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PRESS BRIEFING International Campaign for Tibet

vri, 08/03/2013 - 11:00 - 12:30

His Eminence Kirti Rinpoche, Chief Abbot of Kirti Monastery in advance of Europe-wide rally in Brussels to commemorate Tibet Uprising Day

 

  • Since 2009, more than 100 Tibetans have set themselves on fire, calling for freedom and for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. This is one of the biggest waves of self-immolation as political protest globally in the past 60 years.
  • Kirti Rinpoche, who is based in India, is the head lama in exile of one of the most important and influential monasteries in Tibet, Kirti in Ngaba, where the self-immolations began. More than 30 self-immolations – nearly a third of the total –have been carried out by Kirti monks and laypeople in Ngaba.
  • A Europe-wide rally by Tibetans and Tibet supporters will be held in Brussels on 10 March. March 10 is the 54th anniversary of Tibet’s national uprising and the fifth anniversary of an unprecedented wave of overwhelmingly peaceful protests that swept across the Tibetan plateau, to be met by a brutal crackdown.

Kyabje Kirti Rinpoche, the head lama of Kirti monastery and 40 associated monasteries, will speak in Brussels on 8 March about the self-immolations and current crisis in Tibet. Kirti Rinpoche has lived in India since he followed the Dalai Lama into exile at the time of the Tibet Uprising in March, 1959. In the 1980s he returned to Tibet and China, where he met many Chinese dignitories and the former Panchen Lama, who was at the time the most senior religious leader remaining in Tibet and the head of the Tibetan government.

 

While in Brussels (7-11 March) Kirti Rinpoche will meet with EU and Belgian government officials and will address the 10 March European Solidarity Rally for Tibet (www.europefortibet.com).
Vincent Metten, EU Policy Director for the International Campaign for Tibet in Brussels, said: “Since the self-immolations began at Kirti Rinpoche’s monastery in Tibet, the Chinese authorities have dramatically escalated tensions by intensifying the military buildup and strengthening the very measures that are the root causes of the acts, including aggressive campaigns against loyalty to the Dalai Lama. Kirti Rinpoche will also speak about the more formal measures imposed recently to criminalise the self-immolations, which have led to a senior Kirti monk being sentenced to death, suspended for two years, for “inciting” self-immolations.” (ICT report, http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/distress-death-sentence-tibetan-accused-inciting-self-immolation).

 

 

Press contact:

Kate Saunders
Communications Director, International Campaign for Tibet
email: kate.saunders@ictibet.co.uk
Twitter.com/katesictibet
Tel: + 44 (0) 7947 138612

 

Vincent Metten
EU Policy Director, International Campaign for Tibet
Email : vincent.metten@savetibet.eu
Tel : + 32 (0) 473990404

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