By Tenzin Sangmo
Ven Bagdro (L) with Speaker Pema Jungney, new book
DHARAMSHALA, April 3: One of the most noted former political prisoners launched his fifteenth book today at the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives (LTWA) conference hall with Mr Pema Jungney, the Speaker of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile as the chief guest.
The author said one of the motivations behind the book “Bodh Bodhyul dhu Kyi, Gya Gyayul dhu Kyi” was an untoward incident at his speaking program at a university in Minnesota, US, in 1997 on the invitation of the Students for a Free Tibet (SFT).
“A group of about 40 Chinese students came charging at me to proclaim that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the people like me were resentful of China for not being able to continue with the feudal system and fiercely proclaimed that Tibet was a part of China.”
When he was challenged to prove Tibet’s independence, Bagdro said, he promised the group he would write a book with proof of Tibet’s independence.
This book is a product of three years of work with financial assistance from Ven. Thupten Wangchen, a Tibetan Parliamentarian from Europe, and Contractor Tenzin from Shimla. 500 copies of the book were printed.
Bagdro’s 1998 book A Hell on Earth
about his experiences being captured, imprisoned, and tortured by Chinese for demonstrating in Lhasa for Tibet Freedom was well received and translated into five languages.
At the book launch today, the author presented a file of about 40 letters from the offices of heads of political leaders he has reached out to apprise of the situation in Tibet.
Born in 1970 at Taktsezong near Lhasa, he was shot in the leg at 18 during a peace march on March 5, 1988, calling for Free Tibet with fellow Gaden monks during the great Monlam Festival.
He survived and remained disguised as a woman for a month before getting arrested on April 18, 1988, at his home and imprisoned for three years. He managed to escape to India on April 17, 1991.
Bagdro has visited 30 countries so far and spoken at close to 25 universities including Harvard. He spoke at the British Parliament in 1993 and the European Parliament in 2003. He also testified in Spain’s National Court in the case against Chinese leaders for crimes including genocide, torture and terrorism in Tibet.
“Compilation and documentation of our history are important to counter China’s lies. China had published two books so far to repudiate the much-referred book, Tibet: A Political History
by Tsepon W. D. Shakabpa but there was not a single response from the Tibetan community,” he said.
“Although the International community continues to support us as was evident during the most recent visit of delegations on the 60th anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day,” Bagdro said, “It is time for us to do more ourselves.”