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Olympics mean nothing to us, say Tibetans in film on Tibet

August 10, 2008

Thaindian (Thailand)
ICT by IANS
August 8th, 2008

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) -- The thrill of the Olympics has gripped the
world and all eyes are on Beijing where the Games were ceremonially
opened Friday. However, in the capital, a tiny group of voices from
Tibet expressed its resentment towards the Games through a film. The
film, shot by two Tibetans inside Tibet, took the viewers through the
landscape of Tibet, talking to a range of people - the nomads, young
and old, and the monks - all talking about how the Olympics means
nothing to them.

"The right to host the Olympics is given to that country which
respects freedom, peace and human rights - and China has definitely
not lived up to its promise. We don't know what freedom and peace
mean," said a young nomadic woman holding a baby, in the film
"Leaving Fear Behind".

"We have heard that a lot of countries are participating in the
Games. It doesn't mean anything to us for we are not allowed to see
it. All that we are realizing is the escalating prices of commodities
because of the Games that is affecting poor people like us," said a
Tibetan farmer.

The documentary film was shot over a period of four months and
released this March.

"Soon after that, my husband, filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen and his
helper were arrested by the Chinese authorities and we haven't heard
from him since then," sobbed his wife, Lhamo Tso, who came to Delhi
for the screening of the film.

"All that I want to tell the Chinese authorities is that please
fulfil your promise of respect to freedom of speech and thought. My
husband simply showed the condition as it existed in Tibet," she added.

The people interviewed in the film also expressed their desire to
meet Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

One scene in the film showed how an old couple kissed the ground and
folded their hands as they watched the Dalai Lama on television.

"I am 60 and I don't know if I will live long enough to see his
Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is always in my prayers," an old woman
wept in the film.
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