"A conservation garden for Amaryllid species and Hybrids"
Mainly Amaryllids Garden - A Mail Order Conservation Garden.
Tibet - Can we save one of humanities most
Once in a while I am reminded of what Humans do to each
other despite this beautiful Earth, which we have been given to live
on and care
for. This is a sad reminder of what barbaric tendencies some portions
of Humanity has still remnant with their actions. 'Actions are the
essence of our being' according to Paramahansa Yogandandaji of the Self
Realization Fellowship, USA. It is my deepest hope that the
Chinese society will awaken to the errors of their leaders, and
a healing process that will affect ALL of Humanity.
Updated > Emailed to me from a friend 16/07/2004 11:10:18 AM
A brief overview of the ongoing political challenges faced
in this region.
Lake consequence (TP)
Politicians and eminent historians have certain things in common; both
love to indulge looking at historical events out of their context.
The latest example is the hubbub about Panchsheel. The magnificent
Principles have to be seen in the historical background of the Geneva
on Indochina, the role that Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to play as a mediator
and a peace-keeper and Zhou Enlai's need to get some international
for communist China. One should not forget that, for the first time
in 1954, Beijing staged an entry on the world scene.
Nehru's motivation was to replace the Simla Convention signed in 1914
British India and Tibet with a less "imperialist" treaty. The
Agreement was essentially an accord to update India's trade regulations
with Tibet. Ironically, during the same period, Delhi displayed
weird double standards: While doubting the validity of the Simla Convention,
it strangely used the Treaty of Paris signed in 1814 between France
and Great Britain to protest against the landing of 50 French gendarmes
In June 1954, Delhi considered that the Treaty of Paris signed soon
was defeated by the British, was still in force. According to one
the treaty's articles, "armed forces" were not allowed to
protect the French
The situation was farcical: Fifty armed police to defend
a parcel of French territory on Indian soil. Fortunately, a month
the French Government agreed to leave India in a more dignified manner.
Friends often tell me that one should not live in the past; one should
the future, especially in our relations with China. The present Government's
motto (which, by the way, loves to live in bygone times of "non-alignment"
or total support to the Palestinian cause, without even considering
the complexity of the situation in West Asia), is
many ways, it was also the policy of the previous regime and the message
came out of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to China in June 2003.
This is fine - China can be "engaged" and should be
"engaged", but India should
do it as China's equal partner, and not by running after Beijing or
China's authoritarian regime for favours. When China fixes its own
to celebrate the Panchsheel Agreement, and sets aside the content of
Agreement and India meekly accepts, it can not be called
is simply kowtowing.
The 1954 Agreement was about the regulation of trade and pilgrimage
and Tibet. It lapsed in June 1962; this means that today, according to
law, the only "legally" valid accord for regulating
intercourse" with Tibet is the Trade Regulations appended to the
As this is not being acknowledged by China, it creates a vacuum which is
to lead to serious difficulties. The first one is linked to the opening
of Nathu-la pass between Sikkim and Chumbi Valley. It was broadcasted
amid much fanfare after Mr Vajpayee's visit to China. But the issuing
of visas to local (or other) traders, the opening of the route to
and several other matters cannot be sorted out until proper regulations
are in place. Gangtok or Kalimpong
will probably have to wait to become
the hub of Himalayan trade again.
Another issue is the pilgrimage to Kailash. Recently, several articles
in the foreign press about the high pollution resulting from the Chinese
Government "development" policies. Kailash is a sacred
both for Hindus and Buddhists, but its ecosystem is very fragile. Let us
that the Brahmaputra, the Sutlej, the Indus and the Ganga originate
Today the Kailash environment is under threat from the Chinese atheist
which plans to develop "spiritual" tourism. The local Tibetan
is said to have prepared an "eco-tourism" plan for the area
-2012), which includes the upgrading and construction of new roads and
infrastructure such as airports to encourage larger scale tourism.
strangely, Tibetans living in the Kailash area were warned by officials
not speak about the new proposals.
The Australian paper, The Age, recently published a long piece on the
situation. It particularly mentioned a "village of mud brick
(close to the parikrama) which, is no advertisement for environmental
Waste water streams across the main street and its 1634 people have to
a central patch of rubbish-strewn open ground, complete with scavenging
as their toilet." The village's waste flows into the holy
The article further states: "Moreover, environmentalists and
around the world are increasingly alarmed more by the possibility of
efforts by Chinese authorities to 'develop' the tourist potential
the area, considering the garishly inappropriate buildings already
up in Tibet's bigger cities and towns."
Another Westerner who has frequently been visiting the area wrote:
this road to me as a 'catastrophe'." This is without mentioning
flourishing prostitution trade in Taklakot (Purang), the border town
with India and Nepal.
Before the Panchsheel Agreement was signed, there was a small village
in the vicinity of the Kailash. Though located in Tibet, this village
to the Jammu & Kashmir State; its inhabitants were responsible for
preserving the sanctity and purity of the place. This village was
to China in the early 1950s, but the idea of sharing the responsibility
of the sacred mountain was an excellent one.
If the Five Principles are to be implemented, the first gesture of
good neighbourliness) one could expect from China would be for Beijing
let Delhi know the development plans for the holy pilgrimage area.
