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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

I AM HAPPY AND ALSO UNHAPPY

July 18, 2008

by Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

Smoking cheap Indian bidis
Eating affordable chapati & curry
And riding third class in crowded Indian trains
I am happy

Happy for being free to express my feelings
Happy for being free to go where I want
Happy for being free to worship who will
Happy for being free to practice my culture

Unlike millions of my countrymen in China-ruled Tibet
Where they cannot practice their own religion and culture
Unlike my brothers and sisters in illegally-occupied Tibet
Where their voices are stifled by the tyrannical ruling regime

Eating Tibetan dumplings and Indian dosas every other day
Window shopping on Fifth Avenue in New York
Sharing a sparsely furnished studio apartment in Jackson Heights, Queens
I am happy

Happy for being free to eat as I will
Happy for being free to buy or not buy
Happy for being free to live as I want
Happy for being free to maintain my heritage

Unlike millions of my countrymen in China-ruled Tibet
Where they are out-numbered by invading Han people
Unlike my brothers and sisters in illegally-occupied Tibet
Where the Chinese own everything and Tibetans are either laborers or
unemployed

Owning a small business and working 16 hours a day
Shopping at the 99 cent store
Seeing Indian movies on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, NY for a thrill
I am happy

Happy for being free to earn as I will
Happy for being free to shop as I will
Happy for being free to see what I want
Happy for being free to fight for Tibet's freedom

Unlike millions of my countrymen in China-ruled Tibet
Where the Chinese accumulate riches and Tibetans bite the dust
Unlike my brothers and sisters in occupied-Tibet
Where China pollutes the environment and steals our natural resources

And I am unhappy
At the thought of thousands of my countrymen in Chinese prisons
Suffering inhumane torture and brain-washing
And eventually being killed with a shot in the back of the head

I am unhappy
At the thought of China illegally occupying my country
Pillaging my country
Polluting our culture and ruining our pristine environment
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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