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There are hundreds of Tibetan Political Prisoners held in horrendous conditions by the Chinese. These are just a handful of those who are dead or missing. There were and are many others…

This year marks 50 years of resistance to the Chinese occupation of the Tibetan homeland, but like the flowers that grow on the barren mountainside, the Tibetan people will not give up the fight until Tibet is Free!

Bhod Rangzen!

I wrote the poem at the start of the video. I’m no one special and it’s nothing much–but this is my way of paying tribute to those who have lived and died for Tibet.

Music – Yunghen Lhamo

I posted a story about this video a while back, and I decided to upload it to Google video. I think it’s an amazing documentary and one that should be seen by everyone the world over. It brings to light the terrible conditions endured by Tibetan refugees and the apathy with which many Westerners react when confronted with the situation (however, it also highlights some true heroes):

A television documentary filmed secretly in Tibet has been honored in a competition recognizing the work of freelance cameramen and camerawomen who gather news in “regions where it is difficult to operate.”

The competition, the Rory Peck Awards, is sponsored by the Rory Peck Trust, an independent London-based charity set up in 1995 to provide help to freelance newsgatherers and relatives of those killed, injured, or persecuted in the course of their work.

The Impact award, the category in which the film “Undercover in Tibet” was a competitor, is given “for freelance footage which raises humanitarian issues and has had an impact internationally or contributed to a change in perception or policy.”

The documentary was one of the top three selected for consideration at the annual event, held on Nov. 13 at the British Film Institute in London.

“Undercover in Tibet,” produced by cameraman Jezza Neumann and interviewer Tash Despa, was filmed over three months from late April 2007. It was first broadcast on Britain’s Channel 4 “Dispatches” program on March 31 this year.

“Once I met Tash and learned about the Tibetan cause, I knew how important this film could be,” Neumann said in an interview. “I feel this film is incredibly valuable, as it is video documentation of issues the Chinese are trying to say don’t exist.”

To make their film, Neumann and Despa traveled through Tibet by car, dodging Chinese police and security patrols and speaking to ordinary Tibetans.

Protecting these contacts was their “main concern,” Neumann said.

True Vision)

Though interviews were shot in silhouette, he said, “voices couldn’t be disguised until we returned home, so any footage needed to be hidden on a secret partition of a hard drive, and the tapes destroyed at the earliest opportunity.”

“I also smuggled in a secret camera which I then had to re-wire and assemble once inside Tibet.”



“At all times, we were in danger of arrest given the equipment we were carrying,” Neumann said. “However, this increased at times. For example, one interviewee got wind of spies in the area we were due to meet in, so we changed the rendezvous at the last minute.”

Each meeting was treated as a “military operation” and would take several days to plan, he added.

Often, the men and women that Neumann and Despa spoke with were victims of abuse by Chinese officials and police.

One was a woman coerced into a painful sterilization without anesthetic for having a child “above quota.” Another was a former prisoner who had been tortured for posting leaflets calling for Tibetan independence. Others were nomads deprived of their livestock, livelihood, and land.

“Nothing is better than the grassland,” a nomad woman tells the filmmakers at one point while standing in the road of a desolate forced-resettlement town.

Painful lives

Another nomad, interviewed inside his bleak concrete apartment, describes high rates of alcoholism and depression among the town’s 300 families.

“We live in terror,” he says.

At another point in the film, the former prisoner, who had been immersed in water by his jailers and subjected to electric shock, breaks down part-way through his interview. “I’m less than half the man I was before the Chinese tortured me,” he says.

Tash Despa, a former Tibetan refugee and now a British citizen, conducted the interviews in his native language. He said that he had been asked by a friend on behalf of the British production company True Vision if he would go back into the region to help make the documentary.

“This was a really good chance to show the world what happened in Tibet, to bring the true story out of Tibet,” Despa said. “So I said, ‘Let’s do it!’”

Despa said that he and Neumann flew first into Hong Kong, where they received a visa, and then flew on into Tibet.

“We went all over Tibet: Lhasa, Amdo,” said Despa, who fled Tibet’s northeastern Amdo region himself in 1996. “We couldn’t go to Kham, because we couldn’t find any contacts to meet with.”

Despa said he hopes that audiences viewing the film will “put pressure on their governments to help Tibet.”

The annual Rory Peck Awards provide a platform for filmmakers to “get their stories out, and to get their point of view out,” said Tina Carr, director of the London-based Rory Peck Trust.

“Lots of people get to see all this, and we get a lot of inquiries. And very often, broadcasters who didn’t know about these films see them and want to show them.”

“I’m absolutely certain [this] will happen with Jezza’s piece,” she said.

Click play to watch the dispatches episode here:

The G20 and economic crisis:

By Sally Ingleton
Producer, This World

In September 2006, two groups of people crossed paths in the snow-capped Himalayas – one seeking freedom, the other adventure. A brutal shooting threw them together, changing their lives for ever.

Each year an estimated 2,500 Tibetans make the dangerous and illegal crossing through the Himalayas into India.

Many are young teenagers seeking freedom both in religious practice and in their education. A big incentive is the prospect of meeting their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India. 

In 2006 the plight of these refugees came to international attention when a group of mountain climbers witnessed and recorded Chinese border police opening fire on one group of pilgrims as they made their way across the Nangpa pass in the Himalayas, 18,000 feet (5,500m) above sea level.

