Ven. Palden Gyatso in Tokyo
Tibet House, Tokyo[Wednesday, July 23, 2008 19:27]
Tokyo, July 21 - Ven. Palden Gyatso, one of Tibet`s most well known political prisoners who endured 33 years of hardship and torture in Chinese prisons in Tibet was in Tokyo to preside over the in-house show of a documentary film on his life at Yotsuya Public Hall. Gaia Holistics, represented by Tatsumura Kazuko and Tatsumura Yukari along with other Tibet supporters organized the event. Objective of the organizers was to bring the truth of Palden Gyatso`s life and his message of love and forgiveness to the Japanese audience.

`Fire Under the Snow` a documentary film based on Palden Gyatso's autobiography is the debut work of Makoto Sasa, a young Japanese director who made her mark at Tribeca Film Festival in New York this May. The young director along with the cameraman was also there during the show. The documentary feature opened to a full house at Yotsuya Public Hall. A mesmerized audience of 460 watched the summarized version of it with great interest and in tears.

Palden Gyatso begins his narrative, starting from his birth to monk-hood, his arrest, torture, humiliation and his subsequent freedom. He talks of the sufferings and death of his countrymen who bravely resisted the Chinese occupation of Tibet, and the pressure on them to give up hope for a free Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The background scene and landscape went along well with the protagonist's narration. The documentary made a strong appeal and left a deep impression on the audience.

After the show, Palden Gyatso and Director Makoto Sasa responded to questions raised by the producer of the event, Yukari Tatsumura. Ms Makoto Sasa said she had read Palden Gyatso's book when she was a University student in America and was appalled by the fact that torture and human right abuse of this magnitude was still going on in the world. She decided that the world needed to know about it and that's how she got her inspiration for the project. She said she was happy to be able to finish the film at a time when the world needed to know what really has been happening in Tibet.

Ven Palden Gyatso thanked the audience for their support to the Tibetan cause, he said he saw many people die in prison of torture and starvation during his lifetime. Their desire was for every Tibetan to continue their struggle for a free Tibet and to inform the world about the real situation in Tibet.

"I feel good that I am able to carry out their last wish informing the world about the real situation in Tibet", said the monk.

Among the audience, many said that even though they had heard and read about Chinese atrocities in Tibet, watching the documentary and a first had encounter with a survivor who had gone through all the torture was an experience they will never forget. They thought it really ridiculous that a Government accorded with the prestige to host Olympics could order such mass torture and killing, it confirmed their belief that atrocities in Tibet is atrocities against humanity, and the people of the world should unite to rescue humanity from the pit of tyranny.

Ven Palden Gyatso will be in Tokyo for a week, during which he plans to give several talks on his experiences in Tibet. He will also participate in a talk organized by a Japanese voluntary group planning series of film show on Tibet under the title `A Summer to learn about Tibet` in Tokyo. Toward the end of his visit, Ven Palden along with the organizers and supporters will visit Mount Fuji to pray for peace and harmony in this world.

Report prepared by Tibet House, Shinjuku, Japan. (