Loading
May 10

Amy Yee talks about how Tibet is discussed at family dinner time

Written by guest on Sunday, May 10th, 2009 at 9:20 pm
Filed under:-guest-posts, -mini-posts | Tags:
Add comments

Chinese-American Amy Yee is New Delhi correspondent for Financial Times. In this new article she explains how nationalism and facts can sometimes become contradictory, she gives the example of her own brother, and their dinner time discussion in Boston. I found the article interesting and think similar discussions happened in many Chinese homes during the last year.

“But I knew why my brother was so angry. We are Chinese. I believe my brother was mistaking protests against the policies of the Chinese government with some slight against him as a Chinese person.”

The whole article can be found below:

http://www.feer.com/authors-corner/2009/may56/Pro-Justice-Not-Anti-China

Pro-Justice, Not Anti-China
by Amy Yee

May 11, 2009

During the past year that I’ve reported on Tibetan issues from my base in India, one of the Dalai Lama’s recurring messages has struck a chord in me. It isn’t his well-known calls for peace, nonviolence and compassion. Rather, it’s his constant reminder that “We are not against Chinese people. We still have faith in Chinese people.”

The Dalai Lama repeated that again in March of this year, which marked the 50th anniversary of China’s rule in Tibet and his exile to India. That message has become his mantra as he travels the world and almost desperately tries to meet Chinese people.

His call has grown more urgent as he tries to defuse surging Chinese nationalism that peaked with the Olympics in Beijing. Official talks with Beijing broke down last autumn so the Dalai Lama’s outreach to Chinese people is the only way to advance the Tibet issue in China.

But I fear that his outreach to Chinese won’t work because reason is too easily obliterated by the flames of nationalism. Too many Chinese people confuse protests against the policies of the Chinese government with being anti-Chinese.

The Dalai Lama’s outreach to Chinese people isn’t lip service. I am Chinese, though born and brought up in the U.S. by immigrant parents. Even though I wear the face of the “enemy,” I have always been treated warmly by Tibetans during the considerable time I have spent in Dharamsala, home to the Dalai Lama and about 12,000 Tibetans. I have waited for a Tibetan to treat me bitterly or with scorn but it has never happened in dozens of interviews I have conducted here.

Many Tibetans can tell I’m Chinese and even call out “Ni hao!” as I walk through the streets of this hill town. Sometimes we converse in Mandarin, not out of any sense of obligation but because Tibetans still have an affinity with Chinese people even if their religion, language and culture have been repressed by the Chinese government.

After a four-hour prayer service in March, the Dalai Lama thanked the people in Tibet, the international community and “Chinese friends.” At a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of Tibet’s failed uprising against Chinese rule, the Dalai Lama shared the stage with 30 Chinese pro-democracy activists. Another group of 30 filmmakers and journalists from Taiwan were also present.

When Han Chinese travel to Dharamsala the Dalai Lama eagerly grants them a coveted private audience if they speak and write Chinese and can somehow convey his message into China.

Why this charm offensive with Chinese people? The Dalai Lama says that Tibetans and Chinese will have to live together in the future, no matter what happens. Communication and exchange is necessary, especially if official negotiations are fruitless.

Since 1994, the Tibetan government-in-exile has printed magazines and newsletters in Chinese. It also launched a Chinese-language website that attempts to convey his point of view within China to those savvy enough to get around Chinese blocks.

However, it is unclear whether the charm offensive is working. Chinese who support Tibet are suppressed in China and branded as traitors on Chinese blogs. When the Olympic torch passed through Canberra last year there were about 10,000 Chinese and some 1,500 pro-Tibet demonstrators.

When the Dalai Lama met with some Chinese in New York who were protesting his visit last year, he said five of the seven wouldn’t listen to him. Fortunately it was a large table or they might have slapped him, he admitted at a press conference last year.

Even overseas Chinese in the U.S., Australia and Europe where there is free media and access to information, waved signs that read “Dalai is a Liar.” I’m not sure what they accuse the Dalai Lama of lying about. He openly advocates autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule, not separation as China insists.

Is he lying about human-rights violations in Tibet? Why not ask former political prisoners from Tibet who have sought refuge in India? Why not ask thousands of Tibetans who have been arrested since China began its harsh crackdown in Tibet a year ago? And if the list of those arrested is fake, as some claim, why not produce the Tibetan in question to show they are alive and well?

For all of China’s insistence that Tibetans are content and should be happy that they have longer life spans than 50 years ago, the forceful repression in Tibet indicates that something is terribly wrong. The wise thing to do would be to somehow come to the table to discuss how, at the very least, the plight of Tibetans in Tibet could be improved. Measures on improving education and access to jobs for Tibetans are well within China’s reach.

The Tibetans who rioted in Lhasa last year should not have resorted to violence and it is tragic that Chinese people died in the clashes, as the Dalai Lama himself has said. But why not allow an independent investigation into exactly what happened last year in Lhasa?

I know firsthand the effects of Chinese nationalism that can cloud reasoned judgment. Last summer my brother and I were at my parent’s house in Boston when the Olympic torch relay came up. My brother was angry and disgusted by the pro-Tibet protestors. I was taken aback by his response.

We grew up in a progressive part of Boston where activism and questioning of the establishment was de rigueur. U.S. policies were often raked over the coals during dinner table conversations.

But I knew why my brother was so angry. We are Chinese. I believe my brother was mistaking protests against the policies of the Chinese government with some slight against him as a Chinese person.

I didn’t start a heated debate. I simply told him what I knew from reporting in India, where I have lived since 2006. “They shot a 16-year-old Tibetan girl in the head,” I said, referring to Chinese security that shot and killed unarmed and peaceful Tibetan protestors in western China last year. “What’s wrong with protesting?”

I refrained from pointing out to my brother what he already knew: that I lived in China for two years, taught English to about 120 Chinese university students, learned Mandarin and traveled for nearly a month in Tibet in 1998. During that trip many Tibetans I met in Tibet were scared of me until I told them that I was American.

When I mentioned Lhundup Tso, the 16-year-old Tibetan girl whose body was photographed in a pool of blood, my brother’s face contorted. Perhaps his newfound sense of Chinese nationalism was battling with the education—based on reason, fact and analysis—that we both received. Fortunately the latter prevailed. “As long as it’s nonviolent,” he said grudgingly.

I glanced at my mother, who had threatened to disown me when I announced I was going to China after college partly because she feared what Chinese authorities might do to me. She prudently chose to remain silent.

It is easy to confuse protest against Chinese policies in Tibet with being anti-Chinese. But wanting a better way forward in Tibet is not anti-Chinese people or even anti-China. It is, as the Dalai Lama likes to say, pro-justice.

Amy Yee is a journalist based in New Delhi.


There are currently 6 comments highlighted: 36345, 36355, 36368, 36370, 36375, 36391.

77 Responses to “Amy Yee talks about how Tibet is discussed at family dinner time”

  1. Lhundup Says:

    Thank you very much Amy for your wonderdul article. I hope Chinese people in China could read your article and learn to think reasonably.

  2. Otto Kerner Says:

    Bhö’ gyalo!

  3. Raj Says:

    It is easy to confuse protest against Chinese policies in Tibet with being anti-Chinese. But wanting a better way forward in Tibet is not anti-Chinese people or even anti-China. It is, as the Dalai Lama likes to say, pro-justice.

    A good sentiment. Thanks for posting this, Tony. Certainly deserves being placed on the front page.

  4. Tashi Says:

    Thank you Amy Yee. I am very much encouraged to read your article. At least those Chinese people like you who are rational understands the true situation of tibet. I am sure your article will help other Chinese brothers and sisters to look beyond what they know from Chinese propoganda. Free China and Free Tibet.

  5. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Free China and Free Tibet.”

    I think this says it all about the ultimate goals of some.

    I have read Amy’s, and even some Tibetan websites.

    Some may believe what is presently said, but I note, DL hardly has control of his people in Exile on the “Middle Way”, which only espoused Peace since the 1980’s.

    Some would simply choose to forget history, at least on 1 side.

    Solution will not come through such 1 sidedness of history. That’s true “propoganda” (sic).

  6. raventhorn4000 Says:

    On 1 Tibetan Exile website, one Tibetan openly said, “Everyone knows that the Middle Way is merely a way for us to get back into Tibet, from where the real struggle would begin.”

    in a 1998 interview with NY Times,
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A01E7DC123EF932A35756C0A96E958260, the Dalai Lama publicly acknowledged that bombing had been going on in Tibet
    by Tibetans, 9 times in the 1st 4 months, all targeting government buildings. He clearly
    knew these acts of terrorism were going on. Yet he has chosen public plausible
    deniability.

  7. Raj Says:

    Hi, Raventhorn.

    I think this says it all about the ultimate goals of some.

    Yup, some people care about freedom and wish others could have it, even if they personally enjoy it already.

    Some would simply choose to forget history, at least on 1 side.

    Like how many Chinese people choose to forget about the suffering caused by the CCP in the past or push it to one side?

    Solution will not come through such 1 sidedness of history.

    So you would be in favour of Chinese textbooks discussing things like the Tiananmen protests and Tibetan security arrangements/operations with both sides of the arguments presented so students can debate and make up their own minds? Glad to hear it!

  8. Shane9219 Says:

    @ Tashi #4

    It is a two-way street to foster understanding between TIE community and Chinese (Tibetan Chinese included). That means people from TIE community and their supportors should drop their deep-seated, yet unjustified hatred on everything China, abondon their hostile mentality. The familiar calling of “Chinese propoganda. Free China and Free Tibet.” also appears to be naive.

    TIE community and their supportors should understand that there is no room for negotiation on China’s sovereignty over Tibet, yet there are a lot room to discuss on improvement of current ethnic minority policies. By insisting on challenging China’s sovereignty over Tibet is simply day-dreaming and will not get you anywhere. But focusing your efforts on making improvement on ethnic minority policies sound more reasonable, will foster understanding and trusts between the two sides.

  9. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    Perhaps you do not remember, but Japan claimed to want to “liberate Asia” when they invaded their neighbors, Germany claimed to want to “liberate” Russia from Stalin.

    Oh yeah, maybe when US blames Slavery on both the Democrats and the Republicans, I’ll buy your argument of “suffering caused by the CCP”. KMT caused a lot of suffering too. What’s your fixation with party labels?

    Yes, I would be in favor of discussing ugly parts of history. But Most people don’t want to dwell too much on the ugly parts. So, for comfort zone sake, I will only go as far as “historical atrocity exhibits” as other people are willing to accept it.

    If Tibetans want to discuss the ugly history, Let’s talk about the whole thing. I don’t mind.

  10. Shane9219 Says:

    @Raj #7

    I suggested on several occasions for you to drop your mentality of seeing everything evil in China. Guess what, who have a better laugh after the past 30-year, India or China? You knew the answer.

    And try to guess again, who will have a better laugh after another 30-year, India or China?

  11. Raj Says:

    Raven, # 9

    Japan claimed to want to “liberate Asia” when they invaded their neighbors, Germany claimed to want to “liberate” Russia from Stalin.

    The Allies liberated France from Germany. The UN liberated Kuwait from Iraq. The list goes on. And the word used was “free”, not “liberate”. The former is open to the oppressor or a third-party changing the situation – the latter really only means another party.

    when US blames Slavery on both the Democrats and the Republicans, I’ll buy your argument of “suffering caused by the CCP”

    Does the US just blame it on one party?

    But in any case, why only then? US governments have alternated between Democrat and Republican since before slavery was abolished. China has been ruled by the CCP consistently for 60 years. You can’t pin the blame for what the authorites have done on anyone else!

    KMT caused a lot of suffering too.

    Indeed it did.

    What’s your fixation with party labels?

    Because they identify different groups from each other? So if I talk about the Conservative Party, people know I’m not talking about the Labour Party.

    Yes, I would be in favor of discussing ugly parts of history. But Most people don’t want to dwell too much on the ugly parts.

    None of my Chinese friends have ever really wanted to talk about the “ugly parts”, as you put it, of Chinese history. Perhaps you can answer a question for me.

    In your experience, is it the case that most Chinese people never want to dwell on such aspects of Chinese history, or it is that they are reluctant to do so when it involves the CCP as the ruling party or other Chinese governments?

    I only ask this because on the internet I have come across Chinese forum members saying how it’s important to discuss the Sino-Japanese War as painful as it is, yet then you can find the opposite argument made subsequently (sometimes by the same posters) that because the Cultural Revolution or whatever were so painful it’s wrong to discuss it lest they cause more grief/open old wounds.

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on that.

    If Tibetans want to discuss the ugly history, Let’s talk about the whole thing. I don’t mind.

    That’s good to hear. Discuss the whole thing, absolutely. That’s probably one reason why people say things like “free Tibet” – they hope one day Tibetans can discuss the ugly history in their schools, on TV, in newspapers and the like. I’m certainly not saying all the campaigners are right, but it’s a reasoning behind why you hear such statements.

  12. Aenima Says:

    Hi Raj,

    “US governments have alternated between Democrat and Republican since before slavery was abolished. China has been ruled by the CCP consistently for 60 years. You can’t pin the blame for what the authorites have done on anyone else!”

    So according to this we should parcel up the history of American atrocities (against Native Americans, African Americans, Vietnamese, Iraqis, Afghans, etc) according to whether Republican/Democrat governments were in power at the time and hold the present day parties responsible for everything their respective predecessors did? The point about the obsession with/fixation on the ‘CCP’ label is that the CCP now is not by any stretch of imagination the ‘same’ organisation as in 1949, 1959, 1966, or even 1989, just as the American parties are not the same as they were 150 or even 50 years ago. Deng Xiaoping was branded a ‘capitalist roader’ in the 60’s, he later became leader of the CCP. Wen Jiabao stood on Tiananmen with Zhao Ziyang, now he’s premier of China. You can’t simply total up the ‘evils’ of the CCP (Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen, etc) to assess how evil ‘it’ is. The CCP is not a monolithic organisation with a fixed identity, just as Western political parties aren’t. This kind of judgment is no different than those who look at the history of the US or UK and judge them for slavery, colonialism, etc. We all learn from our mistakes.

