On Monday 23 May 2011 China will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 17 Point Agreement. This document, signed in 1951 by China and by the Tibetan Government under duress, consolidated China's military invasion of Tibet. China sickeningly calls this the anniversary of the "peaceful liberation" of Tibet. In response to China's propaganda drive, the International Tibet Network and its Members have prepared a short report and website: '17 Points of Disagreement: 60 Years of China's failed policies in Tibet.'
Crisis in Ngaba, eastern Tibet: The crisis in Ngaba began on 16 March 2011 when a young monk named Phuntsok from Kirti Monastery set himself on fire. Phuntsok, who was heard to shout messages of support for the Dalai Lama, later died after the police extinguished the flames and were seen beating him. Phuntsok's action marked the third anniversary of events in 2008, when at least 10 Tibetans had been shot dead after Kirti monks began a demonstration, and was followed by a number of demonstrations.
In the days and weeks following Phuntsok's death, further protests have taken place and a standoff between military and local Tibetans has developed, with at least 34 detentions, beatings and an intensive "patriotic re-education" campaign. His Holiness has appealed for restraint and on 21 April the International Tibet Network issued a statement condemning China's crackdown. On the night of 21 April 300 monks were taken away from Kirti Monastery, Ngaba, by paramilitary police. Elderly Tibetans keeping vigil at the monastery to try and prevent any monks being removed were beaten, and two - both in their sixties - have died.
China's crackdown is reflected in a widespread suppression of dissidents across the mainland, with many Chinese lawyers, activists and netizens simply disappearing. You can help by urging the world's most influential leaders to stand up for Tibet and demand China cease its brutal crackdown on free speech.
Despite all this, Tibetans in Tibet continue to reassert their cultural identity; courageous singers, writers and bloggers are devoting their work to the enduring spirit of Tibetan resistance. Visit the International Tibet Network's "I Love Tibetan Cultural Resistance" website to read the inspiring literature, watch the music videos, and send a message to China's propaganda chiefs to stop the criminalisation of true Tibetan cultural expression.