Saturday, June 21, 2008

Olympic Flame of Shame in Lhasa

Sitting here, looking at the lashing rain outside, on this midsummer solstice - the longest day of the year - I am mindful of Tibet.

While we are grumbling about the miserable weather ruining our summer celebration of life and liberty, the Olympic torch has been paraded triumphantly around Tibet's capital, Lhasa.

Simultaneously, the occupying Chinese have passed sentence on many of those arrested for protesting around Tibet last March.
Their 'crimes' and punishments were not announced. But my heart sinks when I dare imagine what is in store for them.

The whole tour of the torch in Tibet has been seriously cut short. However, the actual locations chosen to parade the torch have taken on an extremely symbolic and sinister meaning.

The route taken today, for example, went from Norbulinka [HH Dalai Lama's summer residence] to the Potala [HHDL's official residence and the seat of the Tibetan Government].
The torch-bearers were hand-picked Tibetans and the crowds were made up of Chinese immigrants and some locals.
The shameful symbolism of stamping all over this once sacred city and claiming the residences of the Dalai Lama shows clearly how the Chinese forces and rulers are now confident they can do whatever they want in Tibet and get away with it.

A second flame will arrive in Lhasa from the summit of Mount Everest. Presumably we are to infer that the Chinese have not only conquered Tibet but also the entire world!

The Tibetan people revere Everest as the Great Mother, the essence of compassion, of which HH Dalai Lama is the human incarnation.

So, by triumphing over Everest, the Chinese have literally shown they can walk all over the Dalai Lama and even have their photo taken while standing on his head!

Interesting isn't it? How far an occupying regime will go to put down any perceived opposition, however peaceful.

Despite being accused of plotting terrorism against the Chinese, HHDL's response has always been open and kind. While this may be irritating for the Chinese - and even some of the young Tibetans who wish to rebel - HHDL has clearly said Tibet nolonger expects to be independent of China, that the Tibetans should never consider violence as an option, and that the Beijing Olympics is a good idea... even the torch parade that goes along with it.

While it is 'raining on our parade' here in Dublin - whether Midsummer or Gay Pride - I say a little prayer for the Tibetan people and HH Dalai Lama.

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