Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Lhadon and Tendor Visit Madison


The Fall 2007 semester has started and we are already working hard!

The weekend before school started, Labor Day weekend, we attended the Mangtso Duchen, or Tibetan Democracy Day picnic. It was a beautiful late summer day with lots of momos and conversation.

Then on Sunday, September 2nd, over 100 local Tibetans gathered to hear Lhadon Tethong and Tenzin Dorjee of Students for a Free Tibet speak about their experiences fighting for Tibetan freedom within China and Tibet.

Wisconsin Public Radio reporter Gil Halsted was there to interview Lhadon and Tendor, and filed this report:

Tibetan Exile Rally
By Gil Halsted
Monday, September 3, 2007

(MADISON) Tibetan activists organizing protests surrounding the 2008 Beijing Olympics were in Madison on Sunday. More than 100 members of Madison's large Tibetan exile community turned out to support the efforts of Tenzin Dorjee and Canadian-born Lhadon Tethong. The two spoke about their plans to use the Olympics to shine a light on what they call China's illegitimate control of their country.

Thirty-one-year old Lhadon Tethong was just deported from China for running a pro-Tibetan blog. At one point, she says thirty Chinese security police were trailing her around Beijing. She says Tibetan exiles like those in Madison can help promote Tibetan independence during next summer's Olympic Games by holding peaceful protests at the Chinese embassy in Chicago. She says the effort will be to make sure that the moment that China is trying to convince the world that Tibet belongs to them, Tibetans and those that can use their voice living in freedom and say 'no, we actually speak for Tibetans inside Tibet, and what's happening inside has to change.'

Brown University graduate Tenzin Dorjee was arrested this spring for displaying a pro-Tibetan banner at the Mount Everest base camp on the route China plans to use for the Olympic Torch run. He hopes next summer's games will be a focus for international protest in support of
Tibetan independence, to show the world and the Chinese government that unless China is out of Tibet, China can never really enjoy the glory and social standing acceptance that he says they so much desire.

China annexed Tibet in 1950 leading to a mass exodus of many Tibetans to India and other parts of the world. Tibetans plan their own Olympics in India and have asked the International Olympic Committee to allow for a Tibetan exile team to send athletes to the Beijing games.

This article was also posted on Phayul with some more pictures of Lhadon and Tendor.