Standing with Egypt

I haven’t posted  in a bit, but this post was something I felt I needed to write, the other post explaining my brief absence will come soon enough.

We all know by now what is going on in Egypt, and man what a demonstration it is. The amazing thing about it is that it is the people of Egypt standing up, no political faction started this, just the people who were fed up with 30 years of Mubaraks regime.

I’ve been watching http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/ and am awe struck by the comraderie of the protesters. People are helping one another. As people are entering areas of protest, citizens are checking the people out, that way it can remain a peaceful protest. I was just watching people patting down others, checking bags for weapons, it was awesome.

While Muslims were praying the other day, Christians surrounded them so they were not bothered. Religious differences have been set aside for the better of the people. Truly inspiring!

When this kind of thing happens we here of violence, hatred and general mayhem. There has not been much of that. Where there has been disturbances, neighborhood watch groups have sprouted up to protect one another.

Egypt’s defiance is the epitome of civil disobedience, done in a non-violent manner. One of the largest voices for non-violence, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, has given her support to Egypt.

We should

Blasts rock Tibetan area as China ups security

From Yahoo

Authorities closed the last window into a restive Tibetan region in western China on Monday, tightening its security cordon on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising that sent the Dalai Lama into exile.

Beijing is trying to head off trouble around March 10, which marks the start of the 1959 abortive Tibetan revolt against Chinese rule. A peaceful commemoration last year by monks in Lhasa, Tibet’s regional capital, erupted into anti-Chinese rioting four days later and spread to surrounding provinces — the most sustained and violent demonstrations by Tibetans in decades.

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Self Immolation a Cop Out?

I was checking out some new blogs today and saw a post about self immolation. For those that don’t know, self immolation is a form of protest where one sets themselves on fire to make a political point. One of the most infamous cases involving self immolation was that of Thich Quan Duc, a Buddhist monk who set himself aflame to bring awareness to the persecution of Buddhists in South Vietnam.

I think self immolation is rather selfless, giving up one’s life for the better good of those who are being oppressed. I wanted to get your take on it though. Do you think of it as a cop out or a legitimate form of protest?

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“China should stop rewriting history”

From Syracuse.com – Rep. James Walsh delivered a blunt message to the Chinese ambassador in a private meeting this week, telling him to stop “rewriting history” when it comes to Tibet.

Chinese Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong met behind closed doors Wednesday with Walsh and five other members of Congress to discuss recent violence in Tibet and the Chinese crackdown on dissent.

Before the meeting, Walsh backed a Republican bill that would ban President Bush and other U.S. officials from attending the opening ceremonies of this summer’s Olympics in China.

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China Seeks to Close Book on Unrest

And yet again, thanks to Tony from Slightly South of Sane for sending this in!

From Associated Press – China plans to put Lhasa rioters on trial and reopen Tibet to tourism by May, underscoring the government’s drive to close the book on recent unrest well ahead of this summer’s Beijing Olympics.

Other Tibetan regions may remain off-limits considerably longer, however, with police in western Sichuan province blocking access to foreigners on Thursday. One officer said the area, scene of widespread protests last month, may remain closed through the end of the games.

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Tibet Isn’t a Buddhist Litmus Test

From Buddhist Channel by Deepak Chopra – As the violence in Tibet has continued, the Dalai Lama issued a stern statement that he could not align himself with insurrection in his home country. Buddhism rests on several pillars, one of which is nonviolence. Tibet quickly became a kind of Buddhist litmus test.

How much pain and oppression can you stand and still exhibit loving kindness and compassion? I wonder if that’s really fair. The Tibetans face a political crisis that should be met with political action. Whatever that action turns out to be, nobody should be seen as a good or bad Buddhist, anymore than defending your house from an intruder tests whether a Christian is living by the precepts of Jesus.

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Tibetan exiles barred from handing protest petition to Chinese embassy in New Delhi

Ed. Note – Remember the post “Stand With Tibet” that mentioned the petition on the Avaaz site? Well seems like nearly 1.5 million people around the globe stood in solidarity with Tibet and signed it. Unfortunatly, I’m not sure if it’ll ever make it to the end person that the petition was meant for.

From Associated Press – Indian police barred several hundred Tibetans from marching Monday to the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, where they planned to submit more than 1.4 million names from an Internet petition calling on China to act with restraint in Tibet.

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