Please read my sister blog Ramblings of an Ageless Hippie Chick for information on the Global Action Day for Tibet.
Please sign the petition, watch the video, support Tibet.
Please read my sister blog Ramblings of an Ageless Hippie Chick for information on the Global Action Day for Tibet.
Please sign the petition, watch the video, support Tibet.
Her first email read: “…am sure you know what is happening in Tibet at the very difficult time. It is very worrying and saddened to see that many Tibetan already killed and many imprisoned.
May peace and happiness become reality in Tibet and world very soon. Monks nuns and general public gathering at the Temple to do prayer and also doing peace march here in Dharamsala same as everywhere.
Metta and peace…”
The second email contained this attachment, a BBC interview with the Dalai Lama. nothing has been edited…
“Dalai Lama ‘helpless’ amid protests
As Tibetans make their most forceful demands for independence in years, their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in exile in Dharamsala, India, outlines his concerns to the BBC’s Chris Morris.
The Dalai Lama says he does not control the Tibetan people
“Am I early?” asked the Dalai Lama, as he ambled into the room. He sat down and coughed, and thanked us for coming.
“This is a critical time for us,” he said, as he waited for the interview to begin.
He compared it to 1959, an iconic date for many Tibetans, when a huge uprising against Chinese rule was suppressed, and the Dalai Lama himself was forced to flee into exile on horseback.
Eventually, he made his home here, in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, in this small town which is known to some as Little Lhasa.
It is awash with thousands of Tibetan activists-in-exile. As unrest in Tibet itself has escalated, there have been daily protests in Dharamsala throughout the week.
Cars waving Tibetan flags weave through the pedestrian traffic, leaflets are pressed into passing hands, and a hunger strike is taking place outside the entrance to the Dalai Lama’s temple.
I’m a spokesman for the Tibetan people, not the controller, not the master – Dalai Lama
And when the sun sinks below the mountain range, marchers – chanting Buddhist prayers for the souls of the dead – walk through the streets carrying candles.
“We have to do our bit,” said one of the marchers, who gave his name as Tenzin. “We have to support those who are struggling in Tibet itself, in our homeland.”
But beyond the slogans there is not much that most people here can do except watch and wait, as accurate information about what is happening in Tibet becomes harder to find.
Many of the activists take a more radical line than the Dalai Lama himself. For years now he has campaigned for genuine autonomy in Tibet, not for independence. But a new generation seems increasingly impatient with nuanced diplomacy.
Dharamsala is now home to many Buddhist nuns and monks
“I’ve already received a request from Tibet,” he said. “Don’t ask for the demonstrations to stop.”
“I’m a spokesman for the Tibetan people, not the controller, not the master. It’s a peoples’ movement, so it’s up to them. Whatever they do, I have to act accordingly.”
Tibet’s spiritual leader is also appealing to the Chinese authorities. “Stability is important” is his message – but it must come from the heart, not simply from the use of physical force.
There is not much sign, though, that Beijing is listening.
“Of course I feel helpless,” the Dalai Lama admitted. He is particularly worried about the deadline given by China, for protestors to surrender by midnight on Sunday night or face the consequences.
But the one thing Tibet’s spiritual leader does have – here and around the world – is moral authority.
That is why President Bush met him in Washington recently, where the Dalai Lama was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian honour.
It infuriates China, but it is something that the authorities in Beijing cannot control.
And even if this spate of demonstrations peters out, even if they are successfully suppressed, it seems unlikely that we will have heard the last of the Tibetan issue in this Olympic year.”
The photo below was taken today (Sunday) by my gal pal in Nepal, Caroline aka Sirensongs.
Go to her blog to read her first-hand account of the attacks on Buddhist monks by Chinese thugs in Nepal….”This afternoon I witnessed a Tibetan monk beaten, along with two other protestors, during a nonviolent anti-China protest at Boudha Stupa.”
Ironically this week the US saw fit to remove China from its list of human rights abusers.
(photos nos. 1, 2, 4, and 5 originally uploaded by The Buddhist Blog)
If you don’t know what is happening in Tibet, please visit my sister blog.
On Christmas night I watched the movie 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama. The movie’s director appropriately called the Dalai Lama a “rock star for peace”. Nice.
