Tibet Insight No: 18/14


                                                                   TIBET INSIGHT NEWS 


Vice President of Nepal and entourage visit Lhasa
September 25, 2014

On September 24, 2014 afternoonTAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo and Chairman of the TAR People’s Government Lobsang Gyaltsen met the Vice-President of Nepal Parmanand Jha and his entourage, who were invited to the first China-Tibet Tourism and Cultural Fair.The Deputy Secretary of TAR Party Committee and Secretary of TAR Politics and Law Committee, Deng Xiaogang and Vice-Chairman of TAR People’s Government Jiang Jie also met Parmananda and his entourage.
The Fair, jointly organised by China’s Culture Ministry and the National Tourism Centre of Tibet,was heldfrom September 25-27.
Vice President Jha, whowas a special guest at the Fair, was scheduled to leave for KailashMansarovar in Tibet after that.
The Vice President's entourage comprises,among others, his spouse, Secretary at the Office of the Vice President Raj Kumar Malla and Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambika Devi Luintel.
Officiating Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs KhaganathAdhikari, Ambassador of China to Nepal, Wu Chuntai and senior officials at the Office of the Vice President saw off the Vice President at the airport.
Greeting the Nepalese guests, TAR Party Secretary Chen Quanguo reiterated that Nepal and China share a long history of friendship and understanding since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1955.He further said that China and Nepal will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year and assured that TAR will continue to unswervingly implement the principles and policies of the CCP CC and adhere to its policy of an amicable, secure and prosperous neighbourhood. 
Mr. Jhaspoke highly of the bilateral relationship between the two countries and applauded the CCP’s achievements. He said that Nepal firmly believes in the ‘one-China’ policy and considers Taiwan and Tibet to be inalienable parts of China. He assured that Nepal’s government will not allow any anti-China activities in its territory and aroundthe Nepal-Tibet border.

MaldoGongkar holds National Unity meeting
September 24, 2014
The Propaganda Department of MaldoGongkar(Ch: Maizhokunggar) County Party Committee recently held a meeting on the National Unity campaign which was attended by all officials of the county, Directors of Temple Management Committees, cadres and masses totalling more than 100 people.
The Department invited Li Hong, a Professor at the Party school in MaldoGongkarCounty to make a presentation entitled “Nationality unity is the fundamental guarantee for development and stability”. The meeting was held as a part of the National Unity campaign proposed by the CCP CC and is being held across Tibet.

Lhasa commended Annual National unity Campaign-2014 and its progress 
September 25, 2014
The National Unity Model and its progress award ceremony was held in Lhasa on September 25. 36 collective teams, 75 individuals and 20 model families were awarded at the ceremony. The Party Secretary of Lhasa Municipality ChedakLa spoke at the award function.
Chengguan District holds third "National Unity Campaign and Progress”Forum
September 22, 2014
The third “National Unity and Progress” campaign was held on September 17, in (Tib: Thinkunchu) Chengguan District of Lhasa City. Representatives from various ethnic groups of Chengguan District gathered to talk about national unity, harmony and friendship.
Chengguan District Committee Chairman Ma Yongqing, Vice-Chairman of the Chengguan District People’s Government Liu Liang, CPPCC Chairman of Chengguan DistrictLi Huaiwei and Chengguan District Standing Committee member and Chairman of United Front Work Department LhakpaTsering attended the forum.
The District leaders spoke of how to further improve the national unity campaign and its institutional and technical mechanisms. They appealed to theDistrict Organization Department, District Publicity Department, District United Front Work Department, the District Council and other local units to work together and provide whatever help they can like improving institutional premises and providing funds to make the campaign a success. 
The District leaders spoke of how: "Han Chinese people are inseparable from ethnic minorities and vice-versa”. They stressed that there will be no national unity, rapid development and long term stability if there is no unity between Han Chinese and ethnic minorities.

