Tibet Insight No: 06/13

                                                                                               

                              TIBET INSIGHT

DEVELOPMENT

World’s Highest 10-MW PV Power Station Completed in Tibet

Xinhua News, November 22, 2013

Construction of Ngari Photovoltaic (PV) Power Station, the world's highest 10-MW PV power station, is completed. The PV power station in TAR is a joint investment between the Central Government and Guodian Longyuan Tibet New Energy Co., Ltd., with a total installed capacity of 10 MW and an expected working life of 25 years.

Just 3 kilometers away from the center of Shiquanhe Township, seat of Ngari Prefecture, at 4,270 meters above sea level with an area of 357 mu (23.8 hectares), construction began on the site on July 1, 2012.

Gyirong Port in Tibet to Open in 2014

CCTV English, November 27, 2013

The Gyirong Port, Shigatse Prefecture is expected to open in 2014. The Gyirong Port is one of the largest land trading port with Nepal in Tibet history. Both the highway to the Gyirong County and the Shala Highway in Nepal with financial support from China have been completed, and a power station has put into trial operation on October 5 as well. The power supply network project with an investment of 130 million yuan will be completed at the end of August, 2014, according to a local staff. 

He also pointed out that the highway linking Gyirong County with Rasog Village, Gyantse County, Shigatse with an investment of 399 million yuan and the Rasog highway bridge project investing 13 million yuan will be completed by the end of the year. Besides, another 6 projects including the sewage treatment plant with an investment of 71.46 million yuan will put into construction within the year.

Tibet's 1st Extra-dosed Bridge Opened to Traffic

The first extra-dosed bridge in Southwest TAR opened on 27th November. The 1.28 km-long Ngaqen Bridge above the Lhasa River in the eastern suburbs of Lhasa has six lanes and a 33-meter wide roadbed, and is designed to accommodate vehicles at speeds of 60 km per hour.

Construction began on the bridge in March 2011. It cost about 370 million yuan (US $60.3 million). It links a national highway and is expected to ease the pressure of traffic to downtown Lhasa. An extradosed bridge employs a design that is a hybrid between a girder bridge and a cable-stayed bridge.

18,000 Tibetan Nomads to Relocate in Urban Areas

Tibet Daily, November 28, 2013

According to news reported by Tibet Daily, eighteen thousand Tibetan nomads in six regions in (Tib-Tso Ngon) in Qinghai Province will be relocated to urban areas. Lack of development, medical facilities, and poor living conditions were given as the reasons for the resettlement.  A total of more than 17.92 Tibetan nomads in Qinghai Province are relocated.  Local Chief Li Zhi Chang administered this project.

 

POLITICAL

Tibet: Tibetans Destroy Flagpole Stands

Dossier Tibet, November 14, 2013

Tibetans have destroyed flagpole stands erected to hoist Chinese flags as part of a growing campaign opposing forced displays of loyalty to the Chinese state. The Chinese authorities had set up the flag stands in newly built community halls in several villages in Kardze County but the Tibetans have repeatedly demolished them. In some villages in Tunggo Township, the flag stands were demolished two or three times after Chinese government personnel came and rebuilt them to press a campaign of forced displays of loyalty to the Chinese state and the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

The local villages were forced to watch over the flags stands and sign documents assuring the safety of the structures.

Deng Xiaogang Meets Ho Chong Yuan of Tibetan People’s Daily in Lhasa

Xizang Government, November 18, 2013

On 14th November, Deng Xiaogang, Secretary of Political and legal Committee of TAR met Lhasa People’s Daily Vice President Ho Chong Yuan. Deng Xiaogang thanked Dr. Chong and also on behalf of TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo for the support of Tibetan People’s daily for inspecting and guiding the work of Tibet.

He pointed out that the Tibetan People's Daily has always attached great importance to the work, give full play to the guiding role of the media organ of the CPC Central Committee on political, economic and social development of Tibet and for giving comprehensive and accurate media coverage. He Chong Yuan thanked Deng Xiaogang for the support and said the People's Daily will adhere to the correct guidance of public opinion; continue to strengthen all areas of Tibet, media coverage, and development of the masses of all ethnic groups in Tibet.

