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Under Siege Tibet
Resolution Heading to Senate; Authorizes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Question
March 19-20 was Tibet Lobby Day in
The Tibetan activists requested additional support for Senate Resolution 356, which nine members of the US Senate were already sponsoring, entitled, "A Resolution Expressing Support for the People of Tibet." It calls on
Bringing attention of the immediate situation in
Efforts were realized on March 27 when the US Senate for Foreign Relations Committee approved the Resolution, and sent the Bill to the Senate to be approved. It calls on
However, the bill will not threaten any repercussions for
Tibetan Women's Association Rallies for Political Prisoners
On March 12, there was also a huge march in
The Tibetan Women's Association issued a statement commemorating the uprising, and expressed concern for those inside
"The undeniable presence of armed security confirms
The Bora Monastery in Sanghu (
In other incidents, on March 16-17, a 44-year-old farmer, Sonani Dharoyal, committed self-immolation. Another monk, Jamyang Palden, also set himself on fire in Rebgong. Reportedly, he is recuperating at the local Rongbo Monastery, though Chinese authorities have been pressuring his relatives to surrender the injured monk.
These actions rallied approximately 2000 Tibetans who took to the streets in Sogdzong (
In Hindsight, Wisdom From an Elder Tibetan Nun, Imprisoned and Tortured by
As a journalist, I can't help but remember the late Tibetan nun Ani Panchen, whom I interviewed in
In my interview with her, she stated, "As a direct result of that invasion in the 1950s, there was massive destruction and desecration of
She also noted, "As a direct result of this invasion, 1.2 million Tibetan people died. There was no sparing of women, children, nuns, or monks.... I resisted the Chinese military movement into
She also shared her accounts of torture in prison. She stated, "I had two incidents that were unbearable. The worst punishment was putting very heavy shackles around my ankles for one year and one month, 24 hours per day for that duration. In the winter, it was excruciating, because I felt they were cutting into my skin, like a burning sensation, because the iron got so cold.
"I also had to live in a hole for nine months in solitary confinement. I was put underground and had to live in my own feces. It was a difficult time; it was totally dark. I couldn't see any light and I had to just imagine whether it was day or night. I would sometimes hear a bird singing its song and assume it was daytime. It was a terrible punishment - solitary confinement in total darkness. Some nuns have to endure that punishment for years."
Ani Panchen continued to focus on the role of the
"Yes, America usually fights for human rights around the world, but when you reward China when they are so blatantly violating such rights, then the basis for your stance is weakened and you lose your moral strength and character to speak to other nations about human rights violations worldwide.
"We are struggling for life and death now in our history. We called for the release of the Panchen Lama, whom
Ani Panchen also addressed the World Bank loan to
Addressing conditions for Tibetan women and children, Ani Panchen concluded, "International lawyers have documented illegal detention, mistreatment, torture and imprisonment of Tibetan children.... Because of these conditions, there are 3000 to 4000 refugees yearly crossing the Himalayas to flee the brutal force of
"I bore a lot of suffering, but it's not like what Tibetans suffer today. Tibetan women have had to endure coerced abortions and sterilization to avoid imprisonment of their husbands. Women and children are being abused using painful electric batons to their mouths and genitals. Nuns in prisons are being brutally raped. The Chinese Army would forcibly take blood from the nuns in prison. They would tell us it was for the Army hospitals, but it would make us very weak because they would take so much blood an also beat us. Prison sentences are sometimes expanded for ten more years if we sang songs of
She concluded, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama told me and the other peace walkers that we were touching Americans' sense of liberty and justice in our efforts. I hope you Americans will vote for political leaders who make human rights a priority." Ani Panchen died of heart failure a few months later at her home in
Trade Status, Economic Power, and Human Rights
In closing, the
When I interviewed H.H. the Dalai Lama in 1995, he told me, "
The Tibetans are still turning today to the United Nations to alert the world about human rights abuses by China, and to request some sort of intervention or support to bring about a change and/or justice. But even with the prestigious committees established at the UN, that body has also played a role in reinforcing
It's been many years since that squelching of the testimony of H.H. the Dalai Lama. The world has welcomed and embraced him and acknowledged the beauty, value and worth of the precious Tibetan Buddhist culture. H.H. the Dalai Lama has become a Nobel Peace Laureate, and the
Hopefully, now with this current crisis in
In 2009 the Obama administration established the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, but human rights issues have not been integrated much into the talks. The Obama administration has acknowledged "deterioration" in
Former Director of Amnesty International Bill Schultz told me years ago in an exclusive interview, "The US believes that
Schultz warned, "Every time
According to the Weiss Report, China's economy is potentially becoming larger than America's, and the United Nations, IMF and other international organizations are calling for the end of the reign of the US dollar (in favor of the Chinese Yuan).
It appears that now is a crucial time to act on the reprioritizing of human rights in the event
This article was originally posted at Reader Supported News.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs