Message from the Tibetan elections

On Wednesday, April 27, 2011, in Tibetan Politics, by Bhuchung K. Tsering

Today, the Tibetan Election Commission in Dharamsala, India, announced the results of the general elections held on March 20, 2011 to elect the Kalon Tripa, the Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet, and members of the Tibetan Parliament. As pointed out in the statement our organization issued today, congratulations are due not just to the winners but also to all the Tibetan people who participated in this historic democratic process. Above all, this is yet another testimony to the foresight of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his several decades-long efforts to democratize Tibetan governance systems.

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Why doesn’t the China-appointed Panchen Lama speak out?

On Monday, April 25, 2011, in China, by Bhuchung K. Tsering

Today is the 22nd birthday of the Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who has continued to remain under virtual detention somewhere in China since 1995. He disappeared when he was a six year old child and if and when he is released he will be a man denied of his normal childhood upbringing.

As a way of recalling the role of this institution in modern Tibetan history, I read some of the published public talks given by the previous Panchen Lama this morning. As is well known he was vocal and openly critical of both Tibetans as well as the Chinese government on matters of preservation of Tibetan religious and cultural identity. He may have voiced the Chinese official rhetoric but he has also shown that being a “good citizen” of the People’s Republic of China does not mean one should deny one’s Tibetan heritage or be denied of the same by the Chinese authorities.

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Say it ain’t so, Zhou

On Thursday, April 21, 2011, in China, by Ben Carrdus

Some of you may know him as the former Party Secretary of Sichuan Province, back when Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was detained and eventually given a suspended death sentence on highly dubious charges by police and courts in Sichuan; others may also know him from when he said Tibetans were “wasting” their money by giving donations to monasteries, that “promoting religious freedom has caused people so much hardship,” and that teaching the Tibetan language to Tibetan children “is such a heavy burden” on government finances – “why bother.”

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Global Times and Tibetan religious sentiments

On Monday, April 18, 2011, in China, by Bhuchung K. Tsering

When Global Times first began publication I had hopes that it signaled the beginning of a process in China that could encourage an alternative view, other than that of the Chinese Government. Even though financed and controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, initial contents of the newspaper gave the indication that it would not be mere official propaganda mouthpiece. I have particularly been following its coverage of news relating to Tibet and sensed that it was making efforts to see the other side of the picture, too.

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