    “‘KMT caused a lot of suffering too.’ Indeed it did.”

    Yet you don’t blame the modern KMT for this? Why then do you blame the modern CCP for *all* its past mistakes? Because it’s still ‘Communist’ in name perhaps? It’s changed just as much as (if not more than) most Western parties.

    “None of my Chinese friends have ever really wanted to talk about the “ugly parts”, as you put it, of Chinese history.”

    And not many Americans want to discuss the ‘ugly parts’ of their history, not many British want to talk about the ‘ugly parts’ of theirs. But some do. The same is true in China, many modern Chinese are very interested in learning about the Cultural Revolution, in seeing what was lost and destroyed at that time.

    As for “they hope one day Tibetans can discuss the ugly history in their schools”, do Americans discuss Iran-Contra in schools? Are they taught about the Kent State shootings? The realities of the Vietnam war (Agent Orange, etc)? The support for dictators like Pinochet, Saddam (in the 80s), etc? Are British schoolchildren taught about their governments’ slaughters in Africa? Their violent repression of protests in colonial India? Their own governments’ support for Pinochet/Apartheid/etc? Yes, sure we can all learn about these things on the internet if we know where to look, but so can the Chinese if they know where to look. The reality is that in both cases most people will not look for this information, and both Western and Chinese governments know this. All countries tend to treat fairly recent history (past 100 years, for example) differently to older history. In the US everyone learns about slavery, in the UK everyone learns about child labour/slavery in early factories and workhouses, in China everyone learns about the Qing dynasty and Jiang Jieshi.

    To get back to the main topic, I find Amy Yee’s claim that “many Tibetans I met in Tibet were scared of me until I told them that I was American” somewhat questionable. Scared in what way? To talk about independence? Probably, but then that’s hardly surprising. Just saying ‘scared of me’ implies something more. But really, what is the point of this article? To show that the Dalai Lama’s not simply a racist? Did anyone ever claim he was?

    “Too many Chinese people confuse protests against the policies of the Chinese government with being anti-Chinese.” – This is incredibly disingenuous. The reason most Chinese people disagree with the Dalai Lama is because they *support* the Chinese government’s policies (‘One China’ or whatever), not because they are ‘confused’ and think he just hates Chinese people. The real problem here is the Dalai Lama’s (along with most Western governments) attempt to treat ‘the Chinese people’ separately from ‘the Chinese government’, as if the CCP is just, as the stereotype goes, an oppressive authoritarian state which has no support from the people and would topple any moment without armed repression. This is simply not the case, the CCP is not simply another Soviet state imposed from above, as in the USSR, but is thoroughly entwined with many Chinese people’s lives, through party membership, historical support (eg. grandparents fighting with them for independence), connections with local businesses and public services, etc. So when the Dalai Lama/Western governments call for ‘Free Tibet’ and criticise the Chinese government, Chinese people rightly take it as a criticism of their ancestors, relatives, friends, and beliefs.

    Assuming and arguing that the Chinese people are simply deluded or tricked by their government is thus not a helpful way to convince them to change their minds over Tibet. The starting point needs to be accepting that the CCP is the rightful government of China at present (this simply is the status quo, there’s no point pretending otherwise) and accepting that Chinese people have legitimate reasons for believing that Tibet should be part of China; but also accepting that the Tibetan people have legitimate grievances about their historical treatment by the Chinese government and accepting that they have a legitimate right to more autonomy. I think many, if not most, Chinese would accept the latter two points, but I think the Dalai Lama and the West often neglect the first two, still regarding the CCP as an evil, external force manipulating the Chinese people, rather than as a legitimate government which is supported by the vast majority of Chinese people, and still regarding Tibet as simply invaded by a foreign force in 1959, ignoring the valid points that Tibet has been in some form of ‘Greater China’ for hundreds of years and that the Chinese did free the Tibetan serfs from bondage. These don’t prove that Tibet should always be part of China, but they do go some way to justify Chinese people’s belief that Tibet was not simply invaded and taken by China, and should be taken as a starting point.

  13. pug_ster Says:

    About the 16 year old girl Lhundup Tso, Why not Amy Yee have an ‘independent investigation’ on why she was shot except the assumption she was shot in cold blood? Meanwhile, there were numerous videos of those Tibetan Thugs killing, burning and looting around lhasa, what other kind of ‘independent investigation’ do you need?

    It matters little whether Tibetans pursue their so called charm offensive by publishing their propaganda is working. Heck the Falun gong have a better chance because they are Chinese and understands the culture yet they have a hard time convincing the them either. Unfortunately, in terms of how the Dalai Lama in their ongoing struggles with ‘communicating’ with the Chinese, he does the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  14. shane9219 Says:

    @pug_ster #13

    Good point. That was one of old stories from 2008. TIE and 14th DL gave out numerous number of people killed in last year’s event, some of their number went as high as thousands. They felt they were entitled to say whatever they wanted and it is okay for them to give out mis-information, and people in the West would believe. It is now not anymore, except a selected few.

  15. Nimrod Says:

    pug_ster wrote:

    It matters little whether Tibetans pursue their so called charm offensive by publishing their propaganda is working. Heck the Falun gong have a better chance because they are Chinese and understands the culture yet they have a hard time convincing the them either.

    +++++
    Interesting point in reference to the FLG. Since last year (when the riot part didn’t work), DL obviously has been trying something new with the charm offensive. While more engagement is good, I doubt what we are missing is the political perspective of the TGIE (some call it propaganda), rather than the social perspective of ordinary Tibetans living in China. I think I’m tiring over the first kind of “charm”. The yardstick I usually use is “did I learn anything new”? When it comes to Tibet, there is a lot to learn, yet I somehow learn less from these engagements than say, reading of books and other things I find elsewhere. There is some kind of inefficiency or mismatch about what is being delivered in these missives. Amy Yee gave us little new to learn. Similarly, I implored the Tibetans here of late who have personal experiences to tell about these (not necessarily about themselves, because maybe that’s uncomfortable, but at least first hand stuff), but I’m still waiting…

  16. Kura-Amje Says:

    You convinced me that all Chinese are not misanthrope and respect human rights. It is quite encouraging to me that many Chinese people do respect human rights and justice. I wonder, what happened to the young man, who stood in front of the tank at Tianaman square on June 4, 1989. He is my hero as much as Rosa Park of America during the civil rights movement and Runge Athar of Tibet.

  17. shane9219 Says:

    @Kura-Amje #16

    The incident you mentioned above was once covered by PBS Frontline. The young man was later pulled away by bystanders and disappeared into crowd.

    PBS Frontline documentary on YouTube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUNqNn0x2G4&NR=1

  18. shane9219 Says:

    Recent 14th Dalai Lama Interview on CNN

    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2009/05/10/gps.dalai.lama.interview.cnn

    After watching his talk over (which is nothing new by the way), it is hard to grasp what he really meant to say …

  19. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Tony and Admin:
    nice piece. It’s one person’s observations, and should carry a commensurate weight; no more and no less. Nonetheless, good of you to present this perspective; seems we’ve been getting a lot of the other perspective of late, so this is, if nothing else, refreshing.

    To Aenima:
    nice post. But I take issue with a few of your points:
    1.”I find Amy Yee’s claim that “many Tibetans I met in Tibet were scared of me until I told them that I was American” somewhat questionable ” – in follow-up, you raised some reasonable questions. But Ms. Yee is providing her own personal perspective, and doing nothing to make generalizations beyond that. Unless you were shadowing her the whole time, I’m not sure how you can question her own experience, and her own perceptions. About the only thing you can question is its generalizability, but that is a criticism you can level at any personal experience.

    2. ““Too many Chinese people confuse protests against the policies of the Chinese government with being anti-Chinese.” – This is incredibly disingenuous.” – Ms. Yee, I believe, is referring to the intent of those who would protest. The intent of many who protest is to shine a light on Chinese government policies; their intent is not to convey racial hatred against Chinese. Chinese people misconstrue the intent of the protesters, and you’ve given excellent reasons why that may occur. I think her point was not that Chinese are wrong to take offense; I think her point is that no offense was intended.
    So if “westerners” are to learn, perhaps CHinese can indicate how government policies can be criticized without offending the masses. Surely there should be a way…

    3. Your last paragraph is fantastic. Wish there were more like you. “also accepting that the Tibetan people have legitimate grievances about their historical treatment by the Chinese government and accepting that they have a legitimate right to more autonomy. I think many, if not most, Chinese would accept the latter two points” – I’m encouraged you think so; but on this forum, many many times, i wonder.

  20. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Raj,

    You can squirm in explain the difference between “free” and “liberate”. I’ll leave you to it.

    US hasn’t blamed any party for slavery, when slavery laws were openly passed in many States by both parties.

    “Because they identify different groups from each other? So if I talk about the Conservative Party, people know I’m not talking about the Labour Party.”

    Like I gave a damn when you want to blame only 1 party for problems. Sounds like party politics as usual, just like elsewhere in “democracy”. Boring….

    “cultural revolution”. You do know that most of the current CPP leaders were actually victims of the Cultural Revolution, or children during that time??

    “That’s good to hear. Discuss the whole thing, absolutely. That’s probably one reason why people say things like “free Tibet” – they hope one day Tibetans can discuss the ugly history in their schools, on TV, in newspapers and the like. I’m certainly not saying all the campaigners are right, but it’s a reasoning behind why you hear such statements.”

    Well, onto more of my “whole thing”, I hope the Tibetans can also talk about the Shugdens’ ban by DL. I don’t think they can move onto “free Tibet”, when they are oppressing and dividing their own, and stoning them like criminals in the Exile Community!! The Indian Police had to curfew the town for 2-3 days to curb the stoning.

    If this is DL’s “peace” and “free China”, and “Free Tibet”, I don’t think any reasonable person would want any of it anywhere.

  21. Nimrod Says:

    shane9219 Says:

    Recent 14th Dalai Lama Interview on CNN
    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2009/05/10/gps.dalai.lama.interview.cnn
    After watching his talk over (which is nothing new by the way), it is hard to grasp what he really meant to say …

    At least Zakaria called him “sir” and interviewed him as a normal guest not somebody on a pedestal like in most such interviews.

  22. Aenima Says:

    SKC: “Ms. Yee is providing her own personal perspective, and doing nothing to make generalizations beyond that. Unless you were shadowing her the whole time, I’m not sure how you can question her own experience, and her own perceptions. About the only thing you can question is its generalizability, but that is a criticism you can level at any personal experience.”

    Well, I would also question whether she came to Tibet with certain preconceptions about what to expect. For example, she states: “I have waited for a Tibetan to treat me bitterly or with scorn but it has never happened in dozens of interviews I have conducted here.” Why was she awaiting this? Why did she expect to encounter racial discrimination from Tibetans? I’ve seen nothing from the Tibetan side to lead me to expect that they would discriminate racially against all Chinese, and nothing from the Chinese side to lead me to expect that they would feel discriminated against by Tibetans.

    Similarly the Dalai Lama’s (reported) claim that “Fortunately it was a large table or they might have slapped him, he admitted at a press conference last year” also seems strange. ‘Might have slapped him’? What does this mean? They didn’t, but he felt like they wanted to? Or threatened to? It’s not clear. It seems like this, like the discrimination point above and that about being ‘scared’, could well be based on false expectations more than on reality.

    “Ms. Yee, I believe, is referring to the intent of those who would protest. The intent of many who protest is to shine a light on Chinese government policies; their intent is not to convey racial hatred against Chinese. Chinese people misconstrue the intent of the protesters, and you’ve given excellent reasons why that may occur. I think her point was not that Chinese are wrong to take offense; I think her point is that no offense was intended.
    So if “westerners” are to learn, perhaps Chinese can indicate how government policies can be criticized without offending the masses. Surely there should be a way…”

    I don’t think Chinese do interpret such criticism as ‘conveying racial hatred’. They would be more likely to interpret it as based on a general suspicion of the ‘rise of China’ on the part of the West, an attempt to undermine China from within (I think it’s fairly clear the CIA in particular has tried this in the past, and not by any means only in China), or a misunderstanding of the history of Tibet pre-1959. Indeed, many Chinese I’ve spoken to regard the Dalai Lama as some kind of stooge of the US, this has been suggested by the CCP too if I remember correctly (with some justification, his government-in-exile was at least partly funded by the CIA until the 70s). Thus I don’t think it’s ‘racial’ offense that the Chinese take, more like offense at the blanket criticisms of the CCP, which is clearly demonised in such criticisms. It’s never conveyed in terms of the CCP’s past mistakes in dealing with Tibet (eg. the Cultural Revolution), but rather always conveyed in absolute moral terms (eg. ‘justice’, ‘freedom’, etc), thus condemning the CCP. Similarly, the absolutist call to ‘Free Tibet’ is counter-productive as it leaves no room for debate and discussion, no space to move forward, but simply states what ‘we’, the Moral West, want to see.

    So while I’d agree that the ‘intent’ of the protesters may well be good, and I would even agree with many of their views, I don’t think this is enough. Surely any ‘good intentions’ must be judged in terms of their likely effects? How did they think the Chinese would react to the Olympic torch being snatched from a disabled athlete (and the various other ‘direct actions’ taken before and during the Olympics)? This is not mature political protest, this is simply spiteful, saying to China ‘if you won’t listen to our criticisms about Tibet, we’ll f**k up your nice Olympics’. I think the whole Western approach to protest is indeed infected with this kind of childish attitude. For me it smacks of prayer, desperately asking our Moral Father (God, the president, or perhaps the UN) to ‘do something!’ about this terrible situation, rather than thinking calmly about what actions would actually help. It may well have worked in America, where direct, straight-talking protest achieved much, but Chinese culture is very different. Thus I would not claim it’s a problem with the protesters’ intentions, but more with their actions and lack of awareness.

