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2015 News Headlines PDF Print E-mail
News headlines for 2015 with links to articles

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ACTION: Two teenage monks jailed for peaceful protests
Lobsang and Gendun[17 December 2015] Two young monks have been sentenced for up to four years in prison for undertaking peaceful protests earlier this year. The two monks from Kirti monastery in Ngaba staged independent protests in March and were sentenced in separate trials in late October and early November...
read more | Take Action

Governments urged to express solidarity with rights defenders
Vigil[10 December] On Human Rights Day 2015, Tibetan Uyghur & Chinese Solidarity UK is calling on international governments to express solidarity with human rights defenders in Tibet, East Turkestan and China. A vigil will be held in London outside the Chinese Embassy...
read press release | attend London vigil

Monthly round-up of Tibet-related news
Tibetan bottled water[1 December] A compilation of news from Tibet during November, plus international developments relating to Tibet, key statements and interviews. Includes state-sponsored religious repression, China's bottled water industry and a recommended short video on the erosion of Tibetan culture and language...
read more

Philippa Carrick: 14 years as CEO of Tibet Society
Philippa Carrcik[30 November] After serving 14 years as the Chief Executive Officer of Tibet Society, Philippa Carrick is stepping down. Philippa is to become the full-time CEO of Tibet Relief Fund as of 1 December. Tibet Society would like to thank Philippa for her years of service, dedication and hard work...
read more

US officials visit Lhasa as China presents false reality
US delegation in Lhasa[23 November] A US Congressional delegation visited Lhasa earlier this month. Delegates said the trip revealed certain truths but hoped it would help the resolution process. China attempted to present a false reality during the visit, by removing security personnel and forcing Tibetans to stage religious activities...
read more

China claims it has no political prisoners during UN review
UNHRC logo[19 November] Chinas record on torture has been condemned during a review process at the UN. Tibet activists presented evidence that torture remains endemic in Tibet. The Chinese delegation defended its record and even claimed there are no cases of political prisoners in China...
read more

Obituaries: Sue Lloyd-Roberts and Derek Bailey
Sue Lloyd Roberts & Derek Bailey[17 November] Sadly, the Tibet movement in the UK has lost two of its key supporters. BBC journalist and former Tibet Society council member Sue Lloyd-Roberts died on 13 October. Derek Bailey, founder of the Reigate and Redhill Tibet Support Group passed away on 8 September...
read more

"Fear is so much in evidence": BBC report from Tibet
BBC interviewing monks[5 November] The BBC went undercover to report from Kirti monastery in Ngaba in October, just as the Chinese President arrived in the UK. This rare report from inside Tibet found that "fear is so much in evidence" amongst Tibetans due to China's heavy crackdown... read more | Watch video | further BBC reports

Monthly round-up of Tibet-related news
Big Issue cover[5 November] A compilation of news from Tibet during October, plus international developments relating to Tibet, key statements and interviews. Includes arrests in Tibet, the Dalai Lama's interview with The Big Issue and British MPs condemning the government's policy over prioritising trade over human rights...
read more

Britains Great Kowtow to China: Report on State Visit
Protest on The Mall[30 October] The UK government failed to publicly raise human rights during Xi Jinpings State Visit to the UK. However, Tibet protestors ensured it remained on the medias agenda despite the lavish ceremonies and efforts to silence demonstrators...
Read Tibet Society's report on the State Visit

Charges dropped against Tibet protestors
[29 October] The police dropped all charges against the three protestors arrested during the Chinese President's State Visit to the UK. The three had been arrested for peacefully protesting and had their homes raided whilst they were in custody.

MPs raise questions in Parliament over arrest of Tibet protestors
Shao Jiang protest[27 October] The arrest of the three peaceful protestors during Xi Jinpings State Visit was raised in parliament yesterday. The Policing Minister refused to comment on the matter, but then came under increasing pressure as MPs lined up to criticise the decision to arrest the protestors... watch debate | read more

Two Tibetans arrested during Xi Jinping UK visit; homes raided
Sonam's arrest[23 October] Two Tibetans and a Chinese dissident were arrested for peacefully protesting during the Chinese President's State Visit. Before their release on bail, their homes were raided by police and computers confiscated. Tibet Society calls for all charges to be dropped immediately... read Tibet Society's statement | read more

Join the protestsJoin the protests during Xi Jinping's State Visit
UPDATE: The Chinese President's State Visit to the UK takes place 20-23 October. Today, Xi Jinping is in Manchester. The key protest on Friday 23 October is at 12 noon outside the Manchester Town Hall...
latest protest details

