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Minorities At Risk Project: Home    

Chronology for Tibetans in China

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Date(s) Item
May 1990 The Chinese government lifted martial law in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet on May 1. (Tibet was renamed the Autonomous Region of Xizang (TAR) by the Chinese in 1955). Martial law, which was imposed in March 1989 following outbreaks of secessionist unrest, was rescinded by Chinese Premier Li Peng on the grounds that "the situation has become stable and social order has returned to normal" (Keesings, 05/90). The Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of the Tibetans, welcomed the lifting of martial law, but expressed the hope that it represented more than a superficial "public relations exercise" (Keesings, 05/90). In recent years, the Dalai Lama has been active in lobbying world leaders for negotiations on Tibetan independence and in adopting a higher diplomatic profile which was recognized in his receipt of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize. In accordance with his wish to democratize the independence movement, on May 15 the Tibetan People's Deputies (parliament- in-exile) for the first time elected a three-member cabinet hitherto appointed by the Dalai Lama. A report issued by Asia Watch on May 28 alleged that abuses by Chinese authorities in Tibet had "greatly increased" over the last two years, and that torture was frequently used against protesters. Doje Cering, a 52-year-old ethnic Tibetan, resigned as Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region on May 20, ostensibly on the grounds of ill health; he was replaced by Gyainvain Norbu.
Dec 1990 The Dalai Lama renounced his previous insistence on complete separation for Tibet and proposed instead that Tibet should enter into a "loose confederation" with China (Keesings, supplement, 1991). There was no positive official Chinese reaction to the proposal.
Mar 1991 Although his appeal to meet with Prime Minister John Major was refused, the Dalai Lama visited the United Kingdom and met with Prince Charles and opposition Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock. Calling the UK's attitude to Tibet "not satisfactory", the Dalai Lama drew parallels between Tibet and Kuwait and the Baltic States. The Chinese Foreign Ministry strongly protested the visit to the UK government. The Great Prayer Festival was banned to prevent protests commemorating the 1959 uprising. The Barkhor, the path around the central Jokhang Temple in Lhasa and the focus of previous protests, was reportedly bulldozed and five monks were subsequently arrested for demonstrating.
Apr 1991 The Dalai Lama met with President Bush in Washington, although on previous visits to the US he had not been granted such a meeting. China made a strong protest to the US.
May 1991 "Celebrations" were organized by Chinese authorities on the 40th anniversary of the "liberation" of Tibet. Large numbers of troops were stationed in Lhasa to prevent any pro-independence demonstrations.
Oct 1991 On October 10, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman rejected a proposal made by the Dalai Lama in a speech in the US to return to Tibet for the first time since 1959. Chinese authorities demanded that the Dalai Lama abandon his support for Tibetan independence. Some eyewitness reports suggest four anti-Chinese protests occurred in Lhasa despite tight security following the alleged police killing of a Buddhist monk during a protest in September (The Independent, 09/15/93).
Dec 1991 Regarded by analysts as a political and diplomatic triumph for China, the visit by Chinese Premier Li Peng to India secured a formal undertaking by India to check the activities of its Tibetan refugees. The joint communiqué released at the end of the visit noted that China had "expressed concern about the continued activities in India by some Tibetans against their motherland", while India had reaffirmed that "Tibet is an autonomous region of China". In a gesture construed as a concession to China, the Communiqué also stated that India "does not allow Tibetans to engage in anti-China political activities in India".
Jan 1992 In an interview in the Jan. 24, 1992 edition of the daily Renmin Ribao, Gyainvain Norbu, Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region, expressed satisfaction with Tibet's economic performance. Grain output increased by 4.5% over 1990. He estimated that the value of total agricultural output had increased by 4.3%. Peoples' living standards had "gradually improved", with a modest increase in per capita income. However, he noted that energy shortages restricted industrial and agricultural development. On Tibet's religious policy, Norbu said that while the government approved of "normal religious activities", it could not "tolerate or turn a deaf ear to illegal religious practices".
Mar 1992 The UN Commission on Human Rights supported a resolution condemning Chinese human rights violations in Tibet.
May 1992 China announced plans to establish a Special Economic Zone in Lhasa as part of its strategy to boost development. Together with increasing agricultural output and industrial growth, the focus of China's new development policy in Tibet is the opening-up of Tibet to rapid development through foreign trade, tourism and investment. Amnesty International issued a report on repression in Tibet. Arbitrary arrests, widespread use of torture and ill-treatment of detainees, the long-term detention of prisoners of conscience and a record of killings of unarmed demonstrators were among Amnesty's major concerns in Tibet.
Apr 1993 The Dalai Lama visited Washington. He was the first guest to enter the Holocaust Museum in Washington when it opened to the public on April 26. Comparing the fate of Jews under Nazi Germany and Tibetans under communist China, the Dalai Lama told a group of journalists: "In our case the Chinese (acted) in the name of liberation and progress, but the results were similar" (FEER, 05/06/93). The Clinton Administration was careful to avoid playing up the Dalai Lama's visit, though during the US election campaign candidate Clinton was very critical of Bush's policy toward Tibet. A White House spokesman stressed that Vice-President Al Gore received the Dalai Lama at the White House; Clinton simply made "a brief stop-by" and "said hello". The White House issued a statement saying, "The administration continues to urge Peking and the Dalai Lama to revive a dialogue between them and presses China to address human-rights abuses in Tibet". The Dalai Lama also met British Foreign secretary Douglas Hurd in London and Polish President Lech Walesa in Warsaw. Meanwhile, US legislators have just submitted bills in both the House and the Senate, attaching conditions to China's MFN trade status. For the first time both bills contained strong criticism of the "population transfer" of ethnic Chinese into Tibet. It is alleged that China conducts a policy of Sinification of Tibet. Both bills urge China to "release all political and religious prisoners in China and Tibet and to cease forcing the large-scale influx of Chinese settlers into Tibet which is threatening the survival of the Tibetan culture" (FEER, 05/06/93). The Dalai Lama calls the process "a kind of cultural genocide".
Jun 1993 The Chinese administration in Tibet played host to a 10-member human-rights fact-finding mission of ambassadors and senior diplomats from the EC. At least 3 Tibetans were arrested prior to the delegation's arrival to prevent them from contacting the diplomats. The ambassadors canceled several meetings to protest against the arrests and converted one banquet to a "working dinner" on human rights. An anti-inflation demonstration that escalated into an anti-Chinese riot in the Tibetan capital Lhasa was quelled by the presence of heavy troops and promises of action on prices by the authorities. Rioters reportedly stoned downtown shops run by Han Chinese and attacked a police station. The four-day melee was the worst since 1988 when Tibetan independence protests brought on a year of martial law.
Jan 1994 The South China Morning Post (01/30/94) reports that there is clear evidence that the Chinese government is actively encouraging agricultural workers from China to settle in rural sites especially prepared in Tibet. Chinese peasants are being attracted by loan guarantees, less stringent application of the one-child policy and promises of land. Chinese mining operations in remote regions of Tibet are being stepped up as well. This has sparked numerous protests by Tibetan farming communities, expressing their resentment at what they see as Chinese appropriation of Tibetan timber, minerals and land.
Mar 1994 The Mayor of Lhasa denied the Dalai Lama's claims that Chinese immigrants were swamping Tibetans, and claimed that 87.2% of the capital's population of 400,000 are ethnic Tibetans.
Apr 1994 China sharply criticized the US President and Vice-President for meeting the Dalai lama, accusing them of "serious interference" in China's internal affairs (Reuters, 04/29/94).
Jul 1994 China has renewed its offer of talks with the Dalai Lama. President Jiang Zemin, addressing a conference on Tibet, said: "Our attitude towards the Dalai Lama is that, provided he gives up the idea of Tibetan independence and stops his attempts to split the country, he is welcome to come back any time" (The Daily Telegraph, 07/28/94). The conditional offer of talks is nothing new, but it is rare for it to be made by the head of state and given extensive media coverage.
Sep 1994 The Dalai Lama says his 15-year peaceful struggle against oppression is a failure and he may hold a referendum to ask his people what path should be followed. "My appeal to the international community is please help China come to the negotiating table", he said (The Daily Yomiuri, 08/20/94). Tibetan exiles and their supporters have always been divided on whether negotiations with the current Chinese regime will even produce a modest degree of autonomy. The Dalai Lama now proposes to survey public opinion inside and outside Tibet on what policy on China should be adopted. His plan "to take the matter to the people directly and accept their verdict" will infuriate the Chinese who deny his right to consult Tibetans on any political matters.
Oct 1994 China unveiled plans to lift Tibet out of poverty and isolation with an ambitious 10% growth target and a doubling of average income by the year 2000. Farmers in the Himalayan region earned only 520 Yuan ($61) last year, half of the average Chinese rural wage. Beijing has blamed Tibet's impoverished and backward status on the ongoing rumblings for Tibetan independence. The rosy six-year modernization plan failed to address some major Tibetan concerns, particularly the education sector (UPI, 10/06/94).
Nov 1994 China released four Tibetans who were jailed for advocating the region's independence (Reuters, 11/16/94).
Nov 22, 1994 Diplomats who recently visited Tibet indicated that the Chinese government has banned the display of photographs of the Dalai Lama, except for inside temples. The information accords with similar claims by the Dalai Lama's office. Further, Italy has offered US $630,000 to improve health services for Tibetan exiles living in India (Reuters, 11/22/94).
Nov 29, 1994 China has declared a northern Tibet county a disaster area following heavy snowfalls. Almost 4000 herdsman face the threat of starvation (Reuters, 11/29/94).
Dec 1994 The Chinese government has vowed to eliminate the traditional Tibetan practice of polyandry, stating that it violates the country's marriage law and promotes promiscuity among women who cannot find husbands (Reuters, 12/28/94).
Jan 1995 The western regions of Tibet and Xinjiang are reported to have the highest birth rates in the country. Large ethnic populations in China were previously excluded from the one-child policy; but, two years ago, birth control was introduced in these regions (Reuters, 01/19/95).
Jan 27, 1995 Officials in Tibet report that widespread local unrest by separatists is posing a threat to the region's security. Some Tibetans were reported to have posted signed slogans and distributed leaflets. No further details were reported (Reuters, 01/27/95).
Feb 1995 The Chinese government has launched a campaign to promote the use of the Tibetan language in official meetings and as the medium of instruction in schools (Reuters, 02/20/95).
Feb 24, 1995 Officials in Tibet state that in 1994 prosecutors handled 765 cases of anti-Chinese "splittism" and other serious crimes. Also, 164 people, including 137 lamas and nuns, were arrested in 44 counterrevolutionary cases. Splittism is the term the Chinese government uses to refer to the activities of pro-independence Tibetans (Reuters, 02/24/95; State Department's 1996 Report on China's Human Rights Practices, 03/96).
Feb 26, 1995 One thousand of China's outstanding officials and technicians are being sent to promote economic development in Tibet, which is among the most backward regions of the country (Reuters, 02/26/95; Reuters, 03/15/95).
Mar 1995 China's government has publicly acknowledged that ethnic minorities in the country don't have enough to eat or wear and that the gap between the minorities and prosperous Chinese is widening. Fearful of unrest because of poverty, China is embarking on a program to ensure that by the year 2000, all ethnic peoples will be provided with enough food and clothes. Beijing plans to spend more than $1.6 billion in Tibet (UPI, 03/01/95).
Mar 2, 1995 Almost 1000 people have been cut off in a remote area of northern Tibet, following the worst snow storm the region has witnessed in over 50 years. Another 130,000 residents are considered at risk due to severe cold (Reuters, 03/02/95).
Mar 20, 1995 China has announced a crackdown on religious practices in Tibet. The new regulations limit the number of monks in each temple, allow for the expulsion of lamas from monasteries where they are deemed to be too numerous and provide new rules on the reincarnation of living Buddhas. Further, new temples cannot be built without the approval of the authorities and Communist party cadres are not allowed to display the Dalai Lama's pictures or send their children to overseas schools run by the Dalai Lama's organizations. In 1993, there were 1,643 temples in Tibet, more than the number of villages and towns (Reuters, 03/20/95).
May 1995 More than 100 relief teams have been dispatched to northern Tibet to help 130,000 residents who have been cut off by the worst snowstorms in 50 years. Helicopters are also being used to airdrop food, clothing, and animal fodder (Reuters, 05/13/95).
May 14, 1995 The Dalai Lama has declared a six-year old boy as the reincarnation of the Panchem Lama, Tibet's second most senior religious leader. The last Panchem Lama died in 1989; he had been the highest Tibetan in the Chinese government. After a Dalai Lama's death, the Panchem Lama is entrusted with determining his reincarnation (Reuters, 05/14/95).
May 17, 1995 China has rejected the Dalai Lama's choice of a new Panchem Lama, announcing that this is another attempt to split the country. China contends that for 200 years, central government approval has been necessary to confirm any discovery of a reincarnated lama (Reuters, 05/17/95).
May 29, 1995 A major drought is threatening the main crop-growing areas in Tibet and it is expected to continue throughout the summer (Reuters, 05/29/95).
May 30, 1995 Amnesty International reports that at the end of 1994, there were 628 political detainees in Tibet, compared to 400 in 1993. Most of the Tibetans were reportedly arrested for their involvement in small anti-Chinese demonstrations that Amnesty International attributed to renewed restrictions on the worship of Buddhism. In February, China stated that there were 765 cases of splittism and other serious crimes in 1994 (Reuters, 05/30/95).
