Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ has failed

Daily News & Analysis
Tuesday, May 06, 2008 3:41:00 AM
‘Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ has failed’
Venkatesan Vembu

Former member of CIA-funded Tibetan guerrilla force tells DNA .

HONG KONG: In 1962, Jamyang Norbu dropped out of school to enlist with a Tibetan guerrilla force, funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to fight for Tibetan independence from China. That rag-tag army ran out of steam – and funding – when the US mended ties with China in 1972, but more than three decades after he laid down his arms, Norbu is still, well, ‘sticking to his guns’. Today, the journalist-theatreperson- novelist-blogger is one of the most passionate and articulate – and controversial – spokespersons for the Tibetan cause. His fierce defence of his independent position has at times led him to criticise Tibetan government-in-exile officials in Dharamsala and, on occasion, even the Dalai Lama.

In a telephone interview with DNA from his home in Monteagle, Tennessee, Norbu fleshes out his criticism of the Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ on Tibet (which favours ‘genuine autonomy’ for Tibet, not ‘independence’). Excerpts:

Q: Do the talks between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and Chinese officials in Shenzhen on Sunday represent a ‘moral victory’ for Tibetans?

A: I don’t think it’s any kind of victory – moral or otherwise. These are not ‘talks’ in the sense of two parties getting together to discuss a problem and making incremental progress. This is a case of Imperial China berating its subject-nations, saying they’ve been bad boys and should behave better. These ‘talks’ are only an opportunity for China to work themselves out of a likely boycott of the Olympics by world leaders.

Q: If it’s as open-and-shut as that, why did the Dalai Lama send his envoys?

A: That’s what all Tibetans want to know: they feel it’s just a political ploy. For Dharamsala, however, it’s an act of desperation. There’s now a very strong voice among Tibetan people, especially among young people… A lot of them, who are coming out of Tibet into exile, are not so reverent of the Tibetan government-in-exile. They are now saying that the Tibet government’s policy – and the Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ approach – is a failure. The Dalai Lama in some ways is desperate. He doesn’t comprehend the nature of modern politics – and I don’t think he has an understanding of totalitarian regimes.

Q: In your view, what is wrong with the ‘Middle Way’ approach?

A: I think it’s a complete failure. I believe in Gandhian non-violence, but I believe that non-violence has, to some extent, be confrontational. It cannot be an excuse for not doing anything. The ‘Middle Way’ approach is more like a begging bowl approach – asking China and world leaders to do something about Tibet. It does not confront China with the wrongs it is doing in Tibet and putting it in the hot seat. China is susceptible to this, because the Chinese brand of tyranny is to take the moral high ground by maintaining that they are on the side of good. It’s completely invalid, and that’s something Tibetans can use to shatter the self-image of the Chinese. The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government don’t understand this.

For instance, the uprising in Tibet since March is a huge lesson for China. For the first time, every Chinese now knows there is a ‘Tibetan issue’; they’ve now seen the Tibetan national flag. It’s a good starting point…

Q: But hasn’t it also whipped up Chinese nationalism and made it harder for any concessions to be made?

A: This ‘nationalism’ is a reaction, but who is it against? Deep down it’s against the Communist Party. The Chinese people don’t have a choice about whom to demonstrate against, but their anger is in a sense born of the shame at how the world views them. In China, a lot of people recognise the tremendous inequities in society. This so-called nationalism can easily turn against the regime.

Q: You once took up arms for Tibetan independence. Is there a risk of the movement returning to radical ways?

A: I’m completely against terrorism. It’s not just counter-productive, it destroys your entire campaign because the same message can be used against you when you’re in power… It spawns a vicious cycle, as in Pakistan.

I’ve been discouraging people against armed insurgency, but I’m not a Gandhian in the absolutist spiritual sense… I favour an approach where even when you use non-violent methods, they must be action-oriented, and to an extent confrontational. There is, of course, a price to pay, but you pay it anyway.

Tibetans realise that China is not going to give them anything; in a way, it’s all or nothing. They also feel that the regime – no matter how impressive – is fairly frail. There’s tremendous nervousness in the regime: if one person says ‘Down with the Communist Party’, it sets the cat among the pigeons. On that level, there’s a huge immaturity in China.

© 2005-2008 Diligent Media Corporation Ltd. All rights reserved.


69 Replies to “Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ has failed”

  1. Wow. again what a powerful message from Jamyangla. Hats off. I think Jamyangla should go to China for the talk serioulsy.
    I was so worried about the talk between TGIE and China. I was hoping that our side wouldn’t sign another 17point agreement. Hopefully, they didn’t. Honestly, i personally believe there is no use of talk with China. I mean the time is on their side.
    Our so called TGIE people are all Buddhist monks, they only think morally.

  2. It is true that the non-violence in the Tibetan context seems to be non-action. There is a fundamental difference between the Tibetan and the Gandhian non-violence. For Gandhi, non-violence is always an active force, ready to take on the opponent. There is a point in your argument that the non- violence should be to some extent confrontational in nature.
    However, Norbu should realize that the Dalai Lama is central to the Tibetan Nationalism which has an irreducible geo-cultural content to it. And your open criticisms of the Dalai Lama’s policies, though very much appreciable, will not bring the end you desire at this stage of time.

