Lhakar Awards 2014 at SFT’s Annual Longsho Nite Fundraiser
Khenpo Kartse, a respected Buddhist teacher and community leader currently in Chinese prison was among the individuals and groups honored with Lhakar Awards in New York City on Saturday, August 23rd during SFT’s annual benefit event.
Students for a Free Tibet held a ceremony to honor Khenpo Kartse (in absentia), and other winners of this year’s Lhakar Awards, which was instituted in 2010 by the New York based student group to recognize contributions to the Tibetan struggle. Khenpo Kartse won the Lhakar award for Resistance “for his social work, cultural promotion and environmental protection in the face of China’s persecution.
“Lhakar is a homegrown people’s movement that emerged in Tibet in 2008, but has now spread across the globe, making it a force that unites Tibetans inside and outside Tibet”, said Tenzin Dolkar, SFT’s Executive Director. “Through seemingly apolitical actions such as wearing Tibetan clothes and speaking Tibetan, Tibetans in Tibet are directly challenging and resisting CCP policies.”
Jose Elias Esteve & Alan Cantos were given the Lhakar award for Solidarity “for the boldness of their vision, the breadth of their imagination and the strength of their commitment to bringing justice to the Tibetan people”. Their historical lawsuit in the Spanish court resulted in arrest warrants for 5 top Chinese officials, including former president Jiang Zemin.
The Lhakar award for the Arts was given to Tenzin Tsetan Choklay “for breaking new ground in Tibetan filmmaking by directing the documentary feature ‘Bringing Tibet Home’.
Jigme Ugen received the Lhakar Award for Activism “for his outstanding leadership as a grassroots organizer and digital activist in the Tibetan freedom struggle”.
The Lhakar Award for Journalism was presented to the Tibetan Political Review “for demonstrating unique courage in providing in-depth coverage, investigative reporting and insightful analysis of Tibetan political events”.
Chungdak Koren received the Lhakar Award for Service “for her enduring service to the Tibetan struggle and community for more than four decades”.
The Lhakar Award for Resiliency went to Lhamo Tso, wife of Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen “for her fearless spirit and her tireless work for Dhondup Wangchen’s release”. While her husband served a 6 year sentence simply for making a documentary, Lhamo Tso traveled to world raising awareness about her husband and advocating for his release. Her resiliency paid off when her husband was released in June 2014.
“Lhakar has created a culture of resistance inside Tibetan”, said Tsepa Bayul, SFT’s Communications Director. “After 5 years, Lhakar has become a household name and its widespread practice has become an enduring force for freedom.”
In April 2014, SFT’s Communications Director Tsepa Bayul gave a TEDx talk at Emory University. In 22 inspiring minutes, he explained what Lhakar is, how it started, how it has evolved, and where it is headed. Here is the video of that talk. Please watch and share widely.
Chinese authorities have cracked down on a Tibetan language promotion contest in Zungchu county, eastern Tibet! Below is an excerpt from a news article published by Radio Free Asia:
Chinese authorities have at the last minute blocked a move to hold a traditional Tibetan language competition in a Tibetan-populated county in Sichuan province, citing concerns over the “political implications” of the event, sources said.
The competition calling for participants to speak “pure” Tibetan unmixed with Chinese was scheduled for Feb. 21 in conjunction with International Mother Language Day, and was to have been held in Muge Norwa town in Zungchu (in Chinese, Songpan) county, an area resident told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
Is China criminalizing the Tibetan language? This is what one of the Chinese authorities reportedly said as a justification for the crackdown:
“The Tibetan language contains words that can be used to express opposition to Chinese rule.”
Read the full RFA article here: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/tibet/language-04222014150658.html
What has urbanization got to do with a revolution’s chances of success? If Joshua Keating is right, what does it say about Tibet, a least urbanized country in the midst of a revolution against foreign occupation? Read this interesting piece in Foreign Policy Magazine that argues, or rather speculates, that revolutions perhaps have a higher chance of success in cities compared to villages.
“Cities are problems for authoritarian control, the traditional narrative goes, because by concentrating large masses of people, they improve communication networks, allowing anti-establishment sentiment to spread. In physical terms, dense neighborhoods are also ideal centers of resistance, easily blocked by barricades and featuring plenty of hiding places. To counter this, the wide boulevards of capitals like Washington, Paris, and Beijing have a practical as well as aesthetic purpose: allowing easy movement of police or the military in times of civil disturbance.”
Read the full article: “Why Dictators Should Fear Big Cities.”