Goodwill to all men.



This is a time of year when we in the West start to profess our Goodwill to all Men and join in the festivities that Christmas brings. Though there are many who don’t share the Christian faith it tends to be a time of tolerance, not often seen during the preceding year. Those of the Jewish faith have Hanukkah in December, some Buddhists celebrate Bodhi day on 8th of December ( when Gautama achieved enlightenment). On 21st December the Pagan’s celebrate Yule while in India there are many and varied festivals     that bloom in December with the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, Lokranjan in Madhya Pradesh, Rann Utsav in Gujrat, Winter Festival at Mt.Abu (Rajasthan), Lumbini Festival in Andhra and the Chumpha Festival in Manipur.

One people who won’t find any celebrations easy this year are the Tibetans who while acknowledged by most of the World to be a Nation in it’s own right have nevertheless been under the domination of the Chinese since the invasion of 1949. Since that time the Tibetan people have struggled to keep their culture intact and regain their freedom. Many people would not understand the nomadic ways of the Tibetans but that way of life is their right and it is morally wrong of the Chinese to try and resettle nomads into purpose built houses.

China’s actions in Tibet over the past 50 years have created a climate of fear that still continues today—torture and imprisonment for peaceful protest, and economic plans that discriminate against Tibetans, threatening their unique identity. The PLA maintains a strong presence in Tibet and China’s military control increased with the 2006 opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

Human rights conditions in Tibet remain dismal. Under the Chinese occupation, the Tibetan people are denied most rights guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including the rights to self-determination, freedom of speech, assembly, movement, expression and travel. Signs of support for His Holiness the Dalai Lama are banned by the Chinese government.

We may not be able to do anything to physically help the Tibetan people regain the right of self determination that our nations are guaranteed, but what I’d ask of you at this time of goodwill is a message of hope and support to the people of that beleaguered Country. A message has been prepared or you can add your own words of support if you wish. For those that are able there is even the opportunity to donate money. The link to send a message is…………. 

May I take this opportunity to thank you all for the friendship and support I’ve been shown this year and wish you a Happy Christmas.



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28 responses to “Goodwill to all men.

  1. Catherine Johnson

    What a lovely post, David. Hsppy Christmas to you too. I’ll go check out that link.

  2. Ungh… I didn’t realise the Tibetans had been occupied for so long. 😦 Thanks for bringing this to the forefront again David.

    • Until I checked I wasn’t sure of the dates as I seem to remember it happening and I wasn’t born then. Perhaps I just saw the next surge of troops or a hardening of policy that brought the old films out…..
      I’m horrified that in this day and age a supposedly civilised country can inflict this kind of harm on another. .It’s a shame to have the Dalai Lama unable to return to his country and his people. XX Hugs

      • Yes it is a shame, especially as China is not historically expansionist like this. 😦

      • Oddly enough they’re on an expansionist journey again just at the moment claiming islands that have traditionally belonged to other countries. It’s going well outside it’s traditional boundaries and well beyond the 6 mile territorial limit most countries have. If it’s allowed to happen unchecked who knows what the inhabitants of those islands will face in the future under Chinese control.

      • The condemnation of China’s claims to the sea and its numerous reefs and tiny islands was the strongest yet from Vietnam since tension flared this year and came after India declared itself ready to send navy ships to safeguard its interests in the disputed waters.

        Claims by an increasingly powerful China over most of the South China Sea have set it directly against U.S. allies Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also claim parts of the mineral-rich waters.

        Vietnam’s condemnation came a day after its state oil and gas company, Petrovietnam, accused Chinese boats of sabotaging an exploration operation by cutting a seismic cable being towed behind a Vietnamese boat.

        Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned the cable cutting as well as some recent Chinese provincial regulations that identified the disputed Spratly and Paracel islands as Chinese, and a map that did the same thing.

        “The actions of the Chinese side have seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagos,” the spokesman, Luong Thanh Nghi, said in a statement.

      • Islands? I hope you’re not talking about Taiwan and Japan????

      • Though I think those have been in contention again I wasn’t meaning those.These are islands and islets nearer the coast of other countries which have become upset by the claims.Notably,Vietnam. The Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia.

      • Wow – that’s pretty far afield. Why on earth would China even want those places? I can see how the nearby countries would be getting nervous. 😦

      • Possible undersea oil or gas finds are enough for them to make a play since it would solve a lot of energy problems.x Hugs

      • Oh… I didn’t think of that. We live in interesting times. 😦

      • Hah, isn’t that a Chinese insult? May you live in interesting times.

      • It is an insult but I think it’s Hebrew. Or maybe the Chinese have their own version of it. 😀

        Odd isn’t it? That boring equates to ‘safe’?

      • I can’t find anything relating to Hebrew but did find it may only be part 1 of a three part curse.
        “May you live in interesting times”, often referred to as the Chinese curse, is reputed to be the English translation of an ancient Chinese proverb and curse, although it may have originated among the English themselves. It is reported that it was the first of three curses of increasing severity, the other two being:
        “May you come to the attention of those in authority” (sometimes rendered “May the government be aware of you”). This is sometimes quoted as “May you come to the attention of powerful people.” (Alternately, “important people”.)
        “May you find what you are looking for.” This is sometimes quoted as “May your wishes be granted.”
        I also remember that in Terry Pratchett’s Book ‘Interesting Times’ May you live in interesting times was used on the Counterweight Continent as a curse.

      • Oh! I’m sorry, I was so sure it was Hebrew I didn’t even check. Thanks for doing all that research for me and now I promise I will never curse you by hoping your wishes come true! 😉

      • Perhaps one or two though? xx Hugs

  3. I agree, it is morally wrong for one culture/religion/country to force their beliefs on another. This is an excellent post 🙂

    Happy Newtonmas 😉

    • Thank you. The loss of life has been heavy on the people and the continued self immolation shows the depth of feeling from the Buddhist priests. China should back off and go home now and give Tibet it’s autonomy back again.
      I wish you a happy Newtonmas too. The Big Bang Theory is my favourite programme and I didn’t realise until I looked up your greeting that it was as early as 2009 Sheldon declaims, “December 25th 1642 Julian calendar: Sir Isaac Newton is born. Jesus on the other hand was actually born in the summer.” Leonard responds with characteristic sarcasm “Merry Newtonmas everyone!” Here are two more greetings that might have appealed to them………..
      Merry Christmas in Klingon:
      yItIv QISmaS

      Merry Christmas in Elvish:
      Isusarad ‘elir
      Since The Sceptics Society started using happy Newtonmas ( or Gravmas) first I can’t credit Sheldon/Leonard with the phrase and I love the fact it may have been used as early as 1890 with the exchange of apples or science related gifts. I also love the humour of the exchange of ‘Reasons Greetings’ on agnostic cards.

  4. Impressive knowledge about Indian festivals. I am Indian and have to admit I did not know about half of them.
    Chinese rule in Tibet, clearly, deserves to be condemned. However, what is the way to solve such issues? Plebiscite? There arev many around the world. Kashmir closer to home in India. Gaza in the Middle east. What about Indian lands in America?

    • I wish I had an answer to the question Ankur. I’d hope that condemnation by the free countries of the world might do the job but it appears not. Perhaps the threat of reducing imports from China would do the trick since they rely heavily on trade. I agree there are other problem places in the world, but none it seems where the way of life is being changed to the extent it is in Tibet which is eroding their identities.The self immolation just hasn’t ended as a protest and it’s obvious how strongly the Tibetans still feel about this. Do you have any ideas of how these problems can be solved in a peaceful manner.?

      • If there were easy, peaceful ways available I am sure they would have been implemented. I don’t think there are any. The only one that I can think of is giving the right of self-determination to all people. And that will create its own tsunami. Texas may want to become a country, Scotland will want to separate from the UK, Kurds may want a country out of Iraq, Kashmir will become a separate entity, and so on…And, as with everything else, not everyone will be happy.

      • No doubt you’re right Ankur. Texas has already applied to separate from the Union, Scotland WILL separate from the UK before too long since the support is very strong, though they will obviously remain partners in various things. The Kurds have long wanted out of Iraq/Iran since they have been slaughtered without number by Saddam Hussein while being his subjects, a new Kurd state could end the atrocities they may suffer in the future since they’ll be protected by the powers who grant them Sovereignty. Yes not everyone will be happy with changes, that’s ever the way, but if the majority can be pleased…..
        With Tibet, I can’t see any Tibetan objecting to going back to their previous recognition as a Sovereign state and not losing more people to torture in the future.
        Probably I can be accused of not being a realist, of not being pragmatic but I look at Haifa and see a population of Jews, Christian Arabs, Moslem Arabs and other minor religions all living and working together in the spirit of co-operation. I can’t help but hope that there’s a possibility others will follow this example.

  5. Amen to that. And I think, equally, there are many examples of peaceful co-existence as well.

    • Maybe we should name them in a new post as examples people/places could follow. They have to be as rare as hen’s teeth in these days where two political parties in America have trouble co-existing peacefully. Here in the UK things are not much better.A place I once thought was a great example of having reached a peaceful co-existence with mutual respect turns out to be a breeding ground for hate we export back to places like Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some good news would be nice.

  6. Why do the Chinese have to be so dirty and underhanded? They need to free Tibet and tend to their own country (which has equally ridiculous laws and penalties for protest, opinions, and the like).

    • How I wish I could answer that. They’re not known for backing down easily either. It’s possible that there are resources there they want and need and brute force was the most effective way of getting them.Maybe the new Government in China will prove to be easier to deal with but unless they ever have free elections I somehow doubt it. Hugs.xx

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