Saturday, March 28, 2009

In Memoriam

Return to Snow

Snowflakes pull their punches landing
On my face much as cats do, with
Stockinged feet and kind concern.

I keep close watch on my dreams
Allowing only two to grow in free-flow.
When circumstances threaten I

Self-abort the first dream-
Safely keeping just the second-
The second dream of return.

Must I accept my sentence,
This slow sentience, this
Awful partial awakening?

Must I always say grace
Before drinking from
The cup of sorrow?

The Death of Tashi Sangpo

Last weekend I heard and then learned about the death of Tashi Sangpo, a monk from Ragya Monastery in Amdo who drowned himself in the Machu river after escaping from his police captors who were interrogating him about his role in hoisting up the Tibetan national flag on the rooftop of Ragya Monastery. I differentiate between hearing and learning because when I first heard about it, it was the standard tragic story that you hear coming out of Tibet every so often. Someone's given 14 years in jail or beaten and tortured to death and you think akha and azi and then you get over it and think about something else. I thought akha and azi and then I got over it and thought about something else.

But of course his story didn't go away. Later Tendor showed me his photo. He's a 28 year old monk and he looks like a nice young man, the kind of shy, easily-embarrassed monk you have seen everywhere. What happened was this: The Tibetan national flag had been hoisted atop the monastery and the police (the PSB of course) was there to piss and shit on all the Tibetans. Tashi Sangpo claimed that he put up the flag all by himself, no one else was involved, and then he ran from the police and jumped into the Machu. We call it suicide, but is that right? He was driven to this final desperate act -by his own courage and heroism in taking all the blame and by fear and terror of the Chinese government and its scumbag agents. Tashi Sangpo drowned himself, but his death is yet another Tibetan murder committed by the Chinese Communist Colonial Government.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Earth Ox: Another Year of the Iron Fist

Another Year of the Iron Fist. That's the title of a Leader on Tibet in the Economist.
The Subtitle: If this is success, maybe China should look for an alternative.

"As Tibetans around the world this week marked the advent of the new year of the Earth Ox, many did so in a spirit of mourning rather than jubilation. The festival fell just before a bloodstained anniversary season: 50 years since the Chinese suppression of an uprising that saw the Dalai Lama, their spiritual leader, flee into exile in India with some 100,000 followers; 20 years since protests that led to the imposition of martial law in the capital, Lhasa; one year since ugly and murderous anti-Chinese riots in Lhasa that brought a sharp and lasting security backlash. The fact that so many troops are still needed, merely to prevent commemorative protests, suggests that China's Tibet policy is in need of an overhaul."*

I am thankful to the Economist for covering this, and I basically have a media crush on the Economist anyway. But I have a question. This paragraph begins so well, so strongly and knowledgeably and sympathetically, but, but, but, why is the last line of this para so ridiculously wimpy?

"China's Tibet policy is in need of an overhaul"?
Isn't that a little bit like saying the American economy needs a teeny tiny injection of cash?

*Economist, Feb28-March6, 09 (page15).