'Stateless Lunch' highlights China's human rights abuses
Stateless Lunch[19 October] Tibet Society organised a Stateless Lunch at the UK Parliament on the eve of Xi Jinpings State Visit to the UK, at which Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese activists sent a clear message to Prime Minister Cameron and the UK government to publicly speak out for those oppressed by the Chinese regime...
read more

MPs call on Cameron to publicly raise human rights with Xi Jinping
HoC logo[19 October] On the eve of the Chinese President's State Visit, sixteen MPs and Lords have sent an open letter to David Cameron asking him to "express British values" and "send a clear and public message" to Xi Jinping that China's "violations of basic human rights are unacceptable"... read letter

Human Rights Defenders to speak at Parliament prior to State Visit
Tibet Society logo[14 October] A Stateless Lunch, organised by Tibet Society, is to be held at Parliament on 19 October, the day before the Xi Jinping's State Visit begins. The media event will honour Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese human rights defenders who have been imprisoned and intimidated by the Chinese government... read press advisory

ACTION: Urge Cameron to speak out on Tibet during State Visit
Cameron & Xi in Beijing, Dece 2013[1 October] During Xi Jinping's upcoming State Visit, Cameron and the UK government have an opportunity to show there is more to UK-China relations than trade. It is time for the PM to show his morals and speak out for the oppressed people of Tibet and China...
Take Action | Write to the PM & your MP | Join the protests

Chinese President's UK State Visit confirmed: 20-23 October
Xi Jinping[30 September] UPDATE: Xi Jinping's State Visit to the UK has been confirmed. The four-day visit will start on 20 October. Xi will stay at Buckingham Palace and is expected to meet David Cameron, MPs and business leaders. Actions and campaigns are being planned by Tibet Society, along with UK-based Tibet groups... read more

Ai Weiwei: To improve Tibet situation 'system must change'
Ai Weiwei[18 September] Chinese dissident and artist, Ai Weiwei, has said the political system in China needs to change in order for there to be an improvement in the situation in Tibet. He also revealed the lack of support from the British government following his arrest in 2011 and years under house arrest...
read more

Protests against Chinese rule continue in Tibet
[18 September] Tibetans continue to publicly protest against China's repressive policies despite the risk of severe punishment and tightened security surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, with at least three more Tibetans arrested in recent days for expressing themselves... read more

The Dalai Lama in the UK, 14-22 September 2015
The Dalai Lama[17 September] The Dalai Lama is currently in the midst of a nine-day visit to the UK. The highlight of the trip is a public talk at the O2 in London on 19 September. The trip also includes private meetings and conferences. Unfortunately, a planned meeting with British MPs has had to be cancelled...
read moreO2 tickets

Spate of arrests in Tibet as China celebrates 50 years of the TAR
Lobsang Kalsang[11 September]
As the Chinese government celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Tibet Autonomous Region (on 8 September), Tibetans continued to demonstrate against decades of repressive policies. At least five Tibetans have been arrested in recent weeks for daring to express themselves in public... read more

Mother of five self-immolates after house demolition
Tashi Kyi[28 August] A Tibetan mother of five has died following a self-immolation protest in Tibet. The protest came shortly after Chinese authorities forcibly demolished a nearby property, though it is not clear if the two incidents are linked. However, the authorities have since confiscated the self-immolator's body....
read more

Chinese President announces "anti-separatism battle" in Tibet
Xi Jinping at Sixth Work Forum on Tibet[27 August] Xi Jinping has called for greater efforts to fight "anti-separatist" activities in Tibet as preparations are being made for the 50th anniversary of the Tibet Autonomous Region's creation. The Dalai Lama's 'Middle Way Approach' was also denounced. An increase in security measures in Tibet are being reported...
read more

Nomad released after completing eight-year prison sentence
Runggye Adak[12 August] Runggye Adak, one of Tibets most well-known political prisoners, was released from prison on 30 July 2015 after serving an eight-year prison sentence for publicly calling for freedom for Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama...
read more

Tenzin Delek's relations released, given communications ban
Dolkar Lhamo & Nyima[10 August] The sister and niece of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche were released on 30 July after two weeks in detention. Dolkar Lhamo and Nyima were released without charge and sent back to their home, however they have been barred by Chinese authorities from communicating with the outside world... read more

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's relations detained; ashes confiscated
Dolkar Lhamo & Nyima[29 July] The Chinese authorities have detained the sister and niece of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. Also, police have confiscated Tenzin Delek's ashes which had been handed over to the family following his cremation and state media have reported that Tenzin Delek died from a "sudden cardiac arrest"...
read more I Take Action

