Middle Way Metamorphosis

The Chinese Communist Party has a fondness for colourful and sometimes bizarre labels for their campaigns and policies. In the past we had “The Great Leap Forward”, “The Hundred Flowers”, “Three-Anti/Five-Anti”, and the “Criticize Lin, Criticize Confucius” campaign which in Tibet was recast as “Criticize Dalai, Criticize Panchen”. More recently we have had to chew over such profundities as Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents” and Hu Jintao’s “Eight Honors and Eight Disgraces”.

In Tibet it has been less esoteric and more brutally straightforward with such policies as “Strikehard” and “Merciless Repression”. Right now the murderous crackdown throughout Tibet appears to be referred to as Da Za Qiang Shao (打砸抢烧) “Beat Smash Loot Burn”. I suppose this is intended to refer to the actions of the Tibetan protesters and not to the official reprisals, though the latter might be a better fit. I understand that this was one of the many slogans used during the Cultural Revolution and might not be an official label.

All this made me wonder if Beijing had a designated term for their policy in response to the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Approach. I contacted a friend of mine who has fairly good guanxi or access to local officialdom inside Tibet, and he told me that yes, there was a specific term being used by Chinese officials at the United Front and it was tuõ yán zhèng cè (拖延政策) — time wasting policy, or literally “prolonging” policy. Tibetan cadres referred to it as dhu gyang kyi sichue or time stretching, or time wasting policy.

But yesterday Beijing finally decided (for reasons I will discuss in a future discussion) to pull the plug on this “prolonging” policy, and in the most unmistakable of terms declare that negotiations about any kind of autonomy for Tibet was not going to happen. A press conference was held on Monday 10th by the United Front Work Committee where it was announced that no progress was made at the recent talks with representatives of the Dalai Lama, and the Chinese officials blamed the exiled Tibetan leader as being responsible for the failure to make any progress. They further accused the Dalai Lama of trying to seek a “legal basis” to claim “independence or semi-independence over Tibet”, and insisted China would never accept the Tibetan leader’s demands for greater autonomy for the occupied Himalayan region. An AFP report quoted the Chinese spokesman as saying that “Our contacts and talks failed to make progress and they (the Dalai Lama’s representatives) should assume full responsibility for it”.

Vice Minister Zhu Weiqun, the deputy head of the United Front Work Department  said ”why are you (the Dalai Lama) asking Chinese people to accept the so called “middle way approach ” which is clearly design to split the country”.

On being asked by a journalist about Tibetan claims that Deng Xiaoping had given an assurance that other than the issue of independence every thing could be discussed, Zhu Weiqun made a categorical rejection of this claim. He said that even Lodi Gyari had raised this claim on a few occasions but “…actually Mr. Deng Xiaoping never said this and this is a distortion of Deng Xiaoping’s remark.” With a dismissive little laugh and a smile he continued “I think it would be foolish for anyone to try to find something that they can use from the great patriotic Deng Xiaoping. Everything we do today is based on the guiding principles set forth by Mr. Deng Xiaoping”.

The entire press conference can be seen on YouTube. Someone (Agusangpo) posted these on my website. There is a running translation in English:

I have put in this reference to the YouTube videos since some more fearful and naïve souls in our community are now arguing that the cunning Chinese are actually setting a trap with their rejection of dialogue. That if Tibetans now declare for independence, they argue, the Chinese will announce to the world that the splittist Dalai Lama has always had this secret agenda for independence. Of course the cunning Chinese will have first wiped out everyone’s memories of the Monday 10th televised press conference from their brains, and the three YouTube videos will somehow be made to disappear completely from the digital world.


Although this humiliating smackdown from Beijing should convince anyone but the congenitally delusional that our policy of seeking “meaningful autonomy” through negotiations is truly over, yet I keep getting reports from Dharamshala indicating otherwise.  The proponents of Middle Way now seem to be trying to spread a new message to the Tibetan public, that even if the Chinese have completely rejected dialogue, we must hang on to the Middle Way policy because:

1. Most nations in the world, including India support the Middle Way, and not independence

2. If we gave up the Middle Way and declared our objective as independence, the government of India would not allow us to stay in India and we would be deported.

The first argument is, of course, absolutely mistaken. No country in the world has come out and said that it supports the unification of the three provinces of Tibet: U Tsang, Kham and Amdo; then into a democratic entity which would be granted “genuine” or meaningful autonomy within the People’s Republic of China. All that the heads of states and leaders of many countries have said is that they support negotiations and they “urge” China’s leaders to talk to the Dalai Lama. Most leaders are aware that China won’t make any meaningful concession, but the gesture of supporting dialogue makes these leaders look good to their constituencies, while not forcing them into a position where they might have to take a real position that might benefit the Tibetans, but that might anger China and adversely affect trade.

And this is not a special consideration that we Tibetans are being given by world leaders. In nearly every crisis or conflict in the world, it is standard practice for world bodies and leaders to call for negotiations and an end to conflict and confrontation — unless of course they are benefiting from the conflict. Tibetans are not receiving any special favours here.

The second argument that if we give up the Middle Way Approach and go for independence, we will all be deported from India, is demonstrably ridiculous. I think such a statement is also insulting to the Indian people and government and harmful to our relationship with this great democracy that has given us refuge and help for all these many years. I would urge the Prime Minister Samdong Rimpoche to stop the Middle Way proponents from spreading such rumours among the simple and uneducated Tibetan people, which is causing unnecessary fear and alarm in our society and adding to the problems and misunderstandings between the Tibetan and Indian communities.

Right at this very moment the government of India is in engaged in a heated slanging match with China about the status of Arunachal Pradesh. India and China have held twelve rounds of talks to find a solution to disputed border regions, and those negotiations appear to have had about the same degree of success that our dialogue with Beijing has had.

There has recently been reports that the insurgencies in North East India and terrorist groups in Assam are receiving arms and supplies from China. With Nepal now in the hands of Maoists, and India’s own Maoists, the Naxalites, becoming increasingly more violent and effective, and with China extending its naval power in the Indian Ocean, there are probably many Indians throughout the Indian political spectrum, who are probably not only hoping that Tibetans declare their independence from China, but also do something about it.

After His Holiness received the Congressional Gold Medal, there was concern among some Tibetans that that the government of India had not bothered to congratulate to the Dalai Lama. But this year when the uprisings took place in Tibet and Tibetans-in-exile started their Peace March to Tibet, and organized major demonstrations in Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a statement that the Dalai Lama was respected in India as “the greatest living Gandhian”. He also stated that India was a democracy and that Tibetans living in India had the right to political expression, as long as they did it in a peaceful and law-abiding manner.

In the final analysis I think the proponents of the Middle Way are looking at developments in a glass half-empty and not in a glass half-full sort of way. They are making a big mistake by emphasizing only the “negotiation” and the “autonomy” component of the Middle Way Policy and overlooking the “doctrine of “non-violence” that His Holiness has made the foundation of this policy. It is the untiring effort of the Dalai Lama to struggle for the freedom of his people through non-violence that has earned him the respect not only of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but other world leaders and people as well. I want to quote this passage from His Nobel Peace Prize citation: “The Committee wants to emphasize the fact that the Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet (my italics) consistently has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions … The Dalai Lama has developed his philosophy of peace from a great reverence for all things living and upon the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature.” It might be noted that His Holiness received the Nobel Prize a year or so after His Strasburg Statement.

I am certain that most world leaders and governments have by now realized that the failure of the negotiations were entirely due to Chinese intransigence and deviousness, as His Holiness himself has reluctantly pointed out. If His Holiness now modifies the Middle Way Approach whereby the fundamental principal of non-violence is maintained but the goal changed to one of national independence, no person, no leader and no country would loose respect for the Dalai Lama’s moral integrity. In fact this decision might enhance it, especially among in India. After all Gandhi fought for India’s independence, and not for some dominion (read autonomous) status under Britain.

And yes, a practical action-based rangzen strategy structured around the non-violent philosophy of the Dalai Lama is certainly feasible. I have put together a preliminary proposal that I hope to discuss at the Emergency Meeting.

Expect it on this website soon. Stay tuned.


109 Replies to “Middle Way Metamorphosis”

  1. I have been following your blog ever since I read this book by Peter Hopkirk on Tibet. I am an Indian living in Frankfurt and have lately been following the Tibetan cause as closely (as possible).

    I am surprised to hear about the rumours that the Indian government would deport the Tibetans, if they started a political movement for independence instead of autonomy. India has had an uneasy relationship with China, more so since the 1962 war. Their claims on Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh are as unjust as their claim on Tibet. The fundamental difference, however,lies in the political ideology. a democracy vs. communism.

    We already let Tibet down, when we did nothing to respond to the first Chinese aggression in to Tibet. I hope, and feel very certain, that there will be no government action taken, which would be detrimental to the Tibetan cause. There are millions of Indians like me, who would oppose that. And, in a democracy, that will count.

  2. Dear Jamyang Norbu la,

    Your analysis is always sharp and clear cut, which is indeed of great resource and apt during present atomosphere of blant and confusional state regarding future of Tibet and Tibetan. Personally I feel Rangzen is the best longtime investment for our cause and moreover now the failure of Middle Way Approach (obviously due to sole responsible from the Chinese side ) leaves us no choice but to revive Rangzen Movement. Actually Middle Way Approach from our side has been like short term investment to gain something in short time but now it has become crystal clear that chinese are not interested at all. So the best answer we can give to ( chinese govermnent) is RANGZEN. As JN has already suggested somewhere before we’ll start using the word RANGZEN from this instant instead of Indipendence.


  3. Hi Jamyang,

    I wish you could have your articles in printable format so that I can print it and read it while in communte.

    I subscribe to the RFA podcast and when it’s you, Tenzin Tsundue, Tendor, Tsewang Rinzin, I tend not to miss listening to your commetaries. I know that you have a zillion clips of audio and video from all multi platforms and to my suggestions if you could upload those to your blog or site then it will give people to dig in deeper to either read or listen or for that matter do research. I hope you will keep pace with the technology.

    Thank you.

  4. Dear author,
    You might already have noticed the typo for the Chinese character for “Burn” in this article and didn’t bother to correct it. But I think you should make the correction swiftly Since many Chinese readers also will read the article, another thing I also think the accuracy of the Chinese insertions in your article can not be neglected since yours is a work of high level and Chinese may interpret your incorrect insertion for distortion as well.
    The Chinese character for English word “burn” should be read as 烧 (pinyin: shao) instead of 杀(Pinyin: Sha).
    The Meaning of Chinese character 杀 is ‘to kill, killing or to murder, murdering”.
    As always , thanks for putting your whole heart for reviving the glory of TIBET.

  5. Jamyang la,

    Following are my views concerning our leader’s efforts to secure autonomy from the Chinese…

    I don’t have much knowledge about China and the Tibet issue, but what I have been observing on these matters for quite a long time…Nor am I a Rangzen activist…

    Rangzen-the soul of Tibet

    We spent almost thirty years trying to unravel the mysteries of Deng Xiaoping’s assertion that “except for independence, all issues concerning Tibet can be resolved by negotiations”. At the time, there were huge expectations that Deng might grant Tibet real autonomy, but the fact of the matter was that he was not at all interested in resolving the real issue of Tibet. He was simply talking about the personal status of His Holiness and the exile Tibetans living outside of Tibet.

    For Deng, Tibetans inside Tibet were living happily and peacefully and that as such there was no such a thing called Tibet issue. This was made clear when the Chinese government constantly rejected the Strasbourg proposal as nothing but disguised independence. We spent another few decades trying to convince the Chinese that we are very sincere when it comes to securing autonomy for Tibet and that not even in the wildest of our imaginations do we consider the Middle-Way approach as a stepping stone to achieve ultimate independence for Tibet. We failed to grasp the simple truth that words and phrases such as “disguised independence”, “semi-independence”, “what the Dalai Lama speaks is not important, what he does is more important” on the part of the Chinese state is nothing but mere excuses to avoid resolving Tibet’s problem. They are all empty words, devoid of any meaning, all polite way of saying, “NO” to our aspiration for a negotiated settlement to the Tibet issue.

    Finally, after more than two decades, when the whole of the Tibetan nation is on the verge of realizing the truth, the truth of China’s lies, plots and intrigues behind the so-called talks, the truth that it has never thought of finding out a substantial resolution to the Tibetan issue, there are some die-hard middle-pathists, who are using every manipulative resources available at their disposal to convince the silent majority of Tibetans that there is still hope in the talks and negations.

    There are only two reasons for the Middle-Pathists for stubbornly and foolishly clinging to this approach. Either the Middle-Pathists are not aware of China’s ultimate goal to see the Dalai Lama die outside of Tibet, that China’s only goal behind the facade of talks is to procrastinate the Tibetan struggle and thus render the Tibetan movement ineffective and lose its sheen. Or they have a vested interest in continuing with the policy despite fully knowing the fact that it has failed to bring the Chinese to the table of negotiations. After all, a change in the policy of our struggle, from autonomy to independence, will result in the loss of power and position of the Middle-Pathists.

    It is sad that for the last some years, a kind of psychological war, a kind of witch-hunt, has been launched against the Rangzen activists, a kind of hate campaigns against the independence activists, as if they are anti-national and going against the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The word Rangzen itself has become taboo in the heart of the Tibetan exile capital, and any one who is found uttering it is regarded as a sort of outcast, a Don Quixote, an idealist who is not capable of grasping reality; in other words some one who is on the verge of going out of his or her mind. A die-hard Rangzen activist, I don’t want to name here, has been looked down upon as sort of mad man (nyonpa). They are kind of subjected to severe reprimands, every now and then, as if these Rangzen activists are partly responsible for derailing the so-called negotiation process between Dharamsala and Beijing, a negotiation which never took off from the outset.

    The recent press conference organized by the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Department in Beijing, during which the Chinese government categorically rejected the autonomy proposals of His Holiness, even denying that Deng ever made a promise to discuss all issues concerning Tibet except for independence is the final nail in the coffin of the Tibetan government’s efforts to secure autonomy for Tibet.

    Therefore, if we are genuinely concerned about preserving the distinct identity of Tibet then we should know the fact that only a free and independent Tibet will be able to do so. We must realize that China’s ultimate aim in Tibet is to fully assimilate it into the larger Chinese state. It is important for all of us to know that freedom and independence are non-negotiable, that without them humans can’t survive. They are like the air that we breathe every day, without which we cannot live. Freedom and independence is the soul of Tibet, without which Tibet is like a dead-man walking, a zombie, with no sense of feelings and emotions. This should be realized by all and sundry.

    Tibetans inside Tibet showed us in this year’s mega-protests that they have not given up their struggle. It gives us a new hope and confidence that Tibet’s independence can be realized provided we believe in it and work to achieve it. It is the sacred duty of we Tibetans living in free countries, both the individuals and the government, that we must fulfill the wishes of millions of Tibetans who died, hoping to see the restoration of Tibet’s freedom from the Chinese yoke.

