Freedom burning

By Soraya Beheshti
ON THE WEB, 9 February 2013
We live in a world that is supposedly strengthening the prominence of freedom, justice, compassion and equality. And yet — there is still a deafening cry from a nation that is screaming for liberty and choice. A nation that, even in this “free world”, embodies the cruelty and oppression of subjugation.
Soraya Beheshti
Tibet boasted its own language, traditions, history and lifestyle. When the Communist People’s Republic took over in 1951 all independence — as well as any source of identity that Tibet could claim — was quashed.

The occupation of Tibet for the last 60 years has deprived the country of its culture, history, civil rights and freedoms, and most importantly, the heart and spirit of Tibet: religion.

They left twelve monasteries. Twelve — of over 6000

Though destroying a place of worship is always an awful and unforgiving act, it is especially detrimental in Tibet, where religion forms the basis of existence and standards, and determines routine and values. Sacred and sanctified items were sold or disposed of (the proceeds of which went to China).
One of the most peaceful nations that the world has seen is now an outright and unconditional war zone. Since 1959, over 1.2 million Tibetans have died due to the occupation of their homeland. Sterilization and forced abortions have arisen in Tibet as a major issue. If nothing changes, it won’t be long before the Tibetan race is completely obliterated — all that will be left will be the ancient remnants, locked up in China, and the burning remorse deep inside reminding us that while we were shaking our heads and flipping through channels, there was a country giving their lives for the rights that we always possess and rarely appreciate.

We constantly wonder how the Nazis were so appeased in the 20th Century

The [Nazis of Germany] were able to commit mass murder of a whole race and get away with it for so long. Evidently, we are unable to understand that history is recurrent, and the very same thing is happening today.
Nuclear waste dumped by the Chinese is killing the land and poisoning the air with dangerous radiation. Furthermore, the fertilizer that is mandatory by law causes crops and animals to die. It is clear that the current occurrences in Tibet point to calculated and conscious genocide — and yet it is almost completely overlooked.

China, the offender in this inhumane and intolerable crime, still possesses the rank of “Most Favoured Nation” to the US

Economic policies in Tibet (enforced by the Chinese) are established around a political arrangement that neglects Tibetan practices, requirements and progression. Tibet is viewed by China in such a way that it serves only as a pawn, slaving to advance China’s own economy and markets. Tibetan resources and labour are both exhausted as properties of China, working to progress and develop Chinese prosperity.
China has been revising the history of Tibet long before they took power. It is for this reason that many people in Mainland [sic] China (sadly) believe that they posses a genuine right to claim Tibet. True history, however, clearly verifies that Tibet had always been independent, associating with China only as a neighbour.
Like many other small, surrounding countries, China has used their military dominance to assert authority over these peaceful nations to accommodate their own inflated population. Tibet is being taken advantage of because it is a non-violent country. Powers like China have the ability to exploit countries like Tibet because they know that they will face no hostile backlash in the combative sense, due to the karmic principles that the country is based upon. Therefore, the people that are essentially the least deserving of such treatment are the ones that are treated the most harshly.

The Dalai Lama teaches compassion

The Dalai Lama himself has no hatred towards the Chinese, but rather participates in a daily practice in which he “exchanges” emotion to evoke positive action by willing the transferral of his compassion and the acquisition of their hatred.
“That’s why I call love and compassion a universal religion. One’s own happiness and compassion depend on others.”
Therefore, one should have compassion for others, creating happiness among them, and thus amongst yourself.

If there is one thing that my research has taught me, it is this:

The soldiers are not to hate — they are products of indoctrination. The history is not to hate — it wasn’t what caused the soldiers to act this way. If there is anything to hate, it is hatred itself — which is, and always will be, the most negative force in the universe, of which no good can come.
The oppression of Tibet has entrenched, in a people so good and pure, a despair so deep and so profound that even self-immolation is a more viable option than existing in a life deprived of identity. The physical pain of the literal roasting of their own flesh is incomparable to the emotional and spiritual anguish and suffering that stems from the absence of free will.
A life in which castration, torture, scalding and rape are everyday occurrences is not the kind of life that should be ignored by those who are lucky enough to be without such hardships. Years later, we will reflect on the headlines which act as footprints of time. If this oppression continues in the future, we will wonder why we never acted earlier.
Why should we later regret not having done anything, when we can instead speak up now?

This article was published on Ms Beheshti's website on 11 January 2013.

About the author

Soraya Beheshti is 16 years old. She is from New Zealand. Ms Beheshti has a fascination with politics and world issues, unparalleled by almost any other interest in her life. She says: "I am young — and some would say therefore powerless — but I feel a relentless need to try my part in this grave human condition, including the Tibetan situation. Though young and inexpert, I am propelled by curiosity to try to write what I know and to discover what I do not." She hopes that she finds herself one day to be in a world where her voice — and that of every other inhabitant of this planet — can be heard.


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  3. I think this article has too many assumptions about what the world is and ‘our’ perception of it. I agree China is morally corrupted, but it’s not exclusive. Why not write an article comparing the Tibetans’ situation with, say, the Maori situation in New Zealand?

  4. ehh . "One’s own happiness and compassion depend on others"?????? I think oppiste: one's own happiness depend only on himself. "depend on others" (if i understand it right) is so superficial and contradictory of buddism.