THE CATCH-22* OF MIDDLE WAY UNITY- Part 1

 

Asking a question and answering it yourself is a rhetorical device known to the ancient Greeks as hypophora. To be effective the answer should follow the question smoothly, perhaps with a well-timed pause in between to heighten the effect. For example: “You ask, what is our aim? (pause) I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.” (Winston Churchill, June 4, 1940)

Bhuchung Tsering la of ICT, in his talk on the “Middle Way” this March at Minnesota, perhaps overdid the pause in his own particular hypophora.

Question: “When we talk about Tibet being independent before the Chinese occupation, what is it that we are really saying? Were the three provinces of Tibet part of the Tibet that the Chinese had occupied in 1949?”

Answer: (some paragraphs later) “When we talk about the independence of Tibet then we are talking about only those areas under the rule of the Lhasa Government when the Chinese Communist occupied it… “

Then he rounds off the sentence with his core message “…while the Middle Way Approach (MWA) covers all Tibetans.”

This question that Bhuchung la raised (and answered) before his audience of young Tibetans at Minnesota, now appears to be the leading justification MWA is advancing for why Tibetans must give up the goal of independence and embrace being part of China since it is the only way to unite the three traditional regions (cholkha) of Tibet. This bizarre pseudo-historical line of reasoning appears to be regarded by all MWA followers as more crucial than the economic case for MWA, which I dealt with in a previous post.  His Holiness’ himself, at a talk at Madison, Wisconsin on May 14th this year, stressed the utmost importance of this rationale. The headline of the Phayul report says it all: “His Holiness the Dalai Lama today said that the unity of the three Cholkhas (provinces) of Tibet – Kham, Amdo, and U-Tsang – is more sacred than our souls.”

Simply put, MWA claims that an independent Tibet would only include Central Tibet and a small part of Eastern Tibet west of the Drichu (Yangtse river), and would leave out all of Amdo and most of Kham. Hence cholkha-sum, or the three traditional regions of Tibet, can only be united in a “genuine” autonomous entity within the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and  under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),  as proposed by MWA. Or as Bhuchung la most confidently declared “Middle Way Approach covers all Tibetans”.

First of all, we have to ask Bhuchung la if he actually means that China has now agreed to allow all Tibetans of the three cholkhas, to be united in one autonomous entity? No, of course not. If you remove the small puffery from his declaration, what Bhuchung la really means is that Dharamshala has requested, or rather pleaded with the PRC to consider its proposition for a “genuine autonomous entity” within the PRC.

That this request has been flatly and repeatedly rejected by Beijing twenty-five times in around twenty-five different negotiations**, is, of course, never mentioned at all. So, far from the Middle Way “covering all Tibetans”, this ragged fig-leaf of a policy didn’t even provide cover for our two MWA negotiators Lodi Gyari and Kalsang Gyaltsen, from the extraordinary humiliation they were subjected to by a mangy CCP functionary (Zhu Weiqun) of the United Front Work Department, before the international press in Beijing.

There never really was a good time to ask China to expand TAR to roughly three times its present size and, ahem, let us Tibetans run it. But if there ever was a moment when something like this could at least have been touched on (without the messengers being insulted and abused) it might have been when China’s plan for establishing the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) was first broached to Tibet’s leaders.

This happened in 1956 on His Holiness’s state visit to China. In his biography My Land and My People, the Dalai Lama mentions that at his second private meeting with Mao Zedong, the chairman told him that it had initially been decided “…to govern Tibet directly under the Chinese government but now he did not think that would be necessary. Instead of that, he added, they had now decided to set up a Preparatory Committee of the Autonomous Region of Tibet (PCART). He asked for my opinion.”

This might have been a moment to suggest to Mao that Kham and Amdo should be part of the proposed Tibet Autonomous Region. There were justifiable grounds for this. First of all Mao had asked for the Dalai Lama’s opinion, 2. China did acknowledge that most, or at least many of the so called “minority areas” were ethnically and culturally Tibetan, and 3. the road to Lhasa was still incomplete and China’s control of Tibet far from secure.

Of course, the odds were against China accepting any such counter-proposal but, at the minimum, an important historical fact would have been established. Furthermore, this might at least have served as a bargaining ploy to wring a few concessions from the Chinese regarding the authority of Tibetan government. It might also have been a good platform to raise the issue of Communist repression in Kham and Amdo. The Dalai Lama and His government had been receiving many complaints from monasteries and local leaders even before the ’56 Uprising.

But the Dalai Lama did not bring this up at Beijing, and even later the question of incorporating Kham and Amdo into TAR was never raised by the Tibetan government. Tsering Shakya in his history of modern Tibet, The Dragon in the Land of Snows says: “It appears that the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan leaders seem to have welcomed the decision to establish PCART. This had at least postponed immediate ‘democratic reforms’.” Democratic reforms being the misnomer for the violent seizure of the traditional authority of chieftains and monasteries by the Communist Party, which was being carried out in Kham and Amdo.

Tsering Shakya la also mentions that “This marked the period when the relationship between the Chinese and Tibetans was at its best.”

But one man in Lhasa was about to disrupt this relationship. The first step in Gompo Tashi Andrugtsang’s grand strategy for Tibetan independence was calling for the unity of Kham and Amdo with Central Tibet, within the ancient frontiers of cholkha-sum or the three traditional regions of Tibet. To symbolize this unity he hit on the idea of presenting a magnificent Golden Throne to the Dalai Lama, paid for with contributions raised from people of all three regions.

