11.18.08

Tibet Update

Posted in Buddhism, HH Dalai Lama at 9:51 am by Marion

Today marks the first of a week-long series of meetings for Tibetans living in exile in Northern Tibet. During the next few days, about 500 of that nation’s leaders-in-exile will discuss, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, their political and spiritual leader, what next steps they might undertake.

Last summer’s Olympics were a time of sadness for many reasons. Those long two weeks showed the world that bullying and oppression were good spectacle. No way could I sit and enjoy anything about them, from the Olympic Village, to the opening and closing ceremonies, when I knew they were created from blood and iron.

Now that the dust has finally settled on those horrible games, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is at last speaking again about his profound sadness at the outlook for his native Tibet. Since his forced escape in 1959, he has longed for a better situation for Tibet and Tibetans. Instead, the Chinese government has moved in more ethnic Han Chinese people, bombed and bulldozed sacred Buddhist temples in Lhasa, beaten and harassed monks and commercialized the Tibetan lands once known as Shangri-La.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has watched and suffered. He has heard from Tibetans who call for the use of force to reclaim their land. Yet he has consistently advocated a peaceful solution worked out with Chinese officials known as the Middle Way.

A few days ago, His Holiness issued a message announcing that talks had collapsed, and a meeting of Tibetan people would take place soon. Those meetings began today.

His message said, in part,

Taking into account the inspiring courage being shown by people all over Tibet this year, the current world situation, and the present intransigent stance of the government of the PRC, all the participants, as Tibetan citizens should discuss in a spirit of equality, cooperation and collective responsibility the best possible future course of action to advance the Tibetan cause. This meeting should take place in an atmosphere of openness, putting aside partisan debate. Rather, it should focus on the aspirations and views of the Tibetan people. I appeal to everyone concerned to work together to contribute as best as they can.

This Special Meeting is being convened with the express purpose of providing a forum to understand the real opinions and views of the Tibetan people through free and frank discussions. It must be clear to all that this special meeting does not have any agenda for reaching a particular predetermined outcome.

His Holiness has demonstrated to the modern world that saints and prophets live among us, but they are unfortunately as routinely scorned and put to death as in ancient times.

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