    One comment I’ve heard from several Chinese people I know is that they feel Western people and media always seem to position themselves ‘outside’ something in order to criticise it objectively, rather than ‘inside’ in order to criticise constructively. This could apply equally to criticisms of Western governments as to those of the Chinese. For me this is fully tied up with Western (or should I say Greek) political, social, and philosophical traditions, in particular democracy. To be included in Western government, you have to pick (or start) a party to represent yourself, and an essential part of how this party functions must be in opposition to the various other parties available (otherwise you’d have joined them, right?). This seems to almost inevitably lead to two parties competing to ‘score points’ off each other in order to win elections, rather than actually doing what’s best for the country. I don’t have much time for this divisive approach to politics, and indeed I actually think it’s counter the original ideals of democracy. But anyway, that’s another topic for another day… Suffice to say that I think there are better ways to improve the situation in Tibet than to shout ‘Free Tibet!’ and join the Dalai Lama in opposition to the Chinese.

  23. pug_ster Says:

    @16 Kura-Amje

    I think alot of Chinese have respect for human rights. While it is sad to have some 16 year old girl killed, many Tibetans blamed it on the Chinese government as some kind of systematic abuse. I would disagree. Perhaps it is police who acted inappropriately and he/she should be disciplined. On the other hand, when these so called ‘peaceful protests’ become a contact sport, someone is going to get hurt and the police shouldn’t be responsible for it. I don’t think it should be mistaken as another Rosa Parks incident because of the segregation policy.

  24. Raj Says:

    Aenima

    So according to this we should parcel up the history of American atrocities (against Native Americans, African Americans, Vietnamese, Iraqis, Afghans, etc) according to whether Republican/Democrat governments were in power at the time and hold the present day parties responsible for everything their respective predecessors did?

    Please do not put words in my mouth. I’m talking about identification, pure and simple. It has nothing to do with holding parties responsible today.

    The point about the obsession with/fixation on the ‘CCP’ label is that the CCP now is not by any stretch of imagination the ’same’ organisation as in 1949, 1959, 1966, or even 1989

    And at no point have I said that the CCP is bad now because it was in the past. My views of it today are based on it today. Indeed I think that it should drop the term “Communist” because there’s precious little about it that’s Communist today, apart from its rhetoric and party symbols. I know full well that Deng was originally attacked for his policies, though he did not go the way of Liu Shaoqi.

    I have never been someone who bases current attitudes on historical matters without consideration for apologies, attempts to distinguish from past policy and move forward. That’s why I don’t understand people who say “I’m never going to vote X because y years ago they did something to z and I can never forgive them for that”.

    Yet you don’t blame the modern KMT for this? Why then do you blame the modern CCP for *all* its past mistakes? Because it’s still ‘Communist’ in name perhaps?

    I’m really disappointed that you have already raised the “foreigners only hate CCP because they’re Communist” stereotype, even if you asked it as a question. Is it so strange for you to consider that I might actually not care whether somene is Communist or not and still criticise them? Are you still stuck in a Cold War mentality? I hope not.

    However, I do blame the KMT for trying to manipulate history re their past activities and not stepping up to their responsibilities. For example, they are still an exceedingly rich party thanks to their theft whilst in power. They promised to give this money back but never have.

    Equally the CCP, or at least that part of it that decides education policy, still does not want a full debate of many of the historical party’s actions and policies since coming to power. Why, I don’t know – there are potential explanations such as because it is afraid its current authority will be undermined or it isn’t sorry in the slightest. But either way it has a responsibility to at least allow the discussion openly, academically and educationally. It can be criticised for holding things back, especially when it previously insisted Mao be seen in the “70% good, 30% bad” light – as far as I know it still does that, though maybe this is disputed.

    The same is true in China, many modern Chinese are very interested in learning about the Cultural Revolution, in seeing what was lost and destroyed at that time.

    If they are so interested, why is it that most of the film studios, media outlets, academics and the like are reluctant to discuss the whole subject warts and all when they’ll gladly do that for the Sino-Japanese War? As I asked before, is it the case that China generally speaking has little problem discussing “gruesome history” providing its about foreigners? Does the nation start to get uncomfortable when it’s about the ruling party or other “popular” Chinese administrations. If that is the case, I hope that individuals and organisations act as they do because they’re scared of how the authorities might react. If they do what they do freely then I’d be rather worried as that would make them somewhat racist.

    As for “they hope one day Tibetans can discuss the ugly history in their schools”, do Americans discuss Iran-Contra in schools?

    You’re missing the point. Tibetans have a right to set their own education policy, even if it should cover some basic things that all students need. Why is it acceptable for Chinese officials to say to Tibetan schools “you must say that when Chinese troops arrived in 1950 it was a happy liberation” or “you will not discuss the killing of Tibetans by Chinese soldiers/authorities without saying they were rebels”? I am not claiming I know the subject of such private discussions, I am giving suggestions. But I doubt you will try to claim China does not set Tibetan education policy.

    Yes, sure we can all learn about these things on the internet if we know where to look, but so can the Chinese if they know where to look…. All countries tend to treat fairly recent history (past 100 years, for example) differently to older history.

    The Sino-Japanese war occured less than 100 years ago, so that would be “fairly recent history” in your book. Yet it is treated differently from the Cultural Revolution in how much it is taught in schools, in what depth, etc. I could be wrong, but I believe the US also has a significant academic discussion on Black American rights past World War II. At the least people are not forced to read about it on the internet, they can do classes in it in the later stages of school or university.

    How many classes are there that fully teach the Cultural Revolution in the last years of Chinese schools or in Chinese universities? I would be interested to know.

    I find Amy Yee’s claim that “many Tibetans I met in Tibet were scared of me until I told them that I was American” somewhat questionable

    Are you suggesting she was lying or that her point was somehow invalid? As S.K.C. said, she was providing a personal experience.

    To show that the Dalai Lama’s not simply a racist? Did anyone ever claim he was?

    Yes, lots of Chinese people do. You can see the anti-Dalai Lama rants even on here. But in any case, articles can simply serve to counter propaganda. If all people read on the internet was the slow drip of anti-Dalai Lama poison more people would believe it.

    “Too many Chinese people confuse protests against the policies of the Chinese government with being anti-Chinese.” – This is incredibly disingenuous. The reason most Chinese people disagree with the Dalai Lama is because they *support* the Chinese government’s policies

    But if is true that too many Chinese people do confuse protests against Chinese government policy with being “anti-Chinese”.

    So when the Dalai Lama/Western governments call for ‘Free Tibet’ and criticise the Chinese government, Chinese people rightly take it as a criticism of their ancestors, relatives, friends, and beliefs.

    Complete nonsense. They should not take it as a criticism of any such thing. I have friends in the CCP and in local government. I am happy to criticise the Chinese government whilst making no such judgments against people who don’t make policy. If a number of Chinese people have a problem with that then they are in the wrong, not the critics.

    accepting that Chinese people have legitimate reasons for believing that Tibet should be part of China

    The Dalai Lama has said he agrees Tibet can remain part of China. Yet his Chinese critics ignore this and say he is just lying. He has given lots of good faith, yet little or none comes in return from China, just lip service to try to appease foreign critics.

    regarding the CCP as an evil, external force manipulating the Chinese people

    I don’t see that as being the case anyway, but I don’t believe foreigners see the CCP as being external. Furthermore it does still manipulate Chinese people. I am not saying people are brainwashed, that there is no ability to dicuss things at all, etc. However, you have to understand that people born and raised in societies with energetic, “free” media and political discussion will see the current academic and media discussion in China as still giving the CCP a big advantage. For example, the media can (depending on the circumstances) report on corruption, but it may not say that corruption occurs because of the CCP or that the party as a whole is “wrong”, the national Chinese government is “bad” and needs to go, etc.

    I know many Chinese people support the CCP, but that’s not necessarily what people dispute. The question people like me ask is what public support for the CCP would be like after 5+ years of bringing in freedom of speech and the media.

    These don’t prove that Tibet should always be part of China, but they do go some way to justify Chinese people’s belief that Tibet was not simply invaded and taken by China, and should be taken as a starting point.

    I think it’s about compromise from both sides. You are more moderate in your views, but your position is not one followed by the Chinese government or indeed most Chinese people. They would appear to take the view that Tibet IS part of China, Tibet MUST be part of China, Tibet was NOT invaded, pro-Tibetan groups ARE wrong, etc. Not to suggest that there aren’t people with the opposite attitude – there are. But you will have to work on China changing its position as that’s the tougher nut to crack. I think you will find that if China takes the first step, others will follow. But when the Dalai Lama formally gave up his support for Tibetan independence he got nothing of much value in return.

    About freeing people from slavery, you do realise that many of the “we made life better for Tibetans” arguments put forward are little different to the arguments put forward by colonial powers in the past about why they should be conquering parts of the world. Accordingly most foreigners are sceptical of such arguments as they don’t accept them for other countries.

    Also you would, I hope, recognise that Tibetans in Tibet are not allowed to be part of this discussion. The lack of freedom to speak and debate about Tibet’s future harms development of a peaceful solution. Ironically Tibetans would probably be more open towards China than many of the campaign groups are. By not giving them a voice it misses a great opportunity to meet in the middle, something that may not last forever as younger Tibetans form the majority and get restless.

    Or is the Chinese government afraid that, depsite what it says, most Tibetans are still generally resentful towards it and it needs to keep them quiet?

    I hope we can continue this discussion, as it’s very interesting.

  25. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “The Dalai Lama has said he agrees Tibet can remain part of China. Yet his Chinese critics ignore this and say he is just lying. He has given lots of good faith, yet little or none comes in return from China, just lip service to try to appease foreign critics.”

    DL’s oral “agreement” is hardly more than mere “lip service”. He has consistently refused to sign even any simple documents affirming his commitment to 1 China policy.

    If he is committed to the 1 China policy, let him enforce such a policy in his own exile government. Yet we consistently see his “exile government” raise flags of independence, making categorical ID documents for Tibetans not as Chinese citizens but as “Tibetan citizens”.

    Obviously, DL has no concept of what “commitment” or “agreement” means.

  26. shane9219 Says:

    @Nimrod #21

    Zakaria has his root in India. India wanted to get hold of 14th DL to better secure their claims over South Tibet (Arunachal Pradesh). This was the original intention for India government to lure and support 14th DL’s exile to India.

    Even though 6th DL was born in South Tibet, and 14th DL insisted on gaining his control over entire Tibetan population to include multi-ethnic regions administrated by other provinces in China, he did not mention at all about 6th DL’s birth place. Actually, he recently said that he supported India’s control of South Tibet.

    Zakaria also did not mention correctly the reason and the history background on settlements in China’s Inner Mongolia and Xinjing region. Those large scale army-related settlements were due to the need to protect China’s border regions.

    After the break-down of Soviet-China relation, Soviet posted nearly 1 million strong troops along its borders with China. Soviet’s army could esily thrust into China’s heartland using its military supremacy, should China not possess strategic nuclear forces. Even without an actual invasion, China was forced by spending years to prepare a real potentially all-out war with Soviet Russian. The result was that vast amount of money was pulled out of its weak economy into digging tunnels and acquiring other strategic logistics, while the West enjoyed their scientific advancement and economical expansion during the same time.

    If India did the way Soviet Russian deployed its army forces, China would be forced to create similar settlements in Tibet. The fact these measures were never taken is enough to rebuff Zakaria’s claim. On the contary, India government actually encouraged civilian settlement into South Tibet by the number of millions. I wonder why he did not mentioned it. Is it too sensitive to him … ?

  27. Nimrod Says:

    shane9212,

    I didn’t say it was a comprehensive or hard-hitting interview, but interviewing him not as some god but a politician is a good start.

  28. Raj Says:

    He has consistently refused to sign even any simple documents affirming his commitment to 1 China policy.

    China won’t even commit itself to providing real autonomy for Tibet orally. Why should he commit himself in writing when China hasn’t even as gone as far as he has?

    If he is committed to the 1 China policy, let him enforce such a policy in his own exile government.

    What is he supposed to do – arrest anyone who disagrees with him with his non-existent Police force and throw them into non-existent jails? Just because the Chinese government usually speaks with one voice doesn’t mean he can enforce such unity.

    Yet we consistently see his “exile government” raise flags of independence, making categorical ID documents for Tibetans not as Chinese citizens but as “Tibetan citizens”.

    It’s called leverage. China seems to expect people to give all their positions up and come stand where it is and get nothing in return. Only then can real negotiations start and of course by then most of the other side’s negotiating chips have gone. The Dalai Lama shows the willingness of the Tibetan exile government to meet in the middile. If China wants him to commit to something, it needs to show what it is willing to commit to as well. It could start by dropping the bile and poison spat at him.

    Obviously, DL has no concept of what “commitment” or “agreement” means.

    He does, he just doesn’t accept the Chinese definitions.

  29. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “China won’t even commit itself to providing real autonomy for Tibet orally. Why should he commit himself in writing when China hasn’t even as gone as far as he has?”

    Uh, TAR stands for “Tibetan Autonomous Region”. It’s official name. China publicly granted the region “autonomy” status a long time ago!

    “What is he supposed to do – arrest anyone who disagrees with him with his non-existent Police force and throw them into non-existent jails? Just because the Chinese government usually speaks with one voice doesn’t mean he can enforce such unity.”

    He has done almost as much with the Shugden followers, banning their practice, denying political office to them, etc. I think that makes enough self-contradictions.

    “It’s called leverage. China seems to expect people to give all their positions up and come stand where it is and get nothing in return. Only then can real negotiations start and of course by then most of the other side’s negotiating chips have gone. The Dalai Lama shows the willingness of the Tibetan exile government to meet in the middile. If China wants him to commit to something, it needs to show what it is willing to commit to as well. It could start by dropping the bile and poison spat at him.”

    2 can play the “leverage” game. Don’t whine when DL gets the bad end of the stick.

    “He does, he just doesn’t accept the Chinese definitions.”

    Then you admit, he hasn’t agreed to anything from the “Chinese” side. What has he “agreed” to then, according to you?! I have no time for such obviously ridiculous political double talk.