Jun 1995 Tibet's government has ordered an overhaul of monasteries and nunneries for their reported involvement in anti-Chinese protests and it demanded strict punishment for what it described as "subversive" monks and nuns. The government stated that 87% of those arrested in 1994 were monks and nuns (Reuters, 06/17/95; Reuters, 06/22/95).
Jul 1995 Chinese police have beefed up security in Tibet after police defused a bomb near a monument on June 25. China is preparing to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese-controlled Tibet Autonomous Region (Reuters, 07/5/95).
Jul 10, 1995 A Chinese newspaper has stated that Mao Tse-tung secretly paved the way for the Dalai Lama's escape to India in 1959. The newspaper indicates that Mao ordered troops not to stop the Dalai Lama and his followers, even if they tried to escape the country. Mao's decision was reported to be a tactical move to divide Tibet's traditional upper class rulers (Reuters, 07/10/95).
Aug 1995 The Chinese government has asked Nepal's communist government to crackdown on alleged anti-Chinese activities by Tibetan refugees. There are an estimated 20,000 Tibetan refugees living in Nepal (Reuters, 08/07/95).
Aug 31, 1995 Nine exiled Tibetan women staged a silent protest at the International Non-Governmental Organizations Forum on Women, being held in China. The women gagged their mouths with scarves to protest China's annexation of Tibet. The protest occurred on the 30th anniversary of China's establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region (Reuters, 08/31/95).
Sep 1995 A Chinese memorial plaque in Lhasa was bombed twice by separatist activists prior to the 30th anniversary celebration of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The bombings occurred during August and caused minimal damage (Reuters, 09/03/95).
Oct 1995 About 20 Tibetan monks went on a day's hunger strike and staged a demonstration near the Chinese embassy in New Delhi. They were protesting Beijing's detention of a boy chosen by the Dalai Lama to be the new Panchem Lama. China denies it is holding the boy (Reuters, 10/06/95).
Oct 20, 1995 Six Tibetans on a hunger strike for almost a week asked the UN to mark its 50th anniversary by recognizing Tibet as an occupied country. The Tibetans have been camped across from the UN's New York headquarters (Reuters, 10/20/95).
Oct 25, 1995 The abbot of a Tibetan temple vanished in May and has apparently been taken into state custody. The abbot was the leader of the committee searching for the reincarnation of the Panchem Lama and was reported to have informed the Dalai Lama about the six-year old boy whom the Dalai Lama claims is the Panchem Lama's reincarnation (Reuters, 10/25/95).
Nov 1995 Chinese President Jiang Zemin has asked Tibetan lamas to speed up the search for the reincarnation of the Panchem Lama, who is considered the second holiest monk. The six-year old boy recognized by the Dalai Lama was excluded from the Chinese government's final short-list of three candidates (Reuters, 11/12/95).
Nov 29, 1995 The Chinese government has identified a Tibetan boy as the reincarnation of the Panchem Lama, challenging the Dalai Lama's earlier choice of a six-year old boy (Reuters, 11/29/95).
Nov 30, 1995 The Dalai Lama's office in India reports that residents in Tibet's three main cities violated a curfew in order to protest against Beijing's choice of the reincarnation of the Panchem Lama. No independent corroboration of the report was available (Reuters, 11/30/95).
Dec 1995 About 400 Tibetan monks and nuns went on a hunger strike in northern India on December 3 to protest the Chinese government's choice of a Panchem Lama. The previous day, about 100 Tibetans protested in New Delhi. The Dalai Lama's unilateral choice of the reincarnation reportedly enraged China which then chose its own successor (Reuters, 12/03/95).
Dec 1995 Reports indicate that some 27 people were arrested between November 27 and December 11 while protesting China's selection of a Panchem Lama (US State Department's 1996 Report on China's Human Rights Practices, 03/96).
Dec 7, 1995 Approximately 400 Tibetans demonstrated in New Delhi against China's enthronement of the 11th Panchem Lama. The Tibetan community in Dharamsala (where the Dalai Lama resides) also went on a 24-hour hunger strike (Reuters, 12/08/95).
Dec 21, 1995 The Dalai Lama's security has been increased in Dharamsala in northern India following the arrest of three people suspected of trying to spy on him (Reuters, 12/21/95).
Jan 1996 Beijing has issued orders for all religious places of worship to register with the government. The order marks another crackdown on religion after an upsurge in religious activities in recent years (Reuters, 01/14/96). Amnesty International asserts that a six-year old boy, the Dalai Lama's choice as the next Panchem Lama, and his family have been missing for eight months. The organization suspects that the family is in custody and called upon China to lift any restrictions upon the family. The Chinese government will only say that the boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, is safe in Tibet. The choice of a Panchem Lama sparked a major controversy last year as in November the government appointed its own choice as the official reincarnation (Reuters, 01/19/96).
Feb 1996 China is blaming the Dalai Lama for unrest in Tibet in recent years and it has vowed to close "politically problematic lamaseries" and jail separatist monks and nuns. Tibet's Committee of Nationalities and Religious Affairs called for greater management of lamaseries and for having monks, nuns, and Buddhists undergo education on patriotism and socialism (Reuters, 02/23/96). A 1995 survey reveals that 40% of Tibetans are illiterate or semi-literate. More than 69% of the population does not have any formal schooling. Government figures state that Tibet's population is 2.4 million, excluding those who reside there temporarily, such as Chinese troops. Tibetans form 96.7% of the population while the number of Han Chinese is 79,000 (Reuters, 02/25/96).
Mar 1, 1996 A new law which would allow the government to impose martial law more easily has been signed by Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Martial law has been imposed in China twice in recent years to control civil unrest - in March 1989 in Tibet and in May 1989 in Beijing (Reuters, 03/01/96).
Mar 1996 The US State Department's 1996 Report on China's Human Rights Practices reveals that minorities continue to be economically disadvantaged in relation to the Chinese majority. Development projects have reportedly disrupted the traditional life of groups such as the Uighurs in Xinjiang and the Tibetans. Ethnic minorities are also effectively closed from real political and decision making power. Religious restrictions continue including those on the building of mosques and the provision of religious education to those under 18 (03/96).
Mar 10, 1996 Thousands of people protested in the streets of Brussels to mark the 37th anniversary of Tibet's revolt against China's invasion of the territory. The demonstrators included the EU's Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Emma Bonino and members of the European Parliament (Reuters, 03/10/96).
Mar 20, 1996 China is accusing the Dalai Lama of exploiting the issue of the Panchem Lama's reincarnation in order to "split the motherland". The government has already detained the head of the search committee along with other clerics for informing the Dalai Lama about the boy he subsequently chose as the Panchem Lama (Reuters, 03/20/96).
Mar 26, 1996 An 80-page report, titled "Cutting Off the Serpent's Head" asserts that popular discontent is increasing in Tibet despite the tightening of internal security. The report, compiled by Human Rights Watch Asia and the London-based Tibet Information Network, says that as of January there were 610 Tibetan political prisoners. Widespread torture and longer sentences for political offenses were also reported. The report asserts that repression increased in Tibet following the easing of international pressure on China in 1994 (Reuters, 03/26/96).
Apr 1996 A draft resolution censuring China for its human rights record will be presented to the UN Human Rights Commission later this month. The resolution is being co-sponsored by the US and the European Union. If it is adopted, it would be the first condemnation of China's rights record by a UN body. During the past five years, China has defeated similar resolutions through procedural motions (Reuters, 04/02/96).
Apr 5, 1996 The Tibet Daily has issued an edict that orders all temples in Tibet to stop displaying pictures of the Dalai Lama. The action follows last year's restrictions on the public display of the Dalai Lama's pictures. Since 1979, as part of a relaxation campaign on religious freedom, pictures of the religious leader have been allowed to be displayed (Reuters, 05/18/96).
Apr 9, 1996 Over 200 French parliamentarians have called on Beijing to withdraw from Tibet. The demand coincided with Chinese Premier Li Peng's arrival in Paris. The MPs argue that the UN Decolonization Committee's mandate should be extended to Tibet, population transfers to Tibet be halted, and that exiled Tibetan authorities should be given observer status at the UN (Reuters, 04/09/96).
Apr 16, 1996 China has denied a recent report by the International Campaign for Tibet that outlines human rights abuses in the region. The report by the private advocacy group asserts that monks and nuns detained for pro-independence activities are subject to torture and that religious activities are being suppressed. China says that Western concerns over human rights constitute interference in its internal affairs (Reuters, 04/16/96).
Apr 23, 1996 For the sixth straight year, the Chinese government has utilized a procedural motion at the UN Human Rights Commission to prevent the passage of a resolution that criticizes its human rights record. The resolution was co-sponsored by the US and the European Union; however, human right activists assert that the co-sponsors were not sufficiently committed to ensuring passage of the resolution (Reuters, 04/23/96).
May 1996 The UN Committee on Torture is urging China to introduce a law banning the use of torture and to also halt public executions. The Committee monitors compliance by signatories to the 1987 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel and Degrading Treatment (Reuters, 05/06/96).
May 7, 1996 One of Tibet's largest monasteries has been sealed off following anti-Chinese protests by monks. Reports indicate that at least forty people were arrested and several others injured at the Ganden monastery. The protests arose when government teams entered the monastery on May 6 to enforce orders put forth on April 5 that required all temples to stop displaying the Dalai Lama's pictures. Reports indicate that the monks threw rocks and expelled the work team and troops used gunfire to gain control. Two other monasteries have been closed by the authorities to stop the unrest from spreading. Tibet's main temple, the Jokhang in Lhasa, held a one-day closure as a show of sympathy (Reuters, 05/18/96).
May 13, 1996 The Dalai Lama has asked the world community to press China to halt human rights abuses and to enter negotiations on Tibetan autonomy. The Dalai Lama says his primary concern is the preservation of Tibetan culture and thus he is not seeking full independence. He asserted that he is still committed to negotiations with China as outlined in his 1988 Strasbourg peace plan (Reuters, 05/13/96).
May 19, 1996 Chinese authorities launched a crackdown against separatist terrorists in Tibet and Xinjiang in April. The campaign, titled "Strike Hard", follows several reports of isolated bombings in and around Lhasa and the closure of most of the city's monasteries (Reuters, 05/19/96).
May 20, 1996 A ban on the display of pictures of the Dalai Lama has been widened to include schools and private homes in Tibet. Home-by-home searches have been launched to ensure the edict is being followed (Reuters, 05/20/96).
May 21, 1996 The Dalai Lama says that the United Nations should help establish a dialogue with China over Tibetan autonomy. He also stated that peaceful means were the only way to obtain the goal and that the large majority of Tibetans supported his non-violent position (Reuters, 05/21/96).
May 22, 1996 A new international radio station, the Voice of Tibet, went on the air broadcasting directly to Tibet, India, and Nepal. About 60-80% of Tibetans in these areas are reported to have access to a radio. The radio station was established by Norwegian Tibetan organizations along with Worldview International, an international organization that utilizes radio and television to further human rights and free expression. So far, the VOT's signal has not been jammed by Chinese authorities (Reuters, 05/22/96).
May 23, 1996 China today hailed the 45th anniversary of its 17 point agreement with Tibet which brought the territory under Chinese control. Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama called for Tibet to become a demilitarized zone. He also asserted that progress could only be made through a dialogue with China. The anniversary comes amidst renewed unrest including the recent closure of the Ganden monastery where over 700 monks have fled. Officials indicate that other monasteries around Lhasa have now reopened (Reuters, 05/23/96).
May 24, 1996 The monk who discovered the six year-old boy who was subsequently hailed by the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchem Lama has been removed from his official duties. Chadrel Rinpoche has been in detention since last May after Beijing appointed its own reincarnation of the Panchem Lama. Human rights groups assert that the Dalai Lama's chosen successor and his family are under arrest. Meanwhile, Tibetan authorities issued a deadline of June 30 for separatists to surrender in order to receive lenient treatment (Reuters, 05/24/96).
May 27, 1996 China says that bomb attacks in Tibet rose by 100% from 1994 to 1995. In the same period, murders reportedly increased by 20%, robberies by 27%, rapes by 36%, and crimes involving guns by 54%. Officials indicate that so far this year 250 criminal cases had been dealt with, up 10% from 1994 (Reuters, 05/27/96).
May 28, 1996 Norway says that it will not increase pressure on China on behalf of the Dalai Lama, despite its recent success in mediating between parties in the Middle East. The comments were made during the Dalai Lama's visit which is part of a tour of European capitals (Reuters, 05/28/96).
May 31, 1996 A Chinese court has sentenced six Tibetans to up to five years in jail for demanding independence. The London-based Tibet Information Network (TIN) says that the prison sentences were the first admission of a political trial in Tibet in almost two years (Reuters, 05/31/96).
Jun 1996 A new birth control policy has been enacted in Tibet. Tibetans in cities will now be allowed to have no more than two children while those in rural areas are limited to three offspring. Han Chinese in the region are restricted to one child. The policy is aimed at reducing the population growth rate to 1.6% by the year 2000. In 1990, the rate was reported to be 1.84%, but fell to 1.61% in 1995 (Reuters, 06/01/96).
Jun 2, 1996 China's choice of a new Panchem Lama was officially initiated into monkhood today while the government launched another verbal attack against the Dalai Lama. Beijing stated that the battle against him and his followers was one of "you die, I live" with no room left for compromise (Reuters, 06/02/96).
Jun 5, 1996 A new government-in-exile has been sworn in at Dharamsala following elections last month to its 46 member Parliament. Elections are held every five years and some 130,000 Tibetans across the world voted (excluding those in Tibet) (Reuters, 06/05/96).
