Tibet Insight No: 07/13

                                                      

                                           TIBET INSIGHT

MILITARY

Behind China’s Cyber Curtain: Government Shut Down the Internet at Aba County

New Republic, December 05, 2013

Christopher Beam, a staff writer of The New Republic visited Aba County in Northern Sichuan. He found that the internet has been turned off by the Chinese government at Aba County but that internet access was available at government offices.

Aba was first stripped of its connection in 2008, after riots in Tibet led to unrest in this place. Both mobile phone signals and the web have been erratic ever since, with the web being accessible only intermittently For example, the internet was accessible last December and January and then, according to residents, disappeared again in February.

China’s Central Propaganda Department Censorship Instructions on Mandela’s Passing

China Digital Times, December 09, 2013

China’s Central Propaganda Department issued instructions on December 5, 2013 to the Chinese media on reporting news related to the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, directed them to “not emphasize Mandela’s opinions on issues of human rights and democracy…Do not touch upon content related to Mandela’s association with the Dalai Lama or relationship with Taiwan”.

Dalai Lama was not able to attend Mandela’s December 15 memorial service in South Africa. He was denied a South African entry visa in 2009 and 2011. China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao attended Mandela’s memorial but the activity in China’s cyberspace was interesting.

While Chinese dissidents honored Nelson Mandela and saw a parallel between the Nobel laureate/former political prisoner and Liu Xiaobo, China’s official media drew parallels between Mao Zedong. It praised South Africa’s establishment of diplomatic relations with the PRC during Mandela’s presidency. Various comments and more ‘nationalistic’ Chinese nitizens said Mao Zedong was a greater figure than Mandela and had not received appropriate international recognition.

New Commander Takes Control of PLA’s Elite 13th Group Army

South China Morning Post, December 04, 2013

Major General Wang Kai has been promoted to the rank of Commander of the elite 13th Group Army of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Wang was previously Chief of Staff for the PLA’s 14th Group Army. 50-year-old Wang Kai was awarded the title ‘National Model’ for his work in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

The 13th Group Army operates under the Chengdu Military Command, with its headquarters in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing. Dubbed the ‘Tiger in the Mountains’, the 13th Group Army is a ‘Category A’ unit that specialises in fighting in diverse terrains like mountains, highlands and tropical jungles, according to the officials locals. Most of its troops are believed to be located in Yunnan province as its major tasks include ensuring the stability of Tibet and guarding China’s borders with India and Vietnam. It has taken part in the crackdown on riots in Tibet and skirmishes on the Sino-Indian border.

 

DEVELOPMENT

Total Road Mileage Nearly Doubles in Tibet

Tibet China Online, December 10, 2013

The total road mileage in Tibet doubled from 35,583 kilometers to 65,176 kilometers from 2002 to 2012. The total mileage of new and renovated road in Tibet reached 39,157 kilometers during this period. Transportation in Tibet developed quickly in the recent decade with a hefty investment of 53 billion yuan (US $8 billion), among which 10 billion yuan was invested in 2012, the largest amount of its kind, said Tashi Gyatso, head of the Tibet Transportation Department. “Besides the increase of total mileage, the grades also get higher,” he added.

 

Tibet’s Three Gorges Dam Starts Generating Electricity

National News Channel of Malaysia, December 11, 2013

Pondo Water Control Project, the largest water control project in Lhunzhub County, Lhasa Prefecture of TAR, began generating electricity on 10 December. The project administration bureau's deputy head Tang Quanyong said its first generating unit with an annual electricity generation capacity of 150 million kilowatt hours was put into operation. Xinhua news agency reports the other three generating units are expected to start operations in June 2014.

 

POLITICAL

China Arrests Monk for Tibetan Flag in Mobile Phone

Tibetan Review, December 07, 2013

The Oslo based Voice of Tibet Radio broadcast service news on December 5 that Chinese police in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, arrested a young Tibetan monk on November 29 after they found an image of the Tibetan national flag in his mobile phone. The discovery was made during a routine search of Tibetans by the Chinese police. The monk, named Migmar is in his 20s, belongs to the Choede Monastery in Shelkar Township of Dhingri County in Shigatse Prefecture, TAR. He was visiting Lhasa with two fellow monks who had already returned home when the incident took place.

Tibetan Herdsman Dies Following Self-Immolation - Toll Now 124

Canadian Tibet Committee, December 09, 2013

A Tibetan herdsman, who self-immolated in protest against Chinese rule at the town center in Meruma town in Aba Prefecture, Sichuan province, has died and his remains have been secretly cremated by the authorities, an ex-Tibetan political prisoner living in exile in India said on December 5th. Konchok Tseten, a 30 year old father of two, died on the way to a hospital after police took him away on December 3.

