NEGOTIATION NIGHTMARE

 

I must ask the reader’s forgiveness for my occasional forays into amateur psychology. I wrote about something like this in a previous article but I want to discuss another kind of recurring nightmare, also known to clinical psychiatry, in which the sleeper manages, after a tremendous struggle, to get out of a frightening situation and thinks he has woken up, when he realizes that he is back again in that same nightmare. What if this situation repeated itself seven or eight times in your dream till you began to suspect that perhaps you were stuck in it forever.

The following passage is from an article I wrote back in April 1993:

“Whenever the Tibetan issue has received any substantial attention in the world, be it with the demonstrations (1987-90) in Lhasa or the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Dalai Lama, the Chinese have nearly always succeeded in side-tracking international concern by making titillating press announcements soon after the event, declaring their willingness to sit down and talk with the Dalai Lama or his representatives. Those sympathetic to Tibet naturally heave a huge sigh of relief on hearing this, and the situation is then effectively defused.”

This March, when the Rangzen Revolution exploded in the international arena, Beijing, ever true to form, did exactly as it had done many times before and invited the Dalai Lama’s envoys for negotiations. Dharamshala, of course, did as it had done many times before, and accepted the invitation in a heartbeat. The IOC board and world leaders (George Bush being one) keen to attend the Beijing Games (but facing public criticism for their attitude) heaved a huge collective sigh of relief and the situation was effectively defused. Ministers of ASEAN countries welcomed the negotiations and “restoration of normalcy in Tibet” and “expressed confidence that the Beijing Olympics would be a success”. We can expect other leaders and celebrities to make their announcements soon. We just gave them the moral excuse that they needed.

Starting from around 1979 I’ve written about nearly all the attempts by Dharamshala to convince China to sit down to some discussion on “associate status” “one nation two systems” “zone of ahimsa”, “Middle Way Approach”, “real autonomy” and of course “meaningful autonomy. As the years went by I found myself getting jaded with the whole futile exercise, and even caught myself reproducing passages from some previous writing in the latest piece I was writing. On one occasion I tried to treat the issue with a little levity, borrowing a couple of characters from the Charles Schultz’s comic strip, Peanuts.

“Once in a while, though, the delegation does actually get to go to Beijing. They invariably return to Dharamshala in a daze, with a look on their faces not unlike that on Charlie Brown’s when he is lying flat on his back, after having been persuaded by Lucy, for the umpteenth time, to take a running kick at a football that she never fails to yank away at the last moment. “Isn’t trust a wonderful thing, Charlie Brown?”

This time the chief Tibetan negotiator, Lodi Gyari, might have landed on his head when Beijing pulled away the football since the statement he gave to the press in Hong Kong didn’t make sense. “It was a good first step,” he said (What about all the previous talks? What sort of steps were they? Or have we decided to go backwards?) Lodi Gyari continued his briefing on this reassuring note “All very candid. We had very candid discussions,”

The New York Times of 5th May citing Xinhua (the official Chinese news agency) reported that the talks, “mostly involved finger wagging (by the Chinese) and a warning that future dialogue would be fruitless unless the Dalai ceased advocating Tibetan Independence. They also urged him to stop disrupting and sabotaging the upcoming Olympics Games.” The Chinese negotiators were two low level officials Zhu Weijun and Sitar, but they weren’t low enough for Chinese netizens who ridiculed the talks saying, “next time it will do just to dispatch a bureau chief,” or “the city management will be able to deal with the issue, do not bother the Chairman and the Prime Minister too much.”

The two officials talked down to Lodi Gyari and Kalsang Gyaltsen in the most condescending and arrogant manner, like ministers of ancient China dealing with troublesome barbarian sub-chiefs. They declared that Tibetans had through their evil behavior created obstacles to resuming negotiations but that “the central government still arranged this meeting with great patience and sincerity.” Throughout this period the Chinese press and intelligentsia kept up a continual barrage of incredibly abusive rhetoric against the Dalai Lama, which were reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution according to Woeser. Woeser’s own opinion of the talk was forthright “The Sino-Tibetan talk at present is completely tendentious. It is an effort to satisfy the pressure from the western society and to brag about itself.”

I didn’t write anything earlier because I hoped that the envoys might get an opportunity to confront Chinese leaders about their harsh crack-down on Tibetan protesters and at the very least initiate some discussion on the conditions of the Tibetans being arrested and persecuted, and obtain some minimal assurance about the condition of these people.

From the little information we are getting it appears that the Chinese are conducting massive crackdowns and reprisals all over Tibet. First of all it is clear that the trial of the thirty protesters in Lhasa, although a travesty in terms of real justice, is also possibly a red herring. The basic idea of the trial seems to have been to create the impression that not many people have been arrested in Tibet.

In reality thousand of Tibetans have been arrested and will probably be tried in secret (or not have a trial at all) and be incarcerated or shot. Woeser in her last Tibet Update reports that “thousands of Tibetans have met with the fate of being killed, being arrested, being tortured to confess, being missing, committing suicide or having mental disorder, and this has brought disasters to countless Tibetan families.”

I have also heard of many hundreds, maybe even a thousand or so men in rural Amdo and Kham hiding out in the mountains, to avoid police and military crackdowns in their districts. There has been the report of a gunfight between Tibetans and Chinese security personnel. A couple of days ago I received an unconfirmed account of two women in a village in Amdo who were harassed beyond endurance by Chinese policemen about religious images in their home. The women stabbed three policemen to death and were themselves subsequently gunned down. In all likelihood it appears that the situation in Tibet will deteriorate further. The situation is deeply troubling especially since there is little or no information on what is actually happening.

No amount of begging, pleading or further negotiating with Beijing will bring any resolution, even a little improvement, to this crisis. I think that Dharamshala has one real option left to deal with this situation. It must act in a way that is bold, dynamic and totally unanticipated by Beijing. The exile government must declare that in light of the sentiments expressed by Tibetan people in the recent protests, and the harshness and implacability of the Chinese government’s response to the expression of their basic human rights, the Tibetan government is compelled to reconsider its Middle Path policy. That the Kashag and the Tibetan parliament will immediately commence joint hearings to review the Middle Path policy and that representatives of Tibetan organizations advocating independence will be invited to offer their testimonies at the proceedings.

To His Holiness I would respectfully suggest that he make a public announcement stating that though he had genuinely and unreservedly supported China’s bid to host the Olympic Games, the lives and welfare of the thousands of Tibetans – victims of China’s crackdown – were far more important than a sporting event (even one as major as the Olympics). That unless China agreed to allow international agencies as the Red Cross, the UN or Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, and other such organizations, to send their personnel freely throughout Tibet to verify the conditions of these people and check on their legal situation, he would be compelled to appeal to the world to boycott the Beijing Games. Furthermore he would call on all his subjects, his friends, supporters and disciples worldwide, to engage in non-violent but direct action to disrupt China’s massive ultra-nationalist propaganda exercise, for which the 2008 Olympic Games is being effectively employed.

Real negotiations might follow, for the first time.

Comments

  1. THUPTEN YIGNYEN | May 8th, 2008 | 12:59 pm

    Jamyang la, your your points are good to read but in reality it is like a paper tiger. If you have problem with your neighbor on fencing your house and your neighbor ask you to lets talk and discuss the problem. Are you going to withdraw from his invitation before you solve the problem. As far as concerned with recent visit of two Envoys there is problem with china’s treatment of Tibetan people and Dharamsala’s urgent concern is well being of those Tibetans who are imprisoned or under detention. More over over all situation in Tibet is very bad. If you go through statement from the Office of HH the Dalai Lama on Envoys visit it is very clear that why Dharamsala is sending Envoys to China. May be you don’t agree on any kind of dialogue but when it comes to your personal issue I can imagine you will definitely sit with your opponent and discuss the issue and try to solve for mutual benifit. My greatest concern with your writing is you are fooling so many young Tibetans who don’t go in depth to real issue of Tibet and read fantasy writing and make judgment. This is real danger for future Tibet. So, please be realistic and go through all sort of informations. Thanks

  2. Tenzin | May 8th, 2008 | 1:26 pm

    I doubt the babus of gangkyi or the old court of power in Dhasa will have the farsightedness or the courage to take, what is basically the most realistic and the right step to do. Confront China with their own lies instead of trying to clarify what the Tibetans and and HH is not doing. I dont think China is not aware of what Tibetans are upto.

    The Tibetan is not an issue of ignorance or misunderstanding. It is simply China colonising Tibet and wanted this to continue.

    I cannot, no matter how hard I try understand the “first right step”. Like you said, things are not turning normal. If at all, things are getting worse for Tibetans in Tibet.

    I thought Samdhong Rinpoche said that dailogue on the future of Tibet is not possible when the situation is Tibet is bad. I dont think that has changed at all. SO what is the appropriate time they are talking about now?

    Gyari Lodoe and Kalsang Gyaltsen comes back all the time with nothing but “free and frank” “free and candid” “candystore”. And on the other side all they get to meet is some lowly officials while the President Hu Jintao keeps on berating HH for sabotaging the olympics and spilliting the olympics.

    So now, what if we try to do that exactly. What will they accuse us of? Nothing but the same. So why shouldn’t we do exaclty that, like Jamyang la said. Declare Rangzen as our goal and out fight. And then it will become our destiny.

    Kyi hi hi!

  3. sjburris | May 8th, 2008 | 1:46 pm

    A question: Are Woeser’s posts translated into English on a regular basis? If so, where might I find them?

  4. Jamyang Norbu | May 8th, 2008 | 1:57 pm

    Woeser’s TIBET UPDATE posts are not regular. They are translated by friends and appear on chinadigitaltimes.net . Check it out. By the way Woeser has said that she will discontinue her UPDATE temporarily. Her website is being hacked and bombarded with viruses.

    Since March 10 she has been gathering and compiling information on events unfolding in Tibet. This has been a most valuable source of information on events in Tibet for the international press. Her information proved to be accurate and she has diligently corrected where there were errors regarding names and details in previous updates.

