The Day I Saw Mandela


Just four months after he was released from Robben Island, Nelson Mandela came to Boston – the first stop in his nine-city US tour. It was probably his way of thanking Boston for being the first US city take a stand against apartheid, which it and the state of Massachusetts had earlier done, against the prevailing wind of American politics then.

I was in Boston at the end of a speaking tour put together by my friend the scholar Warren Smith (author of Tibetan Nation and other insightful tomes on the Tibet issue). Just a year earlier, in June 1989, the Tienanmen Massacre had shaken the world and Warren felt it was an opportune moment to educate the American public on the Tibetan issue. But the “Tibet Movement” though at the peak of it popularity, power and influence had become somewhat discombobulated following His Holiness’s “Strasbourg” address giving up Tibetan independence. Nonetheless, the few small Tibetan communities in North America and inji friends welcomed Lhasang Tsering la and myself when we rolled into their town or university in Warren’s old Chrysler station wagon (one cylinder malfunctioning).

But to get to back to my main story. Mandela spoke at the Esplanade by the Boston River where a reported 250,000 people had gathered. Edward Kennedy, Governor William Weld and other eminent Bostonians were on the stage besides him. Oddly enough, I don’t recall what Mandala said but I clearly remember his infectious smile and the unusual tonal quality and cadence of his accent. But more than anything I’ve never forgotten the extraordinary, even profound collective emotion that took hold of us in the crowd that day. I thought  “So this is how its going to be when Tibet becomes free and His Holiness returns home. This is how its going to feel” I have mentioned this memorable experience in a few of my public talks. Nobody’s laughed at me yet.


I know most Tibetans aren’t exactly feeling that sort of euphoria right now. But they should be reminded how depressing it must have been for Mandela and others in the ANC when leading Western nations, especially during the Cold War period, did not support their cause. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher argued that economic sanctions against the white apartheid regime would only hurt the economic interests of poor black South Africans. Mandela himself was condemned for being a Communist and a terrorist. Dick Cheney insists to this day that Mandela was a terrorist. Though the anti-apartheid cause had many supporters throughout the world, it took a long time to change public opinion in the nations of the West (and Japan) that did business with South Africa and regarded it as a bulwark against Communist infiltration into Africa. When change eventually came, after 27 years in prison for Mandela, it was arguably in large part a result of his personal courage and uncompromising stick-to-it-ness that forced the white South African government to release him and subsequently abolish apartheid and hold multiracial elections.

In a previous post I had theorized that the cry of Tibetan self-immolators in Tibet for the “Dalai Lama to return to Tibet” was symbolically on the lines of the anti-apartheid rallying-call “Free Nelson Mandela”. Both slogans are of course a classic example of the use of symbolic language in politics. Clearly no one from the ANC was saying that if Nelson Mandela were released from prison then the South African issue would be resolved. The rallying-call from Tibet is also nothing less than a demand for an end to Chinese rule and the return of Tibet’s sovereign ruler to his independent homeland. Sycophantic politicians in the exile Tibetan world have tried to make this issue entirely about the Dalai Lama, in spite of the fact that many of the self-immolators had made outright demands for “Rangzen” along with their appeal for the “Dalai Lama to Return to Tibet.”

The “monarch-in-exile” or the “monarch-in-captivity” is a powerful archetypal symbol of “the lost freedom” of a people or a nation. You had Richard I in captivity in Austria represented (somewhat inaccurately) in popular English history as “the good king who would one day return and put things right.” Jacobites in Scotland had their “King across the Water” (James II) romanticized in the historical novels of Walter Scott. In fantasy fiction you have the The Return of the King, the concluding volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s great fantasy trilogy The Lord of the Rings, where Aragon the exiled “heir of Isuldur” regains his throne and frees the people of the Middle Earth.

The message “Free Nelson Mandela” was in the eighties effectively spread world-wide not only in protest chants and posters but also in the songs of African singers and songwriters as Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela, Brenda Fassie and Majek Fashek. The English musician Jerry Dammers wrote “Free Nelson Mandela” in 1984 which performed by his band “The Specials” reached the top ten of the UK charts and became very popular in Africa. Amy Winehouse sang it at Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations.

The other day listening to NPR in my car I heard this catchy tune “Bring Him Back Home” by South African jazz trumpeter, composer and singer, Hugh Masekela. It seemed to me that the song echoed the pleas from Tibet for the Dalai Lama to return home.

Bring back Nelson Mandela.

Bring him back home, to Soweto.

I want to see him walking

down the streets in South Africa – Tomorrow.


167 Replies to “The Day I Saw Mandela”

  1. It is darkest before dawn, as someone once said. Sometimes our leaders act like they have no visions of the future and are basing their strategy on present reality instead of future possibilities. It is a cause of a nation and the fight must be thought of in terms of centuries or generations.

  2. its a very shame, for the exile Tibetans to shift there cause from millions of Tibetan people into just personal cause of HHDL!!!!!

    HHDL actually is very Happy in Exile, with western praising him..the one who have great suffering is the Tibetans people, and Tibet nation as whole

    I seriously think, that this ridiculous must end now…Tibetan must do prolonged protest infront of TGIE in inform the government that the Rangzen supporter is majority, and number 1 demand, and keep Tibetan cause alarmed in the world through media

  3. Now, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and showering praise for Mandela. I feel these are just words of hypocrites. The test is what we did while Mandela was in prison and during the apartheid period. I don’t recall a single Tibetan joining anti-apartheid protest march. Or the Tibetan leaders calling for the release of the Mandela, when the whole was calling for his freedom. Not, even the Dalai Lama made a single statement in the support of the black people of South Africa. It is shame on us that we failed to express our solidarity with justifiable cause.


    Do mandela first speak or praise anything related to Tibet?? I am not limiting his good struggle, but just wandring..Although HHDL said Mandela struggle Non-Violence, which is not, just to promote his policiy, which I think have some hypocrisy

    Any way, Tibetans suffer much more under Chinese..South African Apparthied Regime where considered OK for Tibetans today comparing to Chinese Apparthied

  5. Lhasang
    That’s so wrong. south African apartheid is not okay whatever its compared to. It’s not okay for one group of people to treat another group like animals whether it’s between whites and blacks of South Africa or between Chinese and Tibetans. You can’t know the sufferings of other people until you are in their shoes.

  6. @6 Its true that Tibetans did not go out in the street for the cause of South African Apartheid Regime. Neither did South African or ANC supported Tibetan cause when they were struggling freedom.

    That is understandable because both were under occupation. How could one beggar help another beggar when his own stomach is empty.

    The important thing is that South African could do something after independence which they didn’t as many countries around the world supported the down fall of Apartheid regime through various means including the boycott. Its not Tibetans but many countries who supported SA are talking about it.

    Tibetans are still under occupation.

    More over there is so much left wing media hype of Mandela or Malala. The left wing media has an agenda and they used to so effectively like campaign for Malala for Nobel prize to fight Taliban. There are so many Malala like people in the world while there is no mention of it in media while media sometimes talk 24/7 on Mandela or Malala.

    Another thing they distort as if Cuban leaders is only communist or Mugabe is only tyrant at the Mandela funeral service. They made too much about Obama brief hand shake with Rahaul Castro of Cuba.

    The fact is Chinese vice president was there at memorial and he even spoke and media never mention China as communist because 90% of American household goods are made in China.

    Western left wing media rarely mention Saudi king as tyrant while they supported the Islamist to over through Syrian regime of Assad to avenge Iran.

    So don’t read too much into the media as it to much biased. While Chinese used it crudely as propaganda Western media used it very subtly to white wash or soil it depending on whether the entity is their friend or foe.


    its true we can’t make judge if we don’t live as south african

    However, my personal opinion based on the incident or the complaints of south african..its shows that we Tibetans under Chinese is much worse, based on the fact that chinese now in tibet is morethan tibetan, which is very serious, which is not the case of south africa

    even, there is a lots of white come in support of blacks, which is again does not happen with tibetan

    when south africa remove aparthied regime, its some white Parliment member who suggest to end racist regime..which almost impossible in tibet

    Tibetan now is like a beggar who want some coins to eat, if tibetan do see some chinese parliment member or government suggest any resolve to there cause(mean like small autunomy,or little rights), they will stop all there activity, and TGIE will request tibetan to stop protest, as there cause will solve under chinese..and I am not suprised if I hear TGIE close there office

    No wonder, Sikyong said that Tibetans don’t want democracy, such word will be a big jock to south african and total unacceptable

    plus tibetan live under worst communist regime…communism is uncomparable to any other regime + 6 millions Tibetan resisting 1 billion chinese!!!!

    Deng XiaoPeng has know this fact, and how tibetan want one nectar of rights, when he said that everything can be discussed except independence!!!! still many tibetan dream of delusion, and repeating deng xiao peng vain words until today from 24 years!!!!!

    then HHDL rush like a beggar, announce his middle way policy

    south african doesn’t accept a lots of suggestion by the whites, and still strongly keep there armed struggle lead by Mandela, and refuse to throw there weapons, if only the total remove of racist regime, not semi, like many tibetan who accept autunomy, even without using weapons.

    the end point, when foreign country occupied another country like tibet cause, is not same as when some ethnics spicifically takes more benefits than other ethnics like south african case

    there is a lots of differences between tibet case and south africa, which vigioursly, turns the balance toward south africa

  8. Lhasang I agree with most of what you are saying. But the minority who ruled Africa were also foreigners who colonized South Africa and that small group of people controlled everything. South Africans had a happy outcome because of their perseverance. We can defend our position without belittling others who are not the cause of our misery.

  9. Nelson Mandela’s quest is succeeded because so many people around the world that included white people supported him. One of the reason we should not be persuing Rangzen is we have no support from anybody in this world for Rangzen.

    Nobody wants to upset China these days. South Africa, country of Nelson Mandela which suppose to be understandably stand up against oppression have refused visa for Dalai Lama twice in the past. Obama who supposed to be standing up for minority and human rights turned out to be one of the worse US president who supported Tibet. Even refused to meet Dalai Lama until he was pressured. I don’t even remember when Obama spoke about human rights last time that involed China.

  10. The middleway onslaught is happening all over US and other countries led by Penpa Tsering Rabsey giving venomous speeches all over Tibetan communities in north america, in their quest to silence Rangzen people and promote unity – nice word which now means totalitarian oneness of message whether you like it or not. If you don’t agree, the great Dalai Lama hammer is hurled at them. Listen to this arrogant talk like he knows everything knowing fully well he can safely hide behind Kundun if people ask tough questions. These middleway people are even more dangerous than the Chinese, causing divisions and hatred within the communities and accusing everyone who dare to rise up as hurting His Holiness’ feelings. It is pathetic how these buddhists are so evil and cunning and downright poisonous, you wonder if free tibet is even worth it with traitors at the political leadership causing divisions in the name of unity. Who is the real enemy of Tibet?

  11. @13

    “It is pathetic how these buddhists are so evil and cunning and downright poisonous…”

    Middleway supporters are not the only people who profess Buddhism. Rangzen supporters also profess the buddha Dharma. Its not because of Buddhism that changed the course of our struggle in the last few decades. its more of political convenience.
    your constant bashing of Buddhism only betrays your lack of understanding of the Buddha Dharma.

  12. SADEYS

    I am not saying that to belittle saouth african cause..I am just replaying to someone who said why Tibetan didn’t support south I just said why also south african didn’t support us, although we are worse

  13. Dear Jamyang la,

    Does the fact that Dala Lama wasn’t invited to the’ Nelson Mandela’s funeral point to a dwindling international stature of the monk? Or, is it that the international community, in gritty reality does not view Dalai Lama in the run of Mandelas and Tutus?

