on fire, in the worst flaring of violence in the region in months.

     

    Chinese police patrol the streets of the Tibetan capital Lhasa Photo: AP

     

    The violence occurred Monday in Sichuan province’s Aba prefecture, which has emerged as a centre of political activism and the site of dozens of self-immolations in the past few years. The area, home to the influential Kirti Monastery, has been flooded with security forces, but they have been unable to stop the immolation protests.

    Radio Free Asia said in an emailed statement that a Kirti monk named Lungtok and another man, identified only as Tashi, set themselves alight Monday evening. It cited a Tibetan in the Aba area who was not identified by name and other unidentified people inside Tibet.

    The report said a large number of police tried to clear the immolation site and ended up clashing with Tibetans. It said one man was beaten to death, but gave no other details. There was no way to independently confirm the report.

    A woman who answered the telephone at the Aba police department said there had been no immolations or confrontations between police and Tibetan locals. “Nothing like that has happened,” said the woman, who like many bureaucrats in China refused to give her name. The phone of the local Communist Party Propaganda Office rang unanswered.

    Radio Free Asia said the two men who self-immolated were taken to a hospital by Chinese security forces, but that their condition was unknown.

  5. Record ‘proves Alex Salmond kowtowed over Dalai Lama’ visit

    Comment

    By Tom, Peterkin, August 9, 2012
    Source: The Scotsman

     

    The Dalai Lama visited Edinburgh in June. Picture: Jane Barlow

     

    ALEX Salmond distanced himself from the Dalai Lama’s visit to Scotland by personally reassuring the Chinese ambassador that the trip had nothing to do with his government.

    The Scotsman can reveal that the First Minister gave the assurance to Liu Xiaoming when they met in Edinburgh shortly before the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader came north of the Border.

    The disclosure has led to fresh criticisms of First Minister’s behaviour during the Dalai Lama’s visit earlier in the summer.

    Mr Salmond was criticised for failing to meet the Nobel peace prize winner. At the time of the visit, Mr Salmond’s critics suggested that the First Minister dodged the Dalai Lama in order to preserve his good relations with China, a country with which he has forged trade links.

    Critics of the SNP leader said he should have met the Dalai Lama, who is seen by human rights activists as a symbol of the plight of the Tibetans who have been under Chinese occupation for more than 50 years.
    Shortly before the Dalai Lama arrived in Scotland, the Chinese ambassador to the UK Mr Liu met Mr Salmond in his Bute House residence. Also present was Li Ruiyou, China consul general.

    An official Scottish Government note of the 6 June meeting has been obtained by The Scotsman under freedom of information legislation.

    The document, made by a civil servant, said: “The ambassador asked the First Minister about the Dalai Lama’s visit to Scotland in June. The First Minister clarified that is a private visit at the invitation of the Conference of Edinburgh’s Religious Leaders and the Edinburgh Interfaith Association, amongst others. The Scottish Government is not involved in the visit.”

    The note made no mention of Mr Salmond addressing China’s human rights record, although the First Minister’s spokesman said the SNP leader had made representations on that issue in the past.

    Last night, director of Amnesty International Scotland, Shabnum Mustapha, said: “Amnesty was disappointed that no-one from the Scottish Government was available to meet with the Dalai Lama on his visit to Scotland.

    “As the Scottish Government is in the process of developing its new China plan, it would have been a great opportunity to have discussed human rights with the Nobel peace prize winner to balance out the countless meetings they have had with Chinese officials.

    “The Dalai Lama himself has said if he was offered a meeting with the Scottish Government he would have met with them.”

    Opposition politicians claimed the document was a further indication that Mr Salmond went out of his way to disassociate himself from the Dalai Lama’s visit when put under pressure from the Chinese.

    Jenny Marra, the Labour MSP, said: “As if further evidence was needed, this shows that Alex Salmond did everything the Chinese wanted him to do to distance himself from the Dalai Lama.

    “The First Minister should have proven his diplomatic mettle by voicing his concerns about human rights abuses in China and affording a proper welcome to the Dalai Lama, an international ambassador for peace. Instead, he was nobbled by the Chinese government and snubbed the Nobel peace prize winner to the embarrassment of Scotland.”

    The Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: “This is hard evidence that the First Minister rolled over when the Chinese ambassador put the pressure on over the Dalai Lama’s visit.

    “He claims he couldn’t meet the Dalai Lama because of the nature of the visit, but I and many others did meet him, so that’s a bogus excuse.”

    Mr Salmond has made several trips to China in the last few years to help promote Scottish trade and cultural links. The Chinese government responded by allowing two giant pandas to be sent to Edinburgh Zoo as a gift to Britain last year.

    A spokesman for the First Minister said the criticisms were “baseless and contrived”, adding that Mr Salmond had made representations on the issue of human rights.

