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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

The US State Department's 2007 Human Rights Report On Tibet

May 25, 2008

State Department of the United States
March 11, 2008

China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) Country Reports on Human
Rights Practices - 2007
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor on March 11, 2008

(The section for Tibet, the report for Hong Kong, and the report for
Macau are appended below.)

(Only Tibetan section is included in this release, access a full report at, WTNN)


The United States recognizes the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and
Tibetan autonomous prefectures and counties in other provinces to be
a part of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Tibetan
population within the TAR was approximately 2.8 million, while in
autonomous prefectures and counties outside the TAR the Tibetan
population was an estimated 2.9 million. The government strictly
controlled information about, and access to, the TAR and, to a lesser
extent, Tibetan areas outside the TAR, making it difficult to
determine accurately the scope of human rights abuses.

The government's human rights record in Tibetan areas of China
remained poor, and the level of repression of religious freedom
increased. Authorities continued to commit serious human rights
abuses, including torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, and house
arrest and surveillance of dissidents. The government restricted
freedom of speech, academic freedom, and freedom of movement. The
government adopted new regulations and other measures to control the
practice of Tibetan Buddhism, including measures that require
government approval to name all reincarnated lamas. The preservation
and development of the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic
heritage of Tibetan areas and the protection of the Tibetan people's
other fundamental human rights continued to be of concern.


In contrast with 2006, there were no reports that government security
agents killed persons during the year.

There were no developments in the investigation of the September 2006
shooting at the Nangpa La pass, in which People's Armed Police (PAP)
killed Kelsang Namtso and injured others in a group of approximately
70 Tibetans attempting to enter Nepal.

There were no developments in the 2005 death of monk Ngawang Jangchub.


In April authorities arrested Phuntsok Gyaltsen, the deputy head of
Phurbu Township, Palgon County,TAR. At year's end his whereabouts were unknown.

The whereabouts of 19-year-old monk Thubten Samten, reportedly
arrested in May 2006, remained unknown at year's end. There was no
information on the location of 13 Tibetans arrested near Tingri in
June 2006. The whereabouts of Lhadon, a Kangma Middle School teacher
in Kangma County, TAR, arrested in 2006, were unknown.

The whereabouts of the Panchen Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's second most
prominent figure after the Dalai Lama, and his family remained
unknown. Government officials continued to claim he was under
government supervision at an undisclosed location.


In early September authorities detained seven ethnic Tibetan school
children ages 14 and 15 in the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture
(TAP) of Gansu Province for allegedly writing slogans on public
buildings calling for the return of the Dalai Lama. The children were
held until fines were paid. According to reports, during their
incarceration they were severely beaten and subjected to electric
shocks. One child was released to a hospital for treatment after
sustaining serious injuries believed to be the result of beatings.

Tibetans seeking to flee to India and other countries overland via
Nepal risked violence and arrest at the hands of security forces. On
October 18, PAP border guards reportedly fired on a group of 46
Tibetans attempting to enter Nepal at the Nangpa La pass. Three
Tibetans reportedly were arrested and nine were missing; the
remainder reached Nepal.

The security apparatus employed torture and degrading treatment in
dealing with some detainees and prisoners. Tibetans repatriated from
Nepal reportedly continued to suffer torture and other abuse in
detention centers, including electric shocks, exposure to cold, and
severe beatings, and were forced to perform heavy physical labor.
Many were required to pay fines upon release.

In a Radio Free Asia (RFA) report in April, monk Sonam Dorje, who
served a 13-year jail term in Lhasa's Drapchi Prison, described
torture used by Chinese prison guards. He reported that the guards
used rubber tubes filled with sand, electric batons, and iron tongs
to beat the prisoners, and he said they were kept in solitary
confinement for up to a month at a time.

Approximately 30 Tibetans captured at the Nangpa La pass in September
2006 remained in detention in a labor camp.

A group of 23 Tibetans captured at the Nangpa La pass in 2005 also
remained in detention. The whereabouts of 27 other persons in the
same group were unknown.

Prison Conditions

Prisoners in Tibetan areas were generally subject to the same prison
conditions as in other areas of the country. Forced labor was used in
some prisons, detention centers, reeducation-through-labor
facilities, and prison work sites. The law states that prisoners may
be required to work up to 12 hours per day, with one rest day every
two weeks, but these regulations often were not enforced. Conditions
in administrative detention facilities, such as
reeducation-through-labor camps, were similar to those in regular prisons.


Arbitrary arrest and detention remained serious problems in Tibetan
areas. By law police may detain persons for up to 37 days without
formally arresting or charging them. After the 37-day period has
expired, police must either formally arrest the detainees or release
them. The relatives or employer of a person arrested must be notified
within 24 hours of the arrest. In practice police frequently violated
these requirements.


