Ngawang Sangdrol, a former Tibetan political prisoner, has started a petition to save her home, Lhasa from China's destruction.
Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, has stood upon the roof of the world for thousands of years. The old city of Lhasa is a UNESCO world heritage site and the centre of Tibetan Buddhism, culture and commerce.
Now the Chinese government is destroying the heart of Lhasa, evicting Tibetan residents to make way for theme parks, shopping malls, and parking garages.
Ngawang is asking UNESCO's World Heritage Committee to designate the old city of Lhasa as a heritage site "in danger" at its annual meeting later this month in Cambodia. This would put enormous pressure on the Chinese government to stop the destruction of Lhasa.
The fact that the Potala Palace and the Jokhang area of old Lhasa are listed on the World Heritage Site is a huge source of pride for China. UNESCO has the power to help stop China's destruction of Lhasa by designating it as a "World Heritage Site in Danger". If Lhasa is listed as a site in danger, the Chinese government will have to stop the construction or face losing Lhasa's World Heritage status, a major embarrassment it wants to avoid.
Ngawang Sangdrol's personal story reminds us of the power of individual actions. At the age of just 13, she took part in a peaceful demonstration calling for the long life of the Dalai Lama and Tibet's freedom. She was sent to prison where she recorded freedom songs with fellow Tibetan nuns, resulting in her sentence being increased to a total of 23 years.
Following an international campaign on her behalf, Ngawang was released in 2002. Now living in the United States, she continues to advocate for Tibet's independence and the protection of its culture and heritage.