Today is the new lunar year for Tibetans, it is called Losar and is a very important holiday for the people of this small mountainous country (or at least what used to be a country).
"A lot of people were killed on March 14 (last year). In our culture, we don't celebrate Losar if someone in your family died during the previous year," Said a monk that was speaking to Mark Mackinnon of the G&M. This monk also spoke of a text message he had received that said: "To commemorate Losar, we will not celebrate, we will not fire fireworks, we won't wear new clothes, we won't dance, we won't sing. We will protest silently and we will pray."
As well a know China claimed Tibet for its own forcing his Holiness the Dalai Lama into exile in India. Since then he has been a promoter of peace and goodwill throughout the world. He has also been the most vocal supporter of an independent Tibet. As it stands now, Tibetans are now a minority in certain parts of their own ancestral lands, the Chinese government has moved in many settlers to try and assimilate the silently dissident population of this peaceful land.
Much information is available through the Government in Exile's website, including more information on incentives for native Chinese to move to Tibet, the force sterilization of Tibetan women, commerce (or lack thereof) and human rights violations.
Last year, prior to the Beijing Olympics, we all remember seeing the silent protest being violently stopped by Chinese soldiers, dozens were killed and hundreds became prisoners of conscience in this country that has always believed in passive resistance and non-violence. "As Tibetans, we are like cows, animals that have no freedom. I am a monk who likes the Dalai Lama very much, but I only dare like him in my heart. If I say it out loud I could be arrested or even killed," another monk is quoted as saying in the G&M.
This may very well be a lost cause because China is definitely a giant compared to Tibet's small, poor and peaceful population... in the end though we know that David always beats Goliath.