Making The November Meeting Work

October has been a stressful month. First there was the news of His Holiness being taken to Ganga Ram hospital. I overheard it when my mother-in-law was listening to Radio Free Asia (RFA) in the kitchen. The newsreader reported that an unnamed source, a doctor at the hospital, said that His Holiness was suffering from acute abdominal pains and was going to be operated on. A sinking feeling came over me. In the Tibetan world any mention of abdominal pain or disorder is usually bad news — namtok. To make matters worse the newsreader mentioned an official statement from the Private Office claiming that His Holiness was going to the hospital for a routine matter or something like that, and that there was nothing wrong with him. I immediately became suspicious. “They’re covering something up”, I thought.  The sinking feeling got worse.

I’m sure all Tibetans, especially those who were close to him in a spiritual way — those who had taken religious teachings from Him — were absolutely shattered. I felt awful but my concern was perhaps a shade more political. “What’s going to happen to the Tibetan society?” I thought, “What’s going to happen to the exile government? What’s going to happen to the struggle?”

It’s not that I hadn’t considered such an eventuality before. I had discussed post Dalai Lama scenarios in a number of articles including a commentary for Newsweek International. But hearing on radio that His Holiness was being rushed to hospital made it all so immediate and real. The recent death of His brother Taktser Rimpoche added to the sense of inevitability.

The government-in-exile and Tibetan society is, of course, completely unprepared for the time when His Holiness will not be with us. One can assume with near certainty that the exile-government has no contingency plan for that eventuality. Burying its collective head in the sand is almost reflex-action in the leadership in Dharamshala, when faced with a crisis.

But such gloomy thoughts were dispelled somewhat when I recalled that, about a month earlier, an announcement had come from Dharamshala for “a special emergency meeting” to be convened in November. The timing seemed almost serendipitous. His Holiness had called the meeting in light of “the serious situation inside Tibet”, and in the hope of getting some ideas and suggestions on what the Tibetan government could do about it. But considering that the future of the exile government, the institution of the Dalai Lama and in fact the history of our nation was inextricably tied up to “the serious situation inside Tibet”, I was sure there would be room for discussion of fundamentals, rather than just minor quibbles over who should head the next delegation to Beijing, and stuff like that. Or that was what I thought.

On going over the news reports of this November meeting in I came across this transcript of a Voice of Tibet radio interview with Prime Minister Samdong Rimpoche. On being asked if the “emergency meeting” could change the course of the official position of genuine autonomy, Rimpoche replied, “We are committed to our middle way approach and we will continue our efforts for a genuine autonomy within China’s framework, and that will not change.” Rimpoche conceded that various opinions and views within the Tibetan community would be discussed.” What Rimpoche appeared to be saying was that opinions could be expressed but they would change nothing. This was going to be a high school debate.

I telephoned a friend of mine in Dharamshala. He told me he had also been troubled by Samdong Rimpoche’s statement and had attempted to convey his concerns to the Dalai Lama. He did not get an audience but was able to pass on a message through an official. He received a reply that His Holiness was genuinely seeking new ideas on what could be done about “the crisis inside Tibet”, and that participants should not feel that their contributions would not be noted or considered.

I became convinced that the uprisings in Tibet this year, the brutal Chinese crackdown and the complete failure of the negotiation talks have now convinced the Dalai Lama that he must seek new solutions. His calling for an emergency meeting was heartfelt and, possibly, a cry for help.  Although I hadn’t been invited I immediately wrote to the Tibetan Parliament about my intention to participate in the meeting.

Then on October 25 His Holiness, speaking at the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV), made it absolutely clear that though he had been sincerely pursuing a Middle-Way policy in dealing with China, the lack of any sincerity from the Chinese government in the dialogue process and the worsening state of affairs within Tibet following the widespread anti-China protests had made it impossible for him to continue with his current policy. “I have now asked the Tibetan government-in-exile, as a true democracy in exile, to decide in consultation with the Tibetan people how to take the dialogue forward”, the Dalai Lama said.

A news report from Dharamshala stated that “The future course of the Tibetan movement, including the possibility of a historic switch from demanding autonomy to a demand for full independence, will be the focus of a special meeting next month of around 300 delegates representing the worldwide exiled Tibetan community. ‘The only non-negotiable aspect is that the moment will still be non-violent. Everyone is agreed on that,” the Dalai Lama’s spokesman Tenzin Taklha told AFP.’”

As encouraging as his Holinesses words were, I knew I would be well advised to temper my optimism with an appreciation of the ground realities of exile politics. One could not ignore the entrenched vested interests in the Tibetan political world that wanted no rethinking, much less a relinquishing of the Middle way policy.

It was on the radio, RFA again, I think it was, where I heard a leader or spokesman for the Tibetan People’s Movement for “Middle Way”, being interviewed about the November Meeting. (I am not sure if the Tibetan People’s Movement for “Middle Way” has anything to do with the “The First Conference on Mass Movement of the Middle Path” which was held at Dharamshala in February this year. Samdhong Rimpoche delivered the principal address at this conference).

The spokesman for the Tibetan People’s Movement for “Middle Way”, declared in the interview that even a discussion about changing or reviewing the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way policy was unacceptable and disloyal to His Holiness. The spokesman, Bhu Yonten, spoke about an effort made some years earlier by a few Tibetan parliamentarians to table a motion to  “review’ the Middle Path Policy and how that had been stopped by the “people”. (In point of fact the MPs withdrew their motion because of intense harassment, intimidation and threats of mob violence.) Bhu Yonten said that in the November meeting there should be no criticism or discussion of the Middle Path Policy of the Dalai Lama. The spokesman did acknowledge people had the right to express their views in a democracy. He also mentioned that his Middle Way Movement was organizing workshops (zap-jong) to educate the public about the Middle Way.

I am very familiar with Dharamshala street politics and such terms as “people” and “mass movement” and zap-jong are largely euphemisms for rabble-rousing and mob violence. From some of the reports I later received from Dharamshala it appears that such “workshops” are already beginning to poison the mind of the older generation, the simple palas and amalas you see walking around the Lingkor, against those younger activists who organized and participated in mass protests and marches for Tibetan independence this year, and who are now being represented as opposing the Dalai Lama’s wishes.

As I mentioned earlier there are entrenched vested interests in the Tibetan political world who want no rethinking, much less a relinquishing of the Middle way policy — even when the Dalai Lama himself, the author of this policy, wants a review and reassessment of the policy, and has clearly called for this.

The Tibetan People’s Movement for “Middle Way” appears to be linked to other organizations in Dharamshala, like the Cholka Sum (Three Provinces) and the Chigdri Tsokpa (Cholsum United Association) which are generally behind the ultra-partisan politics, the hate campaigns and mob violence that typifies Dharamshala politics. The leaders of these organizations are mostly mediocrities (petty traders, habitual mahjong players and the like) incapable of organizing or leading any real political movement or campaign.

I remember in 1995 interviewing Bhu Yonten, the Middle Way spokesman, for the newspaper Mangtso (Democracy). He was then one of the leaders of a Peace March to Tibet called for by the Cholkha Sum organizations.  A lot of money was raised from the public for this project. Just as the march commenced it was announced that the goal of the Peace March (initially Tibet) had now been changed to Delhi. Halfway to Delhi, at Ambala, the march-leaders hustled everyone on buses claiming that they had to meet the Dalai Lama (on his return from a foreign trip) in New Delhi.

It is might be noted that such yahoo politicians do not seem to be the only ones with a vested interest in misrepresenting the Dalai Lama’s statements or promoting the “Middle Way Policy” for self serving reasons. A report in on a recent Tibetology conference in Paris (Nov 4), provides a few examples how even experts and academics (both Tibetan and inji) might be possibly heading in the same direction. Some excerpts:

Robbie Barnett from Columbia University “pointing at the ever present photos of His Holiness amongst the protesters said a conclusion that they supported the Middle Way policy of the Dalai Lama can be made.”

“Dr. Lobsang Sangay talked about the history of negotiations between China and the Tibetans said that ‘he still has not lost hope in a negotiated settlement provided Tibetans can be more flexible and the Chinese side less suspicious.’”

Though on the surface it appears absolutely antithetical, a more careful assessment reveals that Beijing unmistakably supports the prolongation of the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Policy. Though China’s leaders are clearly unwilling to make even the tiniest of concessions to His Holiness, it absolutely wants the Dalai Lama to cling to the hope of negotiations. We have all been aware for sometime now that the Chinese leadership have come the official conclusion that the issue of Tibet would be over once the Dalai Lama died. They appear to have further decided that their policy should be to keep the Dalai Lama hopeful of some kind of resolution on the Tibetan question, thus frustrating the efforts of Tibetan nationalists, till his Holiness died. The whole issue of Tibet would then be definitely finished.

Wang Lixiong, one of those Chinese intellectuals that the Dalai Lama in His TCV speech mentioned as supportive of the Middle Way policy, wrote in a recent article “Tibet-China Talks Dead-End” that “Beijing sees the talks as an end in themselves. They do not need any resolution, and do not want any resolution, just the process is enough. From the start, their objective was to prolong the process as long as possible.”

Of course, the overwhelming majority of people subscribing to the Middle Way Policy are not tools of Beijing’s conspiracies nor self-serving politicians. They are just ordinary Tibetans completely devoted to the Dalai Lama who genuinely want to support a policy they believe His Holiness has implemented for the happiness and welfare of the Tibetan people.

It is therefore imperative that in this November meeting, such honest and loyal Tibetans be made to clearly understand that the Dalai Lama is not calling for people to choose between Rangzen and the Middle Way. He is not conducting a loyalty test.  As His Holiness himself declared at TCV, he has become disillusioned with the Chinese leadership and feels that they have been consistently lying and deceiving him; all the while the people inside Tibet are being subjected to unimaginable fear, suffering, violence and oppression.

The crisis the Dalai Lama is now confronting is strangely similar to the situation he faced before March 1959. After making genuine attempts to cooperate with the Chinese occupation authorities, and repeatedly calling on the Tibetan people not to oppose or fight the Chinese, he realized that the Chinese had been systematically deceiving him. That realization made him change his thinking completely, as he has done in the last few months. The only people then who wanted him to continue cooperating with the Chinese and work towards the establishment of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, were officials and lamas like Ngabo, Phakpala Khenchung and Phakpala Gelek Namgyal.

Andru Gompo Tashi, Amdo Jimpa Gyatso, Pamo Kunsang, Tsarong Dasang Dadul and all the others fighting for Tibetan freedom in March ‘59 could be accused of trying to stop the Dalai Lama from cooperating with the Chinese, and even more of physically preventing him from attending the cultural show at the Chinese military headquarters, that he wanted to attend. But, of course, their courage and sacrifice clearly saved the life of the Dalai Lama. And though Tibetan independence might not have been realized then or in the following years, they created the conditions for us to set up an exile government and carry on our struggle even now, fifty years later, not just inside Tibet but all over the world.

If we had not fought the Chinese occupation army and had instead chosen the path of cooperation, I think it can be said with near certainty that His Holiness would not be here with us today. Most of us, or our parents, would have died of starvation, disease, exhaustion or  a bullet in some wretched laogai camp. There would be no Tibet issue in the world, and our culture and religion would only survive, perhaps, in Ladakh and Bhutan, and some remote parts of the Himalayas.

It is important for people to realize how truly fortunate it is that we can have this critical meeting in Dharamshala, at a time when His Holiness is still with us. After the death of Taktser Rimpoche  and His Holiness’s own recent medical emergency in October, no one should take it for granted that such a moment would be there for us in the future when we need it most.


