Happy 80th Birthday His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

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Senator Feinstein….” His Holiness is a singular figure among world leaders, moral authorities and religious mentors. His message of peace, compassion and nonviolence has resonated throughout the world, bridged divides and inspired millions to recognize the common humanity among us. To my dear friend, I wish you a very happy birthday and many more years in which your teachings can touch even more lives.”

Senator Kirk” The Dalai Lama is an international symbol for peace and human rights. His leadership for the Tibetan people’s quest for religious freedom and fundamental rights despite adversity is an inspiration to us all.”

Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay… “Your Holiness, you call yourself a simple Buddhist monk. But for people around the world, you are the beacon of hope and light to all the people. For Buddhists, you are the human manifestation of the Boddisattva of compassion. And above all, for Tibetans, you are the life and soul of Tibet.”

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His Holiness to Grace Glastonbury Festival, Anaheim in California and Tenshug Prayer in New York by NATA

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DHARAMSHALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit the UK from 27 – 30 June 2015. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate’s brief visit include a guest appearance at the Glastonbury Festival and a public teaching in Aldershot.

The key themes throughout this visit will be the promotion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message of compassion, non-violence and the oneness of humanity.

On Sunday 28 June, His Holiness will visit Glastonbury Festival as a guest of the festival. Emily Eavis said: “We’re honoured to welcome the Dalai Lama to Glastonbury 2015. He will be talking in the Green Fields and exploring the farm this Sunday as part of his trip to the UK. What a special moment for the Festival!”

The Tibetan spiritual leader will visit Aldershot on Monday 29 June at the invitation of the Buddhist Community Centre UK (BCCUK). The BCCUK is a new centre in Aldershot, which has a large Nepalese Buddhist community. This will be His Holiness’s second visit to Aldershot following the visit in June 2012.

H.H the Dalai Lama will give a public talk at the ESS Stadium Aldershot in the afternoon on the theme of ‘Buddhism in the 21st Century’ at an event hosted by the BCCUK. The audience of over 6,000 people will include many members of the Nepalese Buddhist community, and other Buddhists and followers of HH the Dalai Lama from the UK and elsewhere. The Nepalese Buddhist community, like Buddhists across the Himalayan region, consider HH the Dalai Lama to be their spiritual leader and have a deep reverence for him.

The 29 June programme will begin with His Holiness’s inauguration of the BCCUK temple followed by prayers, with the Nepalese Buddhist community and leaders of other religious faiths, for the victims of the recent Nepal earthquakes.

Kaji Sherpa, Chair of BCCUK, said: “We are greatly honoured to be welcoming His Holiness the Dalai Lama back to Aldershot. This visit is an occasion for great excitement and joy for the Nepalese Buddhist community, and for the many other Buddhists and followers of His Holiness here in the UK. We know that the prayers that His Holiness the Dalai Lama will lead during the visit to the BCCUK will provide great solace to the family, relatives and friends of the victims of the earthquakes that tragically struck Nepal recently.”

Following his visit to the UK, His Holiness fly to the United States where he will participate in a moderated discussion hosted by the George W. Bush Presidential Center and SMU at Dallas, Texas.

During his visit to the United States, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will also participate in the tenshug prayer offering.

Tibetan communities from around the United States and Canada will join together for two days of special events in New York City July 9 and 10 to celebrate the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In honor of His Holiness’ 80th birthday and in the presence of the Dalia Lama, Buddhist monks will chant prayers, participants will dress in traditional regalia and vendors will offer statues of Buddha, religious scroll paintings called thangka, incense and other religious artifacts.

On the afternoon of July 10, United States officials, members of Congress and prominent religious and civic leaders are invited to attend a public reception to celebrate with His Holiness. Attendees will also celebrate by participating in an ancient Buddhist ritual that dates back centuries, as well as receiving teachings from the Dalai Lama himself.

The Buddhist ritual, Tenshug in Tibetan, is a long-life offering and a moving ceremony comprised of prayers and a procession of symbolic offerings. The purpose of this prayer is to ask for a long and healthy life for His Holiness and to preserve his Buddhist teachings.

