Lhakar Poem

Lhakar is a Tibetan resistance movement that started in Tibet, where people are making a conscious decision to define who they are as Tibetan. That in turn manifests into an unlimited number of actions that people initiate and take part in.

Writing is one of most powerful ways to let others know your thoughts and writing in Tibetan is a double edge swords in resisting suppression and promoting Tibetan language. Tibetans have been using digital tools to express their thoughts in writing. Here is one from inside Tibet posted on Weibo (Chinese Twitter) on a Wednesday few weeks ago.


Tibetan script, Tibetan Language and Tibetan people are Tibet’s blood.
Tibetan home, Tibetan friends, and Tibet’s soil are Tibet’s land.
Tibetan food, Tibetan Tsampa, and Tibetan Chupa are Tibet’s Flavor.
Love for Tibet, passion for Tibet and thinking about Tibet are all for Tibet.

“UNSUNG HERO”: Tenzin Tselha, grassroots coordinator of SFT India, meets a Chushikandru freedom fighter

(Friday 29 March 2013) A chance meeting and request for translation brings together Tenzin Tselha, the grassroots coordinator of Students For A Free Tibet – India, and Thupten, a Chushikandru freedom fighter from Kham. 

On a lazy afternoon I met Angela, a reporter from Germany, She wanted to do a report on Tibet Guerrilla (CHU_SHI_KAN_DRU) and the slothfulness rest a leave and I started getting into action. Which made me inspired by another freedom fighter from Kham. His name is Thupten and he is a hero, who contributed, sacrificed and did what he could do for Free Tibet. She asked me to interpret the conversation between them, while I was translating; thousands of questions were spewing in my mind.



As the story goes further, Angela began to ask questions about the incident when Tibetans were forced to return their arms and ammunition to the Nepali Government. Wearing with the feeling of chauvinism, I can indeed empathized and can sense the sadness in his voice, and according to my friend the glow of his eyes changes as he continued with the story which I missed. I began to wonder about the anger, hatred towards the Nepal government at the time. However, he being a true Buddhist practitioner and an ardent believer of His Holiness the Dalai Lama denied any kind of hatred and anger at that time. But there were people who committed suicide after the surrender, and I felt the betrayal, frustration of the Chu-shi-Gan-Dru soldier at that time. Though many people had lost their life and were disappointed by offering their lives in flames, however Thupten la continued serving the Tibetan army special frontier force for some time, after that he became the bodyguard of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he is still serving the community as a general Secretary of the organization.

Hence, I have the greatest of my humble gratitude and I compiled my nerves with all the warm respect for his generous contribution towards our country. He is not only a man but a patriot who adds an enormous development for our betterment.

Part of me, handing my two little ears to his musical stories and a cup of coffee that I had shared once upon a time was a day that I still longed and blessed. One fine day, when we walked into his office and we met Ama Adhe who was the longest-serving political prisoner, we actually came to know that they were friends, two patriots who sacrificed their life for the country.

He never stop loving and serving his country after the betrayal, chaos and unrest. Thupten la is an epitome of sacrifice and love for his own country, yet he does not hate the oppressor and the betrayer instead he is compassionate towards the opponent. ‘NEVER GIVE UP’ was one of the most popular quotes by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thupten la is again a patriot who followed what he said and he still following it.

Tibetans of the Snowland – (Gangchenpa)


This Wednesday we crosspost another High Peaks Pure Earth blogpost about one of the most popular song from Tibet in recent times.

Dolma Kyap is a very popular and well-respected singer from Amdo, known for his strong voice and integrity. He has become so renowned for this song that he is popularly known as “Gangchenpa Dolma Kyap”.

Dolma Kyab’s powerful rendition of his song ‘Gangchenpa’, Tibetans of the Snowland, on an open stage with back drop of vast Tibetan grassland captivated audiences as well as Tibetans viewers across the world.

This music video of “Gangchenpa” is taken from a recording of a large-scale outdoor show staged by many Tibetan artists, including Dolma Kyap, that took place in Rebkong in July 2006, the same show was where “Mentally Return” was also performed. The song takes its time and slowly builds up to a crescendo, Dolma Kyap working the crowd up into a frenzy! Particularly emotional are the excited shouts from the crowd of “Gangchenpa!” right at the end of the video.

