Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ms. Tibet Organisers Hope More Will Join

IANS (Indo-Asian News Service)

By Baldev S. Chauhan

Shimla, March 29 -- Organisers of the Ms Tibet contest are hoping that more women will be brave enough to participate in the event this year, overcoming disapproval from the conservative Tibetan Buddhist society.

Only one girl had taken part in the controversial contest last year.

'Even though the last date for receipt of applications for the Miss Tibet contest this year is June 30, we've already received five applications, which is encouraging,' said Lobsang Wangyal, chief organiser of the event.

'These Tibetan refugee girls are both from India and from overseas. The beauty pageant will take place in the first week of October," Wangyal told IANS from Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Himachal Pradesh.

The Tibetan Buddhist society and the government-in-exile are bitterly opposed to the Ms Tibet beauty contest ever since it began five years ago.

"Exhibiting the female body in this manner is against Tibetan Buddhism and culture," Thupten Samphel, spokesman of the Tibetan government, had said before last year's show.

But the organisers disagree.

"A time will come soon when the conservative Tibetan society will break out of its traditional shackles and accept such shows with open arms,
says Wangyal.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Statement by Phuntsog Nyidron (Tibetan Nun)

(Translated from the original Tibetan)
International Campaign for Tibet
Washington, D.C. -- March 22nd, 2006

Respected Everyone

I would like to offer my Tashi Delek and greetings to everyone and to express my pleasure at being able to communicate to you all after I arrived in this land of freedom.

Following my participation in a peaceful rally for Tibetan independence in October 1989 (when I was 19 years old) in the Tibetan capital Lhasa, along with five other nuns from my nunnery, the Chinese Government detained me and sentenced me to nine years of imprisonment. In 1993, along with 13 other political prisoner s I secretly recorded songs in prison that were in praise of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and about the situation of the political prisoners. On account of this, my sentence was extended by eight years, making my total sentence 17 years. However, in February of 2004, I was suddenly released from prison but nevertheless continued to undergo difficulties. I was under constant supervision of officials from the county.

What is most important is that during my time in prison although the Chinese Government made it difficult for me both physically and mentally, I did not waver at all in my initial motivation. At times when I underwent unimaginable torture my determination to struggle for Tibetan independence became stronger.

I am an ordinary Tibetan and like the other political prisoners in the Chinese prisons in Tibet I have undergone hardship. However, after 15 years in prison I owe my freedom firstly to the grace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and also to those countries who have shown their concern for the Tibetan political prisoners by putting pressure on the Chinese Government. I am also grateful to my fellow Tibetans and to the supporters of the Tibetan people, both organizations and individuals, for bringing awareness to the situation of the political prisoners in the international community. I want to express my heartfelt thank you to all of you.

My foremost desire at this point of time is to seek an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and to hear his advice. This is something that I, like all other Tibetans in Tibet, have been praying for on a daily basis.

During my time in prison I have had medical problems. Since I did not have the facilities or the freedom to undergo proper medical treatment upon my release from prison, I would like to do that now. Thereafter, I want to commit myself to continuing my w ork for the just cause of the Tibetan people. Education is something that is very important in a society. I had to spent my young life in prison and therefore I would now like to seize the opportunity and plan to get some education.

I would like to repeat my gratitude to all those countries and individuals who have been concerned about the Tibetan political prisoners. I would urge you to continue helping other helpless Tibetan political prisoners, including those who may have been released but who continue to be denied of their freedom in their homes.

I would like to specially appeal to all concerned to help protect the rights of the Tibetan people in Tibet and to enable the Tibetan people to secure freedom at the earliest.

Phuntsog Nyidron

Chinese "Invasion" in Dhasa

By Jaideep Sarin, Indo-Asian News Service
Dharamsala, March 22 (IANS) -- Till a few years ago 'MIC' was a banned word at Mcleodganj, the hilltop settlement of the Dalai Lama. But that boycott of 'Made in China' products has given way to 21st-century market demands.

Like in other parts of India, 'Made in China' goods have invaded Mcleodganj, where most shops are owned by Tibetan refugees.

Toys, games, stationery items, cheap quality household products and many other things made in the dragon land are now available. The buyers are mainly the local Tibetan population and visitors, foreigners included.

"Yes we do sell China-made products. I don't think there is a ban on doing so. Tibetans do hate anything that is Chinese. We get our products through agents in Delhi," said a shop-owner who did not want to be identified.