Corruption cases against Government Officials in Tibet 
September 23, 2014
The TAR Discipline Inspection Commission’s website on September 23 publicised that several officials working in Tibet had been charged with cases of corruption between September 20-24, 2014. 
Ba Cengyan,(Nationality: Han) Party Secretary of Dasa Township of Amdo County of Nagchu Prefecture (Ch:Nagqu) has been expelled from the Township Party Committee on charges of corruption and his case has been transferred to judicial organs.
Another official,TseringWangdu (Nationality:Tibetan), a former Deputy Secretary and current Mayor of the same town of Amdo County was allegedly under investigation for serious violations of Party law.
Other Officials who are under investigation for corruption are Peng Gang, TAR Department Director of Industry and Information Technology, and Zhu, Deputy Director of TAR Industry and Information Technology Office. 
Wong Yongjun, Secretary of the TAR Commission for Discipline Inspection said that the fight against corruption in Tibet seems to be in a stalemate and needs thorough examination. He said that efforts are being made to expand investigation of corruption cases. 
(Comment:A team of inspectors dispatched by the CCP CC’s Central Discipline Inspection Commission (CDIC) were sent to Tibet in July this year to expose corruption and close loopholes in Party management and government work and to check whether any officials of TAR were violating disciplinary codes and laws by taking bribes and trading power for profit.)

"Civic and moral Awareness Day" campaign
September 24, 2014
TAR authorities have taken yet another initiative called the "Citizen Moral Awareness Day" to propagate and instil patriotism and nationalism in the minds of Lhasa’s residents. The campaignincluded hanging banners, display boards, brochures and getting professional and technical personnelto speak on how to further promote "patriotic and law-abiding"values among citizens. The campaign listed20 basic moral characters for citizens, like civilized and harmonious behaviour, following therule of law, patriotism, dedicated awareness of socialist core values, etc. 
The campaign issued more than 20,000 “Citizen Morality” and “civilized etiquette manuals”, reusable shopping bags, “morality” inscribed towels and other promotional materials.

20,000 sheep, mountain goats imported from Tibet
September 14, 2014
Traders of Mustang are bringing 20,000 sheep and mountain goats from Tibet into Nepal targeting the Dashain festival. 
By mid-September traders were at Dhongwasen in Tibet and had acquired permission from the District Livestock Office, Mustang to bring sheep and mountain goats to urban centres, said Badri Prasad Poudel, an officer at the District Livestock Office. “Due to strict monitoring on the border only traders were allowed to go Tibet from Mustang.  Earlier, the general public also used to go Tibet to import sheep and mountain goats for the Dashain festival,” he said. 
A total of 25,000 sheep and mountain goats were imported from Tibet to the country last year. “The number of sheep and mountain goats imported from Tibet has dropped this year due to strict monitoring on the border,” he said.
Traders from Chhoser, Lomanthang, Charang, Surkhang, Ghami and Tchhonhup of Upper Mustang will sell sheep and mountain goats at Myagdi, Baglung and Pokhara. The District Livestock Office, Mustang said the sheep and mountain goats imported into the country from Tibet are worth over Rs 300 million. 
Farmers of Mustang have reared 62,000 sheep and mountain goats, according to the office. 
MinwarGurung of Upper Mustang said, “We will send sheep and mountain goats for sale from mid- September.” The District Livestock Office said that it has established service centers at Kagbeni, Marpha and Tukuche forhealth checks of all the sheep and mountain goats imported from Tibet.


Monk sentenced to ten-year prison term after shouting slogans calling for Tibetan independence
September 18, 2014
A Tibetan monk has been imprisoned for 10 years by a Chinese court for launching a solitary protest against Beijing’s rule. Lobsang Gendun, aged about 21, was sentenced last week after being held in a detention centre in Chamdo prefecture.Gendun, who claimed he was tortured while in custody, was taken into custody on July 1, 2013, after he disrupted official celebrations, commemorating Chinese Communist Party rule, in Pashoecounty by shouting slogans calling for Tibetan independence.

Chinese appointed Panchen Lama finishes Tibet tour
October 1, 2014
The Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu (Tib: Gyaltsen Norbu) concluded two and a half months of religious activities in the southwest of the Tibet Autonomous Region and returned to Beijing. He presided over a series of religious rituals at several monasteries in Shigatse (Ch: Xigaze) Prefecture of Tibet and stayed at TashiLhunpo Monastery.
He visited local households, nursing homes, hospitals and schools and held discussions with Tibetan religious circles to gather opinions on social and religious issues.


