TIBETAN EXISTENCE. TO TWEET OR NOT TO TWEET IS THE QUESTION FOR THE FUTURE DALAI LAMA.
TIBETAN EXISTENCE. TO FIGHT OR NOT TO FIGHT IS THE QUESTION FOR THE PRESENT DALAI LAMA.
“To be, or not to be – that is the question.” Tibetan Existence is truly endangered by relentless, brutal military occupation since 1950. Tibetans face just one question. The question is, “How to Oppose the Occupation of Tibet?” Nothing else really matters.
Special Frontier Force
Twitter is canceling the Dalai Lama because he said a female successor should be ‘attractive’
“You once said that you would be open to a female successor,” BBC News reporter Rajini Vaidyanathan asked the religious leader, in a video interview published Thursday on Twitter.
“That’s also possible,” the Dalai Lama confirmed.
“You also told one of my colleagues that, that female must be attractive, otherwise it’s not much use,” she continued. “…Can you see why that comment upset a lot of women?”
The Dalai Lama answered, “If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive.” If not, “people, I think prefer, not see her, that face.”
The reporter asked, “It’s about who you are inside, isn’t it?”
“Yes, I think both,” he said. “Real beauty is inner beauty, that’s true. But we’re human beings. I think the appearance is also important.”
The religious leader also suggested that most people would prefer not to look at a “dead face” and argued that women in the public eye should wear makeup.
People took issue with his comments, calling his holiness “canceled.”
Author Jessica Valenti tweeted that this moment was “about as 2019 as it gets.”
Others just felt disappointed.
Some called out what they felt was the absurdity of his comments and made jokes.
One person even suggested singer and icon Dolly Parton step into the role.
These weren’t the only remarks the Dalai Lama made that raised eyebrows this week. He also told the BBC that European nations should be obliged to take in those who are fleeing their home countries, but that those people should ultimately be taught skills and return home, saying, “European countries should take these refugees and give them education and training, and the aim is – return to their own land with certain skills.”
He continued, “But the whole of Europe [will] eventually become Muslim country – impossible. Or African country, also impossible.”
I am a Refugee for I host ‘The Living Tibetan Spirits’, the Spirits of young Tibetan Soldiers who gave their precious lives while dreaming about ‘Freedom’ in Occupied Tibet.
For I am a Refugee, I am not entitled to the benefits entitled to the citizens of my host nation. I am in the search of my Final Destination where I can die with Peace and Dignity. My host nation is Free and yet as a Refugee I live under terms and conditions imposed on my existence as a Refugee. What is the Choice I can make? The options are, 1. Labor until Death in the host nation, and 2. Peaceful Death in the Enemy’s Prison.
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
INDIA – TIBET – CHINA Dalai Lama says he would like to return to Tibet before he dies
The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism fled Lhasa during the 1959 uprising. Beijing considers him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Like Xi Jinping, Donald Trump never asked to meet him.
Dharamshala (AsiaNews/Agencies) – “The Tibetan people have trust in me, they ask me [to] come to Tibet,” said the Dalai Lama in an interview with the BBC.
Speaking with the journalist, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism talked about his desire to return to Lhasa before he dies. He was forced to abandon the Potala Palace (his official residence) during the Tibetan uprising against Chinese military rule in 1959.
Since then, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, has found refuge in Dharamshala (India) along with another 10,000 Tibetan Buddhists who live their Himalayan exile in Arunachal Pradesh.
In the interview the Dalai Lama describes India, the country that welcomed him, his “spiritual home”. Grateful for the hospitality he received, he notes that one advantage of not being able to return home to Tibet is that India is a free country where he can express himself openly.
Although he has often tried to engage Beijing in dialogue, to safeguard the autonomy of Tibetan religion and culture threatened by a “cultural genocide”, the Chinese Communist Party has always branded him a “dangerous” separatist seeking Tibetan independence.
In order to return to Tibet, he gave up his political role in 2011 to remain only as the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. But the Chinese Communist Party continues to view him as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
At the age of 84, he enjoys good health, although he needs an assistant to walk. In April, Tibetan Buddhists all over the world were concerned for several days after his sudden hospitalization in a Delhi hospital for a lung infection.
In addition to going home to Tibet, the Dalai discussed various topics in the BBC interview: Brexit, migrants, a female Dalai Lama woman who should be “more attractive” than a man.
He also voiced strong criticism of US President Donald Trump who, in his view, lacks “moral principle”. The slogan (America First) that allowed him to win “is wrong”. The US leader, he noted, like Xi Jinping, never asked to meet him.
I claim that I am a ‘Refugee’ for I host ‘The Living Tibetan Spirits’ in my Consciousness. Living Tibetan Spirits represent the young Tibetan Soldiers who gave their precious lives during the Bangladesh Ops of 1971-72. They lived in the hope of securing Freedom in Occupied Tibet.
Refugee is a person who is not entitled to the benefits of the Citizenship status in the country that hosts the Refugee. Very often, the Refugee Status may impose several conditions or terms under which it is approved. A Refugee can be deemed to be a ‘Slave’ if the Refugee has only the permission to live if he can perform labor to earn his living. For example, the Refugee is not entitled to receive monetary benefits paid to citizens if they get old or disabled.
In my analysis, the ‘Invitation’ asking this Refugee to return to China simply represents an Agreement to accept ‘Prisonhood’ rather than living the life of a Slave in the host nation. It is like choosing between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.
Give up: The Dalai Lama has been asked to ‘relinquish all attachment to life’ and ‘live among Tibetans… even though it may seem humbling’.
