Book Review: The 14th Dalai Lama, A Manga Biography

“The 14th Dalai Lama: A Manga Biography”
by Tetsu Saiwai
Published by Penguin Books

A while back, I reviewed another manga/ graphic novel about Je Tsongkhapa. I was excited to read one day on The Worst Horse about a manga that had been done about His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Manga is the Japanese word for comics. Summed up, mangas can come in a variety of forms. Whether it’s a serial comic, or like this book, done as a complete work, a graphic novel.

The artist behind “The 14th Dalai Lama: A Manga Biography” is none other than Tetsu Saiwai. With a body of work spanning 20 years, Tetsu’s main interests as far as topics for his mangas go are human rights and environmental issues.

Tetsu took his inspiration for the storyline from Scorsese’s “Kundun” and His Holiness’ book “Freedom In Exile.” If you’ve seen and or read the two titles, you will see where the similarities are. Heinrich Harrer, the main focus of the movie “Seven Years In Tibet”, makes an appearance in the manga as well. Continue reading →

DVD Review: Fire Under The Snow

“Fire Under The Snow”
A Film by Makoto Sasa

“I stood still, without answering. Paljor took out his electric baton and shoved it into my mouth and then thrust it down my throat. I lost consciousness. When I woke up, I found myself lying in a pool of vomit and urine, I had lost twenty of my teeth.” ~Palden Gyatso

It is amazing what some people can endure. It would be easy to give in to interrogation, to say the words your captors are forcing you to say. But when you believe in something, when you believe in the truth, it’s hard to break that down. It is especially difficult when what you believe in is your culture, your way of life. Knowing in your heart that all this has been stolen from you, and may never be given back, yet you don’t back down.

Continue reading →

Even the UFC bows down to the Chinese!

Ed. Note: I’m a bit disappointed with the UFC and Dana White on this one. I can understand he wants to grow the marketability of the UFC in China, but this is not the way. Message to Dana, censorship is not only stupid but is disrespectful to your fighters. And, to boot, it’s not anti-Chinese propaganda dummy, it’s a Buddhist mantra.

From Fightline
If you’ve been paying attention to the promotional material released for “UFC 111: St. Pierre Vs. Hardy”, you may have noticed that on some of the posters (not the one pictured here) Dan Hardy’s stomach seems somehow less cluttered than usual. That is because “The Outlaw”‘s prominent stomach tattoo has been erased using the magic of Photoshop. The fact that his ink was artificially removed is not breaking news, and for that matter neither is the reasoning behind it. But it is interesting.

Continue reading →

Tibetans make Gandhi proud

From The Globe Post written by Tenzin Dorjee

Last year around this time Tibetans decided to observe the traditional New Year — or Losar — as an occasion of mourning for those killed in China’s crackdown in 2008 following the Tibet uprising.

Appeals to forego Losar celebrations spread via text messages, blogs and word of mouth. On Losar, Tibetans stayed at home and ignored the fireworks, defying authorities who wanted them to sing and dance for state media. Overnight Tibetans turned silence — generally a sign of submission — into a weapon of resistance. The No Losar movement was nothing short of civil disobedience in full bloom.

On Feb. 14, Tibetans will again greet Losar with an air of defiance — many are planning not to celebrate while others will embrace cultural traditions as an act of subversive resistance. A couple of days later, U.S. President Obama will meet with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, sending a signal of hope to Tibetans everywhere. The 2008 Tibetan uprising may now seem a distant memory, but the dust of resistance is far from settled. With the new year, a different kind of storm brews over the Tibetan plateau.

Click to read more of this article

Beastie Boys’ Yauch Updates Fans on Cancer Progress After Trip to India

From The New York Times

The rapper Adam Yauch said that he is “feeling healthy, strong and hopeful” that he has beaten cancer after returning from a recent trip to India, but a coming album by his band the Beastie Boys remains without a release date.

Mr. Yauch, better known by his stage name, MCA, made his announcement in an electronic message that was e-mailed to fans and posted on the band’s Web site. He announced in July that he had received his diagnosis of cancer, and underwent surgery and began radiation treatment soon after.

Click to read more of this article

Buddhist monks plan peaceful protests during G-20

From The Tribune-Review via Phayul

Dozens of Buddhist monks are coming to Pittsburgh for a week of peaceful protests during the Group of 20 summit.

When “Uprising” anarchists and other activists take to the streets for an unpermitted march toward the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Thursday, monks and laypeople from Burma and Tibet will be strolling Downtown, in the North Side and in Oakland, to draw attention to the suffering of people living under dictators.

“We will pray,” said Ashin Nayaka, a monk in the International Burmese Monks Organization. “We will pray for the people in Burma. We will sit in meditation. We will march peacefully, and we will ask the leaders to help us change Burma.”

Click to read more of this article

Take Action for Tibet

The article below this one mentions that Obama will not meet with his Holiness the Dalai Lama until he first talks with the Chinese. I’m not sure what he plans to talk to them about, but make it known that you do not agree with his administrations shun of His Holiness.

Students For A Free Tibet have set up an action page where you can send a fax to Obama’s office as well as your state office reps. CLICK HERE TO SEND THE LETTER! Please comment if you take action on this, I would appreciate knowing how many of you do so.

My First Dissapointment with Obama

From The Wall Street Journal

The Obama Administration may think its decision to cold shoulder the Dalai Lama on the Tibetan leader’s upcoming trip to Washington is smart politics. But if the leader of the free world doesn’t stand up for religious freedom, who will?

The news broke earlier this week when an Obama aide told the Tibetans that the President wants to meet Chinese leaders before he meets the Dalai Lama. This is par for the course for an Administration that gave only lackluster support to Iran’s democrats and has made conciliatory overtures to Putin’s Russia and Kim Jong Il’s North Korea.

Click to read more of this article

President Obama sends delegation to meet Dalai Lama in Dharamsala

From The International Campaign for Tibet

The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama today confirmed that discussions between the Dalai Lama and a senior US Government delegation took place in Dharamsala on September 13 and 14. The delegation was led by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, and included Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs (designated to serve concurrently as Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues) and other US Government officials.

Click to read more of this article