Due to the lack of independent access to prisoners and prisons, it
was difficult to ascertain the number of Tibetan political prisoners.
According to sources, the overall number of reported political
prisoners in Tibetan areas dropped to 95, compared with 105 in 2006.
However, the number of persons known to be detained for political
reasons during the year rose to 24 from 13 in 2006. Based on
information available for 70 political prisoners, the average
sentence was 10 years and 11 months, and 67 percent were monks or
nuns. Sources showed that 48 Tibetan political prisoners were
imprisoned in the TAR, 34 in Sichuan Province, six in Qinghai
Province, four in Gansu Province, and three in Beijing.

An unknown number of Tibetans were serving sentences in
reeducation-through-labor camps and other forms of administrative
detention not subject to judicial review.

On January 8, plainclothes officers reportedly arrested Jamyang
Gyatso, a monk from Gansu Province. Local residents speculated that
he was detained for helping persons listen to RFA broadcasts. Gyatso
was beaten while in prison and released in September.

In January the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)
reported the February 2006 detention of Buchung, a monk from
Tashilhunpo Monastery. Buchung reportedly had a compact disc
containing the Dalai Lama's 2006 Kalachakara teaching. At year's end
there was no information on whether he had been charged or sentenced.

In January the RFA reported the December 2006 arrest of Penpa, a
village leader from Dingri County in Shigatse Prefecture, TAR. Police
reportedly searched Penpa's home and found materials relating to
the  Kalachakara teachings of the Dalai Lama. TibetInfoNet reported
that in February Penpa was sentenced to three years in Nyari Prison
in Shigatse.

On July 16, according to the TCHRD, Khenpo Jinpa, the abbot of
Chogtsang Talung Monastery in Ganzi (Kardze) TAP, Sichuan Province,
was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of endangering
national security. The TCHRD reported that Khenpo Jinpa was detained
in August 2006 and accused of distributing leaflets in support of
Tibetan independence and the Dalai Lama.

On August 1, ethnic Tibetan Rongye Adrak was arrested in the Ganzi
TAP after calling for the Dalai Lama's return at a public event. On
November 20, the Ganzi Intermediate People's Court convicted him of
inciting separatism and sentenced him to eight years in prison.
Senior monk Adak Lupoe, who is Rongye Adrak's nephew, as well as
Jarib Lothog and art teacher and musician Kunkhyen were subsequently
arrested and convicted of leaking intelligence and endangering
national security after they attempted to provide pictures and
information concerning Rongye Adrak's arrest to foreign
organizations. Lupoe received a 10-year sentence, Kunkhyen nine
years, and Luthog three years.

The following persons remained in prison: Dawa (also called Gyaltsen
Namdak), sentenced in October 2006 to five years' imprisonment for
allegedly distributing pamphlets containing political material; monk
Lobsang Palden from Ganzi Monastery, charged in September 2006 for
initiating separatist activities based on his alleged possession of
photographs of the Dalai Lama; teacher Dolma Kyab; Sherab Yonten,
Sonam Gyelpo, and two others; and monk Tsering Dhondup.

There was no information regarding the following 2006 cases: six
Tibetans from Sichuan Province detained for allegedly advocating
Tibetan independence; former nun Yiga and lay women Sonam Choetso
and  Jampa Yangtso, all from the Ganzi TAP and detained in Lhasa;
layman Kayi Doega and nun Sonam Lhamo, detained in the Ganzi TAP; and
Yiwang,  a 17-year-old Tibetan girl from the Ganzi TAP.

The status of the following persons arrested in 2005 remained
unconfirmed at year's end: nuns Choekyi Drolma and Tamdrin Tsomo;
monks Namkha Gyaltsen, Dargyal Gyatso, and Jamyang Sambdrub; monk and
teacher of traditional monastic dance Gendun; and monks Ngawang
Namdrol, Ngawang Nyingpo, Ngawang Thupten, Ngawang Phelgey, and
Phuntsok Thupwang from Drepung Monastery in Lhasa.

Jigme Gyatso and Bangri Chogtrul Rinpoche remained in prison at
year's end, as did monk Choeying Khedrub from Nagchu Prefecture,
sentenced to life in prison in 2001 on charges of "endangering state
security" and "supporting splittist activities." He was one of two
Tibetans known to be serving life sentences for political offenses.
The other was Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, a senior monk imprisoned for
allegedly setting explosives and inciting separatism.

Chadrel Rinpoche remained under house arrest; officials denied
requests by foreign diplomats to visit him.