China enlarging paramilitary police facility for detaining Tibetans
September 20, 2014
China is enlarging a paramilitary police detention centre in Driru (Chinese: Biru) County of Nagchu (Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, in anticipation of further unrest in this highly disturbed region where a massive crackdown on protests against the forceddisplay of loyalty to China and its communist party rulers has been continuing since Sep 2013.
 “The authorities are saying that this will be a major prison for those who conduct activities against the [Chinese] government and its policies,” the report in the Tibetan Review quoted an unnamed local source as saying.The detention centre is part of a People’s Armed Police station and is located in the county’s Tsamdo Town.
Beijing views Driru, along with two neighbouring counties, as “politically unstable” and fears that the political unrest there will spread to other parts of Tibet unless effectively checked.

China invites foreign military officials to Tibet
September 16, 2014
China’s official Xinhua news agency reported on September 13, that China had invited military officials from 46 countries to visit Tibet.96 military officials and their spouses from 46 countries were to tour TAR from Sep 19 atthe invitation of China’s Ministry of National Defence.
The visitors were to be briefed about military construction in Tibet, shown a military brigade under the Tibet Military command and the PLA’s Logistical Engineering University.
In order to portray an impression of an ‘open Tibet’, China has been publicizing orchestrated tours of the region by specially-invited foreign journalists and other officially sponsored visitors.


InterContinental opens 5-star hotel in Lhasa
September 3, 2014
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) opened the first phase of a five-star hotel with 472 guest rooms in Lhasa on 1stSeptember despite members of ‘Free Tibet Campaign’ groups based abroadboycotting and protesting against the IHG.
Once completed it will beTibet's largest five-star hotel with2,000 rooms and a total built area of 220,000 square meters.
Tibet received a record 12.9 million tourists last year, up 22 percent year-on-year. It has set a target of 15 million tourists in 2015.
Wang Songping, Deputy Director of the TAR Regional Tourism Bureau, said Tibet is home to the world's top tourism resources, but needs high-class tourism facilities to support its development.
Tibet’s main power interconnection project expected to complete by the end of this month
September 20, 2014
According to the Coordination Office of the Sichuan-Tibet Engineering Headquarters,Tibet’s main power interconnection project is almost completed. 
Construction of the base tower foundation of 2761 Tibet electricity interconnection projects have been completed. Electrical installations have been completed inabout 85.75 percent electric substations and master device testing completed in over 84%. Lines were expected to be completed across TAR by the end of September.

67,000 passengers travel on Lhasa-Shigatse Railway in 1st month
September 16, 2014
67,000 passengers travelled along the newly built railway between Lhasa and Shigatse by Sept.15.The two-way daily passenger transport volume is 2,300 and the Lhasa Railway Station transports 1,124 passengers per day at its peak.
To meet the growing demand of the passengers, 16 temporary trains have been added from Lhasa to Shigatse including Train K9823 in addition to the regular Train K9821 from Aug.18 to Sept.15. Train K9821 departs from Lhasa at 9 a.m. and arrives in Shigatse at 11:59 a.m. Train K9823 departs from Lhasa at 9:40 a.m. and arrives in Shigatse at 12:39 p.m. Every train has been fully packed since its operation started. 
Nyingchi's projects of China's 12th Five-Year Plan implemented 15.46 billion yuan RMB
September 24, 2014
According to the Development and Reform Commission of Nyinchi Prefecture, 128 major projects of China's 12th Five-Year Plan in Nyingchi have been implemented with an investment of 15.46 billlionyuan RMB, accounting for 54.7% of Nyingchi's total investment amount during China's 12th Five-Year Plan
By the end of August, all planned projects were completed. Among 128 major projects, 31 have been completed, 85 are under construction and 12 have not yet started.
40 projects in Nyingchi implemented by the TAR Industry Department have started construction with an investment of 11.07 billion yuan RMB. Construction of another 76 projects organized by Nyingchi Prefecture have also started with an investment of 4.39 billion yuan RMB.
Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway, Nyingchi Airport renovation and expansion, Yunnan-Tibet Highway and other projects, which account for a larger proportion ofNyingchi's total investment during China's 12th Five-Year Plan, have not yet started.

