“In saving Tibet, you save the possibility that we are all brothers, sisters.” ~Richard Gere
During my July 2008 jaunt around northern India, I met several Tibetans and learned more about their country and culture. For years, I’d received letters and decals of the Tibetan flag from an organization founded by Richard Gere, but prior to India, I never knew much about the Tibetan political situation. Seeing the documentary, Ten Questions with the Dalai Lama, in 2007 had been illuminating, too.
Tibet was invaded in the early 1950s by the Chinese. China officially took control in 1959, at which point His Holiness the Dalai Lama and thousands of others Tibetans fled for their lives. Massacres ensued, killing tens of thousands of innocent people. Since then, the Tibetan people have been repressed, tortured and killed. Meanwhile, more and more Chinese are moving into Tibet each year.
In McLeod Ganj (home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile), I had tea with a Tibetan Buddhist monk named Bagdro who I met at a bookstore. He authored a book called A Hell on Earth about his experiences being captured, imprisoned, and tortured by Chinese for demonstrating in Lhasa for Tibetan freedom. He was in prison for three years, until he escaped and fled to India. Now, as an exile, he has traveled the world sharing his message about the human rights violations inside Tibet.
I also met a Tibetan journalist/magnate named Lobsang Wangyal who was just about to launch a website called Tibet Sun on 8/8/08. The site intends to frankly and fearlessly safeguard the national interest of Tibet and the Tibetan people.
Tibet Sun aims to publish a diverse perspective, including the official Chinese news disseminated through Xinhua and CCTV and its subsidiary networks, to bring more understanding and awareness about the Chinese government policies and propaganda.
Lobsang’s work helps bring more awareness to both Tibetans and non-Tibetans about Tibetan news and issues, as he strives to bring Tibetan journalism to new heights.