Tibet Insight No: 19/14

                                                                           TIBET INSIGHT NEWs



Tibet Armed Police Commissar’s Political Status upgraded

October 8, 2014

China's Central Military Commission “upgraded the political status” of the Political Commissar of the People’s Armed Police Corps of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), indicating the central government's determination to safeguard regional stability. 

Major General Tang Xiao, Political Commissar of the Tibet Armed Police Corps, part of the Chinese People's Armed Police, is now equivalent to the head of a “corps-sized military body” including in terms of privileges and perquisites, which is equal to that of officials at a provincial or ministerial level. There is no announcement, however, that the Corps, which presently is not a corps-sized military body, will be expanded to the size of a full corps. 

The decision was announced by Niu Zhizhong, Chief of Staff of the Armed Police at a conference on October 3, 2014, who said "Better 'treatment' for the head of Armed Police in Tibet is a major decision made by Central Military Commission based on the special environment and strategic position of the Tibet Armed Police." The decision, which is aimed at better safeguarding regional stability, also encourages soldiers of the Armed Police in Tibet. 

(Comment: The PLA’s Commander and Political Commissar in Tibet also enjoy better "treatment" than others of their rank would normally receive.)

Nobel laureates cancel Cape Town summit after Dalai Lama denied visa

October 2, 2014

Nobel Peace Prize laureates who were to gather in Cape Town in mid-October to honour the late Nelson Mandela, announced they were cancelling, or relocating, the Summit in protest against the South African government's refusal to issue a visa to the Dalai Lama.

De Lille said 14 Peace Prize recipients and 11 organizations honoured with the award had planned to attend the Oct. 13-15 summit and that many had joined in an appeal to the South African government to grant the Dalai Lama a visa for the event. "The national government has treated our requests and those of the laureates themselves with disdain, and in so doing showed that they are more intent on pleasing Beijing than with ensuring that a prestigious international event is held in South Africa, which was intended to celebrate the late Nelson Mandela and 20 years of democracy," De Lille said in announcing the cancellation of the Cape Town summit.  An alternative venue and later date for the gathering were being considered, De Lille told reporters, but no firm plan for relocation had been decided.

Organizers of the annual gathering lashed out at Pretoria for caving in to Chinese pressure to isolate the Dalai Lama, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille denounced the government of President Jacob Zuma for its "appalling treatment" of the Dalai Lama, who has now been denied entry to South Africa three times over the last five years, the South African Press Association reported. Zuma justified the denial of the Dalai Lama's request to visit in 2009 by saying China's concerns had to be "respected." 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu denounced Zuma's administration as "spineless" in its subservience to China and willingness to let Beijing's widely criticized exclusion of the Dalai Lama derail the Cape Town event meant to honour anti-apartheid icon Mandela, who died Dec. 5 at the age of 95.

(Comment: South Africa has declined visas to the Dalai Lama on at least three occasions in the past. The ANC and China’s Communist Party have had close ties since the days of the anti-apartheid struggle and China is South Africa's biggest trading partner. Both countries are also aligned in BRICS, an economic grouping comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.)


Tibetan Language Television Channel launched in Ngari on China’s National day

October 1, 2014

A Tibetan language Television channel was launched in Ngari (Ch:Ali) on October 1 on the 65th Anniversary of CCP with an investment of over 80 million Yuan.

Standing Committee member of Communist Party of Ngari Prefecture and Chairman of Ngari Propaganda Department Tenzin Phuntsok (Tibetan) spoke at the launch ceremony. Other Prefectural Committee officials also attended.

Tenzin Phuntsok said that the official Ngari Tibetan Language TV channel was launched so that everyone from farmers and herdsmen to children, elderly men and women can grasp and understand the policies of the CCP better. He said that it is aimed at building a prosperous, stable and harmonious society. He added that the Ngari Tibetan language TV Channel, co-funded by Shaanxi Provincial Press and Publication Bureau of Radio, Film and Television, will focus primarily on the work of Ngari‘s Prefectural administrative office to propagate the CCP’s principles and policies to the masses of Ngari. He said that the Ngari Administrative Office will announce the decisions and work plans of the regional party through the Tibetan language TV channel to construct a new socialist society in the rural and pastoral areas of Ngari.