The genius of the plan was that although it appeared on the surface to be merely an extravagant religious ritual, especially to the Communists, it was in fact a political statement, a declaration of independence, and furthermore a declaration of the unity of the three traditional regions of Tibet, under the sovereign rule of the Dalai Lama and his Ganden Phodrang government. Gompo Tashi also used the planning and management structure of the golden throne project as a cover to secretly organize the Four Rivers Six Ranges resistance movement.

Gompo Tashi had used history and religious ritual to push forward an agenda for militant action against the Chinese, but later in exile, especially in Dharamshala, the actual freedom struggle itself soon became moribund and stuck in ritual. The dynamic concept of cholkha-sum soon became fixed as official doctrine to be repeated in TIPA songs, school text-books, and the national anthem. It was also enshrined in the Dalai Lama’s 10th March statements and other speeches and writings.

Cholkha sum become the framework within which the exile elections were organized. This system took no consideration of the actual composition of the exile population, or the problems resulting from the way in which exile Tibetans were soon scattered all around South Asia and later Europe and America, with, of course, no regard for their cholkha origins. Not surprisingly parliament became, in practice, a department of the exile government, and MPs (chithue) messenger-boys, who toured the exile settlements and communities to inform the people of this or that government decision or policy. By and large, parliament was unrepresentative of the actual interests of  the exile Tibetan populace, but as a symbolic body it could perhaps be said to represent the people of three traditional regions of Tibet who had no democratic representation under Chinese rule.

There was no intellectual effort made to discuss and work out some of the complications and inconsistencies that existed within the cholkha-sum formulation. All Tibetans were aware that large tracts of Kham and all of Amdo had not been within independent Tibet for over some centuries, and that people of other ethnicities: Mongol, Chinese, Hui, and others, now also inhabited these areas alongside Tibetans. The historian Shakabpa in his early Yale University edition of his Political History had been careful to define cholkha-sum as “ethnic Tibet”. (pg12) In his expanded Tibetan language edition he writes that when Drogon Chogyal Phakpa, the Sakya ruler unified Tibet, “there was a broad division of Tibet into three “sources” (byung khungs khag sum) named chol-kha.” (pg 26)

But in Dharamshala these inconveniences were brushed aside and the three traditional regions now formally labeled “provinces” as if they had been actual administrative units within independent Tibet before the Communist invasion. Note the usage of the label “province” by Bhuchung Tsering la and in the Phayul report. Technically speaking, states and provinces (nga-de, zhing-chen) are political subdivisions of countries, and constitute actual administrative districts with defined boundaries. It is for this reason that careful scholars  have always preferred to use the term “ traditional region” for “cholkha” as this term is not necessarily politically-defined as the term “province”. Furthermore the term region is generally broader in scope, only requiring some special characteristic (geographic, ethnic, historical etc.,) to set it apart from neighboring areas.

It would have been the sensible and productive thing to do, to invite historians as Kungo Shakabpa, Samten Karmay la and others (perhaps even organize a conference or two) to work out a definition of Tibet that would encompass cholka-sum in a way that was in keeping with actual historical reality, and which would also be reasonable and convincing in terms of international law. I think something like this was completely do-able, and I will provide my own intellectual validation for cholkha-sum at the conclusion of the second part of this essay.

But since in Dharamshala cholkha-sum had taken on the aura of official doctrine that the Dalai Lama himself had pronounced upon, inconvenient details were glossed over. Nuances are always lost when historical accounts and national polices are formulated around faith and propaganda. Of course this sort of convenient simplification of history led to criticism by some Tibetan and foreign scholars (both hostile and supportive). But these were ignored by bureaucrats and politicians in Dharamshala, for whom the cholkha-sum doctrine was now absolutely beyond criticism, even discussion.

But that was twenty years ago. Now that the Dalai Lama has given up Tibetan independence, you have officials like Bhuchung la diligently rewriting official doctrine and explaining to a new generation of Tibetans (in roundabout hypohoras) why cholkha-sum, once officially established as the three inalienable “provinces” of independent Tibet, must now be regarded – at least in the historico-legal context of independent Tibet – as dubious as the exotic “mutton” being recently sold throughout China. These revisionist presentations always conclude on a reassuringly optimistic note – that in spite of this setback the precious unity of cholka sum can yet, oh yes, be realized, but only within the sovereign confines of the PRC, and only after every Tibetan, especially those few noisy activists-in-exile, have been forced to give up their hopeless dream of a free and independent Tibet.

Theologically speaking – what was once immutable dogma has now become excommunicable anathema.

Notes:

* Catch 22, a satirical novel of World War II by Joseph Heller, is one of the great American literary works of the 20th century. The novel is a critique of bureaucratic reasoning and the self-contradictory circular logic that it often engenders. The term “catch-22” has now come to mean a paradoxical situation in which an individual cannot or is incapable of avoiding a problem because of contradictory constraints or rules. Often these situations are such that solving one part of a problem only creates another problem, which ultimately leads back to the original problem. Catch-22s often result from rules, regulations, or procedures that an individual is subject to but has no control over.

