A NOT SO SPECIAL MEETING

 

There’s no denying that I walked into the thing with my “eyes wide shut” – to borrow the title phrase of Stanley Kubrick’s last film. I saw the warning flares that went up following the announcement for the November Special Meeting, one of which I mentioned in an earlier article. This would be Prime Minister Samdong Rimpoche’s rejection of the general anticipation that the meeting might contribute to a rethinking of our failed China policy. Rimpoche was quoted on Phayul.com as declaring “We are committed to our Middle Way Approach and we will continue our efforts for a genuine autonomy within China’s framework, and that will not change.”

Then there was the composition of the gathering itself.  Most of the 600 expected participants were near exclusively made up of former and serving Tibetan government officials, former members of Parliament, settlement officers, leaders of the narrow regional-based political organizations and subsidized pressure groups masquerading as political organizations. The Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest political organization in the Tibetan exile world, and one committed to Tibetan independence, was only allotted two seats.  Such organizations as the Students for a Free Tibet were not even asked to attend.

In the initial announcement of the meeting it was mentioned that Tibetan intellectuals, scholars, experts and Tibetan youth would participate. There was a caveat though, that while all officials (retired and otherwise) would have their travel and living expenses reimbursed, everyone else would have to pay their own way. It also appears that though officials had received invitations (or instructions) to attend the Special Meeting, no Tibetan scholar or expert had received an invitation, nor been informed. Not surprisingly, none showed up at the meeting.

I can think of a few scholars, even offhand, who would have greatly contributed to the discussions.  For instance Professor Namkhai Norbu the unique authority on the proto-history of Tibet (author of Drung, Diu and Bon, The Necklace of Gzi, A Cultural History of Tibet and other works) should definitely have been invited. Then there is Tarthang Tulku, author of the remarkably scientific resource compilation, Ancient Tibet, and Khetsun Sangpo, author of the analytical 13-volume history of Tibetan Buddhism. The contribution of Drikung Rimpoche would have also been valuable.  Rimpoche has single-handedly created an invaluable Tibetan history archives (The Songtsen Library) housing, among other things, reproductions of nearly every existing Tibetan text and art from Central Asia (the so called Tunhuang documents) discovered by archeologists in the early 20th century in Central Asia.

We also have such eminent lay Tibetan scholars as Tsering Shakya, our leading historian on modern Tibet (author of Dragon in the Land of Snows) and world-renowned scholar of Tibetan history and culture, Samten Karmay (author of The Arrow and the Spindle and many other profound works on Tibetan history). Samten Karmay who is also the president of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, recently published an article which has a direct bearing on the Special Meeting. In “Tibetan Religion and Politics” which appeared in Phayul.com on September 13, 2008, a reasoned and compelling case is made for the secularization of Tibetan government and politics.

Living in Dharamshala we have Tashi Tsering, director of the Amnye Machen Institute who without exaggeration can be described as a one-man think-tank on Tibet. He is regularly sought after by scholars, lamas, foreign Tibetologues, the Tibetan government and even by His Holiness himself (on a number of occasions) for his encyclopedic knowledge of Tibetan history, culture and politics. Tashi Tsering is not an ivory tower pedant but someone with wide knowledge of Tibetan society and politics. He was an active member of the editorial board of Mangtso the largest Tibetan language newspaper-in-exile, and for a number of years co-edited and published the in-depth political review (Da-sar).

There will be those who will ask why these people needed invitations in the first place? Why didn’t they just come uninvited if they cared about what was happening in Tibet? But then you could also ask right back what the problem was about mailing a dozen odd invitations to Tibetan scholars and intellectuals if you were sending out invitations to five or six hundred officials and politicians in the first place? Unless, of course you didn’t want any free-thinking intellectuals to come in the first place.

The first day of the meeting was at the Tibetan Children’s Village. The auditorium was packed with officials of every kind. Those who had come on their own steam were seated in the back rows. The speaker of the Parliament, Karma Chomphel, gave the opening speech. He restated some of the points about the reasons for calling the Special Meeting: That the Dalai Lama had called for this gathering because of his concerns about the desperate situation inside Tibet.  That the meeting was not being held to seek any kind of vindication or support for the Middle Way policy but was rather a forum where various ideas and strategy alternatives would hopefully be forthcoming which would help the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government cope with the crisis. He added that the Tibetan government was also considering holding subsequent follow-up meetings with other select groups of participants.

Prime Minister Samdong Rimpoche’s talk was conspicuous for its disclaimers.  He spent most of the time informing the audience what the meeting was not about. There was a laundry list of denials: The meeting was “not a political strategy or tactic to pressure the PRC”. It was not a ploy by the CTA “to shirk responsibility for the failed talks or pass the blame to others”. It was not a means to change CTA’s current policy or “stance”. Not a means to seek popular backing for current policy. And so on. Towards the end of his talk the defensiveness became overpowering. “This must be stressed that the CTA has no hidden agenda and plan behind this Meeting. The Kashag will not make a statement about the work and programs of the CTA thus far. The Kashag will neither say a single world about what is right or wrong on the agendas of this meeting.”

“The lama doth protest too much, methinks” (I thought).

Then the participants were divided into committees which met that same afternoon in different locations throughout Gangchen Kyishong. I was in committee sixteen with about thirty other people and we met at a classroom at Nechung monastery. Our committee opened its deliberations with a senior retired kalon holding forth for about two and half hours. By the time he finished there were only about fifteen minutes left for the meeting to end. I managed to squeeze in an opinion that considering Beijing’s press conference of November 10th , where it was made humiliatingly clear that China would never accept the Dalai Lamas request for ‘meaningful’ autonomy, the first thing Tibetan government should do was announce that it was discontinuing further negotiations with China. I added that the government should not specify whether its action was provisional or permanent, but should leave it up in the air.

The next day it became clear what the strategy of the Middle Way campaigners was going to be. The representatives of Tibetan settlements and centers in India and Nepal insisted on reading the written proceedings and resolution of the public meeting that had earlier been held in all these communities – probably on Dharamshala’s instruction. They also insisted that the complete documentations be included in the record of the committee meeting as expressing the near unanimous support received for the Middle Way Policy by the Tibetan public. I tried to argue that the Special Meeting had been convened for the presentation and discussion of new ideas and strategies, specifically from the participants of the Special Meeting, and that a broad public expression of support for the Middle Way and His Holiness should be presented to the government or His Holiness in a different forum or on a separate occasion.

The senior retired minister I mentioned earlier, also spoke out against the inclusion of the resolutions of the public meeting in this Special Meeting. He had an interesting take on this issue. He maintained that the Beijing Press conference of November 10th and the Dalai Lama’s important statement at the Tibetan Children’s Village on October 28 (about losing faith in the Chinese government) had fundamentally altered the basis of the Tibetan government’s Middle Path Policy. Therefore the proceedings and resolutions of the public meetings, which had been held before these two critical events, were now outdated and irrelevant, no matter how well meant and patriotic the intentions of the public had been. He concluded that what was needed now were new ideas and strategies that took into account His Holiness’s latest statement and the events of November 10th, and that this Special Meeting was the right venue for this fresh discussion to take place, without any previous arguments, debates and resolutions getting in the way. But the Middle Way adherents insisted on reading out the documents in their entirety.

These public meetings had been held in most Tibetan centres and settlements shortly after the initial announcement of the Special Meeting in September. From reports I received, they seem to have been conducted in a way so that an appearance was created of enthusiastic public endorsement for the Middle Way Policy. In some cases the impression was given that the Tibetan people did not want any discussion on the issue of the Middle Path but were putting their complete faith in the Dalai Lama’s all-knowing (thamchekyenpa) powers to make the right decision on all such matters.  Of course for many Tibetans such faith would be completely natural and would require no manipulation by politicians for their expression. On the other hand, because of the successive failure of the negotiation efforts for the last many years and the scale and extent of the uprisings that had taken place throughout Tibet from March 2008, an increasing number of Tibetans had begun to question the Middle Way Approach. It was probably to forestall such thinking in Tibetan society that the public meetings had been undertaken.

The Tibetan People’s Movement for Middle Way made an open declaration about  organizing “workshops” and meetings to educate the Tibetan people about the Middle Way Policy. Other political groups, regional organizations and even the settlement leadership appear to have joined in this well-coordinated campaign. From the reports I received it appears that the whole tone of the campaign was negative, and the arguments put forward to promote or justify the Middle Way Policy consisted near exclusively of scare tactics.

The fundamental fear exploited was, of course, the one that we have all been subjected to in every discussion about Rangzen and Middle Path: that Tibetan religion, culture and even identity would be completely wiped out because of the rapidity of the Chinese population transfer into Tibet.  Therefore we did not have the time to keep up the independence struggle but had to accept “meaningful autonomy” under China. The fact that China had never even remotely offered to halt population transfer or cultural genocide if we gave up the goal of independence, was somehow always overlooked.

Instead, what is invariably brought up is the “assurance” that Deng Xiaoping had supposedly given to Gyalo Thondup in 1979 that if Tibetans gave up independence then everything else would be open to discussion. The fact that Deng might not have offered such a guarantee, or more probably, not expressed it in exactly the hopeful way as Gyalo Thondup interpreted it, is never considered.  Even in the aftermath of the Beijing press conference of November 10th, when Chinese officials flatly (and contemptuously) denied that Deng Xiaoping had ever made such a statement, there appears to be no loss of faith in Deng’s “assurance”, which, for die-hard Middle Way devotees, has now taken on the inviolability of a spiritual truth.

When this matter of Deng’s “assurance” came up in my committee I mentioned that the former governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten in his book (East and West) about the handover of the Crown Colony to China, had stressed that when negotiating with Beijing it was crucial for Western negotiators not to take at face value any assurance or promise made by important Chinese leaders. I added that other books and publications on negotiating with China also mentioned this problem. But I was talking to a brick wall.

Another scare was that the Tibetan cause would lose the support of the nations of the world if we gave up the Middle Way policy and went for Rangzen. The warm reception that the Dalai Lama receives on his travels in the West and statements by heads of states and political leaders calling on China to talk to the Dalai Lama, have been naively construed by simple Tibetans (and sometimes spun by Tibetan officialdom) as evidence of Western support for the Middle Way Policy.  Of course, no western leader has ever come out and expressed support for the specifics of the Middle Way policy such as the unification of the three ancient provinces of Tibet (which would include the whole of Qinghai and large parts of Gansu, Sichuan and Yunan provinces) and the establishment of a democratic autonomous entity within the PRC.  What Western leaders and heads of states have occasionally “urged” China’s leaders to do is to talk to the Dalai Lama, often for no other stated objective than for “the Dalai Lama’s peaceful return to Tibet”. If one listens to the speeches made by American leaders on the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s Gold Medal ceremony (there is a DVD available) one hears far too many instances of American leaders appealing to Chinese leaders to allow the Dalai Lama “to return to Tibet” and even “to return to China.”

Most world leaders are well aware that China won’t make any meaningful concessions to the Dalai Lama, but the gesture of supporting dialogue makes these leaders look good to their constituencies, while enabling them to avoid taking a real position on the Tibetan issue that might anger China and adversely affect trade.”

Another very dishonest and potentially conflict-provoking assertion used by Middle Way propagandists to alarm the Tibetan public was that if Tibetans gave up the Middle Way and declared for Rangzen then the government of India would deport all refugees back to Tibet.

Perhaps I should also mention one other claim by Middle Way votaries that seems to have caused a great deal of anxiety with older Tibetans, especially those in institutions as the Old People’s Home in Dharamshala. This was that if Tibetans should demand political independence then Western aid (kyopso) for Tibetan refugees would be cut off and inji sponsors (jindak) would discontinue their support. I heard this from at least a couple of old Tibetans I talked to in Dharamshala. If readers have heard anything similar, I would appreciate an account.

