As I was saying

Buddhism, Culture, Education, ethics, Health, History, Human Rights

vanessa may 2016

Do you tune in to the Sky Business Channel on Foxtel? Why? Do you think they report well on business? For a while now, since the mining boom, which some say is over, we were all about trading iron ore and so forth with China, that so called great trading partner. Our important trading friend. What nonsense.

Why do they buy our iron ore? To build navel vessels designed to take away our fight for freedom. China hates Tibet. What was Tibet? China’s aim was to take over the world and invade everywhere. China said, “once Tibet falls under Chinese Communist control, we, China, take over everything;” (Mao Tse Tung (not that he’s worth quoting)). People watching the business channel probably couldn’t give two hoots. Well, if you bothered to educate yourself according to an authentic Buddhist system, one designed to defeat the causes of suffering, the cycle of samsaric existence, you would learn it’s the only valid education system really. Gosh, that’s a big statement to make, but it’s reliable and safe.

I can say, having watched the genocide of over one million people, negative karma hurts. China, aren’t you worried? The Sky Business Channel really doesn’t have a clue. What do you think, and I suppose you could argue, as long as they, (China), are building ghost cities, what concern is that of ours? However, what if they, China,  are preparing for a military takeover? These people, Xi Jinping (who pongs by the way) are just mass murderers, uninterested in justice, freedom, or in preserving human rights. China’s track record stinks.

When I was young, I reported for Amnesty International on human rights abuse cases. Some of the stories I documented include the following:

China – it’s red army- under the leadership of Mao Tse Tung, ordering the murder of people in such a way; children as young as four or five years of age given a gun and ordered to shoot dead their parents in front of the red army or be shot themselves. Well, only the red army really survived, but they have rebirth in hell ahead (which is obviously necessary). Secondly, burying Tibetans alive in upright coffins. Thirdly, capturing 1500 Tibetan farmers and loading them onto a truck to take them to a deserted place on the Tibetan Plateau, to shoot them dead in a mass grave.

Fourthly, taxing the Tibetan people 90% of their income to make it impossible for them to find the income to eat; in other words starving Tibetan Buddhists to death.

The incident with the death and shooting of the Tibetan farmers happened no more that ten – fifteen years ago, under other communist leadership, (or lack thereof).

Aren’t you concerned? Why do you prefer dealing with murderers and torchurers in trade, than developing your own understanding of the heart and the mind, of realizing proper mind science that can set you free once and for all, from suffering and it’s causes. No amount of business properganda or bullshit can change these facts. If you practice religious freedom correctly, under the guidance of the Dalai Lama’s system, you can actually solve your problems forever by relying upon a proper understanding of the small, medium and great scope stages of the path to Buddhahood. China, it’s not a liberator. It’s a mass murderer, a genocidal criminal and thief, and a raper of more than just the environment.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019

 

 

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The Deafening

Silence on China’s Human Rights Abuses

Where is China headed in 2018? President Xi Jinping promised “world peace” for the new year – but his 2017 track record suggests otherwise. Remember the singular stain of the July death of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, surrounded by state security? Many condemned China’s conduct, but such interventions are fewer and further between these days. Increasingly, abusive Chinese authorities are garnering international support for their principles and policies.

In a single December week, the Chinese Communist Party hosted an international political forum in Beijing attended by representatives of political parties from democracies including New Zealand and the United States, seemingly unbothered that their hosts run an authoritarian, one-party state.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Council Information Office held an international symposium in Beijing on human rights – attended by United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a UN body that, unlike two dozen other UN agencies, is systematically denied the ability to operate in China.

And China held another global information technology summit on connectivity – attended by Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, who in the US argues hard for privacy rights but in China lauds Beijing’s plans for a “common future in cyberspace” despite rampant censorship and electronic surveillance.

The term “normalising” is in heavy use these days, typically to mean the implicit or explicit acceptance of problematic behaviour. In diplomacy, it means two countries establishing formal diplomatic relations.

But it’s now also a perverse hybrid in contemporary international politics: individuals and institutions from parts of the world where human rights are generally protected aren’t just cosying up to, but also increasingly publicly praising, their Chinese counterparts – while failing to defend the principles and institutions that underpin their very existence. In doing so, they enable a whitewash of an abusive regime, one with global aspirations to change and set the rules of modern political life.

