HILLARY AND TIBET

 

I am going to vote for Hillary tomorrow; if for no other reason than to keep Orange Mussolini’s fat little fingers away from the nuclear button. Then there’s Tibet. As far as any American election actually changing anything for Tibet, I am as cynical everyone else in the Hotel Tibet bar, but if Hillary Clinton’s track record on human rights and the Tibet issue is anything to go by then perhaps… . Ah  well, we better wait and see. At least His Holiness won’t have to walk past the trash at the White House rear entrance, next time he visits DC.

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In front L-R: Tsomo Vestre (in shadow?) Dr. Tenki Tenduf-la, Phuntsok Meston, Dorje Dolma Carroll, Chime Thonden, Tsering Dolma Gyalthong, Kalsang Wangmo, Yoden Thonden and Tenzin Jimpa (out of frame). Supporters: Carole Samdup, Carole Brighton, Reed Brody, Liz Fabel, Katrin Goldstein-Kyaga, Eva Hertzer, Lisa Tracy, Luisa Waugh.

I don’t suppose many people now remember how back in 1995 when nine exile Tibetan women and supporters courageously carried out a much publicized non-violent direct action at the site of the United Nations’ Fourth World Women’s Conference in Beijing. The Tibetan Feminist Collective had this to say about Hillary’s support for these brave women:

It was also at this same conference that now-democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke in her role as the First Lady in a landmark speech entitled “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.” Clinton’s remarks was regarded as a milestone in the women’s rights movement for her bold sentiments, including the references to the Tibetan women denied visas and intimidated by Chinese authorities. Despite pressure (even from her husband’s administration JN) to avoid discussing the issue, Clinton instead expressed her displeasure with Beijing for excluding the Tibetan delegation:

“It is indefensible that many women in nongovernmental organizations who wished to participate in this conference have not been able to attend – or have been prohibited from fully taking part. Let me be clear. Freedom means the right of people to assemble, organize, and debate openly. It means respecting the views of those who may disagree with the views of their governments. It means not taking citizens away from their loved ones and jailing them, mistreating them, or denying them their freedom or dignity because of the peaceful expression of their ideas and opinions.”

In her 2003 memoir Living History Hillary Clinton mentions the strong interest that she had in Tibet and the Dalai Lama and refers to three events involving Tibet that had a deep impact on her. She also mentions her strong opposition to Chinese restrictions placed on exile Tibetans participating in the UN World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995.

She also wrote about her raising the issue of Tibet with President Jiang Zemin in 1999. “Jiang Zemin and his wife, Madame Wang Yeping, came to the Untied States for a state visit. Jiang spoke English and conversed easily. Before the visit, many of my friends had asked me to raise with him the issue of China’s suppression of Tibet. I had met with the Dalai Lama to discuss the Tibetans’ plight, and so I asked President Jiang to explain China’s repression of the Tibetans and their religion.”

More than a decade later her commitment to the issue of human rights and women’s right had not faltered. In 2015, following the arrest of five Chinese women activists working against sexual harassment, Hillary bluntly dismissed Xi Jinping hosting a meeting on women’s rights at the UN, calling it “Shameless”.

Earlier in a 2011 interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic Clinton had spoken harshly of China’s “deplorable” human rights record, calling the government’s efforts to crack down on dissent “a fool’s errand.” In October of the same year, in a Foreign Policy article outlining U.S. Asia strategy, Clinton listed “advancing democracy and human rights” as one of the “six key lines of action.”

Perhaps such statements and the general perception that she would be tough on China over the South China Seas dispute, has created in China a negative public view of a Hillary presidency, generating articles with titles as “Why China Dreads a Hillary Clinton Presidency” and so on.

In an attempt to tarnish her reputation as a human rights champion a right-wing journal in the US published a story that when serving as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had turned down a high level Chinese defector who had sought asylum at the US Consulate in Chengdu in 2012.

epa03097330 (FILE) A file photo dated 21 October 2008 of Wang Lijun, top cop of Chongqing Municipality, listening to a question at the press conference of a police campaign in Chongqing, China. Chongqing announced Wang had embarked on a vacation-style treatment after wide speculation that Wang seeked asylum in a United States consulate in Chengdu but failed. EPA/LI MIN CHINA OUT

A file photo dated 21 October 2008 of Wang Lijun, top cop of Chongqing Municipality, China. EPA/LI MIN CHINA OUT

Not mentioned by the writer, Bill Gertz, was that the official, Wang Lijun, was a corrupt police official with a long history of human rights abuses. He also appeared to have been a Bo Xilai man involved in the conspiracy to seize control of the Party. When Wang was the police chief of Jinzhou he was involved in the removal of organs from “thousands” of prisoners. He ran his own lab to do medical research in organ transplantation, and even received an award for developing a fluid to preserve organs outside the body.

