Friday, March 12, 2010

Tibetans in Ireland Protest on O'Connell Street, Dublin.

I spent Wednesday March 10th with a group of Tibetans who live in Ireland. They were protesting on Dublin's O'Connell Street in remembrance of the failed uprising in Tibet 51 years ago against the brutal Chinese occupation. That uprising led to many many people being murdered or tortured, and to many other Tibetans [including HH Dalai Lama] fleeing Tibet and becoming refugees in India.

You can read more about the Tibetan Community in Ireland here.

It struck me as particularly appropriate to bear witness to the Tibetan struggle on that particular street as we were just outside the General Post Office which was the setting for the Irish rebellion of 1916 which led to our eventual independence from Britain after 800 years of cruel occupation in which we Irish lost most of our identity, our language, religion and culture.

Almost every one of the Tibetans i met on Wednesday had a horrendous personal story of how they escaped Tibet by walking for weeks on end over the Himalayas into either Nepal or India, during which time many of their companions became seriously ill and died due to the unimaginably harsh conditions.

I was in Dharamsala, home of HH Dalai Lama, HH Karmapa, and many of the Tibetan community in exile, in March 2008 when another uprising and many protests took place both in Tibet itself and in India to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a later rebellion in Tibet.

It remains an international disgrace to think how conditions in Tibet are actually WORSE NOW than 52 years ago. I have blogged about this many times and cross-referenced my contemplations about this tragedy and my time in Dharmsala in the sidebar adjacent.

At that time in 2008 there was a Dutch film crew putting together a documentary in Tibet. And i have just come across it on youtube here