Jun 6, 1996 In what has been reported as an attempt to appease China, the German government has withdrawn a $190,000 grant to a non-governmental organization planning to hold a conference on Tibet. The Dalai Lama is expected to be in attendance (Reuters, 06/06/96).
Jun 10, 1996 The Tibet Daily says that since Operation Strike Hard was launched in late April, over 187 people have been arrested in Tibet. Further, 34 guns, 3724 rounds of ammunition and 164 kg of explosives were confiscated (Reuters, 06/10/96).
Jun 13, 1996 Officials expressed pleasure at the success of re-education efforts at the Ganden monastery which was closed following armed clashes on May 6. They however denied allegations by the Tibet Information Network (TIN) that one monk had died in the incident. The clashes broke out after a government work team entered Ganden to remove pictures of the Dalai Lama. The government says all 63 monks in detention have been released while the TIN asserts that at least 40 remain in custody. Meanwhile, China has ordered a German non-governmental organization to halt all of its activities in China. The order was issued one day before the organization opens a conference on Tibet in Germany (Reuters, 06/13/96).
Jun 15, 1996 Tibet's Ninth Five Year Plan has listed the elimination of the Dalai Lama's influence as a major priority. The plan also supports the use of all propaganda tools to counter the efforts of the "Dalai clique" to split China (Reuters, 06/15/96).
Jun 20, 1996 Germany's Parliament has adopted a resolution condemning China's human rights abuses which it believes are intended to eradicate Tibet's cultural identity. Abuses identified include forced sterilizations and abortions, and political, religious and cultural persecution. The resolution calls upon China to begin negotiations with the Tibetan government-in-exile. China harshly criticized the action as interference in its internal affairs (Reuters, 06/20/96).
Jun 23, 1996 China has canceled an upcoming visit by German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel to protest a recent resolution passed by the German Parliament criticizing China's actions in Tibet. A western diplomat says that not only is China's response almost unprecedented but so also is a country's decision to adopt this type of a parliamentary resolution (Reuters, 06/23/96, 06/24/96).
Jun 24, 1996 Germany has frozen a number of official contacts with China as the diplomatic row over China's human rights practices escalated. However, Germany indicated it wanted to reduce tensions between the two states. Germany is China's largest European trading partner, with bilateral trade worth some $17.6 billion (Reuters, 06/24/96).
Jun 25, 1996 China denounced the Dalai Lama as a "puppet of international forces opposed to Beijing" and pointed to US and Taiwanese support for the Tibetans during the 1960s. Beijing also stated its willingness to open talks if the Dalai Lama rejected his demands for independence (Reuters, 06/25/96).
Jul 1996 The Voice of Tibet, which began broadcasting in May, reports that it is being repeatedly jammed by the Chinese government. The service is produced in Norway by the Worldview International Foundation (Reuters, 07/09/96).
Jul 16, 1996 On a visit to Great Britain, the Dalai Lama called for international pressure on China to improve human rights and begin negotiations over Tibet. As it usually does when the Dalai Lama visits foreign countries, China strongly objected to his visit, warning that it could adversely affect inter-state relations (Reuters, 07/16/96).
Jul 21, 1996 The Dalai Lama states that while he is still optimistic, he feels that time is running out for negotiations on the status of Tibet. He again called on the international community to urge China to open talks and also to lift strict visa restrictions on Tibet (Reuters, 07/21/96).
Jul 27, 1996 Amnesty International says that a monk who has been serving one of the longest sentences among political dissidents in Tibet has died in custody. No official confirmation was available. The monk was renowned for translating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into Tibetan and for leading street protests in 1989 that led to the imposition of martial law. He is reported to be the second monk to die in custody in the past two months (Reuters, 07/27/96).
Jul 28, 1996 On a visit to the United States, the Dalai Lama stated that a major reason why China continues to refuse negotiations is the international community's silence about "the original falsehood that Tibet has always been a part of China". He also urged the world's states to help halt the massive transfer of Chinese to the region (Reuters, 07/28/96).
Jul 31, 1996 A survey of corporate executives in 10 Asian countries reveals that most businesspeople do not favor their countries having formal ties with the Dalai Lama. The Far Eastern Economic Review and Asia Business News survey also indicated that the exception was in Japan, where 52.6% favored such links. However, over 70% of respondents did not believe that their governments should avoid contact with the Dalai Lama in order to ensure business and political ties (Reuters, 07/31/96).
Aug 1996 China has strongly rejected claims by Human Rights Watch/Asia that there have been new crackdowns on monasteries in Tibet. The human rights organization was referring to a May incident in which the Ganden monastery was closed when monks refused to remove pictures of the Dalai Lama. It claims that three monks were shot and over 70 arrested during this crackdown. Meanwhile, 10 travel offices in Lhasa have been closed down. Officials indicate poor service led to the closures while human rights groups argue that it is another measure to limit foreigners (Reuters, 08/05/96).
Aug 12, 1996 The Chairman of Tibet's People's Congress has dismissed charges that the emigration of Han Chinese is diluting the Tibetan population. Raidi says that Tibet's population increased to 2.4 million in 1995, almost 200,000 more than in 1990. The percentage of Han Chinese reportedly declined from 3.7 to 3.3% from 1990-95 (Reuters, 08/12/96).
Aug 16, 1996 China denies that the seven year-old boy chosen by the Dalai Lama as the incarnation of the Panchem Lama is in detention. Shortly before his death in 1989, the 10th Panchem Lama asserted that he and the Dalai Lama should approve of each other's reincarnations (Reuters, 08/16/96). Meanwhile, a political re-education campaign launched a month ago in Tibetan monasteries is being described an effort to purge dissident monks. The Tibet Information Network says that monks are being required to write a pledge of allegiance to China that also denigrates the Dalai Lama or face expulsion from monasteries. It also indicated that many monks had fled to India rather than sign the pledge (Ibid.).
Aug 17, 1996 A special border unit of the People's Armed Police has been established to guard Tibet's borders against what the government says are separatist activities (Reuters, 08/30/96).
Aug 24, 1996 On an official visit to Tibet, Nepal's King Birendra asserted that he will not allow his country to be used as a platform for Tibetan independence. Since last year, Nepal has cracked down on Tibetan activists. China provided Nepal with an $8.5 million grant for infrastructure development last year (Reuters, 08/24/96).
Aug 30, 1996 Human rights activists accused the Philippines government of bowing to political pressure from China in refusing visas to two Tibetans in order to attend an Amnesty International conference in Manila. The conference will examine human rights abuses in China and seek to debunk the notion of "Asian values", which Amnesty asserts is often utilized by Asian governments to justify repression (Reuters, 08/30/96).
Sep 1996 The Oslo-based Voice of Tibet (VOT) says the Chinese government continues to violate international laws by jamming its broadcasts to Tibet and other parts of Asia. In July, VOT changed frequencies to avoid jamming, but the broadcasts were again jammed on August 30 (Reuters, 09/03/96).
Sep 10, 1996 Larger subsidies will be provided to Chinese soldiers posted in Tibet in order to reward them for undertaking what the government considers is a hardship posting (Reuters, 09/10/96).
Sep 11, 1996 Speaking in New Zealand, the Dalai Lama asserted that if something is not done within 10 years, it might be too late for Tibet. He stated that two-thirds of the Tibetan population is now comprised of Han Chinese and this influx is not subsiding (Reuters, 09/11/96).
Sep 15, 1996 A major religious reorganization is underway in Tibet in what the Chinese describe as an effort to overthrow "splittist" strongholds. The three major monasteries -- Sera, Drepung, and Ganden -- have been chosen as test cases. The campaign will seek to create order and boost patriotic education and will subsequently be extended to Tibet's remaining monasteries (Reuters, 09/15/96).
Sep 18, 1996 The 96th conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, being held in Beijing, openly discussed the issue of human rights abuses in China. More than 600 members of parliament from 120 countries were addressed by Norwegian and Austrian delegates who called upon China to protect human rights. This is the first time since the UN Conference on Women that foreigners in China have been allowed to openly discuss human rights (Reuters, 09/18/96).
Sep 24, 1996 China is determined to eliminate poverty in Tibet by the year 2000. Of Tibet's official reported population of 2.3 million, some 400,000 live in abject poverty; many of these are nomads residing in isolated mountainous areas. In 1995, average urban incomes were $133 in 1995 and rural incomes increased to $106 from $66 from 1994 to 1995. These are still about half the national average. Tibet's rising wages are partly attributed to government subsidies and to sister relationships established with Chinese cities. Over $361 million is reported to have been invested by sister cities in 43 infrastructure projects. Authorities assert that Tibet's ability to develop itself is very low given its remote location and previous feudal serf system (Reuters, 09/24/96).
Sep 25, 1996 Beijing has re-issued an invitation to Germany's Foreign Minister to visit the country. This thaw in Sino-German relations has been welcomed by German businesses (Reuters, 09/25/96).
Oct 1996 A major restoration of the Potola Palace, the Dalai Lama's traditional winter residence, is underway. Around $4.2 million is being spent in what is being viewed as an effort to placate Tibet's religious community (Reuters, 10/01/96).
Oct 2, 1996 The chairman of Tibet's People's Congress, Raidi, praised China's armed forces for defending the region against the Dalai Lama and his "separatist clique" (Reuters, 10/02/96).
Oct 3, 1996 China plans to establish primary schools in every town and middle schools in every county in Tibet by the year 2000. The proposal seeks to correct widespread illiteracy. More than 69% of Tibetans have no formal schooling and around 40% are illiterate or semi-literate (Reuters, 10/03/96).
Oct 5, 1996 A 1962 report by the Panchem Lama reveals that Beijing engaged in an official policy of famine and persecution in Tibet in the late 1950s and early 1960s. While the report has been kept secret by China, its existence has been known for some time. A copy of the report was recently obtained by the Tibet Information Network. The report asserts that the 1959 crackdown resulted in the deaths of over 10,000 people in each area of Tibet and that Chinese policies could lead to the elimination of the Tibetan people. After the Panchem Lama presented the report to Premier Zhou Enlai, he spent 14 of the next 15 years in detention or virtual house arrest in Beijing. The Panchem Lama died in 1989 (Reuters, 10/05/96).
Oct 6, 1996 In an effort to promote foreign investment in Tibet, China is offering unparalleled incentives. Officials report that 61 join ventures were established between 1988 and 1995 and that these new policies have already led to 14 new projects this year. Most investors are drawn by Tibet's tax holidays and scenic beauty. In 1995, tourism brought in $22 million; the Chinese hope to increase tourism revenues by 8-10% a year. Special permits through a tour group are now required to visit Tibet and the costs of a vacation are higher than elsewhere in China (Reuters, 10/06/96).
Oct 10, 1996 The Tibetan government-in-exile has condemned the arrest of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and is appealing to the international community to press for his release. Liu has been ordered to spend three years in a labor camp. He has openly called for press freedoms and talks with the Dalai Lama along with demanding that Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin be indicted and impeached for asserting that the People's Liberation Army was under the "absolute control" of the party and not the state (Reuters, 10/10/96).
Oct 22, 1996 A Tibetan-born Fulbright scholar has been detained by Chinese authorities on charges of spying for the Tibetan government-in-exile. Ngawang Choephel was last seen in Tibet in September, 1995, where he was collecting information on Tibetan folk songs. In a letter to the US Congress, Beijing asserts that he was engaged in spying and illegal separatist activities. The United States has called for his immediate release (Reuters, 10/22/96, 10/23/96).
Oct 23, 1996 During a meeting with members of the European Parliament, the Dalai Lama rejected the use of economic sanctions against China to protest its rule over Tibet. While indicating that China must join the world economy, he called upon international public opinion to press China to promote democratic and human rights. He also asserted that while "[I]ndependence is our legitimate right, historical right", greater benefits could be obtained by joining with a larger country. His comments also stressed that he is only seeking autonomy for Tibet. As it regularly does, China lodged a protest with the European Parliament over the Dalai Lama's visit (Reuters, 10/23/96).
Oct 30, 1996 329 French Parliamentarians signed an appeal calling for support for the peaceful struggle of the Tibetan people. The petition was presented to the Dalai Lama during his visit to France. Neither French President Jacques Chirac nor Prime Minister Alain Juppe are scheduled to meet with the Dalai Lama (Reuters, 10/03/96).
Oct 31, 1996 The newly established Radio Free Asia, the Asian counterpart to Radio Free Europe, will begin broadcasting uncensored news to Tibet next month. The US organization began Chinese language broadcasts last month. So far, Beijing has not attempt to jam its broadcasts (Reuters, 10/31/96).
Nov 1996 A Tibetan monk who was on parole after three decades in detention is now under house arrest. Yulo Dawa Tsering met with members of the European Parliament last week. He was first arrested in 1959 (Reuters, 11/11/96).
Nov 13, 1996 China has vowed that socialism must take precedence over religion in Tibet. Officials state that monks outnumber students in the region and that more funds are spent on monasteries than on Communist Party buildings. They report that in early 1996 there were 1,787 monasteries with 46,000 monks and nuns. Many monasteries have been closed in recent years in an effort to curb the Dalai Lama's influence (Reuters, 11/13/96).
Nov 14, 1996 Monks who are considered reactionary will be defrocked in a new crackdown in Tibet that could last up to five years. In an effort to root out supporters of the Dalai Lama, ideological education will be conducted in monasteries and work teams will be stationed to implement study sessions that promote patriotism. For several months, work teams have been posted in monasteries (Reuters, 11/14/96).
Nov 16, 1996 Beijing says that textbooks and publications in Tibet should stress the historical link between the Himalayan region and China. The move is viewed as necessary to promote atheism and reduce the influence of the Dalai Lama (Reuters, 11/16/96).