Tibet court judgments to be posted online

October 14, 2014

China’s official English-language newspaper ‘China Daily’ on October 13, 2014, announced that courts in the TAR will henceforth also post their judgements  on the internet as a part of the ongoing drive to improve judicial transparency across the country, according to its official China Daily newspaper Oct 13.

Observing that judgments by courts in 17 provinces and municipalities are already being posted on the website of the Supreme Court, the President of the Supreme Court, Zhou Qiang, said: “We promise that more judgments from other areas, including Tibet Autonomous Region, will also be disclosed.”

The report said that in an effort to improve judicial transparency, details of 3,281 court spokesmen and spokeswomen, including their names, office addresses and phone numbers, had been placed on the Supreme Court’s website. Of them, 2,784 were from grassroots courts. The report quoted Sun Jungong, the court’s spokesman, as saying that improving transparency was a major task “because the more openly we show our work to the public, the more justice residents will receive”.

The report added that the top court’s Sina Weibo account had attracted more than 150 million followers. The account, it said, was being used to broadcast information about trials, provide analysis of judicial interpretations and give details of individuals who refuse to comply with court findings.

Subsidies to win the hearts of People in Tsanlha County of Amdo Ngawa

October 10, 2014

The Office of Ngawa (Ch:Aba) People’s government announced that a number of Government subsidies will be provided to the people of Tsanlha County (Ch: Xiaojin) in 2014 to increase the public happiness index, and improve the livelihood and overall well being of people in the county. A number of plans will be implemented including subsidies in agriculture like food and seed subsidies; agricultural insurance; implementation of farmer-friendly policies, to strengthen the construction of so called affordable housing; and rural reconstruction. According to the announcement,  200 low-rent housing units and 17,242 rural houses were constructed in the previous years.

Other plans to be implemented by the regional government to win over the people are strict implementation of employment policies and expanding the scope of employment to both rural and urban residents in order to reduce unemployment and ensure social security. The regional government will also continue to promote social security and stability through different charity organizations, relief fund projects and poverty alleviation projects and programs.

(Comment: Ngawa or the Aba region of Amdo Prefecture has been the centre of self-immolations by Tibetans. Of the more than 130 self-immolations, almost half were by persons from Ngawa and other regions of Amdo Prefecture.)

Nepal Government refuses Tibetan monk's request to attend function in Mugu

October 9, 2014

The Nepali Government has turned down a request by Rinpoche Thaklung Chyatul, a Buddhist monk from Tibet, to be allowed to address a public function to be organized in Mugu village of Mugu district, some 35 kilometres south of the Tibet border. 

Senior officials at Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) said the decision was taken almost three weeks ago against the backdrop of the Rinpoche´s active involvement in the Free-Tibet movement. The officials disclosed that the government also declined to issue a visa to the Tibetan monk to travel to Nepal. 

About a month ago, the 86-year-old Tibetan religious leader requested to be allowed to attend the inaugural ceremony for an 18-foot idol at a Buddhist monastery in Mugu village. 

CPN-UML lawmakers Mohan Baniya and Dhan Bahadur Budha (who are from Mugu and Dolpa respectively) had approached Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam to allow the Tibetan monk to attend the function in Mugu. Baniya and Budha held separate meetings with Home Secretary Surya Silwal. 

Following consultations with senior officials at his ministry, Home Minister Gautam decided not to grant permission. An unidentified top MoHA official told the Republica newspaper that “We don´t allow any kind of anti-China activity in the bordering areas and other parts of the country, in keeping with Nepal´s long-standing One-China policy."

