Tag Archives: Tibetan

236. TASHI WANGCHUK

Sex                              Male

Birth date                1985-05-08

Birth place              Kyegudo County, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,  Qinghai Province Continue reading

Nearly 1,000 Writers and Linguists Sign Open Letter Demanding China Release Tibetan Language Advocate

Today marks four years since Tashi Wangchuk was secretly detained for his work advocating for Tibetan language rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2020

(New York, NY) – PEN America released an open letter signed by nearly 1,000 writers, linguists, translators, and language rights advocates calling for the immediate release of Tashi Wangchuk. Exactly four years ago today, on January 27, 2016, Chinese officials secretly detained Wangchuk for his activism on Tibetan language rights. In 2018, after a one-day trial, he was sentenced to five years in prison on false charges of “inciting separatism.” PEN America has long led a global campaign for Wangchuk’s release.

“We are deeply concerned that Tashi’s arrest and trial have been marked by a lack of due process, including the fact that Tashi was reportedly tortured prior to his trial,” the letter reads. “We believe that the right of everyone to learn, teach and develop their native language must be protected. As such, we call upon the government of the People’s Republic of China to release Tashi Wangchuk, and to honor its own domestic and international obligations to uphold ethnic minorities’ rights to learn and develop their own spoken and written languages.”

“The freedom to write is meaningless without the freedom to speak one’s own language, and PEN America vehemently supports linguistic and cultural rights,” said author Jennifer Egan, PEN America’s president. “Tashi has been unjustly arrested and detained for advocating on behalf of Tibetan speakers throughout China who wish to communicate freely and understand each other. We demand his immediate release, and we demand that his calls for linguistic freedom be satisfied.”

Chinese officials used Wangchuk’s participation in a New York Times documentary and article to charge him with “inciting separatism” in 2016. Wangchuk, who has denied ever calling for separatism, has long been a peaceful advocate for Tibetan language rights, and has advocated for the use of the Tibetan language in both government offices and in education. Chinese officials have severely curtailed the ability of schools and public institutions to teach the Tibetan language and have instituted harsh assimilation tactics that infringe on Tibetans’ linguistic rights.

“Tashi’s continued imprisonment and harsh treatment at the hands of Chinese authorities is a stain on China’s government and its unfulfilled promises of securing the linguistic rights of minority groups,” said James Tager, deputy director of free expression research and policy at PEN America, which organized the open letter. “Tashi’s peaceful advocacy for the Tibetan language is, at its core, advocacy for a universal human impulse: the right to use and celebrate one’s mother tongue. For that, he has been treated like a criminal. Tashi has never had a fair trial, and every day he is imprisoned is a day he is unjustly deprived of due process and his freedom.”

Prior to his arrest, Tashi had attempted to sue the Chinese government to restore the use of the Tibetan language in Yushu prefecture, a predominantly Tibetan populated area outside the official Tibetan Autonomous Region. While that earned him an international reputation, it led to reprisals from the Chinese government, including his eventual imprisonment. Tashi was held for months without his family being notified, and his right to access a lawyer reportedly remains severely curtailed.

###

Michel Anne-Frederic DeGraff, Linguistics Society of America:
“The Chinese government’s effort to label Tashi’s linguistic advocacy as ‘separatism’ is something that strikes at the heart of linguistic study. Simply put, advocacy for one’s native language is no crime. On the contrary, it’s a basic human right. As linguists, we also know that teaching children in their native language is fundamentally a matter of educational best practice, as it provides them with the best tools for effective literacy and for quality education in all subject matters. The LSA is proud to have signed the petition for Tashi’s release, not only because of the moral urgency of calling for his release, but because we recognize the clear benefits of the sort of native-language education that Tashi was advocating. We do hope that Tashi will be freed and that he will be able to continue helping his community.”

Paula M. Krebs, Modern Language Association:
“As members of the MLA community, we understand that preserving a language is vital to preserving a culture. And we recognize that freedom of expression is fundamental to the pursuit of education and equality for all people. The continued imprisonment of Tashi Wangchuk has broad implications for the increasing suppression of these basic rights in China and for free expression worldwide. To put it simply: linguistic rights are human rights.”

Catrina Wessels, PEN Afrikaans:
“PEN Afrikaans unreservedly joins the call for Tashi Wangchuk’s release. We believe strongly that linguistic diversity should be preserved and that peaceful language advocacy, conducted entirely within the parameters of local and international laws, should be celebrated, not punished.”

Source: https://pen.org/press-release/nearly-1000-writers-and-linguists-sign-open-letter-demanding-china-release-tibetan-language-advocate/

Tibetan Writer Released From Prison One Year Before Sentence Ends

gangkye-drubpa-kyab-is-greeted-by-supporters-following-his-release-from-prison

Gangkye Drubpa Kyab is greeted by supporters following his release from prison, Sept. 16, 2016. Photo sent by an RFA listener

A popular Tibetan writer jailed for over four years in southwestern China’s Sichuan province for criticizing Chinese rule has been released a year before the end of his term, a local source said. Continue reading

Beijing Puts Tibetan Writers Under House Arrest

Tsering Woeser

FILE – Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser is pictured in Inner Mongolia, northern China, June 23, 2014.

She also tweeted a message to the foundation notifying the group of their house arrest. Continue reading

China Hits Out at Hong Kong Stars Over Buddhist Event in India

Hong Kong actor Tony Leung

Hong Kong actor Tony Leung receives the distinction of officer of the Order of Arts and Letters at the French Residence in Hong Kong, June 8, 2015.

State media controlled by the ruling Chinese Communist Party has warned two Hong Kong superstars that they could be at the receiving end of a boycott in mainland China after they sat close to two key figures in the entourage of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at a recent religious event. Continue reading

Tibetans Fight to Salvage Fading Culture in China

By EDWARD WONG NOV. 28, 2015

YUSHU, China — When officials forced an informal school run by monks near here to stop offering language classes for laypeople, Tashi Wangchuk looked for a place where his two teenage nieces could continue studying Tibetan.

To his surprise, he could not find one, even though nearly everyone living in this market town on the Tibetan plateau here is Tibetan.

Officials had also ordered other monasteries and a private school in the area not to teach the language to laypeople. And public schools had dropped true bilingual education Continue reading

Tibetan voices on China’s control

20 October 2015
The first thing that strikes you about the monasteries clinging to the side of the mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau is their beauty.

Small, isolated communities of a few hundred monks, seemingly unperturbed with their white and gold stupas and prayer flags set against the almost impossible blue sky.

But anyone who stops to ask a few questions (although they are the kind of Continue reading

Another Tibetan Activist Dies in Chinese Detention

5F469FCF-8FF0-4404-A103-6F9A7876587C_w640_r1_sFILE – A security guard stands near an electronic screen featuring a map of China and Chinese characters that read, “Tibet has been an inalienable part of the Chinese territory since ancient times,” in Beijing.

July 23, 2015 1:49 PM

WASHINGTON—Five days after well-known Tibetan P

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche died in prison in Sichuan province, another Tibetan died while serving a two-year sentence near Lhasa, his family tells VOA.

Sonam Wangchuk, says his father-in-law, environmental activist Lobsang Yeshi Continue reading