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(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-03-11 07:48

Greatest distress of Buddhism

One of the features of Tibetan Buddhism is living Buddhas, worshiped living persons. If a living Buddha is doing evil deeds, however, it is a great distress for the religion. Unfortunately, this is happening to Tibetan Buddhism.

After a string of failures last year, the 14th Dalai Lama has been making speeches everywhere.

His previous addresses were calm and detached. But now his words appear to be more impatient and exasperated. A most apparent case is his talk with the journalist from Frankfurter Rundschau on March 7.

A few phrases can best summarize the talk: blatant lies, disseminate hatred and stoking unrest. The Dalai brazenly claimed that Zhang Qingli, Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, said is "killing every rebel", that the violent riot in Lhasa on March 14 last year was faked by the Chinese government, and that the Han people have armed themselves and are ready to shoot.

It is astonishing that a living Buddha can readily tell such unscrupulous lies. Does the Dalai deliberately disregard everything? Making up such lies not only defies but also insults people's ability to make good judgments.

The Dalai is venting and disseminating hatred.

He talks about how the Han people want to destroy Tibetan culture, how many Tibetans were arrested, tortured and killed last year. In his words, you cannot see the mercy and kindheartedness you might expect of a living Buddha, but instead hatred.

The Dalai is fomenting unrest. Over and over again, he claims that the situation in Tibet is very tense, and violence may break out at any moment, in order to prepare for and provoke it.

Now people can only hear what he says, but it is not difficult to imagine what he and his fellows are plotting, and to guess what he wants in Tibet. Peace and harmony in Tibet is not in the interests of the Dalai.

A political living Buddha like the Dalai, who has never broken his ties to the feudal theocratic serfdom of old Tibet, is really the greatest distress of Tibetan Buddhism.

Xin Qier

A research fellow at Minzu University of China

Parking, pedestrian rights in demand

While understanding the wish of the Chinese to own cars, I feel that adequate preparations have not been made for the rapid increase in private vehicle numbers.

Firstly there is the question of parking: Few new apartments blocks appear to have enough parking spaces for the new generation of car owners and there is little or no provision for parking on the new highways or close to new shopping centers.

The lack of parking spaces results in cars being parked on the pavement causing inconvenience to pedestrians.

Then there is the lack of respect at crossing points. Uncontrolled pedestrian crossings are largely ignored by drivers, making it hazardous to cross the road. Meanwhile the green light for pedestrians seldom shows long enough for them to fully cross at traffic lights. Moreover the practice of allowing drivers to turn at traffic lights means that pedestrians cannot cross safely even when the green pedestrian light is showing.

It is small wonder in the circumstances that pedestrians usually ignore the lights and use their own judgment of when it is safe to cross.

Clearly a campaign of education for drivers and pedestrians is needed and new developments should be approved only if sufficient provision is made for parking.

At the same time the present practice at traffic lights should be reviewed and if necessary changed to make these crossings more pedestrian-friendly.

Brian Smith

Via email

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(China Daily 03/11/2009 page10)