Karmapa and the Cranes

After his dramatic escape from Tibet in December 1999, the young Gyalwa Karmapa became an immediate celebrity in the exile community – in a reverential Tibetan sort of way, of course. A group of students from the Tibetan Children’s Village decided to dedicate their class environmental project – on saving the Tibetan crane – to the boy lama.

Thinking of Burma

It was somewhere in an article by George Orwell that I came across the phrase “the solipsism of the sick man”, i.e. the inability of people mired in depression, disease or suffering to see beyond their own condition.

Remembering Thupten Ngodup

On April 27th, 1998, the patriot Thupten Ngodup set himself on fire in Delhi, and died for the cause of Tibetan independence. Exactly ten years later to the day, on April 27th, 2008, in New York City the Tibetan Independence Torch was lit by Gyen Palden Gyatso and handed to me. As the first runner I jogged down Broadway with the torch raised high.

A Letter from Lhasa

Yesterday it was quite hot outside and the soldiers guarding one of the petrol stations had a big umbrella to protect them from the intense sunlight. Today it’s the opposite: cold, cloudy and even light snowfall as storm-fronts hover over the mountains and sometimes close in on the valley. Like the weather here in Lhasa the rules are quickly changing too.

Negotiation Nightmare

“Whenever the Tibetan issue has received any substantial attention in the world, be it with the demonstrations (1987-90) in Lhasa or the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Dalai Lama, the Chinese have nearly always succeeded in side-tracking international concern by making titillating press announcements soon after the event, declaring their willingness to sit down and talk with the Dalai Lama or his representatives.”

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Blogger

Woeser’s TIBET UPDATES provide invaluable detailed information on all that has happened and is happening in Tibet now. Her writing provides a stark immediacy to events and brings them up-close and personal as no report by foreign journalists or “experts” can, not even the scribblings of exile writers like myself.