Dressed in an orange and red robe, a bald man with glasses who refers to himself as the Dalai Lama actively seeks worldwide support from politicians to alleviate the cultural genocide China imposes on Tibet. The San Francisco Chronicle had mentioned that His Holiness recently made a trip to France this past week, to meet with first lady Carla Bruni- Sarkozy, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, and Human rights Minister Rama Yade to inaugurate a Buddhist temple in the south of France and to discuss spiritual matters and the repression of China- such as military occupation the Tibet region- in hopes to gain further concern for Tibet.
His Holiness also met with Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, in Aspen, Colorado, July 25, 2008. McCain said, “it does no service to the Chinese government, and certainly no service to the people of China, for the United States and other democracies to pretend that the suppression of rights in China does not concern us. It does, will and must concern us.” Although the Dalai Lama did not endorse McCain, His Holiness sought his support in advocating autonomy for Tibet.
One World/ One Dream
In previous weeks, China has hosted the 2008 Olympics with the slogan “One World/ One Dream.” This seems to contradict itself as China has censored the right to protest on the matter of a Free Tibet. According to the Press Association, two protesters were deported back to Britain after waving a banner outside the Olympic Stadium that said, “Tibet will be free.” They were part of a lobbyist group, Students for a Free Tibet.
In addition, China has gone lengths to block its customers from downloading songs on Apple’s iTunes. The Associated Press reports the release of an album by the Art of Peace Foundation, has been blocked by Chinese authorities. The album, “Songs for Tibet” has been unavailable in China. Michael Whol, the executive director of the Art of Peace Foundation, which is based in New York City, says they issued a release saying that more than 40
Olympic athletes downloaded the album in an act of solidarity, and that’s what triggered the action by the Chinese. Then, he says, everything got blocked. Apple acknowledges that customers were having trouble accessing the album. It featured music by Sting, Alanis Morissette, Garbage, and others and it included a 15-minute talk by the Dalai Lama.
Chinese President Hu Jintao accusing the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet
Chinese President Hu Jintao and other government officials accused the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet and of fomenting unrest to sabotage the Olympic games. The Associated Press states that in March 2008, violent protests broke out in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa insisting that
they were an independent nation before Communist troops invaded in 1950, while Beijing proclaims the Himalayan region has been part of China for centuries. His Holiness the 14th the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso says he only wants greater autonomy for the Himalayan region to protect its Buddhist culture.
With the conclusion of the Olympics, China sought out to be economically wealthy. Winning with 51 gold medals in comparison to the United States 36 gold, China profited greatly with its 40 million dollars Olympic investment. It proved successful in becoming a modern nation with even president Hu Jintao wearing a formal black suit to the Olympic opening ceremony. China made its residents proud to be at media’s attention while at the same time belittling its free speech. Beggars were pushed out of Beijing and did not grant a protest permit.