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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Echoes of Drapchi Prison - A Reunion of Tibet's Singing Nuns in London

March 9, 2008

In 1993 in Tibet's Drapchi Prison fourteen young nuns – all prisoners
of conscience imprisoned for taking part in peaceful demonstrations
calling for Tibetan independence – had their sentences extended by
between five and nine years each for recording freedom songs that
would later be heard around the world.

Of the "Drapchi 14", or "Tibet's singing nuns" as they became known
around the world, one died in custody, seven remain in Tibet and six
are now living in exile in India, Belgium, Switzerland and the USA.

Singing Louder: In the run up to and during the 2008 Beijing Olympic
Games, the world will be scrutinising the human rights situation in
China as never before despite her authoritarian regime's best attempts
to gloss over their appalling record. To help raise awareness of
Tibet's critical situation and the plight of Tibetans, the Tibetan
Community in Britain has organised a UK reunion during March and April
2008 of the six 'singing nuns' now living in exile. Despite years of
inhumane treatment including interrogation, torture, solitary
confinement, beatings and years of malnutrition, the spirit and
determination of these former political prisoners remain unbroken.
According to Ngawang Sangdrol one of the six former political
prisoners coming to the UK:

Whilst in the UK the six will re-record some of the songs they sung in
prison in 1993 and will speak to the British public of their time in
prison, their exile from Tibet and their ongoing struggle against
Chinese rule of their homeland, and will appeal to the British
government and the public to support His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who
is visiting the UK in May 2008, and the Tibetan people in their
efforts to find a resolution to the Chinese occupation of their

Singing Louder will also commemorate the 10th anniversary of protests
inside Drapchi Prison in 1998, after which five nun inmates died as a
result of beatings and maltreatment at the hands of the prison
authorities. A decade later, things have not improved in Tibet.
The Tibetan Community in Britain aims to ensure that these former
political prisoners have an opportunity to have their voices heard as
loudly as possible.
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