Chinese urge O’Connell to rein in Council

A copy of an email sent from the Chinese Embassy (below) to City Manager Gary O'Connell notes the "grave concerns" of the People's Republic of China over City Council's decision to fly the Tibetan flag over City Hall March 10 on Tibetan National Uprising Day.

Apparently, the Chinese Embassy doesn't realize that the City Council in a town often dubbed by detractors as the "People's Republic of Charlottesville" has a history of weighing in on international matters, such as apartheid in South Africa, and has denounced its own government's war in Iraq.

From: xin shen
Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 4:22 PM
To: FEEDBACK/CITYMANAGER
Subject: Grave concerns from Chinese Embassy
Dear Mr. O'Connell,
The Chinese Embassy learned with grave concerns that the City Council of Charlottesville voted on February 28 to allow the flying of the so-called "flag of Tibet" for "Tibetan National Uprising Day". As you know, the fact that Tibet is an unalienable part of China has been recognized by all countries in the world, including the government of the United States. The incident happened on March 10, 1959, is just a riot provoked by a small handful of splittists who conspired to
separate Tibet from China. These separatist by no means represent the majority of the Tibetan people, who strongly support the unity of China.. The action taken by the City Council not only interfere in China's internal affairs, but also departs from the established policy of the US government against the Tibetan independence. I urge you to talk with all city council members as soon as possible, and change this wrong decision.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,
Xin Shen
First Secretary
Embassy of People's Republic of China

160 comments

It saddens me to see that no one here has spent a word on thinking about actual Tibetan people: what it might be like to grow up subjugated to a people who took away your country and your dignity, to send your children to schools where they're taught to sing the anthem and worship the flag of the army that killed your fathers and raped your mothers, to live in fear that you can't express your feelings for worry that anyone, even a Tibetan, might be a government informant. (The pay is very high!) I spent all last summer in Tibet, and despite all this, Tibetans are an amazingly strong and brave people. I lost track of the number of times people I met there risked everything to tell me, a foreigner they had no way of knowing or trusting, their feelings over being occupied by China.

The occupation of one country by another is never that country's "internal affair", whether it's America in Iraq, Germany in Poland, Japan in China, or China in Tibet. Saying that Charlottesville should "mind its own business" over Tibet is like saying that white civil rights supporters should have "minded their own business" during the Civil Rights Movement because "it's a black issue". We must strive to a higher level of humanity where our neighbors' problems are our own problems as well. Thanks to the work of several great organizations here, Charlottesville is a home to many refugees from all over the world, a number of them Tibetan. They are our neighbors.

As MLK wrote from Burmingham jail, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." China is a rising empire, one which manipulates foreign governments and scholars to push its agenda, blocks efforts to end the genocide in Darfur, rewrites history to stake claim to the many foreign nations it has incorporated into its territory, and has no qualms about killing its own citizens when they exercise their rights to free speech. As much as it's for Tibet's sake, our duty to stand up for Tibet is also in our own self-interest, a duty to learn the nature of the dragon through what it's done to Tibet, and ensure that China does not dominate the world (including us!) while still adhering to such abhorrent values. Decolonization of Tibet would be a huge first step to transforming China into a respectable world citizen .

I see a lot of these comments constellating around issues of power and accountability, whether in the context of China and Tibet or City Council and the people of Cville. I think we'd all recognize the important difference is that we can express our feelings to the council and that in some way they'll respond and be accountable. Tibetans can not do this in Chinese occupied Tibet without the threat of severe punishment. In part they rely on others making noise on their behalf. The US government did so last fall when they awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor to the Dalai Lama. The Charlottesville City Council is doing so now. This ALWAYS makes a difference. The Chinese are steadfastly trying to make the world forget their occupation of Tibet is an issue and in many ways their response to Charlottesville raising the flag is another instance of trying to control what people think. This is just as condescending and insulting in America as it is when it happens in mainland China and Tibet every day of the year. It is not surprising is that Xin Shen continues to try to do so in his message to the council and it is hard not to read this as reflecting China's deep sense insecurity as to legitimacy of their control over Tibet. In this respect, the effort has been a partial success already; the local Tibetan community has attracted the attention of the Chinese and in doing so has done what none of their friends and relatives still living in Tibet are able to do.

if you want to see the boy then u might not be happy because he might not go, he has school. and as for you Janie i am not sure that u know what you are talking about.

I hope Council uses "compassionate and humane bloodshed" in its next resolution. Janie, I'm beginning to wonder if Felker are one and the same. They both have pattern in their posts of passive (It's a far, far, better...) and aggressive (If you don't agree with us there is something wrong with you) mental states.

Janie, sorry, I meant Felker and Embarrassed.

:)

Rich, How does the Dalai Lama-HIS HOLLINESS feel or how do the Tibetan people feel about their reps using "name calling" tactics? I'm speaking of calling others whack jobs, trolls,dolts, etc.
Now I really don't know all the answers here, but I'm sure you do.
Please enlighten us here. several want to know about all of this.

In no way are conducting City business and expressing solidarity with a cause mutually exclusive or even interfering with one another. Much like a parent has responsibilities both to raise their child and to be part of society (work/civic duty/etc.), elected officials at all levels of government have both "business" and "ethical duty" to accomplish. Just a few minutes of Council's time have brought so much awareness and focus to the Tibetan issue.

In the past Charlottesville has been a great leader in bringing international issues of grave importance to the local arena: Iraq, South Africa, and so on. But I'm happy to say that Charlottesville is NOT the first to fly the Tibetan national flag. Countless city and town halls all over Europe have done the same in years past, and many make it a yearly observation. In the States, Berkeley, CA and Madison, WI have raised the flag already, and this year due in part to inspiration from Charlottesville, Boston, MA is joining them (see http://www.bostontibet.org for details). I think it's quite an honor to Charlottesville to be able to say that we inspired a city like Boston!

Charlottesville strives to be a great home to all of its citizens, and as one of those citizens, I'm quite satisfied and proud to see that Council has been able to make such an impact on such a noble cause.

Or maybe their citizens did not ask them to, which if they did would then place such activity under the rubric of 'work they were elected to do.'

I will add, WHAT IS WRONG WITH the choice of Buddhism? You seem to be defensive.

?? were will u add it?

Jamie, I think I see where you're coming from.. You seem to think this is about religion. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Tibetan is a nationality, not a religion, despite what BBC or the Chinese government would have you believe.

The issue of the illegal invasion, occupation, and colonization of Tibet is not a private matter to be discussed within walls. Would you say that African Americans during the civil rights movement should have rented private buildings to hold their rallies in? That they should not have petitioned political leaders to stand by them? For goodness sake, that's how democracy works! The first amendment does not only guarantee free speech but the right to petition the government, and as such the government needs to be able to respond when the call is just.

No injustice is committed by flying the Tibetan flag; rather, doing so represents the highest level of justice. Our federal government has long wronged Tibet by recognizing Chinese rule, despite its illegality under international law. Charlottesville has made one small but very meaningful step to change this sad reality.

Go bounce a ball-or better still, read a book. I have lost any sympathy for you.

Rich, I have an idea.
Why don't you rent a building room somewhere in Charlottesville and decorate/hang up Tibetan flags, etc. Stand up and offer speeches, tell everyone of your knowledge and feelings of the Tibetan struggle, advertize/invite all who would like to come, etc. In our words, organize a private conference for all who choose to participate. Invite the newspaper, the Dalai Lama, etc. NO ONE would care where flags were hung.
It could be a kind of convention like the ones where Christians invite Billy Graham to speak. As far as I have heard, such Christian conventions are not promoted by city governments.