90 Replies to “Making The November Meeting Work”

  1. Great article Jamyang. Hopefully the TGIE will take note of current developments in American politics and realize that sometimes, when the situation is so undeniably odious, the more the change the better.

  2. Jamyangla,

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

    The Tibetan community in my region had a meeting yesterday to gather the voices of the average Tibetans. It is evident that the local representative of the HHDL office was subtly influencing people into believing that Middle Path is the only viable option left to us.
    Not surprisingly, overwhelming majority of the people ended up repeating the same thought as outlined by him.
    There is this subtle, but unmistakable thought manipulation on the part of this particular official. He said it was his own thought, but considering his position, he should have kept quite until the end. But he aired his thoughts at the beginning of the meeting, thereby setting the tone of the meeting.
    Anything he had to say was bound to impact the decisions of the average Tibetans present there and it did.
    I am very afraid that we will contnue to stick to the same old policy, even when HHDL have exlicitely said that it has failed.

    It is as if people think that the purpose of this meeting is to show unconditional support for HHDL’s middle path. And that if everyone of us did that, then China will be kinder to us!!!!
    But where is the guarantee?
    It is the height of stupidity for us to continue to tread this same path when the main advocator of Middle Path himself have given up on this particular approach!!!
    It is as if we are saying ” HHDL, you don’t want to pursue this any longer, but we want you to continue pursuing it because we have faith in you (regardless of whether you have faith in your approach or not)”.
    But where is the logic…what is the point of placing our faith in an approach (Middle path) which the main advocator himself has no faith in? More importantly, how can we continue to force him to continue to stick with middle path in the face of the recent very public statements he made referring to failure of his dealings with China?

    Jamyang Norbu la,

    I am going to Dharamsala in the capacity of a private participant. I would like to get in touch with you urgently (through email) to disucss our mutual stands and see how we can complement each other, and how we can strengthen our voices…..for there are strong indications that anyone who speak for something other than middle path are going to be in the minority…..extreme minority.. from my experience with the recent community meeting.

    Could you please send me an email to my private email address mentioned below?

    Thank you

  3. Jamyang la,

    Following is what I have sent to phayul and WTN. Lets keep working for Rangzen!

    It has now been more than 21 years since His Holiness the Dalai Lama first
    proposed in Washington DC the Five-Point Peace Plan for Tibet; 20 years since
    the Strasbourg Proposal to the Members of European Parliament; and almost 30
    years since the “direct contact” between Dharamsala and Beijing was first
    established. Like most Tibetans, I have been waiting all these years and hoping
    that something good will come out of all this. So, the other day when His
    Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his lack of confidence in the Chinese
    leadership because of the absence of any positive response from them, I said to
    myself, this is what I feared.

    One of the fundamental requisites for any successful dialogue is a genuine
    desire on the part of both parties engaged to find a solution. I, for one,
    believe that China, from the very onset, never intended to find a resolution.
    Why would they? China is already in full control of Tibet -the land and its
    people. This was and continues to be a sinister ploy on the part of China to
    buy more time hoping that the issue of Tibet will disintegrate and disappear
    once His Holiness passes away.

    I have always believed in leadership through the power of truth – the truth
    about Tibet. The truth that Tibet was an independent nation until China invaded
    in 1949. I have time and again heard His Holiness state that truth was on
    Tibet’s side and that ultimately truth will prevail. So, around 1979 when His
    Holiness announced that He was giving up Tibet’s independence in favor of
    a “Middle-Way” approach, like many other fellow Tibetans, I was overwhelmed
    with confusion, not knowing what to make of it. As time passed, I realized that
    this was a compromise to save Tibet and Tibetan culture by a sincere and a well
    meaning leader who had the best of intentions for the welfare and wellbeing of
    both the Chinese and Tibetan people.

    In 2000, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, emphasized the
    importance of truth to a gathering of students and faculty members of Hampshire
    College. I asked him why he was preaching ‘truth’ when one truth is that the
    organization that he represents passed three resolutions on Tibet, and that
    even after 40 years, has failed to act on any one of them? His response to me
    was, “I wish I could say that this world is perfect……that truth always
    prevails.” This was a very instructive moment for me because what he was
    really telling me was that in this imperfect world of ours, where policies and
    decisions are dictated by self and national interests, TRUTH DOES NOT PREVAIL
    but truth needs to be lived, nurtured and secured. If Tibetans truly believe
    that Tibet was an independent country and wants to be independent, we have to
    dream RANGZEN and then live that dream. Or else, as the Chinese say “a
    thousand lies make it true” and then there is a real danger that Tibet will
    cease to exist one day.

    Whenever one makes an argument for Rangzen, the inevitable counter argument is
    that Rangzen is not “realistic.” In His Holiness’s Strasbourg Proposal,
    referring to his idea of Tibet becoming a self-governing political entity in
    association with the People’s Republic of China, He states, “I believe these
    thoughts represent the most realistic means by which to re-establish Tibet’s
    separate identity…..” I believe that the introduction of the word “realistic”
    in any discussion about a nations’ future, and especially in our ongoing
    struggle for self determination, is very disenfranchising and disempowering.
    What is unspoken but clearly communicated is that we should give up the idea of
    Rangzen because Rangzen is not realistic. The only way to make any crucial and
    complicated mission “realistic” is to believe and live the dream. Only then
    will the dream have a chance of becoming a reality.

    Imagine if some 47 years ago, President John F. Kennedy believed that it was
    not “realistic” to dream of going to the moon. The first space walk on the
    moon never would have happened. Imagine if 61 years ago, the Indian leadership
    and its people believed that seeking independence from the British Empire was
    unrealistic because ‘the sun never sets on the British empire.’ India perhaps
    would not be an independent country today.

    Thinking about Rangzen, my memory goes back to my early years as a child at TCV
    and later as a staff member, when we were all unified in our mission and belief
    in Rangzen. The students, parents, cooks, teachers, nurses, and office staff –
    we all knew that whatever each one of us was doing at that time, it was in
    preparation for that beautiful dream of Rangzen. We were unified and strong in
    our belief in RANGZEN. We did not know then how and when Tibet would regain
    its Rangzen. Yet, I know for sure that it gave us all a tremendous sense of
    pride and purpose. It was this sense of unified belief and purpose that
    propelled us to be recognized as one of the most successful refugee communities
    in the world. Today, when I visit the settlements and schools in our community,
    the loss of that sense of unity and direction is apparent.

    November 4, 2008 was one of the most beautiful days in my life. Even though I
    could not vote, I celebrated the victory of President Elect Obama. His victory
    was historic and showed once again that it is important to dream big (without
    letting reality limit your dreams) and to live that dream. Nothing is
    impossible. Remember, this was a country where about 44 years ago people of
    African heritage did not even have the right to vote. Back then it was
    considered unrealistic and inconceivable that one day a black man would become
    the President. Today Barak Obama is the 44th President of the United States of
    America. That dream has become a reality. One of the main reasons that this
    dream became a reality today is because the people of African heritage believed
    that all human beings are created equal and they lived that dream. Of course
    all this did not come soon or easy, but there is a lesson that Tibetans can
    take away from this. Today’s dream can become a reality tomorrow. If we dream
    Rangzen and live that dream, no matter how hard or how long the road ahead may
    be, one day, one day Rangzen will become reality! RANGZEN – Yes We Can!

    A special meeting will be held later this month to confirm our mission and
    renew our dreams. As His Holiness said, “when all is said and done it is for
    the Tibetan people themselves to decide about their collective future.” I thank
    His Holiness for this opportunity. I call upon all Tibetans to speak out and
    participate in this historic meeting. Let not your hopes and dreams be limited
    by reality, but guided by truth. I recognize that it is possible that I may not
    see Rangzen in my life time or, for that matter, in my children’s lifetime. But
    I would be proud to have left the Rangzen legacy for future generations of
    Tibet and will take comfort that one day, Rangzen will become reality. This
    past spring, Tibetans from inside Tibet have spoken. Now is our time to say
    loud and clear in a unified and strong voice –RANGZEN! YES WE CAN!

    The author can be reached at

  4. Dear Mr. Norbu,

    This is in reference to your article titled;“Making the November Meeting work” dated 9th November, 2008, published on both your personal website as well as another web portal.

    I am currently serving my third term in the Tibetan Parliament and will certainly fit in as a member of what you have chosen to categorise as “Tibetan political world” more so because I have consistently advocated the Middle Path Policy as this has proved to be the most comprehensive in not only meeting the PRC’s challenges but also in compelling many nations to take a stand on the Tibetan Political Issue, especially India. I was extremely shocked and deeply distressed to read the statements, which can only be described as defamatory in nature, repeatedly made by you with regard to Tibetan politicians in the following excerpts:

    1. “One could not ignore the entrenched vested interests in the political world that wanted no rethinking, much less a relinquishing of the Middle Way Policy.”,

    2.“As I mentioned earlier there are entrenched vested interests in the Tibetan political world who want no rethinking, mush less a relinquishing of the Middle way policy — even when the Dalai Lama himself, the author of this policy, wants a review and reassesment of the policy, and has clearly called for this.”,

    Speaking in an individual capacity, I find your accusation of “entrenched vested interests” highly objectionable as it casts aspersions on my personal integrity especially in the discharge of my duties as a Tibetan Parliamentarian. Therefore, I am seeking an immediate and detailed clarification on all the public fora that you have chosen to publish this article failing which I shall be compelled to take legal recourse.

    Yours sincerely,

    Gyari Bhutuk,
    Bangalore, India

  5. Thondup la,
    Great article.You are absolutely right. We are the custodians of the truth of Rangzen and even if TRUTH DOES NOT PREVAIL right now “truth needs to be lived, nurtured and secured.we must work”
    Keep in touch
    Yes, of course, we can!

  6. Lovely, I think Gyari Bhutuk just proved JN’s point by threatening to sue JN. At least it’s a little bit more civilized than inciting mob violence or threatening people behind closed doors, but it’s still the same old mentality of attacking your critics instead of listening to their legitimate grievances.

    Get over yourself! This obsession with protecting your reputation (or your warped idea of “Tibet’s reputation” or “HHDL’s reputation”) at the cost of six million Tibetans’ futures is selfish and destructive. Step down and give this struggle to people with the dignity, composure, and vision to see it forward.

  7. Dear Jamyang la,

    I have always admired your frank and forthright views in all your articles. You are a true PATRIOT. In this article, I agree with you 110% out of 100. Please keep up the good work.

    Wish you all the best always,

  8. november meeting should never be allowed to be hijacked by petty interests of groups or individuals or whatever.
    HH Dalai Lama has rightly called for this meeting as time is really ticking for Tibet. Of course not all MPs or Kalons or groups in Dhasa or elsewhere have vested interests but some do, if not, why have our elected MPs so far as not called on for such meeting before, it was only done by HH for the people of Tibet for Tibet.

    For this meeting, everyone is equal and should have their say in the broadest context to reflect back on, replenish our strategy and resurrect our struggle in one unified way.

    Middle way, despite being the most conciliatory and practical approach has failed, China has made clear that what we are seeking in middle way is out of question. HH also said it is not working and has asked for people to say what they want.

    All Tibetans, including HH, I believe has Rangzen at heart, now it is time now that we claim back for Rangzen for not just immediate effect but for wider and longer necessity of our national struggle.

    Going for Rangzen doesn’t mean we don’t have any more trust, faith and respect in HH, ofcourse we do, our struggle is with China and China understands only Rangzen, as even for Middle way they calls it independence in all sorts of form, don’t they??

