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Friday, June 6, 2008

Bird Lessons

I have been thinking to write something on the pro-independence demonstrations that happened recently in our homeland Tibet. The demonstrations, which later turned to what the media called "riots", as expected and feared, were brutally suppressed by the Chinese regime without even an iota of hesitation and doubt. But before I decided to pick up my pen and write on this, my conscience admonishes me to write something that is not just an outpour of emotions and anger against the Chinese, not just an outright condemnation (which the whole world except the Chinese side seems to be doing) but rather something that can be of little help to further advance the just and legitimate cause of Tibetan freedom.

I believe one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that even a mild criticism, leave alone peaceful and non-violent independence demonstrations like chanting "Tibet is independent", "long live the Dalai Lama", against the Chinese regime will subject one to rigorous imprisonment and, worse, violent deaths from the whole apparatus of the PLA machinery. Still Tibetans in Tibet, knowing full well the grave consequences of their actions, rose up against the Chinese and sacrificed their lives so that the spirit of Tibet remains alive and our children live in peace, freedom and dignity.

Tibetans living in free countries have done a lot to show their solidarity by organizing all kinds of non-violent protests to highlight the attention of the world community to the killing mines in Tibet. However, the question that remains to be asked among ourselves is this: have we, as Tibetans living in free countries, done enough for our brothers and sisters back in Tibet? Can we Tibetans, who came into exile with the solemn pledge that we will work for Tibet's freedom, do more than what we are doing right now?

I have no doubt that the majority of us Tibetans in exile will have a negative answer to these questions. Deep down in our hearts and minds, whether we accept it or not, we know that we have not done enough for our cause. We know that we should do more, and wish to do more, but we seem to be, to quote His Holiness, helpless. In other words, our concern for Tibet remains just within the confines of our minds only!

Speaking from the context of a nation, Tibetans killed by the Chinese in recent protests were our brothers and sisters, members of a same family, sharing a same language, religion and culture, called Bhod. What should be our response when our own family members, be it our age-old parents or just a new born baby, is attacked by a rabies-infested dog? Should we counsel patience and compassion or should we strike the beast down without any show of mercy? I got my answer when I was watching a program on discovery channel last night. It was about what the biologists call defensive mechanism that is inherent in every species when they are preyed upon by powerful predators.

The program showed a bird guarding her chickens in the nest. A serpent suddenly pops up from nowhere to gobble up the little chicks. The mother, the bird, without any second thoughts about the venous snake, strikes back at the merciless predator!

Tenzin Nyinjey

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