Of course not all those campaigning for the Middle Way were so underhanded in their tactics. I met a young monk from Sera monastery who was a firm believer in the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way and who had traveled around the settlements and communities to educate the public on this issue. He and I participated in a panel discussion organized by a Voice Of America correspondent. The monk attempted, in a very friendly way, to explain to me what he perceived as the philosophical strong points of the Middle Way. When he was asked by the moderator, Namgyal Shastri, whether he had used scare tactics on the Tibetan public as other Middle Way campaigners had allegedly done, the monk denied it emphatically. I thought he might have been intellectually naïve but he was sincere and well meaning.

Nonetheless there is no doubt that the political organizations and officials advocating for the Middle Way policy had used arguments and methods that exploited the ignorance and fears of the uneducated Tibetan public. This became clear not only from the reports I received but were fairly obvious from the rhetoric of many of the Middle Way advocates at the Special Meeting. This extensive propaganda campaign was well organized and no doubt well funded, but it is not clear if Tibetan government or the Prime Minister Samdong Rimpoche were somehow involved. From some of the speeches at the committee meetings it also became apparent that a great deal of demonizing of Rangzen activists had taken place during the campaign.

The president of the U-Tsang society who was in my committee, spoke at length on how the failure of the negotiations talks with China was the fault of the Tibetan Youth Congress and others. He maintained that such activist organizations had, through their protests against the Beijing Olympics and the Torch relays, deliberately provoked the Chinese government and people. He stopped short of blaming the demonstrators inside Tibet. He added that the Dalai Lama’s distress and disappointment had come about because of the actions of the Tibetan Youth Congress. He also made the accusation that the organizations involved in the Peace March to Tibet in 2008 had expressly disobeyed the Dalai Lama and caused him much distress.

This was the big scare tactic. That if we caused the Dalai Lama any more distress he was going to step down from power and give up his leadership role – in effect abandon us all. The only way to prevent this terrible calamity was to demonstrate absolute and uncritical loyalty to him, and assure him that we absolutely supported all his policies, including the Middle Way. This was emotional, even spiritual, blackmail, no doubt, but it was effective.

I don’t want to give the impression that there was no dissent or original idea expressed in the Special Meeting. Although in the minority, Rangzen advocates were not reticent about presenting a variety of ideas, some of them quite radical. One retired paratrooper from Chakrata of gyakpon rank in our committee, spoke passionately about the need for Tibetans to able to conduct a guerilla campaign against the Chinese occupation force in Tibet. He also made it quite clear that he was ready to volunteer for the task.

The Middle Way crowd immediately pounced on him and tried to represent him as being disloyal to the Dalai Lama and His doctrine of non-violence. It appeared to me that this criticism was made in a jeering sort of way – to show up those Tibetans who had fought for their country as disloyal and also stupid.

It provoked me to respond at some length. I pointed out that the Dalai Lama had been rescued from the Chinese by fighting men and that His Holiness had not only approved of Tibetans fighting for their country but had even issued a special message to them, thousands of copies of which had been scattered by air in Sog, Naktsang and Pembar, where the people had risen up against the Chinese.

I also reminded everyone that the Tibetan government-in-exile had not only approved of Tibetans joining the Establishment 22, but had even made it compulsory (in the 70s and 80s) for Tibetan refugee students to serve a term in this military unit after twelfth grade. Also, the Dalai Lama had not objected the Indian government sending special frontier force in the 1971 Bangladesh war where many Tibetans died in action. His Holiness himself attended the victory parade of the force at their base at Chakrata, and reviewed the soldiers as they marched past. In conclusion I pointed out that if every Tibetan had to embrace the doctrine of non-violence to demonstrate loyalty to the Dalai Lama, then the Dalai Lama’s bodyguards could not be expected to pull out their weapons and shoot anyone who came to attack His Holiness.

I don’t think it is necessary for me to mention that the retired military officer I mentioned was a Rangzen man. Whether one agreed with him or not about the effectiveness of guerilla warfare in our current freedom struggle, one at least had to concede that his idea was his own. And this was something that fundamentally differentiated the Rangzen activist from the Middle Way devotee whose whole belief system was based on unquestioning faith in the Dalai Lama. Every argument that the Middle Path believer put forward in every discussion was invariably the official one.

Although Rangzen activists and advocates were in the obvious minority in the Special Meeting, the only ideas and suggestions that could be considered original or worthwhile seemed to come from that group of people.  I offered a few which I need not go into here. But there was one I spent the greater part of a night working on.

Since I had earlier suggested that the Tibetan government should suspend negotiations with China, I proposed to my committee that there should be a logical next step, a follow up action, that could be implemented in the next few months. This would be the setting up of a Rangzen Review Commission of the Tibetan Parliament (rangzen thaplam ki kyarship tsokchung.) This select commission of senior parliamentary member (with maybe a member of the kashag sitting in) would hear testimonies from leaders, spokespersons and activists from Rangzen-based organization. The commission could ask questions to these people about why they thought Tibetan independence was possible, what were their plans and strategies, and so on. The commission could also solicit expert opinions from scholars, political scientists, legal experts, historians and writers on Tibet.

I stressed that the setting up of such a commission would not commit the Tibetan government to a Rangzen policy, but would demonstrate that the exile government did have alternatives to merely seeking negotiations with China. Furthermore the establishment of this commission would be an appropriate and dignified response to Beijing’s very insulting press conference of November 10th. Most important of all such a step could lead to a real national debate on the future direction of the Tibetan struggle.

Similar proposals for a policy review seem to have been made in other committees.  There had also been a proposal in one committee that a review of the Middle Path policy itself should be conducted. No doubt all such suggestions had come from the minority of Rangzen activists and also from some of the more discerning retired officials alarmed by the complete failure of the negotiations and the total inability of the exile government to respond to the crisis in Tibet.

On the final day of the Special Meeting all the participants met at the TCV auditorium where the reports of the different committees were read out. The inclusion of the proceedings and resolutions of the earlier public meetings at Tibetan settlements and centres into the records of the Special Meeting, largely overwhelmed whatever discussions had taken place at the committee meetings. There was scant mention of alternative policy ideas and strategies that had been raised by Rangzen advocates. The concluding session of the Special Meeting created the distinct impression of near unanimous support for the Middle Way Policy and of unquestioning acceptance of anything the Dalai Lama had decided.

In his concluding speech Samdong Rimpoche’s declared victory for the Middle Way policy claiming that over 90 percent of Tibetans clearly supported the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach. I did not attend the Tibet Support Group Meeting in New Delhi the following week, but was told that Rimpoche repeated the victory claim and the same statistic at this event.

There is no getting around this final and unpleasant question. Was the whole thing a setup from the outset? Had the Special Meeting been a ploy by the government-in-exile to coerce public support for a policy that had crashed and burned this March with the Rangzen Uprisings in Tibet and later ignominiously repudiated by Beijing at a press conference on the 10th of November?  There is the other possibility (and a part of me still very much wants to believe this) that the Dalai Lama had come around to realize the flaws in His Middle Way Policy and had called for the Special Meeting in good faith, in a genuine desire to hear alternative ideas and strategies. It might then follow that underlings, official and otherwise, with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo had rigged the meeting to give His Holiness the impression that the Tibetan public enthusiastically and near unanimously supported His Middle Way policy and would never loose faith in Him or question any of His decisions.

But this begs the question why His Holiness wasn’t aware that most of the people who attended the meeting were those who invariably echoed his own thoughts and feelings and would never dare contradict him under any circumstance? Why hadn’t he just called a meeting of real experts, intellectuals and people of independent views and asked them all outright, (and not through the intervention of committees and the prime minister) what they thought of the present crisis. His Holiness has participated in, and even presided over international gatherings of physicists and cognitive scientists and is most probably aware that in any endeavor to seek the truth, the value of genuine expertise and independent and fearless thinking, is preferable to faith and devotion.

I think it can be said that the Special Meeting has raised more questions than it was supposedly intended to answer.

(My apologies for the long delay in this posting. I have not been well since my trip to India. My thanks to readers for their continuing interest and lively comments which have kept my website, but more importantly the rangzen discussion, alive and kicking – even without any input on my part.)

Comments

  1. Diane | February 4th, 2009 | 9:22 pm

    Dear Jamyang Norbu,

    Thank you so much for relaying the details of what went on in the special meeting, yours is the first account that really explains what happened in detail.

    As a non Tibetan, but one who takes part in Rangzen with Tibetans I find it extremely sad and am very surprised to hear how this meeting went.

    Maybe this is very naive of me, but it makes me think that these “middle way advocates” the very same people that struggled to get out of Tibet, had so many of their own family members suffer and die, have lost their way.

    Again, I may be wrong but my take was that the Dalai Lama had asked for Tibetans to be open to all suggestions and take under consideration all views, I believe that is why he himself did not attend these meetings allowing people to speak their minds freely.

    I don’t know how they can live with this decision while amazing brave Tibetans inside Tibet are being arrested, tortured and killed every day.
    How can they stand for this? I ask them where is the compassion?

    Voting to do the same old thing is a vote to leave their fellow bothers and sisters behind.
    How amazingly sad and heartbreaking.

  2. sharmapatel | February 4th, 2009 | 9:57 pm

    Buddhadharma will be destroyed from inside in the dark ages, so His Holiness’ dreams are destroyed by his “loyalest” “followers.”

    every lama from Karmapa to Drikung to Dalai is surrounded by evil men in his close circle who impede…this obstacles is nature of world. some of close circle lamas are so good. but some of close circle lamas so deluding and bad.

    narrow minded fools thinking they religious or sometimes just out for their personal power gain money fame etc. but dont understand religion of Dharma essence which not meaning too many butter lamp and bowing and mani but meaning transform human mind in all situations — meaning also in unavoidable violent times.

    Jamyang la make great point about violence and Kundun’s bodyguards. It is exactly like this.

    Now the time for talk is over.
    Forget exile government.
    People must act from own side.
    May the billion plus Chinese meet 10 billion little mosquito-warrior.

    Patel like to make offering of Rangzen for holy guru Dalai Lama! This is truth! This much good!

    Jamyang la always speak against terrorism. I also speak against terrorism. But how Tibetans suffer I can UNDERSTAND if terrorism happen and Patel can not blame anyone if come to that.

    p.s. For the Chinese spies in room, Patel like you to know how I long to cram fistfull of Tibetan excrement in your prime minister’s mouth to shut up his lies. You people are butchers from hell. Go back to where you came from, go back anywhere, as long as not Tibet! Now you say Dalai spread ethnic hatred. Dalai Lama spread love. PATEL not need ANYONE to make him hate you. You action make Patel hate you.

  3. Tenpa | February 5th, 2009 | 1:44 am

    God! sometimes, I think we deserved to get this treatment from the chinese because we are so retarded in every possible way imaginable. It is so frustrating to sit and listen to the same old scare tactics people use like if it means anything. No wonder most youth these days don’t care about it anymore. Why should they? Their opinion means nothing and their presence in the Tibetan ‘democracy’ is big stupid joke, just like our middle-way policy. Sorry..I meant their middle-way policy. Arrrgggggggggggggghhhhh! Just shoot me and get this misery over with.

  4. sangpo | February 5th, 2009 | 1:01 pm

    Jamyang Norbu la,

    Succinctly written. Although update came after many months but its lively account made it fresh as if it happened yesterday.

    Enjoyed reading thoroughly.

    Tashi Delek.

