Tibetans May Be Fastest Evolutionary Adapters Ever.
"A group of scientists in China, Denmark and the U.S. recently documented
the fastest genetic change observed in humans. According to their findings, Tibetan adaption to high altitude might have taken just 3,000 years. That's a flash, in terms of evolutionary time, but it's one that's in dispute
Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network.
"A vast electronic spying operation
has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world
, including those of the Dalai Lama
, Canadian researchers have concluded. In a report
to be issued this weekend, the researchers
said that the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China, but that they could not say conclusively that the Chinese government was involved." [more inside]
West treats East.
"To help traumatized Tibetan monks, doctors in Boston
turn to cross-cultural medicine." [Via]
China's secret plot to tame Tibet.
"Internal Communist party documents have revealed that China is planning a programme of harsh political repression in Tibet despite a public show of moderation to win over world opinion before the Olympic Games next month." Meanwhile, the military has sealed off
several monasteries in Lhasa
, keeping over 1,000 monks locked up. Another 1,000 monks have mysteriously disappeared
, and may have been sent to prisons in a neighbouring province
to keep them silent through the Olympics.
Beijing 2008: China's Olympian Human Rights Challenges.
This website was set up by Human Rights Watch
to monitor human rights issues in China during the run-up to the Olympics. "This is a historic opportunity for China to show it has the confidence to make tangible and sustainable progress in ensuring basic human rights for its 1.3 billion citizens." [more inside]
Monks Succeed in Cyclone Relief as Junta Falters.
In Burma (Myanmar) the Buddhist monks
are doing more than anyone to help the victims
of Cyclone Nargis. At the same time, Burmese officials are trying to stem the influence of the monks
by forcing survivors who have sought refuge in monasteries to return to their shattered homes
. [Via Barbara's Buddhism Blog.]
A Lone Tibetan Voice, Intent on Speaking Out. Woeser
(previously mentioned here
) is a Tibetan writer and poet living under house arrest in Beijing, from where she blogs about the recent unrest in Tibet
(there are English translations of her posts at China Digital Times
). Last year she was awarded
the Norwegian Authors Union
Freedom of Expression Prize, but she was not allowed to travel to Oslo to collect the prize.
is a documentary by Richard Martini
consisting of interviews with Tibetan refugees who have recently fled to Dharamsala, India. It's on YouTube in 5 parts: part 2
, part 3
, part 4
, part 5
China Praises Its Progress Toward Olympics.
With one year to go
before the 2008 Olympics
, China still has many challenges ahead, like dealing with Beijing's terrible air pollution
. There is still much criticism over China's record on human rights
and freedom of the press
, and some protests
. But perhaps the most embarrassing public relations setback is that one of the official mascots
) the Tibetan Antelope
, has defected from China's Olympic team
and gone underground to campaign
for a free Tibet
. [Some links via BB and MoFi.]
Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion.
The complete documentary
(1 hr 43 min) on Google Video.
A multimedia account of a trip to Tibet
. [Via Boing Boing.]
Spirit of Tibet.
Photographs of Tibetans
both inside Tibet and in exile. [Via Plep.]
A restoration project
has been underway since 1998
the 15th-century Tibetan Buddhist monastery wall paintings
of Lo Monthang, a city in the kingdom of Mustang
in northwest Nepal. The results have been very impressive
. Mustang is also home to some amazing cave temples
Articles on Indian art.
There are many great articles here on Buddhist and Hindu art from India and Tibet. Exotic India Arts
also sells various Indian arts and crafts.
The Lukhang Temple,
or "Temple of the Serpent Spirits", sits on an island behind the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. On the top floor is a formerly secret chamber
(now open to the public) which the Dalai Lamas used to retreat to for periods of deep meditation. The walls of the chamber are covered by a series of stunning wall paintings
(Flash) which depict the esoteric practices of Tibet's Tantric tradition, a visual representation of the Tibetan Buddhist path to enlightenment. Although there has been some damage
to the temple and paintings, they escaped relatively unscathed from the Cultural Revolution. The current Dalai Lama, who was forced to leave Tibet before he was initiated into the practices depicted in the temple, describes it as one of the hidden jewels of Tibetan civilization. It is also the subject of Ian Baker's book, "The Dalai Lama's Secret Temple"
a British-born Buddhist nun, became famous in the Tibetan community when she spent 12 years meditating in a cave in the Himalayas. Now she seeks to address the gender inequality faced by women in Buddhism. She runs the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery
, and hopes to reestablish the lost tradition of the togdenma
, yogini nuns of the Drukpa Kagyu
lineage who follow the ascetic path of Milarepa
An interview with photographer Nancy Jo Johnson about Tibet.
Johnson paints a depressing picture of the state of Tibetan culture under Chinese rule. Adding insult to injury, China is building a new monument
to commemorate the 1951 "liberation" of Tibet in front of the former winter home of the Dalai Lama.