Nov 18, 1996 The Tibet Information Network says that a 19 year-old nun is facing 18 years in jail for refusing to recognize Beijing's choice of the Panchem Lama. She would be the first female political prisoner in Tibet facing such a long prison sentence. China denies that there are any political prisoners in Tibet. Meanwhile, reports indicate that Beijing's chosen Panchem Lama is under state protection in the capital in order to prevent against any assassination attempts (Reuters, 11/18/96).
Nov 21, 1996 Tibet's Communist Party Chief says that patriotic education is needed to fight religious thinking and separatist ideas that have penetrated local schools. Chen Kuiyuan also asserts that religious thinking has spread among local government officials (Reuters, 11/21/96).
Nov 27, 1996 Beijing's choice of the Panchem Lama celebrated the first anniversary of his enthronement, a week earlier than the actual date of November 29. Tibetans view the Chinese choice as a "pretender" (Reuters, 11/27/96).
Nov 28, 1996 More than 600 Tibetans demonstrated in New Delhi and set fire to an effigy of Chinese President Jiang Zemin, hours before his arrival in the Indian capital. At a Tibetan refugee camp in old Delhi, others burnt a Chinese flag after they were not allowed to march to the Chinese embassy. Around 4000 Tibetans live in New Delhi; they vowed to continue protests during the first visit ever by a Chinese Head of State (Reuters, 11/28/96). Meanwhile, in Dharamsala, while monks and nuns staged a demonstration, the Dalai Lama urged Zemin to halt the cultural genocide in Tibet (Ibid.).
Nov 29, 1996 Tibetans have praised Walt Disney's decision to continue backing "Kundan", a Martin Scorsesse film about the Dalai Lama's life. Last week, China warned that Disney's plans to expand into China could be hurt by the support (Reuters, 11/29/96).
Nov 30, 1996 About 50 Tibetans were arrested as they demonstrated in front of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi; they were released four hours later. Meanwhile, an open letter reportedly written with the blood of Tibetans called upon Chinese President Zemin to quit Tibet. Zemin is on a state visit to India (Reuters, 11/30/96).
Nov 30, 1996 Reports just released indicate that at least two Tibetans were injured when Nepali forces fired upon a group of 32 Tibetans that crossed into Nepal on November 18. Nepal asserts that the forces fired in self-defense (Ibid.).
Dec 1996 US-funded Radio Free Asia has begun to beam daily Tibetan-language broadcasts to the region (Reuters, 12/02/96).
Dec 7, 1996 Officials report that more than 1.2 million people voted in recent elections for Tibet's local lawmaking bodies; no date was given for when the elections occurred. Among those elected, 99% are reportedly Tibetan or of other ethnic minorities while 20% are women (Reuters, 12/07/96).
Dec 20, 1996 A number of top Hollywood stars are among 50 people blacklisted from visiting Tibet. They include: actors Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford, screenwriter Melissa Mathison Ford, and directors Martin Scorsese and Jean-Jacques Annaud, all of whom are involved in two separate movie projects about the Dalai Lama (Reuters, 12/20/96).
Dec 27, 1996 The United States is concerned about the recent 18-year sentence imposed upon a Tibetan-born Fulbright scholar. Ngawang Choephel was detained in Tibet in September, 1995 and was charged with espionage. Choephel was making a documentary on Tibetan folk traditions (Reuters, 12/27/96).
Dec 29, 1996 Analysts indicate that another crackdown appears imminent in Tibet following an early morning bomb blast in Lhasa on December 25. The bomb exploded outside of the main city government office, causing widespread damage. Officials indicate that there were no injuries; however, the Tibet Information Network contends that five people were hurt. Police have set up house-to-house searches and offered a large reward to capture the responsible elements, who are viewed as part of the Dalai "clique" (Reuters, 12/29/96).
Dec 30, 1996 The Tibetan government-in-exile asserts that the December 25 bombing in Lhasa could have been the work of China, as it seeks an excuse to increase repression. It denied any involvement in the blast. The Dalai Lama has previously stated that he will abdicate his leadership of the Tibetan people if the freedom struggle turns violent. However, Robbie Barnett of the Tibet Information Network says that there are some Tibetans who believe nonviolence is not working, especially as Beijing continues its repression in Tibet (Reuters, 12/30/96).
Jan 1997 Security has been tightened across Tibet following a Christmas day bombing in the capital city. Meanwhile, Beijing accused the United States of using the Dalai Lama to westernize and break up China. A Chinese analyst says that rarely has a single country been singled out in these attacks. Sino-US relations have been strained in recent years due to human rights and trade disputes, and US relations with Taiwan (Reuters, 01/06/97; 01/07/97).
Jan 20, 1997 The Dalai Lama asserts that his proposed visit to Taiwan in March proves that he is no longer seeking Tibet's independence. His visit is being described by his Taiwanese sponsors as a private religious affair. As with the mainland, Taiwan regards Tibet as a part of China. China issued a restrained warning to Taiwan about the Dalai Lama's splittist activities (Reuters, 01/20/97).
Jan 26, 1997 Tibetan exiles in Nepal assert that the CIA trained around 400 Tibetans at an army base in Colorado during the late 1950s. Tibetans were also sent to Okinawa and Guam for training in a campaign reportedly coordinated by the Dalai Lama's elder brother. The exiles engaged Chinese forces in a costly campaign until their military defeat. US involvement reportedly ended in 1968 (Reuters, 01/26/97).
Jan 27, 1997 China says three main tasks must be accomplished this year to crack down on separatist elements. These are the uncovering of the Dalai Lama as a "fake" and further crackdowns on potential supporters among government officials and the Tibetan religious community (Reuters, 01/27/97).
Feb 1997 Three supporters of the Dalai Lama have been murdered in Dharamsala. Police have six suspects in custody, but no motive has yet been established (Reuters, 02/06/97).
Feb 6, 1997 China has attacked a number of recent articles in The Philadelphia Inquirer as ludicrous. The articles contend the use of rape, torture, and murder against Tibetan monks and nuns and the general community. The New York Times also came under criticism for its editorials calling upon President Clinton to get tough with China (Reuters, 02/06/97).
Feb 20, 1997 The Tibetan government-in-exile accused Deng Xiaoping of decades of repression and voiced hope that his successor would solve the region's problems. While supporting his economic reforms, the Dalai Lama expressed regret that Deng was unable to resolve the Tibet issue before his recent death (Reuters, 02/20/97).
Feb 28, 1997 China asserts that the Dalai Lama's upcoming visit to Taiwan reveals that he is "ganging up" with the Taiwanese to destroy China's territorial integrity. China has been critical of Taiwanese President Lee and other officials, asserting that they are seeking independence for the small island state (Reuters, 02/28/97).
Mar 1997 On the 38th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama warned that isolated violence in the region could spread. He also criticized recent Chinese policies that have led to the closure of experimental Tibetan language middle schools and mandated the use of the Chinese language to teach Tibetan history at the Tibet University in Lhasa (Reuters, 03/09/97).
Mar 3, 1997 The Dalai Lama has urged Beijing to refrain from using military force against Muslims in Xinjiang (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 03/09/97).
Mar 10, 1997 Hundreds of demonstrators gathered for rallies at the United Nations in Geneva and New York to mark Tibetan Uprising Day. In New York, Nobel laureate Jose Ramos-Horta urged the crowd to keep the campaign for Tibetan autonomy alive. Ramos-Horta and Bishop Carlos Belo were awarded the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts in East Timor, which was occupied by Indonesia in 1975. Sixteen people were later arrested for disorderly conduct at the Chinese mission in New York (Reuters, 03/10/97; 03/13/97).
Mar 11, 1997 Beijing has tightened its grip on foreign media sources, including the outright banishment of some publications. Articles that discuss the ramifications of Deng Xiaoping's death and recent violence in Xinjiang have been pulled from newsstand editions of magazines like Time, Newsweek, and the Economist. The internet web sites of foreign news organizations have been blocked, after restrictions were eased in January. China has around 100,000 Internet users (South China Morning Post, 03/11/97).
Mar 13, 1997 The European Parliament has passed a resolution accused China of continuing human rights abuses in Tibet and urged its leader to open talks with the Dalai Lama. The EU's executive has repeatedly raised these issues with the Chinese government (Reuters, 03/13/97).
Mar 22, 1997 The Dalai Lama arrived in Taiwan for a six-day visit amid protests by both pro-independence and pro-unification Taiwanese. Meanwhile, 55% of 923 residents polled supported a meeting between Tibet's spiritual leader and President Lee Teng-hui. Only 11% feared repercussions from China (Reuters, 03/23/97).
Mar 24, 1997 Taiwan's stock market plunged amid reports of renewed Chinese war games off Taiwan. However, an official of China's southern Fujian government stated that no exercises were planned (Reuters, 03/24/97).
Mar 26, 1997 Taiwanese President Lee met with the Dalai Lama today in a move expected to anger China. No reports are available on the substance of their talks. Protests between pro-independence and pro-unification Taiwanese were reported. Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama stated that as Taiwan is so wealthy, he has broken with tradition to accept US $500,000 in donations. The money will be given to the government-in-exile. Normally, the Dalai Lama does not accept money for his lectures (Reuters, 03/26/97; 03/27/97).
Mar 27, 1997 Concluding his visit to Taiwan, the Dalai Lama urged both Taiwanese residents and his followers to seek a compromise with China. He strongly alluded to his opposition to Taiwanese independence, but did assert that people have the right to choose their own fate. The Dalai Lama expressed his support for the "one country, two systems" autonomy formula for Tibet; this is being applied in Hong Kong and Beijing hopes it will be extended to Taiwan despite Taiwanese opposition. Revealing criticism of his strategy, the Dalai Lama also stated that even his elder brother believes that this is "actually selling Tibet's legitimate rights" (Reuters, 03/27/97).
Apr 1997 A proposal to eliminate the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission has been rejected by Taiwanese President Lee. The commission was established in the 1950s to boost support for Taipei's claims over the two territories. The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) put forward the proposal following the Dalai Lama's recent visit. The DPP believes that abandoning the commission would signify the relinquishment of Taipei's claims to be the rightful government of all of China (Reuters, 04/02/97).
Apr 8, 1997 A representative of the European Community, in a speech to the UN Human Rights Commission, calls upon China to cease all activities that threaten the distinct cultural, ethnic, and religious identity of the Tibetans (Reuters, 04/08/97).
Apr 10, 1997 The US and Denmark formally table a joint resolution at the UN Human Rights Commission against China’s human rights practices. 15 other states co-sponsor the resolution (Reuters, 04/10/97).
Apr 11, 1997 China warns the US and Denmark that their bilateral relations will likely suffer due to their joint tabling of a resolution criticizing Beijing’s human rights practices at the UN Human Rights Commission (Reuters, 04/11/97).
Apr 15, 1997 Beijing cancels two of a number of upcoming visits by Danish officials to express its displeasure against Denmark’s co-sponsoring of a resolution against its human rights policies at the UN Human Rights Commission (Reuters, 04/15/97). China states that the channel for talks with the Dalai Lama remains open. But it also accuses the Tibetan leader of not renouncing independence (Ibid.).
Apr 23, 1997 US President Clinton meets with the Dalai Lama at the White House. Clinton dropped in on a meeting between Vice-President Gore and the Dalai Lama. The US leader says he will urge China to open a direct dialogue with the Tibetans. The Dalai Lama again reiterates that he is only seeking self-rule and not independence. As is usually the case, China warns the US against allowing the Dalai Lama’s visit (Reuters, 04/23/97).
Apr 24, 1997 China protests a meeting between the Dalai Lama and the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. This is the first meeting between the Secretary, a group of her officials and the Tibetan leader. The Dalai Lama and Albright agree on the importance of strong relations between the United States and China (Reuters, 04/24/97).
May 7, 1997 A monk in Tibet is sentenced to six years in prison for colluding with the Dalai Lama in the search for the reincarnation of the Panchem Lama, the second holiest leader in the tiny kingdom. The monk was convicted of separatist activities and leaking state secrets (Reuters, 05/07/97).
May 8, 1997 The United States and the US-based NGO, the International Campaign for Tibet, criticize the jail sentence handed down to a monk who reportedly aided the Dalai Lama in his selection of the reincarnation of the Panchem Lama (Reuters, 05/08/97).
Jun 4, 1997 On the 8th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident, the Dalai Lama urges Beijing to end the suffering of the Chinese people. He again states that he is only seeking autonomy (Reuters, 06/04/97).
Jun 12, 1997 Chinese officials state that over the past year, 98 Tibetans were jailed for endangering the country’s national security (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 06/12/97).
Jun 13, 1997 Hundreds of Tibetans march in northern India to protest the recent execution of 10 monks in Lhasa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 06/13/97).
Jun 28, 1997 The Dalai Lama welcomes Britain’s handing over of Hong Kong to China, hoping that this will have an impact on Beijing’s attitude toward Tibet (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 06/28/97).
Jun 29, 1997 A Hong Kong newspaper quotes the Dalai Lama as predicting that the PRC "will violate human rights and trample democracy" once its regains control of the island (United Press International, 06/29/97).
Jul 1997 Britain formally hands over control of Hong Kong to China.
Jul 18, 1997 The new Hong Kong government orders police to ban any demonstrations advocating the independence of Taiwan or Tibet or agitating people to oppose Beijing (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 07/18/97).
