Protest inside Tibet captured on tourists' cameras

Yingsel Rangzen from Students for a Free Tibet points us to a blog post about a protest against China's occupation of Tibet that took place in Lhasa, Tibet yesterday -- captured by tourists' cameras.

Snip from post:

[The Tibetan protesters] form a strong, silent, peacefull circle around the police who keep the middle of the square open. Soon they call for backup.

Undercover agents, not so difficult to recognize, film the whole happening. Especially the faces. This is one method to create fear. Suddenly there is panic. 6 or 7 monks are arrested and driven away.

Tibetans are very scared because of the stories about the prisons and tortures. In the meanwhile, big numbers of policemen arrive. They drive everybody apart. But until sunset small groups of people stay around. There are tourists, Tibetans and Tibetan resembling spies. Apparently we stick around to long because some Tibetans start to warn us to be careful about the undercoverpolice who are watching us closely.

We even get a note that says we are being followed and have to be carefull about what we say. The whole evening misty figures keep following us, even to the restaurant and the bar.

The Chinese police almost manages to give the impression that it´s just a small manifestation that they can easily control. From our Portugees friends, Miguel and Clara, who visit one of the biggest monasteries (Drepung) nearby, we learn that the Chinese approach (away from touristic eyes) is much harder.


The protest in Lhasa was one of many around the world on March 10, Tibetan Uprising Day. Participants aim to...

...draw attention to the worsening human rights situation inside Tibet (...), use the Olympics spotlight to shame and embarrass the Chinese government, and show them that until Tibet is free, China will never be never be accepted as a leader on the world stage.
I have been to the place where this event occurred, and am familiar enough with the region's political history to understand that a protest of this scale, at this site, is unusual and significant.

From what I can gather, hundreds of ethnic Tibetans gathered on Barkhor Square, an open-air market area that surrounds Jokhang Temple (a very large temple that is the heart of Lhasa's traditional quarter, generally considered to be the most important temple in Tibet). I spent time in and around this place, and saw surveillance cameras throughout the site.

Students for a Free Tibet is covering the story, and claims this is the largest protest of the Chinese occupation of Tibet to take place inside Tibet in over 50 years. (Thanks, Sam Chapin)


  1. I will never figure out the Western middle-class fascination and obsession over Tibet.

    It is a horrid little backwater of China, which suffered under millenia of abuse at the hands of a fascist theocracy and which can barely feed itself. The Communists sweep in to “liberate” them. They feed and clothe the people, but also try to quash nationalist opposition within Tibet. The dictator abandons his people and runs to a neighboring country, where he foments opposition to the government doing a better job than he and his ilk ever did, all while claiming to essentially be God. He retains his title and forces his believers to make the dangerous trek to see him (dangers both natural and the bullet kind).

    We never hear the Chinese side of the story in the West, so I encourage you to find an actual Chinese person and see what they think. No love from me for the Chinese government, but in all honesty, they’re the best government China has ever had, and the best Tibet has ever had.

    I think any country that wants to be independent should be, but Tibet is not a special case, and isn’t even a terribly compelling case. The issue is a lot more complex than the guy at the headshop would lead you to believe.

  2. “The guy at the headshop”? Kyle, Xeni has (if I’m reading the post correctly) been to Tibet and seen it for herself. So had the tourists who taped that video.

    Your comments on Tibet’s situation aren’t going to come off as reasonable if you surround them with the dismissive implication that everyone else interested in the topic is ignorant.

  3. Kyle,

    Tibet is no more a backwater of China than Mexico is a backwater of the US. Why all the rage?

  4. @kyle: Wrong on so many counts. The Dalai Lama is not a dictator – he’s helped create an election-based, democratic government for the Tibetan exile community in India. Pre-invasion, he was largely a figurehead at the top of the theocracy. Yes, it was far from an egalitarian society. But the Dalai Lama never forced anyone to flee Tibet after him after the Chinese invaded. What an outrageous claim. Millions of Tibetans fled their land because they it was occupied militarily and culturally, and they were being killed and oppressed. Who are you to say that the Chinese government is the best Tibet has ever had? That’s up to Tibetans to decide, and today the Tibetan freedom movement represents their ideals.