    My father, who spent his entire life, serving the Tibetan nation, first as a common soldier guarding the borders of eastern Tibet against Chinese encroachment, and then later in exile as soldier of the Tibetan regiment in Chakrata, had made the following lamentation, when he was convinced that he would die after being bedridden for two months from cancer:

    My only regret is that I couldn’t die on Tibetan soil!

  6. I happen to read this article of yours right after I finished reading Lobsang Sangay’s piece on Phayul. There are lot suggestions and assessment going on since the special meeting is about to begin. the one that Dr. LOs sangey wrote was more like scenes for a fictional movie or a novel. Although few of his suggestions were commendable but others are very fictitious and degrades his ability to be realistic and reasonable, specially when he mentioned the transfer of soul to the selected 15th Dalai Lama. Not only that he has come up with weird strategies. I suppose you have read that since I think you are referring to him when you said “fearful and naïve souls”

  7. Please visit the following website and make a groundbreaking change for Tibet!
    Tashi Delek to all,
    Since the end of September, I have been spending many hours on future Sino-Tibet relation. I really hope you could take about 20 minutes from your busy schedule and check what I am thinking. I need some one like you to criticize my view. I am worried Dharamsala will repeat the history again and make no groundbreaking approach for our future struggle. Please send me your criticism or comments.
    Below the link where you can find the show.
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  8. Jamyang, my continuing admiration and respect to you for keeping the fires blazing for a free and independent Tibet. There is one course, one goal, one objective..Bod Rangzen!

  9. I agree with Dr. Lobsang Senge’s stand on adopting the next Dalai Lama by the current DL. Wether we like it or not China will show their own version of DL.

  10. Yes! Middle way failed. It is clean cut from the beginning. Middle-way brought some disturbances into society although the strategy itself did not aim to cause such societal disturbance. For example, I have talked with qite a number of Tibetan youths, most of them claim to be the follower of Middle Way. For them, middle-way means sitting idle and wish something happen out of blue with His Holiness. They are also stating that they are not rangzen activist as Bodjong stated above. When I hear such statement, it just cut through my heart more than Chinese propaganda. The other characteristics about these kind of people are, they always claim they don’t know much about Tibet and China. What the hack, if if you don’t know about Tibet, then what are you fighting for why are you fighting? Did HHDL told you to sit down and cite his name like mantras? Did he not ask us to educate ourselves and empower ourselves? In fact, during TCV celebration speech, HHDL was also kind of desperate (sorry for this word, it seemingly true) with the state of Tibetan people’s education given the improvement facilities.

    Therefore, no matter what you believe in ways of achieving freedom for Tibet. We all are activist in some ways. If you are doing something for Tibet, you are activist. Activist does not just meant to label those who participate in street protest alone. If you are not well educated about Tibet and China, go and read about them and educate yourself.

    My words are not intended to cause emotionao harm anyone, rather the despicable attitude of some Tibetan youths. They need to be reminded and make them to ground firmly on earth, not floating in the cloud!


  11. I saw no single protester in this March in Tibet claimed oneself as a Rangzen activist or a Middle Path activist, but what you and I saw and heard clearly was that all of these brave men and women of Tibet, whether they come from east or west, north or south, farmers or herders, city dwellers or villagers, lay or ordained, educated or uneducated, leaving their differences at home and marched out fearlessly to the world’s ruthless colonizers and said in one voice with loud and clear; hey ,enough is enough, we also wanted to live like humans….putting their dearest things in life at risk and smashed into the face of their most fearful.
    To those of us who live in free world, all of these are a talk point, an emotional spectle, we only see it and don’t wanted to feel it, maybe we will never feel it until we are themselves.
    Maybe the best thing we ought to do or can do is to shut up , and let them continue their momentum.
    But I wanted to caution all of you; self serving donkeys, dry words reciters, running baby dog s, and more importantly to those of opportunists , to learn from this years’ historical March uprising, not interpret it.

  12. Yes, wheather its rangtsen or middle path we are working for the happiness and future of tibet. I do agree all people have different thought to reach the goal. i feel it will be very wonderful if we have same path for all tibetans to reach their goal. To be frank, i don’t like all the people paticipating in the meeting be judgemental about their thought and all the issues should be discussed seeing all aspect. yes, we can say middle way is a failure, but i think middle way itself is not failure but the talk with china. Yes, if go for Rangtsen not a question of failed talk but i think we won’t get that chance. And i think china will prolong our case by saying separatist and don’t let other nation to harm their security as they are economially very strong. i don’t see much change in chinese government as they are running successfully if we wait for the nation to disintegrate.

  13. Tsenpo,

    Your comments about youth attitudes brought me back to thinking about a major aspect of Tibetan exile strategy that’s not discussed much: reforming the school system. It’s probably not popular to talk about the failings of TCV, especially coming from a non-Tibetan like me, but when it comes down to it, if the majority of Tibetan youth growing up in India are not well-educated and well-informed on the real present-day realities of Tibet and don’t feel qualified to discuss or make decisions about it, that’s a failing of the school system.

    TCV has done an excellent job keeping a close-knit society where most of the students are Tibetan, and an excellent job of preparing students to succeed materially in an Anglo-centric international environment. Of course these aspects have been a great service to the wellbeing of Tibetan exile society, but I don’t think much thought has been put into preparing youth to take back their own country.

    I don’t think I have all or even most of the answers, but I have seen overall a much greater degree of success from many of the schools set up in Tibet itself. My knowledge of them has left me with a few policy ideas which I think would be worth considering and debating for the future of the Tibetan exile school system:

    1. Teach all classes at all levels and all subjects in Tibetan language only. English and Hindi forbidden except in “foreign language” classes. This includes math, science, history, government, literature, etc.

    2. Mandatory foreign language classes in English, Hindi, AND CHINESE. Also teach basic competence in all major Tibetan dialects to enable communication with Tibetans from any area of Tibet.

    3. Stop using religious texts as the primary material in teaching Tibetan reading. Quite frankly most kids find it boring and it teaches a notion that “Tibetan is a backwards language that exists only for preserving our culture and religion, but with no modern use.” The main focus should be on contemporary literature, books and periodicals from both within Tibet and from exile sources. The message should be clear that Tibetan is useful because it’s used to hear and to speak to the 6 million people of Tibet.

    4. Mandatory politics/goverment classes, with focus on at least 3 areas: Chinese law and the Chinese system of government past and present, the legal and constitutional systems of various “democratic” nations, and international law (nationhood, self-determination, human rights, indigenous rights, etc.).

    I’m sure other readers here can come up with many more ideas, and probably some better ones too. Hope I didn’t raise too much anger saying these things!

  14. I agree with Rich about the failure of school system somewhere. Having being born and brought up in Tibet, later studied in one of the schools in India, I found out many of students were not interested in Tibetan language, history, or religion. The funny part is, although not really interested in Buddhism as such, but pray to Buddhist symbols like their elderly. The catch is, in my view point, many of these kids are either advised by their parents or because of concsious of the career driven world, they lacked in interest in the very culture, religion, history, and country which is being under systematic assults and we shouting for it. If we look carefully, certain degree of Tibetan history is taught in class, but many of the students do not know when graduating from school.

    The other disease amongst Tibetans is, delegating responsibility to the next generation like “Future seeds of Tibet”. I was kind of tired of hearing it. When someone says, it irritates me.

    I was kind of shocked recently during an informal gathering few of Tibs, a very young one was saying, “Our parents did not get education, we are the first generation to get modern education or to earn a degree. Our kids will be more prepared and they will take the major responsibility.” (But who knows their kids will not speak Tibetan as they do, will not know about Tibet since themselves are ignorant about the subject!)

    I was in an utter shock not because she is wrong, rather her view is so narrow and often shaped by lack of knowledge. There are other people who cannot even speak Tibetan, but citing that they never attended Tibetan school when they were in India or so. It is true, but we should not look for excuse and thus ourself be execused from it. Unless Tibetans wake up from the big slumb and take the dual responsibility of studying for whatever goal one has in mind, but also be knowledgeable about one’s country and culture. The movement will lack dynamism and vitality.

    In the final analysis, every Tibetan should learn about Tibet, China, and world as a necessity for struggling for the freedom of Tibet while pursuing one’s own passion.

  15. So there we have it! The Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) now formally accepts what communist China has stated all along, namely that Tibetans are not a distinct people with entitlement to independence but simply one of China’s minority nationalities.

    The so-called ‘Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People’ released on 16th November by the CTA is a breathtaking demonstration of surrender and treachery which casts a disgraceful stain upon the political aspirations of the Tibetans inside Tibet, who face torture and bullets, not for servitude as a ‘minority people’, but for Rangzen. In grovelling to appease Beijing the CTA has spat upon the graves of the thousands of Tibetans who gave their lies fighting for independence.

    One hopes that Tibetans will urgently an vigorously oppose this shameful capitulation by calling upon the CTA to honour, reflect and serve the political wishes of the majority of the Tibetan people.


    Paragraph 3, line 6/7 should read as follows:

    “…In grovelling to appease Beijing the CTA has spat upon the graves of the thousands of Tibetans who gave their lives fighting for independence.

    Paragraph 4, line 1 should read:

    “One hopes that Tibetans will urgently and…”

  17. The Middle Way Path is the way or the path or the mean to get to somewhere, where your goal is; whether that is Rangzen or genuine autonomy of Tibet or whatever is yours.
    The current goal of the Middle Way Path is genuine autonomy of unified “Tibetan autonomous regions”in China. The traditional name of all these area is Chokhasum of Tibet.

    The principle of the Middle Way Path is based on mutual benefits of both Tibetans and Chinese.
    If Beijing government can’t see any benefits in the long-run for settling the difference of interests with exile Tibetan govt on genuine autonomy and can’t release any inches they have captured, then the Middle Way Path to get autonomy can be declared as a failure.

    If you exclude any possibilities of violence in Tibet struggle for freedom, then I don’t see any contradictions by using the Middle Way Path to gain Rangzen.

    I am so sick and tired of these ignorant Tibetans saying “Everybody wants happiness and nobody wants suffering” when somebody raises the topic of dragpoe Thablam. I am not promoting or advocating violent means to solve Tibet issue. At the same time, I think it would be naive, even counterproductive to think that it is “non-Tibetan” to do violent acts.

    The real question is who doesn’t know that “Everybody wants happiness and nobody wants suffering” and who does practice that principle?

    Cherry-picking the buddhist principles and the Dalai Lama’s speeches to suit the lazy mood of exile Tibetan officials is chronic..

  18. Ok, it seems like some people are going way off topic. Like someone said before me, even though he should write his own blog judging by the volume of his ‘comment’, Ranzen is non-negotiable and something that you should not treat like an option on a car depending upon the money in your wallet and the general economy. It is our fundamental right and for the matter, the right of any society. I hope to god (just an expression here) we don’t choose another reincarnation to lead us into yet another futile exercise into redundancy. Let us be a real democracy and let the common people govern themselves.


    Tenzin Nyinjey, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharamsala

    My father spent his entire life, serving the Tibetan nation, first as a common soldier guarding the borders of eastern Tibet, and then later in exile as a soldier of the Tibetan regiment in Chakrata. His dream was to see a free and independent Tibet, so that his children could live with honor and dignity. His only regret when he was in the last days of his life was that Tibet would not be his burying place.

    I am not an activist representing any particular organization. I am a common Tibetan, who is simply concerned about the crisis in Tibet. Any action taken by the Chinese government in Beijing, and the response that our government in exile gives to it invariable affects me.

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s recent statements that he lost trust in the Chinese government and that his hope for genuine autonomy for Tibet is thinning is a matter of grave concern for me. His Holiness has invoked the Tibetan charter to convene a special meeting of Tibetan exiles so as to discuss on what kind of strategies we must pursue in future to advance the just cause of Tibet. As a citizen of Tibet, I feel it is my solemn duty to express openly and honestly what I feel about the future course of our struggle.

    We spent almost thirty years trying to unravel the mysteries of Deng Xiaoping’s assertion that “except for independence, all issues concerning Tibet can be resolved through negotiations”. At the time, there were huge expectations that Deng might grant Tibet real autonomy, but the fact of the matter was that Deng Xioaping was not at all interested in resolving the real issue of Tibet. He was simply talking about the personal status of His Holiness and the exile Tibetans living outside of Tibet.

    For Deng and his successors, Tibetans inside Tibet were living happily and peacefully and that there was no such a thing called Tibet issue. This was made clear when the Chinese government constantly rejected the Strasbourg proposal as nothing but disguised independence. We spent another decade trying to convince the Chinese that we are very sincere when it comes to securing autonomy for Tibet and that not even in the wildest of our imagination do we consider the Middle-Way approach as a stepping stone to achieve independence for Tibet. In retrospect, we failed to grasp the simple truth that words and phrases such as “disguised independence”, “semi-independence”, “separatists”, “splittists” “what the Dalai Lama speaks is not important, what he does is more important” uttered by the Chinese state is nothing but mere excuses to avoid resolving Tibet’s problem. They are all empty words, devoid of any meaning, all polite way of saying, “NO” to our aspiration for a negotiated settlement to the Tibet issue.

    The recent press conference organized by the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department in Beijing, during which the Chinese government categorically rejected the autonomy proposals of His Holiness, even denying that Deng ever made a promise to discuss Tibetan issue short of independence has proved beyond doubt that China will never grant autonomy for Tibet. We must realize that China’s ultimate aim in Tibet is to fully assimilate it into the larger Chinese state.

    Under such circumstances, I feel we have no choice but to change our course and once again revive the struggle for a free and independent Tibet. Tibetans inside Tibet showed us in this year’s mega-protests that they have not given up their struggle. It gives us a new hope and confidence that Tibet’s freedom can be realized provided we believe in it and work to achieve it.

    I believe only a free and independent Tibet can genuinely secure and preserve the distinct identity of Tibet. Freedom and independence of Tibet are non-negotiable; they can not be compromised. Freedom is like the air that we breathe everyday, without which we can not survive. I believe Freedom and independence is the soul of Tibet, which must be nurtured and secured at all cost. Now I would like to present in detail why we must change the course of our struggle from autonomy to outright independence:

    1. Rangzen is the existential or fundamental birth right of every Tibetan

    Every Tibetan’s fundamental wish is for Rangzen, for independence from China. This is their genuine wish, their existential right. This is also in accordance with the essence of Buddhism, which says dag nyig dag gi gon (You are the master of your own self). Also according to the rules and regulations of the United Nations charter, every individual has the right to decide on its own affairs and matters without any pressure from outside. Therefore fighting for one’s individual right is the basis for creating a truly free and open society. This exactly is the wish of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, when he gifted democracy to the Tibetans, so that Tibetans can express their fundamental wish, desire without any influence from above.