“In many ways, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has profoundly touched not only the lives of the Tibetan people, but also countless others throughout the world,” said Tashi Namgyal, North American Representative to the Tibetan Parliament and co-chair of the Gratitude Events Organizing Committee. “This birthday celebration honors the Tibetan leader for the wisdom and spiritual guidance he has provided to both Buddhists and non-Buddhist; and for his unwavering efforts to alleviate the sufferings of all sentient beings,” Namgyal added.

His Holiness is the living embodiment of the hopes and aspirations of many Tibetans for the survival of their endangered heritage. His contributions as an architect of the non-violent and peaceful Tibetan struggle seek to end the Chinese government’s oppressive rule in Tibet. In honor of his leadership in spearheading the peaceful struggle for Tibet’s freedom, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was awarded the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.

Throughout the years, His Holiness has travelled to more than 67 countries spanning six continents spreading the message of universal responsibility, compassion, altruism and non-violence. Recognized as a man of peace, His Holiness has gained love and respect throughout the world and serves as an anchor for us in troubled times.

His Holiness will also participate in various talks, events and panel discussions at the Honda Center in Anaheim and the Bren Events Center at the UC Irvine Campus organized by Friends of the Dalai Lama in partnership with the Center for Living Peace and University of California, Irvine.

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CHINA AT THE TIPPING POINT?

China at the Tipping Point?


July 11, 2013 9:35 pm

Before a security crackdown, a demonstrator protests the construction of a 55.9 billion yuan (US$8.9 billion) chemical plant in Ningbo, Zhejiang province on October 28, 2012/AFP

[ChinaFile.com]

The Turn Against Legal Reform

CARL MINZNER 07.11.13

What will be the future of China’s authoritarian political system?

Many predicted that China’s rapid development over the past several decades would inevitably lead to gradual liberalization. Economic growth was expected to generate a cascade of changes—first to society, then law, and eventually politics. Events appeared to confirm these projections. As Chinese authorities opened up the economy in the late twentieth century, they also launched sweeping reforms of the nation’s legislative and judicial institutions.

The events of the past decade, however, have called these assumptions into question. From 2000 to 2011, per capita GDP in China more than quintupled, skyrocketing from US$949 to $5,445. But one-party rule remains intact under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and Chinese authorities have turned against many of the legal reforms that they themselves enacted back in the 1980s and 1990s. Lawyers have come under increased pressure. Political campaigns warning against rule-of-law norms have rippled through the courts. And under new policies making “stability maintenance” (weiwen) a top priority, central authorities have massively increased funding for extralegal institutions aimed at channeling, curtailing, and suppressing citizen discontent.

These shifts have choked off institutions for venting dissatisfaction and redressing ills that are key to the CCP’s continued resilience as an authoritarian regime. The changes have fueled social unrest, funneling citizen grievances into a rising tide of street protests instead of institutionalized legal or political participation. And they have led to new worries at the center regarding the danger posed by individual CCP officials (such as disgraced Chongqing CCP boss Bo Xilai) seizing parts of the weiwen apparatus for their own ends. For precisely these reasons, an increasing number of officials, academics, and activists have called on central authorities to revive flagging legal reforms in the wake of the November 2012 leadership succession.

China may indeed be at a tipping point. But it is not clear which way it will tip. Authorities may restart legal reform as part of a comprehensive program of political and institutional transformation. Or they may refuse, risking an escalating spiral of social and political turmoil. 1

In the 1970s and 1980s, CCP authorities turned their backs on decades of political radicalism and socialist economic policies. They launched extensive legal reforms aimed at building new structures to govern China.

Officials reopened law schools shuttered during the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). They used academic and professional exchanges to aggressively import foreign legal concepts. They issued hundreds of new statutes and regulations, creating a comprehensive framework of civil, commercial, criminal, and administrative law. Authorities promoted court trials, conducted according to these newly promulgated laws, as the preferred venue for resolving ordinary civil or commercial grievances and disputes. In 1989, Chinese authorities even issued an administrative litigation law giving ordinary citizens limited rights to sue state authorities in court.