    All Tibetans have unbreakable trust and faith in HH, but this should not be expressed in, as well taken as continuous support for the middle way approach!!

    Clearly this is a political struggle of our nation, not a struggle of our faith in HH, people don’t get confused, don’t get blind faithed, it is the future of six million Tibetans, bring it on Rangzen and lets be united!!!

  9. Dear Jamyang la,

    I’m looking forwards to see you take advantage of this important meeting. Although this meeting is not going to make change in policy of Tibetan Government but this is important avenue for all those talks too much from out side. This will give a real sense what majority of Tibetans wish to attain. I always see people talk too mush and when time come to show up they never come. Jamyang la, I must say that in the past you are one of those who talk or write something from back door and when time come to show actual test you always fail to make your presence and express your views in public. I hope you and other Tibetans who talks too much will definately attend this meeting. Don’t say that Dharmsala leaders are not ready to make a change. We are democracy and we have certain rules and regulations to make a change in our policy. Kalon Tripa or Chitu Tsoktso can’t force to prevent change. If majority of Tibetan wish to change the policy there is way in our Charter. Chetus has to act according to peoples wish.

    I hope Jamgyang al and company will attend the meeting and make your presence felt during the meeting.

    Thupten Ignyan

  10. A major turning point: this morning, China Central 4 television, broadcast live on Chinese Information Office of Chinese and foreign reporters a press conference, the United Front Work Department, Vice-Minister Zhu Weiqun, to introduce the just-concluded negotiations with China, Tibet, he was really rude, and his combative rhetoric, Venerable Lama is not only insulting to carry out (such as “harboring evil intentions” and “stupid” and “a pack of lies” and so on), and totally denies Deng Xiaoping said that “in addition to what can be discussed independently,” the Tibetan-Chinese relations have been completely Broke down! ! ! ! ! Chinese hypocritical mask has been torn! ! ! !

  11. As an outsider, I find these discussions most intriguing. Judging when to negotiate and when to fight has always been the most difficult decision in any prolonged conflict. The case of Tibet has always intrigued me, not because I view (as many outsiders do) Tibet as a romantic cause, or because I attribute unusual sanctify or spiritual virtues to Tibetans, but because I see in it a straightforward case of ordinary people confronting implacable geopolitical bullies. When you are attacked by an overwhelmingly superior force, and have no reliable allies, what do you do?

    I think the Dalai Lama’s strategy was right for its time… his image of saintliness and nonviolence created a global profile for Tibet and won it some friends, when a conventional resistance movement would have remained obscure and unnoticed in a world full of them. Without him, Tibet’s plight would have remained just another local issue, like the unrest in Xinjiang, that the world cared nothing about.

    But the strategy could never actually exert any significant pressure on the rulers in Beijing, who are not about to be driven out of Tibet by mere embarrassment. Other strategies are now appropriate.

    The Dalai Lama cannot suddenly turn around and start breathing fire… it would simply precipitate a huge disillusionment among the outsiders whose support he has won, and perhaps among many Tibetans, as well. It makes more sense to work towards a more hard-nosed and confrontational strategy among the rank-and-file of young Tibetans, without focusing on the Dalai Lama’s role. Let his saintly image remain untarnished. He did his job. But now there are obviously other jobs to do, by a different generation.

    The odds are still heavily stacked against the Tibetan people. If they are to win through, it’s going to be because of unusual cleverness and subtlety, not because of mere willpower or bravado.

  12. Dear Jamyang la,
    Thank you very much for sharing your ideas and opinion. I have recently read ” Buddha’s Warrior”, where author narrates the last minute mess our Tibetan elders made at the eve of chinese occupation, specially by those in power. The secrecy, the confusion, the fear, appeasement and worst… their total failure in figuring out what to do. While the eastern Tibet was burning, those in power in Lhasa were divided. In the end, when nobody could handle the pressure, they all turned to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at time just sixteen years old boy.

    As I watch the coronation ceremony that is taking place in Bhutan, I was just wondering, what went wrong with our country Tibet, its people, the system. There is only one conclusion, I guess, we failed to learned from our past experience and history.

  13. Dear All,

    I am addressing all those who have reacted to me under various pseudonyms but all of whom I am presuming are fellow Tibetans! I believe that establishing one’s own identity while expressing such strong opinions would have been admirable. One automatically finds the courage when armed with the truth! The reason I sought a clarification had everything to do with attempting to establish the truth about the Tibetan political establishment. However, after reading your responses, especially the disillusionment with the Tibetan Government that one mentioned, perhaps an explanation as to why I took the step I did might just be in order. Otherwise, it would have defeated the very purpose that it set out to achieve!

    Like most Tibetan youth, my teenaged daughter too avidly follows the progress of the Tibetan Issue and seeks answers to her many queries. She follows the exploits of youth like Lhadon Tethong and Tenzin Tsundue with a lot of interest and enjoys analyzing the views of writers like Mr. Norbu and others. Unfortunately for us, our family time last Sunday was ruined when she came across the objectionable article penned by Mr. Norbu. As a daughter, she was justifiably shocked and took affront at the easy manner in which the writer had chosen to discredit the entire Tibetan political fraternity, her father being a member of the same. A student of law, she took the statements as being defamatory and thought it highly unnatural that such irresponsible statements simply went ignored. I cannot honestly say how I would have normally reacted, if at all, but seeing through the eyes of an idealistic child, it was eventually my call to make – should I chose to shrug it off as “best ignored” and inculcate the same attitude in her or should I encourage the uprightness of youth in her which upholds moral integrity above everything else? If there was a slight hesitation on my part in opting for the latter, it was with regard to Mr. Norbu’s family. After all, the one and only thing that we share in common, besides being Tibetan, is that we are both family men.

    If the unsavoury language in some of the reactions to my note are anything to go by, I am further convinced that I made the right call. Mr. Norbu and his ilk must surely realize how much of an influence they exercise on the thinking of the Tibetan Youth and it would be playing with nothing less than the future of Tibet if they allowed their words to get ahead of themselves. I must admit to being rather surprised, however, at the meagre reaction this has elicited given the large readership and fan following at his command. I also wonder if they are not feeling a trifle let down by the constant venom being churned out for their consumption. If anything, I truly hope that I might have helped Mr. Norbu in realizing that the double-edged sword that he is brandishing may drive a wedge in our society at a time when it most needs to stand united. As someone who has freely shared his views and opinions on how best the Tibetan Issue can be resolved, this scenario could certainly not have been what he had hoped to achieve!

    To conclude, I am loath to seek legal recourse but do it I will, if only in the hope that it will serve as a deterrent to unthinking mischief makers who not only seek to destroy the credibility of the Tibetan Government but, and this I consider more dangerous, also to play with the impressionable minds of our youth . It could not be too difficult for Mr. Norbu to oblige with a clarification. Coming as it will from a man who has always had a way with words, I am sure that it will be awaited by many with a great deal of anticipation.


    Gyari Bhutuk.

  14. More from you tube, ( english translation also )

    Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun, the deputy head of the United Front Work Department in persona …..”why are you asking chinese people to accept the so called “middle way approach ” which is clearly design to split the country” …….. and follows other similar tune like when asked on Deng shao ping’s famous phrase -other than Tibet’s Indipendence every thing can be discussed. He simply rejected ….”actually Mr Deng Shao Ping never said this and this is an disposition ( of Deng shao Ping’s remark……. and goes till nausea. Tibetan delagate Sithar has his turn of lecturng need of more patriotism fro HH the Dalai Lama himself.

    We all know these thing are going on but seeing yourself is a different and moreover that was suppose to be a press conference. Actually I posted here specially for those tibetan like Bhu Yonten the spokesman for the Tibetan People’s Movement for “Middle Way” and alike. See yourself and think ?

  15. Gyari Bhutuk, JN does not seek to destroy the credibility of the Tibetan Government. You have already done a fine job of that yourselves, by constantly being self-conscious and defensive about every little criticism. This is not the way for dignified leaders to behave, and quite frankly the ONLY dignified politician I can think of in Dharamsala is HHDL.

    At a time when hundreds of thousands of patriots all across Tibet were rising up and risking their lives because the Chinese occupation is no longer bearable and because they need real change in order to go on living, petty politicians in Dharamsala were spending all their efforts not supporting these brave people, but instead issuing useless statement after useless statement denying the Chinese allegations that the TGIE or HHDL was behind the uprising – as if the uprising was some sort of crime or dikpa. In short, you were worried about your own reputations, not the betterment of the people whom you claim to represent.

    If your daughter had to face this reality, so be it. Maybe you should face it too. Nothing JN has written is defamatory, much less libelous, because (1) it does not name any particular person, (2) criticism of people holding political office is always protected speech in a society which values freedom, and (3) what JN wrote, quite simply, is true.

  16. One piece of advice – the more time you spend challenging and denying your critics, the more legitimacy you give them. This applies to JN, to the Chinese, and to the Shugden folks.

    If you think JN is wrong about you, then don’t argue with him and threaten him, prove him wrong by doing something that really benefits Tibet.

    If the Chinese are wrong in claiming that HHDL organized the “riots”, don’t argue with them; ignore them and use your time and energy to do something productive!

    If the Shugden loons are wrong in claiming that HHDL and the TGIE infringe their religious freedom and incite mob violence against them, then don’t argue; instead institute strong policies to make sure that doesn’t happen, and let them look like fools when they continue to claim that it does.

    I am not Tibetan and have no wish to see the failure or embarassment of the TGIE. However, I do have very strong reasons, both moral and personal, for wanting to see real action on the ground situation inside Tibet, rather than pandering to American, British, Indian, and exile-Tibetan interests. What good is stopping demolitions and evictions in Majnukatilla if you can’t stop the demolitions and evictions in Lhasa? PLEASE, for the sake of all we care about, get your hearts and minds focused on TIBET!

  17. Gyari Bhutuk, I am sorry that this article, the writings of one man on his own website, succeeded in ruining your family time. I am sorry that your zone of comfort was temporarily shaken by taking such personal offense at one man’s opinions that you would take legal action and attack freedom of speech, one of the very things that Tibetans fight to attain.

    I myself am quite attached to my family. We are very close knit, spending much time together discussing culture and current events.

    But,perhaps you should consider other families, other than your own. Perhaps you should consider the families in Tibet whose children were being shot and killed, whose brothers and sisters were disappearing, whose parents were being dragged away to prison and still are. Perhaps you should consider the impact that the so-called “Solidarity comittee” had on these family men and women who do not have the luxury to sit in a free country sipping tea and discuss and disagree upon essays posted on the internet.

    Perhaps you should consider the millions of parents, teenage daughters like yours, cousins, siblings, in Tibet hoping desperately that Tibetans in exile and the Tibetan administration would join them in their call for freedom and justice. Perhaps you should consider how their hopes for a strong statement of support, for protests to bring the world’s attention and the action of politicians, were shattered by the “Solidarity Committee” demanding that fellow Tibetan protesters stop using words like independence. Perhaps you should consider the sense of betrayal they felt by members of the Tibetan government and supposed “Tibetan support groups” twisting their words and claiming that these people being shot in the streets, risking their lives screaming “Ngatso la rangwang go” (We want Freedom) were in fact saying that they only wanted autonomy within China. Perhaps you should consider the impact, the emotion of risking one’s life to send a message to the world, only to have that message hijacked by people claiming to be your allies.

