The Tibet Oral History Project (TOHP) is honored to have received letters of endorsement from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Sikyong (President, Tibetan Government-in-Exile) and the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
"It is almost 60 years since a large number of Tibetans, including myself had to flee Tibet in the wake of the Chinese takeover. Now, the generation of Tibetans who lived through this period, whether still in Tibet or in diaspora, is fast dwindling. Consequently, I have often stressed the importance of preserving this memory while there are still people who can relate their first-hand perspective on the aspect of Tibetan history.
I was therefore pleased that the Tibet Oral History Project undertook the initiative of recording the life stories of elder Tibetans that have much importance in preserving this aspect of modern Tibetan history. I am now glad the Project is planning to compile the stories in printed form. It will be a good contribution to a better understanding of the experience of the Tibetan people during this difficult period of our history."
Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
"Your recording the life stories of elder Tibetans has much importance in preserving the reality of the situation in Tibet as experienced by these Tibetans…In the process such initiatives also contribute in spreading awareness about the true nature and value of the Tibetan Buddhist culture, especially at a time when its very survival is under severe threat in Tibet. One of the reasons we remain optimistic on the issue of Tibet is that it is not only a just cause, but also because the spirit of the Tibetan people in exile and particularly in Tibet remains strong and unbowed. We are sure the stories of the elder Tibetans recorded by the project will testify to this."
Penpa Tsering, former Speaker, Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile:
"The Tibet Oral History Project is a very significant undertaking to record actual historical events of Tibet from an individual's perspective at the worst period of Tibetan history. The project needs to be intensified as the older generations are fast disappearing..."
Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, former Kalon Tripa (Prime Minister, Tibetan Government-in-Exile):
"I am particularly impressed with [TOHP's] efforts of translating these interviews in Chinese language so that Chinese citizens who are deprived of correct information can understand the true stories of Tibetan people and appreciate their culture and the cause the Tibetan people are fighting for. Similarly it will also bring benefits to the younger generation of Tibetans, primarily who are born and brought up in exile. Therefore, I welcome and support this project."
Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Sikyong (President) of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile:
"It is crucial that younger Tibetans study the language and history of the nation. It is equally important that they know the stories and narratives of individual families and ancestral land. Younger Tibetans should embrace the values of humility, integrity, and resilience of the elder generation. These values form the bedrock of the Tibetan struggle. It is the ultimate task of the youths to continue the precious legacy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the elder generations. TOHP has given impetus to the cause of Tibet through its active pursuance of its noble mission."
Dennis Cusack, Former Co-Chair, International Tibet Support Network, San Francisco, USA:
"The Tibet Oral History Project plays a crucial role in the Tibetan struggle for freedom. Hearing these interviews, younger generations of Tibetans can bind themselves even more tightly to the Tibetan identity that they and their elders are fighting to preserve. Equally as important, Chinese citizens who have known only their government's propaganda can begin to learn of the Tibetans' suffering, and understand that their cause is just."
Jack Kornfield, Founder, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre, USA:
"The Tibet Oral History Project is creating one of the most important and vital records of living Tibetan culture and history we will have. These in-depth interviews are priceless, developing a treasury of understanding and a powerful historical record of this remarkable period for the benefit of the Tibetans and for all of humanity in the ages ahead. Please help support this moving and precious work."
Professor Robert D. Sloane, Member, Board of Directors, Tibet Justice Center, Boston, USA:
"By recording the experiences of those who lived in Tibet before and during China’s occupation, TOHP is establishing a critical, and irrefutable, historical record...Beyond the terrible suffering and chronic international human rights violations that the Tibetan people have bravely endured throughout some sixty years of Chinese occupation, TOHP shows—as every independent international lawyer and historian, without exception, has already concluded—that Tibetans are, and always have been, a distinct people in the eyes of contemporary international law."
Sonam Tsering, former Welfare Officer, Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, New Delhi:
"You have done a great job. A job nobody has done so far. This oral history will definitely play a very important role to reveal the feelings of elder Tibetan refugees who suffered the impact of the Chinese invasion of Tibet. This project has created a space for vanishing elderly Tibetans to leave their untold stories for future generations. These facts will become important eyewitness [accounts]. I would like to thank you whole heartedly for executing this vital project and completing it with great success."
Joshua Levenberg, former Member, Board of Directors, Tibet Justice Center, San Francisco, USA:
"You have done the world, and particularly the Tibetans, a great service by preserving history in a way that allows future generations (ideally, not just Tibetans) to learn about so many things: perseverance, preserving culture, the impact of repression/oppression on a people, family ties, etc. Moreover, without physical preservation of these stories, many of them would have disappeared forever."