** There have been so many negotiations that it is hard to keep track of all of them. Lodi Gyari and Kalsang Gyaltsen headed nine, Gyalo Thondup thirteen, Juchen Thupten three (?), and there were others that I can’t remember off-hand. I would be grateful if anyone could let me have some exact figures. Nearly all Tibetans negotiators appear to have been insulted and humiliated by their Chinese counterpart at one one point or the other. In fact in an interview that Kungo Gyalo Thondup kindly granted me in 1995, he stressed the fact that Chinese leaders had lectured and scolded him like a child.

Comments

  1. samdup | July 22nd, 2013 | 2:42 pm

    Question: We have to ask Bhuchung la if he actually means that China has now agreed to allow all Tibetans of the three cholkhas, to be united in one autonomous entity?
    Answer: No, of course not.

    You also answered your own question! what is difference between them.

  2. Pasang | July 22nd, 2013 | 3:08 pm

    Stupid Samdup. JN is not saying ansering you own question is wrong. He say Bhuchung is doing it wrong way. Too much pause. Answer this question you are asking yourself when you look in mirror. AM I STUPID?

  3. SAMDUP | July 22nd, 2013 | 3:34 pm

    I’m mentally sick and stupid. I confess…

  4. Kalsang Phuntsok | July 22nd, 2013 | 4:01 pm

    What and how can Buchung’s logic twisting of history benefits Middleway stance is known only to him. But it is clear that the intention of making this line of argument is to discredit the Rangzen position.

    It is one thing to adopt and support MWA but to condemn our entire exile history and our collective dreams and our collective suffering is sinister and can only be called the work of those who wish us nothing but evil.

    Mr. Buchung and so called intellectuals like him should be careful and realise that a Rangzen activist, at worst can be accused of being a hopeless romantic. But there is a very fine line between people like him being called a Khewang or the Enemy of Tibetan people or rather China’s Running Dog (Gyami Gyugkhyi).

    I am a Khampa and I believe in Tibet’s Independence. I believe in a Independent Tibet comprising of Chokha Sum. And I don’t need any historical justification to believe in this. This was the dream of Andruk Gonpo Tashi and my Parents and thousands of people who gave up their lives for it. This was the goal of the Tibetan Government in Exile for over 30 years. Are Mr. Buchung and MWA proponents saying that that was all a mistake?

  5. crtical | July 22nd, 2013 | 4:33 pm

    @Kalsang: Buchung did not twist history, he simply stated cholkha sum was never united under Dalai Lama and his all crony Kudras which forms the government and run the government as their fiefs, since fall of imperial Tibet. I personally did not see any twisting about such a historical realities for centuries by Bhuchung. Tibetan Government might had ray of hope when first arrived in exile, then called for independence for all cultural areas of Tibetan world, it also framed its own democracy on this same representative arguments such as cholkhas and choelus. When Nixon switched his alliance with CHina at a time when China was having a war with USSR over a tiny island called Damansky in Russian and Zhen Bao Dao in Chinese on the north east part of China. Even little Jamyang Norbu had to throw his empty rifle into the river and return to his million dollar flat in Kalingpong. Plus mass migration of Han Chinese through free market force, plus inability of TGIE and its exile peoples….it had nothing in power to change situation, except to adopt more nuanced policy which is failed so far.

    Far from truth, Buchung might not have said as bluntly as Kalsang “all history is mistaken”, rather he is articulating an ongoing policy, which could be materialized, which will never materialize.

    IN my view, if someone want to change the equation, somebody need to get not onto the safe street of West and South Asia and sing culture songs for emotional gratification. One must cross into Himalaya either take the baton of Chinese guards through Ghandian style non-violence or declare a war like guerrillas which earlier TYC members including Jamyang NOrbu and Lhasang Tsering were talking about. Otherwise, no shit will come out of whining on internet and once a year conference somewhere with tea and roasted chickens, and scratching each other’s back for mutual encouragement for nothing.

    The worse scenario is, expecting people inside take on Chinese, so exiles can shout loudly but not risking life. If waiting for such an event or bent on to incite an ethnic war will only be futile and self-defeatist.

    It is time for Jamyang Norbu to come out of his comfortable Tennesse house with wife and kids…and lead a war like FARC of Colombia. And Kalsang Phuntsok la, ready to sign up.

    However, the bitter truth is, as recently as couple of weeks back, JN was advising his followers like SFTiers to demonstrate like x-sftiers did before. He truly knew, nothing came out of the demonstration except transient news flash. Is he a political strategist or someone who has a personal grudge to anybody who agrees with TGIE officials.

    NG

  6. Dr.X | July 22nd, 2013 | 4:49 pm

    NG, you and Buchung can shove your revisionist history books deep up your ass to satisfy your itch for a chinese pecker.

  7. truthfortibet | July 22nd, 2013 | 6:32 pm

    Gen Jamyangla – all this humiliation insults and abuse at the hands of Chinese counterparts over the last decades of dysfunctional negotiations.
    Have u heard of the ‘Stockholm syndrome’? I think u and other intellectuals will know more about.

  8. wazayak | July 22nd, 2013 | 6:32 pm

    Considering the dilemma of regiment 22, fighting for an Independent Tibet or forever languish in the Indian military, the phrase “Catch 22” literally applies to our ever changing Tibetan conundrum.

  9. Bhula | July 22nd, 2013 | 11:02 pm

    what is kalden lodoe cooking up thesedays?

  10. critical | July 23rd, 2013 | 12:06 am

    @Dr X: Put a check on your emotion or spit some valuable information or reasonable thoughts that boost your argument. Otherwise, don’t embarrass yourself!