  5. I think what Kyle is trying to say is that people who suffered under an oppressive theocracy a generation ago deserve to be oppressed by an alien government intent on the exploitation of Tibetan resources and the tokenization/exoticization of Tibetan culture. Did I get that right, Kyle?

  6. Well, I’m a ethnic Chinese reading this blog. I don’t really want Tibet to be independent, but I’m ashamed to see the police treat peaceful protesters this way.

    And what is this [they’re the best government China has ever had, and the best Tibet has ever had]?

    Do you honestly think this is the best we can do? Try not look down upon us so much. When westerns were still duking it out in the European forest, we’ve already had a state department.

    Do you also happen to notice the government had imprisoned a 5-year old lama ever since 1980s? No one knows if he’s still alive. The crime he committed? He was claimed to be a god by another lama.

    I have my national pride, I want Beijing to have a splendid Olympic. But I’ll be more proud of my nation if we can solve issues thru dialogs.

  7. While Kyle’s comments are pretty much ignorant and EPIC trolling (great job on not feeding him) he did bring up an excellent point in my head. What is with the white middle-class love of Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama? The Dalai Lama is a total waste as far as I can tell…just another religious bigot that westerners revere for his perceived “Eastern” spiritualism.

    Someone want to clue me in on the appeal of this guy? It’s one thing to support Tibet’s right to self-government, but why do people like this religious whackjob again? (Granted he’s no Pope, but he still hates gay people…)

  8. Granted he’s no Pope, but he still hates gay people…

    Takuan is negotiating with his people for a fresh statement on gay rights.

  9. Turth is:
    Most of tibetans don’t want to be independent.They can’t feed themselves without the financial supports from china goverment.

    And the goverment don’t force people to change their religious belives like that severely.

    Some counties’goverment in world don’t want to see china becoming stronger and stronger.So they bribe some people,and overdraw somethings.They want split china.This is the truth under the surface.

    Independence is not good for Tibetans!

  10. Independence is not good for Tibetans!

    You’re right. China would be better off with the Japanese running it again, too.

  11. The Dalai Lama is homophobic? Bummer.

    And he seemed like such a nice guy.

    Do ALL religions have to be yucky?

  12. He said, about ten years ago, that Buddhism considers it a sin, along with a laundry list of other things. He loudly opposed discrimination. Takuan really is trying to get an updated statement.

  13. Please stand by. As said,I will request a flat, unambiguous, but second hand confirmation. But I tell you now; hatred of any kind is not consistent with the Dalai Lama. That is not to say he does not hate. I don’t know if he does or not. But I am quite certain his hatred is so microscopic compared to what 99 % of the human race musters every single day in the course of daily living, that his could be said to effectively not exist. Even against the Chinese.

    As for the Tibetans not wanting independence; let all Chinese leave and see if they are invited back.

    As I understand it, there are many educated and cultured Chinese that are interested in Tibetan buddhism and are sympathetic to the Dalai Lama.
    I think they would speak up if they were not afraid of being killed.

  14. Dear Darrel:

    perhaps he appeals because of what he says:

    All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.
    Dalai Lama

    Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
    Dalai Lama

    Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
    Dalai Lama

    I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
    Dalai Lama

    If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.
    Dalai Lama

    If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.
    Dalai Lama

    If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
    Dalai Lama

    In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.
    Dalai Lama

    It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them.
    Dalai Lama

    It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.
    Dalai Lama

    Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.
    Dalai Lama

    My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.
    Dalai Lama

    Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.
    Dalai Lama

    Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
    Dalai Lama

    Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.
    Dalai Lama

    Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
    Dalai Lama

    Sleep is the best meditation.
    Dalai Lama

    Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
    Dalai Lama

    Spend some time alone every day.
    Dalai Lama

    The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
    Dalai Lama

    The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.
    Dalai Lama

    The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual’s own reason and critical analysis.
    Dalai Lama

    There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
    Dalai Lama

    This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
    Dalai Lama

    Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.
    Dalai Lama

    We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.
    Dalai Lama

    We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.
    Dalai Lama

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.
    Dalai Lama

    Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.
    Dalai Lama

    With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.
    Dalai Lama

  15. There are many, many Tibetan people whose names are not “His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”

    Reducing any discussion about human rights, economic development, or cultural sovereignty in Tibet to “Dalai Lama: good? bad?” is sort of like Godwin’s law. It’s dumb, it’s shortsighted, and it kind of kills the dialogue.

