Dalai Lama Discovers Maps of Independent Tibet

Dalai Lama pointing at the name Tibet on an ancient globe at Venice library


I want readers to share this photograph and interesting news that a Tibet supporter in Europe, Manfred Manera sent me about His Holiness’ successful visit to Venice.

“The recent visit of H.H. in Venice was a great success, beyond my expectations. He was granted with the Venetian honorary citizenship. All the local politicians, from the major Cacciari to the other side of the political spectrum  they all talked only about independence of Tibet and right of self-determination for the Tibetan people.  No hint about the middle-way or autonomy. And His Holiness seemed pleased about it,  as he was when visited the Marciana library and found very old maps and documents of the Middle Ages referring of Tibet as an independent country.”

(IMPORTANT NOTICE. Readers who might like to download and print the pamphlet INDEPENDENT TIBET – SOME FACTS are requested to go on www.jamyangnorbu.com and open the post A LOSAR GIFT FOR RANGZEN ACTIVISTS and on the first paragraph click on the words “black & white” or “colour” depending on the version of the pamphlet they want. My apologies on not having the downloads on the www.rangzen.net site as I had earlier mentioned. Will have everything ready in a few days)


10 Replies to “Dalai Lama Discovers Maps of Independent Tibet”

  1. Alas, this is not an important find.

    Anyone can create a map, be it made in the 13th century or 21st century, and place a name on it. Which one is right?

    A map’s truth-claim is not a function of putting names and boundaries on an area — anyone can do this. A map’s truth-claim resides in the power of the map maker to convince others of the veracity, the truth-ness, of the map. A map is an expression of hegemonic power first, and truth second.

    ICT created a calendar for 2008 showing maps of Tibet. Only one of the maps was a Chinese-made map, and the map’s boundary of China ended roughly where the Tibetan Plateau rises in Sichuan. So, an important find would be a Chinese-made map showing Tibet separate from China.

    I say this having made maps for TSGs and for the CTA.

  2. Maps? Ancient Maps?

    Well, there are many times more maps showing China owning places like Korea, Tibet, Vietnam, Mongolia, Siberia, and even Japan. So what does it mean? Nothing actually. They are all historical records, for historical reference.

    Please move on by cooperating with the Chinese before it’s too late.. you have a choice… the choice is yours to take now.

  3. “Please move on by cooperating with the Chinese before it’s too late.. you have a choice… the choice is yours to take now.”

    @ FAIR REPORTING: Choice? are you really saying that w/ full confidence? We have tried to cooperate w/ CCP for decades but they are simply buying time and waiting for some sort of interference among Tibetans. The CCP has not genuinely shown any sign of caring towards Tibetan.
    On top of that CCP w/o any hesitation attacks our His Holiness and our Exile Gov’t.
    What they simply cannot get through their Thick Commi head is that When they pursue this sort of actions, they are Driving Tibetans away from them and doing so fails to create what it calls an “Harmonious Society”.


  4. At His Holiness’ 60th birthday celebrations in New Delhi, I gave him a copy of the map from Martin Behaim’s pre-Columbian (ca. 1490) globe showing `Thebet, ein Konigr.’, Tibet a kingdom. I found that pretty convincing. He asked where the original was. I told him in the national museum in Nurmberg. I’ve had scans made of the maps and the pages referring to Thebet from an old book on the Behaim globe since then. I can send the files if you email me.

    Best regards and Tashi Deley!

    Bob Palais

    More on the globe, Behaim, and the book here:




    Martin Behaim, his life and his globe, by E. G. Ravenstein. With a facsimile of the globe printed in colours, eleven maps and seventeen illustrations.
    by Ravenstein, Ernest George, 1834-1913.
    London [etc.] : G. Philip & son, ltd., 1908.

  5. It is truly a great site for a perspective shared by many of our compatriots. Nothing to comment on the contents. However, i found that the pages are too bright and seems does not match well with the font. I find it so maybe due to my own poor sight but believe there are many who share the same opinion.

