Reply to ICT

Kate Saunders of the International Campaign for Tibet posted this comment on my blog “Seeking the Power of the Powerless” at Huffington Post at 01:16 PM on 1/10/2011.

Interesting and thought-provoking, but Jamyang Norbu is wrong (not for the first time) about the International Campaign for Tibet. Yes, the Clinton Administration mounted a campaign for permanent normal trade relations (PNTR), and even some prominent supporters of Tibet embraced this position. ICT opposed it. The term “constructive engagement ” as applied to US-China relations was a construct adopted by the Clinton Administra tion. The business community was successful ly advancing the position that linking trade with human rights played into the hands of those who would seek to “isolate” China. Clinton found this false dichotomy useful. ICT did not adopt this approach. On May 24, 2000, ICT said: “Today’s vote will change the tenor of U.S. China relations and bring proponents of PNTR, including big business interests, face-to-fa ce with the reality of China — a new scenario based on China’s command and control of U.S. trade and investment dollars is about to unfold.” ICT’s then Government Relations Director (now President) Mary Beth Markey, said: “Beijing should not interpret PNTR as a referendum on human rights or a retreat from the Congress’ 1991 declaratio n that Tibet is an ‘occupied country under establishe d principles of international law.’” The Dalai Lama favored China’s entry into the WTO believing that the Chinese people merited the opportunit y to fully participat e in the global economy. Efforts – often unfortunat e ones – were made by PNTR proponents to color His Holiness’ support for WTO entry as pro-PNTR.


Thank you for the kind words about my piece, but I don’t think I am wrong about ICT, as you claim.  You write that when”the Clinton Administra­tion mounted a campaign for permanent normal trade relations (PNTR)…ICT opposed it.  (Which is not exactly true). If you had read my piece carefully you would have realized that I did not say anything specifically about PNTR but just mentioned that  “Clinton ‘persuaded’ ICT to accept constructive engagement.” That’s all.

But if you want me to get into the nitty-gritty of PNTR or MFN as it was called earlier, let me tell you about an article I wrote in August 1996 in the Tibetan Review where I described how ICT had shifted its position from full revocation of MFN to China in 1990  to “not calling for total revocation of MFN” in 1996. ICT director Lodi Gyari explained that “supporting complete revocation of MFN would not send a constructive message to China and would not give them a reason to improve their treatment of the Tibetan people.” So Lodi called for “conditional renewal of MFN”. (see “MFN for China Alert” Jun 15, 1996 WTN)

Of course that concession, or capitulation, did nothing to improve China’s treatment of the Tibetan people and in fact as we all know now, made things much worse. But that concession was enough to cause misunderstanding and confusion in the ranks of those Congressmen who had till then been our  staunch supporters on this issue, and helped Clinton undermine their solidarity. So the President got his votes in Congress to give China PNTR in 1996 and admission to WTO the next year.  ICT got a lesson in “triangulation” (a fancy term for being all things to all people) from Bill (the master) and an introduction to another fancy term “constructive engagement”. the Tibetans lost whatever little “economic” leverage they had in the US Congress.

I have no doubt that you, Kate, and others working at ICT mean well. But I think it is important to realize that whatever the ICT mission statement might be, you are all unwittingly earning your living by undermining the struggle of the Tibetan people for a free and independent nation. There is  another lobby group in your town that claims to be fighting to protect the second amendment rights of the American people, which is no doubt true and commendable as far as it goes, but what happens down the line as a consequence is unfortunately more tragic than praiseworthy.

Jamyang Norbu

(Note my reply in Huffington Post is shorter as they have a 250 limit on comments)


72 Replies to “Reply to ICT”

  1. JN la I am not sure if it was necessary to point out working for Tibet as also a way for ‘earning a living’ for those helping the cause. I am sure some one like Kate can work somewhere else and either make the same income or even more if she wanted to.Lets not overlook her passion for our people and cause.

    Everyone makes a living. How on earth are we expected to live?

    A regular reader of your blog.

  2. A little zigzag comment.

    Past is history and future is in our hand.

    It all depends on how we practice “constructive engagement” around neighbors,supporters,communities and nations around world including China cooperatively seeking a solution to solve Sino-Tibet issue.

  3. hav heard about ngo being a good business some years ago but not sure about the details. i still believe there some good ngos out there but since we cant pay them their salaries so in difficult times they surrender our goals to the pressure from their funders, n politicians. i know some volunteers sacrificing 40 hours a month with no pay or anything. bravo! they deserve, whether working for tib ngo or inji tib ngo, to be paid full. they too hav family n bills to take care of. one american woman exclaimed with her claim of touring gyari lodoe’s property worth several million dollars! now we all know from his pay check even if he saved all from 1959 to this day this is simply not possible! hehehaha

  4. Dear Jamyang Norbu la
    I know that you are not very popular as much as you should be and with this comments ( you are all unwittingly earning your living)I’m not sure how well it’s going to serve the purpose.
    I understand that you are independent writer and i repect that but i couldn’t control my emotion today.

  5. Dear Jam la,
    I look up to you, but this comment has crossed all the limits. Please lets fight Chinese CCP altogether whatever road we are taking – I find fine.

  6. NGO is mainly a business and it is often times employed as a tool by US government to foster conspiracy in other countries. Anyhow our current katri Candidate Tethong Tenzin Namgyal is named, advertised, and lauded as founding father of ICT, did Tenthong really wanted to sell Tibet for a fat salary at ICT? If so, everything about him is now becoming more questionable. Even JN’s bootlicking article about TNT’s for katri position is questionable, by extension it is questionable how serious is JN about all he writes. JN truly needs to solve this contradictory puzzles while explicitly supporting TNT for kalon at the same time attacking ICT’s work and mission!


  7. ICT and SFT brought wealth and fame to Tethong family, but as JN believes, it’s question how far they contributed to the cause of nation in practical sense. Actually we don’t need that many NGOs anyway , except it’s a commercial business.

    Quite an insightful article from our Lion King,ie, JN, today. kudos.

