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March 30, 2008

Protests follow the torch

More protests (from pro-Tibet groups as well as Falun Gong members) as the Olympic flame is handed over to the organizers of Beijing 2008 in Athens. More »
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March 29, 2008

WSJ on Tibet

Picked up a Wall Street Journal this weekend and noticed their coverage of Tibet was quite thorough. Here's a link to some of it. The Western media seems to be coming around more to describing the Tibet protests as riots where innocent Hans and Tibetans were injured or killed. But if China wonders why it is getting such bad press and such close attention to its internal affairs, it's the Olympics, dummy. More »
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March 29, 2008

Bullets in the Alms Bowl

Digital Dharma (by way of Danny Fisher) has a report by Burma's government in exile on the 2007 Saffron Revolution. More »
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March 29, 2008

Meditation leads to Compassion

Does meditation make you more compassionate? Or does being compassionate make you meditate more? MSNBC: Neuroscience may explain the Dalai Lama: Many wonder how the Dalai Lama can retain his kindness and magnanimity, even as his homeland is torn apart by violence. New neuroscience research may help explain the exiled Tibetan leader's unremitting compassion for all people. And China is complaining about biased news coverage? Please. More »
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March 29, 2008

China's PR engine (vs. Tibet's)

Continuing its PR campaign, China says it will compensate civilian victims of the Tibetan violence. Some have charged China is inciting race hatred by indicting the Tibetans all across the media. Things really are creeping closer to 1936. After the blogs attack, CNN has to clarify how it is covering the Tibet crisis. Doubtless most of the Western media has a slightly starry-eyed view of the Dalai Lama and Tibet, and furthermore a prejudice against communist China. The Dalai Lama is not perfect, and Tibet was no paradise before the 1950s. More »
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March 28, 2008

Monasteries Closed

We've been hearing rumors to this effect for a while now -- monks are locked in monasteries in Tibet. No supplies going in, nothing coming out. The monks are now said to be facing "patriotic re-education." A peaceful protest turned into a riot, and China couldn't handle it. Maybe the world will actually get a message through to China on this: If you want to host the world in your country this summer, you will be scrutinized. More »
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March 28, 2008

Japanese Poetry in South Korea

A profile of two Korean poets who were called unpatriotic for practicing Japanese forms of poetry. Like other Koreans who grew up under Japanese colonial rule, from 1910 to 1945, Son and Rhee learned Japanese, rather than Korean, at school. When the Japanese withdrew after their defeat in World War II, many of these Koreans found themselves without a true mother tongue - ashamed to speak Japanese but unable to read Korean well. But unlike others, Rhee and Son maintained their love of Japanese poetry long after the liberation. For that, they paid a price: a lifetime of disregard or disapproval from fellow Koreans. (And North Korea test-fired more missiles. The U.S. More »
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March 28, 2008

Monks who spoke to journalists in Lhasa will not be punished, Beijing says; Tibetans want the Panchen Lama Back

Monks speaking out to foreign journalists in front of the Jokhang (the journalists were on a Beijing-sponsored tour of Lhasa) will not punished, says China.For some reason, in light of all the attention Tibet is now getting, this seems very encouraging. (But if the world blinks, those monks will be snatched right up and spirited away.) Meanwhile China continues to deal with the fallout from the Tibet protests: "This is exactly what the party leaders didn't want," said Li Datong, a senior magazine editor who was fired in 2006 after an essay in his publication challenged the party's official history. More »
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March 28, 2008

What China is Doing

Here's a real clue as to what's going on inside China: The government is stirring up hatred of Tibetans, which is what is always done in war. More »
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March 27, 2008

More thinkin' 'bout a boycott; Will sponsor Coke be pressured to back off the Games next?

Time for a boycott? Not yet, says the Economist: BERLIN, Tokyo, Mexico, Moscow, Los Angeles, Seoul: the Olympic games are often “political” events, occasions for the flaunting of national progress, or for protesters to enjoy global publicity. The Beijing Olympics this August were never going to be any different. Indeed, when it competed for the right to play host to the games, China used a political argument: that this would help China's “reform and opening”. But the games are now overshadowed by the spectre of nationalist unrest in Tibet and China's unyielding response to it. In some Western countries there have been calls for governments to back a boycott of the games. More »
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March 27, 2008

Robert Thurman Speaks

Danny Fisher quotes Robert Thurman on why China needs the Dalai Lama, an interesting read. What will the 21st century be like? More »
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March 26, 2008

