Forthcoming Events 2017
Sunday 30th April 2017, 2pm
Tibet Support Group Grampian has previously organised two ‘mini-walks’ in the West End of the City. One of our members, Norman Miller, who is the author of the book “Aberdeen: A History and a Celebration” led these informative walking tours, giving us fascinating insights into the history and architecture of the area. Norman is now going to lead a walk in Old Aberdeen.
Meet at the Town House (North end of High Street) Old Aberdeen
The walk will cover Chanonry, St Machar's, Don Street and the Hight Street, taking approx one and a half hours. Tea afterwards (optional) at the Grub Cafe, the Spital (on the corner with Orchard Street)
Uprising Day 10th March 2017
We held a commemorative march starting on the Mound, Edinburgh where we had poems and speeches about the suffering of the Tibetan people under the Chinese occupation of their country. From there the march progressed up to the Royal Mile, with more poems and speeches outside St. Giles Cathedral, then down to the Parliament.
They had endured nine years of Chinese rule since their country was invaded - nine years in which, by some estimates, a quarter of of the Tibetan people had been killed or starved to death and which the International Commission of Jurists declared was genocide by the Chinese government against the Tibetan nation. Following the Uprising, the Dalai Lama fled into exile and it is thought about 87,000 Tibetans died in the ensuing conflict.
Screening: A Mother's Son
by Tibetan film-maker Nawang Anjtatsang
Friday, 25th November 2016 At 7pm
Venue: University of Aberdeen, New Kings 1
The Anthropology society together with the Tibet Support Group Grampian hosts a film screening of ‘A Mother’s Son’, directed by Tibetan film maker Nawang N. Anjatsang, made to gain insight on motivations for self immolations in Tibet and what this means for family and friends who lost someone to self immolations.
After the screening Nawan Anjatsang joins for a Skype Q&A!
Baked goods, drinks and Tibetan music for free!
Summer Walk for Tibet
Details on local news page
Spring Aberdeen Walk
“The Inner West End: the History as shown in the Architecture”
Last autumn Tibet Support Group Grampian organised a ‘mini-walk’ in the City. One of our members, Norman Miller, who is the author of the book “Aberdeen: A History and a Celebration” led this informative walking tour. We covered an area to the south of Holburn Junction, often going along back lanes, with Norman giving us a fascinating insight into the history and architecture of which previously many of us had been quite unaware. The participants were keen to have a further walking tour in the spring, so this has now been organised. The meeting place will again be Holburn Junction, with Norman covering an area to the north of there.
The details are:
Location: The Inner West End: the History as shown in the Architecture
Blood on the Snows
Tuesday, 29 March 2016, 6pm-8pm
New King's Building (NK1) University of Aberdeen
In 2008, after decades of occupation and repression, a wave of protests erupted across Tibet.
Our 'Blood on the Snows' tour will bring these tales to a number of venues across the UK.
Guest Speaker -
Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar was born in India, the daughter of a political prisoner who made the journey into exile after enduring over 20 years in a Chinese prison for challenging the invasion of Tibet. She initially went to school at the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala before going on to study at the University Delhi and later at Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University.
A downloadable PDF event flyer is available if you wish to publicise this event
History of Tibet
Exhibition at University of Aberdeen Monday 18th to Friday 29th January 2016
An exhibition arranged by Tibet Support Group Grampian in collaboration with the ScottishParliament's Cross Party Group on Tibet will be showing at the Students' Union, Johnston Hall, University of Aberdeen, High Street, Old Aberdeen from Monday 18th to Friday 29th January. It will display pictures of the history of Tibet from the earliest times to the present day. The exhibition will also show the involvement in Tibet of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Tibet and Tibet Support Group Grampian.
Autumn Aberdeen Walk
Sunday 1 November
“The Inner West End: the History as shown in the Architecture”
Since many people were unable to come on Tibet Support Group Grampian’s annual summer walk this year (only 6 walkers), we are running an additional ‘mini-walk’ in Aberdeen this autumn. One of our members, Norman Miller, who is the author of the book “Aberdeen: A History and a Celebration” has kindly offered to lead this informative walking tour. The details are:
Walk The Inner West End: the History as shown in the Architecture
Saturday 26th September
Tibet Support Group Grampian will be collecting in Aberdeen City Centre on Saturday 26th September for the Gu Chu Sum School in Dharamsala. Please give the collection your support. The School supports former Tibetan political prisoners, many of whom are monks and nuns, who have spent long years in Chinese prisons, enduring torture and denial of food and medication etc. Gu Chu Sum provides medical help and support plus courses in English, Tibetan and computer skills for the ex-political prisoners and their families. Now the School urgently needs funds to continue to pay its teachers next year. More information about Gu Chu Sum School and the appeal is on www.tibetrelieffund.co.uk
Tibet Support Group Grampian has supported Gu Chu Sum School in the past when it was in danger of closing and helped to ensure its survival.