JAYADEVA RANADE President, Centre for China Analysis and Strategy
In the midst of mounting pressure from the US and steadily growing dissatisfaction with Chinese President Xi Jinping inside China, Beijing appears to be making a strategic overture to the exiled 84-year-old spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama. This coincides with the increasing apprehension in the higher echelons of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that the US and the West plan to resume support to the Tibetans and stir up trouble in China’s Tibetan-majority border province. It coincides, too, with the persistent rumor that has been circulating for months in Beijing that the Dalai Lama is rather unwell.
The first indicator of renewed thinking about reaching out to the Dalai Lama was an article authored by Zhu Weiqun and published on June 9 in the Global Times, a subsidiary of the official CCP mouthpiece, People’s Daily. Zhu is a senior recently retired Chinese Communist cadre who has stayed in close touch with Tibetan affairs and is well regarded in Beijing for his knowledge of Tibet-related affairs. The article assumes added significance as Zhu is a former executive vice-minister of the CCP Central Committee’s (CC) united front work department and till last year held a national-level post as chairman of the ethnic and religious affairs committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). He has participated in all 10 rounds of the ‘negotiations’ between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and the Chinese communist authorities between 2002 and 2010, when they were suspended, and has intimate knowledge of the CCP’s position on the Dalai Lama. Zhu seldom writes in the Chinese media.
Quite unusually, he stated in his article that he was responding to the US ambassador’s recent remark after a visit to Tibet, urging resumption of talks with the Dalai Lama and accused him of ‘interference in China’s internal affairs’. He also asserted that the CC ‘has not closed its door of contacts and negotiation with the Dalai Lama’. With this, he indirectly confirms that while contacts have been maintained with the Dalai Lama, negotiations of the type held earlier could now possibly be contemplated. He also reiterated China’s consistent position that it doesn’t recognize the ‘Tibetan government-in-exile’ or ‘Central Tibetan Administration’ and that the talks that have been held are neither ‘Tibetan-Han talks’ or ‘Tibetan-China talks’. He clarified that ‘the Dalai Lama must accept Tibet as an integral part of China, abandon all attempts about so-called Tibet independence, stop all separatist and destructive activities, and recognize Taiwan as an integral part of China’. Stating that the above issues ‘underline that there is no so-called Tibet issue’, he underscored it is ‘just the problem of the Dalai Lama’. These points reflected China’s position during the negotiations nine years ago between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and the united front work department that they were only discussing the Dalai Lama’s return to China!
Zhu’s article was followed by a more direct and blunt communication. This was the 680-word letter, published by the Korea Times on June 22, and addressed to the Dalai Lama by the Venerable Dongbong, head monk of the ninth-ranked Daegaksa Temple of the Jogye Order of Buddhism of South Korea. The Jogye Order, incidentally, has thus far not joined other Buddhist sects in requesting permission for the Dalai Lama’s visit to South Korea because of its sensitivity to China. In the unprecedented letter, which is being studied in the Dalai Lama’s office, Dongbong advised him to ‘go back to your Tibetan homeland so your body may be interred there’. Adding that ‘at the age of 83, Your Holiness has lived longer than the Buddha’, it asked him to ‘relinquish all attachment to life as the Buddha taught’ and ‘to live among Tibetans is the way you should walk to the end of your life, even though it may seem humbling to you’. During an interview with Korea Times, he said: ‘Time is running against’ the Dalai Lama. ‘If he dies outside his old Tibet home, not being able to reach his people and hold their hands, his death will be the death of a great religious leader and nothing more. It will not bring any difference in Tibetan independence history.’
In the months leading up to these overtures to the Dalai Lama, the Chinese communist authorities have stepped up security measures in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and adjoining Tibetan areas. The annual budget of the TAR’s public security apparatus was enhanced by the National People’s Congress in March 2019 by 8.3 per cent. Party surveillance has been expanded with a party cadre presently deployed in each of the 5,453 villages and a distinct focus on ‘political education’ and propaganda, especially among monks and nuns in monasteries. The concerns of the senior party echelons were articulated late last year by Wu Sikang, director of the policy research office of Shenzhen municipal government, in an ‘internal’ document. He warned that the US had increased financial aid to Tibetans from this year to $17 million and that the amount allocated for Tibet-related activities in India and Nepal have been doubled. Beijing has long apprehended that Nepal would be used by ‘hostile foreign powers’ as a launch pad for anti-China activities.
A positive response to these overtures by the Dalai Lama would bring some relief for Jinping from the pressure being exerted by the US, troubles in Hong Kong and spreading domestic dissatisfaction. Tibet has long been portrayed as one of China’s ‘core issues’ and Jinping would be able to claim a degree of success in achieving the ‘reunification of the great Chinese nation’ projected in the China Dream. The question is, what can the Dalai Lama hope to get if he returns?
Matter is an actual substance that has properties such as mass or weight, and occupies space. Matter has other attributes like motion, size, shape, and a form by which it may be recognized.
Materialism is defined as a system of thought that explains the nature of the world as entirely dependent on “matter” the final reality. Materialism as a philosophical doctrine deals with matter as the only reality and that everything in the world, including thought, will, and feeling can be explained only in terms of matter.
Baruch(Benedict) Spinoza, Dutch philosopher taught that there is but one infinite substance, God or Nature, having infinite attributes of which only thought and extension are knowable. He was excommunicated from his Jewish community.
Spinoza held that mind and body as merely different aspects of a single substance. In his view, God is Nature in its fullness. The Matter is immutable or indestructible, and Spinoza explained the indestructibility of matter is established by the uncreated and eternal nature of God. “By Body”, Spinoza writes, “I understand a mode which expresses in a certain and determinate manner the essence of God in so far as He is considered as the thing extended.”
This philosophical doctrine of Materialism is used in modern times to explain that comfort, pleasure, and wealth are the only goals or values of human life and human existence. The idea of materialism is used to contrast it with the spiritual, or intellectual goals, or values of human life.
