tibetfocus magazine Bibliography

tibetfocus 162 – main focus

Long version of the interview with Lama Acharya Pema Wangyal


tibetfocus 159 – Uyghurfocus

Video from XJTW, which is the state television station of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Government.

Video can also be found here:


https://www.facebook.com/uyghurcongress/videos/ghulja-incident-report-from-1997/1784602398241243/ - Credit: UK's Channel 4 News report/YouTube

tibetfocus 158 – A visit to the Tibet office in Geneva

English version of the article and the interviews

tibetfocus 157 – Film: Free Tibet – encore & toujours

Notes and information about the film here.

tibetfocus 155 – The education system for Tibetans in exile

English interview

tibetfocus 152 - economic focus










tibetfocus 143 - 60 years of exile in Tibet

references to «The Uprising of 10. March 1959 in Lhasa »:

  • Shakya, Tsering. (1999). The Dragon In The Land Of Snows, New York: Columbia University Press. 186-191.

  • Jian, Chen. (2006). The Tibetan Rebellion of 1959 and China's Changing Relations with India and the Soviet Union, Journal of Cold War Studies. Cambridge: Harvard University.

  • Kollmar-Paulenz, Karenina. (2014). Small history of Tibet, Munich: CH Beck.

  • Website: http://m10memorial.org/timeline-of-events/, Access to 16.02.19.

Sources to «The years after the Tibetan popular uprising
a conversation with Tendöl Namling »:

  • Tsering Shakya, The Dragon in the Land of Snows - A History of Modern Tibet since 1947, Pimlico 1999
  • Karénina Kollmar-Paulenz, Small History of Tibet, CH Beck 2006
  • Thérèse Obrecht Hodler, A childhood in Tibet, Berlin 2019
  • Wikipedia: Big leap forward; Combat and review session

tibetfocus 136

Page 5: List of sources and links to the article «The looted «Treasury of the West» by Noémie Burger:

Page 6 / 9: Sources statistics «The Water Conflict in the Tibetan Highlands» by Nadine Lutzelschwab:

Further references:

Indian perspective:

  • Chaturvedi, Major General (Retired) AK: Water. A Source for Future Conflicts, published in association with Center for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS), New Delhi 2013.

Xinjiang is also affected:

11 page: Source and Link Directory of Articles «A Tibetan answer on the Chinese depletion » of Norzin-Lhamo doping

tibetfocus 135 - Tibetan contemporary art

4 page:
Link and literature list to the article «Michael Jackson, Mahakala, Mara and Mickey Mouse - The Contemporary Art of Tibet between Tradition and Modernity » by Noémie Burger


Further reading:

  • Anna Bremm (2009): Beyond Shangri-la - Contemporary Art from Lhasa. In: art texts section present, no. 2

33 page:
Full interview with Dechen Shak-Dagsay - "The Call for Peace"

Chodar Kone

Stage design DAY TOMORROW photo by Fred Podolak

tibetfocus - On April 15th of this year you will give a concert in the KKL Luzern. There is probably no other sound space in Switzerland that can offer better conditions for your particular form of mantra chants. What does the appearance in this concert hall, which is not only acoustically prestigious, mean to you?

Dechen Shak-Dagsay - After I was able to perform at the annual Tibet House Benefit Concert 'at Carnegie Hall in New York at the invitation of Philip Glass in 2012 and 2016, I was delighted when the request from World Music Organizer Hugo Faas for the KKL in Lucerne came. Among the musicians they say 'When you made it at Carnegie Hall, then you can make it everywhere'.

But here at the KKL Luzern for me apart from the fact that it is acoustically the non plus ultra of the concert halls in Switzerland is also something special. It will be the first time that a Tibetan artist will appear at the KKL Luzern. This fulfills my family and I am sure, also many Tibetans in Switzerland with some pride.

They perform together with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Spherical-spiritual, Tibetan-Buddhist meets classical western music. How did this happen, let's say not unusual, but special constellation?