Reforms continued throughout the 1990s. Authorities professionalized the judiciary, moving away from the practice of staffing courts with former military officers. They removed definitions of lawyers as “state legal workers” and privatized the bar. By the early 2000s, the state-owned law firms of the 1980s had given way to an explosion of private firms, domestic and foreign alike. In 1997, central authorities adopted “rule according to law” (yifa zhiguo) as a core Party slogan. Parallel constitutional amendments followed two years later. Legal reform even emerged as a subject in China’s foreign relations, with U.S. and Chinese diplomats agreeing to initiate cooperative exchanges on legal reform.

Naturally, Chinese leaders aimed to advance their own interests through these reforms. Ideologically, they wanted an alternative source of legitimacy to Maoist revolutionary principles on which to ground their rule. Practically, they desired new mechanisms to help resolve the mounting social conflicts created by rapid economic development and urbanization. Law, litigation, and courts seemed to be the solution. Administratively, central leaders sought new ways to monitor their local officials and better respond to pervasive principal-agent problems within the bureaucracy. They also wanted to gather better information on domestic problems facing China. Allowing citizens a limited ability to challenge local officials through court channels, or to offer opinions through legislative ones, promised to help address these concerns.

As Andrew Nathan noted in 2003, these reforms helped to strengthen the internal stability of the Chinese state.2

They institutionalized CCP rule. They channeled popular discontent (regarding violations of citizens’ rights or official abuses of power) into institutions within the existing political system, rather than radical underground organizations seeking to overturn the party-state. Legal reforms also played an important role in foreign policy. Rule-of-law discussions with foreign governments, for example, provided a politically more acceptable forum for discussing human rights in advance of China’s 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization.

Central reforms emboldened bureaucrats farther down the ladder to push institutional change forward under the rule-of-law banner. By the late 1990s, Chinese legal academia was abuzz with discussions of constitutionalism and constitutional supremacy (xianfa zhishang). In 2001, the Supreme People’s Court (China’s highest judicial body) took the groundbreaking step of authorizing a provincial court to actually apply the (otherwise nonjusticiable) Chinese constitution in an individual case. Some local courts began to push the boundaries of their authority, independently proclaiming the invalidity of local rules and regulations that contradicted national law.3

Citizens used the new channels to protect their own interests. Civil and administrative cases multiplied. Farmers employed central authorities’ rule-of-law rhetoric to challenge illegal local exactions and land seizures. By the early 2000s, a cadre of public-interest lawyers and legal activists (such as Chen Guangcheng) had emerged. They fused public-interest lawsuits and savvy media strategies to push for deeper reform, with some resounding successes. In 2003, after a migrant named Sun Zhigangdied at the hands of city authorities in Guangzhou (Canton), three legal academics mounted a petition to the national legislature challenging the legality and constitutionality of the extrajudicial administrative system used to detain him. At the same time, extensive media coverage generated a public uproar regarding official abuses in Sun’s case and similar ones. Remarkably, central authorities yielded—annulling the entire detention system nationwide.4

The Counterreaction

Despite the hopeful signs visible nearly a decade ago, officials have turned against their earlier reforms. Some concerns are practical. Late twentieth-century reforms were designed to steer civil and commercial disputes into trials before local courts. But rural China has limited legal resources. Trained judges and licensed lawyers are in short supply. Courts remain institutionally weak and commonly find it hard to enforce their verdicts. As China entered the twenty-first century, such problems led to violent showdowns between local courts and aggrieved citizens seeking justice, as well as surging numbers of extralegal petitions and protests to higher authorities regarding lower-court decisions.

Other concerns are explicitly political. State media have cautioned that “judicial concepts . . . not in accordance with [Chinese] national sentiment have ‘blown into the East from the West.’”5 Party authorities have warned that some judges have falsely used concepts such as “the supremacy of the law” as an excuse to avoid or oppose CCP leadership in judging cases.6

This has generated a backlash. Since the early 2000s, Chinese authorities have shifted citizen disputes away from court trials that are decided according to law. Judges face new pressures to resolve cases through closed-door mediation. Community mediation institutions dating from the era of Chairman Mao Zedong (d. 1976) have been dusted off and revived. New extralegal Party-led “coordination sessions” have been created, under the rubric of mediation, to handle those cases that officials fear are most likely to generate social protest.