    Critics Of Exiles

  11. Tsering | July 23rd, 2013 | 12:49 am

    It is pity that all these delimitation of our assets (history. culture and legitimacy) are happening before actual negotiations. It will do no good when eventually such things actually took place. However, it is clear, that no amount of negotiation at this juncture can’t undermine our history which is interpreted not as it is rather according to suite short and opportunistic gains. Unfortunately every history is interpreted to suite concurrent needs! In fact, as far as my understanding goes,MWA never wanted to comprise our history and it was said often than not shall leave it to historians. MWA will only negotiate on Tibet’s future. Thats all! What is now happening is pout of my reasoning.

  12. Dr.X | July 23rd, 2013 | 6:15 am

    Tsering, then why is Buchung using history to justify MWA? Oh I see, he wants to interpret Rangzen position which he doesn’t believe in.

  13. PemaKarmaTenzin | July 23rd, 2013 | 5:38 pm

    Under the leadership of General Gompo Tashi – thousands and thousands of our countrymen united together to ‘STAND UP’ for Tibet.

    As you have written (JN la) – General Gompo Tashi Andrugtsang’s strategy was for Tibetan Independence.
    (Some historians and khewangs have dismissed this Great Unified movement as being that of mere ‘defenders of the faith’).

    Even as early as 1954 the rumblings of this movement were being felt and talked about.

    HH the Dalai Lama was presented with such suggestions of call for ‘Independence’ by various Khampa leaders; who had the once in a life time privilege of hosting HH and entourage as Royal guests; a break on their long journey to the historical meeting in Beijing.
    (This has been mentioned in one His Holiness’s memoirs -perhaps now to be omitted by khewangs and historians?).

  14. Jamphel | July 23rd, 2013 | 7:53 pm

    Well done guys, these kind of intellectual activities
    Should be tolerated and welcomed in our
    Society for the better and fairer future for tibet.

  15. Tsering | July 23rd, 2013 | 11:56 pm

    @Dr.X Thats what I was trying to say, people do interpret our history as it suits their proposition. Like Buchung la now seems to be doing now. Israel was just created based on Bibilical mythology. Our independence is real. Without high degree and long period of independence or sovereignty, Tibetan civilization as it is, would not have occur or flourished Tibet and beyond. Tibetan political history must be interpreted as per Asian or Oriental context not by western model. As a staunch MWA supporter, I see no conflict with our history and Tibet independent political history helps MWA going through with CCP successfully than otherwise.

  16. Tenzin | July 24th, 2013 | 4:46 am

    Respected JN Sir,
    Thank you for this another wonderful blog. I truly consider you as my teacher for modern Tibet history and its current affairs. I strongly agree with your political or religious views(atleast most of them) on Tibet. We need more people like you in confronting the views/actions of CTA if they are wrong/illogical. I am not against the CTA, but i feel that some kind of civil society or intellectuals like you should be there to criticize them when they fall out of the line.
    Please keep writing and enlighten us through your blogs.

    Regards,
    Tenzin

    PS: You need to chage the fonts of your writings or change the background to little darker colour, it little difficult to read.

  17. samdup | July 24th, 2013 | 9:12 am

    according to wiki pedia JN is the creator of Green book but i heard some one said that creator of the Green book is S.Rinpoche and Goser lama,a former soldier of Chushi Gangdruk or Four rivers six ranges. So who really is the creator of the GB.

  18. samdup | July 24th, 2013 | 9:21 am

    That network also said JN writes in tibetan too. JN himself confessed many times durring public talks that he can’t even read Tibetan well.

  19. Kalsang Phuntsok | July 24th, 2013 | 3:13 pm

    @NG you wrote, ” The worse scenario is, expecting people inside take on Chinese, so exiles can shout loudly but not risking life. If waiting for such an event or bent on to incite an ethnic war will only be futile and self-defeatist.”

    This is increasingly becoming another trope used by MWA camp to discourage and seed doubts and fear in the minds of the not-so-well-informed Tibetan people. That some how when exiles “shout loudly” from outside, it harms those living inside Tibet. People in Tibet are no fools. They don’t sit around and wait to see what people in exile are doing. They suffer the Chinese oppression first hand and they react to the atrocities they suffer from the Chinese authorities. And if they come into harm for speaking up for their rights and justice then the blame completely (100%) lies on the shoulders of the oppressors, not those who are shouting in solidarity with them from outside. This is what I mean by “twisting of logic” often employed by people like you and Buchung.

  20. Pema T. | July 24th, 2013 | 4:45 pm

    @Kalsang Phuntsok,

    As suggested by NG, I think it’s high time for you and the others having Rangzen aspiration in their heart to have direct confrontation with the disease called CCP, and wipe it out completely from the Tibetan plateau. Otherwise having Rangzen wishes in your heart and shouting from outside will not yield the desired result and in real sense a follower of Middle way policy and nothing else. We’re all same waiting for the Chinese to act rather than ourselves dictating the terms.

  21. Dawa | July 24th, 2013 | 10:27 pm

    Thank you once again Jamyang la. I learnt several more things! I have been taking it for granted that Kham and Amdo had always been traditionally under the government in Lhasa in some form such as tribute system etc. It is good to know the facts.

    I have been also asking to change for font to a darker color. It’s hard enough on my desktop which is not small and very very hard to read on ipad and smart phone.

