Thursday, December 10, 2015

KFC prepares to open first outlet in Tibet

KFC is expected to open its first restaurant in Tibet next year, as part of a regional push that will see it expand in China and shake off food scares and marketing blunders that have severely dented sales in that country.
The move comes as Yum – which owns the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands –prepares to spin off its business in China. The China unit aims to roughly triple its restaurant count to 20,000 and bring in more franchise partners.A franchisee will open the KFC restaurant in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, offering its American-style fried chicken in the first half of 2016, parent company Yum Brands Inc said in a statement.
Yum has been trying to win back customers after negative publicity stemming from food supply controversies. In 2014, a supplier to both Yum and McDonald’s apologised for selling expired meat to the chains. It was one of a series of food scandals that appear to have affected sales.
KFC pulled its plans to set up shop in Tibet more than a decade ago, saying in 2004 it was not “economically feasible” to enter the region. The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader and a staunch vegetarian, opposed Yum’s plans at the time.
As China’s economy stutters, Yum’s 6,900 China restaurants face the challenge of luring diners who increasingly are looking for healthier, local options and going online to hunt for deals.
Yum executives are hosting an investor meeting in Dallas on Thursday, where they are expected to unveil more details about the China spinoff planned for late 2016.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report
Source Credit: The Guardian

Friday, November 13, 2015

Chinese paper claims Pelosi ‘praised’ progress in Tibet on rare visit. That seems unlikely.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and delegation of congressional Democrats made a rare visit to Tibet this week. We know this because a senior Chinese official, Zhang Dejiang, the head of China's legislature, askedher about it at a meeting in Beijing on Thursday, just before reporters were ushered away.
Both the Chinese foreign ministry and a representative for Pelosi (D-Calif.) later confirmed the visit, but provided scant details about the delegation's travels in a part of China mostly closed to foreign journalists.
"The only thing we have been confirming is that they were in Lhasa from Monday through Wednesday. We have not offered any characterization of the trip whatsoever," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammil told Reuters in a piece published Thursday.
source Credit: The Washington Post

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tibetan Diaspora in Exile Election

EDITORIAL: Eversince the voluntary devolution of political authority by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the democratic process of electing " Sikyong" or the Chief Executive of the Kashag, the Tibetan Administration based in Dharamsala, India had been vibrant and more participatory in the process.
Last election five years ago have witnessed the robust and energetic participation of the candidates seeking the prize position and people's involvement in the electoral process through social medias.
The ball was set rolling for the next election of the Sikyong and the "Chitues" members of Assembly{legislative branch) recently. The preliminary election will be held in October, this year and the final election will be held on March 2016.

The prospective candidates will campaign hard through various means available including personal appearances and through various social medias.

To maintain the clean and controversy free dispensation of campaign and electoral process, both electors and the candidates for election  have responsibilty to meet. They can ensure the process to be clean and fair, if they follow the following ethics:

1. Electors or the Voters: The voters must have open mind in exercising their choice. They must refrain from making choice based on partiality, nepotism and favoritism. They must make their choices based on the candidates' ability, capability, honesty and integrity. In other words, use your own conscience and acumen.

2.The Candidates:  Lay out your case and your plan of action. Tell electorates "why you are best amongst the rest?"

Make an effort to connect with the electorates through your agendas.

Refrain from making personal attack and baseless allegation. Criticise the opponents work not the opponent.

Do not invoke His Holiness the Dalai Lama in your campaign . Dalai lama is very personal to Tibetan. Invoking Dalai lama in the process is neither fair nor necesary. Doing so will limit the people from making educated decision. It is  given that all candidates will mention that His Holiness the Dalai Lama wishes and aspiration will be of paramount importance.

Keep the democratic process vibrant, free and fair. Use your head and not your heart.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

China refuses to hand over Tibetan lama's body

BEIJING -- Chinese authorities have refused to release the body of a Tibetan lama who died in a Chinese prison, prompting a sit-in outside the prison by more than 100 Tibetans, a pro-Tibet rights group said Wednesday.
The family was informed Sunday that Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, 65, died 13 years into a life sentence on charges of financing and supporting a series of terrorist bombings and secession activities. His supporters say the charges were trumped up to persecute the man.
The prison has not produced the lama's body after two days of negotiations between the police and the monk's immediate family, the New York-based Students for a Free Tibet said Wednesday in a statement. The family wants to perform Tibetan Buddhist funeral rites on the body.
"Our only request is to have his body," said Dolkar, the monk's sister, who was in Dazhu county in southwestern Sichuan province, which borders the Tibetan region. Like many Tibetans, she goes by one name.
She said the family also was denied access to see the lama's remains, his death certificate and medical records.
Calls to the prison were unanswered Wednesday.
Tenzin Delek was arrested in 2002 in connection with a blast in Chengdu city that wounded three people.
Human rights groups have long said the lama was persecuted by the Chinese and arrested on false charges because he advocated for Tibetan rights. His suspended death sentence was later commuted to life in prison. He continued to maintain his innocence.
Students for a Free Tibet expressed concern that the group outside the prison could themselves face danger.
Last year, the monk's family had applied for medical parole for him on the grounds that he suffered from a heart condition, high blood pressure, dizzy spells and problems with his legs that had caused him to fall down frequently.
Authorities never responded to the request.
In Washington, members of the House of Representatives also demanded Chinese authorities return the lama's body to his family members for a funeral.
At a hearing on Tibet by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on Tuesday, movie actor Richard Gere, a longstanding advocate for Tibetan freedom, called the monk "one of the good men of the community" who found commonality between Tibetans and Chinese.
source credit: the CBS News

