Karmapa and the Cranes

After his dramatic escape from Tibet in December 1999, the young Gyalwa Karmapa became an immediate celebrity in the exile community – in a reverential Tibetan sort of way, of course. A group of students from the Tibetan Children’s Village decided to dedicate their class environmental project – on saving the Tibetan crane – to the boy lama. Whether intended or not the symbolism was rather apt, the threatened life, the flight from Tibet to the south and so on. The children had printed a small book on their project and asked one of Karmapa’s entourage to present it to him. When this person (my informant) gave the book to Gyalwa Karmapa I was told that he looked at the cover in his characteristically intense way, and read the title aloud “Save the Cranes… Hmm… Save the Cranes… but who will save the people?” (tung-tung la sungkyap… me la sue sunkyap chigi ray)

I am sure the 14-year old lama was neither putting down the commendable initiative of the TCV children nor being uncaring about the plight of Tibetan cranes. He was perhaps making an observation on the inability of exile Tibetans to suitably prioritize their concerns. I am not crediting the young Karmapa with any undue political wisdom here. I don’t know him well enough to say one thing or another on this. But he was a boy who had just made a dangerous and frightening escape from a country occupied by brutal totalitarian regime, and I think it would have been perfectly natural for him to regard his own personal safety and the lives and welfare of the people he had left behind to come before any other concern, no matter how politically correct.

Right now, people inside Tibet are living in terror. The whole country is in lockdown and the blockade has been frighteningly effective. All we have outside are rumours of draconian reprisals, intensive “patriotic” education, mandatory public denunciations of the Dalai Lama, midnight-arrests, mass-imprisonment, beatings, torture, even executions. In many places people are too scared to go out to buy food. Even in areas where there have been no protests, people are being arrested for having traveled to India or Nepal in the past.

Then there have been the Lhasa show trials. Defendants did not have lawyers nor were they allowed to make statements. The prosecution took about five minutes each to charge the prisoners and the judge made a long speech in Chinese. Not since Stalin’s Moscow show-trials have we had anything so openly cynical and so contemptuously a gob-spit on the face of civilized jurisprudence. Woeser wrote about it in her Tibet Update 4, but there has not been a single a word of condemnation in the world media.

Not only has the international media been completely shut out of Tibet, but also NGO’s, academics, Christian missionaries and even some businesses. Where members of such organizations or professions are presently in Tibet they have been effectively neutered. I use this word instead of “neutralized” in a deliberate way. It is difficult, if not impossible to think of any other conflict area in the world, in Gaza or Darfur, where the ruling regime’s control has been so total. Even the Burmese junta is opening up the country a little to aid organizations.

One would reasonably assume that our immediate concern and whatever we have in the way of funds, resources or energy would be concentrated on relieving the plight of the Tibetans inside Tibet.

But the Tibetan cabinet, the kashag, has instead decided that… “In order to express our solidarity with the great natural disaster that befell on China (sic) Tibetans across the world should shun staging demonstrations in front of the Chinese embassies in the respective host countries they live in at least for until about the end of May, this year. And write a letter, or send a message, to the concerned that they are doing so in solidarity with the quake victims … we should initiate solidarity actions by organizing prayer meetings and raising donations … explore the possibilities of establishing Sino-Tibetan Friendship Associations through such programmes.”

I also saw another official letter sent to Tibetan associations and communities asking them to pray for the welfare of “our Chinese brothers and sisters” (gyarik punda) and to conduct prayer vigils and collect donations for the victims.

The Chinese Communist security and military forces, of course, remain unmoved by such fraternal outreach efforts, and, in spite of the earthquake disaster, have not let up in their crackdown campaign in Tibet. I have no doubt that the sorrow, the fear and the uncertainty in their lives of Tibetans are the same as that of the earthquake victims, if not more intense and wounding because they result from the intentional cruelty of evil men, and not from an accident of nature. Furthermore Tibetans are now cut off, very deliberately, from the attention of the world in a far more extreme and effective way than earthquake victims in the most remote part of Sichuan province – who are receiving unprecedented worldwide media attention.

There was a substantial degree of cold calculation in Beijing’s decision to allow the world media access to Sichuan. Simon Jenkins of the Guardian in his article “The World and its Media are Playing the Dictator’s Game” says “Inviting the media to the scene was fairly low risk. An earthquake is one big bang and, with the entire Red Army available, a rescue is a rescue. The world has fallen in love with trapped Chinese, tearful Chinese, heroic Chinese, efficient Chinese. Tibet and the torch have been forgotten and the Olympics shifted from obscene accolade to worthy reward. China is overnight OK. It leads the news.”

Dharamshala’s spiritually inspired relief effort for the earthquake victim is reinforcing this perception in the eyes of the world. The situation inside Tibet can’t be all that bad, John Q. Public concludes, if the Dalai Lama and the exile Tibetans appear more concerned about Chinese earthquake victims than their own people. Once again we are playing right into Beijing’s hands.

Simon Jenkins also mentions “Poor little Burma. Its disaster is far greater and its deaths possibly four times worse than China’s… In China, a few more lucky souls may be pulled from the rubble. In Burma, tens of thousands continue to teeter between salvation and death. The Burmese victims need help to a degree that Chinese does not… The world and its media are playing the dictators game. They are doing exactly what the Chinese regime wants, and exactly what the Burmese regime wants. They are giving inordinate coverage to every crushed Sichuan school-child and ignoring two million Burmese.”

If Tibetans feel the need to do more than just help fellow Tibetans then at least contribute to the Burmese relief effort. For compelling reasons to do so read my previous article/blog Thinking About Burma. Please note that the Burmese junta has just renewed Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest.

The fact that many of the earthquake victims were Tibetans, Khampas from the region of Gyalrong (which has been divided and incorporated into Ngaba autonomous prefecture and Kandze autonomous prefecture) is something that requires a separate discussion.