  8. If feasible, we need 10 more organizations like ICT, taking on other geographic areas and specializations in advocacy work e.g. religion, business and economic, academia, environmental etc.
    I’m not able to comment on the accuracy of Kate’s and JN’s pieces on ICT and PNTR, but it’s clear that JN’s last paragraph is completely unnecessary and unproductive. It would be good to see an apology from JN to Kate.

  9. Jamyang la,

    As much as I agree with your compulsive revulsion against “Inji’s” dominating our struggle scene, as well as your objections with the pertaining technicalities mentioned in the above blog entry, I do not see tagging “Kate Saunders la” as a selfish person earning a salary by working for Tibet, in any way a good way of portraying many thousands of people who have spent their lives working for Tibet in any capacity.

    I would love to see Jamyang la going to India, travelling all around universities and most importantly schools, and sharing his unique experience as a person lucky to have witnessed some history related to Tibet. I am sure, financially, he is well to do to make a couple of trips to India or even stay there. I am sure Jamyang la can leave the comforts of his Tenesse Ranch, sipping on a bourbon, while every now and then engaging in unproductive discourse online, which only a small portion of our community reads, and which is far less than what could he achieve as an active Rangzen proponent travelling in India and sharing his unique insight. His physical health seems perfectly fine for such an adventure.

    In terms of true Rangzen advocates, I find Tenzin Tsundue to be much more practical in his approach and much more dedicated, especially when he has place his country much above his own comfort and future. These are true patriots and must be encouraged.

    By the way, the reference to Tenessue ranch and bourbon is meant as a pun.. don’t take it too seriously..


    An ex-fan

  10. Rinchen, he is an Elitist Relic so I am sure he would better serve our community by staying in Tennesse just sipping on a bourbon and writing occasional articles. Just the way you like it.


    Ex-Believer in College Degrees imparting Intelligence.

  11. I don’t see this issue as anything other than whether political and economic engagement with China is good or not good for Tibet. It doesn’t matter to me who works for whom or who does it for free.

    The question (imho) is “did engagement increase human rights in Tibet?” No, no, and no. Human rights in Tibet and China have tanked since Clinton. Any of us over 30 remember this feeling–It’s not quite 1960s, but getting there.

    My Chinese friends will say, “That’s ridiculous, look at me, I’m studying freely in the US!” And we both know that 1) it’s only rich kids and 2) you have about 50% chance of operating a blog compared to 3 months ago. So even if you have no memory before 1980, please don’t tell me everything’s fine. It’s only fine if you do the nationalist dance and shut your eyes and and buy an apartment in Victoria just in case.

    Rewarding a bully only promotes bullying. No one wants to go to war, so the only power the west has from the outside against this bullying is economic and political pressure; sadly it has completely wasted both.

    In the US’s case “government” imho acts as a loose crowd of people who are disorganized, naive, or corrupt puppets of big businesses. Some hold their ground, but more cave in to smooth talk or perhaps even actual payoffs (this needs to be pursued vigorously so that concrete crimes can be exposed).

    We face exactly what we funded: a belligerent, expansionist, criminal political regime that will drive tanks over its own youth to stay in power. Now a one-eye-half-opened US is finally saying a few tougher things. I know many are alarmed at the sudden spine-straightening, too, by South Korea, Japan and Vietnam, but I personally welcome it. Is it too late, and will it go far enough?

    I really believe we must indict the big business themselves where appropriate. Too much to ask that they hold themselves responsible for putting ethics first, but we can at least hold them responsible for concrete instances of bribery to public officials, and illegally aiding foreign militaries.

    Trying to stop the CCP tidal wave on the Tibet side is immensely hard. Maybe we’d have more luck drawing down that wall of water on this side of the ocean. I believe one of those ways is taking action against any criminal activity by western companies who make China’s belligerence against Tibetans, and against the world, possible.

    I could be wrong about the balance of legal and illegal business activity; what do you think? Is the bigger problem billions of plastic toys produced legally, or is there enough business crime (treasonous sales of military tech, bribery of US officials) that going after it could slow down big businesses who are funding China’s crimes?

    To sum it up, until Washington wises up, can we slow down the Big Business-CCP engagement machine devouring Tibet, by exposing business crime?

    (Many of us are not lawyers; is it possible to use social media to make it a hot topic? Could it give Washington a CCP-style excuse to moderate engagement with China by “cracking down on crime?”)

  12. Sheila Sheila Sheila…wasteful rhetorics as always.

    And if you are truly suggesting that the situation on the mainland is approaching the carnage seen during the Cultural Revolution, you’re either intellectually dishonest or atrociously stupid (more likely a combination of both).

    And what exactly is the crime in doing business in China, or Tibet for that matter? Your proselytizing makes it sound like US Multinationals are breaking some sanctified moral code by the mere existence of their Chinese operations.

    They’re not, and you are very wrong. And of course, morality does not generate shareholder value a profitable subsidiary can.

    I am actually quite familiar with Restricted Export devices with respect to China, and I can actually give you a few very glaring examples of Western dual use products in PLA hardware. (WZ-10’s turboshaft engines are from P&W Canada, WS-10/A military low bypass turbofan’s core is “rumored” to be derived from the CFM-56 core, etc, etc)

    The problem for you, of course, is that this is all legal. While the US does implement a rather heavy handed export control regime vis-a-vis the PRC, dual use items still, from time to time, end up in PRC proper. And once it’s there, well, how the Chinese customer uses them is certainly not up the the US Government, nor you.

  13. Sheila you are right
    More engagementz with China more suffring for Tibetan in Tibet but more profits fro some exiles aand ICT . Only JN has guts to say this. Rinchen and others job applicationd to ICT is accepted. Say hi to Kate there.

  14. I think HHDL has hit on something with the environment focus. Not to imply it’s simply an “approach” – it’s vital in its own right, and I agree it could truly be the number 1 vital thing, as far as what is irreversible and affects everyone.

    But the US could take real advantage of this focus: it’s very hip to be green. Meaning, since businesses are now striving to appear green, if we insist on this green focus in our China dealings, maybe some real good could be done.