Legal safeguards for Tibetans detained or imprisoned were inadequate
in both design and implementation. Most judges in the TAR had little
or no legal training. According to a TAR Bureau of Justice official,
all seven cities and prefectures had established legal assistance
centers that offered services in the Tibetan language. Prisoners may
request a meeting with a government-appointed attorney, but in
practice many defendants did not have access to legal representation.
In cases involving state security, trials were often cursory and
closed. By law maximum prison sentences for crimes such as
"endangering state security" and "splitting the country" are 15 years
for each count, not to exceed 20 years in total. Such sentences are
frequently given to Tibetans for alleged support of Tibetan
independence regardless of whether such activities involved violence.


The Chinese government continued to jam Voice of America's and RFA's
Tibetan- and Chinese-language services and the Oslo-based Voice of
Tibet. Some Tibetans reported that at times they were able to receive
such broadcasts; however, research indicated that listenership was
down because of the jamming.

The government severely restricted travel by foreign journalists to
Tibetan areas of China. These restrictions remained in force during
the year despite the January 1 implementation of new temporary
regulations governing foreign media coverage of the 2008 Olympic
Games. Under the new regulations, foreign journalists no longer need
to obtain permission from local authorities before conducting
interviews and investigations outside Beijing and Shanghai. In
practice foreign journalists were not allowed to travel independently
in the TAR.


During the year the PRC Ministry of Culture strongly tightened
content restrictions for the largest Chinese language Tibet-related
Web site, The ministry ordered the site to limit the
content to tourism information, improve control over its blogs, and
delete all sensitive articles. In July Chinese authorities
permanently closed the Tibetan literary Web site The Lamp. The
Internet blogs of well-known Tibetan poet and journalist Tsering
Woeser, also known as Oser, remained closed. Most foreign
Tibet-related Web sites critical of official policy in Tibet were
blocked to users in China year round.

Academic and Cultural Freedom

Authorities in Tibetan areas required professors and students at
institutions of higher education to attend political education
sessions in an effort to prevent separatist political and religious
activities on campus. The government controlled curricula, texts, and
other course materials as well as the publication of historically or
politically sensitive academic books (see Protection of Cultural Heritage).


The law provides for freedom of religious belief, and the
government's 2004 white paper "Regional Ethnic Autonomy in Tibet"
states, "Tibetans fully enjoy the freedom of religious belief."
However, the level of repression in Tibetan areas increased,
especially in the TAR and the Ganzi TAP. The government maintained
tight controls on religious practices and places of worship in
Tibetan areas. Although authorities permitted many traditional
practices and public manifestations of belief, they promptly and
forcibly suppressed activities they viewed as vehicles for political
dissent or advocacy of Tibetan independence.

The atmosphere for religious freedom varied from region to region.
Although conditions were more relaxed in some Tibetan areas outside
the TAR, repression increased in other Tibetan areas. For example,
as  part of a patriotic education campaign in the Ganzi TAP, home to
700,000 ethnic Tibetans, officials forced monks to sign statements
denouncing the Dalai Lama and compelled many parents to withdraw
their  children from educational programs at monasteries or schools
in India and place them in Chinese schools. The environment in the
Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of northern Sichuan Province was
less repressive.

The government especially repressed any religious activity perceived
as venerating the Dalai Lama, whom the authorities and many ethnic
Tibetans see as continuing a tradition of both political and
religious leadership. In July the State Administration for Religious
Affairs announced new regulations described by the official press as
a "move to institutionalize the management of reincarnation." Under
the new rules, which went into effect September 1 and codify the
government's existing policy of seeking to influence the selection of
Tibetan religious leaders, the Chinese government must approve all
reincarnations of lamas. Outside observers and many Tibetans
criticized the measures as an unwarranted interference in Tibetan
religious affairs. Some experts viewed these regulations as an
attempt to minimize the Dalai Lama's influence and strengthen
government control over the process of selecting reincarnate lamas,
including the selection of the next Dalai Lama.

The Panchen Lama is Tibetan Buddhism's second most prominent figure
after the Dalai Lama. According to Tibetan religious tradition, the
Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama recognize each others'
incarnations.  The government continued to insist that Gyaltsen Norbu
is the Panchen Lama's 11th reincarnation and to deny access to Gendun
Choekyi Nyima. While the overwhelming majority of Tibetan Buddhists
recognized Gendun Choeki Nyima as the Panchen Lama, Tibetan monks
claimed that they were forced to sign statements pledging allegiance
to Gyalsten Norbu. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) also urged its
members to support the "official" Panchen Lama.

The government routinely asserted control over the process of finding
and educating reincarnate lamas. In 2005 diplomatic officials met the
seven-year-old child approved by the government as the seventh
reincarnation of Reting Rinpoche. His appointment was reportedly
disputed by many of the monks at Reting Monastery in 2000 because the
Dalai Lama did not recognize the selection. The Reting Rinpoche's
religious training was closely supervised by the government through
the selection of his religious and lay tutors.

