Feb 14, 2014 - Tibetan Independence Day- February 13, 2014 : Prayer Flags for Tibet, Prayer Flags for the people, for all beings, for the land and water By Sara Jumping Eagle

As more countries and cultures become contaminated with the military industrialized complex, and come to mimic the United States of America, Great Britain, Canada, and Russia – such as India, Japan, and China, we are seeing more sacred places destroyed. These countries are choosing and will choose to destroy sacred spaces for profit, for compliance, for uniformity and comfort, to annihilate any disruption to the machine of production and demand. Tibet is a thorn in the side of China simply by existing, simply by containing most of the areas’ water and having sacred sites under which may contain minerals that China is intent on mining.

China limits any media coming in and out of Tibet, so any information of mining or protests is limited. Mining operations by Chinese firms are disregarding sacred sites, contaminating rivers, and polluting the environment. A mining accident, landslide, near Lhasa, at one of these open pit mining sites, Gyama, in April 2013 resulted in the death of 83, mainly Chinese miners. One of the main mining protests has been Tibetans who resist mining of their sacred mountain Nglha Dzambha. Subsequently 5000 Tibetans stood in protest in the Driu area, with 3500 Tibetans going directly to the mining area to stand in protest peacefully at their pilgrimage site. Six Tibetan men submitted a petition requesting the Chinese not to further harm the local environment. This resulted in Chinese forces surging into the area and clamping down on any movement or communications, with 50 trucks of soldiers arriving in the area. As a result of popular outcry, the Chinese did stop mining in that specific area. In August 2013, Tibetan protesters held a 3 day protest, during which they silently sat or stood in protest at their sacred mountain. The Chinese soldiers abused the protesters with tear gas, stun guns and batons, resulting in 40 – 60 people injured. After these Tibetan mining protests, China detained those thought to be leaders of the protests. In December 2013, three protesters received sentences ranging in 3 – 13 years in prisons known to use torture and starvation as methods of punishment, flouting the Geneva Convention. On December 28, 2013, (just over one month ago) the body of a 20 year old Tibetan mining protester, Konchog Drakpa, was returned to his family after he had been tortured and died in a Chinese prison. He committed no crime. He died for protesting Chinese mining at a sacred Tibetan mountain.

In the past several years, 120 Tibetan monks, Tibetan nuns, and Tibetan people have self-emolliated (burned themselves to death) in protest of Chinese occupation of Tibet. The Tibetan people are unable to practice their ceremonies; their people are undergoing cultural, ethnic, and physical genocide. Their spiritual leader, the Dhalai Lhama, has been forced to live outside of the country for more than 50 years, or he would likely not still be alive, although he continues to advocate for peace and Tibetan “autonomy” not direct freedom, other Tibetans in and out of Tibet continue to advocate for Tibetan freedom. (Many Tibetans live in nearby India, the site of their official government.) The Tibetan peoples’ most sacred place, Lhasa, the home of the Dhalai Lhama, the center of their country, has been taken over by China, and is being converted into a tourist trap (strip malls and parking).

Most news or media coverage of Everest mountain climbs, travel to Nepal or China, largely neglects to mention the current lack of Tibetan freedom in the area (nearby Tibetan people are shot by Chinese army for trying to escape the area on foot). Tibetans leave Tibet for religious freedom and for education. Some leave after being tortured and starved in prison. Some parents are sending their children to India for Tibetan education and religious training that can no longer be obtained in Tibet. The one time a shooting of Tibetans leaving Tibet for religious and political freedom was documented by Westerners could not be ignored was the Nangpa La shooting incident. During this incident, a Tibetan Nun, Kelsang Namtso, 17 years old, was shot and killed, Tibetan children and people were shot at, detained; this was all captured on film by Everest hikers and will soon be made into a film highlighting the lack of freedoms in Tibet.

China is shipping in Chinese settlers by train, converting Lhasa into a relative shopping mall with underground parking. Tibetan monks who have traditionally been leaders in their communities, have under Chinese martial law been intentionally isolated and ostracized so as not to continue traditional ways among the people (sound familiar?). China limits the number of new monks and nuns allowed to enter the monasteries and limits what is taught there. China holds hostage the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, abducted at age 6 years old after being selected by the 14th Dhalai Lhama. He has not been seen by the Tibetan or world community since 1995 (China selected an 11th Panchen Lama for Tibet). Community people have been sent to “retraining meetings” so as to learn Chinese nationalism, not their traditional practices or language, and are forced to raise the Chinese flag. They can be thrown in jail and tortured for simply stating “free Tibet”, “long live the Dhalai Lhama”, or for raising the Tibetan flag or at times for having pictures of the Dhalai Lhama. Yet all of these abuses by the Chinese are ignored by the world’s leaders, who simply choose to see the possibility of more consumers. The 2008 Olympics being held in Beijing was a great example of this. Today what is portrayed as a series of “accidents” we see that Tibetan monasteries and ancient Tibetan cities are now burning. The Chinese propaganda machine keeps rolling. The world’s economic and industrial forces keep doing business with China, ignoring the human rights abuses for the sake of money. This is the face of colonialism, the face of the industrialized complex, intent on taking resources, and moving people with connections to that land, out of the way – by any means.

If the ceremonies and traditional ways are forgotten, then the traditional peoples’ connections to the land will be forgotten – then WE will no longer fight when the earth is mined, dammed, drilled, fracked, in-situ mined and symbolically and physically raped.

It has to be said how closely this current genocide taking place in Tibet is similar to so many other scenarios where genocide has and is taking place in order for a people and Nation to be exploited for their lands’ resources. We must see that the same tactics are being used by transnational corporations across the world – the same propaganda machine, the use of militarized police, and the same intent to exploit natural resources by any means necessary is taking place now all over the world.

The Tibet Mongolia Treaty was signed on December 29, 1912. This treaty illustrates both countries’ independence, sovereignty, and rejection of Manchu Chinese rule and political ties to China. This treaty still exists in Mongolia today. The 13th Dalai Lama’s decree of Tibetan independence on February 13th 1913 reasserted the independence of Tibet after many years of attempts at colonization, most recently by China and Great Britain. (Read more background on links below) Yet the Tibet-China Treaty of 821-822 AD was signed to establish peace and constitute the boundaries of Tibet and China, establishing that Tibet was already a Sovereign Nation long before. A key text in the treaty reads, “Tibetans shall be happy in the land of Tibet, and Chinese shall be happy in the land of China,” [བོད་བོད་ཡུལ་ན་སྐྱིད། རྒྱ་རྒྱ་ཡུལ་ན་སྐྱིད།] clearly marking the boundaries of China from Tibet. This treaty is carved into the Jokhang Doring, or stone pillar, in front of Tibet’s holiest temple. (See Students for Free Tibet)

The Lakota and Dakota Nations are Sovereign Nations, working to protect our sacred sites, our ceremonies, language, lands, waters, and families. We respect Tibet as a Sovereign Nation, with the right to care for the Tibetan people, the land, water, ceremonies, sacred ways and places of Tibet as Tibetans deem appropriate and free from oppression. Tibetan Independence Day!

Last Real Indians