  3. As Jamyanglak mentioned somewhere, our main purpose of our struggle is to gain our national Identity.All the other problems such as religious freedom and human rights are just the symptoms comes along with it. So basically, i think we should focus more on how to get our independent country not focus on how we should get it. Dalai Lama’s philosophy is that I can sacrifice Tibet for non-violence or for religion. This is the most absurd thing that I ever come across. Any leader in the world will fight and die for their country but not our leader.
    Unfortunately, we are stuck with Dalai Lama. Our political system made only the Dalai Lama to lead us, that is why nobody can lead Tibet to the next level. Even the Samdong Rinpoche can’t act upon on his apporach. Dalai Lama is always behind him. He is just a puppet of Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama said he has semi retired. Would you believe that??? All the decisions have to approve by him.
    What made it worst was that Dalai Lama has become the icon of Tibet, anybody against his ideas will be considered Anti-Tibet. All I can is sad sad sad. I think the problem with Shugden sect and Dalai Lama is not on the level or religion but on political power struggle. Google it on the internet and you will find more about it.

    There is a famous saying ” what we learn from the past is that we learned nothing from the past”

    We will only be completely freed when our political system free from religion and aristocrats.

  4. Thank you again Norbu lak…

    1. It is absolutely true that right now “the middle path” almost seems like a non action path. Time is crutial so we need to put actions(ideas,project,movements)to confront with the Chinese government’s Claim..

    2.. Please be aware that our discussions(arguement,different approaches) should not be directed toward building inner dissatisfaction of the Tibetan Government in Exile or H.H the Dalai Lama ( consciously or unconciously )..
    Our objective is to find the best Action, the best movement to confront China with their Millions of lies and mistake, to have our Tibet Head High whereever we stand…

    3 Good or bad Tibetan government in exile have served all of us and acheived trenmendously,giving that we are facing with Totallitarian Chinese Government…

    4… Time is Crutial,, Chinese people (inside and outside) don’t know, they have not been taught, with the actual Tibetan history, in fact our Tibetan history is not well recognised in the world because of constant Chinese government Power and interference…

    555…Therefore,,,We need to take this serous.. First we need to Confront Chinese government, Confront the world with the History. Yes History does matter….How can we find the facts and truth..
    Open debate,Open the historical facts,docuements.. Confront this issue publicly with the help of H.H Dalai lama,, Tibetan people and the government, through all Modern means (images,writing,video and facts) we can….
    …even if we follow H holiness path to live with Chinese, we Still need to Make the past a clear remark…..

    Because Truth Matter. Truth is on our side, so we should make it clearer,sharper,wider, in the minds and hearts of our people and the Chinese people first., then the world.. Make this issue an Historical debate over History….

    Let the Chinese Know that PLA has Invaded and killed one in every six Tibetans,, Lied to them , and imprisoned one in every Ten Tibetans..
    Their lie is their Weakness…

    The Chinese Population transfer into Tibet (our motherland,fatherland,ancesterial land) is the most serous threat to over all Tibetan Identity,,, Whether whatever happens, it is gonna keep on for many years(giving the situation now)..
    So in order to let the future generations to have a clearer truthful image about ” Whose history, whose land”.. this fight over history,, fight for truth should be one of our main Projects…main movement Right NOW…Time is Crutial

    We should mobilise all the Tibetans, inside and outside, then with world support, to make a clear Point first….

    I Appreciate for Norbu lak(Jamyang Norbu lak,Norbu sounds closer to me, haahaha)criticism to H Holiness, but doesn’t seem to me, that you give us the answers for What DO We Need To Do Now, That Can Clearly Affact Chinese Government and Bring Real Positive Change to our Cause????

  5. Chimi,

    It’s too early for you to comment here. You and others like minded chinese guy have been using this forum to create confusion among the general masses, who dearly respect Dalai Lama. Tibet issue would be still under shadow without his grace worldwide. What is more worse, prominent person like Jamyang Norbu is with you. Istead of doing some practical things, he just writes and writes and finally put the blame on Dalai Lama, when it goes against his aggressive nature. It’s all mind game here.

    It will certainly gladden the heart of CCP leaders, who use and still using these old tactics to fool the people of the world.

    On the whole, I think Dalai Lama has done so much for the Tibetan people and it’s unfair to blame a person for doing the things realistically in this strife torn world. It’s only the weakness of people like you who are letting us down at the moment.

    And please don’t bring this Dogyal issue here. We have enough trouble to take care of and don’t need this money making ghost discuss here. It really hurts, isn’t it? So do we.

  6. Pema Thinley,

    It really make sense. Afterall guys like you educated in China, have something good and wise to jot here. Keep it up.

  7. Pema Thinley,

    What about your chinese girlfriend? Is she with our freedom struggle or against it? You have got a good Tibetan name. Yozhong.

  8. Hi guys,

    Samten, & others, I got my name changed after my father and mother’s name. But that is not big deal. Just be confident and always think twice before you made up your mind to do something for Tibet. Don’t tread on the wrong path. Be cool, happy and remember Tibet.

  9. Pema Yozhong,

    Looks like you are half Tibetan and Chinese and my advise to you is to ignore those claims which are bias and baseless. A pure Tibetan will not harm you but someone may do. So be careful. There are so many negative elements here and there, which is causing more harm to the Tibetan cause.

    Afterall, it’s better to live our life happily and do everything we can for Tibet. I think Warriors of Shambhala will soon descend as foretold by the great Guru Rinpoche. You see at this stage fightings going on around the world base on all sorts of ideologies and the people don’t realise or correct their mistakes and istead learn to abuse others, kill, torture and all sorts. When people no longer tolerate each other, I think it’s time for the Boddhisatva warriors to free us from this suffering inorder to stop greater suffering.

    Long Live Dalai Lama, Free TiBet, Time to pray for Guru.

  10. Tibetans inside China worships Dalai Lama. Jamyang Norbu is an ant to them. Let’s put Jamyang Norbu as the leader of exiled Tibetans. see what he can do. Nothing! yes, zip.

  11. May I suggest that we who care about the cause of rangzen stop “feeding the trolls” by simply not replying to them? There’s plenty to discuss among ourselves about strategies, talking points, and educating ourselves about history and the writings, involvement, and motivation of all sorts of parties with political interest in Tibet’s future (or lack thereof). Getting distracted arguing with folks who came here just to make trouble doesn’t serve our interests.