China Clamps Down Harder on Tibetan Writers and Singers

The Epoch times, December 12, 2013

Police recently detained two popular Tibetan singers Trinley Tsekar and Gonpo Tenzin as part of a continuing intensified conclusion of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against “splittist” activities. They are detained in late November as a part of President Xi Jinping’s “mass line” campaign of repression and surveillance. Several other Tibetan writers and musicians including Tobden, 30 years old, a nomad and writer was also arrested on October 28, sentenced to a five-year term on November 30.

Trinley Tsekar and Gonpo Tenzin are from Driru (Biru) County, where the CCP has been implementing a highly unpopular campaign to force Tibetans to display loyalty to China and fly the Chinese flag from their rooftops. The singers had released and distributed DVDs with lyrics on Tibetan culture, literature and language, and the pain of the Tibetan people under Chinese rule according to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).

Housing Project Eases Tibetans' Life, Posing No Harm to Culture

Vtibet, December 3 2013

The Changtang pastureland of north Tibet's Naqgu (Tib-Nachu) Prefecture have built 36,000 new houses by September 36,000. This house project is 69 percent of the entire housing project initiated by China's central government for the Tibet Autonomous Region in 2006, according to Tibet Daily.

 The White Paper on Development and Progress of Tibet published by the Information Office of China's State Council on October 22, indicated that all farmers and herdsmen are expected to move into safe and comfortable houses by 2013.

 Sonam Phuntsog, Party Secretary of Dongkar Township of Nang County said that Zhuo Village used to be frequently affected by landslides as it is on the mountain but the government’s housing policy had relocated the village to a safer site.

Chen Mo, researcher of the China Tibetology Research Center who conducted a field investigation in Tibet from June to September this year, said that the project has given the local Tibetans “cleaner and bigger houses and more privacy.”

Talking to Federica Bianchi, an Italian reporter ofl'Espressoon October 22, 2013?Zhu Weiqun, Director of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the Chinese Peoples' Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) dismissed any criticism of the government’s housing project as “absurd”. He stressed it as a progress for people to move from nomadic areas to agricultural settlements, and then to modern industrial cities. Zhu Weiqun told also the Italian reporter that “the farmers and herders are desperate to improve their living conditions” and that any unhappiness with their new houses is normal and temporary.

China Expands Mass Re-education Campaign in Restive Tibetan Area

VOA, December 13, 2013

Tibetan exiles say that the Chinese authorities have expanded a ‘re-education campaign’ in the restive county of Driru by locking down at least three monasteries and calling back locals who were studying outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). A letter from the area, received by exiled Tibetans who have been observing the situation, says a mass "mental re-education" campaign is being extended in Driru County which has been the site of recent unrest.

Voice of America (VOA) stated that Chinese authorities have targeted three monasteries in the area and at least 11 monks have been detained. Samdup, a Tibetan from Driru who lives in Belgium, told VOA's Tibetan service that about 1,000 people from Driru been detained since September.

“They are concerned that if Driru is not stabilized first, it could destabilize the entire Tibetan Autonomous Region.” In August, the government in the Tibetan Autonomous Region launched a special patriotic campaign in Driru. The following month, villagers were ordered to fly Chinese national flags from their rooftops. But people in at least two villages reportedly dumped the flags into a river.

Vice-Chairman Dorje Tsedup Inspection to Lhasa Bakhor Market

Voice of Tibet, Tibetan, December 11, 2013

TAR Regional Vice-Chairman Dorjee Tsedup along with some officials of Department of Commerce and Industry inspected markets in and around Lhasa Bakhor as the three festivals, i.e Tibetan New Year, Spring Festival of China and International Yew Year approaches. He visited the Barkhor malls to check orderly management and adequate supply of goods. He also went to Lhasa Hidenobu as the Ren Xin (Niangre Road) Market.  He conveyed TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo’s message to shopkeepers that they should ensure adequate market supply and order during these festivals. He asked officials of all government levels to work together to provide quality goods and food security as excellent services to the people.

China Must Befriend Tibet Monks to Build ‘Impenetrable Defence’–Official

The Star Online, December 13, 2013

TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo exhorted Chinese officials in Tibet to build an “impenetrable defence” against separatism and befriend monks and nuns in the restive and remote region. He said “China must grasp the heart of the people with one hand and seize the law with the other to strike down illegal groups.” In the People’s Daily, TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, said to win favor with monks and nuns, and officials must ensure all monasteries have electricity and running water, display national flags, images of government leaders, and get access to state television, newspapers and libraries. Chen Quanguo said that officials must “to the greatest degree unite monks and nuns with the masses around the party and government and make them aware of the party’s kindness.”

