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03 July 2006

2 poems; & what happened to the poet when he tried to go home

Tenzin Tsundue, Tibetan
poet in exile in India

NGO Vleeptron
Preliminary Report
on Global Terrorism


In the view of the government of the Peoples Republic of China,
any Tibetan who objects to China's military occupation of Tibet is a terrorist.

In the view of the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, any American who objects to Britain's military occupation of Britain's American colonies is a terrorist.

Well, after Americans defeated the British Army and won their independence, Britain doesn't think George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are terrorists anymore. They're ... well ... okay, if Britain can't bring itself to call these ex-terrorists freedom fighters or liberators, they're, uhhh, political leaders of a new, recognized sovereign nation. We exchange ambassadors now, and Britain doesn't try to hang our leaders or line them in front of a firing squad anymore.

This article about the exiled Tibetan poet Tenzin Tsundue is from the Belfast Telegraph in Northern Ireland. In the view of the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, any Irish person who objects to Britain's military occupation of any part of the island of Ireland is a terrorist.

Well, after the British recognized the southern counties as the independent Republic of Ireland, the British government doesn't think the Irish freedom fighters were terrorists anymore.

In the view of the government of Israel, any Palestinian who objects to Israel's military occupation of the West Bank is a terrorist ...

In the view of the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, any Jew who objects to Britain's military occupation of Palestine is a terrorist ...

In the view of the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, any Egyptian who objects to Britain's military occupation of Egypt is a terrorist ...

In the view of the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, any Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist who objects to Britain's military occupation of its empire in the Indian subcontinent is a terrorist ...

In the view of the government of the United States of America, any Filipino who objects to the US military occupation of the Philippines is a terrorist ...

In the view of the government of the Soviet Union, any Afghani who objects to the Soviet Union's military occupation of Afghanistan is a terrorist ...

In the view of the government of Myanmar, any Burmese who objects to the military junta which ignores, by force of arms, the overwhelming vote of the Burmese people to have a democratic government is a terrorist ...

Where the hell do all these fucking terrorists come from???????????

And how do so many of them end up as the political leaders of new sovereign nations? How do so many of them end up on currency and postage stamps?

And why do those damn Scandinavians keep awarding so many terrorists the Nobel Peace Prize?

====================

THE TIBETAN IN MUMBAI

by Tenzin Tsundue

The Tibetan in Mumbai
is not a foreigner.

He is a cook
at a Chinese takeaway.
They think he is Chinese
run away from Beijing.

He sells sweaters in summer
in the shade of the Parel Bridge.
They think he is some retired Bahadur.

The Tibetan in Mumbai
abuses in Bambaya Hindi,
with a slight Tibetan accent
and during vocabulary emergencies
he naturally runs into Tibetan.
That's when the Parsis laugh.

The Tibetan in Mumbai
likes to flip through the MID-DAY,
loves FM, but doesn't expect
a Tibetan song.

He catches the bus at a signal,
jumps into a running train,
walks into a long dark gully
and nestles in his kholi.

He gets angry
when they laugh at him
'ching-chong-ping-pong'.

The Tibetan in Mumbai
is now tired,
wants some sleep and a dream.
On the 11pm Virar Fast,
he goes to the Himalayas.
The 8.05am Fast Local
brings him back to Churchgate
into the Metro: a New Empire.

================

TERRORIST

by Tenzin Tsundue

I am a terrorist.
I like to kill.

I have horns,
two fangs
and a dragonfly tail.

Chased away from my home,
hiding from fear,
saving my life,
doors slammed on my face,

justice constantly denied,
patience is tested
on television, battered
in front of the silent majority
pushed against the wall,
from that dead end
I have returned.

I am the humiliation
you gulped down
with flattened nose.

I am the shame
you buried in darkness.

I am a terrorist
shoot me down.

Cowardice and fear
I left behind
in the valley
among the meowly cats
and lapping dogs.

I am single,
I have nothing -
to lose.

I am a bullet
I do not think

from the tin shell
I leap for that thrilling
2-second life
and die with the dead.

I am the life
you left behind.

================

Belfast Telegraph
Monday 3 July 2006


Tibetan dissident
to accuse Chinese
of torture and genocide


by Clifford Coonan

Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan poet and activist, takes his fight to Britain today when he files a sworn testimony detailing atrocities he says he saw and experienced while in prison in the remote Himalayan region.

Mr Tsundue’s testimony is a stark litany of beatings and torture doled out during his imprisonment without trial in 1999, and will be submitted today to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office legalisation office, where it will be officially notarised.

The testimony is for a criminal suit filed in Spain’s High Court by three Tibet support groups accusing former president Jiang Zemin and ex-parliament chief Li Peng, both of whom retired in 2003, of committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Tibet.

