In researching my novel Exiles, I learned a great deal about the recent history of Tibet. I also had the pleasure of knowing the lama Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche for many years; his friendship and stories were a great help and inspiration.
Since the 1949 Chinese invasion of Tibet, thousands of monasteries have been destroyed, more than a million Tibetans have been killed, and untold numbers of monks, nuns, and independence advocates have been imprisoned and tortured. Exiles is a work of fiction, but the descriptions it contains of atrocities committed by the Chinese forces were inspired by documented accounts. Interested readers can find more information about human rights issues in Tibet at a variety of websites. Here are several that provide information and opportunities to help:
- The official website of the Tibetan government in exile; Tibet.net.
- The Dalai Lama’s official website; DalaiLama.com.
- The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy; TCHRD.org.
- The International Campaign for Tibet; SaveTibet.org.
- Free Tibet; FreeTibet.org.
- Students for a Free Tibet; StudentsforaFreeTibet.org.
- The Tibet Justice Center; TibetJustice.org.
- News from Tibet; Phayul.com.
- Human Rights Watch; HRW.org.
- The American Himalayan Foundation; Himalayan-Foundation.org.
This is a photo I took of the great lama Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche in 1987. His friendship over the years provided inspiration when I was writing Exiles.