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Tibet’s tough road ahead

The 80th birthday Monday of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, is an occasion to celebrate the life of an extraordinary individual. Since his flight from Tibet to India in 1959, the Dalai Lama has built religious, educational and political institutions to serve and unite the Tibetan community in exile. He has travelled the world to promote the Tibetan cause and expound the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. And he has formulated a conciliatory “Middle Way Approach” to resolving the Sino-Tibetan conflict that respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity even as it seeks to preserve Tibet’s culture, religion and identity. These accomplishments, and the Dalai Lama’s infectious laugh and warmth, explain why he is such a beloved and respected figure throughout the world.
As joyful as the occasion of his 80th birthday is, however, it comes at a grim time for the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan freedom movement. The Chinese government has broken off negotiations on Tibet’s status, accusing the Dalai Lama of deceitfully trying to split China and of inciting the 2008 Lhasa uprising, charges that are offensive in addition to being entirely untrue. In April, it issued a white paper saying that talks would not be reopened until the Dalai Lama acknowledged that “Tibet has been an integral part of China since antiquity,” something he cannot agree to since it is contradicted by the historical record and overlooks the fact that Communist China invaded Tibet and illegally annexed it in 1959.
Having rejected compromise and dialogue as the way to end Tibetan resistance to its rule, the Chinese government has opted for harsh repression, forced assimilation and the systematic effort to destroy the Tibetan religion, language and distinct national identity. Tibet has been flooded with Han Chinese settlers; monasteries have been placed under direct government controlwriters have been arrested and tortured; and more than 2 million nomads have been forcibly resettled in urban areas, destroying their traditional way of life and disrupting the fragile ecosystem of the Tibet Plateau.
In response to these and other harsh measures, which the Dalai Lama has called “cultural genocide,” more than 140 Tibetans have immolated themselves in desperate protest against Chinese oppression. This further enraged the regime, which called upon local security forces to “smash disorder, in order to maintain general harmony and stability.” But as 29 dissident Chinese intellectuals said in a call for dialogue with the Dalai Lama, “A country that wishes to avoid the partition of its territory must first avoid divisions among its nationalities.”With the Dalai Lama turning 80, a contest is already developing over his succession. In Tibetan Buddhism, reincarnation is a fundamental tenet, and only the Dalai Lama has the authority to choose whether and through whom he will reincarnate. Yet Beijing has already approved guidelines giving the communist government control of the process. This contest takes place against the background of Chinese authorities having kidnapped in 1995 the 6-year-old boy identified by the Dalai Lama as the incarnation of the Panchen Lama, the second most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism, and replaced him with another boy.
The fact that the Chinese-imposed Panchen Lama continues to be categorically rejected by Tibetans should indicate how inflammatory it would be if Beijing tried to impose its choice for the next Dalai Lama. But that’s exactly what it intends to do, except that the Dalai Lama has hinted that he might not reincarnate at all. Zhu Weiqun, a top Communist Party official dealing with Tibet, angrily called the Dalai Lama’s statement “a betrayal” of Tibetan Buddhism and accused him of taking “a frivolous attitude toward his own succession.” Such shameless impudence by a spokesman for an atheistic party would be laughable were his words not the official policy of the Chinese government.
The Dalai Lama has said that he will consult with the high Lamas of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as with the Tibetan public and other concerned people, before taking a decision on “whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or not.” These words reflect a spirit of democratic inclusiveness that has characterized his leadership, including his decision to devolve political authority to a democratically elected exile government.
It is ironic that at a time of democratic malaise in the West, this “simple Buddhist monk,” as he calls himself, from a remote non-Western civilization has emerged as a fervent defender of democratic values and arguably the world’s leading exponent of nonviolence and religious freedom.
As we celebrate the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday, let us remember the suffering of the Tibetan people and pray that it will come to an end.