By Dolma Kyap
Lyrics by Chone Yumtsering
Composed by Chang Zhangtung

In the eastern part of the world
Trodden underfoot, a compassionate people
By reaching the sky over the snow mountains
Practise the search for happiness
In the plains of samsara
One’s own life is carried away by sandy winds though
All sentient beings
Firmly hold onto the realisation that
The lama remembers them in the depth of his heart

Oh, these descendants of great Kings
Are my Tibetans of the Snowland
To whom I voice my joy when I am happy
And to whom I sing mournful songs when I am sad
Oh, these descendants of great Kings
Are my Tibetans of the Snowland
To whom I voice my joy when I am happy
And to whom I sing mournful songs when I am sad

Riding on the horns of wild yaks
A ruddy-faced people
On the banks of the Yarlung river
Turned the hooves of their horses
And rode to all four directions
The three provinces
Their years of joy and sorrow
Are written on the face of Ama
Our forefathers
Their sweet songs will echo
Forever in the blue sky

Oh, these descendants of great Kings
Are my Tibetans of the Snowland
To whom I voice my joy when I am happy
And to whom I sing mournful songs when I am sad
Oh, these descendants of great Kings
Are my Tibetans of the Snowland
To whom I voice my joy when I am happy
And to whom I sing mournful songs when I am sad

Oh, these descendants of great Kings
Are my Tibetans of the Snowland
Oh, these descendants of great Kings
Are my Tibetans of the Snowland

[Translation by High Peaks Pure Earth]

Lhamo Tso, activist wife of jailed filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen, granted political asylum in the U.S.

(March 18, 2013) On February 27, Lhamo Tso was granted political asylum by the United States of American in San Francisco. The idea to seek asylum in US came up last July when the Bay Area Friends of Tibet (BAFoT) along with other groups invited Lhamo Tso to the United States and organized the West Coast leg of the US lecture tour. The purpose of her visit was to advocate for the release of her husband, Dhondup Wangchen, who is serving a six year prison sentence in China.


After returning back to India Lhamo Tso travelled again to California and with the help of BAFoT obtained political asylum. Her main concern now is to reunite her family and to continue with her efforts for the release of her husband.

BAFoT is pleased that the United States granted her political asylum request: “She would definitely have been put in prison and mistreated if she were sent back to China-occupied-Tibet,” said BAFoT president Giovanni Vassallo. “We are very grateful to the U.S. government and extend congratulations to her and her family and pray for the day to come quickly that she will be reunited with her husband, a genuine and brave Tibetan hero who dared to nonviolently express care and love for his homeland and its special people.” He added, “We look to China to show grace and compassion now by releasing Dhondup Wangchen immediately to get the medical attention that is his human right.”

Lhamo Tso is very pleased and gives thanks on behalf of her family the US government for showing so much concern for her request. She would like to express her gratitude for all the help her family was given by various individuals and groups such as Mr. Tenpa Tsering in Delhi, Testen and Nyima Thondup in Switzerland, her friends in Dharamsala, the Tibetan Women’s Association in India, the officials of the Tibetan Children’s Village, the Dhomed Association, Gu- Chu-Sum, Tibetan Youth in Europe, US and India, International Tibet Network, Students for a Free Tibet, Save Tibet Austria, International Campaign for Tibet, Amnesty International, Committee to Protect Journalist, the various Tibetan Communities, her pro bono attorney, Kathleen McKinley, Tenzin N. Tethong and Yangchen Surkhang Lakar, Tibet support groups around the world, and anyone who helped her along the way. Her special thanks go to Filming for Tibet, toBAFoT, and the Vassallo family who have given her moral support and generous hospitality for many months.

Jamyang Tsultrim, president of Filming for Tibet who helped producing “Leaving Fear Behind” says: “After a long journey, Lhamo Tso has finally reached a safe haven. We hope that Dhondup Wangchen will soon join his wife and four children who have suffered from family separation. We also hope that Lhamo Tso can now start a more peaceful chapter in her family’s story and would like to ask all people to support her in finding a suitable job and make a successful start in the US.”

As Lhamo Tso continues to campaign for Dhondup’s release and resettle herself and four children to the United States, BAFoT will coordinate all courtesies that may be extended to Lhamo to offset the costs of her family’s US resettlement.

Please support Dhondup Wangchen and Lhamo Tso and visit http://friends-of-tibet.org/projects/lhamo-tso-freedom-fund

Tibetan Singer Sentenced

A photo of Lo Lo from his album, “Raise the Flag of Tibet, Sons of the Snow.” [RFA]

On Wednesday 13 March we feature a song from a popular Tibetan singer named Lolo who was recently given a six year prison sentence. Lolo is a popular Tibetan singer from Yulshul (in Chinese, Yushu). He was detained in April 2012 after releasing album called “Raise the Tibetan flag, Children of Snowland”. According to Voice of Tibet, Lolo was sentenced in February 2013 to six years in prison; his current whereabouts and well-being are not known.

