Tibet Will Be Free (the SFT Blog!)

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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!

Philo

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