A TIBETAN FLAG IS NOT A SIGN OF BUDDHISM!!

gawa,we all know that.
Interesting to "read through the lines". calm down!
I would love to attend your private forum, if you can pull it all together.

ok u know im still in middle school n i dont know halfd of wat u juss said :)

yoo chill i got nothin against wat u think u can think wat u want.. n i dont think that baptisits r persecuted in tibet tibet is a budhist country but iam not budhist myself so all tibetans are not bbudhist. also budhist people believe in peace n love i dont think they would do anything bad to christian ppl. many tibetans also dont hate the chinese for what they have done they forgive them they dont belive much in anger although the chinese have tortuered and killed many tibetans.. so i dont think that they would do anything to baptists that havent done anything to them.

n also even though i have a good education i dont have country to call my own so no i dont have everything i want. n so wat i have n education i could get all that in tibet too. n YOUR country isnt juss flyin the tibetan flag so dont worry bout us "invading"

Let's please avoid personal attacks. I do not know the details of what's happening in Boston and it's not my intent to misrepresent things. I'll happily explain what I do know.

To my knowledge, Tibetans in Boston were inspired to seek the flag-raising at their City Hall based on Charlottesville's. I presently have no information on what city procedures were involved, but the photos on the Tibetan association website (http://www.bostontibet.org) show the Tibetan flag being raised on one of three official flagpoles by a man whose manner of dress makes him look like he has some official role with the city. I'd be very surprised if protesters managed to commandeer one of Boston's flag poles for their own use without city approval without raising a ruckus or even possible arrests.

If I get any more authoritative information on Boston I'll happily share it.

Cville-yes sir, thats the case for now. But one day things may change. people are seeing through too much lately

Janie, it's lovely how you come to rescue Tibetans from themselves. "Oooh the White People must be putting them up to it!" No, this campaign was started by a Tibetan woman living in Charlottesville. The flag being flown was provided by her, so "a voter" can stop worrying about taxpayer money.

I think it's time for a lot more sanity and a lot less jumping to uninformed conclusions.

Janie, Rich Felker loves putting words in others mouths. "I think it's time for a lot more sanity and a lot less jumping to uninformed conclusions." He's guilty of what he accuses others of. I think he jumped to conclusions about Boston since he never showed evidence of Boston's government getting involved (as he claimed) and that Charlottesville's Council's actions were the inspiration (as he claimed). As far as I could see on that website, the Tibetan organization was staging it's protest without help. His statements are certainly not bringing honor to our local Tibetans' mode of protest by being disingenuous.
I really don't know if people in the City are really capable of having their eyes opened. After all, they elected 3 councilors and 2 bureaucrats who were employees of the City Manager and are getting paid $14K/year each to be his promoters while protecting their fat retirement benefits.

Gawa responded to my comment. He wrote in, so why shouldn't one question him? If he needs to be protected, he his too young to be writing in to the blog. Who is supervising his use of the computer?
As far as fighter goes, i never libeled him in any manner. He has crossed the line in doing so with me. and the funny thing, he defends "his own" mental healthiness. that is wierd. He appears insecure/questionable to several who have read his piece.

Please to be bullied by the "grave concerns" of the Chinese (communist) government. Once we overtake you economically, politically, and militarily, it will be easier for all of us to believe the same thing. We will enlighten you that no such Tibetan history outside of the freedom of the PRC is evident!

Xie xie!

Why do you care what the Dalai Lama thinks about what other people are saying when you don't observe any such principle yourself? I'm pretty sure that it's a case of "Let he who hath not sinned cast the first stone." Is that bringing religion in appropriately? Or is it okay because it's biblical?

And let's not throw stones at adolescents...Gawa is real, it's purely paranoid to think that all these people are the same person just because they believe the same things. I think we should forgive the fact that he doesn't understand some of the big words that people were using, thus the comment about not understanding. It's not that he doesn't understand the issues. Why should you take away his voice by accusing him of speaking for another? Also, he has been more mature than most on this blog so far. You don't think your parents influenced your political views or your ideas of what your homeland should be like? Is is wrong to tell your children about their family and their history?

So maybe some people should spend less time attacking others because THEY are insecure and desperate and sad. Using your own words, Janie, even though you applied them to someone else.
Are you a mind-reader? No? Then you must be looking at yourself in that mirror you mentioned when you say such bitter and vituperative things...

Um, I think nobody's telling you what time to be there because nobody wants you to be there. That's their prerogative, too. Nobody wants your trivial accusations to hijack the importance of this issue and this event.

(Bodgyallo!)

Yes, Cville, I think you're right. They appear to be one and the same to me too. "Child Gawa" also appears to be thrown in the mix. Why would anyone use a child's innocent voice to promote such a cause? Children do NOT ordinarily write such e-mails either, unless they are pushed to do so. The words as written, do not seem to be those of any child.
I also believe the city politicians should think way beyond a "city hall" rally. The Chinese didn't retaliate directly toward Charlottesville, but are the politicians fueling a dangerous fire? As I hear the news, recent rallys are making the situation a life and death struggle for those in Tibet.

Please stop this sick harassment. Every person who has posted here with a real name is a real person willing to put their name on what they believe in rather than hiding behind anonymity while verbally abusing people on the internet. If you cared to do research you could confirm that.

I do not, have not, and never will post on online forums under multiple names to mislead people and I hope none of you are doing the same. If you stand by what you say, put your name on it. It's that simple. There is one Tibetan person, "Peaceful Freedom Fighter", who did not sign his name for good reason, but those of you posting hatred here over and over have absolutely no excuse. Shame on you for demeaning the people who are fighting for the future of a country in a time of such crisis.

Rich, People have a right to express what they perceive or how they feel. Sorry, Some of the posts on your side "seem" unbelieveable and contrived. What do you mean by saying that anyone is showing hatrid toward Tibetan people? You should be ashamed. We don't agree with the method of politics here or the use of city time on this issue. That doesn't point to the Tibetan people as a race.
And according to what i read hear, you don't appear to "love" Chinese folks. You seem to idolize Tibetans and you seem to put all blame on the Chinese. Could there be an element of "two sides" to every story you are missing here?
With your comeback, you react as a spoiled child.

Right now Tibet needs our eyes and our attention more than ever. The past two days have seen a string of protests in Lhasa involving nearly 1000 people:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article3538028.ece
http://www.rfa.org/english/news/2008/03/12/tibet_march/

In halting the march of 500-600 people on the second day of protest, the Chinese troops used teargas, quite a change from the live bullets and summary executions 20 years ago. What this shows is not any benevolence, only an awareness that the world is watching them and that any misstep could have huge political and economic repercussions. Those arrested still face grave threat of torture behind closed doors, and as of now Lhasa's two largest monastaries have been sealed off, making them effectively prisons themselves.

As such, it's our responsibility as human beings living in a place where we can exercise free speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of press, to watch Tibet, inform others of the situation as it unfolds, and mobilize ourselves in solidarity. China's crimes against Tibetans' free expression are crimes against the very spirit of freedom we claim to hold so dear but which, so often, we honor in name only.

ONE WORLD. ONE DREAM. FREE TIBET 2008!

Gawa-Carry the Tibetan flag in the rally, and be proud of it. America has given you a home. Charlottesville is in America. Expect your new county to fly its own American flag.
And by the way, you have all the opportunity you need now, to receive a good education. Study hard in school and move forward to provide for yourself and family in the best way. You have A LOT to be thankful for. Take advantage of it.

The accusation that "liberals affected heartache on the Tibetan population" is false and offensive. No "liberals" were involved except in the capacity of doing what Tibetans requested of them. The Chinese and whoever tore down the flag (possibly the same?) are the ones inflicting heartache, but no matter how great that heartache is, it's tiny compared to what's felt in Tibet.

These days, China's efforts at controlling Tibet are greater than they've been in more than a decade. Near Lhasa, monks who "walked out" of their monastary to protest "patriotic reeducation" campaigns forced on them there have been ordered to go back or face imprisonment. (What irony: an atheist government forcing people to attend a religious institution!) In Lithang (a county in eastern Tibet) last fall, China removed all Tibetans from government offices and replaced them with Chinese after deploying hundreds of armed soldiers against civilians to halt any threat of protest. And a number of Tibetans, including children, have recently been severely beaten in Rekong and Labrang, in Amdo (northeastern Tibet), for protesting Chinese rule and expressing support the the Dalai Lama.

