Tibet Will Be Free (the SFT Blog!)

WELCOME TO THE STUDENTS FOR A FREE TIBET BLOG--------> This is the weblog of the SFT Headquarters. Here you can peek into the minds (not to mention actions, events, trainings, brainstorms, parties...) of the SFT staff, board members, volunteers, friends and fellow activists. Tibet will be free.

We've Moved:

Tibet Will Be Free has moved off of this site because Blogger is owned by Google. Visit the new TIBET WILL BE FREE at blog.studentsforafreetibet.org

Friday, July 22, 2005

China wants to install a fake 15th Dalai Lama

below is an article on how china is plotting to install a fake 15th dalai lama, just like they installed a fake panchen lama and abducted the real panchen lama. gendun choeky nyima, the panchen lama recognized by the dalai lama was abducted when he was six years old. today he is sixteen, and no one knows his whereabouts - except the chinese government.
it may catch many of us by surprise that a communist government that denounces religion of all sorts is actively participating in the complicated tibetan reincarnation politics. the bottomline is that the chinese government will stop at nothing to achieve its imperialistic ambitions. china's new business partners in the west and east must realize that a government that walks back on its own principles and doctrines and betrays its own people will not think twice before betraying its 'friends and partners.'

China Plots to Repeat Panchen Lama on Dalai Lama
Phayul[Tuesday, July 19, 2005 22:43]

Dharamshala July 19 - In its latest and most serious ever attempt to interfere in Tibet's traditional system of recognising lamas, China has gone to the extent of saying that Beijing will choose the next Dalai Lama. Tibet Autonomous Region chairman Qiangba Puncog was quoted by Asianews/SCMP as saying that "if the spiritual leader, who turned 70 on July 6, dies in exile, Beijing would follow Tibetan Buddhist precedent to choose his reincarnation."

“The choice has never been arranged by the Chinese Communist Party, but by the traditional rules of Tibetan Buddhism since the Qing dynasty (i.e. since 1644),” he said at a press conference. But a precedent was set in 1995 when Beijing rejected the Dalai Lama’s choice of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the 11th Panchen Lama and installed instead Gyaltsen Norbu, added puncog, a Tibetan by birth.

The Tibetan government based in Dharamshala, however, has not yet reacted to Puncog's statement. China justified the move by invoking an 18th century practice that involves picking a name out of three inserted in a golden urn preserved in the Yunghegong (Lama Temple) in Beijing, the Asianews/SCMP reported.

Qiangba repeated the same old rhetoric that 'the Dalai Lama—who fled Tibet in 1959 finding refuge in India—will not be allowed to come home' unless he abandoned his struggle for independence. The exile Tibetan government headed by the Dalai Lama has repeatedly said that it seeks genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the People's Republic of China. Dharamshala has long renounced its demand of independence.

The Kalon Tripa of the exile Tibetan administration has expressed hopes that the issue of Tibet will be resolved during the Dalai Lama's lifetime. He said on the 70th birthday of the Dalai Lama that the Tibetan spritual leader was not a problem but the key to the whole issue.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Get Active Already!

Renato Palmi of South Africa's Mail & Guardian has an interesting piece on the conflict between the expansion of the Chinese economy and the preservation of Tibetan culture. Palmi doesn't stop at observing how difficult it is for a non-violent independence movement to make its voice heard over the cha-ching of the corporate cash till. He writes,

The accessibility of the Dalai Lama to Western audiences has implanted a moral calling for some Western Buddhists to become involved with the cause of a free Tibet. Unfortunately, many South Africans choose not to link the Tibetan political struggle, and even the Dalai Lama'’s personal call for "action", with their adopted religion of Buddhism. They appear oblivious to the fact that they are privileged to enjoy the space "afforded to them by the Constitution" to exercise their rights topracticee freedom of religion, to peaceful protest, to speak out against the atrocities taking place inside Tibet and to monitor corporate South Africa’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China.

Let's be clear: Palmi's observation about the ignorance of many Western practitioners of Buddhism towards their own privilege is overwhelming. The tragedy is what he's written about South Africa is just as true in America, Canada, the UK, Germany, and pretty much every where else people have discovered Buddhism. The preservation of Tibetan culture through religion is of the utmost importance, but having more Westerners practicing dharma is not a solution. To paraphrase Tendor, the only solution to preserving Tibet's culture and religion is a political solution. Western Buddhists need to wake up to the fact that they DO have the privilege and the power to act politically and really do something to help Tibet.

The Dalai Lama has called for action. There is a need for action. So come on, all you Westerners, let's get active already!


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

SFT UK rocks the G8 (and DAMN, Iain is hardcore)!

check it:

Students for a Free Tibet UK join G8 protests on Dalai Lama’s Birthday

For Immediate Release

Wednesday 6 July 2005

Contact: Iain Thom on 07730 609 317

Activists from Students for a Free Tibet UK (SFT-UK) joined thousands of protestors on the opening day of the G8 Summit being held at Gleneagles, Scotland. China, which has occupied Tibet since 1949, is present at the meeting of the G8 group of major-industrialised states.

While protests took place at the Gleneagles Hotel and across Scotland, SFT-UK focused on the capital, Edinburgh. Tibet campaigners joined protests early on Wednesday morning at the Sheraton Hotel, as delegates were leaving for the Summit.

The first day of the G8 Summit coincided with the 70th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Laureate, who has lived in exile in India since 1959.

With the world’s media focussed on Scotland, SFT-UK campaigners marked the Dalai Lama’s birthday by displaying a banner reading “Don’t Forget Tibet” to delegates and the assembled crowds. Whilst a strong police presence restricted anti-G8 activists blockading the hotel, the SFT activists from across the UK successfully displayed Tibetan flags and engaged with the press.

This action was part of a week of protests surrounding the G8 summit, and SFT-UK also had a presence at the ‘Make Poverty History’ rally on Saturday 2nd July, which was attended by 225,000 people including a group of anti-Chinese Communist Party protesters.

Whist the G8 agenda both inside and outside the Summit may be dominated by the issues of climate change and poverty, SFT-UK hoped to flag the issue of Tibet within this greater agenda to ensure that Tibet is not forgotten.

Edinburgh University Tibet Society
vist www.euts.tk
Current campaign www.savetenzin.org

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Beginning of the End

It's raining here in New York, but our office is still hot and sweaty - partly from the recent heatwave and partly because we're not allowed to use our newly installed air conditioners until we set up a proper drainage system so that the water doesn't leak into the Chinese-owned laundromat downstairs. But this is another matter..... What really sucks is to be back in this uncivilized, polluted city after a fabulous week in the German wilderness with some of the most compassionate and passionate young Tibet activists from all over Europe!!!!

Although it's been a full week after the end of Action Camp, I am still suffering from the withdrawal syndromes (existential boredom during the day, sleeplessness at night, dysfunctional brain at work, nostalgia for camp food, nightmares about cows and horses, etc.) However, I know that this is a good kind of slump - the kind of feeling you get after being part of a group experience that is so overwhelming and inspiring and wholesome.

I want to thank all of the camp participants who traveled painful distances from godforsaken corners of Europe to quiet and meditative Pauenhof to be part of this promise. Some of you were even cutting classes to attend camp...and I take my hat off to you. That is the kind of dedication that will free a country. It's so great to hear how some of you are already starting up new groups in your schools (David) and planning actions in your cities (Alexis and the French contingent). With your youthful energy and motivation, we can drive the Chinese government insane...and they're already quite insane. Let's test their sanity when they visit our hometowns this fall (November in UK, September in US). Let's buckle up, let's do it....