  5. Tibetan Wolf | February 6th, 2009 | 12:02 am

    Dear Gen Jamyang Norbu la,
    Tashi Dele and greetings to you.
    You started your article with criticizing the democratically elected priminister of Exiled Tibetan government, blamed him all wrong and naive at the opening and conclusion of the special meeting. I wonder what kind of role you would play if you were in priminister’s shoes. Secondly you seem see so many flaws as you claimed to observe within the exiled Tibetan leadership with regard to Tibetan national struggle, what flawless approach and leadership would you suggest? perhaps ban on interaction with Chinks whatsover?
    I think in order to change something, first of all, you have to be the change itself so that you can bring forth the real change, otherwise, you may call for it for hundred years , still nothing will come out of it. If you don’t like the way of Tibetan leadership is and wanted to change it, you have all the right to run for leadership or campaign to change it, but so far I see you are doing none of these.
    You also complained about not inviting some scholars to the meeting, in this you didn’t mention about yourself, so I must assume that you were invited and provided a chance to make your point, but I wonder how much contribution were you able to make for a flawless policy for Tibetan struggle at the special meeting.
    I remember when you were nailed for what is your action for national struggle of Tibet, you said you are a writer and writing is your struggle in action for Tibetan cause, it was a reasonable self -assurance, but I wonder what will happen to Tibetan cause if every one of us only writes but nothing else.
    I read your Illusion and Reality, Shadow Tibet, The Mandala of Sherlock Homes and his missing Years. I was hypnotized by your powerful writings , but now and then I find some naïve and childish parts of you as well, for instance You often mentioned Tibetan guerilla’s sacrifices in relation to His Holiness ‘s safe escape into exile, suggesting a special recognition for them, it is a fine suggestion , but on heaven’s sake , who didn’t fight at the time when Chinese razed our homes into dust , turned our villages into haunting places, and stripped our souls naked, even children under 10 in my village collected rocks and pebbles for sling shot for fighters during the fight with Chinese, how can some be red –carpet treated over others? This idea was not only naïve, was also stupid.
    Another thing you mentioned Professor Namkai Norbu, Tarthang Tulku, Khetsun sangpo Rinpoche, and others who were not invited for the special meeting, first of all, I don’t think if you really knew if this is the case, secondly , Professor Namaki Norbu will not attend special meeting even if he would be invited because as he could not offend Chinese for his often travel to Tibet to conduct his cultural , historical, religious research and exploration and aid projects as Pema Bum and other guys from new York based trace foundation always keep away from Tibetan political activism in order to avoid harsh slap on flow of funds to aid projects in Tibet.
    Tarthang Tulku has been divorced from TGE since long time ago after he married to California.
    Alas, Khetsun Sangpo Rincpoche is very aged and old , also he is a life time yes man to His Holiness and TGE.
    Where on earth, Drikong Rinpoche will find a time to attend the special meeting, while he is busy for 7/24 chasing after Paul Pelliot, Sir Aurel stein, Albert Von Le Coq and Count Otani for treasures they stole from oasis of silk road.
    You also complained that the special meeting is a plot and His Holiness is revered for all knowing for not knowing the plot, I have all the right to sue you for making this false accusation, making slanders, and hurting my religious faith, ha,ha,ha , good night Genla!!! Talk to you later.

  6. Tenpa | February 6th, 2009 | 4:14 am

    Sorry about my rant there. I am a hot-head by nature and usually speak before thinking. But it sure is frustrating to say the least. Thanks Jamyang la for this post and I am glad you were there to give a full account of what happened there before they bury it.

  7. bodjong | February 6th, 2009 | 4:47 am

    “if Tibetans should demand political independence then Western aid (kyopso) for Tibetan refugees would be cut off and inji sponsors (jindak) would discontinue their support”. This is not true at all. I live in the heart of Gangkyi and observe the situation first hand.

    Jamyang la, don’t take all your sources for granted.

    the rest of the ideas were progressive, and if implemented, can advance our cause.

    we can not expect much from the settlement leaders and officers. their only source of information is Bodmi Rangwang and Sheja, official publications of the Tibetan government. Unlike Jamyang la and the sophisticated Rangzen activists living in the west, they are not highly educated and have access to free information on the internet.

  8. bodjong | February 6th, 2009 | 4:53 am

    “if Tibetans should demand political independence then Western aid (kyopso) for Tibetan refugees would be cut off and inji sponsors (jindak) would discontinue their support”. This is not true at all. I live in the heart of Gangkyi and observe the situation first hand.

    Jamyang la, don’t take all your sources for granted.

    the rest of the ideas were progressive, and if implemented, can advance our cause.

    we can not expect much from the settlement leaders and officers. their only source of information is Bodmi Rangwang and Sheja, official publications of the Tibetan government. Unlike Jamyang la and the sophisticated Rangzen activists living in the west, they are not educated enough to realize the political machines of the tibetan leaders.

    tenpa, I appreciate your passion and the fact that you realize ranting doesn’t work. As we say in hindi, never lose hosh in josh…

  9. tag zig | February 6th, 2009 | 5:12 am

    for the kind information of readers here, i want to inform you all that tsering shakya serves on the committee instituted by the Kashag, whose responsibility is to give consultations to the tibetan goverment in its talks with the chinese. so shakya didn’t show up publicly doesn’t necessarily means his views are not sought after by the tibetan government.

    tashi tsering was invited a few years ago at a seminar on Chinese ethnic policies in Tibet, organized by the department of information. but he rejected the invitation, saying he doesn’t have any authority on such issues.

    namkhai norbu and samten karmy are fine tibet scholars, but they can’t show up publicly, on the account of their need to visit Tibet for research expeditions. if they showed up at a conference of such political nature, they would never have the chance to go to Tibet. all these factors need to be taken in to account.

    i feel jamyang la being such a seasoned campaigner of Tibetan issue knows all these situations. perhaps because of his intense passion for rangzen, he tends to gloss over certain objective factors….

    the rest of the information are very progressive, especially the need to institute a sort of comittee or tink tank that can study the options for alternative strategies for Middle, including rangzen…

    thank you very much for the piece. througly enjoyed reading it…

    regards

  10. Jamyang Norbu | February 6th, 2009 | 11:27 am

    Tag-zig la,
    I am sure your information that Tsering Shakya has been consulted by the Kashag regarding the talks with China is correct. I am sure you are also correct about Tashi Tsering la not attending a seminar on Chinese ethnic politics. But I know for a fact that he has attended other official meetings and conferences when invited. Is it now the rule in Dharamshala that if you refuse just ONE official invitation then you can never be invited again? But my question was why they and other scholars were not invited for this specific Special Meeting. Why was there not a single independent scholar invited if not for the purpose of having a (near) exclusive conclave of official types and yes-men. By the way, I was not invited.

    To say that Professor Namkhai Norbu and Samten Karmay would not come to the meeting even if invited because that might hurt their chance to travel to Tibet for their research, is completely untrue and even insulting to these great scholars and Tibetan nationalists. Namkhai Norbu has come to Dharamshala on a number of occasions. In 1993 he even gave a number of lectures for the Amnye Machen Institute at Dharamshala. He spoke about Tibetan history and was clear about Tibet being an independent country. He did not appear to be concerned about annoying Beijing and spoke at every venue that AMI asked him to, even TCV school and the TCV hostel at Delhi.

    Samten Karmay la has never been afraid to express his views on Tibetan independence and Tibetan nationalism. (Please read his works) If he was really worried about the Chinese refusing him a visa to Tibet he would not continue to write such “splittist” articles and books.

    I do not deny that there are Tibetans and Westerners who are fearful of offending Beijing in order to get a visa to Tibet. It is that fear, that moral deficiency that makes them easy for Beijing to manipulate.

    You should be aware that Beijing does issue visas (even invites) people who might oppose them, perhaps in the hope of converting them. I personally know one American academic, an outspoken rangzen advocate, that Beijing often invites to conferences and seminars. I also have have a open invitation to visit Tibet and do research or work there if I wanted to.

    The prevailing idea in the Tibetan official world that you have to do everything that Beijing wants (no matter how degrading or morally compromising) in order to reach any deal with them is absolutely mistaken. It is also the source of all our current political problems.

  11. Tsering Choedon Lejotsang | February 6th, 2009 | 12:23 pm

    Jamyang-la,
    This is a much awaited rain on a parched land!!
    Will revisit again with relevant comments.
    Thank you!!
    TCL

  12. Rigzin | February 6th, 2009 | 6:31 pm

    Jamyang la,

    I appreciate your writing. I read your articles whenever possible. Also this is the first time, first hand comment written by somebody independently on the actions that took place during the Special Meeting late last November.

    I am one of the people who is not too happy about the outcome of the “Special Meeting” because His Holiness is asking the people to bring different constructive ideas on the table. The good thing is more and more people are participating in it and are interested in the process of our struggle, that is one of the Secretariat His Holiness might be looking. I also did not like Kalon Tripa’s comment in Phayul before the commencement of the much anticipated meeting.

    However, I did not like your “separatist” ha! ha! thinking of – they (Middle Way) propagandist or other vocabularies used to separate from “me” (Ranzen advocates). Because that is what China is doing and they will keep doing and more vigorously in the times to come.

    What I feel is we; the Middle Path supporters, Complete Ranzen supporters, Self Determination supporters, Satyagrahis etc are the one and same thing like the colors of the rainbow complementing each other. We should support and comment each other. But the problem is on the Chinese side, there were no rain to let the rainbow to glow. Mainly because we were talking to a Government ran by a single party, which in turn, ran by few hard headed communist dictators, that always blocks information of sunlight and democratic nourishment of rain from the people of China and world at larg. That is the reason why the talks have failed not because there is any flaw in the “Middle Way Approach” or all the Tibetans do follow ‘Middle Path” or not. In fact, I believe we all should do everything from writing to, hunger strike, most commendable SFT”s campaign in Beijing, His Holiness’s representative talking to the “closed doors” of Communist Party that says welcome, shouting slogans in front of Chinese embassy, Miss Tibet stint, Mystic monk dancers to even holding of Tibetan prayer gathering in every nook and corners of the world.

    The key is what we have lost. That should be the aims and objectives of all the colors of the rainbow. The colors are not the objective, they are expressions of the objective. We all should unitedly, resolutely and unceasingly work our colors make little or more brighter. It is not our job or decision to decide what color the Chinese may like or may choose. It is strictly in Chinese hand to choose the color they like. What color the Chinese might choose depends not only on Chinese leaders but our various action or what Chinese people and world at large might suggest which color is better. Till then let us not falter, differentiate or even point fingers but do more and do our best. So good luck to us all and Bod Gyal lo.

    Oh Ya, on who might come, I think in the TG’s circular, there was provision who ever can come but inform the TG and there was no hard and fast rule who cannot come. In fact, if I am not mistaken, I though you went on your own.

    Keep writing Jamyang la, but do not criticize too much for the sake of writing a critical article.

  13. Tibetan Refugee called Tenzin | February 6th, 2009 | 11:57 pm

    Dear Jamyang Norbu la,
    Kudos to you for bringing out such a detail insight into the happenings of Special Meeting. I too was there in the meeting. I too felt like it was sheer waste of time and money for CTA. They should have asked the community leaders to conduct poll in their respective community, if the number game is so important.

    I have also heard lot of good suggestion and commentaries from some members from our committee. I pray and hope their word will not gather dust in those cold steel shelves, like a mute testimony to the Special Meeting.

    Thank you very much Jamyang la.

  14. freetibet | February 7th, 2009 | 2:55 am

    Dear Jamyang Norbu la,

    There is at least this voice coming on the Special Meeting. Infact it would have been all the more sweeter if it had been done immediately after the conclusion of the meeting.