One of the questions the Dalai Lama was asked was how does one continue to practice non-violence when faced with evil. A monk who was arrested and tortured by the Chinese told the director that when he was let out of jail he hated the Chinese. He said he told the Dalai Lama that his message of peace and non-violence is outdated, it does not work, and that the Tibetans must take up arms against the Chinese government. He said that after talking with His Holiness for two hours the monk was a changed man, that he returned to his Buddhist convictions of peace and ahimsa.
…My vision of peace encompasses an awareness of the rights of our fellow man irrespective of race, color or creed. Words spoken and repeated many times on many occasions, political or otherwise, and by many individuals; but so often only used to fill spaces on paper. I believe that if mankind could honestly embrace the true embodiment of those misused words, the world would be much farther along the road to good health….
Pictures of the Dalai Lama are not allowed in Tibet. If I visited Tibet and wore my pendant containing the Dalai Lama’s likeness, any number of things could happen to me — if a Chinese guard or soldier saw it, it would be taken from me and that would be the easiest thing I would have to endure. Would my American passport protect me from a government that shoots Tibetans in the back when they try to cross the Himalayas into India?
When the Chinese army marched into Tibet, the Dalai Lama, then a young man, asked the US for help. The American government did nothing because there was nothing to be gained by helping a country that has no oil.
and so the genocide continues.
The Nangpa La Shootings
“On September 30, 2006 75 Tibetan refugees, among them many young children, and their 2 guides were trying to enter Nepal illegally via the Himalayan Nangpa La pass (5,700m). Chinese Border Security soldiers opened fire on the group and killed Kelsang Namtso, a 17 year old nun, just before the pass. Kunsang Namgyal, a 23 year old man, was hit in the leg twice, then taken away by the Chinese borderpolice and is believed to have died later. The Chinese claimed that their soldiers fired in self defence. Only 41 survivors reached the Tibetan Refugee Transit Center in Kathmandu, Nepal. Two weeks later they arrived at their destination in Dharamsala, India….
The following list of people were part of the original group and have been missing since the shooting. It is believed they are held by Chinese authorities. The names were forwarded by Students For A Free Tibet.
* Tenwang, age 7
* Lhakpa Tsering, age 8
* Dhondup Lhamo, age 9
* Dechen Dolma, age 10
* Wangchen, age 11
* Tsedon, age 12
* Sonam Wangdue, age 12
* Ming Shomo, age 13
* Lodoe Nyima, age 15
* Jamyang Tsetan, age 16
* Karma Tsetan, age 16
* Lodoe Namkha, age 16
* Karma, age 19
* Samten, age 19
* Sonam Palzom, age 20
* Dhondup Palden, age 21
* Kusang, age 22
* Lobsang Paljor, age 35″
Chinese officials have yet to release information about the detainees’ whereabouts or well-being.
Look at the ages of these prisoners and think about what it would be like if your child was detained by soldiers after witnessing a woman being shot in the back.
“Luis Benitez, who had grown increasingly disturbed by the silence, broke the news via an e-mail sent to an expedition news Web site. Luis, a mountain guide working for the commercial outfit Himalayan Experience, had watched the chilling event unfold days before. His began his e-mail with “The story not being told here in Tibet,” and went on to describe the killing. Understandably, he asked his name not be used….
Benitez confided to fellow guide Paul Rogers that he was the one who broke the news. Rogers immediately informed their boss Russell Brice, owner of Himalayan Experience, of what Benitez had done.
Benitez claims Brice, Rogers and Henry Todd, a guide from another commercial outfit, angrily confronted him at base camp. Todd went so far as to make mafia-style threats….
Confronted with the choice of protecting business verses reporting human rights violations, they’ve chosen money. Ironically, the clients of these companies, who are generally very sympathetic to the culture of Tibet, are now unknowingly helping to destroy it.
In contrast, Benitez put his career on the line instead of selling his silence for blood money. Even if Benitez is allowed back into China, he’s likely to be blacklisted by guiding companies, many of whom operate around the world. He has made some powerful enemies while trying to do the right thing.”
The world was outraged over the events in Burma. Where is the outrage over Tibet?
“Tibetans in Tibet celebrated the award of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama last Wednesday despite a stepping up of security and severe restrictions on religious practice in Lhasa and areas of eastern Tibet.
