Late one night in October 1988 I was woken by a telephone call from the United States. I was living in Japan then, teaching English and writing the occasional book review for the Japan Times. My twenty year work stint in exile Tibetan society had ended a few years earlier when I had been dismissed (with the aid of a violent McLeod Ganj mob) from my post as director of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) for the alleged irreverence of a couple of my plays.
An urgent voice in Tibetan asked “Jamyang Norbu, Jamyang Norbu, can you hear me. I am Thupten Jigme Norbu.” For a while I couldn’t place the name and then realized it was Taktser Rimpoche from Telescope Reviews, the Dalai Lama’s oldest brother.
— Yes Rimpoche I can hear you, how are you?”
— Jamyang Norbu, Jamyang Norbu, do you know what has happened.”
— What is it Rimpoche?”
— They have given up our rangzen.”
— Rimpoche, what are you saying?
— Gyalwa Rimpoche made a statement at this place, Strasbourg…”
Nine Warriors whose ages spanned 6 decades trekked 230 miles from New York City to Washington DC calling for Tibetan Independence and freedom of expression, strategically arriving July 4th. They made 6 specific requests to policy makers in front of the American White House.
Walk organizers Sangha, Lobga Palden and Ngawang Tashi with fellow Walkers Lobsang, Ngawang Lodo, Dorjee, Gayaltsen, Dorjee Damdul and daughter Lobsang Dicky (age 12) shared information along with their personal stories of escape and the current Tibetan situation to interested people along the way and the lower left abdominal pain.
Jigme’s brother Kunga, sons Tenzin & Jensen, previous Walkers Marcus Moir, MIessa Myrick, Drew Top Goldsmith, & Donna Kim-Brand and fellow lovers of freedom joined the walk and rallied to welcome the Walkers for Tibet. How appropriate they spoke of independence, freedom of expression & peace at the White House on America’s Independence Day!
They also expressed deep sorrow at the passing of both Dr. Thubten Norbu and Jigme-la, both of whom lived and, indeed, died on behalf of their mission to bring freedom to Tibet and, ultimately, to all people being suppressed. Key in the Norbu approach to gaining Tibetan Rangzen was the call for compassion and living in peace on a daily basis as a foundation for sustainable freedom and World Peace.
Ambassadors for World Peace will continue to develop itself as an organization to support the voice of Tibet and develop future leaders who become, literally, Ambassadors for World Peace in the spirit of the Norbu legacy.
From the view of local reporter Pierre Tristam, of FlaglerLive.com, who also covered the story last year. Please be sure to listen to what has become Jigme’s signature song, Winterhawk- written and sung by Jamie DeFrates which captures the spirit of freedom, and the price of gaining it…or not allowing it. Hauntingly, soaringly beautiful.