Action: Call on China to investigate Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's death
Tenzin Delek Rinpoche[16 July] Call on the UK government to make a strong statement condemning the death in prison of revered monk Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and call on China to hold an investigation into the death and make the findings public... Take Action - Sign the international petition, write to your MP and write to the Chinese authorities

Tibet Society calls on UK to condemn China over death of monk
Tibet Society logo[15 July] Tibet Society and Students for a Free Tibet UK have written a joint letter to the UK Foreign Secretary calling for a strong public statement on the death in a Chinese prison of innocent Tibetan monk Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. To date the UK government has only expressed its "sadness" over the death... read more

Chinese police fire upon Tibetans protesting death of monk
Tenzin Delek Rinpoche[15 July] UPDATE: Tibetans have taken to the streets to protest the death of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. Chinese security forces have fired on protestors, injuring at least 15 people. China has yet to disclose details of the death. Relatives say they were only allowed one visit during Rinpoche's 13 years in prison... read more

Self-immolation in Tibet following Dalai Lama's birthday
Scene of self-immolation in Jyekundo[14 July] On 9 July, a Tibetan monk self-immolated in a public square in eastern Tibet. Sonam Topgyal was quickly apprehended by local authorities and is believed to be in hospital, however due to a subsequent crackdown on local communications, his current condition and whereabouts are unknown...
read more

MP says 'China has Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's blood on its hands'
Tibet Society logo[13 July] Press Release: Tibet Society condemns the Chinese government for not releasing Tenzin Delek Rinpoche on medical parole and calls for an ivestigation into his death. Fabian Hamilton, MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet, stated, "Now China has his blood on its hands."... Read press release

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche dies in Chinese prison
Tenzin Delek Rinpoche[13 July] The highly revered Tibetan leader Tenzin Delek Rinpoche died in prison on 12 July. Tenzin Delek had been imprisoned on false charges and was known to be seriously ill. The Chinese government failed to respond to a request for medical parole originally made in 2014...
read more I Vigils to be held in London 13 & 14 July

Dalai Lama birthday celebrations banned in Tibet; three detained
Celebration in Qinghai[9 July] Three Tibetans have been detained in Tibet for attempting to celebrate the Dalai Lamas 80th birthday. In the run-up to the anniversary, local authorities banned religious events, restricted public gatherings and increased security. However, many Tibetans defied the government and held their own celebrations...
read more

The Dalai Lama brings happiness to Glastonbury festival
The Dalai Lama at Glastonbury[3 July] The Dalai Lama's recent visit to the UK included a first-time appearance at Glastonbury festival, a public talk in Aldershot and an interview on BBC Four, to be aired on 6 July. At Glastonbury, the Dalai Lama gave an hour-long talk on happiness, appeared on the main stage and discussed climate change as part of a panel. Read our full report with videos & links to media articles

China: End the repression of Uyghurs in East Turkestan
East Turkestan flag[3 July] Chinese Uyghur & Tibetan Solidarity UK has issued a press release on the 6th anniversary of the Urumqi massacre, calling on the Chinese government to investigate the events of 5 July 2009, account for the dead and missing, and end the continuing repression in East Turkestan... read more

The Dalai Lama to headline Glastonbury!
The Dalai Lama (PA)[25 June] We can finally reveal the rumuors are true. The Dalai Lama will be appearing at the Glastonbury this weekend! The Dalai Lama will be giving a talk on Sunday 28 June to festival go-ers. The appearance is part of a four-day UK trip...
read more

Husband and four others detained in relation to self-immolation
Sangye Tso[24 June] UPDATE: The widowed husband of a self-immolator has been detained by the Chinese authorities. Five Tibetans are now in custody in relation to Sangye Tso's self-immolation protest which took place on 27 May and resulted in her death. The detained also include Sangye's nephew and three local monks...
read more
UK parliament debates Tibet; government response lacklustre
HoC logo[19 June] The UK Parliament has held its first debate on Tibet since the General Election. Though many issues were raised, the UK government's response was lacklustre at best. At one point, China was even praised for its 'development' of Tibet. The Foreign Minister did, however, call on China to release Tenzin Delek Rinpoche on medical parole and for "better governance" of mining operations in Tibet... read more

Tibet to be debated in UK Parliament on Thursday 18 June
HoC logo[17 June] A backbench debate on Tibet will be held in Parliament at 1.30pm on Thursday 18 June. The debate will be led by Fabian Hamilton MP (Lab, Leeds North East). Ask your MP to attend. Send a message via Watch the debate live online via