    2. Genuine Autonomy is Impossible in the Context of Leninist and Police state, which is the People’s Republic of China.

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s proposal that the whole of Tibet should enjoy genuine autonomy, with a democratic system of governance featuring an elected legislature, an executive and independent judiciary is impossible in a Leninist and authoritarian regime/system like the People’s Republic of China. Any one who has a slight doubt on this should realize what happened to the Chinese students in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. These students were asking for democracy, freedom of speech, transparency, elected leadership, freedom of speech and association for which they were brutally massacred. If the Chinese regime can massacre their own innocent students for speaking out for democracy then imagine what would happen to the Tibetans, who are ethnically and racially different from the Chinese. In short, asking for genuine autonomy with democratic governance for Tibet is akin to asking for the Communist Party in China to renounce its sole power position. It is, in other words, the biggest threat to the rule of the Communist Party in China. No wonder they have called our autonomy efforts as nothing but “disguised independence”, “semi-independence”, “separation”, “splittists”, and so on.

    3. Rangzen will bring unity for the whole Tibetan population

    The most pressing need of the Tibetans at this crisis moment is unity. Whether we agree or not, there is some sense of disagreement/disunity between the advocates of Middle path and Rangzen. A common goal therefore will ensure unity amongst the six million Tibetans. History is witness to the truth that China has always exploited the disunity amongst the Tibetans. They have been using the tactics of divide and rule policy. A common goal will avoid such evil designs of the Chinese and will further strengthen the movement of the Tibetan people.

    4. Living with the Chinese nation will never ensure the preservation and protection of Tibetan culture and religion.

    China has no genuine respect for Tibetan culture, language and religion. For them Tibetan religion and culture is nothing but superstition and backwardness. As such it is the sacred duty of every Chinese to bring “civilization” to the Tibetans by bringing in Chinese language, culture and “civilization”. In a nutshell, Chinese civilization and modernization in Tibet is nothing but to SINICIZE the whole Tibetan population. Only when Tibetans can adopt Chinese culture and mannerisms, can they be considered as enlightened, modern and educated. Clinging to Tibetan culture, religion, language, according to the Chinese state, is clinging to backwardness. This is the attitude of not just the ruling Communist Party, but of the Chinese people themselves. Of course there are Chinese who show some interest in Tibetan Buddhism, but they are on the fringe, very miniscule, like the proverbial drop in the ocean. Therefore, if Tibet were to preserve and maintain its distinct identity it has to be completely free and independent of China.

    5. Genuine Autonomy for Tibet is not the ultimate and only wish of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

    Many Tibetans have a sort of misperception or misunderstanding that genuine autonomy for Tibet through the Middle Way is the only and ultimate wish of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This is not true at all. His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s aspiration for autonomy for Tibet occurred only after 1979, when Deng Xiaoping promised him that he would discuss all issues of Tibet, except for independence. Before 1979, His Holiness was fighting for Tibet’s independence. The only thing His Holiness can’t compromise on is the non-violent approach of the Tibetan movement. As far as Tibet’s goal is concerned, whether the Tibetans want autonomy or independence, His Holiness has clearly pointed out that ultimately the six million Tibetans will decide this. Therefore asking for Tibet’s independence doesn’t means going against the wish of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His Holiness wants to seek the genuine wish of Tibetans through this conference. Ask your self, what do you truly want: Rangzen or autonomy?

    6. Seeking Rangzen will have more options for the Tibetans in their fight against the Chinese.

    When we seek autonomy, we have to accommodate China’s “concerns and demands”, such as not organizing demonstrations against Chinese leaders’ visit abroad, such as not using words like independence, colonialism, genocide in our literature and documents. Not using all these words are in essence compromising on truth, in the name of diplomacy and protocol. Seeking autonomy thus ties our hands and restricts our options and strategies. When we say that we want to resolve Tibet’s issue within the framework of Chinese constitution, then it becomes very difficult for us to stop the increasing Chinese migration to the Tibetan plateau. Because the Chinese government gives the argument that in accordance to the Chinese constitution Chinese citizens can move freely to all areas of China, including Tibet. Seeking Rangzen or independence will free our hands; give us more options and strategies, to confront one of the biggest threats to the survival of Tibet: migration of Chinese settlers to Tibet. Regarding this issue, at least we can invoke the Geneva Convention, which says an occupying country (China) has no rights to encourage mass migration or colonialism to an occupied country (Tibet).

    7. Seeking Rangzen will give us more allies in our fight against the Chinese.

    If we seek complete independence from China, or in other words if we clearly express our genuine desire that it is impossible for us to live with the Chinese regime, we will get more allies in our fight against the Chinese. These allies include people of East Turkistan, Inner Monglia, and Taiwan. Seeking autonomy for Tibet or endorsing the PRC constitution will alienate all of these allies, since the PRC constitution recognizes all these countries as territorially an integral part of China.

    8. Rangzen and Autonomy both are not supported by any government, but Rangzen has more chances of genuine support.

    Again there is (mis)conception that autonomy for Tibet is supported by the international community and not Rangzen. As one noted Tibetan intellectual said, the only thing that the international community, including the US leadership and Secrtary of the UN, support or say is that they call for dialogue and talks between China and His Holiness’ representatives. They have not come up with an open statement that they support the unification of the three provinces of Tibet having a genuine democratic autonomous system. As said before they have simply urged for talks between Dharamsala and Beijing. Such an urging is the norm in the global world politics, whenever there are conflicts in any part of the region. The truth is that the only support that we have for Tibet is popular support, whether it is in the west or in India. Not a single government of any country has publicly supported the autonomy proposals of the Tibetan government in exile. In fact they don’t even recognize the exile Tibetan government, leave alone recognizing or supporting its efforts for genuine autonomy in Tibet. The popular or mass support for Tibet will continue no matter whether we fight for autonomy or Tibet’s independence. In fact from the strategic point of view, only an independent Tibet has the chance to secure support from Tibet’s neighbouring countries like Russia, Nepal, Bhutan, and India. All these countries are threatened by the Chinese hegemony. For them it would be a great strategic asset if Tibet were to regain its independence and once again serve as buffer state between themselves and China, thus further strengthening and ensuring their territorial integrity and sovereignty.


    We believe in democracy. So every Tibetan has full right to express their opinions freely. They have every right to express what sort of status they want to gain for Tibet, autonomy or independence. As far as I am concerned, one thing is proven beyond doubt, that the People’s Republic of China, even if it has the desire, will never ever grant the kind of autonomy we are demanding from them, for the simple reason that it threatens the very “core” of the Leninist state, which is “Democratic Centralism”. I, therefore, believe this special conference is a very good opportunity for every Tibetan to realize, not just in words, but in deeds, that the genuine autonomy as proposed by His Holiness in his Strasbourg proposal is impossible in the context of the People’s Republic of China. Hoping for such an autonomous status for Tibet is a pipe dream. Not a decent Tibetan in Tibet wants to live under/with the Chinese, as shown in this year’s protests. This is the truth we must live in.

  20. Jamyanga la,
    We are all waiting to hear about the meetings in Dharamsala. I hope there are many more Tibetans with enough courage to face up to our governmental in exile and to let it know that we Tibetans want Independence from China. Those who still want to live in an autonomous Tibet can go to Tibet right now because there is TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region) which is aready in existence and which is supposedly enjoying religuous freedom and what not. The phrase “genuine autonomy” bothers me. It is not exact enough. It leaves too much room for the overlords to abuse when they find it fit to use. Anyway why does Tibet need a baby sitter? We are an ancient civilization.

    I do agree that the Tibetan school system in India is pathetic. I had often wondered to myself how things could have been different if I had been able to go to an Indian public school. Any suggestion of creativity is crushed by branding it as “affection.” When I was studying in India girls were not allowed to join drawing and music classes. Girls were sent to stitching classes. I hope such seventeenth century practises had been dispensed with long ago.
    Many of the Indian students are excellent in Mathematics, the Sciences and Literature. Tibetans who come from Tibet are good in Math and Tibetan. Why can’t most of us from exile Tibetan schools write a decent book or become scientists. I think it has a lot to do with being too insulated. I have friends my age who still think HH can fly if he wants to. And often I had heard parents emphasizing on “eating” properly than on “studying hard.” The evidence of it is in a popular joke in a Western Tibet dialect, “sajay kho dhang tungjay kho jhung na lobjong khota mang nang mang” which loosely translates as “if one can eat and drink enough, education is not that essential.”
    Those who live in the US have opportunity to learn Chinese in many high schools and colleges. Instead of using your energy to get papers to prove you already speak a foreign language namely Tibetan,(which some of you barely do) use it to learn another one like Chinese or spanish or French. It feels so good when Tibetans do better than the Chinese Americans. Most of them are our enemies as we found out during the Olympic Torch protests. The fact that the head of the police force in San Francisco is a Chinese woman tells us how important it is for Tibetans to get into politics of the countries we have adopted so that we too can make influences favourable to our cause.

  21. 给藏人大会的建议:
    Sangje Gyaltso

  22. Where is Dava?

    She said she was tired of the discussions here and the amount of hatred being expressed. This puzzled me considering there was only very limited discussion of the possibility of a return to armed resistance in future and some rather mild retorts to fenqing (“angry youth” or “wild youth”) posters who came to this forum spoiling for a fight. If Dava wants to see real viciousness, she should take a look at some of the drivel the fenqing post on youtube and the way they respond to anyone who challenges them.

    On a more general level, I refuse to see the hatred oppressed people feel towards their oppressors as equivalent to the hatred oppressors feel towards those they oppress. I attempted to discuss this with Sun Shuyun recently at a launch for “A Year in Tibet” but got short shrift. The bottom line is that it is asking the impossible of Tibetans to never express hatred to the Chinese, given what the Chinese have done to them and are continuing to do right now.

    Although I often disagreed with Dava’s posts, I would like to see her return to this forum.

  23. Ah yes ‘A Year in Tibet’ what a pro-communist China white-wash of the situation inside Tibet. Ms Shuyun must be pleased with her sanitised concealment of the plight of the Tibetan people. She and the BBC will of course feel no shame.

  24. I was out there on my own at that book reading. The other 20 people were all apolitical travel book fans. They all tittered when Sun Shuyun portrayed Tibetans as superstitious, feckless, drunken, polyandric, bedhopping and genrally lacking in spine. She said the Dalai Lama was rude to appoint his choice of the Panchen Lama without consulting the Chinese government (no mention of the Chinese government being rude for kidnapping the Panchen Lama and his family). Insofar as she had a general claim, it is the Tibetan culture has weathered the storm of the Cultural Revolution and now everything would be OK if Tibetans just had a bit more backbone (ie: to make a living not to take on their occupiers).
    Come question time, I asked her about a part of the book where a cafe owner snapped at her and told her to go back to China. She went on a 10 min self-indulgent ramble about how badly her feelings were hurt. I interrupted to say that if she can’t understand the rage Tibetans sometimes feel towards all Chinese people, she cannot have come to terms with the sheer violence of China’s occupation of Tibet. She said that is rubbish. I shut up before I was told to leave because there was no point trying to make any more points.
    She truly believes she is enlightened about Tibet. I don’t think she was self-consciously writing propaganda (though parts of the book do read like it, like suggesting monasteries have CCTV cameras to prevent theft of valuable religious artifacts). I think the book shows just how far most Chinese people have to go even if they think they are urbane and internationalist.

    BTW: I think it would be great if some Tibet old hands picked apart that book and TV programme. I’m hoping the TV programme doesn’t get screened here in Australia, because the “old Tibet was a bad place and things are actually better now” crew would lap it up.

  25. Yes, it is correct that there are defective side on the exile education system in India. But these students are much more better in studies and behaviour compare with the students from Tibet. I can say proudly that Tibetan students can compete with other nationalities neck and neck if they get opportunity. I think opportunity block our students in getting to the global platform. As news came up some years back that some young exile Tibetan students excelled in America school on both studies and behaviour. This is proud to be being a Tibetan. And also some exile grown up Tibetan scholar like Tsering Shakya, Tenzin Tsundue, Lobsang Senge, Jamyang Norbu late Dawa Norbu etc are the one we can display as exile icon to the world, and we can proudly say that Tibetan exiles can exercise on any fields. So it is better, not try to dragged ourselves down,just because of some defective point.

  26. BillK

    Bravo for your challenge Ms Shuyun, in all probability a card-carrying member of the Chinese Communist Party, and a favourite author of Xinhua, China’s propaganda agency. As to old hands deconstructing ‘A Year in Tibet’ please note the following, which was presented to Peter Firstbrook, the producer/writer of that film:

    “Independent Tibet Network

    18th April 2008

    Mr.Peter Firstbrook
    Series Producer-‘A Year in Tibet’

    Dear Sir,

    We are writing to you as the producer and writer of the series ‘A Year in Tibet’ to represent the genuine concerns felt amongst our membership, and beyond in the wider public, most recently reflected in the online petition ‘BBC Whitewashes Tibet’, concerning the nature of this film. I should inform you that Independent Tibet Network has been actively researching, campaigning and writing upon Tibet since 1988.

    It is our understanding that Mr Richard Klein, of the BBC commissioned Mosaic Films and Sevenstones Media to produce the film, which BBC Four screened during March/April 2008. We note that the locational Director was Ms. Shun Shuyun, a Chinese writer and film-maker. The BBC claimed that this film to be an ‘observational documentary’, following a year in the life of Gyantse, Tibet’s third largest town. The programme portrays a seemingly contented and thriving culture,seemingly untainted by the odious excesses of Communist Chinese occupation, which have been well documented for decades, and gave birth to the recent demonstrations for Tibetan independence across Tibet since the 14th March 2008. You will be aware that the bloody suppression of Tibetans demanding justice and political independence continues.

    Unfortunately the oppression and systematic erosion of Tibetan culture was not embraced by the film, whose makers somehow managed to document daily living in such circumstances, yet singularly failed to feature the cultural and political suppression, which has operated inside Tibet since China’s invasion in 1950. A wonderful opportunity to assemble a genuine insight into the lives of Tibet’s people was spurned, in favour of a ‘reality-tv’ misrepresentation. Unlike Channel Four’s ‘Undercover in Tibet’, which exposed the naked and violent truth of life inside Tibet, your film was occupied with glossing over the facts, through what appeared to be highly-staged propaganda, which carefully avoided issues of sensitivity by constructing a stereotypical and idyllic image of life inside Tibet. It did not go un-observed that at times the Tibetans featured appeared under some pressure, as one of our members informed us, ‘there was an air of coercion‘.

    One wonders how those responsible for this series felt as they witnessed Tibetans, during March and April, facing bullets, torture and prison for challenging China’s draconian occupation, and noted the reports of unarmed Tibetans being gunned-down by the very same Chinese security forces that would be charged with protecting the Olympic Torch through the controversial procession across London. Many people from the UK, and beyond, contacted Independent Tibet Network utterly sickened by the fact the BBC continued to broadcast this film as Tibetans were being killed inside Tibet for peacefully protesting independence from communist China.

    The timing of this series was curious, screened just several months before Beijing launches the 2008 Olympic Games, an event which has attracted international outrage and opposition relating to China’s appalling human rights record, and its brutal suppression of the Tibetan and Uyghur people. Unfortunately, such political realities are not reflected in ‘A Year in Tibet’, which ignores the fact that within Britain and elsewhere, exists genuine and widespread concern at the plight of Tibet. Such opinion was surprised and disappointed to note a film lacking in some fundamental journalistic standards, such as balance, independence, accuracy and critique. The response has been overwhelming from those expressing concern regarding the content, style of, and motivation behind, ‘A Year In Tibet’.

