Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has implemented President Xi Jinping’s philosophy of “Tibetan Buddhism with Socialist Character”.
The banned activities and practices range from visits to Tibetan temple, ‘Kora’ (circumambulation) at a temple or a Stupa, and holding a rosary or ‘Mani’ (Tibetan prayer wheel), according to Policy Research Group’s (PRG) Strategic Insight. Further, conducting prayers at the family altar in Tibet and using digital prayer beads or listening to prayers on mobile phones is strictly banned. Earlier, China released the “Code of Conduct for Communist Party members in the Tibetan Autonomous Region for Not Believing in Religion,” which lists a host of dos and don’ts for the officials.
Sonam Tsering, General Secretary of Tibetan Youth Congress, (TYC) said that restrictions on Tibetans are not proper. “The fact that the CCP has to issue a code of conduct to stop the Communist cadres and Tibetan officials from practising religion proves that they have failed to wipe out the Tibetan identity and the influence of Buddhism from their hearts despite seven decades of colonial rule over Tibet”, Sonam Tsering said, adding that this in itself is enough to prove that “Tibetan people have refused to accept the rule and dominance of China,” he said.
Earlier, the Chinese authorities in Lhasa have banned the teaching of Tibetan language in the schools to implement President Xi’s idea of ‘Tibetan Buddhism with Socialist Character’,
Further, China has stopped the Tibetan medium at school levels and made Mandarin the only language of instruction. Now the latest diktat bans the teaching of basic Tibetan in private Tibetan schools, which are run with public efforts during non-school hours or during winter holidays according to PRG’s Strategic Insight.
Further, the 11th People’s Congress of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) in 2020 adopted new regulations for Tibet which oblige the controlling authorities of Tibet to establish “model areas for national unity and progress” in TAR.
Meanwhile, in his unannounced visit to Tibet in July, President Xi Jinping instructed the Communist cadres and officials to promote Tibetan Buddhism with socialist character.
Meanwhile, these regulations give special powers to the Chinese bosses in Tibet to impose a China-centric life on Tibetan people.
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Chinese officials attack Biden on his statement that “pandemic is a thing of past”
The officials of the Chinese government questioned US President Joe Biden after his statement in which he said that pandemic is now a thing of the past.Joe Biden had said in an interview, “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape, and so I think it’s changing.”China official Lijian Zhao posed the question with a photo showing “facts” on US Covid data. The photo said, “An average of nearly 400 Americans die from Covid-19 in a day. Around 8% of working-age Americans currently have long Covid.”It further said, “2 to 4 million Americans are out of work due to long Covid. The US is operating under Covid-19 public health emergency conditions.”Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s top medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had also said, “We are not where we need to be if we’re going to be able to, quote, ‘live with the virus,’ because we know we’re not going to eradicate it.”He also said, “How we respond and how we’re prepared for the evolution of these variants is going to depend on us and that gets to the other conflicting aspect of this — is the lack of a uniform acceptance of the interventions that are available to us in this country.”
Iran: No women should be persecuted for choosing what to wear
The death of Mahsa Amini—a 22-year-old girl who was on a visit to Tehran with her brother—has caused a furore in Iran against the strict hijab laws with protests breaking out across several parts of the country. Given this background, the article seeks to answer the question as to what this means for Iran and whether justice will be served after all.
The death of Mahsa Amini—a 22-year-old girl who was on a visit to Tehran with her brother—has caused a furor in Iran against the strict hijab laws, with protests breaking out across several parts of the country. Over the past few days, hundreds of people—especially women—have in fact come together to chant slogans against the Iranian authorities, with some going to the extent of taking off their hijabs in defiance of the local laws. In many places, women have also cut their hair and burned their hijabs as a mark of protest.
On September 13, Amini was arrested by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly not covering her hair with the Islamic headscarf, known as hijab, which is mandatory for Iranian women. And just a couple of hours later, she was hospitalised, falling into a coma. According to Iran’s security forces, Amini suffered a heart attack at the detention centre while receiving educational training on Hijab rules.
Amini collapsed as she attempted to get up from her seat to speak with a police officer at the station. She is then shown being carried away on a stretcher. The Iranian Interior Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, claimed that as per the reports he received, “Mahsa suffered from previous physical problems and she had undergone brain surgery at the age of five.”
