Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Heavy Handed Chinese Government

Today's news is that South Africa will not allow the Dalai Lama to attend a so called "Peace Conference" that is a part of the promotion for the World Cup games next fall. Desmond Tutu has refused to attend if the Dalai Lama is not allowed to come but South Africa is adamant, noting in the news that they have "excellent relations" with China and don't want to jeopardize their prosperity by offending China.

Meanwhile China has sealed off Tibet, cutting off internet service, in some places shutting down cell phone service and filling the streets of Lhasa and the few other cities with military vehicles, snipers on top of buildings and a military state of affairs. Bits of news and even a few short videos have made their way out. Go to
http://tibetblogs.com/modules/feed/ for lists ofn the latest available information. It currently includes a smuggled out video of torture in the prisons -- not a new video but one only recently available.

When I was in Tibet a young man in a tiny shrine room in Norbulinka [the summer palace in a garden at the edge of Lhasa] stood watching the door as he told his pain at being unable to live freely and asked that I "tell people in America Tibetans want to be free." I have been trying to do that since then and think of him every time I write a blog like this or talk to people who know almost nothing about Tibet and the destruction of it's culture, the intimiation of its people.

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