  12. Jamnor la,

    We know that, you are rich in knowledges about the international political systerm, although you missed the college life in pursue of joining short-lived Mustsang Tibetan Gurrila Force. but it had collapsed with no concrete result in widest sense.
    Virtually, (I dare not) Independent is far beyond the hopes of hope, reason being that, As you do have staunch -belive on your stand, adversly majority of tibetans feel Its hopless and Genuine -Autonomy is the closest to their heart and reasonibly mildest for the
    China to compromise.You know, entire world knows that Tibet is helplessly in the pawn of International community, whose helping hand marred in the economic-power.And china is so powerful and Tibet is …..
    hence, why should we have to still knowingly…..

    Few active political figur like Gen Lhasang Tsering got sick and tired of own stand and he stays aloof from the political scenario of Exile Tibetan world.I feel to hear his comments as your, but his heavy silient speak loudest but no one hear it.

    Exile Govt, and HH Dalia Lama’s ( middle-approach)stand is all in one solutin of approval for ancient, modern and post modern political nature.

    Yes, I Feel to have more active non-violent or action -oriented( Hope retired Health Sec, Tenpa Samkhar’s newly born Active non -violent organisation will activate us) yes, it has to be confrontational to some extend.( Exile Govt,sincre approach is another fine confrontation in structure.)
    what about associating with active Non- violent Organisation,to enrich or strenthen their stand.

  13. Hello Jamyang Lak,
    I am deeply sadend with few of the coments made on your stand. In reality we are fighting for freedom, and that is it, we all tibetan have the right to criticise even dalai lama, why not. If we dont have this right, then there is no difference between dalai and ccp. But the fact is that we tibetans do have the right and our chinese brothers dont have. So we tibetans should feel joy for having this right.
    Any how this is my message to viewers, people like dalai, jamyang, and so on they dont just say or write things like this. They know exactly what they are talking about, we should think properly before we make any judgment or statement.
    However i wish you good luck in your struggle for freedom and will come and see you once tibet is free.

    Ame gaga

  14. Jamyangla

    I have a great regard for u all these days but this statement of yours i.e, “Dalai Lama’s middle approach has failed” is very dissapointing.It is a sort of comment from a very frustated ordinary,innocent Tibetan youth.It is more of a provocative to the younger generations without any proper approach to achive goal of getting back to tibet and be genuin tibetan.This sort of comment normally we expect from Shugden followers.You have really let us down.Please dont repeat similar comment in future……….for the sake of six plus one i.e, me.

  15. Does anybody know that the Chinese Government is paying Jamyang Norbu? Though he talks and writes lengthy article about independence of Tibet what he is really doing is putting frictions between tibetans and that is what the chinese government want.

  16. The Middle Way Approach was adopted in the latter half of the 1960’s by HH the Dalai Lama and the TGIE. Back in the 1960’s China was in the midst of the Cultural Revolution. After the death of Mao, and only after 1971, did China begin to open-up to the world. In other words, China was in a terrible time up to 1971, and only in the past 30 years has China undergone changes, the result of which is today’s economically prosperous China. The Sino-Tibet dialogues only started in 2002. And it has been only 5 or 6 years since we started to talk with China in earnest. We can not treat this as an outright failure, since the Sino-Tibet dialogues may take some time to work out. The Middle Way Approach has not worked in the past because China was in great turmoil. But China is a different country, and things only look better now than it did in the past. So, we should not give up on the Middle Way Approach because we are in the early stages of talks between China. We should keep a close eye on the progress of the Sino-Tibet talks, and if in 10 years, we don’t see any improvements, then it might be time to do things a little differently and put pressure on China. There are no better options than the MWA right now. The TGIE can not demand the independence of Tibet because it is something that China is not willing to accept. And the rest of the world including the USA considers Tibet a part of the PRC. We need to stick with MWA and what partiotic Tibetans need to do is support the MWA and take part in non-violent protests. There are many things that ordinary Tibetans can do for Tibet and it is definitely not violent protests against China. All Tibetans really need think of the consequences before they do things that they think are herioc. We cannot risk a strain in relations between Tibet and China.

  17. The governments worldwide look upon the “middle way approach” and the “dialogues” as a good excuse to relax.

    For me it is absolutly absurd to think, that Tibetans inside of Tibet risk and lose their lifes for a “middle way” inside of a chinese dictatorship.

  18. ‘….is the Chinese paying Jamyang Norbu?’!!

    Oh please not this cliché again! This usual attempt to silence any concrete opposition to Dharamsala when there is no logical way to justify their actions is so passé now. Anyways,Jamyangla is too dedicated to be bothered by such ridiculous insinuations.Bod Rangzen!

  19. What is middle way approach??? Beware now, anybody who against this approach will be accused of Shugden followers?? Why those poor Shugden “Tibetan” can’t have religion freedom. Anyway I think Dalai Lama did a good job asking them Shugden sec to reform(I think there is also politics involved. I think Dalai Lama worried that Shugden would become the icon of Tibetan Buddhism) but Will Dalai Lama be able to reform its own sec. I mean Reincarnation system should be banned too. We are still practicing those old Hindu’s way of Religion. In fact, Buddha Said not to pray for the statue, Buddha was totally against caste system such as Brahmin, Rinpoche, noble,,,,and of course the reincarnation system.
    We called ourselves buddhist but we are not following buddha’s way of religion.

    Can we have a free religion politics in the future?? I think that is going to have a strong influence on a new Tibet, otherwise, gaining Tibet independence only restore the old system.

