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Aug 28

A letter from a Chinese to Dalai Lama (originally written by Zhu Rui)

Written by Allen on Thursday, August 28th, 2008 at 7:34 am
Filed under:culture, politics, religion | Tags:
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Note from Editor (Allen):

[edited 2008-08-31 (originally I failed to attribute the source to Zhu Rui's blog, for which I apologize)]

Here is a letter brought to our attention by guest blogger Skylight originally published in Zhu Rui’s blog.

A nation of 1.3 billion has many voices.  Here is a minority voice that I (Editor) do not necessarily agree with but that I still respect as legitimately Chinese.

The following is the complete post written by Zhu Rui.

2008年8月8日
August 8, 2008.

汉人朱瑞致尊者达赖喇嘛的信
Zhu Rui’s Letter to the Venerable Dalai Lama

敬爱的达赖喇嘛:
Revered Dalai Lama:

我不得不告诉您,在我少年和青年时代的印象里,您是一个剥人皮,剔人骨的妖魔。仅仅这一点,也许您猜到了我是一个汉人。是的,我在中共的教育体制下长大。 1997年,一个偶然的机会,我踏上了西藏之路。那一年,我第一次看见了您的照片(秘密地),您慈祥尊贵的面容,使我对中共的宣传产生了怀疑。
I have to tell you that my impression of you in my childhood and youth was that you were a flayer of human skin, a demon who picked flesh from human bones. From this point alone, you have probably guessed that I am Han Chinese. Indeed, I grew up within the Communist education system. But in 1997, I chanced upon an opportunity to travel to Tibet. That was the first time I (secretly) saw your photograph, your kind and compassionate visage, and it made me doubt the Communists’ propaganda.

那一年的吉祥天母节,我早早地到了祖拉康,吉祥天母的面罩打开了,灯光里,当我仰视女神的时候,突然,我的背后响起了歌声。那是一个老人忧伤而激越的歌声。在松赞干布的佛殿前,她一边唱,一边把酒倒进松赞干布像前的酒坛里。四周的男人、女人、甚至小孩子,立刻和着老人唱了起来,警察来了,他们的歌声更加嘹亮… “是在颂赞达赖喇嘛啊!” 一位僧人悄悄地告诉我。
At the Festival of the Bodhisattva of Good Fortune that year, I went early to the Zulakang temple where the Bodhisattva’s covering had already been removed, and in the light as soon as I saw her face, the sound of a voice rose behind me. It was the mournful yet excited sound of an elderly voice. There before the Songsten Gampo hall, she sang while she poured wine into a goblet in front of the statue. Men, women and even the children all around immediately joined in the singing, and when the police turned up, their voices rang ever more brightly… “They’re praising the Dalai Lama,” a monk quietly told me.

那天,我从旅馆里搬了出来,住进了帕廓街冲赛康一户从前的商人家里。1959年以前,这个家庭的女主人,在平常的日子里,身上的饰物也要价值三、四万人民币,现在她仅剩下了一两件换洗的衣服。连祖辈留下的老房子,也被拆迁了。换来的新房似乎比过去多了一些光线,但是,空间小了二分之一还多,又没有上下水,公共卫生间说堵就堵,忍无可忍的气味,甚至串到了帕廓街上。对中共的掠夺,这位女主人从没说过一句怨言,她在不停地说着另外的语言,声音很小,我仅能看到她的嘴一张一合。我以为她在念六字真言,希望来世更好。可是,有一天,只剩下我们俩人的时候,她看了看空无一人的窗外,说,她在为您念长寿经。
That day, I moved out of my hotel and into the former home of a merchant on the Barkhor. Prior to 1959, the mistress of this family used to wear clothes most days worth 30,000 to 40,000 renminbi, but now all she had left was two sets of clothes. The home left to her by her ancestors had been demolished. The new home seemed to be worth more, but it was less than half the size of the old one and there was no running water and the communal toilets were constantly blocked, sending their unbearable stench right out into the Barkhor street. This woman had no complaint about being plundered by the Communists, but there was something she was constantly saying, very quietly – I could only ever see her lips moving. I thought she was reciting the mantra, “Wish for a better life to come.” But one day, when there were only the two of us and she saw there was no one there outside, she said she was reciting a long-life prayer for you.

1999 年4月,我第二次到西藏,住在山南地区扎朗县吉汝乡日直卡村的一个农民家里。那里没有自来水,也没有电。每天早晨,家里人沉重地到河边背水,晚上,连小孩子也坐在微弱的油灯下捻羊毛。卖氆氇,差不多是村里人唯一的生活来源。我们的食物很简单,土豆,是一日两餐(不包括早餐的糌粑)的奢侈品。可是,在楼上,光线最充足的房子里,挂了一张镶着精制的镜框的您的照片,镜框的上面挂着一条长长的白色哈达。
In April 1999 I went to Tibet for the second time where I lived in the home of farmers in Rizhika village in Jiru township, Zalang county in Rikaze prefecture. There was no running water there and no electricity. At dawn each day, the family traipsed to the river to carry water and in the evenings even the small children sat around the weak oil lamp twisting wool. Selling felt was pretty much the only means of livelihood the villagers had. Our food was very simple, with potatoes for two meals a day (aside from gruel for breakfast) being a luxury. But there in the home, in the place where the most light came in, was a picture of you in an exquisite frame draped all over with long white khada.

后来,我选择了在西藏工作。作为一名编辑和记者,我有机会接触了一些在中共机关里工作的藏人,亲眼看到了他们中一些人的家里最秘密处供放的您的照片和从没有熄灭的酥油供灯。

Later, I chose to work in Tibet. As an editor and journalist I had the opportunity to meet with some Tibetans who worked in Chinese Communist Party offices, and with my own eyes saw how in the most secret places in their homes they have photographs of you and yak butter lamps that had never been lit.

是的,您不是藏人的敌人,而是藏人的父亲,是藏人慈悲和幸福的源头。是益西诺布 – 藏人的如意珍宝;是衮顿 – 永远在藏人呼唤您的时候,出现在跟前;是嘉瓦仁波切 – 至高无上的法王和最尊贵的珍宝…显而易见,中共政权不是解放了西藏,而是抢劫了西藏,不是播种了幸福,而是在制造苦难。
You are not the enemy of the Tibetan people, you are the father of the Tibetan people; you are the source of the Tibetan people’s compassion and happiness. You are Yeshe Norbu, the Tibetan people’s wish-fulfilling jewel; you are Kundun, who forever will appear before all Tibetans whenever they call you; and you are Gyalwa Rinpoche, higher than all kings and the most precious of treasures. And evidently, the Communist authorities did not liberate Tibet, they robbed Tibet; they did not sow happiness, they created suffering.

倾听您在美国维斯康辛洲麦迪逊的讲座,我感慨万千。那有如大海一般的佛学知识,经过您循序有致、由浅入深地阐述,奇迹般地成为雨露,滋养和清新着听众;您尽其所能地回答大家的每一个问题,关怀每一个微不足道的个体的痛苦和哀伤;尤其当有人提问有关中国和西藏的问题的时候,您总是虚怀若谷地强调中华民族优秀的一面,鼓励藏汉民族之间友好相处…和中共的邪恶、阴谋、腐败、独裁相比,您的悲悯、透明、清廉、民主,将受到时间的检验。
Listening to your lecture at Madison in Wisconsin, I was filled with emotion. An ocean of Buddhist wisdom of the greatest depth and by degree ever more complex was systematically expounded by you until it miraculously became like rain, nourishing and vitalizing your listeners; you did your utmost to answer every everyone’s questions, embracing the smallest shred of individual pain and suffering; and even when someone asked a question about China-Tibet relations, with limitless patience and concern you emphasized the excellence of the Chinese nation, and encouraged friendly exchange between the Chinese and Tibetan peoples. And the Communists’ evil, their scheming, their corruption and dictatorship, when compared to your compassion, your transparency, your honesty and democracy – all shall undergo the test of time.

