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.”
Time Magazine covers the Lhakar movement, with quotes from Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay and SFT India’s national director Dorjee Tseten. Read the full article here.
Here is the first paragraph of the article:
In recent years, young Tibetans-in-exile have found in Lhakar an alternative to the gruesome and desperate act of self-immolation. Lhakar is a movement inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence and noncooperation to rid India of British colonialism. In the 1980s, when Lhasa erupted in violence against Chinese rule and the authorities subsequently clamped down on the region, many in China’s Tibetan areas continued to secretly visit temples on Wednesdays, the day the Dalai Lama is believed to have been born, to pray for him. But in 2008, when the Chinese authorities started cracking down on religious activities associated with the Dalai Lama, Tibetans devised the subtler Lhakar. For the past five years, Tibetans, both in China’s Tibetan regions and in exile, have reasserted their cultural identity through thinking, talking, eating and buying Tibetan once a week.