Tibet

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Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said the protests were a result of public resentment of the “brute force” employed by China to maintain control of the region for more than 50 years.

“I therefore appeal to the Chinese leadership to stop using force and address the long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people through dialogue with the Tibetan people,” he said in a statement issued from his base in India.

“I also urge my fellow Tibetans not to resort to violence.”

(CNN) — Opponents of Chinese rule in Tibet set fire to vehicles and shops on Friday as tear gas filled the streets and gunfire rang out in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, according to witnesses and human rights groups.

The protests — initiated by Buddhist monks — have been growing since Monday, the anniversary of the failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Beijing rule. Tibet, an autonomous province, has long sought independence from China.

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In a statement, the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader and the head of the Tibetan government in exile, said he was “deeply concerned” by the developing situation and said the protests were “a manifestation of the deep-rooted resentment of the Tibetan people” under Chinese rule.

Chinese authorities have blamed the Dalai Lama, exiled since 1959, for the unrest.

A report by a U.S.-funded radio station said two people had been killed. The European Union called on China to show restraint and Washington said Beijing needed to respect Tibetan culture.

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The largest demonstrations in nearly two decades against Beijing’s 57-year-rule over Tibet began Monday, coming at a critically sensitive time for China as it attempts to portray a unified and prosperous country ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

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  1. Photobucket

    • Viet71 on March 14, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    boycott the Beijing olympics.

  2. … of the Dalai Lama … worth a thousand words!

    I think the Tibetans who are protesting know that they will get some media coverage because of the Olympics being held in Beijing.  What has happened in Tibet is such a terrible tragedy … and yet we in the West have benefited because so many great Buddhist teachers who otherwise would be unknown to us now travel around the world spreading their message of peace and love for all creatures.

    But the price … oh it is too high.  I hope somehow the Chinese and Tibetans can find a way to resolve this terrible conflict.

  3. The American government isn’t exactly setting the example of how to resolve conflicts, so I imagine the Chinese aren’t real impressed by any chiding from official sources here.

    • brobin on March 14, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    are coming to China in a few months.  They figure the Chinese won’t break out the big guns right now for fear of reprisal by the world community.  Its a smart gamble on their part.

    Hopefully, they will be able to get enough coverage to allow world opinion to weigh more heavily on the Chinese government in the future regarding the plight of Nepal and the Dalai Lama.

    Keep your fingers crossed that no more deaths will occur.

    • brobin on March 14, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    More attention to obvious detail would be nice in the future.  

    blush

  4. That the most visible protesters are the monks.

    May they be safe.

    May they be well.

    May they be happy.

    May they realize their enlightenment.

     

    • KrisC on March 14, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    traveled to Tibet several times, he is a board member of the International Tibet Independence Movement(ITIM) and a photographer, here are a few of his EXCELLENT photos he’s taken while in Tibet and exhibited in New York.  Photos by Doug Herman:

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    Here are a few links to some amazing photo essays Doug has put together…

    “Exile”

    “Mind Over Matter”

    “Dhondup”

    Doug works very hard for a free Tibet, he has accompanied a group of monks on their two and a half month tour of North American Tour and photographed them during talks, dance, song and teachings.

  5. Gentle.  Peaceful. Silent.  Rising beyond the brutality!

  6. and especially from Drepung Loseling monastery in southern India where I have stayed as a guest for many many months over the past few years. It appears that the Loseling monks in Tibet were the ones to start the protests and it looks like many of them may have been killed.

    • RUKind on March 15, 2008 at 7:40 am

    The Uighur people have been getting the same treatment for two hundred and sixty years as opposed to Tibet’s sixty years. You can’t blame communism because Marx didn’t show up with his Communist Manifesto until what, 1848? The Uighur “problem” has been around since 1759.

    Bhuddist, Muslim – doesn’t matter. It’s amazing how history just keeps repeating itself. Or maybe it’s amazing at how collectively complacent and forgetful we all get.

    Some more on the Uighur separatist “problem” for China.

    • kj on March 15, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    i’ll tell you the story about the Tibetan monks who spent a week in the town we lived in, creating a mandala.  i was fortunate to spend a lot of time with them.  at the end of the ceremony, they handed me a brush and let me help them sweep up the sand.  they were such fun.  so much humor.

    • kj on March 16, 2008 at 3:11 am

    please forgive the stilted language.  i was just getting my feet wet.