    I just read a book(The struggle for a new Tibet by Tashi Tsering) on a new Tibet. It really showed how religion destroyed our politics in the past. Please check this out


  20. Tenzin Lhawang: Do you often like to make incendiary claims that cannot be substantiated?

    Tsutrim Sengey: So if independence is hopeless, why do Tibetans still shout “Bhoe Rangzen”? Does rangzen mean “meaningful autonomy”?

    I agree with Jamyang Norbu. The Middle Way Approach has failed. The TGIE has done a lot of good in terms of the exiled community, but as for Tibet, not so much good beyond raising awareness to the world.

    I do feel that in a resistance movement, even a non-violent resistance movement, people must remember that there is RESISTANCE. It appears that the middle way approach is more of a calculated appeasement, if not a desperate plan of those who are naive.

    Appearances aside, I think maybe the main reason the Dalai Lama holds to his middle approach is not only his Buddhist vows, but also because he was forever imprinted with seeing some of the violence of 1959 and of the years previous.

    The Middle Approach is a failure however, because “autonomy” is exactly what the Chinese think the Tibetans have already. And “meaningful” means to become a part of Chinese civilization, at least to them.

    It also sets up failure in the future because, unlike past instances of genocide, there is no plan for justice. Without justice, there cannot be any rapprochement between former oppressor and victim.

    Those who say that Tibetan Independence is unrealistic are sort of undercutting the value of this year’s ongoing uprising. It isn’t for the exiled community, nor myself, nor westerners, nor the Chinese….none of these groups have a right to tell Tibetans in the 3 provinces what they should do. Those who are in the crucible will know exactly what to do in more concrete ways than any of us on the outside could ever see until it is done.

  21. In the end, it all comes down to practicality. How in the world do you think that Tibet can be a free nation? And let me first say that, most you out there (including me) don’t really know the full-depth of the issues that concern Tibet. I have been making a great effort, just very recently, to educate myself about the issues concerning Tibet. And before anyone out there, makes a suggestion, I would encourage them to study-up on Tibet. And what I think is, there are two ways of thinking among Tibetans. There are those who think with their heads and there are those who think with their hearts. This is not the place to think with just your hearts but using your head would be greatly beneficial. It sounds very romantic to talk about freedom but it does not make sense right now.
    It is just not practical to really talk about independence. China is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. And it has a lot of influence in the world. And one more thing that a lot of people still don’t seem to know is that China is essentially a democracy that is ruled my the Chinese Communist Party. So, get the idea that China is a Communist nation out of your heads. In the most recent issue of The Atlantic, there is an illuminating article on how China is handling its environmental problems. China is making progress in cleaning up its cities. There was a little article in the Economist and they are planning-on providing universal health-care by the end of 2010 or 2012. They are planning on cutting environmental pollution of the whole country by 30% and energy use by 20% by 2010. I think this was in their 5 Year Plan. So, the gist is that China is improving at rates not historically seen. This is the first time such a large nation with such a huge population is trying to do things that took the West much longer time to do. The speed with China is doing things is unprecedented. China in 1972 was an improvised nation, and just look how far it has come. And the people who really changed China are the millions of poor workers who worked unseemly long hours and made little money. They made it possible for the world to have cheap goods. It is the sacrifice of these workers that the modern China was built. I think that Tibetans can learn a thing or two about working hard and having resolve from the Chinese.
    We need to stop talking and start doing, whatever that may be.

  22. China is this and it is that….blah blah blah.

    So? Telling people their deepest aspirations are unrealistic when you are one of the people who makes it so by your own preconceptions is sort of silly. Don’t you think?

    If you want Tibet to remain a part of China as an “autonomous region”, are you willing to accept that Tibetans will not remain Tibetan for much longer? Are you willing to accept that they will either disappear or become assimilated into Chinese civilization? That is the price for being a part of China. If you think me wrong, note that I am referring to the experiences of the Manchurians and Inner Mongolians.

    Let’s be frank here. China considers Tibetan culture a throwaway culture. As in “use until done and then throw away.” They are not out to help Tibetan people develop with their own culture as part of that. To Chinese people, development is assimilation to the dominant culture of China. Tibetan language is only a means to acquire Chinese, for those who still speak Tibetan at home. The Buddhist religion is to be dismantled, since China now considers it a “foreign culture” from India. Any future of Tibet that includes the scenario of being politically linked to China will continue this.

    Yes. For some it is very romantic to speak of freedom. Just like for others it is more titillating to speak of “realpolitik.” Neither one of these concepts are any more real than mickey mouse. For people on the ground, so to speak, freedom comes from every act of resistance. Unless you are in such a crucible, it is not for you to say whether this is romantic or not. You aren’t cleaning anyone’s blood off your hands or watching your friends or family members getting carted off to the torture mills, now are you?

    Do you think in the future, Tibetans who live in Tibet will still wish to work alongside their torturers in some sort of half-baked political settlement that allows China to remain? Where is the justice?

    As for realistic and realism. Not any one of the former colonized nations of today looked to stand a snowball’s chance in hell when they first launched their own liberation movements. China may be this or that in today’s world, but it is today nothing compared to the old British Empire, or the Spanish Empire. Or even the American Empire.

    It isn’t about doing what is politically expedient. Or doing what is safe. Or doing what is internationally popular. It is about doing what is right.

  23. With all due respect, I think it is time we started thinking ‘what after His Holiness?’. Let’s not forget he’s mortal and, though the Tibetan cause is known because of him, we will still be around, long after he’s gone.
    Freedom or autonomy is a sensitive issue and one which is core to every Tibetan’s existence. But we need to be practical as well.