    Your comments has given clear hints to the wanting – freedom of thought & expression that we Tibetans are shying or feared of, for …
    as we all are for sure can positively assume that in every exiled Tibetan’s conscience have preference for Free-Tibet to autonomy / genuine autonomy. The voluntary involvement of individual Tibetans in exile from all hues in India & abroad in protests since March 2008 against Chinese oppression & calling for Free Tibet.

    Our bottom line – Freedom is universal birth right & precious

    Do not give it up
    We have future generation TIBETANS
    and for the sake of TIBET

    Pl Continue to give out factful & inspiring comments to encourage our Tibetan brethrens in exile to be fearless in their thinking & expression for the cause of freeing our phyaul – TIBET

  15. Rangzen | February 7th, 2009 | 8:24 am

    Dear Jamyang la,
    Got an ol father at my home.. and yesterday i told him about your article and informed him what you have written.

    He is happy for you and your though.

    Regard,

    Rangzen brother.

  16. Nohar | February 7th, 2009 | 11:50 am

    Jamyang Sir, Immensely interested in what you wrote regarding what transpired at the meeting, and related ongoing issues.Your commentary is refreshing to say the least, and inspired. Likewise informative reading your response to Tag Zig.
    Many thanks for all.
    Nohar

  17. Gyrad | February 7th, 2009 | 1:07 pm

    Dear Jamyangla,

    I was fortunate enough to chance upon your article on Phayul. I’m a young Tibetan who is usually indifferent on matters concerning Tibetan politics. But the articles you write and the issues you address in them make me reconsider my apathetic attitude, and that – methinks – is a good thing.

    What I learned in this particular commentary made me sad. Personally, I am on the fence when it comes to choosing Rangzen or the ‘Middle Way’ approach, albeit – I admit – tipping more towards Rangzen.

    The fact that the majority of the invited were ‘former and serving Tibetan government officials, former members of Parliament’, et al., raises questions as to the validity of the entire ‘special meeting’. Prior to the reading of this piece, I had the impression that the meeting had a fair Rangzen advocates to Middle Way advocates ratio and they had come to a common consensus of carrying on with the middle way approach, but alas that seems not to have been the case.

    This is a direct quote from HH the Dalai Lama:
    “It must be clear to all that this special meeting does not have any agenda for reaching a particular predetermined outcome, we can be proud at this moment when the Tibetan people themselves are ready and able to take responsibility for Tibet.” (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/11/14/asia/AS-India-Dalai-Lama.php)

    Somehow I feel cheated by the TGiE since the special meeting clearly did not fairly represent the gamut of Tibetan opinion.

    Thanks Jamyangla for enlightening us on your views and experiences. And please keep doing what you’re doing.

    Cheers.

  18. K_P | February 7th, 2009 | 4:21 pm

    Jamyang la,
    Thank you for the enlightening information. I knew from the beginning that our meeting will not be so special after reading the abstract of Samdhong Rimpoches and Lobsang Nyendak’s speeches. I wondered if they will not be any changes or having a remote possibility of changing current middle way path/apppraoches to solving Tibet issues, why we were called for this meeting. Just to show the world that we are toothless tiger again?

    The pure intentions of H.H, the Dalai Lama was polluted by the current Tibetan administration. I am sure Samdhong and the clique organised, premeditated, and orchastrated in such a way that outcome of the meeting will support their failed policies. They have also employed scare tactics like that of the Bush adminstration.

    Those who have long been a Tibetan politics watcher will find it not be surprising to find out Samdhong Rinpoche behind this ploy fi there ever will be investigation. He is known for that. Like Bush, he is fanatic, arrogant and his loyalist will be rewarded. Like Harriet Miers nomination to replace justice O’connor because of sheer loyaltee, Rinpoche also rewarded many to the post of Kalon and REpresentative to the Office of Tibet. Those with knowledge and experience is considered threat to his power and intellect and was either transfered to different dept. where he has no knowledge or interest, or they were send to different location with wiered position. Two of his famouse example is, one being Lobsang Nyendak’s appointment to the Office of Tibet. Despite rejection from ATPD during kalon’s appointment for some bad conduct during his tenure as Kalon, Gangkyi’s rumor proved true he was appointed to Office of Tibet, new york, a classic example of his reward for being loyal. Another example is his nephew’s appointment to Dept. of security. He was first employed as his personal body guard (one he despise of for previous Kalon during the Shugdhen’s controversy). Now, thats nepotism –he was employed without any examination process which he made it a prequisite for every new Tibetan civil servant.
    Because of action like this over 75 % of the experienced and tenured civil servant left the govt. position which they cherished even with meager salary for 20 or 30 years. The new civil servant too, after their training will leave for better prospect with year or so. The human resources problem in Tibetan govt. has reached a crisis, although they are not acknowledging. Thats why, they was a recent request by the TGIE to volunteer for our Govt. I am sure there are no dearth of the Tibetan being able to offer services to our govt. But, the real problem is
    the arrogance and rigidity of the current administration.

    Rinpoche is not that rinpoche as he continuosly fools the politically naivee, uneducated, and religious Tibetan populace. Many of these people thinks that he is second to none who can carry on the struggle for complicated sino-Tibetan problem. ironically, they thinks he will never lie or fool them. Thats why, its always been difficult to have a proper dialogue with middle way propagandist or Rinpoche’s fan. Their logic was, Rinpoche is a monk, has no family or in need of fame and there by he is different from others and has more reasons to listen and follow his advice.
    Well! this is a little distraction but it wasn’t that irrelevant. What i am trying to point out was that like chinese govt., he cannot expect Jamyang la’s proposal to hold meetings or testimony from the rangzen’s advocate or meeting or feedback from the Tibetan Scholars. It just pains to the core of my bone that our Tibetan offical dome has a pea size brain to know the importance of acknowleding our own Scholars. The names of the scholars are mentioned in this article. But, one more important personality or scholar that we should not forget is Jamyang Norbu la himself. He should be in the foremost of the list. He is not only scholar among the scholar but he has been in the fight for Tibetan Independence for the last almost fifty years in official as well as in private capacity. We all must recognise his contribution irrespective of whether we believe in what he advocates. He, in his individual capacity espousing Tibetan Independence and rejecting middle way helped saved our face of embarassment. He and Tibetan Youth Congress helped find a small leverage to the Tibetan Govt. and H.H. the Dalai Lama in settling the Sino-Tibetan conflict.

    The meetings of our expert and a real discussion should be organise by Tibetan Youth Congress and the resolution of the meeting should be handed over to the H.H. the Dalai Lama. We have to let His holiness know that the last meeting was a sham as Rangzen or any other activist were sidelined. We should also request His Holiness to preside over the meeting and His Holiness will gladly accept proactive action.

    Thank you Jamyang la for keeping up the Rangzen spirit.
    Kelsang

  19. Tsering Choedon Lejotsang | February 7th, 2009 | 11:16 pm

    Below is a comment that I wrote in response to JN’s article:
    November 8th, 2008
    Making The November Meeting Work

    {Tsering Choedon Lejotsang | November 9th, 2008 | 12:08 am
    Jamyangla,

    Unfortunately, I have the same feeling as you have about the possible outcome of Nov. 17-22 meeting.

    The Tibetan community in my region had a meeting yesterday to gather the voices of the average Tibetans. It is evident that the local representative of the HHDL office was subtly influencing people into believing that Middle Path is the only viable option left to us.
    Not surprisingly, overwhelming majority of the people ended up repeating the same thought as outlined by him……}
    The Office of Tibet in the above comment is the Office of Tibet in Tokyo. The meeting was scheduled for 2 hours. The Representative opended the meeting and kept talking for more than an hour. All throughout, he kept talking about Middle Path, how it came into being pursued, how it is the only option available, etc.

    When the floor was at last opened for discussion, I presented my case for Rangzen. Immediately, he pounced on me and it was as if he had a special mission to silence anyone who dare to advocate Rangzen.
    Except for 2 other participants besides me, all others said they supported Middle Path. The Represetative had achieved his goal…which was to scare/influence the participants into accepting Middle Path!!

    I don’t know if the TGIE had instructed its Representative to influence the public into supporting the Middle Path or not. The fact is that the Representative spoke in support of the Middle Path for more than an hour at the beginning. In addition, he was vehemantly opposed to any argument in favour of Rangzen put forth by participants. Whether spoken officially or unofficially, considering his post and considering the mentality of the average Tibetans, his opinions were bound to influence people and it did.

    There is no guarantee that similar incidents did not happen in other areas.
    To me it all looks like a carefully orchestrated drama!

    One of the previous comments mentioned that anyone can attend the meeting.
    That was not the case!
    You have to get a permit to attend. I applied for one through Office of Tibet in Tokyo on the 8th of November. I was told that the quota for private participants were full. I tried every means possible, but could not get a permit. Thus, in the end, I went to the Special Meeting as a special reporter to a Japanese daily newspaper.
    Although I could watch the proceedings of the meetings, unfortunately, I had no right to put forth my ideas and thoughts.
    What I saw and heard over there is very well described by JN in his article above.

    Thank you JN -la.

    TCL

  20. newgenerationtb | February 8th, 2009 | 2:04 am

    I enjoyed this article, a unique commentary on the meeting and uniqu voice. I am not convinced with the charge “vested interest”, I have been hearing and reading JN’s writing it once a while, but never illustrated on it. I think the main problem with Tibetan community is, lack of real expertise in areas of study. They can be moulded into any fashion by educated. Due to this, people has no own original thought. Thus, it makes them a good follower, but not a good leader or thinker. Instead of accusing each other here, we should learn this lesson and concentrate on studies and try to trained in expertise in any fields. Otherwise, things are just hopeless.

    Thanks JN again for this article

    NG

  21. Boetuk | February 8th, 2009 | 11:24 am

    at the end of the March upheavals inside Tibet, the entire exile populace indcluding HHDL was at a loss how to respond. I remember HH was talking about what next? and then a few people in the US came together to offer suggestions etc….about the situation…they are supposedly experts in their fields. And then HH called the meeting. The bureacracy in exile was surprised but was determined to maintain status quo.

    It became a clash of ideas. Change and status quo. does this make sense???

  22. Vindo | February 8th, 2009 | 7:40 pm

    First of all, I would like to thank JN for continuing to write. For a moment I was worried.
    I think the “Think Tank” proposal is a great one. Recently I have seen circulation by by our Sherig that seemed to stretch the hand out to our own people which is a wonderful start if goal is genuine. I have myself submitted my qualifications and hope to be of help. For those interested, please visit Sherigs website. It is definitly sad that the TGIE has not invited and sort the minds of our interlectuals, but I would like to thank JN for attending and being able to provide what I consider a differerent and welcome perspective. I have many things that bother me but i will not raise it here because if we cannot help oursleves, no body can. Just as we as indivauls carve our own future in this world, so must we as a society must. That future can be helped by others, but ultimately we have to be responsible. To do that we as a society need to recognize and take pride in our own talented people. I see we have many prominant people all over the world and considering our small population we are doing a great job. We have to be responsible for our destiny and take action in positive ways.

  23. tag zig | February 9th, 2009 | 5:22 am

    Jamyang la,

    I guess you have taken my whole comments in a negative way. i never implied that Namkhai norbu, samten karmay, tashi tsering are following the dictates of the chinese regime. they all are true tibetan nationalists and great tibetan scholars, as can be seen by their works, including those that you have mentioned in your article. i even know that like them you were also invited to Tibet by chinese authorities, but it is altogether wrong to assume that by doing so the chinese are hoping to convert them to its own agendas. the reason why the chinese are inviting, according to me, is that even through the works of these fine tibet scholars, the chinese can learn some lessons about tibet and use it in their own advantageous ways.

    having said this, scholars and academicians, by virtue of working in academic institutions, have to compromise sometimes. for instance pema bhum’s paper on modern tibetan poetry that he presented in a seminar organized by namkhai norbu in italy was not published in the seminar proceedings due to chinese pressure. this is why jean paul satre refused to accept his nobel peace prize so that he is not bound to an institution).

    the academicians and scholars always also have to “impartial, apolitical, and free”, which is why they are reluctant to attend in overt political meetings like the special meeting of Tibetans in exile.

