The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Tibetan Centenary

One Century ago today the 13th Dalai Lama re-proclaimed Tibet to be an independent nation.  Manchurian troops had invaded Tibet in 1910 prompting the 13th Dalai Lama to flee into exile.  Two years later the Manchu dynasty collapsed and the Tibetans took the opportunity to expel the Manchurian troops.  The Dalai Lama returned.  On the 13th of February 2013 the 13th Dalai Lama proclaimed Tibet to be independent.

With the coming to power of the Communist party in China, Tibet was again invaded in 1950.  The Chinese forced Tibetan leaders to signing the “Seventeen Point Agreement” which provided for Tibetan autonomy and respect for Buddhism, yet ceding the establishment of Chinese civil and military headquarters in Llasa.  However, the Chinese failed to honour their part and in 1959 uprisings broke out.  Crack-downs and repression led eventually to the Dalai Lama (this time the 14th) fleeing to northern India.  He has not set foot in Tibet since.

Over the following 50 years Tibetans have had their culture and religion suppressed, their language repressed and monks and nuns forced to undergo “patriotic re-education.”  More than 6,000 monasteries and nunneries have been razed, photos of the Dalai Lama are banned, as is the Tibetan flag.

Tibet has undergone severe environmental damage with deforestation, desertification, resource depletion and the building of hundreds of hydro-electric dams flooding agricultural land and forcing thousands into resettlement.  Tibet has been the site of Chinese nuclear weapons testing and nuclear waste dumping.

With Tibetans becoming a minority in their own country1 it was little wonder that the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama being forced into exile would see an escalation in unrest.  Beginning in 2008 prior to the Beijing Olympic Games protest at Chinese occupation has continued unabated.  China’s promotion of it’s appointee of Panchen Lama (the second highest ranking Lama) in 2009 added fuel to the fire that had begun burning.

Self-immolation became an all too familiar symbol of protest since the first young monk (Tapey)set himself on fire in Januuary 2009.

The centenary of the proclamation of Tibet’s independence will undoubtedly be a focus for Tibetan resistance.  Will we see, sadly, another centenary occur alongside the centenary of proclamation?  Since that first self-immolation in 2009, 99 Tibetans have so far self-immolated.

Various organisations around the world attempt to bring the plight of Tibet and it’s people to our attention.  Here are just a couple:

1.  7.5 million Chinese, 6 million Tibetans.


  1. It's hard to even fathom self-immolation isn't it? I remember reading about the man who famously self-immolated himself in public in the 70s...always made me sad.

    1. Yes, very sad. Sadder is that I opened my emails this morning to read of the 100th self-immolation. Occuring on the 3rd Feb but the news not reaching outside of Tibet until yesterday.

  2. As I commented in my reply above, we now learn that 100 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009. I'll include here a link to a YouTube video of these Tibetans. No graphic displays, simply their faces, which makes it all the sadder. So many young people - the future of Tibet. Monks, nuns, lay people, men, women - a cross-section of Tibetan society.


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