In my view, man will not be able to define his purpose in life if there is a separation of matter and spirit. Man is a physical being with matter and form. To define the goals, or values of human life, man must understand what it is to be a substance and what it is to exist. If matter and spirit are separated, and if there is no unity between matter and spirit, human life would be simply impossible. The word or term ‘Spirit’ is associated with characteristics such as immutable, immortal, immovable, imperishable, indestructible, immaterial, eternal, and unchanging, or constant nature of a substance which withstands the influence of time.
If God is uncreated and is eternal, Spirit is a natural extension of God’s nature and shares the same attributes. To recognize the spiritual potential of a substance, we have to understand the nature of matter.
THE LAWS OF CONSERVATION – “LIFE IS NEITHER CREATED NOR DESTROYED”:
If materialism is about the influence of material wealth, I would like to use the Power/Force/Energy called Money to talk about Life and Death. The Laws of Conservation are applicable to both living, and non-living matter. Hence, if matter can neither be created nor destroyed, it can be stated that “Life can neither be created nor destroyed.” If any person can refute my claim using valid, scientific information, I would give the person an US $1,000 bill as a reward.
THE LAWS OF CONSERVATION OF MATTER:
Chemical elements are the fundamental materials of which all matter is composed. There are about 107 known chemical elements. Chemical elements can combine with one another to form a wide variety of more complex substances called compounds. The number of possible compounds is infinite; perhaps a million chemical compounds are known.
When two or more elements combine to form a compound, they lose their separate identities and the product has characteristics quite different from those of the constituent elements. The gaseous elements hydrogen and oxygen with quite different properties can combine to form the compound water which has altogether different properties from either hydrogen or oxygen. Most of the naturally occurring matter represents physical mixtures of compounds.
The indestructibility of matter was explained by Lavoisier as the Law of Conservation. “We may lay it down as an incontestible axiom,” Lavoisier writes, “that in all the operations of art and nature, nothing is created; an equal quantity of matter exists both before and after the experiment.” What appears to be the destruction of a body is merely the transformation of its matter into another physical condition, without loss of mass unless there is an equivalent gain in energy. The total quantity of matter and energy remains constant throughout all physical changes. Material substances undergo changes when they interact with other material substances, but this “change” cannot be described as the permanent reality. The permanent reality describes the unchanging, or constant nature of chemical elements and molecules in spite of their tendency to interact with other elements and molecules.
The Laws of Conservation are any of the several principles applied in Physics and Chemistry that state that certain properties of an isolated system remain constant with time. Each Law signifies that the nature of a substance or thing that does not change with the passage of time.
However, it must be noted that change is the pervasive phenomenon of the natural world. It is said that “Things in Nature Change with Time.” Although matter may change its form, or shape under the influence of time, its mass always remains the same. The Law of Conservation of Mass implies that matter can be neither created nor destroyed, that is, processes that change the physical, or chemical properties of substances within an isolated system leave the total mass unchanged. Similarly, The Law of Conservation of Energy implies that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, although it can be changed from one form(mechanical, kinetic, chemical, etc.,) into another form such as heat, or the energy consumed in the performance of work. In an isolated system, the sum of all forms of energy, therefore, remains constant. Every conservation law concerns a collection of two, or more objects, isolated from external influence, for which some physical quantity remains unchanged in time, or is conserved, quite apart from the details of what goes on between the interacting particles within the system. An important function of conservation laws is that they make it possible to predict the macroscopic behavior of a system without having to consider the microscopic details of the course of a physical process or chemical reaction. The fundamental character of these conservation laws is evident in the fact that each law may be deduced from or related to a symmetry property of space and time. The symmetry property of space and time determines the periodic frequency with which a natural change occurs while the nature or properties of things is conserved to allow the change to repeat itself in an expected manner.
SPIRIT – UNCHANGING NATURE IN A CHANGING WORLD:
Natural Science, and Natural History is about the natural phenomenon called change. The systematized knowledge of Biological Sciences provide us with information about extinction which is the most common phenomenon in planet Earth’s Natural History. Earth has witnessed several major, and minor episodes called extinction during which certain life forms got wiped out.
While extinction is driven by climate change and its associated environmental change, life continues to exist on Earth without any apparent change in the chemical composition of living matter. Extinction involves the loss of forms and it does not involve a change in the nature of the corporeal substance that has the potential called Life and is known as Living Matter. In other words, it may be stated that if a change is observed in the natural world, it is always supported by an underlying, unchanging principle. While living things are born and die at the end of their lifetime, the matter or the corporeal substance which has the potential to establish Life remains unchanged and its nature is conserved and is not affected by time.
Under the influence of the cyclical flow of time, individual, living things are born and are dying while the Principle of Conservation maintains the unchanging nature of things that constitute Life or Living Matter. Life is established by a vital, animating principle called Spirit; the presence of Spirit can be related to the unchanging or immutable nature of Matter that gets the nature called Eternal, or Immortal, or Imperishable or Indestructible that overcomes the limitations imposed by Time and Space.
The Magic of Creation involves the use of a design, or plan to introduce the abilities such as thought, will, feelings, and cognition into the matter that reveals their presence or absence while passing through stages like Life and Death. The same chemical elements, chemical compounds, and chemical reactions operate in the state called living and death and both are maintained by the same unchanging nature of Matter and Spirit.
In my opinion, it may not be correct to regard Spirit as separate from Matter. It will not be correct to separate man into a physical body or matter, thinking substance or mind, and an immaterial substance called Spirit. There is no human existence if there is disunity or separation of Matter, Spirit, the Body, and the Mind. The uncreated, Eternal, Spiritual nature of God that is shared by Spirit and Matter would lead us to claim: “Life can neither be created nor destroyed.”
