Tibet Insight No: 17/14

                                                             TIBET INSIGHT NEWS

The Dalai Lama's office describes German newspaper report as misleading

September 9, 2014

Ganden Phodrang, the official institution of His Holiness the Dalai Lama based in Dharamsala, clarified on September 9, 2014, that the  report in the German newspaper, ‘Welt am Sonntag’, which quoted the Dalai Lama as saying the XIVth Dalai Lama could be the last one,  was incomplete.
‘Welt am Sonntag’ had quoted the Dalai Lama as saying: “We had a Dalai Lama for almost five centuries. The 14th Dalai Lama now is very popular. Let us then finish with a popular Dalai Lama.” The Ganden Phodrang said the Dalai Lama had stated that “the ultimate decision on whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or cease to exist would be up to the Tibetan people”.

National Unity Month Campaign in Lhoka
September 12, 2014
The Campaign for “National Unity Month” began in Zedong County of Lhoka (Ch: Shannan) on September 10. Zhang Yongze (Han), Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of Lhoka; Bardo(Tibetan) Chief Commissioner of Lhoka Prefecture, Vice-Chairman of PPCC of Lhoka Prefecture, Standing Committee member of Communist Party of Lhoka Prefecture and Chairman of United Front Work Department of Lhoka Prefecture and Phurbu Dorjee (Tibetan) Standing Member of Communist Party of Lhoka Prefecture and Deputy Secretary of the Lhoka Ethnic and Religious Committee, inspected the campaign and greeted the campaign staff. 
Zhang Yongze announced that an award ceremony entitled “TAR 2014 National Unity and Progress” will be held under the auspices of the State Council in recognition of the success of the campaign. He urged officials working in the campaign to carry out intensive as well as extensive publicity for the campaign and promote educational activities for national unity and educate the public about the relevance and effectiveness of national unity. .
The Campaign organizers distributed banners, flipchart illustrations, illustrations of unity cartoons, promotional materials, and manuals and booklets of the CCP CC’s national policies, rules and regulations. 
Ngari Held meeting recognises progress of 2014 National Unity Model
September 10, 2014
The Ngari (Ch: Ali) Administrative Office held a meeting on September 5, to appreciate the exemplary progress of the ‘2014 National Unity Model’ since last year. The progress in ethnic intermarriages, model families and collective national unity of Ngari Administrative District were appreciated. .
The meeting was presided over by Topchen, member of the Ngari United Front Work Department (UFWD) and attended by the Party Secretary of Ngari Prefecture, Wanchao Qi and the Deputy Commissioner of Ngari Prefecture, Gompa Sum.
Wanchao Qi, in his speech, said that the Ngari Administrative Office had in its efforts since last year united and led people of all nationalities and conscientiously implemented the spirit of the Third Plenary Session of the CCP CC and also followed TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo’s six points of national unity. The six points are: “(i) ethnic intermarriages;(ii) extensive publicity and educational activities of national unity;(iii) grant of funds for projects for minority development; (iv) letting various ethnic groups work together for common prosperity and development; (v) education of masses and cadres of all ethnic groups about the pride and love for the motherland; and (vi) instilling a sense of belonging for China and its culture among ethnic groups. 
Wanchao Qi explained that promotion of national unity in ethnic minority areas is one of the CCP CC’s fundamental goals to achieve long term stability and harmony and maintain stability in border areas. He urged all Party Committees and governments of Ngari to work on ‘leapfrog development’ and long term stability, understand the importance and urgency of national unity and progress, and work hard to improve further.
He reminded those attending the  meeting to conscientiously study and understand General Xi Jinping’s speeches on ethnic unity and progress, and recited a few  quotes of Xi Jingping like “National unity is the cornerstone of development and progress”, “National unity is the lifeline of people of all ethnic groups” etc. 
The meeting awarded 15 Collective teams, 17 individuals and 3 families who had ‘ethnic intermarriages’. The meeting was attended by regional garrison troops, heads of all departments in Ngari, ethnic groups like Tibetans, Han, Uyghur, Hui, Tujia and family members of those who had intermarried. More than 180 people attended the meeting.
Meeting in Ngari to review stability maintenance work 
September 4, 2014
The Communist Party of Ngari (Ch: Ali) met on September 2 to discuss and review stability maintenance work in the region. The meeting reviewed previous counter-terrorism reports, stability maintenance work, and analysed the current situation and mandated future activities. 
The meeting was attended by Dorjee Tsedup, Vice-Chairman of the TAR People’s Government, Director of the 7th Advisory Inspectorate and Deputy Director of TAR Stability Maintenance Advisory Inspectorate and He Wenhao, Vice-Chairman of the TAR People’s Government and Deputy Secretary of the TAR Party Committee. Dorjee Tsedup presented the stability maintenance work report of Ngari Region while He Wanhao gave a briefing on recent anti-terrorism and stability maintenance work conditions and its supervision. 
Dorjee Tsedup described Ngari as the most important, strategic and critical region for anti-terrorism and stability work adding that, therefore, the TAR Party Committee, TAR People’s Government and TAR People’s Congress attach great importance to maintaining stability, advance planning and careful arrangements in the region. He said that Chen Quanguo, Party Secretary of TAR Party Committee, Pema Choling-Chairman of TAR People’s Congress, Lobsang Gyaltsen Chairman of TAR People’s Government, Wu Yingjie and Deng Xiaogang, Vice-Chairmen of TAR Party Committee, among other senior leaders, had explicitly given instructions on stability maintenance in Ngari. He said that the Vice-Chairman of TAR Party Committee Deng Xiaogang had visited the Headquarters of the Ngari Stability working group twice and also other sensitive areas in the region. 
Dorjee Tsedup thanked Wanchao Qi, Party Secretary of Ngari Party Committee, other leaders and the people of Ngari for maintaining stability and harmony in Ngari. Exhorting them to do more as  stability in the region is still very severe and critical, he said “as long as separatist and sabotage activities from the Dalai clique continues, social management and control methods should never be ceased to be implemented  too.”