  24. Please see the below video on a speech given by Karma Choephel Tagluntsang in Tokyo on the 6th of May.

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

  25. J Norbu la,
    I really appreciate your contribution and didication towards struggle for tibet as you could able to mention all the facts through critically and analytically but one thing here i can’t digest i.e How you could say that “middle path is failed” may be you could have some reason behind it as i dont know but i am willing to know the facts that you found and i hope that you have reasonable concrete answer for that, so i am looking forward to know those truth from facts.
    so as per my idea one should not blame others until you have concrete reasons and you know very well that middle path had been choose by the tibetan people, also has done through complete democratic way…….right??
    in fact i think its too early to say that point……..dont you think our well known tibetan personal J Norbu la……!!!

  26. tsetenz, “chosen” by the 5% minority of Tibetan people who live outside Tibet… The whole point is that the other 95% do not have such democratic rights and never will as long as China remains in Tibet.

    One should also note that it’s mathematically impossible to have a vote that accurately reflects individuals’ choice in the “collective choice” whenever there are more than 2 options on the ballot. The “Middle Way” referendum comes close to being a worst-case example for this mathematical fact. Even with a condorcet method, I suspect many or even all of the choices may have found their way into the smith set.

  27. to tsetenz
    Please stop it. Your word indicate that you need to study more. “middle path had been choose by the tibetan people, also has done through complete democratic way…….right??” You were talking blindly. In fact, your voice are baseless. Did we all had a vote for non-violent??? and you said democratic way??? We Tibetan don’t have a democratic government system at all. How can we …democratic way…. It is very obvious that you don’t understand democracy.

  28. hi jamyang all with all respect to ur high knowledge and a great sense of otherwise prejudice to the tibetan non violent sturggle i beg to differ with u. when u say that the talks are a complete failure, i would like to bring to ur notice that other than that we dont have any other concrete options keeping in mind of the ground realities. so if u have any other great result yielding method to the tibetan issue i would love to see it thanks

  29. True True true……talks and middle way are completely a failure!

    Most people support middle path because they have a good excuse to sit idly and indulge in their own life, while beating the drum of middle-path. I should have the courage to accept if Middle-Way did not yield any returns after the business day.

    Believing in Middle-Way turns many poeple’s mind stop thinking as if caught in a cosmic black hole or something and stop being innovative about how to contribute to Tibet’s Struggle to Independence themselves!


    Are you kidding???? I mean it hasn’t started yet. Talking part was done, now how about the action part?

  31. That’s the whole point, that it hasn’t started and never will start. That’s why it’s failed. As for action, it specifically calls for non-action, so everything is going according to plan…

  32. Hello Jamyang La,
    Most of us, I mean Tibetan! We knew that you have huge knowledge on Tibet’s political issue and on writing articles on Tibet issue. Thanks for it because the people who are reading your books, it will definitely know that “Tibet is independent country since it was occured” but at the moment most of us who really wanted to go back to our own country, knew that we don’t have any options to get it back from the most powerful country in this world, so being an unbaised person right now, i think you can’t accuse and challenge with H.H. the Dalai Lama’s chosen way to resolve the problem between one powerful country and our country. so, it will be better for you and your family to keep writing on Tibet issue rather than accusing our only leader H.H. Till then take care and will support to you if its reasonable,reality and practical.

  33. For our society to mature, we have to learn to accept diversity of views. We need diverse views and positions for a healthy discussion on the future of Tibet. We cannot be so irresponsible as to squander away our future and future of Tibet simply for the sake of political expediency. At no time in our history, have we willingly given up our rights to a nation.

    Jamyang Norbu la has expressed his views on the most dominant proposal by His Holiness and TGIE. And so far, there have been no progress.

    His Holiness’ “Middle Way” position and that of TGIE is based entirely on a private discussion between Gyalo Thondup and Deng Xiao Peng in 1979 where Deng was reported to have said ‘anything but Independence is negotiable’. They set the bait, we took it.

    Until about 10 years ago, His Holiness always added a qualifier to his offer that ‘ultimately, the Tibetan people will decide the future of Tibet’. That important statement has been missing of late. Do the wishes of Tibetan people no longer matter?

    Let us examine what we have achieved over the last 28 years of ‘negotiations’.
    1. It is now generally accepted that Tibetans do not want Independence. (translation — Tibet was never independent)
    2. Anyone seeking Independence is an extremist.
    3. It has taken the steam out of the FREE TIBET movement.
    4. We are confused as to what we really want.
    5. Chinese trust us even less now.
    6. US and the western nations have used the Tibetan issue as a pawn in their dealings with China.
    7. China has now become a super power.

    Seriously, how does a Tibetan exercise democratic rights in exile? And how are the policies set?

    If we are serious about the future of Tibet that includes all of us, let us have frank discussion on these issues without resorting to name calling.

    Tibet deserves to be Independent. It is our inherent right. Do we have the right to squander away this rights for our children and the future of Tibet?

    If you followed the events closely … you will notice that there are now discussions of abandoning Chol-kha-Sum. My Tibet includes Dhotoe and Dho-me.

    It is for the Tibetan people to make TGIE count with our without His Holiness. All the kudos to Jamyang Norbu la for bringing these silent views to the forefront. And shame on those who feel the need to question his patriotism.

  34. Nyima Gyaltsen, actually the “ultimately, the Tibetan people will decide the future of Tibet” reappeared in one of HHDL’s statements shortly after the uprising began this year. I’d have to spend a little time to find the exact place I saw it, but I remember seeing it vividly and how moved I was to see it. Through all of what’s happened in these two months I think he’s really been a voice of sincerity to both the suffering people are going through and to basic rights, dignity, and democracy. After all, it was he who said “no one has the right to say shut up”, after which the ‘Solidarity Committee’ promptly said “shut up!” So much for them being the ‘patriotic’ bunch who always insist on following HHDL…

  35. If a movie was being made on the ‘Middle Way’ it might garner an award,they say that if the camera lens stares at a fly long enough you win an award.
    As for Jamyang Norbu with the’Non-violent but Action oriented Way’ I see a great Bollywood movie.
    I do want to qualify my above remarks by saying the mandatory ‘I have tremendous respect for both His Holiness and Jamyang Norbu ‘ in this case I actually do, both are true to their convictions.
    As for my critique on both the movies,the missing Masala is the soul of Andrug Gonpo Tashi.

