'Non-Violent Action For Tibet' Workshop
(July 9-15, 2002. Rabangla. Sikkim)

Karma Yeshi la Introduces the 'Martyr Pillar'

Day Seven (Monday. July 15, 2002): The day began as usual, the usual downpour of rain in the thick of the fog. Participants were excited to be there on the ground as today is the last day.

Karma Yeshi la initiated the discussion on 'Non-Violent Action For Tibet' giving examples of many of the activities Tibetans have been engaged in. I spoke on non-violence, both as a religious belief and how non-violence has been adopted as a political strategy.

Sangpo la Inaugurates The 'Martyr Pillar'

Since two plays to be presented to the public today, the second session was used for the rehearsal. Practice went on beyond time. Many had to skip their lunch. At 2pm, we had a formal discussion on 'Self Analysis And Future Plans.' After tea, we all headed towards the 'Martyr Pillar' site. Today was a miracle day. The sky was cleared after many weeks. And there was a rainbow across the northern sky. 'Martyr Pillar' was standing majestically in the bright sun. Clouds were formed below the Kangchendzonga Mountain, the third highest mountain in the world. The whole population of Rabangla settlement had gathered at the ground -- perhaps the biggest gathering ever. All of us sang the Tibetan National Anthem in tune with the CST (Central School For Tibetans) band. After and introduction to the 'Martyr Pillar' by Karma Yeshi la, Sangpo la inaugurated the pillar by lighting a lamp in the traditional way. Youten Gyatso la, (Chairman of the Local Assembly) thanked the workshop trainees and advised them to continue the process.

A Symbolic Two-Minute Silence

In the hall, people had gathered to see the 'drama' by two groups. It was for the first time the people were realising the skill of their children and their neighbours. At the end, NGOs of Rabangla and the Settlement Officer thanked the participants and trainers, offered 'Khatas.'

When Drama Was Presented to the People of Rabangla

Migmar Dolma la spoke on 'Why Boycott Chinese Goods' as she broke down to tears but went on speaking. Later with Tsering Phuntsok la and other participants of the workshop stood and made their pledge on Chinese Goods. Each participant thanked the trainers. Many of them were in tears. I felt that this is a realisation that we are in a very poor situation with the question of Tibetan independence. It was also a feeling to them that the workshop had helped. It was touching that they worked so hard and sincerely for a week and at the end they all cry and pledge to work continuously for Tibet. What was more touching was the tremendous pull the general public made by making huge donations for the continuation of the workshop process. People of Rabangla settlement are relatively poor and considered one of the remotest of all Tibetan camps. The total donation went uo to Rs 21,000. We thank them and salute their spirit.

'Bo Rangzen'

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7

List of Participants (Rabangla): Tsewang Paljor, Tsering Wangyal, Rinchen Dolma, Tsewang Choedon, Tsering Yangchen, Sonam Lhamo, Tsering Youdon, Bhuchung Tsering, Ugyen Tenzin, Lhakpa Bhuti, Dikyi, Karma Yangdol, Migmar Dolma, Pema Wangyal, Rinzin Khando, Tsering Tashi, Tsering Phuntsok, Lodoe Nangpa, Sonam Tsering, Youton Gyatso, Nyima Tsering, Youten Gyatso, Nyima Tsering, Tsechae Lhamo, Dolma Tsering, Thinley Youdon, Tsomo, Sonam Tharhyal, Nima Tsering, Kalsang Choedon and Woesel Lhamo.