Free Tibet: Recent violence heats up local movement

"The world should not accept what is happening," says Tseyang, president of the Tibetan Association in Charlottesville, in response to the violent suppression of recent protests in Tibet. Tseyang, who prefers that her surname not be printed for fear of repercussions to her family in Tibet, is extremely worried about her friends and family there. "I can't sleep, I can't eat, I've been crying for days," she says.

For the past three days, Tseyang has been protesting at the Chinese Embassy in DC. along with about 25 other Charlottesville-area Tibetans. She says more than 100 people from all across Virginia and Maryland have demonstrated at the embassy.

"All of us living here in Charlottesville," Tseyang says, "have family in Tibet." She has been unable to speak with any of her relatives because, as she explains, "the Chinese government has cut off all the phones in Tibet."

Just three days after Charlottesville commemorated Tibetan National Uprising Day on March 10– a decision that drew the ire of China– by flying the Tibetan flag over City Hall, demonstrations rippled across Tibet and the globe in some of the largest protests since the late 1980s.

Former city councilor Rob Schilling, who opposed the city decision, said that the recent events in Tibet have only strengthened his opposition. "Somebody on City Council should have thought of the possible ramifications before they marched forward with this proposal," he says.

Joe Montoya, of the Charlottesville-based Tashi Choeling Bhuddist Center, says that the center is planning to hold meetings to provide support for local Tibetans and enforce the sense of maintaining a commitment to help free Tibet. The center, he explains, wants "to promote good feelings to all people, including our local Chinese residents."

The Chinese ultimatum that demonstrators halt protests is due to expire tonight at midnight, and Tibetans and their supporters around the world nervously are waiting to see what will unfold.

"It's very sad," says the Reverend Don Lansky at Unity Church, concerned about the arrests of Buddhist monks. "These are religious people. The cornerstone of their religion is nonviolence and loving compassion. These are harmless, defenseless people. These are human rights violations. People of every faith should be concerned."

Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris, who supported the controversial City Council decision to fly the Tibetan flag at City Hall, said in a speech at the March 10 ceremony, "It is very important that we as a free people do not turn a blind eye to other people who are also searching for their own freedom and support their nonviolent resistance to oppression." Norris was unavailable for comment at press time as to whether the city of Charlottesville plans further demonstrations of solidarity with Tibet.

Tseyang has organized a film screening downtown tonight of the movie Kundun about the 1959 uprising. The screening takes place in the McIntire Room at the Central Library at 6pm.


you missed my point--that being, that what Charlottesville does does NOT make a difference in the sense that Janie is trying to make--China is not acting in Tibet because of what CHARLOTTESVILLE has done, or is doing, so it was NOT a huge mistake. And, Please, I agree--the US gov't SHOULD be doing what charlottesville is doing.

thank god Rob Schilling is NOT on council! --if he's going to argue against the city supporting our local Tibetan citizens in their cause, AND if he thinks that China should be appeased and mollified! sounds positively anti-American to me! Maybe he should go to China where a local government would never DARE do what the central gov't told them not to...

so, what is Rob's position on cities that pass anti-immigration ordinances? because, you know, that's the purview of the federal government, not localities. I hope if he's against Cville weighing in on matters of international import, that his views are consistent!

This is not an issue for the City to get involved in. It is out of their list of duties and it can hardly be considered fair. There are people who have accepted Tibet as part of China (A billion people in India to name a few) and while we do not like the oppression it is the will and rule of Chinese people. The real solution is the trojan horse method whereby through the use of the internet we slowly encroach china with info that will change the will of the people who will in turn demand reforms. I have no problems with solidarity but it wrong for our politicians to be sticking thier nose in instead of doing the business of the people.

All of this is heartbreaking to know of. My heart goes out to this woman.
The problem is, as I have said before, the protests in Charlottesville may have caused even more problems for the relatives in Tibet.
The Mayor-city council, have ventured too far into left field-in welcoming-facilitating protest. If I were Norris, I wouldn't want possible violence against these people "on my conscience".
The US won't-can't stop the Chinese government actions at this point in time.
My God, we've already exploited the Chinese people as we have farmed out our dirty work to them. Now we're caught in a bind,as we receive their exports.
Maybe Norris should volunteer to go to China and try to cut a deal. As a leader, he should wisely advise the Charlottesville Tibetans to steer clear of being so visable. It is just too dangerous.

Schilling is right on! We need a sensible voice such as his on council again. He is becoming more and more visible as he pulls in a large daily radio audience. Many agree with his take:Council made a huge mistake in their recent move.
Many are hopeful, Tibetan relatives of protesters, will not be persecuted as a result.

Dave, Cheney does not care one lick about Tibet or it's people. They do not have HIS oil

Long live the People's Republic of Charlottesville!! Council needs to manage the City's business, and that is it.

Anything to get your name in the paper, huh?

