By Tenzin Monlam
Geshe Lobsang Monlam releasing Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Tibetan's report on imprisoned Tibetan writer, 'Defender of Expression’ at Norbu Hotel on November 15, 2017. Phayul photo
DHARAMSHALA, November 15: Tibetan Writers Abroad PEN Tibetan today held an event to observe the 36th edition of the Day of the Imprisoned Writer here at Norbu Hotel today. Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Director of PEN Tibet, Mensha Lodoe said, “Today is not a day to express our solidarity but to honor the ‘imprisoned writers’ and their work.”
He added that writing on Tibetan identity and expressing personal viewpoints are the two of the biggest problems faced by the Tibetan writers inside Tibet. He accused China’s propaganda machinery of spreading false facts of Tibet’s identity.
Each year, PEN International comes out with the year’s focus cases with this year’s campaign featuring Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa, an activist from Honduras, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, a blogger from Vietnam; Ramón Esono Ebalé, a cartoonist from Equatorial Guinea; Razan Zaitouneh, a human rights defender from Syria; and Zehra Doğan, a poet from Turkey.
To honor imprisoned Tibetan writers, PEN Tibet also came with a list including Drukar Gyal, (Pen name: Shokjang); Gartse Jigme, a writer and monk; Kunchok Tsephel Gopeytsang, a writer, editor and teacher; Yeshe Choedron, a doctor and writer and Lobsang Jamyang (Pen-name: Lomik).
PEN Tibet along with PEN International and Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) today jointly organized the event to highlight the plight of Tibetan writers.
TCHRD’s Director Tsering Tsomo said that freedom of expression is the root of all human rights. “Without freedom of expression, if China proclaims other rights, it is untrue and unjustified.”
Geshe Lobsang Monlam, founder of Monlam Dictionary, attending as the chief guest launched the organization’s report on imprisoned Tibetan writers, ‘Defender of Expression’.
Later in the evening, Gu-Chu-Sum, the organization of former Tibetan political prisoners, organized a ‘Poetry night in the wood’ in honor of imprisoned Tibetan writers at Dharamkot.