Urgent Action: Medical Parole for Tenzin Delek Rinpoche
TDR action[9 June] Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a highly revered Tibetan Buddhist leader who is serving a life sentence on false charges, is in very poor health, with a serious heart condition and high blood pressure. Call on China to release him on medical parole...
read more & take action
I Sign the international petition
Family ordered to lie after self-immolation; one detained
Sangye Tso[5 June] A Tibetan mother of two died after self-immolating on 27 May in eastern Tibet. Her protest included calls for human rights and freedom for Tibet. Subsequently, the Chinese authorities detained one family member and ordered others to lie about her death. The family were also denied a traditional funeral...
read more

Father of four self-immolates in eastern Tibet
Tenzin Gyatso[21 May] A 35 year-old father of four children has become the fourth Tibetan to self-immolate in Tibet this year. The protest took place in Tawu, eastern Tibet on 20 May. Due to communication blackouts following the protest, it is not known whether Tenzin Gyatso survived or not...
read more

China's new restrictions on Tibetan religion and identity
Chinese flag on Jokhang[21 May] In recent months, China has further restricted Tibetans' rights to freedom of expression and religion. In the TAR, a new patriotic re-education campaign has begun, which requires all monasteries to fly the Chinese flag. In Mahlo, new rules have been issued criminalising ordinary religious and secular activities...
read more

The Panchen Lama: Missing for 20 years
Panchen Lama[20 May] On 17 May 1995, six year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was abducted by the Chinese authorities just days after being recognised as the
Panchen Lama's reincarnation. For 20 years China has refused to provide any credible evidence of Gedhun's whereabouts or well-being. Take action: Call on China to release the Panchen Lama

New UK parliament to start with solid base of support for Tibet
[14 May] Following the UK General Election on 7 May, 45 candidates who pledged support for Tibet have been elected to parliament. This provides a solid base from which to increase parliamentary support for Tibet. Tibet Society will be encouraging all MPs to join the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet... read more

Second quake hits Nepal & TAR; 35 Tibetans dead from first quake
Second quake map[14 May] A second earthquake hit Nepal on 12 May, west of Kathmandu near the border with Tibet. The full impact is not yet clear. Earlier reports confirm at least 35 Tibetans died due to the earthquake on 25 April, 10 in Nepal and 25 in the Tibet Autonomous Region...
read more I Donate to Tibet Relief Fund's earthquake appeal
Over 350 UK parliamentary candidates pledge support for Tibet
[5 May] PRESS RELEASE: Over 350 parliamentary candidates standing in the UK General Election on 7 May have pledged support for human rights in Tibet. The pledges have come from candidates representing all the major political parties, denoting the wide support Tibetan freedom has in the UK... Read press release I view list of candidates

UK parliamentary candidate pledges for Tibet surpasses 300
[4 May] Three days prior to the General Election the number of UK parliamentary candidates pledging support for Tibet has surpassed 300. View list of candidates who have made the pledge: sorted by name, party or constituency

Update: Impact of earthquake on Tibetan communities in Nepal
Nepal earthquake map[29 April] To date, five Tibetan refugees in Nepal are known to have died. The infrastructure in some Tibetan communities has been seriously damaged. Those in the west of Nepal seem to have escaped significant damage. Some areas are still to be contacted... read more I Donate to Tibet Relief Fund's earthquake appeal
Vote Tibet: UK parliamentary candidate pledges reach 175
[29 April] With just over a week before the UK General Election, 175 paliamentary candidates have now pledged support for Tibet. Help us reach 250 by contacting candidates in your constituency. View pledges by: name, party or constituency I Contact your candidates

Tibetan communities devastated by Nepal earthquake
Nepal earthquake map
[28 April] UPDATE: The full extent of casualties amongst Tibetan communities in Nepal is still not yet known, though some Tibetan villages are reported to have been flattened. At least 25 people have died in Tibet with extensive damage to properties and infrastructure... read more I Donate to Tibet Relief Fund's earthquake appeal

Over 100 UK election candidates pledge support for Tibet

[24 April] Tibet Society's Vote Tibet campaign is gaining momentum, with over 100 parliamentary candidates having already signed the pledge to use their position as an MP to support Tibetans' human rights if elected on 7 May... View list by: name, party or constituency I Take Action: call on your candidate to take the pledge

Chinese authorities detain relatives of self-immolator
[21 April] A layman and former monk in Ngaba county has become the third Tibetan to self-immolate in 2015. Neykyab self-immolated next to a shrine dedicated to the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. The authorities have since confiscated his body and detained two of his relatives... read more I Take Action