  14. Rangzen people hardly use religion to justify their position. They don’t need to because they know they stand with truth. This constant bagdering of fellow Tibetans who are patriotic as doing something against the wishes of His Holiness is first class evil. That is what that Penpa Tsering Is doing. Somethngs are not stated openly but implied. It would make you a terrible politician if you did. It is ok to fight on paths and strategies but it is not ok when you start equating anydissent with disloyalty to hh. Buddhism preached by buddha is very excellent, not this palace lifestyle monadteries in the south with the rampant child abusers and fat useless monks. Buddha begged for his food everyday and preached under trees and slept on straws. Don’t lecture me on buddhism. Look around and observe.

  15. Tsering Dolker la

    Are you Buddhist? What do you do as a Buddhist? Its easy to point out what others doing and not doing but its very hard to come up with your own example.

    I am one of the worst soccer player but I can still come out with idea when Messi and Ronaldo missed to score.

  16. Tsering Dolma, hats off to you. Your’s every comment make sense. In fact many of the Dharamsala experts think that studying Buddhism makes them wise in all the fields including the politics. You are right, they are in fact bringing more harm to our cause than the Chinese.

  17. I dont know much about the Dharamsala experts and their politics so I honestly can’t say. But I do know that cowardice masquerading as common sense and wisdom and clamp down every little courageous act of self-respect and integrity is totally not based on Buddhism.
    So called Dharamsala experts may be trying hard to cultivate loving kindness but are they “Awake”? not by a long shot.

  18. Tsering Dolkar said Buddhist and not Buddhism. Anyway the Buddhism we practise is not the pure form of Buddhism that Buddha started. Buddha didn’t teach to invite monks to do “GET RICH” pujas. Buddha didn’t teach lot of those rituals we carry out. In a secular democratic society everyone is equal. Each person casts one vote not like ours where monks can cast two.
    High or low born. Lama or his secret namas. Rich or poor. Educated or uneducated. Everyone should have equal rights.
    If your Buddhism ask you to give up your country for the good of all then you should be able to give up your culture and traditions too. You can’t pick and choose.

  19. Just one point about the evolution of creating a separate ‘vote’ category for monk votes.
    Most people view it in the usual ‘box’ of favouring ‘monk classes with extra privileges. The way I see it (again just voicing my personal understanding of it – so people DON’T start jumping around) is that in Exile this was an attempt to rectify all the WRONGS of previous old govt’s long history of religious intolerance & killings. It was an attempt to recognize ALL the different Tibetan Buddhist sects and give them a place in exile govt. Same with the creation of votes along regional category. I see it as early TGIE’s attempt to be inclusive given our long dysfunctional history.
    Time and political evolution in exile may see changes to this …..

    About Tibetan Buddhism not being pure etc etc – a 1000 disgruntled Tibetan Buddhists will have 1000 different opinions according to our million & one experiences – I too have my many shares of pointing this out esp. ‘hypocrisy’….. & all that maybe valid BUT the core of Buddha Shakyamunis teachings have still been kept intact by Tibetan Buddhism.

    (I don’t think outward acts of historic Buddhism – ‘begging bow’ etc etc was adapted by Tibetans. It is also said that the West also has to carve its own understanding of Buddhism without just following the ‘outward’ & cultural aspects of Tibetan Buddhism and that it may take them centuries).
    And the ‘get rich’ pujas – yeah this is taking precedence for some to be considered the real Buddhism.

  20. Tsundru
    Don’t get me wrong but I am really confused. The monk class was considered privileged in the old Tibet too. So why do you think it’s “rectifying” to give THEM two votes in this day and age?

  21. sad eyes
    i think that you are privilege that you dont understand what TSundru is trying to explain. go to early exile politics my friend.
    of course it is sad that now that rectification has turned to silent conspiracy of all sect to go about thier money making business. i’m not saying all the lamas fall in that category.

  22. Sad Eyes”

    The monk class that held hegemony –privilege –in Tibet – during the last couple of centuries got to that seat after years of persecuting & almost annihilating other Tibetan Buddhist sects. It was considered ‘right’ to destroy other Tibetan Buddhist sects to keep a hold of that hegemony. That is our past thistory.

  23. Sad Eyes”

    The monk class that held hegemony –privilege –in Tibet – during the last couple of centuries got to that seat after years of persecuting & almost annihilating other Tibetan Buddhist sects. It was considered ‘right’ to destroy other Tibetan Buddhist sects to keep a hold of that hegemony. That is our past history.

  24. we better let Obama know of this incredible news. Blacks in this country should be allowed to vote three times. One for KKK atrocities. One for Alabama police dogs attacks and one for Jim Crow and being sold like animals.

  25. of course obama is righting many wrongs of the past. i thank him for that. the tea partiers and supporters are mad like hell now and cant get over it even after its signed, sealed and delivered.

  26. My point is it is ludicrous to give anyone the right to vote twice. They should not call this democracy if some people can vote twice. Every citizen’s vote should have the same weight.

  27. Number of people here have problem with things we do and beleive as a Tibetan. Same people may not realized the very system they admire so much is plagued with corruption. All black people voted for Obama simply he is black that includes prominent republican Colin Powell. Mitt Romney recieved 0 support from black people simply he is white.

  28. When you claim your people enjoy DEMOCRACY you can’t continue to act like feudal lords and autocrats and their brown nosing minions who justify their actions. I didn’t know our form of democracy is special case because we are special case people. Nobody has ever lost their nation. We have to just sit down and watch quietly while our leaders molest Democracy with nonchalance.

  29. 35
    What are the things we believe as Tibetans? Are you suggesting that we are too much of neanderthals to be able to digest the real democracy? That you have to wash down and create a Democracy-Lite for Tibetans?
    And your assertion that no black person voted for Mitt Romney! HHHHHAHHH. YOu haven’t met my neighbors it seems. FYI Powell is not the only black in America.

  30. Theocracy is what we have, not democracy. I had some hope before but now i see it is all fake like the smile on the fat Penpa Tsering acting like new aristocrat. It is the rise of new Kudrags.

  31. @ 35 whiteiscolour

    Of course blacks voted for Obama. Especially when it’s a candidate like Obama. It’s only natural after all the shit they’ve been through. I’m quite surprise that you expect any black to vote for Mitt Romney. Why should they? You expect all people to be like Tibetans or what?

  32. “What are the things we believe as Tibetans? Are you suggesting that we are too much of neanderthals to be able to digest the real democracy? That you have to wash down and create a Democracy-Lite for Tibetans?”

    What Whiteiscolor is saying is that he feels democracy is not perfect or flawless, as if such facts are deliberately kept hidden from public knowledge. He fails to grasp or just too apathetic I guess, to google or wiki “democracy” to find out the positives, as well as the negatives of this system of governance.

    Obviously democracy is not without its flaws as this running idea is conceived by fallible humans, ergo, fallible system; ergo, the need for constant vigilance, critical scrutiny, and tinkering. Sidenote: is there anything in nature, we mortals also part of that nature, that is perfect or flawless? Or are such concepts subjective, i.e. value judgements exclusive to the human brain?

    Whiteiscolor does not value the democratic system except for the idea of “majority rule” which he keeps reminding us all, that “majority” is on his side, which gives him the licence to say all sorts of crazy nonsense in his inimitable obfuscatory ways, by setting up straw man and other fallacies.

    Even His Holiness’ sentiments regarding Democracy is at odds with Whiteiscolor as few of the excerpts from the article titled, “Buddhism and Democracy” which I pilfered from Dalai Lama’s own official website shows……

    “Although none of our Buddhist societies developed anything like democracy in their systems of government, I personally have great admiration for secular democracy. When Tibet was still free, we cultivated our natural isolation, mistakenly thinking that we could prolong our peace and security that way. Consequently, we paid little attention to the changes taking place in the world outside.”
    “Our democratization has reached out to Tibetans all over the world. I believe that future generations will consider these changes among the most important achievements of our experience in exile.”

    “No system of government is perfect, but democracy is closest to our essential human nature. It is also the only stable foundation upon which a just and free global political structure can be built. So it is in all our interests that those of us who already enjoy democracy should actively support everybody’s right to do so.”
    Modern democracy is based on the principle that all human beings are essentially equal, that each of us has an equal right to life, liberty, and happiness.”

    I can not agree with His Holiness’ core contention that Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism and Democracy, will find a happy marriage, given that, Tibetan Buddhism is not based on human nature, nor on the theory of Evolution, but upon a metaphysical system ala another version of the great chain of being where a Tulku is a higher form of life, more precious than any mortal sinner.

    If Buddhist is so compatible with Democracy, a hand to glove fit as HH alleges, then why did no Buddhist nation in the world institute such a political system? Even the much hyped Ashoka was clueless.

    At the end of the article His Holiness makes his often quoted appeal “To encourage myself in this altruistic attitude, I sometimes find it helpful to imagine myself, a single individual, on one side and on the other a huge gathering of all other human beings. Then I ask myself, ‘Whose interests are more important?’ To me it is then quite clear that, however important I may feel, I am only one, while others form the majority.”

    Yes, it is true, the majority are more important than the individual in many circumstances but not in every circumstances surely, sometimes, one individual can be right and the majority wrong, as with Copernicus when he posited a sun centered cosmic system, or Charles Darwin, who scientifically demonstrated that all life owes its origins via Evolution and not by divine decree, and so on……..

    Never the less, a good writeup about Democracy by His Holiness, have a read Whiteiscolor.

  33. reading your whole thing remind me so much of my young days of angst and rebel. but seriously do you really think core of Buddhism is based on some metaphysical ala such nonsens things? people have discussed this topic so many times even on this blog that i assumed we were on same page.
    so anyway, i just want to ask if you ever read Dzogchen teachings. There, there is no holiness- only VASTNESS! there is nothing sacred and nothing impure inherently. maybe you should go direct there. maybe you will get it. a questioning mind is good, a seeking mind is even better. but you’ve already made conclusions then its a problem.
    of course, people who are not ready and cannot grasp the concepts of Dzogchen teachings should go the long route and do the whole “holy” thing and that is also good. being kind, patient and calm are all very good qualities to imbibe. please proceed with caution. lest you end up more confused.
    finally, i think that as human beings as a society we will always be seeking better solutions and justice and better governance and so on and so forth. its a process and evolution from theocracy to democracy and who knows what next.

  34. In Buddhist teaching every man and woman is taught to think for himself or herself which is the very foundation of democracy. I am not rejecting the values of democracy. What I am rejecting is the notion that what we Tibetan do culturally or traditionally or customarily, politically and religiously are so wrong by honoring bahaviours of other democratic societies such as US. What I am rejectiong is baseless thinking of His Holiness is wrong, Zamdong Rinpoche is wrong, Lobsang Sengye is wrong, Penpa Tsering is wrong, future prime minister is wrong, mass Tibetan population is wrong.

  35. Lhakapa Dolma, I am sorry to hear that reading what I wrote reminded you of your younger days of angst and rebellion, which no doubt, must have been a dark and terribly confusing period in your otherwise sensible, shunyata pulsating existence.

    Seriously, when I did feel angsty in my younger days, that was when i turned to Buddhism for solace and answers, hence read voraciously all things pertaining to Buddhism, meditating religiously, even subscribing to Tricycle mag and doing few ten day retreats over the years.

