Friday, April 11, 2008

One World One Dream - Is it what it seems?

(Photo: Getty Images)

Buddhist Relief selected the following quotes and links from recent news, for your review and contemplation:

From an Opinion piece in The Economist:

“Were shooting oneself in the foot an Olympic event, China would surely be well placed for a gold. The Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay, taking the flame around the world before the games begin in August, was always a risk. Of course the flame would draw protests like moths. But the suppression of riots and protests in Tibet has ensured the torch’s progress has graduated from minor diplomatic embarrassment to full-scale public-relations disaster.

An exercise intended to flaunt the new, outward-looking and confident China has displayed its dark side: nervous, repressive, prickly and stubborn. That stubbornness may rule out the obvious remedy: calling the whole farce off before someone is badly hurt.

As for its proposed procession through Tibet in June, it is hard to imagine a more provocative or insensitive gesture.

What has the relay to do with sport? It is not some timeworn practice integral to the games. Rather, the idea of a relay from Greece to the Olympic venue was revived by the Nazis for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which is hardly a precedent China wants to advertise.”

From an article in The Economist:

“The torch was guarded not just by the police but by a phalanx of Chinese men in blue-and-white tracksuits. Their jurisdiction was hazy, but their demeanor unmistakable. As Lord Coe, chairman of the committee organizing the 2012 London Olympics, was heard to say, they were “thugs”. Their presence outraged even those who could not find Tibet on a map.”

From the article "Turned Off by Torch Guards", in the Washington Post (about the Chinese men in blue-and-white tracksuits):

“With their steely demeanor and strong-arm tactics, they have become a symbol of what is going wrong for Chinese authorities who had hoped to make the 2008 Beijing Games a worldwide celebration of China’s friendly new face.”

Courtesy of The International Campaign for Tibet, an ethnic Chinese expresses his feelings on the crisis in Tibet. The following is an English translation of his blog posting published by the China Digital Times. The blog post was signed as written by "a student from the Central University of Nationalities":

First Time I Feel Ashamed to be Han, and Lucky to Not Be a Party Member

I've wanted to write something for a while in the wake of the latest developments in Tibetan regions. But after seeing press reports by media outlets from home and abroad, I don't know whom to believe in. I lost my judgment. I tried to start writing, but then couldn't continue because my feelings are too complex. This afternoon, I talked to a colleague again about this issue and the conversation escalated into a fight. The colleague finally used a very "Chinese Communist" style to stop me from "venting angry words." Faced with irrationality, I zipped my mouth. I've worked with a variety of people, but I didn't imagine that there are people who have been brainwashed so much, and I started to realize this issue isn't a small matter!

The key is, a lot of Han and some ethnic Tibetans with vested interests have become blind to the blue sky, white clouds, green mountains and water. Amidst the long history and mystical culture of Tibet, their brains are only thinking about how to commercialize these things. They don't know that many aspects of the Tibetan way of life, religion and custom, culture and values are gradually being dismantled. Neither do they know that the dignity of Tibetans is shedding tears, and many Tibetans are struggling"

Looking at Tibet, I sometimes feel ashamed to be a Han. Since first coming to Tibet in 2006 I often think about these issues: What on earth does Tibet need, how should it develop and who does it need to lead that development? I have no power to resist anything, nor do I have the intention to resist, after all our motherland is slowly making progress and our party is gradually inching toward democracy. As an ethnic university graduate and a Han who now works in the Tibetan region, these topics have surrounded me every day of my working life.

In a civilized world in the 21st Century, when something incredible happens in a certain area but many people around us (including Tibetans) yell out about a crackdown and mass killing, should we seriously reflect on ourselves: Why?

Read more here or here.

To participate in ongoing protests in the DC area, check the Capital Area Tibetan Association's website here.

Tell IOC no torch in Tibet: (this will take only a few minutes of your time).

"By this effort may all sentient beings be free of suffering"

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