    Tibetan monks create a ‘world in harmony’ with color and sound

    by KJ

    If the mandala symbolizes both the inner and outer world, the sound of rap music, mingled with the sounds of the “chak-pur” and chanting, symbolized the mix of community that took place last week at ……

    Cultures were overlaid, like the colors of a mandala, with a rare visit by Tibetan Buddhist monks.

    They were in ….. thanks to the efforts of ….. from the Department of history, humanities, philosophy and political science at ….. For five days, students, children, parents and professors wandered in and out of the Mel Carnahan Reading Room taking pictures and chatting with monks.

    Sitting cross-legged on the floor, the saffron-robed monks rubbed one metal “chak-pur” funnel against another. Out of the funnels spilled brightly colored sand grain-by-grain. The monks were creating a five-foot large Medicine Buddha mandala in the Student Union. The colorful and intricate three-dimensional mandala’s design specifically addressed the monk’s belief in the need for healing and peace in the world.

    Despite the noise, the distractions, the flash of cameras, the monks diligently attended to their meditative work hour-after-hour, day-after-day.

    “The kids are enjoying. They are doing their job, we are doing our job,” said Thupten Kelsang, one of the monks that spoke fluent English.

    In 1959 the People’s Republic of China invaded Tibet, destroying ancient monasteries and imprisoning, torturing and executing thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns. Only about 300 monks escaped from Tibet with the Dalai Lama, Kelsang’s grandparents among them. They settled in South India and re-established the oldest existing college in Tibetan Buddhism, the Drepung Gomang Monastery.

    Kelsang is the only monk in his family. He, along with 10 other monks from the monastery travel around the United States a year at a time to share their 5,000 year old culture of peace and compassion.

    In addition to the five-day meditation creating the mandala, their visit to …. included public performances of traditional Tibetan music and dance in the ….Theatre and …. Auditorium.

    On Friday, a sunny, glorious spring afternoon, the monks performed the closing ceremony, complete with cymbals, horns, bells and drums.

    The mandala was swept up to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists. And, while the adults in the room might have felt a pang of regret to see such an exquisite creation destroyed, the children surrounding the monks seemed delighted to watch the sands spill into each other.

    After the closing ceremony, the monks distributed the remains of their creation into small bags, instructing everyone to take some home for their own healing, their own altars or their own ceremonies.

    “Some religions are quests for good answers, Buddhism is a quest for good questions,” said Dr. ….., president of…..

    1. …photo essays.  Thanks for posting this.

    • kj on March 16, 2008 at 3:23 am

    from the interview with one of the monks… where the other story has gone is a mystery.   i’d forgotten these were even on this computer!

    This is the Medicine Buddha Mandala for Healing for the wounded world and also for world peace.

    Where are you from?

    All of us from Tibet, due to Chinese occupation in 1949, we established our monastery in India.

    When did you personally go into the monastery?

    We have many different ages, five years old and they go up to 8, 9, 10 and 18. Various ages.

    How long does it take to learn the chanting?

    Chanting, the three notes, it could take almost a year to learn. Depending on what chanting you’re learning. There are various different kinds of chanting.

    The chanting before making the mandala…

    Before we make the mandala, in the opening ceremony, we chant to get the permission from the local deities to allow to create the mandala. At the end, at the closing ceremony, is chanting and prayer to get permission to dismantle the sacred art.

    Is the chanting also a cleansing?

    The chanting is for healing all the environment.

    How did you learn to create mandala?

    In the monastery we have practice to learn to make the mandala. The monks have to memorize all the text, all the symbols, all the colors and lines. It would take almost a year to complete.

    It’s the eight auspicious symbols…

    There are many different symbols in the mandala.

    There’s three levels to the mandala?

    There are three dimensions.

    Is the inner one secret? In the center?

    In the center is the main deity, the Medicine Buddha.

    Is there anything you would like to say?

    We are creating this mandala for world peace, also to share our Tibetian culture.

    Are you the only one in your family that is a monk?

    I am the only monk in my family.

    Do you get to see your family?

    I’ll see them sometime.

    You are pretty much on tour, a schedule…

    We are on tour for a year.

    Then do you go back and trade off, or were you specifically trained to do this?

    Then go back and other people do this.

    Is this culture jarring? I noticed the other day the kids were playing rap music outside… the distractions are many here…

    That’s okay, the kids are enjoying. It’s not a ‘big deal’. They are enjoying, they are doing their job, we are doing our job.

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