Beijing should ensure that unsustainable development which would hurt
of both the Hindus and the Buddhists and change the atmosphere of
place do not occur.
If China does not possess a Jagmohan who could, in one stroke, take care
religious sentiments of the pilgrims and provide them with the most
facilities, India, I am sure, would be ready to offer expertise. To
take up this matter could certainly be a first step to
"positively" engage Beijing
and create the necessary atmosphere for thornier issues, such as the
to be discussed. After all, is it not more important today to look
into the nitty-gritty of these "small" matters than start
Principles are fine, but their spirit will show only in tiny concrete
Review: “What Remains of Us”
By Christine Gross
Canada Tibet Committee Member for WTN News
What Remains of Us
Coinciding with the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Toronto,
several events like Tibet Week, benefit concerts, and the showing
of films about Tibet. The film What
Remains of Us, premiered in Toronto at
HOT DOCS 2004, the Canadian International Documentary Festival during
the Dalai Lama’s teachings. Special
screenings later took place at the
National Film Board of Canada on 150 John Street, and I was fortunate
to attend the first screening on
At this screening, the film directors, Francois Prevost, Hugo
Latulippe, and producers Yves
Bisaillon and principle character/interpreter Kalsang Dolma,
who are all Canadians, were present to introduce the film and
What Remains of Us is the most moving and revealing film I have seen
in my lifetime. It is a rare
firsthand glimpse into today’s Tibet and its people.
Its message speaks deeply to the heart and mind and calls for action.
During the 76 minute film, I found myself crying most of the time,
feeling a deep sadness and connecting with the suffering that was
Produced and recorded over a period of eight years, this extraordinary
film surpasses any documentary to date by
allowing the Dalai Lama to return
to Tibet. The 14th Dalai Lama returns with the help of modern technology
through a small portable video player carrying a special message
recorded especially for Tibetans inside Tibet. His message is moving
and encouraging and echoes his message of nonviolence and peace.
Kalsang Dolma was the guide and
interviewer of the Tibetans from all parts
and all walks of life: monks, nuns, nomads, farmers, prostitutes,
old people and young people. She
compassionately and skilfully encouraged
Tibetans to speak their truth and reveal their feelings about their
life. During this time, Francois and Yves recorded their responses
on portable cameras. The Tibetans willingly participated, knowing that
their life and their families’ safety
were at risk for speaking out. Many
shared of their complete lack of power, their lack of economic power,
their inability to do and believe what they wish and how people
have been tortured and gone missing. Some
shared of the disregard for the
natural resources and how the environment is getting more polluted.
Most said the return of the Dalai Lama to
Tibet will make everything
will be better.
The film also reveals the truths of how the international community
turned a blind eye to the oppression and
genocide of the Tibetans that dates
back as early as 1950. To date, 1.2 million Tibetans have disappeared,
and everyone interviewed said they knew someone who was missing.
The footage showed clearly the results of the influx of over 10
million Chinese who were moved into
the area. This took the form of music, signs,
stores, restaurants, schools, army, newspapers, with fewer and fewer
symbols of the Tibetan language.
In an exquisite blend of prose, poems, songs, prayer and music Kalsang
Dolma voice speaks to us to see, hear and
feel what remains of the Tibetans
and this is artfully woven throughout the film. The film is in English
and the some of the singing is in Tibetan.
This film was shot without the knowledge of Chinese authorities, so
distribution / viewing of this film to
wider audiences will prove
challenging. Special security measures were taken at NFB to ensure no
copying or recording of the film and the
people in the film.
It was an amazing opportunity to be able to ask questions to the
creators of the film. One lady in the
audience commented that producers omitted
information that Tibet has become a nuclear waste dumpsite. They
responded and said that one of the lakes
included in the film was filled with
nuclear waste and that was a way of including and making a visual
statement. In general people were very
moved by this touching film and felt
called to action. One viewer asked what is the next step? What could
Canadians do? Yves suggested contacting the Canada Tibet Committee
and visiting the website to view the many
ways one can get involved.
Witnessing and hearing the painful suffering of the Tibetans, echoed
the painful history of Canadians
and the Canadian government in their human ignorance
towards our native people. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s,
the controlling of native people began in the form of dictating
where they could live and how much land
they could have through reservations.
It expanded its assimilation plan with the mandatory kidnapping
of children to residential schools and the influx of christianity,
the creation of laws forbidding the speaking or writing of their
native language or dialect, and the laws forbidding practicing of
sacred ceremonies, gatherings and rites of
passage. We are witnessing the
effects in our society of humans who were denied their basic rights
and freedoms, of the scars of abuse and
torture and we are all affected.
Perhaps my passion to help Tibetans, speaks from the graves and
spirits of all those who have went
before, who have suffered these same atrocities.
We have the power, like no other time on the planet to make a
difference and to not let a culture and its people disappear. We do
not need to repeat history.
As a supporter and member of the Canada Tibet Committee, the flame of
my commitment to a Free Tibet
shines even more brightly. It is my hope that this
film is viewed worldwide and include UN and government officials as
as the MP’s, MPP’s across Canada.