Tuesday, March 25, 2008

free tibet

I am in dharamsala right now, where the dalai lama is living in exile. usually it's pretty shanti shanti here, but things have changed ever since the massacres in lhasa in mid-march. half of the tibetan shops were closed when I arrived, out of solidarity with the strikes in tibet. tibetans, even the monks, are painting their faces with pro-tibet slogans. everyone, including foreigners, is displaying a tibetan flag. there are at least 2 different hunger strikes going on. walls throughout the town are papered with news articles from around the world regarding the massacre, pictures of murdered monks, and painted signs expressing tibetan frustration. there are continuous marches throughout the day, and candlelight vigils and prayers at the temple complex at night.

as a western liberal, I've always known I should be pro-tibet, but I never actually felt what that meant until I got here. it is really sobering to see how little power and leverage these people have against a behemoth like china, and how no country will actually step up to defend these people if it means acting against their economic interests. for example, nancy pelosi and 9 senators came to dharamsala to meet with the dalai lama, and there are still signs up saying "thank you, united states, for supporting the tibetan cause." that makes me want to cry.

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