Getting back to the question of Tibet. I should mention this article “Hillary Clinton raises Tibet self-immolations with Chinese FM” of 28 Sep 2012, which generated little discussion or comment in exile Tibetan news and social media

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed America’s concerns over the increasing instances of self-immolations in Tibet and violations of human rights at a meeting with her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, according to a top State Department official.

But the fact that she was aware of this issue probably made things easier for my friend Jigme Ugen la when he met Hillary Clinton in March 1st of this year and got an opportunity to inform her of the self immolations of two young Tibetans that had taken place just the day before on February 29th. Kalsang Wangdu (18) a monk of Nyarong had died of his burns, but the other young self-immolator Dorje Tsering (16) was still alive in a hospital in Delhi.

Jigme la had spoken by phone with Dorje Tsering’s father who was looking after his son at the hospital. Though grieving the father was proud of his son’s sacrifice for Tibet. Before he hung up, the old man made it clear to Jigme la that he, like his son, fully supported the struggle for Tibet’s independence.

When Jigme Ugen la met U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a campaign event, she was gracious enough to give him  the time he needed to tell her about the self immolations. Jigme la showed her a photograph of Dorje Tsering, whose commitment, sacrifice and youth, deeply moved her. Jigme la reported “As Secretary Clinton held the photo of the Dorjee Tsering, onlookers were moved by her support for the Tibetan cause and the room fell silent in deference to the gravity of the sacrifices made by these two young men.”

Hillary Clinton said, “My best wishes are with this boy and his family. We will have to keep China accountable on human rights and the situation in Tibet.” A photograph was taken of Hillary Clinton holding Dorje Tsering’s birthday portrait. On learning that the boy was still alive in hospital, Clinton suggested that the photograph might be forwarded to let him know that a world leader was aware of his sacrifice for Tibet. The photograph was texted to his father at Safdarjang hospital where Dorje Tsering saw it before he died shortly afterwards.

 

 

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Tibetan National Congress president Jigme Ugen with American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holding a photograph of the late Dorje Tsering.

I must thank my daughter Namkha Lhamo for diligently copy-editing this hastily written piece of mine, as she has done on so many other occasions. I am a proud pala.

Comments

  1. Tseten Badheytsang | November 7th, 2016 | 10:57 pm

    This article is wonderful, it indeed opened my eyes in knowing how much Hillary stood for the cause of Tibet. I am optimistic that Hillary will win this election and become a first ever female President of USA. Her victory this time means lot for the greater benefit of American citizens and for the world at large to remain in Peace.

  2. Samdup R. Phuntsok | November 8th, 2016 | 6:20 am

    Madam Hillary Clinton is likely to win the elections by a bigger margin than what the media analysts and pollsters are predicting. There are going to be many discerning individuals like Jamyang Norbu la who will, like the majority of the electorate, cast their votes in favour of the Lady. Donald Trump tripped and more or less disqualified himself when he went overboard with off the cuff unsavory remarks that made him least endearing to women, the minorities, hispanics et al. Madam Hillary appeals to a wider section of the society and her credentials are better than her opponent. Jamyang Norbu la, thank you for coming up with this timely write-up giving us an insight into how Hillary Clinton has been a supporter of Tibet related issues. I am sure those who are of Tibetan origin and now citizens of USA, on reading your article will express their support for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. As the expression goes, may the best win and in this race for the Oval Office, Madan Clinton deserves to be elected the President of the United States of America.

  3. What Dreams May Come | November 8th, 2016 | 2:19 pm

    I think JN needs to take a break from CNN. I can’t believe what I just read, the sensational (and ludicrous) idea that Trump is itching to release nukes should he win – especially given that Hillary has always shown bias for interventionist foreign policy. However, I dont begrudge any Tibetan who votes for Hillary for whatever reason. Personally, every time that woman opens her mouth, I feel she is lying. I wouldn’t be in the least surprised one day we learn that Hillary and the Clinton Foundation has been taking bribes, thru pay-to-play scheme, from Chinese government officials and businessmen.

    I guess we’ll see (if she wins) what she actually does for Tibet beyond the lip-services and the trash receptions the Nobel laureate Obama favored us with.

