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.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

In solidarity to all opressed.........

It was an accident how I conceived an idea of being a Tibetan activist and got obsessed with it. I would like to shed some light on my family background, which I think would largely explain the quantum transition I underwent from an uninterested layperson to someone who would vow not to cease to work until Tibet regains her sovereignty.

I come from a Walung family. To those who don't know, Walung is a Tibetan village in north east region of Nepal. Because Walung lies in Nepal, people there weren't directly affected by the Chinese occupation. However, people from Sakya region in Tibet who fled Chinese occupation established a settlement in Walung. Some of them ended up marrying with local Walungs. Those who didn't marry, and who were denied asylum were either sent back or imprisoned after they failed to obey the ultimatum to voluntarily leave the place. Since the Chinese occupation didn't directly inflict any effect on my parents, they weren't vocal or I don't think they even bothered about it. In retrospect, I grew up a total layperson. The first time I read something about Tibet was a comic book, which I remember was about the dalai lama's escape from Tibet to India. Well, obviously it didn't mean anything because I wasn't as grown up as to ask what, how and why.

Four years ago when I came to New York for school, it was really strange to see bunch of Tibetans, some of whom I knew, sometimes protesting in front of UN building and other times just walking miles with placards, banners desecrating China. They didn't really appease me for some reasons, however. I pictured myths on their grievances. My arrival in New York in 2002 and the years that followed also coincided with major geo-political developments in the world. America hadn't completely gotten over the sorrow from the worst inferno of twin towers after the second world war. War in Afghanistan against Taliban had begun, but wasn't really over. Iraq invasion began under false premises. Second intifada had begun in middle east. Govt. sponsored Janjaweed militias were launching genocide against western Christians in Darfur, Sudan. Dismantling nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran emerged as a next challenge. These political developments made me politically very vigilant.

Then came the worst nightmare, which in fact would pitch me into Tibetan politics. Chinese and Korean students vehemently opposed Japanese govt.'s decision to change the history curriculum, which would conceal her militarism and atrocities conducted to the subjects of occupied territories during the second world war. Thousands of people in Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul protested against Japanese govt. and the protest turned violent in Beijing and Shanghai, where they damaged businesses owned by Japanese citizens. This stigmatized me and unable to hold myself on, I talked to my social science professor about the whole situation and the repercussions it would bring in the regional politics. She didn't really answer my question but fired back saying it was nothing more than a power game. She asked me, "what about atrocities China has been committing inside Tibet?". I was speechless, but somewhere deep into me, I already felt some weight. I started researching on Tibet. I read books and in a very short time, everything came right in front of my eyes. THE MYTHS TURNED REALITY. No aberration. No anomalies. There was truth. There was URGENCY. There was PAIN, PANIC AND PLIGHT.

The occupation was unjust, they didn't liberate Tibetans, they held them captive instead, monastic institutions were voluntarily destroyed, Tibetan women were forced to sterilization and still are, religious persecution did take place and there are still hundreds of political prisoners in Chinese jails. Panchen Lama was kidnapped and his whereabouts is unknown. Tenzin delek rinpoche is put into prison accusing false charges on him. Carrying dalai lama's photo is a taboo inside Tibet. Centuries-old arts and artifacts have been stolen from Tibet and placed in museums in Beijing and Shanghai. Mines and minerals excavated from Tibetan earth have been transported into mainland China, processed and sold to foreign nations, which would buy China arms and tanks that would roll down the TIANANMEN SQUARE, military trucks and muskets to crush uprisings in Lhasa and, which of course would pay communist elites' spouses for vacation. Environment in Tibet has been exploited by Chinese building dams for electricity to sell to neighboring states and now railroad from Golmud to Lhasa to transport red PIMPS to crush dissidents. One monk was killed and several others were imprisoned when monks in drepung monastery dissented to listen SELF PROCLAIMED PROFESSORS LECTURING IN PATRIOTIC EDUCATION. Worst of all, ethnic cleansing is undergoing which is similar to what Russian Tsar did in central Asia during 18th century. The unique and rich Tibetan culture is in danger.

I felt very strongly drawn into the plight of Tibetans living inside oppressive regime and also felt very strongly motivated to work to free millions of hands tied, mouths shut Tibetans and save this nation from being robbed by Chinese thugs. Freedom will prevail!!

The conference in Santa Barbara rejuvenated the energy and fervor to work for Tibet until it is free. Free from oppressors, free from undemocratic sinisters, free from religiously intolerant communists and free from tyrants. The warm winter of Santa Barbara revealed me of a warm nature inviting to embrace the young freedom loving activists and BECKONING THE
GLORY DAYS AHEAD. BHOD RANGZEN!!!!

- Tashi Lama
City Tech, New York

<-- I'm standing in the middle (in front of the table) in this workshop on "Teaching Tibet"

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