The popular Tibetan blogger and intellectual Druklo, more widely known by his pen name Shokjang, has written an eloquent and remarkable letter from detention appealing against his three-year prison sentence. The letter, which is translated in full below into English after it was circulated on Chinese social media, was handwritten in Tibetan and addressed to the Qinghai Higher People’s Court. There was widespread dismay when Shokjang was detained by security police on March 19, 2015, and sentenced to three years in prison, with numerous netizens expressing their sadness, and Shokjang’s innocence. An intellectual, blogger and writer, Shokjang is known for his reflective and thought-provoking articles on issues of contemporary concern such as ethnic policy and settlement of nomads.
Widerstand in Tibet
Three Tibetans were arrested last week in what locals believe were reprisals for their participation in discussions on Tibet’s recent elections. Two men, Samdup and Rongsher, and one woman, Lhadon, were arrested at around 10am on 30 March in Matoe County in Golog, eastern Tibet. Authorities did not give formal reasons for the arrests, but local Tibetans said that they were due to the three participating in a discussion related to the election in different WeChat groups with Tibetans in exile. The three are currently being held at the County’s People Court. Their family members have not been allowed to meet with them. […] Take action –
Communicating with the outside world is one of numerous crimes that can lead to Tibetans being arrested. Tibetans that are held in unkown locations while being interrogated or awaiting trial are at serious risk of torture. Tell China’s authorities to obey international law and stop torture in Tibet.
Dharamshala — A Tibetan political prisoner who is serving a 15-year sentence on false charges of ‚espionage‘ is said to be seriously ill due to torture in prison and hospitalised again for emergency treatment. Yeshe Choedon, a 57-year-old retired Tibetan doctor named Yeshe Choedon was given 15-year imprisonment by the Intermediate People’s Court in Lhasa on charges of allegedly leaking out secrets to the outside world during the peaceful protests in March 2008. The Chinese court had announced in the verdict passed on November 7, 2009 that Choedon’s political rights would be also withheld for five years.
Authorities in southwestern China’s Sichuan province have released a Tibetan monk from prison after he served a four-year sentence for pulling down a Chinese flag and scattering leaflets calling for Tibetan freedom, Tibetan sources said. Sonam Gonpo, aged 26 and a monk at the Dza Wonpo monastery, returned to his home in Sershul (in Chinese, Shiqu) county in the Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture on March 12, a Tibetan living in India told RFA’s Tibetan Service. “His current state of health remains unknown,” RFA’s source Jampa Yonten said, citing contacts in the region.
Drei Tage nach seinem Protest gegen die chinesische Herrschaft in Tibet ist ein 16-jähriger Jugendlicher in Indien an seinen Brandverletzungen gestorben. Seine Haut sei zu 98 Prozent verbrannt gewesen, teilte das behandelnde Krankenhaus in Neu Delhi mit. Er sei am Donnerstagabend gestorben. Der Jugendliche hatte sich am Montag in der im Norden des Landes liegenden Stadt Dehradun angezündet und war für die Behandlung nach Neu Delhi gebracht worden. Ebenfalls am Montag hatte sich ein tibetischer Mönch in China in der traditionell tibetisch geprägten autonomen Präfektur Garzê im Westen der Provinz Sichuan selbst angezündet. Tibetischen Exilanten zufolge haben sich in den vergangenen fünf Jahren mindestens 114 Mönche und Laien aus Protest selbst in Brand gesteckt, die meisten starben. Radio Free Asia gibt die Zahl mit 144 seit dem Jahr 2009 an.
A Tibetan monk set himself ablaze and died on Monday in southwestern China’s Sichuan province in an apparent challenge to Beijing’s rule in the first such protest in a Tibetan area of China this year, a source in the region told RFA’s Tibetan Service. Kalsang Wangdu, a monk of the Maretsokha Aryaling monastery, self-immolated at around 4:00 p.m. on Feb. 29 near his monastery in the Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’s Nyagrong (Xinlong) county, RFA’s source said, contacting RFA on social media and speaking on condition of anonymity.
Nangdrol, an 18-year-old Tibetan living in Sichuan Province, China, penned a farewell letter on February 19, 2012. Translated, it read: Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama! Long live all the lamas and tulkus (reincarnations) of the Land of Snow. May Tibetans be free from China’s oppressive rule. There is immense suffering under China’s rule, and this suffering is unbearable. There is no way to further endure this Chinese occupation, its terrible rule, this torture without trace. In the end the merciless Chinese will kill the Tibetans. Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Nangdrol then set himself on fire, his self-immolation the ultimate act of political protest.
Minnesota, USA — The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama extended his warmest greetings to Tibetans in Tibet and in exile as well as friends and supporters world wide for a meaningful Losar (Tibetan New Year) beginning February 8. Speaking from the hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, United States, on on February 4, 2016, where he is undergoing precautionary prostate treatement, His Holiness offered a brief message on the occasion of the upcoming Tibetan New Year. His message focused on expressing his appreciation to those who have sent prayers and well-wishes for his health and recovery, reassuring them: „And I want to tell you that I am doing very well. His Holiness also reassured friends and supporters that he is in good health and is being well looked after by hospital staff.
Since 2012, China has jailed eleven Tibetan singers after they wrote and performed songs celebrating Tibet, opposing China’s occupation and calling for freedom. In December 2013, one of them – Trinley Tsekar – was sentenced to nine years in prison. Music is a vital part of Tibetans‘ resistance to Chinese rule. Singers like these not only keep alive a culture that China is trying to erase from the world, but their songs embody the aspirations, fears and courage of a people who remain proud and defiant after 65 years of occupation.
February 27, 2009, was the third day of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. It was also the day that self-immolation came to Tibet. The authorities had just cancelled a Great Prayer Festival (Monlam) to commemorate the victims of the government crackdown in 2008. A monk by the name of Tapey stepped out of the Kirti Monastery and set his body alight on the streets of Ngawa, in the region known in Tibetan as Amdo, a place of great religious reverence and relevance, now designated as part of China’s Sichuan Province. Losar is usually a celebratory festival, but it was marked by the majority of Tibetans in 2009 in silent mourning—a mourning that continues to this day. On account of the unrelenting government suppression that followed in the wake of protests across Tibet the year before, a slogan has spread secretly among the people of Tibet: “No Losar.” Tibetans had decided not to celebrate Losar, as a means of resisting Chinese rule. And continuing this resistance, Tapey’s final act would become the beginning of a series of self-immolations that have spread across Tibet and beyond in recent years.