One of the major monasteries in Lhasa, Drepung, is sealed off and surrounded by armed troops after police stopped an attempt by monks to peacefully mark the honor to the Dalai Lama last week. Another significant monastery in the city, Nechung, is also apparently closed. Tibetan sources report a buildup of armed police in the city, checkpoints on roads out of Lhasa, and an order to Lhasa citizens not to carry out any religious or celebratory activities.”
This upsets me. My teacher, Gelek Rimpoche, was among the the last generation of lamas educated in Drepung Monastery before the 1959 Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet. I am in the process of sponsoring a monk from this monastery.
Where is the outrage? Why has Tibet been ignored all these years? What is happening in Burma has been happening in Tibet ever since the 1940s.
Tibet: The Story of a Tragedy
If you want to know the story about Tibet, take an hour to watch this video.
BOYCOTT THE 2008 BEIJING OLYMPICS
Sometimes one image is juxtaposed against another to bring home a point.
“Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.”
Thich Nhat Hanh — Vietnamese Buddhist monk, nominated in 1967 by Martin Luther King for the Nobel Peace Prize
This image is taken from ko htike’s blog who continues to write, post photos, and YouTube videos of the situation in Tibet*. There is also a link to Burmese Bloggers Without Borders if you want current information about the situation.
Yangon, Myanmar — Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma’s ruling junta has revealed….
Reports from other exiles along the frontier confirmed that hundreds of monks had simply ‘ disappeared’ as 20,000 troops swarmed around Rangoon yesterday to prevent further demonstrations by religious groups and civilians.
Word reaching dissidents hiding out on the border suggested that as well as executions, some 2,000 monks are being held in the notorious Insein Prison or in university rooms which have been turned into cells.
There were reports that many were savagely beaten at a sports ground on the outskirts of Rangoon, where they were heard crying for help.
Where are Myanmar’s monks?
October 2, 2007
Thousands of Buddhists have been arrested and scores killed, observers say, but no one can find them
BANGKOK, Thailand — After paying a heavy price for their uprising, Myanmar’s monks are nursing their wounds and hoping for international action against the military junta that crushed their peaceful protests with bullets and tear gas.
A new estimate by a well-connected dissident group has concluded that 138 people were killed and about 6,000 detained, including about 2,400 Buddhist monks, when the regime smashed the anti-government protests last week….
Another report said many of the arrested monks are being held at a former race course, where they were forced to give up their robes and change into civilian clothes.
Several monasteries, brutally raided by police and soldiers last week, are nearly empty now.
From the above story: “Monks in northern Burma who spoke to the Associated Press confirmed that many of their colleagues were killed or beaten and taken away by the military. But they predicted the monks would not give up.
“I want our demands to be fulfilled. I want peace,” said one. “The best thing is to have balance and equality and peace.”
Bush appeals to China to pressure Myanmar
President George W. Bush reached out to China to exert its influence on Myanmar on Thursday, an admission that new U.S. sanctions alone will not be enough to stop the ruling junta’s crackdown on protesters.
Trying to rally the international community against Myanmar’s generals, Bush met Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and asked Beijing “to help bring a peaceful transition to democracy in Burma,” the White House said….
A leading European Parliament lawmaker suggested that European countries should boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics unless China does more to resolve the Myanmar crisis.
The White House played down any prospect of the United States staying away from the games or Bush canceling plans to attend if China fails to put pressure on Myanmar. But Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino reiterated the president’s view the “world is going to be watching” in the run-up to the Olympics.
If you were paying attention in the first paragraph, you would have noticed that although I was thinking Burma I typed the word “Tibet.” That was an honest mistake, I’ve changed nothing except to add the asterik. I went back to proofread and saw that while I was writing about Burma, I was thinking about Tibet.
So what about Tibet? I was thinking of a pithy post to write about the similarities of Burma and Tibet when I saw this post on the Precious Metal blog. The similarities are striking when one thinks about how China marched into Tibet. Chinese soldiers raided and ransacked Buddhist temples in Tibet. Chinese soldiers jailed and killed Buddhist monks in Tibet. Buddhist monks are “reprogrammed” in Tibet, that is, made to listen to Chinese government propaganda in their temples.
