"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."
The reason I have delayed in the posting of this particular write-up... well, it isn't just a singular 'reason' per se. It's a multi-headed hydra of 'excuses' really and it had taken me the better part of the month lopping off and cauterizing each neck stump of the beast decisively. Chief of these pernicious hydra heads told me repeatedly that I simply don't know enough to speak with any authority on the subject, told me that I have not seen both sides of the arguments to make a moral choice of it and told and told and told me that however loud I shout here on my little soapbox, nobody would really give a shit. I don't want to mar my own credibility. I don't want to look like some clueless lunatic screaming at the top of his hoarse voice in favour of some populist propaganda. See? The heads just bloody keep growing.
I spent hours reading innumerable articles in order to be better equipped to speak but more importantly, I need to affirm to myself that the stance I've chosen to take on this issue is in perfect alignment with my own conscience. I don't think I am wrong in saying that a lot of Malaysian bloggers merely pick an issue and then pick a side which has the coolest people in it, and then proceed to parrot their adopted sentiments as if they have arrived at them by the strength of their own reasons (a birth defect in the democratic machinery of Malaysia, but that's another post).
Before I launch into my spiel on the debate I got on my hand here, there's just three more things I want to say.
Firstly, this post isn't about our beloved negara, or whatever social ills we all know about which still prevails (so if you want to bail out of reading, now's a good time).
Secondly, I want everyone to remember that my blog has always been nothing more than a glorified diary and notebook, and I am entitled to be as passionate and as biased as I please (I'm not a newspaper, though the impartiality of said medium in our country is a matter up for debate, really).
And thirdly, the Chinese are fucking bastards.
I have been aware of the Tibetan issue for quite awhile now, even before I visited the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala in the north of India. What got me informed about it was an episode of The Simpsons where they show the people of the Chinatown district in Springfield beating up Tibetans in Tibettown. I still remembered what Lisa said about that,
"I love Chinatown, but I wish they'd stop picking on Tibettown"
The know-it-all in me was immediately compelled to find anything available on the internet to read on the subject. After arming myself with a pedestrian knowledge of the Free Tibet movement, I filed the whole thing in this dinky little shelf at the back of my head for future reference. I am not a big fan of international politics and my interest in human rights is limited only to those which are mine.
But actually being there in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama and the thousands of Tibetan refugees which were forced to run away from their homeland because of the illegitimate military occupation of Tibet by China - which is heckuva lot of bullshit euphemism saying "China invaded Tibet unprovoked and killed 600,000 nice Tibetan people" - totally affected me in a way I did not expect it to. It begs the question of when China is going to start looking at other tiny countries around it and suddenly decide that they too belong to their big happy Communist family. Malaysia isn't that far off, both geographically and historically, by the way.
More fundamentally, it begs the question of the whereabouts of true justice, when all the countries in the world stood by and let it happen without actually doing anything substantial to fix it. It's like everyone's watching a playground bully beating a defenseless shrimp of a kid bloody, and all they are doing is fucking looking on disapprovingly at the act. Big fucking help.
My mind was made up when I saw a documentary in the Tibet Museum in Dharamsala which showed clips of Chinese soldiers beating unarmed, peaceful Buddhist monks into bloody pulps. Those were the most powerful images I have ever seen in my life. The world shouldn't suffer such horrifying injustices.
The crimes which the Chinese perpetrated on the poor Tibetan people are just too numerous to list here and if you truly give a damn, I'm sure it wouldn't be hard at all for anyone to poke around the web for it. They admitted to kidnapping and holding the Panchen Lama, the second highest spiritual leader of Tibet and the world's youngest political prisoner, and installed a propagandist puppet in his place. They opened fire right into a demonstration consisting of monks and nuns which supported the Dalai Lama. They captured innocent Tibetans for keeping pictures of the Dalai Lama, tried them for treason and imprisoned them without evidence. They demolished countless temples, some centuries old in an effort to oust the spiritual heart of the Tibetan people. They are practically performing a cultural genocide of Tibetan heritage, destroying their freedom to religion, to speak and to a life that all human beings deserve.
I won't elaborate on all that, but just let me draw your attention to just one more facet of this big ugly reality which disturbed me immensely - the crass destruction of the natural beauty of Tibet which is like no other in the world by the People's Fucking Republic of Fucking China.
The environment in Tibet is a fragile thing which flourished over the slow millions of years in the Tibetan Plateau and considering the altitude and dryness of the land, the insult to its balance can cripple it for good. Major rivers which originate from Tibet feed into South Asia, affecting the millions of lives which depend on them as a water source. The Tibetan Plateau also influences atmospheric circulation and jet stream wind patterns over Asia and, according to scientists, may be related to the destabilisation of weather patterns over the northern hemisphere. And what are the pig-headed, under-educated, money-pinching Chinese industrialists pricks doing about all this? They continue rape-mining and deforesting these virgin lands at an unprecedented rate.
To top it off, they are dumping an indeterminate quantity of nuclear waste into the Plateau everyday and even had the nuts to admit it! Tibetans are dying of radiation poisoning due to contaminated ground water and reports of birth defects in both newborn children and animals come out of the region in a constant stream of woe. Taking this along with everything else the Chinese did, it's hard not to imagine just how wretched a people the Tibetans are.
And through it all, the Dalai Lama continuously and consistently insisted on a peaceful opposition of China's regime. He isn't a Nobel Peace Prize laureate for nothing, I can tell you. I am not privy to how the OIC functions and I don't know why they selected Beijing to be the host to the August 2008 Olympics. To me, this just mocks everything the Olympics stand for.
I am downright embarrassed of admitting to a common ancestry with these sort of scums of mankind. Don't get me wrong - I am a big fan Chinese history, art and language but the China today is a greed-empowered monstrosity with no regards to humanity or the earth. All it does is eat everything it sees and when it has consumed all there is within itself, it reaches out with its slimy appendages and grabs at things which don't rightfully belong to it. It is a primitive and disgusting creature, highly effective at obliterating everything which is not profitable to itself. It has neither conscience nor reason.
I took quite a bit of my time out to research and write about the Tibetan plight and I did it because I actually care about the human condition. I've met a lot of Tibetans in my travel and they all strike me as a really amiable and peaceable people, and what happened (and is happening) to them is just wrong. I sincerely felt that and I wanted to tell as many people as I can about it.
I want to tell you "This is wrong. This is what's wrong with the world right now."
And I sincerely hope you can listen.
A YouTube video of Chinese soldiers beating up peaceful monk protestors (the last part is truly heart-breaking).
The Students for a Free Tibet homepage which is a good place to get started on your reading (if you intend to do any, that is).
China admits to nuclear waste in Tibetan Plateau.
State of Tibet's environment.
P.S. If you believe in human rights, please help spread the word. Remember that we are first and foremost, a citizen of the world. "Washing one's hand of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral."
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