    In excluding important factual information, this programme grossly misrepresented the political and cultural realities experienced by Tibetans, although it afforded an exotic and colourful, albeit limited glimpse of Tibet, in a number of areas it was lacking critical material. For example, Gyaltsen Norbu, an innocent stooge selected by Communist China as Tibet’s new ‘Panchen Lama’ was given considerable exposure, whilst the candidate formally recognised by the Dalai Lama, was virtually ignored by the programme, with no reference to the fact that he remains in ‘protective custody’ at an unknown location. This resulted in a selective and distorted presentation, of an issue of immense cultural importance to the people of Tibet, and one which would have attracted the interest and concern of the BBC’s stake-holding public.

    To claim that the makers of this series were “permitted to film in Tibet unsupervised”, yet produce a film which glosses-over areas of ‘sensitivity’ is a puzzling inconsistency and entirely unconvincing, as reflected in the informed and experienced comments of filmmaker, Jezza Neumann, who made UK Channel Four’s Documentary ‘Undercover Tibet’:

    “If you want to film in Tibet then you have to apply for permission, and if you’re given permission then you’ll be allocated a state-appointed minder – so the only way to make a film of the truth successfully is to go undercover”.(The Independent Monday, 31 March 2008)

    Within a totalitarian state, such as Communist China, social, political, and cultural control is an endemic and corrosive reality, particularly within Tibet, a region Beijing views with an acute sensitivity.

    This of course would have been well known to your colleague, Ms Shun Shuyun, although one wonders, given her seeming affinity with the Communist Chinese authorities, if it was ever possible to realise even the mildest criticism or balanced assessment. Of course it may well be that Ms Shuyun is a card-carrying member of the Chinese Communist Party? Whatever the facts, it is difficult to understand why she was chosen for such a critical, and presumably influential post, where independent objectivity would be vital, moreover, we understand she is not fluent in Tibetan and has no academic qualification in any aspect of Tibetan culture. Imagine producing a similar project on the lives of Palestinians, and appointing a non Arab-speaking, orthodox and right-wing Israeli as Director. Under such a circumstance could one ever expect a film that would meaningfully examine, challenge or question some of Israel’s less honourable actions?

    No one who has any knowledge of Communist China’s appalling record on human rights, and political and civil freedom, can accept the claim that the film’s makers were given unfettered access to film across Tibet, or allowed to give publicity to issues Beijing regards as taboo. This was demonstrated after some 39 minutes of the programme when the commentary announced:

    “…although China has had a single child policy since the 1970s, the law has never been applied to ethnic Tibetans” .

    This remark bears an uncanny resemblance to official Chinese propaganda and is forcefully contradicted by the disturbing contents of the television documentary ‘Undercover Tibet’, in which producer Jezza Neumann documented such abuses as being all too real for Tibetans.

    “China maintains that it doesn’t implement its one-child policy in minority regions such as Tibet, but we discovered that this wasn’t true. One woman told us how she’d been subjected to a forced sterilisation. The secret police broke into her house and said they would take all of her belongings if she didn’t go with them. Aspirin was the only anaesthetic she was given before they cut her open.” (The Independent 31st March 2008)

    May we enquire if this fact-free comment,is your authorship, or Ms Shuyun’s? It flies-in-the-face of a wealth of information which documents coercive birth control abuses within Tibet, reported by bodies such as Amnesty International, members of the United States Congress, Optimus, Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Human Rights Watch, Independent Tibet Network, Asia Watch and the British Medical Association.

    Such material has been given meticulous coverage and examination in reports such as ‘Children of Despair’ and ‘Orders of the State’ (ITN 1992 and 2000 respectively).

    Information, eyewitness testimony and personal accounts continue to emerge, all of which detail forced sterilisations of Tibetan women, yet none of this material seems to have attracted the interest of any of the parties involved with this project.

    The charmingly named ‘Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) Birth Control Leading Group Document-Number Six’, reveals the degree of state control and coercion relating to ‘birth-control’ as imposed across the so-called TAR by the Communist Chinese authorities, beneath the deliberately vague and extenuating terminology, and chilling synonyms, one can easily recognize two basic facts. Tibetans are indeed subject to China’s notorious population control ‘measures’, and furthermore the methodology employed features a draconian spiral of coercive measures, including forced sterilisations. Chapter two , item nine states:

    “At the heart of agricultural and nomadic areas, must stick to the principles of relying mainly on propaganda education, voluntary and offering service, advocate fewer births quality births..First start propaganda testing work and then gradually widen the scope on that basis”

    An official document from the ‘Ganzi Tibet Autonomous Prefecture Committee for Birth Control’ includes the ‘Communist Party Central Committee Document Number 9’ It states:

    “In order to raise the economic and cultural standard and national quality in the minority areas, birth control must also be implemented among minorities”.

    The document includes details of measures, population targets and sanctions, all of which are imposed upon Tibetans in that region

    “Ideological education must be the main method in implementing , it must also be assisted with necessary administrative and economic methods…..must promote the transition of people’s ideology of birth and further strengthen the consciousness of practicing birth control”

    These chilling euphemisms, so reminiscent of the eugenic lexicon within Nazi Germany’s sterilisation laws, barely conceal the traumatising brutalities such official law presages for Tibetan women. Such a shameful willingness to uncritically accept Beijing’s official line, and the effortless compliance in misrepresenting the harrowing reality of birth-control, as imposed upon Tibetans, hardly conforms to independent or factual journalism. Furthermore, in promoting a warped image of life in Gyantse, which included no reference to the notorious Gyantse Detention centre (from which has emerged a number of reports documenting systematic torture and abuse of Tibetans), your film is affirming a deceit of equal stature to the assertion that ‘Hitler did not gas Gypsies or Jews’.

    To claim therefore that you have enabled a factual insight into the ordinary lives of Tibetans in Gyantse is an astonishing distortion, moreover it suggests a naivety of worrying proportions, that considered the arrival of a BBC sponsored film crew would be able to freely document the genuine daily circumstances prevailing in Gyantse. Indeed, given the totalitarian nature of the occupying Chinese communist regime, which approved this film, it is extremely difficult not to view this project as anything but a politically motivated sanitisation.

    Moreover, in selectively omitting such factual information, on the basis that this series is ‘observational’, and not a detailed historical or political examination, the programme’s stated objectives are exposed as disingenuous, to echo official Communist Chinese propaganda that Tibetans are exempt from birth-control is itself blatant political comment! Furthermore, such sophist posturing does not absolve any of the parties involved in commissioning and producing this film from an obligation to ensure viewers are presented with a balanced and informed coverage of all relevant issues. In relation to these issues this programme failed to meet those standards. Moreover, by engaging with, and complying to the political requirements of the Chinese Communist regime, to produce this obsequious propaganda, is in itself a highly political act. What is one to make of this?

    It would seem, in relation to Communist China, that a certain policy operates within the BBC, one that avoids areas of particular concern or embarrassment to Beijing’s Politbureau, one recalls the disappointing short-comings of ‘China-Week’, which was also somewhat light in areas of important human right and environmental concerns, and coincidently avoided entirely any reference to China’s coercive birth control policies. We recall too that you have a history of overlooking China’s dark excesses, particularly its environmental destruction of Tibet. Perhaps you recall your involvement with the series ‘Red Dynasty’, for which you were Series Producer. The last programme ‘Year of the Dragon’ was screened on BBC Two on 7th October 1989. It rightly drew justified criticism for its slanted and misleading presentation of the issues of flooding and deforestation in the Tibetan region of Kham (featured in the programme as Sichuan and Yunnan). As with ‘A Year in Tibet’, you carefully avoided any critique of Communist China, by singularly failing to inform viewers that the ecological degradation of these forested areas is attributed to insensitive commercial exploitation by state sponsored logging projects, in which once verdant hillsides are transformed into a lunar landscape, all with the knowledge, active support and investment of the Communist Chinese authorities.

    Nor did you assign the causes of major flooding in the region to such large scale deforestation, instead suggesting such incidents simply happened, and falsely laying responsibility upon local Tibetans, who have been sustainably using those forests for countless generations, by featuring footage isolated wood gathering. No images of China’s state sponsored logging industry, nor reference to the political context and China’s illegal occupation, during which Tibet’s natural resources have been systematically exploited, without any consideration to the ecological impact.
    Instead the impression was clearly given that Tibetans were responsible, a nauseating prostitution of the facts, that deliberately concealed the wholesale environmental destruction caused by Communist China. Despite claims, again echoing similar excuses concerning ‘A Year in Tibet’, that the programme’s remit did not embrace Chinese involvement in Tibet (either politically or historically) the grossly single-sided perspective, factual omissions, and misrepresentations were in themselves highly political and very pro-Chinese.

    It is a remarkable coincidence that your involvement with films on Tibet, with an intervening period of twenty years, has witnessed a consistent selectivity that avoids any scrutiny or criticism of China’s oppression of Tibet, its atrocious human rights abuses, or its shameful environmental record in that country. Given the degree and nature of concern felt towards Tibet, amongst the British public many will be disappointed to note the deliberate misrepresentation of the political and cultural realties of life in occupied Tibet, and troubled by your film, which appears more concerned with deferring to the sensitivities of UK foreign policy with China, than in creating a factual exposure of the situation facing the people and culture of Tibet.

    The issue of Tibet has suffered from years of Chinese propaganda distorting and obscuring the tragic condition of the Tibetan people, ‘A Year in Tibet’ has done nothing to redress this imbalance, indeed it has endorsed the official Chinese viewpoint by failing to present a balanced and factual perspective.

    As such this series can only have pleased the Communist government of China, and perhaps those within the Foreign Office whose fossilised policy of appeasing China at all costs, callously ignores the political aspirations of Tibetans for independence and human rights abuses, such as the brutal realities of forced sterilisation of Tibetan women.

    This matter will be taken further with the BBC to ensure that future programmes on Tibet will not marginalize, dilute or distort the political and cultural situation inside Tibet.

    Yours faithfully, Jeffrey Bowe”

    Anyone wishing to express their concern about this film may wish write to:

    Mr.Peter Firstbrook
    Series Producer-‘A Year in Tibet’
    c/o Mosaic Films

    Or write to: Mosaic Filsm, 4th Floor, Shacklewell Studios
    28 Shacklewell Lane
    London E8 2EZ. UK

    Also please consider adding yor name the online petition:


  27. Echoing Jeff’s comment (#10), it now seems official that the already pronounced-dead Middle way approach is still the only way, thanks to the political reincarnating game by the CTA establishment.

    The Chinese communists have said that there’s not going to be any discussion about autonomy of any kind for Tibetans, but later added that they are willing to meet again with “the Dalai’s representatives” again some day.

    So what did this establishment-dominated meeting accomplish except rubberstamping the failed status quo?

    Shouldn’t those accepting “China’s indisputable sovereignty” over Tibet now finally pack their belongings and head back to their Chinese motherland in “Tibetan Autonomous Region” or “Qinghai” or Sichuan since they are no longer engaged in the struggle for Tibetan Freedom?

    What is the middlewayers’ excuse for continuing to dillydally in exile? By returning back to the Tibetan minority areas of China they could at least enjoy many more face-to-face meetings with their Chinese overlords.

    One day the 14th Dalai Lama will be no longer around to arouse media interest in the West so what are the CTA and their supporters going to do then? At that point the Chinese will no more recognize any “Dalai’s representatives” to waste time with, and as we know, to the Chinese the CTA doesn’t even exist. Who in the world are going to support such a Tibetan exile government politically or even financially?

    The only person who could possibly reverse the total capitulation known as Middle way and win support for Tibetan Freedom (Rangzen) is the 14th Dalai Lama, ideally with the backing of his establishment and the Tibetan people.

    After this popular persona has passed away, or even reincarnated, there will be no one that the world will listen about the Tibetans’ case for freedom from Chinese rule. In fact there will be no Tibetan that the world will truly listen, period. On the other hand you can count on the Chinese regime to start regurgitating selected video clips and sound bites by the Dalai Lama explaining how Tibet is part of China and how he was not asking for independence or separation from the motherland.

    Rangzen, the birth right of a nation, isn’t something you can simply discard in a dumpster in exchange for temporary political (or religious, as the case may be for the CTA establishment) convenience.

  28. Dear Jamyang,

    Please delete my earlier post, sent few hours ago.

    I don’t want my frustration to provide satisfaction to the chinese and in any case I need time to rethink many things.

    རང་བཙན། ??

  29. If the government in exile wants to be chinese and most Tibetans there wants to follow them to the end so be it. So now we have nothing to argue about. And I am quite comfortable being American.

  30. DAWA

    Take your point, however as you are Tibetan you must surely question the spurious claim made by the CTA that a majority of your people inside Tibet support the surrender of Tibetan nationhood. Perhaps Samdhong Rinpoche was selectively blind to the mass uprisings demanding Bod Rangzen, during March and April, however the exiled Tibetan community must have recognised, and supported, the political aspirations of their fellow Tibetans inside Tibet?

  31. Sorry about my mix-up above. I expected there to be moderation to prevent youtube-like spamming and asked Jamyang to cancel my initial message so I could evaluate the explanations behind the meeting’s decisions before making a more measured comment.

    It is not for me to tell anyone to go back to Tibet/China, that was pure frustration talking and I apologize for any such first impressions.

    I do however see a problem with religious wishfullness being applied as a political bandaid solution to the secular question regarding the future survival of the Tibetan nation and its people.

    Dharma, suffering, attachments… it is almost as if giving up your secular human rights is considered to be a sign of devoutness.

  32. I hear you Jeff and confused Inji and agree with you guys. What you read gives some comfort to find that there are people who care for Tibet.
    Tibetans in Tibet wants Independence which is why they are risking their lives shouting “Bho Rangzen” around the streets of Barkhor and also those Tibetan on horseback waving Tibetan national flag in eastern Tibet. But the CTA which is supposed to represent all TIbetans is in airy fairy land. Many of them don’t have their immediate families inside Tibet so they don’t really care what majority of Tibetans want or think. They do want to appear very NICE and GOOD in the eyes of the outside world. They think they care for Tibet and they do somewhat but they care more for what others will think of “us” and “our Buddhistness”. Many of them don’t read and few of them might read a biogrpahy or two of famous people.

  33. To Confused Inji in #31, I sympathize with your frustration but I have no fear of Tibetans’ aspiration for rangzen dying. In Tibet that is simply not an option. The ignorant and illiterate fools in Dharamsala can sit on their privilege all they like, getting fat in exile off of proving again and again to the world how noble they are for their “loyalty to the Dalai Lama”. (Which many of them seemed to insist this meeting was about, despite His demand that it not be!) They have the privilege to make a choice. People in Tibet do not have that privilege. For them, there is no such option as giving up, and it’s plainly clear to anyone who spends even just a moment in Tibet that no system with the Chinese still in charge offers any hope.