    All of these doesn’t mean that they do not care of the Tibetan issue and are not true tibetan patriots.

  24. Jamyang Norbu | February 9th, 2009 | 10:40 am

    Dear Tag zig la,
    Sorry if I took your comments in a negative way. At the same time I don’t think you or the TGIE can make assumptions that scholars are “reluctant to attend overt political meetings like the special meeting”. We all agree that we need the contributions of these great scholars. So what is the difficulty in inviting them. If they don’t come, then that’s their problem. Let us not take away their right to choose. Let us not make assumptions for them.

    You say that Jean Paul Satre refused to accept his Nobel Prize. But at least the Nobel Committee gave him the prize to begin with. They didn’t say that he might refuse so lets not give it to him.

    Not inviting deserving or necessary people to an important meeting, by claiming that these people might not want to come, is just an excuse. Its just a way of rigging the composition of the event to suit your political needs.

  25. Phuntsok Jordhen | February 9th, 2009 | 2:05 pm

    Damn straight!

  26. Bhula | February 9th, 2009 | 2:58 pm

    Why can’t TGIE invite all the Tibetan NGO’s and scholars for a very very special meeting and seek their opinion. No Dharamsala insider’s and no carrier politicians please in this meeting, since they got their chance at the(so called) special meeting.

    Bhoe Gyallo & Bhoe Rangzen

  27. tag zig | February 10th, 2009 | 12:48 am

    Jamyang la,

    i have had a chance to observe the tibetan administration from close quarters. there are many who appreciate true and genuine scholarship, led by his holiness himself. i will tell you one insider’s story.

    the tibetan government sent one official letter of sorts to one of the most eminent tibetan scholars in exile (don’t wish to name him; its getting too personal) to serve on the committee to consult the kashag regarding its talks with the chinese leadership. the letter bore the signature of His holiness the dalai lama itself…

    for reasons unknown to every one, this eminent scholar not only refused to serve on the committee but even didn’t respond the letter…perhaps he might be having some legitimate grievances against the administration…

    as far as Jean Paul satre was concerned, he refused the recognition, but he wanted the money, as you know this, i am sure…

    I was too astonished not see one independent scholar attending the meeting. perhaps the fault lies both with the administration and scholars themselves. my question is why blame the adminsitration alone, rather than finding out the real cause…

    the scholars could have published an article on phayul regarding the meeting, as you did and so many others did including samten karmay…

    I know this will not happen. they would publish only in internationally reputed journals which are read only by academics and specialists (in other words by injis and other non tibetans). publishing an article on phayul, which can reach the common Tibetan audience, might be against their big reputation…

  28. Tsering Choedon Lejotsang | February 10th, 2009 | 4:41 am

    Tag zig -la,

    I wonder what you are trying to say in 27 above!

    As JN pointed out, the issue is “why did the TGIE not invite these scholoars?” and NOT who did what in the past.

    Please stick to the point.

    TCL

  29. TCL la | February 10th, 2009 | 6:33 am

    this is exactly what i am trying to say. don’t blame the administration alone. like jamyang himself, the scholars should pay regular attention on the tibetan poltical problem, rather than spending all thier time in academic institutions. they could have expressed thier views on phayul about the conference. apart from jamyang la and s karmay la, no one did it…

  30. informant | February 10th, 2009 | 10:34 am

    I think what Jamyang la is saying in his article above is crystal clear that the Tibetan scholars could have been invited by TGIE to solicit their ideas and opinions.

    TYC should take the lead and organize a mega conference on the issue of Tibetan independence where all former Tibetan officials, ministers included, leaders, writers, scholars, activists and university students – totalling not less than 700 – gather under one roof and deliberate on the topic for a week.

    The resolution should then be presented to the Dalai Lama for consideration.

  31. Phuntsok Jordhen | February 10th, 2009 | 10:37 am

    It seems apparent, that it matters little now who was or was not invited, or whether anyone had snubbed the special meeting on purpose or not. What is important is, to realize that the organizers of the Special Meeting were not successful in fulfilling His Holiness’ wish for change and for gleaning fresh new ideas.

    The end result seems to be status quo, all the weight pushed back onto His Holiness, except for a few touch ups. And given the structure of the meeting as described above, even if a dozen odd missing scholars/experts had attended, I fear the results would have been the same.

    Of course I didn’t expect a Rangzen result, but I just wanted a friggin’ bone tossed, something new and creative. For that, it’s clear now a different type of meeting needed to have been organized.

    I’m not saying I could have done a better job, of course not, hindsight is 20/20, and logistics are a bitch, and so on… but I was just hoping that the organizers (amazing people who are sacrificing wonderful careers in the west, so that they can selflessly serve under His Holiness), could have been a bit more enlightened than the “average Tenzin” with all their experience having (I hope) attended many important workshops and seminars in the past. This is not to say that Tibetan scholar/experts who did not attend are not also at fault for the Meeting’s failure, but in this case the brunt of the blame, I think, should go to the people in charge of organizing this event.

    Jamyang Norbu la, good on you for attending the meeting, and trying to make a difference, inspite of it all. Also I’m glad to hear you are doing better now.

  32. Tashi N | February 10th, 2009 | 11:38 am

    At this point of time, I feel HHDL should under any circumtance return to Tibet so that we’ll have at least one XVth DL in near future. If the chosen one is real Chenresig, he’ll come to India to continue Tibetan struggle.

  33. Sangay | February 10th, 2009 | 12:37 pm

    Tag-Zig la,

    To be striaght forward, whether Jean Paul refused to accept Nobel prize, or went to rear door and quietly accepted its cash prize has nothing to do here. So is Pema Bhum’s peotry, or scholars or academicians need to remain ‘apolitical’. TGIE just didn’t do the RIGHT WAY when it excluded those experts and activists from the Special Meeting, period. Your claims remind me of Chinese justification of invading Tibet as “to free Tibetans from slavery and serfdom”, instead of explaining how Tibet was legitimate part of China.

    TGIE is representative of all Tibetans whether one is supporting Rangzen or Autonomy, living inside Tibet or outside. Whatever Kashag’s ideology maybe, when it comes to making policy or taking a governmental initiative, it must try to reach out to folks on other side of aisle as much as it would reach people on their side, to seek ideas and opinions. TGIE is not a personal entity of whoever is running the government. Dhondup, Passang, Dolma has as much claim over Bhod Shung as Gyari or Samdhong Rinpoche has, even though Dhondup and Passang may not agree with Samdhong Rinpoche or Gyari all the times.

    I urge the TGIE to give-up the culture of partisan politics and put into practice the essentials of “mangtso shung” that it claims to be in public gatherings. Their policy of ‘it’s our way or no others way’ is not only hurting trust and widening the gap between young generation Tibetans and their govt , but also hurting the name of His Holiness the Dalai lama.

    His Holiness asked TGIE to hold the Special Meeting out of genuine concern for need to have a serious discussion among Tibetans regarding current policy of engagement. His Holiness even urged as many young Tibetans to participate as possible and ponder their thoughts. For many of us, this was an extraordinary opportunity to express our frustration where TGIE was going wrong. It’s amply evident that Kashag denied entry to many of us and restricted invitation to independent Tibetan scholars and activists with opposing views, and instead turned it into a mega get-together of their cheerleaders. The world watched the meeting closely, and lack of adequate representation of Tibetans from all quarters seemed like the conclave was His Holiness’s deliberate PR ploy to rally support for his policy and leadership by quietly stifling voices of dissent behind the scene.

    His Holiness gave us democracy without asking for it, recognizing the need for every Tibetans to have a say, and transparency, in the government. Kashag’s responsibility is to facilitate those rights given us by His Holiness, and not block them. And certainly not misuse their authority in the name of democracy and malign His Holiness name. Tag-Zig la, believe it not, the recent Special Meeting clearly demonstrated Kashag’s one of such acts.

  34. Allen | February 10th, 2009 | 2:00 pm

    I’d like to agree that discussions with the Chinese seem to observers to go nowhere. They have nothing to lose but goodwill and they don’t seem generally interested in it. Independence is the only thing to scare the Chinese.

    On genuine expertise and independent and fearless thinking, versus faith and devotion, you must admit that both must be joined to accomplish the goal. To believe that either one can be excluded is wrong headed on the part of anyone. To use the one to stifle the other will not lead to a policy that will last.

    Thanks for your continuing writings.

  35. tag zig | February 11th, 2009 | 12:37 am

    sangay la,

    I do agree that the tibetan government should represent all tibetans and not just a few kungos living in Gangkyi. I do agree that kashag should have invited many independent tibetan scholars to the meeting. i know that the government is always wary of independent thinking people and make every possible effort to stifle their views and isolate them. but its the responsibility of such independent thinking people not to fall prey to such machinations and make every possible effort to let their views known to the public.

    as i suggested in my previous write up, they could have expressed thier suggestion through various means, like some of the them, including jamyang la did on phayul and other independent websites and newspapers.

    they could have written an article on phayul.com, expressing their views independently rather than sulking themselves and having this victim mentality. it doesn’t work.

    why don’t you write an article and get it published on the phayul. don’t worry about the tibetan translation. there are many who can translate your article and get it published in dus bab and bangchen, which are read by tibetans in the settlement.

    we need to bring a grassroot revolution. we must try to bring positive changes in schichaks, where majority of exile tibetans live, and whose sources of information are mainly sheja, bodmi rangwang, and radio free asia, all card carrying members of MVA.

    living in an elite country like North America and Europe and then making comments on the flaws of Tibetan government in dasa is easy for all of us…

    we could have a different view once we start working in the exile tibetan administration or in the far flung tibetan settlements.

  36. Tsering | February 11th, 2009 | 1:04 pm

    Many friends have alerted me that posts in Jamyang la’s blog have mentioned that I was consulted by the Kashag regarding negotiations with Beijing. I wish to clarify that the Kashag has never consulted me. I do not have any involvement as reported on your blog. In 2006 I was invited to attend a conference in Dharamsala and gave a talk on Chinese autonomy law. During my stay in Dharamsala I met with Samdhong Rinpoche and expressed my view on the current situation in China. Rinpoche did not mention to me the content or stage of the talks with Beiijing. There was an idea of forming an advisory group but as far as I know nothing has happened.

    Tsering Shakya

  37. Sangay | February 11th, 2009 | 3:23 pm

    Tag Zig la,

    Living in North America or Europe is a spell I recommend all the shung-shabs of TGIE to experience. Diverse culture and assemblage of people here from different countries from the world serves you as an eye-opener in a way which perhaps living in Gangkyi may not offer, of who you are, where you come from, and how you are not one of them culturally and nationally.

    You may have no idea how much it pains as you walk down the 1st avenue by UN headquarters in NY and not find Tibet’s flag fluttering in the midst of flags of rest of the countries, and as a result how much it strengthens your determination to fight for Tibet’s independence and hoist Tibet’s flag there someday.

    People from various countries observe their national day on the streets of Paris, London, Toronto, NY, and seeing them how proudly they raise their national flags in the air and celebrate their history and heritage, and then to see there’s no Tibet day for us, perhaps you have no clue how much it hurts you.

    As you leave Dhasa and go to ‘elite’ countries carrying the ‘refugee paper’ and you receive that disdaining treatment from various Airport officials en route on your refugee status, as though you are some aliens from Mars, perhaps you can’t imagine how much you feel humiliated.