Diplomatic observers repeatedly have been denied access to Nenang
Monastery to verify the well-being of Pawo Rinpoche, who was
recognized by the Karmapa in 1994 and has lived under strict
government supervision since that time.

Security was intensified in the TAR and in other Tibetan areas during
the Dalai Lama's birthday, sensitive anniversaries, and festival
days. In March the TibetInfoNet reported that CCP members and civil
servants were instructed not to visit temples in Lhasa during the
March session of the National People's Congress; persons who
disobeyed would face expulsion and dismissal. In May government
officials reportedly warned some parents of Lhasa school students
that their children would face expulsion from school if they
participated in religious activities during the holy month of Saga
Dawa. The prohibition on celebrating the Dalai Lama's birthday on
July 6 continued.

During the time the Dalai Lama was awarded the U.S. Congressional
Gold Medal on October 17, Lhasa citizens were ordered not to carry
out any religious or celebratory activities. Drepung Monastery was
closed for up to a week, and no one was allowed to enter or exit.
There were also reports that at least one other monastery was closed
and that some Tibetans were temporarily detained after celebrations
and prayers in Gansu Province. Public access to monasteries in Lhasa
and some other Tibetan areas was restricted temporarily. During the
summer Chinese authorities reportedly circulated a petition for monks
at Lithang Monastery in Sichuan Province to sign stating that they
did not want the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet. There were reports
that monks in other nearby monasteries were also required to sign
such a petition.

A sixth round of discussions between envoys of the Dalai Lama and
Chinese government officials was held June 29 to July 5 in Shanghai
and Nanjing but ended with no apparent progress. During the year
the  Chinese government escalated its criticism of the Dalai Lama,
partly in conjunction with the Dalai Lama's meetings with foreign
leaders.  When the Dalai Lama was awarded the U.S. Congressional Gold
Medal in October, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman stated,
"The words and deeds of the Dalai Lama in the past decade show he is
a political refugee engaged in secessionist activities in the
camouflage of religion."

TAR party secretary Zhang Qingli continued to criticize the Dalai
Lama, accusing him of linking with "hostile forces" within and
outside China to overthrow China's socialist system. TAR government
chairman Qiangba Puncog stated that the "high degree of autonomy for
Tibet" advocated by the Dalai Lama was contrary to the wishes of
Tibetans and to the Chinese constitution.

In 2006-7 the government of the Golog TAP in Qinghai Province held
"Meetings Condemning the Dalai Lama" in all 66 monasteries in the
prefecture. However, many monasteries refused to participate in the
meetings. In May Abbot Khenpo Tsanor of Dungkyab Monastery in Gande
County of Golog Prefecture was forced to step down after he refused
to hold these meetings at his monastery and to sign documents
condemning the Dalai Lama.

Government officials maintained that possessing or displaying
pictures of the Dalai Lama was legal. However, authorities appeared
to view possession of such photos as evidence of separatist sentiment
when detaining individuals on political charges. Pictures of the
Dalai Lama were not openly displayed in most major monasteries and
could not be purchased openly in the TAR. In December the Ganzi Daily
reported that Ganzi TAP officials were collecting hundreds of
photographs of the Dalai Lama together with pledges from Tibetans
"not to believe in him" anymore.

International observers saw pictures of a number of religious
figures, including the Dalai Lama, displayed more widely in some
Tibetan areas outside the TAR. The government continued to ban
pictures of Gendun

Choekyi Nyima, the boy recognized by the Dalai Lama as the Panchen
Lama. Photos of the "official" Panchen Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu, were not
widely displayed. However, photos of the previous Panchen Lama, his
daughter, and the Karmapa (who fled to India in 1999) were widely
sold and displayed.

On January 1, the "TAR Implementation of the PRC Religious Affairs
Regulations" (TAR Implementing Regulations) came into force,
superseding the TAR's 1991 regulations. The TAR Implementing
regulations of the 2005 PRC religious affairs regulations assert
state control over all aspects of Tibetan Buddhism, including
religious groups, venues, and personnel. According to Chinese media
reports, the  TAR Implementing Regulations would play an important
role in resisting  the "Dalai Clique's separatist activities."

The TAR Implementing Regulations and the parallel November 2006
revision of the Sichuan Province Religious Affairs Regulations more
explicitly codify existing practice regulating the government's
control over the movement of registered nuns and monks by
requiring  that they seek permission from county-level religious
affairs officials to travel to another prefecture or county-level
city within the TAR. In practice similar restrictions were sometimes
applied even to monks visiting another monastery within the same
county. The previous regulations required monks and nuns to seek
travel permission only if they were visiting another province.
According to the educational practices of Tibetan Buddhism, monks and
nuns must travel to receive specialized training from teachers who
are considered experts in their particular theological traditions. In
December a Tibetan Buddhist monk told the Ganzi Daily, the official
newspaper of the Ganzi Prefecture Communist Party Committee, that
monks in Lithang, Ganzi TAP, needed permission to leave their
monasteries and go into town.

