Prominent Tibetan writer Woeser has been awarded a Prince Laus Award for her works of poetry, novels and blogs, on the Tibetan’s people plight and giving them a voice to the world.
The honour, named after the late husband of Queen Beatrix of Netherlands, is awarded to those whose works have achieved strides and positive effects in their cultural and social field.
A press release by the Prince Claus Fund said: “Woeser is honoured for her courage in speaking for those who are silenced and oppressed, for her compelling combination of literary quality and political reportage, for recording, articulating and supporting Tibetan culture, and for her active commitment to
self-determination, freedom and development in Tibet.”
This is not the first award that Woeser has won for her efforts to report on the suffering of the Tibetan people. In 2007 she was award the Norwegian Author Union’s 2007 Freedom of Expression Prize, and in 2010 the Internal Women’s Media foundation 2010 ‘Courage in Journalism award however on both occasions she was not permitted to travel abroad to accept the accolades, with the Chinese government denying her a passport on the grounds of ‘national security’.
After her 2004 novel, Notes on Tibet, was published and subsequently banned by the Chinese Government after nine months for opinions deemed ‘harmful to the unification and solidary of our nation’, Woeser has maintained an active online presence through her blog.
She and her husband Wang Lixiong, a fellow outspoken critic and writer on Tibet, have been living in self-imposed exile in Beijing. In a recent interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide, she described the atmosphere in Lhasa as one dominated by ‘fear’, she added “You inevitably become contaminated by it to the point where you dare not to do anything anymore. In Beijing I feel almost free. The scale of this emotional city dilutes the fear.”