    For fear of readers losing patience I will not bore all with details, suffice to say that I am grateful for such knowledge, a psychological balm indeed. I found Gautama of the Pali Canon likeable, who seemed quite rational most times and funny too. So I have no spleen against buddhism as you charged me, I have deep craving for what is true, not what is consolatory. Yet I must ask, which version of Buddhism are we talking about? Zen? ? Ch’an? Vajrayana? Or some new age Buddhism?

    You speak of Dzogchen-of emptiness, void; designations and labels. Of the aggregation of disparate parts commingled to give the illusion of extension, form and space of “I”, Non Self, the illusory nature of reality……….yes, I am well acquainted with these profound concepts as I have read books by His Holiness, Narjarjuna, Santidiva, the exploits of Patrul Rinpoche, Sogyal rinpoche, Dilgo khyentse rinpoche, Trungpa rinpoche, Zopa rinpoche, Ani Pema Chodron Robert Thurman, Glenn Mullin, etc, etc, etc., you name it, i probably read it. Most importantly, by meditation where if you are having a good meditation, well i dont want to make it seem mystical, it really isnt.

    Anyway, these Buddhist ideas are even more robust today having a certain philo-scientific heft and appeal to them .

    And I did not say, as you accuse me of saying, that the core of Buddhism is based on some metaphysical nonsense, rather, I said, it will be very difficult for Tibetan Buddhism and Democracy to merge as His Holiness envisage because the core of Tibetan buddhism is metaphysical, that is to say, the belief in the veracity of reincarnation and Tulkuhood. Besides, how many Tibetans have even heard of the tripitaka much less read it or know who Walpola Rahula is, yet have no qualms about being a defender of Buddhism in their ignorance of it.

    Speaking of what is fact and what is wishful thinking in the core….

    The core teaching of Buddhism, the four noble truth. The first noble truth, the truth of dukkha. That there is suffering in the world, that all beings experience suffering, that it is the human condition to suffer–this is a robust argument and an accepted truth by intellectuals.

    However, the 3rd noble truth, the truth of permanent cessation of suffering, this had never actualized ‘cept in stories. Both physical as well as psychological suffering, while one can mitigate or avoid for a time, can never be completely eradicated, transcended, liberated from, emancipated out of, so that you never suffer again, because. the nature of life involve some suffering whether mental or physical, then there is death, the worse form of suffering if you love life.

    Let me end with a story of suffering even a master could not escape, and in his anguish reveals a profound wisdom..

    Marpa the teacher of Milarapa always admonished his students as Gautama did with Sariputra, that death is natural and therefore it is quite silly to cry or make a scene when someone dies, but it happened that, one day, Marpa’s own son died. At the funeral, Marpa cried which compelled one curious student to query, “Master, you always taught us that death is certain, and that strong emotions such as crying is unskillful, yet now you are crying?” Whereupon Marpa replied, “But he is my son!!”

  36. Opps, I think the Buddha admonished Ananda when he grieved at his mother’s deathbed and not Sariputra, not quite sure now as I read the sutra many years ago.

    Ok, someone keep saying, Buddhism is perfect, Buddhists are not.

    A cringe inducting logic bereft of even a modicum of critical thinking.

    If Buddhists are fallible that means human beings are fallible since all Buddhists are human beings. Now we know that Buddhism didn’t have a hand in starting human evolution, since homo sapiens have existed far longer than Buddhism has as a religion, so it seems more plausible to assume that human beings came up with the concept of Buddhism. But as we have already established, that human beings are fallible, then how can fallible beings over 2 thousand years ago, create a perfect religious system for all times?

    For someone to think that Buddhism is perfect is ignorant of all the Buddhist councils that took place in Buddhist history. All the bickering over doctrinal interpretations, the vinaya, i.e. of whether monks should be allowed to handle money(yes, says the Mahayanists, no says the Elders) or what should be the ultimate goal, bodhisattva vs arhatship, etc, led to numerous confrontations, schisms and splintered sects.

  37. Fellow bloggers – if I may interrupt as a remind that we are now going off the topic. I think blog author’s prime interest is about the status of Tibet, fighting for our cause – Independence etc etc. Otherwise Professor is gonna be riled that we a discussing New age Buddhism. Just kidding!!!

    I heard professor JN talk about cancer villages in China. Now even CCP govt acknowledge this mess. But remain callous and not too concerned as the people are expendable. This is what Mao told Nehru. He had the billions at his disposal to carry out experiments for the STATE.
    This article even mention there are 247 cancer villages in mainland. I found too many articles online about this topic – The main concern is will CCP carry out such callous experiments in Tibet for the enrichment of the state?

  38. I want to aplogise here talking about spirituality. Jholapasang is right. I got carried away. but allow me just a few last words of response to What Dreams may come.

    Its onething to put your arguement with substance and another to bamboozle with smart remarks and sophistry.
    I’ve known for some time now that Intellect has the potential to know everythign but is also incapable of bleieving anything- always discriminating, dissecting and compartmentalising. It may no doubt get you far in terms of survival and success in this physical world. but is incapable of looking beyond and transcending the 5 senses becuase one only thinks within the limitaitons laid down by science and logic- which is limited and will always be limited. as human beings we evolve and the boundary can expand and reach great possibilities beyond our comprehension. but of course such topics are not popular and maybe taboo too.
    My actual reason for response initially was to make the point that middle way thinking and adherents are no more closer to buddhsim than the Rangzen thinkers.If anybody claim or purport to that, I think is wrong.

  39. ‘Its onething to put your arguement with substance and another to bamboozle with smart remarks and sophistry.’

    Lhakpa Dolmala – you expressed it very eloquently.

    you doing something good and right dear!

  40. Cutting and pasting here Winston Churchill’s famous quote about democracy. Most people are aware that democracy is not perfect but it’s better than the rest.
    Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
    Sir Winston Churchill, Hansard, November 11, 1947
    British politician (1874 – 1965)

  41. Lhakpa Dolma, you are being unfair and that is disappointing. I have bend backwards attempting to make an argument with substance but you read what I wrote as sophistry. Can you actually point to one example of sophistry in what I wrote above? I may be bit tendentious, I may even have erred somewhere but I am not deliberately lying to impress you.

    Are you sure you are not employing sophistry and erecting straw man yourself when you babbled about, “incapable of transending beyond the 5 senses because one only thinks within the limitations laid down by science and logic, which is always limited…as human beings we evolve and the boundary can expand and reach great possibilities beyond our comprehension. but of course such topics are not popular and maybe taboo too.”

    What topics are taboo? Other ways of knowing sans science? Well, yes I suppose, through films and novels, but ofcourse, you mean by way of nechung oracle and reading tea leafs. Did I say science knows everything? Can the human mind know everything that there is to know? What of mcginn’s theory of cognitive closure? But if science don’t know, who does then? The village soothsayer?

    I am not a scientist only a fan of the sciences, though I have heard as well as read many times scientists themselves acknowledging the limitations of science. Albert Einstein once said, “One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike — and yet it is the most precious thing we have.”

    Assuredly there are more things in heaven and earth than science can inform yet you needn’t muddle, such sentiments were expressed long ago quite eloquently by the brilliant pragmatist/philosopher/psychologist William James in, The Varieties of Religious Experience. Oh, and in our time, Habermas…

  42. We cannot compare the South African (RSA) struggle to that of Tibetan. Mandela and ANC fought on planks of communism and half of the world were then communist before 1989 breakdown of communism in USSR and Eastern Europe supported them.

    In addition whole Africans continent comprising of close to 50 countries, the Blacks all over the world supported. Moreover, even left wing groups in Democratic West supported it.

    Where as most of world never knew about Tibet and even if they knew both Chinese and Tibetans look alike due to race and geographical proximity of China and Tibet. Even those who knew knew Tibet as independent country but thought that Tibet was trying to revive feudalism and world has just come out of WW2 disaster and is in no mood to support Tibet.

    Moreover Chinese relentless loud false propaganda about Tibet’s liberation from feudalism couple paid rich dividend to China.

    Thanks largely due to 2008 Beijing Olympic protest many people in the world including Chinese come to know about Tibet. Even today the world is still ignorant of Tibet as we did a very poor job in educating the world about Tibet. We are far more successful in spreading Buddhism in West.

    We have adopted so many Tibetan words that are used by Chinese to spread their propaganda.

    Even those country who know the true status of Tibet such as India, Nepal, UK, Nepal etc will never support Tibet to meet their narrow interest.


    you are mixing a lots of things together

    the Buddhist council division that happened between them, doesn’t suggest any thing wrong with Buddhism

    every religion in the world does happen such division

    in fact, Buddhism is the least religion causing problem by this, comparing to Muslims, who every sect hate each other so much, also in christianity between catholic and protestant..

    and you have been reading a lots of books doesn’t mean you become master in Buddhism

    we supposed as a Buddhist, to believe that Lord Buddha do discover the law of universe, and which way lead to enlgithment

    so, this is the reason its perfect!!!

    but Buddhists, who is the follower of it, IS NOT perfect, they have a lots of flaws, even among Renpoches

  44. We had lot of supporters too but our leaders didn’t capitalize on it for Tibet. They effectively channelled it to the Dharma department which seems to be a flourishing business.
    I know the haters will scream that it is because of Buddhism that people support us. Most decent people who supported us politically are not Buddhists. They were in it for us. The Dharma people are in it for their spiritual needs. They are the ones who seduced our leaders off track.

  45. Dear prof. JN lak… its been pleasure to read your articles and i thank alot for all your thought provoking writings…while going through the comments posted, i see a lot of issues here relating to tibetan buddhist and the monks… seeing these things it reminded me of the bitter truth of the exile monks status which really ashamed me and my friends…i really thought of posting a in phayul but couldnt do so… so here i am going to share the ugly truth…Sir i am not pointing to all the monks but a few of them which is rapidly catching up like wild fire in many of the monastery institute. I wonder sometimes y the monks take oath when they cant keep it and why not turn into lay men like us. There was a debate held between Hindu scholars and Buddhist scholars like ancient times and our monks were dumb struck by one question that the indian asked “the lord buddha has left his palace, wealth and his royal family to be monk but why do tibetan monks and monasteries are after foreign money and build luxurious homes and expensive monasteries”.As living in India now all i could see is money overflowing from the holy ropes of the monks with all the latest technology,cellphones,ipad …. This is not the bitter truth i am holding on its way more than that.Sir i couldnt share the worst over here as its really might backfire on many of the noble monks that i see everyday.

  46. MIKS,

    I do agree. It is quite embarrasment to all Tibetans. really cant do much about it, even HHDL cant seem to do much, each one is making competition for grander and grander long live prayer for HHDL. Why not boycott some of these extreme ones. But people should do personally not as groups or orgs. They will have enough Inji and Chinese sponsors but Tibetans who think mindfully should at least make a statement- this is not to put them down but to safeguard some semblance of propriety and confidence in our society. Otherwise in the name of propagating the Buddha Dharma – everything is permitted for some of them.

  47. # 54 sad eyes –
    uh – Lets get chronology straight.

    Did not Deng xoupheng first seduce top layman leader (totally non-religious) into ‘anything but independence’ trap?
    Way back in the mid 70s – then followed relaxation for fight for independence – then Fact finding missions to Tibet heartlands – that lead to 80s Strasbourg proposal.

    What followed is frustrating attempts at dialogues, appeasements and now boxing ourselves into ‘golden fish-bowl’

  48. What was the question? Ah yes, didn’t Deng seduce the top Tibetan lay leaders, the “totally non-religious” ones into Neville Chamberlain wannabes? Hahhaha, totally non-religious Tibetan leaders. Such as…..???

    Gyalo Thondup la the brother of His Holiness may have been an atheist having been educated in China, yet, who can say for certain that he didn’t finger his rosary once in a while?