    Actually I too would urge members and supporters of the TGIE and it’s failed policy to “go back to China”. They have the invitation from China, as long as they “apologize”, renounce their green books, accept Chinese citizenship, etc. Then maybe they’ll gain some real understanding of what it’s like to live under that – both the horrors of it, and the hope and opportunity to make change by one’s own hands rather than by bowing down and crying in front of China or the world community and begging for concessions.

  34. I’m not sure what “China’s indisputable sovereignty over Tibet” means to the TGIE. Are they just stating a matter of fact about occupation of territory? (ie: That China has over 100,000 troops and police on Tibetan territory and is able to arrest and torture Tibetans as they please.)

    That is definitely not what “sovereignty” means to the fenqing and I doubt it means that to their elders in the CCP either. To Chinese ears, ANY recognition of its “sovereignty” over Tibet means recognition of China’s right to do with Tibet whatever it pleases. What pleases many Chinese is cultural genocide – a steady sinicization of the Tibetan nation until all that will be left are folk dances and national dress. The TGIE understands that there is ongoing cultural genocide but doesn’t seem to understand the need for plainer speech about it. Talking about cultural genocide one day and acknowledging China’s “indisputable sovereignty” the next doesn’t help the world to understand that, far from being just a good sound bite, “cultural genocide” is the correct term for what is happening in Tibet every day.

    Just as many Chinese hear demands for autonomy and reply that Tibet already has autonomy, they hear acknowledgements of China’s sovereignty and take that as recognition of the legitimacy of their occupation and of their eternal right to rule Tibet.

  35. Jeff

    Re post 30. Thanks for that, it’s awesome.

    BTW: One point of clarification. I’m pretty sure Sun Shuyun has a PhD in Tibetan studies and studied under Michael Aris. However, that doesn’t quite convince me that she is worth listening to, except as a “know your enemy” exercise.

  36. middleway is a cancerous disease of the tibetan brain where the tibetan suffers the need to be politically deceived and oppressed over and over by china.

    the tibetan would go to any length to find excuses to be deceived and oppressed by china. he would even look at his own excuses as valid reasons and being deceived as being practical and being failed as another victory. being deceived as being loyal to the dalai lama.

    the tibetan deals with the chinese oppression in a acquiescence way. he resign himself to his doom. the tibetan tacitly adjust himself to deception, and thereby become conditioned to it. the tibetan prefers to remain deceived forever.

    it is discovered that the the tibetan does not welcome his deliverers-the independence fighters despite being deceived by china for 6 long decades. the tibetan has become so accustomed to being a slave of the chinese empire. middleway disease, deception and resignation have engulfed the life of the tibetan.

    to accept passively an unjust system is to cooperate with that system; thereby the oppressed/deceived becomes as evil as the oppressor. non coperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good independence warriors. the tibetan allows the conscience of the oppressor to slumber.

    to stick to middleway and allow deception and injustice is to say to the chinese that their actions are morally right. middleway is not the moral way. it is the chinese way. it is the way of the coward. the tibetan cannot win the respect of the international community by acquiescing; the tibetan merey increases the chinese arrogance and contempt.

    allowing himself to be deceived over and over is interpreted as proof of the tibetan’s inferiority.

    the tibetan cannot win the respect of the chinese people if he is willing to sell the future of his children for his personal and immediate comfort and safety.

  37. I am not afraid of Tibetans’ aspiration for rangzen dying. Yet I am aware that time is slowly but surely running out and the continued lack of clarity in TGIE’s message and direction only contributes to the general apathy.

    The religious establishment in exile is an easy target for blame and unfortunately I don’t see them coming up with any solutions to prevent the Chinese nationalists from turning Tibet into another “Inner Mongolia” with a few non-Chinese street signs and dance troupes but nothing of substance.

    Tibet’s religious leadership, now in exile, can certainly be blamed for lack of action, but doesn’t the real responsibility lie with the Han-Chinese chauvinist regime first and foremost, and secondarily with the indifferent and indoctrinated Chinese masses and also the Western media and politicians to whom the Tibetan tragedy means little if anything.

    The latest desperate innovation in the metamorphosis of the Middle Way is to “have dialogue with Chinese people”.


    What are the Tibetans supposed to say to Chinese people? That we submit to your imperial rule and sovereignty, but please be gentle and don’t wipe us out like you’ve done with all the other annexed and assimilated “minorities”?

    And what say do the Chinese people have in moderating their regime’s policies anyway?

    Anyone who’s ever debated about anything with a member of the Han-Chinese tribe knows that intellectually reasoning with them is next to impossible. The Hans, despite equipped with the same “cultural” programming, can barely hold debates amongst themselves and they know it so they’ve accepted that total conformity is required. The Han-chauvinist programming has painted the existence of any Tibet distinctly different from their motherland as a threat to the collective.

    Based on my not insignificant experience, even if you can convince a Han-tribalist with painfully clear logic and facts that his beliefs were manufactured by a criminal collective and that his tribe’s actions went against every shared principle of human decency, he’s very unlikely to rock the Han-tribal agenda. Unless there was already a large-scale movement he could join without having to stand out from the crowd.

    For some evolutionary (indoctrination/cultural?) reason there is practically zero compassion among the Hans for people they don’t feel related to. Compare their reaction to the Tibetans taking to the streets (hatred) to the Sichuan earthquake victims of the state’s westward settlement policy and the resulting “tofu buildings” (mass weeping sessions) and to the massive Han mobs torching police and party buildings all over the country over local injustices (sympathetic indifference).

    The most effective method of challenging the Chinese regime’s “legitimacy” and winning popular, actionable support in the West (which finances the CCP) could be engaging in persistent mass uprising and civil disobedience campaign in Tibet, but that is practically impossible to organize under China’s ruthless military repression.

    What if half a million Tibetans marched to Lhasa and reclaimed the capital on March 10, 2009?

    What if Western supporters of Tibetan freedom went on hunger strikes and engaged in (peaceful) acts of civil disobedience punishable with prison sentences, in order to highlight the West’s criminal negligence and collusion with a genocidal military regime akin to the Nazis?

    Finally links to couple of interesting related articles. The fengqing with friendly adopted western names never sleep…

    (Leading article: The folly of spurning the Dalai Lama, Independent – Opinion)

    (‘Middle way’ unlikely to bring softer stance, South China Morning Post)

  38. I am not afraid of Tibetans’ aspiration for rangzen dying. Yet I am aware that time is slowly but surely running out and the continued lack of clarity in TGIE’s message and direction only contributes to the general apathy.

    The religious establishment in exile is an easy target for blame and unfortunately I don’t see them coming up with any solutions to prevent the Chinese nationalists from turning Tibet into another “Inner Mongolia” with a few non-Chinese street signs and dance troupes but nothing of substance.

    Tibet’s religious leadership, now in exile, can certainly be blamed for lack of action, but doesn’t the real responsibility lie with the Han-Chinese chauvinist regime first and foremost, and secondarily with the indifferent and indoctrinated Chinese masses and also the Western media and politicians to whom the Tibetan tragedy means little beyond a quick photo-op.

    The latest desperate innovation in the metamorphosis of the Middle Way is to “have dialogue with Chinese people”.


    What are the Tibetans supposed to say to Chinese people? That we submit to your imperial rule and sovereignty, but please be gentle and don’t wipe us out like you’ve done with all the other annexed and assimilated “minorities”?

    And what say do the Chinese people have in moderating their regime’s policies anyway?

  39. Sometimes, it really is frustrating to be the only one in the room speaking for rangzen while the rest goes on and on about the validity of middle-way and somehow gloss over the perennial and dismal result of that movement so far. It makes me so mad to be patronized by the dubious logic of middle-way as the smartest and the best way to resolve the Tibetan issue – as if I hadn’t thought of that scenario myself and heard those arguments before. I find that most Tibetans rather believe in the middle way approach which entails no huge responsibilities on their own shoulders and is rathe effortless, since it only involves ‘waiting’ and ‘hoping’ for something to happen, whereas Rangzen proponents have to find different ways to make their position known and also have to provide a blueprint of ‘how’ to achieve it – like there is one out there readymade. I blame that lackidaisical approach to the culture of being led by a god king for centuries without having to lead oneself. That creates a culture where ordinary leadership is bound to fail as it cannot approach the pomp and magical rule of the divine and furthermore creates a vaccuum in leadership. We are still paying for it in the 21 st century. But it is heartening to see all these young people who are grassroot campaigners and activists who are slowly tipping the scale in favor of true democracy wherein the govt is controlled by ordinary people. I don’t know if that change will come in time for it to be effective in the future, as far as the question of Tibet is concerned, since the obvious and harried population transfer programme that is being exercised in Tibet will most certainly make Tibetans a minority in their own country. I hope to god we somehow grow balls of steel in the near future and press for something that is rightfully ours to demand and never move an inch come high wind or water. We at least owe that much to our death countrymen, to ourselves, and most of all to truth and justice and the dignity of our nation.

  40. Tenpa,

    I second you with your comment:

    “We at least owe that much to our death countrymen, to ourselves, and most of all to truth and justice and the dignity of our nation”

  41. Tempa, I share your frustration. However, I am afraid you are already fallen into the msiguided description of Buddhism and so called God-King by westerners in order to fit into your their own imagination, it is similar to Colonial British description of Tibet-vis-China relationship as “suzeraity” so that their own interested would not be endangered (although British government trashed it recently!), however, we knew Tibet never under China as British described. In a similar vein, we don’t have a god-king, at least not for me, however, we have a leader who walks what he preaches and always share the same urgent resolution to Tibet, if not less than our concern. Therefore, everyone has the same responsibility and do their own part on whatever way one believes. Pointing fingers and blaming and this and that, is not effective. At least, no one will tell you, you are wrong. In fact, everyone will appreciate you if you do something. This year, so many people shouted so many slogans, Rangzen to Return of Dalai Lama to Long Life to HHDL to Freedom for Tibet. None of them questioned each other’s innate voice, rather supported each other. We the people outside, should do the same. We are too comfortable with life, so taking up with the western plitical game of blaming, just look into the US presidential campaign when everyone blamed Bush for everything bad about the crisis. Now, they are talking the crisis is a result of many years, which means into Clinton administration as well.

    ACT on what you believe, make sure the meanings of what you are talking about. Note, there is no God in Buddhism as you said god-king.


  42. This is an opinion from a Han-Chinese perspective, if you agree that’s fine if you don’t just pretend I accept stipend from CCP so I had to write something here. I do not believe the debate of middle way or independence matter that much as most people have realized neither will make a dent on China’s policy toward Tibet and most Han-Chinese will be unfazed no matter what is the outcome of November meeting. The world witnessed in the past two decades a paradigm shift of global power realignment, when Clinton accused old Bush in 1992 presidential campaign of coddling butchers from Bagdad to Beijing, China was not nearly as strong as she is today, the butcher in Bagdad is long gone but the one in Beijing is doing OK and is now the largest creditor of US government who is financing America to bailout economic troubles; human rights issues of China were completed overshadowed by economic issues and was not even mentioned in 2008 election. Given the situation of current climate all western government support of Tibet is lip service in nature and photo ops for politicians.

    Your struggle is a long term one and I believe it will take generations to see result. India is generous in supporting exile Tibetans for 50 years but India is in no position to do anything beyond refuge settlement, and the general political environment in India and Nepal is tipped not in your favor. I think the exile communities in India should consider immigrate to America. When immigrant came to the US they often bring their old world dispute with them, some immigrant groups are successful to Americanized their issues and made their view become American foreign policy, to some extent even hijacking American foreign policy (Jewish- and Cuban-American). The challenge is you need to have a tight community with critical mass and be economically successful so your voice is worth to reckon with by politicians; you also have to survive the force of assimilation without losing your core culture and the interest of your cause.

  43. I would like to point people to Robbie Barnett’s Op-Ed piece about Tibet on Today’s New York Times. While he condemns British Government’s sellign of Tibet he still seem to maintain that what most Tibetans desire, independence, is unreasonable. I would like others here to read it since it is always better to inform ourselves of what is being reading about by others.

  44. Tsenpo, when I say god or God, as you will, it is merely a way of expression, and does not entail my belief in the all powerful flying tea pot – I mean, omniscience. And when I say God-King, I do mean the western inference and the actual, real, right now kind of belief that exist in our society, Tsawai Lama, if you must. With that kind of leadership, as it has existed for centuries in our culture, where even bad policies and acts are considered ‘divinely predetermined’ and purposedly done for the benefit of the multitude, it is rather impossible for a commoner to compete in the leadership ladder (which is yet again a misnomer considering tulkus and rinpoches don’t have a ladder but rather a teleportation device). I advocate for separation of state and religion precisely for that reason. It is really hard for me to question his decisions when he is my tsawai lama.

  45. Do people remember who said this and when:

    “We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.

    We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people. America’s belief in human dignity will guide our policies, yet rights must be more than the grudging concessions of dictators; they are secured by free dissent and the participation of the governed. In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty.

    Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty – though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt. Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals. Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery. Liberty will come to those who love it.

    Today, America speaks anew to the peoples of the world:

    All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.

    Democratic reformers facing repression, prison, or exile can know: America sees you for who you are: the future leaders of your free country.”

    Yes, it’s the current “leader of the Free World”, George W. Bush, at his second inaugural address in January 2005.

    Throughout the spring of 2008 and daring death and torture, Tibetans reclaimed the streets across their occupied homeland and demanded justice for their people before being mown down, brutalized and killed by the Chinese occupation army.

    Bush heard the appeals of oppressed Tibetans, but did America stand with the oppressed Tibetans as he so solemnly pledged, or did he excuse their Chinese oppressors by conducting business as usual?

    “28th October 1991, US Congress under a Foreign Authorisation Act passed the resolution wherein they recognised “Tibet, including those areas incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai, AN OCCUPIED COUNTRY under the established principal of international law”. The resolution further stated that Tibet’s true representative are the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile as recognised by the Tibetan people.”

    It might be an ideal time to remind the American people and their government of their past words of encouragement and support, and to ask them *when* America is going to stand up for the brave nation of Tibet under systematic genocide?

    Surely according to the fine American values and ideals, their Great Nation should not stoop as low as to support a totally unapologetic genocidal fascist dictatorship with all the Free World trade benefits and diplomatic niceties? Especially when the fascist Chinese dictatorship absolutely depends on distorted trade balance to not only maintain its grip on power but extend its power in the rest of the world.

    To remind America and their leaders of reality, Tibetans and the supporters of Tibetan Struggle should organize a large-scale non-stop demonstration and a serious hunger strike at the steps of the US Congress in Washington, D.C., in the run-up to and during the inauguration on 20th January, 2009, of the next US president, Barack Obama.

    Make americans face the present hypocrisy of their position and force them to truly think what their nation actually stands for: Freedom and Justice, or opportunistic business support for any genocidal and megalomaniac dictatorship.

    Obama administration could change the China business dynamic from strengthening autoritarianism to serve freedom and justice instead, and he could also help win over the rest of the democratic world by adopting John McCain’s idea of the “League of Democracies”.

