Woeser: “The Snow-Lion Roaring in the Year of the Mouse: A Chronicle of the Events in Tibet of 2008″

Tibetan writer has published a new book in Chinese titled “The Snow-Lion Roaring in the Year of the Mouse: A Chronicle of the Events in of 2008″. The preface to the book, which was published in Taiwan, has been translated into English and can be found at the High Peaks Pure Earth blog:

On the night of the “Incident of March 14”, a young man who was there in Lhasa and experienced it in person (he was later taken innocently into custody for more than 50 days), whereas I was in Beijing, said to me: “in fact, we are very weak, although we always say “nation” and “Tibet”, we are only paying lip service. When disasters happen, it’s the ordinary people who are braver than us and are always going ahead regardless of anything.” Yes, the situation was often like this – when many people shouted out loud their accumulated rancour that they had kept inside for so long, more people hid aside to keep their silence. Me too, I was silent, and silent for so many days. The reasons were not the everyday risks, for instance, the imminent danger appeared clearly on one afternoon when a policeman said kindly to me that I was prohibited to go outside; not because I feared him, his working unit, this state apparatus, absolutely not. The real reason was because there were too many feelings suffocating my throat, stuffing my brain full and making my hands stiff as I hit the keys on the keyboard.

I told a Chinese friend who sent his regards to me from the US: “During these days…tremendous suffering, and some feelings of disillusion…I cannot speak out…just like a singer suddenly loses his voice…I don’t know how to express…huge grief and indignation as well as the struggle…” Just as a singer loses his voice because of disillusion and the struggle in his heart. The disillusion stems from this country where we are living, and moreover from the people in this country we have to get along with. However, disillusion doesn’t mean being tired of life, and doesn’t mean that the courage of resistance arises so there is still some struggle from the inside. After a few months, I often heard a voice which came from an idol from my youth whom I had gradually forgotten, an Italian lady called Oriana Fallaci, who, after the events of September 11, wrote: “at this moment, if we keep silent, it’s a mistake, to speak out will be an obligation.” As a reporter and a writer she has written and spoken many words but only these words have tortured my heart.

Yes, to speak out is my obligation.

Also from Woeser’s Invisible Tibet blog: A Terrible Picture: Chinese Military and Police Beating Tibetans to Death (March 21, 2009)

At the two links below is a seven minute video:


The video records the extreme cruelty to which Tibetans arrested by the Chinese military and police have been subject since March 14th of last year.

Beaten Tibetans who can no longer move are spread out on the ground. Some Tibetan monks wearing their red robes are on the ground, not moving at all.

Between them a boy is crying…..

Tendar is called in Chinese Danda or Tanda. He is still young, between 20 and thirty years of age. A resident of Lhasa. He is a manager in the customer service department of the Tibet mobile telephone company.

I heard his tragic story last year in early March. It was so tragic, it was hard to believe. Recently, some Tibetans made a recording about his treatment and a story to accompany them that I had not heard before, eyewitness accounts of extremely cruel treatment of people that compel belief.

“One mother’s child was an employee of the Tibetan telecoms company. On March 14, on his way home from the office, he was several People’s Armed Police beating an unarmed elderly monk. He could not but beg the PAP to have mercy. But those PAP punched and kicked him. He was hit until he was bleeding from the head and then taken away. For a long time, nobody knew whether he was living or dead.”

His mother was a retired nurse. She mobilized everyone she knew and checked everywhere to find out what had happened to her son. She finally found that her son was being held at a detention center in Lhasa. When she finally found her son, she saw a terrible sight. Her son, all bloodied was wrapped in plastic and placed on the concrete cell floor. One of his legs was cut with many bloody knife wounds and a nail had been driven in to a toenail on his right foot. A great deal of flesh had been cut away from his bottom, where the would was rotting and infested with insects. Where his waist had been beaten with electric batons, the flesh had started to decay. There were many wounds on his back and on his face. One of the wounds were covered with transparent tape. Because he had not received any medical care, he was already on the verge of death.

The heart-broken mother had her child rushed to a hospital. The Lhasa Military District Hospital is Lhasa’s best hospital, but did not dare give her son immediate treatment and indeed purposely put her off. Then he was transferred to the TAR People’s Hospital. During his emergency treatment, it was necessary to remove 2.5 kilograms of flesh that had already become severely decayed from his buttocks. However, his wounds were too severe and he was unable to recover, so there was no alternative but to sent him back to his home near the Drepung Monastery where his mother took care of him. Finally on June 19, this suffering Tibetan youth died.

Several hundred Tibetans came to his funeral services. Many came out of deep sympathy for a stranger who suffered a terrible tragedy. At the funeral service, the mother of this youth said sadly, “I cry not only for my son who died a tragic death, I cry even more for those sons who are being tortured. As a mother, I can’t imagine the torments and suffering my son endured in prison….” Where her son was given to the vultures in the traditional Tibetan burial ceremony, she discovered a nail that had been driven into his foot.

Now that mother lives under close police surveillance and cannot have any contact with the outside world. Some people say that she went crazy because of the great blow that she suffered. News of this cruel tragedy has spread through all of Lhasa, very many Tibetans had head about it, and feel great sadness and resentment about it.

On April 2, 2008, Zhang Qingli, the top Chinese Communist Party official in Tibet said on television about the repression actions said “the forces taking part in the battle are brave and fight well” and praised them highly for “Obeying the directives of the Party, serving the people, and for being a brave army composed of the sons and younger brothers of the people.” From this video, we can see just how “brave and well” the “forces taking part in the battle” are fighting.

June 19, the day the innocent Tibetan youth Tendar died a cruel death, was the day before the Beijing Olympic Torch arrived in Lhasa.

How many other Tibetans are locked away behind dark curtains, who like Tendar, suffered a cruel, inhumane violent treatment at the hands of the government’s state apparatus? How many more Tibetan tragedies are there that the world doesn’t know about? People of conscience, if they still have a conscience, please speak out about the tragic fate of the Tibetan people!

Therefore, this short video is a very valuable historical document. Most unfortunate, however, is that it is very hard to see this video on the Youtube and Phayul websites. The speed is slow and it is often blocked and hard to download (it took me three hours to see the entire 7 plus minutes of video. This may be because people in China who want to see this video must jump over the wall (that is they must use a proxy server), that we encounter these kinds of difficulties. I don’t know if there could be a better method, that would enable use to see this video more easily?

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