It costs only £187 to fund three Gu Chu Sum teachers for one month or £374 to pay for 20 students to study English for six months. So every little bit of money that we can raise is worthwhile.
Tashi Lhunpo performance
"The Power of Compassion"
Monday August 24th, Queen’s Cross Church Sanctuary.
Tickets £8.00 (no concessions) available in advance or at the door. Doors will open at 7.00pm and the performance will start at 7.30 p.m. There will be an interval of 20 minutes and the performance should end by 9.30 pm We shall have a display our our activities with a view to attracting new members.
Download the flyer (PDF document, 1MB)
Visit the Tashi Lhunpo UK website for more information on the 2015 performance venues and dates.
Sunday 28 June 2015
Report on walk and sponsorship here.
Tibet: Environment, Economy and Conflict on the High Plateau
Scottish Parliament Public Talk Wednesday 10th June 2015, 6.00pm
A public presentation by Dr. Martin Mills and Dr. Samantha May of Aberdeen University, addressing the current issues facing Tibet.
"The Tibetan Plateau is sometimes called the Third Pole. Built by massive geological forces, the Plateau is one of the most minerally-rich places on earth, criss-crossed by vast mountain ranges, freezing deserts and dense forest. This fragile ecosystem is the "water tower of Asia", source of most of the continent's great rivers. In the last thirty years, all of these facets of the Tibetan Plateau have become the object of growing conflict as the Chinese economy's demands expand, as tourism finds its way into every distant valley and mountaintop, and as water becomes the most precious resource of all. In this talk we examine the conditions and conflicts that Tibet and Tibetans face over the environment, and the challenges that stand ahead."
Everyone is welcome to attend, so if you are able then please do join us for what will be a very interesting and informative evening.
Saturday 13th June
For the Tibet Relief Fund Nepal Earthquake Appeal.
Update as of May 2014
Petition from Aberdeen on 16th February 2013 to the European Parliament on the centenary of the proclamation of Tibetan independence by the 13th Dalai Lama.
Last year, on Saturday 16th February, on the anniversary of the Proclamation of Tibetan Independence by the 13th Dalai Lama, Tibet Support Group Grampian asked the people of Aberdeen if they would sign a Petition to the European Parliament to urge world governments to:
Recognise the proclamation of independence
Support the Tibetan people’s right to self determination
Take multi-lateral action to resolve the issue
238 good citizens signed the Petition.
Since then the petition has been wending its way through the European Parliament. On 25/26th November it was deemed “admissable” as a petition by the Petitions Committee. In January they passed it to the European Parliament Delegation to the People’s Republic of China. We have written to both the Secretariat and, subsequently, the Administrator of that Delegation asking when the Petition is to be considered but have not been informed of a date. With the European Election imminent, consideration looks likely to be delayed until after MEPs have been elected and assigned to their different Committees, Delegations etc. We have written to one of our present MEPs – Ian Hudghton - and will write to our new MEPs after the election, to see if they can ensure that the Petition does not lose its way in the new Parliament.
H.H. The 13th Dalai Lama
Pictures of International Mother Language Day
Sunday 23rd February 2014 in Aberdeen
Arranged by Aberdeen Multicultural Centre and Tibet Support Group Grampian
In Tibet, since 2009, at least one hundred and twenty seven Tibetans have sacrificed their lives in protests over the occupation of their country and in many cases referring especially to the way their language is being sidelined by the Chinese authorities.
Mother Language Day represents the day in 1952 when students in Dhaka, demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bengali, were shot and killed leading to the independence movement of present day Bangladesh. February 21st was adopted by UNESCO as Mother Language Day for this reason and has been observed annually since 2009. Mother Language Day is therefore particularly relevant to the situation in Tibet.
Tibet Support Group Grampian and Aberdeen Multicultural Centre held a joint celebration of Mother Language Day with an afternoon of songs in different languages and music and dance from different traditions.