五十多年来,中共在西藏的残酷殖民统治,挑起了今年三月遍布全藏区100多处地点从所未有的和平抗暴活动。可悲的是中共领导人不仅没有就此反省和调整治藏政策,而是居高临下地给您规定了”四不支持”为对话前提,把摆在眼前的白热化的西藏问题,变成了您个人的问题。其本质,是在掩盖甚至抹杀西藏问题。目前,西藏已成了一座大监狱。据说在拉萨,每三个人中,就有一个便衣,军队开进了最偏远的乡村,所有的外来电话(尤其国外电话),受到严密监控…
In March of this year, the Communists’ cruel 50-year colonial rule of Tibet gave rise to peaceful, non-violent protests at more than 100 locations throughout all Tibetan areas. The tragedy is that not only have the Communist leaders failed to reflect upon or adjust their policies in Tibet as a result, but condescendingly they actually dictated to you that there were the “four do not supports” as preconditions to dialog, making the white-hot Tibet question a problem for you personally. Their intention is to smother and even kill off the Tibet question, and Tibet has now become an enormous prison. It’s said that in Lhasa, one in three people is a plain-clothed police officer. The military has gone into even the most remote village and all telephone calls from the outside (especially foreign calls) are closely monitored…

西藏的文化博大精深,古老而又先进,我在藏人身上早已看到了它美妙的传承:虔敬,善良,感激,给予;中国五千年文化,留给汉人的是什么呢?当然不仅仅是精华。而中共政权又在淋漓尽致运用那些糟粕,束缚和扼杀藏人那独一无二的对人类绝对有益的传承!二十一世纪,当人们正在穿越国家的栅栏,共同追寻自由、民主、人权,尊崇民族文化个性的时候,这种令人发指的殖民行为,恰恰是这个世界最无法接受的肮脏物。在中国,越来越多的深刻而敏锐的知识分子,正在看穿中共,公开地表达他们在西藏问题上的独立见解,强烈地要求结束专制统治,实行言论自由和媒体开放,撤消以”分裂祖国”为罪名对您的指控,并要求以”尊重、宽容、磋商和对话的方式解决西藏问题”。
Tibet’s culture is profound and extensive, ancient and progressive, and I long ago saw the beauty of its traditions in the Tibetan people: devotion, kindness, gratitude, benevolence; and what has China’s 5000-year culture left the Han people? Naturally, not all of it has been exquisite, and the Chinese authorities have used those dregs in gruesome details to enslave and shackle the Tibetan people with “traditions of unique benefit to all mankind!” In the twenty-first century when people leap over their countries’ fences in a common pursuit of freedom, democracy and human rights, and respect for the singularity of their ethnic culture, it is precisely such colonial behavior as this that the world rejects as a thing of filth. There are more and more deep-thinking and incisive intellectuals in China who are starting to see through the Communists, publicly expressing their own independent views on the Tibet question, demanding an end to totalitarian rule, the implementation of freedom of expression and freedom of the media, withdrawing the accusations against you of being a “splittist of the Motherland”, and demanding “a resolution of the Tibet problem by means of respect, tolerance, consultation and dialog.”

近三十年来的改革开改,似乎使中国出现了”大国崛起”之势。事实上,不过是”中国在加入世界潮流的同时,搭上了全球化的便车”。道德沦丧,已蔓延到了中国最偏远的乡村,作恶和糜烂成为时尚。在这种情况下举办奥运,必然与奥运精神相悖。表面的繁荣无法掩饰内在的空虚。改革恶政,已成了摆在每一个中国人面前的事实。如果中共领导人继续在西藏问题上骄横跋扈,威逼和践踏藏人,欺骗和误导中国民众,否定您在世间无法替代的和平价值和无与伦比的精神贡献,固守”枪杆子里面出政权”的反人类逻辑,其末日会在不远的一个早晨突然而至。您一定会回到您的土地!当您和苦难的藏人团聚的时候,敬请您慈悲的光芒,也眷顾罪孽深重的中国大地。
In the almost 30 years of reform and opening up, the trend has led China towards becoming a “great nation”. In actual fact, it’s no more than “As China enters the international mainstream, it is hitching a ride towards globalization.” The loss of morality has permeated into even China’s most remote villages, and evil and dissipation have become the fashion. Hosting the Olympics under circumstances such as these inevitably runs counter to the Olympic spirit. The superficial prosperity cannot conceal the void within. The need to reform bad governance is a fact that has been placed before every Chinese person. If the Communist leaders continue to be arrogant and imperious on the question of Tibet and coerce and trample upon the Tibetan people, and deceive and mislead the Chinese masses, and if they continue to deny your irreplaceable value towards peace in the world and your unrivaled spiritual contributions, and adhere to the inhuman logic of “power grows from the barrel of a gun,” their days will come to a sudden end one not too distant dawn. There is no doubt you will return to your land! When you are reunited with the suffering Tibetan people, please extend the warm light of your benevolence to care upon the heavy sins of China’s vast land.

愿您慈悲的航船永驻人间!
May the ship of your compassion for ever be among us!

一个同情藏人的苦难并对您怀有无限崇敬之心的汉人:朱瑞
From a Han who sympathizes with the suffering of the Tibetan people, and who has limitless respect for you: Zhu Rui.


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104 Responses to “A letter from a Chinese to Dalai Lama (originally written by Zhu Rui)”

  1. Karma Says:

    My issue with the Dalai Lama is his geopolitics. He disrespects the Chinese people when he targets his audience at the West and creates a brand of Tibetan nationalistic ideology based on Western rhetoric and ideologies. If the Dalai Lama truly wants to come back to China, he needs to treat Han Chinese as true brothers. He would need to stop taking his geopolitical trips to the West and start targeting the Chinese on the mainland as his primary audience.

    This of course will be difficult – since the Dalai Lama today is the cult personality he is because of his geopolitiking.

    But if he does have courage and offer sincerity, I believe he will make much more progress in a much shorter time. And China will be much stronger and better off as a result of his actions.

  2. Bob Says:

    Funny this blog entry is tagged “Tibet China Dialogue.” But when your entire content is so full of shit, what’s there to “dialogue”?

  3. FOARP Says:

    Look, I don’t believe in Tibetan Buddhism, but I can see that this person does. Is there a ‘cult of personality’ around the Dalai Lama? Here’s a tip – he’s a religious leader, he is not the leader of a ‘cult’ (i.e., a small group of crazies), but the leader of is Tibetan Buddhism, and that is where his power comes from. He has no real ‘geopolitics’, his politics are all to do with Tibet and the Tibetan areas. If you object to his meeting with western leaders, then you have to ask why Chinese leaders have not given the chance to show their ‘brotherly affection’ for the Tibetan people by meeting with their spiritual leader.

  4. andy Says:

    sounds like a propaganda to me…. it is so one-sided.

  5. MoneyBall Says:

    sounds like epochtimes.

  6. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Bob:
    this entry was a translation of a letter. So its content represents the opinion of the letter’s author. I’d suggest that he’s entitled to his opinion, as are you. I think if you want a meaningful conversation, it helps to understand the diverse perspectives of the participants. This letter provides one such perspective.

  7. S.K. Cheung Says:

    It is interesting, though, that not ALL Chinese share the prevailing mindset of those in these parts.

  8. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Karma:
    If you see the Dalai Lama as a leader of his religion, then isn’t he allowed to travel the world to spread his word, and to meet with his followers. The Pope does; is the Pope geopolitiking too?
    If you see the Dalai lama as a political leader (which I don’t but many around here seem to so insinuate), then clearly he should be afforded the latitude to establish ties much like any other leader would.
    I think, if China would allow the Dalai Lama an unfettered audience with Chinese people, that would entice him to take his “geopolitiking” road show there. But for China to allow unfettered anything by anyone to anybody else within her borders makes for one ginormous “if”.

  9. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To FOARP:
    agreed, again :-)
    I’d say, though, that ideally he should be meeting with Chinese people, so that Chinese people can gain an understanding of his position, if not necessarily agree with it. That would be far more meaningful than a photo-op with some stiff from the Politburo. What would help is more people like the author of this letter, not smiling cronies of the CCP.

  10. wuming Says:

    To S.K. Cheung

    It is rather curious that you don’t see Dalai Lama as a political leader. The position of Dalai Lama has been both political and religious for hundreds of years. I am not aware this has changed. Indeed, it can be argued that religion and politics is inseparable in Dalai Lama and TGIE’s vision for Tibet. Of course every time Dalai Lama comes into a political confrontation with China, he will switch to the “pure” religious role and claiming religious prosecution by the Chinese government.

    Dalai Lama is a very smart and compassionate person who probably don’t even believe in Buddhism himself anymore. He certain can choose his weapons to achieve his aims, but that shouldn’t mean we have to buy into his propaganda word for word.

  11. yo Says:

    @SKC,

    “If you see the Dalai Lama as a leader of his religion … ”
    Yikes, I have to really disagree with your position. Yes, he is a political leader, to deny that imo is missing the 800 lb guerrilla in the room. He leads his self-claimed government in exile. Is that bad? well, that’s up to whoever to decide. Is the Pope a political figure IMO? Yes. Again, good or bad, it’s up to you to decide.

    “I’d say, though, that ideally he should be meeting with Chinese people”
    First off, my impression is that ordinary Chinese people understand his position. Second, the DL and the other related groups’ current strategy is otherwise; they target audiences in Europe and North America. Effective for change, I don’t think so.

  12. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Wuming:
    I suppose you could say the Dalai Lama is alternately religiously and politically persecuted by the Chinese government.
    I don’t think the Dalai Lama’s “propaganda” need be accepted on its face; but similarly, nor should the CCP concoction. I think, as with most things in life, the middle ground would be a reasonable piece of turf to seek.

  13. wuming Says:

    To S.K. Cheung

    I don’t mean to pick a fight with you, but I think some of the utterances are just lazy cliches get thrown around. For example, some of these “stiff from the Politburo” and their “not smiling cronies” have managed in 3 decades to pull the ragtag nation of China of unimaginable size and complexity into optimistic, forward looking world power. A nation that anyone who is serious has to take note and measure against. Just ask Indians what is motivating them?

    Try to think of a political leader on the current world stage who has achieved or even potentially can achieve what some of these “stiff from the Politburo” have achieved. Clinton? Bush? Merkel? Gorbachev? Mendela? Sarkozy? Obama has potentials, but will our fellow Americans pull the levers and select him?

  14. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Yo:
    we can’t agree all the time, that would be boring :-)
    I agree the Dalai Lama does target the West. I just think that is in part because his options within China are limited by the CCP. If unfettered access were ever to be on the table, then we’ll see….