TAR Party Committee’s Propaganda Department holds publicity fairs and workshops
September 11, 2014
The TAR Party Committee’s Propaganda Department on September 5, held the first ‘International China Tibet Tourism and Cultural Fair’ in Lhasa. TAR Propaganda Minister Dong Yunhu spoke at the fair.
Dong Yunhu said the fair is held to showcase the economic and social development of Tibet and also promote Tibet as one of the major tourist destinations in the world. He further said that an important characteristic of Chinese culture is to promote ‘leapfrog development’ and lasting stability in Tibet and to show a good image of the ‘new socialist Tibet’. He urged all Departments and units in and under TAR to attach great importance in promoting these goals and hold more publicity fairs.
Patriotism campaign launched in Burang County 
September 9, 2014
The Deputy Ministers of United Front Work Department of Gongkar County of Lhoka (Ch:Shannan) Prefecture and Vice-President of the China Buddhist Association’s  Tibet Branch, Palden Donyo, Tsering Choesang, Zhan Dui and their team went to Kejia Monastery in Burang County of Ngari prefecture to promote patriotism among monks, nuns and the common masses and to educate them on  the theories, policies and core values of socialism and rule of law. 
The propaganda team explained these ‘socialist values’ in simple and plain language so that even an ‘illiterate person can understand’ them easily. The team claimed “to have compared “old Tibet and new Tibet”, and the achievements and ‘leapfrog developments’ made in Tibet since its liberation in 1959.”
The event aims to reinforce patriotism among monks, nuns and the common masses and inculcate socialist practices and values. More than 200 people attended the event.

Tibet Public Security Frontier soldiers tour to Tibet-Nepal Border Pillar
September 9, 2014
Soldiers of the Tibet Public Security Frontier in Burang (Ch: Pulan) County of Ngari (Ch: Ali) prefecture went to Tibet-Nepal border pillar no.9 to conduct “safeguarding border pillar is a sacred mission” theme and celebrate Party and League day.
A report of Burang County described the soldiers as in high spirits and morale and said they ‘painted the pillar with red logos, numbers and other signs of love for China’. Their efforts gave the Tibet-Nepal border pillar no.9 an entirely new look and it now stands ‘firmly with a new face’ on the Tibet-Nepal Border.
Conscription examination held in Nagchu County

September 3, 2014
Nagchu (Ch:Nagqu) Prefecture Party Committee  held  its annual conscription examination on August 21. 53 people were selected. Those selected later had to undergo medical checkups and a political examination to qualify to be in the Nagchu County military. 32 people were finally selected after examination. 

