A 40 Year "Retrospective Journey"

“Be good, keep your feet dry,
your eyes open, your heart at peace
and your soul in the joy of Christ.”
Thomas Merton

November 3, 2008

Tibet in Exile

(click map for details)

Dharamsala has been the home of the Government of Tibet in Exile since the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959. The affairs of Tibetans in exile are governed by the "Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama" (CTA). The current situation can be summarized as follows...

"Tibet is under the administration of the People's Republic of China, a situation that the Central Tibetan Administration considers an illegitimate military occupation. The position of the CTA is that Tibet is a distinct nation with a long history of independence. The current policy of the Dalai Lama, however, is that he does not seek full independence for Tibet, but would accept an autonomous status similar to that now held by Hong Kong." Wikipedia

November 3, 1968
Thomas Merton reflects briefly on the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan exiles in his journal of November 3, 1968, the day before his scheduled visit with His Holiness.

"The Dalai Lama is loved by his people, and they are a beautiful loving people.They surround his house with love and prayer... Probably no leader in the world is so much loved by his followers and means so much to them. He means everything to them. For that reason it would be especially terrible and cruel if any evil should strike him. May God protect and preserve him." AJTM p.92

"There are great problems for the Tibetan refugees like those I saw today in Upper Dharamsala living in many tents under the trees on the steep mountainside, clinging precariously to a world in which they have no place in and only waiting to be moved somewhere else, to "camps". AJTM p.93

Free Tibet

40 years later the issues remain unresolved. In a movement reminiscent of the sixties, students and youth have rallied to the Tibetan cause under the banner of "Students for a Free Tibet". They are organized internationally in non-violent education and advocacy towards a "Free Tibet". The following video clip is some of their work.

The Late Brother Wayne Teasdale (1945-2004), author of "The Mystic Heart", was a passionate advocate on behalf of Tibetans in exile. He laments the apparent silence of the world's religious communities in relation to Tibet and writes... "Tibet is a test to measure whether or not the human species has the ability to evolve in its moral consciousness, whether or not it can stretch beyond its present ways of approaching situations of injustice, tyranny, and threats to the ecosphere."

TTFN... Rob

"We have a universal responsibility to speak out when we see injustice, oppression, and the abuse of human rights, the rights of the earth, and other species," Wayne Teasdale

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