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One World, One Dream

May 5, 2008

One World, One Dream
Tibet- August 8th (The day of the Opening Ceremonies)
Sent in by email
Vivek Chander

In June, 2004, the Chinese government unveiled their slogan for the 2008
Olympic Games, "One World, One dream". When I think of this slogan,
I am inspired. I am inspired to believe we can feed everyone on this
planet with nutritious, healthy food and bring an end to the current
global food crises , I am inspired to believe that we can cure Malaria,
limit the spread of HIV, provide all children with vaccinations, and
provide an adequate level of healthcare to all of humanity, I am
inspired to believe that we can recycle better, use public
transportation more, halt global warming, and save our beautiful planet,
and finally, I am inspired to believe that we can guarantee a basic set
of human rights to every living man , woman, and child, weather they be
captives in Guantanamo Bay or Tibetan monks living in Tibet under a
brutally repressive Chinese government.

On March 10th, 1959, Tibetans took to the streets of their capital Lhasa
, to protest China ’s invasion and occupation of their country. One
week later, the Dalai Lama was forced to flee his country. In the months
and years that have followed, tens of thousands of Tibetans have been
killed as the Peoples Army has brutally crushed the uprising. Regardless
of continued repression, Tibetans continue to defy the occupation,
engage in brave acts of resistance, and hope for Tibet to become an
autonomous region of China .

Unfortunately, as seen last month in Tibet , the Chinese continue to
violently repress peaceful demonstrations by the Tibetan monks,
resulting in 140 deaths, according to Tibetan authorities. Of course, it
has been difficult to verify any information, as China has banned
foreign journalists from travel to the protest areas. On March 27th,
Chinese officials did finally take journalists on a tour of Tibet .
During one meeting, monks broke into the room, yelling, “ Tibet , is
not free, Tibet , is not free,” before breaking down in tears.

China's repression does not stop in Tibet . One only needs to remember
the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square . More recently, it is estimated
that 1.25 million people have been forced to move because of Olympic
construction. Thousands of homes have been destroyed without properly
compensating their owners. Only one month ago, a Beijing court sentenced
human rights activist Hu Jia to 3 1/2 years in prison for undermining
state authority by writing a letter highlighting recent human rights
abuses by the Chinese government. This letter can be viewed at Human
rights watch.

We are 100 days from the Opening Ceremonies, which begin on August 8th.
In support of those that have died under the Tibetan uprising, those who
live under the everyday oppression of their Chinese occupiers, and
finally, in support of the Dalai Lama, who continues to preach peace and
nonviolence despite years of Chinese hostility, I believe we should find
ways to advance the cause of Tibet in a respectful nonviolent way.

On August 8th, I am proposing that we have a day of celebration in honor
of the Olympic athletes as well as a day of remembrance for those who
are oppressed across the world, as an alternative to the Opening
Ceremonies in Beijing . What I envision is a “Live Aid” type event
held internationally with celebrated artists and activists. This can be
combined with peaceful demonstrations throughout the country in the just
cause of promoting human rights advances in China as well as other
oppressed areas of the world.

I do believe in the slogan, “One world, One Dream”. Most people have
the same dream. They want to be happy. They want to be healthy. They do
not want to be hungry. They want a roof over their head. They want to
leave their children a better world then they were brought up in. Most
of all, they want to be free. They want freedom. Let us act together. As
the Dalai Lama says, “Today, more than ever before, life must be
characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to
nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.”

You must be the change
you want to see in the world

-- Mahatma Gandhi
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