Tag: tibet

Some 29 Tibetan tour guides from Shigatse Prefecture Tourist Travel Agency in Lhasa were reportedly dismissed from their jobs on 1 July 2000 following a major investigation to identify and expel guides who are exile-educated Tibet returnees.

TAR Tour Guide Discipline Management Department, established June this year, conducted an extensive investigation into 18 branch Tourist Agencies in Lhasa that comes under China International Tourist Service (CITS).

According to Sonam Wangdu, one of the 29 expelled Tibetan guides who reached Nepal on 27 July 2000, “An Inspection Committee dispatched by the newly set up Guide Discipline Management Department, conducted strict investigation in various tours and travel agencies in Lhasa City functioning under TAR International Tourist Service. Inquiries are made regarding the guides’ personal background, particularly names of educational institutions where we have studied and any history of political activism. We were further interrogated concerning our knowledge of guide regulation and made to produce documents to prove our credentials. These led to the dismissal of 29 tourist guides educated in India just five days before the Dalai Lama’s birthday celebration this year. However, three Tibetan graduates from Chinese universities were not stripped off their tour guide jobs.”

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Fifteen monks, including 12 juveniles and three elderly monks above the age of 65, were expelled from Yungtrung Peri Monastery following a visit of ‘Work Team’ officials, according to Tsultrim Tenzin, a 26 year-old monk from the Monastery who fled to India in April 2000.

In June 1998, a six-member ‘work team’ officials came to Yungtrung Peri Monastery and summoned all the residents of the monastery for ‘re-education’. Documents were distributed to monks for study and each monk was individually interrogated.  Later the officials expelled 15 monks and they were prohibited from participating in any religious practices.

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A Tibetan monk from Drepung monastery in Lhasa, Ngawang Samphel (33), was arrested in early April 1999 for suspicion of political acts. At present his whereabouts are unknown. This is the second time that Ngawang has been arrested. His first detention in Gutsa Detention Centre was for taking part in a peaceful demonstration on 27 September 1988, with five other monks from Drepung monastery.

On 27 September 1988, Ngawang Samphel and five other Drepung monks, Ngawang Zegen (22), Ngawang Chemey (30), Ngawang Thosam (28), Jamphel Wangchuk (28) and Jamphel Sherab (31) staged a peaceful demonstration in the Barkhor in Lhasa, shouting slogans calling for Tibetan independence. The officials of the People’s Armed Police (PAP) and Public Security Bureau (PSB) immediately arrested them. They were taken to Gutsa Detention Centre, located to the east of Lhasa. While in detention, the six monks were subjected to severe torture. As a result of the torture Ngawang’s friend Ngawang Zegen from Toelung County, died in 1989 approximately one month after his release.

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The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) welcomes China’s signing of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on October 5 but expresses reservation at both China’s sincerity and the efficacy of this action in improving the human rights situation in Tibet and in China.

China’s decision to sign the ICCPR appears to be a response to persistent international pressure on the Chinese government to uphold international human rights standards, culminating in the recent visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Mary Robinson, to China. “We are concerned that the signing of the ICCPR is another political manoeuvre by the Chinese government to deflect attention from its deteriorating human rights record,” said Lobsang Nyandak, Executive Director of TCHRD. The signing of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in October 1997 was similarly timed to coincide with the visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin to the USA.

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