  6. Buddhist mother’s self-immolation death sparks growing concern for Tibetans in China

    Comment

    By Lys Anzia, WNN, August 9, 2012

     

    At 12:40pm Tibet local time on November 3, 2011, a Buddhist nun in Tibet stands in the street after she has set herself on fire. Her name is Palden Choetso, who was 35-years-old at the time. After setting herself ablaze she died from her injuries. She set herself on fire on the Chume Bridge in the centre of Tawu in the Kandze Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province in Eastern Tibet. Palden Choetso was from Geden Choeling Nunnery in Tawu and had been a nun for 15 years. This image is from a video that was smuggled out of the Sichuan Province region in November 2011.

     

    (WNN) Kanlho region, EASTERN TIBET, CHINA: Under increasing incidences of self-immolation over the last year with what advocates have called a “a widening area of Tibet,” a 26 year old mother named Dolkar Kyi set herself on fire Tuesday outside the Tso city Monastery in Kanlho, Eastern Tibet in what advocates say is a strong act of protest against China’s policy in the Tibetan region. She later died from injuries related to setting herself on fire.

    Human rights advocates say her protest was a statement made to call attention to current restrictions in China’s Gannan Tibetan autonomous prefecture region centered on what Kyi herself called limits to “freedom in Tibet” and religious rights, reported advocacy group FreeTibet.org on Tuesday.

    In contrast and direct conflict with the FreeTibet.org news release, China’s State-owned Xinhua news said on Tuesday that Drung Gertso is actually the name of the woman who set herself on fire on Tuesday as she was suffering under what Chinese authorities called “intermittant mental disease.” They also said Gertso was suicidal due to family and marriage problems.

    The volley between Chinese reporting agencies and Free Tibet advocates has caused what human rights advocates call an extreme blind eye by the government of China to acknowledge or recognize the desperation of protest with self-immolation under the critical needs for religious freedom in the region. In contrast, Chinese based philosopher Ms. Hua Zi, a researcher at the China Tibetology Publishing House, has called the self-immolation deaths “separatist” activities.

    Regardless of the political context, self immolation deaths are continuing at an increased pace for Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns in the region.

    “By playing up the Tibet issue in the international community and smearing China’s ethnic policy, they intended to create excuses for the so-called ‘independence of Tibet,’” said Ms. Hua Zi in a November 2011 interview with Xinhua news.

    “Officials have refused to address the underlying repressive policies against Tibetans’ religion, culture, and language that have likely contributed to this unprecedented tragedy,” outlined U.S. Congressional Chairman Christopher Smith of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China in February 2012. “Instead, they reportedly have fired on Tibetan protestors, tightened security even further, and closed off Tibetan areas to the outside world,” continued Chairman Smith. “Vice President Xi should protect the freedom of religion and spiritual belief of all those in China, whether they be Buddhists, Muslims, Protestants, Catholics, or Falun Gong practitioners.”

    In June 2012 this year, travel agencies were forced to turn away foreign travelers who wished to visit the Tibetan region after officials in Beijing banned all foreigners entrance to the region.

    1989 Nobel Peace Laureate and present human rights advocate Tenzin Gyatso, who is also known as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was given responsibility as the then ‘Head of State’ of Tibet at the age of 15 in 1950. In 1959, as the conflict between the Tibet and Chinese policy in the region increased to dangerous levels, the Dalai Lama escaped and entered India along with 80,000 plus refugees. Many of them relocated with the Dalai Lama to the town of Dharamsala, considered today by many to be the seat of the Tibetan ‘Government-in-exile.’

    Attempting to stay clear of the volatile international politics surrounding the issue, the Dalai Lama has continued to speak of his wishes for peace in the region while outlining the ‘hardship’ for native Tibetans who are now losing their culture through increasing fear and military presence.

    “Instead of addressing the genuine grievances of the Tibetan people, the Chinese authorities have responded to the self-immolations by increasing restrictions, torturing members of the self-immolators’ family or their acquaintances and taking several into custody without any judicial process,” said Bhuchung K. Tsering, Vice President for Special Programs for International Campaign for Tibet in Washington, D.C.

    during a July 25, 2012 hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “These stringent restrictions will only increase the sense of injustice and discrimination felt by Tibetans. As long as Tibetans continue to be denied the opportunity to live a life of equality, respect and dignity, it is clear that they will undertake actions to convey their feelings.” he continued.

    Today the Dalai Lama no longer considers himself to be the political leader of the Tibetan people. “In 2001, the Tibetan people elected the Kalon Tripa, the political leader, directly for the first time. Since then, I have been in semi-retirement, no longer involving myself in the day-to-day administration, but able to dedicate more time to general human welfare,” He said in a March 2011 formal statement during the Fourteenth Assembly of the Tibetan’s Peoples Deputies, known today as the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile in Dharamsala.