    So if farmers in Tibett are protesting the govt ruining their farmland, maybe it’s not a huge story to the outside world; but if that same destruction is also causing environmental disaster–couldn’t that raise the topic much higher? And couldn’t businesses scramble to appear greener in their dealings with China factories? Then it’s up to us to make sure they not only appear greener but actually are greener.

    I always think of this as “the MacDonalds Question”: do I have more of an impact by ordering a hamburger from MacDonalds with “no meat, please,” or by boycotting MacDonalds completely? Which is more likely to actually reduce the body count of factory-farmed beasts?

    Do we make more of an impact by getting American businesses to improve ethical standards of operation in Tibet, or by trying to get them to withdraw from Tibet and China altogether? In the end most companies just want to make money; they can’t be counted on to put anything other than their own survival first. How do we make their survival depend on ethical behavior?

  15. Chinese Engineer, the period leading up to the CR was “nothing like the CR,” either. Isn’t the point of recognizing bad trends is to avoid ending up where they have led in the past?

    The last four generations of your family lived through exactly the same eras in China as mine–yet you feel there’s “no problem” right now? Come on, do you mean it? Or just quickly switching from Coldplay to 天天红歌会 when the boss comes by. Everyone can sympathise with wanting to be patriotic. But be thankful, at least for your children’s sake, that others are being more daring, vigilant, or honest.

    It’s not illegal to do business in China or withdraw business from China. The point here is how that business impact humans lives. If ventures are making things worse in any country, then good people should try to change that using every legal and ethical means. If this means finding areas where businesses are breaking the law, to slow them down, then we should do it. If someone were harming your family, wouldn’t you try to find ways to stop it? After all, the CCP uses cries of “illegality” as the first step in shutting anything or anyone down–you should be very comfortable with this idea!

    As for illegally exporting technology, I believe US companies commit treason on a daily basis in this respect, and I believe it’s possible to expose that treason. I believe additional laws are broken on the way to making that treason possible in the first place (bribery, etc.)

    Doing business with China would be great–doing business with the CCP sucks. My government is crooked, but at the moment I believe your government is more crooked. I marched against Mafia Prince Bush, and I’ll march against Mafia Prince Xi. I don’t have a melanin-based stake in the game.

    Marching may be seen as lame, but on the other hand you don’t see Obama raising “the Hakka issue.”

  16. Do you know why the Cultural Revolution occurred? You clearly don’t if you think the current atmosphere has any significant possibility of leading to another period of time like that.

    And where did I say that there are no problems? The lack of sympathy for the Tibetan cause on my part does not translate into willing blindness to the current state of affairs on the Mainland.

    I think you’re operating under the illusion that the cause of the EXILED Tibetans in the west somehow converges with the interest of the Chinese people. Are you not aware of the rather spotty history of Tibetan exiles being used as a counter leverage or outright distraction against the Chinese? Have you seen NED’s funding distributions lately?

    Tibetan exiles have effectively buried their own cause by deliberately aligning their interests against those of the PRC, and that is really the whole story.

    The Greatest Good for The Greatest Number of People. This is the current generation CCP’s guiding principle (of course it is also implied that the existence of the CCP itself is requisite for the Greatest Good by the Party; the validity of that assumption is open to debate). In the last four generations, can you deny that the GDP/Capita for China has risen dramatically? That the average lifespan, infant mortality rate, and every other meaningful metric of quality of life has improved? Please compare that to the sorry state of India, the world’s largest democracy. Sure, India is a democracy; they have a free press, a relatively independent judiciary system, etc. But where have they gotten in the last 50 years? Does the Hindu 3% ring a bell?

    “I believe US companies commit treason on a daily basis in this respect”

    You BELIEVE? So some lib-art student in Wisconsin just miraculously snatches Justice Dept. memos out of thin air and proclaim a rough estimate for INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL DUAL USE TECH TRANSFER?

  17. There’s no need to strive to align the Tibetan people’s cause with that of the Chinese people’s, because they truly are aligned. Whether you are sympathetic to only the Chinese situation, or to both the Chinese and Tibetan situation, doesn’t change how each of those groups feels about its treatment at the hands of corrupt “officials.” The people are rebelling against that corruption, with or without your and my “permission” or “leverage.”

    From underground bloggers’ meetings, to secret Christian services, to anti-vaccine movements, to Tibetan language demonstrations, to petitioners, the people are speaking. They didn’t ask for your or my approval.

    The GDP and average lifespan for many countries has risen since 1950, and most of those countries were not run by the CCP. It’s called progress, period, and no political party can lay claim to it.

    The “rising” in China are not the average citizen, but the rich honcho party princelings, third-generation-revolutionaries, blah blah blah my grandpa was so-and-so’s secretary-blah blah blah. The gulf between rich and poor is practically a 9.0 earthquake at this point, and there will be a revolution; no one can stop it at this point.

    The current “administration” is about to run to retirement pastures and overseas backup villas, and leave the nation in Xi’s greedy hands; good luck, while Xi’s cabal and Hu’s CYL duke it out. The corrupt battling the corrupt; I don’t know if that can really be called a civil war, but the people may respond with one.

    The only possible answer imho is true leadership, accompanied by real fairness, and complete de-corruption of the judiciary, and Xi is sadly not an improvement on Hu but a slide downward in all these respects, and we’re already pretty far down. The youth are hungry for involvement, voting, a true judiciary, and modernity. Shutting down blogs and papers is the opposite of modernity; it makes Chinese youth feel like they’re slipping towards the mediaeval Pyongyang abyss while the modern world watches in embarrassment; you know you’ve experienced this sensation yourself. How you online guys can live with yourselves supporting this kind of backsliding is beyond me. It’s a bogus occupation.

    Non-Chinese and Chinese alike will look after themselves regardless of Beijing’s starchy conference rooms sketches, and no one much cares where India’s GDP figures in. The greatest good for the greatest number of people?? Tell that to Xi’s wristwatch.

  18. Jamyang,

    My sentiments are exactly with your last paragraph. Spot on.