And now Pres. Shrub is “appealing” to China to pressure Burma? Where is the outrage for Tibet?
Hollywood celebrities are speaking out about Burma. Where is the outrage for Tibet? Is Richard Gere the only actor who knows where Tibet is?
Don’t get me wrong — I am not saying one should be given precedence over the other, but do you see where I’m going with this?
Free Burma. Free Tibet. Free all beings from oppression.
Boycott the 2008 Olympics
Some time ago after I watched a debate between the Democratic presidential candidates where they discussed the situation in Darfur, I wrote letters to my US Senators, Dick Durbin and Barack Obama. The debate angered me because all the candidates were sanctimoniously decrying China’s human rights abuses, how China was somehow linked to the conflict in Sudan, and because of that, the US should boycott the Olympics. Of course, none of the candidates came out too strongly about the last point, just gave it passing lipservice, and moved on to the next talking point.
It made me angry because while what is happening in Sudan is a tragedy, no politician that I know of EVER mentions the cultural and human genocide that has been going on in Tibet since the 1950s.
So I wrote to Durbin and Obama via their websites, reminding them of the situation in Tibet and that I believe the US should boycott the 2008 Olympics. Below is the email response I received from Obama.
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about human rights in the People’s Republic of China. I appreciate your perspective on this issue.
As the world’s most populous nation, China’s influence and power has been growing steadily over the past several decades. This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and presents America with challenges and opportunities to seek change.
In particular, China’s treatment of ethnic and religious minorities and political dissidents, as well as its relationships with Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet are very troubling. Despite progress over the last few decades, China must do much more to comply with modern human rights norms. I look forward to working with my colleagues on these difficult issues and am deeply committed to promoting human rights in China and other countries.
As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the East Asian Subcommittee, I will keep your thoughts in mind as the discussion on this subject continues.
Thank you again for contacting me. I hope you will continue to keep in touch on this or any other subject of importance to you.
United States Senator
hmmmmmm…why don’t I believe him?
I am not naive enough to believe that this came from Obama directly. I know this came from a staffer who merely filled in the blanks. But at least this is a better response than the one I got from Durbin’s office. Durbin’s “personal” email response was a fill-in-the-blank, stock response to a constituent’s concern about Darfur, I kid you not. Whoever responds to the emails sent through Durbin’s website did not even bother to read my letter but sent me a canned response about Darfur. There was not one mention of Tibet, it was all about Sudan. My tax dollars at work. Needless to say I swiftly sent a scathing response — which I doubt anyone read.
Sorry if I sound jaded and cynical, but Obama’s (staffer’s) response to me doesn’t mean very much. Frankly, I think it’s a joke. He’s too busy running for president to give 2 rupees about Tibet. Do any of these candidates even know where Tibet is?
Don’t get me wrong, I think Obama is a great guy and he’s been a good senator for my state. But the actions of this government never fail to disappoint and disgust me. You can read one example here in Vanessa’s blog. I know a few die-hard conservatives who truly believe that this government has slipped dangerously close to Fascism — and these are died-in-the-wool-life-long-registered-Republicans talking.
In India people feel free to talk to me about US politics and this country’s actions around the world. I love this country, but sometimes all I can do is shake my head.
Starting September 1, all reincarnated living Buddhas will first have to be approved by the Chinese government.
Excerpts from a recent news story on the website phayul.com:
“…The measures, which are deliberately targeted at one of the core belief systems of Tibetan Buddhism, reveal the Party’s agenda to undermine and supplant the Tibetan religious hierarchy and weaken the authority of legitimate Tibetan religious leaders including the Dalai Lama….
The new “management measures for the reincarnation of living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism”, which are described by the official press as “an important move to institutionalize the management of reincarnation” [emphasis added] were passed by the State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) for implementation from September 1. The Chinese authorities use the term ‘Living Buddhas’ to describe reincarnate lamas or tulkus, individuals who have consciously decided to be reborn, often many times, for the benefit of all others…
In the measures, the State Administration for Religious Affairs states that reincarnations of ‘living Buddhas’ who do not have government approval are “illegal or invalid” [emphasis added], which is intended to convey that the Tibetan system of recognizing and educating reincarnate lamas is no longer relevant, because it is the government that decides whether a reincarnation is a legitimate religious figure or not. The government intends this to apply even to tulkus who have been recognized some years ago by Tibetan religious authorities, as part of their systematic attempts to undermine the traditional religious hierarchy in Tibet….