In conclusion I ask those readers who share my dislike of institutionalized BS to help me drive a stake through the heart of the belief (that Tibetans hold so dear) that if we are good, or more precisely, if we demonstrate to the world our spiritual goodness and passivity then somehow the world would respond by supporting our cause. That perhaps even the Chinese leadership would come around, eventually, to acknowledging our point of view – all because of our goodness. As a national policy this is not only mistaken but ridiculous to the point of insanity.

Tibetan need to ask why the Palestinian issue and the conflict in Afghanistan, with their fanatics, suicide bombers, terrorists, warlords, mullahs, jihadists, and just plains murdering lunatics, receive far more attention and support than the Tibetan issue ever has? Is it possible that violence or even the threat of violence is what actually motivates the world and organizations as the United Nations to take an issue seriously? Could it be that if your struggle is a declaredly non-violent one then it can be quite safely put on the back burner, or even completely forgotten, without any problem?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating terrorism. I am all for people being peace-loving and compassionate. But if we want to be like that we should be so out of genuine moral conviction, not as a roundabout way to ingratiate ourselves with the Chinese Communist dictators (who are anyway much too cynical to fall for anything as feeble as that) or to entice sponsors in the West, where, more often than not, it has worked – up to now.

In the meantime Gyalwa Karmapa’s question remains unanswered “Who will save the people?”


69 Replies to “Karmapa and the Cranes”

  1. Thumbs up to JN La. Surely you are one of great writers amongst your peers. Yours are very eloquent and inspiring. I enjoyed a great deal of reading your’Illusion and reality” and ther articles of yours. of course I enjoy reading each and every of your recent articles on this blog. Often reading yours reminds me of reading Chinese great writer Luxun’s. I see a lot of
    similarities beween you two. apologize for the comparasion with Luxun, my knowledge of world literature and writers of the world is very limiteD. I’m ony a reader.

    CAN you not ANY Amore mess up your personal contrtoversy and personal disputes with Tibetan issues on the public state for Tibet struggle? CAN YOU leave your
    “Choka’ attachement at home when you appear in public stage for Tibet. PLEASE THESE ARE SO HURTFUL AND OFFENSIVE.
    If I’m wrong , Please correct.
    Jigme Wangyal

  2. Jigme, there’s no “cholka” in Jamyang’s writing. How are you able to turn a blind eye to the issue and the rational line of thinking while seeing sectarianism that’s not even there at the textual level? If you happened to read this article with a different, unknown author’s name on it in place of Jamyang Norbu’s name, I don’t think you’d see any such thing…

  3. Jigme Wangyal. Your questions didn’t make any sense at all. If you can rephrase those, may be someone can understand. It seems two different individuals wrote your two paragraphs. Just my suggestion. No offence intented.

  4. Dear Jamyang Norula,
    Yes Save the Nature and save the Human Beings Teaching by HH Gyalwa Karmapa during Kagyu Monlam Dec 2007 in Bodhgaya. You can read the Karmapas Teachings under http://www.kagyumonlam.org

    HH Gyalwa Karmapa is some one who can teach us.. if we fight the Dragon? We are lost and our chance is lost for ever but if we like to tame the Dragon? We have still Chance to do so. We can one day ride the Dragon. This taming the Dragon technik don’t exisit in Politic but in Budhism.

    Yes how to help Earth Quake affection Areas in Sichuan? it is correct that the areas covers China-Tibet traditionalebodersline and to organise help in these Area is wonderful Idea. I have Plan to organise it from Germany.

    We have some Ideas how to do it.Can you ask Indien Government or NGO to fund the Project and I will search for Sponsorship in Germany?? Urgent Needs are Tents, Mobile Hospitals, and urgent help for old people and Orphans etc.. In Longterm they will need help for economic existance? We have a Plan to creat environmental conciousness project in the area,
    Especially for Earth Quakezone? South Kham und Amdo Area? We can also produce Bread to feed Earth Quake Offer and step by step make Bread Industrie to make economic exisitance etc?

    Myeslef, I visted these Areas since 1987-2007 about 14 Years envolement in rebuilding monasteries and Planting Trees etc Can you contact Dr Shiva. She is an environmentalist in India? If Indien Govt or NGOs can offer us fund? She is the right person who can translate this help into Project Activities. Let us contact with each other if you have any Vision like that??

    It will be also iseful to talk with HH Gyalwa Karmapa over such issue? If you really wish to help the nature und our people inside Tibet?? let us join toather? time is running out for Tibet and Tibetans..

    Padma Wangyal

  5. Jamyang Norbu is in deed a man of great courage and boldness, but he must abandon his radical Regional Sectarianism ( Choka-ism) and act like a great man if he chooses to be one. And once again I would like to call upon him to not bring up his personal grudge and cheap talks during his public talks. We, the audience deserve more than just petty talks. If you think you are not good at speeches, don’t accept invitations and just keep writing your great and thoughtful articles, they are really inspiring and carry value of tons of gold and diamond. Please don’t make the audience lose faith in you during your coming appearance at Chushi Gangtruk gathering.

    Now take a moment to reflect on Lobsang Sangay, the dignity, the sharp appearance, the well prepared speech; his public talks are so inspiring and influential. He is surely Tibetan Martin Luther King.

  6. Jigmei, you are jealous of great man. You just shaking your fingers in the air to vent your anger. But for what purpose?

    I never read Jamyang Norbu wrote something on Regionalism, it is people like you who create unnecessary problems. If you notice there is a regionalism in this article or in any of the speeches of his, then point it out clearly!

    Jamyang Norbu is the only intellectual sword to cut through the deception of self-claimed Tibetologist in the west, both of apologist of China and academic liars who distort Tibetan history.

    In a way, Jamyang Norbu is winning the fight, it is because not just we have truth on our side, but he writes well. Not just write in nicely, but thoroughly researched, well-reasoned, most articulate…..