    But you said, leaders, who are “totally non-religious.. I am very curious to know who these leaders are.

  49. Bring back The Dalai Lama.
    Bring him back home, to Potala.
    I want to get initiation and blessing from him
    to live a life of dharma,
    to forget the present suffering.

    I reject MWA & Rangtsen and wish the chinese brutes finally allow His Holiness to return to Tibet without any pre conditions but with a pledge of his safety and freedom And with him I want to return back to my native land with my aging parents and I wouldn’t mind being labeled chinese or Tibetan. The laity of Tibetan who literally live in a rat hole & do petty job here in Exile simply wish to get back to Tibet. We just want to go home with the Dalai Lama

    To fight for Rangtsen, I believe is a luxury at your disposal while you live an american dream with a big car, big building & big money because of which you are less likely to return back to your land and in the mean time you enliven yourself and your audience with these tale tales of liberalization.

    Although I support MWA but usually participating in demonstration against invasion of Free Tibet by the reds, I do yell and shout my lungs out, we would scream, Rangtsen, Freedom. I wish I could be assertive with my stand but it feels a bit awkward and clumsy perhaps if I say-We want Umay Lam or middle way, doesn’t really come naturally. Therefore I request the author not to cash in on selfless sacrifices of those Patriots in Tibet who immolates themselves for the cause of Tibet
    with the slogan of free Tibet.

  50. The Tibetan issue WON’T Find solution, as long as we searching support from foriegner

    why doesn’t we learn how to fight by ourselves??

    if the support has come from others, then its good, but if not, then we have to move on!!!

    Tibetans have to learn from the people who liberated themselve in the history, and there is a lots of example

    instead of going crying everyday like the beggar in the street, who has been ignored by the passer, he have to move one and find alternative way then

    I just wonder, how many more time, Tibetans have to waste to learn this simple fact

  51. The sad fact is that we do need international support. The reason we didn’t have much support in 59 is because we had isolated ourselves. It is important to have international support to put pressure on powerful countries to behave ethically. We can’t afford to sit back and say “let them come to me. I am not going to beg.” We all have to carry our dranyen and piwang and dance like monkeys in the street to beg.

  52. Our monasteries will be definitely poorer in that case. They might be even involved in charitable works instead of receiving and receiving and not giving back anything concrete except for the occasional spiritual masturbation in the form of tsog offerings on sacred days.

  53. SAD EYES

    I don’t think we need international support, we can rely to ourself in our war with China

    this is our battle, and no one will fight it for us, if the international support come its good, but if not then we have to move one, to fight China by ourself

    I believe that our failed leadership in Dharamsala, are the reason behind our believe that we have to beg forever, even if there is no support!!! we have to continue, even forever…this thought is the reason china win our issue

  54. miks and Tenzing

    First of all, I wonder why any people think that they have the right to judge monk’s behaviour. Niether they have legal rights nor moral rights. Legally monasteries are not subsidized. Government do not spent a cent after monks welfare. Morally the people who judge monks behaviour do not hold any higher moral grounds than those monks who are criticized. Before anything else monks are human being just like you and me.

    Exile Tibetans have enjoyed with monks population due to Tibetans coming from Tibet and Bhutan since 1980s. No more stream of population migration, no more interest of becoming monk in Tibetan society, monasteries face unprecedented challenge to keep up monks population. Many monasteries are already filled with monks from Himalayan Region since no Tibetans are interested to join the monasteries. Huge number of former monks have moved to the West and became lay people as you have wished. In near future, Tibetan monasteries are going face the same chllenge that Christian monasteries faced in 20th century, the monasteries with no monks.

    People who have attended government funded schools or went to abroad to study through government programes should be more responsible for their behaviour more than anything else when they fail to contribute to Tibetan society and sometimes rebel against the governemnt. I am sure many people here who rebel against the government must have been the recipient of government benefits one way or the other. Our Government spends the largest portion of their budget towards education so every Tibetan people have legal and moral rights to criticize the behaviours of those who recieved the benefits in some point in their life.

    Meanwhile we can turn our attention towards good monks in the society, we should support them, by them a shoes, take them for restaurants, give them some money when we visit India or Nepal and we should also thank them for being a good monk. Ask them if they need anything. Ultimatly it benefits ourselves.

    i do agree with you that its not all monks n there are lot of good monks too. Dont You think its better to have few sincere monks than havin large number of namesake monks. I think you are based outside india and myself being in india all i can see is corrupted monks and all good simple monks in poor conditions. I couldnt write before the ungly truth but now i would share a bits of it,few months back a gal frm tcv Chauntra ranaway from school but later on she was found at a htel alone and what she confessed was heartbreaking, she was taken out by her lover, a monk from nearby monastery. The official are not able to trace the monk. before i thought the monks are only after adult gals as its every where around in india. Now a days most of the college going girls have monks, specially in mysore where majority gals are backed up by monks, isnt it better to commit all money in needy person than to pursue towards his sexuality which he has given up in oath. its not just college gals even the married adults nowadays are chased by them and many has extramarital affairs with the monks.
    Pahar Ganj is becoming the manju tilla of monks these days as it offers more secrecy into their dark world. And i dont need to say much about the capacity and stamina of monks in taking alcohols.
    so i would like to ask again do we really need large number of monks who cant commit to their oath and religion. I would rather wish a small number of monks instead in our community.
    The most shocking thing i came to know was that these days there is price tag for every shabten(prayer ceremony)and it makes me think that there is difference between Buddhism introduced by lord Buddha and tibetan Buddhism.
    Already now we losing the respect for monks in our exile community and i can see the dooms day coming soon if it goes on like this.
    I hope the abbots of monastery will see to it and bring about some changes.

  56. Great piece as always !
    I wished the late President Mandela had spoken for Tibetan people and brought world leaders together asking to speak strongly against the oppressors, such as the Chinese communist leaders. Other than Arch Bishop Tutu, I have not heard Mandela or any other South African leaders speak for the rights of Tibetan people. However, his freeing South Africa is very inspirational to me, and we will fight for our rights as he did for South Africa. We have to do it by our selves to Free Tibet under the leadership of His Holiness…long live His Holiness! BHOD GYALO !!!

  57. Kundun have a very old leadership, that is totally non-effective with violent mind Chinese

    we need a new leadership that know first how the Chinese think, the first step toward resloving Tibet issue, is by understanding Chinese

    without knowing what the Chinese think, its almost impossible can resolve Tibet issue

    This is what the Kundun doesn’t have, he speak from his point of view, which sharply different from Chinese, who I am sure, they laugh when they here he speak about peacefulness and compassion, because its totally out of their dictionary

    we need some new leadership who understand them

  58. Behaviour and life styles of some of the monks and even renowned high lamas have become an outrage so much so that these categories of monks have brought shame and ignominy to the Tibetan monastic community as a whole. Yes, there are countless number of monks indulging in practices not in keeping with the oath they had sworn to – womanizing, drinking alcohol, gambling, to mention a few practices restricted for the monastic community , have become a way of life for these ignoramus monks and lamas. Truthfully,i am not against lamas and monks as such, what angers and saddens me is the manner in which they bring disgrace and shame to the sacred teachings of the great Buddha.

  59. Sonam la

    I have seen and heard myself people criticizing Tibetan monks for their misbehave. You said “what angers and saddens me is the manner in which they bring disgrace and shame to the sacred teachings of the great Buddha”. Now my question to you is do you live according to Buddha’s teaching? Can you honestly answer this question yes? From my experience almost everybody who criticize monks misbehave were the worst people in the society. These are the people who hardly know Buddha’s teaching, these are the people hardly practice any buddhist teaching. These are the people who think they have the right to police monk’s behavior.

  60. Sometime this year three Bhutanese monks were prosecuted for rape and abandon in Kalimpong, West Bengal. It was horrifying news and Bhutanese public opinion was harsh on the monastic governance of Bhutan.
    Aside from damaging national reputation, it was cost heavily on the image of Buddhist monks in general. Just alone from the Bhutanese public opinion forum, one can see the problems of monks today in general.
    The details of this story in online and graphic enough that it cannot be written here.

  61. Happy Belated greetings people!

    Maybe you confused two levels of analysis Whiteiscolor. Just because a person who criticise a monk is morally bankrupt, that does not mean, that then, the deviancy of a monk is excised. As the song goes, “two wrongs don’t make it right”.

    People maybe unjustified in their criticism of monks which you well note, maybe we don’t have the right to judge others. Then how will we ever know who raped Kulu Rinpoche and boys like him? Seems to me like you are saying, it doesn’t matter how monks act, that it is no one’s business but their own, and that such questions lack Respect.

    That some things are not to be discussed in our Tibetan democratic system in order to keep alive those traditional Tibetan Buddhist ideals which our own preachy monks are incapable of practising.

    OK another perspective. If we understand the science, or if we reflect honestly, it is human nature to lust for things, to have desires. Ofcourse monks are not suppose to have desires, a core injunction of Gautama who constantly denigrate desire as the prime cause of all suffering leading to bad karmic consequences. As if there are no good desires one could wish, or that, somehow, those who desire Enlightenment are not really desiring; a fine bit of logic chopping.

    A person who has no desire whatsoever is a rock or tree, metaphors oft employed by the tabula rasa Buddha himself in describing how the holy life is to be lived.

    Monks are constrained by over 200 precepts of right conduct, layman, five or six, however, not one human being can live his whole life true to even one simple constraint–Thou shalt not lie.

    If a monk does not live by the ideal of purity,(by that ethical code of Dharma which, The Tibetan Charter makes explicit will guide all Tibetans, not just monks, in our future social welfare State) if one isnt biologically able to, if the whole system is build on air, then what is the point of it all beyond the consolatory factor?

  62. First of all being monk is a personal business and nobody should be getting into somebody else’s personal life. If some strangers tell you that you are not being a good father or son or husband, what would be your response? We all have a role to play in the society not just monks and many times we fail to play that role properly. Vast majority of Tibetan monks are enroled in the monasteries when they are really young with their parents wish Not with their own. In this sense, these young monks are the victims of our society. Of course everybody is entitled to express their opinion but Not hatred.

  63. Again with the Non sequitur. If one chooses to become a monk, or if a parent chooses to send their tyke to be established in a monastery, such choices are their own, it was never my intention to suggest otherwise. The bone of contention, the gist of the argument, which you defend; No criticism when monks and politicians go bad. You made the analogy, “If some strangers tell you that you are not being a good father or son or husband, what would be your response? ”

    If the stranger is right, no amount of response, no amount of anger, of rationalization by the husband/father/son can wipe away the crime. What if it wasn’t a stranger but the police?

    The point is, in a civil society, everybody should abide by the law of the land, and that goes for the father/son/monk, whatever.

    Society is made up of individuals and therefore, others will judge us, fairly or unfairly, nonetheless, value judgements will always be made whether we like it or not, infact, we do it all the time. We can only hope that people judge us(and our ideas) on the basis of evidence where there are empirical evidence at hand, if no direct evidence, then by inference and critical thinking.

    You said that “young monks are the victims of our society.” I agree, but then, I am also part of that society, or pretend I am haha, but I do not condone sending little kids, away from their parents, to some creepy, all male, sexually frustrated place like a monastery. Seems we have once again arrived back to the rape of Kalu Rinpoche, so let me stop here.

    Wait, one more thing to add and dwell upon. If a baby Rinpoche, one as famous as the namesake KULU can be raped in his own Monastery, what chance is there for a poor, newly arrived kid from Tibet of keeping his virginity intact growing up in a Monastery, which you believe, should be allowed to bury itself in privacy, protected from public scrutiny and debate?

