“Allow Woeser the freedom to express and to travel”: Prominent Asian intellectuals appeal for Tsering Woeser
Chinese authorities have not only prevented the Tibetan writer and historian Tsering Woeser from receiving the prestigious Prince Claus Award for 2011 in Beijing (being awarded by the Dutch Ambassador to China) but her movements within Beijing have been restricted, says a statement issued from Kathmandu by Prince Claus laureates Arif Hasan (Karachi, Pakistan), Ganesh Devy (Vadodara, India), Jyotindra Jain (New Delhi, India), Kanak Mani Dixit (Kathmandu, Nepal) and Mehrdad Oskouei (Tehran, Iran).
Woeser “is a ‘cultural pioneer’ who uses poetry and social media to highlight the challenges faced by the Tibetan people,” says the statement issued March 29, 2012. “She was recognised for speaking on behalf of ‘those who are silenced and oppressed, for her compelling combination of literary quality and political reportage, for recording, articulating and supporting Tibetan culture…’
“We, five past recipients of the Prince Claus Award from Asia, believe that Tsering Woeser represents the finest ideals of the human spirit, represented in her intellectual independence and courage to speak out in the face of danger. We support Woeser’s yearning for open society and respect her all the more for remaining located in Beijing, in an attempt to bring about change from within. Woeser’s deep humanity is revealed in her recent appeal against the self-immolations that are occurring in and around Tibet,” says the statement.
“We demand that the Chinese authorities in Beijing allow Woeser to receive the Prince Claus Award in an open ceremony. We also ask that the restrictions on her blogs and her poetry be lifted, as also restrictions on her freedom of travel inside and outside the country.”
Also see statement by Prince Claus Fund
Contact: Kanak Mani Dixit, +977-9851053209, firstname.lastname@example.org