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April 09, 2008

More connections with 1936

Every day brings more bad news for the beleaguered torch. Now they're saying the first torch relay was in -- you guessed it -- 1936. Gordon Brown, Britain's Prime Minister, won't attend the opening ceremonies, and Bush is said to be weighing the same thing. More »
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April 09, 2008

The Torch in San Francisco; Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu addressed protesters in San Francisco: "We're not at a moment where we are calling for a boycott of the games because the athletes have spent a lot of time preparing, and you don't want to penalise them unnecessarily. But I am certainly calling on heads of state not to attend the opening ceremony, to register their disapproval, their disgust really," says Tutu. And "fear" and "confusion" in SF as the torch begins its route, greatly changed to avoid protesters. And the airspace above has been declared a no-fly zone for some reaosn.... small planes trailing banners? More »
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April 09, 2008

China vows to send torch through Tibet; Rudd's blunt message; another media tour goes awry

China vows the torch will go to Tibet. That's what you call sticking to your guns. Violence won't help Tibet's cause, says Australia's Courier-Mail: Peaceful protest is one thing; violence, water, fire extinguishers and angry mobs will not replace diplomatic pressure and cannot be condoned. This comes after PM Kevin Rudd sent an "unusually blunt message to China over its humans rights abuses. More »
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April 09, 2008

Pico Iyer on the Dalai Lama and The Open Road

Attention Gothamites: This Friday at the New York Public Library, Pico Iyer will engage with Paul Holdengraber in an open conversation about the Dalai Lama's work and ideas. From the NYPL's event description: In his new book, The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Pico Iyer gives us the first serious consideration of this worldwide leader’s work and ideas as a politician, scientist, and philosopher. Having been engaged in conversation with the Dalai Lama for the last three decades, Iyer captures the paradoxes of the Dalai Lama’s position: though he has brought the ideas of Tibet to world attention, Tibet itself is being remade as a Chinese province; though he was born in one of the remotest, least developed places on earth, he has become a champion of globalism and technology. More »
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April 08, 2008

The Torch Will Go On

Even though the torch's victory lap is turning into a torture tunnel for Beijing, the journey will continue. Next stop: Buenos Aires. More »
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April 08, 2008

Statement from the Dalai Lama

On Sunday His Holiness the Dalai Lama released this statement. Thanks to the International Campaign for Tibet for this. More »
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April 08, 2008

17th Karmapa headed to the U.S. in May

The International Herald Tribune discusses the Karmapa's upcoming visit to the United States. He'll be here from May 15th through June 2nd. The article doesn't mention it, but there are two rival Karmapas. Below are links to the two Karmapa's websites. The one coming to the U.S. is the first one below. • Ogyen Trinley Dorje • Thaye Dorje More »
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April 08, 2008

Violence in Sri Lanka and Thailand, Natural gas revenue in Burma

Burma's trade hit an all-time peak last year: $8.7 billion, much of it in natural gas exports to Thailand, according to the Bangkok Post. (UPDATE: Danny Fisher has a great post on remembering Burma today, with an amazing, Pulitzer-prize winning photo by Reuters photographer Adrees Latif as well.) The Tamil Tigers ask Norway to intervene in the vicious Sri Lankan civil war. More »
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April 08, 2008

Torch arrives in North America

If you're going to San Francisco... The IOC might end the torch's action-packed international tour because of all the protesters. The torch's global journey was supposed to highlight China's growing economic and political power. More »
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April 07, 2008

The Torch and the Golden Gate

The protests move to San Francisco, the only American city the torch will visit. A least six protesters arrested so far. They were worried about this -- the city being a famous hotbed of protest and political activism. Not everyone in the Bay Area is on board with the protests, of course. More »
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April 07, 2008

London Protest Reports

Great reports from the protests in London over the weekend courtesy of Konchog at DODR and Students for a Free Tibet. CNN's take here. More »
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April 07, 2008

Flame snuffed out twice in Paris?

The Olympic torch protests continue -- the flame was seems to have been snuffed out twice in Paris, and more protests are promised today. The IOC is now calling for a peaceful solution to the unrest, which is literally now all over the globe. UPDATE: Was the flame merely lowered? More »
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April 05, 2008

Honored Guest or Pain in the Neck?

India weighs its relationship with the Dalai Lama. More »
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April 05, 2008

8 killed in Kardze

Police fired on monks and civilians in Kardze in eastern Tibet, killing eight. Radio Free Asia has a lot of info on this. The monks objected to a re-education program they were forced to undergo, and the government objected to their objections. Some sources say as many as fifteen were killed, and there are also reports of at least two monks in Sichuan province committing suicide: On Saturday, the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, based in India, said two monks committed suicide last month in Sichuan's Aba County following government oppression. More »
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April 05, 2008

A Horse to Water

Two recent finds from the Worst Horse: The Urban Zen Foundation, founded by Donna Karan and Sonja Nuttall, which is about empowering patients and inspiring "change in the areas of well-being," and If It's Hip, It's Here: a collection of Buddha-shaped items. More »
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April 04, 2008

Peace and Nonviolence

40 years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee. This April 6th, join the "Be the Change" walk in New York City, which will conclude with a tribute to Gandhi in Union Square Park. More »
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April 03, 2008

Deepak Chopra on Tibet

Thanks to Precious Metal for the pointer. He writes, "Tibet isn't a Buddhist litmus test": As the violence in Tibet has continued, the Dalai Lama issued a stern statement that he could not align himself with insurrection in his home country. Buddhism rests on several pillars, one of which is nonviolence. Tibet quickly became a kind of Buddhist litmus test. How much pain and oppression can you stand and still exhibit loving kindness and compassion? I wonder if that's really fair. The Tibetans face a political crisis that should be met with political action. Whatever that action turns out to be, nobody should be seen as a good or bad Buddhist, anymore than defending your house from an intruder tests whether a Christian is living by the precepts of Jesus. More »
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April 03, 2008

Don't forget the Uighurs

China is cracking down on many minorities, not just Tibetans. The world has to keep an eye out for this. Tibet grabs the headlines, but there are many other groups also at risk. Case in point is the protests in Xinjiang. 70 Uighurs were recently arrested in the Silk Road city of Kashgar. And because they're Muslim, they're much vulnerable than Buddhists to being called terrorists in the eyes of the world. More »
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April 03, 2008

Envoy asks that torch be kept out of Tibet; more arrests in Burma

Lodi Gyari, envoy of the Dalai Lama, asks Beijing to keep the torch out of Tibet. He also says the situation in Tibet is "grim". Norway may also skip the opening ceremonies. The EU calls inviting the DL to Brussels "doable." More arrests in Burma: 52 since January. More »
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April 03, 2008

What should the U.S. do?

Nicholas Kristof: So what do we do? A boycott of the Olympic Games themselves is a nonstarter. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has raised the possibility of a boycott of the opening ceremony, and that is plausible. The best answer is: Postpone the decision until the last minute so as to extort every last ounce of good behavior possible out of the Chinese government — on Darfur as well as Tibet. But at the end of the day, if there have been no further abuses, President Bush should attend — for staying away would only inflame Chinese nationalism and make Beijing more obdurate. If President Bush attends the ceremonies, however, he should balance that with a day trip to a Tibetan area. More »