Weekly News on Tibet in Exile, last Edition of August 2019
At 84 His Holiness the Dalai Lama is in Excellent Health
Dharamsala:August 27,2019, The 84-year-old Tibetan Spiritual Leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama assured that he is in best of health and reaffirmed to live up to 110 years while addressing the Minnesota Tibetan Association and Tibetans in general.
Consoling the members, His Holiness recalled a dream in which the goddess of glory, one of the eight Dharma protectors and the protector deity of Tibet, Palden Lhamo riding on His Holiness’s back proclaims His Holiness will live for 110 years. His Holiness also shared that other divinations carried similar foretelling.
Concerns grew over His Holiness’ health when news of His Holiness’s admission to a private hospital in Delhi following a chest infection was reported by various news media this past April.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits Mangalore for the first time.
Mangalore;29th August.2019,For the first time His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be visiting Mangalore from August 29th to 31st.The main component of the visit includes a key address at the 52nd National Convention of All India Associations of Catholic Schools and a meeting with Tibetan college students.
Health Kalon Mr. Choekyon Wangchuk visited New York as part of US official Tour.
New York; 27th August, 2019: Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk of Department of Health, CTA visited the Office of Tibet, Washington Dc, International Campaign for Tibet, Radio Free Asia and Voice of America offices based in Washington DC on Tuesday this week. There were discussions and questions put forward by the audience regarding Tibetan Medicine, increasing number of Tibetan youths exposed to substance abuse in India and abroad, development of Tibetan Medicine in abroad and others.
Washington; 29th August.2019: Kalon conducted a series of high-level meetings with officials at the State Department and Capitol Hill. He was accompanied by Representative Mr. Ngodup Tsering in all the meetings. Kalon thanked the US Government for helping with Tibetan refugees from Nepal to India in various fields and for so long and updated him on the existing programs. Kalon and Representative met with Jon Stivers, the Executive Director for the China Commission at Chairman McGovern`s office. They discussed several things including a new Tibet bill, which the chairman McGovern will introduce shortly in the house.
Kalon spoke about various projects under the Department of Health including the Tibetan Medicare system and prevention and care projects during his visit to the offices and institutes.
The first SEE Learning Workshop in Columbia Concludes
Tulua (Columbia) 22nd August 2019: The first three-day SEE learning training workshop for educators in Colombia concluded on 22nd August in Tulua City. This three-day SEE Learning training workshop was jointly hosted by the Levapan Foundation and Secretary of the Education at the Mayor Office of tulua city and,it was coordinated by Tsewang Phuntsok, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Latin America.
As a pilot project, the SEE Learning will be implemented in all the six schools this year with a plan to expand to more government schools in the city next year.
This event also marks the conclusion of the first SEE Learning training workshop for educators in three countries in South America; Chile from May 7 to 9 with the participation of 70 educators; Brazil from August 11 to 14 with the participation of 80 educators, and finally Colombia.
Kyapje Ling Rinpoche calls on Special Advisor of the International Religious Freedom at the US State Department
Washington DC: 26th August,Kyabje Ling Rinpoche met with Special Advisor, Thames Noax, of the International Religious Freedom sector at the US State Department on Friday last week. Ling Rinpoche informed the special advisor about the dire situation in Tibet in general and religious freedom in particular.
Rinpoche further mentioned about different measures introduced by CCP, like setting up of monastic management committees, in each monastery in Tibet to govern the daily activities of the monastery-making normal practice impossible. Rinpoche eloquently brought home the pressing threat to the Tibetan language, religion and culture in Tibet. Special Advisor recounted his experience in Nepal where the religious freedom is in peril and assured that his Bureau will do whatever necessary to protect the religious freedom all faith community including Tibet.
The Tibet case in Spain`s Constitutional Court
Barcelona: 27th August, Since the Pinochet case, the Spanish courts have had a leading role in prosecuting international crimes. The absolute scope of universal jurisdiction culminated with the international arrest warrants issued against various authorities of the Chinese Communist Party for the alleged commission of genocide, torture, crimes against humanity, State Terrorism and other international crimes against the Tibetan people.