Aug 5, 1997 China blasts the US over its plans to appoint a special coordinator for Tibetan affairs, asserting that it is unwarranted interference in its internal affairs. The coordinator will help promote a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Beijing along with seeking to protect the "unique religious, cultural, and linguistic heritage of Tibet" and promoting human rights. US Secretary of State Albright says that this is not de facto diplomatic recognition of the Dalai Lama’s government-in-exile (Agence France Presse, 08/05/97).
Aug 14, 1997 China plans to air a 90-minute documentary on the life of the Dalai Lama which it says will show the truth about his departure from Tibet (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 08/14/97).
Aug 17, 1997 Benjamin Gilman, chair of the US Congressional Committee on International Relations, says that Washington will urge "strong action" against China if human rights violations continue in Tibet. He also urged the PRC to open talks with the Dalai Lama (Agence France Presse, 08/17/97).
Aug 20, 1997 China demands that the United States ceases beaming Mandarin language broadcasts by Radio Free Asia into its territories. Radio Free Asia says that China has been jamming transmissions to Beijing and Tibet (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 08/20/97).
Aug 25, 1997 Senior communist officials in Tibet and Xinjiang criticize cadres for being lukewarm towards the fight against separatism (Agence France Presse, 08/25/97). An unofficial fact-finding mission, consisting of three European members, warns that unless China opens talks with the Dalai Lama, the alternative could be violence. It refers to Tibet as probably the last remaining colony in the world and urges countries such as Norway to host peace talks. The mission also backs the Dalai Lama’s proposal to hold a referendum in Tibetan areas under international auspices to determine the region’s future status. It also asks China to limit Chinese immigration to Tibet (Ibid.).
Aug 26, 1997 China slams the report of the unofficial fact-finding mission (see above) (Agence France Presse, 08/26/97).
Aug 30, 1997 The head of Tibet’s prison system admits that political inmates form 9% of the region’s total prison population (Agence France Presse, 08/30/97).
Sep 2, 1997 A German parliamentary fact-finding mission will travel to Lhasa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 09/02/97).
Sep 3, 1997 Around 400 Tibetans march in New Delhi to urge the release of a 71-year old Tibetan man who was jailed in 1983 for protesting against Chinese rule (Agence France Presse, 09/03/97).
Sep 10, 1997 A Chinese human rights organization says that the monk recently jailed for six years for contacting the Dalai Lama about his chosen reincarnation of the Panchem Lama is on a hunger strike and might be dead. The monk was the head of the official Panchem Lama search committee (Agence France Presse, 09/10/97).
Sep 11, 1997 132 prisoners, including political inmates, have had their sentences reduced or been given parole in Tibet (Agence France Presse, 09/11/97).
Sep 17, 1997 China defends its hard-line toward separatism in Tibet and Xinjiang. It says its re-education campaign has covered some 30,000 out of 46,000 nuns and monks (Agence France Presse, 09/17/97).
Oct 9, 1997 The London-based Tibet Information Network says that individual US nationals were ordered to leave Tibet by September 30. The move reportedly follows August’s secret visit by US Congressman Frank Wolf to the region. Wolf entered the area as a tourist (Agence France Presse, 10/09/97).
Oct 16, 1997 In a white paper, Beijing asserts that its citizens enjoy the right to freedom of worship. However, it claims that some "pernicious" groups hide behind this cloak (Agence France Presse, 10/16/97).
Oct 19, 1997 Two recent movies about Tibet, "Kundan" and "Seven Years in Tibet", along with "Red Corner", a movie that is critical of China’s judicial system, are not expected to be shown in Hong Kong. Human rights groups on the island protest the decisions (Agence France Presse, 10/19/97).
Oct 20, 1997 The United States urges the PRC to release some political prisoners as an important signal in the preceding days before a summit between Presidents Clinton and Zemin (Agence France Presse, 10/20/97).
Oct 21, 1997 Human Rights Watch Asia contends that China continues to violate the fight to freedom of religion. It says that Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the country. It does concede that the worst forms of persecution, including long-term imprisonment, appear to have declined in recent years (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 10/21/97). A fact-finding mission by a UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has just completed its visit to Chinese prisons. This is the first such mission allowed by Beijing. It visited prisons not open before to outside scrutiny and met with 4-5 prisoners in Lhasa (Agence France Presse, 10/21/97).
Oct 22, 1997 China calls upon the US to adopt strict controls on demonstrations during President Zemin’s visit to the country (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 10/22/97).
Oct 25, 1997 President Zemin authorizes China’s accession to the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights one day before his state visit to the United States. He rejects a US proposal to release political prisoners and likens the "liberation" of Tibet to the end of slavery in the US. Zemin is the first Chinese president to make a state visit in twelve years (Agence France Presse, 10/25/97).
Oct 27, 1997 President Zemin arrived in Hawaii yesterday and today he encounters some 200 protestors demonstrating against human rights abuses and for Tibetan freedom. Note: Demonstrations are held in every area that Zemin visits in the United States (Agence France Presse, 10/27/97).
Oct 28, 1997 An official of the Tibetan government-in-exile asks Presidents Zemin and Clinton to find a solution to the Tibetan issue during their upcoming meeting. He also asks that the Dalai Lama be invited to the talks on the region’s future status (Agence France Presse, 10/28/97).
Oct 30, 1997 Chinese President Zemin says that Beijing does and will continue to respect human rights but in its own way. He was responding to criticism during his visit to the US. Zemin did assert that human rights are an internal issue (Agence France Presse, 10/30/97). Presidents Clinton and Zemin agree to hold regular summits and work toward a "strategic partnership" The talks also result in the US lifting of a 1989 ban on the export of American nuclear technology to China. Jiang commits China to imposing tighter export controls on nuclear materials. The two sides also agree to set up a hotline in addition to various trade deals. No progress is reported on the issue of human rights. Clinton is set to visit China in 1998 (Ibid.). Human Rights Asia slams the United States for not getting any concessions on human rights during Zemin’s visit. It does however state that concessions are more likely upon the President’s return (Ibid.).
Oct 31, 1997 China boycotts Tokyo’s international film festival as it features "Seven Years in Tibet" (Agence France Presse, 10/31/97).
Nov 1997 For the first reported time, President Zemin admits that mistakes were made during the suppression of the democracy movement in 1989. He also states that he won’t meet with the Dalai Lama as he allegedly advocates secession (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 11/01/97).
Nov 3, 1997 A Tibetan spokesman says that the Dalai Lama is willing to settle for genuine autonomy and is ready for talks, if Beijing is. He says that it is up to all Tibetans to decide through a referendum if they favor independence. Under an autonomy proposal put forward by the Dalai Lama, China would control the region’s foreign policy and maintain a limited presence and association. While in the US, President Zemin asked the Dalai Lama to publicly declare that "Tibet was an inalienable part of China" and renounce independence as preconditions to talks (Agence France Presse, 11/03/97).
Nov 4, 1997 The Tibetan government-in-exile says that the conditions recently put forward by Chinese President Zemin are "unacceptable" (see above story). It says that it is the same proposal that has been put forth previously. The spokesperson also states that the Dalai Lama cannot indicate that Tibet is a part of China as according to him, he would be telling a historical lie (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 11/04/97). The United States has names Gregory Craig, the director of the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning, as its coordinator for US policy toward Tibet (Ibid.).
Nov 5, 1997 China releases dissident Bao Ge who then flies to the United States (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 11/05/97).
Nov 12, 1997 The Dalai Lama’s office says he would welcome talks with the newly-appointed US Coordinator for Tibet when he visits Dharamsala next week. The United States has not yet officially requested a meeting (Agence France Presse, 11/12/97).
Nov 17, 1997 According to a Taiwanese newspaper, the Dalai Lama has vowed to lead exiled Tibetans back to Tibet before he dies. The article says that his reincarnation can only be found overseas as long as Tibetans remain in exile. The Dalai Lama again reiterates that he is not seeking independence. Many Tibetans worry that their fight for freedom may lose impetus after the Dalai Lama’s death (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 11/17/97).
Nov 18, 1997 The Dalai Lama hails China’s release of dissident Wei Jingsheng on medical parole to the US. He calls upon Beijing to free all political prisoners, including over 1000 in Tibet (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 11/18/97).
Nov 19, 1997 China accuses the Dalai Lama of offering to negotiate while secretly scheming to gain independence. Beijing is also reportedly targeting those lamas and scholars who indicate they support China while secretly allegedly helping the Dalai Lama (Agence France Presse, 11/19/97).
Nov 25, 1997 Chinese authorities voice opposition to a bid by Australian officials to promote a dialogue between the government and the Dalai Lama. The Australian Parliament is considering establishing a special envoy for Tibet. China says this is its internal affair (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 11/25/97).
Nov 26, 1997 The Communist Party warns the Dalai Lama against instigating rebellion in Tibet and calls for stronger efforts to win over the minds of the population. Beijing also confirms that senior Tibetan officials have canceled an upcoming visit to Britain after London proposed that they meet with groups critical of China’s Tibet policies (Agence France Presse, 11/26/97).
Nov 27, 1997 President Zemin is met by Tibetan protestors on the first visit by a Chinese leader to Canada in 12 years. The visit is in concert with an Asia-Pacific Economic Forum being held in Vancouver (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 11/27/97). The Australian Senate passes a motion to establish a government-funding special coordinator to promote talks between China and the Dalai Lama. China protests the move. Meanwhile, the US special coordinator for Tibet, Gregory Craig, does not meet with Tibetan representatives during his visit to India (Agence France Presse, 11/27/97).
Nov 28, 1997 China and Canada will co-chair an international symposium on human rights in May, 1998. Protests are held in each Canadian city that President Zemin visits (Agence France Presse, 11/28/97).
Dec 3, 1997 The Communist Party’s Second-in-Command in Tibet, Raidi, says that the fight against the Dalai Lama is a matter of "life or death" for Tibetans. He accuses the Tibetan religious leader of being the greatest source of instability in the region (Agence France Presse, 12/03/97).
Dec 6, 1997 The Dalai Lama’s first representative to Taiwan made a quiet arrival today. He is there to help promote ties between the two sides (Agence France Presse, 12/06/97).
Dec 10, 1997 Around 50 Tibetans stage a noisy demonstration near the Chinese embassy in Delhi to demand independence. Tibetan Youth Congress members scuffle with police but no arrests are made (Agence France Presse, 12/10/97).
Dec 12, 1997 Some 15 Tibetans storm a Chinese trade exhibition in Delhi demanding a boycott of Chinese goods. 10 are arrested (Agence France Presse, 12/12/97).
Dec 13, 1997 China renews its calls for stricter measures on religious life and society, fearing that Tibetan separatists are becoming more active and tougher to control. It orders the campaign against the Dalai Lama to be extended to all areas of Tibetan society (Agence France Presse, 12/13/97).
Dec 21, 1997 An International Commission of Jurists report accuses the PRC of intensifying repression in Tibet and calls on Beijing to hold a UN-sponsored referendum on self-determination. It also calls for talks with the Dalai Lama and for the UN Commission on Human Rights to nominate a special reporter on Tibet and a special UN envoy to be chosen to promote a peaceful settlement and a referendum. The report says that immigration to the region is still encouraged by the government, economic development policies largely benefit the Chinese and environmental damage is threatening nomadic Tibetan life. The number of political prisoners has increased. It specifics that 1/3 of these prisoners are nuns who are subject to gender-specific tortures. The Jurists reveal that in 1996 some 34 people were executed (Agence France Presse, 12/21/97).
Jan 8, 1998 A Hong Kong distributor plans to screen the movie "Seven Years In Tibet" as there is no legal law that prohibits the screening (Agence France Presse, 01/08/98).
Jan 14, 1998 Leading pro-democracy dissident Wei Jingsheng says that while Tibet should be a part of China, like Taiwan and Hong Kong, it should have complete autonomy with a directly-elected government. He says that Beijing should begin talks with the Dalai Lama. Wei hopes to meet the Dalai Lama when he visits the US in March or April (Agence France Presse, 01/14/98).
Jan 21, 1998 China asserts that Radio Free Asia is hindering the region’s development and stability. The radio network recently had its funding doubled by the US Congress. It plans to also start broadcasts in Cantonese, which is spoken in southern China and Uighur areas. The increase in government funding is reportedly due to Chinese jamming of its signal (Agence France Presse, 01/21/98).
Feb 4, 1998 Veteran Chinese dissident Xu Wenli calls on Beijing to open talks with the Dalai Lama as a first step toward granting autonomy, but not independence. He also asks Tibetans to accept changes that have occurred in the country and not to work against the Chinese government. The Dalai Lama recently offered to meet Beijing half-way. He proposed that Tibet be provided with real autonomy while China would retain control over its foreign and military affairs (Agence France Presse, 02/04/98).
Feb 6, 1998 The Dalai Lama welcomes the "growing number of Chinese in China" who are speaking out in support of Tibetan self-rule (Agence France Presse, 02/06/98).
Feb 24, 1998 China lashes out at the Dalai Lama accusing him of attempting to "befuddle" world opinion to support his cause (Agence France Presse, 02/24/98).
Mar 1, 1998 Beijing dismisses a long-standing offer by the Dalai Lama to open talks over the future of Tibet. It says he showed his true colors by refusing Beijing’s 1989 offer for negotiations. China says back then it asked the Dalai Lama to return for the Panchem Lama’s funeral but he refused. In 1989, the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize. The better economic situation now, Beijing asserts, is the reason for the Dalai Lama’s offer of talks (Agence France Presse, 03/01/98).
Mar 7, 1998 President Zemin tells officials to work harder to oppose ethnic unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang (Agence France Presse, 03/07/98).
