Tuesday 18 November 2008
Beijing - Woeser’s fans have plenty of reasons to worry that she’ll be thrown in jail soon.
The famed Tibetan writer has sued the Chinese government. She’s investigating the March uprising in Tibet. She articulates the repression that many Tibetans feel, flouting the official line that they like Chinese rule – all from a modest, high-rise apartment in Beijing.
The government here bans her work. But from Tennessee to Tibet, her fans hang on every unauthorized poem, essay, and blog. To them, she risks her life to tell the "real" Tibetan story – a narrative that unites the Tibetan community even as it diverges over politics, a hot topic this week at a rare summit in Dharamsala, India, called by the Dalai Lama.
"She brings a unique combination of experience and ability at the moment, [and] she’s willing to stand up," says Elliot Sperling, a Tibet expert at Indiana University in Bloomington. Her writings "contribute significantly to the general perception of what’s going on in Tibet."
Woeser, who like some Tibetans goes by one name, occupies a rare space in China, expressing the resentment Tibetans feel at the government’s effort to control their homeland and religion.
Even her home – which she shares with her husband, Wang Lixiong, a non-Tibetan Chinese who takes the rare stand of criticizing Beijing’s approach toward Tibet – channels her defiance. An illegal photo of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader revered by Tibetans but denounced by China as a "splittist," hangs amid Tibetan furnishings and colorful pillows. Photos from 1960s Tibet and a framed map of ancient Asia, whose thick black border marks an independent Tibet, cover a wall.
See online : Christian Science Monitor