While it’s true that many people across different realms – academia, business, politics – have, over the years, pushed the Chinese government to adopt international human rights standards and end its persecution of peaceful critics, few now stand against Beijing’s intransigence. Many now choose to engage on Beijing’s terms, even when doing so is perverse and even harmful to their interests. Will Apple still thrive if China’s vision of state control of all sources of information and the use of artificial intelligence to monitor all citizens’ behaviour becomes a reality?

Those who participate in these kinds of gatherings invariably insist that it’s better they engage than not: after all, the logic goes, who else will set out different or higher standards on everything from democratic governance to corporate social responsibility?

But, increasingly, they simply don’t bother to set out or defend those standards. Did any of the political party conference attendees publicly dissociate themselves from their hosts’ closing statements praising President Xi’s leadership, or offer up publicly available remarks reflecting concern about the lack of elections or multiple political parties in China? No. Did anyone at the human rights conference make a public statement, while in China, about the death penalty, or torture by police? No.

While Chinese authorities host these substantively through-the-looking-glass gatherings and proclaim international support for their vision, increasingly they exploit openness elsewhere to do the same, often through state organisations like the United Front Work Department. Australian politicians have been discovered receiving political donations from Chinese businesses.

The Chinese authorities have been limiting access of human rights groups to the country. Police from Cambodia to France have capitulated to pressure from Chinese law enforcement or Party “discipline” officers and handed over allegedly corrupt fugitives without any semblance of due process. Universities struggle with ferocious complaints from Chinese diplomats about whether the institutions may describe Taiwan as an independent country, or have the Dalai Lama as a commencement speaker.

The question for democracies or businesses isn’t whether to engage: it is how to engage in a principled manner. This means treating China like many governments treat US President Donald Trump when he makes outrageous statements or adopts retrograde policies. Democratic leaders condemn Trump’s remarks about “fake news” – but don’t condemn China for its censorship or propaganda. They criticise Trump for his hostility towards the UN, but have nothing to say on China’s efforts to weaken the institution.

It is time for new standards to reverse these highly abnormal relationships with China. Forty years into China’s “reform era”, Beijing has made clear it’s not moving on democracy, a free press, or an independent legal system, though courageous people continue to push for these at considerable personal risk. If powerful outside voices mindlessly engage, they not only stab these brave people in the back – they may also find themselves obliged to dance to the tune of a highly repressive government.

 

Nights in the Moon Lily Garden – Chapter Eight

art, Culture, Education, History

Death of All That Is Familiar

After spending the weekend at one of my friend’s houses, Mother realized things needed to change quickly if there was to be any hope of averting a complete disaster from taking place the following year, my final year at school. Taking me to a coffee shop after school, she did her best to address the dysfunction that had all but entrenched itself into our family unit.

“Darling,” she said as we sat down in a quaint little coffee shop. “I have something to tell you that I think will really make you happy.”

I looked at her with hope in my eyes, but not without a certain level of naivety and innocence.

“What is it Mum,” I asked hopefully.

Reaching over, she held my hand before continuing, “I’ve been thinking very seriously about everything you have said to me. I realize you feel I have not been working hard enough to ensure we all continue in our abilities to live happily and comfortably together. I am sorry if you feel I have let you down.”

I stared back at her, a little surprised by her confession.

My mother continued to speak. “I have found a nice flat near school which we will start renting in a few weeks. I intend to leave your father now and to get a divorce. You will have to help me, Oceané, with the move. I have arranged for some removalists to come, but I am worried about what will happen when your father finds out.”

“He doesn’t have to find out Mum,” I replied full of determination.

“What do you mean, Oceané? Once I tell him we are leaving, all hell will break loose.”

I leaned forward, full of insistence. “Mum, you’re not going to tell him. We will move out in secret. You will arrange to have the removalists come on a night when you know he will be staying at Francesca’s (his mistress). If the truck comes close to midnight, we will have enough time to get all our belongings and the furniture out of the house. That is the only way it will work Mum. There is no point tackling Dad head on. You will only walk away the loser from such a fight.”

“I hadn’t thought of that,” said my mother looking a little worried. “Do you really think such a plan will work?”

“Of course it will,” I said confidently.” But you can’t tell anyone. Not even Lucy. She is too young and may inadvertently spill the beans to Dad. This is our secret. I will help you, but you must promise not to say anything to Dad or anyone else.”

