The latest round in China’s colonial rape of Tibet.
What’s to say? Online petition here if you feel inclined: I’ve signed it without illusions.
The Dalai Lama (bless him) has sensibly not called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics. The Chinese authorities will try to avoid nasty headlines during the Games, but that effect will be temporary. What can the athletes and the foreign spectators do in Beijing? Not keep mum, a line the British Olympic Committee shamefully tried to force on British athletes. But isolated protests from the podium will never reach Chinese TV screens. You need some simple, and in themselves unobjectionable, symbols to be used en masse in the streets and subways of the city. We need better ideas.
The upturned begging bowl of the Burmese monks was a powerful gesture, and can be made with two outstretched hands: but it only works in a Buddhist society, and as an insult – you are not fit to give me alms – you can only use it to policemen and other representatives of State power.
Wearing this would get you thrown out:
西藏独立 : Free Tibet.
Less risky ideas: wearing a name badge in Tibetan characters – Tibetans could offer the transliteration as an online service; a pin with the flag ot Tibet, or a blue-and-red scarf. Here’s the flag:
As a thought experiment in alternative history, would Tibet’s fate in the twentieth century have been happier if its leaders had accepted falling into the British imperial sphere of influence in 1904 at the time of the Younghusband expedition? Since the object of the venture was to forestall Russian expansionism, the Raj didn’t mind the reinforcement of Chinese influence that was the actual net result. China was a weak power then. But this didn’t work out for the best.