2018年10月15日 星期一

Sang Jieja 
October 15, 2018

After years of negotiations, the Vatican and China finally announced in late September that a consensus had been reached on the appointment of Chinese bishops and the two sides signed a provisional agreement.
As a Tibetan bystander, I wasn't optimistic about the agreement. I have been subjected to violations by the Chinese government for more than 60 years.
Catholics in China have been divided between the state-sanctioned church and the underground church that is loyal to the Vatican.
Now, Pope Francis says that he has the final decision on the appointment of bishops, not Beijing. The poperecognized eight illegal bishops appointed by China and admitted the agreement would be painful for Catholics who had suffered.
The Vatican may think that the agreement will be a success as it will make it possible for China to accept the pope as the leader of the Chinese Catholic Church and he can give Chinese Catholics more guidance.
But let us look at the results of the 67-year-old agreement between Tibet and the Chinese government before we become too optimistic.
On May 23, 1951, the Tibetan and the Chinese governments signed the "17-Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet", in which it states: "The central government will not change the current political system in Tibet and the inherent status and authority of the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan officials at all levels serve as usual."
It also promises to: "Respect the religious beliefs and customs of the Tibetan people and protect the Lama Temple."
In fact, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) never complied with the agreement. The Chinese army arrived in Lhasa and soon tore up the document and forced the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government into exile in India.
Another example is the "Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law" relating to Tibet, which in theory gave ethnic minorities the right to self-administration. But did the CCP respect this law? The sheer number of Tibetan protests, including the 152protesters who set themselves on fire, gives us a chilling answer.
The Chinese government has also signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; and the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.
Has the CCP government complied with any of these conventions? China's poor human rights record tells us "no."
The Chinese government does not even comply with its own laws or constitution.
Ironically, the agreement with the Vatican reflects the CCP's violation of Article 36 of its constitution, which stipulates that "citizens of the People's Republic of China have freedom of religious belief" and "religious groups and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign influences".
This begs the question of whether the Sino-Vatican agreement is truly possible?
The agreement means the Chinese government would have to abandon its principle, and the Chinese side is very clear about the results of the abandonment.
Judging from the above, the so-called commitment of the Chinese government is only for political expediency, and the latest agreement will be torn up once its aims are reached.
The essence of the autocratic Chinese Communist government determines that religion is only a tool to consolidate its rule. Moreover, true religion has no space under the rule of the Communist Party of China — the Tibetans are convinced of this.
Since the Chinese Communist regime came to power, it has continued to suppress all kinds of religions.
For Tibetan Buddhism, they razed temples, expelled thousands of monks, set up party organizations in monasteries and Buddhist colleges for managing reincarnation.
For Christianity, hundreds of churches and thousands of crosses were demolished, the faithful were expelled and the Catholic underground church was suppressed.
For Islam, millions of Uyghurs were placed in re-education camps.
After Chinese President Xi Jinping took office, he intensified crack downs on religious circles, forced Tibetan Buddhism to "adapt to socialism", and enforced "a new interpretation of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism".
When the CCP is capable of all evil, it casts doubts on their reasons for signing the agreement with the Vatican.
As the Chinese government severely suppresses all the religions, it is difficult to conceive that China will treat Catholic communities and its believers well.
The tolerance, compassion, and love of the Vatican needs to face the hegemony of the CPP, which is based on the Thick Black Theory — thick face and black heart — and kills people without shame and cruelly.
Over the years, people have hoped that the Vatican's contacts with the Chinese government can improve the situation of the Chinese Catholics, and that the Chinese government will improve its policies on all religions. However, from Xi Jinping's recent handling of religious incidents, that hope is becoming more and more of a dream.
Tibet is occupied by the Chinese government, which of course is not comparable to the Vatican's situation. However, the religious policy imposed on Tibet after China's occupation can be instructive and the Vatican must be cautious.
As Kung Lap Yan, associate professor of the divinity school at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said: "No matter how much the Catholic Church earns in this matter, it will be lost in the end."

2018年10月2日 星期二


標籤連結:  ,  ,  ,  ,  , 

2 October 2018


2018年9月29日 星期六




2008310日开始,西藏首都拉萨为主的各地发生抗议中国政府的运动,从参加抗议示威的人数、覆盖的地域和持续的时间等各方面是规模空前的抗议示威运动。对2008年的抗议运动西藏人称土鼠年和平抗议,也有境内藏人学者称“土鼠年革命”。 虽然,西藏土鼠年和平抗议发生已经十年了,在西藏境内仍然以不同的方式进行抗议,示威游行、自焚抗议、单独上街抗议等,这些都是2008310日发生的土鼠年和平抗议延续,所以,这十年来西藏土鼠年和平抗议从未停止,因为,中国政府的迫害从未停止,西藏问题还没有解决。


















还有,中国政府对土鼠年和平抗议者的屠杀问题,从照片、录像、现场记录者和中国官方资料证明屠杀了数百名的藏人。 最后,还有数千计藏人被失踪、拘捕和判刑。



2018年9月19日 星期三


作者: 桑杰嘉
民主中国首发   时间: 9/19/2018 




















2018年9月10日 星期一

How far is Tibet from real human rights and rule of law?

