Candlelight vigil voices solidarity, seeks global support over deteriorating human rights situation in Driru, Tibet

Tashi Dhondup(C) holding his sister, Lhamo’s photo. at the candlelight vigil.

DHARAMSALA, 4 Nov: Calls were made to end human rights abuses and crimes against humanity in the Chinese occupied Tibet at a candlelight vigil by Tibetans here in the exile headquarters on Tuesday.

“The repressive policy of the so-called People’s Republic of China in Tibet has brought hell like suffering to the Tibetans in Tibet and the pressing issue of deteriorating human rights situation in Driru, needs global support and intervention,” Gonpo Dhondup, the President of the Tibetan Youth Congress(TYC) told over 100 people who gathered for the vigil held to express solidarity with and to highlight the “ongoing deteriorating human rights situation” in Driru county in Nagchu, the Traditional Tibetan Province of Kham.

Human Rights Watch, a New York-based rights group reported in late last month that, Lhamo,  a 36-year-old mother of three children from Driru died in Chinese state custody and that her cousin, Tenzin Tharpa still remains in Chinese custody. 

The Rights group further stated that “the death of Lhamo, a Tibetan herder, is the latest in a pattern of apparent torture and death in Chinese state custody” and declared that Chinese authorities in Tibet “should be held accountable for serious violations, including arbitrary detention, torture or ill-treatment, and deprivation of the right to life.”

“When I heard the news that my sister has been murdered by China, It left me in disbelief and in pain beyond measure,” Lhamo’s brother, Tashi Dhondup said.

“My sister, a harmless mother of three was beaten to death by the Chinese authorities after they arrested her cousin Tharpa, ransacked her home and found teachings and portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” he concluded.

Amidst reports of egregiously poor human rights situation in the region, a coalition of six Tibetan NGOs from here reported on 30 Oct. that, Chinese authorities have sentenced Lhundrub Drakpa, a popular Tibetan singer from the region to six years in prison in June earlier this year for performing a song that criticised China’s repressive government policies in Driru. 

“On the heads of sincere and truthful people. A black hat has been forcefully put on.  For years and months under this black hat. They’ve suffered as if hell is on earth,” says the lyrics of Drakpa’s  ‘Black Hat” released in March 2019, two months before his arrest.

Expressing great concern over the pressing issue of deteriorating human rights situation in Driru in particular and Tibet at large under the Chinese occupation, Dhondup urged for global support for the just cause of Tibet and to put an end to China’s human rights abuses and crimes against humanity in  Tibet at the candlelight vigil jointly organized by a coalition of six Tibetan NGOs from here – Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement Association of Tibet, National Democratic Party of Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet-India.

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