January 19, 2006
The New York-based Human Rights Watch says the Chinese authorities are conducting re-education campaign in Tibet centered on opposition to the Dalai Lama. In its press statement releasing the World Report for 2006 on January 18, 2006, Human Rights Watch said, "Severe repression continued in Burma, North Korea, Turkmenistan, and Tibet and Xinjiang in China, while Syria and Vietnam maintained tight restrictions on civil society and Zimbabwe conducted massive, politically motivated forced evictions."
The report said, "Chinese authorities have long refused to allow access to the boy the Dalai Lama identified in 1995 as the new Panchen Lama." It also said Tibetans suspected of independence activists "are routinely imprisoned."
In its Nepal section, the report had this to say about the plight of the Tibetan refugees. "Tibetan refugees also were affected by the January 21 closure of the Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office (TWRO), ostensibly because it was not registered. Only Nepali nationals are permitted to register an organization."
The report said, "Although Tibetans in Nepal have met the government’s conditions for replacing the office, Nepali authorities have stonewalled. Pressure from China is assumed to have been behind the closing and the refusal to accept another Tibetan organization as a replacement."
The Human Rights Watch World Report 2006 contains survey information on human rights developments in more than 70 countries in 2005.
Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization, supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly.
Following is the full text of the Tibet section of the report. The full report can be viewed on www.hrw.org.
Chinese authorities view the Dalai Lama, in exile in India since 1959, as the linchpin of the effort to separate Tibet from China and view Tibetan Buddhist belief as supportive of his efforts. Thus, the government limits the number of monasteries and monks, vets all applicants for the monkhood, interferes with the selection of monastic leaders, prohibits performance of traditional rites, and conducts ongoing reeducation campaigns centered on opposition to the Dalai Lama. In July 2005, the chairman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region announced that China would choose the next Dalai Lama.
Suspected separatists are routinely imprisoned; at this writing such individuals included two monks from Sichuan who received eleven-year prison sentences, probably in early 2005, for hoisting the banned Tibetan flag. Chinese authorities have long refused to allow access to the boy the Dalai Lama identified in 1995 as the new Panchen Lama (the second most important personage in Tibetan Buddhism), instead keeping him under virtual house arrest most likely in Beijing. In his place, Chinese authorities recognized another boy as the Panchen Lama and in June 2005 in Sichuan they ordered monks to come out in force to greet him. Authorities held several suspected "troublemakers" in preventive detention in advance of the visit.
In January 2005, Nepal abruptly closed the Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office in Kathmandu, jeopardizing a long-standing agreement under which Tibetans hoping to reach India could wait in Nepal until the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cleared them. Although Tibetans in Nepal have met the government’s conditions for replacing the office, Nepali authorities have stonewalled. Pressure from China is assumed to have been behind the closing and the refusal to accept another Tibetan organization as a replacement.
Schools in Tibet limit use of the Tibetan language and neglect to teach students Tibetan history and culture. Officials do not tolerate privately-run Tibetan schools.