    I don’t want to knock anyone’s efforts to do good, but sometimes those efforts cause more damage. People need to think further ahead.

    I won’t be foolish enough to suggest that Tibetan people’s struggles are mine own, no matter how much I support Tibetans’ struggles for justice and freedom.

    But we are all human. I do give a damn.

  19. My my Sheila! First export restrictions, now Chinese political dissent and economic disparity. Is there a topic you’re NOT wondrously informed in?

    Let’s cut the crap. What is India’s GPD/Capita right now? What’s China’s? What about 40 years ago? There is such a thing called progress, and then there is something called good management. Even if we assume that wealth is absorbed by ONLY the political elite, which it is not, there is still something called the trickle down effect. Or did you think wealth expenditure is something that happens in a vacuum? And how do you explain the massive middle class in China? Are there 300-400 million third gen revolutionaries and princelings in China now?

    The fact is that the average Chinese’s life is much better today than it was 30-40 years ago, and that is a direct result of CCP policies, starting with Deng’s SEZ decree and liberalization of the grain market.

    And you are terribly misinformed regarding Chinese politics. Deng Xiao Ping was the last paramount leader. There is no one, and probably will be no one, with enough political capital to steer the party the way he did. It is quite unfortunate that the current (and upcoming) generation of CCP leaders do not seem to contain the likes of Zhou En Lai or Deng Xiao Ping and Zhu Rongji. But the upside of that is the party is now much more heterogeneous, and no one person can hijack its agenda.

    China arguably is in the best shape it has been for the last 200 years. Could an entity that is not the CCP have accomplished this? Probably, and probably much more expediently too. But the CCP is here, and it’s here to stay, so what guarantee is there that a better alternative can be implemented without another upheaval the scale of the Chinese civil war?

    You can push the Tibetan Independence agenda all you want, but don’t pretend your interests align with those of the Chinese people, even those that do have legitimate grievances with Chinese authority.

    Let me put in more bluntly: Rangzen interests and Chinese popular interests are mutually exclusively, and the only possible relationship between the two is one of hostility, which is exactly what it is today.

  20. Russell Peters in one of his very funny stand up comedies nicely summarizes the philosophy of Chinese people in one simple sentence. He says “you cannot do business with Chinese people, they want to get very penny out of you”.

    There you have it, what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is also mine. Ladies and gentlemen this is your typical chinaman.

    Now put that in the context of Tibet. Tibet wasn’t theirs, but as Chinese want for themselves whtever is yours; they invaded Tibet and had it. Given who they are, it’s unthinkable to get back from them once they had it.

    So, chinaman, or I mean ‘chinese engineer’, when you concluded your above comment with, “Let me put in more bluntly: Rangzen interests and Chinese popular interests are mutually exclusively, and the only possible relationship between the two is one of hostility, which is exactly what it is today”, I dont think it came as surprise to any Tibetan, or anyone who knows chinese.

    An example, which is more baffling, of this greed ridden chinaman’s philosophy is Taiwan. The tiny island has been functioning on its own as an independent nation with its own law and trade and where Hu Jintao and his CCP thugs have never governed even for a single day in its history, tell the world that the Island belong to them and threaten to nuke if they dont come under CCP’s rule! Pretty amazing. Are we living in human civilization or jungle?

    Anyway, ‘chinese engineer’, let me get back to Tibet and Tibetans. It’s unmistakable that Tibetans have also learnt to deal the chinese if you look at the developments in Tibet. 60 years of subjugation and torture and monetary investment and brainwashing, but Tibetans yearning for Rangzen and affinity to their cultural roots are only growing stronger. Let me be blunt too. If you think with the help of gun and investment, this will slowly die down, you are highly deluded! You may have found an easy prey in Mongolians and Manchurians or even Uighers, but sorry chinaman, Tibetans are different!

  21. Chinese Engineer, corruption is like fire; it spreads anywhere it can. It doesn’t matter where it starts; there is no “race” barrier. It’s in everyone’s interests to stop corruption, and when that corruption is nuclear-armed, all the more so. Your country and mine, both need to be “stopped” in numerous, meaningful ways.

    We agree on one thing: Deng did good things. Hu’s undoing them, and Xi will do worse. We disagree on another thing: the CCP is not here to stay.

    I know plenty of Chinese people who believe Tibet should be independent, and many are mainlanders on top of it. There is not one single homogenous “western” belief on this issue nor one homogenous Chinese belief.

    Despite Hu and Palin’s best efforts, neither Chinese nor Americans can be painted with one color.

    Tibetan independence is up to Tibetans, it’s their country not ours, and India GDP, CCP lectures, and USA support or lack of support are secondary issues.

  22. So regardless now of the past positions of various organizations, and regardless of different opinions on what those positions were and are, isn’t it truly time to acknowledge that engagement with the CCP has not made it behave better? In fact, it seems to accomplish the opposite. So as rights-focused people or organizations, how can we justify anything other than complete rejection of “constructive engagement” as a national policy?

  23. I would like to remind you that TGIE also waged a war against the PRC for 20 years. Did that yield any tangible results? There was also very significant liberalization of Tibetan religious and cultural expression in Tibet in the 80’s, and that essentially culminated in 87-88 riots.

    Even the middle way demands an enlargement of defacto Tibetan territory compared to that which existed in 1950. From the CCP perspective, there really is no distinction between Rangzen and MW because they both seek the same thing, and that is independence; de-jure or de-factor is only a perfunctory concern in this case. And let’s not forget that the Tibetan cause has oftentimes been used as a tool against the PRC.

    The stance of the CCP for the foreseeable future will be the continued marginalization of the exile cause, so from a purely operational perspective, there really is no need to engagement with China, but it will nonetheless be carried out in the half hearted manner it has been for the last 20 years. Why? Because the TGIE support base has shoehorned the cause into a very narrow policy envelope.

  24. That logic ties itself in a knot: if TGIE were really the “shoehorn” to the Tibetan cause, ’08 wouldn’t have happened; if you’re saying ’08 happened with TGIE’s blessing, then the policy envelope is anything but narrow.