  4. young punk | November 8th, 2016 | 5:19 pm

    What Dreams bla bla – what have YOU been watching? Pray tell so that we may become as enlighten as you. Evertime I hear DT speak i know he is lying, so there. What is your point? As for Tibet, DT will do jack shit.

  5. Pam | November 8th, 2016 | 5:28 pm

    She will make a great president.

  6. Pam Burridge | November 8th, 2016 | 5:31 pm

    She will make a great president. And deserves it.

  7. What Dreams May Come | November 8th, 2016 | 6:11 pm

    Those are some lovely straw man Young Punk. Did I say Trump don’t lie or claim that he will do something for Tibet? I dont have the skills nor the patience to enlighten someone who has already made up their mind. Just believe that im Russian and all will make sense for you.

  8. Pasang | November 8th, 2016 | 8:12 pm

    don’t worry Hilary is going to win by 67%.

  9. young punk | November 8th, 2016 | 8:35 pm

    No better than your straw man Dreams baby

  10. Samdup R. Phuntsok | November 9th, 2016 | 3:14 am

    All seem to have overestimated Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning and underestimated Donald Trump’s capacity to overperform. Commiseration to the defeated and congratulations to the winner

    It seems American folks have voted for change and it is this plank that has garnered the support and the votes of the middle-working class white majority for Donald Trump and the Republicans.

    We do hope USA continues to use its clout and universal credibility to help maintain stability and peace in the world

  11. tall | November 9th, 2016 | 6:53 am

    DT ELECTION represent current state of American majority desire…to promote whatever DT CHARACTER HAD BEEN.

  12. Kunchok | November 10th, 2016 | 2:26 am

    Extremely heart sobbing in tears to see sweet fellow Tibetans stepping forward to help tibetan traders at lal qila in compensating the loss they suffered due to fire cought up a day ago. Hats off to my dear fellow tibs. Can we expect, if not commiting a sin, even our godly divine supreme beings – rinpoches, Trulku, lamas who sit on high throne and preach impermanence, detachment, contentment; who claimed having descended down to earth in the disguise of human appearance with a pledged to end misery and suffering of not just tibetan but all beings
    in samsara – also joining those ordinary mango Tibetans who are happily parting with their hard earned money wholeheartedly to dispel misery of those traders. It isn’t that difficult for those divine beings to part away a fraction of their piled currency amassed by preaching against amassing much – reasoned by impermanence and detachment – this time to help lal qila traders. But how we can expect. Forgive me. They just concerned only about two other kinds of sufferings – suffering of change and all pervasive compounded suffering. Lal qila mishap falls under first category suffering- suffering of suffering which not their (divine beings) portfolios. Sorry.

  13. lobsang | November 11th, 2016 | 9:26 am

    trump kick very hard behind the hillary for president place .congrats trump

  14. whiteiscolour | November 17th, 2016 | 7:20 am

    I could not believe you supported Clinton. Clinton is more likely not support Rangzen Agenda. Clinton stands for “Establishment”. Isn’t she opposite of what you stand for?

    Now I am not sure what you stand for.

  15. gyalpot | November 17th, 2016 | 10:47 am

    Usually I don’t like to talk politics but I could not help myself reading about all the things going on in the US. I see many US-Tibetans caught up in this huge debate, Hillary versus Trump. It does not really matter whom you voted for, but the sad fact remains; no leader is willing to help us as long as we live on hope alone. We must find new innovative ways to keep our cause alive on the world stage and not have to depend on who is in power. Soon our beloved Kundun, our spiritual father will leave us and we must be prepared, as most world power will then drop us like a hot potato and our prime minister’s charisma will not have any value. The fact that the world leaders pay lip service for now is because, HH in his manifestation as a “simple monk” pricks their conscience. Once relieved of this burden, all funding, aid and lip service will all dry up and we will be kicked out onto the curbside of world politics. We need to bring together all our energies, resources, and brainstorm and come up workable strategies to make our movement strong and alive. And in this respect, I salute the young people from Students for Free Tibet who are doing a great job without partisanship and bickering; doing everything within their means to bring attention to our cause. Salute!

  16. pasang | November 17th, 2016 | 4:07 pm

    Dana Rohrbacher reportedly being considered for Secretary of State. keeping my fingers crossed.

