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Articles, Photos and Videos
On the March 2008 Protests Against the China Crackdown in Tibet
Buddhist monks and local people revolt to Chinese occupation and abuses of human rights.

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Videos and Photographs of Los Angeles Candlelight Vigils and Rallies

The following photos were taken for The Tibet Connection, a monthly English language radio show about Tibet on the air and on the web.

Tibetans and Tibetan supporters march in front of the Federal Building in Westwood, Los Angeles, 19 March 2008, part of the ongoing protests against the China crackdown in Tibet during the year of the Beijing Olympics.

A four-legged suppoter of human rights in Tibet.

19 March 2008 Vigil for Tibet - BoingBoing VLog (Xeni Jardin)

Tibetans and their supporters around the world held vigils this week in support of the ongoing uprising in Tibet, as Chinese military and police jailed protesters inside Tibet, and reports of injuries and deaths continue.

From Boing Boing TV - 19 March 2008: Xeni visited one such vigil in front of the LA Federal building, organized by Southern California Tibetans, including Namgyal Kyulo of the Tibetan Association of Southern California, and Tseten Phanucharas, of the Los Angeles Friends of Tibet.

Photographs of 21 March 2008 Los Angeles Candlelight Vigil

The following photos were taken for The Tibet Connection, a monthly English language radio show about Tibet on the air and on the web.

Protest for Tibetan rights in front of the Federal Building in Westwood, Los Angeles, CA. 

Interviewed by the Los Angeles Times.

The Senior Producer of The Tibet Connection recording audio and photographing the protest.

Lighting candles for the vigil.

Candlelight prayer.

The evening's events ended with a candlelight prayer. 


All photos taken for The Tibet Connection, 19 and 21 March 2008.These photos have appeared on the Los Angeles Friends of Tibet and The Tibet Connection websites.

These Days in Dharamsala
Rebecca Novick - March 2008

These days, Dharamsala feels alternately like a temple and the seat of revolution. At times it feels like both. Every morning, thousands of Tibetans, young and old, those born in Tibet and those born in exile, march down the hill from the market of McLoed Ganj, shouting in English for justice and human rights, for the help of the UN, for the long life of the Dalai Lama. Today, their shouts are mingled with the moan of long horns blasting out from a nearby monastery.

They have been marching every day since March 10th and they never seem to tire. Each evening around dusk, thousands more walk through McLeod all carrying candles and chanting the bodhisattva prayer-- May I become enlightened to end the suffering of all sentient beings--in Tibetan over and over again. This prayer has become the anthem of Dharamsala. You hear it muttered from old women, belted out by toddlers, and chanted by monks through loud speakers: May I become enlightened to end the suffering of all sentient beings.

The evening marchers end up at the Tsuglakhang; the temple located right in front of the Dalai Lama's private residence, to assemble in what is essentially the Dalai Lamas front yard. They shout freedom slogans and Bod Gyalo!!! (Victory to Tibet) at the top of their lungs for twenty minutes, while young boisterous monks with Free Tibet scrawled across their foreheads in red paint, wave giant Tibetan flags to rally the crowd. The red, yellow and blue of Tibetan flags are everywhere, and a feeling that must accompany all revolutions of past times--a feeling of passion, resolve, and the sting of injustice--stirs the air.

And then, suddenly, all you can hear is the sound of a baby crying as the crowd sit and perform silent prayers for their countrymen. The evening ends with everyone singing a song that was composed after the 1959 uprising in Lhasa against the Chinese occupation. Its stirring and evocative, and even if you dont speak the language, its hard not to feel moved.

One evening at the temple, the monks of Kirti monastery in Amdo, Tibet, the site of huge demonstrations in recent days, brought a CD of photos of the bodies of Tibetans who eyewitnesses say had been shot by Chinese police. The photos were displayed on a large plasma television on the steps in front of the temple. A more placid group of seven robed monks sat in front of the screen and prayed. With hands folded at their chests, the images of bloodied and mangled bodies filled with bullet holes flashing before their eyes, many now wet with tears, 5,000 people joined in. One young monk told me later that he saw the dead body of his cousin on the screen. He hadnt known that hed been killed.

