Friday, March 14, 2008

Chinese violence against Tibetan in Lhasa

I have to write another blog today which has nothing to do with quilting, nor anything domestic and local. We New Yorkers are all hung up on the sexual antics of our now-ex-governor Spitzer. This is puppy poop compared to what I've just read about on the blog of an American Buddhist monk that I read regularly. I have been to Tibet twice and written a book about traveling and travelers there, Phantom Voices in Tibet. Sadly, few Americans share my passion. However, even with the summer Olympics looming and China being very anxious to prove it is a fit partner on the world stage [never mind the poison in heparin, the lead in the paint on children's toys and all the other ugly things we read about regularly]. Even with the world watching they have pulled a Tinenaman Square manouver in the heart of Lhasa, Tibet, bringing in tanks and killing protesters. The BBC news covered the incidents and so has Tricycle magazine but NOT the New York Times nor any other US newspaper as far as I know.

The Dalai Lama called for nonviolence from the Tibetans and for discussion with the Chinese to talk about ten years of especially disheartening and severe repression. The Chinese claim that Tibet is a part of China and has been for hundreds of years. Way back in the 13th Century when Ghingas Kahn conquered the whole shebang as well as parts of what we now call "the stans" and Iran -- the politics were divided into three spheres on leadershinp, Mongolia, China and Tibet. Tibet was entirely independent during the early part of the 20th century. China has heavy handedly, especially during the "cultural revolution" destroyed most of Tibet's monasteries and since then done everything they can to make Tibet and the Tibetans disappear as a culture, from murder to enforced sterilization of women, to colonizing the country with millions of Han Chinese so that they now outnubmer the native Tibetans. Activists are still regularly jailed and tortured and the faux renaissance of the monasteries around Lhasa to which thousands of tourists are now taken are really no more authentic than the Venetian canals to be fournd around casinos in the dessert city, Las Vegas.

There are many horrible situations in the world today; the first news I hear every morning is about how many died in terrorist bombings somewhere, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan. There is NEVER any American news coverage about Tibet. Our general ignorance of this big world we live in is heartbreaking but more heartbreaking is the violence that never stops.

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