Tête-à-tête with Woeser

A few weeks ago, I heard that some Tibetan writers in exile had peacefully denounced Wang Li Xiong during a meeting organized by PEN Tibetan Writers organization, during his visit to Dharamsala. Shortly afterwards, I talked with Woeser through Skype. She told me “I was deeply unhappy when I heard about the assertion to my husband, but later personally took it as a good experience.” Then we didn’t have a chance to talk for several weeks. Later I saw her article “Democracy must have some moral obligations” on TibetTimes.net and heard it from Radio Free Asia.

And after I finished reading it, we had a chance to talk again on Skype. One inspiring and pleasant thing about our conversation was that she can speak Tibetan quite fluently now, and we were able to exchange our ideas and thoughts using the Tibetan language. But she said, “still I can’t speak Tibetan properly, but my Tibetan is getting better here at Beijing than in Lhasa. I personally feel embarrassed about my inability to speak Tibetan well.”

We talked for more than one hour but I am not going to share all of it. I would only like to discuss the awaking thought of her article “Democracy must have some moral obligations”, and at the same time personally take responsibility for any misunderstanding, disorganization and misconception that might occur in this article.

Woeser talked about the awakening thought of “Democracy must have some moral obligations”:

At the beginning, as I told you last time, when I heard about their unreasonable and disprovable talks, like ‘Wan Li Xion is a spy, cheater, Tibetan issue user, presidential adviser and hit man’, I was personally was not happy about it, but kept thinking passionately that it was not necessary to answer. But unfortunately later, whether it was from these five Exiles who spoke strongly against my husband or Tibetan society there, the issue was brought up again and spread widely through newspapers, videos and radio programs. For instance, Tibetan Amdo section in RFA had discussions and news broadcasting about it. As result of it, many Tibetans in Amdo in Tibet had heard it, and they telephoned and emailed me for my opinion.

Moreover, it was translated and published in Namlo Yak’s Chinese blog. But after a few days, when I returned to read it, it was no longer there, and completely erased. I personally don’t have any idea why he translated it, put it up and then later erased it. Moreover, because the issue appeared on Tibetan websites, blogs, and radio plus in Chinese blogs as well, many of my Chinese friends starting asking me about it more and more. I met with Chinese police few days ago because I wrote many articles about the recent uprising in Uighur. They informed me that ‘your husband was accused in Dharamsala.’ But I didn’t answer them and kept my silence.

However, there were many misconceptions and rumors circulating as other side kept firing up the issue. After thinking it over many times, I felt that it was better to write something to make people to know my opinions and feelings about the matter. You are living in a democratic society so you have a more solid knowledge about democracy than me. Democracy is not only talking about right or wrong, it also entails obligation and duties.

It is a right that implies responsibility: and every opportunity — an obligation, and every possession — a duty. Exercising the right of freedom of expression and doing nothing for it is not qualified democracy. Of course they can go against my husband critically and evidentially, but if they don’t have evidence or proof to show then it is unreasonable and irresponsible. Whatever they are writer and educated people, so at least they should have a moral obligation about their saying.

If educated Tibetans talk without a base of research and evidence, then our society will never mature or even have a chance to grow up. And sometimes I feel that only blaming others is a disease in our society and we should get rid of that disease. However these diseases are never helpful for us. Here I am just sharing my personal views about what happened during my husband’s visit to Dharamsala. But I am not opposing these Tibetan writers nor talking about their motivations.


I wrote this article in Tibetan and published on Khabda.org and TibetTimes.net a few weeks ago. I translated it as Woeser thought it might be a good idea to publish it in English too.


You can leave your comment here

There is one comment for “Tête-à-tête with Woeser”

Post your comment.

Your email address will not be published, or used in any way other than for submitting this comment.
Put a blank line to make a paragraph.