In an incident that shocked the world, a teenage Tibetan nun, Kelsang Namtso, was killed when Chinese border police opened fire on a group of pilgrims as they fled Tibet over the infamous Nangpa Pass. The shooting was witnessed by many international mountain climbers, some of whom videotaped or photographed the events and also helped rescue survivors and sent the story out to the world.
Using the original climber footage, reenactments and interviews with witnesses and survivors, Tibet: Murder in the Snow tells of young Tibetans who risk their lives each year to illegally cross the rugged Himalaya Mountains in an attempt to see their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, or attend school in India.
It is a dangerous journey. In September 2006, more than 70 young people travelled for three nights in the back of a truck as it drove south towards the Himalayas. Then the refugees walked for 10 more nights, with inadequate clothing and limited food and water, to the base of the infamous 6000-metre Nangpa Pass, an ancient trade route to Nepal.
Among those who paid their hard-earned savings to illegal mountain-guides, were teenage farm girls Dolma Palki, 16, and her best friend Kelsang Namtso, a 17 year-old nun. Both wanted to meet to meet the Dalai Lama and to study without political interference. Also attempting to cross the mountains were 14-year-old boy Jamyang Samten and Lobsang Choeden, 29, a farmer.