"Many European countries speak of peace and human rights and harmony. But on business they all cosy up to China, it’s hypocritical. Through asking for justice in an international court I hope they will have second thoughts," Mr Tsundue said. "The Tibetan people should have the right to run their own country, not the Chinese people," he said. The case accuses the retired leaders, who were in office during the 1980s and 1990s, of authorising massacres and torture in Tibet. The court could call for the Chinese government to arrest those accused of human rights abuse -- and even impound their property.

Tibet has been under the control of China since 1950 when the People’s Liberation Army marched into Tibet. Less than a decade later the Himalayan region’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled [to India] after a failed uprising. Tales of torture and abuse have abounded over the past four decades.

China has condemned the lawsuit, calling it absurd, and Beijing has accused Madrid of meddling in its affairs. Madrid is also investigating charges of genocide against the Falun Gong spiritual movement. Emilie Hunter, a spokesperson for the Madrid-based Friends of Tibet Committee, said she hoped that the effect of filing the testimony in Britain would be to stimulate broader government and public interest in the issue.

The lawsuit coincides with the opening of a hi-tech train line between Beijing and Lhasa, which the Chinese say will give Tibet an economic boost, but which Tibetan activists fear will lead to a dilution of Tibetan culture.

"This is one way to fight Beijing -- they may not listen to us Tibetans but this is a way to speak to Beijing non-violently with law and show this is injustice and we want them to address this," Mr Tsundue said.

The activist lives, along with approximately 110,000 other Tibetans including the Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala, close to the border with India. He was arrested in 1999 while crossing into Tibet at Ladakh and held for three months in two prisons. Here he says he experienced, and witnessed, the treatment of Tibetans who had been jailed for "counterrevolutionary" crimes.

"Over three months I was beaten, starved, became infested with lice and had a red-hot poker brandished in front of my eyes. For me, those long sessions of interrogation were so intimidating, humiliating, and disturbing that many times I found myself crying in the middle of night in my dark prison cell," he said.

He said he fears for the life of one political prisoner, Dawa Gyaltsen, who was arrested in 1996 and sentenced to 18 years in prison for designing and distributing "free Tibet" posters. He is now being held in Lhasa’s notorious Drapchi prison.

Mr Tsundue’s views are more extreme than those of the Dalai Lama, whom the Chinese view as a dangerous separatist who wants to wrest control of Tibet away from China. Beijing accuses him of continuing to spark independence movements among the 2.7 million Tibetans and refuses to allow him back inside its borders.

For his part, the Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, insists he is a moderate who preaches a "middle way," which seeks special autonomy for Tibet within China, not independence.

Many Tibetans, include Mr Tsundue, remain fiercely loyal to the figure they regard as a god-king. "For us Tibetans the Dalai Lama is our leader and he is our Buddha," Mr Tsundue said. "He has an immense sense of compassion and forgiveness. I don’t have the power of the Buddha to compromise on independence.

"On the political front I ask for independence for Tibet. The Tibetan people should have the right to run their own country and not China," he said.

- 30 -

© 2006 Independent News and Media (NI)
a division of Independent News & media (UK) Ltd


Tsundue’s testimony

My name is Tenzin Tsundue. I am a Tibetan born and brought up in India. On 4 March 1997, I walked across the India-Tibet border. I was apprehended at Cha-gang by border police. For eight days I was interrogated every morning for many hours and throughout these interrogation sessions, they kept asking me who sent me, who backed me in my mission, what was it about, who I was meeting in Tibet -- the interrogators, who were mostly Tibetans, would kick me, punch me in the chest and often slapped my face -- Sometimes, after a hard slap I would almost go deaf, and for a long time I remained dazed. These sessions of interrogation were very intimidating, humiliating and mentally so traumatising that sometimes in the middle of the night in my cell, I found myself crying -- I was never produced before any court nor given any opportunity for legal support. In the jail, the food was poor and served only twice a day, leaving us starved all the time.

===============

Friends of Tibet (INDIA)

Dear friend:

Friends of Tibet (INDIA) is an effort by individuals from India to help, preserve and spread awareness about the issue of Tibet and the unique cultural and religious identity of the Tibetan people.

Tibetans living in exile are spread across more than ten countries. Although faced with unforeseen problems and unpredictable circumstances beyond their control, they have held together as a community and kept alive their national identity. Also very much alive is their yearning to return to their homeland. Even among the fourth generation in exile they have successfully preserved their language, their culture and their religion.