  6. “Affirming some Chinese Truths: Mapping Independence as Anti-China Splittists”

    With the recent barrage of lies from China (the Dalai Lama foments ethnic hatred and ethnic cleansing, etc. ad infinitum) it is refreshing to come across a few truths from our Chinese “brothers and sisters.” If inapplicable to western governments, the words of the Chinese at least apply to me, a humble Englishman known as Prescott.

    In their current passion to reform their international image, China has again remarked that pro-Tibet sentiment owes its origins to anti-China splittists. Aha! At least our proud group of 13 men and women can take a small measure of credit for the pro-Tibet sentiment, despite the fact that the Dalai Lama’s mystical allure woos more westerners to the cause of autonomy than historical truths stir men of justice to action for independence!

    A moment of recognition. If it wasn’t the clear light of mind’s nature, it was close. I am, and proudly so, an anti-China splittist.

    I do not wish to see historically independent Tibet become a part of China. I am a splittist. I support the utter sabotage of everything Communist anywhere and everywhere. I seek to destroy the red Chinese system in China and abroad (Tibet). I am anti-Communist China. I am a splittist. I am proud.

    While the rest of the world waxes poetic about zones of impossible peace, it’s good to have found this forum where we can share a few feelings and thoughts with our fellow splittists.

    So, a map of independent Tibet is more than a historical find. It is, perhaps, a map to the future we dream of…and the one thing that outshines even the prospect of peace. For although it may be that there is no light in this world brighter than the glow of Chenrezig, we all know that His light can shine fully only in a free and independent Tibet.

    Your Holiness, please don’t forget that map!

    -Prescott (on my pal Patel’s good account)

  7. Thanks for those maps Anonymous. They are beautiful.

    Regarding John Isom’s comment that only one of the 2008 ICT calendar maps was Chinese made, it is worth remembering that the emperors of China held themselves to be rightfully emperors of the entire world. It would be unsurprising if their cartographers drew maps accordingly and included all the known world as “Chinese” territory.

  8. Perhaps the reason Communism holds appeal for the Han Chinese, in part, relates to that old chauvinism which made the emperors think themselves fit to rule all creation. The Han people seem to think of themselves as the best and brightest, despite quite a lot of evidence to the contrary. In fact, it’s pretty hard to make the case that their society is anything but backwards by modern standards, and its hard not to extrapolate some opinions of her citizens based on this evidence. Civilized people just don’t behave like their soldiers and police.

    Maybe its natural that they would view their society as the quintessentially “perfect” one, and react with horror to anyone who questions it. Of course, there are the more liberal youth who yearn for their own kind of freedom…but the older generation seems to persist in their ancient ideas of the Han as some kind of “chosen” people, and their government, by default, as perfect in all its atrocity.

    Personally, I struggle with the opposite problem. It’s almost too easy for me to see the Han people as an inferior collection of subservient cowards, contrasted with an elite corps of sadistic dictators. It appears almost as if the masses lack the necessary determination and vigor to achieve thier own liberation, let alone the liberation of other peoples. I wonder if the Chinese in China really understand how so many in the world dislike them, and the fact that we like their manufacturing of cheap trinkets for our children does not raise our estimation of their “culture” one bit.

    Prescott has Christian and Jewish friends in the first world who find China good for little more than jokes about inferior products, immense egos and an enormous difficulty in pronouncing the syllable “r.” (Sorry, just reporting the facts)
    These same men and women regard the Tibetans as a moving testimonial to the better parts of humanity – a fine reflection of courage and unswerving dedication in the face of unspeakable brutality.

    Indeed, there was once a fine, old Chinese culture, but that too was eradicated by the Communists. There is little worthwhile left in that 1/3 of the world.

    I really don’t mean to hurt the feelings of the few good Chinese friends we have. By all means, I hope they can restore their nation to a semblance of freedom and greatness. I suppose I’m just trying to whip the horse of Han pride a bit, to try and get their people to move into a more positive and less complacent direction.

    More Wei Jiangsheng and less (indeed, no more) Hu Jintao!

    Prescott and Patel

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