By Helen Varley Jamieson - 19/04/2008
i am not sure what to do with all the photos from tibet that i am receiving. tanks and soldiers on the streets, dead bodies, monks protesting. one that appears to be chinese soldiers preparing to dress as monks: their heads are shaven and they are carrying orange and maroon robes folded neatly in their arms. what is that about? what might they do disguised as monks? in another, a white woman holds a sign that reads "China, would you shoot me too? The world is watching." the world is watching, but what is it doing? here in australia everybody is busy congratulating prime minister kevin rudd on his successful visit to china. apparently he did not weaken his statements against china's actions in tibet, but he also strengthened australia's trade ties with china and assured the chinese that australia is a good friend of china. it seems australia is not a good friend of tibet. when a good friend behaves appallingly badly, do you say "you shouldn't do that, but let's have a beer together anyway and talk about other things"? is that enough? i don't think so. new zealand is hardly doing any better. our government is so proud to be the first developed nation to have negotiated a free trade agreement with china that we have a whole web site dedicated to it, to help us to do business with china. i searched on that web site for "tibet" and got no results. even though the dalai lama opposes a boycott of the beijing olympics, the games are bound to be a focus for protest and action. coincidentally, the opening of the games falls on the same date as the 080808 UpStage Festival ...