Now these photos and other images coming out of Tibet have been put up on flyers on the outside of the temple wall, directly opposite a tent filled with hunger strikers. On their way back home, people pass candles over the photos of the disfigured and bloody bodies and speak in hushed voices. Opposite, the hunger strikers continue to chant prayers and mantras all day and all through the night.

Tibetans seem to be able to hold, without contradiction, many different ways of expressing their grief, and their concern for and solidarity with the people in Tibet; to wave banners and shout until their throats are sore, and to sit and pray with heartfelt devotion to the Buddhas that, one day, may they become like them for the sake of all.

Yesterday, I heard about a different kind of demonstration organized by the monks of the Buddhist Dialectic School. No face paint, no red bandanas, no hand-made placards reading Shame on China. They shaved their heads clean, put on the outer yellow robe normally only worn for religious teachings, and walked slowly, heads down, single file through the town, chanting the refuge prayer in Pali. Buddham sharanam ghachamay/dhammam sharanam gacchami/sangham sharanan gachhani/ahimsa ahimsa.

A reporter asked the monks why they were wearing the yellow robe. The monk replied, "We are monks but we are also human beings. We are not immune to anger. Wearing the yellow robe reminds us to subdue our negative emotions."

At an intersection, the monks met up with a few thousand demonstrators led by angry young men with Tibetan flags draped around their shoulders, shouting anti-Chinese slogans and punching their fists into the air. The monks kept walking and chanting. At the point where the two groups met, the demonstrators fell silent and stood aside to let the monks pass, forming two lines on either side of the street. They brought their palms together at their hearts and bowed their heads. Many began to cry. The monks kept walking and chanting. Buddham sharanam ghachamay After the monks had passed, the demonstrators picked up their flags and placards and fell in behind them chanting another slogan; May I become enlightened to end the suffering of all sentient beings.

-Rebecca Novick, Executive Producer of The Tibet Connection

Photographs of 31 March 2008 Global Day of Action, Los Angeles

The following photos were taken for The Tibet Connection, a monthly English language radio show about Tibet on the air and on the web, in front of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles.  Several representatives spoke out against the China's injustices against Tibetans, calling for investigations and for Doctors Without Borders and international media to be allowed into Tibet.

The Chinese stand in solidarity with the Tibetans in demanding human rights in Tibet.  Chinese Consulate, Los Angeles, 31 March 2008, on a Global Day for Justice, a day in which protesters around the world gathered to allow their voices to be heard in a cry against injustice.

Tibetan supporters protesting in front of the Chinese Consulate, 31 March 2008, a Global Day for Action.

The President of Los Angeles Friends of Tibet demands basic human rights for Tibetans, as the Vietnamese stand in solidarity.  The Vietnamese demanded that China stop targeting their fishermen and invading their waters.

Honoring Tibetans who gave their lives by conducting a "die-in", with supporters representing those who have been killed.

A prayer for those who have died in Tibet during the "die-in" in front of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles.

Honoring Tibetans who gave their lives by conducting a "die-in", with supporters representing those who have been killed.

Honoring Tibetans who gave their lives by conducting a "die-in", with supporters representing those who have been killed.

Armed with only bullhorns while marching in front of the Chinese Consulate, Tibetan supporters hope that their voices can be heard above the sound of money and bureaucracy.

Voices of Tibetans echo against the walls of the Chinese Consulate, 31 March 31, the Global Day for Action as protesters from all around the world gather to demand human rights and justice.

The Tibet Connection - Exclusive Audio Interview with American Writer Who Joined the March to Tibet

We hear from LEX PELGER an American on the March to Tibet immediately after the marchers were arrested.

With the original marchers in jail, Lex describes walking with a new group of monks and nuns and a midnight run from the police

Lex Pelger on what happens when you put 85 Tibetan monks in an Indian jail...

An interview about courage, international friendship, and how to break INTO an Indian jail...

On the morning of March 10th, 2008, on the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising in Lhasa, 100 Tibetans, mostly monks, set off from the town of Dharamsala, India, with the intention of walking to Tibet. They were marching to focus global attention on the plight of their countrymen, timing their arrival at the Indian-Tibetan border with August's Beijing Olympics. One of the marchers was Tenzin Tsundue, the poet and activist, who has become an icon of creative resistance among Tibetan youth.

They were only a few hours in to the march when they were stopped by local authorities under orders from Delhi Central government and forbidden to leave the district of Kangra in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Unperturbed, they continued on and the following day, all 100 were summarily arrested at the Kangra district border.