Friends of Tibet general secretary Tenzin Tsundue said the Tibetan population here had become resigned to the fact that 'Made in China' products could be sold by them.

"We ran the boycott MIC products campaign till 2003. But after the start of the dialogue between the (Tibetan) government-in-exile and China, the Dalai Lama asked Tibetans not to do anything anti-China that would jeopardise the talks," Tsundue told IANS.

"This has given some Tibetans a useful excuse to sell MIC goods and in a way support the Chinese economy. This is sad," he added.

Till a few years ago, selling Chinese products in Mcleodganj, which is also known as 'Little Lhasa', was taboo -- because of the resentment that Tibetans had for anything Chinese.

Tibetan exiles claim that the Chinese invaded their homeland nearly five decades ago, forcing their spiritual leader Dalai Lama and thousands of Tibetans to flee to India in 1959. Nearly 130,000 Tibetans now live in India and elsewhere in exile.

Many shops had stickers - some still have them - proudly proclaiming that no 'Made in China' goods were sold. A few shops in the main market of this small hill town even sold stickers and other products declaring 'No to Made in China'.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Tibetans here and in settlements across India, Europe, the US and Canada burnt "Made in China" goods.

In May 1993, Tibetan religious leader and Nobel laureate Dalai Lama said: "I back the call for the boycott of goods made in China."

Other Tibetan leaders have till recently given statements against MIC goods saying these products came from an oppressive regime.

Friends of Tibet - a website that supports the cause for Tibetan independence - explains why 'Made in China' goods should be boycotted: "'Remember that every time you buy a product 'Made In China,' you are funding and empowering a brutal regime. We request you to boycott Chinese goods to save and protect the Indian industry and also to help end injustice and oppression in Tibet."

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

In Love wih a Tibetan Exile : 22 March 2006 -- Vanessa Walker went off to write a book about Tibetan exiles in India. She ended up with a baby too.

By Marina Skinner

Journalist Vanessa Walker describes the calm presence emanating from the Buddhist leaders she met during her year living in an Indi an town of Tibetan exiles.

I don't doubt her sincerity but my agnostic hackles rise slightly as I read the more didactic Buddhist sections of her just-published book, Mantras & Misdemeanours: An accidental love story.

As I start my interview with Walker, I feel a sense of calm loveliness straightaway – even down the phone line from Auckland. Is she nice because she's a Buddhist, I wonder, or is she a Buddhist because she's nice?

In 2004, New Zealand-born Walker, then 34, left her job as a reporter at The Australian newspaper in Sydney to live in McLeod Ganj, a small town in northern India that's home to Tibetans' spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and about 9,000 others. Most are exiles from Tibet who have made the heroic journey across the Himalayas since the Chinese invaded Tibet in the 1950s. (McLeod Ganj was once a British hill station, and was named after a British military man; "ganj" means small town.)

Walker captures the contradictions of a Buddhist town – former monks embracing Western consumerism and female tourists with equal fervour; a Buddhist nun who calculatedly gets Westerners to pay for her food; the Miss Tibet beauty pageant celebrating physical beauty over spiritual virtues.

During her visit, she interviewed monks and members of Tibet's government-in-exile for her book. She also fell in love with a former Tibetan monk, who she calls Choying in her book, and much of Mantras & Misdemeanours is the story of their relationship and her pregnancy.

Walker became interested in Buddhism more than a decade ago after travelling in Asia, and found a teacher when she returned to live in Australia. "It's insightful and sensible," she says of her religion. "It's not a dogma. It's about being happy and training your mind in happiness. You need to analyse it qu ite rigorously, you're not expected to follow anything, you use your mind. It's made me happier – that's the litmus test, isn't it?"

She visited Tibet, Nepal and India over the years, and became concerned that Westerners don't really understand what the Dalai Lama is seeking for his Tibetan homeland. The idea of writing a book emerged.

"I realised that McLeod Ganj was a story waiting to happen – so many characters in a very small space and a very complex political situation – so it became: 'I've got to write it,' " she says.

A book on Tibetan politics would have had a limited readership so, despite being protective of her privacy, it became a very personal story.

Soon after arriving in McLeod Ganj, Walker met Choying. They followed a common path in McLeod Ganj, where many Tibetan men hook up with visiting Western women, whether for casual sex or something more long term. The reverse does not apply, with few Tibetan women, who are very shy, pairing up with Western men. "It's slightly frowned upon for Tibetan women to go out with Western men," says Walker.