  64. Let me clarify couple of things for you. You can not mix monk and politician, bad behavior and illegal activities, accussation and proven verdict to build your argument.

    I am just opposing people who think they have some kind of right to judge monks behavior. As these people have a list of things that monks are engaging in contrary to their vows, monks could have a list of things that lay people are engaging that is inappropriate. Why one guilty person point at another guilty person?

  65. Merciful Christ, you are deliberately being obtuse Whiteiscolor.

    Are you seriously suggesting that standards of conduct in a civil society which we the people and politicians must abide by, should not apply to the cleric? This is something only a despot Pope could justify, a case of, Roma Locuta Est, Causa Finita Est.

    So, I will let the Prime Minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny answer it, “Cardinal Josef Ratzinger said: ‘Standards of conduct appropriate to civil society or the workings of a democracy cannot be purely and simply applied to the Church.”

    As the Holy See prepares its considered response to the Cloyne report, as Taoiseach, I am making it absolutely clear, that when it comes to the protection of the children of this state, the standards of conduct which the Church deems appropriate to itself, cannot and will not be applied to the workings of democracy and civil society in this republic. Not purely, or simply or otherwise. Children First!

  66. People who are complainging agaisnt monks are Not complaing because monks are abusing child or monks are breaking laws in general.

    These people are complaining against monks because monks are hanging out with girls, monks are carrying latest gadgets, monks are drinking and so forth and this is what I am opposing.

    This is similar to complaining against neighbours’s smoking habit or not eating healthy food and so on. We should mine your own business. This is where I stand.

  67. Why can’t people complain against the excesses of tge clergy who are supposed to be studying the scriptures and are instead chasing girls, money and power? If you are going to do that, then they should disrobe and do it like normal people. People will complain just as much as the monks complain about people not following buddha’s teachings, as if they were in the first. But if you are not taking care of the sexual problems within the monastic system, it is criminal and not just a personal opinion.

  68. Surely there is a difference between a monk and our neighbour! The monk’s life is governed by the Vinaya, by the discipline of ethical code of conduct, whereas, the neighbour, the layman, the householder is not. This is Buddhism 101 which every good Buddhists should know one would assume.

    Once upon a time, Sakyamuni twirled a flower and Maha Kassapa smiled, that’s to say, he got the subtle gesture, here a sledge hammer may not suffice to awaken a dull mind to what the Buddha actually taught.

    The Buddha was, not to sound trivial, obsessed with rules and regulations of the Sangha. I can relate many stories from the tripitaka, yet maybe if you call yourself a buddhist, you should find out for yourself and not have an atheist show you the error of your ways. How surreal is this?

    It was James Madison who quipped, a government (with police and laws) would not be needed if men were angels, Gautama also knew, human nature being what it is, that monks are no angels too, therefore, prone to mischief, just like their lay neighbours. That is why the Doctrine he taught, like two wings of one bird, consists of the Dharma and the Discipline.

    What do you think the Buddha would do if he caught some bhikkhu in his sangha talking on a cellphone? The Buddha would instantly chew him out, He may even boot the offending monk out of the sangha, and ofcourse, enact a new rule forbidding any monk in the future from doing what that monk did. Why such drastic action? Because the ascetic life is one of renunciation. Renunciation from materiality, from the senses, from the Mind!! Shunyata! Remember? All one taste, swimming upstream and all that…..

    My God, if the Lord found out that a certain monk was having sex, he would lose it big time, for there is nothing that irks the true man of cloth, nothing which disturbs his calm, his equanimity than filthy sex, with a inferior, filthy woman, in that filthy womb.

    There is a reason why the Buddha was immaculately conceived, a virgin birth ala Jesus. There is also a reason why Gautama was initially unenthusiastic about allowing his own mother and wife to join the Sangha, as he was of the mind, women are corrupting influence to the purity of the Bhikkhu dominated Sangha.

    Thanks to venerable Ananda and his incessant begging the Buddha reluctantly agreed to a Bhikkhuni order, but not without a parting shot, a prophecy, that the admission of women to the sangha would weaken it and shorten its lifespan to 500 years. Or was that 108 years? lol

  69. Criticism is still going to be there. It is part of life and it is up to the general public to decide whether it is valid or not. For example, i eat meat and i willingly admit i am a bad buddhist but I am an individual but for the monks to eat meat with great zeal and disregard, especially in India, is wrong and improper. It does not excuse my behaviour, why should it not effect the purest of the pure in our society.

  70. What is the connection or relationship between monks and their passionate denouncer? There is no connection whatsoever. Monks are obligated to follow Vinaya rules but it is their own business. Monks do not have any obligation to behave in such a manner that undevoted Buddhist or atheist people want to see.

    Every privately owned organization has its rules and regulations and many times members fail to follow. It does not make sense, when somebody from outside criticize for the failure of following rules by it’s members. If you guys say it make sense than I have no further argument.

  71. whet dreams may cum and tsering doler

    By continoulsy referring to Kalu Rimpoche as Kulu Rimpoche you whet dreams may cum and tsring doler are just showing the disgruntlment while pretending to care. If you really care, look for those some really poor little monks in the settlement camps and help them with education. Kalu Rimpoche Yangsi has enough of Jindaas. No need to worry for him.

  72. It turns out a Chinese guy is responsible for blowing up the Chinese consulate door. FBI apprehended the guy but I wonder why they are hiding the guy from the media.

    You know usually these media people are so reluctant to say the word “Tibet” as though its an F word but when they were talking about the blast at the consulate they mentioned the word “Tibet” and made an ever so slight reference to the situation in Tibet.

  73. @85 on the first day of blast Media quoted that Chinese language newspaper reported “pamphlet with human rights for Tibetans’ was left behind at the site of the incidence.

    I guess this reporting or speculation is just devious scheme plotted by Chinese government or pro Chinese to implicate Tibetans in this fire bombing.

  74. @Whiteiscolour.I must say with full clarity that there is a big difference as far as ethics and code of conduct in the life of an ordinary Tibetan and a monk; i am not in anyway saying that i lead a pure life in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha, however, it is my constant endeavour to better myself in any way i can. Coming back to the monks, since they are ordained and sworn to the three jewels to lead a celibate life,and live and get free education and lifelong maintenance at the monastery, the monks, i think are specifically beholden to uphold the rules, regulations and above all the tenets of Buddhism to which they are fundamentally sworn.Please don’t get the misunderstanding that i am attacking the monk community as a whole, what i am talking about is the misbehabiour and unethical lifestyle of few rotten monks found at every monasteries.

  75. Sonam Topga

    Monks and monasteries are not funded by government. Whatever they are they are selfmade. Most likely 98% of Tibetan monks are enroled in the monastery and ordained when they are really young, without full knowledge of life, without much choice. When they grow up they are interested in doing un-monk stuff. Could you really blame them for their behaviour? Did they really take the oath to behave according to the Buddha Dharma with their own choice? You have to see the whole situation.

  76. @94 There is no denying that most of monks enter monastery at young age. But they take oath at the age of maturity. Moreover, there are varying degree of oath for monks.

    Monastery in exile are not funded by the government. Devotees rich and poor offer something to monasteries and monks.

    I really don’t understand what you mean by self made unless one is doing business.

    There is always option of leaving monkhood. When you are in school, or military or monastery each one has its sets of rules by which one has to follow. Even lay people have to follow certain norms.

    Monks are preachers so they should practice before preaching.

  77. Good monks practice their religion. Merchants, mendicant and missionaries travel the world. That might be one reason why our Whiteiscolor incarnation ended up in West.

    But I believe, in the end people will always find out who are fakes and who are real. It takes time and meanwhile, good one will have peace with their daily practices.

    Religion is a private matter and should not mix it with politics.

  78. whiteiscolor
    your’re right actually. most monks are just trying to survive like you and I. If they get a better opportunity or visa to u.s they will disrobe. until then its more lucrative to be in robes. we have to be more understanding and not expect much. gone are the days when our oldies told us to respect someone just because he’s in monk robes. those days are gone.I hear you man.

  79. karze

    Wow!Did you say “age of maturity”? According to my knowledge age of maturity is 18 or 19 years of age in the US. Tibetan monks are ordained as young as 8 years old. There are hardly any Tibetan monks who are ordained after these ages. May be one out of hundred.

  80. @97 You are talking like a little kid. Do you think that when a 6 year old attend a school for the first time is he taught Calculus or Alphabet.

    In similar vein when 6 year old enter a monastery he doesn’t take Gelong or Getsul vows. He is taught how to read and recite prayer primarily.

    Why don’t you ask monks who can make you believe.

  81. karze

    You need to know more about Tibetan monks life before you make any further comments. I have friends and relatives who are in monks, all of them were ordained way before age of maturity. How many Tibetan monks do you think are ordained before they are 10 and 15 years old? You should investigate.

  82. karze

    At what age do you think most Tibetan monks are ordained? We all know well. There are hardly any Tibetan monks who are ordained after 18 years of age. In my knowledge, when you take Getsul Vow you are already monk. So where is the childish talk?

  83. @102: Every religion admits and train young Children. Its not just Buddhist or Islamic characteristics.

    Monks and Monastery is the corner stone of Buddhism. When monks cease to exist then there no longer is Buddhism. As it happened to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc due to Islamic invasion and elimination of monks and monasteries.

    While Christian, Hindus, Muslim and other faiths clergy can marry and live within family but not a in Buddhist.

    Moreover, Buddhist monks have to study hundred volumes of scriptures but there is only one book for Christians and Muslim – Bible and Koran.

  84. One theory doing round is that mortgage money came from Thab-chok Chik-gur, China’s the United Front office. Assignment : undermine Lodroe Gyari, whom China see more as U.S. agent than Tibetan representative.

    Sangay must come clear on this issue, if the stories like this is not true. Ball is in his court. But he seems to have lots to hide.

  85. I have heard that as well… which is why I think Sikyong la must make a full public accounting of where the $227,000 came from. Tibetan public deserves to know!

    Some say too that Sikyong la’s close friend at Harvard is a CCP United Front agent… she is Hu Xiaojiang the president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Assosn. It is wellknown that this group has “official” links. We all know how they operate.

    So maybe Sikyong la won the lottery a week before he was sworn in as Katri. Maybe he is that sonam chenpo! So if it is an innocent explanation like this, then tell us please! Put an end to this guessing and speculation!

    SIKYONG LA: Financial facts are there in black and white in the documents, so please explain where the US$227,000 came from, one week before you became Katri.

  86. If the story of Sikyong Lobsang Sangay taking money from China’s United Front and paying off his mortgage is true, then his three principle of wanting Tibetans to be self-reliant is sham.

    Someone by the pseudonym of DAVENO did warn us on this blog longtime back that Sikyong Lobsang Sangay could turn out to be a Torjan horse. Better keep an eye on the company he keeps. I was told this guy is more smelly than rotten fish.

  87. The two Lobsangs are very much alike it seems- same fondness for limelight and attention. One addicted to his beauty crown and the other to his supreme crown, very much in tune with the selfie culture. I’m not looking forward to this reality show.
    As for the mortgage pay-off, didn’t the wife family sell their restaurant or something like that? I cant imagine Lobsang Sangay being this stupid to take money from China united front after becoming the Sikyong.

  88. Do you folks think present minister for Information and International Relations will make a better Sikyong ?

    Some say Kalon Pema Chhonjor will make a very good Sikyong.

  89. Was there no other option for Doctor Lobsang Sangay to procure said monies to pay for the purchased property other than resorting to nefarious means? Couldn’t he have just borrowed the money from a, say, bank, or from family members? Or bit of both, or this or that?