Still, all of these happenings are also signs of hope and defiance remaining strong in Tibet. China will not be able to crush them while the whole word's eye is on Beijing this year. The Olympics, which they hoped would bring glory to China in the world eye, will only highlight China's shame and show them what a long way they have to go in order to achieve respect among nations. Tibet will be free. Not this year or the next, but the day is not so distant. Bhoegyallo!!

RISK! Even worse, they could stop buying our debt, godd and bad. We'd have to start paying for stuff when we buy it.

Well, Janie, proclamations and protests must be what get votes.

This is a HUGE issue.

Its not about China or Tibet anymore. The problem as we see it here is with city government. What a shame and an embarassment. deal with it

I wonder who reported all of this to China in the first place?

Rich, Thank you for all of the wonderful and educational information. I agree with you in many ways. I am sorry the US has sold its soul to China. I'm afraid our country will suffer for this in years to come.
My beef is with actions-city council (as a group)--as they continually use city govt. facilities/resources/time in the way they do. Many taxpayers believe it is inappropriate.
The Tibetan people have been given a new home in America. Nothing here prevents them from expressing their views as individuals. It almost seems insulting to the group, for city council/govt. to take on a role of "voicing" concerns for the Tibetans. They are strong people who are capable of defending their own rights and ideas in America. I am told they don't need/want the council to speak for them in this manner. It is demeaning.

Why not fly a flag depicting a telephone since on March 10,1876 Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful phone call...

or fly the California State flag in memory of the 120 lives lost during an earthquake in 1933...

Better yet, city council could just hand out tons of cash to commemmorate paper money first being issued March 10, 1862....

janie you are embaracing me.

:-))))

its just a flag and first of all y would they beat the crap out of u how r they suppose to know that ur from charlottesville. i accept that u think kinda.. weird.. but ya knw why would you fly a flag fr people that are free... see tibetans arent free they are under control of china at this time. so why are yall talkin about things that happened in the passed where the people are already free.

I'm an American citizen living in Charlottesville for a long time. I am Tibetan and I know all of the Tibetans. We come here for a reason because the Chinese took our country. We come here to live in peace and because it's a free country, not like in China where they control thoughts and speech.
I know all of the Tibetans and we feel strongly about our country even if we have different ideas on what to do. Nobody I know is ashamed to have the support and recognition of the city council and at least some of its citizens.

Gawa is like a little brother to me, he's young and he cares about his own country. Even though he is young, he knows about what happened to his family and he cares about the people in Tibet.

Janie, what do you care about? I read what you say and it seems like you are pissed at city government. However, you have made this personal with your attacks on Gawa (and Rich). Why do you have to get involved in something important to us that you don't know very much about? Why don't you take an American flag or a Chinese flag and go demonstrate, I would be proud of you and respect your freedom of speech.

You should be ashamed of yourself for disrespecting Gawa when he is expressing himself and his feelings on behalf of his people, if you have no reason to oppose this, then where are your feelings?
Why are you so upset at Gawa, he already knows how to bounce a ball and to read a book, that is so patronizing. It seems like you are mean to him for no reason other than he disagrees with you, he is speaking for himself as a Tibetan like you said.
Tomorrow is Sunday, please remember to brush your teeth and go read a book on what happened in 1959 since you seem to be ignorant and yet you give other people directions who you don't even know. Don't waste his time ignoring what he says and insulting him, he has homework to do. Your thoughts are not interesting, and your clear contempt for him is embarrassing for you. Nobody can stop his feelings from being heard here in America.

I hope your dreams come true and they never fly any more flags or do anything that people really care about, besides pedestrian issues like sidewalks. I hope you respect your family as much as he does, maybe you don't remember why your great-great-grandfather came to America. Your education taught you to insult people for speaking their minds and hearts?

If you don't like American freedom of speech, then why not go live in the jungle with the mute animals who have no feelings for other humans and their (real) problems? Or join the flag-haters and tear down what you can't bear the sight of, our city in support of the Tibetan cause.

Chinese power already controls Tibet, we don't need White Power to control us here. We are also voters, we asked our city to support us in a symbolic way and someone has taken away our freedom of speech by tearing down the flag that was so graciously raised on our behalf.

I'm sorry that I had to get personal in defense of my feelings and in defense of my little brother who loves his homeland. I respect him even though he is young, unlike you. Nobody can restrict our human freedoms, every one all over the world wants to live in peace. In this peaceful country, why not support Tibet? Nobody has given a good reason. We appreciate American's empathy for us and we are not asking you to politically fight. Sometimes we feel that because Tibet is not a rich country with oil, that nobody cares. But this flag shows us that somebody cares, just as the flag's removal shows that somebody is scared of the Chinese government.

However, why waste my time with people who don't understand what happened? Hopefully some good will come of this action and more people will know about Tibet. That's all we want.

hey n one thing janie i know that u dint talk no tibetans that would agree with wat u juss said
none of us tibetans feel embarrased cause we r not set apart we r tryin to get help

i hope u get it.. prolly dont but oh well others do..

:)FREE TIBET

Now hold on. You are out of line! My beef is NOT with the Tibetan cause or the rally. IT IS with the tactics of the strong-armed and out of control council. I have no idea who tore the flag down. That is out of my control. I will say, now that the flag has been removed, I hope you liberals realize you are setting up situations whereby you have actually caused and effected more heartache for the Tibetan population.
My motivation is to point out, the council should wake up and smell the roses. Their "promotion of causes/politics" is out of line and counter-productive.
Read the comments-this site. I'm not the ONLY one who thinks this.
Is city hall willing to hang the flag representing the countries of persecuted Baptists. I seriously doubt it.

I have lived here for many many years, I know what the flag flyers are trying to do. So do MANY others.
The city govt. is being laughed at in MANY ways. They make too many mistakes and ignore the real job on many levels.
Citizens are watching VERY carefully. Many are also taking notes.
Additionally, City "Money" has been given to COMPASS---and see where that got the city! HOW STUPID, MORE to come on this.
"A Voter: knows what he is talking about. I agree 100%. So do many others.
As far as Gawa goes, SOMEONE else "seems to be" his voice!
I have no guilty feelings here. READ BETWEEN The LINES.
Have you used a minor child to sport your politics? We'll know for sure at the rally,if we don't see the real Gawa Sihle in attendance.
The city took the flag down for the weekend because they are wimps. They know they are abusing power, and they don't know how to "get out of" another mess they have created.
I can't wait for the persecuted Baptists of another country to ask C'ville to fly their flag!

Oh, and back to the child issue, one more observation-This day and time, NO ONE in their right mind, who cares about children, allows them to go on line using their real name. It simply is dangerous. So, we'll see if this kid REALLY surfaces next week. If someone has put him up to this blogging, they should truly be ashamed. His social studies teacher would be thrilled if he attended the rally. It is hogwash that he can't miss a few hours of school!
Yes, we live in a town with one-sided politics. This is an unhealthy circumstance in itself.
Why must I be appreciative of an effort I don't agree with?(removing American flag and and using council time-energies). It is clear here, the conservative issue is one that gets under your the skin. Get used to it. They are still around! Ever hear of Shilling? Here is a good example of a prominant local and respected example.
As far as the 10 you asked about, I spoke with them at a social event. What is the problem, aren't they also entitled to express opinion? Oh and lastly, the religion thing is there: What is all the talk about HIS HOLINESS-and his connection as a mental health specialist?

C'ville, yes--It is very TELLING. I'm glad I pressed it!