Soon after, the Spanish Government under pressure from the Chinese Government proceeded to a new revision of the Organic Law of Judiciary Power, proposing radical amendments and further restrictions to universal jurisdiction. Some of the new requirements of the Organic Law 1/2014 could be contrary to the Spanish Constitution and a myriad of international conventions ratified by Spain (especially the 1949 Geneva Conventions), all of which was denounced to the Constitutional Court.
Meanwhile, different judges have interpreted and applied the new bill with contradictory results. Nonetheless, the prevailing criteria of the Supreme Court which in sentence 296/2015 of 6 May 2015 interpreted universal jurisdiction in a restrictive manner have provoked a domino effect in Spain in the definitive shelving of almost all sensitive international cases.
A third Constitutional Court ruling rejects with identical arguments, the appeals of the Tibet case plaintiffs, as it did weeks before with the appeals of the Falun Gong case and that of the Socialist Parliamentary Group against the reform of the Law of Universal Justice, under pressure from the Chinese Government.
The ruling that was formally communicated to the Comité de Apoyo al Tíbet (CAT) as chief plaintiff, the Fundación Casa del Tíbet as co-plaintiff, and Thubten Wangchen as private accusation. It is dated 25 February 2019 and rejects the appeal in 28 pages.
The Constitutional Court ruling that has now buried the Tibet case in the Spanish courts had been expected since late December. Indeed, the Court’s ruling on 20 December 2018 declaring that Rajoy’s Conservative Government’s reform of universal jurisdiction did not violate the Constitution, only portended the subsequent debacle. The Constitutional Court judges rejected the appeal of unconstitutionality lodged by the Socialist MPs. Even so, and despite acknowledging the change of interpretive criteria for universal justice since the 2005 ruling on the Guatemala case, and the fact that the 2014 legal reform had drastically changed victims’ access to justice, they concluded that the legislative power had the right to bring about this restrictive modification. The fact that popular action has been abolished, international law is not considered to prevail over internal law, proceedings have been retroactively closed, or that this legal reform was motivated by pressure by a foreign country, China, has not prevented this new law being given the go-ahead.
Thus, since late December it was expected that the various cases that had been admitted to the Constitutional Court would be wrapped up irrevocably. The first case to fall was the other one that inconvenienced China, namely, that of the crimes committed against Falun Gong practitioners. And the following month the judges of the Constitutional Court’s Second Court met again, to agree to finally bury the desire for justice of the victims of the Tibetan genocide.
The Spanish Constitutional Court reproduced the same arguments for all cases. In short, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes that had been under investigation for years cannot be tried in Spain, as the Chinese Communist Party leaders accused did not have Spanish nationality nor resided habitually in Spain. Nor was the fact that there was a Spanish victim – the plaintiff Thubten Wangchen – a motive for continuing with the lawsuit because at the time when he suffered persecution at the hands of the Chinese authorities he had not yet acquired Spanish nationality. Similarly, the ruling considers that closing the case retroactively does not constitute denying the victim’s access to justice, as the mere fact that they were able to appeal to the Constitutional Court implies the exact opposite.
It is not just with Tibet; the Constitutional Court’s three consecutive rulings confirm the definitive end to universal justice in Spain and, specifically, to the cases against the Chinese Community Party leaders, the Tibet case and the Falun Gong case. The timing of these rulings does not go unnoticed after over four years waiting for a reply. But also ditched are the victims of the Couso case, the Ashraf refugee camp in Irak, Guantánamo, the CIA flights, the Palestine Freedom Flotilla, and those of SS members in Nazi extermination camps.
Despite this huge obstacle and political interference, and even though the future gives little cause for optimism, there is still one last possibility outside Spain that the CAT will attempt until the bitter end, namely, going to the European Court of Human Rights in the next few months. Similarly, the new Spanish Government to be formed in the next months with Pedro Sánchez as President has a better chance to restore and extend our crippled law of Universal Jurisdiction.