  36. Tsering Topgyal is making the nice statement with the mutual respecting especially to the real great heroes of Holy Dalai Lama and Gonpo Tashi.

    There being so much negativity and attacking in this forum I think it being because the frustration that nobody accomplished nothing much whether exile government or Rangzen comrades.

    Maybe the fighters frustrated because they have no opportunity being to do the real fight work. And the diplomacy men frustrating because they have no genuineness chance to do the diplomacy. Everyone so frustrated now. Ticking time bomb going in hearts and minds of Tibetan people make us all Indian and Tibetan alike crazy and fearless radical behind any future path to justice? Or just crazy in the quietness do nothing way still?

  37. I do not, for a moment, doubt His Holiness’ sincerity and his commitment to the Tibetan people. I honestly believe that we could not have even hoped for a better Dalai Lama.

    I am following in the spirit of what His Holiness has encouraged us all — to speak our mind for Tibet.

    I am simply questioning the Middle Way as being best for future of Tibet.

  38. I think Tibetans in Tibet will decides the future of Tibet. We exile Tibetans are here to support them. If the majority of Tibetans in Tibet want independent, they will get our support. if not, they will still get our support.We are here for Tibetans in Tibet. One thing we Tibetan in exile have to remember is that We are not able to go back and government Tibet, Only Tibetan in Tibet govern themselves. Even Dalai Lama said that. I think TGIE is just a charity entity. Moreover, TGIE acted like one since we lost Tibet. Non-profit people can only run charity, let politician run politics.

  39. How many more years does the TGIE need to prove that the middle path way is a success.From the moment i was born till this moment the middle way has not produced any positive results…this is my whole life…its natural that i find this a failure.And if i am not allowed to say this..whats the use of Democracy???

  40. Unlike the interviewee and most commentators here, I’m not Tibetan, I’m a foreign educated Chinese and I am a pro-Chinese supporter. First, let me offer my condolences for the plight of the Tibetans in exile and their descendents. However, that is not to say I sympathise with their cause or their methods of achieving that cause.

    I’d just like to make 2 observations:

    1. The interviewee implied the Chinese nationalism stirred up by the latest protests are in fact directed towards CCP, not TGIE. He must be blind. Most Chinese, regardless of his/her views on the CCP, will see losing Tibet as a national humiliation. What happened in the latest protests is that the nationalism drove the Chinese to give CCP more support than usual.

    2. It appears that as part of the interviewee’s approach to independence, he wants to destablise the CCP government. And the latest protests are probably aimed towards that end. I hope everyone here understands what political turmoil will do to China and all of its people, including the Tibetans. If you read history, then the 100 years prior to 1950 are perfect examples.

  41. Tseten Choedon la,

    New friend for Tibet you are so correct in democracy has no value if you can not speak the truthful mind regarding political opinion. For this being reason I am supporting right of everyone in Tibetan community to offer opinion. I am also requesting everyone not to make the personal attacks on eachother whether being Gyari Lama or Gyalo Thondup or Jamyang Norbu. In the political world we attack political issue. In religious world we attack religious issue. In personal world we attack the personal issue. We do not mix it. We must stick to the issue to learn value spirit of democratically deciding courses and actions.

    Now my todays commentary side is this video on the bullet for Hu Jintao is making me to laugh so very much. This is so much skillful way to make point to China about brutality. Problem being that the people of darkness and no intelligence mind, being Chinese Communists, can not understand this point. You see CCP man’s reaction is anger on the face. In Patel case, even you come to me saying to assassinate me and bill my old Father for the bullet I will being to laugh very much and wish you the good luck! CCP show no humor. Tibetan people have the humor even in the tremendously suffering. Tibetan people humor joy mind also extending naturally to friends of Tibet like good english interview man. Only in free society can we be knowing sweet joy of humor mind. One more example how Tibetans are not Chinese!

  42. on political religious personal

    political: man disagreeing with you be still supporting his right of freedom of expressiveness

    religious: man disagreeing with you be still praying for him with compassion

    personal: man making problem for loved ones then give good beating like Gonpo style activity!

    if mix then sometimes must support his free expression while praying with compassion same time beating him. (this much joke)

    sound like Brahmin or religious Khampa way? oh you know we Brahmins and you Khampas are not so different!

  43. Jimmy, there’s some validity to your observations, but I’ll just say that whatever horrible suffering befalls Chinese when the PRC destabilizes or collapses, it’s your fault as a nation for creating and tolerating that monstrosity. My concern is ONLY for Tibet and its future escape from Chinese domination and interference; whatever befalls China is for you as Chinese to deal with. I wish you luck in minimizing the suffering, and hope you’ll realize quickly that letting go of Tibet is one of the best and easiest things you can do to avoid a future disaster.

  44. Jimmy,

    I agree completely with Rich.
    Fate of China is your own problem.
    All that matters for us is Tibet.
    And Tibet should be free from Chinese rule.

