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Smooth Run in Australia April 24, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in News, Tibet.
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The Canberra run went smoothly enough. And more horrifying violence in Sri Lanka – perhaps 90 dead in one day.

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Japanese temple backs out of route April 18, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in News, Tibet.
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Thanks to Marcus for pointing this one out: A Japanese Buddhist temple has removed itself from the torch’s route.

Japan and China continue to disagree over whether Tibet is an international issue or just a domestic issue of China’s.

Edward Gomez notes the rhetoric is running high: China stoked the nationalist fires and is now trying to temper its citizens call for boycotts of products from countries where the torch relay has run into trouble.

The Torch in India, Australia April 17, 2008

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The relay begins amid heavy security in New Delhi. Meanwhile, China cancels its plan to open Tibet on May 1st and seals the borders. And if you wonder why Nepal is cracking down on protesters so hard:

Chinese security police in athletic wear can be seen lounging in tea shops and strolling the sole street in the border town of Liping. They shadow three Associated Press journalists from the moment they arrive, ordering them not to take photographs — on Nepalese territory.

And in the capital Katmandu, Tibetan exiles say China is pressuring the Nepalese government to crush anti-Chinese activities by the world’s second-largest Tibetan exile community.

The torch is also headed to Australia, where more protests are expected. Chinese in Australia asay they’re ready to defend the torch. Plus, two opinions in Australia on the this “internal issue” of china’s taht is under the world’s spotlight.

[Photo: An exiled Tibetan activist being restrained in New Delhi. AFP]

Whose side is Coke on, anyway? April 17, 2008

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This article on Coke and the Olympics reminds me a bit of Nicholas Kristof’s Op-Ed today.

Caught in the middle April 17, 2008

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Grace Wang tried to walk the middle path but took heat from both sides.

The Flame in Delhi April 16, 2008

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Remember that Tibetans tried to storm the Chinese embassy here in March. Security will be tight. India’s relations with China are fragile enough already.

Torch comes to India; more voices against a U.S. boycott April 16, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Dalai Lama, News, Tibet.
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The torch comes to India, home of the Tibetan exile community. (But the DL is in the U.S., currently getting a checkup at the Mayo Clinic — he has good insurance.) Several protesters have been arrested in India already.

Walter Mondale says theres no need for a boycott. Mondale, as Carter’s VP, was involed in the boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Bush’s foreign policy expert Stephen Hadley (the man who confused Nepal and Tibet) called boycotting the opening ceremonies a “cop-out” and said that instead, the U.S. is engaging in “quiet diplomacy.”

And Anne Wu, an associate at Harvard’s Kennedy Center says to keep Tibet and the Olympics separate:

Using the Tibetan issue as a cunning game of political machinations is unfair both to China and to the Tibetan people.

Foreign reporters highlighted a few weeping monks decrying Tibet’s lack of freedom in the Jokhang Temple after China organized the media trip to Tibet. Didn’t the young Han Chinese man shown separately on Sinovision, whose teenage sister died in the fire set by the mobs, deserve equal coverage?

It would be wrong to assume that the Chinese do not have free minds and that the government orchestrates everything. It’s not surprising that blogs in China have exploded with anti-splittist and anti-West comments of the “Fen Qing” (furious young surfers), expressing anger over the violence and the Western media’s one-sided, twisted reports.

Overseas Chinese have also been energized. A video on YouTube, “Tibet was, is, and always will be a part of China,” produced by a Canadian Chinese student, was clicked 1.2 million times and received 72,000 comments in three days. Patriotism and nationalism are strong among the Chinese. The power of the people’s voice should not be underestimated.

Historical burdens at times prevent people from moving forward. Buddhism’s art of meditation offers wisdom: Let go, develop a refined awareness of the present moment, and reach a clarity of mind.

Well, if you want to leave Tibet out of the Games, how about starting with keeping the torch out of Tibet?

What Would the Boycott Accomplish? April 15, 2008

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Fareed Zakaria thinks boycotting the opening ceremonies of the Olympics makes no sense. He points out that the Chinese government is not really acting in opposition to the feelings of its citizens (and we know China cares more about domestic politics than foreign politics, as does the United States, generally):

Public humiliation does not work nearly as well on the regime in Beijing as private pressure. At first glance, China’s recent crackdown in Tibet looks like a familiar storyline: a dictatorship represses its people. And of course that’s part of the reality — as it often is in China. But on this issue, the communist regime is not in opposition to its people. The vast majority of Chinese have little sympathy for the Tibetan cause. To the extent that we can gauge public opinion in China and among its diaspora, ordinary Chinese are, if anything, critical of the Beijing government for being too easy on the Tibetans. The real struggle here is between a nationalist majority and an ethnic and religious minority looking to secure its rights.

Tibet Links, April 14, 2008 April 14, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Burma, Dalai Lama, General, News, Peace, Tibet.
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Nine monks arrested for allegedly planting a bomb:

China has arrested nine monks for a bomb attack on a government building in Tibet last month, an official said yesterday.

Tibetan support groups warned that it was impossible to verify the claims because the authorities do not allow independent observers into the region.

The state-run Xinhua news agency alleged that the monks from the Tongxia monastery – around 850 miles east of Lhasa – fled after their homemade bomb exploded in Gyanbe township but later confessed to planting it. There was no mention of casualties or damage.

Beijing works on clearing the air for the Olympics.

The DL asks for Tibet to be opened to the world.

Professor M.D. Nalapat asks, Can the Chinese government control the “Tibet flu”? (Yes, but for how long?)

China and Russia’s support prop up the Burmese junta, says Myat Soe.

China isn’t solely to blame for the survival of the Burmese junta, says an editorial in The Canberra Times.

Susan Kaiser Greenland in HuffPo on China and the media.

Philip Glass’s Satyagraha at the Met; Tibet Rally in Union Square April 13, 2008

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Tibet Rally, Union Suare, New York, April 13, 2008

Philip Glass’s opera “Satyagraha” premiered at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday. Here’s some video from it, and a review from the New York Times. For more Satyagraha events, visit the Satyagraha Forum.

In Union Square today, not far from the Gandhi statue, there was a huge pro-Tibet (or more properly, anti-China) rally. I took a couple pcitures with my crummy cellphone camera. The picture here is one of them. You can faintly see the Empire State Building and equestrian George Washington statue in the dark distance. It was well-attended: a couple hundred people, even though the day was gloomy: cold and dismal, with occasional light rain.

And more on the rising cost of food. Americans spend less on their food than anyone else in the world, rich or poor, so even the collapsing U.S. economy won’t hurt American food-buyers as much as the rising prices around the globe. The very poorest of us, as usual, suffer first, most, and longest.