Performances included songs in Tibetan, Gaelic, Bengali, Hindi, and Doric.
Tibet Uprising Day
Edinburgh University Tibet Society publicity event
On Sunday the 16th of March 2014, Edinburgh Tibet Society staged their annual march to commemorate the uprising of 1959 against the Communist military occupation of Tibet. Protesters gathered around 2pm at the foot of The Mound for a session of chanting and protest. From there, the assembled protesters marched East along Princes Street, then to Haymarket, and finally to Murrayfield and the Chinese Consulate building. The march was accompanied by very enthusiastic chanting of slogans demanding an end to the abuses committed in tibet, and a return of governing power over Tibet to the Tibetan people. More..
Nomadic Survival. Books and Beans, Belmont Street, Aberdeen Thursday October 24th 2013
This was a really inspiring talk about the training of nomads and semi-nomads in a remote area where four out of nine pregnacies result in the death of either the mother or her child.
There was a packed roomful of at least fifty people. Because of the subject matter, publicity for the talk had focussed on students at Robert Gordon's University Nursing School, including those training to be midwives, and it was clear they formed the majority of those present. There was also a large collection of pre-1959 photos and a display of Tibetan boots and nomadic dress and many other articles. Tibet Support Group Grampian has been collecting for the charity over the last few months in Aberdeen and Banchory, raising £550. A further £270 was collected at the Talk which, considering most of the audience were students, represents a particularly generous amount. Together with a further donation of £100 we have raised £920 for Nomadic Survival.
TIBET IS BURNING
Talk by Dr. Martin Mills on Wednesday 12th March 2013 at Tiger Tiger, Aberdeen on Self -Immolations in Tibet
The talk looked at the subject of Self –Immolations in Tibet. 108 self-immolations had taken place since 2009. The subject was treated in depth, the talk lasting some two hours. Some of the salient points were:
1. Self- immolators do not take this action lightly, it is appalligly painful. The pictures illustrating the talk were particularly distressing.
2. Only a very few self-immolations have taken place outside Tibet and nearly all have taken place in the Tibetan areas of Kham and Amdo rather than U’tsang, the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Testaments from these protesters are addressed to fellow Tibetans, not the international community. Tibetans in Tibet seem to have given up on the International Community and the Tibetans in Exile finding a solution.
3. Significantly, information including photos about the self-immolations, are immediatley relayed from mobile to mobile so that are given immediate publicity in Tibet and worldwide.
4. It is noticible that the self- immolations are increasingly undertaken by younger and younger Tibetans.
5. Until this wave of self-immolations, protests such as street demonstrations were often been undertaken by monks and nuns although not exclusively so. Self-immolations, at the beginning, were also by the religious but this form of protest has been taken up increasingly by the laity so that most now involve lay people. Dr. Mills displayed graphs to demonstrate the increase in the numbers of self-immolations month by month and the proportion undertaken by religious and lay people.
6. The protests increasingly involve the whole community who attend the funerals of those who have self-immolated. This has upset the Chinese authorities perhaps even more than the self – immolations themselves. When some10,000 attended one of the funerals, the security forces had to give up on trying to disperse the crowds and left.
The authority’s solution has been to make it a criminal offence to attend funerals. Anyone inciting or abetting them in this way are being charged with murder and may be sentenced to death. At the very least it can lead to a lengthy prison sentence. Reprisals are also being taken against a self immolator’s entire community, for example by denying them any state aid. Passing information about the self immolations also attracts heavy jail sentences. The people who actually self- immolate, in contrast, are not regarded as committing a criminal offence since suicide is not illegal. This has presented the authorities with a conundrum. Han Chinese also set themselves alight , for example when their property is taken from them. The authorities, however, are unwilling to treat Han Chinese who undertake such self–immolation or their families or communities in the same way so Tibet becomes a special case. But, in this way the authorities are acknowledging that Tibet is different.
7. The self-immolators have also presented the Dalai Lama with a difficulty. He has publicly tried to discourage this form of protest as violent and, therefore, non- Buddhist but in doing so can appear unsympathetic to them or the cause. Dr. Mills has talked to the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) who admit that they do not know how to respond to this form of protest. The Sikyong (leader of the CTA), Dr. Lobsang Sangay has, however, attended a prayer service in Dharamsala in honour of two of the self-immolators who set themselves alight in Tibet. Lama Sopa Rinpoche, who self- immolated in January 2012, was an incarnate lama (Tulku) and thus gave a degree of religious legitimacy to this form of protest.
