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Chinese authorities in the northern region of Inner Mongolia have tried an ethnic Mongolian writer in secret on “separatism” charges, a rights group said on Friday.
Lhamjab A. Borjigin, 75, stood trial on April 4 on charges of “separatism” and “sabotaging national unity,” the New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) reported.
“The trial started at 9:00 a.m. on April 4 and ended around 12:00 p.m. at the Shiliinhot Municipal People’s Court,” the group quoted a recorded audio message from Lhamjab as saying.
“None of my family members were allowed to attend,” he said. “I was denied the right to bring my lawyer to defend myself.”
A native of Heshigten Banner, a county-like division in Inner Mongolia, and a member of the state-backed Shiliingol League Literary Association, Lhamjab has been a prominent voice in ethnic Mongolian culture in China, as well as documenting the region’s oral history.
He specializes in survivor testimonies of the political violence and social chaos of the Cultural Revolution, publishing his book “China’s Cultural Revolution” in 2006.
Lhamjab said he had refused to speak Chinese during the courtproceedings, and had “reluctantly” been allowed to bring an interpreter into the courtroom.
“It was a typical closed-door trial,” Lhamjab said. “Only eight people, namely three judges, three procurators, myself and my interpreter were present in the small courtroom with the door tightly closed.”
Lhamjab has rejected the charges pending against him, saying that he only wrote the historical truth.
Case directly ordered by regional government
The court has yet to announce its verdict in the case, which was brought under direct orders from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Regiongovernment, according to Lhamjab.
“When the [prosecutors] accused me of engaging in ‘national separatism,’ ‘sabotaging national unity’ and ‘illegal publication and illegal distribution,’ I defended myself by asking whether those who committed the genocide in [Inner] Mongolia or the ones like myself who talked about this genocide should be considered [to be] ‘sabotaging national unity’,” he said.
“The [prosecutors] candidly told me that it is not up to them,” Lhamjab said. “It was because the Autonomous Region Public Security Bureau and State Security Bureau are pressuring them to prosecute me on these charges.”
Lhamjab said he had maintained his innocence throughout the trial, andrefused to plead guilty to any of the charges.
“I am determined to appeal to the highest court because this is an unjust trial not only against me but also against our entire Southern Mongolians who have been subjected to a series of mass killing and political persecution but are not even allowed to speak of these atrocities.”
For his book, Lhamjab gathered oral testimonies of survivors of violence against ethnic Mongolians during the Cultural Revolution, a task that took him 20 years.
The book accuses the ruling Chinese Communist Party of state-sponsoredgenocide in the region, detailing torture techniques and detentions in a brutal campaign that claimed the lives of at least 27,900 people andimprisoned and tortured 346,000.
Lhamjab published the book unofficially, at his own expense, after state-run Chinese publishing houses refused to publish it.
“The book became popular among Mongolians not only in [Inner]Mongolia, but also in the [neighboring] independent country of Mongolia,” SMHRIC said.
Destroying nomadic civilization
Last year, an abridged audio version of the book went viral among ethnic Mongolians on Chinese social media platforms, especially WeChat, the group said.
The authorities began confiscating copies of the book and placed Lhamjab under house arrest on July 11, 2018.
The writers’ group PEN America has called on Beijing to drop the charges and release Lhamjab.
Ethnic Mongolians in exile have repeatedly also called on Chineseauthorities to end human rights violations, systematic andinstitutionalized discrimination against ethnic Mongolians within China’s borders, as well as longstanding policies aimed at ending their traditional, nomadic way of life.
In a submission to the International Convention on the Elimination ofRacial Discrimination (CERD), which is currently reviewing Beijing’s record, SMHRIC called on the Chinese government to release all ethnic Mongolian prisoners of conscience, including members of herding communities who have been “arbitrarily arrested, detained, and imprisoned for defending their grazing land from illegal appropriation.”
The group is calling for the immediate withdrawal of all “extractiveindustries, tourist companies and power plants that not only occupy and appropriate large tracts of Mongolian grazing lands, but also devastate the ecosystem, deplete the underground water and pollute the air and water.”
It is also campaigning against the Chinese authorities’ “massivepropaganda campaign to justify their destruction of nomadic civilization and … the natural environment.”
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Chinese government policies, the group said, are “based on deep-seateddiscrimination that characterizes Mongolian pastoralism as ‘backward,archaic, unscientific and uncivilized’ way of life and advertises the Chinese way of life as ‘advanced, civilized and scientific’.”
The authorities should also prosecute “hate crimes and hate speech byChinese individuals, private or public entities and government bodiesagainst Mongolian language, customs, tradition, way of life and identity,” it said. (RFA)
When it comes to our day-to-day life, there are several things which help us enhance our day with every step. One such thing is music. It enhances, motivates and boosts certain aspects of our personality in ways that may not come into notice. There have been several researches on how music affects human brain. Studies show it helps us in recovery and healing, and also, encouraging us to be better if exposed to the right kind and fit.
From kids to elderly, music as a commodity, can be consumed by all. It is the universal language that is spoken by each and every being, from animals to humans to plants, each respond to it in their own ways. Suffice to say, we are united by music and the effect it has over us. Plants, for example, grow better when exposed to good music. Many songs are being composed specifically to enhance and boost their growth. Same is the case for humans. For humans, the right kind of music can boost good health, physically as well as mentally. You might have noticed how in gyms, upbeat music is played. That is to channel energy into everyone present. It adds to the workout. Several researches around the world have shown better physical output when exposed to appropriate music. Fast paced songs with upbeat nature channeled speed and the slower ones slowed downs the listeners, without them noticing. The sub-conscious effects of music are continuously being studied.
