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"Why Was the Documentary To Commemorate the Yushu Earthquake Banned?" By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser written on April 7, 2011 for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia and posted on her blog on April 14, 2011, the one year anniversary of the Yushu earthquake. 

The seizing of the documentary film "Hope in A Disaster" that Woeser writes about has been reported on by Radio Free Asia and Voice of America.

Short clips of the documentary can be found here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZuNY6ihfJA (Tibetan version)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPuB-giZDuo (English version)
http://www.youtube.com/user/VOAKunleng#p/u/2/fDTeahhyigY (News report in Tibetan)

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"Only This Useless Poem, Dedicated to Lobsang Tsepak" By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a poem by Woeser that was posted on her blog on April 17, 2011. Woeser's poem is dedicated to Lobsang Tsepak, a monk of Kirti Monastery, Ngaba, who was studying at Beijing's Central University for Nationalities and was arrested on March 25, 2011 for unclear reasons.

Woeser has previously written poems dedicated to Tibetans who are missing or imprisoned, see these "Two Poems for the Panchen Lama" and also "Secret Tibet".


Lobsang Tsepak, from Amdo, Kirti Monastery monk, 26 years old.    


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"Remembering The Young Monk, Phuntsog, Who Died from Self-Immolation" By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser written on March 22, 2011 for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia and posted on her blog on April 19, 2011

Woeser writes about the tragic self-immolation of young monk Phuntsog from Ngaba, Eastern Tibet, who self-immolated on March 16, 2011. As Woeser points, it is an incident reminiscent of the self-immolation of Tapey in February 2009.

Meanwhile the situation in Ngaba remains tense, see recent media reports such as this one from the BBC.

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Replaying the Film “Serf” Won’t Brainwash Anyone! By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser written on March 30, 2011 for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia and posted on her blog on April 10, 2011

The Chinese government proclaimed in January 2009 that a festival called "Serf Liberation Day" was to be celebrated in Tibet on March 28 every year to commemorate the "liberation" of Tibetans by the People's Liberation Army. Woeser takes this festival as her starting point and in particular the replaying of the 1963 propaganda film "Serf" on Tibetan TV. Amongst Tibetans, the film is more commonly called "Jampa", the name of the protagonist.

There is no English version of the film "Serf" but the British Film Institute's Movie and TV database has some details about it.  For those who understand Chinese, the film can be watched in its entirety online on various Chinese video websites, including Youku

The essay that Woeser wrote as a contribution to "Like Gold That Fears No Fire" is available for free download (pdf file) from: http://www.savetibet.org/files/documents/Like%20Gold.pdf Finally, the self-immolation by the young monk that Woeser refers to at the end of the article, Phuntsog, is the sad incident in Ngaba of March 16, 2011.


Film poster for "Serf". Produced by August First Studio in 1963. Screenwriter: Huang Zongjiang, Director: Li Jun, Photography: Wei Lin, Lead Actors: Wangdu, Pema Yangchen etc
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A Tibetan Blogger Asks: "Can I Call 110?"

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated an anonymous blogpost titled "Can I Call 110" that was posted on February 28, 2011 on a Tibetan website Rangdrol.Net.

Rangdrol.Net is a relatively new Tibetan language website and is based in Xining, provincial capital of Qinghai Province. Interestingly it carries the same name as Dhondup Gyal's penname and, as we wrote before on High Peaks Pure Earth, Rangdrol means "self-liberated".

This bold blogpost describes the situation that Tibetans find themselves in today and cites, even though supposedly hypothetically, several concrete examples of injustice and inequality. The phone number for the police in China is 110 (Ch: yao-yao-ling) and is equivalent to 911 in USA or 999 in UK. A subtext to the blogpost is the general impression amongst Tibetans is that the police are overly concerned with splittism whilst criminal acts are rampant and go unpunished.

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"I Remember, Therefore We Are" By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser written on January 16, 2011 for the Mandarin service of Radio Free Asia and published on their website on March 14, 2011

In this blogpost, Woeser reflects on the importance of collective memory for Tibetans and focuses on the autobiography of Naktsang Nulo which has been translated into Chinese and was published in Taiwan on March 10, 2011

The autobiography of Naktsang Nulo titled "The Joys & Sorrows of a Boy from Naktsang" was originally written in Tibetan and published in June 2007. The newsletter of Trace Foundation's Latse Library 2007-2008 Volume 5 contains some background information to Naktsang Nulo and his work. The newsletter tells us:


The book was not published by a formal publishing house, but was printed by the Siling (Xining) Tso-ngon (Qinghai) Printing House in a run of 3,000 copies. Generally, books of Tibetan literature in China are printed in runs of no more than 2,500 copies. Despite the fact that Naktsang Shilu Kyiduk was not published by a formal publishing house, and therefore had no established means of distribution, the first run of 3,000 copies sold out in six months, and the book had to be reprinted, an unusual occurrence for a work of Tibetan literature.


To read the full article and also an excerpt of the book translated into English by Lauran Hartley and Pema Bhum, download the Latse Newsletter (in pdf form) from this link: http://www.latse.org/newsletter/2007vol5num1/Latse_Newsletter_no5_web.pdf


Cover of Chinese language edition of Naktsang Nulo's autobiography
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Woeser: CCTV Says Lhasa People Are "Happiest"

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser that was originally written for broadcast on Radio Free Asia on January 23, 2011 and posted on her blog on February 5, 2011.

In this blogpost, Woeser returns to themes that she explored earlier in a blogpost titled "Happiness Under Gunpoint" and also "What is Happiness". This is also a timely blogpost as Tibetan New Year and March 10 are both approaching and security is usually tightened in Lhasa at around this time, see our blogpost from a few days ago titled "Fear and Discrimination in Lhasa".

For readers curious about the CCTV 2010 Happiness Survery, see this analysis on the website Beijing Review.
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"Having An Audience With His Holiness the Dalai Lama is Not A Crime" By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser that was originally written for broadcast on Radio Free Asia on January 19, 2011 and posted on her blog on January 25, 2011.

This article follows on from Woeser's previous post titled "How I Met His Holiness the Dalai Lama Without A Passport" in which she recalled "meeting" the Dalai Lama via Skype on January 4, 2011.

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Can Lhasa's Image Be Formed by "Dressing Up"? By Woeser


High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser that was originally written for broadcast on Radio Free Asia on December 1, 2010 and posted on her blog on December 14, 2010.

Although written after her return to Beijing, this blogpost is a continuation of her reflections on Lhasa after her trip there. Read Woeser's previous blogpost "Returning to Lhasa to Witness the Current Situation" here.
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"May the Deities Protect the Snowland" By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser that was originally written for broadcast on Radio Free Asia on December 8, 2010 and posted on her blog earlier today on December 10, 2010.

Although the starting point of the blogpost is the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, Woeser takes the opportunity to write about Tibetans who share a similar fate. Woeser particularly draws parallels with imprisoned Tibetan writer Dolma Kyab. There is an in-depth introduction to Dolma Kyab's case as well as an extract from "The Restless Himalayas" in English translation in "Like Gold That Fears No Fire", a publication by the International Campaign for Tibet and available for downloadDolma Kyab has also been made an honorary member of PEN.  

Woeser has previously written about many of the Tibetans she mentions in this blogpost by name only, see last year's article In The Name of Human Rights, Set Free All Tibetan Political Prisoners. See also Woeser's October 2010 article on Liu Xiaobo and his views on Tibet.

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