Thursday 2014/04/24

Radio / Tibet in Review

Tibet in Review is a weekly program that highlights past events that still matter to the lives of our listeners.



April 18, 2014

Arrest Continues and Restriction on Gasoline in a Township in Sog County

Under an overwhelming presence of military and Chinese officials, in a rural Tibetan township of Trido, Sog County, 29 Tibetans have been reportedly arrested since February. According to Ngawang Tharpa and Rinchen, who are closely observing the situation in the area, there are currently about 30 police and government officials stationed in each village and checkpoints are set up between the villages. “There are three check points between Drilda Monastery and Trido township seat,” said Tharpa, the president of Dra-Sog-Drisum Association in Dharamsala. This is about 12 km long distance via Salween River, a remote mountain road mainly used by the local villagers. Trido Township in Sog County has become the latest focus of TAR security forces after a several Tibetan independence messages appeared on bridges, boulders, and frozen river since February. Also in Sog Tseden Monastery, located about 70 km from Trido Township, a monk was arrested on March 14 for burning a Chinese national flag and writing free Tibet messages on the door of a government office, according to Ngwang Tharpa. The officials had recently collected all the gasoline that people in Trido Township had kept in their homes, a common practice in areas where there is no gas station, Rinchen said. The measure is part of combating self-immolations.

March 17, 2014

Dalai Lama’s First U.S. Senate Opening Prayer

The Dalai Lama, who first visited the U.S. Congress 17 years ago, offered his first opening prayer for the U.S. Senate on March 6. He shared his “most favorite prayer”, which he said he prays daily: “For as long as space remains, and for as long as the sentient beings remain, until then, may I, too, remain to help dispel the miseries of the world.”

Thanking for the prayer and blessings, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Dalai Lama’s messages are lessons for everyone in the world, and “certainly within this chamber.” He reminded those in his chamber that the Dalai Lama advises everyone to sit down and talk in order to resolve the problems.

Senate Patrick Leahy, the President Pro Temore of the U.S. Senate, also praised the Dalai Lama, whom he called “old and dear friend,” as someone “who touches everybody’s conscience”. “He touches this Catholic every time I see him,” he said, calling the Dalai Lama the “gift to the world.”

The Senate opening-prayer is usually conducted by the Senate Chaplain, but in 2007 a Hindu clergyman named Rajan Zed was invited to offer the U.S. Senate’s opening prayer. He was interrupted by Christian protesters, calling it “abomination,” according to CBS news.

The morning-prayer in the Senate was one of many activities the Tibetan spiritual leader has engaged while visiting the U.S. Capitol, which included a talk to about 400 Congressional staffers, according to the Dalai Lama’s representative, Kardor Aukatsang.

The Dalai Lama also met with U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House on February 21 for one hour. The White House said that President Obama reiterated U.S. position on Tibet being part of China, but he expressed his “strong support” for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religion, culture, linguistic traditions, and the protection of human rights for Tibetans. He also expressed his supports for the Dalai Lama’s “Middle Way” approach.

Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama engaging in activities to separate Tibet from China by using his “cloak of religion”. However, the Dalai Lama says he only seeks for a “genuine” autonomy for the Tibetan people under which they can preserve their culture, religion, language, identity, and protect their environment.

February 05, 2014

Tibet’s Nomad Settlement Policy May Be Based On Bad Science

China is not the first country to see livestock grazing as the cause of environmental degradation. In the 1900s, many naturalists in the US arrived at the same conclusion and blamed cattle grazing for the ruin of alpine meadows. However today, even as China is in the completion phase of a massive program to remove millions of Tibetan nomads into new towns from the grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau, the United States and several other developed countries have started to reintroduce traditional grazing practices as a possible solution to restoring grassland ecosystems. The livestock grazing and ecology experts Tibet in Review interviewed, say that there have been positive changes to grassland environments around the world, including reduction of desertification and improvement of water quality, after reintroducing traditional grazing systems.

Interview: Kent Solberg, livestock and grazing specialist of Sustainable Farming Association, MN; Wayne Monsen, a retired grazing specialist for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Julia Klein, Associate Professor at Colorado State University who conducted a research on grazing and ecology in Tibet.

Other sources: Sustainable and Farming Association of Minnesota; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

January 27, 2014

China Encourages Nomads to Join Cooperatives as the Relocation is Completing

China says it has completed its massive relocation project of Tibetan nomads into new settlements in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The controversial project has been criticized as the way to control the Tibetans. China's official Tibet TV website announced last Thursday that 2.3 million people in the TAR have been moved into new houses. According to Qinghai province's five-year plan, 90 percent of the nomads living in that area are due to be relocated by the end of this year. As the relocation is complete or near to complete on the Tibetan Plateau, China is now encouraging nomadic herders to join "cooperatives." State-run Qinghai Online News this month said, “Local nomads [have begun] enjoying a new modern life in their crystal-clean new homes while all of their livestock are raised in the endless grassland under a cooperative style [system].” China has said moving nomads into permanent homes provides them with a better life and could help the fragile environment of Tibetan Plateau. However, Professor Julia A Klein at Colorado State University and others who conducted research on how traditional nomadic grazing system worked with the plateau environment found that grazing provided nutrients for the top soil which helped with the regeneration of grass. Critics say that the program ignores environmental realities, and is really a way for the authorities to control the livestock and land that belonged to the nomads. Wang Yongchen, a Beijing based Chinese environmental activist and journalist told VOA Tibetan Service that nomadic culture has sustained the area's environment thus far.


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Tibet in Review is a weekly program that highlights past events that still matter to the lives of our listeners. (in Tibetan).


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Headline News 24 Apr , 2014i
པཎ་ཆེན་གྱི་སྐུ་ཕྲེང་༡༡་པའི་འཁྲུངས་སྐར། ཉི་ཧོང་དུ་སྲུང་སྐྱོབ་ཆིངས་ཡིག་སྐོར་གསུངས་པ། གཅིག་སྒྲིལ་གྱི་གཞུང་འཛུགས་རྒྱུར་སྐྱོན་འཛུགས། ར་ཤི་ཡར་གྲོས་མཐུན་མི་སྲུང་བར་སྐྱོན་བརྗོད།