I got an email from a good friend of mine about Tibet. With the Olympics
happening, Tibetans are risking everything to stand up against China and hope to
get the attention of the world. Forward this if you can.
In short: go subscribe to this blog: http://blog.studentsforafreetibet.org
This is happening now, and in the coming weeks, and you can be involved by
simply blogging about it. Go subscribe to http://blog.studentsforafreetibet.org
Here’s his email:
“I am writing to you today not to ask for money or donations. I simply want
you to know what is happening in Tibet, from my perspective, and to share what I
tell you with others. What Tibet needs right now is just our attention. To those
of you who supported our Facebook fundraising efforts, thank you. Know that your
money is going to good work.
This video on CNN tells the complete story of
the last 50 years in Tibet and what will come in the next year:
some of you may know, the protests from the story that occurred on Everest and
the Great Wall used some pretty amazing live satellite technology that I am
proud to have played a role in making them happen)
Tibetans across the “Tibet Autonomous Region” (TAR) inside of China are
taking to the streets, risking everything they have. They do this knowing,
expecting the world to be watching and to care. They are unarmed and (mostly)
non-violent, isolated on the Tibetan Plateau, surrounded by countless Chinese
police, military battalions and tanks.
When you protest in Tibet, it is not a small act. If you are a monk, you are
arrested, often beaten or tortured, sometimes executed or imprisoned for life,
and most always defrocked and forced into a life outside of the monastery.
Other lay Tibetans have lived their entire lives with memories of previous
uprisings and the resulting crackdowns. No one has very much, and everyone lives
under a veil of fear, balancing their need to survive and help their children
succeed in modern China with their desire for the Dalai Lama to return and for
true freedom. It is a heartbreaking situation.
Lhasa’s internet is off and mobile phone service is generally restricted.
There are no foreign press allowed openly to report, just a taste of China’s
standard reaction in these situations. Still, we are starting to see pictures
and video here and there, a few of which are posted here: http://blog.studentsforafreetibet.org/2008/03/14/incredible-images-of-lhasa-unrest/
I have been to the three main monasteries where the uprising began – Drepung,
Sera and Ganden. I spent half the day with one monk at Drepung, eating food
cooked in his small room, who was the brother of a former Tibetan nun and
political prisoner who I am friends with in New York. My translation of
“computer programmer” into Tibetan was “man who makes machines do things” which
made him laugh as he endlessly filled by cup of butter tea. I took a day trip to
Ganden and walked the long holy walk (“kora”) around the monastery, stopping for
lunch along the way with another one of my Tibetan foster families. I took two
trips to Sera, one with the “Five Tibet Guys”, a crew of young kids and amateur
tour guides, and the other by myself, walking the long road from Jokhang square
all the way up the hill, a road that today is filled with tear gas, burning cars
Below is a photo I took in 2004 outside of Sera monastery of a young Tibetan
monk. At this moment, that very spot is surrounded by armed police and military
troops, and the monks inside are hungry, hurt and wondering if their actions
will matter. For their sake, please, talk about this, tell people what is
happening, share the video link above and the blog link below.
Students for a Free Tibet, the organization I am on the board of and have
volunteered with for over seven years, is staying on top of all the news and
doing our own coverage on our blog here: http://blog.studentsforafreetibet.org
is just the beginning. There are 146 days until the Beijing Olympic Games, and
we are going to make each one count.
Thank you for you time.”
One thought on “Tibet”
In 1956, the Russians crushed the Hungarian rising because they were willing to kill lightly armed or unarmed people in the streets of their cities. The Soviet system fell only when the leadership found it could no longer find the inner will to shoot unarmed people down. That was in 1989, the same year when the Chinese leadership demonstrated its lack of compunction in Tibet and in Beijing.
We must be careful what we wish for. The justification that comes through someone else’s blood is not really ours. It should not be easy for any of us watching this intermittently over the Internet to hope for more of this carnage. If the people of Tibet take this destiny on themselves, so be it, and God be with them. The Chinese who do this are assuming a terrible karma that will pursue them relentlessly in this life and all of those to come. What does it do to one’s soul when you become the kind of person who will shoot someone for this?