WELCOME TO THE SUMMER SEASON 2019. WHOLE MECHANICS-WHOLE DYNAMICS
On Friday, June 21, 2019, I celebrate the Summer Solstice, the beginning of the Summer Season sharing my thoughts on this celestial event.
The Man’s experience of Day and Night, and of the changing Seasons are not determined by the true or real motions of Sun in the Milky Way Galaxy. The experience of the Summer Season is not on account of planet Earth’s proximity to Sun during its circular orbit around Sun.
I apply Pure Reasoning, or the Doctrine of Rationalism to formulate my concepts of Whole Mechanics and Whole Dynamics. In practical terms, the Geocentric Theory is valid for it accounts for the experience of Day and Night, and of the changing Seasons. Most importantly, the Man needs the experience of his existence on the surface of a Flat Disc with an overhead arched dome called Sky or Heaven where he observes the apparent motions of Sun, stars, and planets.
Hello, Summer! Today’s Solstice Marks Season’s Beginning | Space
Summer will officially arrive in the Northern Hemisphere today (June 21), marking the longest day, the shortest night and the beginning of summer.
The June solstice will occur at 11:54 a.m. EDT (1554 GMT), as the sun reaches the point at which it is farthest north of the celestial equator. To be more precise, when the solstice occurs, the sun will appear to shine directly overhead for a viewer stationed on the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23.5 degrees north) in the western Atlantic Ocean, roughly 600 miles (965 kilometers) to the northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
From midnorthern latitudes, we can never see the sun directly overhead, but the same principle holds. For example, as seen from Philadelphia at 1:02 p.m. EDT on solstice day, the sun will attain its highest point in the sky for this entire year, standing 74 degrees above the southern horizon.
To gauge how high that is, your clenched fist held at arm’s length measures roughly 10 degrees, so from the City of Brotherly Love, the sun will appear to climb more than “seven fists” above the southern horizon. And since the sun will appear to describe such a high arc across the sky, daylight will be at its longest extreme, lasting 15 hours and 1 minute.
But this doesn’t mean we can stargaze for the remaining 9 hours, because we also need to take twilight into consideration. Around the time of the June solstice at latitude 40 degrees north, morning and evening twilight each last 2 hours, so the sky is fully dark for only 5 hours.
Farther north, twilight lasts even longer. At 45 degrees, it lingers for 2.5 hours, and at 50 degrees, twilight persists through the night; the sky never gets completely dark. In contrast, heading south, twilight is shorter. At latitude 30, it lasts 96 minutes, while at the latitude of San Juan, it lingers for only 80 minutes. This phenomenon is why travelers from the northern U.S. who visit the Caribbean at this time of year get surprised at how quickly it gets dark after sunset compared to back home.
Incidentally, the earliest sunrise and latest sunset do not coincide with the summer solstice. The former occurred on June 14, while the latter does not come until June 27.
So far, so good
Some people think the Earth is at the closest point to the sun in its orbit at this time of year, but actually, it is just the opposite. On July 4, at 6:11 p.m. EDT (2211 GMT), we’ll be at the point in our orbit farthest from the sun (called aphelion), a distance of 94,513,221 miles (152,104,285 km).
Conversely, back on Jan. 3, Earth was at perihelion, the point in its orbit closest to the sun. The difference in distance between these two extremes measures 3,109,667 miles (5,004,524 km), or 3.3% of the average distance between the sun and Earth. That small change leads to a difference of nearly 7% in the radiant heat received by the Earth.
Theoretically, for the Northern Hemisphere, the difference in the distance to the sun tends to warm our winters and cool our summers. But in reality, the preponderance of large land masses in the Northern Hemisphere outweighs this effect, making our winters colder and summers hotter than those of the Southern Hemisphere.
Interestingly, it would be a much different story if we were on Mars. Compared to our nearly circular orbit, the orbit of Mars is noticeably more eccentric (elliptical). When Mars arrives at aphelion, the planet is receiving only 69% as much sunlight as it does at perihelion. This situation creates a seasonal asymmetry on Mars; the Martian southern hemisphere always suffers greater extremes between summer and winter than the northern hemisphere does.
After Aug. 7, it “gets late early”
After the sun arrives at its solstice point, it will begin to migrate back toward the south, and the amount of daylight in the Northern Hemisphere will decrease. Consider this: After today, the duration of daylight will not increase again until two days before Christmas.
But if you think about it, the length of daylight has been rather substantial since about the middle of May. And the lowering of the sun’s path in the sky and the diminishing of the daylight hours in the coming days and weeks will be rather subtle, at least initially, during the first half or so of summer.
The traditional midpoint of the summer season is Aug. 1 which is marked on some Christian calendars as Lammas Day. The name is derived from the Old English “loaf-mass,” because it was once observed as a harvest festival. But summer’s true midpoint — the moment that comes exactly between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox in 2019 — will not occur until Aug. 7 at 7:52 a.m. EDT (1152 GMT). On that day, again, as seen from Philadelphia, the sun will set at 8:08 p.m., with the loss of daylight since June 21 amounting to just 57 minutes.
But in the second half of summer, the effects of the southward shift of the sun’s direct rays become much more noticeable. When autumn officially arrives, on Sept. 23, the sun for Philadelphians will set at 6:56 p.m., while the city will have lost 2 full hours of daylight since Aug. 7.
When he occasionally played left field during his Hall of Fame career with the Yankees, Yogi Berra would say that he didn’t mind the outfield, except for one thing: During August and September, as the shadows across the ball field progressively lengthened, it got increasingly difficult for him to see a baseball hit in his direction. Berra might not have been able to explain the science of why the altitude of the sun lowered so perceptibly during the latter half of the summer, but, as only he could do, he was able to sum it all up in a simple Yogism: “It gets late early out there.”
Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmers’ Almanac and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for Verizon FiOS1 News in New York’s lower Hudson Valley. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.