She and Choying could compile etiquette guides for each other's cultures. Choying was often shocked by Walker's cultural gaffes. "In McLeod Ganj, it was things like politeness," says Walker. "I would say 'tashi delek'," she says animatedly, "to older people, which is Tibetan for 'hello' or `good luck'. Choying would be really embarrassed because, to show respect, you say 'tashi delek' really quietly and slow.

"Here (in New Zealand), the tables are turned. The challenge is more that he doesn't know how things work in the West. I'm always explaining things, silly things. We have jasmine tea, and he drinks it out of a jar with the lid on because it brews really nicely with a lid. But we had friends for dinner the other day, and I said: 'Please don't drink your tea out of a jar with a blue plastic lid.'

"They're little oddities that I'm trying to iron out. It doesn't matter – but it does."

Walker returned to live with her parents in Auckland when she was seven months pregnant after deciding India's hospitals wouldn't do much for her or her baby's health. Baby Tsering was five months old before he saw Choying, who had to jump through many bureaucratic hoops to get an identity certificate allowing him to travel to New Zealand.

He must wait longer for New Zealand citizenship and a passport that would let him accomplish his dream of visiting Tibet again.

"Choying" is not his real name. Walker decided on a pseudonym to protect his chances of entering Tibet, which is an autonomous region of China. "We don't know how the Chinese Government will react to the publicity (of the book)," says Walker.

The book may be subtitled "An accidental love story", but Walker would rather that Tibet, not a New Zealand journalist, was the focus.

"The book's a narrative and, hopefully, it's a good, interesting, enjoyable read, but it's about a real situation, a real people that don't have their country, and that's what's important, not about me and the pregnancy. Ultimately, the really important stuff is Tibet should be free."

:: Mantras & Misdemeanours: An accidental love story by Vanessa Walker (Allen and Unwin, pb $29.99)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Exile Budget Shows Excess of Income

TibetNet: Dharamshala, March 18 -- In what has been unprecedented in the 47 years of exile Tibetan governance, the budget proposed for 2006-07 forecasts a surplus income of nearly three million rupees (approx $75,000 US).

"This is an indication of the improvement achieved in the financial position of the Central Tibetan Administration," Kalon Lobsang Nyandak Zayul said here today in his budget speech to the Assembly of the Tibetan People's Deputies.

"The welcome change has come only because of the introduction of various austerity measures to cut unnecessary expenses, with better and more sources of income, and the increase in funds raised by the exile Finance Department for the annual budget," the Finance Kalon, also the Kalon for Information and International Relations, said on the floor of the Assembly.

Funds contributed by the exile Finance Department for the annual budget now (6%) is double the usual amount contributed before the present Kashag took office in September 2001.

The major sources of income for the exile budget are contribution from His Holiness the Dalai Lama (25%), funds raised by the Kashag (25%), voluntary contributions collected through Green Book (34%) and administrative charges levied on aid (10%).

As in any democratic society, the budget of the Central Tibetan Administration is subject to the scrutiny of the Assembly. Thus, before a budget is passed in the Assembly, the budget committee of the Assembly scrupulously examines the expenditure proposals to its full satisfaction.

The budget proposed for 2006-07 has a total outlay of over Rs. 882 million (aprox. $24 million US). About 32 percent of that is allocated on increasing awareness of the issue of Tibet, 22% on welfare services, 15% on education, 10% on running cost of the administration, 9% on health, 7% on religion & culture and 5% on other uses.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Tibetan Exiles Vote for Premier and Assembly

Dharamsala, March 17 (AFP) - Tibetan exiles around the world go to the polls to elect a prime minister and a new parliament as their leader the Dalai Lama seeks greater autonomy for the Chinese-ruled homeland.

It is the final round of polls to elect members of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, a consultative body which supports the spiritual leader's campaign.

It is a preliminary election for prime minister but only the second time that Tibetan exiles are participating in popular elections for a "kalon tripa". The first direct vote for a prime minister was held in 2001.

More than 82,000 of the 100,000 Tibetans living in exile have registered to vote and 80 candidates are in the fray.

"Everything is going as planned," said Tenzing Dhargyal, additional secretary at the election commission. "All the regional election officers have been trained in election procedures through workshops."

The 46-member Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies is headquartered in the northern Indian hill station of Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama settled in 1959 after a failed uprising against Beijing's rule in Lhasa.