The Tibet Connection's Ronny Novick spoke with Lex Pelger, a 25- year-old Pennsylvanian writer who is traveling with the marchers. Lex spoke by cell phone from outside the jail at Jawala Mukhi about the marchers' dedication to non-violent resistance, why he and 9 other Westerners joined the hunger strike that they mounted, and how to break INTO an Indian jail....

Transcript of interview (Word Document)
Transcript of interview (PDF file)

Latest news:  The Tibetan monks will be held in  a government hostel for two weeks and then be released. The hunger strike is over. All the foreigners have returned to Dharamsala, India.

14 March 2008:  Despite an information blackout, photos of the demonstrations in Lhasa which have left numerous monks dead still manage to make it through.  Photo courtesy of France 24.

Update on a series of previous posts here on BB about pro-Tibetan-independence protests in Lhasa: violence grew dramatically today. Snip from report issued today by the US-government-funded news agency RFA, which has correspondents on the ground in Tibet:

"We saw two dead at Ramoche temple, two in the garden, two at the Ganden printing house, and those Tibetans who went to take food to prisoners in Drapchi prison saw 26 Tibetans shot after they were brought in on a black vehicle," one Tibetan witness said. "There could be about 80 dead, or more, but there is too much commotion here to give an exact number."

"Several buildings owned by Chinese immigrants and Chinese Muslim immigrants were set on fire," the witness said. "All those shops owned by Chinese were ransacked and burned. Tibetan shop owners were told to mark their shops with scarves."

Another source said Ramoche monastery, which has about 110 resident monks, was badly damaged after Tibetans were found running in the area carrying photos of the Dalai Lama and shouting "Independence for Tibet.'" - courtesy of BoingBoing


Buddhist monks and local people revolt to Chinese occupation and abuses of human rights.

Statement of Senator Barack Obama on the situation in Tibet
Chicago, IL | March 14, 2008

Chicago, IL -- "I am deeply disturbed by reports of a crackdown and arrests ordered by Chinese authorities in the wake of peaceful protests by Tibetan Buddhist monks. I condemn the use of violence to put down peaceful protests, and call on the Chinese government to respect the basic human rights of the people of Tibet, and to account for the whereabouts of detained Buddhist monks.

These events come on the 49th anniversary of the exile of the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama. They demonstrate the continuing frustration of the Tibetan people at the way in which Beijing has ruled Tibet. There has been an informal dialogue between Chinese leaders and the Dalai Lama's representatives over the past six years. It is good that they have been talking, but China has thus far shown no flexibility on the substance of those discussions. Indeed, it has delayed in scheduling the latest round, despite the willingness of the Tibetans to continue dialogue.

If Tibetans are to live in harmony with the rest of China's people, their religion and culture must be respected and protected. Tibet should enjoy genuine and meaningful autonomy. The Dalai Lama should be invited to visit China, as part of a process leading to his return.

This is the year of the Beijing Olympics. It represents an opportunity for China to show the world what it has accomplished in the last several decades. Those accomplishments have been extraordinary and China's people have a right to be proud of them, but the events in Tibet these last few days unfortunately show a different face of China. Now is the time for Beijing to take steps that would change the image people have of China later this year by changing the reality of how they treat Tibet and Tibetans. Now is the time to respect the human rights and religious freedom of the people of Tibet."

  • Barack Obama website

  • IOC: Speak Up About the Tibet Crisis!
    The crackdown by Chinese authorities this week on peaceful protests by hundreds of Tibetan monks and nuns has demonstrated China's complete disregard for international human rights norms. After years of repressive policies and repeated denunciations of the Dalai Lama, China's violent response has triggered the desperation felt by Tibetans and led to widespread protests in Lhasa and throughout Amdo province (present-day Qinghai and Gansu provinces). In Lhasa on Friday, police fired live ammunition into the crowd of protesters and unconfirmed reports place the number of dead at at least 100.

    These are not the actions of a responsible Olympic host country.

    The International Olympic Committee's continued silence about Tibet will only embolden China to crack down harder on Tibetans. Urge the IOC to remove Tibet from the Olympic Torch Relay route now and to speak up publicly about the situation in Tibet.


    Avaaz - Petition to end the violence in Tibet


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