By Tenzin Monlam
Woser, who has never seen the Dalai Lama in person, pays her respect to the Tibetan leader before an interaction with Chinese human rights lawyers on Skype/highpeakspureearth/file
DHARAMSHALA, April 29: The Chinese authorities in Beijing have placed a prominent Tibetan writer and her husband under house arrest to prevent them from meeting Richard C Blum, the president of the American Himalayan Foundation, currently on visit to the capital.
"The Beijing state security police told us that it's because of a delegation from the American Himalayan Foundation, which arrived in Beijing," Tsering Woeser, known for her criticism of the Chinese government policies on Tibet, tweeted in Chinese, on April 25.
Tsering Woeser and Wang Lixiong were not allowed to leave their home since Monday and the restriction remained till today (Friday).
The writer couple’s house arrest led to criticism from Chinese netizens of the Chinese government’s action.
“Who would know what the American Himalayan Foundation is doing? I've never heard of this foundation. I have no idea what is the foundation here in Beijing for,” her tweet reads.
Blum shared a friendly relationship with the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and was responsible for initiating the Tibetan leader’s first ever visit to the US in 1978.
This is not the first instance of the Tibetan writer having been put under house arrest. She was put under house arrest during China’s parliamentary session in March 2013 and again during a rare state-sponsored trip to Tibet by foreign journalists in June the same year.
Woeser was awarded the 2013 International Women of Courage Award by the U.S. State Department in March 2013, but was banned from traveling to Washington to receive the award. Woser and her husband were briefly put under house arrest to prevent the couple from attending a dinner at the US Embassy residence in July 2014 during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s China visit.