Friday, March 21, 2008

Nancy Pelosi Listens to Tibetans

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S House of Representatives, is demanding an independent investigation into China's deadly crackdown in Tibet.

It is important that China's largest trading partners speak out loud and clear about the human rights violations committed by this year's host of The Olympics. Some weak leaders seem to be inclined to only whisper their regrets behind the scenes.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi at Inauguration 28171

I have seen scant footage and many still images purported to be taken in and around Lhasa these past few weeks. All indications are that a Burma-type insurrection of Buddhist monks and citizens is taking place. The Chinese military opened fire and approximately 100 monks and other protesters were killed. Of course China is prohibiting all western news organizations from traveling to Lhasa. That action alone can only mean the Chinese government is doing something they do now want western people to know about.

Accusations by the Chinese against the Dalai Lama seem almost absurd. The largest army in the world feels threatened by a spiritual leader in-exile? Chinese words reveal how much power they perceive the Dalai Lama to possess. Quite interesting indeed!

This is a huge issue for China because they were planning to showcase Tibet using an Olympic torch-carrying ceremony. Now portions of Lhasa have become a giant torch, for the cause of Tibetan freedom.

To keep all this in perspective, however, the U.S. government arrested hundreds of protesters this week at events aimed at stopping the carnage in Iraq. There was little serious press coverage of the events. People in the U.S. are supposed to have the right to assemble peacefully and seek redress but the Bush Administration nows puts a stop to all unwanted demonstrations near the President. We now have a policy of that includes torture and unlimited detention with no hope of trial by jury.

China's leaders have some incredible counter-arguments to use when Mr. Bush does care to pick up phone and give them a call.

Note: There is a "tourist video" circulating that shows apparent looters taking advantage of the situation to break into a few vendor's stalls. These young men seem barely able to accomplish that task in the poor-quality video. In all likelihood this video is Chinese propaganda. It does not reflect the actual protests taking place. After all, China has the largest state-run propaganda machine, far, far larger than U.S. organizations such as Voice of America. The government in Beijing has severely restricted Chinese citizens abilities to view coverage of events in Tibet.

If you want to see quite a few good photos of the protests in Tibet go to the world's photo album, Flickr and search for Tibet. Click Most recent to sort the photos by date. You can use these photos to see for yourself what is actually taking place in Lhasa and surrounding communities.


Washington Post article
The Olympics
BBC article

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