China refuses to hand over body of Tibetan nun self-immolator
Yeshi Khando[14 April] A nun from Kardze county has become the second Tibetan to self-immolate in 2015. Following the incident, which took place on 8 April, the Chinese authorities confiscated the body and have refused to hand it over to the relatives, denying them the right to a traditional funeral... read more

UK appeases China by "not supporting Tibet independence"
FCO report cover[19 March] The UK government has used its annual human rights report to appease China by reiterating its policy on Tibet. The statement, which includes the phrase "[the UK] does not support Tibetan independence", appears at the start of the Tibet section. Not only is it irrelevant to the report, it is contrary to Tibetans rights of freedom of self-determination and expression...
read more I Take Action

Uprising Anniversary 2015 report: "Let Tibet flourish"
Tibet Freedom March 2015[12 March] Tibetans and Tibet supporters in the UK marked 1959 Tibetan National Uprising anniversary with a series of events. On 7 March, the Tibet Freedom March and Rally took place in London; on 10 March, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey; plus further events were held around the UK, including in Northampton and Norwich...
read more

Occupation of Tibet: a "damning indictment" on world politics
Tibet Society logo[9 March] PRESS RELEASE:
On the occassion of the 56th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising, Tibet Society calls China's continued occupation of Tibet and brutal oppression of the Tibetan people a "damning indictment" of world governments' commitment to human rights... read press release

Tibetan nomad self-immolates prior to Uprising anniversary
Norchuk[9 March] A nomad has self-immolated in eastern Tibet, becoming the first Tibetan to self-immolate in 2015. The protest came just a few days before the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan National Uprising. Also, a teenage monk has been detained in Ngaba for staging a peaceful solo protest...
read more

Saturday 7 March 2015: Tibet Freedom March & Rally
Tibet Freedom MarchCommemoration of 56th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising. Show your support for freedom and justice for Tibet and express solidarity with Tibetans inside Tibet. London March & Rally I UK events I Global events

China in show of strength in run-up to Tibet Uprising anniversary
Chinese security at Kumbum[6 March] Chinese security forces have been deployed in large numbers in Tibetan areas of Gansu and Qinghai, in an apparent show of strength to deter protests. It is timed to coincide with a series of major Tibetan festivals and anniversaries, including the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan Uprising on 10 March...
read more

Tibetans face new restrictions on religion and expression
Young monks[27 February] Chinese authorities in Qinghai are further restricting Tibetans' rights to freedom of religion and expression. Young monks have been banned from returning to their monasteries and new regulations prohibit Tibetan language activities and drawing, writing and singing about Tibetan independence...
read more

Losar Tashi Delek! Happy Tibetan New Year!
Losar 2015[19 February]
Tibet Society wishes all its members and supporters a Happy Tibetan New Year (Losar). In the Tibetan calendar this year is 2142, the Year of the Wood Sheep. Find out more about Losar, its traditions and characteristics of Wood Sheep from our sister organisation Tibet Relief Fund

Tibet Society facilitates 'historic' discussion on Tibet in UK
Tibet Society logo[12 February] Earlier this week, Tibet Society organised a meeting with politicians, academics and activists to discuss how to take the Tibet issue forward, particularly in the UK. The meeting was described as 'historic' by participants and it was suggested the format could be replicated in other countries... read more

Dalai Lama and Obama in first public appearance together
President Obama[11 February] On 5 February, the Dalai Lama and President Obama appeared together in public for the first time. The Dalai Lama was attending an event hosted by the President at the White House. China criticised the encounter saying it would have "negative consequences" and would "dampen" relations...
read more

Tibet ranked Worst of the Worst for political and civil rights
Freedom House logo[29 January] In a report on freedom in the world in 2014, Tibet has ranked alongside North Korea, Syria and Saudi Arabia as one of the world's most repressed societies. The Freedom House report included references to the Chinese government's increased restrictions on ethnic minorities and grassroots activists...
read more

2015: A year of opportunities
Tibet Freedom March[27 January] The next 12 months present a series of opportunities for Tibet supporters in the UK. The Dalai Lama is rumoured to be appearing at Glastonbury, the Chinese President is expected for a State Visit, and there are plans for a Tibet-related campaign in the run-up to the General Election...
read more

Police shoot into crowd of Tibetans following self-immolation
Kalsang Yeshe[9 January 2015] At least two Tibetans were injured after Chinese police fired into a crowd following a self-immolation protest in eastern Tibet. The incident took place on 23 December. The self-immolation, by a monk who died from his injuries, was the third in an eight-day period...
read more

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