    Humiliating nonetheless, good part is all these experiences make you stronger Tibetan with more determination to work hard for rangzen and common good for fellow Tibetans. And if the govt that represents you practices the policy of exclusivity and curtails the voices that don’t echo their views and you think that it is hurting the greater good, is it not logical to raise voice against your govt? You can give it any name like “living in an elite country like North America and Europe and then making comments on the flaws of Tibetan government in dasa is easy for all of us…”, but I see it justifiable.

    Tag Zig la, I’m not a scholar or an expert, but an ordinary Tibetan who happens to have a view on how he wants his govt to be, like everyone. Fortunately I also happened to watch, briefly, our Administration from close quarters while in India. What I m asking for is not the change in the way we work at field offices of our “administration” or at ‘far flung settlements”. I’m just asking kashag be more inclusive and change that arrogance and stubbornness which they have made the policy of TGIE. If our scholars aren’t coming forward to share words of wisdom, I only partly blame them. Our govt has shut the door for too long time on them. I personally know how one of our prominent scholars was looked down at every opportunity by some of our leaders of Administration.

    Now, I don’t know any of the scholars personally, like Namkhai Norbu, Samten Karmey, Tsering Shakya or writer/activist Jamyang Norbu, nor have I met many them in my life. My knowledge about them is through reading their work. You are right, some of them should have written what they thought about the Special Meeting. They didn’t and it was unfortunate. But regardless of whether they wrote about the Meeting or not, they should have been extended invitation. I don’t think anyone is Dharamsala denies their authority on history and culture of Tibet. You emphasize more than once that they should have written in Phayul, or in any one of the Tibetan publications, as if that would have landed them invitation. J N la wrote couple of articles in phayul prior to the Meeting, and he was still not invited to the meeting. He says that above.

    And lastly, you talk about bringing revolution at grassroots level. Bringing grassroots revolution while our govt remains stubborn and arrogant could turn into ugly situation. We have seen that around the world. Our govt is already democratic I would rather prefer our govt to bring the ‘revolution’ by opening its door and arms. Instead of cutting them down, if our leaders give due recognition to our experts and activists and offer them platform to express their views, though opposing, our folks at shichag and settlements might start to see picture differently, could begin a new day for all of us.

    Thank you.

  38. Tsampa | February 11th, 2009 | 3:32 pm

    Jamyang-la,
    Tashi Delek. Some of your arguements do not hold water.
    You mean to say Tibetan scholar Tashi Tsering in Dharamsala didn’t attend Special Meeting because (H?)e didn’t get invitation. To me and larger Tibetan public, (not your cheer-leading crowd)it is more a reflections of type of person (H?)e is, than it a reflection on Tibetan Govt. It is more in league with your other friend Lhasang Tsering, who said, (H?)e won’t do anything unless Rangzen is put back on agenda.
    I do respect you for going to the meeting, irrespective of whether Tibetan Govt gives you any importance or not, because it is our duty. At leaset , you are trying to make your own contribution. I can’t say the same for the people you listed. Their ego can not be satisfied somehow. That I know for sure.

  39. tazig | February 12th, 2009 | 12:22 am

    sangay la,

    I sympathise with what you are going through as a refugee in an alien land. this is the sad situation faced by tibetans every where, whether they live in occupied tibet, in north america, india or else anywhere.

    you still expect to change the attitudes of the people who are at the helm of affairs in the exile tibetan government institutions, specially the members of the kashag. this is next to impossible. revolution from above, this is the wish of every tibetans, but it hasn’t happened in the history of tibet, till date, despite the emergence of enlightened leaders like the 13th and 14th DLs.

    therefore the suggestion the revolution from below..when i talk of revolution, please don’t confuse it with the so called revolution of the the so-called communists and marxists, which are nothing but violence and anarchy. i talk about revolution of the mind, peaceful and democratic revolution through the spread of knowledge and information to the grassroots…

    i have noticed so many young and talented tibetan boys and girls being wasted in far flung tibetan settlements due to lack of better educational opportunities and better guidance. therefore we need talented people like you in our society….

    that’s why i gave the idea of assimilating with the common and ordinary tibetan citizens living in far flung tibetan settlements.

    gandhi and nehru both left england and came back to india, where they shun the british overcoats and put on khaki. its a powerful symbol and sends us the message that we must mingle with the ordinary people and be their guidance and help them reach beyond the seashore…

    i appreciate your passion and concern for tibet, but we must channelise it in a way that can further advance your noble ideas and vision…

  40. Tenpa | February 12th, 2009 | 2:44 am

    well, this question is for Tsering Shakya la since we have him here. So, if the TGIE had send you an invitation to attend the special meeting, would you attended this meeting? If not, why not? If you don’t want to answer it, it is ok too.
    Sangay, that was a great post. It carries a lot of sentiments that I have felt when I first arrived in the west and continue to feel. Sometimes, having different experience in life gives you a different perspective and I can attest to that wholeheartedly as I have evolved for the better and discarded a lot of old ideas from my system, quite often replaced by new progressive ideas and values. I guess I learnt to be a better buddhist and a better cook in the west of all the places. So, go figure. Haha

  41. tag zig | February 12th, 2009 | 5:38 am

    Tsering Shakya la, jamyang la and the rest,

    thanks for making confirmation that you don’t consult the kashag in its talks with the Chinese. thanks jamyang la for the article, and all the people expressing their views on it. because of the debates and the open expression of our views, its now become clear, at least to me, why the kashag didn’t invite the scholars. it’s confirmed by suspicion that the adminsitration is wary of scholars and independent minded people.

    this is extremely sad and unfortunate. we must find out ways to reverse such trends in our society, so that free and open discussions on our cause becomes possible…

    there was a

  42. Dawa | February 12th, 2009 | 10:28 am

    Thank you Jamyang la for this much needed insight on the Special Meeting.

    I watched the video of the meeting and noticed a barely veiled hostility against the Rangzen proponents. You watch the way most of the (probably selected) audience clap hands at their “men” and then you listen to some of them murmuring when Jamyang la began talking.
    That’s not civlized to say the least.

    And the way the older guys on the side of the Middle Way business tried to trivialize this beautiful and original analogy of a sick cow (describing our struggle for freedome) made by the young Rangen advocate who is not even half their age. I can see the kid has enough mettle in him not to be botherered by thier “bitchiness.”

    Anyway, the video is still up there somewhere in the ether world and you watch and see for yourself what I mean.

    And I disagree with the fellow who wants Jamyang Norbu to go and phyiscially fight with the Chinese. JN is the only Tibetan scholar who is brave, intelligent, learned and articulate and we need him to live to continue doing what he does best.

    We all have our own convictions about how to fight for freedom and you are welcome to do it the way you think is best in the way you can do it best.

  43. Snow Print | February 13th, 2009 | 4:23 am

    Very well written and I thoroughly enjoyed.
    It is my personal view that Scholars have very little role to play in a meeting like “the Special Meeting”. As you have written, “Our committee opened its deliberations with a senior retired kalon[Juchen Thupten] holding forth for about two and half hours”.
    Alas! such is the nature of our special meeting. How can you expect scholars like Tsering Shakya et al listening to the long rant of these politicians.
    If given a mic, it is very likely that these politicians will lecture on modern Tibetan History to Tsering Shakya. So i am grateful to all our scholars, who [being uninvited]choose not to attend the Special Meeting. I am sure they know where they have to make their voices heard.

  44. ngnamdrol | February 13th, 2009 | 8:50 am

    Jamyang ,
    Do you think would be there any improvement in our soceity about literature such way of this ?

  45. tawuwa | February 13th, 2009 | 6:48 pm

    Tashi Delek Jamyang la,
    I am always eagerly waiting for your inspirational and knowledgeable articles.
    But here I don’t agree with you for blaming Samdhong rinpoche for not inviting Tibetan scholars at the special meeting. The special meeting was organised by the Tibetan parlaiment in exile and it was decided by a majority resolution in the parlaiment, that who and whose will be attending the meeting. And it is for your general information that parlaiment is the legislative pillar of the democracy. So I don’t think kashag or Samdhong can act against the parlaiment. Also, I heard that Samdhong Rinpoche called on all the CTA staffs attending the special meeting to freely put up their personal ideas that may be against the official line.
    So I think the real culprit for the failure of this special meeting should be the exile parlaimentarians. Still those bunch of old people trying to get a seat by varous means. They are the guys who are forming various groups or factions for self interest and if somebody is being progressive then they will label them as against the Dalai Lama’s preaching or something like that, so that the other person will be discouraged and they will get their chitue seat. Therefore, I think we should be very careful in electing our Chithues.

    Yeshi

  46. songtsen | February 13th, 2009 | 11:08 pm

    enough of the b.s. about who attended/did not attend the meeting and who was/was not invited. The bottom line is nothing, NOTHING, was achieved at this meeting. I think it was a big waste of time and money for all the attendees.
    In any case, I feel that the only change in our situation can come from within Tibet, and I am waiting for that inspirational leader to emerge from the inside; he/she is most likely going to be highly educated in the Chinese Language and system, and will use it to his/her advantage. So, sorry all you armchair freedom fighters in exile, (myself included) nothing we do- debate, meet, protest etc. will make the Chinese even bat an eyelid. The tendency for us all is to pat ourselves on the back for the two lines of coverage we get in the back pages or 10 secs of coverage in the 11pm local news. We can keep doing it for a century and it will not change the situation in our homeland. Sorry for bursting the delusion balloon.

  47. sharmapatel | February 13th, 2009 | 11:08 pm

    Dear Jamyang Norbu lak,

    Please address the topic of why violence can not be used to resist China. China deals in violence and speaks only violence. Why not use same tactics as great Irish Republican Army did in olden days? Example is to kill as many soldiers and police in Lhasa as possible….bomb every police station, assassinate every high ranking Communist, cut every cable, rob every bank, and create endless mayhem to destabilize Chinese rule. Why this not work as it worked well for Irish men?

    Waiting for your educated words,

    Sharma Patel

  48. K_P | February 14th, 2009 | 4:44 am

    Hey Tag zig, Tsampa,TCL la,
    Wake up! If you read carefully, Jamyang la was just wondering why TGIE couldn’t send few more invitation to our scholars if they can print 600 or so for other delegates. Remember that there were very limited seats available for non invited participants. About 20 seats were available for whole of North America as far i know and it was complicated to get one seat even if one was recommended by each Association. Don’t you see a point here now?

    We have had enough of these silly counter accusation, “its your duty as a Tibetan, not to blame our administration.. blah blah..” If its not Rinpoche’s administration that deserves to be finger pointed than whom? and as a tibetan we should blame them for their lousy job as they are getting paid with our voluntary contribution. REMEMBER, we need our scholar more than they like to attend our premeditated, well orchestrated outcome of that special meetings. Perhaps, they knew from the tone of the Kashag’s announcement what the end result will be.

    The bottom line is we need to pay little more attention to what our own scholars are saying. It is on the record, since the early 80’s, Jamyang la had been warning about our futile middle path approach. had our govt. pay little bit more attention to him, we would not have been so embarrased. With these thoughts, may i bluntly say, isn’t it time for us to listen to Jamyang la and other scholars. Don’t we all know our saying, “Our own norbu should be cherish by ourselves.”

    Regards,
    K.p

  49. Tashi N | February 14th, 2009 | 10:42 am

    I agree that Tibetan Govt. in Exile made a gross mistake by not inviting our intellectuals to the meeting. It seems that they’ve already made up their mind to go ahead with the middle path from the very begining. The whole episode was nothing other than pleasing HHDL. However, I would not send invitation to Tashi Tsering who is in fact an epitome of arrogance. If I were to teach kids the meaning of the word ‘arrogance’, I would definitely coin out his name as a perfect example. Jamyang la, as a good friend of yours, please inform him about this.