MoHA spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, confirmed that the ministry had rejected the request made by the Tibetan monk to attend the function to be held near the Tibet-Nepal border. He said "The lawmakers were persuaded during the meeting not to invite him to Nepal". 

Talking to Republica, lawmaker Baniya said the Home Ministry refused to grant permission to the monk to take part in the function, stating the monk had been involved in the Free-Tibet campaign for a long time. "As the Tibetan monk has already travelled to Nepal three times in the past we requested the home minister and the home secretary to allow him to attend the function in Mugu," Baniya added. According to Baniya, the Tibetan monk came to Nepal last year and addressed a function in Solukhumbu. 

Ngari’s Attorney-General visits border troops

October 9, 2014

Zhang Yongzha, Attorney General of the TAR People’s Ngari Procuratorate Branch visited Burang County (Ch:Pulan) of Ngari (Ch:Ali) Prefecture to inspect the troops stationed at the border. He was accompanied by Peng Hua, Deputy Secretary of Burang County.

Burang County Information Office stated that despite an altitude of about 5000 meters and having altitude sickness, the Attorney General visited the border troops and checked how the troops maintain border security. He told the troops to always be in high spirits despite the climatic difficulties and emphasised the need to further strengthen military construction at the border. He emphasised their obligation to obey and implement the commands of the CCP CC as well as the regional parties and to main social stability particularly in Burang County.

China builds police station to control a monastery

October 12, 2014

Strengthening direct police control over monks, China has built a large police station, which includes a detention centre, near a monastery in Zungchu (Chinese: Songpan) County of Ngaba (Aba) Prefecture, Sichuan Province. The 300 resident Monks of the early 14th century Muge Monastery, now have to take permission from the police station for all their monastic activities as well as their travels.

The 72-room police station, located about half a kilometre from the monastery, is currently manned by some 20 police personnel. The station is said to have enough facilities to accommodate Chinese cadres who may be sent to conduct political education and other kinds of campaigns in the monastery.

The authorities had planned to build the police station after the 2008 protests which affected much of Tibet and in which monks of Muge Monastery were prominently involved. The monastic authorities tried to prevent the police station from being built and managed to delay the work for several years. However, in 2013 the authorities began building the police station and have now completed it.

Tsona County implements Peace-building Campaign

September 26, 2014

The Tsona County (Ch: Cuona) Committee of Lhoka Prefecture (Ch:Shannan) carried out an intensive” peace-building” campaign under the auspices of its Social Security Office. A total of 41 units, 10 townships and all the schools of the county participated in the campaign.

The campaign urged the masses, under the leadership of the regional Propaganda Department through its activities like dissemination of propaganda leaflets, hanging banners, panel discussions, posters, DVDs, etc, to play a major role in maintaining peace and order in the county. 

160 posters, 26 banners, and different kinds of leaflets and more than 12,500 copies of promotional materials were distributed to about 8,200 people in the county. 

(Comment: Tsona County is in Lhoka Prefecture which is located to the south-east of TAR. Chinese maps depict a large part of the county as within Arunachal Pradesh.)


China all set to open Kyirong check post

October 6, 2014

The Ministry of Commerce of People’s Republic of China (PRC) has informed its Nepali counterpart that all preparatory work to open Kyirong check post has been completed.

Jib Raj Koirala, Joint Secretary of Nepal’s Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) said “Both the governments — Nepal and China — had principally agreed to open check post by October 1 and now the China side is just waiting for formal inauguration in the presence of government officials from Nepal. The check post will be equipped with full fledged customs service, quarantine and immigration services.” He also said the Nepal government is likely to propose another date for the formal inauguration. 

Both countries have identified the customs point at Kyirong as a necessity due to the absence of immigration services in Kyirong. Nepali authorities expect the trade volume from Kyirong-Rasuwagadhi will increase significantly after the customs point in Kyirong is formally inaugurated. This route is linked with the Chinese government’s railway project.

