Students for a Free Tibet - UK

Students for a Free Tibet UK is a volunteer-run campaigning group which campaigns for Tibetan freedom and independence. We are part of an international network, with chapters all over the world.

This blog is mainly run by the Chair of SFTUK. Any personal views are my own.
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Tibet is under severe military occupation by China. Tibetans in Tibet are subjected to gross human rights abuses, where peaceful protests are brutally suppressed and the local culture, religion and language is being wiped out by a ruthless oppressor. Against this repressive backdrop, UK company Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is preparing to open a luxury hotel in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital. The Tibetan people have had no say in that decision.
The ‘Resort Lhasa Paradise’ is aimed at attracting wealthy Chinese tourists and will do nothing but whitewash the brutal occupation of Tibet. InterContinental still have time to make the right decision and stop ignoring the facts about the occupation of Tibet.


བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས། (tashi delek)
This week’s #WeeklyTongue is Tibetan! We haven’t got a video for Tibetan yet, so here’s Tibetan rapper Shapaley with his song about learning the Tibetan Alphabet. Catchy, isn’t it? If you can speak Tibetan or know someone who can, help us with a video submission! More info on

Tibetan may refer to Classical (written standard) Tibetan, Old Tibetan, Standard Tibetan, which is the most widely spoken dialect, and three other language variants. Tibetan is part of the Tibeto-Burman language family, which is part of the Sino-Tibetan family. 

This post will focus on Standard Tibetan. (ལྷ་སའི་སྐད་ lha-sa’i skad). Standard Tibetan is often referred to as Lhasa Tibetan, as Lhasa is the capital of Tibet. It is spoken in three styles, polite, vernacular and religious. The Lhasa dialect has two tones, high and low. Apart from this, there is also vowel harmony, where vowels are alternated between open and closed, used with non alternating either open or closed vowels. 

You can learn the consonants here!
There are four vowels: i, u, e, o. More information can be found here:

This page also provides great background on sentence structure:

Have a look at Omniglot’s page if you want more phrases:


Have you seen the latest trailer about Tenzin, the Cyber Superhero by Tibet Action Institute? Stay tuned!

Tibet Action Institute brings together thought leaders, campaigners, and technology experts at the forefront of the Tibet movement in order to develop and implement visionary end-game strategies designed to help Tibetans win their nonviolent struggle for rights and freedom. They develop and deploy technology systems, map and execute big-picture campaigning, and offer training in safe and secure use of information and communication technologies and the art and methods of strategic nonviolent resistance.

"In further crackdown on the Tibetan dissents in Tibet, a young Tibetan female writer was arrested by Chinese police in Dzatoe County of eastern Tibet on unknown charges.

"Chinese police have detained a Tibetan female writer named Dawa Tsomo aged around 20 in Chidza village of Dzatoe county in eastern Tibet on August 23," Ven Konchok Dhondup, a Tibetan monk living in India told The Tibet Post International (TPI) on Wednesday.

It seems she was arrested after police accused her of sharing politically sensitive information with others from her mobile phone.

'Although details of the arrest remain unknown due to the strict restrictions currently imposed by Chinese authorities in the Dzatoe (Chinese: Zaduo in northwestern China's Qinghai province),' Ven Dhondup said.

Tsomo was taken from her home by Chinese police and was apparently detained for sharing banned contents on micro-messaging service WeChat and website or blog.”

A lot of stuff comes up under the “Tibet” tag, unfortunately not all of it is great. Here’s a short but not complete list of what we will never reblog. 

- Tibetan prayer flags with #spiritual #tibet #buddhism #india #peace #yoga or similar
- Any photo of Tibet with those # 
- White people with tattoos in Tibetan (that they can’t read)
- Posts supporting Tibetans only because of their beautiful, spiritual culture, Orientalising and fetishizing Tibetans
- White supremacists using Tibet as an argument for their racist claims to preserve “White culture” (whatever that may be)
- Pictures of monks with #Tibet (even though they are not actually Tibetan)
- Pictures of Buddhist temples outside of Tibet with #Tibet (all Buddhists are the same you see). 
- Mandalas with tags like “peace”, “unite” “love” “spiritual” “hippie” “pray” or even as some “rasta” (for unknown reasons)
- Images or news from Tibet identified as in “China” or “Chinese”
- Random assortments of ‘spiritual’ objects from various South East Asian religions in their room as a ‘shrine’. You’d be surprised how many of these come up, generally White people. 
- Tour & travel companies advertising holidays in Tibet without mentioning the fact that Tibetans can’t return to their own country and ignoring the whole Chinese occupation thing. 

I’m sure I’ll think of more and please do feel free to comment and add to the list! 