Nepali Vice president hopes for Tibet-Nepal railway
 September 28, 2014
Nepal’s Vice President ParmanandJha has expressed the hope that a new Tibetan railway can one day extend to Nepal and boost bilateral trade and tourism."The people of Nepal are happy to note the opening of the Lhasa-Shigatse Railway, and are eager to see its further extension toward Nepal," Jha said on September 26, 2014at the First China Tibet Tourism and Culture Expo in Lhasa.
Jha said Nepal has long been an important transit point between China and South Asia, and there is "tremendous potential" for the two countries to cooperate in trade, tourism, agriculture, energy and minerals.A major chunk of the two countries' ever-expanding trade has been conducted through Tibet, Jha said, expressing the hope that better road and rail connections between Nepal and Tibet would help Nepal further explore the Chinese market.
Jha noted thata growing number of young Chinese tourists are attracted to Nepal, and said he hopes a railway will encourage more mainland travellers to cross the border after sightseeing in Tibet.

China to extend rail to Nepal
September 28, 2014
During a meeting of the fifth Nepal-Tibet Trade Facilitation Committee (NTTFC) meeting held in Lhasa during September 25-26, the Chinese delegation confirmed that China has agreed in principle to extend the Qinghai-Tibet Railway to the Nepal border.
“The Chinese side has agreed to forward our proposal to the central government in Beijing,” said Jib Raj Koirala, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, who led the Nepali delegation. “They also urged Nepal to approach the Chinese government in Beijing.”The Chinese team at the NTTFC was led by CidenNanjie, Deputy Secretary General of the local TAR government.
The Qinghai-Tibet Railway reached Shigatse in August. With the 253-km track linked to Tibet’s second city, the high-elevation railway has reached closer to Nepal.“We plan to extend the line up to Kerung in the long run,” Yang Chu Lin, an official at the Shigatse Railway Service, told Nepali journalists during the inauguration of the Lhasa-Shigatse track.Shigatse is 540 km from Kyirong, Tibet’s nearest town to Nepal. The bordering Nepali district of Rasuwa is 35 km from there.
With Nepal requesting clearance for cargo containers from the alternative Rasuwagadhi-Kyirong border point, the Chinese side has agreed to open the route. Currently, China allows only two to three containers to enter Nepal via Kyirongdaily, with the Khasa-Tatopani route handling the bulk of the Nepal-Tibet trade. China also agreed to provide training to Nepali exporters as the country’s export has been small despite China providing duty free access to 7,787 Nepali goods. The training will make Nepali traders aware of the duty free access. The two sides have agreed to develop the western borders between the two countries with road and other infrastructure.

China accelerates tourism development in Tibet
September 30, 2014
TAR’s Tourism authoritiesare reported to have been working hard to make Tibet a major destination."Tibet is the last classic treasure on the map, with its religious mystery, sound environment and many historic sites," said Du Jiang, Deputy Director of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), in an interview. He said that compared with other regions in China, Tibet has plenty of space to develop, given its rich and relatively untapped tourist resources. 
Tibet received 12.91 million domestic and overseas tourists last year, up 22 percent from the previous year, according to CNTA data.The influx of tourists brought Tibet 16.5 billion Yuan (2.7 billion U.S. dollars) of revenue in 2013, or more than one-fifth of the local economy.

Tibetans rebuked for protesting poisoning by Chinese mines
September 29, 2014
Tibetans in the mineral-rich village of Zibuk in Tashi Gang township of MaldoGongkar (Chinese: Mozhugongka) County, Lhasa City, who have unsuccessfully appealed and protested over the past five years against the poisoning of their rivers by Chinese mines operating in the area, launched their  latest protest involving more than 1,000 villagers in mid-September.
County environmental officials had visited the affected areas, but refused to act on the plea that damage and harm had been caused by nature and not the mines.The mountainous areas between Zibuk and Gyama in MaldoGongkar County have been extensively mined during the past several years, turning the once verdant green lands into grey, dusty wasteland.


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