Source Credit: The Washington Post

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Another deadly earthquake spreads fear and misery in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) - A new earthquake killed dozens of people Tuesday and spread more fear and misery in Nepal, which is still struggling to recover from a devastating quake nearly three weeks ago that left more than 8,000 dead.
The magnitude-7.3 quake, centered midway between Kathmandu and Mount Everest, struck hardest in the foothills of the Himalayas, triggering some landslides, but it also shook the capital badly, sending thousands of terrified people into the streets.
Nepal's Parliament was in session when the quake hit, and frightened lawmakers ran for the exits as the building shook and the lights flickered out.
At least 37 people were killed in the quake and more than 1,100 were injured, according to the Home Ministry. But that toll was expected to rise as reports began reaching Kathmandu of people in isolated Himalayan towns and villages being buried under rubble, according to the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Tremors radiated across parts of Asia. In neighboring India, at least 16 people were confirmed dead after rooftops or walls collapsed onto them, according to India's Home Ministry. Chinese media reported one death in Tibet.
The magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit April 25 killed more than 8,150 and flattened entire villages, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless in the country's worst-recorded quake since 1934. The U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday's earthquake was the largest aftershock to date of that destructive quake.
Tuesday's temblor was deeper, however, coming from a depth of 18.5 kilometers (11.5 miles) versus the earlier one at 15 kilometers (9.3 miles). Shallow earthquakes tend to cause more damage.
At least three people were rescued Tuesday in Kathmandu, while another nine pulled to safety in the district of Dolkha, the government said.
Rescue helicopters were sent to mountain districts where landslides and collapsed buildings may have buried people, the government said. Home Ministry official Laxmi Dhakal said the Sindhupalchowk and Dolkha districts were the worst hit.
Search parties fanned out to look for survivors in the wreckage of collapsed buildings in Sindhupalchowk's town of Chautara, which had become a hub for humanitarian aid after last month's quake.
Impoverished Nepal appealed for billions of dollars in aid from foreign nations, as well as medical experts to treat the wounded and helicopters to ferry food and temporary shelters to hundreds of thousands left homeless amid unseasonal rains.
Tuesday's quake was followed closely by at least 10 strong aftershocks, according to the USGS.
Early reports indicated at least two buildings had collapsed in Kathmandu, though at least one had been unoccupied due to damage it sustained on April 25. Experts say the earlier quake caused extensive structural damage even in buildings that did not topple, and that many could be in danger of collapse.
Frightened residents in the capital, who had returned to their homes only a few days ago, once again set up tents Tuesday night with plans to sleep in empty fields, parking lots and on sidewalks.
"Everyone was saying the earthquakes are over. ... Now I don't want to believe anyone," said 40-year-old produce vendor Ram Hari Sah as he searched for a spot to pitch the orange tarpaulin to shelter his family. "We are all scared, we are terrified. I would rather deal with mosquitoes and the rain than sleep in the house."
Extra police were sent to patrol ad-hoc camping areas, while drinking water and extra tents were being provided, according to Kathmandu administrator Ek Narayan Aryal.
"I thought I was going to die this time," said Sulav Singh, who rushed with his daughter into a street in the suburban neighborhood of Thapathali. "Things were just getting back to normal, and we get this one."
Paul Dillon, a spokesman with the International Organization for Migration, said he saw a man in Kathmandu who had apparently run from the shower with shampoo covering his head. "He was sitting on the ground, crying," Dillon said.
Meanwhile, new landslides blocked mountain roads in the district of Gorkha, one of the regions hit hardest on April 25, while previously damaged buildings collapsed with the latest quake.
Residents of the small town of Namche Bazaar, about 50 kilometers (35 miles) from the epicenter of Tuesday's quake and a well-known spot for high-altitude trekkers, said a couple of buildings damaged earlier had collapsed there as well. However, there were no reports of deaths or injuries in the town.
The earth also shook strongly across the border in Tibet, unleashing a landslide that killed one person and injured three, according to China Central Television. Two houses also collapsed, the state broadcaster said, quoting disaster relief headquarters of the regional Tibetan government.
Source Credit: Associated Press

Friday, April 10, 2015

Dalai Lama calls China's leadership ‘realistic,’ says open to renewed talks

GIFU--Even though he is forced to live in exile, the Dalai Lama had words of praise for China’s current leadership and its aggressive attempts at reform, and said he is willing to continue dialogue with Beijing on autonomy.
“Today’s China, compared with (that of) a few years ago, (has) changed much under the leadership of Xi Jinping,” the 14th Dalai Lama told The Asahi Shimbun in an interview here on April 8. “They are seriously struggling (to tackle) corruption.”
The Tibetan spiritual leader, who began his visit to Japan on April 2, described the Xi administration as being “more realistic” than past Chinese governments, and said he would keep a close watch on Beijing’s reaction to his offer to resume talks.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to lecture on Buddhist teachings in Tokyo on April 12 and 13, which will be aired live at movie theaters across Japan.
While official dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama’s envoys ground to a halt in 2010, the Tibetan leader said Tibet will not seek independence. He said he is prepared to reopen talks at any time with the Chinese government.
“Contact (with Beijing) is still there,” the Dalai Lama said. “We will see, for our part, no change. (We are) still fully committed to the ‘middle way’ approach.”
“Hard-liners still accuse (us) of being separatists, (though we are) actually not. The whole world knows we are not seeking independence,” he said. “Some moderate leaders are quite keen to find some mutually good solution.”
With regard to the selection of his successor, the Dalai Lama stressed the decision should be left “up to the Tibetan people.”
He added that he discussed the issue with Tibet’s Buddhist leaders several years ago.
“My physical condition is quite good. Some even say--I (will be) 80 (in July)--I may live another 20 years,” he said. “We (will) discuss the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama (further), then finalize it when my age reaches around 90.”
His remarks were in response to concerns among some Tibetans that a failure to select his successor may deal a blow to the campaign for autonomy.
Source Credit: The Asahi Shimbun