Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Message to China

Let them be.

Tibet is a beautiful country. Months after leaving the Tibet border and crossing back into Nepal, I still remember the striking clarity of the Tibetan sky; the piercing blue unmarred by even the merest whisper of white cloud. I remember the lung-shattering clean air of the mountains, the angry rugged horizon, the rippling sand dunes, and the crystalline lakes. I remember the people, bravely scraping a living out of a thin layer of brown dust fallen on solid rock. I remember their smiling smudged faces as they moved intently through the monasteries and temples, whispering and chanting declarations of loyalty and love to Buddha.

You don't care about all this. You want Tibet for age-old reasons: for the landmass, for the mountains, for the natural resources that you can plunder. You want to be the biggest, and like a bully in the playground, you resort to force when you know your foe has none.

Thousands of ethnic Han Chinese have moved into Tibet since 1951, displacing native Tibetans in cities like Lhasa and Shigatse. For all of the claims that China has made that they are bringing Tibet into modern society and bringing wealth to the region, Tibet remains China's poorest province, with the ethnic Tibetans in rural areas suffering most of all. The new railway that brings tourists and soldiers to Lhasa and drops them at the station conveniently close to gold and copper mines; certainly the ores from these mines will be carried away from the agricultural regions being destroyed in the process, with none of the profits returning to Tibet. All Tibetans want is to be Tibetans. They want their rightful leader, The Dalai Lama, back in his rightful home in the Potala Palace in Lhasa, in the country he has not set foot in for most of his life. I can't say I'm an expert on Tibet or China, but I know enough to be ashamed of my roots when it comes to Tibet, Darfur, or China's history when it comes to human rights.

Stop with the threats, the oppression, the beatings, the bloodshed. Stop with the bullying and leave them alone.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should't feel any more ashamed than the rest of us, that this is happening in our world. Thankfully, the Tibetans around the world are seizing the right moment to publicize their plight in Tibet. We are all hearing about this problem from different voices but I agree with your comment about the 'Bully' Take care..Nancy