  25. that’s assuming that TGIE’s public and private policies are identical, which they clearly are not. In fact, no independent political entity can make that claim.

    TGIE can publicly endorse none violence to quell its more naive supporters, and still operate whichever way it really wants to operate.

    Another way (and the more likely scenario) to look at this is that the Tibetan cause itself is not monolithic, as evidenced by the existence of this blog. Someone not in close association with DL could very well have orchestrated 2008. In fact, it is well known that the international protests were organized by a few central NGO’s. I don’t see why this couldn’t happen in China.

    Either way, my argument is that the need to secure continued support from a large portion of Western sources will necessitate none violence and none confrontational stances on the TGIE in the future.

  26. Disagree – focus on–and support for–Tibetan causes has skyrocketed since ’08, even though both Chinese and vapid international media spun it is “Tibetan violence” for the most part, which it wasn’t.

    But point is, no supporters had a problem with the vision of Tibetans rebelling with more than words.

    There is a Chinese instigation, and a local Tibetan reaction, for every single rebellion of the past two years, whether it was Lhasa ’08, mining protests ’09, or language protests ’10.

    The issue facing Beijing is not TGIE and the west: it is Tibet itself.

  27. “But point is, no supporters had a problem with the vision of Tibetans rebelling with more than words.”

    This is clearly not true. Every legitimate Tibetan Issue NGO has continuously professed a none violent approach. In fact, I would like you to find me one that currently doesn’t.

    Fortunately too, I might add. One of the major reasons why Chechnya was pacified is the asymmetrical response from the GRU. There are quite a few places that make Tibet look like a kindergarten: Kashmir, Chechnya, certain parts of Palestine, etc. The list goes on. Try to escalate in Tibet and you might get a first hand account of how a real COIN operation is conducted.

  28. Getting back to a central issue of this thread, engagement has not made the CCP less likely to violate human rights. Engagement is either a joke, or worse, actually contributing to rapidly-vanishing human rights in China and Tibet.

    There is in fact a noticeable increase in violence in Tibet, and that violence is against Tibetans.

    What Chinese child is in jail for throwing rocks through Weng’an government office windows and torching police cars and assaulting policemen? Yet Tibetan kids are in jail for walking through the streets with a sign saying they want to keep their Tibetan textbooks, which the government issued to them in the first place.

    Two children in Gansu were given two-year jail sentences in an adult prison, simply for carrying sings which quoted the Chinese constitution.

    But Weng’an kids can be caught on-camera violently destroying property and assaulting people, and they don’t go to jail. Instead the govt picked out some handy adult “criminal gang members” and sentenced them instead.

    Violent Chinese kids in Weng’an also don’t get kicked out of school, as happened to countless Tibetan kids involved in the textbook marches.

    So, our government is foolish to think engagement works, and the Chinese government is foolish to think that Tibetans can be endlessly dumped on.

  29. Chinese Engineer is absolutely right in his comments that neither Rangzen nor MW is acceptable to most Chinese. His point, as I take it, is that Dharamsala and MW proponents are incorrect (or even deluded) when they say that the MW is in China’s best interests or that many Chinese support it. The Chinese probably know better than MW activists like ICT or Richard Gere about what is in their own best interest. They know that autonomy is as unacceptable as independence, never mind what their own autonomy laws say, because autonomy allows separatist sentiments to survive and may therefore someday lead to independence. Absolute eradication of all aspects of Tibetan culture that promote a separate national identity is thus necessary. Therefore, no real autonomy can be allowed. Tibetan nationalism has always revived whenever they have allowed the slightest bit of autonomy. Since 2008 Chinese sentiment has been more anti-Tibetan than ever before. The idea promoted by Dharamsala that more and more Chinese, especially intellectuals, are coming around to support the MW is nothing more than an attempt by Dharamsala to convince itself that the MW is working. The Dalai Lama is surrounded by sycophants who constantly search for proof that his policy is working. They research the Internet for Chinese opinions that can in any way be interpreted as pro-MW. They even put Wang Lixiong, the only real example they have of a Chinese intellectual who supports the MW, to work doing this research when he was in D’sala. The giveaway about how this works was the Dalai Lama’s statements about first 300 Chinese articles supporting his policy, then 500, then 700, now a thousand or something. It’s all wishful thinking that the policy is working. It isn’t. Never will, so may as well go for Rangzen.

  30. Middleway is illusion. The more Tibetans talk about pursuing MWP further we tighten our own noose, thus doing the Chinese job of killing us slowly as a people and nation by ourselves. Chinese regime may show a facade of ‘dislike’, but deep inside they like Middleway proponents. For Chinese the policy serves as, as they say in India, you get to kill snake and not break the stick too. No wonder ‘Chinese Engineer’ supports Lobsang Sangay for PM of TGIE with his own masqueraded analysis.

  31. What JN has been doing are:

    Sowing discord among Tibetan community intentionally, making disturbance intentionally, helping CCP indirectly, now you started thwarting foreigner’s help by outraging them.

    I’d really like to have a look of your heart,is that made of stone? Why you are always eager for the fray?

    You don’t want to help, that’s fine,just stay there sipping your whiskey and wearing your sinister smile.

    We don’t need you! Our freedom struggle would be definitely much much smoother without your “HELP”. Anyway, you are more of a hindrance than a help.

    Leave us alone!

  32. Hi,Chinese Engineer,

    You are really like a Engineer as your knowledge about social and political phenomenon is very limited and narrow as well.

    Some of other commentaries are also sucked with biased conception from the beginning itself,I am asking you to not observe other through the frame structure of your own ideology, but do observe by crossing beyond the boundaries of misconceptions,,,,

  33. @ Sangay la,
    I wanted to make clear; I’m not in support of Chinese Engineer on this board.

    To your words above “Middleway is illusion. The more Tibetans talk about pursuing MWP further we tighten our own noose, thus doing the Chinese job of killing us slowly as a people and nation by ourselves. Chinese regime may show a facade of ‘dislike’, but deep inside they like Middleway proponents.”