    So before you think that the offense of your teenage daughter, whom I am sure you dearly love, is important enough to deny Jamyang Norbu La the right to freedom of expression, I would like to leave you with the name of another Tibetan Teenage daughter, who was also deeply loved by her family and also felt strongly about the Tibetan political Struggle

    Lhundup Tso, 16, shot by Chinese forces on March 16th, 2008. Amdo Ngawa.

  18. There is a news piece on phayul today about China blaming the failure of 8th round of talk on HHDL . This isn’t a surprise to many of us; China has blamed all the past 7 failed talks on HHDL, and will continue to blame on Him.

    Now if you go back to JN’s reference of Lobsang Sangay’s irresponsible comment on above article: “if Tibetan side is more flexible and Chinese side less suspicion…” which he made at recent Tibetologists conference in Paris and connect them together, it doesn’t require one to have an Einstein’s brain to think: China maybe right, the fault must have been HHDL’s. Tibetan side must have been ‘inflexible’ for the talk to succeed.

    Lobsang Sangay’s comment is very likely to put to ordinary people’s mind to rest as to whom to blame for the lack of progress on Sino-Tibet talk who are hitherto at loss to identify the odd party due to distortion of real picture behind the talks so far by Chinese side and their heavy propaganda. The benefit of doubt favors China – why shouldnt they be ‘suspicious’ if Tibetans are in ‘inflexible’.

    One of the reasons why this upcoming November Meeting was called by HHDL is because He’s giving up on China; He now wants Tibetan people to decide what course of action to pursue.

    HHDL tried everything to appease China: working within their Constitution; agreeing to Chinese claim over Tibet; willing to carry Chinese passport, etc. All failed. Even His own brother, late Takster Rinpoche, once blamed Him for “selling Tibet”. He has any left to be flexible.

    It’s extremely irresponsible and destructive to make such comments as “ if Tibetan side can be more flexible….”, when there’s hardly any left. It sends a message to ordinary people that Tibetan side is still withholding something.

    If one is to be hopeful of settlement of conflict, it’s solely depended upon China. The ball is in Chinese court. Tibetan side gave everything.

  19. This is crunch time for Tibet, let’s focus on that and not give Beijing a helping hand by squabbling among ourselves! Jamyang Norbu is a legend, the article is another masterpiece and yes indeed he does have tremendous support and influence among educated Tibetans. Why? because he dispenses the bitter pill called TRUTH!

  20. The most depressing thing is when fellow TIbetans try to shut each other up. Jamyang Norbu la’s article is great and we are lucky that his intelligent words make impression on our youth. It is high time that our society produce more of Jamyang’s “ilk” as the gentelman above calls it.
    The ilk that our society has managed to progapate mostly so far seems to be lots of little piss ants whose hackles are raised by little things or most of the time no reason at all.
    Read again Phil Paine, Rich and Sarah’s posts. They are not TIbetans but are people who are concerned about truth and justice.
    Let’s end the flip-flopping and keep our minds focussed on Tibet’s independence.

  21. I have a doubt that the Fairbank Centre for East Asian Studies at the Harvard, where Dr. Lobsang Sangay does ‘research'(if I am not mistaken), is under the heavy influence of the Chinese government. By the way John King Fairbank, after whom the centre was named, was a Sinophile, and would do anything to advance the interests of the Chinese people, sometimes at the expense of the Tibetan people…Read his book “The Great Chinese Revolution” and you will realize how much he was bewitched by the Chinese and how much respect/contempt he had for the Tibetan people…

    Lobsang Sangay’s comment that “negotiations have a chance to succeed provided Tibetan side could be more flexible” is irresponsible and highly repulsive…what more flexible can we be, now that we have even literally licked the ass of the Chinese government….

    I hope Tenam has misquoted Lobsang Sangay, if that is the case then Sangay should come forward to clarify, because what he says will have a strong influence on impressionable and gullible young Tibetan students…After all whenever Lobsang Sangay visits Dhasa, he is always invited by the Tibetan students in TCV to give lectures on Tibet, and these students look up to him as role model…

    I recall a lecture given by Sangay at the Department of Information and International Relations a few years ago, during which he said “we Tibetans can hope for a negotiated solution to the Tibetan problem during the 2nd term of Hu Jintao’s presidency”. At the time, Hu Jintao was just “elected” as president, and Sangay said “right now Hu Jintao himself is not secure in his position as he needs to consolidate his power, so he would not dare to resolve such contentious issues like Tibet…In the second term, we can hope to see a negotiated solution to Tibet, as by then Hu Jintao would have consolidated his position and have the wherewithal to deal with Tibet”…

  22. I admire Norbu la for this straight talk. If anyone who says anything Norbu la.
    I will challenge it.

    Now is the time for Tibetan to rethink for a new direction. China has unequvically stated there is no “Tibet issue”, what they are talking with the envoys is for the personal future of Dalai Lama.

    What the heck of this guy Gyari Bhutuk is talking about? So self fish, baseless and why dont you sue the Chinese govnment, who even says govnt in exile is illegal. I support what JN has written, his article is a voice of those voiceless tibetans. His writing reflect many truth in exile politic of petty bickering and personal vegeancy. Tseten Wangchok of VOA, while commenting on U.S democracy says in Kuling , that what Tibetan can learn from U.S democratic process is to make a distinction between politics and personal issues. Much of exile Tibetan political problem resulted due to this mixture of personal issue and politics.

    let take the tibet issue on our shoulder and let unburden HH Dalai Lama’s heavy responsibilities.

  23. Gyari groups are one of the family who wish to remain in power in all account despite their nepotism and curruption affairs of Pema Gyalpo. It all started with Gayri Nyima the bogus Lama.

  24. Dear Gangkyi/bodjong ,

    Your insinuation is subtle but might bring confusion in many. If you are not 100% sure that’s simply not fair . Even if he does work for the Fairbank Centre for East Asian Studies how can you doubt his sincerity. When you are pionting a finger toward someone remember that you should be pointing four fingers to yourself at the same time. From the google search the only connection you can find with lobsang sangay and the Fairbank Centre for East Asian Studies is as follow.

    Conference: “Autonomy in Tibet”
    November 28 and 29, 2007

    In 2002, Harvard University began hosting a series of conferences to promote substantive discussion among Tibetan and Chinese scholars on issues critical to modern Tibet. These gatherings were designed to promote the exchange of constructive opinions and dialogue on contemporary issues, facilitating face-to-face exchanges in a positive, academic environment, and allowing for discussions on such wide ranging issues as the environment, education, literature, culture, and Tibet’s rural and urban economies.

    On November 28 and 29, 2007, the sixth conference in this series, “Autonomy in Tibet,” was held in Room S250, CGIS South Building. Funded by the East Asian Legal Studies Program at the Harvard Law School, the Harvard University Asia Center, the Isdell Foundation, and the Fairbank Center, and organized by Dr. Lobsang Sangay, research associate at the Harvard Law School, this meeting focused scholarly attention on the issue of autonomy and its divergent social, cultural, and economic perspectives.

    The November conference was the subject of an article in the January 9, 2008, issue of Time Magazine written by Thomas Laird, author of The Story of Tibet: Converstations with His Holliness the Dalai Lama, who wrote:

    Since 2002, a little-known academic ritual has taken place each year at Harvard University. Academics of every stripe, from historians to constitutional lawyers, gather to discuss Tibet’s past, present and future. Uniquely, these intellectual debates have brought together Chinese and exiled Tibetan scholars. In the real world, the simplest facts about Tibet are so divisive that dialogue is impossible. Chinese speak of the 1950 peaceful liberation of the Chinese province of Tibet, and of its subsequent modernization; Tibetans speak of the invasion of an independent nation, and the suppression of its religious and cultural traditions. The polite rules established at Harvard, however, at least allow the two sides to exchange views. In fact, a senior Chinese scholar attending the first Harvard event met with the Dalai Lama’s envoy. That secret meeting birthed the official Sino-Tibetan dialogue between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and the Chinese government, which still takes place annually in Beijing.

    [The Fairbank Center is grateful to Mr. Laird and to the editors of Time Magazine for their kind permission to reproduce the above excerpt.]

  25. Robbie Barnett sent me an email stating that he had been misquoted in the Phayul report that I mentioned in this post. I think it is important to be fair and give Robbie an opportunity to clarify his statement. I particularly want to do this since although I disagree with many of Robbie’s statements and positions these day, I can never forget the tremendous contribution he made to the cause of Tibetan freedom when he was director of TIN

    Dear Jamyang

    I just saw your article on the Special Meeting, which I found interesting and
    useful. I saw you mentioned the reference to my speech in Paris that appeared on
    some sites, so I am copying you one of many letters of correction that I sent to
    those sites (see below). None of them carried it unfortunately, so I am screwed – I
    am at the mercy of whoever wrote this piece, which is really unfortunate. I can’t
    say that their work was appalling, but it was truly unfortunate – they took one
    sentence out of a very extensive presentation and even got that sentence wrong.
    Several people at the event pointed out to me that it was not what I had said.

    But I must say, this person did much better than the student at Princeton who wrote
    an article about a talk I gavethere, where she got every single sentence wrong.



    —– Original Message —– From: “Robbie Barnett”
    To: “WTN-editors”
    Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2008 7:07 AM
    Subject: Re: [WTNN] World Tibet Network News — November 4, 2008

    Dear Editors,

    Thanks for printing the Potala Times article on the “Spring Revolt of Tibet –
    beyond the clichés”.

    In that article it was reported that I had said that the Tibet unrest this year
    a sign of support for the Dalai Lama’s Middle Path approach. But in fact I said
    that this was only one of several interpretations, albeit a very important one.

    For example, I showed film and stills of protestors waving the forbidden Tibetan
    national flag, and noted that this is very likely to mean that those protestors
    demanding acknowledgement of Tibet as independent in the past. It could also mean
    that those protestors are demanding independence in the future as well.

    I also showed film and images of pictures of the Dalai Lama that were used very
    widely during the protests and noted that, because many people in Tibet know
    the Dalai Lama’s position through broadcasts by VOA, RFA and VOT, this could
    indicate support for his proposals too.

    I showed slogans from protests that expressed quite different positions as well.
    would guess that the majority focus on calling on His Holiness to be allowed to
    return. Often people in Tibet, like all of us, have more than one view or wish,
    are ready to accept whichever is practicable. Hopefully in time we will get to
    learn more from people inside Tibet so that we outsiders will gradually become
    better informed. Since no-one has a monopoly on understanding what the demands
    wishes are of different people inside Tibet, I wanted to suggest that we need to
    keep in mind the full range of those complex, well-informed and often very
    sophisticated proposals and wishes of Tibetans people inside Tibet, and that was
    what I had tried to convey at the meeting.


    Robbie Barnett

  26. Robbie,

    Reading your letter, I don’t think it does much to exonorate you. The fact of the matter is that you’ve taken very simple acts with a very simple, undeniable message, and obscured that under a huge analysis of possible shades of meaning. When you tear down the flag of “your” nation and raise the banned flag of a nation that no longer exists, the meaning is dead simple.

    The idea that any Tibetan would risk their life doing an act which could be misinterpreted as “separatist” when they actually want to remain part of China is utterly preposterous. Your obfuscation of this simple reality behind many layers of words is irresponsible and does not serve anyone’s interests except the Chinese, and maybe some cynical world leaders who’d like the Tibet issue to remain in stalemate in order to carry on their dirty deals with China.