The parliament, formed in 1962 and intended to serve as a model of self-government for the homeland, was expanded from 1990 and given independent authority.

It was empowered to elect a cabinet of seven ministers who now explain and defend their polices before the assembly. While a section of Tibetan exiles demand a totally independent Tibet, the differences do not spill over in the assembly.

Incumbent prime minister Samdong Rinpoche, a monk who has taught Buddhist philosophy in the Indian holy city of Varanasi for 30 years, is favourite to be re-elected. He is a staunch supporter of the Dalai Lama's "middle path" approach in dealing with China.

The Dalai Lama frequently reiterates that the Tibetan people want self-rule but not independence from China.

"I have only one demand: self-rule and genuine autonomy for all Tibetans," he said in a statement last month.

A final round of voting to elect the prime minister will take place on June 3 with the results expected a month later. Assembly results are due in early April.

China and envoys of the Dalai Lama last month held their fifth round of talks since resumption of ties in 2002. The spiritual leader last week said he hoped the dialogue would end Beijing's suspicion of him so that the two sides "can move on to settle the differences in our views and positions."

But the greater autonomy policy has not been an issue at the low-key elections here.

"I am going to vote though I don't know much about the candidates," admitted Sonam Tsering, a staff member at the Tibetan Children's Village school. "This voting is symbolic," he said.

In the assembly, 43 of the 46 deputies are directly elected by the people, including 10 from the five different sects of Tibetan Buddhism. Two deputies represent Europe and one North America. The Dalai Lama nominates three members.

Deputies are elected representing the three provinces of Tibet, namely U-Tsang, Amdo and Kham.

"Ours is not a party system. So there is no manifesto," remarked Pema Jungney, chairman of the assembly. "Our main goal is to work toward the freedom of the Tibetan people and welfare of Tibetans in exile," he said.

Two seats are reserved for women. "For now the reservation for women in the parliament is good, " said Dawa Tsomo, a woman running for a second term. "But the real encouragement and empowerment of women should be done at the grass-root level."

Tibetans living in India, Bhutan, Nepal, Europe and North America will cast their ballots at 53 polling stations set up by the election commission.

"The biggest problem we faced was reaching Tibetan refugees living in remote areas of Nepal because of the political problem there . . . frequent curfews delayed our process there," said secretary Dhargyal.

"To be able to conduct polls in exile is an achievement in itself," he added.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tibetan 'sky burial' to continue under protection

IANS -- Lhasa, March 7, 2006

In an effort to better protect and show more respect to the traditional Tibetan burial ritual of feeding dead bodies to vultures, China has imposed rigid rules to ban photography and media reports about it.

According to the provisional administration's rules on "celestial burial" released by the Tibet autonomous regional government, people are not allowed to gather around to watch the burial process, which is more than 10 centuries old.

They have also been barred from taking photos, video recording, and all other ways of reporting about the traditional custom.

Unaffected by the changes in burial methods across China, Tibetan people still adhere to their own way of feeding vultures, or birds of prey, with the bodies of the dear departed, known as celestial burial.

In most of the Chinese cities, cremation has become a common burial practice although the people of Han nationality, the majority of the Chinese population, used to bury the dead in tombs in the past.

The provisional regulations, the third of their kind in the past two decades since 1985, underscored that celestial burials are a Tibetan custom strictly protected by the national laws. To better protect the vultures that are sacred to Tibetans, firing guns, blasting-up mountainsides or quarrying around burial sites are also prohibited.

Under the call of local residents and burial priests, the bodies of those who die of poisoning or infectious diseases are not allowed to receive celestial burials, the provisional rules say.

The rules and regulations emphasise for the first time that celestial burial operators -- a special group of Tibetans who preside over the procedures -- should be esteemed as professionals, and no discrimination should be directed against them.

"The autonomous regional government has made a decision to offer financial aid to senior burial operators and those who fall short of having sufficient income," said Tan Jiaming, an official in charge of social welfare with the regional civil affairs department.

Statistics from the department show that there are a total of 1,075 celestial burial sites and approximate 100 operators across Tibet. About 80 percent of the Tibetans still prefer celestial burial, as it has been observed for hundreds of years, acknowledged Basang Wangdu, director of the Nationality Research Institute of the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences.

Celestial burial is one of the three principal ways that Tibetans traditionally return their dear departed to the earth. The two others are cremation and water burial.