  30. shane9219 Says:

    @Raj

    >> “If he is committed to the 1 China policy, let him enforce such a policy in his own exile government…”

    >” What is he supposed to do – arrest anyone who disagrees with him with his non-existent Police force and throw them into non-existent jails? ”

    Raj: 14th DL could disolve his exile government among many other things he could do. The fact that he is still running his exile government is enough to indicate that he does not have a mere sincerity on accepting China’s sovereignty over Tibet.

  31. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “Within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, controversy currently exists concerning the fundamental nature and status of Dorje Shugden.[31] While supporters of Shugden identify him as an enlightened being and Dharma Protector who has been relied upon for over 350 years, detractors claim that he is a worldly protective deity or evil spirit. These opposing views are generally organized around the 14th Dalai Lama, who instigated the current opposition to the worship of Dorje Shugden, which has included signature campaigns and expulsions from monasteries, and pro-Shugden organizations in Tibet and the West, some of which have protested at the Dalai Lama’s public engagements, and among which the New Kadampa Tradition is likely the best known to the public.”

    “which has included signature campaigns and expulsions from monasteries”.

    Sounds like DL has his own “Crimson Robe Guards”.

    Come to think of it, some occasions when DL speaks to Chinese students in US and Canada, he has expressed great “admiration for Mao”.

    In Buffalo NY, “The student said the Dalai Lama did not advocate independence for Tibet, but greater autonomy and cultural identity while remaining part of China. “He showed great admiration for Chairman Mao, and I was surprised by that,” the student said,””

    You know, China has moved on from Mao, DL seems to be practicing not Buddhism, but some sort of Religious form of Maoism, purging his competitions and threats from within his own Exile government.

    I mean, it’s well known that DL was taught the teachings of Shugden by his own master, and yet he has now turned against Shugden like Mao turned against the Bolshiveks.

    It’s ironic.

  32. Raj Says:

    raventhorn

    Uh, TAR stands for “Tibetan Autonomous Region”. It’s official name. China publicly granted the region “autonomy” status a long time ago!

    It’s just a name. North Korea’s official title is the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”. Does that means it’s democratic?

    Geez, are you really that naive you pay any attention to titles?

    He has done almost as much with the Shugden followers

    What, thrown them into jails that don’t exist?

    2 can play the “leverage” game.

    He has already given something – China must give something, even if it is only orally too. If it wants him to sign something, it will have to sign something.

    Don’t whine when DL gets the bad end of the stick.

    Given China is the only one beating someone I and others have every right to object.

    Then you admit, he hasn’t agreed to anything from the “Chinese” side. What has he “agreed” to then, according to you?

    Are you incapable of reading, or just playing stupid? He was asked to stop pushing for Tibetan independence – he has done so, and now repeatedly says he will accept proper autonomy.

    Shane

    14th DL could disolve his exile government among many other things he could do.

    Why would he do that? What is China going to give in return? More importantly, is that something China even really should want? The riots in Tibet happened in spite of, not due to, the exile government and the Dalai Lama’s influence. If you take those away then what influence there is in holding back young hot-bloods will go and what you saw previously will be like a walk in the park.

  33. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “It’s just a name. North Korea’s official title is the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”. Does that means it’s democratic?

    Geez, are you really that naive you pay any attention to titles?”

    About as naive as you expect China to be to take DL’s “words” for his “commitment”.

    “What, thrown them into jails that don’t exist?”

    Nope, threw their ass out on the streets without homes. In Africa, they called that “genocide”.

    “He has already given something – China must give something, even if it is only orally too. If it wants him to sign something, it will have to sign something.”

    Uh, “autonomous region” is more than Oral!!

    “Given China is the only one beating someone I and others have every right to object.”

    You are forgetting about DL’s “government” STONING Shugden Tibetans??!!

    “Are you incapable of reading, or just playing stupid? He was asked to stop pushing for Tibetan independence – he has done so, and now repeatedly says he will accept proper autonomy.”

    I call it “leverage”, as you called it. “Proper autonomy” sounds like a condition, which means he has not accepted anything.

  34. shane9219 Says:

    @Raj

    “14th DL could disolve his exile government among many other things he could do.

    Why would he do that?”

    You should ask yourself on this type of chicken-and-egg question. If he is sincere on accepting China’s sovereignty over Tibet and only intending to gain “greater autonomy for cultural and religious purpose”, then the first thing he can do to tell the world with sincerety is by abondoning his self-imposed political exile, and the very symbol associated with such exile, TGIE.

  35. raventhorn4000 Says:

    The Dalai Lama is revered as a hero by his people and respected worldwide for his peaceful philosophy. But a number of exiled Tibetan Buddhists living in India no longer believe in his leadership. They are accusing him of religious discrimination.

    At the heart of this dispute lies a Buddhist Deity Shugden. Considered a god by some and a demon by others.

    The Dalai Lama has banned worship of Shugden. In May, 400 monks were thrown out of monasteries because of their religious beliefs and Shugden worshippers have been shunned by other Tibetan Buddhists.

    On the streets of the Tibetan refugee camp of Bylakuppe in southern India, Delek
    Tong, a Shugden worshipping Buddhist monk, is no longer welcome.

    (Delek Tong) “Look at this, it says: ‘No Shugden worshippers allowed.'”

    “Hi, I worship Shugden, can I come in?”

    “No, I am sorry, I don’t want you or any Shugdens in my shop.”

    The Dalai Lama has asked the Tibetan community to stop the worship of the 400 year old Deity Shugden.

    “When you followed the Dalai Lama’s advice, did you not forget that us Shugden are also Tibetans like you?”

    What this means in practice is that Delek Tong cannot walk into this shop because of his religious beliefs.

    (Shopkeeper)
    “I have taken an oath and I won’t have anything to do with the Shugden poeple who are doing bad things for the Tibetan cause. I won’t do anything he says. But he is telling the truth. I’m not a person who just blindly believes someone. I believe someone who is telling the truth. Here Dalai Lama always tells the truth.”

    (Another monk) “What do you think you are doing? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? We are both Tibetan monks. The Dalai Lama is our only protector.”

    (Delek Tong) “I am not violating the teaching of Lord Buddha.”

    (Another monk) “You have nothing to do here. There are certain rules in worshipping idols. If you don’t do it right your idol becomes the devil.”

    For some, Shugden is an idol that protects you from harm. For the ones that follow the teachings of the Dalai Lama, Shugden is simply a spirit that brings evil.

    “This is a sensitive issue. Filming is not forbidden. But filming these Shugden people can create a lot of problems. Be careful what you say in front of the camera. We are going through a critical time.”

    “Can you please stop. Otherwise I’m going to break that camera. I said I’m refusing all this and you are taking again and again.”

    Now this Deity is at the center of the controversy. On the one hand, the Dalai Lama wants to ban it; on the other, there are more than 4 million people across the world that worship Dorje Shugden.

    According to the Buddhist tradition, the deceased monk came back as a spirit and was deified by the 5th Lama. Ever since, Shugden has been revered as a Protector Deity.

    The worship of Shugden is a sensitive issue that is creating tension in the exiled Tibetan community. Last January the Dalai Lama asked his community to stop the worship of the 400 year old Deity so as to end the divisions.

    Dalai Lama:
    “I used to worship Shugden. The spirit was very fond of me. However, I realized it was a mistake. So I stopped. Recently monasteries have fearlessly expelled Shugden monks where needed. I fully support their actions. I praise them. If monasteries find taking action hard, tell them Dalai Lama is responsible for this. Shugden followers have resorted to killing and beating people. They start fires. And tell endless lies. This is how the Shugden believe. It is not good.”

    For Mai and her family, Shugden remains a protector. Her family have been worshipping the Deity for generations. Because they have defied the rule of the Dalai Lama, they have been ostracized from the community.

    “They have made separate rules for us. They said that no one is supposed to talk to us. And no one is supposed to have any contact with us.”

    “If he is really Buddha, if he’s really God, he would not create so much problem. He won’t give us so much trouble. If he is the Buddha, he would not give any problem to any human being.”

    “Dalai Lama is being unfair and selfish. He is doing his own wish.”

    The decision to ban the worship of Shugden was taken here in Dharamsala. Since 1960 there are 46 MPs working here to decide the affairs of Tibet and the refugees living here. This is the heart of Tibetan democracy.

    “Did you debate about Shugden in parliament?”

    (Tsultrim Tenzin):
    “There was no argument. There was no argument. If there is some opposition then there will be argument. But there is no opposition. We do not have any doubt about Dalai Lama’s decisions. We do not think he is a human being. He’s a supreme human being and he is god. He’s Avalokiteshvara. He has no interest of himself. He always thinks of others. Everybody is happy. In our system everybody is happy because there is full democracy. Everybody can express whatever he likes.”

    So why are Shugden people discriminated from the community? We asked the Prime Minister what he thought about the signs posted outside the shops.

    (Samdhong Rinpoche):
    “That is true. ‘Who have not disassociated the perpetrating the spirit, kindly not come in this shop.’ This is very clear. Then why should they go into that shop? That is unfair on their part. A lot of Shugden perpetrators are becoming terrorists and that they are willing to kill anybody. They are willing to beat up anybody. It is very clear that now people who are perpetrating Shugden are very close to the PRC leadership. That is clear.”

    Being linked to the PRC, the People’s Republic of China, is the highest act of treason in the eyes of the Tibetan government in exile.

    No Shugden worshipper has ever been charged or investigated for terrorism and yet the monks that continue to worship Shugden remain victims of name and shame.

    “What the posters say is that we are related to the Chinese government. We don’t have anything to do with China. There is no proof, yet many people are harassing us and threatening us.”

    Fearing for their lives, these Shugden monks are now living in hiding in a monastery in southern India where they sought refuge after being told they must leave their monastery.

    Now these monks living here in India have taken matters into their own hands. They’ve decided to take the Dalai Lama to court on the grounds that he is breeching their freedom of religion.

    Thubten is on a campaign to gather evidence of religious discrimination.

    (Thubten:)
    “Why I am here – I am working very hard for religious freedom. I fight for religious freedom. So therefore, I’m here. There is no chance to have religious freedom. If you fight for religious freedom with the Tibetan exile government, then automatically they will put your picture on the poster and everybody says, “Don’t talk to them. Don’t listen to them.” So therefore, we haven’t any chance to tell our truth all over the world.”

    With the help of rebel monk Kundeling Rinpoche, they are taking the most famous ex-Shugden practitioner, the Dalai Lama himself, to court.

    “So there is no democracy. The man, Dalai Lama, talks about democracy, talks about compassion, talks about dialog, talks about understanding, talks about a solution, but for us there is no solution. There is no dialog. There is no understanding. There is no compassion. Because in his perception we are not human beings. We are just evil. We are evil and we are agents of the Chinese. That is what it is. It is as simple as that.”

    With just a few days to go before the Dalai high court hearing, Kundeling and Thubten meet with their lawyer.

    (Shree Sanjay Jain:)
    “It is certainly a case of religious discrimination in the sense that if within your sect of religion you say that this particular Deity ought not to be worshipped, and those persons who are willing to worship him you are trying to excommunicate them from the main stream of Buddhism, then it is a discrimination of worst kind.”

    No matter what the outcome of the court case, in a country where millions of idols are worshipped, attempting to ban the Deity is an uphill battle. One in which many Buddhist monks have lost their faith in the spirit of the Dalai Lama.

    Earlier this month the Dalai Lama’s lawyers requested a 3-month extension on the grounds that he was ill. The case will be heard on the 9th of December and we will definitely keep you updated.

  36. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “According to PK Dey, a human-rights lawyer from Delhi: ‘Those worshipping Shugden are experiencing tremendous harassment. It is not in a particular part of the country, but everywhere there are Tibetans. Dalai Lama supporters are going from house to house searching.’ For example, in Clementown, India, the house of a family of Shugden worshippers was stoned and then firebombed.”

    “Wanted posters describe people believed to be Shugden leaders as the top ten enemies of the state. The posters have been put up in monasteries, settlements and in Dharamsala by the Government-in-exile’s Department of Security.”

  37. Aenima Says:

    Hi Raj, nice to see you’ve replied 🙂

    “the CCP, or at least that part of it that decides education policy, still does not want a full debate of many of the historical party’s actions and policies since coming to power. Why, I don’t know – there are potential explanations such as because it is afraid its current authority will be undermined or it isn’t sorry in the slightest. But either way it has a responsibility to at least allow the discussion openly, academically and educationally. It can be criticised for holding things back, especially when it previously insisted Mao be seen in the “70% good, 30% bad” light – as far as I know it still does that, though maybe this is disputed.”

    I think one of the main reasons is that certain people, such as Jiang Zemin, are still alive and still hold some power in the CCP. It’s quite clear that in China their approach is to wait until such people are out of the way before openly looking at certain historical events (such as Tiananmen). The same thing happened with Mao, and indeed they do still use the 70/30 comment, but I don’t see a huge problem with that. Mao did many great things, and he also made many mistakes, and did some terrible things. Perhaps 70/30 isn’t fair, but I don’t think it’s a terrible misrepresentation. I also agree that they have the responsibility to discuss these past events, but it’s hardly a CCP speciality to not talk openly about such things, and I think it’s wrong to single them out as being particularly bad in this regard. All governments have their secrets. What do we hear today from the US government about Iran-Contra or supporting Saddam with chemical weapons in the 80s? Nothing. What do we hear about the fact that the UK supported Apartheid? Nothing, we just hear how wonderful Mandela was.

    “why is it that most of the film studios, media outlets, academics and the like are reluctant to discuss the whole subject [the Cultural Revolution] warts and all when they’ll gladly do that for the Sino-Japanese War?”