    So, from your depth of your heart and every cell of your body – it seems you do not agree with HHDL and TGIE on MWP. Very sad, very sad, young growing Tibetan like you have every right to not to agree with HHDL and TGIE. But putting up above words is I will say – you went to the lowest of low point.

    HHDL and TGIE have said all the time – its OK not to agree with us (majority of our people – Tibetans). But we need to fight facing CHINA CCP all together and not among us.

  34. There are three kinds of Tibetans Chinese may face: one asking for Middle way/autonomy, other Rangzen and the last self-determination. The last may have been supported with a UN resolution once, but China knows it will never let that happen again. So from their side it’s a NO.

    Rangzen is cutting China into two halves, and giving away one half of land that’s rich in natural resources and strategically important to Tibetans. So, giving rangzen is a No. Actually china doesn’t even want to hear the word Rangzen, because history is on Tibetan’s side.

    Now autonomy, as Dr.Warren Smith la said above, is as unacceptable as Rangzen, because for China autonomy and rangzen are same; down the road autonomy will lead to independence. So, Middle way/autonomy is a big No too.

    Now China knows that just because all the three are NOs Tibetans will not curl up and give up their fight. So what kind of Tibetans China prefers to face is autonomy/Middle way kind. Because by seeking middle way we are abandoning our historical right or international law or UN resolution etc and thus, we are NOT fighting for our ‘right’ but begging China. It’s now China’s internal matter when someone begs which they enjoy full right whether to give the bagger or not. And it’s exactly because of this US and Europe and other countries have also found it easy to ‘support’ us – they just have to ask China to give us what we are ‘begging’ for while enjoying the pressure-free to not recognize Tibet as a part of China, which is one of criteria to have trading relationships with China.

    In autonomy China has also found two birds to kill with one stone. It can put the facade of ‘solving’ Tibetan issue in the name of un-happening “talks” to the world, while making HHDL and TGIE deconstruct our own history in the name of ‘conditions’ by making them admit publicly Tibet was always a part of China, thus using the natives at the same time to do their propaganda indirectly.

    So, for Tibetans, the more they talk about pursuing Middle way, more deluded they are. And for chinese, they have found in them the greenest Tibetan, who’s not only ready to dance to their song called HOPE, but willing to stripe naked also and thus kill time and die natural death. Ofcourse Chinese are smart enough to not show happiness at this. For Chinese ideal situation would have been no Tibetans to deal with at all. Since, as I said above, this is not possible, so they prefer Middle path Tibetans. Now what do you think how Lobsang Sangay got China visa on his IC????

    Chinese Engineer, english is not my first language, am a die-hard Tibetan. So if you still question my ‘literacy’ that’s your problem. But if you meant ‘i m not smart enough’, then you know I’m not ‘engineer’ like you.

  35. Interesting! Not a single article from any of you people. You all can write a long piece of shit regarding those nonsense, and now, when Tibetan needs you, you are all silence!

  36. we all know ICT is bread and butter for some people and no work to show.It is only in last 2-3 years work by sft and grass roots mobilisation and of course HH’s tireless effots that has shown result.It is time to replace Lodi Gyari. It is not some personal business.Why did it take JN this long to bring up this issue?

  37. The second decade of 21st century is going to be the century of end of subjugation, equality for all, freedom for mankind to pursue its own destiny. Today it’s Tunisia, Yamen, Egypt…tomorrow it’s going to be China. Rise up Tibetans and demand for nothing less than RANGZEN!!!!!!!!!

  38. “Their (the NGOs) real contribution is that they DEFUSE POLITCAL ANGER AND DOLE OUT AID OR BENEVOLENCE what people ought to have by right …They ALTER THE PUBLIC PSYCHE. They turn people into dependent victims and BLUNT the edges of POLITICAL RESISTANCE. NGOs form a sort of buffer between … Empire and its subjects. They have become the arbitrators, the interpreters, the facilitators. In the long run, NGOs are accountable to their funders not to the people they work among”. (Arundhati Roy)

    HEAR, HEAR!!!

    “Experts from various “conflict resolution”, “conflict management” and “conflict mediation” groups and institutions descended on Dharamshala to organize lectures, workshops and symposiums, which even members of the Tibetan cabinet were sometimes obliged to attend. The overriding thinking pushed at these gatherings was that that everything depended on finding a way to accommodate China. Hence anything that might impede the process (i.e. talk of independence) had to be summarily dropped. NO ONE seemed to have CAUGHT ON that these groups were not there to deliver justice, or even begin a process to seek justice for Tibet, but, as their organizational names made abundantly clear, were there to make “CONFLICT” GO AWAY, even if that conflict was a necessary one between survival and extermination – even between good and evil. The simplest way of doing that, especially when one side was invincible, immovable, and a valued trading partner of the West, was to make the other and weaker side give up its dispute”. (Jamyang Norbu)

    These conflict resolution, conflict management, mediation experts remind me of Corporate America using the same techniques to ‘pacify’ or even ‘brain- wash’ employees during the beginning of the big mergers and massive lay- offs.

  39. If a Gyari can put up in the luxury of a Maurya Sheraton on an official trip to India; surely a J.Norbu can enjoy the comfort of his ‘Tennessee ranch’ as a freelance writer activist.

  40. In the end it’s still up to the people whether to give up the dispute or not. As we see in Egypt even a brutal 30 year armed dictatorship can’t be guaranteed of control if the masses organize in opposition.

    We here in the States for example should be, and all this time should have been, protesting or even rioting in the streets to stop the Iraq invasion. But you are right–people especially these days place a high premium on “peace” and “non-conflict.” I think that’s part of the reason people didn’t mass-protest this war in any permanent way.

    But the blame lies squarely on us.

  41. Meaning we have to acknowledge it’s not a perfect world and therefore there is rarely any clear choice between conflict and non-conflict; almost always it will be a choice between bigger conflict (slaughter in Iraq) and smaller conflict (unpleasant demonstrations).

  42. Lodi Gyari’s salary was $104,789 according to 2009 ICT tax records. plus $19,848 in additional compensation. **check** ICT is a joke.

