To: Unitex Msg #15, 17-Jul-90 03:21pm Subject: Ecology in Tibet Source: Canada Tibet Commi
From: Paul Nietupski Crash/spewmail Sent
To: Unitex Msg #15, 17-Jul-90 03:21pm
Subject: Ecology in Tibet
Source: Canada Tibet Committee Newsletter, Spring 1990
TERRACIDE IN OCCUPIED TIBET
Prior to the Chines invasion and occupation of Tibet, this vast land
atop the Himalayas existed as an ecosystem virtually free from the impact of
the industrial age. Compassion for other living beings was the core value
of the Buddhist culture of the Tibetan people, and protection of the
environment was a natural result. Thirty years of Chinese occupation of
Tibet has resulted in genocide accompanied by a "terracide" of appalling
FACTS ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL
DEVASTATION OF TIBET
* THE DECIMATION OF WILDLIFE: Indiscriminate shooting has reduced the
flourishing wildlife to a grim list of endangered species, including the
wold yak and the snow leopard. Recent accounts, such as in the March-April
1990 cover story of Greenpeace magazine, report a virtual absence of
wildlife in Tibet.
* DEFORESTATION: The devastation of Tibet's forests is widely
documented by refugees, foreign visitors to Tibet, and the Chinese
themselves. The roads once used for the Chinese military invasion of Tibet
are now filled with a ceaseless procession of trucks taking timber to China.
* NUCLEAR AND TOXIC WASTE DUMPING AND NUCLEAR TESTING: The effects that
these practices may have on the local environment are ignored by the Chinese
occupiers of Tibet. An earthquake zone, Tibet is particularly dangerous as
a nuclear dumping site. Seven major rivers of Asia have their source in the
Tibetan plateau, and their contamination would be widespread and
* OVER-GRAZING: Because of forced collective livestock farming, too
many animals are raised on land that will not support them. The result is
severe erosion, flooding, and the increase of silt deposits in rivers.
* MINING: It is reported that the Chinese government is preparing to
extract Tibet's rich deposits of gold, uranium, copper and iron.
* POPULATION TRANSFER: In addition to military personnel, China has
engaged in large-scale transfer of Chinese citizens to Tibet. Urbanization
accompanied by heedless waste disposal imperils the unique and fragile
nature of the Tibetan plateau.
DID YOU KNOW?
* Tibet has the largest forest area in the whole of Chinese controlled
* Tibet's medicinal herbs number more than 1,000 varieties, or 65% of
the herbs in Chinese controlled lands.
* Tibet has more than 5,760 varieties of plants, of which over 3,000
have economic value.
* Vast tracts of Tibet's forests have been reduced to empty waste
lands. Attempts at reforestation have been generally unsuccessful due to
lack of proper care for seedlings.
* US$54 billion worth of lumber has been taken from Tibet into China
* Tibet's forests were home to deer, musk deer, bears, leopards, wild
yaks, antelope and lynx.
* Many environmentalists attribute the frequent and devastating
landslides and floods in Nepal, North-eastern India, Bangladesh, Burma and
China to the massive deforestation in Tibet.
To know more about environmental issues in Tibet or to become a member of
Canada Tibet Committee, please write to:
Canada Tibet Committee 4675 Coolbrook Avenue Montreal, Quebec H3X 2K7 CANADA
From: Paul Nietupski Crash/spewmail Sent
To: Unitex Msg #16, 17-Jul-90 03:22pm
Subject: Tibetan Children's Village
Source: David Phillips
THOUSANDS OF ORPHANS AND DESTITUTE CHILDREN
FIND SHELTER AND WARMTH IN TIBETAN
Two years ago, more than 300,000 people journeyed to Bodh Gaya, India,
site of the Buddha's enlightenment, to receive the teachings and the
blessings of the XIVth Dalai Lama of Tibet. Among the multitude of pilgrims
that came from every continent were many who journeyed from their homes in
After the Long Life Blessing was transmitted and the faithful departed,
450 Tibetan children began a journey in a new direction. Instead of starting
on the 20-day trip back home with their families, they went by train to
Dharamsala to be raised there in the Tibetan Children's Village (TCV), an
institution which cares for orphaned and destitute Tibetan refugee children.