    Yes, it’s clear that (for example) there are more movies/etc about Vietnam in the US than about the Cultural Revolution in China. It’s not however the case that there are no academics writing about it. It’s not difficult to find history books which talk about this from Chinese booksellers. So why are there no famous movies about it? The Cultural Revolution is certainly important in recent Chinese history, but I think you also have to take into account the culture of the people: Chinese people have a tradition of not openly speaking of problems (personal or political) but rather keeping them hidden. This clearly changes with ‘Westernisation’, but this takes time. Such a movie in China now would appear unnecessary and offensive to a huge number of Chinese people, and I think this, rather than any top-down government restriction, explains why one won’t get made anytime soon. And clearly most people in pretty much every country are happier criticising other countries than their own, the US being the most clear example (criticism as an unpatriotic or un-American activity, ‘either with us or against us’, willingness to criticise just about every other nation on earth, etc).

    “But I doubt you will try to claim China does not set Tibetan education policy.”

    Of course the Chinese government sets this, but then it’s the same in most countries. I don’t see why you’d expect the Chinese government to allow Tibetan schools to teach the Dalai Lama’s viewpoints, for example ‘the Chinese invaded Tibet and violently asserted control over its government’ – this would be a) a misrepresentation of what occurred, not mentioning that the Red Army was indeed welcomed by many poorer Tibetans, and b) clearly implausible in terms of the status of the Dalai Lama within China. Do you think Catholic Northern Irish schools should or would be allowed to teach the IRA line about the evils done by British police/Protestants, where it disagrees with the official government line? Come on, at least be realistic in your demands. Schools within any country are never going to be allowed to teach their students that said country is a bad country and is repressing them, whether true or not. That would be like allowing state schools to become terrorist training camps.

    “The Sino-Japanese war occured less than 100 years ago, so that would be “fairly recent history” in your book. Yet it is treated differently from the Cultural Revolution in how much it is taught in schools, in what depth, etc. I could be wrong, but I believe the US also has a significant academic discussion on Black American rights past World War II. At the least people are not forced to read about it on the internet, they can do classes in it in the later stages of school or university.”

    Of course the Sino-Japanese war is treated differently in China, just as World War II is treated differently in the UK/US than say the Iraq or Vietnam wars. My claim obviously wasn’t that *all* recent history is treated differently, only that *uncomfortable* recent history is, and which is historical events are uncomfortable is related to the general state of public knowledge and the separation of current and past governments. And you’d be right that there’s more discussion in the US about the civil rights struggle, but then this has already been ‘assimilated’ into public consciousness, unlike say the use of chemical weapons in the Vietnam war, support for (usually anti-Communist) terrorist militias/military dictators around the world, weapons dealing to Iran/Iraq/etc.

    “I am happy to criticise the Chinese government whilst making no such judgments against people who don’t make policy. If a number of Chinese people have a problem with that then they are in the wrong, not the critics.”

    Of course, but the Tibet issue is a different kind of criticism. I think very few Chinese people would have a problem with foreigners criticising corruption in the CCP, or the brutality of many local security forces, or the Cultural Revolution, or Tiananmen. These are problems/events that are widely acknowledged in China, and can be seen in many TV series and newspapers/websites (less so in the case of Tiananmen, at least publicly for the time being). Tibet is a different issue because when the government is criticised for this it is usually criticising the views of almost all Chinese people (ie. that Tibet is part of China), and almost always involving claims that the CCP is a generally repressive government which should not be in power. These criticisms may well be just as valid as those of corruption/etc, but they are clearly going to affect Chinese people more. You’re effectively telling most Chinese people that “you and your family/etc support the repression of Tibetan people and support an evil government”, which is basically saying “you are all evil or deluded people”. This is clearly a more personal criticism than those of problems which are widely acknowledged in China, even if you claim it’s not intended to be personal. If criticisms of Tibet are more nuanced, eg. suggesting that the CCP should give Tibetans more autonomy or should talk to the Dalai Lama, I think few Chinese people would take it personally. But this unfortunately isn’t the kind of thing you often hear from the ‘Free Tibet’ squad.

    “the media can (depending on the circumstances) report on corruption, but it may not say that corruption occurs because of the CCP or that the party as a whole is “wrong”, the national Chinese government is “bad” and needs to go, etc.”

    Does corruption occur ‘because of the CCP’? It’s not like Taiwan is corruption-free, is it? If you were to say ‘corruption occurs because of the lack of proper oversight of local government’, you might be right, but then I don’t think the Chinese press is forbidden from saying this, and this criticism would be valid of most other countries. Clearly the situation is worse in China than in Taiwan or the West, but look at other developing nations: corruption is a much more serious problem in these societies than in the West. It takes time and money to develop these aspects of political systems. Similarly, how often do you see the mainstream Western media claim that the whole Western political system is ‘wrong’ or ‘needs to go’? Very seldom in my experience, and I read the most left-wing Western mainstream media. Sure, saying this isn’t forbidden by the government in the West, but then the CCP clearly isn’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future, and most Chinese people are happy with that, so what mainstream journalist is going to effectively call for a revolution to overthrow the CCP? Even in Western countries, publicly advocating the overthrow of the whole established national system of government would not be looked upon favourably in a mainstream paper.

    “The question people like me ask is what public support for the CCP would be like after 5+ years of bringing in freedom of speech and the media.”

    This is a valid question, and a good one. But what problems do you think would come to light given a freer media in China? Local power (guanxi and the accompanying corruption) would probably be more widely exposed, but the CCP acknowledges this as a problem already. Maybe they’d have to do more to combat it, and this would be a good thing, but I don’t think it would undermine their government. You seem to still have the common assumption that if Chinese people only knew the ‘truth’, they’d suddenly desert the CCP. I seriously doubt this, especially given that most Chinese people (at least those with a decent education and standard of life) already know about events like Tiananmen and the Cultural Revolution, and are quite aware of the differences between the Chinese and Western systems of government. Yes, these aren’t talked about much in the public media, but I’m not sure they would be talked about much more even with a free media (look at Japan and the Sino-Japanese war). Perhaps democracy would be debated more, but then many educated Chinese people seem to be well aware of the many problems with the Western multi-party democratic system and I’m not sure this would be any more popular given a free debate.

    But anyway, my main problem with this whole argument is that it still doesn’t talk to the Chinese people directly, as they are now, but rather tries to change them as a precondition of dialogue, treating them effectively as children who need to learn about their world first. They support the CCP now, it’s no use wondering how it would be if their situation changed radically, unless you simply want an Iraq-style ‘solution’ where the CCP is removed by force.

    “About freeing people from slavery, you do realise that many of the “we made life better for Tibetans” arguments put forward are little different to the arguments put forward by colonial powers in the past about why they should be conquering parts of the world. Accordingly most foreigners are sceptical of such arguments as they don’t accept them for other countries.”

    Indeed, and if the Chinese were using this to justify an invasion of another country now, I’d be opposed to it. But Tibet is part of China at present and I think the Chinese are justified in at least pointing out that a) they’ve done some good there and aren’t simply an oppressive power as they’re often portrayed in the West, and b) that the status of Tibet pre-PRC/ROC was not a completely separate country but rather an autonomous tributary of China. The status of adjoining states/regions (UK/Northern Ireland/Scotland/Wales, Yugoslavia/Serbia/Kosovo, Georgia/Ossetia, Spain/Basque, Israel/Palestine, etc) is always more problematic than a simple example of a colony.

  38. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Non-existent Police indeed!

    From TGIE’s own website:

    “Department of Security. Set up in 1959, the primary duty of this Department is to ensure the personal security of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Department has a Branch Office which mainly arranges public audiences with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and helps Tibetan refugees to seek renewal of their Refugee Residential Certificates. The Department also runs a Research and Analysis Unit which keeps abreast of developments in occupied Tibet and in China.”

  39. raventhorn4000 Says:

    Check out the “Shugden Wanted Posters” posted by Tibetans in Queens.

    http://www.wisdombuddhadorjeshugden.blogspot.com/2008/08/conversation-with-tibetan-western.html

  40. raventhorn4000 Says:

    The world will wise up to how DL’s government treats other Tibetans.

    It’s hardly the 1st time in history that DL’s have tried to wipe out some Tibetan Sect.

  41. William Huang Says:

    This is not a very good article and let me make few points here:

    “It isn’t his well-known calls for peace, nonviolence and compassion. Rather, it’s his constant reminder that “We are not against Chinese people. We still have faith in Chinese people.”….. Even though I wear the face of the “enemy,” I have always been treated warmly by Tibetans during the considerable time I have spent in Dharamsala.”

    It’s either an oxymoron or she is making a case that actually contradicts Dalai Lama’s claim depending on as to whom she wears the face of “enemy”.

    “Why this charm offensive with Chinese people?”

    Who is offended by Dalai Lama’s charm? If she is trying to make a case that all DL did was to be charm and reach out to Chinese people but somehow Chinese people are offended by it, then it’s either a cheap shot or a gross over-simplification of a very complex issue.

    “Even overseas Chinese in the U.S., Australia and Europe where there is free media and access to information, waved signs that read “Dalai is a Liar.” I’m not sure what they accuse the Dalai Lama of lying about. He openly advocates autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule, not separation as China insists.”

    A show case for people who only see what they want to see. If she doesn’t know then why didn’t she ask these overseas Chinese?

    “When the Dalai Lama met with some Chinese in New York who were protesting his visit last year, he said five of the seven wouldn’t listen to him. Fortunately it was a large table or they might have slapped him, he admitted at a press conference last year.”

    This kind of talk by Dalai Lama doesn’t help himself to gain credibility within Chinese community. Likewise, by bringing it up as supporting evidence, only weakened her own point.

    “The Tibetans who rioted in Lhasa last year should not have resorted to violence and it is tragic that Chinese people died in the clashes, as the Dalai Lama himself has said.”

    Should not have resorted? That’s the best she can say about criminal activity? The target of protest is Chinese government not innocent civilians. What was it to resort? And it’s tragic that victims are died? What about victims who didn’t die but got beaten up and lost everything? That’s not tragic?

    “But why not allow an independent investigation into exactly what happened last year in Lhasa?”

    Independent investigation? Who? I hope she doesn’t mean by a foreign government.

    ““They shot a 16-year-old Tibetan girl in the head,” I said, referring to Chinese security that shot and killed unarmed and peaceful Tibetan protestors in western China last year. “What’s wrong with protesting?”

    I personally don’t support government use deadline force in any event except individual law enforcement personnel is defending their own lives. That said I also don’t believe that it’s Chinese government policy or intend to execute a peaceful protester on the spot. They may arrest and/or put the person in jail but that’s a different issue. Here comes to the “occupational tendency” with journalists – to sensationalize everything. I don’t claim to know exactly what happened there but I won’t be surprised that it’s unintentional. In the mist of chaos anything can happen and it can happen in any country.

    “It is easy to confuse protest against Chinese policies in Tibet with being anti-Chinese. But wanting a better way forward in Tibet is not anti-Chinese people or even anti-China.”

    Well, maybe, her brother is confused but I am not sure she can generalize to everyone else. Literately speaking, of course these are not the same things. Even a ten year old can figure that out. I am not sure what’s her point.

  42. Otto Kerner Says:

    “Why this charm offensive with Chinese people?”

    By the way, “charm offensive” is a noun phrase. Per http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/89950.html, it means “A publicity campaign, usually by politicians, that attempts to attract supporters by emphasizing their charisma or trustworthiness.” So the sentence is rhetorically asking, “Why has the Dalai Lama done this ‘charm offensive’ with Chinese people?” rather than seriously asking “Why is his charm considered offensive?”

  43. Lhamo Says:

    Thanks so much for this wonderful article, Emy Yee. I am Tibetan and I am living in Tibet right now. It’s so nice to read your article. Please keeping going your writting.

  44. Lhamo Says:

    Amy Yee, i like your article because it’s true stituation in Tibet. welcome to read the hottest blog in the Tibet. “The wishes of a Tibetan ” http://tibetanwishes.tibetcul.com/45373.html (in Chinese)
    http://tibetanwishes.tibetcul.com/45737.html (in English)

  45. admin Says:

    @Lhamo,

    Thanks for the link. Below is the English version.

    [ 2008-5-7 13:16:00 | By: 藏人心愿 ]

    The Wishes of a Tibetan

    Below are some small wishes from inner Tibetan people and hope to get support from the government:

    1. Hope to make Tibetan standard language. (86% of Tibetans think that Lhasa dialect should be Tibetan standard language). It is important issue, because it can solve the problem of communication between Tibetans from different Tibetan areas (Lhasa, Amdo, and Kham)

    2. Hope the government to recognize Tibetan monastic education degree.
    Tibetan monastic education has very long history and perfect education system. Many famous Tibetan scholars are graduated from monastic schools. Also the students who are graduated from monastic schools couldn’t get jobs in regular schools and government bureaus, because the government doesn’t recognize monastic education degree. It is one big reason that colleges and universities lacking Tibetan professors. “Rdo Rang” Degree should be BA degree. “Tshorang” Degree should be MA degree. “Lharang” Degree should be Ph.D.

    3. Hope all the Tibetan areas practice bilingual education. (Except Chinese Langue the entire subjects teach in Tibetan).
    Many Tibetan areas already practiced bilingual education and they got great achievements. Because of language obstacle the students couldn’t get the contents of the courses very well. For example: if the teacher asks the students in Tibetan 1+1=? All the students can answer the question 1+1=2. If the teacher asks the students in Chinese 1+1=? All the students don’t know what the teacher is talking, because they don’t speak Chinese. So many people think them as the youngest translator in the world.

    4. Hope Tibetan folk music, traditional Tibetan art, and Tibetan history put into regular school courses in Tibetan schools of 5 Tibetan related provinces.

    5. Hope to build some Tibetan primary school, middle schools, high schools, and universities in cities that most Tibetan people live.
    Many Tibetan people live in cities for their jobs. So they encounter many difficulties to choose schools for their children. They want to let their children to study Tibetan and Tibetan culture, but there are no Tibetan schools in those cities. For example: Xining City of Qinghai, Chengdu City of Sichuan, Lanzhou City of Gansu, Kunming City of Yunan province. I also know a primary school in Kangding that named “Tibetan Primary School”, but they have very few Tibetan classes. We can say none. We really hope the government to build some Tibetan Universities in Tibetan areas.