Mar 8, 1998 An EU mission is set to visit Tibet in the near future. Around 4-7000 people demonstrate in Paris to mark the 39th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising (Agence France Presse, 03/08/98).
Mar 9, 1998 The Dalai Lama accuses China of cultural genocide. Marking the 39th anniversary of the anti-Chinese uprising, he says that Beijing’s "Strike Hard" campaign has intensified each year and is reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution. He asks India to play a constructive role to help solve the dispute while also urging his followers not to resort to violence (Agence France Presse, 03/09/98).
Mar 10, 1998 Some 5000 Tibetan refugees in Kathmandu demonstrate demanding freedom and human rights in Tibet. Tibetan Youth Congress activists burn the Chinese flag (Agence France Presse, 03/10/98). Hundreds of Tibetans also protest in Delhi to mark the 39th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising (Ibid.).
Mar 11, 1998 According to the head of the Tibetan regional government, China will press ahead with its "patriotic campaign" in Tibet in which monks, nuns, and schoolchildren are fed denunciations. The campaign began in 1996 (Agence France Presse, 03/11/98).
Mar 12, 1998 Some 200 Tibetan women march in Delhi to mark the 1959 anti-Chinese uprising. They urge the UN to resume the debate on the issue and to accord the Dalai Lama observer status. The women assert that 295 out of 1216 prisoners of conscience in Tibet are women. Also, last year, up to 883 Tibetan women were forcibly sterilized (Agence France Presse, 03/12/98).
Mar 14, 1998 The Dalai Lama is expected to make his second visit to Taiwan in December to participate in a Buddhist festival (Agence France Presse, 03/14/98).
Mar 17, 1998 China rejects talks with the Dalai Lama, accusing him of using a pro-autonomy stance to mask aspirations for independence (Agence France Presse, 03/17/98).
Mar 20, 1998 An aide to the Dalai Lama urges China to initiate talks indicating that a dialogue could remove any "misunderstandings" between the two sides. He says that the Chinese don’t understand that the Dalai Lama is only seeking "genuine autonomy" (Agence France Presse, 03/20/98).
Apr 2, 1998 The Dalai Lama visits a group of six Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) members who have been on an "unto-death" hunger strike in Delhi. The TYC says that the Dalai Lama does not support their action as he is against any form of violence, including to oneself. The 6 members began their strike on March 9. They want the UN to follow through on a recent recommendation by the International Committee of Jurists to resume talks on Tibet and for Beijing to open talks (Agence France Presse, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/02/98).
Apr 3, 1998 Human Rights Watch slams a report by a UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions that recently conducted a 10-day mission to China. The non-governmental organization says that the report doesn’t really address the key issues and that there are also serious omissions. These include reports of prisoners being severely beaten and put in solitary confinement following their meeting with the UN working group. One of the Tibetan prisoners at the meeting reportedly openly declared his support for the Dalai Lama. China says that no prisoners were harassed. The UN working group says that it sent a protest letter to Beijing upon being informed of the beatings (Agence France Presse, 04/03/98). The Dalai Lama begins a 9-day visit to Japan despite Chinese pressures to stop his stay. The Dalai Lama did allegedly promise not to raise Tibetan political questions on his religious visit (Ibid.).
Apr 5, 1998 Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng says that only with democratic reforms could China hold talks for an autonomous Tibet (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/05/98).
Apr 7, 1998 The Dalai Lama will open a representative office in Taiwan on April 16. The office will promote Tibetan Buddhism and mutual understanding (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/07/98). 29 members of the Tibetan Women’s Congress join a four-week hunger strike by six members of the Tibetan Youth Congress in Delhi. The women hope to force the UN to take action on the Tibetan issue. Hunger strikes are underway throughout India. The protestors want the UN to resume discussions on Tibet and to appoint a special envoy on Tibet (Agence France Presse, 04/07/98).
Apr 8, 1998 China claims that a tooth handed over to Taiwanese Buddhists by Tibetan monks is a fake. The Tibetans reportedly took the Buddha’s tooth to India when they fled and kept it there for the past three decades. There are generally believed to be three teeth of the Buddha still in existence. The other two are in Beijing and Sri Lanka (Agence France Presse, 04/08/98). The six hunger strikers of the Tibetan Youth Congress vow to continue their fast in Delhi. French deputies and senators praise the hunger strikers while also urging them not to risk their lives. They call for talks between the Tibetans and Beijing (Ibid.).
Apr 11, 1998 The Dalai Lama calls for a dialogue with China on the last day of his visit to Japan. He reiterates that he is not seeking independence. This is his first political statement during his Japanese stay (Agence France Presse, 04/11/98).
Apr 14, 1998 Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes charges that Chinese troops have made forays into Arunchal Pradesh and also built helipads in an area that adjoins Tibet (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/14/98). Nepal arrests 118 Tibetans who are attempting to reach Dharamsala. Last week some 20 Tibetans were taken into custody. Last year, some 4000 Tibetans successfully made the trip across Nepal to the Dalai Lama’s headquarters. It is asserted that poverty and unemployment, along with political issues, motivate the Tibetans to leave (Agence France Presse, 04/14/98).
Apr 15, 1998 India protests to China about its alleged incursions in Arunchal Pradesh and its reported construction of helipads near Tibet (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/15/98). The Tibetan Youth Congress says its 6 hunger strikers will continue their campaign until the UN appoints a special envoy to settle the status of the region through a plebiscite. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has asked them to give up the fast (Ibid.). The Dalai Lama says he hopes to re-open a dialogue with the Chinese government now that it is led by the “more open-minded” Prime Minister Zhu Rongji. Zhu took over from Li Peng in mid-March. The Dalai Lama renews his appeal for talks and expresses his gratitude for international support for the cause (Agence France Presse, 04/15/98).
Apr 16, 1998 China accuses Indian Defense Minister Fernandes of making irresponsible comments when he recently claimed that China had made incursions into Arunchal Pradesh and built helipads near Tibet. Fernandes also stated that India would increase its defense expenditures to protect itself. Fernandes is alleged to be a key supporter of the Free Tibet movement (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/16/98). The Dalai Lama’s government-in-exile opens a representative office in Taipei. Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui attends the opening ceremonies. This is the Tibetans 12th overseas liaison office. The Dalai Lama visited Taiwan in March of last year and has been invited again at the end of this year (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/16/98).
Apr 17, 1998 Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, denies recent claims made by his defense minister regarding Chinese incursions into Indian territory. The BJP won the most votes in recent elections and head a federal coalition government. The head of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is set to visit India next week. In November 1996, India and China updated their border deal by agreeing to make substantial cuts in troops and arms along their disputed border. Also both countries agreed not to attack across their line of control. Indian Defense Minister Fernandes is urging a dialogue between the two countries who in 1996 had $1 billion worth of bilateral trade (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/17/98).
Apr 24, 1998 The Dalai Lama says he could be the last spiritual Tibetan leader if the ancient institution loses relevance in modern times. He says that he opposes orthodoxy and that if the institution is no longer relevant, it should be scrapped (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/24/98).
Apr 26, 1998 Three member of the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) plan to continue their hunger strike after Indian police forcibly sent three others to hospital. The TYC says it has replacements that will take over for the three who were forcibly removed. The Indian action occurs on the heels of the first ever visit to India by China’s chief of the army (Agence France Presse, 04/26/98).
Apr 27, 1998 A Tibetan activist is very severely burned following a self-immolation attempt at the site of a Tibetan Youth Congress hunger strike in New Delhi. The three remaining hunger strikers are forcibly removed and taken to a local hospital. TYC members clash with police, vowing that the hunger strike will continue. The campaign has drawn world-wide attention, including calls from the UN Secretary-General to call off the hunger strike (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/27/98).
Apr 28, 1998 Five Tibetan Youth Congress members begin a hunger strike in Delhi (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/28/98). The Dalai Lama visits Thupten Ngodub, the man who attempted to self-immolate himself to draw attention to the Tibetan issue. The spiritual leader says that the action reflects the growing frustration of his people at the destruction of their culture. He appeals for greater international support for the Tibetans. While the Dalai Lama indicates that he disagrees with the methods used by the hunger strikers, he admires their determination (Agence France Presse, 04/28/98).
Apr 29, 1998 A member of the Tibetan Youth Congress says that Tibetans might have to re-think their non-violent approach which so far has been followed due to supreme respect for the Dalai Lama. He refers to Thupten Ngodub, who died today from his self-immolation attempt, as a martyr. The TYC says the immolation is a watershed in the non-violent struggle and that the Dalai Lama has achieved nothing in his 40 years of struggle while this recent hunger strike garnered international attention (Agence France Presse, 04/29/98). The self-immolation is reported to be the first by a Tibetan since the 1951 Chinese takeover of Tibet. The TYC says that the campaign will now be more aggressive, indicating that “more blood will flow in the coming days” (Ibid.).
Apr 30, 1998 The Dalai Lama calls for a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 04/30/98). Around 5000 Tibetans gather in Dharamsala for the funeral of Thupten Ngodub, who recently died following a self-immolation attempt. A Tibetan analyst asserts that "[T]he international community reacts only to militancy. [and that] If it doesn’t react to Ngodub’s self-immolation, more cases will happen (Agence France Presse, 04/30/98). China urges the Dalai Lama to “do something useful for Tibet” by publicly recognizing Beijing’s sovereignty over the region. China says it is willing to have talks with the Dalai Lama if he agrees to the above along with stopping any separatist activities (Ibid.). While Tibetan reports indicate that there has been a hardening of repression in Tibet, very limited information is available on what is occurring in the region. It is likely that China has again imposed restrictions on foreigners visiting the region (Ibid.).
May 1, 1998 Around 5000 Tibetans hold anti-Chinese rallies in Dharamsala at the cremation ceremony for Ngodub, who recently died following a self-immolation attempt. The Tibetan Youth Congress vows that it will continue its hunger strike (Agence France Presse, 05/01/98).
May 3, 1998 Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes asserts that China is a bigger threat to India than Pakistan. He says that Delhi needs to prepare for China’s naval buildup and its recent construction of bases in Tibet along with its deployment of nuclear weapons in the region which borders India (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 05/03/98).
May 4, 1998 Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee expresses anger at yesterday’s remarks by his defense minister regarding China. The major opposition party, the Congress, asserts that Fernandes’ comments could jeopardize relations with the PRC (Agence France Presse 05/04/98).
May 5, 1998 The PRC slams Indian Defense Minister Fernandes’ recent statement that China is the number one threat to India, indicating that this is "ridiculous" (Agence France Presse, 05/05/98).
May 6, 1998 Seeking to diffuse tensions between India and China, India’s Defense Minister Fernandes indicates that he favors talks with the PRC (Agence France Presse, 05/06/98). The Communist Party of India-Marxist calls for Fernandes to quit over his recent anti-China comments. The CPI-M is the third largest party in parliament (Ibid.). Nobel laureate Jose Ramos Horta, an East Timorese activist, urges 5 Tibetans to give up their hunger strike, which began on April 28. This is the second group of hunger strikers who are members of the Tibetan Youth Congress. Horta pledges to speak in support of Tibet (Agence France Presse, 05/06/98).
May 7, 1998 Indian Defense Minister Fernandes asserts that India should beef up its military presence along the Chinese border (Agence France Presse, 05/07/98).
May 8, 1998 India’s army chief dismisses Fernandes’ recent comments regarding China as inconsequential (Agence France Presse, 05/08/98). Meanwhile, the Samata (Equality) Party, a member of India’s ruling coalition government, urges the United Nations to facilitate talks between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese regime. India’s Defense Minister is a member of the Samata Party (Ibid.).
May 9, 1998 Some 200 Tibetans protest outside the UN’s offices in New Delhi seeking an end to Chinese rule in Tibet, an international probe into human rights abuses there, the appointment of a special UN envoy on Tibet, and the holding of a plebiscite to decide the region’s future status (Agence France Presse, 05/09/98).
May 10, 1998 Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng meets with the Dalai Lama in Boston, USA. The Dalai Lama says that the Tibetan cause is supported by many Chinese dissidents (Agence France Presse, 05/10/98).
May 11, 1998 A European Union delegation has just completed a 10-day visit to Tibet (India Today, 05/11/98). Around 100 Tibetans march on the UN’s office in New Delhi to condemn the world body’s inaction on Tibet (Agence France Presse, 05/11/98). Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes urges China to be a "good neighbor". He states that he is not anti-China or anti-Pakistan but that India will do anything necessary, including developing nuclear weapons, if security perceptions warrant such actions (Ibid.).
May 12, 1998 The Tibetan Youth Congress congratulates India for conducting three nuclear tests on May 11. It asserts that Delhi needs to be strong as China has deployed nuclear weapons in Tibet that are aimed at India (Agence France Presse, 05/12/98).
May 13, 1998 India conducts two nuclear tests, raising to five the number of explosions in the past two days.
May 15, 1998 The London-based Tibet Information Network says that 15 monks were arrested in March in Tibet following demonstrations in support of the Dalai Lama. The whereabouts of the 15 remain unknown. The TIN also indicates that a January 1996 bomb explosion in the village of Tsanden, Sog region, was set off by a local monk (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 05/15/98). In March of this year, China announced that 35,000 monks and nuns had been "rectified" by its re-education campaign (Ibid.). Five Tibetan Youth Congress members end their 18-day hunger strike in order to give the United Nations time to undertake concrete steps to resolve the Tibetan issue. Several countries including Poland, Norway, Costa Rica, and Hungary have promised to bring attention to the issue (Ibid.).