Eric, I wish the people well with their rally. I believe they have suffered, as people in other nations do every day. This is very sad. Maybe we should display the flags of all countries.
I just think council is getting in over their heads. The city has too many things that need fixing. This should be the priority of elected officials.

"Raising the flag is a gesture of support. No other city has done so thus far..." Maybe they're busy doing the work they were elected to do.

A point here is that people appear to be sick and tired of the city council taking on controversial political causes "as a group". They have no right to do so, unless they take a vote-"from citizens". Sure, most/all of them are DEMS---but there are other political groups-ideas in the city.
No one is saying the Tibetans should not march/rally. Why not let church groups/individuals provide support for the event. What about the other oppressed groups in the world? Is the city going to provide flags/rallys for them?

The idea that this event, which commemorates a political uprising, could in any way be construed as a "religious leaning" is ludicrous. There are no religious agendas being raised with the flag, only valid and compelling issues of Human Rights, which are recognized internationally, even if the statehood of Tibet is not.

Rich makes a good point, that nobody so far has seemed to take into account the Tibetan people themselves...
Indeed, 'they' do want to march, so I don't see how anyone would be 'losing' their voices by using media to publicize their cause.

Raising the flag is a gesture of support. No other city has done so thus far, and look how much attention this has gotten internationally! This is, for most, the first time they have heard about this day or even this issue and therefore does not fall into the category of other suggested causes which are well-publicized. Due to the censourous nature of the Chinese government and the restrictions placed on media there, for Tibetans it is an expression of their rights as Americans to take part in such actions. In Tibet on March 10 you can be sure that there will be increased government vigilance and no opportunity to commemorate an eventful day in recent Tibetan history.
In fact, Tibetans are required (unlike Chinese) to raise the Chinese flag outside their houses to emphasize their subordinate status as minorities who live under Chinese rule. Why should we begrudge the raising of a flag here, where it is both safe and meaningful? We should be proud of the city council for supporting its' citizens requests on a meaningful day.
Otherwise, I am sure you can pursue the appropriate channels for complaints against said support as a fellow citizen.

Please feel free to place your request that the city council support other worthy causes like this one. However, I take issue with the tone of such suggestions as the flag commemorating the invention of the telephone...as they trivialize the pain that people carry in their hearts after living through or escaping such ordeals (Tibetan, Native American, or otherwise).

Indeed this is a symbolic act, and that is why it is permitted. More substantive acts (ie. the suggested 'Cville declaring war on China') are not being encouraged by this token of support. Nobody is asking for conflict, merely raising awareness about what is important to them.

In conclusion, Tibetans are fellow Americans with rights like all of us that deserve this small symbolic act as a gesture of support, and as a legitimate expression of their hard-won freedom.

Good point, Hillary! Most people have totally forgotten that the white man traveled to America and butchered and slaughtered the Indians while stealing their land from them.

Eric, this is a free country and we all have a right to an opinion in our "private lives". The council positions are paid public positions. As far as I know, the officials also receive insurance benefits and a stipend from the taxpayers who elected them. The members have assumed another paid JOB in a sense.
Now, with all the unfinished city work left to be done-infrastructure/mantainance, many don't see that they should be using taxpayer resources-forums/buildings as an avenue to spout off their politics. Lets use the energy to clean up the crime and fix the broken sewers instead.
I have nothing against the people or the Dalai Lama. But I won't stand by and let you tell me it is OK for you or the City of Charlottesville as a govt. to push your religious leanings on others. Have you ever heard of separation of church and state? It sounds as if this all may be alot about the lead-in to religion. City hall is not the place to drum up converts!
The city should at least support a rally and hang a flag for the Monacan Indians our forefathers pushed out of Charlottesville. By the way, I don't see the county board of supervisors getting into all of this. Maybe this is because they have a lawyer on board!

c ville minority-
Ok, Many agree you are correct in the "abuse of power issue-council,"
That is my main point too.
What do we do about it? Are there ways to get them to stop this? It really doesn't matter whether they are DEMS/repubs/independs, does it. If it is wrong, it is wrong for any govt. group.
Maybe they think they are above the law??

It takes a person sick beyond all imagination to warp and twist life-and-death issues in Tibet into your petty Charlottesville political games. I'm pretty sure that few people, it anyone, in Tibet knows about Charlottesville City's support for them, but from everyone I've spoken to both inside and outside Tibet in the past few days, I'm comfortable saying that Tibetans would be deeply moved by Charlottesville's actions if they knew. Unlike you, these days Tibetans have much graver things to worry about than our small but lovely city. In Lhasa, the whole city is basically under house arrest, with people unable to even replenish their food supplies. Elsewhere, the entire nation is rising up, one city at a time. There has been a lot of bloodshed and the world is doing way too little to halt it so far, but there are already very real reasons to expect for that to change.

However, in the big picture of China's 59-year occupation of Tibet, your accusation that people are "marching to their deaths" is offensively ignorant. Not only is this the largest uprising in Tibet's history; it's quite possibly also the least costly in terms of lives lost, especially if measured relative to number of participants. Right now it's hard to pin down a number of how many have been killed, due to lack of information, and things could turn out to be much worse than anybody knows. But regardless, it's people's informed choice based on the need to take calculated risks and take back what is rightfully theirs before their fate goes the way of the Native Americans. Nobody put Tibetans up to this. Revolution is the result of amassed grievances and the impossibility of addressing them in any other way.

I will be standing in solidarity with the revolution going on in Tibet no matter what happens, because it's all people's most basic right to determine their own future. It's shameful that some folks in our great nation don't acknowledge or live by that principle upon which it was founded.

Yes, this Gawa-child insertion and related e-mails, has cast doubt for many, on the credibiliy piece.
I only hope the "Charlottesville" community, will not be forced to bear the burden of guilt, for prompting-encouraging protests afar, wherein deaths occur.

Has Ambassdor Norris encouraged people to march to their deaths?

Rich, based on their many comments, it's obviously far more important to Cville Eye and friends that they appear snide rather than humane. The immature snorting, eye-rolling, and elbowing each other in the ribs displayed here is their standard operating procedure.

Cville Eye, regarding your misspelled "pidgeon" English comment-- you must not know any kids.

I am positive you are well acquainted with the sick, delusional, pompous, self-serving, manipulative and amoral.
"I will be standing in solidarity with the revolution going on in Tibet no matter what happens, because it's all people's most basic right to determine their own future." Yes, you will be standing somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 miles away. You are right about one thing, you are too grave of a matter to razz Mr. Norris any further.

World geography 101: no country in Asia is 2000-3000 miles from Virginia. Solidarity does not mean you're in the same place at the same time, rather a commitment to make another's situation as important to yourself as your own. In the past few days, it's meant setting up media relations with Tibetans both in the US and in Tibet, supporting and documenting the intense protests here, disseminating breaking news to the people who need to make use of it or get it out to the world, responding to China's propaganda, and so forth. Many of these things are accessible to any ordinary American who has the desire to support the revolution taking place in Tibet, and I mention them in hopes that others will take interest in looking for what they can do.

I'm not much of a person of religion myself, but I hope all those of faith will pray for Tibet in the next 12 hours. Noon tomorrow is the time China's "deadline" for Tibetans in Lhasa to "turn themselves in" will expire, and it's anyone's guess what the insane folks with the guns and tanks will decide to do next.

Embarrassed Citizen "Rich, based on their many comments, it's obviously far more important to Cville Eye and friends that they appear snide rather than humane." Please explain how these following statements are consistent with being Humane: "Elsewhere, the entire nation is rising up, one city at a time." "There has been a lot of bloodshed..." "Not only is this the largest uprising in Tibet's history; it's quite possibly also the least costly in terms of lives lost, especially if measured relative to number of participants.""Right now it's hard to pin down a number of how many have been killed, due to lack of information, and things could turn out to be much worse than anybody knows." Explain it or accept that my comments to Felker applies to you also. You will probably see other words I've misspelled above, and, I promise you, if I keep posting you will see even more.