Though the Chinese central government built a modern crematory in Tibet in October 2000, it has failed to attract the Tibetans. The first Tibetan cremation was carried out on Jan 2, 2001.

Celestial burial is closely related to the Buddhism practiced in the Himalayan region. Buddhists believe in life recycles and the spirit of the dead is considered to leave the body the moment he/she passes away and the dead should be fed to birds of prey, or sacred vultures, as a last token of charity."

The unique rituals have been respected by the central and regional governments," said Tan. In the two previous official orders, the autonomous regional government imposed punishment on uninvited outsiders participating in the rituals and photographers recording the burial.

The Tibetan regional government has removed nine quarries and stone processing plants from Sera Monastery - a leading burial site on the northern outskirts of Lhasa, the regional capital, in 2004, and earmarked some $125,000 (one million yuan) in its renovation.

Priority was given to the protection of local burial sites and monasteries during China's landmark construction of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, the highest in the world.

"The unique traditional Tibetan burial tradition formed during a long history will live on with the meticulous protection of the Chinese government," said Celha Qoisang, 65, a chief celestial burial operator at Drigung Til Monastery.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

China to encourage migration to Lhasa by offering cheap train

AFP, Wed Mar 1, 11:28 PM ET

Rail tickets from Beijing to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa will cost as little as 46 dollars, up to six times less than a flight, when trains begin running in July.

The government released provisional pricing for the controversial line on Wednesday, signaling a much cheaper way for ordinary Chinese to reach the once isolated region known as the "roof of the world".

While China has hailed the line as another step in developing and modernizing the region, critics say the the railway will lead to a flood of immigrant Han Chinese that will further erode Tibet's unique Buddhist culture. Opponents of the railway say it will also tighten China's political control over Tibet, which was formally annexed in 1951 after Chinese troops invaded a year earlier.

Tibetans continue to clamor for greater autonomy.

According to the prices released on Wednesday, a one-way "hard seat" berth, the lowest class of travel on China's railways, will cost 380 yuan (46 dollars), and a "hard bed" ticket will cost 776 yuan. A first-class berth in a "soft sleeper" cabin will cost 1,241 yuan, the report said.

Such prices compare with a one-way, non-stop airfare from Beijing to Lhasa of around 2,300 yuan.

Travel from Beijing to Lhasa is expected to take at least 48 hours depending on the train and connections in Xining, Qinghai province, a major transport hub along the route, reports said.

Trains are already running trial runs along the Qinghai-Tibet section of the railway that runs 1,965 kilometer (1,218 miles) from Xining to Lhasa across some of the world's most rugged terrain.

About 960 kilometers of the track heading through the majestic Kunlun Pass is 4,000 meters above sea-level, making the railway the highest in the world.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Role of English in Poetry by Tibetans

By Tsoltim Ngima Shakabpa

Languages become universal because of the power of the people who speak those languages.

English is one such language as exhibited by the British in the 17th to the early 20th centuries when historically its power and language spread far and wide across the globe.

Languages remain alive because of the spirit of the people who speak those languages. The Tibetan language is one such language as exhibited by the Tibetans in their unique culture and quest to maintain their great heritage.

To bring the ideas of a people struggling to keep their language alive into a universal language is in itself a difficult task; but to put it in poetry is an even more formidable task. Yet Tibetans are doing exactly that.

Tibetans are generally philosophically inclined by the very nature of their upbringing. Buddhism and the philosophy of Buddhism have deeply affected the Tibetan mentality, and by its very power the hearts of the Tibetan people. Bearing this in mind, it is easy to see why generally Tibetans are natural poets.

Additionally, the pristine natural environment could have only aesthetically enhanced the philosophical Tibetan mind.In the past, Tibetans used to write poetry in Tibetan with religious themes only.

These poems were deep in thought and classic in their genius. They were the pulse of a nation steeped in religion and struggling to find the meaning of life. These poems were much more difficult to translate precisely into English unless one had an impeccable knowledge of the complex mechanisms of the Tibetan religion.

Today, the pulse and emphasis are different. Tibetans are suffering immeasurably under the illegal occupation of Tibet by China. They are being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and murdered. Their voices stifled; their places of worship demolished; and their true leader, the Dalai Lama, demonized.They are struggling for freedom from 56 gruelling years of brutal and tyrannical Chinese rule; and writing poems in Tibetan alone is not enough.