    Instead of benefitting from free trade, dictatorships should pay a penalty to access democratic markets, and expansionist, genocidal dictatorships should pay a much higher penalty yet!

    Bush, Obama, the American lawmakers and the American people can ignore Tibetan suffering and deaths by letting the Chinese army to brush a whole nation under the carpet of military repression and total media blockade, but it would be more difficult to ignore the appeals by a suffering people right on the steps of their Temple of Law and Justice.

    Likewise, the European Parliament has issued several practically unanimous statements in support of Tibetans’ rights to self-rule and other human rights and perhaps parallel campaign could be held outside the European Parliament in Brussels.

    Perhaps this idea for action could be submitted for consideration by the upcoming Special Meeting of the Tibet Support Groups?

    Are there members of participating TSGs in here to claim ownership of this issue and to make sure it is debated at the upcoming Special Meeting, if indeed this idea is considered practical and beneficial for the Tibetan Cause?

  46. Tenpa, I think you should question his decisions if you feel not comfortable.

    Investigation is the main driving force in Buddhism. If you feel helpless sinply because he is your tsa-wai lama, then you are falling into the trap of unawakened Buddhist who does not understand what he/she believes in.

    Again, Buddhism means investigation, rationality, pragmatism, and logic.

  47. this robbie and tsering shakya are same in the sense they both say independence is unreasonable. robbie has the luxury to say such unreasonable stuff coz his country is free from chinese invasion and occupation. but this tsering shakya-a tibetan historian(?)-absolutely shocked me and upset me by going around saying to the media that those tibetans who demonstrated last march(against the chinese rule and even gave their lives and limbs)did so not for independence but for autonomy(in his words..merely asserting autonomy dream). this is just another guy who thinks he is being clever by going yes yes madam to the few powerful middle way businessmen in the tib administration. may god strengthen his soul so he doesnot sell himself anymore!

  48. Still regarding US Congress January protest proposal:

    There may have never been more necessary moment to expose hypocrisy than now.

    Chinese communists have revealed the naked ruthlessness of their position regarding Tibet’s “autonomy” after the totalitarian crackdown on Tibetan protesters and the subsequent play-acting to accommodate “negotiations” with “Dalai’s representatives”.

    The financial turmoil of the democratic world and the dispatch of free people’s jobs to dictatorships like China is also increasing calls for economic protectionism.

    The super-rich who operate and benefit from trade with dictators have never been so unpopular.

    Christian churches claim moral high ground, but they haven’t lifted a finger to protect a uniquely peace-loving Buddhist nation under China’s genocidal occupation. Ask them: Are you with us, or with our atheist oppressors?

    The group of world-famous Nobel Peace Prize Winners have written in support of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people, but they haven’t really put their prestige on the line by truly acting for justice for Tibetans. Would Nelson Mandela join the hunger strike for Tibetan justice, even for just a day? Do they have better things to do?

    Practically all democratic world leaders have spoken in support of Tibetans’ human rights, but none have acted to offer concrete support. Most countries have significant human rights lobby, but they must be coaxed to act in unison.

    The Tibet support groups should pool their organizing abilities to lobby all possible interest groups behind the Change Initiative.

    The current direction and non-action is simply not sustainable.

  49. Just this morning I read “China and Europe Plan to Help the Economy” and it says China would cut interest rate to help boost the economy but few minutes ago another story came up and it says “China Postpones its European Summit.” The reason that the Chinese gave is some European leaders were planning to meet with the Dalai Lama.
    In the first place the Chinese governments willingness to participate in helping the global market is not ultruistic. If US and Europe fail China is will fail too because then there will be none to buy their cheap goods. If Chinese economy fails, like it said in the article, the there is danger of social unrest. So the communist dictators are out to save their own asses. Since we have no voice in the international market I can merely hope that the European leaders will grow “steel balls,” as someone used this fitting expression elswhere, and stand up up to the Chinese bullying. Sarkozy cowered when Beijing told him not to meet witht eh Dalai Lama. I hope this time he will listen to his own people rather than the Chinese. This kind of intimidation and successfuly intimidated is not only unacceptable to human decency it is downright scary.
    It could also mean that some day when China has lot more clout than it already has, Chinese leaders could tell the western leaders to handover those Tibetans and Ugyars and Mongols outside their countries and it will be done.

  50. Tsenpo, all this time, I thought Buddhism meant blind faith and constant recitation of mani. Thanks for enlightening me. What do you think I am doing here, raising my voice for Rangzen in opposition to his position? But that doesn’t negate my feelings in regards to him. He might not be your tsawai lama but he is definately for a lot of Tibetan people and that creates a situation where people tend to agree with him more due to their respect for him than his policies. I wish it weren’t so but you know as well as I do, it is pretty rampant in our society. Ask Jamyang la about the crowd who wanted to beat him up long time ago when he was the head of TIPA or ask Tsering Topgyal in England about his experience in Dhasa. Besides, we seem to be arguing the same thing from the same position but yet you seem to find faults with my points for some reason.

  51. Dawa,

    When Snake-Oil Meets Tibet

    In distorting and concealing the true political aspirations of the political struggle waged by Tibetans inside Tibet Robert Barnett is perhaps showing his true colours. As a colleague recently reminded me, he is, despite his former sanctified position amongst some Tibetans, no genuine friend of Tibet. Ask the brutalised women of Tibet, whose lives have been forever scarred by forced sterilisation what Barnett, or his beloved TIN, ever did on that issue. Those wishing to examine his motivation for involvement in the Tibetan scene perhaps, as someone once speculated during an interview I was conducting, should perhaps approach the British Foreign Office or China’s propaganda Ministry?

    Like those bodies, he would appear to indulge in careful reconstructions of the facts, take for example his comments regarding the statement given by David Miliband (UK Foreign Secretary) on Tibet. Which Barnett asserts in his New York Times (NYT) piece (24th November) signals a cataclysmic shift in UK policy. One he insists has immense consequences for Tibet and its cause; however, it would seem that he has once again satiated his appetite for misrepresentation. Anyone who has read his previous writing on the uprisings in Tibet during March and April, in which he misreported the true nature of the political objectives of those protests, will recognise the trademark distortions and omissions.

    His more recent output in relation to the Tibetan struggle appears to specialise in stitching articles of despair and defeat that either warp or conceal the facts. The NYT article is a further example. Far from suggesting a major reform of UK policy on Tibet, the duplicitous words penned by the Foreign Office display a movement in terms of cosmetics only as opposed to a radical change of position. Here are the key words that formed the basis of Barnett’s opinion:

    “Our ability to get our points across has sometimes been clouded by the position the UK took at the start of the 20th century on the status of Tibet, a position based on the geo-politics of the time. Our recognition of China’s special position in Tibet developed from the outdated concept of suzerainty. Some have used this to cast doubt on the aims we are pursuing and to claim that we are denying Chinese sovereignty over a large part of its own territory. We have made clear to the Chinese Government, and publicly, that we do not support Tibetan independence. Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China” (David Miliband British Foreign Secretary 29th October-2008)

    A short outline of historical context is required, before examining more closely Miliband’s words. The key point here is that ‘suzerainty’, Miliband’s outdated concept, suited the political interests of Britain very nicely indeed and served its presence in Tibet.

    Emerging from Britain’s military invasion of Tibet during 1903/4, and refined via the tangled complexities of the Lhasa Convention (1904) and the Simla Agreement (1914) the UK formally and diplomatically acknowledged Chinese ‘suzerainty’ over Tibet, whilst providing Britain’s patronage of ‘autonomy’ for Tibet. Such recognition however was little more than a diplomatic device to suit British intentions, whilst superficially addressing Chinese sensibilities towards Tibet. In a practical sense, it was British political influence and presence in Tibet that ensured British, rather than Chinese, ‘suzerainty’ over Tibet.

    A similar political perfidy continues to characterise Britain’s position towards Tibet and its relationship with communist China. The substantive detail of such policies rarely see daylight, and remain under the control of Foreign Office’mandarins’, who are psychotically devoted to appeasing Beijing and ensuring issues such as Tibet or East Turkestan do not interfere with Britain’s commercial or diplomatic relations with communist China. The occasional statements of political Ministers however can be revealing. Miliband’s comments are no exception and adhere to Britain’s self-serving tradition of exploiting and manipulating the issue of Tibet, for its political interest and Chinese political consumption.

    Significantly, his statement itself does not express a formal repudiation of any previous policy Britain may have held; it is more a re-assemblage of its former position on Tibet. Whitehall’s dust-coated treaties that recognised China’s suzerainty, although in an obtuse legal sense could be debated to have implied some form of ‘sovereignty’ for Tibet never in any genuine political context was considered by successive British governments to confer meaningful independent status to Tibet (notwithstanding the important assertions made by the great Hugh Richardson). One only has to recall Britain’s shameful role at the United Nations in 1959, in which it callously ignored Tibetan appeals for support, to understand that in real terms Britain always placed its recognition of Chinese control (suzerainty) over Tibet before its museum-like responsibilities concerning ‘autonomy’.

    That condition was violently destroyed following the invasion of Tibet in 1950, and apart from isolated periods of so-called liberalisation during China’s occupation, Tibetans have been brutally denied all of the political and civil rights that defines ‘autonomy‘. Therefore Britain’s policy in recognising China’s ‘special position’, on the basis of Tibetans enjoying autonomy, was a nonsense, the microscopic and ageing details of which proved of interest largely to academics only. Meanwhile the oppression and destruction inside Tibet made a complete mockery of any notion of Tibetan’s enjoying autonomy.

    In actively pursuing, a policy which has ignored the suffering of the Tibetan people and their claims to self-determination and independence Britain has since 1950 effectively endorsed and acknowledged that Tibet has no basis for territorial or political independence. Nor has it since that period stated or recognised that Tibet is a separate political or sovereign region.

    Taking the above factors into account one must surely have serious questions on policy with respect to Barnett’s interpretation that Britain has changed its policy on Tibet’s status. It has never for example denied “..Chinese sovereignty over a large part of its own territory”. Moreover, the Foreign Office has never implied or asserted that Britain supports Tibetan independence; it remains implacably opposed to those who advocate that. Moreover, in not declaring that Tibet enjoyed any political or territorial rights Britain has long regarded Tibet as “part of the People’s Republic of China”.

    Note too that Miliband’s comments were a written Ministerial statement on Tibet presented to the House of Commons on 29th October 200. They were addressing recent discussions between representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government, not as an announcement to the House of any formal changes of policy with respect to Britain’s position on Tibet‘s status. (Note also that Ministerial details on policy changes are presented usually to the Members of Parliament via an oral statement). Perfidious Albion is alive and well while actively extending its cancerous tentacles across the Tibetan scene.

    Why should Robert Barnett choose to illustrate Ministerial comments of David Miliband as constituting some form of defining moment, signifying an official policy transformation of historic proportions? Surely Professor Barnett was aware that the British Foreign Secretary was simply re-stating, albeit in a slightly amended form designed to appease Beijing, a position that Britain has long held, namely it will issue platitudes on autonomy within Tibet, whilst not recognising Tibet‘s right to self-determination and independence! Perhaps an answer may lie, in the erroneous nature of Barnett’s article, which suggest that another nail has been firmly driven into the Tibetan cause and it being further isolated and without; however Britain’s archaic and theoretical recognition of a distinct Tibetan political entity.

    The only party that benefits from such an assessment would the communist leadership of China, which would applaud any suggestion that Tibet’s position is undermined, in terms of negotiation, or facing some critical moment. Perhaps too those who advocate the open surrender of Tibetan nationhood in exchange for a dangerous future as an ‘ethnic minority of China’ would interpret the assertions in Barnett’s article as further ‘proof’ that in light of this supposed development, the only option is negotiation for some form of autonomy as opposed to Tibetan independence.

    In light of such consideration, one wonders if the speculation regarding Robert Barnett’s motivation has substance? What is certain is that it would appear that his literary forte, notably when addressing the political status of Tibet, or the political aspirations of Tibetans, is constructing a message of despair. His NYT comments, whilst emphasising China’s economic colossus invites, through implication, the reader to conclude that the struggle for Tibet is over, hinting perhaps that the only exit for Tibet’s people is to submit to Chinese rule. Asserting that this supposed volte-face by the Foreign Office will actually enhance prospects for a solution!

    “Britain’s change of heart risks tearing up a historical record that frames the international order and could provide the basis for resolving China’s dispute with Tibet” (‘Did Britain Just Sell Tibet?‘ Robert Barnett New York Times 24th November-2008)

    Yet as far as I am aware there has been no official policy statement published by the Foreign Office that documents details of any changes in policy, yet Barnett appears so keen to create that impression that he blatantly misrepresents what Miliband actually stated. Compare for example the following:

    “Mr. Miliband said that Britain had decided to recognize Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China”. (‘Did Britain Just Sell Tibet?‘ Robert Barnett New York Times 24th November-2008)

    “Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China” (David Miliband British Foreign Secretary 29th October-2008)

    Britain has not suddenly taken a unilateral action to decide upon now recognising Tibet as being part of communist China. It is reasserting its position within a collective European framework, and even then Miliband employs a term (‘regard‘), no doubt chosen with minute attention to diplomatic meaning by his Foreign Offices advisers, that implies a previously held position, whilst leaving space for interpretation and manoeuvre, as opposed to ‘recognize’ which defines a more legal and final acceptance.

    As noted by a number of contributors on this forum, the comments of ‘barefoot’ experts, who hold influential media positions, can obscure and disfigure any genuine understanding of the nature and objectives of the Tibetan struggle. Whenever a newspaper, journal seeks some ‘informed’ opinion on Tibet it often turns to Robert Barnett. Who has no hesitation to announce to the world that Tibetans are not seeking independence, that China does not have a policy of forcibly sterilising Tibetan woman, or that the uprisings in Tibet do not spring from a deeply rooted desire for national liberation but are the product of economic hardship. Such distortions (which bear a remarkable similarity to the propaganda of China‘s Xinhua news agency), and his recent offering in the New York Times, should be rigorously challenged by anyone supportive of accurate reportage and an independent Tibet.

  52. Thank you Jeff. I did find aspects of the piece by Barnett objectionable but since there are not many journalists who are interested in writing about Tibet I restrained myself from saying anything negative which is often what I find myself doing when the Tibetan cause is the subject in question.

  53. There are some object lessons to learn from the coalitions of bureaucrats, businessmen, journalists and academics who have worked against the interests of other oppressed peoples. The most important lesson is that they don’t always succeed.

    When Australia spent 25 years appeasing Indonesia over its annexation of East Timor, there was a coalition of Australian journalists, businessmen, academics and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade mandarins who sought to ensure that elected politicians and the Australian public accepted that Indonesia’s take over was both irreversable and for the best. It didn’t work.

    It didn’t work in Aceh either (although Aceh only has “special autonomy” not independence).

    Australia’s “Indonesia lobby” is still doing dirty work to legitimize Indonesia’s brutal occupation of West Papua. Indonesia has now occupied West Papua for nearly 50 years but they have done nothing to subdue it. All the PR BS in the world couldn’t cover up that fact.