The TAR Implementing Regulations also increase the government's
control over the building and management of religious structures.
According to Article 13 of the TAR Implementing Regulations,
individuals and organizations must petition the government's
Religious Affairs Department to build religious structures. The
department may demolish a religious structure built without
authorization. In mid-May the PAP demolished a nearly completed
statue of Guru Padmasambava at Samye Monastery in Lhoka Prefecture in
the TAR. The statue was being constructed with donations from Han
Chinese Buddhists from Guangdong Province.

Chapter two, Articles 48 and 49, of the TAR Implementing Regulations
forbid the carrying out of "monastic construction" and
"reconstructing, extending, or repairing religious venues" without
official permission. Structures that violate these provisions may be
torn down by Chinese authorities. Government officials sometimes used
regulations regarding religious structures to demolish the homes of
individual monks and nuns. In the Ganzi TAP, where Sichuan Province
authorities applied similar restrictions on religious structures,
officials destroyed the homes of more than 60 monks and nuns in the
first half of the year.

The TAR Implementing Regulations also grant the government control
over large-scale religious gatherings. Chapter 2, Articles 27 and 28,
require that monasteries request permission to hold large or
important religious events. In October Pangsa Monastery was closed
after a dramatic surge in the number of devotees visiting the reliquary statue.

The TAR had 1,750 registered religious venues. Government officials
closely associated Buddhist monasteries with proindependence activism
in Tibetan areas. Spiritual leaders encountered difficulty
reestablishing historical monasteries due to lack of funds, general
limitations on monastic education, and lack of authorization to build
and operate religious institutions. Officials in some areas contended
such religious institutions were a drain on local resources and a
conduit for political infiltration by the Tibetan exile community.

The government stated there were no limits on the number of monks in
major monasteries and that each monastery's Democratic Management
Committee (DMC) decided independently how many monks the monastery
could support. However, the government exercised strict control over
most monasteries through the DMCs and imposed strict limits on the
number of monks in major monasteries, particularly within the TAR.
The government had the right to disapprove any individual's
application to take up religious orders, and there were reports
during the year of some young monks and monks critical of the
government being forced out of monasteries.

Authorities limited the traditional practice of sending young boys to
monasteries for religious training by means of regulations that
forbade monasteries from accepting individuals under the age of 18.
Nevertheless, many monasteries continued to admit younger boys, often
delaying their formal registration as monks until age 18. According
to the Ganzi Daily, hundreds of young monks in the Ganzi TAP were
reportedly removed from monasteries and placed in regular schools as
part of the patriotic education campaign.

Monks outside the TAR who want to study in the TAR are required to
obtain official permission from the religious affairs bureaus (RABs)
of their home province and the TAR RAB, but such permission was not
readily granted. Sources reported that ethnic Han Chinese monks
generally were not allowed to undertake religious study in the TAR.

The quality and availability of high-level religious teachers in the
TAR and other Tibetan areas remained inadequate. Many teachers were
in exile, older teachers were not being replaced, and those remaining
in Tibetan areas outside the TAR had difficulty securing permission
to teach in the TAR.

Although Tibetan monks were not allowed to conduct large-scale
religious teachings outside Tibetan areas, many monks continued to
give private teachings to audiences in non-Tibetan regions of China.
According to reports, ethnic Han Chinese Buddhists outside Tibetan
areas were sometimes discouraged from inviting Tibetan monks to give
teachings. Such visits require explicit permission from both the TAR
and the receiving province's RAB. Nevertheless, Tibetan monks
sometimes traveled in plain clothes outside the TAR to teach.

Monasteries in the TAR were not allowed to establish relationships
with other monasteries or hold joint religious activities.

The government continued to oversee the daily operations of major
monasteries. The government, which did not contribute to the
monasteries' operating funds, retained management control of
monasteries through the DMCs and local RABs. Regulations restricted
leadership of many DMCs to "patriotic and devoted" monks and nuns and
specified that the government must approve all members of the
committees. At some monasteries government officials also sat on the
committees. DMCs at several large TAR monasteries diverted funds
generated by the sale of entrance tickets or donated by pilgrims to
purposes other than the support of monks engaged in full-time
religious study. As a result, some "scholar monks" who had formerly
been fully supported had to engage in income-generating activities.
Some experts were concerned that, as a result, fewer monks would be
qualified to serve as teachers.

