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<-Back to WTN Archives TAR Authorities Ban Book by Tibetan Author (TIN)
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Tuesday, March 16, 2004



2. TAR Authorities Ban Book by Tibetan Author (TIN)


Tibet Information Network News Update

16 March 2004

TIN has received news that 'Notes on Tibet' (Ch: Xizang Biji), a book
written by Tibetan author Oser (Ch: Weise) was banned around September 2003
by the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) government. The book is written in
Chinese and is a collection of essays describing the author's encounters
with different people and places in Tibet. The book contains 38 essays, and
the authorities considered 10 of these sufficiently contentious to warrant
them banning the book. In these 10 essays, the author describes among other
things; the deep respect shown towards the Dalai Lama by Tibetans inside
Tibet; the dilemmas and political restrictions faced by a Tibetan monk when
he was sent abroad on an official visit; and how some Chinese nuns were
expelled from the Serthar Buddhist Institute, (also known as Larung Gar,) in
Kardze TAP (Ch: Ganzi) Sichuan province, founded by the late Khenpo Jigme
Phuntsog. (For more information on the closure of Serthar Institute, see TIN
Special Report 18 April 2002: "Religious work" for the new century; the
implementation of Party policy in Sichuan province.

TIN has received information that the author has left Lhasa and is currently
residing in Beijing. Her work unit, the TAR Literature and Arts Association
(Ch: Xizang zizhi qu wenlian), has urged her to come back on condition that
she acknowledges her political mistake. It seems that the author is not
willing to give in to this condition. According to a Tibetan scholar in
London, Notes on Tibet describe the socio-economic and religious
deprivations facing Tibetans inside Tibet. She further notes that Oser's
book is one of the rare publications from China where a Tibetan openly
discusses issues concerning Tibetans and Tibet.

Oser, a poetess and the author of a number of articles in Chinese, was born
in 1966 in Lhasa but soon returned with her family to their home in Derge,
(Ch: Dege) Kham, Sichuan. She graduated in 1988 from the Chinese department
of the South-West Nationalities Institute (Ch: Xinan minzu xueyuan) in
Chengdu. Her first book, 'For Tibet' (Ch: Xizang zai shang), is a collection
of poems and was published in 1999 by the Qinghai People's Publishing House.
Until she left Lhasa, Oser was working as an editor at the Chinese language
journal Tibetan Literature (Ch. Xizang wenxue). 'Notes on Tibet' is her
second major work and was published in January 2003 by the Huacheng
Publishing House in Guangzhou. The reason why the author chose to publish
her book at a publishing house in Guangdong province may be related to the
fact that publishing houses based there, in the cooler political climate of
the coastal region, are historically more relaxed about publications with
political implications.

Censorship and/or the banning of books is not uncommon in the TAR, or the
PRC. The most recent ban in the TAR was in late 2001, when Derong Tsering
Dhondup published his monumental work 'A General History of Tibet.
Auspicious Vase' (Chin. Zangzu tongshi. Jixiang baoping). Although Derong
Tsering Dhondup's book was published in Lhasa by the Tibetan People's
Publishing House, the authorities issued directives soon afterwards not to
release the book for sale. TIN cannot ascertain whether the book is
currently on sale or whether it is still banned.

Derong Tsering Dhondup was born in Derong, Kardze (Ch: Ganzi) Autonomous
Prefecture, Sichuan in 1954 and was a cadre working at the Archive
Department of Kardze prefecture. He has published numerous articles in
scholarly journals in China and in Tibet but most importantly, he is the
author of 'My Aspirations' (Ch: Wo de xinyuan), a petition which he wrote to
Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and Deng Xiaoping. The petition was written in November
1995 and is heavily critical of the central government's policies concerning
the Tibetan areas of Sichuan province. 'My Aspiration' was republished soon
after by the Information Office of the Tibetan government-in-exile in
Dharamsala, India.


Articles in this Issue:
  1. Tibet Society of South Africa Remembers March 10
  2. TAR Authorities Ban Book by Tibetan Author (TIN)
  3. Dalai Lama seeks talks with China over Tibet (Reuters)
  4. Music Heals All
  5. French Municipality Dedicates Year 2004 to Tibet
  6. Workshop for Local Assemblies Concludes, 13th Assembly's Seventh Session Begins Tomorrow
  7. Alanis Morissette Gets Metaphysical With The Dalai Lama
  8. Litang -- an oasis between Chengdu and Tibet (Xinhua)
  9. Dam Building Threatens China's 'Grand Canyon' (NYT)



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