    Another immaturity in you being a man who comment, who make the outlook comparison of being sharpness, dignity….bla bla…

    Dignity does not come from how well-dressed one is….if it is so, then there must be a problem with you, look for the difinition and criteria for dignity of a man.

    Sharpness in spearance does not fall into a major factor, even minor factor in deciding one’s intellectual ability. Most intellectual people on this earth are old dude who got a lot of wringles on their faces…

    Some people prepare speech, some people can talk straight from their head! Which one is better, it is upto you to decide!

    Anyway, both Jamyang Norbu and Lobsang Sangay are assets for Tibet. But you, a trashy boy! Go and study more, then come back to write some thoughtful and insightful comments or suggestion.


    ps: Never try to assissinate the charater, just comment on the concept, ideas, themes of the article! Thank you


  8. Palde: Jigmei, you are jealous of great man. You just shaking your fingers in the air to vent your anger. But for what purpose?
    Jigme: To the contrary, I ‘m proud of Jamyang Norbu, and I really wish that I can continuously enjoy reading his great articles.
    Palden: I never read Jamyang Norbu wrote something on Regionalism, it is people like you who create unnecessary problems. If you notice there is a regionalism in this article or in any of the speeches of his, then point it out clearly!
    Jigme: It is Jamyang Norbu’s responsibility to make clear of his stand, not you.
    If you don’t believe him being a regionalist, check out him during his next appearance at Chushi Gangtruk meeting.
    Palden: Jamyang Norbu is the only intellectual sword to cut through the deception of self-claimed Tibetologist in the west, both of apologist of China and academic liars who distort Tibetan history.
    Jigme: Absolutely true and more than agree with you
    Palden: In a way, Jamyang Norbu is winning the fight, it is because not just we have truth on our side, but he writes well. Not just write in nicely, but thoroughly researched, well-reasoned, most articulate…..
    Jigme: only he cleans up the mess, which is his fanatical Choka-ism. Other wise he divides more than unite.

  9. Jigme Wangyal please do us a favour and dissappear,you do not make any sense hope you will bring your brains and hearing aid when you attend JN’s next public talk.

  10. Jamyang Norbu have had a ambicious dream to lead Tibetan struggle to a new level, actually he has such a potentiaity and he will be successful in my judgement if he chooses the right way, but he failed so far. Reasons are very simple, First of all he has been finatically and radically regionalistic,therefore he divides people more than he unites them. Secondly his political failure turnes into frustaration and anger, he becomes even more offensive and carefree , now he choose to attach on his oppenents who are actually are never the cause of his falire in his political career although he himself strongly belives so so far. at htis point some of you may try to defend him claiming he has no interest in political powers , but which is totally not true.
    May Jamyang Norbu is able to soar like eagle from small valleys of his bondages and lead us to the highest and fartherst, may I not lose my faith in him.

  11. Jigme, which Cholkha is being spoken by Jamyang Nurbu and trying to separate? Which speech of his did he talk about those things explicitly or implicitly?

    If you cannot answer those questions in short and concise manner, then you are a liar! Stop beating around the Bush!

    Otherwise, IGNORE HIM! If you have the CORE ANSER, either write it here or give a link or name the work of his….I am having the feeling that you are start making no sense at all as other people are feeling now….

    Also, don’t ask Jamyang Norbu to lead “US”, he is doing his job well without being paid, true to his being Tibetan and true to his responsibility. Find your own way to fight….Otherwise, you are a nobody!


  12. i have to say, whether i agree with jigme or not is irrelevant, but please do not attack him personally. Your responses to his post remind me a little bit too much of a ‘Grace Wang’ kind of atmosphere. ‘Jigme please go away’, ‘disappear’ etc is not an especially intellectual response…

    Jamyang Norbu’s blog is excellent, so let’s not turn it into some venue for people to trash each other – in fact, i would have thought people like Jamyang la would LIKE their blog to be a place of heated but reasoned debate, so let’s try and honour that?

  13. Jamyang la, please do not think that our prayer stunts for the Chinese are of no use. I think this will definitely help us to appease the recent nationalist upsurge among the Chinese. Protest in Tibet as well as during the global torch relay indeed put Tibet in the limelight but at the same time, we distanced ourselves farther from the common Chinese who are indeed a kind of ray of hope for Tibetan issue.

  14. Thank you Jamyang la for writing this timely reminder for us to get back on track and fight for what we want and not be distracted by the way the earthquake is stage-managed by the Beijing regime.

    It is strange that even though we have been dealing with the Chinese government for more than 50 years, we seem unable to recognise as what it is – a dictator whose only interest is to keep their hold on power.

    Like you said, I have absolutely no hope that there might be a change of heart in these rulers. I believe that the only way to get their attention is to hit them where it hurts. Like Lhasang la says, we need to hands to shake but only one to punch.

    I fail to understand some of the accusation that are being thrown at you. looks like the Tibetan community hasnt changed much from the days when Dawa norbu, you and others were faced with mob-o-cracy in dhasa.

    I have sympathy for Chinese who were killed along with Tibetans by the earthquake. But I neither have time nor energy or inclination to pray for the chinese lives that were lost.

    I think it is time that we stop hiding behind His Holiness for our inaction and do things that we truly believe in and fight for what is must. Let someone else carry the load of world peace. Let us work for peace and freedom in our own country first.

  15. From the time when he wrote the piece ‘Of Lemmings and Tibetans’ and other articles for The Tibetan Review many years ago, I knew Tibet had a surprisingly outspoken and brave son who happens to be an intellectual too!
    The big question then was will he survive the covert and external pressures from a government who even then had no stomach or tolerance for constructive criticism? Fortunately for us he has survived and today at this crucial and desperate time for Tibet I am so grateful that we still have Jamyang Norbula who speaks up so eloquently, bravely and effectively for Tibet and for the matyrs of Tibet. He gives us hope and is an inspiration for many educated Tibetan youth worldwide, many of whom have had their blinkers removed thanks to the recent selfless sacrifice of the brave martyrs inside Tibet and are now more aware. I have a dream….(with due apologies to Martin Luther King!) that one day we will have a genuine ‘democratic’ election in the Tibetan Government and that the cabinet will comprise of Jamyang Norbu, Lhasang Tsering and Tenzin Tsundu! Bod Rangzen !!