Government officials claimed that the patriotic education campaign in
the TAR, which often consisted of intensive, weeks-long sessions
conducted by outside work teams, ended in 2000. However, monks and
nuns continued to undergo political education on a regular basis.
According to the Ganzi Daily, the Ganzi TAP government sent cadres to
the TAR to learn the patriotic education campaign model and
began  applying it in the Ganzi TAP, home to 700,000 ethnic Tibetans.

In February officials from the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs
told diplomatic observers that political education was carried out
for all citizens, not just monks and nuns. Because the primary
responsibility for conducting political education shifted from
government officials to monastery leaders, the form, content, and
frequency of training at each monastery appeared to vary
widely.  However, conducting such training remained a requirement and
was a routine part of monastic management.

The deputy party secretary of the Sichuan Provincial Party Committee
stated at an educational conference held in the Ganzi TAP in August
that "the major targets of these patriotic educational activities
must be Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and monks and nuns."

In November the Patriotic Education Leading Group of the Sichuan
Provincial Party Committee held a conference on enhancing the
patriotic educational campaign in the Ganzi TAP. It was reported that
the prefecture carried out patriotic educational campaigns during the
year at 95 prefecture-level government units, 18 counties, 850
schools, and 532 monasteries.

In the Ganzi TAP a patriotic education campaign focused on CCP
members and monks, seeking to strengthen the loyalty of wavering
party members, some of whom follow the Dalai Lama, under the slogan
"The Party is key, and the focus is the monasteries."

During the year the TAR government tightened its control over Tibetan
cultural relics. Under Article 3 of the July revision of the TAR
Cultural Relics Protection Regulations, the TAR asserts ownership of
religious institutions as cultural sites, and of cultural and
religious relics. Article 3 also provides that monasteries may not
lend relics to other monasteries without state permission.

According to PRC press reports, from 1949 to year's end, the Chinese
government spent $83 million (RMB 600 million) on the preservation of
Tibetan historical and cultural relics. This included renovating and
reopening more than 1,400 monasteries and repairing cultural relics,
many damaged or destroyed before and during the Cultural Revolution.
Nevertheless, many monasteries destroyed during the Cultural
Revolution were not rebuilt or repaired, and others remained only
partially repaired. Government funding of restoration efforts as
cultural preservation also promoted the development of tourism in
Tibetan areas. Most recent restoration efforts were funded privately,
although a few religious sites also received government support for
reconstruction projects during the year.

Approximately 615 Tibetan Buddhist religious figures held positions
in local people's congresses and local Chinese people's political
consultative conferences in the TAR. However, the government
continued to insist that CCP members and senior employees adhere to
the CCP's code of atheism, and routine political training for cadres
continued to promote atheism. TAR officials confirmed that some RAB
officers were CCP members and that religious belief was incompatible
with CCP membership. However, some lower-level RAB officials
practiced Buddhism.


The law provides for the freedom to travel; however, in practice the
government strictly regulated travel and freedom of movement of
Tibetans, especially within the TAR. Many Tibetans, particularly
those from rural areas, continued to report difficulties obtaining passports.

Tibetans continued to encounter substantial difficulties and
obstacles in traveling to India for religious, educational, and other
purposes. The government placed restrictions on the movement of
Tibetans during sensitive anniversaries and events and increased
controls over border areas at these times. There were reports of
arbitrary detention of persons, particularly monks, returning from
Nepal. Detentions generally lasted for several months, although in
most cases no formal charges were brought.

Border guards continued to use force to prevent unauthorized border
crossings. On October 18, PAP border guards reportedly shot at 46
Tibetans attempting to enter Nepal at the Nangpa La pass. In
September 2006 Chinese border forces at the Nangpa La pass shot at a
group of approximately 70 Tibetans attempting to enter Nepal, killing
one and injuring others. The group included monks, nuns, and children.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that
during the year 2,156 Tibetans arrived at the Tibet Reception Center
in Nepal, compared with 2,405 in 2006. During the year 2,156 Tibetans
departed the reception center for India. Nevertheless, thousands of
Tibetans, including monks and nuns, visited India via third
countries, and some returned after temporary stays. The majority of
Tibetans who transited via Nepal to India were young persons six to
30 years of age who migrated principally due to cultural suppression,
including the lack of Tibetan-language educational facilities and
opportunities for religious education.

The Karmapa, leader of Tibetan Buddhism's Karma Kagyu schools and one
of the most influential religious figures in Tibetan Buddhism,
remained in exile following his 1999 flight to India.

The government also regulated foreign travel to the TAR. In
accordance with a 1989 regulation, foreign visitors were required to
obtain an official confirmation letter issued by the government
before entering the TAR. Most tourists obtained such letters by
booking tours through officially registered travel agencies. While
none of the TAR's 70 counties were officially closed to foreigners,
access for foreigners to many areas of the TAR remained problematic.

