- "Dalai clique has descended into becoming an outright terrorist organization" (commentary on an official Shanghai news website).
- ". . . the Dalai Lama is scheming to take the Beijing Olympics hostage. . ." (People's Daily)
- he does not support a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.
- he does not favor independence for Tibet, he only advocates greater autonomy.
- he does not sanction violent protest. In fact, he even threatened to resign if Tibetans' protests got any more out of hand.
To most of us, the man China is trying to frame this time is no obscure "terrorist leader." Nor does he only represent Tibet. Far from it. He is many things to many people in many countries from many walks of life. Spiritual leader, religious icon, peace activist, philosopher king, resistance leader, guru, environmentalist, teacher, statesman, celebrity, author, meditation master, peacemaker, motivational speaker, and a supporter of science. Wherever the Dalai Lama travels -- be it Sydney, Berlin, or Chicago -- he is sure to attract an audience that rivals top entertainers. His company is sought by artists, scientists, politicians, religious leaders, spiritual seekers, royalty, actors, and multitudes of ordinary people. The Dalai Lama is a world historical figure of far larger importance than his government in exile; indeed, his message transcends Buddhism and Tibet. He is the religious man who talks about something larger than his own faith; the Tibetan who cares about the entire planet. He is quite simply "the most global citizen" of our age.
And China decided name this man as its enemy? What were they thinking?
Surely the time has come for the outside world to help the people of China get to know their most illustrious citizen. Help them to know him for the many things he is to us. The Olympics presents an opportunity for the world to share.
Let the Games of the XIV Dalai Lama begin!
Illustration: by Jotman