[Hpn] Gordon Brown must back Tibet's freedom fight

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Fri, 21 Mar 2008 08:21:38 -0400


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_0045_01C88B2C.9593C350
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Gordon Brown must back Tibet's freedom fight
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=3D/opinion/2008/03/21/d=
o2104.xml

By Alice Thomson

3-21-2008




      The last image I have of Tsering Wangmo was the day she left =
northern India to return to her native Tibet. Her back bent and her feet =
swaddled in plastic bags, she was planning to walk over the Himalayas to =
her homeland, despite knowing she could face further torture when she =
arrived.

      a.. Richard Spencer: Zhang Qingli's comments on Tibet=20
      a.. News: China admits firing on Tibetan protesters=20
      a.. Read more by Alice Thomson=20
      She had been forced to flee Tibet seven years previously, after =
being found by a Chinese soldier in the capital, Lhasa, with a picture =
of the Dalai Lama in her skirt. I first met her in the old hill station =
of Dharamsala, where we were both waiting to meet the man she calls the =
Lord of Compassion.=20


      She explained how she had been dragged through the streets by her =
hair, beaten with electric prongs and thrown into a water-logged, =
open-air prison with more than 1,000 other women after she refused to =
spit on the photograph. She was repeatedly raped and hung upside down by =
her Chinese guards; she was expected to sleep on the bodies of dead =
inmates, and when she was finally released, she discovered that her =
husband had been forced to marry a Chinese woman and her children had =
disappeared.

      The Dalai Lama, standing outside his bungalow in the pouring rain, =
listened to this woman's story as she lay in front of him. He told her =
that in India she would find refuge and regain her strength, but that =
she should eventually return or the Chinese would succeed in eliminating =
Tibetans from their spiritual homeland. Since the Dalai Lama was forced =
into exile nearly 50 years ago, more than 1.3 million Tibetans have been =
killed or starved by the Chinese because of their refusal to stop =
worshipping him.=20

      More than 5,000 of their temples have been destroyed. I spent a =
summer, 20 years ago, wandering around the remains, watching the Chinese =
replacing places of worship and potholes with concrete and tarmac. I've =
since been to Rwanda and Darfur, but it is the Tibetans' fortitude over =
half a century of sustained brutality that haunts me.

      The Dalai Lama has been belittled in the West for wearing Gucci =
shoes and sunglasses, guest-editing French Vogue and appearing in Hello! =
magazine. To some, he is just another guru, one who might be able to =
help them lose weight or find happiness. It is hard to believe that this =
stocky monk is considered the 14th reincarnation of Buddha simply =
because he was able to identify his predecessor's false teeth while =
still a baby. But like Aung San Suu Kyi, he has refused to condone =
violence; unlike her, he has not been incarcerated.

      Of all the political and spiritual leaders I have interviewed, the =
Dalai Lama is the most exceptional. His clarity of vision, wisdom, =
tolerance and patience are astonishing and his uncontrollable laughter =
is infectious. He is not embarrassed that he is free, while so many are =
dying in his name.

      "In Tibet, I would have been a puppet leader, unable to =
communicate with the world," he once explained. Nor, when I have visited =
him, have I ever see him riled after listening to the stories of =
refugees. "Anger prevents you making good decisions. I need to remain =
calm and stable," he said.

      His solution to the Tibetan question is sensible and pragmatic. He =
merely wants cultural autonomy for what is already supposed to be an =
autonomous region, an end to the deliberate swamping of the area with =
Han Chinese and a right to the education and healthcare that are at =
present denied to many Tibetans.

      This week, Wen Jiabao, China's premier, accused the "splittist" =
Dalai Lama of causing the latest riots, but he has actually threatened =
to resign his political role should the violence continue. If the Dalai =
Lama wanted to rouse the ten million Tibetan Buddhists, he would not =
find it hard: a couple of years ago when he suggested they stop wearing =
fur, hundreds of thousands burnt their hats.

      His determined commitment to non-violence has allowed Europe and =
America to ignore the Tibetan question for decades in case it offends =
China and its 1.3 billion consumers. Yet the Tibetan leader hasn't =
turned his back on the West. He divides his time equally between his own =
people's plight and global issues. While British politicians and the =
Archbishop of Canterbury find it excruciating to give a moral or =
spiritual lead, devoting themselves to avoiding the most difficult =
questions, the Dalai Lama has no such qualms.

      He told me: "In the West, you have bigger homes, yet smaller =
families; you have endless conveniences, yet you never seem to have any =
time. You can travel anywhere in the world, yet you don't bother to =
cross the road to meet your neighbours; you have more food than you can =
possibly eat, yet that makes young girls miserable. I don't think people =
have become more selfish, but they are too self-absorbed. Your lives =
have become easier and it has spoilt you. You have less resilience, you =
expect more and you constantly compare yourselves to others. If people =
took more responsibility for their own problems, they would become more =
self-confident."