  45. Can not find fault if man want to destabilize China…because sometimes justice might be meaning to destabilize the actions of the murderous torturing peoples. Who can be blaming Tibetan people for this mindset if Chinese are doing the atrociousness all of time since invasion time? If I am Chinese I will consider Dalai Lama is my good friend who can save me from my karma only because as you are seeing many nowadays Tibetans dont give a gollywhiz what happen to China as long as they own nation being free. Only Holy Dalai Lama have the unconditional love for the China people to this day. Other Tibetans are not like Holy Dalai Lama. For this being the reason it seems China working against their own good and supporting their own bad fate by villifcation of Holy Dalai Lama. I think what coming after Dalai Lama is not good for anys peoples peace but then in fairnss many Tibetans not asking for peace but asking for real freedom over own nation. What is really right? Each have right to own opinion and deserve respect for that — but nowadays people not respecting China because to get respect as human being must behave as human being.

  46. Jimmy,

    Why must Tibetans, enduring suffering at the hands of Chinese, care what would happen if the current Beijing empire collapses?

    Not to minimize any individual suffering, but that old argument about what would happen if China is destabilized is disingenuous in the light of the Cultural Revolution, which despite what the PRC now says, was government induced, inspired and supported.

    Chinese people have this great fear of the empire going to pieces. Why? Is it a subconscious recognition that many neighboring nations recently annexed may wish to redress wrongs done to them and to then become free?

    I think that for the future of the Chinese nation, as a nation and not an empire (since imperial days are numbered, one way or the other), China as a whole may wish to start fessing up about their mistakes and then seek to leave their colonies. China has always criticized western imperialism, which is valid, but somehow China is blind to their own cultural chauvinism, racial supremacism and imperialism.

    So perhaps Chinese people who would care about the future of their nation may take a look at how cruel their empire is and dismantle it willingly. Will this happen? Probably not until forced to do it. How violent or destabilizing this may be for the areas now part of the Beijing empire will be dependent on the Chinese people finding in themselves a willingness to deal with Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongolians as equals (as opposed to colonial possessions).

  47. I think there is a lot confusion about MP policies. MP has neither goal nor any purpose. It has only ways and means which make a framework that helps two warring opponents to seek a mutual understanding. The framework is essentially non-violent and democratic in nature. So what has happened so far is that both sides have put up their position upon which dialogue and discussion is going on where both proponents and their suporters or oppositions are trying to advance their arguments supporting their positions. I agree that some visible results should have appeared to all wihtout which backlashes may be the result. This is the framework Prince Sidhartha got his Buddhhahood why can’nt we reach a political solution.

  48. I think there is a lot confusion about MP policies. MP has neither goal nor any purpose to measure its success. It has only ways and means (principles & conde of conducts) which make a framework that helps two warring opponents to seek a mutual understanding on particular contending issue. The framework is essentially non-violent and democratic in nature. What has happened so far is that both sides have put up their position upon which dialogue and discussion is going on where both proponents and their suporters or oppositions are trying to advance their arguments supporting their positions. Both have seen their differences and commonalities. I agree that some visible results should have appeared to all of by now without which some backlashes may be the results. I said visible mainly because many fail to see the result. For me the recent protest and theior sologans are impacts of MP which will help both sides to produce results. One Tibet and one Tibetan – the core of the current MP policy of the Tibetan side. We miust be realistic -that MP has been implemented both in letter and spirit by Samdhong Lama when he took over the office in 2002. This is the framework Prince Sidhartha got his Buddhhahood why can’nt we reach a “political” solution.

  49. Jamyang Norbu la, I respect your thoughts but am not clear with what you meant by your comment ” I believe in Gandhian non-violence, but I believe that non-violence has, to some extent, be confrontational”. Don’t you think that the “Genuine Autonomy” nonviolent action of Negotiation with China is not confrontational,if not WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT THE TGIE AND TIBETAN PEOPLE SHOULD DO TO CONFRONT THE CHINESE OTHER THAN NEGOTIATION.

    Starting from 10,March 2008, the courageous Tibetans at home gathered at one place and CONFRONTED the CHINESE MILITARY spontaneously and we know the consequences. I know that middle path struggle is action oriented just that Tibetans don’t really understand the strategy behind “Genuine Autonomy”. Every Tibetans would no doubt want Independent Tibet, but realistically are we going to ACHIEVE, if so CAN YOU CONVINCE us that independent TIBET is Possible through NONVIOLENT CONFRONTATION. I request you to clarify my doubt and curious to know whether YOU HAVE any Nonviolent STRATEGY of action oriented that WE can implement. If you want us to be aware, guide us, lead us that something is Possible and Achievable.

  50. You just can’t find enough guidance if you still remain guided. Ghandhi never needed a guide! He found all strategy because he wanted to overcome India’s trategy. The real problem is that we are still not willing to tackle the issue wholeheartedly even after a half a century. Our comittments are divided and have not developed beyond ourseleves. We must properly pitch our balls against the target which is not visible enough because we are not yet plunged into it. Everyone is playing safe game -no one wants to soiled their fingers. I am infering all these based on my own experiences.

  51. Karma I don’t mean to say you are wrong but this is how I feel, Gandhi was in fact guided throughout his movements by Hindu religion and he said ” I call myself a Sanatani Hindu, who believes in Vedas and ……….”, he was influenced by Henry David Thoreu’s essay “On Civil Disobedience”, Bible ” Simon on the Mount”, Tolstoy’s “The Kingdom of God Is Within You”, John Ruskin’s “Unto this Last”, These writings have influenced Gandhi in his nonviolent movement. What I appeal to Jamyang Norbu was not to spoon feed us but guide us through his writings that Independence is Possible and achievable through some concrete strategy and convince us that Independence of Tibet will give freedom to Tibetan people, obviously I mention earlier that every Tibetan wants INDEPENDENCE, no doubt about it, but realistically Can we achieve it and if so How and through what means and what is required. Gandhi consciously committed himself to the movement without any expectations in return. He was guided throughout by his conscience and thats why is a man of an example.
    Why is out movement not ONE ISSUE and ONE Struggle?

