a monk from the Dalai Lamaís order, is a very interesting character. He
speaks the flawless English that is so characteristic of Tibetans who have
learned a distinctly Indian form of English pronunciation. He had accompanied
His Holiness on many foreign visits, including trips to the United States
so he was very cosmopolitan. Whenever there was a sensitive discussion
about tactics, Thin-Lay positioned himself between Tseten Norbu, the president
of the Tibetan Youth Congress, and me. This distressed me. In the United
States, I am accustomed to complete cooperation, access and behind-the-scenes
information from political groups anxious to promote their cause.
The Tibetan leaders attitude angered me because I spent my own money, and
traveled thousands of miles to help make the world aware of the plight
of these people.
I felt unappreciated but decided to
keep my eye on the bigger picture and continued to photograph. I tried
to comfort myself saying this is a cultural characteristic and nothing
personal. Even though John Ackerly, the President of The International
Campaign for Tibet in Washington D.C., informed Norbu I was coming, Norbu
hasn't said more than a few words to me. Most of those words were, "hello."
Thin-Lay stands guard daily sitting behind a mosquito net that hangs in
front of the entrance of the protesterís tent. His inward looking expression
makes me feel he was waiting for his cell phone to ring with good news
from the United Nations so he and his friends can finally go home.