  16. Simpleminds, the issue is that “Jigme” keeps making unfounded accusations against Jamyang-la and refusing to back them up or explain where he’s coming from. This is a classic internet trolling behavior and does not have a place in intelligent discussion, and as such asking him to either make his case or leave is the appropriate response.

    Thanks though for the words encouraging tolerance and genuine discussion even between those who disagree. That’s the type of thing I hope to see on this forum: to show that rangzen supporters, while intent and unwavering on the goal, are sane and rational people.

  17. Simpleminds,I totally agree with you in keeping up the standard of this blog,its just that Jigme should stick to the point and keep his personal opinions to himself rather than disrupt the flow of finally getting to read and understand crystal clear material.

  18. Rich, Palden, karchin & DD12,

    Don’t bring your personal grudges here in this forum. I sincerely mean it. Especially you richy guy. Say something related to the blog and concentrate on the main subject. Don’t divert from it for some cheap and dry words.

    Jigme has express his opinions clearly and you too can do the same thing. Comment on “Karmapa and the Crane”. We don’t need to comment on Jamyang Norbu.

  19. Yes you are absolutely right that the Chinese government remains UNMOVED by the TGIE’s efforts. for what? to gain some brownie points? They are so desperate to think the Chinese will allow His HOliness to attend the Olympics without realizing that the Chinese WILL NOT BUDGE! I support TGIE’s request to pray for the victims of the earthquate after all they are innocent human beings but it is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS and a DISGRACE to ask us to stop protesting. Shame on TGIE! I for one have completely lost faith in our TGIE to take the interest of our nation & fight for rangzen. Thank u Jamyangla for once again succintly describing what many of us are thinking.

  20. There is no Cholka and Moka or nyKa whatever you call it in Jamyang Norbu la’s writing, this is free world and free society. If Jamyang Norbu la take any stand that is his chioce. No body control anybody and he is excising this rights as free thinker and writer. If he write on religion, let him. If he write on Choka, let him. If you do not like his opions do not tell him not to accept invitations. He has the rights to accept it or not. He is capable of deciding his chioce. Dot please try to compare him with any body you like. He is working for the common cause and that is his only goal….. Jime stay away from here.

  21. Samten, ask Jigmei who is trashing the individuals? Read the post from beginning to end, who is doing what? Jigmei just accused Jamyang of instigating regionalism? I did not read anywhere he meant that, I even attended many of his talk shows, he did not say or mean it, I did not read anywhere he write about it, then where these hidden classified literary treatures only available for Jigmei and not to rest of us? Since, he cannot point to the sources clearly with reasons or links, he only had problem with Jamyang, I did not feel this is an enlightened discussion, so ask Jigmei?

    More distressing is Jigmei’s sheer ignorance about Buddhism. If you cannot see it, then go back on this blog and read his comments.

    I think I responded in a measured tone and always trying to focus on topics!


  22. Can anybody help us stop practicing REINCARNATION thing. Those are just purely Hinduism. Reincarnatio stuff was a way to transfer Political power in Tibet. But why Tibetan still believe in this. Do people really believe in reincarnation and it only happened in Tibet??? COme on people. Wake up, otherwise, there is no hope for a New Tibet. Even if we get our Tibet back, it will only restore those old medieval system back.

    I just want to share one thing with my brothers and sisters. We can fool some people sometime, or some people all the time, but We can’t fool all the people all the time.

  23. Being from a large Tibetan settlement in South India, I know the mentality of our average mass very well.
    It is very unlikely that they will follow anyone other than HH’s ideas and thoughts. Not even the Kashag’s. That is why the Kashag invariably attaches a statement or sentence to the effect that it is “ultimately the wish of HH….Gongsa chok ki ka”
    I think there is a conflict of interest between HH role as a “world peace leader” and his role as the “head of the Tibetan state”.
    In his role as a world peace leader, HH has no other option but to preach non-violance. As I see it, the recent prayer for Sichuan calamity is another manifestation of this conflict of interest in HH role.
    A more clear minded kashag/government with its own independant and sound Tibet policy could have come up with a solution to allow HH to pursue his role as a world peace leader without hurting his role as the head of the Tibetan state.

    Looking at the current mass mentality of Tibetans in exile , it is unlikely that progressive thinkers and non-religious figures like Jamyang Norbu will be elected into the government in the near future.
    The events of past 50 years, especially the way our government has and is continuing to handle the current mass uprisings against China, indicate that there is a dire need for clear minded, well educated people to advise our government on its policies.
    The mass will go on electing rinpoches and lamas to the government. But do they have what it takes to lead us?

    We have educated, progressive minded people who can do a much better job than the current leaders. But the mass is unlikely to elect them to the government.

    May be we can combine the two together.
    1. Let the mass elect their beloved rinpoches and lamas to the government.
    2. Create a “shadow cabinet/gevernment” composed of these progressive minded, highly educated lay people.

    The elected people will be the official faces, but the policies will all be set by the “shadow cabinet.government”.

    Unless there is a radical solution like this, it is unlikely that we can come up with ways to safeguard the interests of Tibetans.

    Just a thought.

  24. Tsering Choedon Lejotsang,

    You are only looking at one angle and making a point out of it. We have enough people inside TGIE, who are well educated and who can perform their duty sincerely and with devotion. Don’t blame the TGIE simply because you don’t like their policy or your affinity with the Dogyal cult. Tell me what you can do if you are one of the TGIE office bearer? What measure you can take to save the people inside Tibet? What more can you do to further the Tibetan freedom struggle? Is violence the other alternative that you are looking for? if not, then what you are hoping the TGIE must do?