Since 1960 when it began its work to care for 51 starved and sick
refugee orphans, TCV has cared for more than 8,000 needy children. It has
expanded its programs to the plateau of Ladakh, the valley of Kulu and the
hot plains of Byalakuppe -- all in India -- and has also expanded the range
of services it provides to children in its care.
In 1984, a second school was opened in Dharamsala to accommodate new
arrivals from Tibet who now number about 800 and represent close to a
quarter of the children currently being cared for by TCV.
TCV has taken much of its inspiration and guidance from the SOS
Children's Villages of Dr. Hermann Gmeiner. Caring for orphaned and
destitute children is a totally new experience for Tibetans now in exile,
and over the years the SOS model has proved to be most suitably adaptable.
Groups of children (usually about 30) of varying ages live in TCV homes
with a house mother and a family atmosphere. Everyone has some
responsibility in cooking, cleaning and taking care of the garden. Villages
are comprised of many such homes, staff quarters, hostels, school buildings,
sports facilities, offices, kitchens, bakeries, community centers, libraries
and buddhist temples. A sense of community, belonging and responsibility is
thus created and maintained for children who otherwise wold face the world
alone and defenseless.
TCV accepts any child offered to the care of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama, of whom 75% are orphans, semi-orphans or destitute. The quality of
care and education is so high that parents of greater means seek admission
there for their own children. Ten per cent of the children in TCVs are of
government officials, and the remaining 15% are children whose parents pay
for schooling at TCV.
Interactions between children of well-off families and orphans helps to bind
the Tibetan refugee community in India together.
The curriculum at TCV schools follows the syllabus set by the Board of
Education in New Delhi. In addition, Tibetan is taught as a first language
with history, religion and literature incorporated into the text books to
preserve and transmit Tibetan culture. Children up to the age of eight are
taught according to the Montessori method in which teachers act as guides
for pupils encouraged to follow and develop their own learning impulses.
TCV also sponsors a variety of cultural programmes, provides religious
instruction on the principles of Buddhism, operates a handicraft and
vocational center for teenagers and young adults, and manages an Educational
Reserve Fund to help graduates meet expenses for higher education. For more
than 200 helpless and inform refugees who in their old age have become like
children, TCV has arranged special homes to care for them.
TCV is entirely dependent on the help it receives from philanthropic
organizations and individuals. SOS Children's Villages has been a mainstay
of support, but also more than 3,000 individuals from 26 countries directly
sponsor children for US$20 a month. Shipments large and small of warm
clothing for children and adults, as well as medicines, particularly against
tuberculosis, have helped TCV over the years.
TCV is planning to expand the Kulu Valley village to east overcrowding
and accommodate an additional 500 children. A youth hostel is being built
in New Delhi, and more textbooks will be translated into Tibetan.
For more information, contact:
Tibetan Children's Village
Dharamsala Cantt. 176216
Kangra District, H.P.
From: Paul Nietupski Crash/spewmail Sent
To: Unitex Msg #17, 17-Jul-90 03:23pm
Subject: Bulldozing Lhasa
Source: Australia Tibet Council News, June/July 1990
LHASA UNDER THE BULLDOZER
TO EASE CROWD CONTROL
Chinese authorities are demolishing part of the historic Tibetan
quarter of Lhasa in order to provide better access for police and troops,
according to reports from Tibet. Up to 10% of the remaining traditional
Tibetan two-storey stone housing has been flattened in the last three months
as the Chinese lay out new streets in the City, much of it over 200 years
Five large blocks of land to the north and east of the famous Jokhang
Temple have been bulldozed, and streets are being re-laid. Official claims
that old houses were unsafe or unhygienic are regarded as an excuse by some
observers, who point to chalk markings for the new road lay-out which were
clearly visible in Lhasa last week. "Roads and deep foundations in the
Barkhor have been dug up, this is not just building new houses," said one
eyewitness, who asked not to be named. He told me that "The police have
found the narrow alleys impossible to control when there is trouble. They
make it easy for people to escape and it is easier to hide from police
Lhasa's complex maze of twisting alleyways, many barely wide enough for
two people to pass, looks destined to be replaced by straight, wide streets.
Wider streets will allow access for the Armed Personnel Carriers and Tanks
used in the rest of the city on days when demonstrations are expected.
