Uprisings In Tibet

In light of recent events, I am jumping ahead for a moment…

Saturday, March 15, 2008 @ 3:15pm

I’m sitting on a deck, watching the rain, the sound of electric saws buzzing below at Sim’s Cozy Guest House break the silence.

Earlier in the afternoon, upon checking my e-mail, I read a disturbing message from The International Campaign for Tibet. The Tibetan uprising which began at the start of the week as peaceful protests by Buddhist monks had become a full-fledged riot. The protests for religious freedom coincided with the 46th anniversary of a large-scale uprising against the Chinese occupation in Tibet in 1959.

Foreign tourists reported streets filled with police and military vehicles, Tibetans burning Chinese shops, and people losing their lives.

I opened up The Lonely Planet’s Thorntree forum to find a message that as of March 14, all Tibet Tourist Permits were revoked. I was due to get mine March 17, the day before my much-anticipated 48-hour train ride from Chengdu to Lhasa was set to begin. To top it all off, I had just paid for my exit fight to Kathmandu.

As much as I’ve wanted to take the train and visit Tibet, being there in the midst of riots and a military crackdown would be far from ideal. At best, my freedom to move around Lhasa and apply for access to surrounding areas would be dramatically affected. At worst, my safety could be threatened. If there is one underlying concept I’ve taken away from Buddhism over the past 6 years, it is that attachment causes suffering.

So I am going to try my best to gracefully let go of my intended plans. I will hopefully receive partial refunds on my transportation, and figure out how to spend the next two weeks before flying to Nepal.

My mood = melancholy

_______________________

Please keep the Tibetan movement for freedom in your mind during this time, as well as those on both sides of the issue being harmed as a result of the violence.

Further Reading:

Lonely Planet Tibet Forum

Tibetan Uprising – new blog dedicated to situation

Daily Telegraph (UK paper)

CNN International

International Campaign for Tibet – a good organization to support

China Tibet Train – I was just 3 days away. :(

Comments

  1. dan says

    It’s sad to hear you can’t go now, This may effect my own plans if it continues or flares up again later. But travel plans are one thing the situation the Tibetans are in is another. I hope the best for them, I fear though that China will only use this to tighten their grip. With the Olympics at least this will be on the world stage, however looking at the most popular news website in Australia the headline story is about “overdressed” people being refused entry to night clubs, I guess that why it is “popular”. Thank Buddha for the BBC.

    • says

      Hey Dan –

      Were you planning to go to Tibet too? The Lonely Planet Thorntree forum on Tibet has great info. I’m sure some stuff is rumor, but I’ve been using it daily for help organizing my trip there, and now to keep up with current events.

  2. dan says

    It’s sad to hear you can’t go now, This may effect my own plans if it continues or flares up again later. But travel plans are one thing the situation the Tibetans are in is another. I hope the best for them, I fear though that China will only use this to tighten their grip. With the Olympics at least this will be on the world stage, however looking at the most popular news website in Australia the headline story is about “overdressed” people being refused entry to night clubs, I guess that why it is “popular”. Thank Buddha for the BBC.

    • says

      Hey Dan –

      Were you planning to go to Tibet too? The Lonely Planet Thorntree forum on Tibet has great info. I’m sure some stuff is rumor, but I’ve been using it daily for help organizing my trip there, and now to keep up with current events.

  3. Bryant Knight says

    Well, you know, Dave, you could always strike up that Ernest Hemingway spirit, go to Tibet, and start or join an armed guerilla group. :wink:

    As Hemingway writes at the end of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”: “If we win here we will win everywhere. The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.” One of my favorite quotes.

    • Bryant Knight says

      Just to clarify: I was being sarcastic about that, obviously. Wouldn’t want you stuck in Tibet. I like reading your travel posts too much! Still got the rest of the world to travel through.

  4. Bryant Knight says

    Well, you know, Dave, you could always strike up that Ernest Hemingway spirit, go to Tibet, and start or join an armed guerilla group. :wink:

    As Hemingway writes at the end of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”: “If we win here we will win everywhere. The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.” One of my favorite quotes.

    • Bryant Knight says

      Just to clarify: I was being sarcastic about that, obviously. Wouldn’t want you stuck in Tibet. I like reading your travel posts too much! Still got the rest of the world to travel through.

  5. laane says

    Hi!

    I was blogexplosioned to your blog.

    I’m sorry to read this.

    Hopefully you’re able to go a later date…

  6. laane says

    Hi!

    I was blogexplosioned to your blog.

    I’m sorry to read this.

    Hopefully you’re able to go a later date…

  7. Ames says

    Wow…. besides just reading your blog for pure entertainment, I’m learning a lot. :idea: I must admit, although embarrasingly so, that I was clueless about the Tibet situation. Now that I’ve been reading about it for the past hour, it’s really sad! I’m so glad (most days) to live where I do. Thanks for catching us up on this and hope your travels are always safe, even if the order doesn’t go quite like you expect. Keep your teaching Dave because I am a willing student!!!

  8. Ames says

    Wow…. besides just reading your blog for pure entertainment, I’m learning a lot. :idea: I must admit, although embarrasingly so, that I was clueless about the Tibet situation. Now that I’ve been reading about it for the past hour, it’s really sad! I’m so glad (most days) to live where I do. Thanks for catching us up on this and hope your travels are always safe, even if the order doesn’t go quite like you expect. Keep your teaching Dave because I am a willing student!!!

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