The words intelligence and council in the same sentence.

That's a laugh.

Tibet, the 'great game' and the CIA

By Richard M Bennett

Global Research, March 25, 2008
Asia Times

Given the historical context of the unrest in Tibet, there is reason to believe Beijing was caught on the hop with the recent demonstrations for the simple reason that their planning took place outside of Tibet and that the direction of the protesters is similarly in the hands of anti-Chinese organizers safely out of reach in Nepal and northern India.

Similarly, the funding and overall control of the unrest has also been linked to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and by inference to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) because of his close cooperation with US intelligence for over 50 years.

Indeed, with the CIA's deep involvement with the Free Tibet Movement and its funding of the suspiciously well-informed Radio Free Asia, it would seem somewhat unlikely that any revolt could have been planned or occurred without the prior knowledge, and even perhaps the agreement, of the National Clandestine Service (formerly known as the Directorate of Operations) at CIA headquarters in Langley.

"TOO MANY" people have expressed reservations about Norris'-council's recent actions and lack of "attention" to the other tasks at hand. Norris is ignoring-laughing-off real concerns here. This an unacceptable and unbelieveable stance, for any govt. body to assume.
There is a portion of "the citizenry"----being cast off-ignored.

Dave said>>>>Don't worry Cornelius, I have it on good authority (from Vice President Cheney's office) that the Charlottesville battalions will be greeted as liberators when we march into Beijing. Haha.

I pray each night Mayor Norris will not declare war on China.

I have my hands full right now paying my real estate taxes. I`m sure a war by Charlottesville against China will increase my taxes.

Please Mayor, lighten up, regardless of what intelligence Council has produced.

Don't worry Cornelius, I have it on good authority (from Vice President Cheney's office) that the Charlottesville battalions will be greeted as liberators when we march into Beijing. Haha.

Here is some insight on

The 1959 uprising

Knowing more about the 1959 ¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??uprising¢Ã¢â??¬ might help in understanding today's events in Tibet.

In 2002 a book titled ¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??The CIA's Secret War in Tibet¢Ã¢â??¬ was published by the University Press of Kansas. The two authors¢Ã¢â??¬”Kenneth Conboy of the Heritage Foundation and James Morrison, an Army veteran trainer for the CIA¢Ã¢â??¬”proudly detail how the CIA set up and ran Tibet's so-called resistance movement. The Dalai Lama himself was on the CIA payroll and approved the CIA's plans for the armed uprising.

The CIA put the Dalai Lama's brother, Gyalo Thodup, in charge of the bloody 1959 armed attack. A contra army was trained by the CIA in Colorado and then dropped by U.S. Air Force planes into Tibet.

The 1959 attack was a CIA planned and organized coup attempt, much like the later Bay of Pigs invasion of socialist Cuba. The purpose was to overthrow the existing Tibetan government and weaken the Chinese Revolution while tying the people of Tibet to U.S. imperialist interests. What does that say about today's March uprising, that's done in the same spirit?

Oh, right, Charlottesville flying the tibetan flag caused chinese police to become violent in tibet. Riiight. So, anytime there's a wrong being done in the world, be careful not to say or do anything, or things might be even worse! People should know when they have it good, and just keep their mouths shut.

The chinese government is going to do what it's going to do, regardless of what charlottesville does. Are you suggesting that city council had a greater effect on chinese actions than all those who have been protesting at the Chinese embassy in DC? Please!

By this theory, Charlottesville must be the cause of the chinese government shooting students in tiananmen square, too--because people in charlottesville were wearing Tshirts supporting students in Tiananmen square. I guess you think people should stop supporting the victims of violence in darfur, too?

I'm sure the charlottesville tibetans are savvy people who don't need Janie telling them to become less visible--how patronizing can you get? They can decide for themselves what risks to take, and whether or not they want to ask city council to support their cause.

The tibetans have finally decided they've had enough, and the chinese gov't is trying to quell them with violence. Charlottesville is showing the chinese that the eyes of the world are on them. Ultimately, that's the only way to make tyrannical governments stand down. Pretending nothing is happening sure don't work. but go on doing that, if you like.

Do you actually believe for an instant that China gives a rat's ass about what Charlottesville thinks? Do you think the Charlottesville City Council is going to cause a ripple in the fabric of the People's Republic of China? I mean, come on, you make good points then you say this: "Charlottesville is showing the chinese [sic] that the eyes of the world are upon them?" The US government (you know, the one actually charged with handling foreign affairs) looks the other way with China, has always looked the other way with China, and WILL ALWAYS look the other way with China - to do anything else would (especially now) be a commission of economic suicide. China has us by the proverbial balls - we make trouble, they invade Taiwan and call about 50 years worth of bluffing. Then the balance of power shifts inexorably toward the Far East. And you actually think that what happens in Charlottesville is going to make them budge?


