Thinking of Burma

It was somewhere in an article by George Orwell that I came across the phrase “the solipsism of the sick man”, i.e. the inability of people mired in depression, disease or suffering to see beyond their own condition.

A Letter from Lhasa

Yesterday it was quite hot outside and the soldiers guarding one of the petrol stations had a big umbrella to protect them from the intense sunlight. Today it’s the opposite: cold, cloudy and even light snowfall as storm-fronts hover over the mountains and sometimes close in on the valley. Like the weather here in Lhasa the rules are quickly changing too.

Negotiation Nightmare

“Whenever the Tibetan issue has received any substantial attention in the world, be it with the demonstrations (1987-90) in Lhasa or the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Dalai Lama, the Chinese have nearly always succeeded in side-tracking international concern by making titillating press announcements soon after the event, declaring their willingness to sit down and talk with the Dalai Lama or his representatives.”

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Blogger

(REVISED & UPDATED)
Woeser’s TIBET UPDATES provide invaluable detailed information on all that has happened and is happening in Tibet now. Her writing provides a stark immediacy to events and brings them up-close and personal as no report by foreign journalists or “experts” can, not even the scribblings of exile writers like myself.

Nurturing the Embers of Rangzen

People inside Tibet had, in unimaginably lonely and secretive ways, faithfully nurtured the embers of Rangzen for all these many years. In spite of decades of propaganda, “political re-education”, surveillance by informers, spies, and agents, and (once in a while) brutal interrogation by trained and experienced torturers, they had managed to hide and protect this faith in the deepest recesses of their hearts.

Was It Violence?

It was unfortunate that when the protests started in Lhasa last month His Holiness made a statement threatening to resign because of “violence committed by Tibetans in his homeland” (AP). I don’t want to subject His Holiness’s use of the word “violence” to any kind of semantic scrutiny, in the manner of William Safire in the New York Times Magazine, but …

Grab that Torch!

Last Monday morning as I was packing my toilet stuff for a trip to San Francisco, my older daughter, Namkha Lhamo, rushed into the bathroom. She had seen the anti-torch rallies in London and Paris on TV, and was clearly excited. “Pala, Pala, are you going to steal that Olympic torch” she demanded.

Thanks for the Support

Glad all of you find what I write interesting. Let me know if there are topics you might think would be important to tackle. I will try and write at least two blogs a week. I still find it impossible to just post something quick and short. But I guess in time it will happen.