Official visits to the TAR were supervised closely and afforded
delegation members very few opportunities to meet local persons not
previously approved by the authorities. Foreigners could travel
freely in most Tibetan areas outside the TAR.


Although according to TAR census figures, Tibetans made up 92 percent
of the population of the TAR's permanently registered population;
however, official population figures did not include a large number
of long-, medium-, and short-term Han residents, such as cadres,
skilled workers, unskilled laborers, military and paramilitary
troops, and their dependents. Chinese social scientists placed the
total number of this floating population (including tourists and
visitors on short-term business trips) for Lhasa alone at more than
200,000 (a figure that comprised half of Lhasa's overall population
and more than 10 percent of the TAR's population) during the May to
November high season for tourism and migrant workers. The size of
this floating, mostly ethnic Han population rapidly increased over
the past decade, especially since the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet
railway in July 2006.

Migrants to the TAR were overwhelmingly concentrated in urban areas,
where government economic policies disproportionately benefited Han
migrants. Small businesses, mostly restaurants and retail shops, run
by Han and Hui migrants predominated in cities throughout the Tibetan
areas. Tibetans continued to make up nearly 98 percent of the rural
population, according to official census figures.

Family planning policies permitted Tibetans and members of other
minority groups to have more children than Han. Urban Tibetans,
including Communist Party members, and some ethnic Han Chinese living
in Tibetan areas were generally permitted to have two children. Rural
Tibetans were encouraged, but not required, to limit births to three children.

Since 2000 the government has been implementing a resettlement
campaign of Tibetan nomads into urban areas across the TAR and other
Tibetan areas. Officially nomads are encouraged with monetary
incentives to kill or sell their livestock and move to newly created
Tibetan communities. However, reports existed of incidences of
compulsory resettlement with compensation that was promised but
either never materialized or was inadequate.

In January TAR Party Secretary Zhang Qingli stated that the
restructuring of Tibetan farming and grazing communities was not only
to promote economic development but also to counteract the Dalai
Lama's influence. He also stated that to do so was essential for
"continuing to carry out major development of west China." In 2006 a
total of 25,000 TAR nomad and farming households were resettled, and
another 52,000 were planned for 2008. Improving housing conditions
and education for Tibet's poorest were among the goals of
resettlement, yet a requirement that villagers build houses according
to strict official specifications within two or three years often
forced resettled families into debt to cover construction costs.

During the year state media reported that Tibetans and other minority
ethnic groups made up 60 percent of all government employees in the
TAR. However, Han Chinese continued to hold the top CCP positions in
nearly all counties and prefectures, including party secretary of the
TAR. Tibetans holding government positions were prohibited from
worshipping at monasteries or practicing their religion.

Some Tibetans reported that they experienced discrimination in
employment and claimed that Han Chinese were hired preferentially for
many jobs and received greater pay for the same work. Some Tibetans
reported that it was more difficult for Tibetans than Han to get
permits and loans to open businesses. The use of the Chinese language
was widespread in urban areas, and many businesses limited employment
opportunities for Tibetans who did not speak Chinese.

The TAR tourism bureau continued its policy of refusing to hire
Tibetan tour guides educated in India or Nepal. Government officials
stated that all tour guides working in the TAR were required to seek
employment with the Tourism Bureau and pass a licensing exam on
tourism and political ideology. The government's stated intent was to
ensure that all tour guides provide visitors with the government's
position opposing Tibetan independence and the activities of the
Dalai Lama. Some ethnic Tibetan tour guides in the TAR complained of
unfair competition from government-sponsored "Help Tibet" tour guides
brought in from outside the TAR and put to work after receiving a
crash course on Tibet.


There were no formal restrictions on women's participation in the
political system, and women held many lower-level government
positions. However, women were underrepresented at the provincial and
prefectural levels of government. According to an official Web site,
female cadres in the TAR accounted for more than 30 percent of the
TAR's total cadres.

There was no information on the incidence of rape or domestic violence.

Prostitution was a growing problem in Tibetan areas, and hundreds of
brothels operated semiopenly in Lhasa. International development
workers in the TAR reported there was no reliable data on the number
of persons engaged in commercial sex acts in Lhasa and Shigatse, the
TAR's two largest cities, although some estimates placed the number
of such persons as high as 10,000. Some of the prostitution occurred
at sites owned by the CCP, the government, and the military. Most
prostitutes in the TAR were Han women, mainly from Sichuan. However,
some Tibetans, mainly young girls from rural or nomadic areas, also
engaged in prostitution. The incidence of HIV/AIDS among prostitutes
in Tibetan areas was unknown, but lack of knowledge about HIV
transmission and economic pressures on prostitutes to engage in
unprotected sex made them particularly vulnerable.

