August 28, 2007

Tibet: Open for Business

Tourists, rejoice! Sure, you may have to wait all day in the summer heat to get tickets to the Potala Palace, but now Tibet is open in the winter too! No more long lines! No more hot dusty streets! Just cool, refreshing ice and snow.

Beijing is working Tibet into the Olympics, starting with the torch on Everest. But more generally they are planning to transform Tibet entirely, as they expect its quaint charm to be a tourist draw for Olympic visitors. Dare we dream -- the Winter Olympics in Lhasa in 2020?

The Asia Times reports that China's railway in Tibet might have an ulterior motive: extracting Tibet's resources! How nefarious, building a railroad into a mineral-rich area then using it to transport those minerals out of the region. And right under our watchful noses.

Meanwhile Chinese cave-paintings showing Indian and Kashmiri influences lead one researcher to say: "There is a very ancient connection between the culture, art and religion of India and China." The cave paintings bear a close resemblance to Indian murals and could reflect the formative period of Buddhist art in China, says art historian and filmmaker Benoy K. Behl.

- Philip Ryan, Webmaster

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