SFT Weekly Update: A Moment of Hope

In these times of great turmoil inside Tibet, it is easy to forget that nothing is permanent except change. As empires rise and fall, so do dictatorships. Oppression, after all, is impermanent too.

Last week we witnessed a quiet moment that serves as a profound reminder of this basic truth. After almost two decades of living under house arrest, Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi was able to travel to Europe this month to deliver her belated acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, an award she won in 1991.

Last Tuesday in London, on her 67th birthday, she met with her fellow Nobel peace laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This meeting between two global peace icons – and two of the most inspiring leaders of our time – was a moment of triumph for truth and justice.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will also celebrate his birthday soon. Next week on July 6th he turns 77 years old. It is hard to think of any living individual who better represents the ideals of peace, hope, and compassion. As a leader, visionary, philosopher, environmentalist, reformer, and peace activist, His Holiness’ monumental contribution to humankind has touched us all.

Born in a remote corner of eastern Tibet in 1935 and educated in the grandeur of Lhasa’s Potala Palace, his life – and that of his nation – was turned upside down when Tibet was invaded by China in 1949. As Chinese troops massacred Tibetans, stole their land, looted their wealth, and razed their temples to the ground, the young Dalai Lama was called upon to lead his people. 

Instead of resigning to a life under Chinese control, he risked everything to flee his beloved homeland. His dramatic escape to India, from where he could continue to lead his people in their freedom struggle, was a visionary decision and has denied the Chinese government the power to control his activities.

Ever since he moved into a humble residence in Dharamsala at the age of 24, His Holiness has dedicated every waking hour to the cause of his people, and indeed to the well-being of all sentient beings. In his effort to promote world peace, religious harmony, and universal responsibility, he has traveled across continents, given thousands of talks, written hundreds of books, and educated millions of people. 

Everywhere he travels, the Dalai Lama brings inspiration and rekindles our hope.

As he multiplies kindness and compassion around this world, his own homeland remains in chains. His people are going through one of the most difficult periods in Tibetan history. His Holiness, always undefeated and hopeful, recently told a reporter in London, “The Tibetan spirit is very, very strong – it will remain.”

While this is true, we must continue to invest in the Tibetan freedom struggle and complement His Holiness’ tireless work to ensure the Tibetan spirit remains strong for generations to come. In addition to waging hard-hitting campaigns and actions that raise China’s cost of occupation, at SFT we are equipping young Tibet movement leaders with the vision, strategy, and skills to advance the cause of Tibetan freedom.

Please donate to SFT’s innovative Youth Leadership Program in honor of His Holiness’s 77th birthday
:
http://sft.convio.net/site/Donation2?df_id=2000&2000.donation=form1

This year, you can also donate your birthday to SFT as a gift in honor of His Holiness’s birthday. To do so, please fill out this simple form and we will contact you two weeks before your birthday with instructions on how you can fulfill your pledge.

Your generous donation will help cultivate young leaders whose vision, dynamism, and hard work will bring us one giant step closer to Tibetan freedom.

Thank you for your support and generosity. Tibet will be free.

In Solidarity,

Tendor signature 

Tendor
Executive Director

P.S. To make a donation in honor of His Holiness’s 77th birthday to SFT’s Youth Leadership Program, please visit: http://sft.convio.net/site/Donation2?df_id=2000&2000.donation=form1

IN MEMORY OF ADAM YAUCH – by Kurt Langer

photo by Kiino Villand ©1996

Earlier today, Adam Yauch, founding member of the Beastie Boys passed away after a three year fight against cancer.   Adam was a good friend of mine, and one of my oldest friends in New York. But more than being a friend, he was an inspiration. I am so privileged to have known him.