    Discussions about Tibet would be much more fruitful if we could avoid the romanticizations, and avoid reducing the fate of an entire people to the merits or shortcomings of one man, powerful and symbolically important though he may be.


  16. Takuan,

    Whatever happened to the Buddhist masters you see in Kung Fu films? I’d well be more into Tibetan independence if they were following one of those hardnuts around.

    I’m out for a laugh as much as anyone, but i definitely feel it is more important to be right than happy, and its slightly disingenuous of the Lama to say philosophic systems are unnecessary. i think therein lies his appeal: he says what is simplest for people to believe. For me, that’s bad; for others…

  17. Jardin’s Law?: Any discussion on Tibetan independence eventually devolves to a fight about the Dalai Lama’s position on gay rights.

  18. I definitely feel it is more important to be right than happy

    My experience has been that those who hold that philosophy are generally neither.

  19. @ Xeni: In my comment I specifically stated that a previous comment had made my mind veer off topic. I also stated that I wasn’t discussing the Dalai Lama’s merits (or those of Tibetan Buddhism) alongside Tibetan independence, simply on their own. Sorry if my post contributed to off-topic debate, or bad comparisons between the Dalai Lama and the whole of Tibet. I didn’t intend that.

    @Takuan: Why do people always miss the second “l” in my name? Oh the rage! (JK, but it does happen a lot on BB…maybe it’s the font…)

    But yeah, you posted a whole bunch of nice things he’s said (I can post nice quotes from Popes, ministers, famous Islamic clerics, etc as well). As far as I can tell he still thinks gay sex is icky, which is a sad theme in many major religions and in the minds of many people. It’s the “we respect you but we think you’re a deviant” line and I don’t buy that. I also just don’t understand why otherwise progressive people take a lot of stake in what some guy like him has to say. I’m being very specific here, but I know people who love the Dalai Lama but hate the Pope. I for one just don’t see the difference. Both are pushing positive things along with a whole lot of ignorance and outdated thinking.

    I’m sure he’s a stellar guy, it just chagrins me that he can precisely be such a stellar guy and still hold such an unfortunate view of another person’s sexuality.

    I’ll wait on that new statement though. Nice job on demanding an update on that point.

  20. Just as Xeni says the fate of a nation should not be reduced to one man, so one man’s entire being and personality should not be reduced to one quote. Cut him a break.

    I think we need an answer to this one point.

  21. Dear Darrellll (thought it was your other brother, Darrel)

    All I can rely on is what I have heard and read he says. And also what he doesn’t say.

    As for “demanding” an up date. I thought a humble, sincere and polite request might be better.

  22. I thought a humble, sincere and polite request might be better.

    It wouldn’t hurt to send a bottle of Patron, either.

  23. @21: Agreed. I don’t have huge criticisms of the guy anyway, just that one thing. Your explanation makes sense, but I can’t help still reading a weird orientalism into people’s fascination with him. Oh well.

  24. I can’t help still reading a weird orientalism into people’s fascination with him

    Well, don’t you like you relatives better when they’re three thousand miles away? Why should religion be any different?

  25. “My experience has been that those who hold that philosophy are generally neither.”

    meh. You sound like my ex. Like the fellow from Zorba the g[r]eek, I chose books first.

    I looked on my usual lefty sites for a position on Tibet and failed. It’s obviously an issue about which people feel quite passionate. But is it on the same level as Israel/Palestine, Western Sahara, Oaxaca, Nepal, or any number of other conflicted states? Why do I know about those places and practically nothing about Tibet? Are all my friends actually agents of the Chinese government?

    and p.s. whoever said something nice about the olympics: you jerk. They evicted me and tore down my old house to make way for the olympics in London. If you look at the history, the Olympics are just an excuse to gentrify a city. But that might be OT.

  26. @22: Whoa, you found the other two…those are supposed to be secret…

    Oh, and if you see Larry, let him know Darryl is looking for him.

