Mask Dances of Ladakh & Zanskar - Sacred Religious Dances - Maskentänze und religiöse Zermonien in den buddhistischen Klöstern der indischen Himalaya-Regionen Ladakh, Zanskar, Nubra und Changtang - Foto- und Dokumentationsprojekt (seit 2004) - Bildband & Foto-Ausstellung in Arbeit - Weitere Infos: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Meditation Centre (MIMC) was founded in the year
1986. Since then it is devoted to the service of humanity based
on universal compassion and love as expounded by Lord Buddha.
International Festival of Buddhist Heritage of Ladakh (IFBHL)
has been one of our major activities since its inception in
2012. The primary objective of the Festival is to create
awareness, showcase and preserve the rich cultural and spiritual
heritage of the Himalayas. Eminent scholars, politicians, social
and religious heads from different countries lend distinction to
the event by their august presence and enthusiastic
participation every year. The Festival brings together seekers
of truth and lovers of peace from all over the world.
Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre will be hosting the 4th
International Festival of Buddhist Heritage of Ladakh from 22nd
to 30th August, 2015. The festival focuses on
showcasing, conserving and preserving the rich cultural heritage
year, the main theme of the festival will be ‘responsible and
sustainable tourism’. Over the last few decades,
tourism has become an important component of the Ladakhi
economy. It has also been an important driver of social and
cultural change. The 4th edition of the festival will
facilitate discussions to explore how tourism can be harmonized
with Ladakhi heritage preservation.
with the previous editions of the International Festival of
Buddhist Heritage of Ladakh, the 4th edition will
include International cultural performances, the International
Buddhist Film Festival, Seminars, Meditation Sessions and
Cultural Tours to different regions of Ladakh, witnessing the
Holy mask-dance by the monks of the Hemis Monastery, special
session on Buddhist Heritage of Ladakh by UNESCO experts etc.
The 4th edition of the festival will include special
Yoga Sessions by the world renowned Yoga master – Swami Baba
Ramdev of Patanjali
Yogpeeth in Haridwar to encourage physical and mental
events of the festival will be held in different parts of Leh
town and areas around it including the Mahabodhi International
Meditation Centre campus, Hemis Monastery and Pethub (Spituk)
dignitaries have already confirmed their participation in the
festival. This includes several Rinpoches and leaders of other
religions, Yoga masters, scholars, diplomats and government
officials. In addition, a cultural troupe from Thailand has also
confirmed their participation in the festival.
festival is open to everyone interested in learning and
contributing to the preservation of Ladakh’s rich cultural and
a well-wisher and supporter of MIMC, you are warmly invited to
participate and enjoy the fabulous programs of the unique
LAUNCH OF PRO-PASTORALIST REPORT ON TIBETAN NOMADS
UNDER CHINA’S POLICY OF CLOSING PASTURELANDS UPRIVER FROM INDIA
out of Tibet and China, converging on a new understanding of why nomadic
pastoralism is what suits the Tibetan Plateau best, feature in a new report, “Wasted Lives: A Critical Analysis of China’s
Campaign to End Tibetan Pastoralist Lifeways,” launched globally on 30 May
2015 in Delhi.
about Tibet usually feature predictable language. Seldom are Tibetan voices
heard. This report is fresh, and full of new ideas, new facts, new voices and
an original synthesis of a wide range of sources. Far from being only a story
of loss, Chinese and Tibetan scientists now agree on a new paradigm, restoring
pastoral mobility as the key to success, conservation and productivity across a
vast rangeland in the sky, the Tibetan Plateau.
report, Tibetan nomadic pastoralists speak up, about China’s policy of removing
them to concrete block settlements on urban fringes, where thousands of years
of accumulated knowledge of rangeland and livestock breeding becomes useless,
redundant and wasted.
pastoralists of the Tibetan Plateau, though we so seldom hear their voices,
have much to say in defence of their skills, lands and livelihoods, having
learned to make habitable a huge plateau now being depopulated.
co-publication, by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Development (TCHRD), and
the League for Pastoral Peoples (LPP) is a call for China to reconsider the
current policy of “close pasture to grow more grass” (tuimu huancao in Chinese) which is
removing productive pastoralists from the production landscapes of Tibet.