8. Dr. Mills emphasised that Western support groups should not focus on those who undertake self-immolation but on the reasons behind their protests. Many who set themselves alight explain their reasons in lengthy testimonials including the denial of education in their own language and the suppression of religious practice. Monks and nuns are subjected to patriotic education. Monasteries are being restored but as tourist attractions. Guided tours are led by Chinese tour guides not the monks or nuns themselves. More and more Tibetans are taking to calling the protestors bodhisattvas and also as gyache pawo, national heroes.
More information on Dr. Mills’s blog www.tibetprotests.wordpress.com
Centenary of the Proclamation of Tibetan Independence by the 13th Dalai Lama on 13th February 1913
Collecting Signatures for the Petition about the Proclamation, Aberdeen 16th February 2013
TSGG were in Aberdeen City Centre outside M&S on Saturday 16th February 2013 gathering support for the proclamation.
We gathered 189 signatures for the petition which will be sent to Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, David Cameron, Prime Minister and Alex Salmond, First Minister.
The petition called for them to urge world governments to recognise the proclamation of independence, support the Tibetan people's right to self determination and take multi-lateral action to resolve the issue.
Human Rights Day Greetings Card Campaign
Monday 10th December 2012 Trinity Centre Aberdeen
The public were asked to sign cards for Tibetan political prisoners: Rungye Adak, Wangdu, Lobsang and Bu Thubdor, Migmar Dhondup Wangchen and Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche. Four hundred and thirty signatures were collected, some people signing several cards and this was subsequently made up to nearly five hundred. The cards were sent to the prisons where they are being held in Tibet. We were accompanied by Amnesty who also collected signatures on cards for political prisoners.
Visit by H.H. the Dalai Lama to Scotland June 2012
The Dalai Lama gave public lectures at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Cairds Hall, Dundee and the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.
Signet Library, Edinburgh, Friday 22nd June - Audience given by His Holiness to members of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Tibet including members of Tibet Support Group Grampian prior to his lecture at the Usher Hall.
Members of Tibet Support Group Grampian and Morayshire Free Tibet in Tibetan Dress at the lecture by His Holiness at the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, Saturday 23rd. June
1 July 2012
The annual sponsored walk this year will be in memory of Dave Lindsey, founder member of the group and Chairman for many years, who died last November. The walk will be a circular route of about 8.5 miles in Glen Tanar, starting at 10.30am and finishing at about 3.30pm with tea in the Corner House café, Aboyne.
Much of the outward route is along the Firmounth Road, with the return along the Mounth Road. The length of the walk is about eight miles.
Braeloin car park in Glen Tanar (OS Map 44, GR 480966) at 10:30am for a 10:45am start. Bring a picnic lunch. We anticipate returning to the start point at around 3:30pm. Tea afterwards (optional) att he Corner House cafe, Aboyne. Streetmap.co.uk link
To be split between the campaigning organizations Free Tibet and the Tibet Society. Both work for a fair and just solution for Tibet, with Tibetans determining their own future and having gtheir fundamental human rights respected.
The walk is always an enjoyable occasion in which old and young, regular and occasional walkers, children and dogs participate. There is no need to get sponsorship in order to come on the walk – many walkers just give a donation. Alternatively, you can sponsor a walker, or make a donation without actually coming on the walk. This is our major fund-raising event in the year, so every contribution helps. This year the proceeds will be split between the campaigning organisations Free Tibet and the Tibet Society. If you would like a Walk sponsorship leaflet giving details of the arrangements and the route please let us know.
Self-Immolation in Tibet, India and China
Speaker: Martin A. Mills, University of Aberdeen
Date: TUESDAY 8th MAY, 2012 - 6pm
Room: New Kings NK1
Since 2009, almost forty Tibetans have set fire to themselves in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet. The rate of such self-immolations increases with each passing month. Almost always fatal, these protests have caught the attention of the media, but fiercely divided international opinion. This talk will examine both the brutal facts of this kind of protest and the reasoning behind it amongst Tibetans themselves. It will also question the standard media and academic interpretation of this most final form of political dissent.
Some events discussed in this talk may be distressing in nature. Use your discretion as regards sensitive persons or children attending.
The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013683