Each June 20, the globe comes together to honor World Refugee Day. The United Nations General Assembly launched the holiday in 2000, and since then, the worldwide community has spent the day focused on ways to improve the lives of refugees. Most of us know that refugees are forced to leave their homes due to war, terror, or other crises—but fleeing their home country is often just the beginning of a difficult journey. Many refugees find themselves living in camps until they are resettled—some of which are dangerous or not well-equipped for long term living. Refugees don’t always have a say in which country they are ultimately relocated to, and the bureaucratic process involved in finding their new home can take years. Worldwide refugee crises have taken center stage in the news in recent years, so it’s more important than ever to share support and to celebrate World Refugee Day.
How to Observe World Refugee Day
1. Attend a United Nations event
The UN plans to host live digital events on World Refugee Day discussing the world refugee crisis, future goals surrounding the topic, and how to make a difference. Be on the lookout for summaries of the events’ happenings, or see if you can attend for yourself.
2. Be a friend to refugees in your community
Reach out to refugees in your area. Consider inviting them into your home for dinner, or to spend a few nights in your guest room if they’re in need of somewhere to stay. Introduce them to your local community so they’ll have an easier time getting to know their new neighborhood. Simply being a friend can make a major positive impact in someone’s life, and serving as a guide to the community can be incredibly helpful.
3. Use your job to make a difference
No matter what you do for a living, there’s a good chance that your professional skills can be used to improve the lives of others. Volunteer your work-related talents to local refugee organizations. Last year, the UN shared a goal that someday soon, every refugee would have the opportunity for an education, a safe place to live, and ways to work and contribute to their communities. Chances are, you’ve got a skill or talent that can help in working toward one of those goals. If you own a business or are a hiring manager, you may also consider employing local refugees who are in need of work.
Why World Refugee Day is Important
1. It builds empathy and raises awareness
The vastness of the world refugee crisis can be hard to grasp, but raising awareness can help make it easier for others to understand the extent of what refugees around the world are going through. It also builds a sense of empathy and compassion that brings people together from all walks of life, and that’s always a positive thing.
2. It provides an incentive to create a more peaceful world
In a more peaceful world, fewer people would be forced to flee their homes due to violence and unrest. Naturally, this would make for a significant decrease in suffering around the world. While working towards greater peace isn’t something that can happen overnight, it’s an important goal, and World Refugee Day reminds us of just how vital it is.
3. It encourages us to be better friends, neighbors, and citizens
It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of such a massive worldwide crisis, but taking small steps can help make a difference. World Refugee Day encourages all of us to think creatively about what we can do to help. It also motivates everyone celebrating the holiday to be better neighbors to refugees living in their communities and to be more compassionate world citizens in general.
I believe in the doctrine called ‘Predestination’. I do not believe in Free-Will, or Will to Choose. I am not running away from God. I cannot choose to disobey God. It may seem that I am making choices and that I may have preplanned my moves. My Life’s Journey began in Mylapore, Madras, Chennai, India. Amongst other places, my Journey took me to Doom Dooma, Tinsukia District, Assam, India during 1972. While I worked in Doom Dooma, I got married during January 1973 as per God’s Plan. Eventually, I arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the USA with the thoughts of Fear forcing me to live as a Refugee.
I find myself living and surviving inside the belly of a Big Fish or Great Whale. Prophet Jonah survived his ordeal just for three days and three nights. The Son of Man remained in the heart of the earth just for three days, and three nights.
I am living with the Hope that God has not forsaken me. God has not forgotten my plight or ordeal. God has a Plan for my Salvation. I am a Refugee for it is Predestined. But when will I find my Refuge?
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
10 Great Lessons from the Book of Jonah
By Wayne Jackson
The prophet Jonah lived in the Galilean city of Gath-Hepher (about four miles north of Nazareth) during the reign of Jeroboam II (793-753 B.C.), king of Israel (cf. 2 Kgs. 14:25). Jeroboam II was northern Israel’s most powerful king, and during his administration, the borders of the nation were expanded to their greatest extent since the time of David and Solomon.
Assyria, however, five hundred miles to the east, was a constant threat. The fact of the matter is, due to Israel’s progressive rebellion, the prophets Hosea and Amos, contemporaries of Jonah, had declared that Jehovah would use Assyria as an instrument of punishment against his people (cf. Hos. 11:5; Amos 5:27). Any patriotic Israelite would have longed for Assyria’s destruction!
One can scarcely imagine, therefore, the consternation that must have filled Jonah’s heart when he received the Lord’s word instructing him to proceed to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, with a divine message.
Although the prophet’s brief declaration to Nineveh was one of judgment, nonetheless, Jonah was aware of the fact that Jehovah is a “gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness” (Jon. 4:2). Hence, it was certain that if the inhabitants of that great city were responsive to his message, Heaven would certainly spare them. And Jonah did not want that.
Accordingly, Jonah went to Joppa where he boarded a ship bound for Tarshish, a Phoenician colony on the southwest coast of Spain some two thousand miles to the west. The express design of his trip was to flee from the presence of Jehovah (Jon. 1:3).
But, as every Bible student knows, his plans were soon thwarted. Where men propose, God can dispose!
When a great storm arose, and the inmates of the vessel feared for their very lives, Jonah confessed that he, as a refugee from the Lord, was the cause of the calamity. Though the prophet’s sailing companions did not like the idea, they ultimately were forced to accept Jonah’s suggestion that he be thrown overboard.
Down he went into the dark depths of the Mediterranean, seaweed swirling about his head (cf. Jon. 2:5). Presently, he was devoured by a great creature of the deep. One might almost say that the Lord sent Jonah to school for three days, and the classroom was the belly of a great sea-monster. The prophet matriculated wonderfully well, graduating with a diploma in “mission responsibility”!
