Incense, the Olympics and the Dalai Lama

By Jonathan Timar
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Twenty-three days ago I took a flying leap and made a snap decision to pack as much as a could into a big suitcase and move seven hundred kilometres away from my hometown to live in the little mountain town of Nelson. The reasons for my move are many, but it can all be boiled down to a conscious decision to take a risk, and so I took into account the old saying, “if you do what you always did, you will get what you always got”, and I ended up here.

Where is here? Well it’s a little Inn up in the mountains of South-eastern British Columbia, where I am living and working. I imagine this town to be a bit like South Park, if bit more artsy, everyone here seems to be either a redneck or a hippie or a retired hippie, and every time I walk down the street I hear Cartman’s voice in my head…

My little room at the inn is comfortable, but being in the old building that it’s in it has that characteristic “stale wood” smell, which I don’t like much. Now we burn incense every morning in the lobby and yet for some reason it took me walking into the local new age store and seeing all the pretty coloured boxes of incense imported from India for me to get the idea to burn some in my room. And that’s precisely what I’ve started doing, and now my room is filled with a pleasant, soothing, earthy smell that makes it feel quite cozy indeed.

It so happened that when I was in that store I picked up a book by the Dalai Lama, and got to thinking about the current issues surrounding Tibet and the Chinese Olympics. You can place me squarely in the group that thinks China has no business hosting the games. With its deplorable human right record, propaganda fuelled one party government, sickening environmental practices, and state controlled media, I consider it a disgrace that we even trade with them let alone give them a prestigious event like the Olympics, and I am sure I am not alone. It never fails to amuse me that the Cuban Embargo by the U.S. government exists, and yet trade with China is considered ‘A OK’. Money talks, eh?

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    The Chinese government is full of liars. It’s been documented that they sent Chinese officials into Tibet dressed as monks, who then started riots, in order to give them an excuse to crack down. Of course most people never know this, and the Chinese people certainly don’t because foreign (honest) journalists get booted out whenever something like this happens. They continued, laughable, references to the “Dalai Clique” fool no one in the west, but this kind of propaganda works on the Chinese who have been indoctrinated with the communist party’s bullshit from the time they were young children. It’s a disturbing truth.

    China’s government is an expansionist regime, bent on obliterating Tibetan culture. The constant wave of Ethnic Chinese into Tibet serves only one purpose, to dilute and eventually dismantle the traditions of that country. The peaceful nature of the Dalai Lama and his followers has done Tibet little good against their invaders. Unfortunately violence will solve nothing against China either, as the population of Tibet is insignificant next the that of China.

    Only when western nations stand up to China and demand that it reform will Tibet ever have a chance. As long we allow our greed for cheap Chinese good to overpower our moral fibre as a society, Tibet will continue to suffer.