High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blog post by Tibet’s most famous and influential blogger, Woeser, on the Losar moratorium as an active of civil disobedience by Tibetans inside Tibet. It’s titled, “I Took to the Streets, and What I Want is Freedom and Rights.” The whole post is worth a close reading, but I wanted to highlight this passage, as it speaks to the power of the No Losar movement inside of Tibet.
Various state media have attributed this “Not celebrating Losar” to the Tibetan Government in Exile and the Tibetan Youth Congress. In reality, “Not celebrating Losar” was first proposed by Tibetans in Tibet and originated out of spontaneous wishes. Nobody organized Tibetans “Not celebrating Losar”; nobody called on Tibetans “not to celebrate Losar”, no, no. However, the impact is tremendous, everyone is aware of this great ‘civil disobedience’ all over Tibet.
Some say that this kind of “civil disobedience” is only at a low-level, that it is merely not celebrating and nothing more. They maintain that it is a safe action which ends on the individual level, is short-term and does not entail much great risk. In fact, this is not true. Over the past year, the military might all over Tibet has been so great that all Tibetan areas have become prison-like. In today when you could even be arrested for listening to music, “not to celebrate Losar” has been regarded as a serious “separatist” activity, so much so that some Tibetans have been accused of spreading “not to celebrate Losar” rumours and been arrested. In fact, ‘civil disobedience’ in Tibetan areas is even more difficult to carry out than in other places, therefore any kind of result obtained is worth paying attention to.
This is protest, protest for Tibetan rights and freedom. It is done by Tibetans who know fully well that not celebrating or talking to their friends and family about not celebrating Losar could land them in prison or worse.
Woeser goes on to tell stories of how Tibetans have found hope through coming together to speak out for their rights. She identifies and writes in honor of the undying Tibetan pursuit of freedom in the face of inhuman treatment by the Chinese government lasting more than half a century. Read Woeser’s full post here.