The tragic case of Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk highlights how Beijing 'games the system' on political disputes

Sang Jie(sangjey kep)

Tibet.net, the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration, calls for the immediate release of Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk from prison on June 6 after he was jailed for five years for inciting separatism. (Photo supplied)
Liang Xiaojun, a defense lawyer for Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk, posted a message on his Twitter account on Aug. 22 relaying the verdict in Tashi's appeal after he was charged with inciting separatism for seeking broader inclusion of the language in the local curriculum.
Earlier on May 22, the Yushu Intermediate Court in China's western Qinghai province had sentenced him to five years in jail, and the Qinghai Higher People's Court found no reason to overrule this.
"According to the verdict we received, Tashi Wangchuk's personal argument and his lawyer's defense statement were not adopted at the appeal, and the original judgment has been upheld," Liang tweeted.
The case dates back to Jan. 27, 2016, when The New York Times released a documentary about a lawsuit filed by Tashi, who had accused the Tibetan local government of failing to protect and promote Tibetan culture. After the video was broadcast, Tashi was arbitrarily detained. His case was finally opened for trial on Jan. 4.
The higher court's verdict angered several human rights organizations and groups supporting Tibet, who said it highlighted how the rule of law was being ignored in the region when dealing with Tibetan issues.
On Aug. 23, the Tibetan Advocacy Coalition released a statement criticizing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for trampling on the constitution.
"China's dismissal of Tashi Wangchuk's appeal is a mockery of justice and shows a disdain for [how the rest of the world views this]," it said.
The International Tibet Network also issued a statement denouncing the verdict.
"The rejection of [his] appeal is clear proof that people should be trembling with fear. China's new policy aims to criminalize Tibetan culture, such as by attacking people or groups that are only trying to promote their own language and culture. China should immediately release Tashi Wangchuk unconditionally," it read.
But the higher court's ruling was not unexpected given that higher courts routinely support the original verdicts in China on matters of national security, attempts to "split the country" or other political issues especially in Tibet.
Since the rule of the CCP almost always trumps the rule of law in China, under the guiding principle of national stability, the law often seems like little more than a kind of wallpaper or decoration that can be stripped away or changed whenever the government feels like it.
This is especially true for Tibetans.
In Tashi's case, there were no legal grounds for his arrest, prosecution and sentencing as the charge leveled against him could not be supported in a real, functioning court of law.
The so-called evidence presented against him at both courts was nothing if not ridiculous. The centerpiece was a documentary released by the Times detailing Tashi's original lawsuit accusing the local government of failing to protect and promote Tibetan culture.
It was broadcast online, meaning it was viewable by anyone around the world with an internet connection. Everyone, that is, except those who live in a few countries including mainland China as Beijing promptly blocked it.
That being said, more savvy Chinese, especially in big cities, can still get around the censors in most cases by using a virtual private network.
To anyone not concerned with protecting the party's power in China, the documentary showed nothing to justify the charge Tashi was facing. But this is China and if the government wishes to find fault with someone, especially in Tibet, it doesn't need to worry about finding a suitable pretext.
However, all Tashi was doing in launching his appeal was exercising his right to freedom of speech and fighting to preserve his region's traditional language.
During his appeal, his lawyers noted how his conviction was "a violation of the people's right to enjoy freedom of speech and the media's right to supervise and report on [matters of law]."
"Tashi Wangchuk is just a young Tibetan who expressed his simple concern for the reduction [in the scale] of Tibetan culture and language classes," they continued.
"We implore the higher court to reduce the heavy sentence … to safeguard the basic rights of citizens and the dignity of the law."
Those pleas fell on deaf ears, however, with the Qinghai Higher People's Court delivering a stinging reply.
"The court believes that when the appellant, Tashi Wangchuk, became actively involved in the filming [of the documentary] and accepted interviews from the media to deliver comments that undermined the solidarity of ethnic groups and the unity of the state, he committed acts commensurate with the offense of inciting separatism."
As such, the court said it had no choice but to dismiss the appeal and uphold the original judgment. It stressed this ruling was final and could not be challenged at any other court in the future.
Some researchers of human rights issues in Tibet and Chinese law in general have pointed out that, in many cases involving political issues in Tibet, the lower court seeks advice from the appellate court before delivering its verdict. This is a clear violation of the rule of law and ridicules the whole concept of appealing an unfair decision.
Even more egregious is how such a system reconfigures the role of Chinese lawyers. They are not the guardians of the law but rather "witnesses to the legal process."
As Ling Qilei, the second of Tashi's defense lawyers, noted, one of the great humiliations for those who are part of China's legal machinery is that they are cogs in a machine with almost no power to fight against such morally wrong decision.
"There's no other way. We are just witnesses to the legal process," he said.
Sang Jieja is a Tibetan writer, commentator and a former Chinese spokesman for the exiled Tibetan government. He is now studying in Spain.