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They Support Tibetans for the Wrong Reasons

May 16, 1999

The greatest threat to those poor Tibetans comes not from the Chinese oppressors. It comes from the vacuous schemes of well-meaning Westerners such as Nathalie Marciano of Charles David ("In Her Shoes, You'd Help Tibetans Too" by Booth Moore, April 16).

During my five months working as a volunteer in the exile Tibetan community of Dharamsala, India, I watched the parade of addlepated rich Americans sitting uncomfortably cross-legged at eight-hour-long teachings by the Dalai Lama. Back in the States, I hear them uttering the very word "Tibet" with such reverence that I've considered trademarking it.

Yes, the situation in Tibet is dire. But if the issue didn't also happen to be "sexy," I'm sure it wouldn't have attracted Ms. Marciano, Apple Computers and everyone else who has appropriated Tibet and its powerful images.

Booth Moore's article said it all: "The other goal of the campaign is, of course, to sell shoes."

LISA TSERING

Oakland

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