‘Eat for Tibet’ this February 26, and help our cause!

‘Eat for Tibet’ is back again! This February 26, eat all your favorite Tibetan dishes at various restaurants, and help one cause.

All Tibetan restaurants in Parkdale will be participating to help Students for a Free Tibet Canada while whipping up a delicious array of spicy, sweet, and steamy Tibetan dishes.

Tibetan restaurants participating in this event, and helping fundraise for Students for a Free Tibet Canada are:

1600 Queen Street West

Le Tibet
1526 Queen Street West

Tibet Kitchen
1544 Queen St W

Om Restaurant
1439 Queen St. West

Tsampa Cafe
1528 Queen St. W.

Himalayan Cafe
1500 Queen St. W.

All the participating restaurants are located in Parkdale on the Queen West strip between 1600 Queen Street West and 1439 Queen Street West

Come with a hunger for some great Tibetan dishes and learn about what we do at Students for a Free Tibet Canada, and how you can help us!


A month of Tibetan culture, identity and perseverance in film

Greetings everyone!

I am so delighted to say that the month of January, which we celebrated as ‘Renaissance Month’, was a huge success in many aspects! Film nights and engaging discussions were hosted by various SFT University Chapters in Toronto. All the SFT members from the chapters put great efforts into planning the film nights,  and screening three Tibetan Documentaries: Prayers Answered at University of Toronto, Leaving Fear Behind at Ryerson University and Tibet in Song at York University.

For me personally, Tibet in Song touched me deeply. As someone who has performed and been involved in helping sustain Tibetan cultural songs and dances, this was a documentary that resonated with me.

Ngawang Chophel, on the right, was imprisoned in Tibet by Chinese authorities for trying to record Tibetan musical culture

Imagine the following:
You are 7 years old and your favourite hobby is to sing and dance. Now fast forward 30 years into your future, your passion and love of music has grown and you decide to go back home to your country to learn more and help preserve your culture, only to be thrown in jail and accused of “spying” and “threatening” the government a few months into your visit. This is basically what happened to Ngawang Choephel minus the part about starting at the age of 7. That’s just me. Me because throughout the movie I was imagining myself in his position. The more I thought about his life and how he was severely punished for no legitimate reason, let alone political or criminal, the more I wondered about the threat China poses to Tibetan culture and arts.

SFT Canada's National Director Urgyen Badheytsang talking about themes of Tibetan resistance and awareness in 'Leaving Fear Behind' at Ryerson University

This was one of the three movies that were screened and discussed during Renaissance month. I’ve learned a lot from the film nights during the month of January. That you can feel empowered by taking the initiative to watch, read and learn more about Tibet. We had amazing guest speakers as well, including the voice behind High Peaks Pure Earth Blog, Dechen Pembala who was actually directly involved in the successful sneaking out of the tapes recorded by Dhondup Wangchen in Leaving Fear Behind.

Dechen Pemba, the creator of Highpeakspureearth.com, talks about her experiences in Tibet and the importance of the message behind Dhondup Wangchen's film.

The attendance exceeded our expectations and the guest speakers added to the beautiful messages delivered by all three documentaries.

Thank You to everyone who came out and supported us as well as the new faces we look forward to seeing more of!

In Solidarity and Peace,

Sonam Chokey

Dhondup Wangchen, pictured above, is currently enduring harsh physical labor as a political prisoner in Tibet for simply recording local Tibetans' opinion on Chinese development.

January is Renaissance Month!

I am excited to announce that this month is our Renaissance month! SFT Canada is starting off this new year by celebrating January as the Renaissance Month. Tabling, potluck and film nights will take place at various Chapters for the month of January focused on Tibetan environment.

Film nights will take place at the following venues:

Prayers Answered” – University of Toronto on January 13 at 5:30pm

Leaving Fear Behind” – Ryerson University on Jan. 20 at 6:30 pm

Tibet in Song” – York University on January 26th at 6pm

Details of the main event will be posted soon.

For more information on environmental degradation and mining in Tibet, visit www.StopMiningTibet.org.

For information on the planned nomadic displacement by the Chinese government and what you can do to help stop it, visit www.NomadRights.org

Bhod Gyalo!

Jigdel Kuyee

SFT’s Regional Conference at Ryerson: Activist Training for Tibet in Toronto

SFT’s Amazing Training Conference is coming to Toronto!
SFT Canada will host a three-day  training conference at Ryerson University starting February 3. Get ready to participate in innovative workshops, meet other amazing activists, and take non-violence campaigning to the next level!

REGISTER TODAY – Space is limited. The application deadline is Friday January 27!