  27. Like the fellow from Zorba the g[r]eek, I chose books first.

    Don’t you mean Never On Sunday? And you chose books over hookers?

  28. and now, I will dance!

    gentlemen, I have a screening room appointment – something about a haircut and a bolt-gun


  29. I’ll gladlly explain why I like the Dalai Lama. He’s likeable, he says peaceful things, he makes other religions seem silly and superfluous (ie, just be good) and he’s the exiled ruler of a mythical land which is being persecuted. We’re all about the Free Tibet bumper stickers, don’t get me wrong. But I really like (and I’m sorry to be so stupidly and brutally honest, but some of you asked) is that he gives me permission to not feel guilty for my lack of churchly obligations. I like that he reminds me to just be good. Really, what’s not to like about that. Tibet, I truly don’t know enough about it and I hate to make comments on things I’m not aware enough of. I know lots about certain things, but not this one. I wonder if so many of us actually know what is really going on in Tibet when they put the sticker on their car. Honestly.

  30. One – a mistake in the article – this is the first major protest in over 20 years, not fifty years. The last really major protests in Lhasa were in 1989 and rather unsettling. The non-Tibet-Autonomous regions of ethnic Tibetans in China (Kham/western Sichuan and Amdo/Qinghai) have had more recent political clashes, but we hear of them less. For instance:

    Two – having stayed for significant enough periods in tibet to know how complex it is to express political opinion publicly (beyond close family and friends), that this happened, even as quiet, small, and subdued as the protest may seem in the video, it is terribly exciting and scary. exciting, because so many Tibetans I know in Tibet seem so used to the status quo and resigned to the apolitical way one pretty much has to exist on the day-to-day. I realize that March 10th obviously is the occasion, but that this happened now and not some other year is what I am most interested in – why now?

    And it is scary because what happens next? The protests in 88 and 89 came when things started to feel a little more free in terms of what could be talked about, what could be practiced. Following those protests was a period of powerful government repression (though nothing like 59 and Cultural Revolution times, of course). In recent years, things have loosened up a little bit, and at least in my experience and understanding, mostly Tibetans have got by on self-policing, wary of snitches and cameras, they’re careful not to say the wrong things to the wrong people, and so the repression is a little less obvious, and people get by expressing discontent in appropriate, private contexts. But a protest happening with the beijing olympics on the way, will that mean a decline back to the old more intense repression of the early 90’s? Will it mean more such protests are on their way? Or is it just another flash in the pan?

  31. It’s amazing to me that on regular broadcast news here in NYC the biggest news item is Governor Spitzer being involved with a prostitute, but stuff like this—which I consider to be more important—I’m only learning about via online media.

    Weird priorities mainstream media have. Not a big revelation but an annoying one.

  32. I would expect a lot more repression up to and during the Olympics; that is how it works. Look at Sydney 2000 for instance. But the protest doesn’t sound that different from what you find in the western world; and the video clip just shows a few people standing around.

    I know f all about Tibet, but far be it from me to say anything about a people determined toward self rule. I think links are what we all want.

  33. Dalai Lama’s will is not Tibetan people’s will.He just want Tibet go back to the old slavery Tibet.

    You want tibetans becoming slaves again? then support him.

  34. #37: Scotfree, your comment that it’s just a few people standing around – I can’t stress enough that it might not look like much but even that diminutive seeming protest is an insanely brave act by those just standing there. In America protesting really does sometimes feels like just standing around because not much is at risk and not much seems to come of it. In Tibet, those people are risking imprisonment, their lives and the livelihood of family members and friends by “just standing around” so “just standing around” therefore means a helluvalot more.

    And that short video cant capture the more immediate context

    According to overseas Tibetan groups, the demonstration started when seven to 10 monks protested in front of the Jokhang, one of the holiest sites in Tibetan Buddhism. A large crowd gathered to protect them from People’s Armed Police units, but they were detained. Soon after up to 300 monks from Drepung monastery, just outside Lhasa, marched in support, but they were stopped at heavily guarded checkpoints, where dozens were detained. Armed police then surrounded the main monasteries.