  15. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Wuming:
    I don’t deny the gains the “stiffs” and “cronies” have accomplished on the world stage. Having said that, they haven’t gotten very far wrt the Dalai Lama. Which is why I tried to say that those individuals shouldn’t be the targets of his efforts; the Chinese people should be.

  16. Nimrod Says:

    In the letter, it says

    “In March of this year, the Communists’ cruel 50-year colonial rule of Tibet gave rise to peaceful, non-violent protests at more than 100 locations throughout all Tibetan areas.”

    I’m sorry but that’s a deal breaker for me. We can differ in opinions and perspectives, but anybody who can’t even bring oneself to utter a fact that these protests were violent is either disingeuous, pig-headed, or delusional. Take your pick there but basically not somebody worthy to spill ink over.

  17. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Nimrod:
    agreed, hopefully those 100 locations weren’t supposed to include Lhasa. But to dismiss his entire perspective based on one point seems a bit harsh, IMO.

  18. Nimrod Says:

    I don’t dismiss his entire position or even a lot of it. I just don’t want to spend much effort on the author because there are better chances to go farther with this debate.

  19. JL Says:

    Thank you for this Starlight.
    So often the speech of both Tibetan and Chinese patriots creates the impression that all Chinese people hate the Dalai Lama and have no understanding of the grievances of many Tibetan people.

    Whereas in fact there are many different views among Han people about Tibet. Unfortunately, as often happens in many countries, the more aggressive voices tend to drown out the others.
    As you say, the kind of view expressed in the letter is probably a minority one (although it is hard to say for sure), but nevertheless, this kind of view is expressed in all kinds of places, and “alternative” views on Tibet are now fairly routine among Chinese academia.

    This doesn’t touch on the Dalai Lama, but I think the following is still worth raising as an example: here is a quote from an article on education in Journal of the Central Nationalities University 中央民族大学学报 in 2007 (vol.34, no.6): (The topic is actually education in the 1940s, but it still expresses quite a different kind of sentiment and attitude towards Tibetan complaints from what we often hear) (Sorry, I don’t have time to do more than a rough abbreviated translation)

    这说明学校中强制推行汉语造成学生的语言障碍, 成了西康民族学生学习的拦路虎, 而且剥夺了当地民族的话语权, 把少数民族置于“他者”的边缘化地位
    This shows that the forceful spread of Chinese language education in schools created a language barrier, which proved to be a stumbling block for Xikang minority students, and stole away from them their rights to their own language. They were placed in the marginalized position of ‘the Other’
    从学校课程内容看, 也存在民族同化和民族歧视倾向, 使少数民族学生的文化隔膜日益突出, 从而产生逆反心理和抵触情绪。
    Concerning the content of education, there was also a tendency towards ethnic discrimination and assimilationist thinking [...] which created an attitude of resistance and rebelliousness among the minorities.
    西藏属于高寒地区, 而教材中只有大米、小麦而不提青稞、糌粑, 民族地区学校教育不适应民族文化背景, 自
    然也会让藏族儿童的认知体系发生硬性文化迁移。
    Tibet is a high altitude region, but in the text books there was only rice and wheat, never highland barely or tsamba [...]
    正如藏族教育专家巴登尼玛指出, 教材让藏族儿童背诵李白、杜甫的诗歌而不谈《格萨尔王》, 为培养藏族儿童刻苦钻研的精神只讲“悬梁刺股”却不谈宗喀巴或米拉日巴的艰苦求学,这样的课程很难让藏族儿童感兴趣。
    As the Tibtean education expert Ba-deng Ni-ma has pointed out, the curriculum requires Tibetan children to memorise Li Bai and Du Fu’s poetry, but never mentions “Ge-sa-er-wang” [...] It is very difficult for Tibetan children to be interested in this kind of curriculum.

  20. irony Says:

    Please cite the real source of the article. The “guest blogger” must plagiarized this one since google gives hundreds of results:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%E6%B1%89%E4%BA%BA%E6%9C%B1%E7%91%9E%E8%87%B4%E5%B0%8A%E8%80%85%E8%BE%BE%E8%B5%96%E5%96%87%E5%98%9B%E7%9A%84%E4%BF%A1&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq=

    Is this guy from the same bunch of Falun Gong people?

    http://thenewvoice.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/falun-gong-tried-to-celebrate-sichuan-earthquake-but-got-booed/

    No surprise that they share some opinion as Sharon Stone’s.

  21. Allen Says:

    @irony

    Most of the editors of this blog were hesitant about posting this article because Starlight did not respond to our request for a source. However, I took the initiative to post this because it was passionately written. Since this posting is meant to express one view – not the legitimacy of a view – I thought it was still worth posting.

  22. Charles Liu Says:

    Irony, check this out:

    http://tinyurl.com/5rh3bf

    And this TW site (“yam” need a clue?) attributed the letter to some DL Tibetan Religion Foundation (達賴喇嘛西藏宗教基金會):

    http://diary.blog.yam.com/keary_yblog/article/5941807

    This blogger claims to be the first to publish the letter, and Zhu took a photo of HH during the July Wisconsin visit:

    http://woeser.middle-way.net/2008/08/blog-post_14.html

    I don’t really know who she is, but here’s an article from a Zhu Rui on Buxun(need a clue?):

    http://news.boxun.com/news/gb/china/2008/07/200807312211.shtml

  23. Otto Kerner Says:

    I was going to say thanks for the translation, but evidently this text has been going around. Incidentally, “吉祥天母”, rendered as “the Bodhisattva of Good Fortune” is Palden Lhamo (dpal-ldan lha-mo). Palden Lhamo is not typically described as a bodhisattva but as a protective deity or dharmapāla. Also, the text mentions Rikaze Prefecture, which is the Chinese pronunciation of Shigatse (also spelled Xigazê), but the Chinese text says Shannan, which is a different prefecture.

  24. Charles Liu Says:

    More on the writer Zhu Rei. She says she is an author in Canada. Found the refernce from another Buxun article that linked to some China Democracy Party website:

    http://cdp1998.org/details.asp?detailsid=9095

    Forgive me Ms. Zhu, I am suspecious of anyone that gets such glowing praise from the American Enterprise Institute.

  25. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Allen:
    thank you for posting this. I most certainly agree that this is but one person’s opinion, and should carry as much or as little weight as that should deserve. But as an opinion, it is also no more and no less legitimate than any of ours. I think the particulars of the opinion are less important than the resultant discussion that it engenders.

    I do wonder, however, why some like Irony feel it necessary to disparage the author with the goofy Falun Gong references just because of divergent opinions. To me, that is just v2.0 of the “you’re brainwashed by CCP”/”you work for the TGIE” nonsense that you often see on other blogs.

  26. Oli Says:

    Pardon my jaded cynicism, I cannot but laugh at this “letter” for it sounds too much like a Free Tibet disinformation item. Lots of “passion”, prostration, hard luck references etc. but little substance.

  27. Otto Kerner Says:

    I agree with S. K. Cheung that this letter should be treated as one person’s opinion. It reminds me of a letter I saw posted a little while ago on the anticnn forums, which was a letter from a Tibetan in Kham to the Dalai Lama, in which the Tibetan author talked about how great the PRC rule in Tibet is and what a bad guy the Dalai Lama is. Both are one person’s opinion — assuming that the authors really even are who they say they are. One person’s opinion is not a big deal (if the opinion is an especially wise or well-argued position, that is a big deal; I’ll leave for others to judge …)

  28. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    What a cool letter. The author sounds uneducated but speaks wisely.

  29. Glyx Says:

    It sounds like a free-Tibetan promotional material under the guise of a Han-Chinese.

    Anyway, anyone here could tell me if you are still concern about Dalai Lama? I once went to West Sichuan Plateau, found many differences with this letter. And the letter seems don’t know the raising of the people’s living standard in Tibet. A people been ungrateful of the help, cannot be SAVED.

    Like I said in this tags: http://my.opera.com/zhouye.ah/blog/index.dml/tag/inferiority%20complex

    Many people are deeply rooted with the inferiority complex, in any situation, they are victims. It’s wrong, the Chinese should not take themselves as victims, so does some other people.

    How to forgive, it is a question we all should face.
    http://my.opera.com/zhouye.ah/blog/show.dml/2171231

  30. Michelle Says:

    @Wuming

    “Some of these “stiff from the Politburo” and their “not smiling cronies” have managed in 3 decades to pull the ragtag nation of China of unimaginable size and complexity into optimistic, forward looking world power.”

    Its definitely impressive… but…

    Without making any comment on China or T1b3t, one right does not necessarily have anything to do with one wrong. On the flip side, if you play a sums game: (economic prosperity on the whole) – (unrest in one region) = (a profit i’m willing to live with), that’s fine, but you’d have to first make a connection between the two – to what extent do events in t1b3t have to do with China’s “rag-tag to riches”?

    I could say “America may have done (xyz) to the (abc) people but look at the prosperity they achieved in the short period of (pq)”. Regardless of the truth of these statements, if there is no connection, the argument achieves nothing. If there is a connection, it needs to be explored, explained and justified.

    However, the equation may be simply a function of confidence in government. ?