Adam is well known for his many talents — musician, film-maker, snowboarder and world champion alpen horn blower — but he was as generous as he was creative.  It’s well known that Adam cared deeply about seeing a Free and Independent Tibet in his lifetime, and he used every resource available to make this dream a reality. Through his efforts, he raised millions of dollars for the Beasite Boys’ charity the Milarepa Fund, but he also lobbied congress in their DC offices, folded pamphlets and licked envelopes, got arrested at demonstrations at the Chinese Consulate, made food for volunteers, called business leaders and talked to them about human rights — heck, he even slept on the floor of my college dorm room so that he could attend a Students for a Free Tibet conference that I organized at my school (this was a long, long time ago).  But for Adam, Tibet was just the beginning.  He believed that  the act of freeing Tibet would have a ripple effect around the world, and encourage freedom everywhere.  Most importantly, he believed that the key to doing this was through non-violence, and that is what so deeply moved him to give so much of his time, energy and talent to supporting the cause.

After 911, New Yorkers were lost, overwhelmed and grieving.  Adam was the first person to organize a benefit concert. Rather than focus on the tragedy of what happened, which was too vast for us all to fully comprehend, he titled his event “New Yorkers Against Violence.”   Somehow, Adam (and Mike D and Adam Horovitz) knew that the message had to be global, and that it had to address the problem of violence, rather than just be a reaction to the tragedy that was still unfolding in our city.  Adam thought big, and he understood that all things are interconnected.  He was an old soul, and he clearly lived so passionately, creatively and compassionately, that he exhausted his body at far too young an age.

Although it’s hard to fathom that we won’t see him again, the mark he left on this world will have a lasting legacy.  For every musician he encouraged, for every artist he inspired, for every Tibetan he gave hope to, and for every person who shook their rump to his fat bass lines, we pay tribute to MCA.   Our deepest condolences go out to his incredible family, and all the friends who he has touched during his time with us.  On a personal note, I have to say, Adam, thank you for everything you did for me – all the kind words, generosity, encouragement, leadership, inspiration, and most importantly, the laughs.  You played a huge role in making me the person I am today, and I am forever grateful to you.

Now it’s time to honor his life by helping to make his dream come true.

***This is a guest post by Kurt Langer, SFT Board of Directors. The original post can be read here: http://colab-projects.com/blog/?p=1649

Art for Tibet II Officially Opens!

SFT officially opened Art for Tibet II last night with a Gallery opening featuring a panel discussion on Tibetan art, culture and resistance. View the 100+ artworks including two works anonymously submitted from Tibet. The Art for Tibet Online Auction runs until 5PM EST on September 24th.

(more…)

From London to Lhasa: Students for a Free Tibet UK 2010-07-22 00:48:10

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Wales has many positive qualities, but its weather isn’t usually one of them. So I’m glad to say that stereotype didn’t hold true when we headed to Pembrey in Carmarthenshire for Beach Break Live, the UK’s biggest student festival. The sun shone down on our little stall all week making our time there all the better.

We went with two aims in mind – to sell our lovely range or merchandise and to spread the word about SFT UK’s fantastic work, hopefully getting lots of new people involved. Whilst our sales could have been better, we did meet lots of enthusiastic people and almost everyone that stopped at our stall signed our petition to free Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen or joined our email list or stayed for a chat about what we do. Some of them were keen to start campaigning at their universities and colleges and one of them, Sophie, is starting a new SFT group at the University of Plymouth this year and left with a box load of leaflets, postcards and other great stuff to get the group off to a flying start. Watch this space to see how she gets on.

Whilst we worked hard making our stall the most beautiful on site and keeping it open for over 12 hours a day, there was still time for fun and the week was full of memorable moments. From the impromptu yoga class outside our stall, to dancing at the Granny Gaff, from our neighbours at On Your Beach accidentally making tea with vodka, to a barbeque on the beach at sunset.

Massive thanks go to our volunteers Fenya, Sonam, Gabby, Lizzie and Pete who were tireless throughout the week; we really could not have done it without you guys.

To find out more of our pictures click here

photos & report prepared by Ben Martin

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From London to Lhasa: Students for a Free Tibet UK 2010-07-22 00:48:10

P1010081

Wales has many positive qualities, but its weather isn’t usually one of them. So I’m glad to say that stereotype didn’t hold true when we headed to Pembrey in Carmarthenshire for Beach Break Live, the UK’s biggest student festival. The sun shone down on our little stall all week making our time there all the better.