Jonah Preaches to Nineveh
Making his way to Nineveh, a journey that would have taken more than a month and thus provided ample time for sober reflection, Jonah entered the great city with his blunt message (consisting of only five words in the Hebrew text):
“Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”
Amazingly, there was mass repentance, from the king (Ashur-dan III, according to Assyrian records) down to the commoner.
Jonah was quite distraught at this turn of events and he despaired, even to the point of wanting to die. Resolutely, he perched himself on a hilltop nearby, eagerly watching the city in hopes that the Lord would yet destroy it. His education was still incomplete!
As he sat in the scorching sun, God caused a shady vine to grow up for his refreshment and the prophet was glad. On the following day, however, Jehovah sent a worm to smite Jonah’s vine, and as the blistering sun beat upon his head, the man of God again lapsed into a state of abject depression.
Then came Heaven’s stinging rebuke. The Lord in effect said: “Jonah, why is it that you are so concerned with this vine—a mere plant which is temporal, and for which you did not labor; and yet, you evidence utterly no concern for the hapless inhabitants of Nineveh?”
The penetrating inquiry threw a divine floodlight upon the pathetic values of the man from Gath-Hepher.
10 Timeless Lessons from the Book of Jonah
The book of Jonah is filled with valuable information and timeless lessons. Perhaps we could reflect upon a few of these matters.
Jonah’s Story Validated by Christ
First, we should note that this marvelous narrative has suffered the brunt of the critics’ barbs for a long while. Because of the incident of Jonah being swallowed by the sea-creature, many modern scholars contend that the document is pure fiction (cf. Goodspeed 1946, 149).
Jesus Christ, however, did not so view it. He appealed to the narrative as genuine history (cf. Mt. 12:39-41), and this settles the issue for all who have any regard for the Savior’s deity.
Aside from the fact that this event doubtless involved a miracle, the circumstances are not beyond the realm of possibility even from a natural viewpoint (as employed in the providential operations of God). In fact, a number of similar cases have been documented in relatively modern times.
In 1891, a seaman was swallowed by a large sperm whale near the Falkland Islands. After three days, he was recovered, unconscious but alive, though there was some damage to his skin (Wilson 1927, 636). Some, however, dispute the credibility of this story.
Moreover, some critics argue that the book of Jonah depicts the prophet as being swallowed by a “great fish” (Jon. 1:17), while the New Testament suggests that the creature was a “whale” (Mt. 12:40). And, as any schoolboy knows, a whale is a mammal, not a fish.
The fallacy of this ill-conceived argument lies in the fact that both the Hebrew word dag and the Greek word, ketos are generic terms that can apply to any aquatic creature (cf. ASV fn). There is no error here.
The Sovereignty of Jehovah
The book of Jonah demonstrates the sovereignty of the Almighty as he employs his creation to accomplish the divine plan. The Lord controlled the elements of weather (Jon. 1:4, 11, 13, 15; 4:8), and he prepared a sea-creature, a vine, and a worm to do his bidding (Jon. 1:17; 4:6, 7).
God’s Interest in All People
This inspired document reveals the international interest of God, even in the Mosaic era.
Though Jehovah was working primarily through the Hebrew nation as an instrument for the sending of the promised Seed (Gen. 22:18), nevertheless, his compassion for all the people of the earth was abundantly manifested. And the sending of the “missionary,” Jonah, to these Gentile Ninevites was a clear demonstration of this.
God Is in Control
This narrative illustrates a truth so frequently suggested in the Old Testament, namely, that the Lord, not man, is in control of the destiny of nations.
Jehovah rules in the kingdoms of men and disposes of them according to his divine standard (cf. Psa. 22:28; Prov. 14:34; Dan. 2:21; 4:17). Those who think that nations stand or fall because of a “strong national defense” are woefully ignorant of biblical principles.
Nineveh was given forty days to repent. As a result, the nation was spared destruction for about a century and a half. Later, however, when Assyria degenerated again, she was destroyed and the prophet, Nahum, addresses this very matter. Nineveh fell to the Babylonians in 612 B.C.
Mankind is Accountable to the Lord
The book of Jonah demonstrates that ancient peoples who were outside of that Mosaic covenant relationship with Jehovah were nonetheless accountable to Heaven’s moral law.
Jehovah looked down upon Nineveh and observed the wickedness of these people (Jon. 1:2). Since sin is the transgression of divine law (1 Jn. 3:4; cf. Rom. 4:15), the Ninevites were obviously subject to such.
This powerful truth is in direct conflict with the modern theory which contends that those who are “outside of the church” are not subject to the marriage law of God (the design of which is to regulate human morality — cf. 1 Cor. 7:1ff; Heb. 13:4). The whole purpose of this novel concept, of course, is to justify adulterous relationships within the family of God!
People Can Change
This record reveals the power inherent within the word of God when such comes into contact with honest and good hearts (cf. Lk. 8:15). Though Jonah’s message was very brief (as indicated above), it produced the desired effect.
Again, some critics have faulted the divine account at this point, claiming that so trifling a sermon could hardly have produced the results described. But the objection, which stems strictly from subjective bias, ignores the biblical evidence, not the least of which is the testimony of Christ that “the men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah” (Mt. 12:41).
Besides that, historical records reveal that the notable city had suffered severe plagues in 765 and 759 B.C. The soil had thus been conditioned for Jonah’s “revival.”
Too, somehow or another the citizens of Nineveh had learned of the prophet’s “resurrection” from the belly of the “fish,” for, as Jesus noted, Jonah was a “sign” to that generation even as the raised Lord would be to his (cf. Lk. 11:30).
Repentance Requires Works
This instructive account, together with the inspired New Testament commentary which discusses it, underscores an important dimension to repentance.