    I have no idea how he got the money and unless someone has good evidence, beyond layman “theories” and suspicions, it seems fair and prudent to assume him innocent til otherwise proven guilty. Without such constrains on us the constituents, fabricated and trivial accusations will constantly dog and distract us from the larger issues, such as this latest headline in Tibetsun, “Tibetans to decide if they need institution of Dalai Lama.”
    some excerpts….

    “The question of the next Dalai Lama will arise after my death and if the Tibetan people feel there is no need to keep the tradition any more, then it can be done away with and ‘there is nothing unusual about that’,”

    “If circumstances are such that a majority feel there is need for a female Dalai Lama, then there is no problem with that.”

    “In future, the Dalai Lama will not be involved in politics but will remain the temporal and spiritual guide,” he added.

    Thus far, there are no comments from the Tibetan community, its que sera sera as usual. But of-course, His Holiness had stated the same before so maybe the Tibetans people are hhahah I have no idea..

    I am curious what Tibetans think about democratically voting for the Dalai Lama or the idea of junking the whole Tulku institution?

  90. What Dreams My Come la:

    Yes it is wholly possible that Sikyong la got the $227,000 from honest means. Let us give him the benefit of doubt… However, he owes it to us voters to explain. That is all we are asking.

    Did he sell assets (what assets, perhaps another cow)? Did he win the lottery? Did he get a nice quarter-million-dollars gift from a wealthy ijni jendak? Any number of possibilities other than United Front.

    BUT until he clears this up, we have right to worry about improper and secret influence of a mystery donor. One does not receive $227,000 without owing a “debt of gratitude”. What does the mystery donor demand in return?

    Facts are: he got the money from somewhere. The documents show that black and white. Probably not from United Front. But definitely not borrowed from another bank (what bank would loan to someone about to take a $300/annual salary as Sikyong la likes to point out!).

    Again, all these questions will go away as soon as Sikyong la gives full facts.

  91. A high school girl from CST Mussoorie tops exam as a result of years of hard work, her parents love and teachers effort, yet Sikyong Sangay took credit of her achievement.

    Tibetan nurses can get jobs in India, thanks to Namgyal Dolkar Lhagari’s single handed effort of going to Indian High Court to stake claim that Tibetans born in India should have right to Indian citizenship. Today when Tibetan refugee nurses faced employment problem, case Namgyal Dolkar won became a precedent. Yet, it is Sikyong who claims credit.

    After years of effort of previous kashag, US Congress is considering Tibetan immigration proposal, yet Sikyong never misses an opportunity to take credit that it is he who set the ball rolling.

    Now, tell us: a guy who do not miss to jump on any available opportunity to take credit to gain cheap publicity, stays quite on the source of money for his mortgage. Doesn’t it smell fishy ?

    This is very guy who in order to convey to Tibetan public that Kasur Tethong ‘s wife is non-Tibetan, went to say at every gathering that his wife is pure Tibetan breed ( whatever that means?) Now the very same guy is faking ignorance that his mortgage money is non issue.

    Sikyong Sangay’s source of money is suspicious to say the least. If it is not, he won’t miss to offer his clarification. His silence speaks louder than words.

  92. Honestly there are many Tibetans in America with no professional degrees or with just high school have bought homes.

    Based on the figure quoted its not a millions $$ mansions but just low end price tag. LS worked in Harvard for many years.

    If you guys are accusing LS based on his proximity with Chinese student who is alleged to be associated with United Work Force then it is silly. Isn’t all the dialogue between the Chinese and Tibetan exile since late seventies has been through United Work Force.

  93. Sikyong’s family sold a cow.
    Mrs. Lobasang Sangay’s restaurant = family cash cow.
    It is feasible that Sale of the business – Good will etc fetched him that mortgage pay off amt & plus. Depending on the profitability & size of the establishment etc etc. But this is assuming the old news of some yrs is true.

    Sikyong’s circle should clear up the theory about receiving gift from china chikdrel tsokpa ; as his silence is creating a mini resurgence of something like the ‘The great game & Tibet’ in his backyard. First it was the rfa debacle and now this.

    Borrowing from bank to pay off mortgage – now that is funny…silly goat.

  94. Doesn’t this remind you of how Lobsang Sangay la denied he ever used an “Overseas Chinese National” passport? Then he finally admitted it at a talk at Sarah Institute when confronted with evidence. But still he claimed it was no big deal he signed a paper saying he is Chinese.

    Or when he lied about not having an Ari Green Card?

    With his denials and non responses, does he think we are all stupid? Truth comes out!

  95. Facts are coming out now that after he took over as Sikyong, almost as first order of business in Kashag, he brought in his idea of media curb and blocking the discussion group on Tibetan websites from criticizing his government and Gaden Podrang. He said it is against his core principle of ” unity ” that people criticize him.

    Hence, websites like Phayul succumbed to pressure to close all the discussion and public debate under pressure.

    Until and unless Tibetan youths open their eyes and ears to his countless misdeeds and China money, we are creating a Tibetan version of Kim Jong Un.

    Kudos to people who brought up this issue of this dirty money.

  96. Do you guys have anything to say against China? Why you guys always targeting our own people, our own governemnt, our own culture? Why? Why? Why?

    I belive Sikyong Lobsang Sangye is doing wonderful job. I will vote him again unless one of you guys come up with better ideas that could change my mind.

    Lobsang Sangye is not obligated to reveal his personal banking details.

  97. @whiteiscolour:

    You sound so paranoid saying “targeting our own people”. Don’t you mean “engaging in democracy”?

    In a democracy, people have right to criticize and hold leaders accountable. Otherwise, society will rot from within because no one shines a light of truth.

    Are you anti democracy? Would you prefer problems in Tibetan society be covered up? If so then you are part of the problem!

    Lobsang Sangay la’s banking details stopped to be “personal” when he ran for the highest office. Its “public” because it relates to secret influences. All politicians should have to disclose finances…. even in China activists are demanding corrupt officials discloses.

    Yes but Chinese President Xi JinPeng and his henchmen are against financial disclosure just like you!

    The people have a right to know where Lobsang Sangay la suddenly got quarter-million-dollars one week before he took office. Will he stay silent until confronted with evidence just like with his “Overseas Chinese National” passport?

  98. Karze la,
    Sikyong maybe could afford to buy with his own hard earned money but we dont know for sure. because he is our Sikyong and because there’s questions about it -its better he just give his clarification. btw, I think some people without much education earn more.we have less expense too and sometimes working 2-3 jobs.just saying.

  99. @130: Ummmm yeah it’s obvious…

    Firstly LS la was not “faculty” like you claim. He was researcher, nothing more nothing less. He never taught a day of class in his life. Only gullible fools swallow his puffed up biography.

    Secondly, the point is not that LS bought a house. It’s that HE SUDDENLY GOT LOADS OF MYSTERY CASH TO PAY IT OFF IN FULL!!! Any hard-working Tibetan with a house has a back-breaking mortgage that they owe. But not LS la.

    So yeah look at the mortgage documents… His first mortgage was for $227,000 in Aug 2007. He refinanced with second mortgage for $211,000 in Aug 2009. Means he was paying off measley $8,000 annually. Then BOOM two years later he suddenly finds a quarter-million-dollars!

    He only had mortgage for total of 4 years. Most people in Ari its 30 years. So why get a mortgage at all if you have extra quarter-million-dollars sitting around?? Something’s fishy.

    Clearly, something changed after he bought his house… and that something is that he was elected Katri and “someone” became interesting in generously helping him… and he didn’t say “no thank you”.

    So again: WHERE DID HE GET THE MONEY??? Simple question. Lets pray it has simple answer.

  100. Karze -la: Defend Tibetan nation not Lobsang Sangay. It is not and same thing. Yes, even the meekest of meek save and buy home. They carry mortgage for 30 years . Don’t they ?

    No one is questioning that Sikyong has no right to own property. But question is where did he find money overnight to pay off his mortgage on the eve of his inauguration ?

    Where is this ” Outsider ” as the treatment of soon to be Oscar competing movie title suggest, get the money. What do he owe to the mysterious sponsor?

    Another thing, Phayul’s discussion section where people write their reaction to the stories are closed after Voice of America radio scandal, not before.

    Karze-la and Whiteiscolour, you folks can build a chapel or stupa dedicated to Sikyong Sangay and workshop him day in and day out. That is your right.

    But His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teaching tell us that misdeeds whether by Tibetans or Chinese leaders is one and same – to be condemned.

    In fact His Holiness the Dalai Lama is reported to have told that when people close to Him turn out to be corrupt, how should He go about condemning corruption in the world.

    Worst if the source of money is from United Office. Whiteiscolor should know that when we are talking about United Office, we are talking about China. Kutai ka dom!

  101. KARZE it is so nice you are being fair but where are you getting your facts from?

    As I recall, Phayul shut down after Doctor Lobsang Sangay became the great leader and baby kisser.

    I should know, I used to be a member of Phayul Forum. On the forum people were discussing the Silkyong’s video interview hosted by Phayul itself. Phayul shut down little after that. Later I wrote to Phayul few times asking what happened? I received no reply.

    I am guessing that a precondition for the interview was that must scrap the Forum. This all happened a little before the VOA controversy. Now I notice even the phayul news comment section suffers from derelict and disuse. It’s like Phayul gave up the ghost as far as wanting to know what us peasants think.

    Phayul, Tibetsun, they have their own perspective on things which one is never too sure just what they are because both of these websites dont allow certain comments or edit comments when they do, but its not something you can predict with any certainty what is allow and what is not allowed. Though, I guess they have that right, but then, why dub yourself a news outlet?

    Tibetan Political Review is a editorial style News site I respect for. So far, I am pleasantly impressed by their objective, fairness and progressiveness. Progressive in the sense that they analyse situations utilizing the tools of critical thinking, contingent on facts, backed up with sources. Not “progressive” in as defined by one Tibetan scholar, Tsering Shakya, who recently criticised Doctor Lobsang Sangay for not inviting Tariq Ramadan as guess speaker when CTA paid tribute to Mandala.

    Tariq Ramadan, wow, I never realize just how deep seated the hate for all things Western is in some Tibetans, as if China is not the enemy “Asian Pride!!” but that somehow the West is.

    It is one thing if some kid like angrytibetangirl feels this way, she is a kid and probly, for the first time, came in contact with the word, Orientalism, and thought, what a cool stereotypical label with which I can stick it to all the Whites I hate. I understand, she is having fun, but a respected Tibetan scholar talking just like a kid. That’s bit disturbing.

    Tariq Ramadan is no Edward Said. Please read Edward Said. Please read Tariq Ramadan. Read their critics too. While I agree with lot of what Edward Said said yet not everything he said was true either, plus the West has acknowledged his criticism and have tried to do something about it.

    Infact, both Edward Said and Tariq Ramadan are honoured as much as the Dalai Lama in the Western world, celebrated public intellectuals with room full of trophies and honorary titles. Especially the humanities dept in all Uni are crazy over these personalities. Isnt that so Professor Shakya? hhaha

    I personally cant stand Tariq Ramadan, he is the arab version of Norbu Tsering, an opportunist and a hypocrite. Like alex jones, a fearmongerer! Who says one thing to the Muslim audience and another thing to Western audience (remind you of anyone?)who use words like, democracy and pluralism to serve his own ends, stone age traditional ends, defends his fundamentalism by being OK with stoning loose women, apostasy, the implementation of sharia law on foreign soil, riling up immigrants against their host countries who were decent enough to take them in, etc..

