Politics

  • BuddhaFest: Fire Under the Snow starts today! Paid Member

    Fire Under the Snow tells the powerful story of Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan Buddhist monk arrested by the Chinese Communist Army in 1959. He spent the next 33 years in prisons and labor camps for the "crimes" of peaceful demonstration and refusal to denounce his apolitical teacher as an Indian spy. While in prison, Palden Gyatso was tortured and forced to live in dehumanizing conditions. His courage and resilience, however, is a testament to the human spirit.Sign up for the Tricycle BuddhaFest Online Film Festival, and watch Fire Under the Snow today.Watch an interview with Makoto Sasa, director and producer of Fire Under the Snow. Trailer: More »
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    Geronimo Paid Member

    Osama bin Laden's code name during the recent operation designed to kill him was "Geronimo." There is a history of cheeky code names that our elite forces use in their operations. President Obama's secret service code name, for example, is (or was) "Renegade." Fidel Castro was "AMTHUG" to the CIA during the various, often whimsical schemes to kill him. (AM was the code name for Cuba.) The list goes on. NPR reports that some Native American groups were offended by the use of Geronimo's name in connection with Osama bin Laden—or in connection with the operation in which he was killed—but in their respective times each occupied the role of boogeyman in the American imagination. Che Guevara is another figure who briefly filled this role. More »
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    Madame Nhu passes away Paid Member

    Madame Nhu has died. The sister-in-law of former South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem, Madame Nhu has been called many colorful and uncomplimentary epithets—"dragon lady," "an oriental Lucrezia Borgia"—because of the influence she wielded and the style with which she did it. (Somehow men being powerful or power-hungry is not so reprehensible.) Raised Buddhist, she converted to Catholicism when she married. Her exile was spent largely in Paris then Rome. She is survived by two sons and a daughter. Madame Nhu was famous for her colorful sayings, such as "Total power is totally wonderful," and, of the self-immolating monk Quang Duc, "If the Buddhists wish to have another barbecue, I will be glad to supply the gasoline and a match." More »
  • China denies lockdown on Tibetan Monastery following monk's self-immolation Paid Member

    Despite reports from Tibetan exiles that say the Kirti Monastery in Sichuan province of China has been surrounded by security forces, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said relations between monks at the monastery and police were "harmonious." According to the reports by Tibetan exiles and campaigners the Chinese security forces arrived after a 21-year old monk named Phuntsog burned himself to death last month. Via BBC news: More »
  • Robert Thurman on the Dalai Lama's Retirement: An Interview Paid Member

    Robert Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, and co-founder and President of Tibet House US. A personal friend of the Dalai Lama for over 40 years, his latest book is Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet and the World. Recently we were able to chat about the Dalai Lama's retirement, the future of Tibet, his relationship with HHDL, and the importance of putting practice into action. This interview was conducted over email, as Thurman is currently "inbetween things" while traveling in Bhutan. He will be teaching at InsightLA on April 30. —Sam Mowe More »
  • Sangye Gyatso and China's Long Memory Paid Member

    A week ago, Professor Robert Barnett wrote for the New York Review of Books, explaining some history to those curious why China is so sensitive to news of the 14th Dalai Lama's planned retirement—news that recently upset many Tibetans. He traces the cause back to the Fifth Dalai Lama, the first to hold temporal power, bestowed, as is well known, by the Mongol Khan (who, I think, was a follower of the Sakya school, not the Gelugs.) In the Fifth Dalai Lama's declining years, the new and ambitious Qing Dynasty claimed sovereignty over Tibet (and many other areas thousands of miles from their capital of Shenyang and later Beijing.) More »