  54. As Dharamsala hosts the latest international Tibet supporters conference be prepared to note yet another uncritical endorsement for the CTA’s failed ‘Middle Way’ strategy.

    One wonders what it is that these dedicated and principled activists for Tibet support; the wishes of the Dalai Lama, or the common political aspirations of the Tibetan people?

    Have they conveniently forgotten their consensus, reached in Berlin in 2000, in which it was agreed to actively support and promote the cause of Tibetan independence, should there be no progress on negotiations with communist China? Despite their collective assurances and final statement those supporters failed to honour that commitment. Since then they have assisted in the promotion of the CTA’s efforts to abandon any dream of an independent Tibet.

    Meanwhile succesive meetings have virtually ignored, concealed, and marginalised the issue of communist China’s program of forced sterilisation of Tibetan and Uighur women. Dare we hope that the assembled delegates on this occasion will choose to take concerted and urgent action on this major human rights issue?

    Beyond the self-congratulation, collective smugness and air of appeasement that no doubt will accompany the pleasures of plate and bottle, provided by the enlightened patronage of Samdhong Rinpoche, Tibetans inside Tibet are waging a struggle for national liberation. Their sacrifice, courage, and dreams for an independent nation will not trouble the pampered sleep of this gathering.

  55. “More than 100 Tibet supporters from over 30 countries affirmed their support for the Dalai Lama’s emphasis on engagement with China and outreach to the Chinese people, but expressed serious concern about Beijing’s propaganda offensive on Tibet and failure to engage with the Tibetan side in the dialogue process.” (Report: Phayul 1st December)

    Well, well, well!

  56. negotiatio, middle path and non-violence seems to be half glass but we are heading toward right path.. right direction. It is some thing. it is better as nothing. But if we follow words like fight for full Ranzen, it seems to be great and powerful..

    meditate over it.We are heading toward our death, nothingness, emptiness or illution as Buddha said 2500 years ago.. truth is unpleasant to hear, to see and to experience..something is better than nothing..meditate over it before it is too late.

    1980 chance for Dialog was better when Denxiao Ping said we can talk about everything except Indepdence. Today 2008 such chance is gone and 2020 there will be no use to talk about Tibet..too late… too late..

  57. The spirit of resistance shown by the courageous people of Tibet, who faced-down during March and April Chinese tanks to demand Rangzen challenges the messages of defeat and despair, so loved by those who would surrender Tibet’s nationhood.

    Now more than ever is a time demanding unity, and determination, to honour and strive towards the common goal of Tibetans for an independent nation.

    Walking, with eyes open, and the shackles of ‘autonomy’ firmly in place, into a future, where Tibetans are reduced to a ‘minority people of China’ would definitely be road of no hope.

  58. If the chance for dialogue with the Chinese is gone it is definitely not for lack of trying on the TIbean part. We have been compromising for the last fifty odd years. What did we get in return? Only more and more insults against HH.
    It is time to grow some spine and ask for our country back. It couldn’t be worse than compromising since that didn’t bring any result except death and misery for Tibetans inside Tibet.
    Let us be steadfast in the truth that TIbetans are not Chinese and no amount of material or “hope” bribe can make it so.

  59. In Gdansk, Poland, at the Nobel Laureates meeting, the Dalai Lama again reiterated under major international media interest how he isn’t calling for Tibetan Independence and how it is more beneficial for Tibet to remain as part of the Chinese motherland.

    Sarkozy then opportunistically chimes in by announcing how he has never considered Tibet to have been separate from China. This from a man whose father escaped Soviet repression into exile and whose mother is jewish. Maybe his family didn’t suffer enough for him to understand the gravity of genocide, and maybe his reading summaries on Tibet have only included CCP-printed material?

    Media is currently Tibet’s best chance of winning real support in the world, and these kinds of pro-Chinese statements (which the CCP quickly slams!) only harm the Tibetan struggle for survival. Millions of people who could have learned about the outrage of China’s decades long brutality against the Tibetan nation now learned instead about some minor, non-violent and internal tribal unhappiness by some chinese monk called “Dalai”.

    Next the French business minister chimes in how it is important for France and Europe to continue the unsustainable massive trade deficits with the Chinese dictatorship or the pro-regime nazis use their megaphones to stop the chinese masses from buying even that little European produce they currently do.

    Meanwhile the Americans are negotiating a new Nixon-Clinton-Bush-style free trade deal with the Chinese Communist Party.

    Why not? It’s OK since (despite US and EU parliamentary declarations hinting otherwise) the “chinese monk” Dalai keeps assuring the western politicians that there is no occupation taking place in Tibet, just some internal disagreements about the balance of power!

    Eliot Sperling put it well in his article in the Times of India couple of weeks ago:

    “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.”

    If the Dalai Lama, before his eventual passing, doesn’t again change his proven-failed Middle Way appeasement policy and restore Rangzen as the historical right of the Tibetan people, who can possibly restore that momentum and objective?

    The religious establishment and their interest groups (including foreign followers of Tibetan Buddhism) will be even more useless than usual after the passing of the 14th DL, especially if they only have MWA to follow (i.e. no direction). The CCP doesn’t have any Tibet problem, only “Dalai problem”.

    I used to respect the current Dalai Lama for his faith in non-violence, but boy am I glad my country nor its leaders never gave up our right to national existence under Soviet aggression!

  60. Exactly! but try telling that to the CTA or those uncritical ‘Lotus Eaters’ who call themsleves International Tibet Supporters. The body lies before them , bloodied and lifeless, yet they choose to see no loss, only a vacuous and inane hope that somehow ‘autonomy’ Chinese style presents some hope for Tibet. Wake up!!!!!!!

  61. Considering that Tibet is “autonomous” in the PRC now, I cannot understand why anyone in their right minds would believe that something called “true autonomy” would be better. What the hell is true autonomy, anyway? Really, just what the EFF is it? Nothing but shallow words on a piece of paper. Meaningless and full of the propaganda of despair.

    In the struggle for freedom, we need more unreasonableness. Not more of the same vacuous reasonableness and feigned compassion towards the chinese which is displayed so that western dharma seekers don’t get turned off.

    An oppressor who has power over you is not going to give you anything but that which furthers your slavery and destruction. And if it is reasonable to politely ask your oppressor to give you freedom, then be unreasonable and take your freedom. It is yours by birthright, and shame to anyone who would suggest otherwise.

    If an oppressor’s agents must be destroyed in that struggle for freedom, it is tragic, but save the tears until the goal is achieved. A worse tragedy has been avoid then, and you have the luxury to cry about what had to be done. But at least the children will breathe freely. And as the Irish used to say “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children.”

  62. Hugh, agreed. Except it is mainly U-Tsang which the Chinese call “autonomous” Tibet.

    Today is the 60th anniversary of United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. That document narrowly predates Chinese communist army’s invasion of Tibet and that document is not only banned in Tibet, but its mere possession will lead to imprisonment and torture.

    The irony is lost to the United Nations member countries – free and dictatorial – which fake its celebration today.

    United? For/against what? For cordial business relations with any genocidal regime considered powerful enough? I’m confused.

    What is the free press really for? When Sarkozy appeases the CCP by saying he’s always considered Tibet as part of the Chinese empire, where is the press asking him “based on what actual facts does he think so?”

    It would take only 30 seconds to sum up Tibet’s right to self-rule and nationhood during any press conference vs CCP’s “Tibet belonged to the Mongol empire at roughly the same time!”. Why isn’t the press demanding that politicians answer properly why they think Tibet belongs to the Han empire instead of repeating CCP’s claims like sheep?

    I also believe that there should always be independent Tibetan journalists present when “world leaders” are making their much-propagated speeches regarding Tibet, usually that is in connection with Dalai Lama’s travels but any occasion regarding China would be relevant. Besides asking necessary questions they could also hand out printouts to the travelling CCP press corps.

  63. Ever since the special meeting failed to turn out anything special, the overall tone of discussion I’ve seen here has been really negative. I understand and share in the frustration, but I also think descending into this cycle consumes a lot of one’s attention on unproductive thoughts and reflects poorly on the rangzen movement.

    Instead, what I’d like to see is for us to continue where the brave dissenters at the special meeting left off, looking for new ideas and directions to make change, in much the same spirit as Obama has brought to America. Rather than just telling what’s wrong with the current system, the ideas we seek should provide a road for getting from “here” (inaction and ineffectiveness in Dharamsala) to “there” (a strong rangzen movement, solid democratic ideals and principles, good education and ability to unite and lead Tibetans inside and outside Tibet, etc.)

    Education is one key, I believe. I posted a while back about TCV and some concrete steps I believe should be taken to reform the school system. One great direction to take discussion would be how to go about implementing policy changes in a way that’s affirming and inclusive, but without compromising the core need for change.

    Another direction perhaps worth considering is an incremental step towards adopting rangzen in the TGIE. Now that talks have been abandoned for the time being, it could be a good opportunity to raise the issue that the TGIE’s constant “affirming our commitment to the Middle Way approach” has little or no benefit, and lots of disempowering side effects. Rather than asking them to adopt rangzen right away, it may make sense to start a movement to have them refrain from talking about the Middle Way, or perhaps refrain entirely from talking about Tibet’s political status. This could be framed as an approach to truely implement HHDL’s wishes for the people to decide Tibet’s future.

    What are some other concrete, positive steps that could be taken outside Tibet? That’s what I’d like to see us discuss. Perhaps JN-la would be so kind as to write on the subject again soon and provide an opening to discussion.

  64. Why aren’t you blogging these days? It looks to me like you are confused between blogging and publishing your research papers. I want to see you blog every day or every other day.

  65. Dear Jamyang la: Could you kindly express your view about ‘08 Charter’ through Tibetan perspective? That will be really helpful. Thank you.

  66. It is evident that the TGIE and many NGOs that support it are afraid to buck the system for fear of angering HHDL. But the fact remains that unless we tackle the question of Tibet from a different angle, we have no chance against China and its dedication to destroying Tibet and her fragile ecosystem. Therefore, if “genuine autonomy” or Rangzen cannot be achieved why can’t we aim for a separate Homeland for Tibetans? This premature proposal, may anger many Tibetans, especially staunch advocates of Rangzen, but at the moment we are neither here nor there and the longer we remain stateless, the Chinese can destroy us with impunity. Having a state of our own in the Himalayas or somewhere close to our traditional homeland will give us status and an opportunity to develop and promote our national aspirations.

  67. How do you propose gaining a “seperate homeland” in a place where we have no legitimate claim for creating a “homeland”?

    I am assuming that when you say Himalayas, it is either Nepal, Bhutan or India that you have in mind. Do you think either of these countries will give us a seperate homeland?
    Bhutan required all Tibetans to become Bhutanese in order for them to live on their soil.

    Nepal and India have “lent” us space to re-settle as refugees, but the land is only a “lease” and Tibetans do not own it.
    Tibetans can own land in Nepal and India, only if they are citizens of the respective countries.
    Even if these countries were so kind as to think about giving us a seperate homeland on their soil, the indegenious people of the land allocated to be our “seperate homeland” are likely to fight us bitterly. If such indegenious people offer us their land, it is a different matter, but otherwise we should not even think about such an option.
    We can’t afford to alienate the people of the Himalayan regions.

  68. Hi Rich,
    This is regarding your comment:

    “What are some other concrete, positive steps that could be taken outside Tibet? That’s what I’d like to see us discuss.”

    I can think of several things that we can do in the short term:
    1. Create a strong network of Rangzen advocators. In order to do this, organize a meeting/conference of organizations and individuals who advocate Rangzen in the near future, if possible within 2009.

    2. From the meeting, come up with concrete plans and strategies for Rangzen struggle.

    3. Educate the average mass on why “we should fight for rangzen” and what are some concrete ways that they can contribute towards this goal.

    Being from a large Tibetan refugee settlement from South India, I know very well the atmosphere in the settlements.
    Most people don’t understand the difference between “middle path”, “Truth insistance”, “Rangzen” etc.
    If they are asked to choose one of these, they will look to the head of the village to tell them what to do. The village heads in turn will look at the head of the settlement to tell them what to do.
    The settlement head being a bureaucrat will want to look good and will stick with the prevailing politics of the TGIE.
    Thus, although it would seem like the people have chosen “middle path”, in reality the choice will have been most likely made by the head of the settlement, or by a few people at the most.

    4. Set up Tibet Support Groups of individuals who support Rangzen.

    I think we should make our move now if we are to take the idea of Rangzen to a different level.

    What do you think?


  69. This is a follow-up to my previous comment.

    If possible, The Rangzen Conference should be held in Bangalore for the following reasons:

    1. The refugee settlements in South India holds the largest population of Tibetan refugees worldwide. Bylakuppe has over 10,000, Mundgod has a similar number, Hunsur has around 4000, Kollegal has around 3000 and Chaukur has around 1000.
    Tibetan refugee settlements in central and South Eastern India such as Mainpat (Madhya Pradesh) and Bhandara (Maharashtra) and Chandragiri (Orissa)are also not too far off.
    In total these settlements hold nearly 40,000 Tibetans (that is one third of the overall Tibetan diaspora worldwide–120,000)

    2. Bangalore is easily accessible by air, train and road. It has an international airport with direct flights between most major South East Asian cities such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, etc.
    Bangalore is only 2-3 hours by bus from all settlements in Karnataka (except Mundgod). Mundgod too is not more than 6-7 hours away. There are excellent train networks conneting Bangalore with major Indian cities.

    Thus, compared to holding the conference in Dharamsala (for e.g.), Bangalore is much easier to access for participants coming from overseas as well from within India.

    3. Bangalore has a large population of Tibetan college students. These bright, impressionable youth should be a first step in changing the mentality of the mass.

    4. Mobilizing the youths in the settlements will be one of the key in changing the prevelant atmosphere of ignorance and indifference in the settlements.

    Holding the conference in Bangalore will allow large number of people from the settlements to participate and listen to arguments for Rangzen first hand.

    Just as we witnessed during the Special Meeting in Dharamsala this November, the ovewheling majority of the participants in the meeting were from the settlements. And they were a monolothic bloc of “middle pathers”.

    If we want a change in our government’s policies, then the first step in inducing that change is in changing the mindset of the mass in the settlements. Until we manage to do that, politicians and people with vested interest will always find a way of controlling the policy by manupulating the masses in the settlements.

  70. TCL, some of your ideas about having the youth make an impression in their communities to pull them over to the cause reminds me of the strategy of the Serbian resistence movement Otpor. If you have a chance watch the documentary “Bringing Down a Dictator” and evaluate some of the methods they used.

