Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Democracy is Precious



Those of us who live in free societies can hardly imagine that doing something as simple as shouting "Free Tibet" could lead to imprisonment, rape, torture, and even death. Yet this is precisely what has happened and still happens to Tibetan monks, nuns, and civilians in Tibet whenever they even attempt to speak up against the Chinese occupation of their country. Yesterday was the anniversary of the uprising of the Tibetan people against the Chinese invasion of 1949. All over the world - wherever they were allowed, that is - exiled Tibetan communities reminded people of what their country has suffered and continues to suffer. In Ireland, we stood out in the usual pouring rain on O'Connell Street before the historic GPO (General Post Office) in Dublin. As always, the Irish public expressed their support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama by beeping horns and letting out cheers on their way to work. You know, I never thought I would live to see the day when there would be peace in Northern Ireland, when the countries of the Eastern Bloc would be free of the Soviet Union, when the Berlin Wall would come down, when a woman and/or a black man would be on her/his way to becoming President of the United States. But here I am, not even retired yet, and all these things have happened. This gives me hope that, before I die, I will see a free Tibet.

5 comments:

Hilly-wa! said...

Wow, that made me almost cry! Society really has come quite far when you think about it, but, at the same time, it's gottn pretty low. What with banning books that people feel are offensive, even if they haven't read them.

OR Melling said...

We may always be a mixed bag, I think, we humans ...

one-earthsdawn said...

I was lucky enough to hear the Dalai Lama give a talk at my local university, where his brother had been a professor. Situations like the one in Tibet can discourage my belief in innate human goodness (maybe that's just being a teenager), but yet I hope the Dalai Lama is right when he says that humans are naturally good in the end. After all there are Tibetans protesting for freedom even when they know it may cost them their lives.

OR Melling said...

I prefer to believe that humans are innately good also (and I am long past being a teenager).

Anonymous said...

I once heard a story about a Tibetan monk and a reporter who escaped the country together in a uranium truck. Its only more heartbreaking to think that many of the people being abused refuse to physically defend themselves. Nobility at its peak.