In the spring of 2008, Tibetans took to the streets in historic protests.
At the time, Al Jazeera’s Steve Chao was a correspondent based in Beijing. With the Beijing Olympics just months away, he knew that as the world’s cameras turned to the region many interest groups would be looking to gain international attention for their cause.
Managing to slip through security lines to a small Tibetan community, he witnessed Tibetan horseman leading a protest against Chinese forces that had begun occupying the town.
“In speaking to the people, in listening to their determination I realised that this was not a simple demonstration, but a struggle for the very survival of a culture. It left a lasting impression on me,” he says.
Earlier in 2011, Steve heard that China had been intensively increasing its control over Tibetan communities in neighbouring Nepal and decided he needed to see for himself what was happening in Kathmandu, the capital, and an ancient Tibetan Kingdom called Mustang, which has a long history of Tibetan resistance against Chinese influence.
“This story is about the struggle of the Mustang people and the struggle of the greater Tibetan people for the right to live their life – a life of their choosing.”
Mustang: Kingdom on the Edge airs from Thursday, October 13, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2000; Friday: 1200; Saturday: 0100; Sunday: 0600; Monday: 2000; Tuesday: 1200; Wednesday: 0100; Thursday: 0600.
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