- Politics and Social Issues»
Cops Beat Tibetans in front of the UN
Tibetan demonstration in 2008 in Nepal
What do you know about Tibet?
You may be a person who drives with a "Free Tibet" bumper sticker on the back of your car. This question is not aimed at you.
I would venture to say that the much of the general public knows little or nothing about a jewel of a country nestled atop the Himalayan Mountains between India and China called Tibet. Then, there is another small number who thinks of Tibet as "Shangri La," a mythical, magical land where lamas meditate on their third eye. They may not have a sense of Tibetan history or the present day situation of Tibet.
You might just think Tibetans are cool have an interest in this vast, arid country where the majority of the native people, noted for their happy, philosophical attitude practice Buddhism, treat children with reverence, and transmit a long tradition of developing the mind and spirit to reach the heights of human consciousness.
What you may not know, is the cruelty with which the Tibetan people have been treated by the People's Republic of China, losing their sovereignty in the 1950's. Not only have a huge number of Tibetans been uprooted from their homes (with a wide migration including the Dalai Lama to India and spreading into a diaspora through the world or being displaced in favor of government projects), they have been imprisoned, beaten, executed for practicing their religion. Even being found with a photograph of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader and until recently, the temporal head of the Tibetan government in exile, is punishable by imprisonment and death.
Although by nurture a peaceful people, several acts of resistance have taken place, most notably the March 10th Tibetan Uprising in 1959 in which a large number of Tibetans were killed or imprisoned. In 2008, a number of acts of civil disobedience and a few pockets of armed resistance took place with monks participating in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa preceding the Olympics in Beijing, as well as demonstrations around the world, many of them met with armed force, including this one in Nepal on March 10, 2008, Tibetan Uprising Day.
Unfortunately, Tibetans are not only being mistreated in Tibet. The video featured below shows police brutality toward Tibetan demonstrators in front of the United Nations, also in 2008.
So far, no positive developments have taken place to restore sovereignty or at least autonomy to the Tibetan people in their own country, to protect their right to preserve their culture or practice their religion. Vast numbers of prisoners of conscience continue to be mistreated, often dying in prison of malnutrition, or are beaten and maimed.
Please contact your legislators to protest the plight of the Tibetan people and ask them to do everything they can to convince the government of the People's Republic of China to free Tibet!