In some areas, these efforts have permitted meaningful local experiments that may respond better to rural needs than the formal legal channels emphasized during the late twentieth century. In others, they have become convenient rationales for local authorities to abandon legal norms entirely as they seek to shore up social stability at all costs, whether by suppressing the legitimate grievances of individual petitioners or by caving in to mass complaints with no legal basis, but backed by many angry citizens.

Party authorities have also attempted to rein in politically wayward judges. In 2006, CCP officials launched new campaigns within the court system stressing loyalty to the Party and cautioning against Western rule-of-law norms. In 2008, central authorities installed a CCP functionary with no formal legal experience as head of the Supreme People’s Court. There followed the so-called Three Supremes (sange zhishang) campaign—an effort to remind judges that CCP policies and “the people’s will” are equal to (or above) the constitution. Lest anyone miss the message, both law school curricula and the national bar examination were amended to include the content of these campaigns as mandatory subjects.

Lawyers have come under increased pressure. Party campaigns have labeled them “socialist legal workers” and pressed for creation of CCP cells within law firms. Loyalty oaths to the Party are now required to obtain a license to practice law. Authorities have escalated harassment and abuse of well-known public-interest lawyers and legal activists by shuttering the organizations of some and subjecting others to imprisonment, house arrest, and periodic disappearance or torture.

In short, CCP leaders are trying to neuter the very rule-of-law pressures that they themselves unleashed in the late twentieth century. They have sought to close down rhetoric (constitutionalism), channels (court trials), and social forces (lawyers) that activists had used to mobilize for greater change. And they have reasserted control over state actors (judges and courts) who might have been tempted to forget the realities of Communist Party control.

Where such concerns are absent, reforms have continued. In the area of criminal justice, for instance, Chinese authorities have developed noncustodial pilot programs for juvenile offenders. The 2012 Criminal Procedure Law creates additional protections for juveniles facing interrogation and trial. With regard to death-penalty cases, Chinese judicial authorities have made efforts to increase transparency and improve judicial review. As a result, foreign experts estimate that the number of executions in China has dropped by roughly half since 2007, to about four thousand in 2011.7

Tough central policies have generated a range of perverse effects. Ironically, they have heightened social unrest. Many citizens with environmental or land grievances against local authorities have concluded that the best chance for obtaining redress does not lie within state legal institutions that have been gradually undermined. Instead, they are increasingly resorting to direct (and sometimes violent) collective street actions, seeking to force central officials to intervene and local authorities to cave in. In response, central authorities have greatly increased the funding and influence of domestic-security organs. This has permitted some local governments to devolve into quasi-feudal satrapies in which officials use massive funds (and the politically correct justification of “maintaining social stability”) to suppress legitimate citizen complaints, hide their own misdeeds, and enrich themselves through corruption.

Reform on the Rebound or Descent to Disorder?

The fall of rising Party star Bo Xilai in the first half of 2012 dramatically drew attention to these problems. Central leaders voiced concern about the ability of one of their own to amass huge, unchecked personal power and to challenge the low-key collective leadership norms that had prevailed since the beginning of the reform period two decades ago. Liberal scholars and officials used the Bo affair to criticize the CCP’s turn against legal reform since the early 2000s.

Over the past year, indications have emerged that the counterreaction against legal reform may have now generated a backlash of its own. Central authorities have moved to downgrade the power of the CCP political-legal apparatus. The new CCP general secretary, Xi Jinping, has begun to revive language regarding law and legal reform that had gone into eclipse in recent years. Top Party leaders have issued new calls for applying rule-of-law principles to the task of upholding social stability. A new State Council white paper suggests that recent political campaigns in the judiciary may be wound down.

If implemented, such changes might represent a tipping point in Chinese legal reform. Central authorities may have recognized that if China is to solve its pressing problems, it will need meaningful institutions that can place independent checks on official power and provide bottom-up channelsfor citizen participation.

China today might be on the verge of a complex transition that parallels developments in South Korea and Taiwan during the 1970s and 1980s. In both cases, authoritarian powerholders pursued gradual political reform, opened the institutions of government to increasing levels of external civic pressure, and slowly but successfully shifted to more liberal systems of government. Today, both countries belong securely in the ranks of the world’s developed democracies.