I see my music as a kind of musical message of peace between different cultures and religions. What connects us humans is the desire for inner peace, balance and happiness. Tibetan Buddhist philosophy holds an unimaginable treasure of wisdom that is precious to every human being, whether or to which god or gods we believe. If I want to make the essence and power of the ancient mantra syllables or prayers available to people in the West, I can do so much better if I work with their already familiar sounds. From the beginning it was my intention to create a new form of mantra music, in order to put the seed for the wonderful, precious life philosophy into the hearts of the people.

I was very happy when Helge van Dyk, the producer and composer of my last two albums, also responsible for the musical direction, told me that he was able to win the ZKO (Zurich Chamber Orchestra) for a collaboration for the KKL concert. Through the valuable connections that he also maintains in the classical music world, he was able to inspire the composer and arranger Fabian Müller to take over the notations for the orchestra.

Not only the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, but also other artists will accompany you and your JEWEL ensemble in this concert. How can you imagine the preparations for this performance? How do you bring these different currents under one hat or into a river?

For music lovers, a visit to the concert at various levels is worthwhile. I will be performing songs from popular albums like DEWA CHE, SHI DE, TARA DEVI, JEWEL and THE SOUND OF DAYTOMORROW of my long-running vocal career. The concert starts very quiet, meditative with a

a capella singing accompanied by an indian shruddhi box. Slowly an Indian sitar will accompany me and gradually the Japanese shakuhachi flute will be used. It will appeal to all World Music fans who have a great affinity to instruments like the Indian sitar or the Japanese shakuhachi flute.

I am already looking forward to the orchestration for the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, which will give the sacred Tibetan mantras and the wonderful lyrics of my dear father Dagsay Rinpoche an exceptionally beautiful musical sound. Most precious holy mantras from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, carried by a classical chamber orchestra, which embodies the highest form of Western musical culture.

In addition, an exciting musical fusion of classical and pop will take place as I am accompanied by the JEWEL Ensemble. Top-class Swiss musicians such as Daniel Pezzotti, cello, Hank Shizzoe, Guitars, Thomas Niggli, sitar, Thomas Jordi, bass, Tosho Yakkatokuo, drums and Helge van Dyk, piano play in this ensemble.

Guest musicians such as the percussionist Rhani Krija, who often plays with Sting and Peter Gabriel, and Jürg Fuyûzui Zurmühle, will provide special highlights.

As a crowning glory, a Tibetan dance group of the Lithang-Verein Schweiz with their colorful costumes will enchant the audience.

The concert will be conducted by Dieter Dyk. Dieter will be remembered by many as an outstanding percussionist of my live concerts. I am very pleased that he has agreed to lead this concert, which is so important to me.

The message of the concert is "The Call for Peace". What is behind this message?

It's about the desire for peace. Not just in Tibet but all over the world. We are all overwhelmed with current world events and wonder where this might lead. With my music I would like to be a valuable support to people, despite all the terrible events in this world, to maintain a positive attitude and never to lose hope.

It is more important than ever that we consider ourselves To see a world community that must hold together if we want to protect this planet, our only home, and preserve it for posterity.

The concert 'THE CALL FOR PEACE' stands for peace in this world, sustainability in the use of resources, and the protection of our nature and the environment.

You are a Tibetan and an internationally known artist. They are friends with Tina Turner and have even realized joint projects with her in the past. To what extent is Tibet and its fate an issue in these "circles" and in this business?

I do not want to trade my Tibetan roots with anything. Nevertheless, in the first place, I simply try to be a 'responsible person' and try to meet my fellow human being as a human being. In keeping with our Tibetan culture, which is intimately connected with Buddha's teachings, I have an open heart for all people no matter what they believe or where they come from. I am grateful that I became internationally known through my music as Switzerland / Tibetan and was therefore able to gain a lot of support for Tibet.