China to Train and instill Patriotism in 100 Tibetan monks in the next 10 years 
September 11, 2014
B.Tsering, Deputy Director of the TAR Religious Work Leading Group Office said on September 10, that more than hundred monks, especially senior monks from different religious sects, will be trained in the next ten years.
B.Tsering said the move aims to create ‘politically reliable and adaptable socialist monks’ especially among senior monks of the Tibetan Buddhism. He said that there are 1,787 monasteries and nunneries with 46,000 monks and nuns. He confirmed that China has recognized 60 new ‘reincarnations’ so far. 
B.Tsering said that monks and nuns will have to undergo intensive training programmes in remote areas of Tibet and after two years and six months of training, they will require to train young monks and nuns in remote monasteries in Tibet. According to reports, several Tibetans monks and nuns have already been dispatched to various remote monasteries and nunneries to preach and advocate harmony and stability. He praised and applauded these monks and nuns for their services.
B. Tsering disclosed that TAR provides financial subsidies to monks and nuns of more 2600 Yuan each year for their medical insurance, pension insurance, personal accident insurance and free annual health checks. He concluded by stating that more than 45 nursing homes will be built for old monks and nuns in the different monasteries of Tibet.
Subsidies and support for monks and nuns
August 30, 2014
The Tibetan branch of the Buddhist Association of China said that TAR places  an emphasis on supporting monasteries and nunneries. It said there are 1,787 monasteries and temples and about 46,000 monks and nuns in the region and that most monasteries were linked to roads. Nearly 1,460 had water supply and 833 had electricity. Monks and nuns receive medical insurance, pensions, low-income allowances and free annual check-ups under a series of government measures.
Palden Donyo, Vice-president of the Tibetan branch of the Buddhist Association of China, said at the plenary session of the Tibet committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference that "A series of preferential policies were introduced in 2011 to benefit monks and nuns. These included infrastructure projects, such as linking remote monasteries to nearby towns with roads and providing water and electricity," Palden Donyo said that the government not only supported the monasteries materially but also helped to protect cultural relics and established libraries. He cited as example that the “Sakya Monastery in the region's Shigatse prefecture was funded with 97 million Yuan ($16 million) in 2013”. Monks and nuns, within the range of approved posts, each get a subsidy of 5,000 yuan for refurbishing their quarters," said Losang Gyaltsan, Chairman of the regional government in a work report earlier this year.
Palden Donyo said the subsidies for rebuilding monasteries and nunneries were one of his proposals from last year. This year, he proposed that the monastries of Sakya and Tashilhunpo in the Shigatse prefecture should apply for a place on the World Heritage List. Separately, a Xinhua news agency report said that as many as 84,000 scrolls of ancient writings were discovered in a wall 60 meters long and 10 meters high at the monastery, which was built in 1073 in Sakya county, about 400 km from Lhasa. 
 Palden Donyo also said that "as part of the government's efforts, 10 Buddhist colleges were established within the region last year."
China orders Tibetans to greet Panchen Lama 
August 29, 2014
Quoting local sources, a Radio Free Asia (RFA) report claimed that when Gyaincain Norbu, the China-designated 11th Panchen Lama visited two monasteries in Namling, including Ganden Choekor Ling, on August 24, to give religious teachings, the Chinese authorities had “warned” people that “if they failed to show up to receive him, they would be punished for committing a political error.”  As part of preparations for the visit, the authorities had ordered 12 villages in Namling to assign 80 people each “to come out and welcome the Panchen Lama, wearing traditional Tibetan dress and holding ceremonial scarves in their hands.” The authorities reportedly noted the mobile and identity cards numbers of those assigned to greet him. “Those not designated to see the Panchen were ordered to stay at home and were forbidden from looking out of their windows or from gathering on the rooftops or sidewalks.” 
Monasteries placed on Gyaincain Norbu’s itinerary were reported to have been given grants of 150,000 Yuan (US$ 24,360) each to prepare for the reception, with money going mainly for the construction of thrones, purchase of religious items and cleaning the premises. Gyaincain Norbu, who is now in his mid-20s and resides in Beijing, was accompanied by armed police and public security officers and 30 monks. He was accompanied by TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo and other officials as he toured monasteries in Namling (Chinese: Nanmulin) County of Shigatse Prefecture, in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

China inaugurates new rail-lines in Tibet
September 2, 2014
China’s plans for the railway in Tibet are firmly on track with the inauguration of two new rail lines going west and east from Lhasa. The extended lines, (251 kms) from the Tibetan capital to the city of Shigatse on the west and (433 kms) from Lhasa to Nyingchi still under construction to the east, will effectively link Tibet to India, Nepal and Bhutan. These are part of the Chinese government’s ‘Mission 2020’ for infrastructure in Tibet.
 Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson Col Yang Yujun said in Beijing on August 28, 2014, while responding to Indian concerns over the proximity of the rail line to India’s borders, “I hope this will not be over interpreted by the Indian side. The railway simply aims to raise economic development and living standards” in Tibet. 
By 2020, China hopes to build 1,300 kilometres of railway lines in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), as well as more than 1, 10,000 kms of roadways, many of which will work as feeder lines to the railway stations. On a visit by journalists from The Hindu to the Qushui railway station, about 80 kms from Lhasa, officials said that  Qushui, like other train stations in Tibet, is powered by solar energy. , Environmental activists, however, maintain that they are concerned about the impact of the railways and point to a government study published in June, that said glaciers in Tibet had shrunk 15% since 1980, about 8,000 square kilometres in three decades.
New airport under construction on Qinghai-Tibet plateau
September 15, 2014
Huatugou civil aviation airport, located in the Mongolian-Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Haixi in northwestern China's Qinghai Province, is under-construction. The Qinghai Airport Company said it will cover an area of 180 hectares and has an investment of 700 million Yuan (114 million U.S. dollars). The airport will have 3,600 meters of runway, with its terminal covering an area of about 3,000 square meters. Flight tests are expected to start after construction is completed within the year. The airport is located in China's major production base for petroleum and potash fertilizer and is expected to support local development and improve the aviation network on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau.

China Tibet Tourism and Culture International Exposition to kick off on Sept. 25 in Lhasa
September 12, 2014
According to a press conference held by TAR People’s Government on Sept. 10, 2014, the first ‘China Tibet Tourism and Culture International Exposition’ will be held from Sept. 25 to 27 in Lhasa.


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