  22. Anyog Tenpa | July 26th, 2013 | 12:43 am

    Bhuchung Tsering and other Middle Way scholar must first explain why His Holiness and the TGiE sought Rangzen in the first 30 years (until 1987 when they officially changed to Middle way)if asking for Rangzen means excluding the provinces of Amdo and Kham? Were the TGiE foolishly giving up those two provinces then? Do you mean to say that when TGiE and His holiness knew our real History, we have started chaning our stance? Or, What’s the difference between NOW and THEN? TYC is fighting for RANGZEN since 1970 firmly supporting the demands of TGiE.

    I am really getting disgusted by the Middle Way running dog and their logic. It doesn’t make sense at all. I have learn in exile school “Tendra Gyami BHoe ne Thartro Tong gi Yin” – You elders taught me and now when i say i really want to red rid of those gyami, you call me weirdo?

    No wonder China will not trust our leader because they are coward and flipflopper. They don’t know what to believe in. Seriously!

  23. Tsering | July 26th, 2013 | 1:12 am

    @ATenpa I can understand your emotions. You are one of the people who never change yourself. But you must now be an adult intelligent enough to understand how things do change and how we have to change strategies as per changing circumstances. Policies and politics are subject to these changes. MWA is one of the by products of such adaptations. Wake up and you will see the works TGIE has been doing. In fact HHDL and people in TGIE do work for it day in and day out. You should see yourself instead of throwing irresponsible comments here and there!

  24. Anyog Tenpa | July 26th, 2013 | 3:36 am

    @ Tsering
    I can understand YOUR emotion and blind faith- I had been there and done that. Listen, I am not talking about TGiE changing their policy to Middle Way. I am talking about their logic which doesn’t stand the test of time (21st century scientific and logical world). It seems like TGiE and their middle way supporters knew Tibetan History recently. My question was simple- If Calling for Rangzen excludes AMDO and KHAM, the why did they ask for Rangzen in the early part of our exile history?
    Also, his Holiness said recently that Amdo was never part of Gadhen Phodrang. That means we were never together. Then on what basis are we asking genuine Autonomy for all Tibetan Provinces?
    WE ARE ASKING FOR SOMETHING THAT NEVER EXISTED BEFORE. DO THE REALITY CHECK!
    Then, What do you mean by irresponsible comment? Criticism? Anyways, Please enlighten me what TGiE is doing these days. One reminder though, there is no Government!!!- Don’t you know there is not TGiE?

    Anyog.

  25. Tsering | July 26th, 2013 | 3:58 am

    It is great to see how you took my comments so constructively. I said irresponsible because you too assume that HHDL and CTA know nothing about the history and just goes on doing without proper deliberations. If you are known to this system I need not elaborate further what procedure are followed to take drastic decisions on national issues. We followed the bandwagon but just missed the train when so many countries were getting independence. Idealistic India and backtracking Great Britain could not support us as expected. Then UN and PRC was just at its formative stage not as strong as this that we are confronting with. After a while we knew that we missed the train and world began to settle and long protracted cold war just begun. Remnants of independent movements were being converted into regional autonomy struggle. At the same time Cholkhasum moment also start taking roots. This can go on…..

  26. Tenzin | July 26th, 2013 | 8:19 am

    I remember hhdl saying amdo was never part of garden phodrang. But then latest proposal boedrig sakyul rangkyong given to united front by our special envoy LEDs me confused. What is that about.can somebody enlightens me on that. I thought it contradicts.

  27. Dechen | July 26th, 2013 | 9:54 am

    Thank you once again JN la for this refreshing debate on our current and living history.You once again awaken many, many Tibetan youths and their sharpened intellectual minds.
    To the ones who are commenting on His Holiness’ comment on ‘Amdo’ being / not being part of Tibet;I thought His Holiness said it to make the complicated concept of Cholkha-sum simpler to understand and gave a proper perspective for the common folks.I could be wrong….

  28. Gyamtso Kyab | July 26th, 2013 | 2:32 pm

    Front and Center
    The posting of the so-called Memorandum for Tibetan Autonomy, in an earlier blog, prompted me to write this:
    Skip to the fake end of the memo, and you will find the last section Seven entitled the “The Way Forward.” It claims, “our intention is to explore how the needs of the Tibetan nationality can be met within the frame work of PRC since we believe these needs are consistent with the principles of the Chinese Constitution on autonomy.” It invokes the Dalai Lama’s often repeated slogan that we have no hidden agenda. Look what happened or not happened.
    In order to shake or shape China’s view point, I urge that the rights and freedom of the Tibetan people and not the needs of the Tibetan nationality be the focal point. Human needs are endless and unlimited, and not even super powers can’t fulfill the desires and needs of it people to the fullest. But basic rights freedom are limited an stipulated and are mandatory. What can one expect from China when our demands are not defined. Visit any free country’s constitution, and the rights and demands are defined.
    Perhaps it shows our own lack of respect for rights and freedom. Although the exile Tibetan community functions under the façade of democracy, any expert or suspecting civil body will sadly agree that we don’t practice democracy to its fullest. While one can argue and sympathize why Tibetans can’t really cultivate modern democracy even after 60 years of living in free societies, what is not acceptable is that the Tibetan pontiff himself, has failed, more than once, to accept any dissenting voices from exile-bred Tibetan elite. He demands total subjugation to his dictums. How can one forget the Dalai Lama lambasting the senior law maker who dared to comment about the Dalai Lama’s ultimate aim behind the so-called Middle Way Approach. Remember, the Radio Free episode where free fresh was attacked much to the disgust of not only passive Tibetans, but many American lawmakers. RFA is turmoil is from over although it has installed a new director, here is no sign of things improving. The sad saga continues with full and explicit blessing of CATA and the Dalai Lama himself. No mincing words! My sources claim that Kalden Lodoe is now being called the emissary the Gaden Phadrang and is taking the shorts past the new director. The interim director has replaced the former deputy director, and the deputy director has a new title, I learnt. A senior editor’s vacant position has now become a bone of contention with the new director clueless who to fill it in. Rumors are afloat that Kalden Lodoe is holing the key. Only he and lady Libby will decide who gets the position. By the way, my informants surprised me recently by disclosing that Lady Libby is expecting a baby. Whose baby!

