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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibetan Writer attends Tokyo International PEN Congress

October 3, 2010

Tsewang Gyalpo Arya
Tibet House Japan
October 1, 2010]

Tokyo -- Mr. Kunthar, a Tibetan writer /
translator from Dharamsala, India attended 76th
International PEN Congress 2010 in Tokyo.
International PEN & Japan chapter and Waseda
University organized this one-week conference
from 23rd September. The theme of the conference
was "The Environment and Literature – What can words do?"

Around 600 writers from 128 countries attended
the conference. Mr. Gao Xingjian, a Chinese Nobel
laureate for literature opened the conference at
Waseda University, Tokyo was one of the main
speakers. The participants were divided into
several committees to discuss on the freedom of
thought and writings. Mr. Kunthar participated in
"Writers in Prison" and "Translation & Linguistic Right" committees.

Kunthar appraised the members of the arrest and
torture of more than 40 Tibetan writers and
intellectuals since March 2008 incident in Tibet.
He said that many Tibetan writers wrote against
the brutal and ruthless oppression of the
peaceful demonstrations and urged the government
to resolve the matter through dialogue.

"But the Chinese authorities labeled these
writers as separatists and rebels, and silenced
them in various prisons under false charges. What
the Tibetans writers did was the implementation
the 'right to speech and expression' as enshrined in the Chinese constitution.

"Communist party cannot represent China; it
should abide by the nation's constitution. By
arresting and torturing the Tibetan writers, the
government is violating the nation's law". Said Mr. Kunthar.

He explained about the critical condition in
which the Tibetan language stands now. "China in
its effort to sinicize the Tibetan region, it has
made Tibetan, a second language in the region.
Most of the streets and lanes are named in
Chinese language. Most of the mountains and
rivers of Tibet has been renamed in Chinese. This
policy of destroying Tibetan language and
imposing Chinese is posing great threat to
Tibetan language," he said in Translation and Linguistic Right Forum.

There were many participants of Chinese origins
including some well-known dissident writers. Some
participants were from Mainland China. Chinese
participants also agreed to what Mr. Kunthar
said, but they expressed very strongly that it is
not only in Tibet that freedom of speech and
expression is denied, whole China is denied of
this freedom. They said that a joint concerted
effort is needed from all sides to make the
communist government listen to the people's plea.

Some Chinese writers mentioned that most of the
Chinese people are not aware of His Holiness
teaching and his idea of autonomy. They attribute
this firstly to the government's stern policy to
ban anything associated with Dalai Lama, and
secondly to the lack of Chinese translation of
Dalai Lama's writings. They suggested that effort
should be made to have the Dalai Lama's writings
more accessible to Chinese public.

Compiling the resolutions of the PEN conference,
the organizer submitted a part of the resolutions
to Chinese embassy in Tokyo, in which the writers
have demanded freedom of expression and thought
in China, and asked for immediate release of all
writers in prisons in China, Tibet and other autonomous regions.

Mr. Kunthar said that the conference was very
educative, and he felt the strong support from
the members for Tibetan's struggle for peace and
freedom in Tibet. He was happy to meet many
Chinese intellectuals who were very frank and was
able to share the essence of middle path approach
of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other important issues with them.

Mr. Kunthar is a Dharamsala based Tibetan writer
and translator. He is Vice Chairman of Dharamsala
PEN chapter. One of his noted translations is
Gangseng Kyi Ngardra, dairy of Tibetan writer Ms.
Woser on March 2008 incident. He has translated
three series of His Holiness' work 'Shide, The
Peace' into Chinese language. He can be contacted
at 9418045203,
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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