Tsering Woeser, 26 March 2009
|Alma mater||Southwest University for Nationalities|
|Genre||Short story, poetry, essays|
|Notable works||Notes on Tibet (西藏笔记)|
|Notable awards||Prince Claus Awards;|
International Women of Courage Award
Tsering Woeser (also written Öser; Tibetan: ཚེ་རིང་འོད་ཟེར་, Wylie: tshe-ring 'od-zer, Lhasa dialect: [t͡sʰérìŋ wö́sèː]; Chinese: 唯色; pinyin: Wéisè, Han name Chéng Wénsà 程文萨; born 1966) is a Tibetan writer, activist, blogger, poet and essayist.
Woeser, a quarter Han Chinese and three quarters Tibetan, was born in Lhasa. Her grandfather, Chinese, was an officer in the Nationalist Army[clarification needed] of the Kuomintang and her father was a high rank Army officer in the People's Liberation Army. When she was very young, her family relocated to the Kham area of western Sichuan province. In 1988, she graduated from Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu with a degree in Chinese literature. She worked as a reporter in Kardzé and later in Lhasa and has lived in Beijing since 2003 as a result of political problems. Woeser is married to Wang Lixiong, a renowned author who frequently writes about Tibet. According to Reporters sans frontières, "Woeser is one of the few Tibetan authors and poets to write in Chinese." When the government refused to give her a passport, she sued the authorities.
Woeser is the author of the book, Notes on Tibet (西藏笔记; Xīzàng Bǐjì). The Tibet Information Network quotes unnamed sources that the book was banned by the government around September 2003.
According to UNPO, shortly after the alleged ban, Woeser was also fired from her job and lost her status with her work unit. Radio Free Asia reported that she continued to post a variety of poems and articles to her two blogs: Maroon Map (绛红色的地图, oser.tibetcul.net), which, according to the author, was visited primarily by Tibetans and the Woeser blog (blog.daqi.com/weise), which was visited primarily by those of Han ethnicity. According to RFA, on July 28, 2006, both blogs were closed by order of the government, apparently in response to postings in which she expressed birthday greetings to the Dalai Lama and touched on other sensitive topics. Woeser stated that she would continue writing and speaking.
During the Tibetan unrest of 2008, Woeser and her husband were put under house arrest after speaking to reporters. In December 2008 Woeser and her husband were among the first of the original 303 signatories to Charter 08, now joined by thousands more. Liu Xiaobo, the author of Charter 08, was sentenced for eleven years of prison and awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. In July 2009 Woeser and her husband were one of more than 100 signatories to a petition asking Chinese authorities to release detained ethnic-Uyghur professor of economics Ilham Tohti. When she was honoured with the Prince Claus Awards in 2011, she was forbidden to receive the prize in the Dutch embassy.
Woeser's writings are regularly translated into English by the translations website High Peaks Pure Earth.
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