Chinese Government Shuts Down Luktsang Palyon: A Popular Tibetan Language Blog in Tibet

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 10 April: Luktsang Palyon, a popular Tibetan-language blog in Tibet, has been shut down by the Chinese government for alleged copyright infringement, reports Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Monday. The administrator has filed a formal appeal with the authorities to restore it.

The Chinese government’s closure of Luktsang Palyon, known as ‘Tibet Sheep’ in English, has angered its readers inside Tibet and Tibetans in exile who rely on it for access to Tibetan content amidst limited sources.

The administrator of the website issued a statement on 2 April, announcing that its website and related WeChat blog have been blocked by authorities for alleged copyright infringement. A formal appeal to restore it has been filed with the authorities, he said.

“The government has completely blocked access to Luktsang Palyon,” said the administrator, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, according to the report. If his appeal is responded to positively, Luktsang Palyon will ensure the rights of writers are upheld. However, if it is declined, he will “fully comply with the decision of the government,” as stated in the statement.

Established in March 2013, the popular website has been highlighting topics related to the Tibetan language and culture. Over a decade, it has built up a committed readership inside Tibet as well as in Tibetan communities in exile. It includes writings by Tibetans both inside and outside Tibet, according to the report.

So far, it has published about 10,000 pieces of educational content, Tibetan articles and stories, music lyrics, Tibetan-Chinese translations, and audio content.

Beri Jigme Wangyal, a literature professor and Tibetan author at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Varanasi, India, told RFA that “Shutting down this platform is a matter of significant loss and concern for the Tibetan scholarly community as it has been a constant source to access content.”

Within the wide spectrum of Xi Jinping’s intensifying policy of sinicization inside Tibet, the Tibetan language has been closely targeted.

In 2022, the language-learning app Talkmate and video-streaming service Bilibili removed the Tibetan and Uyghur languages from their site under the command of Chinese authorities. In the same year, the creators of a popular Tibetan-language show video-sharing app GangYang were suddenly shut down, citing financial reasons.

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