mandag 2. mai 2022

Yeshe Dorje: For Tibetans, Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine Sparks Bitter Memories

I know what it means when Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is “liberating” Ukraine – China’s Chairman Mao Zedong used the same slogan when he sent his troops to Tibet in 1949-50. Likewise, Putin’s allegation of rampant “neo-Nazis” in a country headed by a Jewish man echoes Mao’s accusation of “foreign powers” ruling in Tibet, a country that did everything possible to keep foreigners out in the name of protecting Buddhism. Tibetans call this “a horn on the rabbits’ head.”

But what the war in Ukraine reminds me of the most is the fundamental human determination to stand up against foreign invaders. Like the Ukrainians resisting Russian invaders, many Tibetans fought the Chinese People’s Liberation Army for years. Even after His Holiness the Dalai Lama and those who followed him escaped to northern India, the men of my hometown continued fighting the Chinese until they were captured or killed.