We went with two aims in mind – to sell our lovely range or merchandise and to spread the word about SFT UK’s fantastic work, hopefully getting lots of new people involved. Whilst our sales could have been better, we did meet lots of enthusiastic people and almost everyone that stopped at our stall signed our petition to free Tibetan filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen or joined our email list or stayed for a chat about what we do. Some of them were keen to start campaigning at their universities and colleges and one of them, Sophie, is starting a new SFT group at the University of Plymouth this year and left with a box load of leaflets, postcards and other great stuff to get the group off to a flying start. Watch this space to see how she gets on.

Whilst we worked hard making our stall the most beautiful on site and keeping it open for over 12 hours a day, there was still time for fun and the week was full of memorable moments. From the impromptu yoga class outside our stall, to dancing at the Granny Gaff, from our neighbours at On Your Beach accidentally making tea with vodka, to a barbeque on the beach at sunset.

Massive thanks go to our volunteers Fenya, Sonam, Gabby, Lizzie and Pete who were tireless throughout the week; we really could not have done it without you guys.

To find out more of our pictures click here

photos & report prepared by Ben Martin

P1010075

P1010080

Comments

SFT Japan protests Wen Jiabao’s visit

SFT Japan helped coordinate protests marking the arrival of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Japan on Sunday. Check out the photos below:

japan_wen_protest

SFT works to ensure that China’s leaders hear loud & clear from Tibetans and their supporters everywhere they travel around the world. While Beijing can use violence to silence the voices of Tibetans inside Tibet, they can not stop us from amplifying these voices in free countries.

Tibetans and Supporters deliver letter to the British Prime Minister and the Chinese ambassador

10dst
(Photos by Anna Branthwaite, Tibet Society, UK)

6th March, London: Tibetans across the world are preparing to mark the 51st anniversary of the Lhasa Uprising. In Tibet, various non-violent protests have been reported across the Tibetan plateau since Losar and the meeting between President Obama and the Dalai Lama in Washington. The Chinese government clearly fears more vigorous protests in March, and wary of the negative press it received in 2008 has attempted to preempt any such protests by launching a 'Strike Hard' Campaign in Lhasa, rounding up over 500 Tibetans. Protests have occurred in Ngaba, in the Tibetan province of Amdo, as well as Zachuka in Kham. In response, Tibetans and supporters in India held a candle lit vigil strongly condeming the act.

On the 6th March in London, around 500 Tibetans and supporters marched in the streets of London calling for the end of oppression in Tibet and expressed the need for immediate resolution to the Tibetan issue. Letters were delivered to the British Prime Minister and to the Chinese ambassador by the representatives of Tibet support groups in London.

watch the video footage from Reuters here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTM3-E60HHg

m6
(Photos by Anna Branthwaite, Tibet Society, UK)

This March 10th hundreds of Tibet supporters from across the country will be converging on Parliament to lobby their MPs and we want you to be there. Meeting with your MP is one of the most effective ways to support human rights in Tibet and it couldn’t be easier.  To take part just follow the steps below:

1. Find your out your MP’s contact details at http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/commons or by calling the House of Commons Information Office on 020 7219 4272.

2. Make an appointment to visit them at Parliament by using email, post or telephone. Explain that you will in Westminster for the Tibet Mass Lobby on March 10th and would like to meet them as close to 2.30pm as possible (we would like everyone to be at Parliament at the same time!)

Please note that your MP or his or her representative will have to come to meet you even without a confirmation of your appointment. So come down to the Mass Lobby on 10 March even if your appointment is not confirmed.

3. Let us know the name of your MP, his or her constituency and the time of your appointment by contacting liam@sftuk.org. It is very important for us to know if you are coming to the mass lobby so that we can coordinate with others from your constituency and you can meet your MP together.