The TAR is one of the few areas of China that does not have a skewed
sex ratio resulting from sex-selective abortion and inadequate health
care for female infants.

Primary school education was compulsory, free, and universal,
according to official statements. According to official TAR
statistics, 96.5 percent of children between the ages of six and 13
were in school, and 90 percent of the TAR's 520,000 primary school
students completed lower middle school, for a total of nine years of
education. In 2003 the UN special rapporteur on the right to
education in China reported that education statistics did not
accurately reflect attendance and were not independently verified.
Miscellaneous fees for the TAR's 131,000 middle school students were
abolished in mid-year.

Both Tibetan and Chinese are official languages in the TAR, and both
languages were used on public and commercial signs. However, Chinese
was spoken widely and was used for most commercial and official
communications. The use of both languages was also affected by the
rate of illiteracy among Tibetans, which reportedly was more than
five times higher (47.6 percent) than the national average (9.1
percent), according to 2000 census data. The TAR's overall rate of
illiteracy (47.3 percent) was the highest in the country and was
nearly twice as high as in the second-ranked Qinghai Province (25.2
percent). In many rural and nomadic areas, children received only one
to three years of Tibetan language education before continuing their
education in a Chinese-language school. The illiteracy rate of youth
and adults fell from 95 percent before 1959 to 15 percent at the end
of 2005. However, the illiteracy rate for this group was much higher
than 15 percent in some areas. According to a 2006 report by the
Xinhua News Agency, a looser definition of literacy was used for
Tibetan speakers than for Chinese speakers in rural Tibet.
Tibetan-speaking peasants and nomads were considered literate if they
could read and write the 30 letters of the Tibetan syllabary.
Chinese-speaking nomads and herders were considered literate if they
could recognize 1,500 Chinese characters.


Rapid economic growth, the expanding tourism industry, the
resettlement of nomads, and the introduction of more modern cultural
influences have disrupted traditional living patterns and customs and
threatened traditional Tibetan cultural. Residents lacked the right
to play a role in protecting their cultural heritage.

The Dalai Lama, Tibetan experts, and other observers expressed
concern that development projects and other central government
policies disproportionately benefited non-Tibetans and continued to
promote a considerable influx of Han Chinese, Hui, and other ethnic
groups into the TAR. The opening of the Qinghai-TAR railroad in 2006
increased migration of non-Tibetans into the TAR. The government
reported the railroad carried 1.5 million passengers during the year,
with approximately half of those passengers being nontourists.

Residents lacked the right to play a role in protecting their
cultural heritage. The TAR government asserted ownership over
religious relics and monasteries. Although in recent years the
government made efforts to restore some of the physical structures
and other aspects of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture damaged or
destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, repressive social and
political controls continued to limit the fundamental freedoms of
Tibetans and risked undermining Tibet's unique cultural, religious,
and linguistic heritage.

In May local Tibetans from Daocheng County of the Ganzi TAP clashed
with authorities over the development of Yading, an important
Buddhist religious mountain area.

In June a similar conflict occurred between Tibetans from Bamei Town
in the Ganzi TAP and mining developers in the sacred Yala Mountain
area. Local citizens destroyed vehicles of party and government
officials and the mine owner. Chinese authorities reportedly detained
10 village elders who tried to petition provincial and central level
officials about the exploitation of the holy mountain. The
petitioners reportedly were badly beaten.

The government established a comprehensive national Tibetan-language
curriculum, and many elementary schools in Tibetan areas used Tibetan
as the primary language of instruction. Tibetan students also were
required to study Chinese, and Chinese was generally used to teach
certain subjects, such as arithmetic and science. In middle and high
schools--even some officially designated as Tibetan schools--teachers
often used Tibetan only to teach classes in Tibetan language,
literature, and culture and taught all other classes in Chinese.

As a practical matter, proficiency in Chinese was essential to
receive a higher education. China's most prestigious universities
provided instruction only in Chinese, while the lower-ranked
universities established to serve ethnic minorities allowed study of
only some subjects in Tibetan. Apart from some universities
specifically for ethnic minorities, Chinese universities generally
required English language proficiency for entrance. Most graduates of
Tibetan schools, however, learned only Chinese and Tibetan and were
thus unable to attend the better universities. One consequence was a
shortage of Tibetans trained in science and engineering and a near
total reliance on imported technical specialists from outside the TAR
to work on development projects inside the TAR.

Opportunities to study at Tibetan-language schools were greater in
the TAR, while opportunities to study at privately funded
Tibetan-language schools and to receive a traditional
Tibetan-language religious education were greater in Tibetan areas
outside the TAR.
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