For the crime of talking to a western media outlet about his native tongue, Tashi Wangchuk has been sentenced to prison.
Back in 2015, Mr. Tashi spoke to the New York Times about his concerns that Tibetans were in danger of losing their native language. It was a problem that had been brewing for a while. Tibet declared independence from the much larger nation in 1913. They had their culture, their Dalai Lama and their territory. Things were good… for around 36 years. In 1949, Mao Zedong got China all hot and horny for Communism. Looking to regain the lands that they felt belonged to them, for political and defensive reasons, The People’s Republic of China invaded Tibet in 1950, invaded Tibet, scourging the nation’s culture, language and beliefs in an effort to bring it into line with China’s political doctrine.
China’s never relented its stranglehold on Tibet’s politics but, over time, it did come to allow a certain amount of levity for ethnic minorities, not just in Tibet, but in other Chinese territories (both traditionally recognized or taken by force). Diversity in custom and language were begrudgingly tolerated. In 1984, China went so far as to protect the right to the preservation of language and culture, so long as it didn’t get in the way of their political agenda, under the law. So, when Mr. Tashi chatted with The Grey Lady, he assumed that he and the Chinese government would be cool.
He couldn’t have been more wrong.
The most recent iteration of the Central People’s Government holds a more assimilationist approach to governance: One people, one language, yadda yadda. Read the rest
Marriott has fired one of its social media managers because the employee "wrongfully liked" a tweet from Friends of Tibet, a group that supports Tibetan independence from China.
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Editor's note: Here's an inspiring update on a cool project some friends of ours are doing in India. About a year ago, Boing Boing readers began contributing to help the Tibetan exile community in Mundgod, India build the region's first free Tibetan public library, with the support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Shiwatso Library is now open for reading! “We have visitors checking out books from the Library and also coming to read,” says Phuntsok Dorjee, who is one of the organizers, and was raised in one of the refugee settlements there. Read the rest
In this clip from “Good Morning Britain,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama pulls off what may be the greatest Donald Trump impression ever by a Tibetan monk.
The interview in which this fabulous impression was given by His Holiness was conducted by Piers Morgan, and for surviving that the Tibetan spiritual leader has our greatest empathy.
Earlier this year, His Holiness was asked by a somewhat less vile American news reporter to comment on Trump in another television interview. “That's your business,” he said, declining the opportunity to throw shade.
[Guardian via Jigme Ugen] Read the rest
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. Read the rest
“To shine a spotlight on the widespread use of torture in Tibet, British actors lent their voices to Tibetan torture survivors who can not speak out for themselves. In this video, Alan Rickman reads the testimony of Tibetan torture survivor, Phuntsog.”
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Jason Louv reports on a surprising decision and what it means for Tibet's uncertain future
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: Read the rest
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.
One day of the year is most important for all Tibetans; those inside Tibet as well as those in diaspora across the globe. March 10 is Tibetan Uprising Day, and we who live in the free world shall protest in front of Chinese consulates and other sites, to amplify our voices on behalf of all who are voiceless inside Tibet.
Ever since China's military invasion of Tibet in 1949-1950, the religion, the cultural heritage and sovereignty of the Tibetan people have been severely compromised.
With the signing of the 17-Point Agreement with the Chinese signed under duress on May 23, 1951, Tibet surrendered its sovereignty to the Chinese for the first time in its long history. Tibetans hoped that Beijing would comply with the Chinese side of the agreement. But that did not happen.
The situation inside Tibet deteriorated progressively, year after year following the invasion. The human rights of Tibetans were not honored. Read the rest
Lama Losang Samten explains some of the history and symbolism behind the Tibetan "Wheel of Life" mandala.
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. Read the rest
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. Read the rest
At least 24 ethnic Tibetans have burned themselves alive this month alone, in "a dramatic acceleration of the protests against authoritarian Chinese rule," and "a new phase in the Tibetan protests," according to the AP. Close to 100 have self-immolated since 2009, but what's different, in addition to the sheer numbers, is that most self-immolators now are lay people, not monks or nuns. Read the rest