  27. Bhutuk,

    Issuing threat with monetary and legal power to silence criticism shows utter lack of personality from your side. You are no gentleman. You are a coward!! Indian style politician that you are. Issuing threat with an expensive legal action which normally favors those with money in India. And you know the conclusion before hand. You want to rein in your Indian politician friends to destroy a genuine Tibetan like JN. Good luck brother. You are a traitor whose nation takes a back stage when it comes to saving a family’s honor. Democracy without a criticism is a sham.

    You are dwarf when compared to JN. He has served the Tibetan government and cause for decades. For doing that, he had to suffer emotional and physical abuse. JN gave so much to the Tibetan cause. What did you do aside from coming to Dharamsala few times a year for a meeting and then falling back into you expanive businesses in India? Coward!

    I must tell you as said by Rich that criticism of your government whether valid or otherwise is a constitutional right. If every crticism is followed by legal actions, then even 5 billion lawyers is not enough!! JN’s criticism of Tibetan exile parliament is legitimate one. I know from my own experience that there is so much of regional bickerings in our exile politics. Many of our parliament meetings in the past were nothing more than “Dalai Lama loyalty competition.” Reading by the tone of your writing, it seems there is much to hide from your side. Otherwise why should you be offended when you are “clean”.

    I know your family is rich and have lots of questionable money. If you think your money will silence the voice of Democratic dissent, you are obviously wrong!! Lastly, if you want to follow me with legal actions. Bring it on!! I will give you my phone number, address and even send you a picture.

    Save our democracy!!

  28. Dear Robbie Barnett,
    JN talks highly of you for your past supportive role for Tibetan cause. That seems history now. Your comments following this spring revolt in Tibet have left many of us with more questions than answers. It’s one thing of being ‘politically correct’ with TGIE, but being ‘politically correct’ with Chinese govt is entirely different. Following your speeches, comments and teachings, it seems you are becoming the later also. Educators playing politics is the last thing we all expect.

    I have read several books on Tibet’s history and politics. Some of them were written by people who had visited Tibet, lived there and saw the country inside out much before Mao had even dreamt of becoming the ruler of China, let alone his dreaming of invading Tibet some day. Nowhere have they written or mentioned about situation serious enough in Tibetan history when serfs had to stand up against the ruling class. I wonder why did you include “When serfs stood up in Tibet – a report”, by Anna Louis Strong, in your syllabus at Columbia? We all know very well about Anna Louis’s background and her relations with Chinese communists during Mao’s time. If we started to discuss about her it will only lead to conclusion that she was a moist ‘saleswoman’ (or spokesperson) rather than a historian.

    As a Tibet expert if you knew something about Tibetan history that Sir Charles Bell or High Richardson, for example, did not know, please tell us. Otherwise your inclusion of distorted history of Tibet by moist propagandist in itself is greatest disservice to Tibetan people, their cause, and their history of which you claim to be an ‘expert’!

  29. Topten,

    Seems you are pretty much impressed by the Chinese scholars and experts at the Harvard…Read their papers and articles, you would then know their prejudices and contempt for the Tibetan people…As experts, they are always subtle, unlike the propaganda dept. of the Chinese communist party…

    Read Tsering Shakya’s Blood in the Snows, a rejoinder to an article by the respected Chinese writer Wang Li Xiong…He said, “asking the Chinese scholars and writers to have an objective analysis on Tibet is like asking an ant to lift an elephant”. In other words its impossible….

    No wonder there’s not a single Chinese writer so far who recognizes that Tibet was historically an independent nation, brutally occupied by the Communist CHinese regime.

    As far as Thomas Laird is concerned, Iet me inform you that he tried to sue His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a US court, regarding that “historical” book….He doesn’t even read and write Tibetan, so you shouldn’t give much weight to his “historical” work…Of course you can enjoy the book while travelling on train or plane….


  30. I have noted during my active interest in Tibet that Robert Barnnet often claims his weasel words of misrepresentation on Tibet, and the political objectives of its people, are misreported. He seems to have specialism in deception and distortion, having for years consistently denied the reality that Tibetan women were subject to the horrors of forced sterilisations, when he was aware of detailed information and evidence to the contrary. He moved on later to disort the facts about the nature of protests inside Tibet. Painting them, with a thick layer of concealment, as being disaffection with economic conditions, Tibetans were not it appears stuggling for independence, but improvements in economic status. One had thought such imperialist propaganda was the preserve of Xinhua.

    Jamyang does Barnett a great honour in recognising his efforts for Tibet during his time with the thankfully defunct TIN. I personally know Tibetan women whose lives have been forever traumatised by China’s unique form of ‘birth-control surgery’ who have little to thank ‘Robbie’ or that organisation for!

  31. I was also kind of ditressed when Robbie made the statement or rather his statement appeared in the press. I agree with one of the commentator above, “educators also play politics” because they want to present themselves as unbiased if they teach their students from different sources even the sources are so bogus and unreliable. Maybe, even helpful in saving the very career give a life for them. At end of the day, educators are spared of accussation if they teach both in their courses by any parties. The fact is what is fairness?


  32. it must be formost aims and obejctive of Samdhong
    Rinpoches and his team to bring HH Dalai Lama in his Lifetime to Lhasa. It is not favour for china aber a favour for Tibetan people inside Tibet.

    After HH Dalai Lama no one can lead tibetans in exile in right path. it will be very difficult for Samdhong Rinpoche to unite exile and tibetans inside Tibet? if Samdhong dont feel this urgency?
    why has china urgency? it is better for china to wait and see but better for Dhasa to handel it with most urgency. longterm strategie dont help Tibet… India took 200 Year to get independence. It is too late for Tibet… dont wait..move towards Lhasa. If Dharamsala canot handel with China? ask India to help to work out solution for Tibet as adviser? dont wait! do some thing!
    something is better than nothng? Quesztion for Samdhong Rinpoche and his team?

  33. it must be formost aims and obejctive of Samdhong
    Rinpoches and his team to bring HH Dalai Lama in his Lifetime to Lhasa. It is not favour for china aber a favour for Tibetan people inside Tibet.

    After HH Dalai Lama no one can lead tibetans in exile in right path. it will be very difficult for Samdhong Rinpoche to unite exile and tibetans inside Tibet? if Samdhong dont feel this urgency?
    why has china urgency? it is better for china to wait and see but better for Dhasa to handel it with most urgency. longterm strategie dont help Tibet… India took 200 Year to get independence. It is too late for Tibet… dont wait..move towards Lhasa. If Dharamsala canot handel with China? ask India to help to work out solution for Tibet as adviser? dont wait! do some thing! something is better than nothng?

    Question for Samdhong Rinpoche and his team?

    Wangyal Germany

  34. a special meeting of the young tibetan leaders n thinkers with various expertise is a great idea but because it’s a meeting that happens once in a long time its scope and capacity to help awaken our sleeping dumb(politically) brethens is very limited and not far reaching.

    so the greatest idea is to open up a rangzen workshop or school and run it from monday through friday for 2 or 3 hours everyday with all the rangzen advocates/fighters/advisors/directors/teachers and expertise(both domestic and foreign) with one month syllabus/computers/inspiring books/video shows/tests/exams.
    the classes will be repeated with improvement from 1st of every month till we realize our rangzen dream. students will be different every month.

    rangzen students will learn why we must stand for independence n not middle way, what can we achieve and what we cannot achieve, the hardships and uncertainities and what the ultimate price for freedom is.

    once these rangzen teachings enter and stay in the tibetans’ brain mechanism it is there to stay forever. no one can rob them of this conviction. no chinese can deceive them any more. no dalai lama can influence them to embrace their enemy. no middleway traitors can fool them. independence is half won.

    class capacity 100 to 300 students. age limit- below 45. atleast one school in dhasa.
    those tibetans who are in the west can do this without much difficulty. their dollar will talk and walk too.


    most of the tibetans say middleway not because they are unpatriotic but because they are politically naive. they can’t think on their own. they are just faith driven.

    some say middleway because they feel it makes them look good n loyal(in the eyes of the public) to the dalai lama. this is the yes sir/yes maam selfish group. we need to whack these insensitive slaves. show no respect to them whatever their post might be. excommunicate and ostracize them and their families.

    there is another group-the chinese agents who with their smile, play the game of deception with the public mind by raising false hopes n causing division amongst us. these are traitors. n punishment must fit the crime.

    i m ashamed coz the the tibetan brain refuses to be awakened.

    i m ashamed coz the tibetan mind refuses to go through the ordeals of emancipation.

    bleedingtibet..good job.

    end the occupation.

  35. gyari(chinese blood) bhutuk,
    watch your threats. it will boomerang!
    what can we tell those tibetans with next to no education on their political naivity if this is coming from modern educated, wealthy and power holders like you gyari clans in tibetan politics? despite all that you are all a bunch of losers, a bunch of yes sir yes madam selfish groups who cares only about being at the top regardless of what the ordinary tibetans are going through in tibet n in exile. u dont even care the destruction of your own educated dreams n views of an independence struggle and and an independent tibet as long as you and your families are at the top. sellers of souls! remember what goes up comes down. what goes around comes around. even in other democracies it is customary to criticize the whole administration( rather than name one or two individual) for its failings.. people in the administration do not take it personal. look at america they rather take it as a general democratic political exercise to correct the defiency in the administration. they take the punch as a team. n try to correct the shortcomings as a team. learn from them. grow up old boy!
    if you think you can cowdown jamyang norbu with your legal threats you are wrong.
    if you think you can bully him because he is just a writer(not a thug) you are wrong.
    remember it doesnot take more than the determination of one individual like me to drive you to the chinkland where chinks like you belong. dont tell us you are historically half tibetan. you have proved yourself complete nationalistic chink. this fact will be released in our community to alert the masses about the dangers of chinks in kashag/administration.
    i have never seen jamyang norbu or lhasang tsering in person in my entire life but from their writings, speeches and works and service to our commuinity i can tell tibetans like these are very rare even today(even after 50 years in exile and modern education). they are not perfect. but they are rare. they speak up their mind for the good of our people and independence regardless of the personal losses and consequences. therefore as a pure tibetan i am extremely upset by your childish behaviors.. atfirst i thought it was a joke. now i realize its coming from the gyari families of sidekicks/chamchas of the middleway/chinese way. people like dorji youdon from nyarong i admire, not you guys however rich n powerful you may be.
    enjoy your wealth and your life and be responsible and accountable. or just disappear.

  36. All social systems have cracks in them. The greatest danger is trying to band-aid them up with negative words rather than positive actions. SO much energy poured into exercising personal displeasure! But then again, maybe it is good to hear or see in print what is hidden in so many hearts – to speak for those souls who will never have the chance to fight back with education, cause they must use all the energy they have … just to survive.
    So instead of the educated fighting among themselves, with who is wrong, I told you so, and that definitely will not work…. can’t they put their heads together and come up with a social plan to help at a psychological level …. for those who are so physically exhausted by making a living that they often have no energy to even express what they think. There are so many of them…. OUT THERE.