    Returning to the main issue, remember Sikyong Sangay’s strange remaks at a recent hearing in Washington DC that has sent a chilling and shocking message which has bewildered many. If
    we are not fighting for freedom,democracy, and against Communism,then what is the fight for after all. Is it what the Dalai Lama stipulated in his Middle Way Approach? One can assume the beginning of dissent and rift between CTA and the Gaden Phodrang. Did any one sense it! I hear rumors are afloat that the Dalai Lama has voiced his concerns about the Sikyong’s commitment to follow the appeasement policy . I hoped someone will pen what the Dalai Lama reportedly told Samdhong’s ex-students’ gathering in Dalhousie. Hope someone will dare of share what transpired.
    Let it be known that the Middle Way Approach is fast losing its hold on the Tibetan community in exile. The current efforts to demonize TYC and Rangzen advocates from the highest in power will whiter with time. And lets remind ourselves that the concept of Middle Way was never accepted by the Tibetans in Tibet. On the contrary they have challenged it by self-immolating themselves at the alter of Rangzen. Tell me who , if any, is advocating the Middle Way Approach in Tibet.
    The only hope for the Middle Way Approach is have any legitimacy is to accept and use the Rangzen advocacy as a tool to its benefits. Alter, if there is anything that will force the Chinese to talk, it is the Rangzen plateform and nothing else.

  29. Jamyang Norbu | July 27th, 2013 | 9:02 am

    I have been alerted that some people are posting numerous comments under multiple aliases. For instance “rangzen” “critics” and “NG” are the same person. And there are others that we are looking into. Opinions of every kind are welcome here, but not when the intention clearly is to harrass and discourage those posting opposing comments and to drown out the overall discussion. This kind of spamming first carried out by Chinese fenqing student groups in the West seems to have inspired “rangzen” “critics” and “NG”, whoever they are.

  30. Jamyang Norbu | July 27th, 2013 | 11:14 am

    I also want to add that in future comment with sexual obscenities and profanities will be junked.Furthermore comments that are clearly designed to create division and conflict within our society will be rejected. A final example:
    —–
    samdup
    samdup22@yahoo.com
    14.139.236.148
    2013/07/27 at 5:57 am
    All famous writers are from Amdo,all famous singers are from Kham,all self-immolaters are from Kham and Amdo. Most great Lamas are From Amdo and Kham including Gyawa Rinpoche and Panchen Rinpoche. You U-tsangwas have what to be so proud of other than licking Kudraks ass. if the Kudrak system had happened in Amdo or Kham, Khampas and amdo people would have kicked them off before CCP’s invasion.

  31. Rangzenwalla | July 27th, 2013 | 1:13 pm

    NG is fatshady

  32. Darig Thokmay | July 27th, 2013 | 1:20 pm

    Don’t fight for internal sections, we have our long visionary destination for which we have to fight as a one …..

  33. Agu Tonpa | July 27th, 2013 | 8:11 pm

    It’s high time to reveal Samdup’s identity. So that we know who he is. These days Middle way supporters are creating division within the community while criticising the Rangzen people of creating division.
    Samdup is a very hateful guy- He hates Utsangwa more than the chinese. Rightly so, he loves to join Mother China under one roof. Samdup is also a very shallow guy who doesn’t even know Tibet’s history properly.
    That comment was very divisional and i am glad that you brought attention to all of us.
    People, Heed Me: Samdup is up for no good. We must stay away from him.
    Yours AGU.

  34. FriendlyTibetan | July 27th, 2013 | 11:03 pm

    A few people have made mention of Amdo not being historically part of Tibet, or as Anyog Tenpa says, “WE ARE ASKING FOR SOMETHING THAT NEVER EXISTED BEFORE. DO THE REALITY CHECK!”. I think there is some confusion there, and people need to take the full context of what Kundun had stated into account. Indeed, Kundun did mention that Amdo was outside of the Ganden Phodrang government’s sphere of influence, however Kundun went on to say in his recent trip to Portland, Oregon, that this does not mean Tibet was never united. In fact, our current desire of for the cholka sum to be united, stems from our earlier history under Tibetan empires, perhaps in the 7th century. Anyog Tenpa, when you say we are reaching for something that hasn’t existed before, it comes out of your own lack of understanding of Tibetan history.

  35. Karma | July 28th, 2013 | 9:27 am

    Correct me if I am wrong. Wasn’t there a referendum many years back, called by the Government in Exile asking the Khampas and the Amdos as to their position in the Autonomous region of Tibet. It was only after the Khampas and the Amdos voted to share whatever the plight of Utsang that the idea of the Autonomous region of Tibet compromising only of Cenntreal Tibet was given up. What was all that about ?