  25. Samten,

    I don’t doubt our TGIE officers’ sincerity and devotion at all. I am sure they are all trying the best that they can as long as it is within the “accepted norms” of the current mass mentality.
    Whether they have the clarity of mind and the far sightedness to come up with sound policy for Tibet is a completely different matter.
    Sincerity and devotion alone are proving to be insufficient, isn’t it?

    Whether I have an affinity to Dogyal or not is not important. Dogyal in itself is a fiction created by human mind. I don’t see any reason why our leader and the government made an ssue of something as non-existant as a diety. See what good has come out of it.
    I reaffirm my point, which is that the government should publicly apologize to the Dogyal people and get over with this issue. We can’t afford to have a divided society because of such abstract issues. More importantly, we must not let it linger and give chance to our enemies to manipulate this issue to the detriment of our country.

    I am not blaming the TGIE. All that I am doing is coming up with thoughts on possible ways to make our government more efficient. I have a right to voice my suggestion as much as you have the right to comment on my views.
    If I were a TGIE office bearer, I would have used the opportunity of the earth quake to get international media and aid organizations to pressure China into letting them get into the Tibetan areas hit by the earthquake. In my official statements, I would have pointed out that whereas the earthquake is a one time tragedy that has struck the particular locality, the Chinese atrocities born by Tibetans is a life long suffering forced upon generation upon generation of Tibetans.
    Voilence might not be the ultimate solution, but it might be one of the means to bring China to the negotiating table with more sincerity than they have shown up until now.
    We need to use every means left to us. We don’t have the luxury of pretending to be bodhisatvas and hope that good karma will resolve everything for us, that is if there is something called karma at all.

  26. Jamyang la Norbu,

    Whether being agreeing or disagreeing some matters, such strong resolve for birthright of Tibetan nation is never failing in inspiration for people. In great perfection world Tibet be having genuine independence, greater independence, and such (small pun here). Many now questioning zone of peace possible with Chinese people present. My sadness mind is coming now. Sometimes Tibet people plight is useless feeling and still Jamyang Norbu not giving up his fight. Whether I am agreeing or disagreeing with his commentarys must being to appreciate such resolve and wish good luck. Naturallness is inside deepest tibetan heart nobody in tibet or nepal or india wants any relationship with China but out of this feeling of pathetic uselessness of every effort the people are prayerful of tiny measure of dignified treatment to be restored. So sad that Tibet people reduced to this. Now people reduced to praying that they won’t be tortured while glorious 1950’s history was being to kill those communists in right way fighting. Have to admire wish for uncompromised birthright and willing mind to fight for it like the beautiful ideal thing that is coming in the best of dreams.
    Have a nice dream and maybe in the sleep we can escape from the Chinese and dream of an old Tibet which was so niceful and lovely before communist come with guns, prostitutes, bier, killing, cattle prod, baton, iron rod, and murderous mind. So stone ago gloriousness not so bad looking is it?

  27. A simple solution to the problem of unqualified people in the goverment would be to restrict holding government office to Tibetans who’ve spent at least half of their life living in Tibet, or something similar.

  28. “restrict holding government office to Tibetans who’ve spent at least half of their life living in Tibet, or something similar”.

    How is that likely to solve the problem? Could you please elaborate? I am not being obtuse. I am sincerely interested.

    Thank you

  29. Tsering Choedon Lejotsang,

    Looks like you are having a good time in your own lost world; dreaming and hoping that something might come in your way. Sometimes you have to be mindful of what is happening around you. Simply ignoring and making the real issue as something non-existent will not help to solve the bigger problem.

    Regarding your second thoughts, of course you have the full right to express your opinion but with a little bit of reasoning and logic will help you to get through tough times.

    I think the Tibetan Govt. has put the right step by banning the Dogyal cult. It’s not only a menace to our cause but also a good tool for the Chinese to manipulate us. You see the self appointed Gangchen Lama and the Chinese are forcibly telling the Monks in certain monastery to worship Dogyal or face hardship.

    Aside from all this, if you happen to visit http://www.dorjishugden.com, you will be greeted with a horrifying deity. I can’t imagine myself worshipping such evil creature.

    In our nation’s history, so many great beings have lost their precious lives because of this fierce deity.

    Are you having hard time comprehending the real facts? Wake up and be meaningful.

  30. Dhogyal or shugden is in sharp decline in Tibetan communities both in exile and in Tibet despite the efforts put to propaagte it by China and shugden organisations and self acclaimed lamas such as Gangchen lama, kesang gyatso, Nya lama etc.
    These tibetan traitor lamas and invididuals are now left with western phsychologically bankrupt and weak western worshippers, who do not even know how to dress up or talk sense. The shameful and disruptive protests by shugden during HHDL’s visit to US and UK n EU in collaboration with Chinese govt. are evidence that these self acclaimed lamas are now reduced to only phsychologically bankrupt westerns rather us Tibetans.

    I would imagine we should not give platform at all to shugden here on this blog as this blog Jamyang rightfully said is for discussion of ideas regarding freedom, independence of Tibet.

  31. MIPHAM
    You are here talking and acting like typical Chinese Communist Government. Although, i don’t believe in religion at all, i think people have the right to believe in whatever they want. Isn’t that what we are fighting for too (Religious freedom).
    For Communist Chinese, Religion is poison as well. Look at the mirror and think. I think Dalai Lama made a big mistake to ban shugden. IF he was right, then Chinese in CHina must be right to ban Religion in Tibet as well.

  32. Samten,

    As previously mentioned, this is not a forum to discuss Shugden issue. Consequently, your latest comment has been removed and won’t be published.