    Live in the West all your life, get rich on lecture circuits, selling self help cds, selling books shitting on Western values all the time, surely very progressive individual.

    Seriously, this guy has nothing over Ibn Warraq even, who I like to think of as the Indian Salman Rushdie.

    Ramadan, in a perfect Ramadan world would order his Muslim Brotherhood to behead progressive Arabs like Salman Rushdie, Warraq, and Malala to protect some Islamic principle that at its core is intolerant of pluralism. But he styles himself as the Guru of Pluralism and many a Western intellectuals, especially in the liberal arts have bought into this delusion for fear of being called Orientalism!!

  102. @133: I am not a supporter of LS as I stand for Rangzen. Phayul “forum / discussion” was shut down well before LS took office in 2011.

    I do not believe in building stupa even for lamas let alone build one for lay people.

    However you may hate United Front Work Force our government has been “talking not negotiating” with them for the last 30+ years.

  103. @34 Some Muslim moderate condemn Non Muslims leaders sharing dais with Tariq as they believe he is wolf in sheep’s clothing – support hardline Islamist behind the screen or in mosque.

    Many of the leftist scholar like Michael Parenti or Tariq Ramadan and others while criticizing Western democracy and applaud socialism will never trust their own lives in socialist country so will live in West.

    A person who is controversial in one community or country may not be in another country eg. Tariq and Kissinger etc. Every country or community has its own selfish agenda and there is nothing universal trait to describe or paint as controversial figure.

    While Chinese moan and cry the Japanese occupation as Rape but they dub their occupation of Tibet as liberation.

    Even though 19 0f the 22 attacker of 9/11 were Saudi nationals Americans chose to attack Iraq. While US condemn the Japanese for WW2 atrocities it conveniently hides the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuking.

    So Tibetans sticking and believing in something universal acceptance or critiquing particular individual or policies is misplaced. One man’s enemy could be another men’s heroes.

    We have to look for our own selfish needs. And that is what every man, family and country does.

  104. I agree with you karze that we should look after our own selfish ends. This is my whole point regarding the so-called, Progressive imam Tariq Ramadan that Tsering Shakya wants to welcome with open arms into the messy Tibetan politics.

    The question is, how does Tariq Ramadan help us? By attacking the West? It might have actually worked when Edward Said first publish his seminal book but as I said, Tariq Ramadan is no Edward Said but ofcourse he is going to use Edward Said to attack the West, obviously a smart move by the hypocrite. .

    Tariq Ramadan would do more damage than help our cause. Just last week, His Holiness criticized mulsim fundamentalists. Then there is within the Shambahala myth where Islam is our sworn enemy which the epic prophesied will be utterly annihilated by Ling Gesar so we probly shouldn’t go against certainty. Remember 2012? Remember how crazy it all got when the world ended?

    If I want to woo public intellectuals to our cause I would seriously choose those ppl who have a huge influence in the world of ideas, like Dawkins, Pinker types, but unfortunately, these guys are staunch atheists who find religion and religious leaders disgusting so we cant go that route, but there are other influential atheists who are sympathetic to the “spiritual tradition”, who have attended His Holiness’ Mind/Life conferences. I am talking about some of these famous neuro-philosophers such as Patricia Churchland and Owen Flanagan types.

    My point is that anyone of them is a better pick than Ramadan, or none the better.

  105. Funny that a couple people are trying to shift the focus of this thread away from LS la’s unexplained cash and toward anything, anything, anything else. Reminds me of a Chinese tactic: if you cannot censor, then distract!

    The people will not be tricked or distracted this time. We demand answers to where LS la suddenly got quarter-million-dollars on eve of inauguration!

  106. Don’t be an idiot tenzintenzin, i am not trying to divert the topic away from your crusade, I am talking about another issue which I feel is just as important. However I am done now so please go on and on speculating on the internet with no closure in sight or maybe you assume that adjudication via uninformed consensus on cyberia should do the trick.

    You’d think that if someone was as noble, dedicated and concerned as you are, then, surely he would first pick up the freaking phone and ask the guy personally. But that doesnt seem to be an option for you.

    Well here is a rank speculation of my own. Doctor Lobsang Sangay got his money not from China but from Dharamsala. Thats right, I claim that the rise of Lobsang Sangay was no accident, no chance serendipity, infact, I believe he was carefully groomed for many years by Gaden Phodang to be the lay version of His Holiness and what a marvellous thing they have wrought, so godlike and beautiful.

    The cleric elites were thrilled with the finished product that even His Holiness beamed, Geat! now I can finally retire! Then the monks got busy and swayed the vote and the rest, as they say, is history.

  107. @137: I agree that sharing dais with T Ramadan or Islamist would not help our cause.

    But Dawkins is so biased academic. I love his debates with creationist who have hard time defending the creation or when Deepak Chopra loose cool when accused of mumbo jumbo.

    Dawkins refuses or never acknowledge the crimes of Stalin, Mao and other Atheist aka communist whose crimes are monumental. He is just bend on attacking the religious institution like one eyed. Its true that religious institution have committed lots of abuses.

  108. What Dreams @ 139:

    You said the following:

    ” Well here is a rank speculation of my own. Doctor Lobsang Sangay got his money not from China but from Dharamsala. Thats right, I claim that the rise of Lobsang Sangay was no accident, no chance serendipity, infact, I believe he was carefully groomed for many years by Gaden Phodang to be the lay version of His Holiness and what a marvellous thing they have wrought, so godlike and beautiful.”

    ” The cleric elites were thrilled with the finished product that even His Holiness beamed, Geat! now I can finally retire! Then the monks got busy and swayed the vote and the rest, as they say, is history.”

    Either you know a lot of stuff or is a pure educated guess. But I am a ( you can say a driver, guard,cook, a secretary in Dharamsala ). Many know Lobsang Sangay is a creation of exactly what you described above.

    He parachuted first in early 90 with a cut and paste article in Tibetan Review on the issue of human rights. Basically he conveyed that he is a loyal follower of Middle path. Some say it was his Chogna Tsering ( Taiwan Bho sok leg kung episode) A more of Phurbu Tsering’s ( Phurbu la of NY) planning and execution. But he dramatized it more as an one man act and took the credit. He was making his mark, carefully guided by …

    Lobsang Sangay never made it to US scholarship no. of 15 students. He was thrusted on to the list. His application was polished by professionals. He was never a Harvard hired/paid Khewang but Gaden Prodhang groomed via a request toTaiwan foundation. ( His salary and downpayment for controversial home.)

    Upon becoming Sikyong, when he started telling Tibetan public and International media of how he is ” his self-made man ” with his parents having to sell their holy cow, Ngari Rinpoche could not hold his… Rest as you say is another cocktail party story in Dharamsala.

    But there is enough information outside that the money for his mortgage came from somewhere else, not from where you think it came.

  109. I do not believe there is a Act in our constitution that requires to disclose personal finances of our top officials. If there is such please educate me. Many people here comparing ourselves with American society and American law is beyond absurdity. You guys attack against Lobsang Sangye does not encourage any Tibetan outthere who may be willing to work for our cause in the future. You guys are cutting arms in the name of saving fingers. You guys are cutting the brunch where you are holding onto.

  110. Old man at sea @ 142: aka whiteiscolour raised 3 important points:

    ” You guys attack against Lobsang Sangye does not encourage any Tibetan outthere who may be willing to work for our cause in the future.

    You guys are cutting arms in the name of saving fingers.

    You guys are cutting the brunch where you are holding onto.”

    Let me offer a rebuttal:

    So you mean to say, we have to cover up our s*** when it comes to our government officials. For more than 50 years we were taught to do this in the name of unity and fighting China. Where does this end ?

    When the brain is dead, and heart is stunted, what is the use of hand that is either accepting money from shady characters or molesting helpless women. You tell me, oh the learned one ?

    On the third issue, you better check whether the branches are rotten from within or not. If it is rotten, then however it might look outside, the fact is, there is only dust and dead bugs inside.

    In any case, I thought ” brunch ” meant breakfast and lunch combo? May be, you had a severe case of acid-reflux over your brunch when you wrote your twisted, I-am-the-only-straight-patriotic-guy in the whole community opinion above. May be you have a better dinner after reading my rebuttal.

  111. The reason for disclosure of financial situation of leaders is not to humiliate them. It is to deter them from taking advantage of their position for personal gains. We all want a democracy that’s as perfect as possible and these help to make it such a one. I think someone said once that even when thrust into an egalitarian and enlightened society “the privileged oriental continues to have a despotic streak and the disadvantaged oriental a subservient streak.”

  112. Old man at sea @ 142: aka whiteiscolour raised 3 important points:

    ” You guys attack against Lobsang Sangye does not encourage any Tibetan outthere who may be willing to work for our cause in the future.

    You guys are cutting arms in the name of saving fingers.

    You guys are cutting the brunch where you are holding onto.”

    Let me offer a rebuttal:

    So you mean to say, we have to cover up our s*** when it comes to our government officials. For more than 50 years we were taught to do this in the name of unity and fighting China. Where does this end ?

    When the brain is dead, and heart is stunted, what is the use of hand that is either accepting money from shady characters or molesting helpless women. You tell me, oh the learned one ?

    On the third issue, you better check whether the branches are rotten from within or not. If it is rotten, then however it might look outside, the fact is, there is only dust and dead bugs inside.

    In any case, I thought ” brunch ” meant breakfast and lunch combo? May be, you had a severe case of acid-reflux over your brunch when you wrote your twisted, I-am-the-only-straight-patriotic-guy in the whole community opinion above. May be you will have a better dinner after reading my rebuttal.

  113. Gyurmey Dorjee

    Sikyong should not spent any time to counter realm of suspicion or realm of negativity. People who look for negative, they always find negative no matter what. China do not have a single positive thing to say about Tibet because they are only interested in portraying negative image of Tibet. You guys should not do same.

    I asked if there is any Act in our constitution that require to reveal financial accounts of our top officials. You have not mentioned a word about it. But you managed to wate time to talk about my misspelled word.

    If you think you have mastered your Enlish or math skill, you should compare yourself with Indian and Chinese counter parts so you know where you stand. Otherwise you are just bathroom singer just like me.

  114. Gyurmey Dorjee

    You said “For more than 50 years we were taught to do this in the name of unity and fighting China. Where does this end?” You know what? People like you should join China and stay quiet. China has everything you guys wanted.

    Brain could be dead, branches could be rotten but cutting them in piece does not solve the problem.

    You managed to waste time with my misspelled word but did not mention a word about if there is any sort of “Act” in our constitution that requires our top officials to reveal their financial activities. This is the question I asked.

    Otherwise Sikyong should not spent any time to counter people who are filled with only negativeness.

    China do not have any single positive word about Tibet or Dalai Lama because China is only interested in portraying negative image of Tibetan society and Dalai Lama. You guys should not do the same in the name of democracy and Rangzen.

    Why my previous post is not on?

  115. Whiteiscolour,

    “China does not have any positive word about
    Tibet or Dalai Lama because China is only interested in portraying negative image of Tibetan society and Dalai Lama.”

    I never heard anyone here say anything positive about CCP China. In fact everyone here hold CCP China as the enemy and responsible for all the suffering of Tibetans. But its CTA and you who’s going on appeasing and almost begging to CCP, i dont understand what you’re saying.

  116. TENZIN

    We are not like China. We tell the truth Not fabricated story. China has advanced to the top in this world militarily, technologically, economically, socially and China is advancing towards some form of democracy. China’s real constitution was established in 1982 and subsequently amended in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004. These are undeniable positive development of China.