  52. hi jamyang,
    this is been very long days and time ago and still your thought and talks always remain same with no action, you and your kutak gangs always want our tibetan brothers and sisters under confusion by sending mix message to our futures tibetan , you always like to talk with no action if you mean your statement then better join one of our until death even in coming days and we will see you .

  53. KYIZOM
    My argument stands still strong -there are plenty of books and people which can still make impact on us what we might do -only if we are ready to plunge into it. For that we need moral and united political purpose. We have a moral ground but does not have political goal that is one. Lot of dicussion here on that differences. In this situation, HHDL & TGIE has tried give a politcal solution through MP where I beleive some results have already come out and is getting stronger.

  54. Those postings condeming TGIE shows how much they think they thinking about Tibetan is worth. I am pointing to NYMA GYALTSEN, TSERING TOGYAL, CHODON, RICH all such people. You look very pitiable because you are all degenerated enough to shun the responsibilities and become so irresponsible to malice the core of our society. I am sure noe of you are now in a responsible position and you have never worked for for the society. I know you all must have been fed well and educated enough to open your mouth so shamelessly against those who have worked day in day out for you. Shame on you. Without HHDL, Tibet and Tibetan won’t be like as it is. He has live long committed for the cause. Those who are in TGIE work to realize HHDL and aspiration of Tibetans in variuos capacities at minimum remenuration. If you have to outsource all those works they are doing will cost millions none of us could earn.

  55. karma,
    I know that we have moral ground and truth. But facts will not speak alone, Facts have to be put into a context and there fore the need of strategy or rather the need of Political goal is very important. HHDL advocates genuine autonomy base on facts and on reality for the benefit of the Tibetan people at large. He has convince the people through his VISION of TIBET.Political vision and goal with commitment from people/leaders to struggle for one issue of Tibet will make a huge difference.

    The conscious will to commit oneself for struggle with no expectation in return is important and is necessary for a successful nonviolent action.

    TGIE is doing its level best but TGIE should have a political strategy in educating the Tibetan people with clear, concise and measurable political education. TGIE should be more actively involve in giving opportunities for the YOUNGER GENERATION to participate actively in the political decision making. TGIE and NGO play important role in Tibetan Community and they should work in unison with their differences to struggle for ONE ISSUE: TIBET

  56. Karma, quit the standard personal attacks. It’s unbecoming. I don’t think most of your accusations even merit rebuttals since they’re not backed by any evidence to begin with, so I’ll just leave you with a nice “shut up and get lost”.

  57. I can very easily shut up but will never get lost as long as people like you ceased to exist. You have easily forgotten what kind of maliciuos writtings you have posted before. I does pinch you. If you were Tibetan I will try to convince you because we can’t just sometimes get away from a victim mentality. If you are Inji you are dliberate and I must treat you as good as and as bad as Red Chinese.

  58. KYZOM
    Our conversation are now focussing. I do not agree that TGIE has no strategy. Each of its department used to develop strategies for all its activities. China-Tibet talks has been, as far as I get to know, it is very well strategised. I happened to be in one of public briefings by S Rinpoche on six rounds of talks. Yes you may be right – that it has not so far involved youths directly. It works under a charter provision where it takes ATPD into confidence. In fact so far there no such issues that it needs to discuss with particular section of the society. It will, when it comes -even referendum. You shoudl never forget that TGIE engages at least hundred youths each year during their annual leadership and orientation programmes.

  59. Karma,
    I didn’t say TGIE has no political strategy (please read my comment again). I personally feel that HHDL “Genuine Autonomy” is a realistic strategy. What I meant was exactly what you have mentioned in your last sentence. TGIE gives youth leadership training each year, (How productive is it?),(Can you produce young leaders from such leadership training) whereas I am inspired by how SFT gives leadership training, they produce leaders out of ordinary. TGIE therefor need strategy of political education for Tibetan People in a constructive way of achieving something rather than covering an event.

    I didn’t mean to criticize and understand the difficulties but TGIE can do better and make difference with its examples.

    People need to be heard and I hope people’s thoughts and need be heard by the concerns. You mentioned that “there is no such issue that it needs to be discuss with particular section of society:, if that is the case then at least make people aware that they can remain ignorant “ignorant is bliss”.

    I hope the time may ripe soon that the issues are discuss and debated in the society. We need public forum, people to voice their thoughts.

    Referendum is easy to declare but people need to know the society in order to participate actively in decision making. There is no right or wrong Time and NOW is the time and time to involve people.

  60. Alright, you still seems to stand not with or behind but beside or outside TGIE and Tibetans resulting you are still illinformed about HER activities in details. SHE has to look after every one not just a section. TGIE provides leadership all around not for particular section of a society. Every TGIE officers concerning education starts with KG classes, and likewise in health & development and other sectors. SFT’s work, though should not like undermine them, is minuscule in comparison with. TGIE is nothing but composition of people like you and me. You should join in -we can’t effort to waste valauble energy just becoming a critique.

    We have agreed to a certain extend. That’s good but how can we help people like Jamyang N. Thanks -I shall now take leave now onwards -bye bye.

  61. respected gen Jamyang Lak

    we are deeply touched by your words and proud of you. here some of Loseling monks are editing a Tibetan Magazine called the sun light of snow land and we just want to have a interview with you about Middle way approach and independence.so, kindly make a time for us. but, we do not have your contact number and everything. here is my email id beripalden007@yahoo.com and please kindly make a date for us and send your contact through above id.
    yours sincerly
    Beri palden Namgyal
    member of Loseling Educational Fund

  62. I am totally disagree with comment made by. Chemi…. comment no. 5…..i .believe in freedom of speech but please don’t ever made.Comment if u dont have clear cut information .

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