WHERE: Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street , Toronto, Ontario
WHEN: Friday, February 3, 2011 – Sunday, February 5, 2011
WHO: Anyone who wants to learn how to hit an oppressive regime where it hurts!

Don’t miss this opportunity to hone your activist skills as well as learn about grassroots organizing and strategic campaigning – all to advance the goal of human rights and freedom for Tibet! Conference open to all students, youth and activists.

To Register, please fill out the form below.

If you have any questions email:  canada@studentsforafreetibet.org,
or call : 647-522 5178

A registration fee of $30 will help cover food and training costs. If you cannot afford the fee but would like to attend, please e-mail us and we’ll be happy to help you cover it.

Please support SFT Canada’s Youth Leadership Training program by making a donation today.

Please register for SFT’s Regional Conference at Ryerson University using the form below:

2011: What we’ve achieved together for Tibet

Dear Friends,

This has been a year of epic change around the world. In spite of the Chinese government’s refusal to acknowledge the inevitable forces for freedom that are steadily building, Tibetans in Tibet are challenging China’s control at every turn. 

SFT Canada has been working around the clock to maximize the impact of their actions while pushing the movement forward and achieving milestones for Tibetan freedom.

Thank you for supporting our campaigns and programs. Together, we are giving Tibetans in Tibet reason to hope. Please make a holiday gift to SFT Canada to support our work into 2012: 
Read below to see what SFT Canada has accomplished in this watershed year.

Baird with SFT

ENOUGH! GLOBAL INTERVENTION NOW TO SAVE TIBETAN LIVES:SFT Canada has been extremely active with the Enough! Campaign, which was launched by SFT International in collaboration with other Tibet groups to demand global multilateral diplomatic action in response to the spiralling crisis in eastern Tibet.

As a direct result of our network’s efforts, over 20 influential Canadian signatories have pledged to Stand up for Tibet. On November 2nd, the Tibetan Freedom Movement united in the largest global day of action since the 2008 Beijing Olympics protests; with 100 creative actions carried out in over 65 cities around the world, including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa. In late November, SFT Canada’s National Director Tenzin Lobsang met with Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird to directly raise the urgent issue of the 13 self-immolations of young Tibetans in Tibet.

Mining protestSTOP MINING TIBET: The campaign to stop Canadian mining corporations from pillaging Tibet’s natural resources heated up this year as SFT Canada members confronted investors at a major mining conference in Vancouver, as well as China Gold International Resources’ Vice-President at an investor round-table in Toronto. Protests were held inside and outside of the mining companies’ shareholders meetings, and SFT launched an initiative to urge the World Gold Council to classify Tibet’s Gold as ‘conflict gold’.

Canada Votes for TibetCANADA VOTES FOR TIBET: SFT brought Canada’s election fever to Toronto’s “Little Tibet” by  hosting an all-candidates debate – the first-ever to focus on Tibet and issues concerning the Tibetan community in Canada’s largest Tibetan constituency.Candidates from the three major parties spoke to a packed venue about how they would represent the voices of Tibetans in Parliament. SFT Canada also led a national campaign urging voters to ‘Vote for Tibet’, by attending candidate debates or contacting candidates directly to maximize opportunities to build Parliamentary support for Tibet.

MP David Sweet with SFT Lobby DayLOBBY FOR TIBET: In March, SFT Canada led the second Tibet Lobby Day in Ottawa. Members of SFT and the Tibetan community gathered on Parliament Hill to meet with over a dozen Parliamentarians and lobby for Tibet, as part of the global Lobby for Tibet initiative. As a direct result of our lobbying efforts, SFT was successful in getting the case of jailed Tibetan environmentalist and philanthropist Karma Samdrup raised in the House of Commons. At SFT, we know that in order to build the most effective movement for Tibetan freedom, we need to be in the streets, and in the halls of political power.

SFT Canada Training 2011TRAININGS: SFT Canada hosted two trainings this year on grassroots organizing, media communications, and strategic planning. These trainings empower student leaders to activate and strengthen their respective chapters in their schools and communities.

GROWTH: SFT Canada’s chapter base continues to grow.Just this year, we saw the formation of six new chapters across four provinces. Chapters have been incredibly active this year hosting film nights, organizing protests, holding candle light vigils and petition drives, and lobbying local politicians to stand up for Tibet. We’re excited to see this growth across Canada and are planning at least two SFT trainings in 2012 to ensure these chapters continue to develop and thrive in their work for Tibet on their campuses and in their communities.

It’s hard to believe we’ve accomplished so much together in 2011. With your help we will take our activism for Tibet to even greater heights in 2012.Please donate today to support our strategic campaigns and innovative programs and help us make history for Tibet.

