Monday, April 14, 2008

Tibet, China and the Olympics Torch relay

China must have been stumped when the protests during the Olympics torch relay started. They underestimated the feelings of the Tibetans and the free world against its occupation of Tibet. It is very unlikely that China will ever return Tibet to its righful owners, the Tibetans, but it is also strange that many commentators on this topic get into convoluted justifications on why Tibet belongs to China.

My points:

1) China invaded and occupied Tibet in 1950 and since then had ruled it. They claimed that Tibet belongs to China as once in the distant history it was ruled by the Mongolians who had unified China and Tibet in a vast empire. This is much akin to saying that most of Europe should belong to Italy as there was once when the vast Roman empire extended all the way across Europe to England. They also claimed that they invaded Tibet to free its people from the feudal-like society existing at that time - it is odd that the Tibetans did not appreciate this so-called release from serfdom. Not surprising as this was another hogwash of an excuse.

2) Supporters of China claim that China had done much in improving the infrastructure and life in Tibet. Yes, there were indeed improvements but does it mean Tibet could not have improved on its own? Nepal and Bhutan were also once highly inacessible and backward countries and both have came a long way on their own and both had democratic elections recently.

3) The Tibetans and Han Chinese do not look the same - you can tell them apart easily; their culture and lifestyle is different and the Tibetan writing has Greco-Indian influences while the Chinese writing is more pictorial-based. So simply said, Tibetans are not Chinese and were never Chinese.

The Tibetans lost their homeland - they simply want it back and it is not surprising that they and their Western supporters are using the Olympics games to exert pressure on China. How can China be suprised by such Tibetan nationalistic feelings as China itself exerts great pressure and often threathens Taiwan as it feels that the latter belongs to it. How can China be surprised by the mixing of politics with the Olympics as it itself had, for years, prevented the participation of Taiwan in the games?

Free Tibet - that is all I can conclude.

Monday, January 22, 2007

"the air turned to poison"

In her small world
Only she is right
Only she can exists
Only she has a right to god
And all others are condemned

She forgets
All came forth from the same womb

All came forth from the same god
And all remain his children

(In response to the nomination of a particular nmp in the singapore gahmen; title with compliments of Enigma)

Monday, January 01, 2007

last day of 2006

on the last day of 2006
along lentor avenue
lies a car rammed against a tree
and on the road
lies forlornly a scooter
amidst mangled pieces of metal

some come, some goes
some never get to see 2007

Thursday, December 14, 2006

lebanon, july 2006

he has just lost his mum
to a rocket from israel
that tore his world apart in seconds
she gave him one last embrace
before she left
calm shatters
insanity reigns

Monday, November 27, 2006

dying, hand in hand

they lay in their bed
holding hands fondly
tears in eyes
hearts heavy
minds laden with memories
their lives long filled
with hardships, neverending

they struggled daily
from job to job
no one wanted them
they were too old
they were too slow
there was not much earned
there was not much to eat
they were always hungry

fear filled their hearts
with every new day
of what it will bring

help was hardly there
the cc asked for forms and forms
to fill
to prove they were poor

they were just tired
of their daily heartaches

as the city bustled awake
as the bmws roared down the streets
as children wore nikes to school
as the civil servants sat down to another meeting
as the cc staff had another cup of coffee
they decided to leave
this heartless city
that ignored its poor
that was slow to help

they lay in bed
hand in hand
tears in eyes
breathing in gas
there were
no more

india, oct 06, part 2

arriving in kashmir
on a drizzly afternoon
serene dal lake
sits besides the mountains
their peaks blurred by grey mist
its dark waters
littered with fanciful houseboats
and choked with lotus plants
while shikaras quietly flow by

a quiet beauty
by soldiers
by guardposts
by army trucks
by checkpoints

a country torn apart
by the militants’ bombs
by the army’s bullets
killing innocents
thousands have died
and many are still dying
the poor live in tatters
with scarce work, food, money

the children still smile
the children still laugh
the shadow of death remains
they just want their
country back
they just want to play
with no fear

Sunday, November 26, 2006

a child of joy

Little child
Going to school
Eyes bright and cheerful
Walking ungainly
Arms flaying

born, with an imperfect mind

his joy
untainted by
unaffected by
a dark grey world

india,oct 06, part 1

landing in delhi
on a hot and dusty afternoon

the smog filled the air
the sky could not be seen
the streets were clogged full
of cars, scooters, rickshaws
and creaky buses from days gone

all fighting, honking to get ahead

human masses were everywhere
rubbish lined the streets
roadside carts dished out rice and dhall
bones-sticking-out cows ambled along
connaught place bustled
with the young and trendy

in mcdonalds, kfc, cafes
feasting on vege burgers
chandhi chowk was
a mess of traffic, people, cows
and the temples filled with the faithfuls
and the fried pakoras in oil-filled woks

and the lime juice carts
and the sellers hawking stuff
and the rickshaw drivers that took you nowhere
but emporiums where they could get a commission
the metro zoomed, clean and slick

an underground of peace
karol bagh was bright and neon-lighty

with indian delis, pizza hut, mcdonalds

and budget hotels
and well-fed ladies in sarees streamed
into shops, stockful with clothes
and wedding jewelry

street dwellers
poor, forgotten, abandoned
slept, ate, drank on roadsides
their young ones
palms stretched out
pestering, but faces smiling

at first glance
is a shock
a shock of rich and poor
a shock of dirty and clean
a shock of packed roads
a shock of cows and humanity
a shock of dhall and vege burgers
a shock of little ones, homeless

Sunday, October 01, 2006

free expression

And control
Is how they always do it
And threaten
Is how they always do it

They say they listen to us
They say they get our views
They say they let us write freely
They say they let us speak openly

But then their views are already firm
But then their thoughts are already set
But then their decisions are already made

You cannot always say what you want to
You cannot always do what you want to
You cannot always watch you want to
You cannot always read what you want to

Unspeaking, like parents
With cane in hand
After little children, unspeaking