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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Shining a light by chasing the flame...

The Dalai Lama as a child

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.”


The Dalai Lama is someone worth listening too, whether you believe in Tibetan Buddhism and the succession of 14 Lamas, think he is a man of wisdom, insight and compassion or just a rather cool orator who smiles a lot and wears saffron. He is who he is...

The attention focused on China and the Olympics is only going to increase, whatever China does to avert it. The torch run is looking more like an obstacle course, and the games themselves will be filled with images of protest - large and small. I'm pleased about this as China has a lot to answer for, not just Tibet, and this is a catalyst for pressure. It won't happen overnight, but this is a time where silence is acquiescence.

Here are some of the Dalai Lama's words today in Japan, when asked about the current situation.


The Dalai Lama said the demonstrators had the right to their opinions, though he called for nonviolence. “The expression of their feelings is up to them,” he said. “Nobody has the right to tell them to shut up. One of the problems in Tibet is that there is no freedom of speech.”

“We are not anti-Chinese. Right from the beginning, we supported the Olympic Games,” he told reporters outside Tokyo on a stopover on a trip to Seattle. “I really feel very sad the government demonizes me. I am just a human, I am not a demon.”

He added that if the situation improves, he would even be willing to attend the Olympics' opening ceremony.“I personally want to enjoy the big ceremony,” he said.

What a time we live in...

Comments:
He is a trustworthy man, China need not fear him or demonise him, and he has no other agenda other than what he says. It is a lack of trust I think that underlies that need to violently suppress free speech. It reminds me of the quote from Albert Schweitzer ~. When we observe contemporary society one thing strikes us. We debate but make no progress. Why? Because as people we do not yet trust each other.

As your no doubt aware Our Prime Minister Kevin Rudd raised the issue with Wen in his historic meting which ran well over time.
Earlier in his trip whilst addressing Beijing University students fluently in mandarin he said ‘"Australia, like most other countries, recognizes China's sovereignty over Tibet but we also believe it is necessary to recognize there are significant human rights problems in Tibet,”

But what was interesting concerned the reaction of the students themselves, from the very moment he began speaking they could not contain their delight at hearing someone addressing them fluently in mandarin, erupting in tumultuous applause. Chinese are not ones for showing their emotion.

It is only early days and clearly more symbolic than substantive but I get a sense of new beginnings. Rudd is trying to walk on a tightrope and not fall off. So far I think he has done well, just as we have came to expect and even to trust in his good intentions as he quietly goes about his business continually making reference to hard work -The agenda is before us, now is the time for hard work.
Best wishes
 
The Chinese are making an issue of displaying the Tibetan flag at the Olympics. Anyone caught with it will be banished from the games.
I wonder how the world would feel if they banished the French flag, or the Iranian, the American or the Mexican flag. How about the rainbow flag?
By banning flags at the Olympics, China brings light to what it would rather hide under the carpet.
Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing.
 
Today's Globe: "Beijing demands the IOC refrain from 'irrelevant political factors.'"
Shaking my head - again and again...
 
Is it improper to say the Dalai Lama was cutie when he was a baby?
 
I mean A cutie.
 
Lindsay, I've been very impressed with Mr. Rudd so far. The Aboriginal apology, the work with China, Kyoto...does he have a twin brother with the same values who we can elect in Canada?

Seraphine - that's what I mean by 'they can't win'. If they let the protests go, the light shines on them. If they brutally repress them, the light shines brighter.

Scarlet. His Holiness (Hotiness?) would love that! I think he's kind of cute now too - kind of a cross between Mahatma Gandhi and Groucho Marx, with a very nice laugh.
 
Yeah, but he probably wouldn't let me pick him up and squeeze him and kiss both chubby little cheeks, would he? Because that's the urge I get when I see that picture. Do I have "MOM" written all over me or what?
 
I'm boycotting watching the Olympics this year. It's nothing personal towards the Chinese people per se, but, I've been unhappy with certain policies that the Chinese have been exercising as of late. They're in the dog house with me, to put it mildly.
 
Scarlet - he's still kind of cute, but I don't think many people get to squeeze his cheeks. He'd laugh with you though, you're in tune that way.

Nova - me too. It isn't for effect, simply my way of expressing myself. If I was an Olympic athlete I'd tattoo the Tibetan flag on whatever part of my skin shows during the competition. If I won and was on the podium, I'd place my hands together and bow to the Dalai Lama, while carefully enunciating his name for the cameras.
 
He is who he is . . . that struck me, what you said.

I am that I am, a burning bush once said.

It's all so connected out there, huh?
 
it's a powerful thing, how force has no ability to undermine true gentleness and spiritual faith.

but gentleness and spiritual faith are very good at undermining force.
 
I hope China realizes it must stop the genocide and abuse. They made sure there was some language in their contract to host the olympics that sets "politics" aside.
They forgot about the worldwide community, who has no contract with china, and has the ability to protest. I'm glad the torch ceremony has turned to the *flame of shame*- someone has even gone as far as making the 5 circle olympic logo into a graphic with circles of handcuffs.
China wanted the spotlight-- and they got it.
Now it is time for THEM to answer, and be accountable.
I found a little magazine called Prisoner Watch, about tibetan prisoners, and will do a post on thursday about it. People are being imprisoned for disagreeing, and or even displaying their flag- imprisoned for many years.

I do feel bad for the ahtletes, who have a very small window of peak performance, who are caught in the middle of this. they did not get to vote where the venue of the games would be. I like your tatoo idea-- or maybe having the Tibetan Snow Lion flag bandanas for athletes to wear as a show of solidarity with Tibet.
 
Thanks Cheri and Grannyfiddler.

Fran, I feel your passion for this cause and agree with you on the athletes. Even a few of them demonstrating will have a big effect.
 

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