  31. Xiao Says:

    Anyone has better understanding of Buddhism? Does Buddhism stimulate hatred, apply evil accusations to its opposite? Does Buddhism relate to politics, democracy, human rights?

  32. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Glyx:
    does anyone who supports the Dalai Lama’s message automatically declare themselves as a Free Tibet activist? Is your level of tolerance so low that you can’t even conceive a Chinese person might actually agree with the Dalai lama? Jeez Louise!

  33. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Michelle:
    T1b3t…that’s cute. Probably a good way to go, since saying the actual word seems to elicit a lot of Pavlovian reflexes in people.

  34. Nimrod Says:

    Oli Says:

    “Pardon my jaded cynicism, I cannot but laugh at this “letter” for it sounds too much like a Free Tibet disinformation item. Lots of “passion”, prostration, hard luck references etc. but little substance.”

    +++++
    Granted, there is a lot of the same from China’s press as well. But that’s why I said there isn’t much to go on with this letter, just like there isn’t much to say about the other extreme. This brown-nosing, boiler-plate letter hits all the anticipated buzzwords like democracy, dictatorial, etc., but doesn’t really contribute to the dialogue. The letter can be completely right about all the facts (which BTW wasn’t the case here), and still be totally useless, if the facts are used in service of emotion, not critical thinking. I was especially cynical about the conclusion… reads more like a manifesto.

  35. bianxiangbianqiao Says:

    I am reading “The Struggle for Modern Tibet: The Autobiography of Tashi Tsering, by Melvyn Goldstein, William Siebenschuh and Tashi Tsering”. The book seems relevant to the discussion of Tibet’s past and future, and its encounter with the Chinese. It represents the perspective of a lay Tibetan (as opposed to the lamas and lay aristocrats). I am halfway through. Here are the notes I have taken. Sorry about the disorganization. These are running notes taken in the process of reading.

    Tashi Tsering represents the experience of the lay Tibetan, non-aristocratic, born to a peasant’s family.

    Tashi was born to polyandry parents, with two brothers married to the same woman, Tashi’s mother. His paternity was undetermined, nor of an interest to any member of the family. That reproductive, child-rearing and family arrangement was driven by economic imperatives; it served the function of holding the family land and assets together and pooling labor force to bring up the next generation.

    How did the husbands cope with jealousy, an emotion potent and prevalent among most male primates, especially humans? The positions of the two “husbands” were not equal. The elder of the brothers slept with the woman upstairs (occupying the preferred resting place) and was referred to as “father” by the offspring, while the younger one set up lodging downstairs, with the animals, received periodic visits from the woman and was referred to as “uncle” by the offspring. The responsibility of keeping the husbands content and avoid frictions rest upon the shoulder of the woman. The authors did not engage a discussion on the psychological complexities of this family arrangement. As far as Tashi’s childhood was concerned, from his perspective, no trauma was recorded as a result of this unique arrangement.

    At the age of 13 Tashi became a “drombo”, or passive homosexual partner of a monk official, Wangdu. The sexual relationship was accepted pragmatically by the boy. He was not sexually interested in the adult, but accepted the arrangement as a way of gaining access to social resources and positioning himself with the powerful and influential. As his patron and sexual partner, Wangdu provided him with resources especially in education. The arrangement was accepted by the religious circle and lay people as an exigent way of getting around the monks’ vow of celibacy. The punk monks who were a fixture of the Monasteries, who pray upon school boys in the streets of Lhasa, and forcibly abducted Tashi and kept him for days in the confinement of a dorm in the Lamasery for sexual exploitation was tolerated as inconveniences at best and nuisance at worst. Even Wangdu was unable to intervene, for fear of the ferocity of the punk monks, despite his jealousy. He did “willingly share” the boy with other Monk officials (pp….). This abhorrent situation would incur indignation in modern China, but was accepted in old Tibet as a matter of everyday life.

    It was viewed through a different frame of reference. Erving Goffman, obscenity is sexual acts displayed for the pure purpose of displaying sexuality is obscene. When framed with a story line of human relations it gains aesthetic tastefulness.

    The whole life story of Tashi is one of ambition, motivation to move up in society through education. Literacy was restricted to the Monks and aristocrats. His peasant family and fellow villagers were all illiterate and see no use for education. Literacy was useless to their life style, which was subsistence farming and herding.

    The theocratic governance was accepted in a matter of facts tone. The officials’ main functions were tax collection and judiciary arbitration. Graft was prevalent but accepted as the rule of the game.

    Tashi’s association with the religious ruling class in Lhasa was brought by a tax related encounter with the theocracy. Dalai Lama’s personal dance troupe consisted of boys who start serving at around 8 to 10 and retire when they reach 18. When Tashi was ten the troupe was recruiting a new cohort to replace the out-going retirees. He was drafted and in exchange his family received tax concession, as substantial financial incentive. Tashi welcomed the opportunity whole-heartedly because it was his only way to make something of himself other than a subsistence peasant, a role and position he was not content with. It was unclear where did he receive the inspiration to make a name for himself and gain power in the big wide world before he left his isolated village. The only inspiration seemed to have come from his father (the elder one of the two brothers who married his mother) who was literate and wrote regularly with a bamboo pen and home-made ink. The man’s focus on an intellectual endeavor impressed the boy and stirred a desire to emulate, which eventually brought him to Lhasa, to India, the Washington State of United States and eventually back to Tibet in 1963.

    Social classes in old Tibet were rigid. Education was unavailable not only due to poverty and tradition, but as a deprivation designed to monopolize intellectual development and mental authority. The path of social mobility was rigidly restricted by birth. The lay aristocrats and the monks monopolize political government positions, not only by controlling access to education, but also with a caste system. Even after becoming accomplished in learning and graduated from the dance troupe, Tashi was still not eligible for significant positions, landing only on the position of a junior clerk at the Treasury of Dalai Lama’s theocratic government. This was done with the help of Wangdu, his patron and homosexual partner.

    The PLA came in the early 1950s threatened the old social hierarchy. The ruling classes were dead opposed to change. Tashi was caught between allegiance to the old system and cultural heritage that were at the core of his personal identity, and the hope and opportunities brought by the Chinese. He was a patriotic Tibetan and wanted his country to retain its cultural identity. On the other hand, he was attracted to the new concepts such as socialism and feudalism broadcast by the Chinese via loudspeakers they had installed in the Lhasa streets. He was also impressed with the new roads, schools and hospitals the Chinese had built in Tibet over a short period of time. More progress had been made in modern infrastructures by the Chinese in a few years than the theocracy had over decades. What would his decision be? Would he join the Chinese or the Tibetan ruling class? At this particular juncture the situation threw him into the arms of the lamas. When Dalai fled Tibet, Tashi was in India studying English, first with a private British tutor and then at a college operated by Christian missionary. He befriended dalai’s older brother and involved in collecting the narratives of Chinese atrocities from the refugees, many of whom had fled as a result of the general panic and had not witnessed any Chinese atrocity. He also participated in transporting Dalai Lama’s gold and silver from Sikkim to a bank in India. The wealth became the initial source of funding for the Tibetan government in exile.

    That was what I had read so far. I still have more than half of the book to finish.

  36. Michelle Says:

    @Glyx

    “A people been ungrateful of the help, cannot be SAVED”

    As you said yourself in your second blog post, those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it. I’d think it very sad if those developing nations aiming to be developed take their cues from the pseudo-philanthropic overtures of 19th century European imperialism and the genuine heart-felt conviction that it is developed man’s duty to civilize the ‘others’. I think it’s great that many poor people in China have a higher living standard, but when i hear things like, “what do *they* have to protest about, *we* give them so much, they’re ungrateful”, I shudder. No need to take up the white man’s burden, friend.

  37. Michelle Says:

    @SKC – Force of habit, I’m in BJ and we must be creative at times. ;)

  38. S.K. Cheung Says:

    I guess the filters don’t have the AI to grasp abstraction…yet…

  39. Michelle Says:

    I would guess that they can but maybe don’t care. who knows who’s filtering what on any given day. Code work, while fun!, probably isn’t necessary half the time. Let’s try. Tibet.

  40. Michelle Says:

    Hey hey.

  41. Karma Says:

    @FOARP

    Look, I don’t believe in Tibetan Buddhism, but I can see that this person does. Is there a ‘cult of personality’ around the Dalai Lama? Here’s a tip – he’s a religious leader, he is not the leader of a ‘cult’ (i.e., a small group of crazies), but the leader of is Tibetan Buddhism, and that is where his power comes from. He has no real ‘geopolitics’, his politics are all to do with Tibet and the Tibetan areas.

    No – I am not saying Tibetan Buddhism is a cult. My family is a buddhist family. My mom had attended several of the Dalai Lama’s lectures in Taiwan.

    But I am saying the Dalai Lama’s prestige internationally is based on a cult following.

    Few in the West truly appreciates Tibetan Buddhism – yet more than enough are ready to follow him – esp. when it comes to poking and bashing China.

    Here are a NY Times Op Ed, a recent Guardian opinion piece and a piece in Salon that illustrate what I mean by the Dalai Lama’s geopolitiking and international cult personality.

