02 March 2006


On the road with the Drapchi Nuns

For the past three days I've been on the road with Gyaltsen Drolka and Namdrol Lhamo, two of the 14 singing nuns of Drapchi prison, as they tour UK cities to talk about their experiencies as political prisoners in Tibet through their translator Tenzin.

Before I joined them on Tuesday they had already spoken at SOAS in London and at the University of Oxford, but next on their tour was the Take Five Cafe in Bristol at a talk organised by the Coalition for Tibet at Bristol University. The nuns gave a very moving account of their story to the packed cafe before taking some great questions from the crowd. As it was Losar (Tibetan New Year) we rounded off the evening with a party to lighten the mood, fueled by some great food courtesy of the Bristol students.

Next on our trip was Swansea where we were given a more intimate discussion in the surroundings of Govinda's restaurant. There the nuns spoke much more frankly about the torture they suffered in prison, having not wanted to spoil the mood on Losar the previous night. The next day we had a little time for sight seeing, so this is us with our very kind host Anna on a cold but beautiful beach in South Wales.

Today we headed north to the city of Leeds where the nuns spoke in front of a massive turnout of more than 150 people! But they went ahead undaunted and received great suport from the crowd with many queueing up to thank them afterwards. Now we're just settling down for some food and then it's on to Nottingham in the morning.

If you want to find out more about Namdrol-la and Gyaltsen-la please go to the Drapchi 14 website. You can also click here to see where else they will be speaking including at the annual Tibetan Uprising Day march through London.

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