Thursday, April 10, 2008
Shining a light by chasing the flame...
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.”
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...
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.
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.
Shaking my head - again and again...
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.
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.
I am that I am, a burning bush once said.
It's all so connected out there, huh?
but gentleness and spiritual faith are very good at undermining force.
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.
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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