  42. Glyx Says:

    @S.K. Cheung

    As I said in my blog, I respect Dalai Lama, I also said in this post that, It sounds like, I don’t accuse anyone. I could accept many words he expressed, but what he said is just part of the Tibet society. Virtually, he did what he should do as a conscientious reporter if he was, but he had just finished part of his duties. For example, why not tell us the position status of the interviewees? tell us who is a former lord, who was a serf, who is dissatisfied with the government, where are they come from, from the city? from the lamasery? from the pasture? Did they have any education, how was their economic status? But, I didn’t find anything credible, or he wrote these words with an inexact method, in other words, he write these accusations for accusation.

    Is it a a Chinese person might actually agree with the Dalai lama? No, he is totally agree with Dalai Lama, this is a serious accusation. Are you banking upon him to tell us how the Rurual Tibetans instead of specific Tibetans think about Dalai Lama? You will take it quite natural if he describe the social progress in Tibet? It’s an injustice attitude, but as an accusation, it’s quite normal.

  43. Glyx Says:

    @Michelle

    It’s quite right not to take up the white man’s burden, my friend. You are right.

    Still, I’m kinda quite confused.

    As Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday (maybe he offered nothing new):

    Meanwhile, ignoring Russia’s warnings, western countries rushed to recognise Kosovo’s illegal declaration of independence from Serbia. We argued consistently that it would be impossible, after that, to tell the Abkhazians and Ossetians (and dozens of other groups around the world) that what was good for the Kosovo Albanians was not good for them. In international relations, you cannot have one rule for some and another rule for others.

    You cannot tell the Russian, Kosovo’s declaration of independence is legal, Ossetians’ is totally illegal.
    At the same time, you cannot tell the Chinese the same story.

    But, still, I’m quite agree with your belief, although it’s a little bit idealism, after all, China is not backing Russia anyway.

  44. demin Says:

    There are neither argument-related facts nor fact-based arguments (except CCP-is-bad statement) in this article (letter). And this doesn’t prevent our dear participants from embarking on a semminly discursive discussion. This makes me think what really are the disagreements about.

  45. Michelle Says:

    @Glyx

    Yes I agree – there are really difficult if not impossible problems with the whole issue of break-away states and tons of double standards to go around. There is no hard and fast rule that can be applied, and each situation is taken by each of the world’s players in different ways and changes constantly as times and public opinion changes. This is why China no longer aims to re-acquire Mongolia, which was pre 1949 (perhaps later?) considered a part of China akin to Taiwan and Tibet. (Excuse me if i’m off there, no time to check my facts). Anyhow, there are a slew of other examples, as you pointed out, and probably thousands more lost to history.

  46. Glyx Says:

    Mongolia is part of China in my eyes, quite strange, but few of my friends think China had lost Mongolia forever. My father had also said: Mongolia, will come back to China, it’s part of our history, they cannot use the strange Cyrillic alphabet forever.
    See, sometimes things changed, sometimes it is still here.

  47. yo Says:

    @skc,
    “we can’t agree all the time, that would be boring”

    You and me not agreeing on something? … go oooooon :-)

    I agree, the firewall does play a role however, the response of overseas Chines and the posters on this site suggests many know his position. Of course, little talked about here, I believe many people in China could care less about the situation; similar to how in the U.S., gun control is a hot button issue, however, for many people, it’s not the issue on their minds.

    As for myself, I know his position as well, however, he plays political games. Is his new position genuine or a red herring? it’s tough to say. There is a history of mutual distrust on both sides. However, it’s not so long ago that China was at war with the U.S., and look at the situation now … All in time.

  48. Charles Liu Says:

    I’m sorry to keep dwelling on the source of this letter. More on Zhu Rei and China Democracy Party. Here’s the attendee of a NED sponsored World Forum on Democracy:

    http://www.batory.org.pl/english/events/wfd/attend.htm

    “Timothy Cooper, Ambassador-at-Large, China Democracy Party, USA”
    “Erping Zhang, Spokesperson, U.S. Falun DAFA Information Center, USA”

    For those of us familiar with the hate-China nutjobs in our blogsphere, the name Timothy Cooper and John Kusumi need no introduction.

  49. Bob Says:

    Polyandry … yeah, euphemism for gang rape, a favorite pastime for old- and new-age hippies in the West. It’s no wonder those perverts, along with the Tibetan exile goons, cry “cultural genocide.” Good riddance.

  50. Bob Says:

    The following article in The Hindu is more than sufficient to debunk all the venomous lies spewed by Skylight (sky burial?)/朱瑞 in that sorry-ass open letter to Dalai Lama.

    Social well-being a striking aspect of life in modern Tibet

    Parvathi Menon

    Life has changed beyond recognition since 1959, when the system of monastic feudalism presided over by the Dalai Lama was overthrown and over a million serfs were set free.

    In what used to be the dungeons of the Potala Palace, once the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas in Lhasa and now a religious and tourist site, is an unusual museum. The Zhol jail, a place where disobedient or rebellious serfs and labourers were subject to horrific forms of torture, was once located here. Today, photographs, paintings, models, and sound effects are used to recreate the brutality of the ancien regime against those classes whose labour created and sustained the splendid monument that soars above.

    The squalor, poverty and social hierarchies of Lhasa, captured vividly in black and white photographs of the 1940s and 1950s, belong to a historical phase now squarely in the past.

    Today the Potala Palace overlooks a city of modern infrastructure and conveniences. It has attractive tree-lined avenues, a busy business district, hotels, cultural centres and open spaces like the 12.2 square km Lhalu wetlands, a protected marsh that acts as what our hosts refer to as “the kidneys” of the Lhasa urban area. The modernity of the capital bears the impress of a strong Tibetan stamp in architecture, dress, and cultural practice.

    Apart from warm clothes and altitude sickness pills, a foreign visitor to Tibet usually carries baggage of another kind. This is a belief that the ‘real’ Tibet lies hidden somewhere beneath what the eye sees and the mind registers; that the well being and modernisation evident in contemporary Tibetan society is a sort of maya. This perspective has been shaped by a vast literature and propaganda offensive that has emanated over the years from within the support base of the 14th Dalai Lama. It comes in large part from people who have not set foot in Tibet, and has, unfortunately, many well-meaning adherents.

    A report published this year by the Dalai Lama’s Dharamsala-based “Government-in-Exile” and titled Environment and Development in Tibet: A Crucial Issue (available on their website) has this to say: “China claims that Tibet is experiencing growth and prosperity, but the reality is that, under Chinese rule, Tibetans are impoverished, marginalised and excluded; the sensitive and globally important ecology of Tibet is deteriorating; and many plant and animal species face extinction.”

    In fact, the fatal flaw of the report is that it has been written by people who have not visited their research area, for it is evident to any visitor’s eye that the allegations of the impoverishment, marginalisation, and exclusion of Tibetans are unsubstantiated.

    I was part of a journalists’ delegation invited by the Chinese government to Tibet in July this year. To a visitor, the relatively high levels of living standards of people in the Tibet Autonomous Regions (TAR) are a striking feature of observable social life. In Lhasa, small towns and the villages of Tibet, there are no crowds of people ill, destitute, and unemployed — on the contrary, the overwhelming visual impression is of a population healthy and gainfully employed. Schools and universities hum with activity, and cultural assets like museums and ancient monasteries are treasured — these are but some marks of a society that is on the move.

    Older Tibetans emphasise that life has changed beyond recognition since 1959, when the system of monastic feudalism presided over by the Dalai Lama was overthrown and over a million serfs were set free.

    “I consider myself middling-prosperous,” says Zhuoga, the head of an eight-member farming family in Gapa, a village of 60 households, 10 km from Lhasa. She and her family members offer fruit, biscuits and Tibetan tea to her visitors in her warm and colourful sitting room decorated with Tibetan thangkas (religious scroll paintings) and carpets.

    The Zhuoga household’s annual income of 20,000 yuan (roughly Rs. 140,000) comes from her oilseed and corn harvest, from the rent paid by vegetable farmers for land they lease from her, from a 500 yuan annual subsidy given by the Government, and from collective work she and the family put in on village projects. School education and health care are free. Although a Buddhist, she thinks the Dalai Lama “is not a good man” as he “masterminded” the disturbances of March 14th 2008. “We could not go to the city for work,” she said. “I was angry and scared.”

    “Life now is like this,” says Pingtso Tashi giving a thumbs-up sign. “And before 1959 it was like this.” He holds up his little finger. This 58-year old dam inspector and farmer is the son of former serfs. “Today, hard work pays,” he said. Every village family owns land and the average individual land holding of the village is 3.8 mu (15 mu = 1 hectare)

    A range of special preferential policies and measures for social and economic development apply to Tibet. There is a preferential taxation policy by which income tax in Tibet is three percentage points lower than elsewhere, and farmers and herdsmen are completely exempt from taxes and administrative charges. There is a preferential interest rate on bank loans, the rate being two percentage points lower in the TAR than in the rest of China.

    Yang Chen and Deji, microbiologists working for a bio-pharmaceutical company in Lhasa, and their office colleagues, are part of a cheerful and spirited group of women dressed in formal western office wear who have come to see a photographic exhibition on Tibetan women at the Tibet museum in Lhasa. Asked about the exhibition and whether it reflects the progress of women in Tibet, Yang Chen says, “Yes it does. Today we are equal to men in every way.” She and Ms Deji have two daughters each, and hope that the girls will one day become doctors. The one-child norm does not apply to Tibetans and other ethnic minorities as it does to Han Chinese.

    http://www.hindu.com/2008/08/20/stories/2008082052641100.htm

  51. Chinawatcher Says:

    @ Bob

    Here’s what you need to know about The Hindu, from which you quote

    http://www.friendsoftibet.org/save/

    “Today The Hindu has virtually become a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party.”