But it remains uncertain that China will steer such a hopeful course. The CCP’s ruling elite could end up rejecting reform rather than embracing it. If so, China in the twenty-first century might resemble nineteenth-century Russia more than twentieth-century South Korea or Taiwan.

Like China today, late nineteenth-century Czarist Russia enjoyed decades of economic growth at rates that outpaced those of the United States and European nations, notwithstanding a bureaucratic-authoritarian political system that foreign observers saw as badly outdated. As the century drew to a close, speculation ran rampant as to when Russia might surpass Western powers in economic and military might.

Russia also found itself in the throes of massive domestic change. Military humiliation at the hands of Western powers in the first international war of the industrial age (the Crimean War of 1853–56) had exposed Russia’s technological inferiority. As a result, the Russian imperial state initiated extensive economic and social reforms. Serfdom was abolished and peasants received more rights. Industrialization reworked the fabric of Russian life, bringing a tide of rural migrants to urban factories. Worker protests over conditions and pay began to erupt with increasing frequency. The new social media of the era—printed periodicals—permitted an educated elite to rapidly disseminate ideas throughout the country, often resorting to allusions or coded language to avoid imperial censors.

Czarist authorities launched sweeping legal reforms as well. They imported foreign legal institutions including models of legal education; a professional bar; Western-style courts and juries; and civil, commer- cial, and criminal codes. Excitement was palpable. “The slogans in the air in the 1860s were due process, open court proceedings, trial by jury, and irremovable judges.”8Officials even established local representa- tive assemblies with limited powers of self-government.

Citizens took eagerly to these new channels. Reformers sought to use local assemblies to gradually push the imperial regime in a more liberal direction. Radical activists took advantage of legal novelties such as open court proceedings and independent judges in order to turn trials into platforms calling for greater political change. In 1878, a young anarchist named Vera Zasulich became an instant media sensation when, after her arrest for trying to assassinate an imperial governor, the trial judge resisted government efforts to tamper with the case; her lawyer managed to turn the public proceedings into an indictment of police brutality; a jury of sympathetic citizens returned a verdict of “not guilty”; and crowds erupted into public demonstrations upon her release.

Such developments caused serious worry among political elites. As in China today, rule-of-law institutions came under increasing suspicion from an authoritarian regime dead set against fundamental political reform—particularly after anarchists assassinated the reformist Czar Alexander II in 1881. Under his successor, Russian authorities launched a two-decade–long rollback of liberal policies. They curtailed public trials, limited the rights of juries, asserted control over bar associations, removed political trials from the regular court system, and drastically reduced the powers of local assemblies.

Beginning in the late 1870s, imperial authorities also built up an extensive police state (one might call it “social-stability maintenance with Russian characteristics”). They increasingly took responsibility for upholding law and order out of the hands of judges and gave it to the police, including the Okhrana (the Czarist secret service). Agents of the latter enjoyed dramatically expanded powers that allowed them to detain and internally exile anyone even suspected of political crimes.

Of course, these measures did not succeed in stamping out all dissent. The existence of private property meant that there were limits on imperial power. Wealthy patrons continued to employ reformist intellectuals, despite state efforts to isolate them. Dissident authors continued to find markets for their works, notwithstanding state efforts to censor them.

The key result of Czarist counterreform in the late nineteenth century was to radicalize society. The imperial turn against law convinced moderates that gradual reform of the regime was impossible. Decades of indiscriminate state repression pushed together liberal constitutionalists, anarchist terrorists, religious nationalists, radical socialists, and ordinary citizens outraged by violations of their rights. And it drove all of them to adopt ever more extreme political positions.

Further, as imperial rule entered its waning years, hard-line policies helped to prevent the emergence of any organized and institutionalized political opposition. Like China today, imperial Russia had no Taiwanese dangwai (outside the party) movement, no South Korean opposition political parties, no Polish Solidarity trade union. It crushed any effort to organize these. This produced a surface veneer of political stability. But it also ensured that no coherent force existed to step into the void and pick up the power lying in the streets once the Czarist state finally crumbled. Instead, there was only a chaotic assortment of military strongmen, popular mobs, radicalized intellectuals, and—detraining ominously at the Finland Station—committed underground revolutionaries hardened by decades of repression.