I say this because of your continuous gratuitous digs at people, among them the mayor. Your running commentary here and at cvillenews.com frequently veers over into the snide and bullying. Most unfortunately though, your facts are wrong often enough to cause consternation.

It's really okay if you don't particularly care about what's going on in Tibet. However, others do care, and they are allowed to comment on the situation there.

I don't doubt that you're passionate about many Cville-centric issues. That's cool. But why the overt anger at people like Rich Felker and the Tibetans who've spoken up here? They support a free Tibet-- is that a problem for you? Or is everyone supposed to agree with you?

In other words, you can not explain your holier-than-thou use of "humane." Or is it your embarrassment is now due to re-reading those words of Felker's and thinking about them?

Embarrassed, if you go back and read what I said about this whole affair you will see I didn't not comment upon any Tibetan's actions or words. My comments were solely directed at Council and Felker. I did say that I was not fooled into thinking that the comments ascribed to somebody named Gawa (I suppose a Tibetan since I believe he has the same last name as the lady who was on TV news the other night) were clearly not written by a child whose mother has been here supposedly since 1963 and therefore has been in this country his entire life. Children who write this "...if thass aLL YA GOTTA SAY.
" on a blog do not write this "A TIBETAN FLAG IS NOT A SIGN OF BUDDHISM!!" People posing as several different personalities generally do.

hey janie im a tibetan kid that goes to middle school in charlottesville... i know that u think im young to talk but ya know u said that we are strong enough to take care of ourselves.. how r we suppose to take care of ourselves first we have nothing we dopnt have country. i want to be able to say that im tibetan.. every time i tell someone that im tibetan they ask me what a tibetan is.. they dont know wat tibet is.. how would u feel if china invaded the us n someone asked u wat the us is. ppl r trying to take the flag down prolly cause they think that were "invading" wich we arnt were r we suppose to go when we have no country to call our own. india's government is nice enough to let tibetans in and build monasteries and schools. cant the us be nice enough to raise a flag?? n i think that everything rich said is right he is the best sft i know so plz dont say nythin bout him.

:) FREE TIBET

I call BS. If not then our beloved city should declare war against China...at least it's better than Iraq. There are more targets in China.

Doesn't anyone think it's odd that a (supposedly) official request from the People's Republic of China to the Charlottesville City Council would come in the form of an e-mail message? One sent from a low-level staffer's personal gmail account, no less? Is this the state of diplomatic communications today? I don't think so. My guess is that this is the personal doing of one Embassy staffer and NOT an official request from the Chinese government.

If we don't have the U.S. Flag or one from Dixie in the "pole" position, there's a problem.

Whoa! This is all something else. The council is now putting the local Tibeten group in a sticky situation. They may also be causing hurt feelings as they fumble around.
We can't settle all of these long standing differences in other countries. There are good folks in every nation. There are currently many different groups vying for power on the continent of Africa. Are we to take sides here? There are fine people in Cuba. Will we soon be flying the Cuban flag?
Why not leave the American & Flag of VA flying over city hall? Let the people of Tibet physically carry/display their country's flag at the rally. The council should learn to lead. Charlottesville is in America. Please leave the American flag in position.

Ye Olde Council made a "wrong decision" by not being more friendly to this owner of Charlottesville Parking Center, Inc. (CPC) which was in its first year of business whence the tactics of the "strong arm" occurred.

¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??Well, my telephone is ringing, and they told me it was Chairman Mao.
Telephone is ringing (do you hear it ringing?) and they told me it was Chairman Mao.
I don't care who it is. I just don't want to talk to him now!¢Ã¢â??¬

*credit Lowell George

so i get it you hate tibetans and buddhists i think that u should just get off the computer and the internet if thass aLL YA GOTTA SAY.

Look, this phony pidgeon English is getting old.

Is there any way we can blame any of this on the local police?

We had a saying at my house (not me) when something went wrong my 3 daughters stood up to say not me daddy. It seems to be a lot of people in America are saying (not me). How is it that we can come to the aid of a animal but when human being are being stepped on, we sit back and say (not me). This is not China. The question should be asked would you allow someone to come into your house and tell you I don't like your carpet it offends me. Change it.

Rich...So I take it you would be ok if the council condemned the Naacp or declared that the united negro college is fund is unfair to other minorities?

There are parameters that allow a majority to vote in to decide chartered functions. This does not give the council the autority to speak behalf of the entire city on political matters outside its sphere of influence. If it wanted to show solidairty for college tuitions caps etc that affects the city as a whole. This political grandstanding is hardly part of their job description and is as irresponsible and as i see it illegal since it costs taxpayer money to buy the flag.

Rich, there is an interesting book that came out a few years back from Richmond's Palari Publishing: "We're Still Here: Contemporary Virginia Indians Tell Their Stories" by Sandra F. Waugaman & Danielle Moretti-Langholtz. It's been well received and fills a gap, I think, in our understanding of Virginia's native peoples.

from the palari books website...
"Both authors traveled across the state interviewing members of each tribe as well as Indians from tribes not indigenous to Virginia. From members of the Monacan Nation in the western part of the state to the Nansemond tribe in the tidewater area, Indians shared their stories of tribal history and cultural traditions."

Cheers,
Eric

"I have the Apolitical Blues and it's the meanest blues of all!"

Rich, when will the council get the work done with the sidewalks to keep the citizenry from falling flat on their faces?
You people are something else again. You are insulting the Tibetans. They want to move forward on their own and equally, as other new immigrant populations do.

Dear Freedom Fighter, Gawa, and friends-

Janie may live here, but she certainly isn't speaking for any Charlottesville residents that I know. Frankly, I'm extremely embarrassed by her begrudging and nasty tone, especially towards a child. I'd prefer to believe that most Americans are far kinder and more generous in spirit than the example as portrayed by Janie.

You are welcome guests in Charlottesville, and there's no reason that you should be treated with such arguments and insults. I'm glad that by flying your flag, our City Council could extend this small gesture of friendship to all Tibetans. Council still has plenty of time to attend to sidewalks and such.

Bravo to Mayor Norris and Council!

Many of us are unbelieving that the person writing in is truly a child. In fact, if so, it is inappropriate that a child of that age is allowed to write into this site. There is often inappropriate language/adult content displayed here. As you read through it all, this "child" does not appear to understand what he is doing. He even says he doesn't understand. So get real. No one is being fooled here! This is not child's play. Where are the parents?
I do not agree that the American flag should be displaced. The sidewalks are a disgrace-too many distractions?

the flag is going back up :) on monday

you are right, i spoke too soon and i apologize. thank you city of charlottesville! I am once again proud.

ps. The city took down the flag on behalf of such complainers and collaborators, so the issue is resolved in favor or the Chinese government's request. Well done!

When Council doesn't know how to do the job it was elected to do (run a small town), it deflects everybody's attention by trying to do a job it is not Constitutionally authorized to do (run US foreigh policy). This is an excellent example of "all symbolish, but not substance." They don't anticipate any change in the actions of China any more than they anticipate any change in Gary O'Connell's management of the City. I wonder if they will protest Columbia's incursion into its neighbors' territories or will it support Columbia? Perhpas Council should initiate Foreigh Policy Proclamation of the Month to give them something to do other than rubberstamping Gary O'Connell's exorbitant spending plans.

dunno wat ur sayin this is weird

If one black person goes to the council and can convince them to fly the flag of the Black Panther movement do you think that that is within their job description? If people want to protest then get a permit and organize it. The council does not have the right to say that the ENTIRE city of charlottesville supports Tibetan Freedom. There just might be some native chinese people in town who would beg to differ. What about their rights? The council does not have the right to make these proclamations. They have overstepped their boundaries.

As for all of the oppression that China puts on Tibet go to the poorer neighborhoods in C-ville and talk to the people who are afraid to come out of their house after dark. Maybe the council could fly a flag and fix this.

