Arrested and Willing to Die for a Homeland She’s Never Seen
Like so many of the people I know who fight for Tibet, Choedon, a beautiful young Tibetan refugee I interviewed, had requested I not show her face in this interview.
Her dream is to return to Tibet, and she fears her activism would result in denial of a visa.
In 2008, Choedon, along with almost 400 others (mostly Tibetans) worked together and planned a march back to their homeland – Tibet.
According to Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
- (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
- (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
The march lasted over 100 days, and there were numerous arrests within India, as this group tried to assert this basic human right.
Choedon and I sat in her apartment during this interview, sipping apple juice. The sun was shining over the Himalayas, kids were laughing outside. This was no ordinary conversation. I felt a sadness; this kind of conversation seems to be the norm here in the exile community. We talked about hope and family; Choedon ended the interview with something that left me in tears.
Please take a minute to listen to this interview; please share it if you are able.
Photo credit: Built on Respect (2011)