  35. they are preoccupied

    Report: Chinese police fire tear gas at Tibetan Buddhist monk protesters
    The Associated Press
    Published: March 12, 2008

    BEIJING: Chinese police used tear gas to disperse several hundred Tibetan Buddhist monks who gathered for a second day of protests near the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday.

    More than 1,000 armed police and security personnel surrounded an estimated 500 to 600 monks from the Sera monastery Tuesday as they marched near a police station, and police fired tear gas into the crowd, one witness told the RFA’s Tibetan service.

    “There were probably a couple of thousand armed police, (public security bureau) personnel, wearing different uniforms. Police fired tear gas into the crowd,” the unidentified witness said.

    The monks, who had been on their way to demand the release of fellow monks detained in protests Monday, shouted “We want freedom,” “We want an independent Tibet!” and “Free our people or we won’t go back!” according to other unidentified witnesses.

  36. Thuper, don’t be so ignorant.

    While many Tibetans within and out of Tibet have shown me that they have a lot of respect for the Dalai Lama, it is indeed possible the Dalai Lama’s will is not the Tibetan people’s will both in exile and in Tibet itself.
    As Xeni said, it’s frustrating that the two are so often conflated.

    Not even getting into the question of whether or not “old Tibet” was “old slavery tibet”, there is no indication that the Dalai Lama wants to return to a more feudal government, in fact both he and the preceding Dalai Lama were noted for trying to modernize Tibet but met strong resistance from the aristocracy and other religious seats of power who liked the status quo, before the Chinese government came along. As well, the current exile Tibetan government is democratically elected, and the Dalai Lama has indicated that he might decide not to be reborn in order to ensure a fully democratic future for Tibetans, which is a pretty major indication of his intentions, I think.

  37. The View of Chinese Intellectuals Toward Tibet Question

    ISBN 957-l3-2038-2 If you write a letter please enclose the cover of the Chinese version. The price of this book is US$ 9.50, the airmail fee is US$ 4.50, total price US$ 14.00.

    The book “The View of Chinese Intellectuals Toward Tibet Question” is the first book written by Chinese writers, scholars and dissidents inside and outside China. All authors support self-determination and independence for Tibet.

    Prof. James Seymour of Columbia University says in his introduction of this book that this is a turning point for Chinese view of Tibetan issue.

  38. My english is not good.I can’t express my point completely.
    But if this post is in chinese forum,I bet over 90% of chinese have the same point with me.

    I just want to say,sometimes truth is not very obvious to be see.

  39. and I bet 100% of Tibetans have their own point too.

    Patriotism is not automatically a good thing. How can your patriotism for China be good if it is based on crushing the patriotism of the Tibetans?

  40. I haven’t been to XiZang,but there are many tibetans in my province,GanSu,too.I had some tibetan classmates when I was in high school.In my remember,They had never talked about independence.they didn’t care about it.Because they think they are chinese.China is a combination of 56 nations,tibetan is just one of them.For many tibetans,patriotism are for hole china.

    You can see from those pictures.There are barely ordinary tibetans in the march.Most are foreigners and monks.

    If you don’t belive me,you can come here yourself.

    If USA don’t support dalai lama anymore,he will not do it anymore.

    I know our goverment hide a lot of things from us.But Your goverment hide a lot from you,too.

  41. All the peace-and-love stuff the Dalai Lama spouts is only in English, for the ears of gullible roundeyes. The stuff he says in Tibetan is a lot more bigoted and authoritarian.

    I heard a rumour that he actually lifted a lot of his shtick for Western ears from another holy man, John Lennon.

  42. Thuper @48: Your government is bad, but that’s okay because ours are as well? We’re all as bad as each other? So we shouldn’t criticise? Pah!

    If you don’t want to engage in debate, then don’t post. If you’re going to post in a blog that isn’t actively censored by a government, then don’t try to damn disagreement with your views by claiming things are equal when they are not. I am free to criticise my government and yours, you are free only to criticise others’. Can you even google the phrase “Great Firewall of China”?

  43. So, americans are proud of their freedom to choose their own authorities but are unable to see the same need on others; have a president that claims to follow God’s dictates and is the decendant of another critized ruler, but are unable to accept another who claims to be a reincarnation.
    By the same token, maybe you’d fare better under british rule.