May 16, 1998 An Indian-based group, the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, claims that in early May police fired upon approximately 150 prisoners who held a pro-independence demonstration in Lhasa’s main jail. The Chinese government denies that any firing occurred (Agence France Presse, 05/16/98; Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 05/18/98).
May 18, 1998 India Today reports that the Tibetan Youth Congress member who died after self-immolating himself is representative of many frustrated Tibetans. The TYC favors independence for Tibet. Within India, the government-in-exile estimates an 18% unemployment rate among Tibetans who also have limited educational opportunities. Up to 60 Tibetans cross into Nepal every month, many of which end up in India (05/18/98).
May 19, 1998 Chinese media sources accuse New Delhi of supporting the Tibetans. They also assert that the Dalai Lama supports India’s recent nuclear tests (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 05/19/98).
May 22, 1998 In his first public statement on India’s nuclear tests, the Dalai Lama says he is saddened by India’s explosions but that it is "not right" to "outrightly condemn India’s action" as the big powers possess nuclear weapons. He reaffirms his support for a Chinese proposal that calls for a ban on all nuclear weapons (Agence France Presse, 05/22/98).
May 23, 1998 Around 150 Tibetans clash with police forces as they try to storm the Chinese embassy in New Delhi (Agence France Presse, 05/23/98). Indian Defense Minister Fernandes says that confidence building measures with China will continue despite India’s nuclear tests (Ibid.).
Jun 11, 1998 The European Union and the PRC sign several cooperation projects worth US $92.4 to promote the economy of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (Xinhua News Agency, 06/11/98).
Jun 17, 1998 On a visit to France, the Dalai Lama says that the situation in Tibet is seriously deteriorating and amounts to cultural genocide (Agence France Presse, 06/17/98).
Jun 18, 1998 China refers to the Dalai Lama as a splittist and asserts that before talks can begin, the Dalai Lama must declare that Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of China and the PRC government is the sole legal government (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 06/18/98). The Dalai Lama reveals that he maintains contacts with the Chinese leadership through "various private channels of communication". He says these contacts are "serious" and that he has reason to be "optimistic" (Ibid.).
Jun 19, 1998 A French museum guard burns himself to death outside of Paris to protest against China’s policies in Tibet. The Dalai Lama is currently in Paris (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 06/19/98). A delegation of EU ambassadors which visited Tibet from May 1-10 indicates that China continues to exert extremely tight control over Tibetan religion and culture. They indicate that the authorities informed them that the Dalai Lama’s choice of a successor for the Panchem Lama is living a normal life. The ambassadors were not allowed to visit the young boy. Tibetans and various human rights groups contend that the boy is in custody at an unknown location. The EU delegation did note that there was an absence of pictures of the Chinese choice of a Panchem Lama in Tibet (Agence France Presse, 06/19/98).
Jun 25, 1998 The US State Department’s Coordinator for Tibet, Greg Craig, will not be a part of the official delegation that will travel with President Clinton on his upcoming state visit to China. Craig was appointed last October (Agence France Presse, 06/25/98).
Jun 27, 1998 During President Clinton’s visit to China, President Jiang Zemin says that the regime has several channels of communication open with the Dalai Lama. Jiang offers to hold talks but asserts that before they can begin, the Tibetan leader must declare that Tibet is an inalienable part of China. President Clinton urges Jiang to open a dialogue with the Dalai Lama (Agence France Presse, 06/27/98). A spokesman for the Dalai Lama denies that Beijing is in communication with the Dalai Lama. He asserts that Jiang’s offer of a dialogue is unacceptable as it requires that Tibet’s history be rewritten. He says that no real communications have occurred since 1979/80. Earlier, the Dalai Lama indicated that there had been no official communications since 1993. Diplomats suggest that while the offer of talks is not a new development, perhaps Jiang has opened a possible avenue forward (Ibid.).
Jun 28, 1998 The Dalai Lama’s office in Taipei contends that the PRC is delaying a dialogue on Tibet with "unreasonable demands" such as requiring a declaration from the Tibetan leader that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 06/28/98).
Jun 29, 1998 A senior official of the Tibetan government-in-exile praises US President Clinton for calling on the PRC to enter into a dialogue with the Dalai Lama. He also applauds President Zemin for recognizing that Tibet is an important issue in need of a solution (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 06/29/98). The government-in-exile says that it is ready for unconditional talks with Beijing, reiterating that the demand for independence has been dropped (Agence France Presse, 06/29/98).
Jun 30, 1998 The Tibetan government-in-exile reveals that 7 Tibetans were killed and 60 others badly wounded on May 1 and May 4 when police fired upon prisoners staging pro-independence demonstrations in Lhasa’s main jail. The jail houses mostly political prisoners, many of whom are nuns and monks (Agence France Presse, 06/30/98).
Jul 2, 1998 Chinese officials state that a bomb exploded last week in Lhasa; they do not provide any further information. The Tibet Information Network says the bomb went off at a public security building late in the evening on June 24 to avoid a large casualty toll. Three or four people were injured. Since January, 1996 there have been at least four explosions in Tibet (Agence France Presse, 07/02/98). In response to the Tibetans’ latest offer to hold unconditional talks, Beijing contends that no negotiations can be held until the Dalai Lama publicly acknowledges that Tibet is an inalienable part of China (Ibid.).
Jul 17, 1998 A Taiwanese newspaper reports that the Dalai Lama has stated that he opposes independence for Taiwan. In March of last year, the Tibetan leader said the Taiwanese people and the PRC must decide Taiwan’s status. The Dalai Lama has canceled his second planned visit to Taiwan, a move likely to avoid angering Beijing (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 07/17/98).
Jul 28, 1998 The Tibet Information Network (TIN) reports that a monk who spent two years in jail has died due to the effects of torture. He was recently released from jail (Agence France Presse, 07/28/98).
Aug 5, 1998 The Tibet Information Network (TIN) says that 10 Tibetan prisoners died in a Lhasa jail following protests on May 1 and 4 (Agence France Presse, 08/05/98).
Aug 29, 1998 Over 600 Tibetans (mostly monks and nuns) are in Tibetan jails for political crimes. Some 95% of peasants and herders in the Lhokha region, the region where support for the Dalai Lama is particularly strong, have undergone patriotic education (Economist, 08/29/98).
Sep 11, 1998 An Asiaweek report states that there has always been a vocal minority that favors the use of violence to fight for independence and that it includes some members of the Tibetan Youth Congress. The TYC, which was formed in 1970, has 65 chapters and over 13,000 members world-wide; it is the largest Tibetan political organization. It maintains contacts with resistance groups in Tibet and asserts that devotion to the Dalai Lama has moderated the militant thinking of most Tibetans. The head of a research institution in Dharamsala says a lot of militant Tibetans are keeping quiet for three main reasons: a lack of opportunities to mount guerrilla operations in Tibet; the Dalai Lama’s insistence on non-violence; and the role of westerners who pressure Tibetans not to oppose the Dalai Lama (09/11/98).
Sep 12, 1998 There is still no information available on the location of the eight year old boy whom the Dalai Lama chose in 1995 as the successor to the Panchem Lama. The government says he is under guard for his own protection (Agence France Presse, 09/12/98). The Tibet Information Network states it has evidence on the use of torture, forced labor, and the killing of political prisoners in Tibetan jails (Ibid.).
Sep 27, 1998 Some 200 Tibetans hold a pro-independence demonstration in New Delhi. It was organized by the Tibetan Youth Congress, which wants China to open talks with the Dalai Lama (Agence France Presse, 09/27/98).
Oct 8, 1998 Three Tibetan prisoners who met with a UN Working Group in October of last year have had their prison terms extended by up to ten years, according to the London-based Tibet Information Network. The government says there were no reprisals (Agence France Presse, 10/08/98).
Oct 24, 1998 A Hong Kong report states that the Dalai Lama is preparing a statement on the political status of Tibet that could lead to his return to the mainland for a meeting with President Zemin. No further details are provided (Agence France Presse, 10/24/98). Chinese authorities have issued an order that requires party and government officials to recall any of their children who were sent to study in Dharamsala, the headquarters of the government-in-exile. Tibetan students are subject to discrimination in the Chinese school system (Ibid.).
Oct 27, 1998 The Chinese government issues a sharp attack against the Dalai Lama. It refers to him as insincere and calls on the Tibetan leader to pay more attention to public opinion and not only maintain a quiet dialogue with Beijing (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 10/27/98).
Oct 29, 1998 Some 49 monks in Tibet have been "ordered" to retire in what critics refer to as a new effort to crack down on their influence. Asian Age reports that 2300 Tibetans (mostly monks and nuns) fled to India this year as they refused to sign a required form opposing the Dalai Lama and accepting Chinese supremacy in the region (Christian Science Monitor, 10/29/98).
Nov 4, 1998 An aide says the Dalai Lama is willing to acknowledge that Tibet and Taiwan are part of China (Agence France Presse, 11/04/98).
Nov 5, 1998 Reports indicate that there might be direct talks between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government in the near future. Rumors, reportedly fueled by members of the government-in-exile, even indicate that the Dalai Lama could actually visit China next month, meet with President Zemin, and make a pilgrimage to a Buddhist temple in Wutaishan in Shanxi province. The Chinese government has denied the pilgrimage reports. It is not clear if the Tibetan leader will be able to make all the concessions Beijing has demanded prior to negotiations. At a minimum, he would have to recognize China’s sovereignty over Tibet and Taiwan. Further, he will have to convince some members in his government who insist on independence and the unification of the TAR and Tibetan areas in neighboring provinces (Asia Pulse, 11/05/98).
Nov 12, 1998 The Dalai Lama says he has put off an attempt to reopen a formal dialogue with Beijing because the government refused, through informal channels, to coordinate a mutually acceptable statement. He says he is willing to make the commitments sought by the Chinese as a precondition for talks (International Herald Tribune, 11/12/98).
Nov 13, 1998 Abbot Agya Rinpoche, one of Tibet’s eight senior religious leaders, leaves China for the United States. It is speculated that he left due to his opposition to a plan to move the government’s choice of the Panchem Lama from his traditional residence in Tashilhumpo monastery in Shigatse to Kumbum monastery which is outside the Tibet Autonomous Region. Opposition to the government-mandated successor has been reported in Shigatse. Rinpoche, who is the head of the Kumbum monastery and holds Chinese government posts, feared the move would be constructed as an expression of his approval of the Beijing-appointed Panchem Lama. He is one of the highest ranking religious figures to leave since the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 11/13/98).
Dec 3, 1998 An official Chinese newspaper refers to the Dalai Lama as a "terrorist" for "supporting India’s nuclear tests". Restrictions are tightened in Tibet as Communist party officials who display pictures of the Dalai Lama are now subject to expulsion from the party (Agence France Presse, 12/03/98).
Dec 18, 1998 The PRC jams the Norway-based Voice of Tibet radio service (Agence France Presse, 12/18/98).
Dec 27, 1998 The Dalai Lama asserts that Beijing’s "rigid and negative" attitude is holding up a peaceful solution on the future status of Tibet (Agence France Presse, 12/27/98).
Jan 6, 1999 Some 70 Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) members end an eleven day march across north India to support the call for independence. They urge the UN to discuss Tibet and to name a special envoy to supervise a plebiscite (Agence France Presse, 01/06/99). The Peoples Republic of China signed the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights last fall (International Herald Tribune, 01/04/99).
Jan 7, 1999 A Chinese delegation withdraws from a business conference to be held in New Delhi after organizers invite the Dalai Lama to make a key address (Agence France Presse, 01/07/99).
Jan 8, 1999 China condemns India for failing to stop some 60 Tibetan Youth Congress members from storming its New Delhi embassy. The protestors voluntarily leave after burning a Chinese flag (Agence France Presse, 01/08/99).
Jan 12, 1999 The UN will ask China for information on two Tibetan monks arrested last September for preparing a letter for UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson. Last year, Robinson became the first Commissioner to visit the PRC and Tibet. The Tibet Information Network says the letter expresses concerns about the status of the Dalai Lama’s choice of the Panchem Lama and notes the suppression of last May’s riots in a Lhasa prison (Agence France Presse, 01/12/99).
Jan 19, 1999 A recent bomb blast is reported in the TAR town of Shigatse. Police arrest a suspect for attempted extortion. No further details are available (Agence France Presse, 01/19/99).
Jan 23, 1999 The Tibet Information Network says Beijing has launched a three year propaganda campaign aimed at eradicating religion in Tibet and ending support for the Dalai Lama (Agence France Presse, 01/23/99).
Feb 3, 1999 A top Communist Party official in Tibet calls for increased patriotic education in monasteries in order to maintain “political stability”. March 10 marks the 40th anniversary of the 1959 rebellion that led the Dalai Lama to flee to India. March 7 is the 10th anniversary of the imposition of martial law in Tibet (Agence France Presse, 02/03/99).
Feb 5, 1999 The US State Department urges direct talks between the Dalai Lama and the PRC. News reports note that Chinese authorities announced last month that they would expand the teaching of atheism among officials and ordinary Tibetans. The extension of the patriotic education campaign, begun in 1996, would include schools. Since late last year, China has also cracked down on pro-democracy activists, including those attempting to form political parties (Agence France Presse, 02/05/99; International Herald Tribune, 02/06/99).
Mar 3, 1999 A Tibetan woman with Canadian citizenship is barred from speaking at a UN Forum on the Status of Women for fear of offending the PRC. She was to speak on the issue of violence against women in occupied territories (Agence France Presse, 03/03/99).