  33. A friend of mine just sent me a selection of translations of the comments on “Karmapa…” on Woeser’s blog:

    Jamyang la,
    The comments section of the Chinese translation has what you’d expect: (these are quick summaries of some, not precise translations): A warning that Woeser has caused problems for dissident readers (she’s not really in the midst of struggle);

    Jamyang Norbu doesn’t talk about the earthquake because some of those fleeing it encountered looting Tibetan “dogs”

    Let Woeser go help the Tibetans. We await her sacrifice.

    China wants to use the Olympics to present itself as an angel of peace while putting guns to Tibetans’ heads; is it possible? Are 1.3 billion people such idiots?

    [in response] yes, it’s possible–they’ve been patriotically educated to [death].

    Bullshit guerilla fighter. Isn’t that just a rebel bandit.

    Etc. At least they’re not calling each other Shugden supporters,like your other readers!


  34. Samten,

    Thank you for taking the time to explain in detail your reasoning and thoughts on Shugden.
    I had a chance to read it before it was removed.

    Unfortunately, I am still unconvinced.
    If anything, your piece reaffirms my stand. That it is all a fictional creation of human mind.

    Our government’s handling of the shugden issue is just one of the symptoms. The fundamental underlying issue is its tendency to rely on religious beliefs and rituals to decide Tibetan policy.

    The main theme of this article is “WHO IS GOING TO SAVE PEOPLE=TIBETANS?”
    As I see it, in the long run, only a sound Tibet policy of the government can save the people.

    Sound policies CANNOT BE MADE if we base our decisions on NECHUNG ORACLE, or devination, etc.

    Sound policies are made by analysing concrete historical facts, international relationships, the policies and movements of the countries and major powers that matter to Tibet and prevailing international trends in thoughts and policies.

    The current shugden calamity became an issue exactly because the government and HH was basing their decision on oracles, superstitions. There is not one concrete, objective proof to prove that this is a REAL, TANGIBLE, OBJECTIVE thing.
    If the government had ignored what the Shugden people did, they could have done nothing.
    Just because the government made an issue of it, it became an issue.

  35. Tsering, regarding my previous comment: Over my long involvement with the Tibetan freedom struggle, I’ve made many close friendships with Tibetans who’ve come from Tibet and spent most of their lives there. Among those I know they consistently have a deep connection to the urgency of the Tibetan struggle, the need for it to take priority over abstract ideals like world peace and enlightenment, and a solid understanding of how China consistently lies and manipulates.

    Surely there are many bright folks in exile too, especially among the youth. But after all if the TGIE is supposed to represent and act on behalf of the people of Tibet (not the people of Dharamsala and Bailakuppe and Mundgod and …) then shouldn’t it be made up of people who actually have first-hand experience of life in contemporary Tibet? They’ve shown us their patriotism and resolve with this year’s uprising. Isn’t it time to give them the respect and representation they deserve?

  36. THe incidences in Tibet after the coomeration of this years 10th march litreally sparked a sense that Tibet will soon be free of chinese occupation. The world community and the media was there to spur our dream of free Tibet and perhaps many of the capitalist Tibetans had their nightmares of leaving their capitals behind.
    Daramsala became a kind of media hub with reporters lingering around with a nose for possible breaking news.
    So on and so forth it went on for some time until the infamous torch turned up in Delhi fearing Tibetan presence that could result in its death in river dirty Jamuna.To the disappointment of pro Tibetans and the consumer of breaking news, not much of news was made out of it except the traffic jams, people being not able to reach the places in time and some mundane things.
    So all in all more than 200 Tibetans with roseries in their hands were butured by chinese with machine guns and still the exact number of Tibetans killed in Tibet is indefinit and uncertain.
    Than the news of typhoon in the ill faded Burma came and the numbers that came out of it is much more higher. Some hundred and fifty thousand of people were killed under natural disaster. The numbers as compared to the sacrifices of Tibetans in Tibet has become morbidly small and as a result the international community or the media shifts its attension to the number games, more the numbers, more the income; and some death of human right champions are not enticing or worth a news.
    And to make the matter worse came the chinese earth quake and with the death of some 70000 of them they have stolen the show. As you wrote, now there is mention of crying chinese parents, hu-jin scrambling in the scene all those communist stuffs and their propaganda in the form of humanity.
    Than came the ‘uninvited guest’the British soccer fans. Some 50000 of them goes to Russia to witness a football match between two of their famous clubs and made a news. Tibet?
    The bomb explosion in Jaipur has some figures to state. Some 50 to 60 people were killed and hundreds injured.
    From South Africa came a news of riot with numbers too. Quite a lot of people from neighbouring countries were mobbed and killed. Many of of those escaping the warth of the natives are in refugee camps and their numbers went to some 50000 and it was on sale too.
    The big number sells like a hot cake and small ones are destined to be like a piece of small hard and blac tingmo from cst schools.
    Is it the game of numbers that count? If it is the case than where does Tibet with just six millions of Tibetans stand? In china the number of people made homeless after the quake touches some FIVE MILLIONS

  37. Lennon,

    You are right. It is a numbers game for the media. And don’t think all the so-called shocked caring people who spoke about such disasters in Burma and in Sichuan could really give a rat’s posterior about anybody in those places. World outpouring of grief is simply part of the spectacle and most are only too happy to play their role of “concerned global citizen”, so long as they can return to watching American Idol tomorrow evening.

    But for Tibetans and those who genuinely care, Tibet and the recent crackdown is understandably central. As for numbers, no one will ever know until a free Tibetan government in Tibet could be able to organize an accounting of the attempted genocide perpetuated by China, including figures from this year’s Chinese crackdown on this year’s resistance.

  38. Who is the real Gyawa karamapa??? I think both are fake reincarnation of previous one.Otherwise, Jesus Christ would have done that. I hope that Tibetan will wake up from the reincarnation curse.

    Again, We Tibetan need help on stopping reincarnation practice. This is 21 century. Hopefully, Dalai Lama will do it if is wise enough.