  36. nyima | July 29th, 2013 | 1:11 pm

    Ho all b realistic. History is past we cannot fixed but future we can built only we stand united. so stop digging history n support each other. So that we can save our own identity. Only way is mwa. U all know. If u cant b the change stop confusing.

  37. Dawa | July 29th, 2013 | 3:08 pm

    If parts of Kham and Amdo were not under the direct rule of Gadhen Phodrang nor were they under China. Culturally, genetically, and linguistically they are Tibetans. Majority of those who are self immolating for freedom in Tibet are from Amdo. So quit distorting Tibetan history to make a point to support your argument. Since we are all so good at cherry picking from history why not use that energy to gather facts that supports Free Tibet. The phrase you chant every March 10 with such feeling.

  38. uimperialist | July 29th, 2013 | 3:30 pm

    most of you here are patriots. dont attack each other. beware of the real dangerous people like- Gyari and Kalden lodoe types.they are really scary.

  39. Pasang | July 29th, 2013 | 3:31 pm

    Nyima 36. Self-immolator Phagmo Thondup said ” without rangzen Tibet Tibet will be annihilated. I believe Phagmo and will fight for Rangzen.

    You say save identity by accepting mwa and live under Communist China rule. I don’t want to have same identity as people like you. Why don’t all of you who want to live under China go back to China now. Why live in democracies in India or the West, when you say that living under Communist Party rule is fine. Go.

  40. Lhasang | July 29th, 2013 | 10:23 pm

    Pasang is correct

    Middle way policy is long time a broken way

    if you still believe in a broken way..so please show us your believe and start follow the way to China..

  41. Anyog Tenpa | July 29th, 2013 | 10:41 pm

    @34 Friendly Tibetan:
    Put those words in the context of what i was trying to say. That was a blunt answer to my own rhetorical question- basically challenging what His Holiness was saying. His Holiness said, asking for Rangzen is like childish dream (example)- not checking reality. Amdo and part of Kham were never part of Gadhen Phodrang implying that it’s not realistic to ask for Rangzen.
    In a nutshell, we are saying the same thing. Basically, what you are saying is Right that His Holiness is wrong. All of us had been once part of great fatherland called Tibet with a defined territory, and thus has the basis for demanding RANGZEN.

    So don’t take things out of context-

  42. yural | July 29th, 2013 | 11:18 pm

    Middle Way promoters speak as if it is a done deal if not for these pesky Rangzen wallas.

    When they talk about Middleway vs. Rangzen they assume this higher moral ground and condescend: they are the rational and the realistic people; Rangzen supporters! – they are these young, inexperience, and “emotional” people blowing in the wind which ever way the wind happens to be blowing.

    I understand that they are being passionate about they cause, I just wish they would be morally honest and have the courage to look reality in the face and speak objectively and truthfully.

    I believe Middle Way promoters have the best interest of the Tibetan people in they hearts; I just wish for the day when they would see us in similar light.

    If we do indeed believe and practice free speech and democracy, Middle way thoughts must be open to criticism even when it is coming from His Holiness.

    Samdong Rinpoche’s recent innuendo filled talk to TYC is extraordinarily undemocratic and unworthy of the office he holds. He has done disservice to the office and inflicted damage to our fragile community.

    Let people speak their minds loudly and clearly.

    Do not ostracize honorable Tibetans just because you disagree with them.

    Whether Rangzen or Middle Way nothing with happen unless we are ready to struggle and sacrifice.
    Nothing will come of of these chit chats with China unless there is pressure.

    We must put pressure: from inside Tibet as well as from outside.

    Action is what is sorely needed.

  43. Tenam | July 30th, 2013 | 12:45 pm

    I think MWA are a scared lot. They think if you’re standing for Rangzen that you have to fight.I think just that thought deter them to even consider it at all. I saw one guy quite nervously blurt out at a meeting that he feels for Rangzen but that he is dead scared of fighting.atleast i appreciate his honesty.

  44. Dawa | August 1st, 2013 | 10:21 am

    I really don’t want to bad mouth prayers but it is depressing to see that our government, instead of mobilising its people to protest peacefully and create awareness about what is happening on our land, encourages people to pray. When you mix religion and politics this kind of farce gets written. This to me looks like criminal negligence.

  45. nyima | August 2nd, 2013 | 12:38 pm

    Hi lhasang or passang. Wat I mean here is be realistic. Although I too want rangzen like u but its not about wat we want or wish.we have to accept the reality and reality is no one wil help us to get rangzen nor we are capable of. So have to deal with and its time to use ur commen sense and support our govt n make awareness to each other rather confusing. Mwa may b not so sucesful so far but it is more suitable then rangzen which is next to impossible. So pliss be united n stop criticism toward govt or mwa.

  46. Dhasa Dhaba | August 2nd, 2013 | 1:00 pm

    To Nyima @45, Here is a different perspective:

    Independence may be 80 or 90% impossible, but autonomy is 100% impossible. That is why we must work for independence, and be ready for our opportunity when it comes.