Even though I clearly stay out of politics, I believe that through my music, in many ways, I can do a lot of positive things. So for me it is a very nice sign of the connection to my fans, that in advance for the concert in the KKL within 4 weeks already over 1000 places were sold.

There is hardly a place in this world where you do not know the great artist Tina Turner. Together with Regula Curti we have released three beautiful BEYOND albums and I appreciated and enjoyed working with them.

At the beginning of my singing career, I moved more in circles that had a great affinity to Tibet. Unlike today, people were very open to Tibet.

Today I have to realize that the people themselves have big problems and the Tibet issue is no longer in the foreground. They still like to be touched by my music, because my voice can awaken in them a great longing for inner peace and serenity. At the same time, however, I believe that after every encounter with me at the concerts or workshops, people develop a special affection for Tibet and its culture.

What does it mean for you to be socially engaged in Tibet?

My dear mother Yischi Tsedön la passed away in 2002 after a long illness. You and our dear father Dagsay Rinpoche have worked together tirelessly for the people in Tibet. They completely rebuilt the destroyed Chokri Monastery and built a clinic for around 10 Tibetans in this region. It was her wish that we three daughters continue these projects and look after the well-being of the people there. In the meantime we have been able to found a non-profit association 'DEWA CHE' and have also set up a sewing school and a car mechanic school.

2010 traveled my husband dr. Kalsang Shak and I went to Tibet, and when I wanted to buy Tibetan clothes for my stage performances, I realized that it was mostly Chinese tailor studios and shops selling Tibetan clothes.

It affected me that our people were not able to claim this business. Why did Tibetans have to buy their Tibetan everyday clothes or festival dresses from the Chinese? I asked and it was said that the Tibetans unfortunately had no opportunity to become self-employed. There are very few Tibetans who can sew the clothes and also lack the starting capital for a small business. Then we decided to make sure that in the future you can buy the Tibetan costumes also in local Tibetan shops.

I asked the monk administrator of our Lobsang Dawa Monastery, of whom I knew that he could sew all the brocade decorations for the monasteries and the Tibetan marquees, if he could imagine taking over a sewing school and passing on his art to the young Tibetans.

He said that would be the most beautiful life task for him and so we started immediately with the beginning of the sewing school.

Back in Switzerland, it was a happy coincidence that the CEO of Bernina Switzerland, Claude Dreher, learned of my intention and agreed to sponsor sewing machines for the sewing school project. It was one of my happiest moments in life when I received this message. Just like a few years ago, when the GOFUS Foundation sponsored 10's education for gifted youngsters in Tibet

On my last trip to Tibet, 2014, we were already able to visit several small Tibetan shops that the sewing students of our sewing school had opened.

It is an unbelievable feeling to be in Tibet and to see how we can make big changes in Tibet with relatively little money from abroad. The sewing school has been able to give 4 training to 300 XNUMX young people. In the meantime more than half have already started their own business and opened their small sewing studios and shops in the bigger cities like Kharze, Drango, Tawu, Seta and even in the remote Lithang.

Part of the 300 sewing students in Eastern Tibet.

2012 we started another project. There are very few auto repair shops run by Tibetans. Again, we found it important that the Tibetans in their own country should get the same opportunities as the Chinese. So we have now founded a car repair school where we train young Tibetans to auto mechanics. At this school, too, we now have several graduates who have already started their own business in the surrounding towns and run their own small workshop.

Are there any new projects coming up?

We are in the process of completing my new book entitled 'A CALL FOR PEACE', which will include the album 'THE SOUND OF DAYTOMORROW'. The special feature of this special remix is ​​that each of the songs and mantras are explained by beautiful voice-overs in German, English or French. In German, the unmistakable voice of DRS spokesman Christoph Schwegler will take people on a journey. Thus, a big wish of mine comes true that the rich texts for a more peaceful, fair and sustainable world are wonderfully understood by all listeners.

Thank you for the interview.

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked