One commenter (Flatfish, a frequent Tibetan visitor) reacted to part of the original discussion when the term “the Dalai” was used:
In reference to the proper name for the Dalai Lama, let me talk about a few related things that have touched me deeply.
After the end of the Second World War, a court sentenced Mr. Hideki Tojo to death by hanging. Mr. Tojo immediately stood, and with perfect manners bowed deeply to the judges; he didn’t say another word. When the Tibetan uprising (in 1959) expanded, quite a few Tibetans were executed. Before they were shot, they politely said “T’oo-Je-Che” (Tibetan term of thanks). Later, when the families of the executed were charged expenses of 200-500 RMB, they again said “T’oo-Je-Che”, and nothing else.
For the Dalai Lama, the respectful way of referring to him in English is: His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In Tibetan, the respectful way of referring to him is Jiawa Renbuqie (嘉瓦仁布切，Gyalwa Rinpoche), Kundun (昆顿), or Yixi Loubu (益西罗布, Yeshe Norbu). Tibetans would never use the name Dalai Lama, because that’s actually equivalent to a title, and not a name.
My point is, if any group or government investigates and finds the Dalai Lama guilty of a crime, then all of these details could be revealed to the public, and they could proceed to trial and conviction. And if anyone, including Han, have doubts or criticisms of him, that’s also not a problem. And for those who are not Buddhists and not Tibetan Buddhists don’t necessarily have to refer to him by his courtesy title. But all should respect basic human rights, and do not casually shorten the title Dalai Lama to just “the Dalai”.
Their fate, their experience is critical in understanding the future of multi-ethnic China. Their support, their contribution is critical in building a China that lives at peace with itself.
Don’t indulge our “racial complex”
I’ve been silent for several days; I’ve maintained my silence out of doubt.
These few days, I’ve been thinking a lot. I’ve been thinking of my childhood; at the time, I was the only minority student in my class, and all of my friends were Han. We went to school together, went home together, and played together. In the alley where our home was, the left side was entirely Han, while the right side was entirely Uygur. During hot summer evenings, everyone sat together cooling off in the courtyard, talking about every day things. The alley was filled with harmonious laughs and chatter.
Bai Liqun still remembers the stories told by the elders about a time when her people slaughtered “Red Army” soldiers who entered the homeland of the Qiang ethnic group around 1949 because they feared the communist government would take away their land.
In the ensuing decades, the Qiang have become increasingly assimilated with the Han majority in Sichuan province through intermarriages and government-funded education for their children.
Relief efforts after the earthquake in Wenchuan county, a centre for the Qiang people, have bolstered the image of the government among ethnic minorities after a security crackdown against Tibetan protests in March.