      He believes that marriage and family is one of the most important =
factors for happiness. "Too many people in the West have given up on =
marriage. They don't understand that it is about developing a mutual =
admiration of someone, a deep respect and a trust and awareness of =
another human's needs," he says. "The new easy-come, easy-go =
relationships give you more freedom, but less contentment."

      Gordon Brown made it clear in the Commons this week that he =
believes he is doing the Dalai Lama a favour by meeting him, but it is =
Mr Brown who is more likely to benefit from the Tibetan leader's =
insights.

      The Dalai Lama will die in exile and the fight will become uglier =
unless Europe and America take a braver approach. Boycotting the =
Olympics in China is not the answer, but using them as an opportunity to =
talk about freedom and democracy could be. If Mr Brown is prepared to =
condemn the Burmese junta for the suppression of its monks, he must =
speak up for Tibet when the Dalai Lama arrives next month.














    =20


New Hampshire Homeless
Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640 USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.
1-603-286-2492
http://www.missingkids.com
http://www.nationalhomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org
newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com

------=_NextPart_000_0045_01C88B2C.9593C350
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; =
charset=3Diso-8859-1">
<META content=3D"MSHTML 6.00.2900.3268" name=3DGENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<H1>Gordon Brown must back Tibet's freedom fight</H1>
<DIV><STRONG><FONT size=3D6><A=20
href=3D"http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=3D/opinion/2008=
/03/21/do2104.xml">http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=3D/o=
pinion/2008/03/21/do2104.xml</A></FONT></STRONG></DIV>
<DIV><BR><SPAN class=3Dstoryby>By Alice Thomson</SPAN><BR></DIV>
<DIV class=3Dcl></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>3-21-2008</FONT><BR></DIV>
<P class=3Dsmall><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT><FONT face=3DArial=20
size=3D2></FONT><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT><A=20
href=3D"http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=3D/opinion/2008=
/03/21/do2104.xml#comments"></A>&nbsp;</P>
<P></P>
<DIV>
<TABLE cellSpacing=3D0 cellPadding=3D0 width=3D"100%" border=3D0>
  <TBODY>
  <TR>
    <TD>
      <P class=3Dstory2>The last image I have of Tsering Wangmo was the =
day she=20
      left northern India to return to her native Tibet. Her back bent =
and her=20
      feet swaddled in plastic bags, she was planning to walk over the =
Himalayas=20
      to her homeland, despite knowing she could face further torture =
when she=20
      arrived.</P>
      <LI><SPAN class=3Dlistory><B><A lang=3Den.uk=20
      =
href=3D"http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/foreign/richardspencer/march2008/int=
erpretingzhangqingli.htm">Richard=20
      Spencer: Zhang Qingli's comments on Tibet</A></B></SPAN>=20
      <LI><SPAN class=3Dlistory><B><A lang=3Den.uk=20
      =
href=3D"http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=3D/news/2008/03/20=
/wtibet320.xml">News:=20
      China admits firing on Tibetan protesters</A></B></SPAN>=20
      <LI><SPAN class=3Dlistory><B><A lang=3Den.uk=20
      =
href=3D"http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?menuId=3D6795&amp;m=
enuItemId=3D10319&amp;view=3DPICHEADLINESUMMARY&amp;grid=3DF7&amp;targetR=
ule=3D15">Read=20
      more by Alice Thomson</A></B></SPAN>=20
      <P class=3Dstory2>She had been forced to flee Tibet seven years =
previously,=20
      after being found by a Chinese soldier in the capital, Lhasa, with =
a=20
      picture of the Dalai Lama in her skirt. I first met her in the old =
hill=20
      station of Dharamsala, where we were both waiting to meet the man =
she=20
      calls the Lord of Compassion. <BR></P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>She explained how she had been dragged through =
the streets=20
      by her hair, beaten with electric prongs and thrown into a =
water-logged,=20
      open-air prison with more than 1,000 other women after she refused =
to spit=20
      on the photograph. She was repeatedly raped and hung upside down =
by her=20
      Chinese guards; she was expected to sleep on the bodies of dead =
inmates,=20
      and when she was finally released, she discovered that her husband =
had=20
      been forced to marry a Chinese woman and her children had =
disappeared.</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>The Dalai Lama, standing outside his bungalow in =
the=20
      pouring rain, listened to this woman's story as she lay in front =
of him.=20
      He told her that in India she would find refuge and regain her =
strength,=20
      but that she should eventually return or the Chinese would succeed =
in=20
      eliminating Tibetans from their spiritual homeland. Since the =
Dalai Lama=20
      was forced into exile nearly 50 years ago, more than 1.3 million =
Tibetans=20
      have been killed or starved by the Chinese because of their =
refusal to=20
      stop worshipping him. </P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>More than 5,000 of their temples have been =
destroyed. I=20
      spent a summer, 20 years ago, wandering around the remains, =
watching the=20
      Chinese replacing places of worship and potholes with concrete and =
tarmac.=20
      I've since been to Rwanda and Darfur, but it is the Tibetans' =
fortitude=20
      over half a century of sustained brutality that haunts me.</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>The Dalai Lama has been belittled in the West =
for wearing=20
      Gucci shoes and sunglasses, guest-editing French Vogue and =
appearing in=20
      Hello! magazine. To some, he is just another guru, one who might =
be able=20
      to help them lose weight or find happiness. It is hard to believe =
that=20
      this stocky monk is considered the 14th reincarnation of Buddha =
simply=20
      because he was able to identify his predecessor's false teeth =
while still=20
      a baby. But like Aung San Suu Kyi, he has refused to condone =
violence;=20
      unlike her, he has not been incarcerated.</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>Of all the political and spiritual leaders I =
have=20
      interviewed, the Dalai Lama is the most exceptional. His clarity =
of=20
      vision, wisdom, tolerance and patience are astonishing and his=20
      uncontrollable laughter is infectious. He is not embarrassed that =
he is=20
      free, while so many are dying in his name.</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>"In Tibet, I would have been a puppet leader, =
unable to=20
      communicate with the world," he once explained. Nor, when I have =
visited=20
      him, have I ever see him riled after listening to the stories of =
refugees.=20
      "Anger prevents you making good decisions. I need to remain calm =
and=20
      stable," he said.</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>His solution to the Tibetan question is sensible =
and=20
      pragmatic. He merely wants cultural autonomy for what is already =
supposed=20
      to be an autonomous region, an end to the deliberate swamping of =
the area=20
      with Han Chinese and a right to the education and healthcare that =
are at=20
      present denied to many Tibetans.</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>This week, Wen Jiabao, China's premier, accused =
the=20
      "splittist" Dalai Lama of causing the latest riots, but he has =
actually=20
      threatened to resign his political role should the violence =
continue. If=20
      the Dalai Lama wanted to rouse the ten million Tibetan Buddhists, =
he would=20
      not find it hard: a couple of years ago when he suggested they =
stop=20
      wearing fur, hundreds of thousands burnt their hats.</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>His determined commitment to non-violence has =
allowed=20
      Europe and America to ignore the Tibetan question for decades in =
case it=20
      offends China and its 1.3 billion consumers. Yet the Tibetan =
leader hasn't=20
      turned his back on the West. He divides his time equally between =
his own=20
      people's plight and global issues. While British politicians and =
the=20
      Archbishop of Canterbury find it excruciating to give a moral or =
spiritual=20
      lead, devoting themselves to avoiding the most difficult =
questions, the=20
      Dalai Lama has no such qualms.</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>He told me: "In the West, you have bigger homes, =
yet=20
      smaller families; you have endless conveniences, yet you never =
seem to=20
      have any time. You can travel anywhere in the world, yet you don't =
bother=20
      to cross the road to meet your neighbours; you have more food than =
you can=20
      possibly eat, yet that makes young girls miserable. I don't think =
people=20
      have become more selfish, but they are too self-absorbed. Your =
lives have=20
      become easier and it has spoilt you. You have less resilience, you =
expect=20
      more and you constantly compare yourselves to others. If people =
took more=20
      responsibility for their own problems, they would become more=20
      self-confident."</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>He believes that marriage and family is one of =
the most=20
      important factors for happiness. "Too many people in the West have =
given=20
      up on marriage. They don't understand that it is about developing =
a mutual=20
      admiration of someone, a deep respect and a trust and awareness of =
another=20
      human's needs," he says. "The new easy-come, easy-go relationships =
give=20
      you more freedom, but less contentment."</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>Gordon Brown made it clear in the Commons this =
week that=20
      he believes he is doing the Dalai Lama a favour by meeting him, =
but it is=20
      Mr Brown who is more likely to benefit from the Tibetan leader's=20
      insights.</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>The Dalai Lama will die in exile and the fight =
will become=20
      uglier unless Europe and America take a braver approach. =
Boycotting the=20
      Olympics in China is not the answer, but using them as an =
opportunity to=20
      talk about freedom and democracy could be. If Mr Brown is prepared =
to=20
      condemn the Burmese junta for the suppression of its monks, he =
must speak=20
      up for Tibet when the Dalai Lama arrives next month.</P></LI>
      <P class=3Dstory2>&nbsp;</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
      <P class=3Dstory2>&nbsp;</P></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><BR>New Hampshire Homeless<BR>Founded=20
11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street<BR>Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640=20
USA<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human=20
rights.<BR>1-603-286-2492<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A><BR><A =

href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A><BR><A=20
href=3D"mailto:newhampshirehomeless-subscribe@topica.com">newhampshirehom=
eless-subscribe@topica.com</A><BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

------=_NextPart_000_0045_01C88B2C.9593C350--