  5. Palden | May 8th, 2008 | 2:48 pm

    When I heard that Gyari was reporting in HK, “It was the good first start”! I was baffled to the fact, “The Good First Start” have been repeated for 7 times, we are still at the same position and our envoys reporting back the same “OLD STATEMENT”. I wonder what envoys have to hide! Enough is enough, we need to do something, at least first we need to change our policy back to “rangzen” which we are entitled to in any aspects of international laws. We need an immediate political discussion and should come to that conclusion. I have told myself that “Negotiation should not happen when murder, imprisonment, looting, destruction of human spirit, Religion and so on are taking place in the backyard.” Unfortunately, our envoys are doing exactly we did not expect!

  6. Lodoe | May 8th, 2008 | 3:37 pm

    Everytime there is some actions between the Tibetans and the Chinese, Jamyang Norbu becomes negative. Everytime when there is nothing happening, Jamyang becomes negative. So, i wonder why is he always so negative. Maybe he simply lacks the wisdom for providing constructive and practicle suggestions. Jamyang Norbu can only talk but HE PRACTICALLY DOES NOTHING for Tibet. Please someone tell me if I am wrong.

    In a previous article he said that “the Dalai Lama has no understanding or modern politics”. Does he really mean that? Those Chinese who criticize His Holiness do so because they are ignorant of the issue. But when people such as Jamyang does it, I think, they do so with the motivation to demise His Holiness.

    As he himself has said that he has written so many articles to criticize the policy of Tibetan govt. For the majority of the Tibetans his articles are like the same night mare happening again and again.

    Jamyang Norbu, You said it’s wrong to talk to China. You said His Holiness is wrong to support Beijing Olympics. I have this question for you. Then What is right?

  7. Thupten Dolma | May 8th, 2008 | 3:48 pm

    Sir:

    Do you think it is possible that, at this point, it is simply too embarrassing for the TGIE (or CTA or whatever it wants to call itself) to admit that it has been wrong all this time?

  8. Rudy Harderwijk | May 8th, 2008 | 5:18 pm

    Dear Jamyang,

    I probably understand fully where you are coming from, but if His Holiness would do as you suggest, I would think two things will happen:

    1. The CCP will say; ‘see, we told you that he is a splittist’ – and that will be the end of any talks, not a beginning.

    2. The (western) world would be pretty confused, as an independent Tibet is not only completely unrealistic (even if the Chinese would suddenly move out tomorrow, you would have a major problem fitting the Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet together), we know this is completely non-negotiable for the Chinese, so what do you think foreign countries should do? They certainly would not know. So in that case, you can be sure they will do nothing at all – no use fighting for a lost cause…

    You seem to overlook the one thing that makes Tibet sympathetic in foreign eyes: that is the high moral ground that His Holiness is holding, and his peaceful, realistic approach. When that is lost, nobody would be interested in the Tibet issue at all!

    Mind you, I don’t know what is best at the moment, otherwise I would preach it myself. 🙁 But I can tell you what will make things even worse…

  9. mipham | May 8th, 2008 | 6:16 pm

    writing on Tibet is one thing, while writing and doing something is also another. If you read and write, the experience is bit like copying ideas but if you write by doing something, it is more powerful and valid.
    Rangzen is not easy, simply advocating and writing about Rangzen might only yield a bit more awareness, but I beleive a real rangzen believer would definitely have something done in quantity as well as quality wise.

    I don’t deny Jamyang la’s advocacy of Rangzen and the concurrent wave of tide it arouse amongst us youngsters for which jamyangla rightfully deserve full credit, but if you say you wanted to be someone from exile to keep the flame alight, show us some path, some stretegies and lets have a CRACK NOW or never…. long live Rangzen Revolution

  10. Golok Ambum | May 8th, 2008 | 7:02 pm

    I fully agree with Jamyang Norbu; it’s time for a radical shift in Tibetan policy and a Declaration of Independence would be a timely decision. His Holiness would regain full support from his people (which, obviously, he gradually lost with every new failed attempt at negotiating) and would be remembered for the next generations as one of those “Great” Dalai Lamas, such as the Fifth, Seventh and Thirteen.

    In regard to foreign support, is there really much to loose? What brought this patronizing support all these years? Apart of His Holiness receiving prizes and medals, did anything change in Tibet? Whatever occurred in the country, be it “reforms” or “liberalization policies”, were exclusively the result of internal Chinese decisions, not of American, European or any other government “efforts” to defend the Tibetan cause.

    As for individual support, Tibetans would only loose the too many New Age and barefoot freaks who get in the way of Tibetan demonstrations and Dharamsala’s public audiences, with all the damaging consequences this has on Tibet’s image. The other “Injis”, those who really support Tibetan’s plea, could only be pleased of such a political shift; this would bring together again all supports groups that have been divided by this issue of autonomy vs. rangzen.

    Finally, regarding our dear Chinese friends, they would at last know what to expect. Their country suffered greatly under foreign occupation but at no point their ancestors asked autonomy from the occupying power: a struggle for independence might thus ring another bell in their understanding of the Tibet problem and, who knows, cause them more respect and esteem for the Tibetan people…

  11. Jamyang Norbu | May 8th, 2008 | 7:53 pm

    Dear Rudy

    I want to thank you making your points in a precise and organized manner. My answers

    1. No matter what he says or does the CCP will always say he is a splittist. Forget about the “end of talks” there are no real talks at all, and there have never been. They are just a ploy to get Tibetans to keep Tibetans quiet and inactive till the Dalai Lama should pass away. In fact the Chinese have said as much in policy meetings.
    2. The Western world is not doing anything for the Tibetans. Period. There is nothing more “not to do” if Tibetans should opt for independence. All freedom struggles were “unrealistic” when they started. Nobody ever believed in the 60s and 70’s that the Soviet Union would ever collapse or that Eastern Europe would be free.

    3. You say “Nobody would be interested in the Tibet issue at all” if not for HH’s peaceful approach. Think again. It was the uprising in Tibet this year and all the activism of Tibetans and Tibetan supporters all over that created the real international interest. HH & Samdong Rimpoche did not want Tibetans to demonstrate at all.

  12. Jamyang Norbu | May 8th, 2008 | 8:25 pm

    Dear Mipham,
    The way to create a Rangzen strategy is thru study and thinking and writing, but most of all thru free discussion and open debate. That is what we are doing here in this forum. There is no other way. I do not believe one man has the answer. The Rangzen Revolution will triumph, but that victory will be forged in the democratic crucible of free speech and voluntary and united action.

  13. Karma | May 8th, 2008 | 9:12 pm

    Jamyangla was absolutely right. And he is expert on what he is doing.That is why I value his every words.

    Secondly, i heard somebody was saying about support from western world. Western world had been supporting us morally for a long time, but not on the side of international stage. What are you expecting more? American or French or British send Army to fight for us???

    There is only one way to get our rangzen, our leader has to lead our people and take some serious non-violence resistance action. NOt just the talk.

    Last word, Tibetan! stop not being yourselves. Stop being the Tibetans in Kundun movie; peace loving hypocrite people.
    Do you think those terrorists in Iraq or Afghanistan don’t love peace, do you think they just want to kill innocents?

    I am not advocating violence here but our version of non-violence is a joke. I mean there is no objective, no motivation at all. Oh sorry one motivation exist; to show we are Buddhist.

    Please next time, can we have a leader who can think and whom we can criticized for their mistakes. A leader who listen to the people and learn from the mistakes instead of listening from the BUDDHA’s prayer.

  14. We the people of Tibet | May 8th, 2008 | 10:22 pm

    First of all I have no hope in Gyari and Kelsang’s negotiating, I have heard Gyari’s reports before, when he returned from China, I think it was around 5th talk, some are hilarious and some are pathetic. I heard one time Gyari said “this time the Chinese are smiling much more than before,” I also heard Gyari was saying “this time we were escorted with police serine vehicle.” Please, in China district secretary and county administrator is escorted with serine vehicles. First of all d they did not go to China for a smile from the low level negotiators, for that matter any smile. Gyari was also ordered by a Chinese contact person in previous talks, “do not bring any Chinese translator.” Why because the Chinese wanted to talk among themselves on the spot to discuss among themselves and give answer they wanted t, so they do not have to talk secretly while the so called negotiation was going, that is why we never heard this time there is translator from the Tibetan side. It is normal for any negotiators to bring their own translator. Have Gyari and Kelsang asked if they could bring their own translator? I doubted, because Gyari is already trained before not to bring and he would listen what the Chinese wanted and anticipate their desire.

    The TGIE have wasted twenty years, twenty years in these meaningless talks. Most of these talks headed by Gyari and got nothing out of it.

    Now is not the time to ask for talk anyway, it is time to bring pressure and continue to fight for our basic right, the right for independent Tibet. Tibetan people are not fighting for an autonomous Tibet, they are fighting for independent Tibet and want every control of their live, their future, their foreign and domestic rule. If we continue to fight, the world has to listen to us, because this is desire of Tibetan people. We fight and fight until Chinese have no choice but to listen. Tibetan problem is here for thousands of years and China could never ignore our dream and aspirations……..

  15. Nyari Phosar | May 8th, 2008 | 10:23 pm

    Jamnor la,

    Recuring of such a nightmare,definately harm the process of revatilising the exhausted being. But should we avoid sleeping altoghether, or making some neccessary changes in-search of short- nap.

    Yeah, recent envoy,witnessed same stand in softer surface, and much hope was shifted to next round of talk, which date is not specified. It reflects some some kind of ploy to avoid the occurance of disturbances for Bejing Olmpic.
    Bejing’s minor shift to Dharamsala, always heave undeserving relive in the eyes of Tibetan, and china found it most effective tricks to apply, when Tibet’s issue burning thier feet.
    Since 1979, issue of Tibet confine to Genuine Autonomous
    and no concrete result has yeild after the series of Talks. sporadic visit as just revitalising pills for not to lose the hope of One country with two systerm or genuine Autonomous. Bejing’s very uncompromising stand caste shiver in the section of tibetans and Its lost, when Bejing repeats same shift.
    I feel, its high time to find realistic sources of hope and virtually we got to change our position, if this comming round talk yeild no desireable result.
    let see.

  16. Palden | May 8th, 2008 | 11:32 pm

    Our defeatist policy and political approach are now seems producing quite a number of ignorant people.

    China will never talk to Tibetan envoys, why? Consider the following:

    1) China always accuss HHDL and Tibetans outside (including those who stage a peaceful protest or even doing a social work to benefit Tibetans in Tibet) are suspicous of Tibetan Independent Forces. The “splitist” is our name “TAG” from China. However, it is not that China has no basis for such accussation, it is because of the fact that “Tibet was an independent nation” and Chinese has this “GUILT”. Therefore, they never change their political “charges”. We need to stand “firm” on our “RANGZEN”.

    2. It is bit niave that many of us thinking what “WESTERN GOVERNMENT WILL REACTION” will be if we change our policy back to “RANGZEN”. Why are we still at mercy of someone and let them decide our own instintive desire for a “FREE TIBET”?

    3. Look at the Chinese party who talked to “SPECIAL ENVOYS”.

    I have questions to those who argue against rangzen as unrealistic, why so? How autonomy is realistic and what is the concrete result produced by it? By making more concession, I think we lost more than any returns!

    Now, it is high time to we move on finger pointing stuff such as “we did you do for Tibet or so forth?” We need to fight in own ways, but first, we need a clear “GOAL”.

  17. Rich | May 9th, 2008 | 12:24 am

    Thankfully annoying meddlers like Rudy do not represent “the West”. On the contrary, it’s naive ideas like hers from injinangpa and hippies that made the Tibetan struggle A JOKE in the eyes of serious politically-minded westerners for many decades. Thankfully we’re finally escaping that. Keep up the good work!

    By the way, this article on phayul shows the hypocrisy of injis who like to judge Tibet in a sad yet beautiful way:
    http://phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=21107

  18. Tashi | May 9th, 2008 | 1:04 am

    Who do you wish to influence, and why is it important?

  19. mark tatz | May 9th, 2008 | 6:44 am

    An independent Tibet, present and active in the United Nations and other international bodies, has a much higher value in the eyes of sympathetic, allied outsiders than Tibet as an (autonomous) part of China.

  20. mipham | May 9th, 2008 | 9:04 am

    If I may refer this to Jamyang la for his insideful view.

    The position of HHDL and TGIE on the past history is that ‘ history is history, no one can change it, lets look at future’, this narrative seems holding some water but in practical terms, I beleive they are actually changing the past records by submitting for Autonomy.
    The independence of Tibet, rightfully n historically declared by HH13DL in 1912 is being erased from the history books for now and ever.

    That is what I think, what is Jamyangla’s say on this.

  21. Jamyang Norbu | May 9th, 2008 | 9:41 am

    There is a fundamental effort to rewrite Tibetan history from Dharamshala. For instance last year two biographies of Phuntsog Wangyal the Tibetan Communist official who actively helped the Red Army to invade Tibet, has been published with official support and encouragement.

    In 2006, the anniversary of the Great Khampa Uprising nothing was done to honour this event. Not even a brief speech. Not a word. That year the Kashag met to discuss whether official participation at the 10th March commemoration should be discontinued, and whether the 10th March events should be made observed in a low key way.

    “The rewriting of Tibetan history” has been something that China, Dharamshala and certain Western academics have been guilty of. Expect a detailled study in the near future.

  22. Tseten | May 9th, 2008 | 9:47 am

    Guys,you are all right.We need first of all to redefine our goal…what is it…autonomy or independence?For this,the views of the majority should be taken into consideration.After all what is democracy without listening to the voice of the majority.Secondly,i am already disgusted not only with the chinese government calling His Holiness as a splittist but also with some tibetans calling other tibetans as splittists for their different views!!!Thank you Jamyang Norbu lak,every soceity needs people like you to make people think,with real thinking can start real action.Boed Gyal Lo.

  23. Dava | May 9th, 2008 | 10:06 am

    Hi Rich,

    I think you are a very smart person, in fact I’m sure of it, but I think you are dumb to throw what Rudy says into that category of the Yinji Nangpa (English Insiders; I take it you mean silly New Agers).

    And anyway, I fail to see how replacing a *Tibet* renowned for its inspiring and exceptionally human values and real-life wisdom with a *Tibet* known for its shrewdly underhanded political maneuvers and aggressive tactics will be a good thing for Tibetans or for the world. Besides it will fall smack dab in the middle of the Beijing trap. You’re a smart person, so I’m betting you’ll agree that there would be no reason for celebration when gods are turned into demons. (I’m alluding a 12th-century Tibetan spiritual classic here, with which you are no doubt familiar if you have ever attended HH’s teachings.) Not one bit of New Age-ism about it!

    I think Jamyang is a truly great writer, a master of the English language in which he received his main education, and that his points of view play an extremely important part of the developing democratic atmosphere HH is doing His best to promote in the community. That does *not* mean I’m ready to elevate J.N. into some kind of godking. Not even a godling. (Sorry J.N.-lags, it’s really not about you. I’m talking to Rich here.)

  24. Rudy Harderwijk | May 9th, 2008 | 11:22 am

    Dear Jamyang-la,

    1. You may be right in your assumption that the CCP will always call His Holiness a splittist, then again, it is my (only one of my two) hope for a change in Tibet when they withdraw that (see further under 4). Of course, I never said the Tibetans should keep quiet, and neither does His Holiness say that protests should stop – I thought (see 3).
    2. The western world is not doing much, certainly, but you forget that all the media attention was due to the western world. The western world is already causing major ‘loss of face’ for the CCP. So far, the CCP have at least made the concession to having talks at all, however empty these are.
    Regarding the collapse of the system, yes, that is my second hope for Tibet, however, that is likely still a long time from now, as the CCP still has full control over everything, and are backed by their youth of brainwashed Cultural Revolution kids.
    Although I had hopes for a change started by students in the time of Tiannanmen Square, when I see the fanatical nationalism (close to fascism) that the Chinese students are showing now, I can’t see how these kids will make a change for the better.
    (By the way, the situation in Russia is nearly back to square 1 under Tsar Putin…)
    3. You are right, it is the uprising in Tibet this year that drew media attention, however, what you forget is that westerners know His Holiness pretty well at the moment, and what makes people angry is the aggressive stance of the CCP against basically peaceful demonstrations. If the non-violence stance would be dropped and His Holiness would go again for independence, another Tibetan uprising would get zero attention in the western media. Then, it would become ‘just another’ violent group fighting for independence, which means nothing to the western general public, because there are hundreds of these around the world.
    Just to get this clear, did “HH & Samdong Rimpoche did not want Tibetans to demonstrate at all”? I was not aware of this, just that HH want non-violent demonstrations?
    4. My best suggestion for now would be that the Tibetans should as soon as possible press for another round of talks, that should be aimed at getting HH directly involved with a high ranking Chinese official (Hu himself or at least not more then one level under him), not the jokers the Chinese sent this time. It seems likely that this second round will also end up nowhere, but Tibetan Govt. should let this know to the western media AHEAD of the meeting, that the CCP appears not at all serious about these talks, especially considering the continuous vitriolic attacks from the Chinese media, which proves they don’t want to talk at all, merely keeping appearancs up towards the west.
    When they prove to be completely unproductive – as expected – then (while keeping up demonstrations everywhere) you would put the western media and governments under pressure to demand not ‘just talks’, but ‘serious talks’.
    This need to be done fast, before the olympics, because after the olympics Tibet may wel be out of the media forgood…

    I personally see this as the last chance to get something started, only other option seems to be waiting for a Russia-like revolution. But that could take decades: by that time there is probably not even anyone left in Tibet who knows what Tibet was before the Chinese took over….

    Love & clear light,
    Rudy

  25. Rudy Harderwijk | May 9th, 2008 | 11:48 am

    To all the other commentators; good points everywhere. I do think that Tibetans need to make up their mind about independence or autonomy; at the moment, the Tibetans themselves are split in two, and that is the best way of helping the Chinese, really.
    However much I think that independence is not at all feasible for many reasons, if Tibetans cannot make a united front, the CCP will make use of these divisions. It is also happening within the western media. There is really nothing worse for your case then being divided.

    Yes, I am an ‘outsider’, but some of you seem to forget that the outsiders (the rest of the world) is all you have in your fight…

    By the way, would any of you be interested discussing this on a dedicated discussion forum – this blog is not exactly the best place for an extended discussion?

    Love & clear light,
    Rudy

  26. Hugh | May 9th, 2008 | 11:57 am

    Jamyang la,

    Sometimes I wonder where the history is disappearing to.

    Dharamshala probably doesn’t want to anger the Chinese. I wonder why people still believe that talks with China would ever solve anything. The only reason China invites any Tibetans for talks is to show the world that China is in control and that Tibetans belong to China.

    I wish those hapless negotiators who go speak to Chinese officials would realize this.

    Unfortunately, the only way any talks would ever be of benefit to Tibetans would probably be after the Chinese colonial project has been made so costly to China, in terms of resources and lives, that they would look for a way to quit Tibet.

  27. Hugh | May 9th, 2008 | 12:09 pm

    Rudy,

    That is arrogant to say that all Tibetans have are outsiders in their struggle. You are wrong.

    Tibetans have the right to take up their own national subjectivity without listening to what “outsiders,” the injiynangpa, or China wants.

    I also would not say, as you have done, that there are probably no Tibetans inside Tibet who remember what Tibet before China was like. That is actually pointless to say. It appears, from the reports coming out of Tibet, that they do at least know that Tibet was independent and would like China to turn around and leave.

    You could say that China leaving Tibet is an unrealistic goal, but remember, it is still costly for an occupier to maintain a colony. Occupiers will remain so long as they can extract either resources, or a sense of nationalist ego-pride. Once both of those are bruised and marred beyond recognition, that is when doubt and questioning starts to happen.

    I don’t think Tibetans inside of Tibet are split in two, in terms of their desire and aspiration for themselves. No one is going to fly a banned flag or shout banned slogans because they want meaningful autonomy. It is disingenuous for the Dalai Lama and the TGIE to attempt to reframe this uprising into their own comfortable political terms.

  28. Pema Thinley | May 9th, 2008 | 12:11 pm

    Hi Jamyang lak,

    Although your piece here really make sense but the very idea of blaming the whole thing on TGIE is foolish and illogical. It’s time we give them the necessary support and constructive suggestions to boost their confidence to face the mighty red devils. Do you think it’s easy to deal with the red chinese with your ideologies, which is quite different from the TGIE? Do you think it will bring more fruitful result? And do you have the confidence to get the desired result without going through the nightmares (as in your word)that the TGIE representative went though all these years?

  29. Rich | May 9th, 2008 | 12:20 pm

    Dava, there’s nothing underhanded about standing up for what’s right. This sort of implication it offensive and has got to stop.

  30. Dava | May 9th, 2008 | 12:35 pm

    Nobody, least of all myself, was suggesting that standing up for what is right is not right. If I made any such implication, then I was truly offensive and will stop.

  31. Rangzen | May 9th, 2008 | 1:47 pm

    Here’s another article relating to the recent talk between Chinese and Tibetan representatives.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/JE08Ad01.html

  32. Rudy Harderwijk | May 9th, 2008 | 2:06 pm

    Dear Hugh,

    But who else do the Tibetans have as their ‘allies’?
    Of course, Tibetans don’t need to listen to anybody. I merely thinkj it would not be very wise to think you know everything, especially when you are in a bout with a country that outnumbers you something like 500:1, and so far, nothing much has been achieved, were it not with His Holiness efforts and aid from India and the west.

    I meant to say that in a few decades, everyone in Tibet has been born in China so to speak, and all that people can show is a Chinese birth certificate of passport to show who they are. As of that time, it is not really going back to an independent Tibet, but it becomes ‘inventing a new Tibet’. This I merely meant from the pint of view of individual people.

    Besides this, their also appears to be a huge gap between Tibetans in Tibet and the Tibetans that have fled; are there really any young Tibetans in India or any other country who would want to go back to a country which is basically very tough to live in? I would think this is a major question as well – because it actually makes even the TYC ‘outsiders’ in that aspect. I find it hard to believe that many of them would love to go to Tibet after they expereince their first winter there…

    Regarding holding a colony, I think you miss the whole point there. I am from Holland, a tiny country in Europe. Some 400 years ago we were one of the few ‘superpowers’ worldwide. Why was that? The incredible profits we made from our colonies, nothing else!
    You may be entering the propaganda trap of the Chinese, who make you believe they spend so much money to develop Tibet. Make no mistake; stealing land and colonizing it is a very profitable business. They still have barely begun mining in Tibet because of the difficult access, but raw materials are becoming very scarce in the world, and Tobet will (perhaps literally) be a goldmine in not too long a time.
    Besides that, I think that the old cultural Tibet covers almost a quarter of China; these 1.3 billion people need space.

    I think you are right about Tibetans inside Tibet; the trouble is that the media almost eclusively talk to Tibetans outside Tibet. Crudely said, if you watch a documentary of Tibet, you almost without exception hear poorly educated, simple-minded Tibetans who are afraid to have repercussions from the CCP. The only people that foreigners can have a proper discussion with live outside China/Tibet. And when these people are divided, it is disastrous for the cause of Tibet.
    For example, you get a report saying, ‘The Tibetan Govt. in Exile says …., but not all Tibetans agree with this.’ That is not only very confusing, it creates the feeling in people sympathetic with Tibet that ‘if even Tibetans don’t know what they want, what is the use of trying to help them?’
    Please let me be very clear about this, it is up to Tibetans to figure out what they want, but if you stay divided, any goal you have will be even further away.

    Of course, in reality, I have no doubt that His Holiness would prefer complete independence, just like all other Tibetans. However, he sees that independence is further away then Shambhala if you know what I mean. We have a saying in Holland that says, ‘better half an egg then an empty shell’. In other words, better have some smaller obtainable goals realized then never realizing anything.

    There is perhaps one good thing about the Chinese continuously attacking His Holiness in an angry way; the CCP looks more stupid in the western media day by day, because His Holiness is such a morally superior person, and you need any help you can get in your current struggle.

    Please do not let your (understandable) anger about the situation take over logic and reason.

    Love & clear light,
    Rudy

  33. Samten | May 9th, 2008 | 2:23 pm

    Rich,

    Seems to be like you are the real culprit here. You have got a funny way to let others know; target them first and advise them to go against it when others pinpoint you.

    just joking man, cool down. Afterall, it will teach us not to get hurt easily and in turn stop harming others.

    It may sound offtopic but it is relevant to any given situation in our life. Tibet without Buddhism is like a trash of the red chinese. Even if we get our country back, they may grow a number of worthless and evil minded people out there and slowly started to degenerate. That’s why we really learn to practice our religion to live in peace and harmony. If there is no religion, then i think we are going back to that century without religion, where the pople……………….kill, disrespect, break the laws, no trials, intolerance, out-laws, and many more.

    Learn to keep our culture intact otherwise we will lose a big treasure which is precious and irreplaceable. Sometimes fear while browsing through the blog and suddenly catching up with something which is against the religion and the one who is preaching it. Don’t know what they want to prove. tibetan atheist may be. Religion, I mean the four main religion of Tibet including other worthwhile ones.

    Jamnor lak, don’t feel bad for writing something on religion and its necessity. It’s my responsibilty to remind others (tibetans) to learn and practice it otherwise we will be left with our nail biting. It’s time to act on tibet we dearly cherish and Tibet, others held high being peaceful and happy. That’s is the way of life. I would be feeling very bad if i find all sort of rogues here and there even if we got our tibet back.

  34. Jamyang Norbu | May 9th, 2008 | 2:59 pm

    Pema Thinlay la
    I am not just blaming putting the entire blame on the TGIE, but also offering them different options to their present policy, which I think has entirely failed. I make my criticisms quite sharply, otherwise they would be completely ignored. If you’ve lived and worked in Dharamshala as I have (for over 30 years) you will know that. You have to get the attention of the kalons and big shots.

    I know most of you won’t believe me but I have very good relations with most officials (past and present) of the TGIE, and I have always received unstinting cooperation whenever I have asked anyone in the Information Office or anywhere else for some information.

  35. Tenzin100 | May 9th, 2008 | 5:21 pm

    Last night I watched the biography of Mahatma Gandhi, and he was know as the “Father of the Nation” in his later years. From an age of about 25 untill his death at the age of 79, he worked continuously for the independence of India. He sacrificed his life for India, spent many years in prisons, risked death, and was a very shrewd leader. He led the Salt March, and walked 250 miles, walking 10 miles a day. I think that he was 68 when he went on the Salt March. And he gave-up Western clothes because wearing Western clothes would mean subscribing to Western culture and thereby run against the ideas. So, they burn all Western clothing ina huge fire and many start wearing white “dhoti.” He made huge sacrifices for his country.
    Now, Gandhi was an ordinary man who later became Mahatma Gandhi. Why aren’t there Tibetan people who have convictions similar to Gandhi? What we really need is leaders who are willing to sacrifice everygthing just like Gandhi. And I don’t think that there will be any who can be like Mahatma Gandhi who worked from his 20’s unto his death in 1979. He dedicated about 60 years of life to the cause of Indian Independence. What I am really saying is we should not wait for HH the Dalai Lama to do everything for the Tibetans. What we need is a true leader like Gandhi who will become the voice of Tibet. Just think what would it have been like if HH the Dalai Lama was involved in the planned walk from Dharamsala to the border of Tibet, that was cut short. This is what Gandhi would have done, because he was one of the people and he was front-and-center of what he preached. We should stop talking about adhering to non-violence because we are really not doing what Gandhi preached. He said that inorder to practice his brand of non-violence one should be willing to die. Well, how many Tibetans out there truly are selfless enough to give-up their lives for Tibet? How about, how many Tibetans out there are willing to sacrifice their lives for Tibet (but not willing to die)? Where are our leaders when we need them right now?
    Ghandhi was a great leader and the Indian people had enough conviction to follow in his footsteps. What is going to determe our future is our character and resolve as a people. Only time will tell if we as a people did enough to fight for our country be it independence or autonomy.

  36. TenzinTsering | May 9th, 2008 | 7:36 pm

    If Dalai lama who has all the power, publicity, cannot lead the people, who you expect to lead Tibetan??? Dalai Lama won noble peace award….. lots of lots of awards. If God can’t do it, no human being can.

    Or you can admit that Dalai Lama had never taken any non-violence action. He just talk and talk. Even Buddha himself took extreme method to achieve his nirvana.

    Or you may be expecting CHUSHIKHANDRUG to lead us. They fought for Tibet in the past,but the weird thing was that we had never admit their brave commitments instead people were degrading them.

    If anybody who has a different opinion, different approach from Dalai lama, people will call them traitor. Think who will stand up for our cause. Nobody.

  37. We the people of Tibet | May 10th, 2008 | 12:49 am

    Tenzin100,

    I think, you are thinking and trying to put your thoughts and ideas together.

    When Tibetan marchers decided to go across the Indian continent to reach Tibet, and arrested by the Indian authority. The first thing in my my came was, HH Dalai lama, he should march and demand Indain government to “release my pleople”. If India so called the biggest democracy country in the world does not allow to exercise non-voilent democratic practice, why they are entittled to call the world biggest democracy? Ghandi did, Martin L King did, Aung San Suu Kyi did. Why not HH Dalai lama. The Indians are not going to arrest him.

    Can you imagine when the Indian police try to arrest him, the world will be up with arms and that give Tibet cause more power and pressure all around the world. HH Dalai lama missed this oppotunity. Sorry,,,,,,,

  38. TenzinTsering | May 10th, 2008 | 7:36 am

    WE THE PEOPLE OF TIBET

    I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. AND I THINK THIS IS ONLY SOLUTION WORKS.

  39. Hugh | May 10th, 2008 | 8:18 am

    One good thing HH the Dalai Lama has done has been to NOT go into Tibet or return. For such a thing would most assuredly be a big propaganda boost to the PRC colonial mentality. No matter what the truth would be, the Chinese would most definitely tell the world that this is proof that a rebellious and errant “son of the motherland” has returned to the fold. Such a thing would be a tragedy.

    No matter what the man does, he will be considered a splittist, unless he does give himself into the hands of the Chinese. Would this happen? I doubt it. Say what you will about HH, but he is no fool, at least in terms of his personal safety.

    China is simply going to wait it out till HH passes on. Then they will announce a new Dalai Lama, at least giving themselves the self-seeking legitimacy they crave.

    Sure. China will keep talking. They’ll talk for months or years. They’ll talk your damned ears off, if they must. No problem with talking, since they know they have all the cards.

    Until the colonial project becomes painful for not only the Chinese government, but for all Chinese citizens who benefit from it….until that time, China will not be serious in any discussions with Tibetans. You may think this is wrong to say. But in national liberation against a colonial aggressor, the point that they are wrong must be made in a forceful way. This means making it costly for them to maintain any colonial presence. Even to the point of disrupting aspects of the colonial infrastructure and economy inside the metropolitan country.

    But this needs to be smart, and not just hot headed. Since the point is to make the citizens of an empire also feel the pinch to the point where they question what they have been led to believe and why they are mucking about in someone else’s country.

    There is a wealth of experience, social and historical, of such examples being brought to fruition that Tibetans can learn and then apply to their own circumstances, if they wish.

  40. martin | May 10th, 2008 | 5:43 pm

    Dear rudy,
    I have some remarks to your postings.

    1. The media attention has stopped (in Europe) after China accepted dialogues with the envoys of the Dalai Lama.

    2. In western democracy it is usual to have a government and an opposition. Why the Tibetans should not have the right to act in this way. It will prove, that Tibetans don`t want to go back to an absolutistic theocracy.
    It is my impression, that the western media conceal the tibetan democratic opposition to have arguments in public against an independent Tibet.

  41. Rudy Harderwijk | May 11th, 2008 | 8:39 am

    Dear Martin & Hugh,

    Please understand that I don’t approve of Tibetans having different ideas from His Holiness or the Government in exile; opposition is even absolutely necessary in a democratic system, otherwise the system falls apart.

    Doing nothing will of course not help, at least demonstrations are necessary to keep the issue in the media.

    The reason that media attention has stopped now is because the Tibetan government seems to do nothing right now, and it should – urgently. At least urge for a second round of talks, but also make clear that this first round had efectively no results, so that it is clear to the outside world who urged China for talks, that real talks are still not happening.

    I also totally agree with Hugh that the Chinese talks in this way will probably go on until His Holiness passes away, however, western countries can apply much more pressure to the CCP to hold REAL talks, in which the CCP must do concessions to the Tibetans. However, again, the Tibetan government must become less diplomatic and put in much clearer words that the CCP needs to be pressurized. Go on the streets in Dharamsala, Delhi and in the South to have small, peaceful demonstrations to urge your government to get off their behinds. Why not symbolically block the entrance to the govt. in exile building in Dharamsala with banners, saying that unless they have a plan and do something, it is useless to meet anyway. But you must make a good plan of what these banners say, write up a good petition to your government and GET THE MEDIA INVOLVED.

    As to what Tibetans in Tibet can do, well, it seems to me they are doing heroic stuff already; anything more will probably only cause summary executions like during the Cultural Revolution.

    As to what Tibetans in exile can do: try to be creative rather then merely saying the Chinese and the Tibetan governments aren’t good!

    I don’t know… why not have 24/7 peaceful ‘picknics’ with banners and large pictures of the killed Tibetans in the areas of Chinese embassies and consulates. If the police come to summon you should leave, just pack up your things peacefully, walk to the next park or public place and continue the ‘picknic’ with the banners. Similarly, you could have a 24/7 hungerstrikes in a similar manner, where people do 8 or 12 or 24 hour hunger strikes in the same manner. But in all cases, invite local and international press, have your own people around who can make good photos or videos that can be sent to the media, send photo & video reports twice a day to all the media you know. The point is not the demonstration itself, the point is to be in the media with a message. Make it clear that these talks are only a game by the CCP, and are not serious at all.

    You should really try to be creative with little actions here and there, but always have a media plan ready. For example, there is the protest march to Tibet now; but I don’t see any media coverage apart from a Tibetan blog writing a story every week, that’s not media coverage. If there is no media coverage, these people could have just as well stayed home.

    But right now, I would urge you to not bring up a violent alternative or do any violent action, simply because it will immediately destroy a lot of goodwill that you do have all over the world. The problem is only that the Tibetans as a whole do not effectively use this goodwill to pressurize the CCP into concessions.

    Please understand, I’m only trying to provide you with suggestions, you of course need to decide what you want to do. One of the main issues is that the Tibetan people as a whole still have very little experience with democracy and demonstrations etc., and the whole trick is to get to the media with a gripping message and creative, sympathetic actions. If you look at all kinds of protests and actions in the west since the late 1960’s, you will notice that some things work, and others don’t.

    Do this make any sense to you?

    Love & clear light,
    Rudy

  42. Rudy Harderwijk | May 11th, 2008 | 8:41 am

    Oops, I just made a serious mistake in the first line above; of course I mean to say that I approve of differnt ideas! Sorry!

  43. We the people of Tibet | May 11th, 2008 | 4:47 pm

    Why Gyari is not telling what he talked with Chinese government? This kind of method and tactic is very grievous damaging for our cause. People around the world, and heads of governments think. Well, Tibetan and Chinese are talking and let them talk, this gives break for the Chinese from not having to talk and not talking meaningful negotiation when the situation is still tense and have the world tension on Tibet.

    This meeting has broadcasted around the world. Tibetans, concerned citizens and supporters everywhere anxiously waiting, we have the rights to know, we have the rights to know what Gyari proposed and what agendas laid out. He refused to give details. This is typical of Gyari trying to put us in the darkness and leave us wondering. That makes us all wonder and scared what else they are giving up, on behalf of Tibetan people. We want open government not concealing from us. This is very important part of democracy, if they do not know!

    We want to know now and be clear what they are talking on behalf us. Everyone should write to Dharamsala. If we let Dharamsala do what they want, we are waiting for a big disappointment and surpr

  44. Tsering Choedon | May 12th, 2008 | 2:48 am

    Please see the video on a speech given by Karma Choephel Tagluntsang in Tokyo on the 6th of May.
    http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=2S26DL-zs8M#fFuELnjpGnw

    This is the first time that Tibetan Government In Exile have explicitly publicly acknowledged what the Tibetan people want.
    Tibetans want nothing less than COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE.
    I am glad that the TGIE has at last used “PEOPLE’S DEMAND FOR COMPLETE INDEPENDANCE” card to pressure Chinese government to come to the negotiating table with sincerity.
    That is the first step in the right direction in a long time.
    The ball is now in the Chinese court. Let us see how they play it.

  45. Tibetan | May 12th, 2008 | 7:23 pm

    Why can’t we Tibetans send someone who will truly be able to stand up to the Chinese officials during the talks and not be bullied? Why must the same people who have not achieved anything go again?

  46. We the people of Tibet | May 13th, 2008 | 12:51 am

    Tsering Choedon,
    I watched the vidoe, I don’t know if this is TGIE’s statement? or is it his statement? If this is TGIE’s position, then it should be made clear to everybody, what is their intension is and goal is. On the other hand, many of us have been saying this in the last 20 yrs and unfortunately TGIE ignored this suggestion and failed complete to achieve anything in the last twenty years. What discouraging and waist of time! I see there is no reason to listen to them anymore, unless other wise TGIE agrees with people’s demand, which is tatol independence for Tibet, they are out of touch with people. There are a lot smart people who can represent Tibetan people inside Tibet and outside much better then people like Samdong and Gyari.

    BoRangZen!

  47. Rudy Harderwijk | May 14th, 2008 | 5:35 am

    Good point ‘we the people of Tibet’, TGIE is supposed to be a democratic government; you can contact them and demand an answer to these kind of questions.
    Of course, the government in international negotiations cannot always just speak their mind; in many cases this ruins dimplomatic connections, but you are right that Tibetans and the rest of the world need to know exactly where TGIE stands. As a foregner, I urge you to use your democratic rights with your own government!
    Try to get together with some people and draft (a bunch of these) questions, get some signtures and start bombarding them with emails and letters.

    Love & clear light,
    Rudy

  48. sharma patel | May 18th, 2008 | 5:57 pm

    Jamyang Norbu,

    Good sir, it is with interest I have read your published materials. To my knowledge you have articulated prior the only way to free Tibet is with violence and by making Tibet inhospitable to Chinese populations.

    1) Has your position changed?
    2) What is your relations with Thubtan Jigmee Norbu who is the advocator of nonviolence independence?
    3) Sir, you engaged the Chinese in the support of the central intelligence agency in quite distant past. Do you expect some measurable support from the same in the forthcoming efforts?

    Clearly you have quite the following among the younger Tibetans. If I may venture the personal curiousity, do you distinguish between the political activities of the Dalai Lama and his religious personage? Or are you entirely unconcerned with spiritual matters, somewhat like your good colleague Lhasang Tsering?

    Keep the faith in the Tibetan struggle, may you work steadfastly and humbly for supremely beneficial all Tibetans.

    In spirit of the Mahatma,
    -Sharma Patel

  49. tsering topgyal | May 20th, 2008 | 9:13 pm

    Hello Jamyang la,

    What could Lodi Gyari say to the press?
    The cruel truth is that Lodi Gyari should recieve a Jade Medal for having to fly to China knowing that nothing would be achieved.

    Tsering Topgyal

  50. Anonymous | May 20th, 2008 | 11:25 pm

    I always say, “Logi Gyari rinpoche ma re. Lodi Gyami’i rinpoche re.”

  51. tsering topgyal | May 21st, 2008 | 11:58 am

    Anonymous

    A coward is born under the name of anonymous.

  52. sharma patel | May 21st, 2008 | 2:15 pm

    Despite being a devouted Brahmin, I am thinking that the insulting of the Lodi Gyari Lama is so unbecoming from the anonymity side. While the faithless men calling themselves “Tibetan” are finding so easy to insult the hard working Gyari they themselves are not accomplishing much in the devotion works themselves. Excess of hot air prevailing in the critical mind without due understanding of sublime nature of altruisms activity. Criticalism born of frustration reflects so much poorly on the critiquer man rather than the good lama. I do not expecting much from the same who insult the Holy Dalai Lama and by attacking the Lama personally saying he is Chinese you will not make friends in Kham worlds.

  53. sharma patel | May 21st, 2008 | 7:42 pm

    World weary wishes of loving learned lamas
    competing these days crashing to old goerillas
    from CIA haven? Old goerillas have no guns and lamas have no temples so whats the usefulness of the confrontations mind? Maybe old gorillas need temples and world weary lamas need guns? But the goerillas dont want temples and the lamas dont want guns so this is nature of dirtery world.

    Lodi Lama is maximization of patience and Jamyang Norbu is maximization of passion. We love patience and we love passion and feel so saddened if old friends battle too much for autonomous and independence losing clear sight of factual tactics to jointly and togetherly pressure very brutal communist policy. May God bless you both alike the independence worker and the negotiator nations-man and please you anonymity persons do not be insulting the Gyari Lama which is so unbecoming and insulting to whole community of Khampa people who are being to love this good Rinpochay. If finding fault with policy then find fault with policy but no more insulting nature of Chinese-lama comments because we can say same of faithless man for what kind of a “Tibetan” is a man with no faith in Holy Dalai Lama as spiritual master? You thinking you Tibetan because you are born there. This being the case you are a nationless man who belong to no country but your mother’s womb! You were born only there! Tibetanness is more than skin color or certain birthplace but in mind of my Tibet friends is extending to deep root of culture. Special connection of Chenrezig incarnation being rejected is also kind of rejection of essence of Tibetanness.

    Even as a Brahmin student of Mahatmaji I am surely of a surly inclination to practically come to blows with those insulting the great Tibetan Guruji and must reserve each atom of will to hold back from anger at the disparagement nature of radical Tibetans and radical Chinese who alike insult the holy Dalai Lama. They are two faces of same ignorance so whether we are autonomous men or negotiators men we must only face down the real enemy which is brutal Communist policy and still be genuinenss friend to all Tibetan brotherhood.

    Chinese devil mind tactic is the split and conquer which is played strongly alike by the insulting to Gyari Lama. Those members who dont agree with Gyari Lama have full right of freedom to work in their own way but this personal insulting comments may stir up more trouble than you either wish or can being to handle. So wiser is the offer of apology and then all is forgiven. It is best to offer the supreme of the mutual respect to all the noble hearted people working for Tibet and simultaneously we are judging the individual man by his records of actions in all facets of arenas and displays of conduct. So in this meticulous awareness of conductiveness record the Gyari Lama he is something most marvelous but seeing the blind is not. May God bless peace on Land of Holy Tibet.

    In the spirit of Mahatma,

    Patel

  54. Rich | May 21st, 2008 | 11:59 pm

    Hm, I don’t think which cholka somebody comes from is so important. I know plenty Khampas who hold Gyari in disdain. What’s important is one’s policy and sincerity, not a smiling face and a claim to people’s sectarian or regional allegiance.

  55. mark tatz | May 22nd, 2008 | 4:22 am

    The loss of focus on Tibet in the media is not related to the Chinese offer of talks. That may be the case for the foreign affairs bureaus of western governments. The media has moved on because has no news to report. There is repression in Tibet, and some reporting of it. But the Chinese have for the most part successfully closed off media access.

  56. Samten | May 22nd, 2008 | 8:06 am

    Anonymous,

    The very people who have done so much for the Tibetan cause is being blamed and put under the scanner by those who have not done anything for Tibet. Woh! What they want to prove. Come and let others know, you are much better than Gyari. Otherwise, no use hiding and writing bullshit comments here.

    It’s time we give them support and constructive suggestions rather than only pulling their hair.

  57. sharma patel | May 22nd, 2008 | 9:17 am

    I am being of respectful mind to the independence fighters who only contest middle way policy. No problem being here as freedom rights of free nation means to debate and do the sincere effort. This being the case it is doubly and redoubly unacceptable to be personally insulting the Holy Dalai Lama and most loyal comrade Lodi Gyari who working tirelessly for your people even to protect your right of dissent.

    Some actions is completely of the wrong mindfulness such as the thinking to beat Jamyang Norbu for his political statement. This is being so very wrong in spirit of democracy and compassion. We must appreciate each views even the differing.

    Some actions is of the high mindfulness like eager willingness to take all measures necessary actions for protection of Dalai Lama and Gyari Rinpoche.

    It is very important which provincial one comes from. To keep old Khampa culture is so precious to the Khampa friends. Gyari Lama is one of the genuine Khampa with correct mind to Holy Dalai Lama. There are some so-called Khampas who even disrespecting mind to Holy Dalai Lama. Such man is not Khampa and in Kham probably not expecting much long life.

    Who died for His Holiness with the guns and in prisons? Endless Khampas. There is this special connection so even though as Tibetans unite in one nation it is so important protecting Khampa culture and traditional mind.

    Issue comes like Gyalo Thondup want to make one Buddhism which Kagyu and Nyingma dont like it. Same with provincial status. Must be protecting diversity of uniqueness at same time uniting for benefit of great nation of Tibet.

    In spirit of Mahatmaji,

    Patel

  58. Tseten Choedon | May 24th, 2008 | 4:25 am

    I am born in Exile..the way the negotiation process drags now i will also die in Exile.I belong to Tibet…not to any sect or Chölka.My hats off to you..Jamyang Norbu lak.Keep inspiring us!

  59. sharma patel | May 25th, 2008 | 9:39 am

    Tseten Choedon la,

    I will be explaining my subtleness points just in case being you missed them.

    If you not belonging to any sect, you must the Gelugpa or the non-religious. Mostly it is the nonreligious or the Gelugpa who will say this type of thing — because when in the majority stance or when not caring there is no need to be active to preserving the tradition. But Holy Dalai Lama doing excellent job to all 5 traditions for the preserving work.

    Subtleness point is that Gelug is so wonderful but it is so important to preserving independence nature of each lineage. Patel feel sorry if you belong to no sect. Maybe you also belong to no lama, belong to no religion, belong to no traditional ways? That is sad to hear from mouth of a proud Tibetan…but is happy to hear you love the nation. Mixing feelings.

    If you not belonging to Choklha, you must be lost in exile without original culture feeling?
    Each Choklha have nice interesting strong history of good things to learn. For strong choklha sum each choklha people should be strong in their choklha. If unite from strength have power but if unite in vague sense of know-nothing of your choklha people, hard to be strong in traditional way.

    Example being the America people i meeting when travel for small business. America people are proud of their homeplace and celebrate the baseball team loudly from hometown only, talk homeplace way, and proud of homeplace, but more than this being proud to be american too. Is room for both kinds of pride of choklha and greater tibet.

    Maybe you are missing the Patel’s point. Belonging to Tibet is strengthened by preservation of diversity of uniqueness of Tibetan culture traditionals.

    If Tibetan people be making “one Buddhism” or “one Tibet without choklha” this is not the authenticity. What the Tibetan nations is needing is the very strong tradition uniqueness united as one not the being of vague generalities where you forgot the people’s culturals.

    Maybe you missed the subtlety point. Subtley point summation is being: True unity needs full preservation of diversity and traditionals combined with maximumization of respect for Tibetan traditions.

    If you feel offending then I am so sorry as I am only the simple Brahmin without the vastlyness knowledge but stating from the experience travelling the small happyness world. In the travels in Nepal country I did notice that sometimes the young Tibetans making the old ones sad by not doing the preserving work for the culturals and religious traditions. Then the old ones feel sad. Same time old ones feel happy to see their strong love for nation. Mixing feelings again. Is it not?

  60. Tseten Choedon | May 25th, 2008 | 10:24 am

    Dear Mr.Patel.
    You are absolutely right…i am completely completely lost in exile,like millions of human beings who feels lost when one`s national identity is taken away from Birth.At my persoal level Tibet comes first and once we are independent i might bother about Choelka.Secondly,the religion of Humanity comes.Thirdly i am a very serious follower of Buddha…i believe in the principles of Buddhism and Buddha ,as far as i am concerned ,does not belong to any sect!!!It is irrelevant to me if someone is a Brahmin or a Shutra…we are all born only once and die only once in a life time.Fourthly,it is no problem if anyone chooses to be an atheist as long as he or she does not harm others including animals.Last but not the least i have not heard of any crimes in the name of atheism but i have definitely heard of innumerous crimes done in the name of religion!!If the preservation of the past is the only motive in life…please show me the way yourself by going back to the stone ages!!You have the right to your opinions..i have to mine..i will still say i belong to Tibet…not to any Choelka..i am a Buddhist…i dont belong to any sect.At this crucial stage in the history of my nation i welcome any one to step forward to save my brethen back in Tibet.FREE TIBET!!