The tibetan problem needs to be dealt with by citizens not city governments. If a group wants to get a permit and raise a flag in a public park then that is their right. As far as the Govenment actively sponsoring it I question the legality of it.

I wonder what would happen if a citizen of charlottesville goes to the olympics in china and gets the crap beat out of him over this. Do you think the council and the city would be held culpable. After all they made a proclamtion against 3 billon chinese people.

The council has overstepped their boundaries.

omg she dont get it.. o well janie add wat u want bye

The last comment was for Gawa!

Rich, In the view of many, Charlottesville CITY COUNCIL has blundered big time, once again. As you say, the flag was removed, the council's goal was foiled.
That is not success for a mission, in my view.
Council was elected to listen to ALL voices, not just the vocal majority.

While not ignoring the important issues raised by Janie, "a voter", and others, I'd add that at a basic level I applaud the council for their courage to raise the flag. They were asked for help to stand up against a government that is abusing power and ignoring human rights and they did something. In that sense, they are operating out of similar sensibilities as the people here who are critical of the council for being "out of control", "strong-armed", etc. This isn't dismissing the critiques of anyone but simply pointing out a shared sense of values.

I see!
Rich---i talked with 10 Tibetans the other day. They ALL told me they were embarrassed to be "set apart" in this way--You say one lady encouraged all of this? Hhmmm. Sounds like you don't know the whole story.

see 29 news
Some man tries to tear down Tibetan flag,city hall on Friday.
See what I mean? Council is forcing its politics on the citizenry-and in effect is causing more problems. Council acting like China?

I am proud that our City Council is concerned with human rights and civil rights. This action took no money, just guts. Even if I didn't agree with the cause I would be appreciative of the effort. We live in a liberal town and so our actions will be largely liberal but I would expect tollerant. If the conservatives in this town would show similar tendencies perhaps we wouldn't be having this drawn out discussion.

Actually someone DID tear it down now. This is the level of intimidation and mafia tactics the Chinese government continually subjects people to when they dare to dissent. I don't know for sure who the vandal was last night, but I'm nearly sure you'll find it was someone with pro-PRC motives and not anti-Council motives. If it's the latter, that would be really sad.

Janie, from my perspective it seems you're continually disparaging the cause with little explanation of why. All your recent posts hint at a feeling that someone (Tibetan or otherwise) "put people up to this" as if you're trying to prove that the wish for Council to honor a noble cause came from a tiny minority. Regardless of who originated the request, what matters is that all people of conscience can understand and stand by it.

What is embarassing is that busybodies who have issues with City Council are dragging life-and-death issues of international importance through the mud for no good reason. What do you intend to accomplish? What is your motivation?

Instead of acting humanely towards your fellow posters (i.e. with understanding and compassion), you are acting in a rude and snide manner. Why are you having so much difficulty with that concept?

I have no problem with Rich's words. He's reporting what's going on in Tibet. At times, he's adding his personal take on the issues. I'm not able to ascertain what your objections to his posts stem from. Perhaps you feel that uprisings should only occur miraculously without bloodshed? Hate to burst your bubble, but that's not the way it usually goes. That's the price of poker out there in the real world. They're not having a pillow-fight.

There is nothing inhumane about respecting the resolve of a people so long oppressed that they are willing to risk or even openly lay down their lives for the hope of a better future for themselves or others. This matter is for Tibetans to decide and those involved have made their decision. What's inhumane is asking people to resign themselves to living as somebody else's servants ( œÃ¢â?¬Å¡ œ¡ œŒ œÃ¢â?¬Å¡ Œ”¹ œ” œŒ Œ”¹ [yokpo] - "servants" or "slaves" to the Chinese is what many people I met in Tibet told me they felt like) because you think you know what's best for them. Not that I think anyone here is putting forth such a view, just that it's the inhumane alternative in contrast to the view I expressed.

No matter what happens at this point, it's clear that China has no hope of making Tibetans Chinese, ever. And I think that's a big part of why Tibetans everywhere are so excited now. Surely these are dangerous times, but also wonderful times in that there's a great new hope. I encourage everyone with a bit of interest in Tibet to read all the stories that are appearing, and talk to one or more people from Tibet if you can. Compared to most cities, Charlottesville has quite many, which is part of how this whole ruckus got started.

Cville Eye and Janie, I am NOT Rich Felker. I do not know Rich Felker. I never ever heard his name before he posted here. I still have NO idea who he is, nor do I particularly care.

I could easily (and quite idiotically) claim that you and Janie are the same person, but the notion is preposterous. And if I did so, I'd be making a complete ass out of myself, much like the pair of you are doing with your inane accusations regarding identities on this forum.

Stick to the issues at hand (Cville Tibetans)and try to keep your paranoia out of the discussion.

I don't necessarily agree with you there, Janie. City councilors are elected to represent and speak for the citizens and taxpayers of Charlottesville. We might not like what they do or say, but we elected them none the less. Well hell, it seems like we don't like what they say or do most of the time, but we still elected them. You have to remember too that the term "we" means the Democrats in the city elected them. The Republicans and independents in this city have had no say about anything whatsoever at any time for a long time.

seems to me the last time we stuck our nose in to help an oppressed people all of the liberals said we should mind our own business and we wasted a trillion dollars helping people who still won't help themselves.. now those same liberals want us to start up in CHINA?

Perhaps the city council should start taking care of the broken street lights and potholes before they go around the world telling folks what to do. Does anybody think that indians on reservations in this country don't feel "oppressed" there uprisings failed also. "occupation" is a loaded term. after all virginia was "occupied" by them "damn yankees"

hillary, you make some good points along with the others. The city council needs to spend more time and energy advocating for repairs-streets/infrastructure.My god, i see people tripping on the sidewalks every day. Sewage is leaching into the street from broken lines. Blight is coming upon us as the council peers through the rosy glasses.
It is fine for the council to represent their special causes on their off time. What is not OK is they take on extreme sides and causes in meetings-city hall. They need to stick to the business they were elected to do.
I will add,as far as work to come- I hope they have the guts to stand up to the county. The county wants to cut the revenue sharing payment. They also want the city to build more roads to support their traffic. My guess, citizens better prepare for councilors to cave in to county demands. We'll wait and see about this.
So,in a nutshell the council has too much on their own plate to take on the whole world's issues.

Janie, I can hear you typing inside the Chinese embassy. The city council has the right to speak on any topic - including the subjugation and abuse of the formerly free Tibetan people. This is how America works. We can all say what we wish without fear of reprisal. To stand up for the oppressed people of one formerly independent country does not require that we stand up for all. It is the unique culture and history of Tibet that impresses and encourages people around the world to learn about ways to express our support for them. The Dalai Lama is a hero to many of us in western countries for his peaceful, non-violent teachings. You've got nothing against the Dalai Lama, do you?

I fully support any move for Charlottesville to honor Native Americans. Maybe we could raise this issue at the next council meeting.

Dear "Hillary", "Sick of Local Rambos", and Janie,

A couple things you should keep in mind:

- Tibet is NOT China's internal affair any more than Iraq is America's internal affair.

- Likewise other nations have a right and duty to stand up for Native American issues. China always tells us to shut up using the Native American genocide as a justification for their behavior, but two wrongs do not make a right.

- All Americans share in responsibility for Tibet as the enabler. Our dollars at WalMart (or even buying "American" cars in which most of the internal parts are imported) are what fund and enable China, just like China's funding is what enables Sudan in Darfur.

- China's call for Council to "mind its own business" is utterly hypocritical. China should mind their own business and not harass local governments in the United States, schools, students, Tibetans, and Chinese dissidents living abroad. If you want to see an example of this kind of interference, read:
http://phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=17860
("Remarkable Mexican student expelled under China's pressure")

Eric, I second that. Our community has done plenty to honor Lewis and Clark, but so little to tell the other side of the story. We should recognize and apologize for the horrors that the white man's conquest of the Americas brought, acknowledging it as a genocide, and the poverty and marginalization many Native Americans continue to face.