    And this is what The Hindu’s readers have to say of the newspaper’s stand on Tibet – and, broadly, on China

    http://www.friendsoftibet.org/save/#seven

  52. Chinawatcher Says:

    @ Bob

    What I meant to say in my earlier comment was this:

    You’re quoting not from an objective newspaper, but from one that takes a propagandist view on Tibet and China. Nothing wrong with that: if that’s its editorial line, so be it.

    But let’s not kid ourselves that we’re reading unbiased, objective reportage.

  53. Karma Says:

    @Bob,

    Thanks for the Hindu article. People may complain this is biased, but to be truthful, if the reporting in the West (and the words coming out of the Dalai Lama) can be considered objective, this article more than meets the threshold of objectivity.

  54. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Chinawatcher:
    agreed, yet again. Mr. Bob seems to think that the objectivity of one letter writer can be sufficiently undermined and disparaged by another letter writer simply representing another viewpoint. An interesting standard, to be sure.

    This fascinating game of competing letters, to me, simply underscores the fact that when it comes to Tibet, “objective” information is hard to find. I wonder why that is. At whose Politburo doorstep can we hang the responsibility for that one?

  55. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Glyx:
    maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought this was some guy writing a letter; I didn’t think he was a journalist doing some investigative report. So I’m not sure he should be expected to discuss anything other than his point of view.

  56. starlight Says:

    @glyx,

    Mongolia is a really interesting case. I have never been to Mongolia, but most Mongolians I have talked to are quite happy with their current status as an independent country, their nascent democracy, and the fact that they are not ruled by the Soviet Union anymore.

    Mongolia has strong historical, cultural and religious ties to Tibet.

    To illustrate these strong links, here is a Tibetan lama of Mongolian descent who held one of the highest religious positions in China. In 1998 he was about to become the chairman of the Chinese National Buddhist Association, when he left China, due to political/religious disagreements with the Chinese government related to the Chinese government appointment of a different Panchen Lama than the one that Dalai Lama had recognized.

    He speaks Mongolian, Tibetan, Chinese and English.

    His view on latest events in Tibet (in Mandarin):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTVgGetarts

    His life story told by himself (in English):
    http://www.archive.org/details/Tse_Chen_Ling_Arjia_Rinpoche_Life_Story_20040912

  57. Bob Says:

    @Chinawatcher,

    “http://www.friendsoftibet.org/save/:

    Today The Hindu has virtually become a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party.

    And this is what The Hindu’s readers have to say of the newspaper’s stand on Tibet – and, broadly, on China”

    FriendsOfTibet.org (one that openly supports independence of Tibet) … LOL … You serious?

    Speaking of objectivity, how do we know the “saved” comments by FriendsOfTibet are not selective or cherry-picked? How can we be sure the some of those comments were not left members of FriendOfTibet themselves?

    “You’re quoting not from an objective newspaper, but from one that takes a propagandist view on Tibet and China. Nothing wrong with that: if that’s its editorial line, so be it.

    But let’s not kid ourselves that we’re reading unbiased, objective reportage.”

    Um, I don’t think you, who are quoting FriendOfTibet, are in any position to evaluate the objectivity of The Hindu. What I do notice is that even those who disagree with the stance of The Hindu’s articles on Tibet have no problem with acknowledging that very newspaper is “one of the most revered and prestigious newspapers of India.”

    Last but not the least, let’s take a look at some his close friends, shall we?

    - Heinrich Harrer: close friend of Heinrich Himmler, elite Nazi SS Death Squad member, Dalai Lama’s mentor and top personal adviser

    - Dr. Bruno Beger: SS Nazi officer, convicted war criminal

    - Miguel Serrano: Head of the Nazi Party for Argentina

    - Augustine Pinochet: aka the “Butcher of Chile”, Neo-Nazi and protector of fugitive Nazi war criminals

    - Shoko Asahara: Hitler admirer, cult leader, terrorist, convicted mass murder in the Tokyo subway Sarin gas attack

    Friends of Tibet, that’s quite a company.

  58. Bob Says:

    Correction – “How can we be sure the some of those comments were not left members of FriendOfTibet themselves?”

    Should be: “How can we be sure that some of those comments were not left by members of FriendOfTibet themselves?”

  59. sdf Says:

    BLABLABLA.. the more Chinese do ignore tibetanpeople the faster tibetan people start to ignore chinese. That means chinese will not acsept tibetans as equal and that means a war against China futher or later. My tipp for Chinese; take armies, money and go home. left Tibet alone. and i mean all Tibet and not only autonom parts

  60. S.K. Cheung Says:

    I wonder who decreed Bob to be the local purveyor of objectivity.

    Guilt by association, another principle oft practiced by those with objectivity.

  61. Chinawatcher Says:

    @ Bob

    I happen to know a little bit about The Hindu – and about the Indian media scene. While I concede that it is a hugely successful newspaper and one that in its time commanded great respect, it has in recent times come in for criticism for the blatant manifestation of its editorial biases. What more need I say than that it still reproduces Xinhua stories in their entirety.(You, who probably has a more nuanced understanding of “objective journalism” perhaps look at Xinhua as an unbiased agency; but being magnanious to a fault, you will forgive me if I don’t share that view.)

    I am willing to dismiss the input from “Friends of Tibet” (as a biased party) if you will discount The Hindu reportage as suficient evidence to (as you colorfully put it in comment No. 50) “debunk all the venomous lies spewed by Skylight (sky burial?) in that sorry-ass open letter to Dalai Lama”. (My, what temperate language you are capable of when you try, Bob!)

    My point was exactly to bring out this response from you. If you will discount the view from “Friends of Tibet”, I am free to discount a report from a newspaper that is manifestly a “friend of China” and whose editor states explicitly that he is “an Indian who has no sympathy for the Dalai Lama’s separatist and backward looking agenda”. (When you’ve stated your biases so categorically, you disavow any legitimate claims to being objective in your reportage.)

    You also appear skeptical about the signatories to the letter. Again, you speak from ignorance.

    Ramachandra Guha, who criticised The Hindu editor for his biases (and who is one of those cited in the Friends of Tibet site) is an acclaimed Indian historian.
    More about him here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramachandra_Guha

    And this is the essay he wrote The Telegraph critiquing The Hindu (and its sister publication Frontline)
    http://www.hvk.org/articles/0900/52.html

    Some of the others cited in the same website are political leaders in India who are in the public realm. It’s your ignorance that leads you to say “How can we be sure that some of those comments were not left by members of FriendOfTibet themselves?”

    That, Bob, is precisely the kind of thing the 50-centers do in China :-) The Friends of Tibet, for now at least, have enough public personalities who will post in their own names in support of their cause. The Friends of Tibet don’t yet feel the need to “manufacture opinions”.

  62. Chinawatcher Says:

    @admin
    I posted a long response to Bob here, but it hasn’t yet appeared. If it’s in some kind of a queue awaiting approval, that’s fine, but if it’s lost in cyberspace, do let me know. I’ll have to repost.

  63. admin Says:

    @ Chinawatcher

    Sorry about that. It was trapped in the spam queue. We allow five hyper links per post, but depends on your posting IP, sometimes one link can trigger our spam filter.

  64. Glyx Says:

    This is zhu Rui’s blog: was born in north east of China, had been working in Tibet for a few years and lives in Canada right now. http://zhu-ruiblog.blogspot.com/

    I had read a lot and also read one of the links of this blog: http://woeser.middle-way.net/

    Anyone knows Chinese may have a try. (Then I know zhu Rui is a Han-Chinese, sorry for my guess, but I have some certain reservations of many opinions in this blog, maybe I don’t know how he leads his life in recent 10 years.)

  65. Glyx Says:

    by the way, woeser, one of Tibet’s most famous woman blogger, is Wang Lixiong’s wife. http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%8E%8B%E5%8A%9B%E9%9B%84

    Forget about this if you all know. ^^

  66. Chinawatcher Says:

    @ admin

    Mei guan xi, no need to apologise. I didn’t want to “double post”, so was just checking. Also, I felt I couldn’t have remembered all the points I wanted to address a second time around, so I’m glad it was just stuck in a spam queue :-)

  67. Wahaha Says:

    “那天,我从旅馆里搬了出来,住进了帕廓街冲赛康一户从前的商人家里。1959年以前,这个家庭的女主人,在平常的日子里,身上的饰物也要价值三、四万人民币,现在她仅剩下了一两件换洗的衣服。连祖辈留下的老房子,也被拆迁了。换来的新房似乎比过去多了一些光线,但是,空间小了二分之一还多,又没有上下水,公共卫生间说堵就堵,忍无可忍的气味,甚至串到了帕廓街上。对中共的掠夺,这位女主人从没说过一句怨言,她在不停地说着另外的语言,声音很小,我仅能看到她的嘴一张一合。我以为她在念六字真言,希望来世更好。可是,有一天,只剩下我们俩人的时候,她看了看空无一人的窗外,说,她在为您念长寿经”

    She was a slave owner,

    She used to live in a mansion.