  17. gyalpot | November 23rd, 2016 | 11:28 am

    DONALD TRUMP FOR TIBET: A personal bombast
    posted in : https://samardrok.wordpress.com

    Donald Trump, the US president-elect the one man everybody loves to hate. Racist, bigoted and a loud mouth: who isn’t this day, even among our “peace-loving” Tibetans? Judging by the way our recent exile elections went, that was no different from the bitter, acrimonious US elections. In the case of our elections, Lukar Jam was accused of almost the same things as president-elect Trump. Sadly, though unlike the president-elect, Lukar Jam lost the elections, even though what he said was far from the truth.

    So what’s my point? Well I believe overall, President Donald Trump would indirectly benefit us more than all the goody-two shoe US presidents so far including president Obama and Mrs. Clinton would. All the US presidents so far have been kind to us and even invited our beloved Kundun through the garbage lined back door of the white house, but they have not helped us in our real cause, which is to get back home to our own country. Is any country for that matter, obligated to help our cause, perhaps not, but the US did indirectly hinder us in gaining our independence by supporting China and making them even more powerful; thus giving them unfettered license to abuse and destroy our land and our people.

    President-elect from my vantage point is less of an idealist and more of a shoot from the hip kind of guy. Will he do everything he claimed in his election promise, I doubt it since there are powerful forces in the US establishment that want to keep the status quo and not let Trump charge through the gates like a raging bull. They will find a way to tame him. But I hope sincerely, that he can break the chains and do his thing, especially to reign in China, like he promised. China is a rouge nation, devoid of humanity and a sense of decency and the rule of law; a cartel run by a bunch of thugs, seizing power every decade from the previous thugs.

    This I think, Mr. Trump understands too well. China cannot be tamed by trade, good gestures and proffering your arse. Like them, he most likely would do a tit-for-tat type of dealings, which ultimately is good for any nation trying to ring the cat. The Chinese are masters at negotiations and no western nation have thus far successfully won any major monopolies from them. In fact, it is the other way around. Millions of jobs that have been lost to China’s cheap labor and the dumping of tons of poor quality goods on a nation’s population that have no money because they lost their jobs in the first place. The only winners in trading with China have been the top one percent and it was intended outcome. Talk of free trade deals and job creation, and human rights thrown in like garnish, are the smoke and mirror tricks of the rich to get more money: they don’t care for anyone else.

    So I say to president-elect go for it. Scrap the trade deals, build your army stronger and put some decent food on the table for your people and not the urine soaked fruits and vegetables from China. And most important of all stop supporting other bigots and tyrants in other countries, so that their innocent people don’t have to leave their homes and head for the west.

    Last of all, if you truly are the Trump card of the most powerful nation in the world, help us Tibetans get our independence back from China. You don’t have to go to war with China, just speak the plain truth. Tibet never was, is nor will be part of China.

    God Bless America!

  18. most truthy tib talk | November 23rd, 2016 | 1:05 pm

    Gyalpot, Thank you for your analysis.

    I just read “Donald Trump’s New York Times Interview” full transcription is there. Appears to me like the perfect person to take charge of America at this time. Make America great again!

  19. What Dreams May Come | November 23rd, 2016 | 9:03 pm

    Once again we Tibetans are only left with hope. Hope that Trump does right by us.

    Even if President Trump should fail in the endeavour, all is not lost. We still have the 5&50. What’s the 5&50, you ask? Our Sikyong coined the phrase, and this is what he has to say about it……

    “5yrs focus on Umay Lam…….5yrs based on Middle Way approach.. dialogue.. resolve peacefully (that’s a victory), because we gain genuine autonomy for Tibetans. If not.. then in 50yrs, if CTA can survive (?)….if we can sustain our struggle -China will change – then, we will gain our basic freedom in 50yrs time. So, either way, its a win, win proposition. In 5yr, regain general autonomy,..or, in 50, we gain our basic freedom.” (11:30)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7qLoVlijyk

  20. old monk | November 26th, 2016 | 12:48 pm

    if the US establishment, including the succession of presidents so far, is considered to represent status quo, then we have to see how the status quo dealt with Tibet issue. It appears none of them were good for Tibet, but there’s one interesting trend. Republician presidents tend to give more support to the Tibet cause, probably to irritate china. but what the hell, that’s the best we can get in the circumstances. So, drawing on these facts, it seems a maverick man-baby Trump holds greater chance of doing something for Tibet. First, he doesn’t represent status quo of US politicss; and second, he’s a republician. I bet most educated Tibetans are leftist by instinct, and hence more likely to support Democrats.

  21. Sarlang | December 6th, 2016 | 9:10 am

    Time an timing rules, trumping everything in its way – the good, the bad, and the ugly!

