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Tsering Woeser
Tsering Woeser, 26 March 2009
Tsering Woeser, 26 March 2009
LanguageChinese, Tibetan
Alma materSouthwest University for Nationalities
GenreShort story, poetry, essays
Notable worksNotes on Tibet (西藏笔记)
Notable awardsPrince Claus Awards;
International Women of Courage Award
SpouseWang Lixiong

Tsering Woeser (also written Öser[citation needed]; Tibetan: ཚེ་རིང་འོད་ཟེར་, Wylie: tshe-ring 'od-zer, Lhasa dialect: [t͡sʰérìŋ wǿsèː]; Chinese: ; pinyin: Wéisè, Han name Chéng Wénsà 程文萨;[1] born 1966) is a Tibetan writer, activist, blogger, poet and essayist.[2]


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.[3] 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."[4] When the government refused to give her a passport, she sued the authorities.[5]


Video to honor Woeser by the Prince Claus Fund for her 2011 award

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.[6]

According to UNPO, shortly after the alleged ban, Woeser was also fired from her job and lost her status with her work unit.[7] 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.[8]

Woeser in her Beijing apartment in 2009 in front of her Tibetan Buddhist altar

During the Tibetan unrest of 2008, Woeser and her husband were put under house arrest after speaking to reporters.[9] In December 2008, Woeser and her husband were among the first of the original 303 signatories to Charter 08,[10][11] now joined by thousands more.[12] Liu Xiaobo, the author of Charter 08, was sentenced for eleven years of prison and awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.[13] 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.[14] When she was honoured with the Prince Claus Awards in 2011, she was forbidden to receive the prize in the Dutch embassy.[15]

Tsering Woeser defended Tibetan actions in the 1905 Tibetan Rebellion, saying that Zhao Erfeng invaded the region to "brutally stop Tibetan protests", listing atrocities committed by Zhao.[16]

Woeser's writings are regularly translated into English by the translations website High Peaks Pure Earth.




  1. ^ Mai, Yanting 麦燕庭. 藏族女作家唯色领荷兰亲王奖被禁 - 中国. Radio France Internationale.
  2. ^ "Tsering Woeser". PEN America. 2013-03-08. Retrieved 2022-07-17.
  3. ^ "Tsering Woeser". PEN America. 2013-03-08. Retrieved 2022-07-17.
  4. ^ "Reporters sans frontières - China". En.rsf.org. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  5. ^ Tibetan writer, a rare outspoken voice against Beijing's policies, sues Chinese government Herald Tribune July 23, 2008 p. 1 (iht.com)
  6. ^ "TAR Authorities Ban Book by Tibetan Author (TIN)". Tibet.ca. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  7. ^ "Tibet: China persecuting Tibetan Writer for Pro-Dalai Lama Opinion". Unpo.org. 2004-10-28. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  8. ^ "Banned, Blocked Tibetan Writer Vows to Speak Out in China". RFA.
  9. ^ "Tibetan revolt has China's empire fraying at the edge". Times Online. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  10. ^ Macartney, Jane (10 Dec 2008). "Leading Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo, arrested over freedom charter". Times Online.
  11. ^ "Charter 08". High Peaks Pure Earth. 12 December 2008.
  12. ^ "Charter 08 Signers urged to join Liu Xiaobo's Trial". phayul.com. 19 December 2009.
  13. ^ "'Liu Xiaobo must be freed' - Nobel prize committee". BBC. 10 October 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  14. ^ "Chinese intellectuals call for release of Uighur". Associated Press. July 14, 2009.
  15. ^ Tsering Woeser - Writer/Blogger - Lhasa, China Prince Claus Awards 2011 (princeclausfund.org) Retrieved January 3, 2013
  16. ^ Woeser (September 15, 2011). "The Hero Propagated by Nationalists". High Peaks Pure Earth. High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser written in July 2011 for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia and posted on her blog on August 4, 2011. Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  17. ^ "Norwegian Authors Union awards Freedom of Expression Prize 2007 to Tsering Woeser". www.phayul.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  18. ^ Tibetan journalists’ body honours Woeser on its 10th Anniversary.
  19. ^ "Tibetan writer Woeser wins 'Courage in Journalism award'". Phayul.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  20. ^ Press release
  21. ^ "International Women of Courage Award". Voatibetanenglish.com. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  22. ^ Woeser, Tsering. "Tibet on Fire". VersoBooks.com. ISBN 978-1784781538. Retrieved 25 July 2017.

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