  61. sharma patel | May 25th, 2008 | 12:28 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts Tseten Choedon. My feeling is I am Brahmin by birth and untouchable by heart due to deep sympathy for Tibetans people who becoming untouchable status in own country. Now I am wishing you have maximumization of devotion to Holy Dalai Lama and you must be learning more your culture is my suggestion and then you will being to appreciate commentary from mine own. I must be learning your thinking more to appreciating your own side commentary.

    If we become more serious religion practtioner we will be knowing preciousness mind for each distinct lineage. When we become the refinement mind of culture preserving we will be knowing the preciousness mind of each choeklha. Maybe we all asian people are influencing by excess of western thought. It sounds to me. As far as stone age I will happily go back to time of your Tibetan king Songsten Gampo, or happily going back to time of your Guru Padmasambhava or even far back to Tonpa Shenrab when the life was so sweet (its okay to laugh now). You remind me this and thanks for that. If I can go back to stone ago gloriousness i am very happy. I don’t need airplane and car and microwave machine. I need the people of the pure compassion mind for all beings. And I know all the bad side history too like when Gelug attacked Nyingma and monks wars and death penalty only stopping by 13th Dalai Lama and so forth but still I am thinking the old life was sweeter in Tibet than the new life. You and me have this differing opinions but we agree in the critical portioning, which is we must take every avenue for beneficialing the people inside Tibet. So sister I will join you arm in arm and work for people inside Tibet who are knowing the infinite sufferings of Communist cruel and devils actions.

  62. TSERING THARCHIN | May 27th, 2008 | 3:55 pm

    Jamyang la
    I have been wanting to ask you some questions, but Mr, Sharma patel beat me to it, so i will just repeat his questions, since you haven’t answered it.

    To my knowledge you have articulated prior the only way to free Tibet is with violence and by making Tibet inhospitable to Chinese populations.

    1) Has your position changed?

    2) you engaged the Chinese in the support of the central intelligence agency in quite distant past. Do you expect some measurable support from the same in the forthcoming efforts?

    ????????

    Thanks in advance,
    Tsering Tharchin,
    p.s, Mr Sharma Patel, sorry to copy your words, but thats what was on my mind too.

  63. Karma | June 12th, 2008 | 4:20 am

    I would like to invite more substantial comments or dialogue on how should we go forward. If must let us see what CTA has done so far. I believe only a few wish to analyse what kind of strategy CTA has persued so far and where it went wrong. It is not true that the entire processes and stratgy along with its necesary short term and longer goals. The recent events bear plenty of impacts of Middlepath (MP) policies. If some of the universal slogans were to be treated seriuosly, the MP has for the first time visibly united Tibet and gave Tibetans living under variuos provinces of China a conscience being one Tibetan. We must now try raise it further to the next level which would give the movement a political face and force. Right now it is still in an early stage.

  64. Karma | June 12th, 2008 | 4:30 am

    I would like to invite more substantial comments or dialogue on how should we go forward. If must let us see what CTA has done so far. I believe only a few wish to analyse what kind of strategy CTA has persued so far and where it went wrong. It is not true that the entire processes and stratgy along with its necesary short term and longer goals had failed. Accroding to my readings of press releases the each meeting had different agenda and different purpose whether each of those purpose was acheived or not is different matter. There is a through consultation processes both at national and international level supporting the envoys. Their role is only to present them as the mood and situation of the each meeting. I beleive each of those meeting has raised or drain down the aspiration of Tibetans higher or lower. But it is certain that Tibetans within Tibet have noticed them and reacted to the things accordingly. Fro me, the recent events bear a plenty of impacts of Middlepath (MP) policies which was only regoruosly persued by Samdong. If some of the universal slogans were to be treated seriuosly, the MP has for the first time visibly united Tibet and gave Tibetans living under variuos provinces of China a conscience being one Tibetan. We must now try raise it further to the next level which would give the movement a political face and force. Right now it is still in an early stage.

  65. Karma | June 12th, 2008 | 8:11 am

    Jamyang la -with all due respect for your personal achievement in a foreign literary world- I must say -most of your opinions are tasteless and cheap -more aprropriately un Tibetan like. It may be all due to your socialisation and values. Your opinions sounds more of outburst of a personal frustration than anything that an ordinary Tibetan like me to take note of. You must have worked for over three decades but you failed miserably due to your own accord than anything else. Because you and your allies have attempted to change the system on your terms (western-style)without understanding that Tibetan systems have evolved through a few centuries.

  66. Tingm o | June 15th, 2008 | 9:13 pm

    KARMA
    are you referring corrupted aristocratic system and corrupted religious system evolved through a few centuries.Or feudalisms. If you stop to reform, it will lead to revolution.

  67. Karma | June 16th, 2008 | 12:28 am

    I was not -in fact I have been brought up fighting to such system. But there may be still continuety which is good. Goodthings must be continued. Without continuity there can’nt be a nation worth mentioning. Be it British German or French in the lines. The things you have mentioned have been already reformed without a revolution or struggle. In fact essential powers has been properly transfered to all the democratic institutions through proper processes and procedures. But you may still like to argue that are defects in the present system which should agreable to anyone. There is no perfect system in that sense any where else in the world. Today if you like you as an individual can hold a the offices powers in a minimum time limit and execute them as per your responsibilities.

  68. cheme dorjee | June 28th, 2008 | 3:36 am

    This is for Mr. Sharma . Obviously you are well informed about tibet and tibetans and we appreciate your interest. However your assumption that khampas will be angry if we berate gyari rinpoche is totally unfounded. to the contrary most khampas dont trust him at all.. although he may have certain skills like lobbying in washington(whatever that might bring us!!!) and is from a famous family. Khampas are like all other people and dont like being led around in circles..However sir, its nice to know people like you showing interest. Its unfortunate that most Indians are very laid back with regard to the Tibetan issue

  69. tenzin kalden | July 8th, 2008 | 10:57 am

    Dear jamyangla,i do respect your modern and pramatic way of political thinking regarding gaining your political goal.I also do think we need people who are politically educated like you…tibet has got of schoolars but in politic we are lack of educated people.

    As jamyangla said we tibetans should bykott the olympic game since our sisters and brother are undergoin an unhuman torturne for speaking freelly about their disire and basic human rite. international chines people will unterstand that with enough and clear information since Olympic game should express the human brotherhood and globalisassion.
    But i dont think so that that we should demand rangtzen since tibet will gain more in a more free and greater china. independence is not realistic and also not useful.
    So we shoul do what ever to prove china that kuduen and we tibetans are not seeking independence but a real authomony like in honkonng has or buthan has.
    To prove that i think h.h.the dalai lama and tibetan exil goverment should be ready to give a letter in writing at present of international wittness.
    I dont understand why jamyang la always put the boykott of olympic game and fight for a free tibet together…..since thise are really two different things.

  70. John Thompson | July 20th, 2008 | 4:05 pm

    My 31 year old son had the good fortune to be named (before his birth) Jamyang Norbu. This name was given to him in California in 1976. I am a practitioner of Dzogchen and Terma traditions. Not oly are so many Tibetan people being repressed, but all life on earth is being repressed by countless obstacles that keep the Dharma’s Dzogchen Teachings from being known to all.
    The political situation in Tibet, just as conditions in California, are based on the widespread ignorance of the True Nature of Existance. Very few people live their daily lives aware that the entire Quantum Field, as well as our Milky Way Galaxy is Divine Consciousness (Buddha Nature), and that the Five Realms are theatrical dreams where nearly all sentient beings do not realize the all encompassing spirit in each of us.
    This BLOG is an effort to share the Dzogchen view of why the struggles of the Tibetan people, and most people everywhere, is a result of not knowing who we truely are. We pray the messages of this BLOG reach a much wider and appreciative audience, raising readers’ awareness of these crucial views.

  71. Tashi Wangyal | July 31st, 2009 | 12:33 pm

    Hi Everyone! I have been reading comments/ideas from all of you and I agree that system needs to be changed! Pasts are not always good and it is not only for us, its for the rest of the people from different countries too! Now whatever we have right now is in our hand, we may not feel it, we may not know it and we may not believe it, but it is there in our hand. Find it and fight for what you feel right!

    I want you guys to focus on the article(Autonomy? Think Again) in Times of India, 22 July 2009. Let me bring you few lines from them :

    “The Dalai Lama’s chief negotiators, Kelsang Gyaltsen and Lodi Gyari, have met with other officials to hammer out a position that they fantasise will interest China, and Lobsang Sangay, a Harvard-trained expert, has been reinforcing the exiled government’s views with his own analysis of the law. But the fact is that all of these people are functionally illiterate in the hundreds of articles and books all in Chinese that constitute the body of interpretive literature on regional nationality autonomy in China. That never seems to have perturbed the Dalai Lama’s people as they wander quite blindly around major issues of Chinese policy.”

    I found this one really true as I don’t believe that there are Tibetans who is studying Chinese laws, their policy(not only about Tibet) and what they mean of whatever we are demanding!

    For them Sheh sheh is Tashi Delek and for us Sheh Sheh is twice loose motion!

  72. Jeff Bowe | August 2nd, 2009 | 5:46 am

    Advance Statement From Tibettruth Concerning the Sino-Tibetan Conference, Geneva August 6 to 8, 2009

    Distributed to the Tibetan Government in Exile, Tibetan organisations and across the media

    The International Sino-Tibetan Conference, August 6 to 8, has been promoted as a forum at which Tibetan and Chinese academics, former communist party officials, advocates and writers will explore options for a peaceful solution of the Tibetan issue. Such gatherings, on face value, have an alluring credibility, strengthened by the participation of a number of respected and experienced authorities, climaxed by an address from the Dalai Lama. However, those hoping to witness a genuinely democratic crucible from which creative exchange and dissent is drawn, may find themselves somewhat disappointed.

    This event is not dedicated to establishing consensus through intellectual critique and discourse, rather it will serve as a conveyor for an already established agenda, in this case the determination of the Tibetan Administration to convince communist China that it is willing to accept so-called autonomy under Chinese rule. It is interesting how often Tibetan officials, when promoting this surrender of Tibetan nationhood, talk as if they possess a unified and agreed mandate from the people of Tibet. Which they do not, as evidenced by on-going protests for independence across Tibet, and the results of their unofficial survey conducted last year inside Tibet, which revealed a majority support for Rangzen (independence).