My homie just posted this on FB…all the way from Tibet


Free Tibet

Protest graffiti is scattered everywhere, open your eyes and find some, make some, let it be both hidden and seen

This is huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK

This article looks amazing! Also another regular reminder of the need to address white privilege, cultural appropriation and Orientalism in the Tibet movement. If you’re White or non-Tibetan please question your involvement and role in the Tibet movement. If you’re involved mainly because Tibet is “so spiritual” and you idealise Tibetan culture, you are doing it wrong.

"This piece poses cultural appropriation as an undertheorized aspect of white privilege in White Privilege Studies. By way of narrative exploration, it asserts that a paucity of scholarship on Orientalism and anti-Asian racism has created a gap in White Privilege Studies that curbs its radical transformative potential. It argues for the value of a structural and historically focused lens for understanding the issue of cultural appropriation, and extends questions of culture and race relations beyond the borders of the United States. It also explores the complex ways that interracial and transnational relationships can influence white racial identity, and illustrates the disruptive potential that queer interracial relationships can offer to dominant historical patterns of white behavior."

"In Chinese popular culture, Tibet, a population vacation destination for ethnic (or Han) Chinese, is seen as unspoiled, and Tibetans are often portrayed as simple people at one with nature, much as Native Americans were depicted in earlier decades in the United States. Despite the booming tourism, however, visitors rarely see the reality of daily life in Tibet.

Shen Ye, a 30-year-old who works at an independent record label in Beijing, said that a few years ago she spent eight months backpacking through Tibet. But a screening of Ms. Ford’s movie at a small club’s independent movie night here proved eye-opening.

“I lived in Tibet and didn’t know about it,” Ms. Shen said. “You just see propaganda. I never knew what their real lives were like.”

Ms. Ford said she had been arranging screenings at clubs, embassies and workplaces through friends to try to gauge audience reaction and prospects for releasing the film more widely in China. Her goal, she said, is to start a discussion about race in China, something almost completely absent in the Chinese media.”

"It challenges that stereotype that is so common in the West that Tibet is just about a P.L.A. soldier cracking down on a saffron-robed monk,” Mr. Leibold said, referring to the People’s Liberation Army."

Tibetan community and youth activists in Boston demostrated last night in solidarity with Tibetans in Kardze and against China’s lethal shootings of Tibetans this week. Please organize a protest in your city if you can and share the details/photos with us! [images from SFTHQ]

"TCHRD has obtained exclusive information that provides irrefutable evidence that Chinese security forces used disproportionate force including live ammunition and machine guns to kill Tibetans during the March 2008 protests in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. The document obtained by TCHRD contains the list of the names of Tibetans killed by Chinese security forces and whose dead bodies were kept at Lhasa’s Xishan mortuary. The official document also consists of autopsy reports of four dead Tibetans. Li Wen Zhen and Wang Zhai Shai, both heads of criminal and medical examination department of the Lhasa Public Security Bureau performed the autopsy. This internal document was prepared on 21 March 2008 and is titled “Document of the criminal and medical examination department of the Public Security Bureau, Lhasa.” Despite official Chinese pronouncement on the contrary, the document serves as concrete evidence that Chinese security forces killed Tibetans in different localities in Lhasa city during the initial protests in March 2008 that ignited the 2008 Uprising in large parts of the Tibetan plateau.”

Vigil outside the Chinese Embassy tonight in London in solidarity with Tibetans killed in Kardze.

Three more Tibetans have died of untreated gunshot wounds after Chinese authorities fired on peaceful protesters last week in Sichuan Province and refused to treat the dozens who were injured and detained, according to sources Tuesday. 

Two protesters had previously died at the detention center on Sunday, one committing suicide in protest against “torture” at the hands of Chinese authorities and another dying of untreated wounds, exile sources had said.

The five who died were among dozens detained after Chinese police fired into a protest by hundreds in Shukpa village in Sershul (Shiqu) county on Aug. 12.

Many of those detained who had gunshot wounds were left untreated for a week with bullets still embedded in their bodies.

They were identified as Tsewang Gonpo, 60; Yeshe, 42; and Jinpa Tharchin, 18.

“They were refused medical care and had been tortured by the Chinese authorities,” Demay Gyaltsen, a Tibetan living in India told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Tuesday, citing local sources.

“They succumbed to their injuries in custody, and their bodies were returned to their families on Aug. 18,” Gyaltsen said.

Gonpo, the elder of the three who died, was the uncle of Dema Wangdak, a local village leader, whose detention by police on Aug. 11 sparked the mass protest the next day.

Tibet advocacy groups  have slammed the Chinese authorities, who have been accused of blatant rights abuses in Tibet, for acting with impunity.

“This alarming news indicates that the authorities in this area are apparently acting with complete and dangerous impunity,” Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said in a statement on Monday.

“As a matter of urgency, the international community must express its abhorrence of these acts by officials and paramilitary police in Kardze and call upon the central leadership in Beijing to ensure that the wounded are allowed medical treatment and released from custody, and that the detentions of Tibetans following the protest must end.”