FREE SPEECH ZONE | An Open Letter to the United States House of Representatives: Stop China’s Annihilation of Tibetan Identity, Religion and Culture in Tibet

Dear Members of Congress: I am writing with urgency, on behalf of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Minnesota, to bring to your attention the large-scale protests by Tibetan school and college students that are occurring inside Tibet and Beijing, and especially the detention of students following the protest. Since 19 October 2010, almost eight thousand Tibetan students, joined by parents and educators from vast distances across Tibet, have peacefully spoken out against the Chinese government’s forced policy of replacing the Tibetan language with Mandarin Chinese as the medium of instruction. For you to fully appreciate the meaning of this protest, please allow me to elaborate. Tibetan is a distinct and unique tongue, belonging to the Tibeto-Burman group of languages. It is one of the four oldest and most original languages of Asia, but more importantly, it is the bedrock of Tibetan identity, religion and culture. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Yet another thorn for China: Newly formed Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Wisconsin pledge to fight until Tibet is Free

Madison, WI – On October 9, 2010Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Wisconsin celebrated the 41st Anniversary of the Tibetan Youth Congress Founding Day in association with RTYC-MN with a live band performance from Melong.The event began with speeches from the Presidents of RTYC-WI, RTYC-MN, and Wisconsin’s Tibetan Association Secretary. Wisconsin’s seven executive board members took a pledge to follow and uphold the Tibetan Youth Congress mission and bylaws in front of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s portrait. Over 150 Tibetans from the community came to support the newly formed RTYC chapter.The Founding event was successful. The support RTYC-WI received from the Tibetan community, RTYC-MN board members, and the inspirational songs from the band Melong reminded Tibetan youth just how far they have come since the inception of the Tibetan Youth Congress, inspiring board members to keep the Rangzen flame lit.The RTYC board members are a diverse group of young residents around Madison, brought together by Rangzen goals. There are a number of reasons they felt the need to start an RTYC-WI chapter.Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Minnesota Tibetans rally at the State Capitol in memoriam of the “Fallen Four”

October 30, 2009 • On a rainy and cloudy morning, about 200 grieving Tibetans and supporters dressed in black gathered at the footsteps of the State Capitol of Minnesota to mourn the executions of Lobsang Gyaltsen, 27, Loyak, 25, Penkyi, 21, and an unidentified Tibetan who were executed in Toelung, near Lhasa, Tibet by the Chinese Government.  The dark skies seemed to reflect their collective mourning. The assembled carried Tibetan flags, and black flags that read ’50 Years of Resistance’ and placards condemning the most recent executions carried out by the Communist Chinese regime without any fair trial or representation. FREE SPEECH ZONE The Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases.Dorjee Gyalpo, an active member of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress led the morning with the Tibetan National Anthem.In Memoriam of the Fallen Four, a symbolic Tibetan Buddhist funeral service was held.  Eight young Tibetans carried four black coffins to the top entrance of the State’s Capitol, while monks from the Gyuto Dharma center led a prayer with the community. As the coffins were placed at the entrance to the State’s Capitol, Minnesotan representatives of the Tibetan American Foundation, Regional Tibetan Women’s Association, Students for a Free Tibet, and the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, solemnly placed a single Tibetan flag on top of each coffin.  Monks offered prayers and a traditional Tibetan khatak (silk scarf) to each coffin, followed by members of the Tibetan community and supporters. A moment of silence was then observed. Jigme Ugen, President of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of Minnesota stated that these executions were a political statement.  An extreme retaliatory action clearly meant to silence and intimidate Tibetans against any future displays of dissatisfaction against China’s rule in Tibet. Ugen strongly condemned these executions and called on all governments, and the U.S. State Department, to condemn this travesty of justice in the strongest possible terms. He also called on President Obama to have bold conversations and concrete actions to end China’s violent occupation of Tibet when he makes his first Presidential visit to China next month. Continue Reading