By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, January 9: The Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Centre on Saturday gathered for the 5th International PEN Tibet Congress here to discuss writings from Tibet, Tibetan writers’ freedom in Tibet and works of jailed Tibetan writers.
Tashi Tsering, Director of Amye Machen Institute, and Thupten Samphel, Director of the Tibet Policy Institute attended as the chief guest at the opening of the two day conference. Members of Tibetan Writers Abroad attended the conference.
“It is important to take suggestions from our fellow writers of Tibetan Writers Abroad on how we can all improve our organization and strategize accordingly,” said Mensha Lodoe, Education Director of the Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Centre.
The members celebrated and remembered those writers currently imprisoned in China by reciting their poems, writings and songs. PEN also came out with a report ‘A report on imprisoned Tibetan writers’ documenting the works of those currently serving prison terms.
A Tibetan writer from inside Tibet has sent a message for the conference. The writer’s name and place of origin were withheld for his safety. The message read, “I am a member of the organization and being a writer from Tibet I feel unfortunate for not able to attend the gathering.”
The participants paid their respects to departed Tibetan writers like Rakra Rinpoche, Langdun Paljor, Tashi Tsering, Bawa Phuntsok Wangyal, Chabphel Tseten Phuntsok, Gugay Tsering Gyalpo, Drongpu Tsering Dorjee and Khawa Nyingchak.
The Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Centre was established in 1999 in Dharamshala, and currently has 68 members, mostly based in India.
It also publishes a newspaper containing traditional literature and poetry. It also carries social and political commentary with students and teachers as the intended audience.