Friends of Tibet (INDIA) was formed on March 9, 1999, at Dharamshala, and its website was inaugurated by Ven. Yeshi Togden, president of Gu Chu Sum Movement of Tibet

Sadly, the same cannot be said about the situation inside Tibet. Throughout the early decades of the occupation tens of thousands of Tibetans were killed and many more sent to prisons and concentration camps. During this period more than 6,000 temples and monasteries -- including vast Buddhist universities and ancient libraries were looted, burned and destroyed. Even today, despite some cosmetic changes, largely for the benefit of tourists or visiting dignitaries; Tibetan religion and culture has not recovered from the decades of suppression and continues to suffer from neglect and discrimination. Rampant and indiscriminate exploitation of Tibet's vast natural resources is also threatening the fragile ecological balance of the Roof of the World. However, the single biggest threat to the survival of the Tibetan people is China's policy of population transfer aimed at reducing Tibetans to an insignificant minority in their own country by sending in millions of landless and jobless Chinese.

The distinct cultural ties between India and Tibet, the most obvious being the spread of Buddhism from India to Tibet in the seventh century, is perhaps too well known to bear repeating here. The trade and economic ties between the two countries is perhaps even older. It is equally important to remember that India maintained independent relations with Tibet throughout our shared history. Never, until China's military occupation of Tibet after 1949, has India ever shared a common border with China. Today India spends more money to defend our northern border with Chinese-occupied Tibet than we do to protect our border with Pakistan. Even in the case of our western border, much of the problem is linked to the political, economic and the military support that China gives to Pakistan.

Joined together by almost the entire length of the mighty Himalayan range -- India and Tibet are also inseparably linked in a physical sense. With such an extensive common frontier, the environmental changes on one side inevitably affects the other. It is for this reason that China's destruction of Tibet's fragile environment not only through indiscriminate deforestation and mining but also by dumping nuclear and other toxic wastes -- should be a major concern to every Indian. It is no longer just a question of helping an oppressed people and supporting a peaceful and friendly neighbour. Today the question of Tibetan independence is inseparably linked to India's long-term future. The implications of having China as our permanent northern neighbour or even the single issue of any of the rivers flowing from Tibet to India becoming polluted by toxic waste is too serious to be left to chance.

We believe that all the issues raised above are of a global nature not only in terms of the principles involved but also in terms of their impact. We, therefore, call upon freedom-loving people everywhere to join hands with the Tibetan people. We believe that Tibet Can and that Tibet Will Be Free. So join us by sharing your ideas, your time and your talents. Together we can make a difference to the lives of our Tibetan friends and also secure the safety of our future generations. For too long China has taken India and Indians for granted. Let us act now to make Tibet free.

Friends of Tibet (INDIA) believe that all the issues raised above are of a global nature -- not only in terms of the principles involved but also in terms of their impact. We, therefore, call upon freedom-loving people everywhere to join hands with the Tibetan people. With your help

‘Tibet Can and Tibet Will Be Free.’

Regards,

Sethu Das

(President, Friends of Tibet INDIA)

[photo:] Friends of Tibet National Committee with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

3 Comments:

Anonymous pat said...

Incidently...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5133220.stm

13:30  
Blogger Bob Merkin said...

this breaks my heart ... i'd kill to ride on this railway ... but i ain't spending 1 pfeneg there while China enslaves Tibet. i believe railways are humankind's gentlest scars on the environment, i love them and think they're environmentally the friendliest methods of transportation and shipping to remote areas. but this one is politically and military Wrong Bad Evil. Free Tibet.

19:37  
Anonymous patwantstofreetibet said...

Free Tibet ? Man, like, yeah, sounds cool man. Like, peace, love n harmony dude. The Beastie Boys are all for it so it must be cool.

Free Tibet, but how ? Tibet has been a part of China for the last 50 years, occupied just after the initial foudnding of the Peoples Republic of China, while your lads had a bigger problem in Korea (indirectly involvind China) and did not dare to taunt the Sleeping Dragon. Under the rule of Mao Tse Tung China (and therefore Tibet) remained isolated untill the early 80s.
At least to my knowledge Tibet has the status of a Special Development Province like Hong Kong. new houses are being built, the infrastructure is changing (that new railway is just part of the strategy to make Tibet more "chinese").China wants to make sure that the remaining Tibetans are becoming a voiceless minority. There is an underground opposition but they are having a hard time. A change cannot come from inside Tibet, and will not come from the outside.
China is the biggest and most important economical factor in the region, The Sleeping Dragons belly is full of US bonds and the current US administration (or the next one) will not even dare to raise the issue of Tibet. There will be no sanctions from the UN, otherwise hell wil break loose. His Holiness The Dalai Lama knows these facts and there is nothing he can do about it. I reckon he must be one of the saddest people on the planet. Tibet is in the tight grip of the Sleeping Dragon. Sad but True. Is it lo late ?

Free Tibet, yeah but how ? Any ideas anyone ? Just tell me and I tell you how we can cure cancer, Aids and solve the hunger problem

18:07  

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