High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a short microblog post by Tibetan female writer Pema Norzin that was written on February 24, 2015, around the time of Tibetan and Chinese New Year, and circulated on social media platforms such as Weibo and WeChat.
The post, “Why Can’t We Travel Abroad?”, provoked some discussion but was deleted quite soon after posting. Fortunately, it has been archived by anti-censorship projects such as the University of Hong Kong’s Weiboscope and the online Free Weibo.
Restrictions on the issuing of passports to Tibetans by PRC is a common but rather under-documented practice. The most prominent example would be Tibetan writer Woeser who just this past week told the New York Times, “I’ve been trying to get a passport since 2005, but they won’t give it to me.”
“Why Can’t We Travel Abroad?”
By Pema Norzin
This year the Spring Festival and Tibetan New Year fall on the same month, I’ve seen numerous friends from inland China travel abroad, furthermore there are many countries that have waived visa requirements, we Tibetans, our individual passports have already been confiscated by the Tibetan regional government for more than three years. Why can’t we travel abroad? Why can’t our children study abroad? The confiscation of our passports by the regional government is a violation of the state constitution, it is illegal, why are the law enforcement agencies silent?!
I hereby earnestly request all online friends to help by sharing this post, I call on the regional government to return our confiscated passports to us, allow us to apply for passports and to exercise our rights, the same rights as those enjoyed by the citizens of inland China.
Losar Tashi Delek to all!