Spanish Court Seeks Arrest of Former Chinese Leaders in Tibet Case

VOA Tibetan, November 20, 2013

Spain's National Court has issued arrest warrants for former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and the former Prime Minister Li Peng, former Security Chief Qiao Shi, former Communist Party official Chen Kuiyan and former Family Planning Minister Pen Pelyun on suspicion of involvement in alleged genocide in Tibet.

The Tibet Support Committee filed suit against the former Chinese leaders in Spain because the European country enables its courts to prosecute alleged war crimes and genocide committed anywhere, provided the victims include Spanish citizens. One of the co-plaintiffs is a Tibetan Buddhist monk with Spanish citizenship, Thubten Wangchen.

The former president served as Communist Party Chief of the Tibetan Autonomous Region from 1988 to 1992 and later as Chinese head of state from 2003 to 2013. The region has been under the control of the Chinese Communist government in Beijing since 1950. If the report is true, Hong Lei, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman said China expresses "strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition" to the Tibetan support groups in Spain for "repeatedly manipulating the issue".

Chinese Government Cyber spies Increase Surveillance on Minorities

South China Morning Post, November 20, 2013

Beijing has boosted their cyberspying capability by developing technology that can track communications in the languages of ethnic groups. The sophisticated new system will allow the monitoring of voice calls, text sent via the internet and even communications embedded in images or graphics to alert them to possible social unrest.

The system is aimed at local authorities in areas such as Xinjiang and Tibet, where security officials do not know the local language. Ding Xiaoqing, a professor at Tsinghua University's Centre for Intelligent Image and Document Information Processing, and the leader of the team behind the new application, said most government officials in ethnic regions are Han Chinese who cannot read or speak the local language. "New forms of technological surveillance are certainly a matter of concern - sharing information by electronic means has already led to significant jail sentences - and we will be monitoring developments closely." But rights groups warn that the technology could lead to the further suppression of minorities.

Chen Quanguo Held the Regional Party Committee

Xizang Government, November 20, 2013

TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo held a meeting in Lhasa on November 19 on the report of the TAR’s second batch of village work. The second phase of work in villages was carried out last December to study, publicize and implement Party’s mass-line. Chen Quanguo said that the second phase had seen successful and stressed the need to improve the quality of the third phase.

Chinese Court in Tibet Jails a Buddhist Monk on Separatism Charge

The Tibet Post, November 21, 2013

On October 29, an Intermediate People's Court in Ngaba County (Chinese: Aba, China's Sichuan Province), Amdo region of North-Eastern Tibet has sentenced Shal-ngo Hortsang Tamdrin, a Tibetan monk to four years and six months in jail and deprived of his political rights for two years for his alleged role in leading traditional funeral prayers in Zamthang for the self-immolator and allegedly praising the uniting among the Tibetans in the traditional provinces of Tibet and accused of spread the message about Tibetan independence to split the nation.

Security Tightened in Pema County Following Tibetan Burning Protest

RFA, November 22, 2013

Chinese authorities have tightened security measures in a Pema County, Qinghai province in the wake of the latest self-immolation protest by a Tibetan challenging Beijing’s rule, a local resident says. Tsering Gyal, a 20-year-old Buddhist monk, set himself ablaze on 11 November in Pema County in the Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

Now, armed police are stopping and searching Tibetan-operated vehicles on major roads leading to and from the county. Groups of 15 Chinese armed paramilitary police are stationed at every turn of the road in the county, and are thoroughly searching Tibetan travellers. Internet service to the area has now been disconnected and local Tibetans are being restricted in their movements, with some searched at gunpoint.