On three occasions since 1987 it has taken armed Chinese police more
than six hours to regain control of the quarter once pro-independence
protesters started throwing stones from the flat- roofed houses and form the
numerous alleyways. In March 1989 the 1-kilometer square Tibetan quarter,
known as the Barkhor, or "inner circuit", was out of control for three days
before the Army was brought in. The city has been under martial law ever
1,500 TIBETANS REHOUSED
At least 1,500 Tibetans are said to have been re-housed in temporary
accommodation outside the town awaiting relocation in the new houses
according to a report reaching Tibet Information Network, an independent
monitoring organization based in London.
The report confirms an official statement last August by the Chinese
Government which announced investment of up to 10 million yuan (about US$1.9
million) in 1989 for "renovating hazardous housing in Lhasa". This is about
4% of Tibet's total fund for capital construction this year.
Some of those already re-housed have complained that the new houses,
which have Tibetan-style facades, are cold and unsuited to the climate
because the Chinese do not use traditional Tibetan thick-walled construction
methods. There was an outcry among Tibetans in 1988 when one house was
rebuild three storeys high, making it taller than the Jokhang Temple which
lies at the heart of the Tibetan quarter. Four years ago the western side
of the Barkhor was flattened to make way for the "piazza"-style square which
now allows unobstructed views of the Jokhang Temple. The new square, which
this year has a flagpole flying the Chinese flag, protected by three
sentries armed with AK-47s, does not only offer improved viewing facilities
for tourists. It includes two police stations, now occupied by troops, and
a flat-roofed four-storey building used as a viewing station to monitor
crowds around the temple and to film any protesters.
Since 1959, housing space in Lhasa has increased by a factor of 12, to
3 million square meters. The total urban area of Lhasa has increased to 40
sq. kilometers, making the modern city nearly twenty times large than the
2-3 kilometers it covered when the Chinese took over in 1959. The Tibetan
part of the city has now dwindled in size to about 2% of the total area of
the town, which consists mainly of modern Chinese commercial buildings and
dormitory blocks. Although only 40% of the population is officially
admitted to be Chinese, the shrinking size of the Tibetan quarter lends
graphic support to Tibetan claims that Chinese settlers are now a majority
in the city.
A source in Lhasa recently reported that a new 7-storey Bank of China
has just been completed, nearly twice as tall as almost any other building
in the city apart from the Potala, which is also undergoing extensive and
unmonitored "repair works". The source confirmed earlier reports that all
building work in the city outside the Tibetan quarter is done by Chinese
The efforts to rebuild the Barkhor area of Lhasa involve the use of
tracked vehicles, bulldozers, and dump trucks, rarely seen in similar sized
cities in China. The exercise is remarkable given repeated warnings by the
Lhasa Government in its budget last August that "we must resolutely limit
non-productive investment . . . [and] nonproductive construction projects
must be rigorously controlled." The intensity of the demolition work, as
well as the fact that roads are being relaid, has increased suspensions that
crowd control now dominates the Chinese approach to town planning in Tibet.
From: Paul Nietupski Crash/spewmail Sent
To: Unitex Msg #19, 17-Jul-90 03:32pm
Subject: Australian Views on Tibet
Source: Australia Tibet Council News, June/July 1990
TIBETANS URGE SANCTIONS AGAINST CHINA
Sonam Rigzen, a representative of the Australian Tibetan Community,
spoke at a press conference organized by the Australia Tibet Council on 24
May 1990. Sonam called for the Australian Government to send a fact-finding
mission to Tibet and to impose sanctions against China for its continued
human rights violations in Tibet.
The conference was called in response to a report published in the
Melbourne Age from Peter Ellingsen, an Australian journalist in Beijing,
that up to 2,000 Tibetans have been executed in the six months leading up to
the lifting of martial law in Lhasa.
Sonam said that there is overwhelming evidence that Tibetans are
routinely tortured and executed and treated as second-class citizens in
their own country. He also said that a type of apartheid was being waged
against Tibetans, who had a different culture and religion to the Chinese.
AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SUPPORTS
HUMAN RIGHTS IN TIBET
Mrs. Pema Decjen, of the Tibetan Womens Association called on
Australia's Foreign Minister, Senator Garreth Evans for a new position paper
on Tibet, when she met him in Adelaide during her recent visit to Australia.