Plateau, 79% the size of the whole of India, is the source of the great rivers
of Asia. Those rivers flow from their glacial sources across the pastures and
alpine meadows, their purity and environmental services sustained by millions
of pastoralists. Now the pastoralists are blamed for degradation which is
actually due to mistaken policies of constricting herds and herders to small
plots, that are compulsorily fenced, and policies of encouraging mobile
pastoralists to settle permanently. Tibet is now losing its food security, and
its pastoralists are now welfare dependants leading meaningless lives, with no
entry into modern income sources.
presents detailed evidence that China fails to understand its grasslands, and
has made successive policy mistakes over decades, culminating in the current
countries, including India, are at risk. Where there are no longer local
populations to defend their land, miners move in, legal and illegal, to strip
Tibet of its many minerals, usually unaccountably and with no concern for
environmental impacts. When mineral wastes get into the rivers, they flow
towards India and Bangladesh down the Brahmaputra and its many Tibetan
tributaries. These rivers naturally carry a tolerable baseload of metals, any
increase is dangerous.
India are not only immediate neighbours; both are milk cultures, civilisations
based on a shared intimacy and respect for the cow (in Tibetan dri, the female yak) and dairy
civilisations share a respect for nature not always found elsewhere.
This is a
India is used to debating whether public policy succeeds in being pro-farmer.
Beyond the farmland is the dryland, upland pastoral land, which is surprisingly
productive, and sustainable, in the right, skilled hands. The pastoralists of
the Tibetan Plateau, and India, have bred animals specifically suited to local
conditions, creating a bank of genetic resources, local specialty products and
a global trade in luxury fine wools. Yet China persists in treating its
pastoralists as ignorant, backward and primitive, to be blamed for rangeland
degradation that originates in top-down policies created in distant cities.
China needs policies that are pro-pastoralist, instead of blaming the victims
of policies that have driven herders into poverty and now widespread exclusion
and displacement from their ancestral lands and livelihoods.
was compiled by Gabriel Lafitte, who
drew together all available information, and testimony of Tibetan pastoralists,
in a thoroughly referenced, comprehensive account of how this tragedy
originated, and what alternatives are available. Gabriel Lafitte is editor of a
blog on the nomads of Tibet, www.rukor.org and author of Spoiling Tibet: China and
Resource nationalism on the Roof of the World (Zed Books, 2013).
speaker at the launch is Ilse
Köhler-Rollefson, of the League for Pastoral Peoples, who is deeply
familiar with the pastoralists of India and elsewhere, and their
indigenous knowledge as keepers of genetic diversity the world may well need in
a time of accelerating climate change.
Mr Tempa Tsering, representative of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Delhi will chair the discussion during the
was commissioned by TCHRD, the only human rights monitoring agency set up and run by
Tibetans, and TCHRD Executive Director Tsering
Tsomo will be available to media at the launch.
-- Tsering Tsomo (Ms) Executive Director Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy Top Floor, Narthang Building Gangchen Kyishong Dharamsala - 176215 Himachal Pradesh, India
Is there anything new that can be said about the
disappearing nomads of Tibet? For years they have been removed from the plateau
pastures that purify the great rivers of Asia, to be rehoused in concrete
barracks, without their animals or livelihood. This is usually reported as
coercion by a state determined to end nomadism. That has become a standard
narrative. The alternative narrative, generated by China’s official media, is
that the nomads are all voluntary ‘ecological migrants’ giving up their lands
for the greater good of the planet, to allow degrading lands to become a
wilderness of pristine grassland, to better protect those rivers watering
almost all of Asia.
Correspondents, seldom allowed access to report from
Tibetan pasture lands the size of Western Europe, can only choose which of
these two narratives to run with. The result, for over a decade, has been a debate going round in circles: coercion
Wasted Lives: China’s campaign to end Tibetan nomadic lifeways cuts
through these stereotypes and extremes, with a wealth of new evidence. This in-depth report, by Tibetan Centre for Human Rights &
Democracy and League for Pastoral
Peoples takes the reader onto the pasture, to hear Tibetan voices. That is
what has been strikingly missing till date.
Once we start to listen to what Tibetans can tell us, a
new picture emerges, more complex and disturbing. The nomads tell of being
pushed and pulled by a long history of official Chinese policies that aimed to
intensify meat production while also conserving land and water. The unintended
result of all the laws, regulations and instructions was to confine nomads to
allocated parcels of land. Their customary mobility was restricted to areas
compulsorily fenced, leaving nomads little flexibility, in an extreme climate,
to maintain production on land that was thus pushed too hard, because choice
Not only did China’s sedentarisation
policy perversely cause degradation, despite having quite different
intentions, it also drove many nomads
yak size shrank, land tenure was given and then taken away, with no social
security to support nomads when natural disasters –blizzards and gales- strike.
