Please allow me to express my appreciation for the appointment of Maria Otero as U.S. Tibet Coordinator, and I am pleased that she was there to be with the Dalai Lama as he was the first recipient of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Award yesterday.
I am taking this opportunity to exercise my freedom of speech as an American citizen because I am concerned about President Obama’s reasoning for NOT meeting with the Dalai Lama while the exiled spiritual and political leader of Tibet is visiting Washington, D.C. this week. This is a celebrated, historic visit for many great reasons (a meeting with Otero, the Light of Truth Awards, talks at schools), but it also marks the first time since 1991 a U.S. President is not meeting with the Dalai Lama.
Given His Holiness’ age, one automatically thinks that any opportunity should be seized to meet with one of the world’s last non-violent leaders. As an Obama supporter, I sought a president who I thought would not ignore non-violence as a political option in a world only increasing in military and nuclear development. But now I am concerned that Obama’s repeated shuns of the Dalai Lama are starting to add up in China’s favor. The Dalai Lama has gracefully accepted that the timing of this most current D.C. visit has been made unfortunate by the upcoming U.S. China summit. He has stated that he understands that the Obama administration does not want to rock the (my words) dragon boat like Germany and France did by meeting with His Holiness before Hu Jintao.
China’s unbelievable power and hegemonic puppetry is now measured in one very indicative moment of change: when after ten years of engagement, a U.S. President fails to meet with Dalai Lama, having everything to do with placating China’s global economic colonization and the human rights abuses that result, rather than making true Change happen, starting with not honoring violent regimes -especially blatantly undemocratic ones – with manipulative nationalistic egos.
Please, President Obama – time is running out. We need to turn and face and fight what does not honor humanity – and the Chinese Communist Party DOES NOT! Please, this is not an ideological rant. I have been an anthropologist, curator, and friend of Tibet and Tibetans for over ten years and have fought to bring Tibetans together across the divide of exile not because I am anti-China but because I am anti-violence, anti-exploitation, anti-dehumanization.
Please show that you still support non-violence and peace and will not follow the hegemony of the CCP, and meet with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. There doesn’t need to be any press even – just do it! Instead of beer, try some “chang” or “pucha” – just ask His Holiness what these are when you see him soon.