    May be it is time for a reboot of the USA-Taiwan-China relations. It would well be time for a Trump-Tsai diplomatic maneuvering to upset and perhaps uproot or even debunk the Nixon/Carter/Kissinger sin and Trump could well be the avatar of American folly of the yore.

    Remember the Republicans, an not the Democrats who will largely remain anti-Communist and hence anti-China.

    Of course, there is any guarantee, that Taiwan, leave far Tibet, finds it salvation, but the Trump-Tsai deal will have ramifications of Himalayan proportion/s. I can’t wait to see Trump break the back-door policy against the Dalai Lama when his visit him next years, as the Dalai Lama hopes for.

    However, remember Trump never uttered word about Tibet an human rights. But, if he can make it with Romney on foreign affairs and Gore in climate change, why not Tibet – the declared 3rd poll of sorts.

    With political turmoil across the ocean, I am sensing the end of a host of long-ruling parties with egoistic personalities. I cannot emphasis the Modi effect, almost destroying the legendary Congress party to for good. Can I say that about the Democratic Party of America? May be!

  22. Pasang | December 7th, 2016 | 9:23 pm

    Sarlang, you can please read “Dear Liberals, You’re failing Liberalism” by Sushant Sareen.

  23. pasang | December 8th, 2016 | 4:22 pm

    and also read Gordon Chang’s “Why Donald Trump’s Taiwan call changes everything.”

  24. old monk | December 13th, 2016 | 9:37 am

    Now that donal trump has confirmed he wouldn’t be bound by the one-china policy, CTA should seize the opportunity. He took call from Taiwan. and he will take call from lobsang sangay or dalai lama. there is a real possibility he will talk considering he wants a new, aggressive, confrontational stance towards china. and tibet is a handy tool in his took kit.

  25. What Dreams May Come | December 14th, 2016 | 8:39 am

    There is some wiggle room in what Trump says but no denying that he has said enough to make China nervous. Trump talks the talk, will he walk the walk? Notwithstanding the “she called me”, that still remains to be seen.

    I think Donald Trump is being genuine, at least about wanting a more equitable trade relationship with China than it’s been. It would seem that in the name of Capitalism and Free Market, jobs and companies have sailed out of America for greener pastures, while the corporate-friendly Obama administration bid them all a fond bon voyage.

    Trump may have felt compelled to do something about it (after all, this was a major campaign promise of his), hence the flirtation with Taiwan, and questioning the one China policy – leverage to check China.

    Ofcourse China is not likely to back down and concede anything since she’s been way too successful cowering other nations and making them dance to her tunes. She’s got a rather large purse with which to entice and intimidate. China wants to dominate, and to that end she is pushing boundaries. Meanwhile, Trump is drawing a line in the sand and giving the impression that he will not scruple to fight fire with fire. I think Trump realizes a confrontation with China is inevitable – if not now, yet it will come.

    I doubt a war will ensue, though, if it did, its no shocker since history is replete with two superpowers fighting it out. I pray we don’t go there but in the event we do, I hope the same fate awaits arrogant China as it did for the arrogant Athenian Empire.

    And I suspect we will not lack for irony when the profit driven American Corporate Media (tv n’ print), like so many Alcibiades, exhibit more sympathy for China then for their own POTUS. lol

  26. old monk | December 17th, 2016 | 7:04 am

    Interesting that LS is signalling that he might ring Trump. Will Trump pick the phone? Will he prefer to talk to Dalai Lama instead, or might he prefer the emerging force, Karmapa lama?

    “Trump has signaled a more “upfront and assertive policy” towards China, and Tibetans – who number about 6 million in their home region and 150,000 abroad – are waiting to see how it translates with regard to their struggle, Sangay said.” https://www.tibetsun.com/news/2016/12/16/tibetan-leader-urges-trump-to-confront-china-on-rights

  27. old monk | December 17th, 2016 | 3:09 pm

    did Donald Trump just tweet ‘ Dalai Lama called me’?

  28. What Dreams May Come | January 5th, 2017 | 6:50 pm

    Aww, is this our very own Gyalpot? Looks like he finally made it to the big leagues. lol

    Even though ‘special place in hell for women who don’t support Clinton’ Madeleine Albright and the CCP are against it, Trump should keep tweeting; I mean, why not? It’s one way to get the message out there.

    And China keeps calling him childish, probably because Trump never harvest organs from living prisoners.

    https://www.tibetsun.com/opinions/2017/01/04/donald-trump-for-tibet-between-the-lines

  29. Wangchuk Norbu | January 6th, 2017 | 1:16 pm

    restaurateur

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