Nepal has already launched the integrated check post project at Rasuwagadhi and is constructing an Inland Container Depot (dry port) at Timure of Rasuwa to facilitate the traders. The port will be constructed with the cooperation of the China government. Traders have also stressed on the need to expedite the construction of Integrated Check Post in Rasuwagadhi and Inland Container Depot at Timure at the earliest. 

The Nepal government has also prioritised upgradation of the Syafrubesi-Trishuli road section to reduce the cost of cargo delivery by reducing the travel time.

Kyirong of Tibet to become international tourist channel

October 11, 2014

‘China Tibet’ reported on October 11, 2014, that Kyirong Port will be opened wider to the outside world this October featuring its "ancient path, land port and folk customs" and will become an important channel for international tourists to visit China.

(Comment: Kyirong Port is 78 kilometers south of Kyirong County in the Shigatse Prefecture and 24 kilometers from Rasog Village located along the border between Tibet and Nepal. According to the Master Plan of Kyirong Port in Shigatse Prefecture, Kyirong County will become an important tourist destination in Shigatse and a mountain resort.)

Sichuan-Tibet electricity network project to put into charged trial operation this month 

October 8, 2014

According to Sichuan-Tibet electricity network project engineering headquarters, construction work of the project is still on track. 6,872 workers strived for each link of the project construction and hoped to put it into trial operation in mid-to-late October.

More than 95% of the electrical installation of 4 newly-built transformer substations has been completed and acceptance of the project has begun.

Lhasa invests nearly 6 billion Yuan RMB on key projects in first half of the year

October 11, 2014

Lhasa plans to construct 42 key projects in 2014. From January to June 2014, a total of 5.996 billion Yuan RMB was invested in key projects, accounting for 36.79% of the total fixed asset investment. Of that, 5.738 Yuan RMB was spent in resuming 22 projects and 258 million Yuan RMB was used for 13 new projects.


Military training of new students in Tibet University

October 2, 2014

The Discipline Organization of Tibet University in the TAR organized military training of new students enrolled in Tibet University. The training took place from September 17-27, 2014 and was publicised as aimed at instilling patriotism and enhancing students’ knowledge about national defence. Teachers, students and soldiers participated in the training wearing army uniforms.

The University listed that of the total of 2139 new students, 898 students are from outside TAR. 

The University said it had invited top military instructors to train the students and explain the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s doctrines, Discipline Regulations, domestic affairs, significance of the National Flag etc.

Tibet University reaffirmed that it will overcome all its difficulties and will further integrate with mainland Universities in all its endeavours. 

Chengguan District of Lhasa held its annual National Defense Education Seminar

October 8, 2014

The Propaganda Department of Chengguan (Tib:Thinkunchu) District of Lhasa held its 58th Annual Seminar on National Defense Education at the end of September 2014. 

The Propaganda Department of Chengguan District Party Committee invited Pan Xiyang, Secretary-General of the Political Department of Tibet Military District to speak on how to carry out national defense education activities designed to enhance defense awareness of the cadres and masses, promote patriotism, and accelerate leapfrog development and long term stability in Chengguan District.

Speaking at the seminar, Pan Xiyang said it is important for all cadres and officials of the district to understand how and why it is important to combine and analyse the reality of the domestic and international situations. He spoke of the strategic location of Chengguan District being in the forefront of the struggle against “western forces, separatist activities of the Dalai Clique” and  appealed to officials attending the Seminar to work extra hard and set an example to all other Districts and counties of Tibet. He talked of the indispensability of a strong army to maintain security and order. 

Chengguan District Committee Chairman Ma Yongqing also spoke at the seminar. He assured Secretary-General Pan Xiyang of the Tibet Military District that Chengguan District cadres and workers will continue to study and comprehend the profound content of his talk and promised to further enhance awareness about national defense, to work in close coordination with departments of all levels to achieve development and stability in the District, and to achieve the “rejuvenation of the Chinese dream”.




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