The Dalai Lama¢Ã¢â??¬”what Richard Gere won't tell you

Coffee sippers who think it might be a good idea to free Tibet from China are about 58 years too late. China is not going to free Tibet, and Western encouragement of Tibetan resistance will only get people killed needlessly.

Tibet was part of China for centuries. In 1913, when China seemed to be falling apart, the British Empire encouraged Tibet to declare its independence. It did, and that lasted until 1950, when, at the end of the Chinese civil war, China invaded and reclaimed the area. By then, the impotent British Empire was in no position to help anyone even if it had been so inclined. America chose to do nothing.

If you are not willing to make your way to the Tibetan plateau and face Chinese guns and prisons, then you certainly should not sit around some coffee shop and urge Tibetans to do so. Tibet is a strategic area of China, and the Chinese government is not going to give it up or grant it independence or even autonomy. To paraphrase a famous outlaw, it is enough that we know that China will do what it has to do.

As for us, we should do nothing. Tibet is part of China, and what happens there is an internal affair of China. The rest of the world has no right to interfere, and other than bloviating for a while, I seriously doubt that it will. Unfortunately, in this age of global communications even bloviating can cause bad things to happen to people.

Boycotting the Olympics is a foolish idea by a tiny minority of fanatics. The Olympics have nothing to do with Tibet, just as they had nothing to do with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Boycotting the games would be a cruel blow to athletes who have been sweating and training for four years. It would accomplish nothing. It would further politicize the games, which should be encouraged to return to their amateur status.

China was awarded the Summer Games in a fair international competition and has spent a lot of money getting ready for them. Any attempt to spoil the games will do a great disservice to the athletes, the Chinese government and the Chinese people. It will do nothing positive and will only harden attitudes and end up making the world even more dangerous than it already is.

Americans in particular should keep in mind that we are currently engaged in mismanaging two occupations of two countries that we illegally invaded. Neither enterprise is going well. Neither is our economy. In short, we have enough on our own plate without trying to steal a bite off of China's plate. We should make sure that Afghanistan and Iran are the last wheezes of the sick American Empire and shut it down and return to our republic.

I don't know why some Americans seem to have trouble realizing that the days of the European empires are over. Part of the problem is that we have way too many vocational intellectuals and way too few real intellects. A vocational intellectual is someone who makes a living writing or talking. Such people tend to live inside their heads. Delusions of grandeur and fantasies about the real world are constant occupational hazards for such people.

No country in the world has to do what we tell it to do. Certainly that's the case with the big powers like China, Russia, Japan and India. As you can see every day in your morning paper, even a little country like Iraq can cause us more trouble than it's worth. It's a crime against humanity that our sons and daughters are dying in the desert dust while fat politicians cavort about in Washington. Don't encourage Tibetans to die in some futile fantasy about independence. They are not independent. They are part of China, and part of China they will stay.

I appreciate your thoughtful notes. As a Chinese in America, I appreciate the independent and righteous thoughts from many Americans, who has an open mind and a compassionate heart.
Would like to add a little detail on the historical fact you posted here.
In 1913, the old Qing Dynasty is falling apart, replacing it is the first Republic government, Republic of China. Tibet did claimed independent from Qing Dynasty, but what is rarely mentioned in any western media, more than a dozen other provinces like Yun Nan, Canton did that too, in the process of joining the new republic.
The British Empire interfered and encourage Tibet to remain independent without joining the Republic (keeping a slavery system). That lasted until 1950, a period that civil wars between warlords (including between Tibetans), between National Party and Communist Party, Japanese invasion, Western Countries occupation happened all over the country.

As to the influence to Chinese government, I want to make an analogy of this to a personal relationship. When people see your friend have some wrongdoing, the first thing you will do is to speak out. However, this only happens between real friends. When you are not in good relationship with someone, or at least he doesn't think so, your criticism won't be seen as a intention to help, but an undermining.
This is exactly what is the relationship between western developed country and China. In history, western countries all did wrong things to China. People living in western countries now might have already forgotten, or think that era has long gone, however the scars only remain on the wounded.
Chinese has actually a very different view toward American as you are the ally to Chinese in WWII, you helped Chinese so much to drive out the Japanese invaders. Unfortunately the cold war cut the friendship between Chinese and American people. Especially in the issue of Tibet, CIA's role and intentional PR effort have greatly impacted people's conception of the real picture. However, my hope is we can be friends again, American people can continuously help Chinese people to understand more on the value of human right, democracy, and many more, but in a sincere way, not in hypocrite criticism, in a friendly way, and not hostile way, in an equal way, not from a moral high horse.
After all, the world can only be better by more communication, more open-mind, more peace, and more friendship. This is also the Olympic all about. Please, welcome to BeiJing, see with your own eyes, listen with your own ears, welcome to criticize more, more welcome to constructive suggestions. Hope Tibet will also be open again for tourists as before.
Please bear with my English.