    What would you expect from her ?

    Answer : hatred.

    Thx for the BS.

  68. Michelle Says:

    @Glyx

    I was not aware that so many Chinese people still think Mongolia should be part of China. Do you think this is more an older generation or a younger generation thing? Is there an official stance on the issue?

  69. Karma Says:

    @Michelle,

    I am from Taiwan originally (most of my family are still back there). And we still use the map of China that includes Mongolia.

    I grew up as a die-hard nationalist. I really believed in taking the mainland back from the communists. Now I have lowered my expectation a little to – instead of taking back the mainland – perhaps someday re-uniting with the mainland.

    My only reservation about uniting with the mainland is that – we have to officially give up Mongolia!

  70. Glyx Says:

    @Michelle
    and thanks Karma,

    If there exist Republic of China, we won’t officially give up Mongolia. This is part of my belief. When I talk about Mongolia with my family members and friends, we use the words “Inner Mongolia (内蒙) and Outer Mongolia (外蒙)”, no one would take Mongolia as a independent nation. But, anyway, we don’t talk too much about Mongolia, it’s just a insignificant issue in many people’s eyes.

    And, it’s not about generation, it would be strange if you take the idea that China had already lost Mongolia forever. If you go to Mongolia ,finding so much Cyrillic alphabets in their Ulan Bator, you will wondering, is it really a good choice to get out of China? Maybe I don’t know the current Mongolia status except for a little riot, but I have to say, welcome home, my Mongolian brothers!

  71. Michelle Says:

    Can you imagine Russia’s response if China re-took Mongolia… Yikes. Well, not to mention Mongolia’s response….

    @Glyx – why are you hung up on Cyrillic alphabet? Is there some special significance? Don’t think Mongolians ever used Hanzi to write Mongolian, am I right?

  72. Glyx Says:

    @Michelle
    I know what you means, what a irony, Er..anything new? when the separatist region wants to get rid of the former nation, it doesn’t mean the helper is so noble. For instance, everyone is blaming Russia, and the US is a clean boy? Or, you tell me why the Constitution of Mongolia is trying to remove the Cyrillic?

    Since you are talking about hanzi, I will just take some words you may search out, but just have fun, I don’t think there exists some serious matters of Greater-China nationalism.

    During the 13th and early 14th century, Chinese was the script of choice for writing important Mongolian documents. Mongolians used a modified set of some 500 characters from Early Mandarin Chinese to render the proper pronunciation of words. Perhaps the most important Mongolian document written with Chinese characters is the Secret History of the Mongols. Among the many challenges faced by scholars in deciphering this text was the problem that words were used which appeared nowhere else, not even in the famous Barbarian Glossaries, Chinese dictionaries of the Middle Ages that dealt with a number of Central and Northeast Asian languages. It is interesting to note that using Chinese characters to write Mongolian meant that messages encoded in this system were obscure to a Chinese messenger, yet perfectly understandable to a Mongolian listener.

  73. starlight Says:

    @Karma

    P.R. China recognized Mongolian independence in 1949. KMT recognized it in 1946, but later tracked back. Then in 2002, the cabinet in Taiwan excluded Outer Mongolia from ROC territory.

    Regarding Indian media, if you really want the Indian view from the highly respected former editor of Indian Express, Arun Shourie.

    http://dl.nmmstream.net/media/carnegie/2008-05-21-Tibet-Sino-Indian-Relations.mp3

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arun_Shourie

    For comparison, here is the wiki bio on the editor of The Hindu (which has been discussed here):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narasimhan_Ram

  74. starlight Says:

    @glyx,

    You should talk to Mongolians if they want to join China.

    I think Mongolians can see what happened to Inner-Mongolia will happen to Mongolia if they join China, i.e. massive government approved movement of Chinese settlers to Outer Mongolia (today 79% of population in Inner-Mongolia is Han-Chinese). Although Soviet Union did much harm to Mongolian culture heritage and religion, they never settled millions and millions of Russians in Mongolia.

  75. Glyx Says:

    I’m talking about the FEELINGS, I’m not saying I want to Mongolia to join China right now. China needs a profoundly reform before we can gain their heart. The current government cannot help to do so.

    But I do believe Mongolia will come back China if we manage China well, don’t be too diffident.

  76. Glyx Says:

    About the case you have taken, I think it’s unfair, How many Argentine can you persuade to immigrate to Sudan?

  77. Glyx Says:

    Also,

    Note from Editor (Allen):

    Here is a letter from guest blogger Starlight.

    A nation of 1.3 billion has many voices. Here is a minority voice that I (Editor) do not necessarily agree with but that I still respect as legitimately Chinese.

    The following is a post written by Starlight.

    2008年8月8日
    August 8, 2008.

    汉人朱瑞致尊者达赖喇嘛的信
    Zhu Rui’s Letter to the Venerable Dalai Lama

    This is Zhu Rui’s blog, please google out the origin site before you send this letter next time.

    http://zhu-ruiblog.blogspot.com/

  78. Allen Says:

    Glyx,

    This is Zhu Rui’s blog, please google out the origin site before you send this letter next time.

    Ok – I think this was starlight’s translation then… I will correct the intro right away. Thanks for the info.

    @starlight – please leave a working email with us. Next time we will probably have to get a formal response about origins before we will be able to post.

  79. Allen Says:

    No – I just noticed – this whole thing was the original post. I have attributed the source in the header now.

    I will be more diligent in the future.

    I have also left a message for Zhu Rui regarding our post (her original posting has yet to generated any comments in her blog). For some reason, I don’t think she will be too upset…

    Allen

  80. starlight Says:

    @glyx,

    1. How many Han-Chinese can you convince to settle in Xinjiang? (Land of the Gobi desert similar to Sudan desert).

    Apparently 7,5 million, or 41% of the total population. These official statistics excludes military personel and their families and unregistered migrant worker. In other words, in 50 years of Chinese occupation, the percentage of Han-Chinese increased from six percent in 1949 to 41% in 2000. Much of this transformation can be attributed to the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a semi-military organization of settlers that has built farms, towns, and cities over scattered parts of Xinjiang.

    2. How many Han-Chinese can you forcefully move from Three Gorges Resevoir Area?

    Apparently 1,24 million people so far. And another 4 million people may have to move in the next 10-15 years.

  81. zhu rui Says:

    Allen:
    Thanks for leaving the massage on my blog. And it is not different compare to my original posting. I appreciated that you had an objective attitude to posting a different voice here. Thanks a gain.

  82. Nimrod Says:

    Great detective work guys. Now that we have the original author here, it gets more interesting. We’ve spilled much ink talking about the Dalai Lama and his role past and present. I would like to ask Zhu Rui the following question:

    You believe the Dalai Lama is a wise person and great savior of the Tibetan people. Despite that, do you think that over the decades, he bears some — however much that is, but some — responsibility for the present predicament of the Tibetan political problem?

  83. Michelle Says:

    Glyx:
    “Or, you tell me why the Constitution of Mongolia is trying to remove the Cyrillic?”

    I have no idea – are they? I’m not attacking anything, i really know next to nothing about Mongolia and her history. What script are they suggesting? I imagine Cyrrilic was forced on them in some ways during the soviet days, and that’s something they’re probably trying to get away from. Anyhow, i’m not arguing a point, i’m just curious about the situation.

    About the use of hanzi for Mongolian – 因特热思听!:)

  84. The Trapped! Says:

    Concerning The Hindu issue, I want to add something that some of you may have noticed already. Why The Hindu and its news group head are so interested in Chin-Tib relationship?
    Well, sometime in 2003 (I am not sure about the exact time) on a news conference in northern India, a reporter asked the DL what he thinks about Jamu and Kashmir (also J&K) issue. The DL said, “As I always believe, all the problems, including Tib issue, should be solved via peaceful dialogue and mutual understanding, not through wars and weapons, so should be Jamu and Kashmir issue.” When this was reported, the papers reported that the DL said Tib issue and J&K issue are similar. This upset Hindu hardliners and staged protest against DL and whole Tib community. They believe that J&K is an inseparable part of India while Chinese sovereignty over Tib is controversial.
    Since then, apart from the first public demonstration, Indian media controlled by Hindu hardliners carry out media war against the DL and Tib community in India, including blaming Tibs for killing Indian tigers for fur cloth which led Tibs giving up using animal furs. They even called on deporting Tib community from India. They have never given up taking revenge on the DL and Tib community. After this year’s March incident, they jumped even beyond PD and Xinhua on Tib and the DL.
    In short, they had never given up supporting Tib cause to take revenge for 1962 war shame until the DL encountered with J&K question.
    All I want to say is that everyone who talks on an issue has an interest in the issue. Without knowing this fact and trying to find the background history, we should not say this objective and that is not. Cotton ball may look smooth, but thorn inside it may hurt your hands.

  85. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To The Trapped:
    I agree that you’re not going to blog unless you’ve already got an opinion. To be truly objective, you would need a carte blanche, and if you had that, you wouldn’t have an opinion.

  86. Glyx Says:

    @Michelle

    Let’s end the Mongolia issue, OK? We can talk about this in another post, if anybody here has some interest. But I have to say a little that the Constitution of Mongolia had decided to place the old Mongolian as the official language during the early 1990s. It’s hard for them, we shouldn’t hurt anyone if these crude words had offensed any Mongolian.