  43. Dear Sir,
    What is happening in the hills of North Bengal is inevitable. Both the state and the centre are playing with fire not paying attention to the disastrous consequences that will ensue. They must settle the matter at once before the fire spreads farther into the plains as well. It had been a calculated move on the part of the British to make the Hindu Nepalese the majority community and the Buddhist Lepchas the minority in order to keep the Tibeto –chinese people at bay. The Indo –Nepal Agreement of 1950 followed the same policy. India was more concerned since China had become a communist country. As per Article 7A of this agreement the Nepalese freely immigrated to India, particularly to North Bengal and Assam, much more than Indians immigrating to Nepal. Consequently many pockets with Nepalese majority were formed in the Jalpaiguri district. The Morcha wants these places to be included in their proposed Gorkhaland because the Dooars will provide a good revenue from the three Ts– tea, timber and tourism. The agreement of 1950 must also be reviewed immediately. Otherwise soon a situation will be created when the Nepalese people become a majority in the whole of Jalpaiguri and parts of Malda and Coochbehar as well. And that will lead to the map of Gorkhaland to be redrawn.
    Thanking you
    Surajit Dasgupta
    97a Regent Estate
    Kolkata -700092
    Mobile no.9831235563

  44. I used to read Jamyang Norbus pieces with excitment, but lately it seems they have transgressed into personal attacks against Lobsang Sangay (and here Kate Saunders of ICT). I hope he could stick to writing fiction and essays on Tibetan history where he does an excellent job.

  45. Talking of those who are wrongly perceived as being selfless champions of Tibet, interesting to note another concoction of distortion and defeatism, from Ms Saunders’ former colleague Robert Barnett. Whose specialism, once playing the rear end of a pantomime horse, seems to have been relegated to that of repeating China’s propaganda line on Tibet. Note the following extracts from his recent piece, that appeared in Foreign Policy 21st January.

    “This has helped push GDP growth rates to more than 12 percent annually for the last 15 years — higher even than the rest of China — and improved living conditions in Tibet.”

    “5.5 million Tibetans in China, whose willingness to accept Chinese rule is at the root of the China-Tibet question.”


    Mr Barnett has for some years now sought to present an image of objectivity and detached balance, such comments, and his troubling pedigree on maintaining a shameful silence and denial on the issue of Tibetan women being forcibly sterilized by China (a position shared by Ms Saunders) exposes such a presentation as highly questionable and undeserving.

    Many have noted the consistent message of despair and sly circumspection that saturates his writing on Tibet’s cause, in addition to a willingness to infuse his comments with a toxic gloss of China’s disinformation.

    There are a number of individuals who have carved a career for themselves upon the corpse of Tibet and in so doing have proved themselves to be callously indifferent and hostile to Tibet’s cause for independence. Clearly Robert Barnett, and Kate Saunders are no friends of Rangzen

  46. This article forest in the Foreign Policy website, I am hugely disturbed. I am not sure whether Mr Barnett is writing this as a academic article or a subtle articulation of China’s basic policy and unachieved goal by reaching into Tibetan communities through a superficial sympathic and supportive attitude. He is suggesting something very subtle and very dangerous but something will undermine Tibetan movement. This is the external manipulation of the direction of Tibetan movement. We need to use own head instead of listening to outsiders. Of course we have and will have our own internal opinions, that does not matter because we all do Tibet. Folks need to be careful. CTA now needs to extra careful and reconsider on future invitation to Dr. Barnett to Dharamsala and to give lectures. He has the potential to brainwash our not-so-well-trained MPS.


  47. Is “When the serfs stood up in Tibet”, a book by CPP running dog Ann Louise Strong, which John Roberts and Elizabeth Roberts in their book ‘Freeing Tibet: 50 yrs of Struggle, Resilience and Hope’ call it work of fiction, still in syllabus of Robbie Barnett’s Tibetan studies program at Columbia?

  48. Agree with the points of fellow contributors on the dangers posed by the ‘words clothed in reason’s garb” offered by ‘experts’ duch as Mr Barnett. As to his syllabus reading list, one can only imagine the nature of material being pressed upon students, Seems he is appearing at London’s SOAS very soon no doubt offering perspectives that carry a worrying resemblence to the disinformation peddled by China’s mouthpiece, Xinhua. We can only hope that Tibetans in the UK will have the intregrity to challenge any distortions offered,and not be fooled by the amiable charm of the one time actor!

  49. usedtoreadyou@53,
    just becoz JN pointed out some discrepancies in LS’s campaign you’re not happy with him. I dont see any personal attacks. and what is this Kate Saunders thing you harping about?. are you by any chance employed by her? JN has right to express what he feels the ICT is upto. YOu may not like it but many other people are happy to be informed by him.

  50. Tintin, with that huge salary I’m not surprised when Gyari refused to consider himself for kalon tripa’s post, a postion big in name, responsibility but little on monetary compensation and perks.

    With devolution of power to elected Kalon Tripa, I hope whoever becomes new kalon tripa will set job ‘target’ for all the key officials of TGIE including “dhonchoes” foreign and domestic and Lodi Gyari to achieve in terms of creating awareness of our issue and advancing our cause in global arena. A ‘job review’ should be held periodically and whoever is found ‘slumbering’ which so far has been the case, should be transferred back to Dhasa or ask him to bid adieu with his job.

    So far our cause gained grounds mostly due to the popularity of His Holiness. Now with His Holiness decision to take back seat, it’s time we rolled up our sleeves and get ready to roll. We do not have the popularity of His Holiness to garner same level of interest from world community to our cause, but one thing we could do to meet that is by being tough on our officials by demanding RESULT from them! We have the truth, we just need skilled and talented ‘salesmen’ to sell it!

  51. Barnette is simply illustrating the self-deception of the Chinese government: Tibetans are not capable of independence. They are like ‘dogs’: feed them biscuits (economic development) and they will follow the master with tails wagging!

    But couched behind these assertions is an insight: that Tibetan dogs are no ordinary ones: They are either mastiffs or Lhasa apsos.