You will then receive a lobby pack containing:

* Logistical information – timings, directions, meeting points, etc
* What to expect on the day and from your appointment
* Information for you and for your MP about the primary concerns addressed by the mass lobby
* A lobby postcard with the key demands for you to hand to your MP
* Facts about Tibet including the current situation

If you have any questions or would like any more information please do not hesitate to contact liam@sfutk.org

Other Events on the day
--------------------------
PROTEST & RALLY at CHINESE EMBASSY

Venue: Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London W1B 1JL Map
Nearest undergrounds: Oxford Circus, Portland Place, Regents Park
Time: 11am - 12pm

WREATH-LAYING at MEMORIAL TO COMMEMORATE THE 51st ANNIVERSARY OF THE TIBETAN NATIONAL UPRISING

Venue: Outside the West door, Westminster Abbey, London SW1. Map
Nearest undergrounds: Westminster
Time: 1.45pm

---------------------------------------
The mass lobby is organised by The Coalition of UK Tibet Support Groups, made up of: Tibet Society, Free Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet UK, Tibetan Community in Britain and Tibetan Youth UK.

Comments

Tibetans and Supporters deliver letter to the British Prime Minister and the Chinese ambassador

10dst
(Photos by Anna Branthwaite, Tibet Society, UK)

6th March, London: Tibetans across the world are preparing to mark the 51st anniversary of the Lhasa Uprising. In Tibet, various non-violent protests have been reported across the Tibetan plateau since Losar and the meeting between President Obama and the Dalai Lama in Washington. The Chinese government clearly fears more vigorous protests in March, and wary of the negative press it received in 2008 has attempted to preempt any such protests by launching a 'Strike Hard' Campaign in Lhasa, rounding up over 500 Tibetans. Protests have occurred in Ngaba, in the Tibetan province of Amdo, as well as Zachuka in Kham. In response, Tibetans and supporters in India held a candle lit vigil strongly condeming the act.

On the 6th March in London, around 500 Tibetans and supporters marched in the streets of London calling for the end of oppression in Tibet and expressed the need for immediate resolution to the Tibetan issue. Letters were delivered to the British Prime Minister and to the Chinese ambassador by the representatives of Tibet support groups in London.

watch the video footage from Reuters here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTM3-E60HHg

m6
(Photos by Anna Branthwaite, Tibet Society, UK)

This March 10th hundreds of Tibet supporters from across the country will be converging on Parliament to lobby their MPs and we want you to be there. Meeting with your MP is one of the most effective ways to support human rights in Tibet and it couldn’t be easier.  To take part just follow the steps below:

1. Find your out your MP’s contact details at http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/commons or by calling the House of Commons Information Office on 020 7219 4272.

2. Make an appointment to visit them at Parliament by using email, post or telephone. Explain that you will in Westminster for the Tibet Mass Lobby on March 10th and would like to meet them as close to 2.30pm as possible (we would like everyone to be at Parliament at the same time!)

Please note that your MP or his or her representative will have to come to meet you even without a confirmation of your appointment. So come down to the Mass Lobby on 10 March even if your appointment is not confirmed.

3. Let us know the name of your MP, his or her constituency and the time of your appointment by contacting liam@sftuk.org. It is very important for us to know if you are coming to the mass lobby so that we can coordinate with others from your constituency and you can meet your MP together.

You will then receive a lobby pack containing:

* Logistical information – timings, directions, meeting points, etc
* What to expect on the day and from your appointment
* Information for you and for your MP about the primary concerns addressed by the mass lobby
* A lobby postcard with the key demands for you to hand to your MP
* Facts about Tibet including the current situation

If you have any questions or would like any more information please do not hesitate to contact liam@sfutk.org

Other Events on the day
--------------------------
PROTEST & RALLY at CHINESE EMBASSY

Venue: Chinese Embassy, 49-51 Portland Place, London W1B 1JL Map
Nearest undergrounds: Oxford Circus, Portland Place, Regents Park
Time: 11am - 12pm

WREATH-LAYING at MEMORIAL TO COMMEMORATE THE 51st ANNIVERSARY OF THE TIBETAN NATIONAL UPRISING

Venue: Outside the West door, Westminster Abbey, London SW1. Map
Nearest undergrounds: Westminster
Time: 1.45pm

---------------------------------------
The mass lobby is organised by The Coalition of UK Tibet Support Groups, made up of: Tibet Society, Free Tibet, Students for a Free Tibet UK, Tibetan Community in Britain and Tibetan Youth UK.

Comments