These measures on reincarnation, and the fact that China continues to hold in custody the boy recognized by the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, are also part of the government’s efforts to ensure they are in a position of control over the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama [emphasis added]. But the Dalai Lama has clearly placed on record on numerous occasions that if the present situation regarding Tibet remains the same, he will be reincarnated outside Tibet away from the control of the Chinese authorities. Tibetans believe that individuals such as the Dalai Lama who have gained a high enough degree of meditative stabilization can choose their next rebirth…”
The notion that the Chinese government will now “govern” reincarnation strikes me as not only ridiculous but also Kafka-esque. The idea that “living Buddhas” need to be “approved” by the Chinese government would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad. It sounds like a good Seinfeld episode where instead of the Soup Nazi there would be the Buddha Nazi: “WHAT?!? YOU DON’T HAVE OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT APPROVAL TO BE A BUDDHA! GO AWAY! NO ENLIGHTENMENT FOR YOU TODAY!”
(Sigh)…don’t they know that everyone has buddha-nature?
I am curious to know what Chinese Buddhists think of this ruling. But since the number of readers from China stopped at 30 a long time ago which leads me to believe that this blog has been blocked in China, I guess we won’t be getting any comments posted from that country. That’s OK – I’ve been banned from more than a few places in my life (insert winking smiley.)
“I vow to awaken for the benefit of all beings, and to realize its immense value, and to know that it is possible in this life regardless of conditions.”
BOYCOTT THE 2008 OLYMPICS IN BEIJING
FREE THE PANCHEN LAMA
“BEIJING (Reuters) – Reincarnations of “living Buddhas” in Tibet which fail to get Chinese government approval are illegal and invalid, China has announced as it tightens control of a region still deemed loyal to the Dalai Lama.
The regulations coincide with reports from an ethnically Tibetan region of the southwestern province of Sichuan that dozens of people had been arrested for using a traditional festival to call for the return of their exiled spiritual leader.
Critics say China continues to repress Tibetans’ religious aspirations, especially their veneration for the Dalai Lama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner whom China denounces as a “separatist”.
But the Dalai Lama is already 72 and some have accused China of delaying holding talks with him, waiting for him to die when they would name a new Dalai Lama of their own, loyal to Beijing….”
“NEW DELHI, Aug 8: Thousands of Tibetans marched through New Delhi on Wednesday, shouting slogans and waving flags in protest against China’s actions in Tibet at the start of the one-year countdown to the Beijing Olympics.
In one of the biggest rallies by Tibetans in India, about 10,000 Tibetans, including maroon-robed Buddhist monks and women in traditional costumes, bellowed their demands, asking China to prove it was upholding the rights of people living in Tibet.
“The essence of the Olympics is equality, but we do not have equality in Tibet,” said Kalsang Godrukpa, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, the main organiser of the rally.
“China doesn’t deserve the Olympics until Tibet is free,” he told reporters, as protesters marched by wearing yellow baseball caps and waving Tibetan flags and giant posters of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader…”
“New Delhi, August 7: In a letter (Original in Tibetan) addressed to “the Fourteen patriotic and courageous Tibetans on hunger strike and the organizers” Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has today called on them to discontinue with the Indefinite Hunger Strike going on in New Delhi.
Mr Tempa Tsering, Kalon for Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration today visited the indefinite hunger strikers to convey His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s appeal to immediately end their strike.
14 Tibetans have been on Tibetan Youth Congress led Indefinite Hunger Strike in Jantar Mantar, New Delhi since July 8. Today is their 31st day and are demanding direct response from China for violating the rights of Tibetan people in Tibet…”
The Chinese government does not allow its citizens to access websites that have any references to freedom for Tibet. The number of my readers from China stopped at 30 a long time ago.
Either billions of Chinese think my rants and musings are totally worthless, or it looks like I’ve been banned in China.
BOYCOTT THE 2008 OLYMPICS IN BEIJING
FREE THE PANCHEN LAMA