- Category: PA 2005
TENZIN TSUNDUE was born to a Tibetan refugee family who laboured on India 's border roads around Manali, North India , during the chaotic era of Tibetan refugee resettlement in the early seventies. After graduating from Madras , South India, he braved snowstorms and treacherous mountains, broke all rules and restrictions, crossed the Himalayas on foot and went into forbidden Tibet to see the situation of his country under Chinese occupation for himself, and find out if he could contribute the freedom struggle. He was arrested by the Chinese border police, and after spending three months in prison in Lhasa, was sent back to India. Tsundue is a writer-activist. He published his first book of poems Crossing the Border with the money he ‘begged and borrowed' from his classmates while doing his Masters degree in Literature from Bombay University. His literary skills won him the first-ever 'Outlook-Picador Award for Non-Fiction' in 2001. In this all-India essay contest Tsundue took first prize from 900 other entries. His second book Kora has run into three editions that have sold out. His writings have been published in International PEN, The Indian PEN, The Indian Literary Panorama, The Little Magazine, Outlook, The Times of India, The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Better Photography, The Economic Times, Tehelka, Mid-Day (Mumbai), Afternoon (Mumbai), The Daily Star ( Bangldesh), Today (Singapore), Tibetan Review, Tibetan Bulletin, Freedom First, Tibetan World, and Gandhi Marg. He represented Tibet in the Second South Asian Literary Conference in New Delhi in January 2005 which was organised by the premier Indian literary association, Sahitya Academy. Tenzin Tsundue joined Friends of Tibet (India) in 1999 and is currently its General Secretary. In January 2002 he captured world media attention when he scaled scaffolding to the 14th floor of the Oberoi Towers, in Mumbai, to unfurl a Tibetan national flag and a banner which read 'Free Tibet' down the hotel's facade. China 's Premier Zhu Rongji was inside the hotel addressing a conference of Indian business tycoons. He recently repeated a similar feat with a stunning protest during Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jia Bao's visit to the south Indian city of Bangalore. Tenzin Tsundue is presently working on his third book, a compilation of essays on the Tibetan freedom movement.