    About this letter, this is just a feelingful post seemed to bristle with accusations, it seemed aimed straight and specially at the Chinese government in a one-sided way written by a Han-Chinese Tibet sympathizer.
    She has her opinions, it’s easy to understand, she is one of woeser’s best friends, maybe one of Tibet’s most famous woman blogger, whose husband is Wang Lixiong. They all deserves our respect, but after all, we cannot discuss anything based on a simple but controversy-plagued accusation. We need to be constructive.

  87. starlight Says:

    @Glyx, post #76

    How can you urge us to be constructive in one sentence, then in the next say things such as “How many Argentine can you persuade to immigrate to Sudan?”…

  88. Glyx Says:

    I refuse to continue this with you.

  89. zhu rui Says:

    Glyx:
    Similar views about Tibet brought Woeser and I gather and we became friends. Obviously, our views were developed independently. We each value our own ideas and do not rely on others’ opinions.

  90. Otto Kerner Says:

    Zhu Rui,

    It’s nice to have your comments on this blog. Could you please say something about your statement, “五十多年来,中共在西藏的残酷殖民统治,挑起了今年三月遍布全藏区100多处地点从所未有的和平抗暴活动” / “In March of this year, the Communists’ cruel 50-year colonial rule of Tibet gave rise to peaceful, non-violent protests at more than 100 locations throughout all Tibetan areas”? Certainly, “non-violent” is not the way most Chinese people would describe it.

  91. Karma Says:

    @starlight -

    P.R. China recognized Mongolian independence in 1949. KMT recognized it in 1946, but later tracked back. Then in 2002, the cabinet in Taiwan excluded Outer Mongolia from ROC territory.

    Not sure if it was as simple as that… I am not up to the latest, but as of last year, a cursory browse of maps in the bookstore nearby my family house still showed Mongolia as part of the ROC.

    For easy reference of the English speaking audience, the Wiki has a small section on ROC – Mongolia relations, which had this to say:

    P.R. China recognized Mongolian independence in 1949. KMT recognized it in 1946, but later tracked back. Then in 2002, the cabinet in Taiwan excluded Outer Mongolia from ROC territory.

    The issue of the ROC recognizing or not recognizing Outer Mongolia is really quite moot. But if the ROC does recognize Outer Mongolia formally, then I guess I really have one less reservation against re-uniting with the mainland now…!

  92. Karma Says:

    Oops the second quote from the Wiki should have said:

    In 2002, the Republic of China government excluded Mongolia from the definition of the “mainland area” for administrative purposes. In 2006, old laws regulating the formation of banners and monasteries in Outer Mongolia were repealed. The official status of recognition is currently ambiguous, though in practice Mongolia is treated as an ordinary foreign power.

  93. zhu rui Says:

    Otto Kerner :
    Please see my article: 藏人为何抗议——也谈西藏问题. It was published in March or April this year. Sorry I forget exactly time.

  94. starlight Says:

    @karma

    I agree that it is ambivalent since Taiwan has not officially recognized Mongolia’s independence. Strangely enough it has been the DPP which has moved closer to PRCs position to recognizing Mongolia’s independence.

    Although Mongolia is still included in some Taiwan maps, it seems clear however from my readings that Mongolia is no longer claimed by Taiwan. Since in 2002, The Mainland Affairs Council amended the “Statute Governing the Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and Mainland Area” to exclude Outer Mongolia from the mainland-controlled area. I am sure you can also find maps in PRC which include Mongolia, however this does not represent official government policy, as PRC recognized Mongolia’s independence since 1949.

    The evolution of Taiwans policy position on Tibet is also interesting, as evidenced in a speech Chen Shui Bian held on September 8th, 2007:

    “The relationship between Taiwan and Tibet is a delicate one. Historically speaking, there had been little contact between the two sides until the Kuomintang (KMT) government moved to Taiwan. As the KMT viewed Tibet as a part of the Republic of China, Taiwan was thereby indirectly linked to Tibet. However, such a relationship has never received wide acknowledgement among Taiwanese or Tibetans. As more and more Taiwanese people now recognize that the territory of this country covers only such islands as Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu, they also are increasingly aware that Tibet has never been a part of their country.

    Therefore, our government structure of eight ministries and two commissions as stipulated in the Constitution has long been outdated. We need to review and adjust the role and function of the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission (MTAC) promptly and comprehensively. Although government restructuring has yet to be completed, we have taken active steps to transform the MTAC into an organization to promote relations with these ethnic groups.

    In 1997, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, defied a political taboo by visiting Taiwan, thereby breaking the ice for Tibet and Taiwan. In 2001, the Dalai Lama visited Taiwan again and met with me. Regardless of China’s oppression and intimidation, the Dalai Lama expressed in our meeting his firm belief that Taiwan’s future should be decided by the people of Taiwan. I profoundly admire the Dalai Lama’s faith in humankind’s free will and right to choose values. That visit not only enhanced mutual understanding and deepened the friendship between Taiwan and Tibet, but also helped consolidate the cordial relations between the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Taiwan government.

    During the inauguration conference of the Taiwan-Tibet Exchange Foundation in 2003, I announced our new policy and emphasized that the Taiwan government will no longer treat people of the Tibetan government-in-exile as Chinese people.”

  95. starlight Says:

    If it took the Taiwanese government sixty years to recognize that their organizational structure to deal with Tibet was outdated (Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission), I am not very optimistic about how long it will take for PRC to recognize that the United Front Work Department is the wrong organization to deal with Tibet….

  96. Nimrod Says:

    The United Front does not deal with Tibet at all, just with the Dalai Lama (and by extension, the exiles).

  97. Nimrod Says:

    zhu rui wrote:

    “Otto Kerner :
    Please see my article: 藏人为何抗议——也谈西藏问题. It was published in March or April this year. Sorry I forget exactly time.”

    +++++
    Zhu Rui, with all due respect, that does not answer Otto Kerner’s question. It’s a non-sequitur. Whatever the causes or how justifiable they are, these protests in at least several places were not non-violent as you described. Do you dispute that?

  98. Karma Says:

    @starlight,

    Let’s leave the Mongolian issue at that. But since you quoted Pres. Chen at length, I’d just like to note that the politics in Taiwan is changing – and Pres. Chen may be recorded as a traitor – to both the people who see themselves as Chinese only and people see themselves as Taiwanese only.

  99. starlight Says:

    @karma

    Not to get into a debate about Chen Shui Bian, my point was to show the evolution of Chinese and Taiwanese peoples thinking in Taiwan towards the Tibet issue. And the difference if you look back 40-50 years compared to todays thinking. At least there have been some progress, but it is very slow going…

  100. The Trapped! Says:

    Nimrod said:
    “The United Front does not deal with Tibet at all, just with the Dalai Lama (and by extension, the exiles).”

    I think you are really not familiar with Tibet and Tibetans, both inside and outside. Do you know which government departments are carry out anti-separatism education in Tibetan areas? They are Religious Affairs Department and United Front Work Department. If you don’t know the ground reality, you don’t have to pretend that you know because no one is forcing you to write something. Lots of people commenting does not mean you also have to do so. You and BXBQ way of joining this forum is same. If you do not have enough money to visit Tibet, then you can go to library or go online and search the facts. If you are too lazy to do even that little, then you should listen to hip-hop music and wait for your instant noodle. People who pretend to know something does not deserve to be in forums such as this one. Sorry and Thanks!

  101. Charles Liu Says:

    This reminds me of a joke told by former ROC Overseas Chinese Affairs Minister Chang Fumei.

    Couple years ago a Mongolian trade deligation visited Taiwan, and the Foreign Ministry thought it was inappropriate for them to receive the deligation. Her department was charged to receive the group. During a meeting at her office they noticed a map of ROC with Outer Mongolia included.

    When asked about it she replied it was a “historical map.”

  102. Nimrod Says:

    The Trapped, the UFWD is technically a party organ rather than a government office, but you are right in that the UFWD does contribute ethnic policy among other things (the specifics I don’t know, so don’t beat me over it, ok?) However, I was responding to the original post by starlight who was talking about the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission of the ROC, which is (or was) a cabinet department with full political purview over the regions. The UFWD does not “deal with Tibet” in that sense because the normal structure is the provincial governments and TAR. It’s not some coincidence that UFWD and not an actual government office is tasked with talking to the Dalai Lama.

  103. TCD Says:

    I think what people are failing to realize is that yes this is one sided, it’s someones opinion. I believe the author is not trying to speak as a spokes person for Tibet nor China she’s just trying to give her opinion, which yes remarkably enough is allowed to happen in North America.
    And Karma I’m not sure if you are aware of the middle way approach that the Dalai Lama has been advocating for for over 12 years. I do believe that he has been trying to reach out to the Han Chinese for several years and all he has gotten back are conspiracy theories. I think that what Chinese people (not all) fail to realize is that the Dalai Lama is the only one that can “sell” the idea of the middle way approach to Tibetan people. Many people say that time is running out for Tibet, but I think its running out for China.

  104. montra---trimek---pig----thailand-- Says:

    pay—-a—-visit——–dalai—–lama——————birthday——-75—-year————————-

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