  39. Regarding Shugden, Buddhism and different sects. Whether we are against the ban, for the ban, indifferent to it, who cares.
    Nobody’s perfect.
    Sugden followers aren’t perfect, Dalai Lama followers aren’t perfect, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not perfect, you or I aren’t perfect, you root guru or your parents are not perfect. Why all the anger wanting others to conform or wanting approval and acceptance.

    Let’s move on. One’s spiritual practice is personal, keep it that way.

    I practice Buddhism, and if only the Buddha was like a loving father to me, and if you pissed on the Buddha’s picture, and told me he was deranged, selfish asshole, who abused his wife and abandoned his child. It’d bother me, no doubt, but after a while, I’d get over it.

    We are all different, that’s the beauty, if we can accept that.

    The one thing we can all come together on is the freedom of Tibet, which is the utmost importance, so let’s keep working on it.

    And if Tibetan freedom is not important to you, then you got it made man! you got nothing to worry about, just keep practicing your practice, stay out of the way, and you’ll be enlightened soon.

    apoligies if I sound full of myself and opinionated, I’m feeling this way right now.. I’m not perfect either, but I’ll get over it.

  40. Hi Rich,

    I see your point. I think anyone who is capable, no matter where he/she is from should have the chance to represent in TGIE. As the saying goes “amei bhu la jontang yoedna gaden tri la dakpo med”. Although I wonder what happens if it is ame bhumo who has the jontang.

    But I agree with you completely. Some of the Tibetans who were educated in Tibet that I have met are very secular minded and are able to see things through.

  41. Dawa,

    I believe that the Karma Kagyu people get to decide who is the Karmapa and it appears the Urgyen Trinley is accepted by far. Whether or not you think reincarnating beings are important, it is a part of people’s belief systems. You don’t have to agree, (I certainly don’t agree with all of the aspects of such beliefs), but it does benefit all of us to at least understand.


    Hoo Rah for you. I think about religion in the same way. I practice Buddhism, but it is my own deal. Others may or may not. That’s fine. Other Buddhists may or may not like what I do, nor me what they do. So what? As my ancestors used to say “Everybody has their own way.” What we can agree on is the necessity of an independent Tibet.

  42. Hi folks, ‘words are sheer bubbles, implementation is the real gold”.
    Without a single reservation,I agree that Rangzen is the best goal for all of us,no single Tibetan has ever doubt about it even in his or her dreams. And we all know that rangzen could not be granted but to be fight for, Now tell me, cowards and parasites, how many of you can sacrifice your worldly comforts, at the worst, give your life for the cause?

    it was not fair to use sacrifices of Tibetans in Tibet to back up one’s dry philosophy and imaginative ,idealistic thoughts.

    Please do it to prove it.

  43. Phuntsok J.

    You sound little bit egoistic here. But anywhere as you have said “One’s spiritual practice is personal, keep it that way”. Let it be that way.

    Looks like you are ready to worship a ghost. Then see who will take care of the ghostly problems? You will be too busy in your own lost word but others are suffering because of you.

    Learn to put others first and see how much it benefits them.

    Hope this will help you to broaden your outlook.

  44. Jamyangla, thank you for the article and I think it was a great idea to have a website of your own where you can submit your articles as you like.

    I didn’t even bother to read through the comments made by the other readers because I strongly feel that they are focusing on you (& your personal life) rather than TIBET (which is the focus of your article).

    Without many words, I think Tibetans outside of Tibet are SPOILED REFUGEES. Being able to live a good life is what every one wishes but Tibetan refugees have already achieved a subsistence standard of living but we still lack in our efforts towards helping the Tibetans in Tibet. Our leaders and people seems to be dettached from the reality. People talk about saving the culture, religion, and what not but if viewed realistically, we need our country to save or conserve them in the long run.

    I will end here. Thank you for the article. hey, it atleast got something people arguing even if not for the right reason. You are making a change. Keep it up. Thank You.

  45. People dont get confused with “personal” Personal means not to have monasteries..etc. Nor should we have Rinpoches…. However, obviously, our Tibetan Buddhism has been institutionalized by politician for a long time. The real Buddhism is not to pray for Statue and follow Buddha’s message and his philopsophy. But our Tibetan Buddhism is close to Hinduism. We are not actually practicing BUddhism, but Hinudism. All those prayers and reincarnation stuffs are Hinduism. Wake up.

  46. Kunsang Dorjee,

    Even if you can’t make a big contribution towards the cause of Tibet but don’t hurt the pride of the Tibetan refugees here in India, who are making some sort of contribution in their own way. Staring from the 10th of March, I have witnessed the Tibetans all over the rising up against the Chinese atrocities inside Tibet. Are you in deep slumber at the time?

    Next time, please show more maturity. Don’t set the bad example for the young guns of Tibet.

  47. Some accuse JN of writing empty words and not doing anything concrete for Tibet.
    I think writing, especially writing with such erudition and sophistication as he does, takes up a lot of your time and efforts.
    JN’s writing is not a wide sweep of the broad sword. It is the artistic use of the fine tipped rapier. A lot of research and deep thinking goes into writing such sharp, clear sighted piece.
    His work inspires and stimulates people into thinking.
    To mobilize the mass to fight for Tibet, we first need to be able to think effectively. Effective thinking is possible only when people have read/heard all sides of the story. JN provides us with that extra angle.
    What more concrete contribution do you (those who accuse him of empty words without action) want from him?

    Some of the comments have such offensive, shrill tone directed at a personal level. And many of the comments are so judgmental. Just by reading one comment of a person, they seem to think they can label the person as “egoistic”, “immature”, “dreaming in a different world”, “setter of bad example”, etc.

    Let us not start mud slinging contest in public. It is not called for and there is no need for such personal attacks.
    I hope I am right in saying that we are all here writing our opinions because we all care deeply about Tibet. In our own ways we want to make a difference.

    Let us put forth our comment in a constructive and objective way, without labeling others as this or that.