Jesus declared that “the men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah” (Mt. 12:41), while the book of Jonah itself informs us that God “saw their [the people of Nineveh] works, that they turned from their evil way” (Jon. 3:10).
Thus, repentance is not, as some allege, a mere sorrow for sin. Rather, it requires turning away from evil conduct.
Moreover, this passage reveals that repentance is a work, and since repentance is essential to salvation (Lk. 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30), it conclusively follows that salvation is not exclusive of all types of works!
The Punishment of Hell
An intriguing passage in the book of Jonah illustrates a vital point about the punishment of the wicked after death.
In graphically poetic language, the agonizing prophet described his horrible ordeal in the sea monster’s belly as an experience akin to being in “hell.” He exclaims:
“I cried by reason of my affliction unto the Lord . . . out of the belly of hell cried I” (Jon. 2:2).
The Hebrew term is Sheol. Here it denotes the abode of the wicked prior to the Judgement.
Since crying out by reason of affliction certainly indicates conscious suffering, one may conclude that the state of the wicked dead is that of conscious torment—a truth affirmed elsewhere in the sacred record (cf. Lk. 16:23; 2 Pet. 2:9, ASV).
J.W. McGarvey has an excellent discussion of this point in his essay, “Destiny of the Wicked” (n.d., 429, 430).
Jonah’s message to Nineveh reveals that prophecy is sometimes conditional.
The prophet declared that the great city would be destroyed in forty days. But it survived for a century and a half beyond that time.
Clearly, therefore, the prediction of doom was conditioned upon Nineveh’s response to the prophetic message.
Millennialists would do well to learn from this principle of prophecy.
For example, Israel was promised inheritance of the land of Canaan. That promise, however, was conditioned upon their fidelity to God (cf. Josh. 22:4, 5; 23:1ff), and the time eventually came when they lost their deed to Palestine.
Typology in the Book of Jonah
The book of Jonah presents a beautiful type of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
Though some modernists argue that the concept of a bodily resurrection of Christ from the dead was unknown in Old Testament times, Jesus demonstrated otherwise. He declared:
“[F]or as Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of the sea-monster; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Mt. 12:40).
Clearly, the Lord viewed Jonah’s three-day entombment as a foreshadowing of his resurrection from the grave, by which, of course, Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power (Rom. 1:4).
In his epistle to the Romans, Paul wrote:
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime [i.e., the Old Testament Scriptures] were written for our learning, that through patience and through the comfort of the scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).
Surely the foregoing points of truth, as gleaned from the delightful book of Jonah, are illustrative of the truth of this rich passage.
Why not take some time and refresh yourself with a review of the edifying material in the book of Jonah.
Goodspeed, E. J. 1946. How to Read the Bible. Philadelphia, PA: John C. Winston Co.
McGarvey, J. W. n.d. The destiny of the Wicked. Lard’s Quarterly. Vol. 2.
Wilson, A. J. 1927. Princeton Theological Review, XXV, October.
Hosea 11:5; Amos 5:27; Jonah 4:2; Jonah 1:3; Jonah 2:5; Matthew 12:39-41; Jonah 1:17; Matthew 12:40; Jonah 1:4, 11, 13, 15, 4:8; Jonah 1:17, 4:6, 7; Genesis 22:18; Psalm 22:28; Proverbs 14:34; Daniel 2:21, 4:17; Jonah 1:2; 1 John 3:4; Romans 4:15; Hebrews 13:4; Luke 8:15; Matthew 12:41; Luke 11:30; Jonah 3:10; Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30; Jonah 2:2; Luke 16:23; 2 Peter 2:9; Joshua 22:4, 5, 23:1; Romans 1:4; Romans 15:4
In my analysis, the Political Institution called ‘The Dalai Lama’ represents the Government of Tibet while the person called Tenzin Gyatso may have relinquished his power and may identify himself as the Retired Head of State of Tibet. While the exile Tibetan community elected a President of their choice, Tibetans presently living in Occupied Tibet do not participate in the activities of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile. Tibetans have not yet exercised their Right to Self-Rule or Self-Determination. As such, the Communist Party of China has no legal right to rule or govern Tibet. Military Occupation and Colonization of Tibet cannot abolish The Institution of The Dalai Lama known as The Ganden Phodrang.
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
Where is Tibet? Who is The Dalai Lama?
Enigma of the Dalai Lama
The writer is former Ambassador of Pakistan and ex-Assistant Secretary General of OIC
Latest news, courtesy AFP, has it that the US Ambassador to China has called on Beijing to open a ‘substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama’. He made these remarks during a visit to northwest China’s Qinghai province.
This bit of news gives rise to several questions. For one thing, it is something of a pity that, despite having won the Nobel Prize for Peace, the Dalai Lama has hardly been an agitator on the side of peace. Instead, he has often appeared as a tool in the hands of political forces that have an axe to grind against the Peoples’ Republic of China.
One has nothing against the Dalai Lama. He is undoubtedly a very revered personality. He may also be a ‘symbol of peace’ in the estimation of the US administration. But then he has also allowed himself to become a highly controversial political personality and one who has no qualms about being manipulated by certain powers to further their own agendas on the chessboard of international intrigue.
The Dalai Lama went into exile in the 1950s when China asserted its sovereignty over Tibet. He has squandered away several valuable opportunities of coming to terms with the reality of Tibet that has been accepted legally as a part of China by most of the world. This is not the occasion to go into the political complexities of this question. What is important is that the Dalai Lama could perhaps have done greater service to his cause, and to that of peace, if he had adopted the path of reconciliation rather than allow his followers to be kept hostage in a game of high stakes on the international chessboard. It should be more in the character of a revered religious personality and Nobel Peace laureate to work for a denouement leading to a grand reconciliation rather than confrontation.
