Four Tibetan Heroes Receive Tibet’s Lhakar Award
Sep 2011 12

On August 20, Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) honored four Tibetan heroes at its annual ‘Longsho’ event in New York. Phuntsok Jarutsang, Tsewang Norbu, Tashi Rabten (Theurang) and the Organizers of the Kham

Vegetable Boycott were honored with Tibet’s “Lhakar Award” for their courage, strategy, resilience and overall impact on the Tibetan Freedom Movement. Students for a Free Tibet announced the winners of the Lhakar awards before a crowd of 250 Tibetans and supporters. As each name was read, images of the award recipients were projected on a screen to wild applause from the audience.


Tsewang Norbu and Phuntsok Jarutsang, monks from eastern Tibet, were honored for their acts of unimaginable sacrifice and courage. In the face of paralyzing repression, Tsewang Norbu from Tawu and Phuntsok Jarutsang from Ngaba lit themselves on fire in protest of the Chinese government’s repression and for the freedom of Tibet. The organizers of the Kham Vegetable Boycott were honored for their strategic vision and boycott of Chinese-owned businesses in Tibet. Tashi Rabten (Therang) was honored for his fearless expression of Tibet’s struggle through literature. Tashi Rabten “represents a group of young Tibetans on the frontlines of Tibet’s new generation, who while creatively expressing their desire for freedom through poetry, essays, and metaphor, are also exposing the Chinese government’s brutality,” said Tendor, executive director of Students for a Free Tibet.

“Lhakar is a homegrown people’s movement that emerged in Tibet since late 2008,” said Tendor. “Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen incredible acts of defiance and strategic resistance in Tibet. Tibetans in many regions of Tibet have pledged to take actions such as speaking only in Tibetan, eating only in Tibetan restaurants, or buying only from Tibetan shops, basically taking a small act of resistance every day, or at least every Wednesday. Through these acts, they are uniting the nation in the greatest non-cooperation movement Tibet has ever seen.”

The Tibetan word “Lhakar” translates literally as “White Wednesday,” a weekday considered special by Tibetans because it is the soul-day of the Dalai Lama.

After the awards were announced, attendees of the event made their own Lhakar pledges which can be read on

Click here to make your own Lhakar pledge.

Click here to see photos of Longsho event.

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