I’ll admit that I had some trouble with picking the tile for this post. I’m trying to keep this blog politics and bad words-free you see, so before this post became what it is it was meant to be just ‘Free Tibet’ (but then I didn’t want to be yet another person screaming activist thoughts into the web), then ‘F*ck China’ (but then I started feeling guilty about the F word again) or something like ‘Peace Bookings’. The first two may come intuitively to most who read the original title, but the third one may be a bit of a throw-off. Well, just keep reading.
I’m on holidays in Poland right now and will continue to reenvelop myself in my hometown and the Polish countryside for the next week and a half. I don’t watch TV back ‘home’: I refuse to have the cable coctail of some value and mostly nonsense come into my home in London. Probably because of this self-imposed restraint, TV has a pretty mesmerising effect on me whenever we do come face-to-face. Just now I finished watching an excellent documentary called ‘Dispatches: Undercover in Tibet’ by Tash Despa.
Despa fled Tibet 11 years ago. If you’re a bit behind on why anyone would flee Tibe, the BBC has a very handy Q&A section on the history of the Chinese-Tibetan conflict. To make the film, Despa returned to Tibet with a hidden camera to film stories of torture, murder and forced sterilisation that China does not want the world to hear. Besides the horrors described in the film, one can also easily pick up on a long-term plan of the Chinese government to eradicate the Tibetans culturally, linguistically and by their sheer power of numbers of Chinese immigrants pouring into the region. Tibetan resources’ value is estimated at $ 81.3 billion not to mention other strategic gains China is in for through their occupation of the region.
To stop the rant and try to do something a little more useful in the short term, I’ll get to the original third title option of this post, that is ‘Peace Bookings’. Peace Bookings is a site that has affiliate relationships with dozens of travel sites. Each time you click through a link to book something, a small commission for the sale (US $1 – $5) is diverted to their account that supports humanitarian causes in Tibet and Myanmar. The prices of tickets are not raised, but the commission still gets to the right hands. Through it would probably destroy Peace Bookings, it would be nice to see Kayak or other big booking sites enable similar services.