    Just sayin’

  44. I guess forcefully occupying land is only okay if you give it a fancy name like “Manifest Destiny” and commit indiscriminate genocide against its indigenous people.

  45. Thuper @48: believe me, I know that there are lies on both sides of the Tibet question. And I know that independence is not necessarily the goal for Tibetans in Tibet/Xizang, but certainly having their own agency in making decisions about their own cultural future is on many Tibetans minds, and they really don’t have that power in Xizang/Amdo/Sichuan/Gansu where key positions high in the government are held by Eastern Chinese people such as yourself. You say “I had some tibetan classmates when I was in high school.In my remember,They had never talked about independence.they didn’t care about it.Because they think they are chinese.” I am not denying that some Tibetans might feel more Chinese than Tibetan (I have met a couple myself), but for the vast majority of Tibetans I’ve talked to in various parts of Tibet and from various segments of the population – government workers, poor farmers, nomads, middle class citizens and youth, upper class business people, and people of mixed tibetan-chinese ethnicity – their relationship with their identity and government is much more complex than that.
    While your experience is valid, you also have to understand that your classmates probably wouldn’t be straightforward with you (as a non-Tibetan) about how they felt even if they did actually want independence or felt more affiliation with Tibetan culture people than Chinese. You, and admittedly I, have no idea what it is to be Tibetan in Tibet, or in Gansu, or Qinghai or Sichuan, and what is in various Tibetan people’s hearts. Our particular situations as native-born Chinese for you and caucasian American girl for me give us access to very different kinds of conversations that Tibetans are willing to share or want to have with either of us. So I might hear more of the anti-china talk, and you hear none of it.

    As far as run of the mill Tibetans involved in protests? If you read the article, it was Tibetans (everyday Tibetans) who formed the circle trying to keep the police from arresting ten monks who started the protest.

    And protests outside of Xizang?

    Again I point you to this article:
    that would be local nomadic women and youth, not monks protesting.

    But also to this one:
    Since monks don’t usually wear furs, they were not involved in these protests except to encourage people to stop wearing fur. Mainly it was Tibetan youth. Fur burning in Qinghai became really popular after the Dalai Lama decried the use of fur from endangered species in their native clothing. One would think the Chinese government could get behind this sentiment in terms of their campaigns for protecting endangered species on the Tibetan plateau – watch Kekexili, a Chinese government sponsored film . However after the fur burning, the government got their Tibetan TV announcers to go back to wearing furs and made arrests of the people responsible for these kinds of actions, probably because of their fear that this kind of show of support for the Dalai Lama might catch on. If it weren’t so obvious that Tibetans still look up to the Dalai Lama, that wouldn’t be a threat, and the government should have no problem using that kind of sentiment as a way to push their own environmentalist platform.

  46. Dear Thuper:

    Where did your Tibetan classmates come from? Were their families forced out of Tibet? Do they not speak because they don’t care or because they are afraid? What would happen if they did speak up? Have you asked them privately if they would like to go back to Tibet?

    If China is a combination of 56 nations, is it possible that at least one of them doesn’t want to be in China?

    What do you think about the Uighur people in China today?

    How do you feel about Taiwan?

  47. My original point was you may be teargased and beat up in Western protests too, and I don’t feel completely satisfied as to why this particular struggle is so popular in a certain demographic. I don’t mean that as a criticism so much as a neutral question. The next time I wind up handing out flyers for some demo or other, I want to know how to appeal.

    PS: I hadn’t had a cig for two days until the comments cut out and I lost something to distract me. I wish I was joking.

  48. so? did you chip? Big deal, every minute you don’t have a smoke is a free moment. Carry on. don’t quit quitting.

  49. I know you are kind people.You care about our human rights.I appreciate you very much.But why are you so naive?

    This is nothing about human rights.It’s just the dirty politics.Tibet question is a chess between china and western coutries,They use it to bargain to each other.

    I acknowledge our human rights situations are worse than yours.But you should know,for national minorities in china,their human rights situations are not worse than other chinese.They even have some priorities by law.And we don’t discriminate them.And china is a developing,I think it will be better and better.