  37. westlookseast or phd lobsang,
    before we launch a struggle against the chinese empire we need to launch a struggle amongst ourselves, against the position of indecision on the part of our leadership regarding the goal of independence-the key to the survival of our culture, people and nation. this is the first and the most important step. however favourable the wind may blow if the ship doesnot know its destination it’s as good as useless. wander! keep drifting! in the sea of chinese urine.
    we as a people and govt must struggle for independence for 2 basic reasons. 1)our cause is a struggle for truth and justice, not some business dealings where you just go changing depending on profit or losses. do not imply independence is illigitimate by saying autonomy is legitimate.
    2. to me this is even more important than the first one. in politics independence is not given free or on some compassionate grounds. and we are dealing with one of the most evil regimes in the world. countries dont have permanent friends or foes but pemanent interest. destruction of their interest or profit motive-economically/politically/militarily can be the greatest cause or reason for the conquerer to give in to the demands of the conquered. middle way fails here coz it cares for the chinese interests too.
    we allow ourselves to be deceived by china for so long. i am ashamed of being a tibetan–ashamed to the point where today i cant even blame the chinese but ourselves. they know our weakness and have fooled us all all these six decades. seeking independence doesnot mean there can be no dialogue. look at palestine and israel. they do not like each other nor do they pretend they like each other. they hate each other. it’s clear. but they talk. becoz of the real life pressures from both the sides. and life goes on with all the uncertainities such a struggle entails. no room for deception though. palistinian people atleast know the politics of freedom struggle. kudos to them!
    there are very few people who believe in the middleway from the heart. it’s their genuine belief. so let them be. we need to awaken the confused and the faith driven who form 90% of our population. their belief in middleway is not genuine like his holiness.
    i dont care what a big house lhasang has built for himself or what digits in dollars jamyang norbu is making in america or what region or religion they are from or atheists so long as they are doing what they have been doing since 1969. and they are good at what they are doing. giving speeches or lectures is work. writing articles or books is woork too. brave thinking is the greatest work they have done all their lives incurring personal losses. in our community there is a dearth of people like them with great skills in their respective fields. so if any physical harm is brought to them, i for one am not going to take it lying down. if we lose these two spokesmen tibet will be even poorer.
    now we must start replacing somehow the gyakpons, thumis, chimis all those petty above 50 green brain magjong addicts/leaders.

  38. Yes, I do see the wisdom of arranging one’s own house before trying to clean up the neighbors. But just because our chairs are all facing the wrong direction does not mean we don’t have the right to protest the height of someone else’s tables.
    Survival of a culture depends on the team work of a crew and not on the direction of the ship. Useless wandering might not be so bad if it allows a way to survive. Be careful of being bedazzled by light house beacons, remember they are there as warnings of danger.

  39. survival of a culture or success of a culture depends BOTH on the direction(political destination or goal like independence) the ship takes(unchanging) and the teamwork of its crew. non stop drifting is bad, as bad as inviting doomsday for the whole people. after about a few months to a year the crew(with no direction)will run out of supplies and death of a culture is bound to happen. unless ofcourse u r a man vs wild expert or u suggest we go cannibalism but that’s defeating the very purpose we have in mind. already more than 10 million chinese settlers inside tibet. 3 million in siling alone. drift for another 20 to 30 years with all the rationalization you are capable of and we will witness another manchuria, another inner or southern mongolia. another red indian fate where u (if u and your family r lucky) live on some reservation and bus loads/train loads of tourists will pull up to you so they can enjoy the museum piece called the tibetan fate-one without a goal and one without a fight. u still call this survival?
    its pity our govt wasted a lot of resources on your phd. come back to india(to redeem!) by serving just 2 years(!) in our commnity. looks like this is your own suggestion somewhere! act on it!

  40. I see that you are going on the assumption that westlookseast and Lobsang Sangay are one in the same. So, just to set the record straight – sorry to disappoint you – but this is not so. In fact he is probably not even aware of my being in the middle of all this.
    As far as I know, Lobsang Sangay went to Harvard on a Fulbright scholarship and that is definitely not sponsored in any way by the government in exile. I can’t answer for the rest of his life but I would like to point out that at this moment in history Tibet needs all the outside help it can get. And even more important, it should be Tibetans that organize that help. I assisted that workshop given in Paris and from first hand experience I can assure you that his presentation and presence help push the Tibetan cause outside of the university context that it was given in. So when a Tibetan goes “home” and when he does it, is often a road that neither you, I or him/her can trace out in advance. So don’t judge one by how fast one walks the path but rather by how long he/she stays on it.

  41. Here we are judging strategy according to a goal.
    And if the goal is simply survival, a ship like a sail boat depending on the direction of the wind? Strategy might just mean designing the proper boat to with stand the forces of time. Would this be unacceptable solution in your eyes?

  42. is expecting your teenage daughter (who has no interest in medicine whatsoever) to become a doctor ok with you? is it fair? will she put effort to become something in the field where she has neither interest nor goal in the first place? strategy or policy follows along the line of a goal or aim which we do not have as a people.
    if i come to your bedroom and say lets go! what are the natural legimate fair questions that would pop up in your head? where! to the everest or goa beach or bodhgaya! how many days or weeks! what with this arangement or that! the first thing u need to know is where! the political goal/destination. to lick and embrace the forces that pukes oppression n deception on you and your people is neither wisdom nor anything divine. just plain stupidity. the need to beautify somebody’s image or spiritual illumination can not be satisfied at the cost of the supreme right of a people to determine the life of their own country however primitive they may appear.
    survival depends on whether you make that dash and not on sitting in the corner hoping and waiting the big hungry cat might change its mind or become vegetarian! there is nothing more frustrating than folks not sensing the sense of urgency until the terd is at the tip of the rectum.
    despite fifty years in exile n modern education and exposure to the outside world the tibetan brain still refuses to undergo positive changes. with your green brain it’s better you back to tibet running after the cattle and welcome another mao! for me the fear of witnessing another american indian fate without a struggle in the true sense of the term is killing me day and night. 6 million tibetans in the sea of 30 million chinese colonists. slaves in our own home. slaves in our own country.

  43. Where is the priority when the common goals of a people conflicts with an individual’s personal desire? Society can exist without individuals, but individuals can not survive with society. No man is an island unto himself.

    And concerning the question of moving forward. Would the going have the same importance if I told you why you should go but not where? And visa versa? If you could only know half of the answer, which would be the more important? The why or the where? And let us leave biology out of this for once.

    Tibetan brains undergoing positive changes – does that mean dying for a freedom that might never come? The odds are 6 to 30. Yet somewhere in every human brain is fabricated that small unexplainable phenomenon called hope. And that in itself is a positive change.

  44. Dear Jamyang Norbu,
    This is in regard to the conclusion based on a report that you cited at the beginning of this blog.

    “A report in on a recent Tibetology conference in Paris (Nov 4), provides a few examples how even experts and academics (both Tibetan and inji) might be possibly heading in the same direction. Some excerpts:….”

    At the beginning, I didn’t think it significant enough to comment on, but foreseeing the future consequences I realized the need to set the record straight.

    Time has taught me that ANY statement – regardless if it is true or false – will be considered true if it goes uncontested and repeated long enough

    If one has the possibility to cross check the contents it is his moral responsibility to give those involved the chance to defend themselves in order to give those who read a chance to judge for themselves.

    As I am writing this, the above mentioned report has been read on, 5515 times – this does not take in account the others, like yourself who have cited this article.

    That is a lot of repeating for something that I personally didn’t hear while attending the all day workshop.
    1. What I heard during Lobsang Sangay’s presentation was not as presented in the article. However, as I am always willing to accept that I might have heard wrong, I did take the time and trouble to check with others that were present and since majority rules, came to the conclusion that what I thought I heard was what was actually said.

    2. Ditto for Robbie Barnett – who has the right to be upset because this article was used as gospel truth on over 800 google searches….

    3. The article also stated that Marie Holzmann – concluded with a quote from one Chinese writer – “only when Tibetans enjoy autonomy, will China then have freedom.” She actually concluded her presentation with her own words : Tibetans will not enjoy autonomy, until the rest of  China  does … ref. to other minority groups ….


    P.S. Too often we listen to what we want to hear. Objective reporting is not a gift given to everyone thus the need to double check, whenever possible – especially during such troubled times.

  45. what is society? a group of individuals. so without individuals there cannot be a society. open exchange n sharing of individuals’ opinions contribute to the betterment of society.just going yes sir yes madam in the name of conforming to society is the outlook of the fainthearted! in freedom struggle the “why” follows “where” n “responsibility follows the right to struggle”. who has seen tomorrow? hope lies in action, not in waiting or philosophical debate. freedom is not free. it’s 6 to 10 now n if u continue to wait with the drug of hope it will be 6 to 30 in the next 20 to 30 years.

  46. West Looks East, I don’t buy it. Robbie has “defended” himself on this blog already, and shown that, while he may have been mildly misquoted, his overall views are at least as distorted and offensive as he’s been portrayed. I have no sympathy left for the likes of him.

  47. Action for action’s sake because doing nothing accomplishes nothing?
    Can passive resistance be considered as doing nothing?
    Can freedom only be gained by taking up arms?

    Although my feet follow the path in the middle, I try and keep my mind open towards all horizons.

    I was just wondering what I would do if I – as one person – was given the possibility to carry out three actions. What exactly would these three actions be? Leave the dreams aside for one moment and consider only the practical physical aspects of the question. So much would depend on : who we are -the role we have – in society, how much power we have within that society, and whether or not the action taken will do more good than harm. A heavy question.

  48. independence as our ultimate political goal and active direct non-violent resistance inside tibet is the cry of the mother tibet! i see nothing practical in philosophizing our political eality.
    it was mlking’s dream and today it’s obama’s reality. waiting is never the answer.
    look at us. it’s not that we donot have people to do what needs to be done. but it is the dalai lama and his team that has been directly responsible for all our half ass attempts at fast unto death, the independence march to tibet or any other activities that enhances our determination to sacrife for a united independent tibet. letters are sent, appeals are made through the media and chamchas are sent to physically intimidate n disorganize the activitists. pressures are built on them(with every resources at disposable) in the name of practicality and philosophy. let the host country do what it has to do. thank god they failed to stop one man from doing what he wanted to do for tibetan independence. pawo thupten ngodup. however, on the whole, they succeeded in doing what the chinese failed to do -silencing us into total submission. thus making us robbot with the ability to think n act being murdered by our own so called leaders in the name of practicality. people still maintain faith in the medication that has failed miserably to cure the tb and today the tb has reached its third deadly stage. n people still hold on to the failed medication! if anyone has succeeded in anything then it is the yes sir yes maam selfish group of the middleway in brainwashing our simple uneducated folks. no wonder we need a tibetan mao! to uproot our feudal mentality.

  49. some observations at pre panel discussion in dhasa.

    penpa t….confident,mw,cowboy,good,good
    tyc president…bit nervous,inde,good,ok,good
    tendor……….very nervous,inde,ok,fair,fair
    lobsang s………good,unclear,best,ok,ok
    Jamyang N…bit nervous,indep,cowboy,good,best

    people..improve where it is needed.

    penpa t and JN ..presentaion is so important..casual/cowboy dress at the discussion is ill advised. it is watched all over the world.
    go suit,boot and tie.

    lobsangay..your having no individual stand on independence or middle way tells us u r ready to sell yourself to the middle way camp. not good. dont get too academic. bring on something on your own. improve fluency in tibetan and english. same goes for tendor.
    tyc more forceful in your views and speech.

    all of you..don’t censor too much. take it all out so we can appreciate the clarity.