  48. Chime,
    I know you’re from Dhalahousie HP India, Center school for Tibetans. You were some who ate tingmos and since you oppose the Tibetan government and His Holiness so vehemently, may I ask how have you been able to stand own your own feet without their help, a helpless Tibetan refugee kid who no one was interested in looking after besides the kind hands of His Holiness. You always bring up Dhogyal and here again you have started this on this page. His Holiness, who always has our best interest in his heart, preaches moving away from spirit worship and move our Tibetan Buddhism toward a more pure and doctrine guided form of Buddhism. Why do you constantly insist on spirt worship, we as a culture have moved forward and evolved past these things. Also, His Holiness words have such gravity that even the Himalayan Buddhist sects who practiced blood offerings to the divine have stopped doing this because his word of practicing more internal development based Buddhism rather than focusing on rituals. Why focus on this when our brother and sister are suffering such harsh lives in Tibet. Why while all these are going on, do you try to start petty agreement and bring unnecessary disruptive noise in our community. Don’t be petty.

  49. Kelsang
    You have a misconception. So called TGIE was using the name of Tibet to rule and control Tibetans in exile. The refugees were helped not because of TGIE but because Tibetan has been refugee. The majority of Tibetans in Tibet don’t reconize TGIE at all.

  50. Hey Jampa,
    about worshipping ghosts, I don’t know where you got that from, maybe you misread my note. Anyway, about sounding egotistical, you might be right on that, thanks for the advise, I’ll check myself next time.

    By the way, everyone speaking of music videos,
    just for fun, a couple of friends and I shot a music video for youtube with Paljor Phurbatsang and his song “Rangzen”, a popular exile song from the “Rangzen Sontsa” album. We hope you enjoy it.

    go to the youtube link below to watch.



  51. Tsering,

    I can sense something, whether right or wrong, when the writers like Jamyang Norbu, through their tireless research on Tibet have got the ability to make constructive suggestions rather than going completely against it.

    But what about your opinions. You are nothing more than a chinese to me because you are always against the TGIE and giving more importance to the spirit worshippers, feigning innocence on more than one occassion. What a selfish nature you have got!

  52. I have always enjoyed reading Jamyang Norbu’s thought-provoking articles. I’m also a big fan of Somerset Muagham, and I see no difference between the two.

  53. Samten
    Stop accusing people just because he posted his opinion. Those old tactic to destroy people from Dharamsala had been obsolete. People are smart enough to see the truth. Nobody can fool nobody anymore.

  54. Tingm o

    I am not only accusing but giving another dimension to the way we think. Whether I am criticising or attacking, it should not make so much of difference to others and their way of life. Afterall, Jamyang lak has put forward this blog for others to discuss and express their feelings.

    I will continue with my stance keeping in mind the realities of life and their harsh way of beckoning you once in a lifetime.

    By the way, feel free to use your good name. There is nothing much to hide. “People are smart enough to see the truth. Nobody can fool nobody anymore.”

  55. I have a sense that we are the only ones who are doing somethig for our Tibetan civilization.
    Remember the majority of our Tibetan People are living in our historical land, fighting for the same cause as we are……We have a lot to learn from the way our Brothers and Sisters inside Tibet Fight…
    Watch this…

    Inside Tibet. Tibetans are talking in Tibetan, Writing in Tibetan, and Fighting in Tibetan.
    What does that mean to us???????

  56. NAWANG
    You were wrong. Inside Tibet, Tibetans are talking CHinese and writing Chinese. Wake up from you dream.

    giving another dimension and ACCUSING SOMEONE are totally different things. You might have learned that from Dharamsala that ACCUSIng people and distorting information is giving another dimension.

  57. Tingmo, idiots like you who ridicule the people of Tibet are the scum of exile society and TSGs. Frankly you have no idea what you’re talking about. Have the events of the past three months made no impression on you at all? Do you actually know people in Tibet or from Tibet? Or are they just “dirty sanjor”?? If you think so little of them, why even bother with the cause of a Free Tibet? Go get fat and rich in the West and make yourself happy and stop detracting from the work of our valiant freedom fighters who continue to sacrifice everything to keep their country alive.

    Bod gyal lo!!

  58. hay please control your emotion. I am here to discuss not to fight.

    RICH I thought you are a highly educated person, but obviously I was wrong.

    I was born and grown up in Tibet and my parents are still in Tibet. If my words and my voice made me an idiot, then I have nothing to say.

    BTW, I can tell you never been to Tibet. You are totally brain wash by Tibetan Government. Make no mistakes, I am against Chinese Government like you, but I can differentiate Propaganda from REALITY. if you don’t beleive me, go to Tibet and take a look at yourself. Didn’t you see on TV. Those courageous monks protested and spoke in CHinese???

  59. Tingmo, I’m sorry if I misjudged you, but it seems we’re both guilty of the same thing. Maybe we could try to understand one another a bit better.

    Could you clarify what you meant by your abrupt comments to Ngawang about people in Tibet using Chinese? To me it sounded like ridicule and disrespect for the people of Tibet, but I guess I was too quick to judge.

    As for the courageous monks you’re referring to, both the group at the Tsuklakhang and the group at Labrang spoke Tibetan until they realized that the reporters could understand Chinese but not Tibetan. Then some of them switched to speaking Chinese for the sake of getting their desperate message out. This hardly sounds like using Chinese by choice, but rather as a result of the journalists being linguistically unqualified for reporting in Tibet.

    If you’d like to see for yourself, watch this video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=qEWFy7u8Skc

    And regarding me, if you read some of my other posts on JN’s blog I think you’ll see that I’m not a very big fan of the TGIE. I’ve spent about 3 months in Tibet which is nowhere near enough, but it means I’m not completely ignorant either. After being there, baseless stereotypes about people in/from Tibet are a lot more of a hot-button issue for me, so that’s probably why I snapped at you.

    I hope this response helps make amends.

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