Of course, China is not there . . . yet. Despite increasing domestic unrest, slowing economic growth, and rising tensions with neighbors, central leaders retain a firm grip on the levers of power. And despite the recent official turn against legal reforms, most activists still hope for (and seek) gradual reform of the Chinese state. They do not desire a radical upheaval that would shatter it. They want a soft rather than a hard landing.

But the risk of a hard landing is real. Pressures are building. Open legal and political channels are needed to funnel them in the direction of gradual change. If China does not build these now, it will not simply tip into transition, but rather plummet into cataclysm.

NOTES


  1. Some content and language are adapted from Carl Minzner, “China’s Turn Against Law,” American Journal of Comparative Law 59 (Fall 2011): 935–84.
  2. Andrew J. Nathan, “China’s Changing of the Guard: Authoritarian Resilience,”Journal of Democracy 14 (January 2003): 13–15.
  3. Keith J. Hand, “Understanding China’s System for Addressing Legislative Conflicts,” Columbia Journal of Asian Law (forthcoming 2013).
  4. Keith J. Hand, “Using Law for a Righteous Purpose: The Sun Zhigang Incident and Evolving Forms of Citizen Action in the People’s Republic of China,” Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 45, no. 1 (2006): 127–31.
  5. Wei Lihua and Jiang Xu, “Sifa shenpan zhong de renmin qinghuai yu qunzhong luxian” [Popular sentiment and the mass line in judicial trial work], China Court Web, 22 June 2011, available in Chinese only at www.chinacourt.org/html/article/201106/22/455318.shtml.
  6. Minzner, “China’s Turn Against Law,” 947.
  7. “Dui Hua Estimates 4,000 Executions in China, Welcomes Open Dialogue,” Dui Hua Website, 12 December 2011, available at http://duihua.org/wp/?page_id=3874.
  8. Richard Pipes, Russia Under the Old Regime (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1974), 295.154855232

http://tibet.net/2013/07/11/china-at-the-tipping-point/

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 78th Birthday Celebration!

imagesThe Tibetan American community in Vermont celebrates the 78th Birthday Anniversary of the Noble laureate His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on July 6th Saturday at the Faith United Methodist Church on 899 Dorset Street in South Burlington from 3 pm. At 10 am the same day, the community will gather at Oakledge Park for Sangsol (Incense Offering). Please join us to share this happy moment. Best Wishes!

 

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Syikyong’s talk at Education Advisory Committee Meeting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LKTsQw2mBY

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Thank You

966252_10200952499641942_2107071418_o IMG_0276 IMG_1529The Tibetan Association of Vermont who co-hosted the Global Burlington International Dinners Series would like to express deep appreciation and thank all those who participated and volunteered for this event.

 

 

 

 

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CTA rejects false claims made by legislators from Tibet Autonomous Region in U.S.

CTA rejects false claims made by legislators from Tibet Autonomous Region in U.S.


June 21, 2013 7:08 pm

Press Release

21 June 2013

The Central Tibetan Administration strongly rejects the false claims made by the delegation of China’s National People’s Congress of the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region on the issue of Tibet during its visit to the U.S. this week. Ironically, this visit takes place shortly after that of Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay of the CTA.

The delegation, led by chairman Padma Choling, met with Congressman Charles Boustany, co-chair of the bipartisan U.S.-China Working Group in the House of Representatives, congressional researchers and staff, and experts of the Brookings Institute, a U.S. think-tank, China’s state media reported.

The unfounded allegations made by the delegation that the Central Tibetan Administration is behind the cycle of self-immolations in Tibet are unlikely to provide convincing evidence to change the U.S. authorities’ position on Tibet. The U.S. government and Congress have unequivocally stated that they deplore the Chinese government’s repressive policies targeting Tibetans and have repeatedly called on the Chinese government to suspend its counter-productive policies implemented in Tibet, and resume dialogue with representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to resolve the problem of Tibet.

“Despite repeated appeals by the international community, China has been steadfast in its refusal to open up Tibet to independent fact-finding delegations and the international media to investigate the true causes behind the self-immolations. Sending a group of individuals to disseminate Chinese State propaganda will prove a futile exercise in foreign countries where freedom of speech and respect for human rights are fundamental values,” said Kalon Dicki Chhoyang of the Department of Information & International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration. The latter has repeatedly urged Tibetans not to resort to drastic forms of protests, including self-immolation.