  50. from 1949 to 59 it was not only only hoping against hope situation but our leaders were busy creating “reasons” to hope for a solution from china on the platter. it’s here our nerveless theocratic govt is a total tragedy. songtsen gampo-the tibetan chengis khan was badly missed here.
    from 59 to 74 our govt did its best with mustang base. kudos to the chushigangdruk warriors! so from 59 to 87 we as a people enjoyed one dream, one goal– more no less. we were not even divided on means to achieve the end.

    but since 1987 with middleway/genuine autonomy/zone of peace/greater tibet/culture/ahimsa/compassion for the enemy etc etc we as a people have been deeply divided on the core issue-the goal of independence-the key to our survival as a people/culture/nation. one word in 1987 from one man who cares more for the divine than the tibetan identity/pride has divided us to the extent where even the enemy has failed to this day. n we are powerless to do anything. afterall he is our beloved leader.

    independence struggle is more legitimate than anything else. it includes not just one province but all the three traditional provinces. up to choten karpo in amdo and dhartsedo in kham. so take it easy. dont imply independence is just for u-tsang or above drichu story.

    no govt or people in the world said if tibet goes independence they would not support it. what they said is they dont support violence.. to be specific terrorism. these are two different things. so well we can have nonviolent peaceful direct action/resistance in tibet and elsewhere. like gandhi/mandela/luther king. well lets not come up with the excuse that china is more evil than those that they confronted nonviolently. u will get nowhere if u keep slicing hair.

    no govt or people said they supported middleway. they just said they supported dialogue. and dialogue can be on anything.
    children are born. older people die. generations change. so the overheating of the leftover goes on and must go on if we are to do brainstorming, learn n grow. we cant ignore whats going on around us even though we may not like it.
    we are not here to prove another thomas alwa eddison or isac newton or einstein. if anyone can come up with such a solution then it’s high time. dalai lama or jn. neither can. i dont blame them either. coz i dont expect such a readymade solution to such a national tragedy where people like you and me need to pull the head out of our asss and get going with a destination in mind. lets not go new age hippies. we just dont have the luxury to do so.

    the political blunder has been made on the part of our leadership in france in 87. so people have been and people will talk independence or middleway and form their own informed opinions in our democracy.
    whats old and usual to one generation may be completely new n significant to another generation. 10th march was old n usual to my dad but it was new to me. today its outdated to me but not to my warrior son who will oneday wreck vengence on the enemy and restore tibetan independence to the future generations whose destiny we have no right to deny.

  51. I have watched the video recording on the special meeting of participants and observed that they all speak good. To be specific on each participants, Chitue Penpa Tseing speaks good but he seems more like a chamchagiri to TGIE stand which is Umay Lam. As a individual he does not express whats his stand on the issue. He more or less mimicks the same stand of TGIE thru out the meeting. To me he seems to be calculatiing to get higher position like Kalon in the Exile Govt by not coming out with his own views on the issue. Also his dress code was completely turn off. Meaning he had dressed as if he is going to Ludhiana to buy sweaters for winter business. Is absoultely ridiculous to be dressed like that in such a special meeting. Same goes with Jamyang Norbu. You both should at least wear formal coat and dress like intellectual in the meeting. They both should learn more on how to dress in this kind of meeting. We have observed the same situation with Kalsang Gyatsen recently during eight round of talk with Chinese counterpart. He was dressed black suite with white socks. What a pathetic is this? this gives very poor image of our TGIE officials. Tibetan officials should pay more attention on the formal dress code whenever they attend any meeting.

    As for Lobsang Sengye, he more or less speaks on the planning of how to execute the Non Violent action like the Ghandi and Nelson Mandela did during their time. I dont think he realy gets the point were local Tibetan can digest those high level explanation. I doubt majority of Tibetans would want to know who is Ghandi, Nelson Mandela OR Barak Obama. Tibetan people want straight talk and to the point solution. Lobsang Sangye too seems like beating around the bush. He dont express clearly whether he is Pro Rangzen Or Umay Lam. He seems like playing safe here. As far as dress code is concerned, he is the only person well dressed in the meeting.

    As for Tendor, you talk like typical Tibetan school student. You have good thing to say but you have to brush up more on Tibetan. The only thing I like about you is you speak from the heart. There is no pretention at all.

    As for Tsewang Rigzin seems to be the most passive participants in the meeting. In fact I wanted to see him speaking more on the issue. Since Tibetans are divided into two categories i, e Pro Rangzen and Umay Lam. As a TYC president, he should come out strongly in the meeting & express TYC stand & why is better strategy for the long run. But that wasnt the case. I was completely dissapointed by his performance in the meeting.

    As for Jamyang Norbu, other than the shabby dress code, he prety much speak the same thing what he writes in Phayul. I dont see anything new coming out from him. The only good thing about him is he is straight shooter and he had been on the one side of aisle for many years. He always stand his ground no matter whats falls on him.

  52. what’s wrong with the tibetan phd holders?
    tsering shakya in london misinforms through media that tibetan protests in march in tibet was all about asserting the middle way dream. playing upto the middleway camp. for what?

    lobsangay in boston has no individual stand on our cause. ready to sell himself to middleway camp. for mnisterial post?

    kooglo tseten dolkar in germany misguides us by telling us to hold on to the failed medication(middleway) to cure the tb disease that the tibetan brain has been suffering for so long and today it has reached its third deadly stage.

    what wisdom is there for continuing to put hope in the middleway that is driving us closer to extinction?

    it’s pity our govt wasted all the resources on her phd when this is coming from all her stinking orifices. it’s depressing.

    no difference between phd holder in exile and a shepherd in tibet.
    no growth in the tibetan brain.
    50 years in exile…a waste of time, energy and money.

  53. Now that the natives have finished their war dance. Does anyone have an idea where the battle is going to take place? Lets put aside the smoke signals for a moment and talk local and straight to the point. What is a Tibetan – officially in exile but with an unofficial existence in the country he lives in – to do? I mean some of these people are so whacked out by their daily existence, that sometimes acting on great dreams is simply beyond them. And the John Wayne calvary that comes dashing in just before the ending – what are their plans? Or do they just simply show up after everyone is surrounded? Maybe I am asking too much, but I would like to read the script – I am beginning to wonder if there is one – before I take part in the movie, or is this just going to be a second life DVD episode?
    I am glad that MIDDLE WAY DISEASE keeps bringing up the importance of a dress code. Just how important can a pow wow be if everyone leaves their ceremony feathers at home? Because “dressing up” up grades a function by showing respect to those we are with and also to ourselves.

  54. West, lets cuts the offensive, racist, patronizing characterizations. If you want to do all that you can go join the Chinese camp – they’ll love you. If you judged any society or nation on this planet by its stupidest members, you’d think they all deserved to be nuked out of existence. And if you’re not seeing the best and brightest among Tibetans, it just means you’ve got your head stuck in Dharamsala’s dirty laundry and blinded from seeing the countless heros and patriots out there with real programs, already succeeding, for changing Tibet’s future.

  55. West Looks East,

    Robbie said what he said. Of course he also talked about Tibetans asking for rangzen. What I wrote in the report were things that I had not heard others saying.Yet he also showed a photo of Tibetans with HH portrait and said that from this one can conclude support for Autonomy.

    Lobsang didnt use the word ‘flexible’ in case of Tibet, yet he qualified his presentation about the impassé in the contacts and negotiations by talking about certain “conservatism” in the approach by Tibetans. I took that as meaning the need for Tibetans to be flexible.

    I am willing to accept that I might have misheard Marie Holzman. Sadly I was writing down things during the conference and I have is my own written reports and no sound recording or such to check again. Maybe I could call up Marie Holzman and set the record straight.


  56. the tibetans have not get begun the war dance. unfortunately. but u cant blame the few individuals in our community for not being able to come up with a decisive alternative when our own govt and leaders abandons the very idea of such a dance and the action that follows it.

    despite spending all the resources, time and energy by our govt n leaders on the so called middleway for more than two/6 decades nothing more than sympathetic noises has been achieved achieved around the world. we cant blame them when the very owners of tibet refused to free tibet with solid action under the pretext of practicality. there is no denying the fact the dalai lama is trying to find a religious solution to a political problem. its like trying to wedge a piece of wood between rocks. we just love prayers n compassion.

    the author of the middleway has finally given up on middle way from the chinese regime but the few people in our administration with ulterior motives has succeeded in making our illetrate masses believe that the continuation of faith in the failed medication is the greatest wisdom of all times.. the greatest loyalty of all times to the dalai lama. the issue here is not one of loyalty but personal pride and initiative lacking which we are back to square one.

    the birth of our nation will come about when tibetans both the leaders and the led realize that middleway is a massive deception and china is a deceptive political enemy.
    its gonna take decades before people realize this ugly truth. but by the time the realization seeps through/in the tibetan brain mechanism it would be too late. the tibetan follower mentality is the greatest stumbling block on the road to independence. again blaming the few is not being fair?

  57. For the moment, I would like to keep the concept of blame out of this conversation. So OK, what have we got : a MIDDLE WAY with a lot of support and an unoffical – because it is unapproved – left and right? Or are there just two versions of a left? One left being closer to the middle and the other being further away? Or worse yet, is the middle taking up so much road space that there is no room for anyone else? If that happens to be the case, what should/can be done so that those not in the middle can have some power to function? Is it a question of money, policy, education … is there something that can be done under the present situation? Is establishing a multi party system the best solution? But most important, would it be possible?

  58. this so called middle way has been shoved down the tibetan throat for so long in such a systematic way by the top people in the administration. yes u r right there is no room for anyone else.
    the tools that these people in power use are:
    loyal or not loyal to the dalai lama
    faith or no faith in the dalai lama
    loyal or not loyal to TGIE
    shugyi or not shugyi
    chinese spy or not
    old chugang or new chugang

    these tools(double edged swords) cause fear/distrust in the public that independence advocates/supporters are all out to do nothing but just destroy what middleway is set to achieve.

    these tools also cause fear in the independence advocates/supporters -the fear of being labeled anti-dalai lama or govt or shugyi.
    thus the middleway camp succeed in silencing the tibetan voice for independence into total submission. no room for anyone else.

    multi party system is a great idea. its time to practice it while dalai lama is around n also while we are in exile. when the sun of independence shines we are more matured and experienced to face the challenges.

    but no. samdong lama and his gang would do anything to make it not happen under the pretext that this will destroy tibetan unity!!!!!!!!
    another fear strategy!

    tibetans fear the unknown. tibetans fear changes.
    fearing the unknown and the changes is one thing but creating fear in the public to maintain the statusquo is just another story!

    gyari families and his middleway gang, samdong lama and his varanasi gang, and gyalo thondup and his love for chinese talk gang have the TGIE under seige. PERIOD.

  59. How to be free without being considered disloyal. That is a huge bag of problems. Go underground? Form a network system of unquestioned loyality to the top but with ears closed to those holding up the structure? If an alternative system of holding the unity together under His Holiness’s flag isn’t established then – excuse the expression – all hell will break out when He goes. That rising sun so desired, if shining over unprepared minds promises a very cloudy future.

    I probably will be shot out the blog for this statement but if in the end one has to choose between culture and country – choose the former, for a land can always be recuperated, where as a culture lost is the death of a nation. Poland was wiped off the face of every map for 150 years. History always teaches – for those who care to learn – valuable lessons. GO for independence but don’t make it the objective so big that it overshadows everything else. Being a people – having a national identity – is not a question of flag and land. There is too much to lose if one continues to only see one point in the horizon.

    One last defense plea – how one uses a PHD is one question, the skill one gains by acquiring one is other. Minds can be changed, skills not. The present ground battle is made up of millions of ground soldiers or former infantry turned general. The next war will be HIGH tech – how are we preparing those who are now 12 or 14? Sorry, but a PHD is NEVER a waste of money. Education is a long road that only ends with reincarnation, when – rats – we have to start all over again.

  60. West, quite frankly you sound like a naive inji who knows nothing about Tibet. There is no choice to be made between culture and country, and culture is not in danger unless you’re one of the bricks-in-the-wall who thinks culture means making people do things exactly the way they were done in the past for the sake of providing some sort of museum exhibit.