    “I believe the demonstrations and protests taking place in Tibet reflect reaction to repression. Further repressive measures will not lead to unity and stability,” outlined the Dalai Lama in a separate formal statement made in 2008.

  7. Young mother-of-two, monk take Tibet self-immolations count to 46

    Comment

    TibetanReview.net, Aug08, 2012

     

    Tibetan in exile nuns and monks participate in 24-hour hunger strike for victims of a Chinese crackdown in Ngaba in 2011 (AFP/File, Prakash Mathema)

    Two more self-immolations in two days in Tibet have taken to 46 the number of Tibetans who have staged such suicide protests against Chinese rule since Feb 2009. The latest incidents involved a young monk of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) County of Sichuan Province and a young mother of two in Tsoe (Chinese: Hezuo) County of Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan) Prefecture, Gansu Province.

    Dolkar Tso, a 26-year-old mother of two, died after setting herself on fire near a stupa at Tsoe Gaden Choeling Monastery at around 2.30 pm. RFA.org (Radio Free Asia, Washington) Aug 7 cited sources as saying she took off her clothes and burned herself as she kept shouting slogans calling for Tibet’s freedom and the Dalai Lama’s return from exile.

    Tibetan devotees circumambulating the monastery were reported to have put out the fire but a barely alive Dolkar Tso asked monks who rushed to try to save her to end her life in order that the Chinese may not get hold of her alive. Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said Aug 7 the monks took her to hospital but she could not be saved there. They then took her body to her native village of Tasur in Nawu Township, located around 10 kilometres from Tsoe City. People were reported to be flocking both to Tasur Village and at Tso Monastery to offer prayers.

    Dolkar Tso leaves behind a four-year old son and a two-year old daughter. ICIT cited sources as saying that two days before the self-immolation, both she and her husband were seen praying at every shrine in the monastery and both of them going to Dolkar’s birth village rather than their home located in another village.

    China’s official Xinhua news agency Aug 8 reported the self-immolation but maintained that “Drung Gertso” (ie, Dolkar Tso) “had intermittent mental disease” and was estranged from both her and her husband’s families and committed suicide on account of it. It said she had worked for five months after this year’s Chinese Spring Festival in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

    * * *
    Dolkar Tso’s self-immolation protest came a day after monk Lobsang Tsultrim, 21, of Kirti Monastery immolated himself on the main Ngaba county highway running lust below his monastery. The monk was reported to have staged the fiery suicide protest just after 5:00 pm, shouting slogans calling for the Dalai Lama’s return from exile and for the reuniting of the Tibetans in Tibet and in exile. He attempted to walk along the street – which is referred to by the local Tibetans as “Heroes’ (or Martyrs’) Street” because many of the past self-immolation protests by Tibetans had taken place on it – towards the office building of the Forestry Department before he fell to the ground.

    Some reports said, however, that paramilitary police knocked him to the ground and quickly put out the flames before throwing him in a vehicle and driving him away. With more police than local residents reported to be present at the scene, there was no chance for the Tibetan people to take custody of the monk. Initially kept briefly at the Ngaba County hospital, his conditions and whereabouts now remain unknown.

    Dharamsala-based Tibetan centre for Human Rights and Democracy Aug 8 said the monk was detained and suffered severe beating at the hand of the Chinese police during the suppression of the Mar-Apr 2008 Tibetan uprising protests. A classmate of monk Lobsang Phuntsok who staged a self-immolation protest and died in 2011, Lobsang Phutnsok is said to be fond of playing basketball and is a member of a local team.

  8. A moment of laughter with elders

    Comment

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama enjoying a moment of laughter with some of the elders of the Tibetan Muslim community who escaped from Tibet in 1959/1960 during his visit to Srinagar, J&K state, India, on July 14, 2012. Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL


Live & Die for Buddhism

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Maha Ghosananda

Maha Ghosananda

Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism (5/23/1913 - 3/12/07). Forever in my heart...

Problems we face today

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Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected...

Major Differences

Major Differences in Buddhism

Major Differences in Buddhism: There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day ...read more

My Reflection

My Reflection

This site is a tribute to Buddhism. Buddhism has given me a tremendous inspiration to be who and where I am today. Although I came to America at a very young age, however, I never once forget who I am and where I came from. One thing I know for sure is I was born as a Buddhist, live as a Buddhist and will leave this earth as a Buddhist. I do not believe in superstition. I only believe in karma.

A Handful of Leaves

A Handful of Leaves

Tipitaka: The pali canon (Readings in Theravada Buddhism). A vast body of literature in English translation the texts add up to several thousand printed pages. Most -- but not all -- of the Canon has already been published in English over the years. Although only a small fraction of these texts are available here at Access to Insight, this collection can nonetheless be a very good place to start.

Just the way it is

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor... read more