Seven Tibetans Held in Crackdown over Self-Immolation Protest

RFA, November 24, 2013

Chinese authorities have detained seven Tibetans, including three monks, as they stepped up a security crackdown following the latest self-immolation protest against Beijing's rule in a Pema County, Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

The seven were accused of being involved in the November 11 self-immolation death of Tsering Gyal. Three of those detained were from Akyong monastery, where Gyal burned himself calling for freedom for Tibetans and an end to Chinese rule.

Chinese authorities have also prevented Tibetans from visiting Gyal’s family to offer their condolences. His home has come under constant government monitoring and the movements of his family members are being closely watched.

Monk in Very Critical Condition, Tibetans Call for World’s Help

The Tibet Post International, November 26, 2013

Tibetans in exile on 25th November, appealed International community and Tibet Support Groups to urge and pressure China to release the imprisoned Buddhist leader, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, who is serving a life sentence.

25th November marks eleven years, since Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Chinese Government. Commemorating his 64th Birthday, Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan-Parliament-in-Exile Khenpo Sonam Tenphel released a thirty-minute long documentary film on Rinpoche, "Fearless Times of Tulku Tenzin Delek Rinpoche”. Rinpoche is currently serving his life sentence in Chuandong Prison in Dazhu County. The religious leader was charged with false allegation, accusing him of exploding bomb and splitting the nation.

He is also widely known for working to develop social, medical, educational and religious institutions for Tibetan nomads in eastern Tibet, as an advocate for environmental conservation in the face of indiscriminate logging and mining projects, and as a mediator between Tibetans and Chinese.

Nine Tibetans Arrested in Palyul

The Tibet Post, November 29, 2013

Eight Tibetans including six monks have been detained by Chinese authorities in Palyul County of Chamdo Province on 22nd November. The Tibetans were detained by Chinese authorities who had been tipped off about a protest that the Tibetans had planned to carry out the next day. Two local officials had stolen a truck full of sacred stones from a pilgrimage site at the Khangmar Nyingma monastery. A chunk of the stolen stones have reportedly been sold in China and the rest were seen outside a construction site managed by the County administration. The Tibetans had decided to stage a protest on 23 November but were arrested before the protest. Several appeals from the local Tibetans to the County administration to return the stolen stones to their rightful owners were ignored.

The monastery has been put under constant surveillance with additional Chinese security forces patrolling the streets of Terlung. Strict monitoring of all communication facilities has made it difficult to acquire further information.

More Arrests in Driru County

Dossier Tibet, December 2, 2013

Lobsang Choeying and Kunchok Choephel of Ngayang village, Tsachu Township, were arrested on November 23 at Driru County. Lobsang is charged with involvement in the protests against government in front of a school in September, and Kunchok is accused of sending information about the recent protests in Driru to outside "separatist forces".

TAR Party Standing Committee Held Meeting on Religious Work

Xizang Government, December 02, 2013

On 29th November, TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo held a meeting on monastery management in Tibet. The meeting discussed on the “region’s harmonious temple-cum-patriotic and law abiding monks and nuns in recognition of the work of advanced reporting, research, deployment and strengthen the region’s religious and temple management”. It called for “temple harmony”, “social stability” and promotion of Tibetan Buddhism and “adapt to socialist society”.

[Comments: Monastery management in Tibet has been increased by the Chinese government mainly because the most people who protested against Chinese’s government’s policies are monks and nuns.]

 

RELIGION-CULTURE

Lithang Monastery’s Prayer Hall Got in Fire

The New York Times, November 18, 2013

The Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling monastery in Lithang County in the Kardze Prefecture of Sichuan Province has caught a fire which caused massive damage to the main prayer hall on 16th November. The main prayer hall was burn to the ground in a fire set off by a short circuit in an electrical appliance, according to Xinhua, the state-run news agency.

The monastery was founded during the era of the third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso in 1580, 16th Century. In 1956 the monastery came under siege and was largely destroyed by China’s PLA. The monastery also suffered extensive damage at the hands of China’s Red Guards during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, a social-political movement that targeted historical relics and artefacts as well as cultural and religious sites for destruction.







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