  50. Valerie | February 14th, 2009 | 11:46 am

    hello Jamyang Norbu la,

    thank you so much for your blog. i’ve been following it for a while and seem to get behind-the-scenes-coverage that helps making sense of many occurences that i simply could NOT fathom before. since your peoples’ fate leaves me in utter voicelessness, i’ll rather spare you all with any further comments. with lots of respect, lha gyalo, Valerie

  51. Loga | February 14th, 2009 | 12:33 pm

    Dear fellow Tibetans,
    It is not time to criticize each other; it’s time to do or die for us. why should send invitations to all scholars if he/she has enough courage to serve Tibet cause. if scholars wait invitation from my government, that never happened in the past, present and future too. It is sad that old illness of my government is still there.
    So,we have to make a conscious choice between dying like this or fighting for survive.
    more essential on dates of history revolution than the people who made the history. We have still living heroes who fought for Tibet Freedom. But, it seemed they are forgotten in our society.
    We must take care of these people; They sacrifised everything for the nation when it’s needed, Now they need us and Government to care them. However that didn’t happen.
    Here I would like to say that we need scholar and activist like JN;who gives us new ideas and go ahead for new era.
    Thank you so much.

  52. gong | February 15th, 2009 | 4:21 am

    mr rig, lets say goodbye to philosphical delusion. here and now is a world of political realities. not some dialectic class! what according to you caused this middle way and independence
    division? tell us sincerely. until 1987 we as a people had just one goal–independence. no more,no less. tibetans paid the price in various ways including one’s precious life. then the strasbug proposal–the so called middle way–being repeatedly shoved down the throat of the ordinary tibetan even to this day by the so called leaders, and hence people experience double frustration. one from china and one from our own leaders who under the influence of “care and compassion” have failed to respect the true wishes and desires of the people and their will to struggle in the true sense of the term.
    well, wherever it came from..this political division will go on until the last independence fighter/supporter. lets leave self-determination and satyagraha aside. dawa norbu is no more. hardly anyone cares about self-determination. samdong lama is holding the highest political power as prime minister and no one one is interested in satyagraha. yes it’s middleway vs independence if you will. it’s ugly but that’s how it is.
    anyone anywhere anytime can do all those peaceful stuff no matter what your stand is. but that does not mean middle way and independence are two clours of the same rainbow. no! never! these are infact two diametrically opposite political goals. one wants to a part of china with some cultural freedom and the other wants to be a sovereign nation with complete poltical freedom in domestic and foreign affairs.
    middleway is completely flawed from a political perspective because when it comes to tibetans-the mentse–the barbarians— the chines people are more nationalistic than the chinese leaders are. neither china nor the world decide what we want. it is we who decide what we want. and it is we who must have the will to create the lethal pressure on china and the world to make independence happen.
    all i see in JN’s writing is constructive criticism which is indespensible in a democratic society that we claim we have. we need tibetan press to come up critically on our leadership blunders. we need political parties and oppsition party in the parliament. until these happen tibetan leaders are just short of being Mao-the butcher! stop slow-death poisoning your own people

  53. gong | February 16th, 2009 | 1:27 am

    tsering shakya,
    why on earth did you say to the press that the protesters in tibet last march were merely asserting autonomy within china? this is absolutely absurd, baseless and untrue. if it is said by some ordinary faith driven tibetan just trying to survive in the fields of south india, i can understand. but i did not expect this even in my dream from a phd holder like you. what kind of professor are you–misleading public like the fanatic middle pathers who are more eager to lick the chinese asss than help tibetans rise up?

  54. gong | February 16th, 2009 | 2:30 am

    tibetan wolf,
    it’s beautiful if every tibetan is a intellectual thinker, powerful speaker, great writer and a passionater brave warrior in the battlefield behind the enemy line. but can this happen? all in one? no.

    so there is no need for you to worry about every tibetan becoming a doctor/writer with no patients/readers left.

    a high school graduate from modern school in mussorie beating the shit out of haward phd holder like lobsangay and prof. tsering shakya from england in the field of ideas, speech, research writing, knowledge and courage deserves our admiration.
    this is jamyang norbu-the last true tibetan patriot with a vision.
    respect him for speaking up for the freedom of tibetans.
    respect him for standing up against the sheer stupidity of our so called leaders who still need toilet training.

    it is a custom in every country to pay homage and special recognition to the fallen/wounded warriors/heroes. so what’s wrong with us observing a veteran’s day, remembering their sacrifices for us and our country. “To care for him
    who shall have borne the battle
    and for his widow, and his orphan”. yes we should provide them benefits that they have earned.

    also remember except for one or two, tibetans from U, Tsang, kongpo, ngari, topas and nagchus did not physically fight the chinese before 1959. there was neither initiative nor will power in these people to rise up and confront the enemy however unsuccessful it might turn out to be. these were a bunch of slavish timid creatuires. low self-esteem cowards. thoo!

    JN, sad all the scholars you mentioned are just so called spiritual people who are more into middleway, union of state and church, and just sectarians.

    try to get your hands on modern educated lay tibetan political scholars/intellectuals who understand the call for independence! and what must be done? those who try to sacrifice tibetan sovereignty for some shortterm economic benefits deserve neither. such short-sightedness! retarted leaders! sellers of souls!

    also, JN, why is your brother lhasang tsering not writing any books on independence struggle? he is a great inspiring speaker. well, perhaps i am asking too much from just one individual like the tibetan wolf here!

  55. K_P | February 16th, 2009 | 3:16 am

    Hey Gong,
    Take it easy! YOu are also becoming sectarian. first of all, your statistics on people physically fighting chinese before 1959 were very arbitary and baseless. Kongpowas, because of close affinity with khampawas were involved in arm resistance. Many in Ngari and adjoining region joined rebel in Nagchu according few older ngariwas. So, i would like to say that all Tibetans are brave and if situation warrants, they will come out, join hands with other fellow tibetans and fight with chinese. You just can’t call the people from those areas timid, low self-esteem cowards. Otherwise, this logic can be reverse and say that you or those tibetan who were born in india are also timid, low self-esteem cowards, and more importantly sectarian because we have also not physically fought with the chinese.

    Anyways, Lets move on to other subjects. Lets appreciate the fact that we have someone whilst ourselves that brings out critical and insightful topics of our Tibetan polity. In the meantime, what we all need to do is think critically and remain open to new ideas and suggestions.

    Onwards,
    KP

  56. gong | February 16th, 2009 | 3:58 am

    kp,
    you like fiction? invent some more stories! kongpos fighting chinese on tree tops! ha! ha! well tried!

    it’s not like tibetans from roadside camps in exile did not go to mustang to fight the enemy in the 60’s and 70’s.

    but here i am talking about is tibetans who were paralized by fear, tibetans who failed to make even attempts to do anything like fighting back the chinese in the heat of injustices like beating, insulting, raping, killing their families right under their noses. what can be expected from these pathetic tibetans in a relative safe distance? flee! flee further!

    weaklings! thoo!

  57. K_P | February 16th, 2009 | 3:44 pm

    Did you or any of your family member ever fought with Chinese, or for that matter did all of Khampas and Amdowas joined the resistance movement? Well, it may not be a well documented case but the stories of kongpowas, nagchuwas, ngariwas that i mentioned earlier are first hand information, oral history if i may call it. Drogpawas from ngari joined the fighting in Nagchu, and in Hor Damshung, and later many of them spend time in harsh labor camp, they called it Jang Tsalagyal mining bauxite. I do not doubt about the credibility of those story teller. A good friend of mine (Konpowa) dad fought PHYSICALLY with chinese. I am sure, he is not alone but later, he was one of brave Tibetans who trained in the rocky mountain for guerrilla warfare by CIA and prachuted back to Tibet.

    On the flipside, I know many khampas in Bylakuppe who have never fought chinese even if they were fighting right under their nose, but instead ran away and reached in exile almost same as ngariwas or Thopa, if not earlier. Don’t you wanna label them same like you did to others?

    Look, where this discussion is dragging to……a Sectarianism you so much despise of in your first writings. In such process, we are creating the contribution of brave Tibetan martyr.

    Its the people like you who creates the division. Remember, Chinese are still our uninvited boss. If you are not that timid or coward, how come you are still here bashing other Tibetan. Before you finger point others, lets see for yourself if you have done anything yourself, specifically, physically fought with Chinese or stood up with injustices every time somebody commits it.

    I can not take credit or assume i did something because my ancestry from Kham or Amdowa did something in 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. I don’t think they are no such thing as derivative status because we happen to be same khampawas. By doing that you are offering disservice to those brave country men who fought and gave their life for all Tibetan.

    For the rest of us, we are all same, perhaps you will call us timid, and coward, and sectarian. So, why not move on to other topics that binds our small community in unity and break the stereotype and labels that divides us.

    In peace and unity,
    KP

  58. sharmapatel | February 16th, 2009 | 9:02 pm

    Chinamen police always using brutalest tactical on Tibetan protesting. Then TGIE making the condemnation statement for all to ignore! Meanwhile whole world like to talk the pretty talk about the human rights so that China can happily ignore each and every one. That is why that although it is being very controversial and not well supported it may make the most sense to completely abandon autonomy and rather to intimidate the Chinese forcefully on our own term even if requiring tactical like indians with arrows fight cowboys with guns. Still you can not deny an arrow can kill.

    My personal belief is that when Hu Jintao will fear for his own life then at that time the Tibetans will have achived something measurable aside from pre-pre-pre-negotiate arse-kissing.

    I would rather Tibetans be called the terrorist than to watch the nation die a pathetic and slow death at the hands of Han Chinamen demons.

    How come Al Qaeda get success in this world, Taliban got big powerful, etc. etc. but peaceful Tibetans got nothing to show to nopersons?

    This is big lesson to world — if this world can not help Tibetans win, and at same time can not stop Taliban and Al Qaeda then this much being clear indication that terrorism is more effective and powerful than peace. For we interesting in the efficiency methods that would be a big lesson.

    There being Patel wish to say to world support Tibet while there is time not with the emptiness words but with the sanctioning and the actionful ways.

    Whose fault and whose solution?

  59. sharmapatel | February 16th, 2009 | 9:47 pm

    Can you imagine the outcry if Tibetans start:

    -raping wives of Communist officials
    -torturing Chinese children for stating their belief in Mao
    -opening fire on random Chinese police in Beijing
    -thrusting cattle prods into the anuses of kidnapped Communist women

    Well, China is doing all this and there is only one reason the whole world is tolerating it, and that is money.

    So world what you expecting a people without any money * who suffering this much atrocity * to do?

    I think you will keep silent as there is no good answer.

    Patel so sorry to disturb your mind with images like them. But wont you feel more disturbed if it is really happening to your own people?

    That is the situation for Tibetans.

    Enough is enough. Speak truth then fight for freedom. Let us stop the pretty talk with China. Let us not glossing over all atrocity. Just speak truth and fight for freedom. Let chips fall where they might.

  60. gong | February 17th, 2009 | 4:50 am

    jamyang norbu,
    you said in a video interview that when it comes to national independence, we must fight. but today your views on the means to achieve freedom is at best blurry!
    i demand a clear cut answer from you.

  61. Dawa | February 17th, 2009 | 10:36 am

    In post 36 Tsering Shakya la talked about having “expressed [his] views on the current situation in China.” I am anxious to know when he says “China” there if he means China alone or if we are supposed to understand otherwise, such as including the invaded countries like Tibet, Mongolia, and Turkestan in that same word.