Escape plan

Among this group were two teenage girls from Tibetan farms, 16-year-old Dolma Palki, and Kelsang Namtso, a 17-year-old nun.

Dolma is now studying at the Suja school in Dharamsala
Dolma is now studying at the Suja school in Dharamsala

They had been best friends since the age of 10 and together they hatched a plan to escape from Tibet and make the pilgrimage to India to see the Dalai Lama and to study.

“Three of us girls made the decision together. Escaping Tibet was always on our minds. Whenever I saw photos of His Holiness, I wanted to see him in person,” recalls Dolma.

“One day Kelsang Namtso and I were in the field. She called me over and said: ‘People are going to India. Do you want to go?'”

Some nuns had just returned to their district from a nunnery in India. The stories of their journey and studies there reassured Kelsang’s parents and they agreed to let her travel to India.

Many young Tibetans risk their lives each year to illegally cross the border but Dolma’s parents thought she was crazy to consider it.

They sought counsel from the local Abbott, who reassured them all that it was a good time to leave.

Lying guide

After an emotional and clandestine farewell, Dolma, Kelsang and their friends travelled to Lhasa to meet with a guide.

They handed over about £500 ($800) and were told they would be travelling with a small group for about four days, including perhaps a half day walk. They did not realise that the guide was lying to them.

Joining the group in Lhasa was 14-year-old Jamyang Samten, who had wanted to get out of Tibet since he was 10.

Jamyang attended a Chinese-run boarding school for nomadic children but was expelled at the age of 11 for misbehaving. After working for four years, Jamyang had saved enough money to escape.

Harsh conditions

The teenagers were packed into a truck with around 70 other refugees. Dodging Chinese patrols, the truck travelled only after dark.

The shooting was documented by a group of mountain climbers
The shooting was documented by a group of mountain climbers

On the third night it stopped more that 100km short of the border. For the next 10 days, the group walked through rugged terrain at night, sleeping rough by day. They had little food or water.

On the morning of 30 September, with the Nangpa Pass just ahead, the refugees heard loud bangs.

“We didn’t know they were gun shots. We thought it was mountaineers setting off fire crackers for fun,” Dolma says.

Meanwhile at the advanced base camp on Mount Cho Oyu, a group of mountain climbers were observing the scene. Many picked up their cameras and began videotaping and photographing the unfolding events.

Chaos ensued as it dawned on the refugees that the Chinese Border Police were shooting directly at them.

Dolma was just ahead of her friend, “I got really scared. I patted Kelsang on the back, ‘Please go faster. We are in big trouble. The Chinese are chasing after us.'”

When Kelsang was shot Dolma says she felt as if her own body had been electrocuted. She wanted to go back and help her. But others in the group dragged her away, urging her to think of her own life.

Jamyang, who had splintered off into another group, was captured along with 30 other refugees and arrested by the Chinese Border Police.

He says he was beaten, interrogated and tortured with whips and electric cattle prods for three days. After three months in a Shigatse jail, his uncle paid a hefty fine and Jamyang was set free.

Everyone knew it was a dangerous journey, but no one imagined it would end like this.

Jamyang Samten and Dolma Palki talk about why they wanted to leave Tibet

Kelsang was shot in the back less than 400m from the Nepalese border and freedom.

At the time China’s state run Xinhua news agency said that the Tibetans had refused orders to turn back, and that they had then attacked the People’s Armed Police.

According to Xinhua, the soldiers were “forced to defend themselves.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a press conference that “it is the responsibility of the Chinese border police to maintain peace and security.”

Jamyang later made a second attempt to leave Tibet by a different route. This time he was successful.

He now goes to school in India with Dolma and other refugees who made it out of Tibet. Jamyang hopes to qualify as a teacher and work for the Tibetan community in exile.

Like all refugees Dolma and Jamyang got the opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama. He advised Dolma “that Kelsang died for a good cause and that her next rebirth will be a special one.”

She says his advice has given her tremendous strength in continuing her education and following her dream to become a nun, in memory of Kelsang.

Click Here to watch a video.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has backed away from a DMCA take-down request to remove a YouTube video of a Tibetan protest at the Chinese consulate in New York.

The video in question (see below) was clearly not an example of copyright infringement. YouTube and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) both pushed back against the IOC, which then withdrew their complaint. As the EFF notes, however, the inaccurate title of the video was “Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony,” so in all likelihood, the IOC was filing DMCA notices for Olympics content, which has been springing up on YouTube faster than they can take it down.

Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project, was impressed that YouTube went beyond the call of duty in pushing back at the IOC. With the sheer volume of DMCA requests that YouTube must be fielding with the Olympics, taking the time to double-check the content is certainly impressive. At the same time, however, it highlights how much work YouTube has to do in terms of policing copyrighted content. The number of legal notices they have to respond to consume time and resources that might be put to better use.

Do you, like me, care about freedom and want to have a say about it?

Please join more than 100,000,000 people in the Biggest Light Protest on Earth for a Free Tibet.

Light a candle on August 7th at 9:00 p.m. (At your home, or in public)
Join and enjoy special light actions on the same night.
Drive with you car’s headlights on during August 8 2008.
Watch “Sad Smoky Mountains” teams paint the sky with red smoke.
Watch those attending the opening ceremony in Beijing light candles, flashlights, cell phones and lighters. All for a FREE TIBET.
Please us join ,


Candle for Tibet