China has invited the world to visit in August 2008. Exactly one year out, I've traveled to the heart of the nation that has brutally occupied my homeland for over 50 years. Follow this blog, as I share what I see, feel, and experience... leaving Beijing wide open.

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In 2004, an Australian and an American displayed a banner in the "Ethnic Minorities Park"

Back in April, a group of Americans protested the Olympic torch route at Mount Everest

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August 2007
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The technology of our dissent

I’ve been thinking a lot about the impact of this blog and the banner on the Great Wall over the past few days. So much of the attention our actions in Beijing garnered was because of the technology we used to challenge the Chinese government. More than one story focused on the tools that helped us blast our message around the world. Such simple yet powerful tools have given a new generation of Tibetans unconventional weapons to fight for our people.

Check out this CityTV interview I did with Amber Mac via Skype Video Chat.

The importance of video, and YouTube specifically, to our countdown protest cannot be overstated. For people around the world to see the banner on the Great Wall and what I was doing in Beijing almost as it happened, had a huge impact on the action. It created excitement amongst our supporters, helped us get a response from the IOC, grabbed the attention of the media and may have protected us from a harsher response by the Chinese government. And while we were doing our thing in Beijing, so many other Tibetans and supporters were using the same technology to create a buzz around the International Day of Action for Tibet on the 8th. In London, SFTers and young Tibetans made this awesome video for the launch of Team Tibet UK.

To some, this technology is dangerous. It challenges the control the Chinese authorities have over people and the ideas they are exposed to. That’s why they try to block people from using it in China and Tibet. One of my heroes, the Tibetan writer Woser who lives in Beijing, has been targeted more than once. Last July, when she dared to post birthday wishes to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on her blog, the Chinese government shut her down. Far more dangerous than my words, Woser’s were in Chinese, and read religiously by young Tibetans in China and Tibet who can speak and read the language of the oppressor.

Already a number of young Tibetans in exile have set up blogs to express their feelings about China’s occupation of Tibet. Tenchoe from SFT India just set up From the Warriors and Tsewang Dorjee started one called Wake Up Beijing 2008.

When I was in China I used proxy servers to get around the Chinese censors and read about the protests in Lithang and the hunger strike in New Delhi. Just being able to see what other people were sacrificing for the cause of Tibetan freedom gave me courage to keep going. I was also able to read the comments being posted on this blog and feel the impact we were having in real time. Perhaps most encouraging were some of the messages from Tibetans inside Tibet. They said they found inspiration and strength in my actions, and in return I drew the same from theirs.

And that’s exactly why Beijing hates to see us use this technology - it lets us meet each other, share our ideas and convictions, and feel powerful in our solidarity.


Comment from Bogdan Mrovlje
Time: August 20, 2007, 9:48 am

Dear Lhadon,
I have been a supporter of Tibetan cultural and political authonomy because my Slovene nation was less than 70 years ago also condemned to extinction in the fascist nazi Europe of that time. Since I entered Sangha in Ljubljana many years ago I am following your rightful movement for preservation of noble Tibetan heritage. I share your point of view that Olympic Commitee is playing ugly game in negligence of proud Tibetan cause. But they are maintaining status quo with their false propaganda and money loundry proclaiming false ancient values of Olympics and are not helping to stop devastation in Tibet. With their international network and mainly drugged athletes they are reflecting nothing else than decay of classical Olympic values. I still remember the exclamation of Mr.Samaranch - president of International Olympic Commitee from 1984 winter Olympics in Sarajevo - he said “Thank you Sarajevo”. But we know that eight years later Sarajevo was in flames of civil war. So keep on with your brave just action to resuscitate the wisdom of Buddhist thought which last even longer than the ideas of Swiss Olympic Movement. The nobles came from India. Sincerely yours Bogdan Mrovlje

Comment from sburris
Time: August 20, 2007, 12:47 pm

Dear Lhadon: The Tibetan Heritage Institute of Arkansas has been following your travels, and we are all greatly appreciative–and deeply admiring as well–of what you are doing. You’re right about the technology too: it’s given political protest a new front, and one that’s very difficult to control. Thanks for your bravery, intelligence, and commitment.

Sidney Burris & Geshe Thupten Dorjee

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Comment from Drake
Time: April 11, 2008, 6:04 am

Tre si come hotel aires buenos degli ogni in sagittario.

Comment from Tenzin
Time: April 11, 2008, 1:01 pm

I don’t know why there are so many blogs out there. there are not a lot of Tibetans in exile and it is getting difficult to keep track of all these blogs. Please just have one blog and there is no neccessity for more than one blog.

I think, (just a personal opinion) that the march from Dharamsala to Tibet is not a good idea. I don’t know what that would really achieve. It is really not getting any press in the West or atleast in America. I live in San Francisco and I have not seen it in the papers here. I don’t think that it will get any significant press when it is over. I think it is valuable time, money and energy wasted on this thing. I don’t know why you would want to walk for so many days. I am sure it makes sense to all of you, so great. I guess, keep up the good work.

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