    Having said that no Tibetans deny what China have done to the people of Tibet. Dalai Lama and exile government have been looking for some form of realistic solution to deal with China. People like Gyumey Dorjee does not help to resolve our problem.

  117. Whiteiscolor, I know your are knuckle head.

    You said: ” People like (me) you should join China and stay quiet. ”

    We all know middle path followers like you are itching to get in, on to the lap of great mother land. What is your plan, by wanting people like me to return to China. Do you want to offer money so we give up the struggle or you want to imprison us?

    Tibetans dying in self-immolation is no inspiration to return to Tibet nor will I sell Tibetan cause for any amount of renminbi, even a quarter of a million dollars.

    You talk of speaking truth and listed several truths. Let me make things easy for others to analyze your truths, all taken from two rejoinders you wrote above .

    Let us call it Whiteiscolour and other misguided crazies version of four noble truth:

    1. White is a colour.

    2. If it is not in the constitution, then Sikyong is not morally obligated to disclose any questionable money.

    3. China is advancing towards some form of democracy…which is an undeniable positive development of China.

    ( Do you really want us to believe it. Many of us do have a sneaking suspicion that perhaps, you are someone working in Chinese embassy.)

    4. If anyone speak truth that hurts, then you are traitor. May be shugden followers.

  118. @149: China’s economy is huge but it is still a developing country. Average Chinese earn around one third of those of EU or North America.

    Militarily China has man power numbers but not technically superior like US or even Russia. China always act like an injured bull in wild ready to gore anyone in the its surrounding and beyond.

    Politically and socially its still a backward country than many of Asian countries let alone West.

    Why Tibetans in exiles are so uneasy to tell truth about China and Tibet – call spade a spade. Why should we give in to Chinese whims.

    Even the most liberal Chinese who we project as sympathiser of Tibetans will begin their assessment of Tibet like “since peaceful liberation of Tibet.. blah ….”. but will always describe Chinese suffering as “Rape of Nanking”.

  119. Gyumey Dorjee

    It does not make you smart by calling others knucklehead or stupid.

    It does not make you smart by knowing some extra English words.

    It does not make you patriotic by belittling your own culture, your own government, your your own leaders and your own society.

  120. White is color:

    I didn’t claim, I am smart. I didn’t claim I am patriotic. But I strongly believe that freedom is our birth right and I believe in democracy, in real sense of word.

    Like everyone, I love my nation and proud to be Tibetan. But I don’t believe in the concept of my country, right or wrong. I am brought up to stand up against bullies and you are one of the typical thought police bashing intellectuals and people who refuse to tow Middle path policies.

    What I did was gave you a taste of your own medicine. I feel pity that we have such a narrow minded people in our community.

    Let me give you a little bit of education from J. Krishnamurti, whom His Holiness the Dalai Lama described as ” One of the greatest thinkers of the age.”

    Krishnamurti writes in his book ” Total Freedom “:

    ” We are going to face the truth of things, not live in delusions. With delusions it is very difficult to observe. If you are deluding yourself and not facing actualities, then it becomes impossible to look at oneself as one is. But we like delusions, illusions, every form of deception, because we are frightened to look at ourselves. “

  121. Gyurmay Dorjee

    There are no societies in this world that has no shorfalls. Tibetan society is no exception. People need to fix the shortfalls not try to bring down the whole society unless you believe in some kind of revolution like that of Mao’s. As democracry demands, I do not have problem people believing in Rangzen or anything else. The problems is too much negativities towards our leaders, our government and probably our culture as well. Some times I wonder what really you guys want under the name of Rangzen or democracy.

    Everybody knows delusion is the problem but who decides who is in delusion.

  122. Whiteiscolour is my neighbor and here is I deal/live with him.

    I have a neighbor whose way of thinking is very similar to our friend Whiteiscolour on this blog. I will tell you all the story of how I live with this neighbor. May be it is typical of the divide in our community today because of this all out sell out to China policy.

    When his kids come to play with my children, I open my doors and openly welcome them home. Encourage them to take books from my book shelves appropriate to their age and let them play mind craft games. When the manifestation of Whiteiscolour himself comes to my door, I just go out and make a small talk. Our conversation mostly revolve round weather or other insignificant thing.

    His favorite will be; ” Do you know His Holiness is visiting…” And I go, great ! Good for World Peace. He can’t envision a Tibet beyond and after His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I think, not to envision a post- Dalai Lama Tibet is the height of delusion.

    Don’t get me wrong, I respect His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Many of you will be surprised to hear that even I voted for LS.

    Whiteiscolour says : ” Some times I wonder what really you guys want under the name of Rangzen or democracy.”

    What the people like me want is Sikyong to be his own man. Yes, he will make lot of mistakes, who does n’t ? He seems more worried about what the people in Gaden Prodang thinks about him than right thing he can do for Tibetan people. He should leave his own mark.

    His Holiness did a great thing by preparing for a democratic community and must have faith in His people and the leaders we elected.

    I had the best Chang ( wine) when His Holiness the Dalai Lama toured United States and Sikyong visited Japan. Both the leaders were making their marks and doing things for Tibet. Following His Holiness the Dalai Lama everywhere might be a good politics for re-election, but Sikyong can never nurture our democracy any stronger.

    There is two case history in front of us to study. One is, how the great Pope Benedict trusted his people to choose his successor and unified his flock.

    Another, a case of Zimbabwe where the self-serving generals and advisors of Robert Mugabe makes the 90 years old frail Mugabe to cling to his position and destroy his legacy. Do anyone know that Mugabe once was a freedom fighter and hero of the Non-aligned Nations. I fear there are too many self-serving people in and around His Holiness.

  123. I know that I’m supposed to give some comments on the writing done by Jamyung Norbu, but after reading his wonderful article I wanted to see what people are saying about the article and read quite a lot of them. After reading the comments by various poeple i totally got myself lost in the comments or rather arguments here. This is basically the first time me reading professor’s articles and I thought it would be a good idea to read his articles and offer some individual thoughts to the articles and exchange my ideas with other people around the world, but then after having read the comments I thought” what’s the point to argue with random people” on a website”.

  124. Every Tibetan on this earth want Independent Tibet or Rangzen or freedom if that is the option. Middle Way Approach is a circumstantial decision not a preferential decision. Well over 90% of Tibetan people on this earth hold His Holiness the Dalai Lama dear to their heart and anybody who tries to deter this relationship is doomed to fail. Few Tibetans have problem with Samdhon Rinpoche, Lobsang Sengye, Penpa Tsering simply these leaders want to follow His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s foot step.

    I spent many times to challenge our Chinese counterpart about Tibetan issues over the internet. Even my wife complains that I spent too much time on the computer. Surprisingly and sadly some of the things I hear from these Chinese about Dalai Lama, I hear from my fellow Tibetans here. These Chinese think Dalai Lama has some sort of military base or some sort of private gang members in Dharamsala and whatever His holiness does is for his own gain or reinstate his political power in Tibet. Of course such a claim is simply based on ignorance or propaganda. Gyurmey Dorjee talked about people in the Gadhen Phodang or self serving people in and around the Dalai Lama. I have no idea what he is talking about unless he could name few people for me.

  125. Your very first line, “Every Tibetan on this earth want Independent Tibet or Rangzen or freedom if that is the option.”

    Yes, an independent Tibet is not an option for the MiddleWay government so where does this “want” reside? of course in our collective head, or, poetically speaking, in our hearts. You see where I am going with this?

    If you are being sincere then you have firmly planted yourself in Karma Chophel’s camp, and therefore, disagree with His Holiness too.

    But again, even if you wrote it yourself, you will not explicitly admit that His Holiness may have erred in this instance. So be it.

    Come off with the stereotyping already, sheesh, even a Tibetan like me, one who has no faith in tulkus and reincarnation, even I respect His Holiness for all that he has done and continue to do, for the good of the Tibetan people.

    I may sometimes disagree with how Kundun goes about ‘doing good for the Tibetan people’, yet this does not mean, as you constantly insinuate, that those Tibetans who at times, disagree with him are eagerly seeking his ruin.

    Please Whiteiscolor, you are very good at bullshitting and muddling things up, I don’t blame your wife for complaining. Believe me, it is a real comfort to learn that you are debating with uber bias pro Chinese propagandists online, I am sure they find you as annoying as I do. Keep up the good work.

  126. I forgot to mention two characters shared by our Chinese counter parts and few Tibetans here in this blog are good at using language of profanity and arguing without any rational grounds.

    Just opinions against our leaders, our government policies, or our cultures do not serve our cause. As we all know democracy demands individual responsibilities as much as it provides individual rights.

    What dreams may come and Gyumey Dorjee la, what have you guys done or what do you guys do to help Tibetan cause besides attacking our fragile exile government? What dreams may come find annoying my internet interaction with other Chinese to promote awareness of Tibetan situation.

    What we want and what we seek is two different things. I want to live in a most affluent neighborhood in the city but I seek to live in a neighborhood that is more suitable to my bank account. I want independent Tibet but I seek Middle Way Approach because that is much closer to realization.

  127. China wants people like you to come ‘home’. What is stopping you from going ?

    I think you are 网络评论员 and here for a reason to attack Rangzen followers and you could not hold your breath in attacking people who refuse to see the things through your faculty vision.

  128. I believe everybody in this world is entitled to have their own opinion, to have their own faith, to have their own political stance. For this reason I attack nobody just because people have different views. I am impelled to counter attack some people here in this blog because of their hostile stance against our own goverment, our own leaders and our own culture instead of our emeny.

    Don’t get me wrong, I admire and respect true Rangzen advocates for their patroism, loyalty, bravery and spirit. I personally believe these people should have a voice and place in our government. In fact these people make His Holiness’s position strengthen rather than weaken.

  129. Whiteiscolour:

    You are a very confused man and I pity you for lack of clarity in your own thinking. Take a look at just two of your sentences.

    “I am impelled to counter attack some people here in this blog because of their hostile stance against our own goverment, our own leaders and our own culture instead of our enemy.”

    And then in your next breath you write:

    “I personally BELIEVE (emphasis mine) these people should have a voice and place in our government.”

    Question: Who is muzzling the Rangzen “voice”?
    Answer: CTA, LS, Samdhong Rinpoche and Penpa Tsering

    If you BELIEVE in something, you raise a voice,your try to right the wrong and you fight for their rights. Not brow beat them in the name of religion and ” our government, our leader ”

    By the way, I am bit confused, by ” our government” do you mean to say PRC ? By ” our enemy” do you mean TYC and others ?

    You are a convoluted and seeking lot of entitlements. If you want, I give you entitlement to my ideas.

    I am for ever for Rangzen and I am not a religious fanatic and not a shugden followers too. I should say this before people like you put a very convenient hat of being a Shugden followers. I detest those shugden followers raising a banner of protest against His Holiness the Dalai Lama in CA. They are wrong and doing it for the wrong reason.

  130. All that Sikyong has to do is disclose how the mortgage was paid off. That comes under right to information which includes information of assets of senior govt officials. It’s not just a constitutional issue but a moral one. He being the leader should lead us by example. Gradually, all public officials should be required to declare assets to adopt ethics and anti-corruption laws. Even spouses and close relatives should be required to do so. We do not want to imbibe this bribe taking culture of CCP China in addition to the appeasement policies, do we?

  131. I advocate different political views like Rangzen Not hostile attack against anyone especially your own government and leaders. Few people here all they do is attack and look for negativity while they have nothing in their mind that might solve the Tibetan problem except name only Rangzen.

  132. when i came across jamyang’s works and speeches, i felt proud of him as i young tibetan student but the only thing that i was not impressed was his view of late baba phunwang.

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