Her family, however, disputes these claims, stating that she was absolutely healthy prior to her arrest and saying that the young girl had no history of heart trouble. The family also alleged that she sustained injuries during her time in custody, thereby pointing towards the fact that she might have been physically assaulted.
Even the acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nada al-Nashif, stated that reports suggest that the police hit Amini on the head with a baton and banged her head against one of their vehicles. After a photo and video of Amini lying unconscious on a hospital bed with blood oozing from her ear and bruises around her eyes went viral, several doctors confirmed that she had a concussion due to head injuries.
But while the truth about Amini’s arrest and her consequent death continues to remain a mystery, human rights groups such as Amnesty International have been demanding a criminal investigation into the matter. Similarly, Human Rights Watch has demanded the abolition of the Iranian morality police and religious laws that mandate women to wear headscarves. Josep Borrel, the spokesperson for EU foreign policy, went a step ahead and called for those responsible for Amini’s death to be held accountable.
The authorities have nevertheless opened an investigation to determine the cause of Amini’s death. Yet, the protesting Iranians doubt that the probe will be carried out in an objective or transparent manner. This perception predominantly emerges from the fact that this is not the first time that such an “unacceptable” incident has taken place in the Islamic nation.
Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, a mandatory dress code was imposed in Iran, which required all women to wear hijab and prohibited them from wearing clothes that exposed their skin or disguised their figure in public. The morality police units—formally known as “Gasht-e Ershad” (Guidance Patrols)—were tasked, among other things, with ensuring that women conform to this “proper” clothing. Punishments for violating the mandate included a fine, prison, or flogging.
Given this ruling, it is safe to say that in Iran, women—for years, perhaps decades—have been deprived of their fundamental right to choose what they wanted to wear or how they wanted to dress. But the Iranian women have not remained silent and have been protesting time and again, demonstrating their opposition against these rules.
In the past few years, these protests have, however, become increasingly visible and louder. But at the same time, the government under Raisi, the religious hardliners in the parliament, and the morality police units have also become stricter, thus coming down harder on women and the protestors.
According to a BBC report from 2018, more than 35 female protesters have been arrested in Tehran alone since December 2017.Police authorities also stated that women who took part in anti-hijab protests were confronted with up to ten years in prison. Furthermore, in April 2018, a female morality police officer in Tehran slapped a woman for wearing a loose headscarf.The incidence—although not uncommon—was filmed and shared on Instagram, receiving more than 3 million views.
Thus, the death of Mahsa Amini has lighted a spark of aggression all over again, with many cities in Iran now engulfed in its flame, a flame that has now started reaching abroad. But whether it results in any concrete action or not remains to be seen. However, the verdict among the public is clear—no woman should be persecuted for choosing what to wear.
Akanksha Khullar is an independent scholar working on gender issues, particularly on understanding the Women, Peace and Security agenda, and identifying how national, regional and international organisations contribute in shaping the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.
Lavrov defends Russia at UN showdown rife over Ukraine war
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was slammed by the US as well as its allies for having actually left the United Nations Security Council conference right away as he completed his speech in which he accused Ukrainian pressures of making “illegal” strikes on the “relaxed residents of Donbas.”
An US official boiled down greatly on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for only being at the United Nations Security Council meeting on Ukraine momentarily and also skipping the Russian objection from Western diplomats.
Blinken criticized Russia for its battle in Ukraine on Thursday and also kept in mind that nations consisting of those keeping “close connections” with Moscow have actually publicly condemned the conflict.
While Blinken was talking, Lavrov avoided the session. Taking a look at such a scene, an US official criticised Lavrov and also stated, “Lavrov apparently could not birth to listen to the clear and repetitive messages of condemnation of Russia’s battle versus Ukraine.
He strolled into the chamber right before his speaking slot and also left soon after.” The authorities said it signified Russian weak point and also a testament to the truth that Russians recognize that they are being isolated on the globe phase.
It concerns mention that the Russian Foreign Minister strolled into the UN Security Council meeting at roughly 11:30 am ET and took his seat at the table, nearly 1.5 hours late.
The council was reviewing the upkeep of tranquility and safety and security in Ukraine.