  71. I have to agree that the idea of a “separate homeland” was rather naïve of me considering the facts and yet it was just put there to demonstrate a point; and miss Lejotsang’s response was expected, and the response of many of my country men, including the leaders of our gov-in-exile would most certainly would have been the same. When the facts are considered, we are afraid to hurt anyone and everything and this can only lead to drowning ourselves in our ideological swamp. Half a century is a lot of time to reflect and consider all our options and now in the 21st century if we fail to make a choice and put it into action the decision arrived at; we loose the chance of ever regaining a free and sovereign Tibet. Whether we support the Rangzen camp, the National Democratic Party of Tibet, the Middle Path campaign, or any other organization, it does not matter, as long as the road leads to Tibet’s ultimate freedom. Quarrelling among each other to see whose idea is the best or most practical will not help, let each group work towards their objectives, without interfering and sending out decrees to put down the efforts of others.

  72. govt must respect the true naked wishes of the people for independence and also their willingliness to sacrifice to achieve it. govt is there to do the leading. it must do it soon. enough of this middleway crap!

  73. I totally agree with Galpo(83). Please stop throwing none-sense. If criticise, do in a constructive way. We are not robot, so we cannot act in the same thought-process. If someone is contributing, then encourage them. Similarly, do the same in your life and in a personal, an effective way. That is the way forward with diversity of method and views.

    Bhod Gya Lo


  74. I find inherent flaw in the thought-process of people who say “it does not matter whether U-may lam or Rangzen as long as the road leads to solving Tibetan problem we must support each other. Querrelling among each other to see whose path is best or practical will not help”.

    It may sound thoughtful to hear their opinion, but these ppl with feet on either sides, dont realize that their strategy is “bridge to nowhere” in taking our movement to next level. They actually provide fodder to CCP to continue their current policy of offering hope in the name of “talk”, thus buying time, hoping HHDL to die in the meantime, causing Tibetan movement to die down, ending in Tibetan assimilation. End of game.

    Peddling ‘Umay lam’ and ‘Rangzen’ simultaneously dont work, especially when our enemy is as cunning and as evil as China. As long as we are divided in our demand, China sees opportunity in our division and will continue to reap benefit out of it, pushing further away of making dreams (whatever that may be) into reality. They have successfully exploited our partisans in the past to create division within us. They allured the ‘middle-pathers’ into believing that if they subdued the Rangzen-seeker Tibetans, converted them to ‘middle-pather’, China might award them with “talk” and possible “negotiation”.

    So convinced and excited was Gyari of being a step away from reaching “settlement” if only TYC and other Rangzen followers were brought into submission, he left Beijing exalted, to deliver the good news to PM Samdhong Rinpoche and his cabinet in Dhasa. Samdhong rinpoche and his followers immediately bought the CCP fable and joined with the Gyari’s euphoria. Next day Gyari goes to press conference and asks Tibetans to give up asking for Rangzen and streets protests. PM Samdhong Rinpoche, under the tone of evoking some articles from Exile Constitution, orders to all exile Tibetans to follow TGIE’s middleway policy, and forbided any Tibetan from embarrassing Hu Jintao when he visited their towns and cities. In general “Middle-pathers” had gone to such an extent of labeling Rangzen seekers as anti HHDL, to win their submission. The end result was instead of uniting, we became even more divided. In some cases the division got so nasty, we hated each other. The division is getting only bigger.

    While Gyari and PM Samdhong did their job as asked by China, their illusionary ‘award’ is still lying somewhere in Hu Jintao’s cupboard un-given. China got what it intended – division, by using Tibetan against Tibetan (including shugden followers), now this phony ‘talks’ mean nothing to them. 8th rounds of talk so far with no agreement yet? Who cares, China can have 100 or 200 rounds of talk or even more, if that makes Gyari and “Middlepathers” happy. In “middle-pathers” CCP has found an ‘ally’ within Tibetans, to weaken us, divide us and destroy us – as movement slowly, by giving illusionary ‘hope’ in the name of ‘talk’.

    The only way of dealing with China is by consolidating our demand into one (which I support Rangzen) and staying put to it, no matter how hard it maybe to achieve or how long it might take. By doing this we aren’t leaving any loophole in our approach and give China a handle to exploit it to our detriment. By having one demand we are sending a clear and unambiguous message to China: take it or leave it, no inbetweens. Leave it, they can’t – we saw Tibet wide protest in March, and there is no question Tibetans in exile will leave China alone.

    PS: the chances of achieving “Autonomy” are as slim as achieving Rangzen, we all should know by now.

  75. I totally agree with Sangay (86) and it is time we stop being lemmings of the human race and stand up for what truly matters to us – our freedom. We might be the only nation who is deliberately asking for ‘autonomy’ instead of rangzen even though our history is quite clear on that point. Don’t make our generation the one that sold our freedom away for some stupid gamepit and remain forever tarnished in our history. We are still thinking with preservation of our religion as the foremost importance and our nationhood as a distant second and that is where we are going wrong. It has been proven again and again in our screwed-up history that factions within our people were inviting outside help to resolve internal conflicts. Any self-respecting citizen, no matter whatever our differences, will never concede to foreign influence on their land. That I think is due to focusing too much on sectaranism wherein you only think in terms of the survival of your faction instead of the whole country. Ok, fine, I babble on too much, but you know where I am going with this.

    Also, I agree with tsering choedon’s idea about having future meetings in the settlements instead of dharamshala. But I do think we need to stop making anymore organization and make do with what we have. Tibetan Youth Congress(even though they watered down the violence stance) and SFT are great organization we can work with on this RANGZEN FRONT.

  76. I am afraid “Sangay” misinterpreting Galpo’s position which I supported. If I can clarify, when we or rather I say, that we should support or encourage those people who works for Tibet in whatever way they do. This does not mean people with two simultanous political positions, I am pretty sure each one has a unique position, from that position they work for Tibet. Such an act is commendable and should be encouraged and inspire other people. Freedom movement has so many faces, it is not just protest, it is not just stating own position as mine is this or yours is that, we need to realize it. We should not just base our struggle exile-based, it is ok if exile-based as long as as HHDL is around. Therefore, we need to move our movement back home, in whatever way we can. Suppose if someone explicitly stating rangzen and boasting around, then the opportunity to transferring our movement back home is blocked. We can do a lot, building schools, sending your children back to Tibet, when you or your children got education enough, go back to Tibet, help the community, if possible sponsor Tibetan children in Tibet, they are more deserving or desperate in a situation than most of the children in exile. For example, in today’s news on phayul, Sonam Phuntsok and his wife were tortured to death by Chinese Security Forces, their two kids aged 9 and 7 are homeless and careless ince their family survived on begging in Lhasa. Their parents died because they shouted for Tibet’s Independence and return of HHDL. Are we going to heave a sign of sorrow and go onto our own comfortable life, or are we actually going to do something. I think we need to take some very practical actions. Of course, I really support people who struggle for Tibet in whatever way they do including rangzen fighters. At the same time, don’t forget, we need to do some very concrete actions on the ground. Need to build a strong community,so any types of marginalization will not stifle our aspiration for ultimate freedom.



  77. I have found some interesting news links — including the usual CCP propaganda of course — at the following address:


    Today I found there an interesting comment piece titled Dealing with Tibet, by Michael C. Davis, who is a professor of law at the Chinese University in Hong Kong.


    or http://www.newsnow.co.uk/A/319097996?-11657

    Professor Davis makes intelligent comparisons between CCP’s contradictory behaviour what comes to Hong Kong’s very high degree of autonomy and the total lack of autonomy in Tibet.

    Unlike many sinophilic lackeys who would do anything to please the Beijing regime, professor Davis clearly tells things as he factually sees them.

    Except for one little issue: “Deng Xiaoping had years ago said “anything was negotiable except independence”, and Tibetans had long ago abandoned their earlier claim to independence in favour of autonomy.”

    In fact even in this case professor Davis factually sees “Tibetans having abandoned their earlier claim to independence in favour of autonomy”. This is because the government-in-exile clergy and “Dalai’s representatives” keep repeating it to anyone within earsho, and to 99.999% of the people their claims represent the Tibetan people.

    I wish they could somehow be made to realize how damaging their “we aren’t asking for independence” talk really is.

    I can’t think of any other people, my own people included, who would legally and morally deserve (to regain) their own independent homeland back more than the Tibetans.

  78. Yes, We Tibetans have the birth rights to be Free…
    But we need to put together a meaning to What This Freedom means….
    So, Please let try to put a context to the Freedom That we are talking about..
    What Kind of Freedom are we ready to fight life for, or Fight for Generations ?????

  79. “All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.”

    Remember this policy statement from G. W. Bush’s inauguration? (quote from #54)

    After the brave uprising in Tibet and the subsequent brutal crackdown and total military lockdown of Tibet by the Chinese communist dictatorship in 2008, I just learned that America’s foreign minister Condoleezza Rice is preparing for her final foreign trip (to the PRC) by saying that the relations between the USA and CCP regimes are “better than ever”.

    So much for America standing up against tyrannical oppressors.

    So much for America’s press and media standing up and pointing out their government’s hypocrisy.

    Meanwhile the Tibetan leadership has voluntarily self-neutered and gone into quiet meditation mode hoping for some religious autonomy for “China’s Tibet”.

    Jamyang, you have good sense of all of this, great knowledge of all the details and contacts in the media. Could you please contact reporters in the trend-setting media of America and point out the travesty that is taking place!?

    Staying quiet will only help the CCP regime buying out Obama as well.

    Most Tibetans and supporters around the world realize that a great injustice is being played on the fate of Tibet, but the Rangzen and Freedom movement desperately needs leadership.

    The fate of Tibet must not be allowed to sink with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s well-intentioned but ultimately naive policy of total surrender. Deep inside HHDL is also just a Tibetan monk/man who wants freedom for his fellow Tibetans, but the relative success of spreading Buddhism in exile has clouded his priorities and absolutely everything the CCP ever does is aimed at creating and increasing divisions between those they intend to rule.

    Please don’t succumb to this intentional division.

    Internationally exiled Tibetans should also push for more direct action and high-level media campaign to counter CCP’s flood of organized “feel-good” propaganda. Call for a united front against China’s totalitarian terror against peaceful Tibetan nation instead of division and capitulation. HHDL may be born again but without action there may not be Tibet left for the rest of Tibetans and their children to be born in!

    Send lists of questions to all free media and especially to those media attending high level press conferences. Ask leaders and politicians why *exactly* they accept CCP’s claims of sovereignty over totally non-Chinese nation of Tibet? In China and its neighbouring countries ask why Tibet is denied the right to exist when many other countries surrounding China and formerly claimed by the arrogant Chinese feudal emperors as their possession are now successfully free from Han-China’s imperialist expansionism??

    Jamyang, could you compile such a list of necessary facts and questions to world leaders and also to Chinese people that they are trying hard to avoid answering?

    Then focus on the most unanswered and soul-searching questions and have them translated into every language for local distribution. Ideally fitting on a single sheet printed on both sides and with internet address to a central location with further information and downloads.

  80. Dear Jamyang Norbu la,

    I always wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your work towards Tibetan issue but just keep delaying for no obvious reasons up until now. Currently I live in Canada but I used to live in Dharamsala for over 15 years. Thank you!!

    Tenzin Chogyal

  81. jamyang norbu!
    where art thou?
    hiding in the basement
    neither the answer nor healthy
    subjucated and deprived people as we art
    hibernating is never the solution!
    come out! and lead us politically naive
    to clarity and independence
    for today and forever…
    you art not perfect
    nor do we care
    but your unchangeable stand on rangzen
    and the reasons behind it
    are what we all respect and support you for.
    come out! write something
    we all miss you-the last true tibetan patriot
    whose pen injects life to the heart of the tibetan warrior and lends strength to the sword of tibetan freedom…
    thank you.

  82. write on the following:
    1. nov meeting
    2.separation of church from state. no more of so called “harmonious union of politics and religion” which has got us where we are today–homelandlessness.
    3.locality population based voting system. no more of choka cholug voting system which is divisive.
    4. the tibetan traitors–past and present
    5. tibetan govt in the hands of three families
    6. samdong goori–the last lama/tulku/rinpoche prime minister. vote for laymen only. no to cunning politician like him who messes up with philosophy.
    7. tibetan exodous to the west
    8. tibet–100 years from now.
    9. the need for english medium tibetan schools in india/nepal/bhutan.
    10. no sex without condoms- aids awareness
    11. tibetan homosexuality
    12. yes to independence, no to middleway
    13. the need for lay tibetan president

  83. Jamyang-la,

    We hope you are well.

    A writing can be interesting and insightful only when the author’s heart and soul, and brain is in it.
    Please take your time.

    When you are ready, we will still be here.


  84. write on the following.
    1. one person one vote system
    2. idelogical based multi-party system, not religion or region based system
    3. corrupted officials in exile/tibet-past n present
    4. corrupted non officials–in exile n tibet.
    5. hepatitis b–the killer in tibetan world.
    6. slavery under lama n aristocratic govt before 1959.
    7. after dalai lama
    8. after independence
    9. after democracy
    9. wanking on the symbols of chinese oppression

  85. Hi, jamyang la.

    I will agree your suggestion on Middle way approach as this is the way how Chinese do pretend to do some thing in front of world if they need to do. Time wasting police is not only wasting the time but it also wasted many chances that we have had before like Euro-agreement in 2002.
    Let me share few poisons, brought by this police so called Middle way approach .
    1. We changed our six politic words due to the demand of China like Chinese Penchen lama , Three provinces of Tibet and etc.
    2. Even we have no full freedom to do demonstration in democratic countries like India not because of Indian government but because of Tibetan Government.
    3. Also this police made us fake player, I mean we always do speak something which is opposite what we really want.
    For me, it is the first time to visit you blog . I came to know that there many similes that we thought about on our Tibetan present police. However , let share more on later

  86. Jamyang la,
    Say something. It’s very depressing in the news world. Even talking over our heads about zombies should be a relief…

  87. i hope and pray jamyang norbu is not bedridden!
    if his obituiry is to be written here, i would say “irreparable loss to the tibetan nation” “the rarest of the rare gem!” ” a blow to the tibetan independence movement”. “without him tibet will be even poorer”

  88. dear sir,

    whre r ya ?i am like almost chekng yar blog bt couldnt find nothing for 2 months…hope to read yar ritng again..


  89. may be its high time his brother lhasang tshering write articles or a fat book on the question of independence and our future, if there is one, as a nation. speech is one thing but writing is what stays in the brain and heart of the future generations forever.
    also is KB mookbhadur dead or alive?

  90. Dear Gong,

    Please write about:

    1) Hu Jintao’s passion for young boys dressed in pink petticoats
    2) Zhang Qingli’s hemorroids
    3) Hillary Clinton’s secret lesbian menage-trois in the Chinese prison labor camp
    4) comparative study of Dick Cheney and Hu Jintao’s thoughts on the correlation of torture and impotence in homosexual Chinese soldiers
    5) Anthropological study of the Chinese fart
    6) Sociological discourse on mah jong as a revolutionary tool of discourse
    7) Communism and Autism: An Ancient Bond
    8) The Secret Lives of Communist pornographers
    9) Slaughtered Butterflies: Saving the Beijing Beauties
    10) Tao Teh Ching and the Zen of Knitting

    I tried to come up with topics as pertinent as yours. I guess I failed. But I really tried.

    Patel, with friend Prescott’s good aid

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