    Yet this common political aspiration will not be represented at the Conference, except perhaps as a marginalised and cosmetic indulgence, which will be pre-occupied with finding a commonality between Tibetan and Chinese peoples. Perversely it is such capitulation, barely concealed behind the conference slogan of ‘Finding Common Ground’, which will be presented in Geneva as a hopeful solution for the issue of Tibet.

    Absent too will be any meaningful accommodation of Tibetan public-opinion, or examination of Tibet’s right-to-statehood (such issues are seen as de-stabilizing influences which must be either ignored or suppressed for fear of unsettling already fragile negotiations with the communist Chinese regime). However, surely, those participating in this event must accept that if any eventual settlement was to have integrity or political gravity it would require the authorization and participation of the Tibetan people, a fact long recognized by the Dalai Lama:

    “I have always stated that the central issue is that the Tibetan people must ultimately choose their own destiny. It is not for the Dalai Lama, and certainly not for the Chinese to make that decision. It should ultimately be the wishes of the Tibetan people that should prevail” (The Dalai Lama, Yale University, 9th October 1991)

    Yet this just affirmation seems to have been consigned to history by an Administration which no longer seeks to accommodate and respect the political hopes of its people, and actively denies Tibetans any genuine decision or engagement. It has autocratically decided what solution will meet the political demands of Tibetans by imposing, upon an increasingly frustrated and disillusioned population, a strategy of appeasement and compromise.

    Tibet’s future status will no longer require the assent of the Tibetan nation, but will be determined by an élite who have surrendered any prospect of either self-determination or independence. These individuals favour so-called meaningful autonomy, which concedes that Tibetans are not a distinct people, with all the political, territorial and cultural rights which flow from that definition, but a Chinese ‘nationality’, a so-called ethnic-minority with only the dubious assurances of communist China’s laws on regional autonomy for protection.

    This conference raises a question of considerable dimension for Tibetans who have witnessed years of futile negotiations and troubling concessions, all to the advantage of communist China, Where is the common ground between the Tibetan Administration and its own people? Who are struggling, not for so called ‘meaningful autonomy’ but for Tibet’s independence. Tibetans, during the Uprisings in 2008 Tibetans, though obviously loyal to the Dalai Lama, share a profound and longstanding desire for a free and independent nation. This has been recognized by the Dalai Lama:

    “I also know that every Tibetan hopes and prays for the full restoration of our nation’s independence” (HH The Dalai Lama March 10-1994)

    If the Tibetan leader does not know the political hopes of his own people who does? Others have recognized the nature of the political struggle inside Tibet and reached similar outcomes, the prestigious and authoritative Conference of International Lawyers on Issues Relating to Self-Determination and Independence For Tibet (London January 6 to 10 1993) concluded that the Tibetan people possessed an “abiding desire” for:

    “The establishment of an independent Tibetan state” Paragraph 4.10

    That appetite has not abated, if anything as the suppression and exploitation of Tibet’s culture has increased, so has the demand for Tibet’s independence, along with widespread protests supporting that objective. Such facts however do not seem to have informed the inane policy of the Tibetan Administration, as evidenced by the appeasing conclusions of its so-called Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People:

    “Whereas, we are committed, therefore, to fully respect the territorial integrity of the PRC, we expect the Central Government to recognise and fully respect the integrity of the Tibetan nationality and its right to exercise genuine autonomy within the PRC. We believe that this is the basis for resolving the differences between us and promoting unity, stability and harmony among nationalities.” (emphasis added)

    That same document concludes by asserting that:

    “The objective of the Tibetan Government in Exile is to represent the interests of the Tibetan people and to speak on their behalf.”

    In what sense of the word ‘interests’ are the people of Tibet in any way served by an administration that exhibits such indifference towards the political aspirations of its own people, and ordains a policy of appeasement which would commit Tibetans to a parlous and uncertain future?

    Would the suppressed people of Palestine be required by their leadership to abandon hopes for an independent Palestinian state in exchange for autonomy and Israeli citizenship? Were the people of East Timor fed by their authorities a diet-of-despair that insisted the military and economic might of Indonesia was to powerful to hope for independence?

    Yet Tibetans, despite nearly a hundred nations regaining their independence since World War Two, are being asked to endorse the abandonment of their nation’s legitimate rights to political and territorial sovereignty. Why should the people of Tibet remain a colony of communist China and accept anything less than self-determination and independence?

    We therefore call upon the Tibetan Administration to respect and honour the political will of the Tibetan people, by abandoning what has proved a vacuous and failed strategy of appeasing China in the hope of securing, from a draconian and totalitarian regime, a form of so-called autonomy. We remind your office that under international law Tibetans meet all the requirements of what defines and constitutes a distinct people, with all the political, cultural, civil and religious rights associated with that definition. The Conference of International Lawyers on Issues Relating to Self-Determination and Independence For Tibet (London January 6 to 10 1993) noted that: “..three resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly (Nos 1353, 1723 and 2079) have recognised the status of Tibetans as a “people”. Resolution No. 1723 expressly refers to the right of the Tibetan people to self-determination” (Paragraph 4.6)

    Do not surrender the birth-right and hopes of your people.

    Issued: August 1, 2009

  73. tenzin | September 5th, 2009 | 2:03 am

    I admire you as an author not as a politician. If you think you are an activist, then why not show it like Tenzin Tsundue instead of saying too many things, which makes you look silly now. Please stop being critical for once…and let people do their jobs. It is easier said than done. I wonder how you’ll do if you were made to go to Beijing and negotiate. I’d rather stick to fiction if I were you.

  74. Douglas Heselgrave | December 11th, 2009 | 2:12 pm

    Hi Jamyang, I have been moved by your writings for more than twenty years. I couldn’t agree with you more about ‘getting the Dalai Lama back’ as much as I will miss his trips to Vancouver, Canada. I think he has more important things to do. his last trip here was a new age atrocity (courtesy of your old friend, Victor Chan) Here’s what I wrote in the local paper:

    http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/thesearch/archive/2009/11/04/dalai-lama-de-politicized-in-vancouver.aspx

    Keep up the fight!

    D.Heselgrave
    Vancouver, Canada

  75. Douglas Heselgrave | December 11th, 2009 | 2:14 pm

    Here it is if you can’t open the link –

    The Vancouver Peace Summit was a bit of a love-in for most people. That has long-time Dalai Lama admirer Douglas Heselgrave worrying that some hard political truths might have been lost in the feel-good atmosphere.
    Almost everybody loves the Dalai Lama, and Heselgrave may know and respect him more than most. That’s why he felt compelled to write a tough-minded message as the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education continues to pursue its goals. In short, Heselgrave is concerned the Center may be “de-politicizing” the work and mission of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
    Writes Heselgrave:
    Dear Douglas:
    I have always enjoyed your writing and over the years I have always found you to be reasonable, and able to balance passion with objectivity. Not many can do that.
    I have been very frustrated, though, with your recent coverage. Don’t worry – I’m not one of the Chinese apologists, racists, or whackos that have been writing fanatical retorts to your articles.
    Rather, I’m someone who has been very involved with Tibetan refugees since I first saw the Dalai Lama in Vancouver in 1980.
    Since then, I’ve gone to Dharamsala seven times to teach at a monastery, The Tibetan Transit School (I wrote a Sun article about it in Feb 1995), write curriculum and shoot a CIDA-funded film about refugee education. I support two refugees and regularly do all I can to draw attention to the plight of Tibetans.
    I have met HHDL (His Holiness the Dalai Lama) on a few occasions and have a good relationship with him and the members of the refugee welcome centre and the department of education. I’m not meaning to blow my own horn, just give a little context….
    I really don’t want to offend anyone and as I said have immense respect for Victor Chan, the organizer of the Vancouver Peace Summit, but I do feel things have veered off course a bit from the original vision.
    … While I have supported the Dalai Lama Center, I have been distressed by how the whole focus of HHDL’s visits and the forum he has been given to speak in have changed. What distresses me most is how the Dalai Lama Center has de-politicized everything and has robbed the whole issue of its context. I remember meetings at which board
    members passionately argued to ‘not mention Tibet’ and to focus on ‘peace.’
    That’s a convenient – and grossly irresponsible – position for one not suffering oppression if not genocide to take. I have seen first hand the suffering of people under the present regime and have lost many Tibetan friends over the last 20 years to Chinese torture and violence.
    Many others have died too young or taken their own lives.
    I don’t need to tell you that it’s a devastating, heart breaking situation and needs fixing. The Dalai Lama center and its wealthy patrons are not the ones to fix it. It’s not that peace is a bad thing – believe me.
    But, to rob HHDL of his context – he is so great because of what he’s been through – reduces him to a kind of ‘peace mascot’ – and he is so so much more.
    As someone who has attended his teachings in India and listened to him speak for ten days on a single text or idea, I can tell you he is a great scholar and his practice is ferocious, deep and challenging. He is a great man with a great mind.
    We don’t see that when he comes here. At least, in the past, he would give at least one ‘religious talk’ and one could hear and experience the depth of his intellect, his love of puzzles, enigmas and challenges. Times change. I understand that. But I long for the days when HHDL spoke for free – or for under $20 by 2006 – and everyone could go.
    The bejeweled socialites with ‘deep pockets’ that make up the audience now haven’t got their hands dirty as I – and dozens of other Vancouverites – have, to show our support. The $300 tickets were a disgrace. None of us old activists were there as we know that $300 can build a library, a computer lab, provide a clean water system – lots of my Tibetan students nearly died from dirty water at the Transit school – or any number of other things.
    You get my drift. You are a good writer with a good heart. I simply think you didn’t report the story behind the story. All the feel-good peace summits in the world won’t improve the life of the average Tibetan refugee one little bit.

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