The Dalai Lama in TIME and Newsweek; Sri Lanka Silent on Tibet

Tricycle contributing editor Pico Iyer writes about the Dalai Lama in TIME. And excerpts of the Dalai Lama's interview with Newsweek. Is Sri Lanka silent on Tibet because they get the arms to fight their civil war from China? The island nation, though "constitutionally bound" to protect Buddhism, has been silent because they are "heavily indebted" to China. But who isn't? More »
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March 26, 2008

The Dalai Lama Reiterates Pledge to Resign; Taiwan Watches Tibet

Not much new here: More arrests, as China says 660 "surrendered" in the wake of the protests. The Dalai Lama reiterated his pledge to resign if the violence goes on. The LA Times writes that this has shaken Buddhism. The LA Times article revives the bewhiskered "god-king" description of the Dalai Lama that journalists have been cutting and pasting for years. More »
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March 26, 2008

Violence in Nepal

As Konchog pointed out a few posts back, violence continues in Nepal, with police cracking down hard on protesters. Many people have been injured and hundreds arrested so far. The U.N. has expressed concern over Nepal's actions. Nepal is troubled. More »
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March 26, 2008

To Rickshaw or Not to Rickshaw

Rickshaws drive the economy of Dhaka, while in neighboring (or at least nearby) Kolkata, they are seen as a relic of imperialism and are being phased out. In New Delhi the rickshaw-wallahs are fighting to stay. The Kolkata link is to National Geographic and is pretty incredible. The web tells us rickshaws were invented by a European missionary in Japan in the 1870s or 1880s. More »
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March 26, 2008

China still struggling to contain crisis; New York cops beat up protesters

China is still struggling to contain the crisis: China sought on Wednesday to contain ongoing protests in its ethnic Tibetan regions, as it stepped up detentions in Tibet's capital Lhasa and vowed tighter control over monasteries. The western province of Qinghai was the latest area to report anti-government activities, with hundreds of civilians staging a sit-down protest after paramilitary police stopped them from marching, a Beijing-based source who spoke to residents said. "They were beating up monks, which will only infuriate ordinary people," the source said of the protest on Tuesday in Qinghai's Xinghai county. A resident in the area confirmed the demonstration, saying that paramilitaries dispersed the 200 to 300 protesters after half and hour, that the area was crawling with armed security forces and that workers were kept inside their offices. More »
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March 25, 2008

The Tibet death toll's at 140. So are the Olympics already ruined?

Death toll in Tibet now 140? The numbers are difficult to verify because China controls the flow of information so religiously. Germany (a country in love with Buddhism) wants answers from China on the violence. Have the Olympics already been tainted beyond redemption by China's actions? How will China handle international (i.e. Western) protesters at the games this summer? More »
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March 25, 2008

The Dalai Lama in Salon and the New Yorker

Pankaj Mishra reviews Pico Iyer's book The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama (Knopf; $24) in The New Yorker: Last November, a couple of weeks after the Dalai Lama received a Congressional Gold Medal from President Bush, his old Land Rover went on sale on eBay. Sharon Stone, who once introduced the Tibetan leader at a fundraiser as “Mr. Please, Please, Please Let Me Back Into China!” (she meant Tibet), announced the auction on YouTube, promising the prospective winner of the 1966 station wagon, “You’ll just laugh the whole time that you’re in it!” The bidding closed at more than eighty thousand dollars. The Dalai Lama, whom Larry King, on CNN, once referred to as a Muslim, has also received the Lifetime Achievement award of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. More »
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March 25, 2008

Protests not Boycotts?

Just a quick post to point out that Olympic boycotts hurt young athletes who spend years training for these events. So perhaps, as this German article (in English) suggests, protests not boycotts are needed. Hitler wasn't boycotted in 1936, after all, but that was before the boycotting craze stated. The history of Olympic boycotts shows the ambiguity of it all. From Wikipedia: More »
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March 24, 2008

Quote of the Day

"The Communist Party is like the parent to the Tibetan people, and it is always considerate about what the children need. The Central Party Committee is the real Buddha for Tibetans." - Zhang Qingli 张庆黎, Member of the 17th CPC Central Committee, Secretary of the CPC Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee [Thanks to Jeremy Mates and the Level 8th Buddhist (who has a great post on the pressure to not be a Buddhist today.)] More »