Mar 7, 1999 Beijing launches new propaganda attacks against the Dalai Lama ahead of the 40th anniversary of the rebellion that prompted him to flee to India. Today is the 10th anniversary of the imposition of martial law in Tibet. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the June 4 crackdown on students in Tiananmen Square (Agence France Presse, 03/07/99).
Mar 8, 1999 The US State Department’s report on Human Rights Practices in China in 1998 asserts that serious abuses continue in Tibet. These include the use of torture, arbitrary arrest, detention without public trial, lengthy detentions for expressing political views, and tight controls on religion and fundamental freedoms (Agence France Presse, 03/08/99). The US joins Canada in protesting the exclusion of a Canadian Tibetan woman from a UN Forum on the Status of Women (see March 3, 1999) (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 03/08/99). An official of the Office of the Dalai Lama says that Beijing’s continued crackdown will only make Tibetans more nationalistic. The Tibet Information Network says the patriotic education campaign has only stirred up resentment and open protests (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 03/09/99).
Mar 10, 1999 Security has been tightened in Tibet in order to prevent any incidents to mark today’s 40th anniversary of the rebellion that led to the Dalai Lama’s flight to India. Entry into Tibet is very tightly controlled and few foreign journalists have been allowed in for the last few years. Tibetans and others stage demonstrations in various cities around the world to mark the anniversary. Speaking to a rally of over 5000 people in Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama appeals to world leaders to pressure the PRC to stop the suppression of Tibetans. He says China is still unwilling to accept his offer of talks (Agence France Presse, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 03/10/99).
Mar 11, 1999 It is reported that secret contacts between Beijing and representatives of the Dalai Lama lasted 18 months. These unofficial contacts ended in November (Christian Science Monitor, 03/11/99). The Tibet Information Network says some 80 people were arrested in recent weeks to discourage attempts to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Tibetan rebellion. It also reports that Tibetan monks who shouted pro-independence slogans in Lhasa to mark the date were arrested (Agence France Presse, 03/11/99).
Mar 12, 1999 Some 1200 Tibetan women march in New Delhi in memory of a woman who took part in the failed 1959 uprising. They urge the UN to play a constructive role in promoting talks and protest Chinese restrictions on the right to reproductive freedom and the unlawful suppression of religious, social, and cultural freedoms (Agence France Presse, 03/12/99). The Dalai Lama is being treated for exhaustion and the early stages of pneumonia (Asiaweek, 03/12/99).
Mar 15 - Jun 15, 1999 Analysts note that Chinese opposition to the NATO bombing campaign in Kosovo and Yugoslavia likely reflects its fear that it could set a precedent for possible foreign involvement in Taiwan, Tibet, or Xinjiang.
Mar 18, 1999 Police arrest four people who chain themselves to the Chinese mission to the UN in Geneva to protest Beijing’s policies in Tibet and an upcoming visit by President Jiang Zemin (Agence France Presse, 03/18/99).
Mar 19, 1999 The London-based Tibet Information Network says that since 1987 some 32 Tibetan political prisoners have died due to torture and maltreatment. It states that this means that one in every 33 prisoners has died over a 12 year period. Two-thirds of the men who are jailed are monks while 80% of the women are nuns who suffer worse treatment. The TIN says there are currently 550 political prisoners detained, some 43% without proper judicial procedure. The average jail term is 7.8 years, up from 5.8 in 1987. The organization also notes that protests against Chinese rule have spread to Tibetan areas outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region (Agence France Presse, 03/19/99).
Mar 23 - 28, 1999 Pro-Tibet and Taiwan demonstrations are held as Chinese President Zemin visits Italy, Switzerland and Austria (Agence France Presse, Deutsche Presse Agentur, 03/23-28/99).
Apr 1, 1999 The March 23 edition of the official Tibet Daily reports that law enforcement agencies and party officials in Tibet have been urged to step up efforts to safeguard stability in the face of a “rising number” of important criminal cases. It asserts that the Dalai Lama is "taking measures to stir up chaos in the thinking of the masses, via the living Buddhas and the monks in the monasteries". It calls for efforts to be stepped up to continue the education and "rectification" in monasteries as a few monasteries had "not completely given up their reactionary stance" (Agence France Presse, 04/01/99).
Apr 1 - 10, 1999 Pro-Tibet demonstrations mark Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji’s visit to the United States and Canada.
Apr 8, 1999 On a visit to Argentina, the Dalai Lama says that "this is not the best moment" for discussions with Beijing. He reiterates that for the past two decades he has only been asking for autonomy (Agence France Presse, 04/08/99).
Apr 12, 1999 The underground China Democracy Party calls for wide-ranging political, economic, and cultural reforms in the PRC. A number of its leaders were arrested last year and received stiff jail terms. It also calls for autonomy for Tibet and Xinjiang, where Muslim Uighurs are waging a violent campaign for autonomy/independence. Only a dozen of the party’s members have publicly announced their participation in the organization (Agence France Presse, 04/12/99).
Apr 23, 1999 A no-motion measure by China passes at the Human Rights Commission meetings in Geneva. It effectively defeats a US resolution condemning severe restrictions on freedoms in China, including increasing controls in Tibet, before a vote on it could be taken. Since 1989, China has blocked every annual vote on a resolution regarding its human rights practices with the exception of 1995 when a vote failed to muster the necessary support (Agence France Presse, 04/23/99).
May 6, 1999 The Dalai Lama pledges to persuade Tibetans to give up their independence drive if China grants real autonomy which he says is vital to preserving Tibetan culture. He says that he no longer has contacts with Beijing as hardliners gained the upper hand last summer. The spiritual leader also notes that frustration among Tibetans is running high and has resulted in a series of bomb attacks. He remarks that awareness of the problems in Tibet is increasing among the Chinese people (Agence France Presse, 05/06/99).
May 7, 1999 The Dalai Lama states that if he dies the Tibetan struggle may die but it is more likely to become violent. He asserts that unless Beijing eliminates the entire Tibetan population, it will never eliminate all resistance (Agence France Presse, 05/07/99).
May 8, 1999 The Tibetan Youth Congress and the Dalai Lama agree that any change in Tibet’s status is unlikely to happen through pressure from the western world. They believe it more likely through internal changes such as economic liberalization and demands for democratic freedoms (The Guardian, 05/08/99).
May 11, 1999 The Dalai Lama says that as soon as Tibet achieves autonomy he will retire and hand over powers associated with his religious authority to a local government which must be elected. During his travels across Europe, the religious leader holds a discreet meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London (Agence France Presse, 05/11/99).
May 28, 1999 The political leader of the government-in-exile, Sonam Topgyal, says extra troops have been deployed in Tibet ahead of June 4, which is the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. He states that he is not sure why Beijing broke off all contacts last year but suggests it could be due to internal wrangles (Agence France Presse, 05/28/99).
Jun 18, 1999 The government-appointed 11th Panchem Lama moves to Lhasa; this is the first time he has been there since his appointment in 1995. The move is likely an attempt to reduce the population’s loyalty to the Panchem Lama chosen by the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama’s choice is believed to be in Chinese custody (Agence France Presse, 06/18/99; New York Times, 06/19/99).
Jun 24, 1999 The World Bank approves a $160 million loan to China but puts on hold a controversial part of the proposal. The poverty alleviation project calls for the construction of a large dam and the building of new roads in Qinghai province. Some $40 million is to be spent on relocating 58,000 Han and Hui Muslim farmers in Tibetan areas of Qinghai that border the TAR. The Dalai Lama was born in this region. The population transfer along with environmental concerns led the United States, Germany, and various Tibetan and non-governmental organizations to oppose the project. The Tibetans assert that it is an effort to dilute the Tibetan and Mongolian population in the region. The World Bank has put this aspect of the project on hold pending an internal review (Agence France Presse, 06/24/99). A spokesman for the government-in-exile says that the Chinese-appointed Panchem Lama’s move to Lhasa cuts short hopes of an early solution to the Tibet issue. He says the government’s choice is not accepted by the people. The move to Lhasa is viewed as another challenge to the Dalai Lama’s religious authority (Ibid.).
Jun 25, 1999 The Chinese-appointed Panchem Lama calls on Tibetans to obey President Zemin, love the Communist Party, and promote development and stability in the region (Agence France Presse, 06/25/99).
Jun 28, 1999 The South China Morning Post reports that authorities in Lhasa have banned the private ownership of guns, knives, and explosives contending that they might fall into the hands of terrorists. Non-compliance will result in a three to seven year jail term (Agence France Presse, 06/28/99).
Jan 2004 Authorities arrested two students for displaying pro-independence posters on the walls of local government buildings. (US Department of State. 2/28/2005. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2004: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 02/11/2009.)
Feb 2004 Monks Lobsang Khedrub and Gyalpo were arrested and sentenced to 11 years in prison for raising the Tibetan national flag, which is banned. (US Department of State. 3/8/2006. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2005: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 2/11/2005.)
Feb 12 - 12, 2004 A monk was arrested for being in possession of a Dalai Lama picture and a Tibetan national flag. (US Department of State. 2/28/2005. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2004: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 02/11/2009.)
Mar 1, 2004 - Sep 15, 2005 Dolma Gyab, a teacher and writer, was arrested and sentenced at a secret trial for writing an unpublished book about Tibet and democracy in 2004. In 2005, Gyab smuggled a letter out of the prison asking for help in fighting his sentence. (Macartney, Jane, 8/4/2006, “Tibetan writer fights 10 years in prison for a book not even published”, The Australian)
Mar 11 - 11, 2004 Tibetans protested Chinese occupation of Tibetan land by commemorating the 45th anniversary of National Uprising Day. (The Hindu, 3/11/2004, “Tibetans Observe Anniversary of National Uprising Day”)
Apr 2004 Due to the political nature of their music, authorities arrested Tibetan singer, Namkha, and composer, Bakocha. (US Department of State. 2/28/2005. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2004: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 02/11/2009.)
Jul 27 - 27, 2004 At Chogri Monastery, 60 people were arrested and some were beaten for displaying pro-independence posters. (US Department of State. 2/28/2005. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2004: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 02/11/2009.)
Sep 16 - 16, 2004 The Dalai Lama's special envoy arrived in China for talks with the Chinese government regarding Tibetan autonomy. (The Advertiser, 9/16/2004, “Tibet talks”)
Oct 2004 After a Tibetan religious leader demanded that the police pay the medical bills for injuries he sustained while in detention, police shot and killed him. (US Department of State. 2/28/2005. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2004: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 02/11/2009.)
Oct 2004 After the release of "Tibetan Journal" by Woeser, which included references to the Dalai Lama, the book was censored and Woeser lost her job, home and benefits, including the ability to procure a passport. (BBC Monitoring World Media, 7/6/2005, “China: Watchdog criticizes 'crackdown' on press freedom”)
Jan 2005 Nepal closed the Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office in Kathmandu, where many Tibetans awaited clearance to enter India. (Human Rights Watch. 2006. “Human Rights Overview: China”. 02/11/2009.)
Mar 2005 The Dali Lama dropped claims for an independent Tibet and adopted a position for Tibetan autonomy. (McDonald, Hamish. 3/15/2005. “Tibet part of China, Dalai Lama agrees”Sydney Morning Herald (Australia))
Mar 2005 Chinese authorities arrest and sentence to a 10-year imprisonment a Tibetan history teacher for "endangering state security." (US Department of State. 03/06/2007. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2006: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 02/11/2009.)
May 2005 Authorities arrested three Tibetan nuns and two monks after they distributed papers calling for Tibetan independence at monasteries and markets. (US Department of State. 3/8/2006. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2005: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 2/11/2009.)
Jun 2005 Chinese authorities recognized another boy, different from the one recognized by the Dalai Lama, as the Panchen Lama (the next Dalai Lama) and required Tibetan monks to come out to greet him. (Human Rights Watch. 2006. “Human Rights Overview: China”. 02/11/2009.)
Jun 29 - 29, 2005 In Madrid, the Committee for the Support of Tibet filed a criminal case against Chinese officials for genocide and crimes against humanity. (The Independent (London), 6/29/2005, “Tibetans Seek Genocide Charges”)
Jul 2005 Authorities arrested a monk for mentioning the Dalai Lama in a "request for prayer". (US Department of State. 03/06/2007. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2006: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 02/11/2009.)
Oct 15 - 15, 2005 China completed the world's longest railroad system linking Xining to Lhasa in Tibet. (McDonald, Joe, 10/16/2005, “Train to Roof of the World Opens,” Independent)
Nov 23 - 23, 2005 Authorities arrested five monks after they refused to denounce the Dalai Lama and recognize Tibet as part of China. (US Department of State. 03/06/2007. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2006: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 02/11/2009.)
Feb 16 - 16, 2006 Envoys of the Dalai Lama, arrived in China for the fifth round of secretive talks regarding autonomy for the Tibetan region. (The New Zealand Herald, 2/16/2006, “Dalai Lama envoys talk with China”)
Aug 15, 2006 Authorities arrested a monk for initiating separatist activities after finding photos of the Dalai Lama. (US Department of State. 03/06/2007. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2006: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 2/11/2009.)
Sep 30 - 30, 2006 Two European climbers witnessed the shooting death of one Tibetan after the People's Armed Police forces opened fire on about 70 Tibetans trying to cross into Nepal. (US Department of State. 03/06/2007. “Country Reports on Human rights Practices-2006: China.” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. 2/11/2009.)
Nov 23 - 23, 2006 About 200 Tibetans participate in a day-long hunger strike in Mumbai as a protest against Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India. (BBC Worldwide Monitoring: International Reports, 11/23/2006, “Tibetans in India on hunger strike against Chinese president's visit.”)


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Information current as of July 16, 2010