 

Media contact:

Mr Tsering Wangchuk, Press Officer, +91 86792 08465

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966252_10200952499641942_2107071418_o

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Green Book (Chatrel)

 

Chatrel Background

The governing members of the Tibetan Freedom Movement convened its preliminary General Assembly in Dharamsala on July 30, 1972. One of the landmark decision was the tabling and passage of  a resolution pertaining to the procedures for payment of Chatrel,  a monthly voluntary contribution to the Central Tibetan Administration by all Tibetans. 

It was resolved during the meeting that to look after the present and future welfare of Tibetan people, a firm and stable government was a must and that this would only be possible if a regular source of finance could be arranged. Therefore, meeting delegates resolved that beginning from August 1, 1972 every Tibetan above the age of six would be required to make annual contributions in the form of Chatrel as per rate stipulated.Those who are employed is required to pay additional chatrel based on a certain percentage of monthly salary.  Meeting delegates also viewed the payment of annual Chatrel as signifying the recognition of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) as the legitimate representative of all Tibetans.

On the basis of the resolution passed in the July 30, 1972 meeting of the Tibetan Freedom Movement, the 11th Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputy formally adopted a law on the Chatrel in its April 1, 1992 meeting. The payment of Chatrel is a responsibility of all Tibetans as enshrined in article 13 of the Charter of the Tibetans in exile.

Green Book

Tibetans contributing Chatrel are issued a Green Book. This book has over the years in effect become the passport of the exiled Tibetans to claim their rights from the CTA. Also in future it will become a base to claim Tibetan citizenship. Today, it is used for school admission, school or university scholarship, and employment within the exiled community. Payment of the voluntary contribution is a condition to gain voting rights in parliamentary elections.

Goals and Needs:

The existence of Chatrel symbolizes the Tibetan people’s recognition of CTA as their legitimate representative. Chatrel payment exhibits Tibetan people’s support for CTA’s financial needs until Tibet regains freedom. Chatrel funds is an important source of revenue for CTA and it goes towards supporting various projects and activities benefiting the exiled Tibetan community.

Chatrel Rates

Residents of India, Nepal and Bhutan

Age Rates (Annually)
6 to 14 years IRS 12
15 to 17 years IRS 48
18 and above IRS 58

All other Residents

Age Rates (Annually)
6 to 17 years US$36
Students and Unemployed US$46
18 plus and employed US$96

Downloads:

Forms Important Documents
GB Application Main Guidelines (Nov. 5, 2008)
GB Correction Guidelines for Issuing New GB (Jun 15, 2007)
GB Lost Guidelines for non-Tibetan spouses (Aug. 17, 2005)
What if you have lost your GB? (Dec. 23, 2010)
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Be a Friend of Tibet. Get Your Blue Book Today!

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The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)  intends to resolve the issue of Tibet and preserve the Tibetan culture and its unique Buddhist traditions on the basis of the Middle Way Policy initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet. Many individuals have shown solidarity and voluntarily contributed towards the Tibetan cause which has greatly benefited the just cause of Tibet and in sustaining the Tibetan refugee community in exile.

Tibetan Solidarity Partnership (aka Blue Book) project is patterned after the Tibetan Freedom Movement’s Green Book to record the generous contributions of many individuals to resolve the issue of Tibet. It was introduced in year 1996 with an aim of garnering support and solidarity for the just cause of Tibet from people of all walks of life.

We need your continual support for the Tibetan cause and you can voluntarily join this solidarity alliance as mark of your support.

A Blue Book is issued to every member wishing to contribute to this project to symbolize their solidarity. Hence it is called Blue Book project.  Your generosity will be recorded across time by placing colorful stamps bearing the picture of different ancient Tibetan heritage affixed on the book to the value of your donation.

All proceeds from the contribution will be used towards supporting various CTA projects related to education of Tibetan children, revitalizing Tibetan refugee settlements, providing healthcare and other socio-welfare services.

For more information, please contact: bluebook[at]tibet.net

Download:

Blue Book Application (PDF)

Related Link:

Blue Book: Frequently Asked Questions

Offices of Tibet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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