Earlier, at UNSC, Lavrov called Ukraine a “totalitarian Nazi-like state”, alleged that nation’s armed forces are using civilians as human guards. He additionally charged Ukrainian Head of state Volodymyr Zelensky and the “Kyiv regime” of “racist” as well as “anti-Russian” inspired aggressiveness. Ukraine has actually become a totalitarian Nazi-like state where the norms of humanitarian regulation are violated.
There is no surprise that their militaries in the nationwide squadrons are utilizing calm civilians as human shields: UNSC on Ukraine,” Lavrov stated in the UNSC rundown on Ukraine.
Malaria and diseases spreading fast in flood-hit Pak
As Pakistan continues to bear the brunt of ongoing floods, infectious diseases like malaria, typhoid, and dengue fever are fast spreading across regions as the death toll reached 324, authorities said on Wednesday.
The stagnant floodwaters have led to widespread cases of skin and eye infections, diarrhoea, malaria, typhoid and dengue fever across numerous provinces in Pakistan, triggering health threats to people in Pakistan.
Many people are in urgent need of food and medicine in flood-hit regions despite the efforts of the government and humanitarian organisations.
A majority of Pakistanis are unhappy with the government’s response to the unprecedented natural disaster that has ravaged millions of lives in the cash-strapped country, according to a survey.
This displeasure was evident in the latest Pattan survey published this week. The survey was conducted by community-based activists at 38 disaster-hit localities in 14 districts of three flood-hit provinces.
As per the survey, most localities were unhappy with the performance of state institutions. People in 92% of locations were forced to leave their villages and neighbourhoods due to floods, the survey said.
Iran deporting thousands of Afghan refugees
As Afghanistan continues to remain under the grip of a humanitarian crisis, more than 7,000 Afghan refugees have been deported by Iran in the past week, the Taliban-led Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation said on Thursday.
Earlier, Iran’s Ambassador to Kabul, Bahadur Aminian, said that around 3,000 Afghans per day are entering Iran illegally and the same amount are travelling to Iran with visas and legal documents.
“Most of those who go to Iran through illegal means face the risks of human trafficking and a lack of services,” Aminian said.
Before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, around 3.4 million refugees were living in Iran, of which roughly 2 million lacked the proper documentation to do so, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
For the past five years, Afghanistan’s situation has been a peculiar one in the region, with a steady increase of forcibly displaced people every year.
In Afghanistan, the number of internally displaced persons has been increasing rapidly in the past 5 years. Globally, Afghanistan remains the 6th largest IDP country and has the largest IDP population in Asia and the Pacific region at 3.5 million, a 20% increase compared to the previous year.
By the end of 2021, there will have been 7,77,000 newly displaced Afghans during the year due to the deterioration in conflict and insecurity in Afghanistan.
58% of the IDP population in Afghanistan are children under 18, and 21% are women.
The UNHCR report has argued that durable solutions for Afghans include voluntary repatriation, resettlement to a third country, local integration, naturalization, and return to the place of origin prior to displacement.
Earlier in a statement, Amnesty International urged all countries to cease deporting Afghan migrants to Turkey or Iran, where they risk incarceration, torture, other ill-treatment, and forced deportation to Afghanistan.
China Targeted Scientists Working in U.S. Labs
The Chinese government recruited scientists, who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, to assist China in advancing key military and dual-use technologies in areas such as hypersonics, deep-earth penetrating warheads, unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAV), and jet engines.
Strider Technologies is a security and intelligence firm located in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the US. The intelligence think tank enables clients to proactively identify, manage, and respond to nation-state-directed IP theft and supply chain vulnerabilities.
The report highlighted that in three decades, over 160 researchers returned to China to help with its nuclear and other advanced weapons programs.
“Between 1987 and 2021, at least 162 scientists who had worked at Los Alamos returned to China to support various domestic research and development (R&D) programs. Of those fifteen, thirteen were recruited into Chinese government talent programs; some were responsible for sponsoring visiting scholars and postdoctoral researchers from the PRC, and some received US government funding for sensitive research.
At least one of these staff members held a US Department of Energy (DOE) “Q Clearance,” allowing access to top-secret restricted data and national security information.
China is employing a Talent Superpower Strategy designed to incentivize academics, researchers, and scientists to go abroad, deepen their expertise, and return to China to advance its strategic interests.
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