Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kathmandu to Lhasa: An Article

I read a really interesting article during my Buddhist study group today. What an incredible experience the author, Michael J. Ybarra, must have had. Although it is pretty clear that China is in many ways not yet a free nation, I was astounded that Chinese guards actually confiscate Lonely Planet guidebooks. This is only because there is a map inside depicting Tibet as an autonomous country (which is especially ironic since Tibet is officially known as the "Tibet Autonomous Region"). Another person had a book confiscated because it contained a photo of the Dalai Lama.

Finally, I did not know that tourists may not travel alone while in Tibet, but must be part of a tour. That way the time that any outsider spends in Tibet is carefully limited- and monitored.

How amazing it is that we take the rights to travel freely and read what we want for granted. Yet it is always so easy to be complacent. Let us be ever-mindful of the freedoms we have and be grateful.

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