    Tibetan culture is thriving and indestructible in Tibet, unlike in exile where it’s imposed as clostrophibia-inducing demands that children be timid and passive and ashamed of their countrymens’ aspirations to conform with a falsified notion of Tibetan culture imposed by western hippies and business monks. Tibetans growing up in Tibet speak their language, read and write their language, wear their clothing, pride themselves in their houses, their tents, their monasteries. This is their best and often only viable means of resistence against the occupier. And they will continue to do so as long as necessary.

    Exile Tibet has no identity, no culture. The “culture” you see is all show to make money in the west, albeit sometimes for very good causes, but it’s not part of people’s lives. I don’t say this to demean Tibetans living in India or abroad; I recognize that it’s extremely difficult to hold onto a culture when you don’t have your homeland. How do you do kora around the gonpa when there’s no gonpa where you live? How do you hang lungta on the passes when you live in a foreign land that’s flat? How do you raise your children as part of a community of aunts, uncles, and friends who all share in the responsibility when you’re the only Tibetan living on your street? How do your children learn to read and write their language when the only school around teaches everything in English?

    I’ve been close to and lived among several exile Tibetan communities, and out of them, only one has had any success bringing up their children with Tibetan as their first language, teaching them to be literate, and making Tibet’s fate a part of their lives. Even still it’s extremely difficult for them.

    So no, “West”, the idea that Tibetans should focus on preserving culture is not clever, not more sophisticated than the “dumb Tibetans in Tibet” are doing, nothing revolutionary. It’s standard propaganda from people who simply don’t have any personal experience with Tibet. Without a homeland there’s little to define a people, even moreso for Tibetans whose culture has such ancient roots in Tibet’s climate, geography, and the social structures which evolved to meet the demands of the land.

    The fight must always be for the homeland. People living there must not be patronized; they’re more than sufficiently equipped to hold onto their own culture and to evolve it in the ways that make sense in today’s world, but if they become a 1% minority surrounded by hostile invaders and opportunists, that will all have been for nothing.

    In reality, it’s land, not culture, that once lost cannot be regained. Look at Israel and Palestine. Once you get to the point where two or more peoples stake a claim to the same land, you have a mess where it’s impossible to give everyone back what they feel they’re entitled to. Right now Tibet is dead simple. Chinese out. Let’s not let it get complicated. Let’s not let it turn into a centuries-long land feud. As long as the Chinese there are made to feel like unwelcome guests who invited themselves to someone else’s home, that kind of fate can be avoided. And avoiding it is contingent on the struggle for Tibet as a nation, a homeland of a people, not some vague wishy-washy cultural entity.

  61. west, traveling with the passport(!) in your wallet n spending 6 months here n there. u have the luxury to say everywhere is home to be!

    look at america. it is often called a culturaless country. just 300 years old. young. but it beats almost every other country in everyother field. including those that claim to be 3000 or 10000 years old. no it is not perfect. no country can be. but the greatest assest it has is the the right to determine the life of their own country which also includes(be happy!) going karma dharma hippy bum. independence is the key. you have your cart before the horse. fix it!

  62. Horses come and go,
    some beautiful and fast as the wind that gave them birth,
    others so heavy their slowness makes them unattractive.
    By the side sits a wagon with dreams of becoming a coach,
    built by those who once rode those horses of freedom.
    But neglect has turned hopes into dust
    so powerful that it buries dreams.

  63. communism in china began as an idea in the mind of a boatman in the countryside.

    every month every week every day is a march 10. struggling to replace the cowdung/deception with political brain in the skull of the tibetan is the warrior’s life. struggling to transform 10 march oppression/occupation into 10 march freedom/independence is the warrior’s mission.
    see you at the refugee house in bagsunath, dharamsala. the warrior is cooking!

  64. no, it’s not a momo warrior! the warrior is cooking but pot(!) for karma dharma hippy bums! all over the world.
    u too r welcome! u can also talk about anything including marijuna culture! coz from this springs sovereignty?! n u can continue with ur stuff.

  65. Thanks for the invitation but for the moment my stomach, and those of my friends have priority. For somehow, friendly discussions and plans seem to always work better when the stomach is happy – mind, later. Be happy and SURVIVE – as best you can. A dead warrior is a useless warrior.

  66. no man is a warrior if his balls are hanging on his chest! but a dead warrior is a reminder of our responsibility to continue to follow him, with personal pride and physical bravery, to the province of danger….war…and seek freedom with the sword of truth and justice. the price may be a dead warrior but it’s an attempt and it’s certainly not a useless one. once a warrior, always a warrior. no warrior-dead or alive- is a useless warrior. the call of the destiny?

  67. In the end, China was right. It is all about the Dalai Lama. Following a week-long “special meeting” to discuss the future of the Tibetan movement, delegates from various points in the Tibetan exile world agreed, more or less, to continue with the Dalai Lama’s 30-year-old policy of accepting Tibet’s place as a part of China while seeking greater autonomy within the Chinese state. One says “more or less” because reports have emerged that the meeting was weighted against those groups most obviously dissatisfied with the policy.

    It was not the policy that sold itself but the person from whom it emanates. China has long placed the Dalai Lama’s status at the centre of its negotiation stance, offering him a nominal position should he return. And while the Dalai Lama has repeatedly stated that the Tibet issue is not about him but about all Tibetans, the end result of the special meeting bears out China’s stance: in spite of his democratic rhetoric, the Dalai Lama has never empowered Tibetans to feel comfortable taking stands at variance with him. Accusations of disloyalty to the Dalai Lama remain a weapon in political and personal feuds in Dharamsala.

    But several weeks before the meeting the Dalai Lama stated that he was losing faith in China, and many Tibetan exiles energetically responded with calls, not for violence, but to make Tibet’s independence once more the official Tibetan position. They certainly felt there was good reason for concluding that negotiations with China had reached a dead end and that the Tibetans should minimally reclaim the legitimacy that their cause had lost through years of the Dalai Lama asserting (often at China’s prodding) that Tibet should not be independent and that it was to Tibet’s benefit to be a part of China. As far as the advocates for Tibet’s independence are concerned, those benefits had been on ample display in Tibet during March and April.

    In 2002, following a decade without direct talks, Dharamsala once more began sending delegations to Beijing to discuss the Tibet issue. Periodically the Tibetan representatives delivered cautious assessments, citing the positive steps taken by both sides to better understand each other’s position. For many observers, however, it seemed clear that these talks were never meant to go anywhere. They were, rather, devices for marking time while China waited for the Dalai Lama to pass away. The talks also provided a convenient display of engagement at times when it was expedient to deflect international concern over China’s policies and human rights violations in Tibet.

    That China was uninterested in reaching an arrangement with the Dalai Lama became obvious before discussions began. But after the latest round concluded earlier this month their futility was obvious. The perennial Tibetan delegates, Lodi Gyari and Kelsang Gyaltsen, returned to India, vowing to make no statement before the special meeting. But there was no need for them to speak. Within days, Zhu Weiqun and Sithar, their Chinese counterparts in the meetings, held a press conference and bluntly said the talks had gone nowhere. They rejected any compromise with the Dalai Lama on any of his proposals about the nature of autonomy within Tibet and stated that, while the door was open for him to return, he must reflect on his mistakes “and return to the correct and patriotic stance”. And so, after almost 30 years of contacts China signalled that they had never advanced beyond square one. It’s only about the Dalai Lama; otherwise there is no Tibetan issue. And the signals were given without any attempt to disguise China’s awareness of holding the upper hand: having successfully staged the 2008 Olympics and poised now for a major role in addressing the global financial crisis, China thumbed its nose at the Tibetan delegates who returned to India in silent embarrassment while Chinese officials let the global media in on the failed discussions.

    Naivete has marked the Dalai Lama’s dealings with China. At China’s insistence he long ago repudiated Tibetan independence, delegitimising the concept in a way no Chinese leader could ever do. But he has yet to understand that he was willingly led to a dead end. Under present-day conditions, it is unlikely that demands for Tibetan independence would have brought the movement any closer to a resolution of the issue. But they could not have left Tibetans in a weaker position than they are now in; indeed, the international taint that attached to China’s possession of Tibet would have remained an advantage.

    The Dalai Lama has helped remove that taint and now, after the special meeting, he remains the arbiter of the Tibetan position. Noticeably gloomy, he opined a few days ago that at least he still has faith in the Chinese people. One must ask whether he is aware of the vast groundswell of popular Chinese antipathy to Tibetans that came in the wake of the March events. In the 1990s he was in the habit of referring to Deng Xiaoping as his old friend. If Deng knew of this, he must have been bemused (or baffled) by such professions of friendship. Throughout the abortive negotiation process the Dalai Lama would seem to have been similarly speaking to imaginary friends, something most people stop doing at around age five.

  68. In reference to faith in Chinese people, maybe HHDL was thinking along the same lines as Marie Holzman when she pointed out the Tibet will be free ONLY when China is. I think the explosion has to come from the inside – it brought down the Berlin Wall and reorganized the Russian empire. It is about having a basic faith in human nature and not counting on governments in power.

    OK warrior fight to change minds but if you can’t come up with a good menu the restaurant will close.

  69. u n me r like water n fire. tibet n china. there cannot be any meeting. u live in shangrila where men go astral travel! i live here with my feet on the ground with hot blood running into my system. perhaps some souls can learn from this diametrically opposites. the restaurant stands closed for pathological dreamers! for there is no such food as middleway or chinese people putting pressure on their govt to give the whole nine yard of genuine autonomy while we just ask them! nationalstic as chinks are nobody wants to hurt the interests of the their own country- the middle kingdom by giving us a piece of it. they want, if they can, to go chengis khan style all over the world. the greatest mystery is why the so called wise guys go downright childish! they tell stories not worthy even by kintergarten standard. i m sick. the power shall come in to my hand oneday and the history of tibet will be rewritten. but there will be no place for astral travellers! bye.

  70. I am not dreaming about the Chinese giving anything to anyone. It is just that when a house starts exploding, everyone will be so busy saving their own furniture that perhaps Tibetans can grab back their land. At least that is what I would like to see happen.

  71. why wait? however difficult it might be, our leadership has the potential to cause that house explosion…by using nonviolent resistance. taiwan..macau..hongkong..south mongolia..vgiristan..frustration..waiting for the so called best weather has got us nowhere in the last six decades. what i have learnt-in freedom struggle-ever since a school girl is that waiting is never the answer.

    nationalistic chinese people fear another soviet union. they do not desire it. this fear paralizes them from causing that house explosion.

  72. Waiting IS the only answer – at least at this point. The gas is building up in a room without windows – CO2 is putting people to sleep – but just one spark … History has shown that a premature bomb does more harm than good.

  73. tibetans(both men n women) do the following;

    digging nose n ears in public or while cooking
    not washing their asss after toilet
    not washing hands with soap after toilet
    spitting everywhere even in restaurant
    scratching their body while cooking
    talking/laughing over food.
    sneezing over food.
    not washing hands before cooking or touching food.
    not cleaning their tongue after brushing teeth
    wearing the same dirty inner garments every day.
    not cutting their nails or keeping it clean.
    they belch in public.
    they fart while eating.
    they dont shower everyday.
    they smell. they stink.
    making mouth noise while eating.
    blowing nose while eating.

    tibetan women just wash their face n but they dont clean down there.

    please do the opposite.
    the dalai lama said cleanliness and personal hygiene of the body, not just mind, can help us regain independence.

    please transform the disgusting habbits so u look great. coz u represent tibetan race.

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