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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Monk discusses hopes for future of Tibet

November 3, 2010

Lauren Westberg, Staff Reporter
November 1, 2010

Monday night in Krannert Auditorium, a Tibetan
monk and escapee discussed the need for a bridge
of communication to be built between China and Tibet.

Arjia Rinpoche, the Director of the Tibetan
Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center in
Bloomington, Ind., published a book of memoirs
this year, "Surviving the Dragon." In his memoir,
Rinpoche talks about experiences in China and
Tibet. While the topic of Buddhism is not
directly breached, Rinpoche said if one were to
read his book "(one would) indirectly learn the
compassion, wisdom and patience of Buddhism."

In the late ‘50s, China invaded Tibet. For a
while the Tibetan monks were allowed to keep
their monasteries and worship there. In 1958,
however, the government policies changed;
Buddhism was renounced in Tibet and many monasteries were destroyed.

In 1966, a cultural revolution came about in
Tibet, and the Tibetan monks were once more
allowed to worship. There were still some
restrictions on freedom of choice for Tibet.

"You can’t have a saying or talking. You don’t
have freedom of speech, you don’t have freedom of speech," Rinpoche said.

In the late ‘90s, due to tension upon his
spiritual and religious beliefs, Rinpoche went
into exile rather than compromise his ideology.
He came to the United States and met the Dalai Lama in New York.

 From the United States, the Dalai Lama and
Rinpoche have been trying to build better
communication between China and Tibet.

Ari Swartz, a sophomore in the Undergraduate
Studies Program, said he learned "the importance
of learning history," which was a major point in Rinpoche’s lecture.

Rinpoche said it is important to understand the
history between China and Tibet in order to move past the grudges.

"(People should) learn the history," Rinpoche
said, "but don’t hold onto to this type of history."

Sean O’Conner, an attendee of the lecture, said
the most interesting part of the lecture was the
question and answer session at the end.

"(It was) great to hear the Chinese Buddhist
students sharing similar thoughts and wishes as (Rinpoche) had," said O’Conner.

Rinpoche left his audience with his thoughts and
hopes on the future relationship between China and Tibet.

"My saying is, no matter if we’re Chinese people
or American people or Tibetan people, we should
learn more history," Rinpoche said. "We should
learn more the reality. So that when we learn the
reality, then we can build that bridge."
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