Light in the darkness

August 19th, 2008 § 5

Chinese forces killed two more Tibetans in eastern Tibet. A nun named Sonam Yungzom is reported to have been shot while shouting slogans in Kardze town on August 10th. One source says she yelled out: “There are no human rights in China, there is brutal oppression in Tibet, still the Olympics go on in China.” She was hit by 5 to 6 bullets and then her body was thrown in a vehicle and taken away. An unidentified man is reported to have been shot and killed a few days earlier in the same town after he brought a photo of the Dalai Lama and protested.

We can’t get confirmation of these events because people in Kardze are terrified to speak by phone or to talk to strangers. Chinese police lay traps, posing as undercover journalists and asking people how they feel about human rights and then making arrests if a Tibetan dares to answer honestly. Reports indicate there are up to 10,000 troops deployed in the area and no media is allowed. So what do we do?

Hearing these stories I have to fight feelings of helplessness, and sometimes even despair. But last night I had some serious help in this battle. When I saw this beautiful light banner unfurled in Beijing and heard how the authorities got so frustrated because they couldn’t stop it from glowing, I felt truth triumph over oppression and lies. For just a moment there was justice in that part of the world; for all Tibetans and for Sonam Yungzom, there was justice. May she, and the unidentified man, find a speedy rebirth.

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