March 19, 2009

There shall be no ... in the Jokhang square

"Even today," said the Dalai Lama recently, "Tibetans in Tibet live in constant fear." The Tibetans' spiritual leader was describing conditions in his homeland 50 years after the 1959 Tibetan rebellion against Chinese occupation, which began with the 1950-1951 Chinese army invasion of Tibet. (Please click on "Tibet" in the "Where Do You Want to Go?" sidebar for posts about the situation in Tibet and links to sites with a wealth of information about the occupation, the Tibetan government-in-exile and the bleak prospects for the survival of Tibetan culture.)

I had a flashing moment of fear when I took this photo of a sign posted in front of Lhasa's Jokhang temple, Tibetan Buddhism's most sacred place of worship. Had a Chinese police officer seen me raise my camera to this announcement, he likely would have marched over to have a chat with me. Perhaps I would have been "punished with education."