  52. Mr Barnett’s comments are in no way ‘simple’, and certainly not plain, they are a disguised advocation of imperialist aguments, used to support the lie that China’s tyrany has introduced ‘development’ to Tibet and supposedly enhanced the conditions of Tibet’s people. Such drivel has been scripted by Xinhua for many years and this supposedly independent analyst has been more than willing to peddle such disinformation in his writings. In addition any examination of his articles reveals a consistent misrepresentation of Tibet’s cause and a stealthy promotion of defeatism and despair.

    The Tibetan people have every right to national freedom, and are no less equipped than any other peoples to manage their own affairs. What prevents that of course is the very regime and colonization, which Mr Barnett would have us believe, is transforming for the better life in Tibet. However Tibetans would surely prosper more fully under independence than the expansionism and draconian control imposed by China’s illegal occupation. Minus the slave-labour camps, forced sterilizations, systematic torture, environmental terrorism, cultural genocide and military violence, Tibetans would be free to truly determine their own future. Why should Tibet’s people,with some 100 countries having regained their independence since the end of World War Two, be expected to settle for anything less?

  53. Well Tenzin, that has not prevented Mr. Barnett from assuming the role of spokesperson for the Tibetan people, nor from consistently misrepresenting its political objectives.

    In a 20th March 2008 article, again via Foreign Policy, and cognisant of the Uprisings for Tibet’s independence that erupted that year year, he offered the following replies during an interview:

    “Foreign Policy: What does the average Tibetan want? Is it independence, or a greater share of Tibet’s modernization and economic growth, which has been dominated by Han Chinese?

    Robert Barnett: Not really either of those things. We have to be very careful not to confuse exile politics, which is a demand for anti-China this and anti-China that, with internal politics, which is much more pragmatic, complex, and sophisticated. A very important sector of Tibetans have become very wealthy because China has poured money into creating a middle class in Tibetan towns, though there hasn’t really been a dividend for the countryside and the underclass. So, we can’t explain this as just economic modernization. We could explain the violence against the [Han] Chinese in that way. It could have to do with that. But the violence is present in just one demonstration out of 50 in the past two weeks.
    These protests are really about two things: A huge sector of the rural population has said, ‘Tibet was independent in the past. We reassert that belief. That doesn’t mean we demand that it be independent again, but we are reinserting that into the discussion. And, “The Dalai Lama represents our interests.’ I suppose a possible third thing is, ‘We are certainly not happy with Chinese President Hu Jintao.’ This is a huge political statement that nobody anticipated”.

    What’s for sure is that such comments are a gross distortion of the nature of the 2008 Uprisings. Nearly three years later it’s interesting to reflect on the timing of Barnett’s article, particularly for those of a more cynical persuasion, who may well speculate that his remarks were designed to deliberately misrepresent.

    Are Tibetans aware they have a ‘spokesman’ who is actively misinfoming the media that Tibetans inside Tibet are facing torture, bullets and prison, not for political independence or seperation from Communist China, but simply as an exercise if reaffirming the ‘belief’ that Tibet was independent. As has been noted previously Mr.Barnett seems to specialize in a systematic prostitution of the truth whenever the issue of Tibetan independence is raised.

    That article, and his more recent offering does Mr.Barnett no credit, in terms of enhancing any genuine understanding of the situation inside Tibet, nor more importantly, from the perspective of providing a balanced and objective analysis. Why do I state this? Well unfortunately some of his comments are simply echoes of Chinese deceptions on Tibet; the references to economic investments assisting Tibetans, the over amplified insistence of such supposed aid generating a Tibetan middle-class. The strange fiction that Tibetans are not strugling for terrotorial and political independence, and the notion that such calls are from exiled Tibetans. All share a remarkably similar syntax with the crude propaganda issued by China’s communist regime.

    Such a view poses as intellectual balance and objectivity, yet no matter the pseudo-intellectual gloss, it is a distortion, and what’s worse borrowed from, and/or influenced by, those architects of oppression that are sytematically destroying Tibet.

    There is no ‘honest-broker’ role for Robert Barnett, no academic hiding place to argue that his curious misrepresentations on Tibet derive from some intellectual convention of impartiality. As with any tyranny or cultural genocide there really is no fence-sitting, those with integrity cannot stand by and play the detached academic.

    To adopt a posture of respectful academia, whilst betraying the facts of injustice, oppression and abuse, on the scale and nature inside Tibet, is utterly unforgiveable. It is difficult to understand, unless of course Robert Barnett has privately already chosen his stance?

  54. Integrity or ideologically entrenched to the point of blindness and stupidity?

    You should be very careful to discern that line, Monsieur Bowe, lest you fall into the same intellectual cesspool the majority of the Free Tibet crowd swims in.

  55. There can be no constructive exchange on the basis of the fallacious offering you present. However if you wish to advance some defence of Robert Barnett’s writings please do so, would be rather interesting to note any attempt to square that circle. Meanwhile, his record speaks very troublingly for itself, coloured by a gross distortion of the situation faced by Tibetans inside occupied Tibet, and the nature of their rightful cause.

  56. chinese engineer ,you spend so much time and energy trying to find out what tibetans are upto. your communist govt must be insecure especially after the 2008 uprising. they must pay you very well and btw can you inform the authorities that the Tibetans no matter what will not give up their struggle.

  57. Chinese engineer, you have a point – but I also hope you are not blind to see that Free Tibet movement is coming out of the intellectual ‘cesspool.’

  58. I think “Chinese Engineer” is the same as the “Intelligent Designer” who mocks people for defending Tibetan rights over at the Yahoo news comment sections. Both engineer and ‘design’ the truth to better suit the CCP in Beijing. It seems like everyone but C.E. and I are using real names here. So I think it would be a courtesy for C.E. to do the same and from now on write comments with his real name or not at all.

  59. 1) I never post anything at Yahoo news, it’s like pissing into an ocean of stupidity. Image this blog, but with 1000 times more ill educated Tibetans

    2) Go Fuck Yourself.

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