As the Beijing Olympics nears its finale, I can't help but think about the conflict between the Olympic ideal and the Chinese state sponsored attempts to make China appear good and powerful at all costs. It seems that at least one of the star Chinese gymnasts has not yet reached the needed Olympic competition age of sixteen and has submitted a state-forged passport with an inaccurate date of birth to the International Olympic Committee. And most of all, the question of Tibet hangs over Beijing like the smog that chokes the athletes lungs. It appears that the Chinese government has blocked the Apple i-tunes site for the past week to keep the Chinese people from hearing and purchasing the benefit album Songs for Tibet. It seems that many of the athletes from around the world had downloaded the album in the Olympic village and were listening to what has become a top rated i-tunes download around the world. The album is a benefit for the Art of Peace Foundation.
Through Tibetan Eyes
72"x96" oil on linen 2008
Before the current Olympics began there were signs of hope that the question of Tibet would be approached peacefully and intelligently by the senior Chinese leadership. Nicholas D. Kristof wrote in his New York Times opinion piece,
An Olive Branch From the Dalai Lama:
"The senior Chinese leadership should respond by expressing serious interest in talks at the presidential or prime ministerial level. In ancient days, the Olympics were a time to suspend conflict. In that spirit, the two sides should get to work to prepare for a visit by the Dalai Lama in November, followed by top-level negotiations aimed at a historic resolution of the Tibet question. The ball is in the Chinese court."
Tibet The Story Of A Tragedy
Art of Peace Foundation.
An Olive Branch From the Dalai Lama