My mother hesitated. I squeezed her hand tightly in mine.

“This is not a time for fear Mum. You must be strong, for all of our sakes. I will write a letter to Dad and explain our reasons for leaving. I will leave it for him to read once we have left. No one can reason with him at the moment. The time for discussion is over. You need to be clear and resolute in your planning and thinking, and to break yourself out of this rut we have all fallen into.”

As we drank our coffee, the conversation continued as we planned the coming move together. I had my doubts about Mum’s ability to stick to this plan, but remained hopeful that she would realize taking on Dad in a headlong confrontation would only result in her being more victimized than ever.

Feeling a small sense of hope, I felt that perhaps our situation would improve after all, now that my mother had agreed to a plan for change. I felt my duty lay with doing all that I could to help her stick to the plan and avoid caving in at the last minute. It seemed like a tall order at the time, but I had a renewed sense of vigor and determination to ensure that we moved away quietly from Dad and avoided any more nasty confrontations.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019

 

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Nights in the Moon Lily Garden – Chapter Seven

art, Culture, Education, History

I am So Sad I Am Unable To Study

December, 1985

On an overcast Sunday afternoon, Oceané sat in her bedroom reading and trying to focus on her studies when she heard her parents starting to argue. Her exams were only a week away, and yet she had to endure daily disruptions to her studies as tensions reached breaking point in the house. Both her parents had continued to argue on a daily basis, which always climaxed with screams and shouts. As she sat listening to the argument intensify, she wondered how she would ever create the conditions conducive to achieving a set of good exam results. A few moments later, Oceané realized Lucy was standing in the hallway, trying to follow the argument between their two parents.

“Lucy,” Oceané whispered. “Come in here and sit with me. It is better not to get involved.”

“Leave me alone,” snapped Lucy ferociously, not comprehending the damage that would result from getting involved in an argument she didn’t understand. “I want to be with Mum,” she hissed, before running to join her mother.

Oceané sighed with frustration and returned to her desk, gazing out of the window as she tried to block out the tension and distress arising from her parents’ heated attacks. Her eyes returned to the page she had been studying, but her heart was empty and desolate. Every year close to exam time, the arguments between her parents would increase in intensity and frequency. With the house full of tension and distress, Oceané found it impossible to concentrate in such a fractured environment.

As she sat in her chair trying to concentrate, she could feel herself getting inextricably caught up in the daily drama and tension of her parents failing marriage and gradually, her enthusiasm to study and memorize the material in front of her eroded away. Grace, Edward and Lucy were all ignorant of the absolutely damaging effects of their own ignorance, attachment and hatred. Unable to settle their disputes in a quiet and reasonable manner, daily fights and arguments were the norm, creating an unhappy and deeply disturbing environment for all concerned.

Edward had been having affairs with various women for many years, and all the ensuing unhappiness surrounding that had worn away at Grace’s health, leaving her in a state that could only be described something very close to death.  Unable to see a clear path forward, nor a happy future, Oceané’s heart sank in despair. Although she knew both parents expected the best from her, Oceané struggled to find a path to inner peace and happiness.

As the screaming continued, Oceané found that she too became focused upon the content of her parents’ argument.

“I want a divorce,” cried Grace.

“You can have your f…king divorce,” Edward replied. “Take your two children and get the hell out of my life.”

“Aren’t you forgetting they are also your children?” Grace demanded.

“I don’t give a stuff about the children. You turned them away from me a long time ago.”

“Your alcoholic habits are the cause for all the damage,” Grace replied bitterly.

“Fuck you,” he screamed. “Get the hell out of my house!”

“This is my house,” cried Grace.

“Not any more it isn’t. I got you to sign over the assets that were in your name when you were too f…king weak and stupid to know what you were doing.”

Oceané jumped from her seat. Realizing Edward had gone too far, she ran down the hallway to the living room and into the maelstrom unfolding all around her.

“What the hell is going on?’ Oceané cried. “Have you both gone completely mad? I am trying to study and you are not giving me a single chance to get anything done with this constant screaming and fighting. My exams are next week, and I can’t concentrate with you both at each other’s throats. I really can’t stand it anymore Dad. You’re threatening to take away our home and run off with that horrible tart who is only trying to take you for all your money, and yet you still demand high results from me despite the fact there is mayhem all around.”

