International Tibet Network Members' Message16 February 2012

International Tibet Network Members' Message16 February 2012

Dear Network Members,

There has been much discussion about Losar 2139 (2012) and what Tibetans in Tibet will do to commemorate the period. The Network has held a number of discussions with a selection of Tibetans in exile to gauge what Tibetan NGOs and Tibet Associations are planning to do and we have come up with some recommended actions that reflect the information we have received.

In this message you will find:
1) Have a Lhakar Losar 2139: Recommended Solidarity Actions
2) Messaging and Resources

1) Have a Lhakar Losar 2139: Recommended Solidarity Actions The information that we have gathered points overwhelmingly to Tibetans, both in eastern Tibet and outside Tibet, wanting to hold commemorative events for Losar that reflect the current climate in Tibet, remember the actions of the Tibetans who have self-immolated and to show solidarity and unity among Tibetans and Tibet supporters. It also happens that Losar this year falls on 'Lhakar' or 'White Wednesday'; the day of the week that many Tibetans are using to channel their resistance into simple activities to confirm their Tibetan-ness and unity with other Tibetans.

With this in mind we recommend that Tibet groups work together to organise and/or take part in Lhakar Losar prayers and candlelit vigils to respectfully mark Losar 2139 (2012). These prayer and candlelit vigils will be a way to both mourn those Tibetans who have lost their lives and commemorate the courage of the Tibetan people in Tibet who continue to resist the oppression and occupation of the Chinese authorities.

Some suggested Actions and Activities:

i) Hold Lhakar Losar 2139 (2012) Commemorations and Solidarity Protests/Vigils: This could be a simple get together in a public place where you can hand out materials about the current situation Tibet and information about Tibetan resistance. There are a number of resources that can be used including past artwork 'Losar because I am Tibetan', 'Losar because I Love Tibet' which are available to download from the Losar resources page at http://www.tibetnetwork.org/resources-losar2012.

ii) Make a Lhakar Pledge: With news that more Tibetans in Tibet are engaging in Lhakar actions (see ICT's report http://www.savetibet.org/media-center/ict-news-reports/footage-and-images-major-peaceful-gatherings-and-vigils-yulshul-lhakar-day) we recommend groups promote the Lhakar Pledge as a way to engage supporters and highlight the growing resistance movement inside Tibet.
Lhakar Pledges can be made directly at http://lhakar.org/pledge/?gb_page=write and we are adding a promotion on www.IHeartTibet.org, which also gives some background to Tibetan Cultural Resistance. Ideas for Lhakar Losar pledges might include getting five friends to sign the Pledge on www.StandUpForTibet.org, asking three friends to attend 10 March Uprising protests, or calling elected representatives.

iii) Encourage supporters to light candles or butter lamps at event or at home to welcome in the Tibetan New Year and to honour the courage of those Tibetans who continue to resist China's occupation.

iv) Hang a khata on your door to welcome change, hope and renewal in 2139/2012.

v) Display a photo of the Dalai Lama, because Tibetans in Tibet are not allowed to.

vi) Ask supporters/the public to write personal messages on a colourful Windhorse. Artwork for Windhorses is available from the Losar resource page above. When people have writtent their messages, these can be displayed together to make a good photograph, then scattered somewhere symbolic, or sent to Tsering Choedup, Tibet Network's Asia Regional Coordinator in Dharamsala, who will collect them all together. (Send to Tsering Choedup, Tibet Network Asia Regional Coordinator, Jogiwara Road, P.O. Mcleod Ganj - 176 219, Distt Kangra, Dharamsala, H.P. INDIA)

2) Messaging and Resources: We have a number of resources for groups to use for Losar 2139 (2012), which can be found http://www.tibetnetwork.org/resources-losar2012 (no login needed). Some other resources developed for the Enough! Campaign may also be useful and can be found at http://www.tibetnetwork.org/ENOUGH (no login needed).

Talking Points for Losar 2139 (2012) will be ready on Monday 20 February. In the meantime our recommended messages are as follows:
The over-riding message is:
'Have a Lhakar Losar: Commemorate Tibetan Resistance and Unity'
Subsequent messages are:
* We respectfully commemorate the 23 Tibetans who have self-immolated since last Tibetan New Year and stand in solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet who continue to resist China's occupation of Tibet.
* Despite pressure from China to celebrate Losar 2139 in Tibet, Tibetans in eastern Tibet will mourn those who have died over the past year. Tibetans in exile and their supporters are expressing solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet by pledging to take action this Losar 2139 (2012).