The Council is not charterd with the responsibility of giving opinions as to the politics of other countries. They are charterd with the responsibility of governing c-ville. That is all they should be doing. Suppose they decide that they don't like the Naacp, would it be ok for them to hang the rebel flag on martin luther kings birthday?

what is wrong with you people... the council is ABUSING their authority.

so what you say about Gawa being a fake person might not be true, it could be true.

Gawa has to go to school. Why should he be held responsible to show up just to answer your lies?
Leave him alone, he speaks his heart and who are you to say?
What is your deal with not believing Tibetans are not speaking for themselves?
Why don't you tell us, I don't know quite what you mean, what are the flag-flyers trying to do that's so bad?
I can't tell if you are just against the city government doing anything (except pushing papers), or if you are against the whole idea the Tibetan flag represents.
We know you're lying about the 10 people you asked. Your name is American but you are speaking Chinese propaganda out of the side of your mouth.
He has a heart for his country, it comes from his family's experience, you don't know his heart so how can you say he is being used? Your heart seems to be cold for Tibetans.

I'll be waiting to hear him speak at the rally. If the event is such an important happening, sign him out of school for the day!
We'll look forward to meeting him.

So now you're fixated on this, you're his biggest fan, and if he's not there then what? The issue still stands, the flag is still raised.
No response to the rest?

NO he doesn't HAVE to go to school for the "one" day! I know school officials who would tell you the same thing. If this rally is so important, it would be better to let him participate.
His parents can sign a permission. in fact, by law, school officials cannot deny such a request for a day.
We'll see if he is "real" at the rally.

Peaceful FF, I have not called you a liar. You have called me one. You have no idea who i know and who i have talked with.
Oh you seem to be a fine upstanding fellow!!!! Go see the Dalai Lama. YOU NEED HELP!

if you are so sure about what you are saying then why dont you ask his school yourself.

and anyways you will see his mother.

I know every single Tibetan here. Do you speak Tibetan? Were you able to understand their feelings which were apparently only truly revealed to a stranger?
I'm glad you are avoiding the important points and have no answers, you can only retort with personal attacks.
I have met His Holiness several times and in fact my mental state is not in question. If you want to have a discussion about the real issues, let's do it. If you want to make piddly little irrelevant arguments, please continue. Maybe you should follow your own advice, but you should probably see a psychiatrist instead and not the Dalai Lama. You probably couldn't get the security clearance to see him as an ardent supporter of the Chinese party line. But the psychiatrist would be more than able to diagnose your problems with ignoring people's feelings, talking for other people and telling them what to do.
But you can't answer for yourself.
Your problem is with the city government. You're grown, why are you fixating like a child on arguing about Gawa? There are plenty of other cities for you to call your home if you hate this city council so much, take your Chinese government money, which if you haven't gotten yet i'm sure they would give you as a supporter of their cause, and start a new life.

However, I should point out that this is not about you and your problems. This is about Tibet, so please state your feelings either way and LEAVE GAWA ALONE. Who ARE you to tell him or his parents what to do??? He will make his own decision.
This is not about religion, not about Gawa, and should not be about what you think other people think, Tibetan or otherwise.

That's about all the time I am willing to spend on someone so obviously irrational.

Fighter-You seem to be a very needy desperate and pompous person. FF, you have attacked me and called me a liar. You have inappropriately/unwisely labeled me as unstable. You have no idea who I am, and you really don't care. If you have met HIS HOLINESS, I must question whether his council has helped you. My guess, he would be ashamed of your inappropriate/weak behavior, in the case of your communication efforts. i will not bend to answer every question you ask. i will respond to anyone i choose to-including GAWA! You are very sad. It seems, you think: "Its my WAY or the Highway" What a joke!

By the way Freedom fighter, what do you mean by the link of "your mental state" with HIS HOLINESS??? Is he a certified mental health expert? i hope he reads your blog :-0
It also sounds like you're preaching to me! I thought you said this was not about religion??

i have been reading these comments and Janie i do not get how fighter is preaching you. he is right there is no reason you should be including Gawa in so many of your comments. and the way you said that he has labeled unstable i saw that you had called him unstable first. Everything that you are writing on this page has nothing to do about the flag.

Janie i suggest that you just stop posting because this has nothing to do with the flag.

i think you and fighter are one in the same! i have a question. will the American flag come down whle the Tibetan flag is hung? Does anyone know how the city will handle this?

Embarrassed, You can stay embarrassed for all I care. You just don't agree with my opinion. Grow up, your view is not the only view. Hooray for the red white and blue!

I think she is correct. the style of writing-content is not that of a child.

Janie, your entire beef has devolved from an obsessed rant about religion and sidewalks, down to whether or not Gawa is a child? Congratulations on perceiving that I don't agree with your opinion-- you're absolutely brilliant.

If you'd stop acting like such an ill-mannered whining dolt, you might gain a shred of credibility.

Oh, and the 10 mysterious Tibetans whose counsel you sought... where did they go?

Embarrassed Citizen, WHO is whining and insulting another? Look in a mirror.

Yes sir, I can tell you, the same thing went through my mind. This kid is being manipulated and used, IF he is the real thing.His comments are out of touch with the issue.Sorry, but ole janie is right on in this respect.in fact, she is a smart cookie to catch on to this slant. Give her credit where credit is due.I'll be interested to hear Gawa speak up in person.
It is obvious that Janie has touched a nerve. I read through it all. She makes some very excellent observations as far as the council's steering. Others would be concerned with the disregard for the flag of The United States.

Teacher #9 and Janie, your behavior is sick. Gawa is a real person whom I know in the real world, unlike your internet playground where you can ridicule and abuse people to your heart's content without having to see a real face. I spoke with him yesterday and he posted those comments based on his personal reaction to the offensive things Janie and others were saying, without anyone, family members or otherwise, putting him up to it or suggesting that he post. Your contempt for young people's ability and right to speak for themselves is shameful.

Also, no one is taking down the US flag or the Virginia state flag. Why you would even think that would be done is beyond me. If you'd bothered to watch the local TV news anytime in the past few days you would have seen that with your own two eyes. Instead you insist on making up your own version of reality and posting it as fact, just like the lie you told before about having spoken to 10 Tibetans.

Get a life! Verbally abusing children and refugees is not behavior that's becoming to a citizen of Charlottesville!

and also Janie don't worry they are not taking the US flag they are just adding one: the Tibetan flag

Rich, your post tells the whole story. Your seething anger ia apparant in the worst way. Your support for Gawa's involvement here is odd. Based on Gawa's comments, he obviously does not comprehend the situation. Let the adults use their names on the internet.as for you, why don't you speak to adults of your anger and leave the kid alone. If he must post, advise him to use another name, and not his own. Kids of this young age are vulnerable. If Gawa IS a real person as you say, keep him off the internet! People have a right to challenge any blogger. Stop using this "child" as your shield.
I haven't seen where janie or anyone has denigrated the Tibetans as a people. She is entitled to disagree with the politics.
My advice, be careful directly calling others liars. You really have no way to back yourself up here.
You are looking too foolish. Pipe down and take a break.

anonymos, Thanks for clearing this up. I'm thrilled to hear they are not taking down the American flag. I formerly heard otherwise. Glad they changed their minds!

and janie you truly believe that gawa is fake?

After reading the comments, it makes one "seriously wonder"???
We'll hope to see him at the rally.
A friend's child was asked if he knew a Gawa in the local schools, he indicated he did not.
If this child is so interested in the topic, he should be encouraged to come to the event of his culture.

he goes to albermarle county school.

Teacher #9, everyone has a right to express their opinions and challenge what somebody else says, but Janie and you have both repeatedly attacked Gawa based solely on his status as a child, with snide remarks like "Go bounce a ball-or better still, read a book." That is what I call shameful. It doesn't take "seething anger" to speak out when you see injustice.