Be that as it may, it came as something of a disappointment to the well-wishers of the Dalai Lama and his followers to find that he had opted to become a pawn in the US campaign aimed at the ‘containment of China’. Years back, President Bush had presented Tibet’s ‘exiled’ spiritual leader with the US Congress’ highest civilian award and taken advantage of the occasion to offer some gratuitous advice to the Chinese leadership, which the latter understandably had taken exception to.
There was a widespread feeling that the timing of the US Congress award to the Dalai Lama was somewhat inappropriate. The only context that this award fitted into was the US obsession with ‘containment’ of China. In this campaign, the Dalai Lama appeared to have allowed his image to be used as a (willing) pawn. Knowing and acknowledging his stature as a religious personality, this can be termed as something of a pity.
The one inference that can be drawn from the latest US statement is that the American administration under President Trump may have the intention to up the ante and revisit the erstwhile forward policy of former president Bush aimed at ‘containment of China’.
It must be recognized that due to its pragmatic and realistic policies, China has meanwhile earned for itself a respected place under the sun. Due to its conscious decision to eschew unnecessary confrontational policies in favor of concentration on a constructive drive veered towards economic development, China has become a major economic prime-mover.
It is a matter of some interest that India appears as an inevitable variable in all the regional equations that concern China. India is host to the Dalai Lama and also the co-signatory of the India-US nuclear deal of doubtful credentials. India, of course, is second to none in its ability to manipulate the twists and turns related to the moves on the international chessboard. In aligning itself with the sole superpower in a China-baiting exercise, it surely must have a very good idea which side its bread is buttered on. No one should have any uncalled-for illusions, though. It would hardly be advisable to underestimate China at this point in time.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2019.
I left India on January 10, 1984, in search of my Refuge, in my quest to reach the Final Destination of my Life. I need Protection. I need Shelter. I need the Sanctuary. I need the Grace, Mercy, and Compassion of the Power which can grant me Asylum. I am a Refugee without Refuge.
Prophet Jonah was caught up in the belly of a giant fish or the Whale just for three days. He prayed to God and God relented to release Jonah at the destination God has chosen.
Just like Jonah, I am caught up in the belly of a giant fish or the Whale with no Freedom and no Free Will. I live but I survive as a Prisoner, a mere Slave, a Servant, and a Serf who lives without any choice of his own.
Just like Jonah, I declare, “In God We Trust,” the National Motto of a Superpower, a Giant among the Free Nations of the World. Salvation comes from the LORD. If I must preach God’s message to my Enemy, I ask God to release me on the shores of my Enemy’s Territory. I am just a Slave in a Free Country and I have no Freedom to move on my own accord.
The story of Jonah and the Whale, one of the oddest accounts in the Bible, opens with God speaking to Jonah, son of Amittai, commanding him to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh.
Jonah found God’s order unbearable. Not only was Nineveh known for its wickedness, but it was also the capital of the Assyrian empire, one of Israel’s fiercest enemies. Jonah, a stubborn fellow, did just the opposite of what he was told. He went down to the seaport of Joppa and booked passage on a ship to Tarshish, heading directly away from Nineveh. The Bible tells us Jonah “ran away from the Lord.”
In response, God sent a violent storm, which threatened to break the ship to pieces. The terrified crew cast lots, determining that Jonah was responsible for the storm. Jonah told them to throw him overboard. First, they tried rowing to shore, but the waves got even higher. Afraid of God, the sailors finally tossed Jonah into the sea, and the water immediately grew calm. The crew made a sacrifice to God, swearing vows to him.
Instead of drowning, Jonah was swallowed by a great fish, which God provided. In the belly of the whale, Jonah repented and cried out to God in prayer. He praised God, ending with the eerily prophetic statement, “Salvation comes from the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9, NIV)
Jonah was in the giant fish for three days. God commanded the whale, and it vomited the reluctant prophet onto dry land. This time Jonah obeyed God. He walked through Nineveh proclaiming that in forty days the city would be destroyed. Surprisingly, the Ninevites believed Jonah’s message and repented, wearing sackcloth and covering themselves in ashes. God had compassion on them and did not destroy them.
Again Jonah questioned God because Jonah was angry that Israel’s enemies had been spared. When Jonah stopped outside the city to rest, God provided a vine to shelter him from the hot sun. Jonah was happy with the vine, but the next day God provided a worm that ate the vine, making it wither. Growing faint in the sun, Jonah complained again.
God scolded Jonah for being concerned about a vine, but not about Nineveh, which had 120,000 lost people. The story ends with God expressing concern even about the wicked.
2 Kings 14:25, The Book of Jonah, Matthew 12:38-41, 16:4; Luke 11:29-32.
Points of Interest
God commands everything in his Creation, from the weather to a whale, to carry out his plan. God is in control.
Jonah spent the same amount of time—three days—inside the whale as Jesus Christ did in the tomb. Christ also preached salvation to the lost.
It’s not important whether it was a great fish or a whale that swallowed Jonah. The point of the story is that God can provide a supernatural means of rescue when his people are in trouble.
Some scholars believe the Ninevites paid attention to Jonah because of his bizarre appearance. They speculate that the whale’s stomach acid bleached Jonah’s hair, skin, and clothing a ghostly white.
Jesus did not consider the book of Jonah to be a fable or myth. While modern skeptics may find it impossible that a man could survive inside a great fish for three days, Jesus compared himself to Jonah, showing that this prophet existed and that the story was historically accurate.
Question for Reflection
Jonah thought he knew better than God. But in the end, he learned a valuable lesson about the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness, which extends beyond Jonah and Israel to all people who repent and believe. Is there some area of your life in which you are defying God, and rationalizing it? Remember that God wants you to be open and honest with him. It’s always wise to obey the One who loves you most.