    6. Hope all the government bureaus use Tibetan in Tibetan areas.
    Most government bureaus in Tibetan areas use Chinese rather than Tibetan. For example: They use Chinese when they hold meetings, their most documents are in Chinese, and so on.

    7. Hope the government to create more Tibetan TV programs in Tibetan areas. There are two famous TV channels in Tibetan areas. They are Lhsa Tibetan TV program and Qinghai Tibetan TV channel, those channel can’t get signal in other Tibetan areas. That’s why we hope the government to create Tibetan TV channels in Sichuan, Gansu, and Yunan Province. Especially, to create Tibetan TV programs in Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and county TV channels. Tibetan people like to watch Tibetan styled TV channels and programs.

    8. Hope to add Tibetan culture and Tibetan history course in Xizang Ban (Tibetan programs in big cities such as Beijing, Chongqing, and so on)

    9. Hope the government to train more Tibetan skilled people.

    10. Hope all the examination paper is in Tibetan.

    For example: Government official examination, undertaking institutions exam, and so on. Most Tibetan areas gave those examinations in Chinese. So that caused Tibetan students have very seriously problem with finding jobs.

    We wish 2008 Beijing Olympic Game will be successful!!!  

  46. Nimrod Says:

    Lhamo,

    Thanks for writing and pointing us to the Tibetcul site for those readers not familiar with it. Feel free to write your own thoughts, too. We are always eager to hear from Tibetans, especially those in China.

  47. shane9219 Says:

    @Lhamo #44

    I’m not an expert on Tibetan Buddhism. It looks like that #2 item on that wish list is being realized.

    “2. Hope the government to recognize Tibetan monastic education degree.

    Tibetan monastic education has very long history and perfect education system. Many famous Tibetan scholars are graduated from monastic schools. Also the students who are graduated from monastic schools couldn’t get jobs in regular schools and government bureaus, because the government doesn’t recognize monastic education degree. It is one big reason that colleges and universities lacking Tibetan professors. “Rdo Rang” Degree should be BA degree. “Tshorang” Degree should be MA degree. “Lharang” Degree should be Ph.D.”

    According to a news item from Xinhua

    “新华网拉萨4月12日电(记者 边巴次仁)12日,在藏传佛教最神圣的大昭寺释迦牟尼佛像前,在200多名僧人的瞩目下,9位分别来自西藏7大格鲁派寺庙的僧人获得了藏传佛教传统最高学位——格西拉让巴。

    4月12日,中国佛教协会西藏自治区分会会长珠康·土登克珠活佛(左)向格西拉让巴学位获得者——洛桑龙多(右)颁发证书。 新华社记者 觉果 摄

    12日在大昭寺举行的格西拉让巴学位晋升立宗活动,是自2005年西藏正式恢复开展藏传佛教学经僧人考核晋升格西拉让巴学位工作以来的第五次,也是拉萨发生“3·14”严重暴力犯罪事件之后开展的一项重大宗教活动。在前四次活动中,已有22名僧人经过层层考试获得了这个学位。

    格西拉让巴是藏传佛教格鲁派僧人修学显宗的最高学位。这个近似于现代意义上博士学位的宗教学位,是每一个藏传佛教学经僧人的最高目标。

    按照考试名次,9位获得今年格西拉让巴学位的考僧分别为来自扎什伦布寺的洛桑龙多、甘丹寺的洛桑伊念、玛贡寺的强巴拉桑、强巴林寺的强巴格旦、哲蚌寺的阿旺边巴、荣布热登寺的洛桑旦增、强巴林寺的强巴多美、扎什伦布寺的西热顿于、色拉寺的伦珠次成。

    http://tibet.news.cn/gdbb/2009-04/12/content_16230619.htm

  48. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Aenima #22:
    “I would also question whether she came to Tibet with certain preconceptions about what to expect.” – Can you really criticize someone for having preconceptions? Is it fair to expect an American going to Tibet to do so with carte blanche? I think a better metric is whether that person can synthesize their experience to arrive at a new “preconception”, and possibly even discarding their old “preconceptions” if the observed reality doesn’t fit. It would seem to me that she left there with a different “preconception” than before she arrived.

    “Dalai Lama’s (reported) claim that “Fortunately it was a large table or they might have slapped him, he admitted at a press conference last year” also seems strange. ‘Might have slapped him’? What does this mean?” – I think it means the Dalai Lama felt people might have slapped him, if circumstances (ie. size of table) had been different. Who knows if the Dalai Lama had good reason to feel that way. But it seems you’re not only unhappy that he may have needlessly felt that way, but you’re indignant that he would feel this way about Chinese at all. If you question what he feels, and to a lesser extent, why he feels it, then you’re seeming less open-minded than I initially thought.

    “Surely any ‘good intentions’ must be judged in terms of their likely effects?” – true to a point. Intent is always in the equation. My accidentally doing a good deed is less laudable than my intentionally doing a good deed, even though a good deed was done either way. So if you accept that at least some of the criticism is borne of good intentions, then my earlier question still beckons: how do you criticize the CCP to good effect, in the eyes of at least some Chinese?

  49. William Huang Says:

    @ Otto Kerner #42

    Thanks for point that out. It is my mistake to misread.

  50. raventhorn4000 Says:

    The Jonang (Tibetan: ཇོ་ནང་; Wylie: Jo-nang; ZWPY: Juenang; Chinese: 觉囊) is one of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Its origins in Tibet can be traced to early 12th century master Yumo Mikyo Dorje, but became much wider known with the help of Dolpopa Sherab Gyeltsen, a monk originally trained in the Sakya school. The Jonang school was widely thought to have become extinct in the late 17th century at the hands of the Fifth Dalai Lama who forcibly annexed the Jonang monasteries to his Gelug school, declaring them heretical. Recently, however, it was discovered that some remote Jonang monasteries escaped this fate and have continued practicing uninterrupted to this day. According to Gruschke, an estimated 5,000 monks and nuns of the Jonang tradition practice today in areas at the edge of historic Gelug influence.

  51. William Huang Says:

    @ S.K. Cheung #42

    ““Dalai Lama’s (reported) claim that “Fortunately it was a large table or they might have slapped him, he admitted at a press conference last year” also seems strange. ‘Might have slapped him’? What does this mean?” – I think it means the Dalai Lama felt people might have slapped him, if circumstances (ie. size of table) had been different. Who knows if the Dalai Lama had good reason to feel that way. But it seems you’re not only unhappy that he may have needlessly felt that way, but you’re indignant that he would feel this way about Chinese at all. If you question what he feels, and to a lesser extent, why he feels it, then you’re seeming less open-minded than I initially thought.”

    It’s one thing to feel about certain people in certain way and it’s another to express it in a news conference. To me, it is a deliberate attempt to insinuate about certain group of people. You may not feel safe on the certain street at night with a certain group of people who had different skin color and that’s understandable. But to say that they may have attacked you if it wasn’t for the cars passing by, you would have to be much more specific let alone talking about it in news conference. Do you really need a table in between in order to slap someone? If the answer is no, then what hell could the size of table make any difference?

  52. raventhorn4000 Says:

    “However, it is unclear whether the charm offensive is working. Chinese who support Tibet are suppressed in China and branded as traitors on Chinese blogs. When the Olympic torch passed through Canberra last year there were about 10,000 Chinese and some 1,500 pro-Tibet demonstrators.”

    Yeah, well, just ask DL about how Tibetan Shugden followers are being accused as “Chinese spies” and stoned in the Exile Communities. (assuming such accusations are actually true, why does DL not tolerate dissent in his own community? So if you are a Tibetan who actually supports China.) He’s an expert on such practices himself.

    So far, I’m not getting that warm and fuzzy about his Buddhist Compassion here.

  53. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To William

    “To me, it is a deliberate attempt to insinuate about certain group of people.” – absolutely. He is referring to the individuals who were sitting across from him at the table. Now, it seems you’re actually generalizing his remark to imply “all” CHinese people. But then I’d have to ask, if you weren’t there, why do you think the Dalai Lama was indirectly accusing/smearing you? Unless, of course, you would’ve had the urge to slap him as well, had you been there.

    “But to say that they may have attacked you if it wasn’t for the cars passing by, you would have to be much more specific let alone talking about it in news conference.” – how much more specific? It was how he “felt”. Perhaps he had no reason to feel that way; maybe having been there once, the next time he won’t feel that way. But seriously, you guys don’t believe what he says; you speculate on what he thinks; and you criticize him for what he feels. You guys seem to come equipped with quite a broad set of preconceptions.

    “Do you really need a table in between in order to slap someone?” – No. ” If the answer is no, then what hell could the size of table make any difference? ” – if the length of the guy’s arm was longer than the width of the table, he might have taken a swing; but since it wasn’t, I suppose he could’ve hurled himself across the table, had he been adequately motivated. So maybe what the Dalai Lama should have said was: “they might have slapped him, but clearly they didn’t want to badly enough, otherwise they would’ve jumped over the table to do so”. And maybe the next time, he will.

    To R4000:
    “(assuming such accusations are actually true, why does DL not tolerate dissent in his own community?” – that’s a good question. But it’s also predicated on a fairly significant assumption, as you noted.

  54. Aenima Says:

    SKC: “Is it fair to expect an American going to Tibet to do so with carte blanche?”

    Of course not, but I think she seemed to go there expecting Tibetans to hate all Chinese and to discriminate against her just because she’s Chinese, which strikes me as a slightly strange preconception to have. I don’t think many Chinese would share this expectation, and as such her entire appeal to Chinese people not to misunderstand the Tibetan movement seems to be largely based on her own preconceptions and not on any understanding of Chinese people’s actual disagreements with it.

    As for the Dalai’s ‘might have slapped’, I wonder if this was simply a poor way of expressing his feeling in English. It certainly sounds strange to invoke the table if he’s just talking about how he felt they would have liked to have acted.

    “So if you accept that at least some of the criticism is borne of good intentions, then my earlier question still beckons: how do you criticize the CCP to good effect, in the eyes of at least some Chinese?”

    I think a good start would be to look at the link Lhamo posted: that article is really good, full of concrete suggestions to improve the situation in Tibet which I feel most Chinese people would have to agree with, or at least seriously consider. It deserves to be widely distributed. Admittedly it doesn’t criticise the CCP explicitly, but I think this kind of implicit criticism is precisely what’s needed, and I think you could go somewhat further and raise past mistreatments by earlier incarnations of the CCP and mistakes/excessive use of force by the police/army, etc without offending too many people. Too much criticism of China seems to be just aimed at ‘the CCP’, the whole Chinese system (eg. lack of democracy), or ‘the CCPs policy of X’, thus precluding the CCP from agreeing with it without condemning itself (name any government which would do this?). This is what I meant above by ‘external’ criticism (such as “Free Tibet!”), it may well convince some people in Europe or America but it leaves no room for the CCP or Chinese people to possibly agree. I know this can appear to many foreign people like ‘sucking up’ to the CCP/Chinese people or treating them like easily offended children, but I think this is actually a pretty small price to pay for progress.

    One way to think about it might be this. If I know someone who’s easily offended I think it’s reasonable for me to try to avoid actions that will obviously offend them, and to try to tailor my criticisms to their ‘level’ (didn’t Confucius suggest something fairly similar to this in various political/educational contexts?). I understand that many Western people (especially Americans perhaps) would find this an unreasonable limit on their right to ‘free speech’ (eg. “I’ll say what I damn well please, and if you don’t like it you can f**k off!”), but I think this simply shows how many of us in the West have gained legal rights but lost a common sense of ethical responsibility.

  55. raventhorn4000 Says:

    ““(assuming such accusations are actually true, why does DL not tolerate dissent in his own community?” – that’s a good question. But it’s also predicated on a fairly significant assumption, as you noted.”

    If the Shugdens are NOT “Chinese spies”, then it would make DL even more of a religious dictator on his own people.

  56. raventhorn4000 Says:

    I do not mind looking at opposing view. I personally actually read Tibetan Exiles’ websites quite often. But I also read Chinese government website, Shugden website, Indian Naxalite websites.

    I find the article’s writer to be easily impressed by little information. Hence, I would not call her article as “journalism”, but rather “narrow impression”.

    The hard fact is, Historically, Tibetan Buddhism is extremely sectarian, violent, and repressive. DL’s in the past have nearly wiped out an entire sect of Tibetan Buddhism. 4 consecutive Dalai Lama’s were murdered by rivals before the age of 20.

    And now the current DL has imposed a ban on another sect of Tibetan Buddhism, resulting with loyalty signature campaigns, stoning of Shugden followers, wanted posters of Shugden supporters in NY city, confiscation and destruction of personal properties.

    These go beyond mere “Excommunication” or simply exclusion from a religious community.

  57. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Aenima:
    “I don’t think many Chinese would share this expectation, and as such her entire appeal to Chinese people not to misunderstand the Tibetan movement seems to be largely based on her own preconceptions and not on any understanding of Chinese people’s actual disagreements with it.” – I agree. It speaks to the limited generalizability of her experience, as would be the case with any one person’s experience. It’s her personal anecdote, nothing more, but also certainly nothing less.

    “I know this can appear to many foreign people like ’sucking up’ to the CCP/Chinese people or treating them like easily offended children,” – it does indeed
    “but I think this is actually a pretty small price to pay for progress.” – but you may be right.

    “If I know someone who’s easily offended I think it’s reasonable for me to try to avoid actions that will obviously offend them” – all the while suggesting to that person that it’s high time to get over themselves and grow a thicker skin. How easily can one be offended while still being reasonable? (recognizing there are cultural differences of what constitutes “reasonable-ness”).

    “common sense of ethical responsibility.”- I’m not sure offending someone or not is a matter of ethics. If it is, maybe intentionally offending someone might qualify. But if you inadvertently offend someone, perhaps responsibility should be shared between the offender and the “offendee”.