US Ambassador Urges China to Engage in Constructive Dialogue with the Dalai Lama

VOA, December 12, 2013

In his 2013 International Human Rights Day statement on 10 December, the US Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, urged the Chinese leadership to engage in a constructive dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his representatives to resolve tensions in Tibet. The Statement posted on the US Embassy website read: “As Ambassador, I have witnessed China’s rich diversity first hand. I have also seen cases where heavy-handed policies deny basic freedoms to ethnic and religious minorities, including ethnic Uyghurs, Tibetans and Mongolians, undermining the trust that binds diverse societies. The United States calls on the Chinese government to protect the fundamental freedoms of all its citizens without discrimination. We also urge China’s leaders to engage in constructive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, as a means to reduce the tensions.” 

A Thorough Inventory of “Tibetan separatist” Reactionary Propaganda

Vtibet tv News, December 11, 2013

The District Party Committee Propaganda Department of Lhasa held a teleconference to implement the important instructions and guidelines of Party Secretary Chen Quanguo to eliminate “any voices” of the Dalai Lama. The meeting was chaired by Dong Yunhu of the Propaganda Department of Lhasa and was attended by the Regional Vice-Chairman Meng Deli and District Vice-Chairman Bai Ma Langjie among others.

Dong Yunhu pointed out that the struggle between China and the “Dalai Clique” is long, sharp as sophisticated. He further urged that they need to develop a high degree of stability and always be aware and alert of the threats posed by the Dalai Clique.

Dong Yunhu urged all concerned localities and departments to counter and end the “Dalai group’s” political reactionary propaganda as to implement the plan to win the fight against “Tibetan separatists.” He suggested four main steps to wipe out any signs of separatist activities in all areas of the region. These are;

1 The concerned authorities to do a thorough investigation by checking the contents as source of any activities.

2  To identify the problems, dig behind the scenes, to eradicate the root causes and truncate channels of this information.

3 To investigate the major cases and punish those found guilty severely and quickly.

 

RELIGION

Penor Rinpoche’s Reincarnation Found, Enthronement in 2014

Phayul, December 06, 2013

Five years after the passing away of His Eminence Penor Rinpoche, former head of the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism, namely the Nyingma Sect his reincarnation has been found in Tibet’s, his monastery Namdrol Ling said in a statement on Thursday, December 5th.

Palyul Monastery’s senior most lama in Tibet, Tulku Thubten Zangpo Rinpoche, found the reincarnation at Leten Tramo Drag or Dung Lung Tramo Drag, a sacred location near Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, based on a “prophecy letter” sent by the 100-year-old yogi Jadrel Rinpoche. The statement, however, did not give more details.

Palyul Monastery’s current throne-holder, Kyabje Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, has already set out on the journey to formally greet the new reincarnation. A traditional enthronement ceremony of Penor Rinpoche’s yangsi (reincarnation), investing him as Palyul’s 12th Throne holder, will take place at Palyul Monastery in Tibet on July 31, 2014, the holy day marking the time of the Buddha’s first teaching after his enlightenment.

Kyabjé Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche or Penor Rinpoche as the heir of the Nyingma Sect Tibet, was born in 1932 in Powo region of Kham, Eastern Tibet. He became the 11th throne-holder of Palyul, one of six “mother monasteries” in Tibet’s oldest Buddhist traditions, known as the Nyingma. He established the Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe Tibetan settlement in 1963 with only a handful of monks.

Panchen Lama Attends National Political Meeting in Beijing

Tibet Daily, December 19, 2013

Panchen Lama attended the third Plenary Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)(China's top political advisory body) held in Beijing on Nov.18. The decision on major issues concerning comprehensively deepening reforms that were approved by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Nov. 12, as discussed.

A Chinese Netizen’s View on Construction of Hydropower Projects in China

December 14, 2013

A Chinese netizen laughed off at a protest headed by Chi Youxue against China Hydropower Construction. He said that he had been to Jinsha River and found out that the river has got the most abundant hydropower capability.  He urged that hydropower projects needs to accelerated in China so that it will benefit the Chinese people

The Netizen further suggested that “Yarlung Zangbo River, Nujiang, Lancang, Ili, Irtysh River, even Heilongjiang must develop a water diversion plan for the use of Chines people, time waits for none, if we will be late, then it will be interfered by the foreigners.” In the 21st Century there is a possibility of war for water resource; China should take precautions before it’s too late. Early planning, at least in the Brahmaputra river plan is necessary as now India is already clamoring to construct a large hydro power station. If India starts early, China will be in passive position.



 







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