    Dalai Lama maybe a kind man.But in the other side,he is a idealist,a selfish idealist.He don’t really care about tibetan people,he care about his ideal more.He don’t know how to lead a country.If tibet become independent,they won’t be better than now.If he really care about tibetan people,he should give up this.

    If I’m a tibetan,when I hear his beatiful promise.Maybe I will think about the independence for some while. If I meet someone protesting,I will support them.But soon I will realize, it’s too un real,it too far away. And then I will keep up my real life.I need to make money to get enough foods for my familiy,like all the other chinese.This is real.

  50. Thuper,

    China has not set an example of reality based thinking. China has set an example of sweeping anything inconvenient under the rug. Two words: ant farms.

  51. Perhaps Tibetans should have their own chance to make a living. Their own choice to try. Maybe they starve. Maybe they don’t. Why should China decide for Tibet? Ask the Tibetan people by democratic election: do you want an independent Tibet?

  52. The DL is the gayest man around. Just watch that gootube video of him with Freddy Mercury and you WILL be enlightened.

    Boycott the chinese olympics, and save yourselves for the London 2012 spectacle, conveniently coinciding with The End Of The World.

  53. Some day the Chinese people will realize that the 29 intellectuals and scholars who published an open letter to the Chinese government urging a reform of Tibet policy are heroes. I am deeply concerned about their welfare, as these brave moral leaders will almost certainly be punished by the Chinese government for their outspoken criticism of the government’s brutal Tibetan policy.

    Olympic sponsors include McDonnalds, VolksWagen, CocaCola, Lenova (watches,) Samsung, Adidas, Omega. I don’t know about you, but I will think of the Tibetans being repressed, beaten, tortured, and killed every time I consider purchasing a product produced by these companies. Every time.

    Webmasters, bloggers, blog posters and BBS posters, please use the following code on your website, blogs, and posts, substituting ‘v’ brackets for “L” brackets. [a href=””] “I support the Tibetan people in their struggle for religious freedom and human rights [/A]

    I support the Tibetan people in their struggle for religious freedom and human rights

    Viral marketing for Tibetan rights can help!

  54. Chinese propagandists are posting on the web, saying we should go to the Olympics because we sent Jesse Owens to the Nazi-hosted Olympics. Bringing up Jesse Owens is a red herring, because, of course, sending an African American to compete in the Berlin Olympics was a rebuke to Nazi racism. There is no such point to be made by simply sending athletes to the Chinese Olympics.

    We could make our point by doing as Ms. Pelosi suggested, and boycotting the opening ceremonies. Better yet, if we could find athletes with the courage, would be for them to wear black armbands to the Olympics, and have them explain to reporters that they were in mourning for the Tibetan people. That would be a gesture worthy of Mr. Owens!

    The Olympic torch was lit recently in China, but it isn’t the torch the Chinese people wanted. Their torch was held aloft by their statue of the Goddess of Liberty, the one that they built. That torch was torn down, and the people were attacked and killed or jailed by the “People’s” army in Tiananmen square in 1989.

    Young adults in China today know nothing of this, because the Chinese government propaganda machine has vilified the more than one hundred thousand patriots who demonstrated for freedom that day, and dismissed them as a few anti-social hooligans.

    This vilification process is, of course, taking place today in China, only it is currently directed against the Tibetan demonstrators and the Dalai Lama. If the Tiananmen Square demonstrators had been successful in reforming the Chinese government, I doubt if there would have been the demonstrations in Tibet, because the people of Tibet would probably have had far fewer grievances. You can see a photo of the “Goddess of Liberty” and read about the Tiananmen Square massacre on Wikipedia- just Google: Wikipedia Tiananmen Square Massacre

    Now the Chinese government asks us to believe that the pacifistic Buddhist monks of Tibet are preparing to become suicide bombers. I see that China’s leader, Hu Jintao has been swotting up on Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler, with particular attention to “The Big Lie.” Read all about it by Googling: Wikipedia the big lie . For that matter, the claim that Tibet was always a part of China is another ‘Big Lie,’ and it is exactly what the Nazis said when they invaded Czechoslovakia. Google: Wikipedia Joseph Goebbels

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