    This argument is explained well in this article published in TPR: http://www.tibetanpoliticalreview.org/articles/independenceastibet%E2%80%99sonlyoptionwhythemiddlepathisadeadend

  47. nyima | August 3rd, 2013 | 5:39 am

    Dear dasa dhaba. Keep ur hope aside. Its like momo in the mirror. And moreover we have to except the reality only words or bla bla cannot bring independence. Its always easier said then done. We are not capable nor in the position to kick Chinese out of tibet n migration are increasing day by day. Only solution left is negotiations through dialog and only way remain is mwa. i understand that long way ago so pliss its better If u understand that soon n support mwa not only out of faith in hhdl or cta but out of enough reason n logic. Time is running.

  48. Divine Son | August 7th, 2013 | 1:51 am

    Jamyang Norbu you’re full of shit

  49. Dolma | August 10th, 2013 | 12:45 am

    Jamyang norbu la how would you respond to Nyima’s comment ??

    “NYIMA | AUGUST 3RD, 2013 | 5:39 AM
    Dear dasa dhaba. Keep ur hope aside. Its like momo in the mirror. And moreover we have to except the reality only words or bla bla cannot bring independence. Its always easier said then done. We are not capable nor in the position to kick Chinese out of tibet n migration are increasing day by day. Only solution left is negotiations through dialog and only way remain is mwa. i understand that long way ago so pliss its better If u understand that soon n support mwa not only out of faith in hhdl or cta but out of enough reason n logic. Time is running. “

  50. Lhasang | August 12th, 2013 | 4:49 pm

    Hi Nyima

    middle way is 100% impossible..how could it be logic, and you demand from the enemy to help you???

    enemy will do every thing to destroy you..they WON’T help you

    so the logic, said, that the ball in your stadium and not China’s stadium

    you have to do something to shake your enemy..and then we can speak about negotiation between Tibet and China

  51. nyima | August 13th, 2013 | 3:46 pm

    Mr lhasang. U r r
    A lot
    Counselor

  52. nyima | August 18th, 2013 | 10:15 am

    Dear lhasang. Time has change so do we have to change our thinking. Right frm your cap till shoes including the gadgets using to comments might b made in china. If so how can u use something which is made by enemy. So logic is being bhuddhist we believe in the concept of inter dependent nature. So its time to change our thinking by knowing the facts that china is growing n every nation is depending on them so we are. Therfore we have to come with somethimg very adjustable policy and mwa is the only policy which has hope and proves in public level. So guy HH has provide democracy as a gift to our community. One shouldnot missuse it rather make proper use with full knowledge n conviction. Mwa is a policy accepted by majority and its our govt policy. So we should stand united to make it more impactful. Always think what you have done for the govt not what govt has done for u.this way we can change and achieve our goal soon.

  53. Ladakhi Drokpa | August 18th, 2013 | 11:48 am

    Kalden Lodroe in suit and boot is sighted in Ladakh running around His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s palace with a khata around his neck. Sources close to Podrang says he is there to stir the pot some more. His target is shifting towards our popular Sikyong Kewang Dr Lobsang Sangay.

    Thomey says he is credited with undermining Lodroe Gyari and Jigme Ngapo. Now he has set his sight on popularly elected Sikyong. He is also said to be bad mouthing another very patriotic lady close to Sikyong.

    Some say if Lodroe Gyari fails to give this years the Light of Truth Award to RAF President who got rid of Ngapo, his days at ITC is numbered. Keep watching, the pot is stirring, sadly in the name of people in Tibet.

  54. TSering Dolker | August 18th, 2013 | 7:02 pm

    Well, at least the weasel is going after his own kind for a change.

  55. Lhasang | August 22nd, 2013 | 10:09 pm

    NYIMA

    MWA policy have been interduced for 23 years!!! and nothing has been changed in Tibet..everything is worse now

    Tibetan leaders need to post a new policy..China didn’t accept that one for 23 years and still said in high sound that there is no way they could accept it!!! so whats the point of repeating!! only wasting the time..this is exactly what China want..and yes, China is our enemy..China spread its poor products to improve its economy just like any country in the world..our way to get Tibet back is beginning to break the Chinese economy..so, boycott China..if china economic fall..Chinese people wouldn’t be satisfied with their government as now..so China will be in turmoil..This is what Tibet need to be Tibet again

    Just remember how Mongolia get independence from China by resistance as other countries..No other way other than resistance

  56. nyima | August 31st, 2013 | 10:13 am

    my dear lhasang. The facts is whether chineze products has poor quality or not people are buying those so why they produce more. Where there is demands so there are supplies and i think u are one amongst those who critise but still using those products. As for our govt policies concern. Our govt policy used to be full independence for almost 30 years and we have achieve nothing out of it even fail in UNO. By knowing the situation well on international level and to get enough support for our cause holiness and cta has to adopt new method or policy which can be benifitial for both tibet and china as well as international supporter to support us fully. So why our govt has change the policy as MWA which is reasonable,acceptable n supportable. although we hadnot achieves our goal yet but things are really changing fast at bigger n public level through the awareness. We should concentrate on awaring people by letting them know about our policy. Through this way we can see some changes. So its better not to argue within each other and stand still with our govt. I also suggest u to read about our past history well and know the current situation very well then u decide whether our govt current policy is reliable,reasonable or not. as holiness said there is always a gap between appearence and the reality and to see or get to reality and we have to know it.reality here is we cannot kick those chinese nor can anyone help us to kick them out.so only solution left is through dialouqe n by pressuring with international help and MWA is the best one and only solution. I think like that and i always support our govt policy. I ssuggest u to think bigger n stand united. We are very small and we need to be united. United we stand n win divided we fall n fail. U want to stand or fall?

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