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated the title track from his album. The blog notes that ‘

the song lyrics are extremely political and talk about Tibetan independence, the national flag and Tibetans who have sacrificed their lives. The video as well shows surprisingly strong scenes such as a candle lit vigil where the candles spell out 3 and 10, possibly a reference to March 10, Tibetan National Uprising Day. When the lyrics about the “Protector” are sung, a photo of the Dalai Lama is shown alongside the Karmapa and what looks like the tenth Panchen Lama, unfortunately the video quality is quite poor.’

“Raise the Tibetan Flag, Children of the Snowland” by Lolo

For the sake of protecting Tibet’s independence
Our Kings resisted the red Chinese leaders
From the true meaning of the middle path
Raise the Tibetan flag, children of the Snowland!

For the sake of honouring the Snowland
And to win Tibet’s complete independence
Based on the manifold truth
Raise the Tibetan flag, children of the Snowland!

For the sake of the return of the Protector
For the sake of uniting Tibetans home and abroad
From the wounds of the souls in flames
Raise the Tibetan flag, children of the Snowland!

This snow lion and snow mountain adorned flag
Is the national flag of the Tibetan people
Avenge those departed for the sake of Tibet

Raise the Tibetan flag, children of the Snowland!
Raise the Tibetan flag, children of the Snowland!

[Translation by High Peaks Pure Earth]

Small Acts of Resistance

Small Acts of Resistance in Tibetan

Download – Small Acts of Resistance (PDF)
Read it online on Scribd

Small Acts of Resistance (How Courage, Tenacity and Ingenuity Can Change the World), is a book by Steve Crawshaw and John Jackson. The book contains over 80 true stories from 60 countries exploring people’s ability to resist injustice and change the world around them. The preface is written by Vaclav Havel,
former President of the Czech Republic.

Big changes often start with acts that looked pointless at the time: small acts of resistance, bold acts of defiance, subtle acts of subversion, even witty acts of disobedience. The small acts range from famous struggles such as those against Nazism and Communism and for Civil Rights to ones that have been ignored by the media or are still continuing.

The protagonists range from a few icons to, mainly, people who have been unjustly forgotten or have remained anonymous. Telling the stories of more than eighty acts of resistance, spanning the world and the 20th and 21st centuries, this book pays homage to the groups and individuals that treat the impossible as the possible that just hasn’t happened yet. Small Acts of Resistance celebrates the awe-inspiring ingenuity and courage of the human spirit and pays tribute to those who have been standing up to say “no”.

A project of International Tibet Network | www.tibetnetwork.org
Translated from English to Tibetan by Pema Tsewang Shastri


My dedication to the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima

by Tenzin Jigme, International Tibet Network

Tibetan Buddhism stresses the importance of the teacher as the source of knowledge and the one who guides beings through the evils of the world. This is one reason why Tibetans have such deep faith in reincarnate beings, especially those whose previous incarnations have left a legacy of teachings.

For Tibetans, the Panchen Lama is a highly revered reincarnate being and a religious teacher. The first Panchen Lama and the first Dalai Lama were disciples of Tsong Khapa, the famous founder of the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism.  From the very first Panchen Lama, this line of reincarnate beings attracted religious followers in Tibet and made important connections that led to the lineage becoming one of most well known and beloved religious leaders in Tibet.

The fourth Panchen Lama, considered to be the greatest teacher of the time, played a pivotal role in the search and recognition of the great fifth Dalai Lama, who consolidated temporal and spiritual power of Tibet. Since that time on, these two reincarnate lamas developed a religious connection, which included playing an important role in finding each others’ reincarnation when possible.

The 10th Panchen Lama shared a special bond with the current Dalai Lama even though the two were separated by political circumstances. The Dalai Lama jokingly refer to the 10th Panchen Lama as the ‘brave one’ because he stayed behind in Tibet and suffered greatly during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.  After his political position was reinstated in the 1980s, he fought hard to preserve Tibetan identity, including re-instituting Tibetan as the primary language in Tibetan schools.

Some years after the 10th Panchen Lama passed away in 1989, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognized Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who was six at the time, as the 11th Panchen Lama.  A few days later, on 17 May 1995, Chinese officials took him into custody and for the last 17 years, his whereabouts and well being have remained unknown despite repeated urging from Tibetans and world governments. China installed another boy, Gyancain Norbu, as its choice of Panchen Lama.

Tibetans have dedicated many prayers and songs to successive Panchen Lamas and many of them are collected here.  One of the most famous songs dedicated to the 10th Panchen Lama was composed in exile before he passed away. It is a song about the bond between the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.  It is a sad reminder of the political reality but at the same time a Tibetan belief that there will be brighter days ahead.  It became an instant classic both inside and outside Tibet.

