As Tibetans celebrate the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday, a video snapshot of Tibet Lobby Day
As the world marks the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday, the Tibetan community marks a grim milestone: 120 Tibetans, mostly youth, have burned themselves alive to protest China's repressive rule. Xeni Jardin traveled to Washington, DC to document a group of Tibetan-American activists asking lawmakers to open up immigration doors for political refugees, and hold China accountable.
Tibetans around the world this week celebrate the 78th birthday of the 14th Dalai Lama, their exiled spiritual leader. From July 4th through 6th, many will gather in the Bay Area for a series of events marking his birthday and recognizing the ongoing human rights crisis in Tibet. China has been condemned for harsh treatment of ethnic Tibetans there, and the forced relocation and displacement of millions.
Earlier this year, I accompanied a group of Tibetan-Americans from California who walked the halls of Congress and Senate buildings in Washington, DC, asking US lawmakers to pay attention to Tibet and demand that China respect human rights. Their efforts were part of Tibet Lobby Day, an annual gathering in the US capital on March 18 and 19, just after the 100th Tibetan had burned themselves alive in desperate protest. As I write this, the death toll has risen: at least 119 have now set themselves on fire. Tibet on Fire is tracking the data here.
Venerable Thepo Rinpoche was one of the Tibetan citizen-lobbyists I followed down the halls of Hart Senate Office Building and the Rayburn House Office Building. I snapped photos and short video clips on my phone, and observed their experience. One of the amazing things about American democracy is that anyone, including a Tibetan monk, can just show up and petition their representatives for justice. One of the other amazing things? Sometimes, those lawmakers really do listen and act. Seeing this openness in person is an amazing thing.
Thepo-la fled Tibet as a child monk shortly after a young Dalai Lama did; he wrote about his experience in an earlier feature for Boing Boing.
Above, a video snapshot from that lobbying day in DC, as I watched the Rinpoche and his compatriots knock on the doors of Democrats and Republicans, echoing what he wrote in that Boing Boing essay: "The people of Tibet need help now."
I shot this video on my iPhone as we walked down the halls of those government buildings on Capitol Hill. From time to time, as we walked, Thepo-la and his fellow activists sang quietly in unison.
What was the song, I asked?
AT LHASA NORBU LING
DON'T SAY THERE IS NO JEWEL
YIZHIN NORBU (Buddha, His Holiness)
IF THIS IS NOT A JEWEL, WHAT IS THIS?
A quick YouTube shows this song, "Norbuling la (Sungta Lemo)" is a popular anthem. There are auto-tuned remixes, extended dance versions, karaoke clap-a-longs, and nostalgic slideshows.
But I like the versions you can watch in this Boing Boing video snapshot the best.
The increasingly popular social media application TikTok has a concerning relationship with the Chinese state. That link became ever the more concerning today, when reports began circulating of a brand new partnership between the company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, and the government of China.
Just in time for the holidays, the China Law Blog (previously) rounds up the three most common scams in China that target foreign firms: "Come to China and celebrate our deal" (foreign business person concludes a deal, goes to China, and is roped into paying for a banquet, gifts for the Chinese company boss, and […]
A Wechat-based "mobile court" presided over by a chatbot has handled 3m legal procedures since March
The Chinese Supreme People’s Court has just released a report on a "mobile court" pilot program that's been running since March to manage procedures in civil legal disputes through the Wechat social media platform, through which litigants are prompted by an AI chatbot "judge" (with a judicial avatar) to state their cases; the evidence is […]
People who ask themselves why they need a dashcam usually have one thing in common: They’ve never been a serious collision. Even in fender benders, these gadgets can save you an immense amount of time and hassle, stopping headaches before they even start. If you’re looking for a reliable starter cam, the myGEKOgear Orbit 110 […]
There’s no shortage of wireless chargers out there. So when one scores a Best of Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show, we take notice. And, those industry nods mean good news for just about anybody with a smartphone, because the HyperCharger X Wireless Charger means there’s no excuse for losing power when you’re out […]
Once you’ve cut steak or poultry with some actual quality knives, it’s really tough to go back to those budget blades you bought at the department store a couple of decades ago. Consider that a fair warning about this 5-Piece Professional Damascus Chef’s Kitchen Set. The holiday discount makes it easy to buy for a […]