  58. William Huang Says:

    @ S.K. Cheung #53

    ““To me, it is a deliberate attempt to insinuate about certain group of people.” – absolutely. He is referring to the individuals who were sitting across from him at the table. Now, it seems you’re actually generalizing his remark to imply “all” CHinese people. But then I’d have to ask, if you weren’t there, why do you think the Dalai Lama was indirectly accusing/smearing you? Unless, of course, you would’ve had the urge to slap him as well, had you been there.”

    Unless you were actually there, your speculating is only as good as mine. Therefore, we can only rely on author’s words. Here is the point: The author is the one, not me, generalizing beyond these individuals in that room to imply a much large number of people to make her point. You and I can only go on from whatever she’s written. So to me, she is either making up the story (something DL never intended to) or she interpreted DL’s intention correctly. I had to pick one. You have a choice too but you can’t have both ways.

    ““But to say that they may have attacked you if it wasn’t for the cars passing by, you would have to be much more specific let alone talking about it in news conference.” – how much more specific? It was how he “felt”. Perhaps he had no reason to feel that way; maybe having been there once, the next time he won’t feel that way.”

    To say that someone actually made an attempt but failed is a starter and you don’t need to go much further than that. In DL’s case, let’ say someone physically did raise his hand across the table but short on the distance, then yes, the table was large enough to prevent the actual slap to happen. All he has to say is the guy tried but failed, that’s specific enough. Or someone verbally threatened him and that should do too. But the article mentioned none of these.

    If it’s all in his own imagination, what’s so “fortunate” about the size of the table? We got some mixing of fantasy and reality here. In other words, when you say: DL was lucky (“fortunately”) because of the table size to avoid a slap on the face, this sounds like someone actually attempted not DL ‘s inner feeling or imagination.

    As for the truth of actual event itself, it’s not really relevant and I am not holding DL responsible without further research. It could very well be just authors own stretch. My issue is with the article itself as well as your point relates to the article not Dalai Lama.

    “But seriously, you guys don’t believe what he says; you speculate on what he thinks; and you criticize him for what he feels. You guys seem to come equipped with quite a broad set of preconceptions.”

    Take it easy now. You are accusing me of exactly what you are doing here let alone none of them is true. For your information, I do have a lot of respect for DL as an individual and I never made any personal attack on him. I believe many of things he said (but not all of them particularly when it comes to the issue of China and Chinese). If I was in his shoes, I would have vanished long time ago. That said. I am entitled to question his words as long his is a political figure. I am sure you respect him too, so I am glad that we can finally get this thing straight. However, he did say something that putting Chinese down but I will leave it out of this discussion.

    ““Do you really need a table in between in order to slap someone?” – No. ” If the answer is no, then what hell could the size of table make any difference? ” – if the length of the guy’s arm was longer than the width of the table, he might have taken a swing; but since it wasn’t, I suppose he could’ve hurled himself across the table, had he been adequately motivated. So maybe what the Dalai Lama should have said was: “they might have slapped him, but clearly they didn’t want to badly enough, otherwise they would’ve jumped over the table to do so”. And maybe the next time, he will.”

    I am not sure what are you getting at. First of all, you almost sounded like slap someone’s face is a normal part of conversation when parties don’t warm up to each other. I don’t know about Canada but in US, a physical attempt to slap someone is considered an assault whether you actual made the hit or not. Second, do you really believe that DL would meet these guys all by himself without bodyguards or entourage so that a large table was the only mean of protection for him? Third, it will make an instant international news sensation if someone made an attempt physically to attacking someone in DL’s status. Just look at recent two shoe-throwing incidents. Have you heard similar reporting on DL?

  59. Charles Liu Says:

    Did HH say what kind of justice the 5 shopgirls torched alive by Tibetan rioters would receive? Will he accept responsibility for these 5 girls deaths, since His TGIE is the one received US government funding and condoned and promoted Tibetan Youth Congress uprising manifesto calling for violence?

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2008/03/tibet-uprising.html

  60. Wukailong Says:

    @Charles Liu: Then isn’t the US government ultimately responsible for 3.14?

  61. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To William:
    This is what Ms. Yee wrote: “When the Dalai Lama met with some Chinese in New York who were protesting his visit last year, he said five of the seven wouldn’t listen to him. Fortunately it was a large table or they might have slapped him, he admitted at a press conference last year.” – Those were her words. She was quoting him. If you agree to only rely on her words, then what generalization was she offering in her quote? How did she suggest involvement of “larger numbers”? She didn’t suggest that all Chinese wanted to slap the Dalai Lama. That’s not even open to debate – it’s simply not in her essay.
    “So to me, she is either making up the story (something DL never intended to) or she interpreted DL’s intention correctly” – how about she was just reporting what he said. And rightfully, you’re allowed to interpret it in any way you see fit. But might I suggest you do so with a clear recognition of your preconceptions.

    “All he has to say is the guy tried but failed, that’s specific enough. Or someone verbally threatened him and that should do too. But the article mentioned none of these.” – but there’s no mention of the guy “trying but failing”; once again, it’s how the Dalai lama FELT. And he wasn’t giving testimony. I don’t think he needs to justify all of his feelings with: “this happened, then this happened, then that happened, and after all of that, I detected myself feeling this way”.

    “We got some mixing of fantasy and reality here.” – I’ll tell you what. Read this (“Fortunately it was a large table or they might have slapped him”) again, but pay particular attention to the word “MIGHT”. See if that helps answer your own question.

    “I am not sure what are you getting at.” – I was answering your questions. As in: “no, you don’t need a table in between in order to slap”; and “if the length of the guy’s arm was longer than the width of the table, he might have taken a swing” is how “the size of table (could) make (a) difference”.

    To WKL:
    actually, I think the buck stops with God, since the US is a nation “under Him”.

  62. shane9219 Says:

    @S.K. Cheung #61

    “Fortunately it was a large table or they might have slapped him,..”

    Is that just 14th DL’s own feeling …laughable writing by a journalist.

    This article from Ms. Yee, a professional journalist, is misleading on facts and naive on her POV, not worth spending any more time debating it. It’s shame that Ms. Yee calls herself journalist.

  63. Wukailong Says:

    @SKC: Bin Laden said in one of his video tapes that it’s possible to blame the whole American people for something because they elect their leaders… But God as ultimately responsible brings that to a new level. 🙂

  64. William Huang Says:

    @ S.K. Cheung #61

    “This is what Ms. Yee wrote: “When the Dalai Lama met with some Chinese in New York who were protesting his visit last year, he said five of the seven wouldn’t listen to him. Fortunately it was a large table or they might have slapped him, he admitted at a press conference last year.” – Those were her words. She was quoting him. If you agree to only rely on her words, then what generalization was she offering in her quote? How did she suggest involvement of “larger numbers”? She didn’t suggest that all Chinese wanted to slap the Dalai Lama. That’s not even open to debate – it’s simply not in her essay.”

    First of all, it’s you who kept using the words “all Chinese”. No one including myself ever explicitly or implicitly brought up such concept. However, the author did mean to include a large number of Chinese who speak up in blogs, news papers and protested against Tibet independence, 3.14 riot, Olympic torch protest, etc, etc. For the lack of better words, it is “Chinese Nationalists” if you will. It is very clear in her essay with words such as “too many Chinese” and “10,000 Chinese”. How large the number is? I would say in millions. And yes, I do accuse her make generalization from an insinuated “incident”. Her essay is about Chinese Nationalists’ thoughts and ideas not their behaviors. Yes, it is a good example that five out of seven wouldn’t listen to DL. But what does DL’s “feeling” about a potential criminal act by some unknown individual who might or might not commit has anything to do with the topic of the essay?

    ““So to me, she is either making up the story (something DL never intended to) or she interpreted DL’s intention correctly” – how about she was just reporting what he said. And rightfully, you’re allowed to interpret it in any way you see fit. But might I suggest you do so with a clear recognition of your preconceptions.”

    If I assume all she did was reporting what DL said, then I would have to be critical of DL. But if I do that, you goanna complain that I wasn’t there. So this is my problem: I obviously view something wrong. When I criticize it, I have to allocate it on someone for the error, in this case either the author or DL. I don’t think it’s unreasonable but you won’t let me.

    “- but there’s no mention of the guy “trying but failing”; once again, it’s how the Dalai lama FELT. And he wasn’t giving testimony. I don’t think he needs to justify all of his feelings with: “this happened, then this happened, then that happened, and after all of that, I detected myself feeling this way”.”

    Exactly (your “but there’s no mention” words). I have no problem for DL’s feeling and that’s might very well be all he said. But when you say something did or didn’t happen accompanied with the word such as “fortunately”, “lucky”, or “thank god”, it means something outside of your imagination intervened. Therefore, something ELSE in addition to the intervention had to exist and tangible. Someone tried and failed is one example. Certain individual for known violent behavior is another. But there is no mention of that.

    More importantly, nobody is investigating DL’s feeling. For a man as complex also private as Dalai Lama, he must have many different feelings but interestingly, he shared his ill feeling towards a group of Chinese protestors with public (speaking of having faith in Chinese people). Now, for an author who supports DL in every way uses this ‘feeling” as a point, what point do you think she intends to make?

    Let’s say you are right that the author just reporting it. Then it’s DL’s preconceptions about Chinese protestors or the Chinese nationalist in general (Don’t hit me on the head for attacking DL 🙂 ) that they MIGHT resort to violence if the table wasn’t big enough (hence, “fortunately”). Don’t tell me DL knew these seven people are capable of violence before the event. If it’s not his preconception (or ill feeling) but something else, he would have mentioned it.

    Again, it’s not fair to pin this on DL just because someone wrote about it. But as far as this essay itself is concerned, it doesn’t matter. It’s author’s choice to use it either her own words or DL’s.

  65. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To William:
    You are correct that I equated the “certain group of people” in your line of “To me, it is a deliberate attempt to insinuate about certain group of people.” to mean “all Chinese”. If I overreached, I apologize.

    “10,000 Chinese” was in reference to the number of pro China supporters in Canberra. If quoting a factual number is inflammatory, then you’re really not giving her a chance.

    I thought your objection was to the one incident referenced in that one paragraph. If your point is that it was merely one aspect of her overall ploy to insinuate, then what insinuation is it that you find objectionable? If it’s the insinuation that potentially millions of Chinese misconstrue the criticisms that come from the “west”, well, I think that was the whole point of her essay.

    “If I assume all she did was reporting what DL said, then I would have to be critical of DL. But if I do that, you goanna complain that I wasn’t there.” – hey, you’re free to be critical of the Dalai Lama in whatever way you see fit. My objection was simply that it seems unreasonable to be critical of what the guy FELT. And we’re not talking about a well-rehearsed and refined emotion; we’re talking about a momentary reflexive thought of “oh, that guy might slap me”.

    “But when you say something did or didn’t happen accompanied with the word such as “fortunately”, “lucky”, or “thank god”, it means something outside of your imagination intervened.” – so now the Dalai Lama has to justify when he feels lucky as well? You’re kidding, right?

    “for an author who supports DL in every way uses this ‘feeling” as a point, what point do you think she intends to make?” – that 5 of 7 guys may have had slapping on the brain, save for the table that got in the way.

    “Then it’s DL’s preconceptions about Chinese protestors or the Chinese nationalist in general”- he had preconceptions about 5 of the 7 guys; that’s about as general as it gets. And if a reader somehow feels that 5 Chinese people might represent Chinese protesters or nationalists in general, then maybe the reader can enlighten us on why he feels that way. Cuz I certainly wouldn’t want to speculate.

    To Shane:
    “Is that just 14th DL’s own feeling …laughable writing by a journalist.” – nice to know that you find reporting of someone’s feelings to be laughable. Do you find the writings about Sichuan quake victims’ feelings to be equally hysterical? Or are some people’s feelings of far superior journalistic pedigree than others?

  66. Shane9219 Says:

    @S.K. Cheung #65


    “Is that just 14th DL’s own feeling …laughable writing by a journalist.” – nice to know that you find reporting of someone’s feelings to be laughable. Do you find the writings about Sichuan quake victims’ feelings to be equally hysterical? Or are some people’s feelings of far superior journalistic pedigree than others?

    14th DL is a human being, of course he is entitled to his own feeling, correct or not aside. However, Ms. Yee put up a serious topic about “seeking justiice” for 14th DL and made a few misleading and sweeping statement on Tibet (like a hot-headed young people). So you should knew she was not writing about personal feeling, she was writting a political essay. The standard should be held higher on her writing, and she should not mix fantasy with facts.

    Again, it is not okay to compare Sichuan quake victims’ suffering with what 14th DL felt.

    14th DL chose the exile path himself in bed with foreign forces. To be quite frank, if it is not due to a courtesy toward his religious status, he would be called a traitor under such circumstance in other coutries, and banned from returning.

  67. William Huang Says:

    @ S.K. Cheung #65

    ““10,000 Chinese” was in reference to the number of pro China supporters in Canberra. If quoting a factual number is inflammatory, then you’re really not giving her a chance.”

    Now you are putting words in my mouth. I simply replied your question; where the “large number” comes from and I replied with “too many” and “10,000” (her own words). I never said or suggested that these numbers are inflammatory.

    “I thought your objection was to the one incident referenced in that one paragraph. If your point is that it was merely one aspect of her overall ploy to insinuate, then what insinuation is it that you find objectionable? If it’s the insinuation that potentially millions of Chinese misconstrue the criticisms that come from the “west”, well, I think that was the whole point of her essay.”

    She never said anything about criticisms from the “west” so I am not sure how you can draw such conclusion. As for insinuation, she simply introduced an imaginary criminal elements into Chinese protestors and Chinese nationalist in general to provide a contrast to Dalai Lama and Tibetans in exile. It’s the theme of her essay. Don’t tell me she is a bad writer who goes off tangent easily.

    “My objection was simply that it seems unreasonable to be critical of what the guy FELT. And we’re not talking about a well-rehearsed and refined emotion; we’re talking about a momentary reflexive thought of “oh, that guy might slap me”.