  62. koopsingh | February 18th, 2009 | 7:44 pm

    timid creatures from those areas in tibet need to be shocked and disturbed so they think and get emboldened and fight for independence.
    if this doesnt help, then apply the final solution!
    search and collect them in a huge frying pan and roast them alive in thousands!
    the ashes can be used as manure. atleast they serve one purpose!
    timid people have no self-respect.

  63. Linda Anna Mancini | February 19th, 2009 | 12:22 pm

    Thanks very much for your review, it was clear. I was not able to attend the TSG meeting and have been searching for the results of both meetings, trying to find a report with substance. Now, trusting your report, I see (as suspected) that the meetings were constricted and not open, no breadth. You and I, having been trained as artists, worked as artists, understand the essential nature of creative problem solving. I thought the meetings were staged for that to happen! Obviously not – what a shame! If ever we needed a wide ranging group of people to work creatively, openly, intensley studying a vast number of options, approaches, tactics for new potential solutions, November was the moment. And I do believe that what HHDL wanted was that, the new ideas that could arise during open, supported interaction. It was heartbreaking to hear of that official reading a report for hours during the time of a workshop and leaving little time for discussion and interaction. Thank you again for descriptions and thoughtfulness, please continue to rest, get well, regain strength.

  64. koopkhan | February 20th, 2009 | 6:25 pm

    the chinese first attacked amdo in 1949. within a few months of invasion, cunning amdos fell without much fighting.
    then in 1950 the chinese attacked kham and brave khampas(dhotoe chushigangdruk) fought for 9 years and they fell.
    then the chinese attacked u-tsang in 1959 and slavish timid coward u-tsangwas fell in just one day! mar 10, 1959!
    then from 1960 to 1974, brave khampas(new dhotoe chushigangdruk)again fought the chinese with cia help but there was no amdowas, upas, tsangpas,kongpos,ngaripas, toepas, nagchupas in the mustang guerilla war.
    sad. bad.
    i cant respect these timid fearful creatures unless they show in action and sacrifices that they are worth praising or remembering.

  65. sharmapatel | February 21st, 2009 | 10:13 am

    Koopkhan this much ignoramus. Sorry friend. People tolerating rape and torture-murder for sake of nation and king-god is too much couaregousful. You must do more study on resistance — how much Tibetans fighting peacefully and also violent in old days to protect their people like surround Potala with nothing but a knife or stone and face down cannon. Timid coward creature is Chinese Commmunist. Him need 10 friends to rape one nun. Patel say may the Lord of Death visit such a one.

    Not only Khampa but all men women children of Utsang Amdo Kham show hero’s courage every day. You should be knowing this. Only crippling effect is the nonviolent philosophy of Buddhadharma which is securing liberation from this world rather than liberation in this world if misconstrued emphasized. Need deepest understanding of Buddhadharma to realize all activity in manner of Lhalung Paldor, Chusi Gangdruk type activity knowing full righteousness and deepest goodness for Tibet. This much Patel’s think. World is forcing Tibetan people to this much. So clear.

    Freeing Tibet “by any means necessary” is the new program if world not support Tibet nonviolent struggle. This much future of Tibet. Patel only sorry that living in the free land he can not experience torture and murder for Tibet…and feel sad he have no chance to sacrifice like people of Utsang Amdo Kham united.

    May 10 million martyrs resist the occupation, until all red Chinese go home forever!

    Free Tibet!

  66. gyalpot | February 22nd, 2009 | 10:15 pm

    The person who posted at 64 is unfortunately misinformed or has some agenda of his own. Bulk of Chushiganduk was composed of brave Khampas but it is entirely wrong to claim that “slavish timid coward u-tsangwas fell in just one day! mar 10, 1959!”. I may be wrong but the choice of words in this post sounds familiar and leads us to believe that the poster has turned. However, be informed that Chushiganduk had members from all regions of Tibet.

  67. tsering | February 24th, 2009 | 12:31 am

    I have been to the meeting. What Jamyang described is malacious and is exactly an impact of one eyed yak grassland.

  68. tsering | February 24th, 2009 | 12:45 am

    I have served the CTA for some time. When It was held, I represented one of the settlement where we have no order or manupulate any results. In fact Kalon tripa guided us to speack freely and frankly during the meeting. Nobody needs to represent CTA or Kashag.

  69. Confused inji | February 24th, 2009 | 3:46 am

    Another no-so-special meeting was held last weekend between Mrs Clinton and the Chinese regime.

    While it is sad that the US administration has now dropped any pretense of supporting justice, democracy and human rights over dictatorship and genocide, at least we can all now see clearly that it only was pretense. Even money (mighty USA borrowing from a communist dictatorship!) is more important than the survival of Tibet.

    Why should the TGIE still hang on to the autonomy lip service when their moral backers (actually just selfish politicians) in the West have openly given up their supposedly fundamental morals in order to appease the murderous Chinese regime?

    Professor Elliot Sperling made an insightful statement to the US government back in 2002.

    http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=2377

    HHDL/TGIE surrendered Tibetans’ right to return to genuine sovereign self-rule (Strassbourg proposal) in order to gain more support from the West than just lip service. However nothing more was ever delivered and now even lip service in support of Tibetans is gone.

    Yet Western leaders can sleep easily because they can claim that the Tibetan issue is not a desperate freedom struggle but just a minor internal disorder for the Chinese regime to handle!

    If the TGIE wasn’t still continuing to muzzle freedom activists I would say that the whole Tibetan community should now urgently concentrate on shocking or waking up the indifferent and hypocritical Western leaders by demonstrating against THEM personally.

    Serious hunger strikes in Washington and Brussels with the aim of embarrassing the hypocrites would at least create some public debate in the mainstream instead of this irregular autonomy background noise while Tibet continues to bleed and fade away.

    In fact the hunger strike protest would need to be organized without the approval of the TGIE and it could also act as wake up call to the directionless middle-way followers whose ultimate compromise with China is only advancing Chinese regime’s interests and claims.

    The fact remains that the PEOPLE in the West would overwhelmingly support Tibetan struggle for Freedom if the actual struggle and the hypocrisy about autonomy was exposed to them.

    After targeting the top Western hypocrits we (all Tibetan Freedom supporters) should also target the press corps hanging around Obama, Clinton and Gordon Brown and so on. Ask Clinton on camera WHY EXACTLY she acts as if the PRC has legitimate right to occupy (US gov’t word) and oppress the country of people and civilization totally different and separate from the Chinese until history’s greatest murderer Mao invaded.

  70. Tenpa | March 1st, 2009 | 9:31 pm

    Jamyang la,

    Please know that your articles have touched and inspired Tibetan like myself in other parts of continent (Australia). Please keep writing with conviction and confidence!

  71. Bomo from Barkor | March 3rd, 2009 | 4:19 am

    TCL is correct in her assessment with regards to the ‘census’ taken about the choice the Tibetan public made between Independence or Middle Path before the Special Meeting. At least it was more subtle in Tokyo; in the region of the hill stations in North East India (consisting of a large number of aging illiterate Tibetans) they were told that they are free to choose between Independence and The Middle Path BUT that His Holiness supports the Middle Way. No prize for guessing where the votes went.
    As for Tsering and his /her comments about the ‘one eyed yak grassland’, that’s like really fresh ‘cho’ (yak dung) coming from him! Does he not have any clue of how many educated Tibetans have watched it live and are unhappy about the outcome and totally agree with Jamyangla? Time will tell who really the ‘One eyed yak grassland’ is!

  72. sharmapatel | March 3rd, 2009 | 10:38 pm

    “Yakkity Yak, Don’t Talk Back”

    A one eyed yak’s a special thing
    his dung’s still good to burn
    But he can’t see the precious truth:
    for Rangzen we still yearn

    A one eyed yak’s a policy
    that thinks China speaks truth
    A one eyed yak’s a government
    ignoring its own youth

    A one eyed yak, the T.G.I.E.
    for whom I yet hold hopes
    That they’ll relinquish a crazy dream:
    autonomy-opiate-dope

    It drugs us to complacency
    obscures all the facts
    that China’s killing off Tibet
    and no one’s got our back

    There’s no hope save a savage war
    whether made in peace or wrath
    Unless we fight for real Rangzen
    China gets the last, last laugh

    We must rise up, we must resist
    and drive the Chinese home
    Don’t think for one millisecond
    they’ll go home on their own

    They didn’t come to talk to us
    but to rape and loot and kill
    autonomy’s the talk of diplomats,
    Rangzen: the people’s will.

    Feel free to ignore a “one eyed yak”
    if that’s how you see myself,
    and sit by to idly wish and dream
    as China plunders life and wealth

    This “one eyed yak,” at least I have
    one good eye with which to see
    the mere presence of red Chinese:
    cause of brutality

    I’d rather be a one eyed yak
    than a Chinese cow with two good eyes.
    This one eyed yak, at least he’s free
    unbound by Chinese lies.

    Prescott (His Eminence, Special Representative of the One Eyed Yak Resistance)

  73. N. Pema | March 15th, 2009 | 11:50 pm

    The representation of delegates was totally not fair. Its just a number game.

  74. Yakman | March 17th, 2009 | 4:42 pm

    Tag zig,
    You are all over dude. First you accuse Jamyang la of glossing over the facts. When he asked pointed question about why emiment tibetan scholars were not invited to the Special Meeting, you lose yourself with gobbledygook pseudo scholarship and pretension to know the inner circle of Dalai lama. Jamyang la is very clear in the article. Please don’t beat about the bush if you can’t answer Jamyang la’s question. Jamyang la, thanks for the writup.

  75. Wendy | March 19th, 2009 | 11:52 am

    I was in Dharamsala this past winter and I was astounded by the contradictions in which so many Tibetans operate as well as the distinct lack of clear, honest, communication. His Holiness is an amazing human being and perhaps the Lamas, Rinpoches, and others who serve him have not had enough experience in respectful dissent as thier culture is very much a male dominated hierarchy.

    All the best to your efforts to bring new ideas, new energy, and clear communications to the Tibetans. Good luck, Wendy

  76. dharamsankat | April 5th, 2009 | 1:31 am

    Always a pleasant treat to go through your pieces and thoughts. I was present there as a quasi-official during the special meeting and I think we can argue that this wasn’t a ground breaking event but at the same time I would not say that it was a failed attempt either. I believe this special event attracted the most number of international media after a long time. Including Xinhua, comprised of two reporters and a camera man, initially disguised as freelance reporters but after more introspection they confessed they were from Xinhua Delhi and I was surprised when I figured out some Bhoeshung (TGIE)tactics that they can get information on any guests staying at any hotel in Dharamsala and ofcourse they were registered under Taiwanese passports. There might not have been a solid outcome of this but there was definitely an air of an importance event in the history of Tibetan in Exile.

    At the same time that there should be a convention calling all the free thinkers and experts to unofficially plan strategic steps towards independence proposal. I think the main drawback of the independence proposal is that it is not at all organized or there is no unanimous agreement on how independence bandwagon could be implemented. And thats why Rangzen mongers dont have much followers. I completely agree with your suggestion of setting up an official Rangzen research center but I feel that it members should be fully driven Tibetan Youngsters rather than senior government officials who might have already have engraved notion of rangzen struggle.
    The members should be well paid and the government should well accept its existence to the outer world, specially to Chinese.

    But it is true that I would have been more satisfied if the committees have decided to continue with the Midway path, rather than following HH’s wishes. It shows how paralyzed and dependent we are.

    Mostly importantly we cant just complaint sitting in front of computer and we have encourage our youngsters to engage themselves less in these unproductive protests and think for themselves the possibilities of bringing peace and harmony the fastest and safest path.

    I know my thoughts are so unorganized, at least its a not college paper that I have to worry about.

    Thanks once again for your thoughts.

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