In solidarity and action,

Tendor – Executive Director, SFT International
Tenzin Lobsang Wangkhang – National Director, SFT Canada

P.S. Please make a holiday gift to SFT Canada. Any amount you give will go a long way to support our work to achieve human rights and freedom for the Tibetan people.

How you can donate:

  1. Online through SFT Canada’s donation page:
  2. Online via SFT International’s website (all funds from supporters in Canada will be directed to SFT Canada):
  3. Mail a cheque to our National Office in Toronto:
    Students for a Free Tibet Canada
    @ Centre for Social Innovation
    215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 415
    Toronto, ON M5T 2C7

SFT Canada meets Foreign Minister Baird

Dear Friends,

Nearly 700,000 people from around the world have said Enough! to China’s repressive crackdown in eastern Tibet.More than 100 of us have written to Foreign Minister John Baird and our local Members of Parliament about the crisis in Tibet demanding the Canadian government issue a public statement of concern. Our efforts have been heard and action is happening.

Foreign Minister Baird and SFT CanadaBy raising the alarm, the Canadian government has taken note of the seriousness of the unprecedented wave of self-immolations taking place in eastern Tibet. On Monday, I met with Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird in his office, as a part of a Canadian Human Rights Coalition.

I couldn’t have met with Minister Baird at a more critical time. During this meeting, I strongly raised the urgency of the crisis in Tibet and urged the Minister to make a public statement condemning China’s intensifying and brutal crackdown. I also requested him to join other world leaders in multilateral action to pressure the Chinese government to resolve the Tibet issue once and for all.

While the Foreign Minister took a first step by meeting with me and assuring that he had raised Tibet with his Chinese counterparts, he must go further in his actions for Tibet. 

Just yesterday, Radio Free Asia reported that Tenzin Phuntsok, a 46 year-old former monk had self-immolated in Chamdo, Tibet (Ch: Changdu Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region). He is the twelfth Tibetan in the last 10 months to have self-immolated in protest of Chinese rule over Tibet. Tibetans inside Tibet have reached a breaking point and our government must respond.

TAKE ACTION: KEEP THE PRESSURE ON MINISTER BAIRD You can take further action by requesting your Member of Parliament to raise the Tibet crisis in the House of Commons.

Just days ago, British Foreign Secretary William Hague was asked by a UK Member of Parliament what he has done about the crisis in Tibet. Secretary Hague responded:

“We are seriously concerned about the recent reports that young monks and nuns in Tibetan areas of Szechuan province have immolated themselves. As I said, we have taken that up with the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, and with the Chinese embassy in London. We encourage, of course, the resolution of grievances that have led to that situation. We will continue to encourage the Chinese Government to take that constructive approach”. 

We have a critical opportunity to further press Minister Baird to make a similar statement in the Canadian House of Commons. His public support of Tibet would give an incredible boost to Tibetans everywhere. 

Please act now by doing the following:

1. Write to Foreign Minister Baird, urging him to Stand up for Tibet.
2. Call your MP and urge him/her to join numerous international political figures in standing up for Tibet. Find your MP. (Click here for a sample letter to your MP) Also request him/her to ask Minister Baird in the House of Commons to publicly respond to the self-immolations.Download a helpful resource package to deliver to your MP.

3. Join a Human Rights Day Action for Tibet on Saturday, December 10. Find out where a protest is being organized near you. If you are planning an action, please make sure to send us the details so we can promote it on: http://standupfortibet.org/global-action/10decemberTibetans inside Tibet are hearing our calls for global intervention. We received the following message a few weeks ago, “We know about your efforts on our behalf, especially your global actions around the world on Wednesday [2 November]. Everything you do makes a difference for us.” 

With this strong, heartfelt message in mind, together, we can take the Enough! campaign to the next level of global influence.

With hope,

Tenzin Lobsang Wangkhang
National Director

P.S. Please support the Enough! Campaign for Global Intervention to Save Tibetan Lives by making a donation today: https://secure3.convio.net/sft/site/Donation2?df_id=1345&1345.donation=form1&JServSessionIdr004=6nqhop7nc1.app331b

Democracy for China – Opportunity or Threat?

FORUM sponsored by China Rights Network

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Human Rights Day – 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto – Room 308

In honour of LIU Xiaobo,

author of Charter 08, Nobel Peace Prize Winner

and Prisoner in a Chinese jail since December 10, 2008!

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Charles Burton, Associate Professor, Brock University

Dr. Burton, who is fluent in Mandarin, specializes in Chinese domestic and international politics, 

and the foreign policies of advanced industrialized nations toward China.

Other key speakers – YOU !

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