Earlier this year, I wrote about a wonderful library project
that Tibetan friends in India are putting together for a Tibetan exile community there, with the support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Here's an update from my friend Phuntsok Dorjee, who is one of the organizers.
The Dalai Lama speaks to his followers at the Gaden Jangtse Thoesam Norling Monastery in Mundgod, 2014. REUTERS
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This Tibetan-style temple was constructed from people. The work, by Trina Merry, was mean to raise awareness of Beyond the Four Walls, a social business venture to support women in Nepal. Behind-the-scenes video below. More details at Laughing Squid. Read the rest
Filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen.
For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area who would like to show support, here's a quick update on the case of imprisoned Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, who made the documentary "Leaving Fear Behind
," which is embedded above. Wangchen and a collaborator who is a Tibetan monk are in prison in China for the crime of making this film
. It documents the opinions of ordinary Tibetan people about China's communist government, and the exiled Dalai Lama, in the year leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They interviewed 108 Tibetan people; that number is a sacred number in Tibetan Buddhism.
From filmingfortibet.org and friends-of-tibet.org:
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The International Campaign for Tibet
reports that "Two Tibetan monks were shot in the head and several others seriously injured after Chinese police opened fire at a crowd gathered to peacefully celebrate the 78th birthday of the Dalai Lama in Nyitso, Tawu, eastern Tibet, on Saturday (July 6)." Read the rest
As the world marks the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday, the Tibetan community marks a grim milestone: 120 Tibetans, mostly youth, have burned themselves alive to protest China's repressive rule. Xeni Jardin
traveled to Washington, DC to document a group of Tibetan-American activists asking lawmakers to open up immigration doors for political refugees, and hold China accountable.
The pro-Tibetan sovereignty news site phayul.com reports that Jigjey Kyab, 17
, was found dead this week due to suspected self-poisoning, just before a planned self-immolation. The teen doused himself with kerosene and was carrying two lighters in his hands. His body was recovered from a busy street in his home town in the Luchu region of eastern Tibet. Read the rest
If you're in Southern California, here's a week-long event well worth checking out. Starting this weekend, The Santa Barbara Summit for Tibet (SBST) is hosting a "Tibetan Cultural Week of Celebration and Education to increase awareness in our city of the Tibetan culture’s philosophical and spiritual richness, as well as the challenges it faces."
Here's a schedule of events, all of which are free to the public.
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Kylin, "Dtsi Legomandala," combining the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual practice of creating and ritualistically dismantling ornate sand mandalas with the contemporary medium of LEGO.
On December 1st, 2012, 6pm-9pm, Tibet House in New York is hosting a silent art auction featuring live music performances, and bidding on art by a number of different artists to benefit Students for a Free Tibet.
Ryan McGinness, Mark Borthwick, Sasquatch 23, Michael Avedon, Bwana Spoons, Kenji Hitara, Cody Hudson, Rostarr, Kiino Villand, and Shepard Fairey (work shown at left) are among the artists represented.
For those who can't attend in person, you can participate via the online auction. Online bidding is now open.
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At least 68 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since March 2011 in protest against Chinese rule over Tibetan regions; 56 have died. Despite this, Reuters reports
that a government official said today that China "will not allow foreign observers into restive Tibet to probe human rights abuses... dismissing mounting international pressure for an independent investigation in the troubled mountainous region." Read the rest
"On the eve of China's leadership transition, amid the wave of Tibetan self-immolations, we needed to inject humor and hope into an otherwise terrifying situation."
Lobsang Kalsang, an 18-year-old monk, and Damchoek, a 17-year-old former monk, set themselves on fire on Monday morning near Kirti Monastery in Aba county, in the Tibetan region
. This brings the number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire since 2009 to 51. (BBC News) Read the rest
A woman identified as Rikyo, said to be 33 years old and the mother of three young children, burned herself to death today in what is believed to have been another desperate act of protest against China’s repressive policies in Tibet. According to the Tibetan pro-sovereignty website Phayul, she set herself on fire near the Jonang Zamthang Gonchen monastery in Zamthang county, in Ngaba region, the epicenter of a continuing wave of Tibetan self-immolations.
Rikyo’s body is currently being kept at the Jonang Monastery, although Chinese security personnel have reportedly demanded the body to be removed. Rikyo is survived by her husband and three children, the eldest, a 9-year old son and two daughters aged 7 and 5.
Just three days ago, two ethnic Tibetan men self-immolated in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, at what is considered to be the ancient city's most important temple. Chinese police and firefighters arrived at Jokhang, extinguished flames, and removed the men. Their whereabouts and conditions are unknown.
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