It is of the utmost importance that this truth and reality of political and judicial interference is known and that together we denounce and stand in front of it.
China`s suppression of Tibet continues:
The annual Human Rights Report 2019 records that the human rights situation in Tibet has still not progressed as the Tibetans continue to face severe restriction in their religious freedom, speech, movement, and assembly.
Anyone exercising their human rights and steeping up against the persecution is met with arbitrary detention, imprisonment, and enforced disappearance.
The report also states that Tibetans travelling on Chinese passports to India to attend His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teaching in January 2018 were forced to return early else they will face retaliation and their family members back home will suffer.
China also introduced the policy of ‘patriotic education’ in the monasteries to replace monastic education with their political propaganda. Monks and nuns were forced to learn and emphasize on Communist propaganda. People were encouraged to denounce the sympathy for His Holiness the Dalai Lama forcing their loyalty towards the Communist Party.
China demolishes nearly half of Yachen Gar Buddhist complex in Tibet
August 29th 2019: Nearly half of Yachen Gar Buddhist complex dituated in Tibet`s Karze region which is now incorporated into China`s Sichuan province has been demolished by Chinese authorities.In the recent pictures received from Tibet,one can see that half of the Tibetan Buddhists nuns`dwellings have been demolished and in an effort to cover-up the demolition the Chinese authorities have covered the ground with green plastic. The demolations are part of the ongoing religious persecution of Tibetans.The Chinese government has been systematically repressing the rights of Tibetans to practice and partake in religious rites and rituals.Destruction of monasteries and removal of monks and nuns from Larung Gar and Yachen Gar is a blatant violation of religious and cultural rights of the people.
Europe Tibetan Associations` First Annual General Meeting Begins
Barcelona: A two-day (31st August to 1st September 2019) general meeting of Europe Tibetan Associations is currently underway at Case del Tibet,Barcelona (Spain).The meeting is first of its kind convened by Tibet Bureau in Geneva and Europe members of Tibetan Parliament in Exile in close coordination with Offices of Tibet in London,Brussels and Paris coordinator. Twenty representatives comprising of presidents,vice presidents and executive members from 12 Tibetan associations and communities based in Switzerland & Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, UK, Poland, Norway and Sweden are participating in this event. The Topic of two day meeting include: -Promotion and preservation of Tibetan language -Tibet awareness and political activities in Europe -Strenghthening existing Tibetan Community -Key themes of the upcoming third Special Meeting to be held in Dharamsala which are: Five Fifty Vision and lineage of His Holiness the Dalai Lamas and Tibetan People.
Choerig Kalon concludes 11-day visit to Ladakh
Ladakh: August 31, 2019: Kalon Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok, Department of Religion& Culture, CTA concluded his 11-day official visit to Ladhak this Saturday on a productive note. As part of his final engagements, Kalon met with Mr. P.T,Kunsang,the President of Ladakh Buddhist Association,Ven Shedup Jampa,President of Ladakh Gompa Association. Choerig Kalon attended the Gala dinner organized jointly by Central Tibetan Administration and Chief Representative Office , Sonamling Tibetan Settlement in celebration of the new Union Territory status granted to Ladakh. Chief Guest Mr. Gyal P. Wangyal,Chief Executive Councilor thanked the CTA, chief Representative Office , Sonamling Tibetan Settlement for organizing the event. He stated that Ladakhis tireless effort for seven decade has come to an end and he believes within 10 years, Tibet will be free and extended their support for Tibet cause.
“The Dalai Lama – Scientist”, World Premiere in Venice
Venice,Italy: 31st August 2019: Nobel Peace Prize winner ,Betty Williams of Northern Ireland, will be in attendance to present the film in honour of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. With extensive, rare, and never before seen footage, this feature –length film tells the very human story of the Dalai Lama that no one knows. In “The Dalai Lama-Scientist”,the Dalai Lama himself tells the unknown story of his lifelong journey into the world of science and technology, and how the world has changed as a result. The film was produced by an international team, and it was directed and written by award winning female filmmaker, Dawn Gifford Engle.
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