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Our heart starts beating according to the music we are listening to.Unsplash
Listening to upbeat or happy music also reduces stress and pressure from our minds. Many people become relaxed while listening to calming music. This is why calming sounds are used during a yoga session. Classical music seems to have the same calming and soothing effect. Furthermore, classical music has much more advantages over metal or techno music, it has proven to enhance learning and improve sleep in its listeners. A study was conducted in which participants were divided in groups where one group was exposed to classical music, another to metal and last one was supervised without any music. The group exposed to classical music showed healthier sleeping pattern than the rest.
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Several brands and outlets encash on different characteristics of music. Calm and soothing music is used in spas to help customer relax. It is a known fact that our heart starts beating according to the music we are listening to. So, music with faster beats will have our heart beating faster and the slow one will have calmer effect. This is why slow music channels calm. And the same fact has led to faster and upbeat music being played in food outlets. A study conducted in a farm, where people were invited to have food, where one half was exposed to slower music and for other fast-paced music was played. Not only did the group exposed to fast-music ate faster but also ate more than the group who ate in slower one. Next time you are in a food outlet or a restaurant observe the kind of music they are playing and the eating pattern.
Music can even be a facilitator of communication. We can sometimes convey our thoughts through the medium of a song. Sometimes someone’s words justify our inner feelings better than us. Or sometimes a song brings back certain memory or a place, and takes us to that certain moment. To say music is a time-machine would not be wrong. It is a dynamic blessing that can be used throughout our lives.
Key Words: Music, Calm, Soothing, Effects of Music
As more and more people are acknowledging the importance of their mental well-being, the wave of awareness the acknowledgment has brought is unprecedented. It may not have paved a clear path towards complete healing but it certainly has shown the way. The awareness is the key to heal. Healing begins only after the problem is identified. Similar to physical illness, the identification of the problem area is the first step. Even in case of a minor wound, when we go to the hospital the nurse first locates the wound. They, then, ask how we got hurt and identify the nature of the wound. Only then, they clean, put ointment and wrap it up if it needs wrapping and protection from air and dust. Sometimes, that protection is not needed. The wound heals out in the open. Same goes when it comes to healing of a mental trauma or illness. Sometimes, we confine in professionals or our loved ones, in order to let it out and process it openly. Sometimes, the trauma reduces with time. In any way, being aware and vigilant is the way to go.
Being knowledgeable about life in general, opens many channels for you. Being knowledgeable about yourself, opens gates inside you that lead to spiritual and general awareness about the concept of self. And the inner awareness is not necessarily internal, it can be seen from the outside as well. When we have positive energy from within it radiates physically as well. Have you encountered someone who’s spiritually awakened and aware? Do they stand out in the crowd? There are prominent examples of people who have made their mark in history, there is Swami Vivekanada, his awakening has revolutionised generations, one live example we can witness is The Dalai Lama.
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Healing is part of the spiritual journey.Unsplash
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Awareness is the first step towards the staircase of spirituality. Healing is part of that journey. In our world, we go by our lives without paying much attention to causes of our actions. Every little thing we do, we do it for a reason. We might be suffering without being aware of it. There might be certain actions which are screaming those are trauma-response and not really us. But we go by our days, without paying heed to the fact that it really is the small actions that carry weightage in our lives. When we become attentive and thoughtful with what we do, we introspect, and then act. Thoughtless actions do not bear much fruit anyway. Thoughtfulness not only benefits us personally, but makes world a better place to live in. It really is the need of the hour to introspect every little doing and if it does not fit with the idea of self, then, it is time to find the root cause of what has us where we are.
Being self-aware is crucial as a human quality as well. When we face our problems, we gain experience, that experience leads us to understand and empathise with others’ sufferings too. It is a wholesome development.
Key Words: Self-awareness, Spirituality, Thoughtfulness, Mental Health
Honestly, who hasn’t watched one of the epic series of HBO– Game of Thrones?
There’s no question that when the first episode of Game of Thrones was released on April 11, 2011, the youth population of the world became exuberant. The main reasons behind this reaction was, first, the theme of the show, and second, the hidden lessons which it put forward.
Some of the valuable lessons which the Game of Thrones taught us are:
1. The pack always survives. This aptly meant that whether your pack consists of your family or your friends, you are the strongest when you are surrounded by a support system. This is what Ned Stark taught his children, to be together when “the winter comes”.
2. Never forget who you truly are. One of the most important lessons was given by Tyrion Lannister. He taught us that we should never forget who we really are. This means that we must not forget our bad habits and where we lack. So, once we know who we are, no one could ever use our lagging points against us.
3. Reading is necessary. Tyrion Lannister said, “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.” There is absolutely no denying that reading is not a habit now-a-days, but a necessity. If you want to be sharp and smart, then you must devote sometime to books, for they would teach you a lot!
4. Always pay your debts. Well, one of the most philosophical and learned houses if Game of Thrones is House Lannister. And so, one of the sayings of their house is, “A Lannister always pays his debts.” From here we get another life lesson that we must always pay off what we owe from people.
5. Always believe, “You know nothing.” Ygritte said this to Jon Snow in a teasing manner. But, this is actually for all those who believe that they know each and everything. Well, never believe that you know everything. Always learn from new experiences and never hesitate to take advice from others.
So, these were five most significant lessons which the series Game of Thrones offered us. In reality, we all are aware of these lessons, but we never really work upon them. But now, let’s try to understand each lesson and become the heir someday!
Keywords: Entertainment, Game of Thrones, HBO, Series, Youth, Lessons.