They need to reach a world-wide audience in their fight for liberation and for that they have to use a universal language. In the 1940s and 1950s, only a few Tibetans were fortunate enough to receive an education in English. Today, with thousands of Tibetans forced to live outside Tibet, many are fortunately learning English, some even good enough to write poetry in sterling English--and they are using their poetic gifts to reach out, in English, to the world at large about their struggle for freedom.

But there also are Tibetan poets who write, in English, about spirituality, family, illness, nature, love and life, in addition to the plight of their country, that adds abundant dimension to poetry by Tibetans.

These Tibetan poets are presently few and far between, but their pioneering labour and leadership will inspire moreTibetans to expand their poetic capabilities.Poetic ability is an inborn gift, and the language of poetry is best employed in the language one is most accustomed to. If Tibetan poets think in Tibetan and translate their poetry into English, there may arise problems in precise translation.

But if Tibetan poets think in English, those problems may be surmounted though it may possibly cloud their Tibetan heart. The ideal situation is the ability to think both in English and in Tibetan. That way, the evolution of the two languages inter-mingling with one another in a translucent manner with the heart brings about the best attributes of the poetry in mind.

Yet, frankly speaking, there are times when English has no role in poetry by Tibetans as when a Tibetan writer tries to emulate a western thought. In such instances, the Tibetan mind distorts the western thought and jeopardizes the English verse. They become inundated and perplexed with a false perception of the truth, rather than the truth itself.

The expression of thought must first come from the heart and then the language can be used as a tool to express what the heart feels. Rather, it is better for Tibetan poets, who posses a facility in Mandarin, to write in Mandarin to make the Chinese reading public aware of the Tibetan political and human rights plight.

Though Mandarin is not a universal language, it is admitedly spoken and read by over a billion people who are regularly brain-washed by Chinese government propaganda.Since poetry comes from the heart, the words and the manner in which the words are expressed are often not easily comprehensible. Thus, the reader too must read into the heart of the poet in order to understand the language of the poet.

The Tibetan poet, therefore, has the added task of expressing in precise English what his Tibetan heart feels. This is a difficult task, if not an impossible one.

The safest way to overcome this problem is to first write down what the heart feels in whatever language the writer feels most comfortable with and then use the English language to interpret that feeling.

To summarize, the English language has an enormous universal role to play in poetry authored by Tibetans, but that role must be entwined with the untainted heart of the Tibetan poet as well as the precision and excellence of the language.

Brave is the Tibetan poet
Who ventures to write in English
But a poet he is not
If he writes not from his heart.

Tsoltim Ngima Shakabpa has written a book of poems in English, and another book of poems in the Catalan language His new book, will be Published by Paljor Publications in New Delhi.

"Losar" from Singhi's (Teary) Eyes

hi all.

two days ago i sent along a "Losar" (tibetan new year) greeting, with a little information. i also sent Losar tidings to my friend ngawang singhi, a tibetan living in exile in dharamsala, india.

(singhi's life in tibet under chinese rule, his imprisonment and subsequent escape to india was the subject of the "the brothers" -- a piece i wrote while in india last year -- if interested you can read it at the Times of Tibet website: )

singhi is a stong-willed man who lives a tough, hard-working life. (dharamsala may be a romantic, spiritual destination in our eyes but for the exiled tibetans who live there -- especially those who have not become educationally "westernized" -- life is difficult.) his body has been broken by physical tortures, and he has endured separations and heartbreaks the likes of which we in this country will never have to deal.

but like so many of his exiled countrymen/women, within his strength there lies beautiful gentleness and sensitivity -- borne of adversity, wisdom and faith -- that pervades all he does.

this morning i received a short email from singhi (pronounced sing-eee, tibetans commonly go by and use last names). while singhi struggles with english grammar and syntax, he has a knack for using words that portray his feelings. i'd like to share his latest writing with you . . . :


Hi my friend Winwood la

thanks very much for your sweet voice and greeting for losar so i am very happy to be in this we are very busy to work for losar and it is very happy but in another way it is very sad for me here in dhasa because we have no country and we have no human right you know very well for our situation.

also i can cry to in the losar because in india i have no parents and no relishonship. also in my home in tibet they are waiting for me to come for losar but it is very difficult to go back in tibet. if i go home i will be put in cell and my family will suffer.

i can't to stop my tears because i miss too much my family not only me but also those people who live in exile place. we are sad to not be with family in tibet so!!!!!!!!!

i want to stop my finger here.
thanks very much long live my dear
take care
have nice day and night
with thousand love for you singhi