Poor people have few choices. When the cadres come to the
village, and announce that a fixed percentage of the population must move to
barracks on the edge of a distant town, it is the poor, the chronically ill and
those hoping a distant school gives their children a chance, who are the first
to move. Whether this is voluntary or coercive is not the point: China uses
push and pull, incentives and disincentives, to implement its policy of grazing
bans and closing the best pasture lands in Tibet, which are on the headwaters
of the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers.
BEYOND THE SAME
What emerges in this retelling is not only the grief of skilled pastoralists who now lead wasted
lives, redundant to the requirements of China’s commoditised meat machine,
but also their hopeful embrace of a new paradigm sweeping the pastoral lands of
revolution has quietly gathered momentum. Wherever there
are pastoralists, there is now a fresh understanding that, far from being to
blame for desertification, there are skilful stewards of drylands whose
willingness to maintain mobility enables them to live productively and in
environmentally sustainable ways from uncertain, unpredictable climates. In
China, the biggest grassland country in the world, there are now Chinese
scientists speaking up at every opportunity for the new paradigm, explaining
how the old paradigm, of sedentarising nomads, has caused only perverse,
unintended outcomes, chiefly the land degradation that is blamed on ignorant,
uncaring, selfish nomads.
So a new story emerges, and a convergence between Chinese
science challenging orthodoxy, and the voices of the nomads, not only
protesting at wasting their lives as urban fringe dwellers with no entry into
the modern economy, but looking ahead to
the new pro-pastoralist paradigm renewing their stewardship. The scientists
and the nomads agree that Tibetan nomads successfully conserved for huge
wildlife herds of antelope and gazelles, for the hardy grasses of the alpine
meadows for the past 9000 years, while also being highly productive. It is possible to be both sustainable and
productive, it is not necessary to choose one to the exclusion of the other, as
is happening now when pasturelands are declared nature reserves and national
parks, excluding on paper all human use, in practice allowing illegal miners
into the emptied, depopulated landscapes.
Not only does this report cut through the voluntary vs
coercive debate, it introduces us to the
voices of a new generation of Tibetan researchers, on the pasture, able to
analyse past policy failures and look ahead to the latest initiative, by
charismatic lamas deeply trusted by the nomads, urging nomads to refrain from
selling animals into the slaughterhouse meat commodity chain. This return to
public life of the lamas, despite restrictions, gives direction to nomads, who
vow, in public ceremonies, to forego the quick gains of commercial slaughter
for the traditional nomadic virtues of keeping as many beloved animals on the
hoof as possible.
There is much that
is new in this report; plenty to chew on for those who would like to see
the vast rangelands of the Tibetan Plateau for themselves but cannot get access. Here is a way beyond
the stereotypes of noble ecological migrant vs
passive victim of coercion. There is much to tell the world.
At the launch TCHRD Executive Director Tsering Tsomo and the
report’s author Gabriel Lafitte along with Dr. Ilse Köhler-Rollefson of League
for Pastoral Peoples will be available for media Q&A.
Dr. Ilse Köhler-Rollefson, Projects Coordinator of League
for Pastoral Peoples, is a native of Germany but has been partly based in Rajasthan
(India) since she met the Raika camel pastoralists during a research fellowship
on camel socioeconomics and management systems in 1990/1991. Her academic
background is in veterinary medicine and anthropology and her research has been
supported by the German Research Foundation, National Geographic Society,
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Alexander von Humboldt
Foundation, and the American Institute of Indian Studies. She has more than 100
scientific publications in journals spanning various disciplines and published
a number of monographs. She is also the author of the blog about pastotalists,
called Animal Cultures.
Mr Gabriel Lafitte, Australian researcher and
environmentalist, is editor of a blog on the nomads of Tibet,
www.rukor.org and author of Spoiling
Tibet: China and Resource nationalism on the Roof of the World (Zed Books,
30 May 2015
Restro Bar, Foreign Correspondents Club, New Delhi
11 am – 1 pm
Tsering Tsomo (Ms) Executive Director Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy Top Floor, Narthang Building Gangchen Kyishong Dharamsala - 176215 Himachal Pradesh, India