“And what about you, Mum? Can’t you just try to ignore his attacks and not respond to his attempts to provoke you?”

“Oh, he is doing far more than that, Oceané. He has already emptied the family trust of the money that was set aside for you and Lucy’s future. His aim is to leave us with nothing.”

“You got what you deserve,” barked Edward.

“Stop it,” cried Oceané. “Do you want me to end it all now?” she cried as she picked up a large knife that lay on the kitchen table. “I have had enough. This fighting has been going on for years and years. I don’t have a hope of being able to focus clearly with this hell going on around me and a family disintegrating before my very eyes. Can’t you see how selfish you both are being? Why do you always ramp up the fights right around the time of my exams? Are you purposely trying to put me off my studies?”

“Oceané, put the knife down,” cried Grace in an empty and dispassionate tone of voice.

“Why? Why should I behave responsibly when you two are going crazy and refusing to sort things out in a calm and civilized manner? I’ll withdraw this threat when you bring some peace and stability back into our lives. Otherwise, there is no point hanging around. I can’t bear to hear this day after day, year after year. You do this to me every time I have work to do and need some peace and quiet. You expect me to be responsible? Well how about setting a better example for your children to follow?”

“See what you’ve done, Edward?” cried Grace.

“Don’t blame me, you f..cking stupid bitch,” he thundered, while reaching for another glass of scotch.

Oceané looked at them both in despair. “Well, I can see neither of you have any intention of changing,” said Oceané as she slammed down the knife in disgust and burst into tears. “I’m leaving,” she said, before running back to her room.

Crying and sobbing, Oceané blindly grabbed her small canvas wallet, checking through the wall of tears streaming from her eyes to see if she had enough money for a train ride to the other side of town. She grabbed her school bag and some clothes before running to the front door, just as her mother appeared behind her.

“Wait, Oceané, wait! Where are you going? Don’t leave me here on my own.”

“What is the point of staying Mum?” Oceané sobbed, gasping for breath as her sobbing became more uncontrolled. “You will never get it together with Dad. I can’t live with this aggressive arguing and abuse anymore. How can I work and be happy with both of you tearing each other to pieces day after day? You need to leave him Mum,” Oceané continued, “or you won’t have anything left of your life to save. He is going to take us all to the cleaners and he doesn’t mind if he buries you along the way. Look at yourself. You’re a nervous wreck and you’re health won’t hold up much longer under these conditions.” She focused intently on her mother’s eyes to see if her message was getting through.  “It’s over Mum. We have to get out while we can. He doesn’t care about us anymore. He only wants to live with that horrible home wrecker he is now hitched up with. So please, let’s go while we still have a chance.”

There was a moment’s silence as Oceané and Grace stood looking at each other, with Oceané wondering if her mother had fully realized that the end had indeed come for their life together as a family. Their life together could be characterized as deeply turbulent, and materially focused, with no insights or understanding whatsoever into their true spiritual potential and innate abilities to each achieve deep states of inner peace, happiness and freedom.

“I am going to stay with some friends for a few days,” Oceané continued. “I need to get out of this horrible atmosphere. I have exams to focus on Mum. Can’t you see it is impossible to work here under these conditions?”

“Where are you going to stay, Oceané? Please don’t leave.”

“I don’t know where I’m going,” Oceané cried helplessly. My friends don’t really care about me either. They are only interested in distracting me too, and making sure we make life at school just a place for games and fun, rather than using the opportunity we have to actually learn something useful. I will go somewhere that’s a bit more peaceful and harmonious than here, so I can find somewhere to relax.”

Turning away, she walked down the pathway towards the street. Oceané knew her plan was flawed and perhaps a pathetic means of finding a solution, but she wanted to make a point. Feeling as though she couldn’t bear to be in her parents company for a moment longer, she walked towards a train that was already waiting at the station. Although she knew she had nowhere stable to go, and no refuge or means to secure real freedom from the miserable state she found herself in, she continued to walk away from her family home, towards a cold and desolate world, which in reality was no different from the unhappiness she was trying to leave behind. A bitter wind cut through her bones and bit at her nose and ears. Everything appeared totally lifeless and grey, as though she was surrounded by a sea full of desolate concrete and steel, with nothing to protect her from the pain in her heart, or from the acute and dark well of suffering and despair.

Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019

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