Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Worldwide Trade in Stolen Tibetan Manuscripts

There is an oft-told luncheon quip in my home town of Hong Kong, that if you really, really hate someone, you should tell them, "I have a business proposition for you on the Mainland." It is said that thereafter, your revenge will be complete, because doing business on the Mainland encompasses every possible form of torment and disappointment.

Today, I feel the same way about ebay, when I learn that printing blocks for Tibetan books, and Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts are regularly being placed there for sale to the highest bidder.

Things like this don't come from somebody's "collection." Things like this are stolen from monasteries and practitioners, and then flogged by Chinese middlemen. What is even more disgusting is when Western ex-pat "practitioners" get involved, as has been seen in a few cases in Mongolia.

Isn't there something we could do? I understand that ebay has been cooperative in causing culturally sensitive articles to be removed, should public outcry so demand.

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