Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tibet: Autonomy Now!

The Tibetan National Flag is beautiful...it's also outlawed in China.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising. The Chinese Communist Party still refuses to negotiate in good faith with the Dalai Lama despite his repeated rejection of Tibetan independence - he seeks autonomy for the region, not independence. He's the greatest hope the Chinese communists have, but they're too stupid to realize it and they've been tightening the screws, sowing the seeds of violence...for both their own citizens and the Tibetans.

In the summer of 2006 we visited Tibet - here's my piece (photos by Yuko) from the January 2007 issue of Adbusters:
"Few cultures could have survived an invasion the magnitude of which Tibet experienced at the hands of the Chinese in 1959. Everything from the basic food staple, tsampa -- roasted barley flour -- to the current Dalai Lama was targeted in the wake of the brutal takeover. The so-called liberation left monasteries decimated and claimed over 1.5 million lives resulting in cultural genocide according to the exiled Tibetan government based in Dharmsala, India.
"As the Dalai Lama escaped across the Himalayas disguised as a soldier on a white pony, Mao Tse-tung was heard to say, "In that case, we have lost the battle." Indeed, Tibet has overcome the odds and its core institutions endure, albeit in a crippled form. The Dalai Lama is still widely revered, the Potala Palace has hosted a record number of visitors this summer, and Tibetan Buddhism remains one of the world's most alluring faiths. As the carnage of the Cultural Revolution began to subside in the mid-70s, the Chinese realized that Tibet's pristine wilderness and rich traditions were worth preserving, if for only one reason - their tourist cache."

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