Below is the Tibetan translation of the song.

The Sun and the Moon


I have to go to a foreign land,
It is karma of sentient being.
Don’t be sad,
My beloved younger brother.


It is our Karma,
to fulfill our promise.
From behind the cloud,
the Sun and the Moon will one day reappear.


I have to remain in the land,
It is karma of sentient being.
Don’t be sad,
My dear elder brother.


It is our Karma,
to fulfill our promise.
If we persevere,
there will be result, one day.


We have to endure hardships,
It is our karma.
Don’t be sad,

The Spirit of Losar

by Tenzin Choedon

There were so many stages in my life when Losar meant different things to me.

A traditional Losar shrine offering items to invoke auspiciousness and abundance for the New Year

Losar when growing up reminds me of fun and excitement. All I cared about were the new clothes, brand new shoes, money under my pillow that I always believed the Losar Fairy (my parents made sure to put the money in an envelope) had placed and of course, the fire crackers on the 29th day of the last month before Losar. The altar looked beautiful with all the Derka and offerings, but those were amongst the least of my interest although asking Konchok (god) for permission to steal some chocolates and candies, nuts and dried cheese from the altar is another thing.

Losar then began to challenge me as a grown up. I started feeling embarrassed wearing new clothes and wasn’t too excited about getting extra pocket money. Losar was about going to school and giving exams. Losar was about taking more responsibilities, it was about learning how to arrange the altar and the offerings, preparation for Guthuk, sweet rice and my favourite – butter tea.

Eating Guthuk is an important Tibetan tradition that signifies the safe passage into the New Year.

There after, Losar became a tool. A tool to get peoples’ attention to our cause. A tool for Tibetans inside to defy the Chinese authority. A tool for Tibetans living around the world to be ourselves and celebrate our existence.

Losar could be like any other new year, but to me, although the meaning of Losar varied each time, these different stages helped me grow into my identity.

The Chinese authority may try and manipulate our Losar, but they can’t take away the Spirit of Losar – the spirit of being Tibetan. 

Resistance in Tibet: Self-immolations and protest

resistance in tibet
Open publication

China’s repressive policies over the 60 years since it occupied Tibet, and the severe crackdown that followed plateau-wide Uprisings in 2008, have created a crisis in Tibet, provoking an unprecedented wave of self-immolations by Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople.

In January 2012 a new wave of large-scale protests broke out with demonstrators calling for freedom in Tibet and the return of the Dalai Lama. Chinese security forces responded to these peaceful protests by opening fire on demonstrators, killing at least five Tibetans and seriously injuring many more.

The self-immolations and protests of 2011 and 2012 have been primarily centered in eastern Tibet, an area with a strong history of dissent despite China’s intense and systematic crackdown. Since widespread popular protests in 2008 the area has been flooded with armed troops and virtually closed off from the world. Many monasteries have been all but shut down and Tibetans are routinely harassed by the authorities in the streets, in their workplaces and in their homes.

To date there have been 24* self-immolations; 11 since January 2012. At least 14 have been fatal. As Tibetan resistance to Chinese rule continues, Beijing has tightened security and embarked on a major propaganda drive to paint self-immolation as a form of ‘terrorism’. However, as Tenzin Dorjee, leading Tibet activist and Executive Director of Students for a Free Tibet said, “Tibetans who have set themselves on fire in protest were exemplary community members and even widely respected Tibetan leaders who displayed courage and integrity in their final acts of defiance — qualities of character far beyond the reach of the Chinese bureaucrats and officials who attempt to demonize them from Beijing.”

China’s flagrant disregard for fundamental human rights and its cruel and systematic assault on the Tibetan people has to be condemned by global leaders. The scale of this crisis and China’s continued unwillingness to acknowledge concern warrants a strong international response.

This report highlights the widespread recent resistance in Tibet and demonstrates the strong Tibetan identity and unity among the Tibetan people.

Soul of the Tibetans


Song by Tsewang Lhamo

Snow mountains are my soul
Blue rivers is my lifeline,
My name is the Land of Snow
I am Tibetan. I speak Tibetan.
I love Tibet’s spiritual inheritance
I love Tibet’s art and culture
My name is the Land of Dharma
I am Tibetan. I study Tibetan.
My name is the Tibetan Plateau
I am a Tibetan girl. I love Tibet.
My ancestors were a monkey and an ogress
I am Tibetan. I speak Tibetan.

[Source: lhakardiaries.com/2011/12/07/three-lhakar-songs/]