One of R's sons is now in Thailand and describes his vocation as
"working to assist Tibetan refugees in developing an economy
which can sustain them independently while preserving their Buddhist
values and their own culture. In short, to involve Tibetan youth
in constructive "civic" programs so they don't vent
their frustrations through violence and to give support to the
Tibetan government-in-exile's effort to establish a democratic
and autonomous Tibet through nonviolent means.
Paramita Group] plan to organize training workshops in various
Tibetan settlements to promote the principles of nonviolent democracy
and freedom, and to train Tibetan youth to be development workers
within what we hope will soon be an autonomous zone within China
where Tibetans can practice their religion freely and make their
His group, The
Paramita Group is working to assist the Central Tibetan Authority
so they can help refugees in developing culture-appropriate business
that adhere to their philosophy. In other words, it is a "sufficiency
economy", not a "let me get all I can at any cost"
economy. The Central Tibetan Authority is selected by the democratically
elected Kashag [the advisory board of the Tibetan government-in-exile],
whose members are in turn directly elected by the people.
Since coming into exile, the Central Tibetan Administration has
set up a rehabilitation program which brings Tibetan refugees into
community groups large enough to allow them to sustain their language,
culture and traditions and thus preserve their national identity.
One of our kids now in Thailand trying to set up some training
programs for training of Buddhist Monks in the idea of Sufficiency
Economics. He has met with the Tibetan government-in-exile and he
has a good idea of the effects of our foreign policy on other populations.
I am quoting now from a recent email we got from him.
* "I don't know what you thought about Bush's inaugural
Although I was pleased to hear his comments on the importance
of freedom etc. I am weary of his means and his lack of consistency
in the endeavor. For example, the Tibetans have struggled nonviolently
for 50 years for democracy, freedom, and liberty. The Bush administration
has done nothing to support them apart from write a few letters.
I read that 3 out of 5 "unfree" people in the world
live in China. But what effort has the Bush administration made
to put pressure on the PRC? Rather we have embraced the world's
greatest violator (in terms of numbers) of human liberties. I
know the argument can be made that "different folks, require
different strokes" but does china really deserve to be the
"most favored trading partner" of the United States???
I am afraid this inaugural address could signal the beginning of
an inconsistent and unclear "roundup." Not of dictators
and tyrants, but of people opposed to US policies. In the last year
we have ousted or attempted to oust democratically elected leaders
in countries opposed to US policy (Chavez in Venezuela and Aristide
in Haiti), while at the same time embracing dictators who support
US policies (Musharaff in Pakistan who took power through a coup
but was nevertheless the largest recipient of US funds last year).
This simply looks like we are shuffling the deck in our favor, rather
than basing our actions on democracy building etc.
I ask, WHERE ARE WE GOING AMERICA???
I just stumbled on this speech by John Quincy Adams who may have
anticipated this moment in American history....
Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or
shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and
her prayers be.
But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.
She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.
She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her
voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.
She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than
her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she
would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all
the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy,
and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of
The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change
from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the
world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit....
[America's] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is
the march of the mind."
I wish that Mr. Bush had a firm grip on this wonderful concept
that our forefathers saw so clearly. This administration prides
itself on their emphasis of Christian Values. As a matter of fact,
their behavior does not stack up against the imperatives of those
teachings. When Christ came to earth and left his perfect plan for
us, he forever changed the dynamic of "an eye for an eye."
His was the gospel of going an extra mile, giving our coat away
if someone needs it, visiting the prisoner, loving the unlovely
as in the Good Samaritan story, do good to those who spitefully
When he backs up his claim of Evangelical zeal with deeds that
reflect these teaching, then and only then will I believe his commitment
to Christian Values..
*comments by one of our kids in Thailand now.
with any responses