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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

The Rangzen Road Ahead

October 16, 2008

Maura Moynihan
Phayul/by Email
October 15, 2008

The Realpolitik

On October 10th, 2008, rights networks around the globe had press
releases ready in expectation that the 2008 Peace Prize would be
rightly granted to Hu Jia or Gao Zhisheng, to condemn China, for
jailing and slaughtering citizens in preparation for the summer
Olympics. Just as the Olympic Committee was bullied and backed off,
the Nobel Committee felt the chill of China's displeasure, and
bestowed the prize upon an obscure Finnish diplomat. China doesn't
play by any rules but their own, and in 2008 they're relishing the
global kowtow.

In September 2008, journalists gathered in Honolulu for a conference
about China after the Olympics. There was unanimous agreement that
that Beijing is pleased with the outcome; the athletes performed
brilliantly, as did the security minders who welcomed foreign guests
who unfurled the Tibetan flag with a tackle and shackle, and swift
deportation. Those irksome Olympic visitors have gone, but the
extensive security apparatus installed for the Games will stay, and
in a world order where might makes right and possession is 9/10ths of
the law, the persecution of Tibet will continue.

China is accustomed to getting its way in Tibet, assured that Tibet's
remoteness, will preserve their reign of terror. The Tibetan cause
rouses sympathy, China wins in the bank and the boardroom. The Tibet
movement has no army, no wealth, no state, not one government on
earth will back it up. Tibet must settle for moral victories only. So
what is to be done?

The Rangzen Revolution

It is a miracle that the Tibetan people have survived at all, given
the catastrophe of the Chinese occupation. They did survive, and
ignited an international peace movement, for the Tibetan freedom
struggle offers the people of the world a path to non-violent
activism, a refuge of sanity else we descend into barbarism.

This Rangzen fire was kindled in the golden age of globalization,
when many activists of today intersected Tibet by chance, wandering
into tea shops on Janpath, Boudhanath, Manali, into pieces of Old
Tibet. This global transmission of Tibetan civilization was
accomplished by refugees living in rented rooms across the Indian
subcontinent, selling sweaters, running hotels, raising families. 50
years of exile, and the Tibetans are still a tiny bands of stateless
refugees in a hostile sea, wondering when deliverance will come, how
long must they pray, in exile, for the people of Tibet, whose dark
night has not passed. But they have not surrendered.

The Shangrila and Tintin legends were the only Tibet we knew in our
youth, a wondrous land of temples and mystics in the high Himalaya.
These symbols convey a truth, for a country's myths are part of its
identity as much as its politics and human condition. In tea shops
and jewelry stalls we found the unique genius of Tibetan
civilization, carried by mothers, fathers, children, caught in a
tragedy, trying to survive against incredible odds. Clutching seeds
of Buddhadharma, with their language and rituals, a tiny flame of
hope in a psychotic world. And a story of cruelty and loss so
overwhelming, the Chinese Communist Occupation, it summoned outrage
and alarm in all who heard of it.

2009; Earth Cow Year

Within the PRC a tsunami looms. The Toxic Milk scandal has eclipsed
the Olympics in the 2008 news cycle and poisoned trust in the China
brand. The global economy is melting down, as are the polar ice caps.
Pollution and natural disasters will stall the PRC's development
plans. Corruption has corroded all trust in the state, which deploys
brute force to crises that demand civic action. The Chinese Communist
Party commands fear but no loyalty, as did the Soviet Union as it
stumbled towards collapse. That Tibetan culture, Falon Gong and
community organizing are forces that so petrify the mighty People's
Republic of China, that summon punishments so cruel and extreme,
reveals a crippling psychosis within the Communist leadership, that
cannot humanize its response to what it deems a threat, and declares
war on its own citizens. How cruel will it be inside Tibet, in 2009,
when following anniversaries will come; 60 years of the PRC. 50 years
HH Dalai Lama in exile. 20 years Tienanmen Square massacre. 20 years
of HH Dalai Lama a Nobel Laureate. Last summer, while toasting the
end of the Olympics in a Delhi bar, a Khampa elder paused, and said
"Its going to blow up. It's not over".

2008 revealed that Rangzen is not a lost cause. A cause is only lost
when it is abandoned. In 2007 Tenzin Tsundue offered his Olympic
forecast; "I want to tell China we will come down from the sky,
emerge out of the earth into your Olympic stadiums. We will be there;
we will see who stops whom….China cannot wish away their Tibet
problem, with young Tibetans growing up everywhere in the world, the
issue of Tibet is only becoming bigger. It's not about Dalai Lama,
it's about us; our lives, our future, and we will not give up, no matter what."

In August 2008 Tenzin Tsundue's vision came to pass; the Tibetan flag
descended upon Beijing, from the sky above Bird's Nest. And it came
and came again, and the Rangzen heroes were beaten and arrested, and
can forever bear witness to the truth of China's Tibet. Everyone who
joins a Rangzen Rally intersects this ray of truth. When I am afraid,
when I forget to believe, I cling to this truth, in a piece of old
Tibet which landed somewhere in Delhi, Paris, Tokyo, New York, where
someone is raising the Tibetan flag.

George Orwell wrote in his essay "Looking Back on the Spanish War"
"Shall the common man be pushed back into the mud, or shall he not? I
myself believe, perhaps on insufficient grounds, that the common man
will win his fight sooner or later, but I want it to be sooner and
not later—some time within the next hundred years, say, and not some
time within the next ten thousand years."

Free Tibet Now.

Maura Moynihan is the daughter of the late Senator Moynihan who was a
great friend of Tibet. Maura herself has for long been a front-line
supporter of Tibet and is a musician, songwriter and successful writer.

The views expressed in this piece are that of the author and the
publication of the piece on this website does not necessarily reflect
their endorsement by the website.

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