While we're on it, why don't you go read a book? There are plenty of great books on Tibet which you could read to educate yourself about the issue:

The Dragon in the Land of Snows (Tsering Shakya, 1999)
Sky Burial (Blake Kerr, 1993)
The Voice That Remembers (Ama Adhe, 1997)
My Land My People (the 14th Dalai Lama, 1962)
Fire Under the Snow (Palden Gyatso, 2003)
Buddha's Warriors (Mikel Dunham)

Among these, sadly only "My Land My People" is available in the public library system here. Perhaps we should inquire about the library purchasing several more good books on Tibet.

Rich, Tibetan representatives,
I certainly find it inappropriate that too much is being said personally and on-line about this child and "by your group". It is not Janie or Yours Truly who are "out of line here".
I do know that Albemarle schools WILL allow him to attend the event. Your nonexcuses for him not attending are lame at best.
Leave the kid out of this "on-line" predicament!

Here's a reference (with a beautiful photo) on the 921 town and city halls in Germany raising the Tibetan flag:
http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=19454

Teacher #9, no one has made any excuses or "nonexcuses" or any claims whatsoever about Gawa's attendance, except for Janie. I suspect he'll be at the march tomorrow but it's not my busiess. Please stop putting words into the mouths of "our group" which is not any organized effort but just several individuals expressing their views. The one thing I can agree on is that there's been way too much prying conversation about this one young person for no good reason. So let's end that. Okay?

Rich,Thanks for sharing the info. Very interesting
My point as an educator, is to frame the fact that blogging can bring on a situation of sarcasm-tongue in cheek remarks. Middle schoolers are generally not equipped to handle the adult type "back and forth"dialogue. It is apparent this "child" was in over his head here.
NO ONE expects they must temper their comment to accomodate innocent children. The on-line site is not meant to be a baby sitting service.
Broaden your horizens and read some books on child development. You'll see what i mean.

hey janie and teacher # 9 yall can stop talkin bout me cause iss real pissin me off yall are suppose to talk bout the flag! not me alright i havent been talkin on this cause my mother has been "watchin me" ok.

Rich, yes, i agree, Its fine to end the conversation about the child. Who started the inappropriate conversation about the child in the first place? Not teacher # 9, Not I
I must insert: Think about who is trying very hard to put words into anothers mouth. Open your eyes, the looking glass tells alot.
How many do you expect to attend the rally? what time does it take place?

Gawa, will we see you at the rally?
By the way, watch your language! Does your mother/family know you use bad words?
Anyway, we hope to meet you!

im not going cause i got school. anyways y would i want to see u??!!

Alright everyone, let's stop feeding the Janie/Teacher #9 Troll. (I'm guilty of feeding them as well.)

The back & forth with these two whack-jobs is taking attention away from the important issue at hand-- the future of the Tibetan people.

And to Billy Be, Rich, et al, thanks for your constructive comments. I'm proud of Council too-- it's always a positive thing when folks act humanely.

See what I mean? the "child" seems to be having a hard time dealing with this. Is someone adequately supervising his activities?

Embarrassed, You/others in the group, surely don't set a very fine example for others to emulate. Do you believe calling others names "as you are doing" is helpful to your cause? You don't mind throwing stones at others-seems you would set a better standard for your own conduct????
Take a deep breath.
What time is the rally? Can someone answer this?

By the way, Gawa, I found your comments yesterday on-topic, constructive, and reasonable. Thanks for bringing your perspective to the discussion. Don't be discouraged by the trolls.

Rich, Come on, we really want to know what DL teaches about this. Are you a follower? Thought you would know??

I think the Tibetans posting here have already shown how they feel. It's not my place nor yours to judge that. Our friend who commented about Chinese power and White Power said it very well yesterday.

Janie, I am the one that said you were ACTING like a dolt and a whack-job, not Rich. I don't know any of the other people on this thread. I am neither Tibetan, nor an adherent of the Dalai Lama, so your question is moot. I'm just a plain old garden-variety C'ville citizen who is embarrassed by the way you've treated people here.

Have a great day.

Janie, Good observation! Clearly the Dalai Lama would speak out against such "tactics." The Tibetan population I'm sure is also offended. It is obvious, "the group" is unaccustomed to taking on challenging/opposing questions. As a result, they are defensive.
This representative group does not want to deal with or bring in too many other views-much like the city council and the Republic Of China.

I heard that the diminutive Raoul Duke is coming to Charlottesville. He has business expertise...maybe he can stop any "sweetheart deal" from coming to fruition!
What does the flag of Tibet have to do with an apparently clandestine deal between the City and the parking enterprise..?
Another player, Wachovia, has its 2008 Proxy statement scheduled for release tomorrow, on the all-important "mourning of protest."
Any "rebel" who attends such an event, deserves FREE PARKING in the Market Street Garage. CPC Chairman Jim Berry would support this idea, I'm sure. He may even make a cameo appearance as a "Jolly Llama!" Don't expect WB Directors Casteen or Thompson, though, as they must remain above the fray.

Embarrassed, Rich is also in on all of the finger pointing. I don't claim to be perfect, but IF THERe IS BLAME to be shared, you and I share it equally.
Have a great day too.
The rally should be interesting.

One other thing - I'm glad that you displayed your own ignorance about the whole city hall raising the flag issue (the original and valid issue) by not knowing that basically it's just strapped onto the pillars outside city hall.
If you bothered to learn about any of these things you were complaining about (like removing the american flag) then you would have seen the position of the Tibetan flag on ANY of the news reports in the past week on numerous websites and TV.
Such character you are demonstrating. Really, we're all impressed by you and your comrades' demeanor and grace.

And wit, I forgot wit.

Chelsea, I'm 100% relieved to hear the US flag will remain. Good news! I'm not the only one who was confused concerning details-your event. Some in "your own group" even thought the Tibetan flag had been torn down earlier? isn't this ignorance on their part?
I wish the people of Tibet well.
But-others/i do have questions regarding their choice of "representatives". you certainly have poor judgement with regard to kids and their use of the internet.
and-what do you have to hide? Why not be open-minded and provide times or invite all to see what will take place tomorrow. Your odd stance calls much into question--Everyone sees this. some have said, you respond in many ways as a brainwashed individual does. sad
is the dalai lama coming tomorrow? just wondering

Do you know how to use the internet, besides hijacking blogs for your own purposes? then you can find the time of the march as well. Nothing to hide, just don't want to be responsible for your presence (like I said) at an event that is not about you and your petty quibbling rhetoric. It's about Tibet.

you wish them well but you hate them when they talk? there is nothing in your heart (or mind) for Tibet or Tibetans. I hope you do come tomorrow so they can tell you exactly how they feel about the trash you are talking. You will believe what you want, but you should listen to people when they talk.

Chelsea, i will say, (WIT-yea, you evoke laughter) for sure. No, i would not want be held to your principles.
No, I won't be converted by HIS HOLLINESS. I don't choose to be brainwashed-and i don't want to be associated with wierd individuals like you, who sling mud. is that what he teaches you to do?
I have had the best of life hanging with Episcopal, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian folks. Each to his own! i will say, as I walk the Mall, i wonder about the many able-bodied young folks i see wandering, without direction. They are lying on the sidewalks, smoking, screaming---and they never work! They just hang out. Some even beg me for $. This town has changed in negative way. I hope these folks are not the reps for the Tibetans. The Tibetans work very hard! Some Lazy young people of Charlottesville could learn from them.

i want to come. WHAT TIME?

Chelsea-I really do want to hear what they say, but i dont have the times/schedule. I realize this is not about you/me. That makes no difference.
I want to hear THEM tomorrow so give me the scoop. Thanks-i'm very curious/interested.

The hard working people-Tibet deserve support tomorrow. We now know the times and plan to be there.