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL RECALLS TIBETAN TRAGEDY
ON ANNIVERSARY OF THE TIANANMEN SQUARE MASSACRE
ATC members joined with members of Amnesty International, Federal
politicians from each of the major party and members of the public in an AI
meeting, on June 5, marking the release of their latest report on human
rights violations in China. The meeting was held on the first anniversary
of the slaughter in Tiananmen Square.
Although Tibet cannot be considered part of China, the human rights
abuses committed in Tibet at the hands of the Chinese made this an important
opportunity to talk about the Tibetan tragedy.
Speakers from AI included Molly Missen who made an impassioned plea for
prisoners of conscience around the world, and Paul Rees who read from the
report, which vividly described the experiences of witnesses to the
massacre. Sen. Janet Powell of the Australian Democrats, Sen. Barney Cooney
of the ALP and Peter Nugent, Liberal MP for Aston were uniform in their
condemnation of China's human rights record and recalled personal responses
to the human rights abuses committed by the Chinese. All echoed similar
sentiments, regarding the important role the Australian government has to
play in championing the rights of oppressed people. Karen von Stockirch
from Monash University presented an analysis of CHina's response to dissent
over recent decades, and the use of dissent as a political tool in the hands
of factions seeking to control China.
The story of Tibet was recounted by Jonathan Cebon, who pointed out
that this tragedy was little known because for most of the last 40 years,
witnesses to the events in Tibet including journalists, cameramen, travelers
and observers concerned about human rights have all been excluded by the
Chinese authorities. Those authorities have recognized that no witnesses
means no attention and no international concern. The only window of
opportunity allowing people to observe events in Tibet occurred briefly
during the 80's. However, this opportunity was rapidly lost with the
expulsion of journalists in 1987 following anti- Chinese demonstrations, and
imposition of martial law in 1989.
He added that the savagery unleashed on young Chinese intelligentsia,
in Tiananmen Square, revealed the extremes the ruling clique in China were
prepared to go to in order to retain control. If this was what happened in
full view of the international media, how much worse must it be for
Tibetans, considered barbarians by the Chinese, away from the scrutiny of
witnesses. On the basis of accounts from Tibetan refugees, it would appear
that the oppression and persecution in Tibet rates among the worst anywhere
in the world. He asked whether Australia's push to resume normal relations
with China would enable an independent Australian fact-finding team to visit
Tibet. Refusal by either Australia or China to consider this would raise
doubts about the nature of the Sino-Australian relationship, and doubts over
the proud claim that we are a nation concerned about human rights.
From: T.I.N./London Crash/spewmail Sent
To: Unitex Msg #20, 17-Jul-90 09:43pm
/* Written 10:36 pm Jul 14, 1990 by CEBON in cdp:tibet.informat */ /*
---------- "Rivers and ECOTibet" ---------- */
INTERNATIONAL CONCERN FOR TIBETAN WATERWAYS
The effects of deforestation and the ruthless exploitation of the Tibetan
ecosystem were the subject of international attention and concern at the
second International Rivers Conference held in Oslo, Norway in May.
Delegates representing associations for river protection from North and
South America, Africa, Europe and Asia were present. In a resolution which
was carried unanimously, the conference expressed their support for
Ecotibet's efforts in drawing attention to the plight of Tibet's ecosystem.
Text of the resolution:
The Chinese occupation of Tibet has now endured for 40 years. During that
time the Chinese occupation forces and settlers in Tibet (now outnumbering
the Tibetans) have exploited the Tibetan ecosystem to such an extent that
today in large areas, animal and plant life are close to total elimination,
and the extent of the destruction is steadily growing.
Among other effects, vast tracts of forest cover have been totally denuded,
resulting in floods and heavy silting in rivers. Additionally, some rivers
are being dammed or diverted with negative consequences downstream.
The rivers affected are most of the large rivers of central, southern and
south-eastern Asia, like: Indus, Sutlej, Ganges (many of whose tributaries
flow from Tibet), Brahmaputra, Salween, Mekong, Yangtsekiang and Hwangho
An international working group - ECOTibet - (Environmental Concern Over
Tibet) has been set up to try to alert the world to what is happening to the
Tibetan natural systems and to build political pressure to stop these
destructive practices. The International Rivers Network, gathered at their
second international conference, hereby want to express our support of
We have furthermore resolved to establish a permanent working relationship
with between ourselves and ECOTibet.
Oslo 6th May 1990 On behalf of the International Rivers Network: Phillip
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank