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Lions Roar : November 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2008 94 Two new books, quite different from each other, highlight the vision, prin- ciples, and practical policies of these two Asian exemplars. Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s Prisoner of Conscience is an extensive biography of “the Lady,” meticulously researched and compellingly written by the English jour- nalist and author Justin Wintle. Why the Dalai Lama Matters is a meditation on the prospective future of Tibet and China by the widely known Buddhist scholar and Tibetan activist Robert Thurman. Thur- man’s loose-limbed book emerges from his close friendship and work with the Dalai Lama, making a strong case for what this “simple Tibetan monk” means to the future of Tibet and China. Thurman ar- gues further that successful reconciliation between Tibet and China would directly enhance the world’s capability of resolv- ing conflict without war. One question smolders at the heart of both these works: How will nonviolent social change come to Burma and Tibet? Nonviolence unites the policies of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi. The Dalai Lama’s unshakable commitment to nonviolence flows direct- ly from the depths of his Buddhist under- standing. In an October 2001 speech to the European Parliament, he said: The promotion of a culture of dialogue and nonviolence for the future of man- kind is a compelling task of the interna- tional community. It is not enough for governments to endorse the principle of nonviolence without any appropriate ac- tion to support and promote it. If nonvio- lence is to prevail, nonviolent movements must be made effective and successful. For her part, Aung San Suu Kyi ad- vances a kind of nonviolence that actively turns toward conflict, meeting it without violence or retaliation. Before her extend- ed house arrest, she echoed the sentiments of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in a 1989 speech at Rangoon’s Sule pagoda: What I mean by defying authority is the non-acceptance of unlawful orders h h h h h h h h h www.festivalmedia.org THE BEST BUDDHIST CINEMA ON DVD A film by MICHAEL H. WILSON The inside story of the making of Kundun Featuring H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama & Academy Award® winner Martin Scorsese Filmed on location in Morocco and India IN SEARCH OF WITH MARTIN SCORSESE KUNDUN AVAILABLE AT RETAILERS EVERYWHERE WATCH THE TRAILER ONLINE FIRST TIME ON DVD NOV 84-105.indd 94 NOV 84-105.indd 94 9/1/08 12:24:52 PM 9/1/08 12:24:52 PM