    As I said before, this essay is not about DL’s feeling. My problem is the author who used this “feeling” to insinuate. I also don’t understand what do you mean by “well-rehearsed and refined emotion” Is such thing really exist? As for the momentary reflexive thought, I don’t think you are giving Dalai Lama enough credit for his intelligence and discipline. We are talking about press conference not his private quarter with close friends.

    “But when you say something did or didn’t happen accompanied with the word such as “fortunately”, “lucky”, or “thank god”, it means something outside of your imagination intervened.” – so now the Dalai Lama has to justify when he feels lucky as well? You’re kidding, right?

    DL doesn’t have to justify anything if he doesn’t feel like it. It’s just this kind of talk is not aligned with his “charm offensive” strategy as the author claimed to be. Maybe in Dalai Lama’s dictionary, not listening to him is equal to slap him. Who knows?

    ““for an author who supports DL in every way uses this ‘feeling” as a point, what point do you think she intends to make?” – that 5 of 7 guys may have had slapping on the brain, save for the table that got in the way.”

    Are you serious about this? How could she possibly know? How did she (or DL for that matter) know it’s really the table not something else? Is she telepathic? This is very impressive – the best telepathic I know can only read somebody’s mind one at time but she could do all five at the same time.

    “-he had preconceptions about 5 of the 7 guys; that’s about as general as it gets.”

    Let me put this way for you: Fortunately, 5 is about the maximum number of people (in addition to his entourages), can get close enough to slap him taking into the account of the large table between them. Otherwise, Dalai Lama MIGHT had ill preconception about ALL Chinese.

    “And if a reader somehow feels that 5 Chinese people might represent Chinese protesters or nationalists in general, then maybe the reader can enlighten us on why he feels that way. Cuz I certainly wouldn’t want to speculate.”

    I am very glad that you wouldn’t want to speculate and this means that the author has failed to fool the people like you and me. But I am not sure I can say the same thing about some folks on this blog.

  68. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Shane:
    “it is not okay to compare Sichuan quake victims’ suffering with what 14th DL felt.” – of course the Dalai Lama’s feelings in this incident pale in comparison to the intensity of suffering of the quake victims. I was just wondering why you seemed to suggest that reporting on “feelings” was laughable behaviour for a journalist.

    “So you should knew she was not writing about personal feeling, she was writting a political essay.” – and must those two things be mutually exclusive? If you are looking for political essays written completely devoid of personal emotion, with absolute objectivity, not a hint of bias, and totally unencumbered by the author’s personal experiences….let me know when you find one.

    To William:
    “She never said anything about criticisms from the “west” so I am not sure how you can draw such conclusion.” – come now. That’s the whole point of her essay (“It is easy to confuse protest against Chinese policies in Tibet with being anti-Chinese”).

    “As for the momentary reflexive thought,” – I wasn’t talking about the press conference. I was talking about the incident which he referenced in the press conference.

    “How could she possibly know?” – because the Dalai Lama said it (“he said five of the seven wouldn’t listen to him. Fortunately it was a large table or they might have slapped him, he admitted at a press conference last year.) – come on, man. It’s right in the essay.

    “Otherwise, Dalai Lama MIGHT had ill preconception about ALL Chinese.” – he might; but that’s not what he said. But if you want infer all sorts of stuff, well, that’s nothing new around here, especially wrt him.

  69. William Huang Says:

    @ S.K. Cheung #68

    ““Otherwise, Dalai Lama MIGHT had ill preconception about ALL Chinese.” – he might; but that’s not what he said. But if you want infer all sorts of stuff, well, that’s nothing new around here, especially wrt him.”

    I am glad that you object the use of word “MIGHT” and my intention to infer all sorts of stuff. Isn’t it ironic?

  70. Yeshe Choesang Says:

    Why Politics and sports are different?
    Dharamshala: The Tibet Post International-When you hear the four words “One World, one dream”, what meaning does it have to you? Being a Tibetan web blogger, it doesn’t convey proper meaning to me if the words are used by a hopeless state like China.

    But if you explore the deeper definition of the phrase, it has extraordinary meanings. It defends mutual respect, rights, peace, friendship, and the stability of political power; however, it’s also easy to say but hard to practice.

    In today’s world, all sentient beings appreciate peace, happiness, kindness, and compassion. Those important things are always part of freedom of politics, rights and power of sports etc. People who mention freedom of press and human rights in the context of the Olympics are often accused of mixing politics with sports. So what is the legitimacy of this linkage being made in case of 2008 Beijing Olympics?

    To begin with, China, in buttonholing the IOC to host the Olympic Games and have argued over the years that it has become a modern global society. They argue that the freedom of the press and the human rights of its citizens and Tibetans in occupied Tibet will be markedly improved but at this period of time, the aspirations of IOC and the rest of the world seems blurred and unfulfilled.

    The world was told “trust us” by China but the occupation of Tibet, which caused the deaths of 1.3 million Tibetans, and that the thousands massacred after abuses of the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square massacre were things of the past and banished to the annals of history, but even today there are a wide range of violations of human rights and merciless killings. Therefore, China stands first in violating International laws. At this juncture, how can the world in general and Tibetans in particular trust CHINA!

    Still hoping, but no change

    We were further told that the Chinese Communist Government would use the Beijing Olympics to advance the freedom of press and human rights of the people in China, particularly in Tibet and other occupied territories but the host itself is the only one merciless state who can be labeled as the enemy of press freedom and human rights and they have never listened to the voices and appeals of the people of the world.

    Big eats smalls, even in animals, I don’t think there are still heroes. How have the UN and EU contributed to the peace of Tibetan people, press freedom or human rights? It’s no different than China giving only destruction and death to Tibet and its people. Then, when China was granted the right to host the Olympics, the government again affirmed its promise to live up to the Olympic spirit and uphold freedom of press and human rights. People are still confused whether it is Olympic spirit or communist spirit? Now we can see the true spirit of the IOC’s offer to the people of the world! I don’t want to say it was a great decision.

    In fact, the major complaint made by Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International and other watchdog groups is that China has failed to keep the promise they made in 2001 when Beijing was a finalist for the games in regards to improving their freedom of press and human rights record. China always makes promises; the world has had enough of watching the dramas of its highly respected communist state.

    The media and human rights in Tibet; Tibetan journalists and writers are jailed if they say or write the truth, Tibetan websites, forums and blogs are closed if they update or publish the truth. So “One world, one dream” doesn’t apply to Tibetans in Tibet in any form from any angle. China’s notorious record on human rights has continued to be a cloud over its Olympic preparations in Tibet. Over the years, the world watched, hoped and bought Chinese goods. World press and International human rights groups, celebrities and politicians question if any major improvements have in fact been made to Beijing’s media policy and human rights record and many activist groups have even asked for countries to actively boycott the Games. But many of them couldn’t leave the personal benefits they get from China in the form of “China’s great offer”. Tibetan people have never enjoyed press freedom and human rights under the merciless occupation of China in the last 49 years.

    There are also those of us who believe – or hope – that such improvements, as promised to us, are still possible, yet I surely can say that you will not be guaranteed to enter the Beijing Olympic stadium for any purpose.

    Freedom of press and Olympic spirit

    Freedom of speech is a great part of the Olympic spirit and its human value to the sports. At main time, for centuries the Olympic spirit has been linked to human rights, civility and peace. This is expressed and granted in the Olympic Charter, which specifically prohibits any form of discrimination. Peace and human rights doesn’t mean anything to a political system governed by a single individual, but the Olympic spirit and its freedom of speech to all mankind, I would like to say, one world, many dreams.

    Back to our world Olympic history, it began in ancient Greece; a truce was annunciated before and during each Olympic spirit festival. During the armistice, wars were suspended, the carrying out of death penalties was forbidden and safety of visitors travel assured.

    If that is required by the people of the world, so the question that needs to be asked is: Will China honor that ancient tradition of declaring and enforcing the truce in the Olympic year 2008? If it will be honored in an honest way, then “one world, one dream” will be a successful and meaningful event for mankind and China’s history.

    Responsibilities

    In past two years, Chinese authorities closed down more than 18 Tibetan websites, blogs and forums including the famous Tibetan writer’s blog (Mrs. Woeser’s blog) and Tibetan youth forum. Tibetan media persons and writers including famous Tibetan writer Mr. Dolma Kyab are detained and jailed for three to ten years. There are hundreds of media related persons detained and jailed in China. All foreign and exile Tibetan websites, publications and radios are not accessible in Tibet and China. China never steps-down on freedom of press and human rights in Tibet. Even after all, China has definite human rights responsibilities under the international human rights law.

    Since the early 1960s, China has said that they have actively sought to increase their participation in multilateral affairs, especially in Tibet and other occupied states. But imprisonments of Tibetans in Tibet never stopped. In fact, contemporary China had become party to a range of over 273 international treaties, of which 239 had become applicable to China only after 1979. These watershed decisions decisively showed China’s acknowledgement of the universal applicability of international law. So, it seems in Chine there is no space for “One world, One dream.”

    Although in the Chinese record of participation in press freedom and international human rights the regime has been largely negative in Tibet and China itself, China always respects and regards its own personal stance and restricted press freedom and human rights in the country and after reviewing all these, China can never approve their slogan “one world and one dream”

    The current situation in Tibet?

    People around the world are concerned about the situation in Tibet; around 140 people have been confirmed killed in a Chinese crackdown on protests and unrest in Tibet. Tibetan communities-in-exile revealed to the world media around 70 photos of dead bodies of Tibetans published by the Tibetan media in exile. Kalon Tripa, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile said, “We urgently appealed the international community to bring an immediate end to the repressive acts.”

  71. Jason Says:

    @Yeshe Choesang AKA Tibetan nationalist

    First of all the 1.3 million is a gross exaggeration.

    Former director of Free Tibet Campaign in London, Patrick French said that “other groups have long claimed that 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed by the Chinese since they invaded in 1950. However, after scouring the archives in Dharamsala while researching my book on Tibet, I found that there was no evidence to support that figure.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/22/opinion/22french.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    Mr. Britex Xu, a Chinese scholar, was banished by the Chinese government to Tibet during 1982 – 1986, and becomes a firm criticizer of the Chinese government. He did a study on many Tibet issues in his book “Himalaya.” In Section 2 Chapter 8 of the book, he compared the population increase between the whole China and Tibetan during 1949 – 1983 using the data published by Tibet Gov. Exile, western scholars, and western historical records. His conclusion is that the population increase of Tibetan is significantly larger than the increase of the whole China if the Chinese government had killed 1.2 million Tibetan. This is impossible given the fact of harsh conditions in Tibet. He suggested that the actual number of Tibetan being killed should be less than 200,000.

    In the same chapter of the book, he referred to an estimation by Ngapoi Jigme, an advocate of Tibet independence and the Director of Tibet Division in Radio Free Asia (rfa.org) since 1996. Mr. Jigme admitted that the number of 1.2 million is largely exaggerated. The actual number he thought is about 300,000 – 400,000.

    http://www.tangben.com/Himalaya/hm84kill.htm (in Chinese)

    The media censorship and the jailing of Tibetan activists should be blamed on the 20,000 Tibetan guerrillas as well as Dalai Lama’s brother who advocates violence and sides with the CIA.

  72. Shane9219 Says:

    @Yeshe Choesang

    It’s a useless act for a few tibetan-in-exile to continue to publish liars. Do you realize you guys have become helplessly irrelevant to the future of Tibet? Even more so when the current financial storm is over !

  73. Shane9219 Says:

    Basang – A Heavenly Road 天路
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z29BFYwiMFc&feature=related

    天路 Road to Heaven 彭丽媛
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsAaGTZh6Ao&feature=related

    天路 索朗旺姆
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWD7xQnLYHw&feature=related

  74. Steve Says:

    @ Jason #71: That Patrick French article in the NY Times was very informative and for me, it hit on all the points that really matter. One aspect it brought up indirectly that still puzzles me is this: many on the blog have said that the Tibetans inside Tibet don’t really have the same feelings for the DL as the Tibetans outside Tibet, but this article seemed to point out the opposite. Does this mean that in order for the CCP to finally settle the problems inside Tibet, they’ll need to come up with some kind of understanding with the DL? Or is their strategy to simply wait for him to die and they feel the movement would die with him since there doesn’t seem to be anyone that has the same stature within the exile movement to take his place and rally around?

  75. Wukailong Says:

    The article Jason quoted shows exactly that: that there is still strong opposition in Tibet to the Chinese state. Unfortunately discussions about this tend to become shouting matches between nationalists on both sides, and both sides show the “psychology of the innocent” by reacting with strong anger to even a hint of criticism.

    In general, I think most commenters on this site are aware that the 1.2 million numbers (1.3 was new to me, is it a mixup with 1.3 billion Chinese? 😉 ) is a gross exaggeration.

    For another discussion about what breeds resentment in Tibet, this interview with Tsering Shakya is well worth a read:

    http://www.newleftreview.org/?view=2720

    This is the most interesting piece I’ve ever read about the Tibet question.

  76. Wukailong Says:

    From the song 天路 (Heavenly road) mentioned above:

    “那是一条神奇的天路哎…
    带我们走进人间天堂”

    “It’s a truly marvellous heavenly road…
    Leading us into a paradise on earth”

    The heavenly road that’s leading the Tibetans into this paradise, according to the song, is the Qinghai railway. Always the sarcastic, I wonder what’s with CCP and the Dalai Lama using all these religious metaphors lately?

  77. Steve Says:

    @ Wukailong #75: Thanks for that link. I agree with you that it’s an excellent read.

Leave a Reply


Warning: fsockopen(): php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known in /home/chenlc03/blog.foolsmountain.com/wp-content/plugins/sweetcaptcha-revolutionary-free-captcha-service/library/sweetcaptcha.php on line 81

Warning: fsockopen(): unable to connect to www.sweetcaptcha.com:80 (php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: Name or service not known) in /home/chenlc03/blog.foolsmountain.com/wp-content/plugins/sweetcaptcha-revolutionary-free-captcha-service/library/sweetcaptcha.php on line 81