Thursday, August 24, 2006

Two Dedications

I plan to write something here soon, and I assure you it won't be mainly about politics. Still, I would like to start by dedicating this blog to Woeser, a young woman author of several books who has the name 'Od-gsal in Tibetan and Wei Se in Chinese. Her Tibetan name is the same as the word the Sikkimese teacher Kazi Dawa Samdup (or was it Evans-Wentz?), in the book entitled The Tibetan Book of the Dead, translated as Clear Light. It can probably be better translated as Luminosity. Her writings have been banned for telling the simple truth: that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is almost universally revered by Tibetans in Tibet, and his return is one of their greatest hopes. Although evident to anyone who has traveled in Tibet, this is an inconvenient truth for the authorities who have stripped her of her job and of her freedom of movement. Her two blogs called "Woesar Blog" and "Maroon Map" were recently closed down by the PRC authorities, for wishing His Holiness a happy birthday, among other things. I admire and respect her courage. May her light shine brightly. She is quite a fine writer. Sample some of her writings by following the links from here.

At the same time I would like to make a dedication to Drolma Kyab (Tibetan spelling Sgrol-ma-skyabs, 'Protection of Târâ'), a 30-year-old man who committed the crime of simply writing (not publishing) a book about Tibetan history. Unknown to the world, he was arrested in March 2005, and is set to serve out a ten-year prison sentence. Since I share his interest in Tibetan history, I have a special reason to make his plight more widely known, and by every means possible. May Târâ protect him. I will be traveling for the next six weeks, but by the time I get back I hope to have more to say on something besides the suppression of expression. I am lucky enough to live in a place other than the People's Republic of China, so I can express myself freely. Thank goodness (not Google) for that.

Monument at the site of the Nazi book burning in Berlin
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