DAILY NEWS & ANALYSIS
Tuesday, May 06, 2008 3:41:00 AM
‘Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ Has Failed’
Venkatesan Vembu interviews Jamyang Norbu
(REVISED & UPDATED)
Woeser’s TIBET UPDATES provide invaluable detailed information on all that has happened and is happening in Tibet now. Her writing provides a stark immediacy to events and brings them up-close and personal as no report by foreign journalists or “experts” can, not even the scribblings of exile writers like myself.
People inside Tibet had, in unimaginably lonely and secretive ways, faithfully nurtured the embers of Rangzen for all these many years. In spite of decades of propaganda, “political re-education”, surveillance by informers, spies, and agents, and (once in a while) brutal interrogation by trained and experienced torturers, they had managed to hide and protect this faith in the deepest recesses of their hearts.
It was unfortunate that when the protests started in Lhasa last month His Holiness made a statement threatening to resign because of “violence committed by Tibetans in his homeland” (AP). I don’t want to subject His Holiness’s use of the word “violence” to any kind of semantic scrutiny, in the manner of William Safire in the New York Times Magazine, but …
Last Monday morning as I was packing my toilet stuff for a trip to San Francisco, my older daughter, Namkha Lhamo, rushed into the bathroom. She had seen the anti-torch rallies in London and Paris on TV, and was clearly excited. “Pala, Pala, are you going to steal that Olympic torch” she demanded.
Glad all of you find what I write interesting. Let me know if there are topics you might think would be important to tackle. I will try and write at least two blogs a week. I still find it impossible to just post something quick and short. But I guess in time it will happen.
There is a recurring nightmare, well known in clinical psychiatry, in which the sleeper belabours an enemy, but to absolutely no effect. The more furiously the enemy is beaten, or punched or kicked, the more infuriatingly untouched he remains. All these years living and working in Dharamshala I have felt myself struggling under a burden of unrelieved frustration and ineffectiveness, often even uselessness. I have no doubt other Tibetans in exile as well as inside Tibet have experienced much the same.
Unlike the Gaza Strip or Baghdad, Tibet has only the occasional journalist passing through, and right now there’s no one there. If we want news footage of events in Tibet to reach the world we have to get it ourselves. Lugging around professional equipment or even a camcorder would be asking for trouble but a convenient solution seems to be at hand.
Senator Barack Obama in one of his speeches (quoting Dr. King) speaks of “The Fierce Urgency of Now”. This is absolutely the spirit with which we must deal with our present crisis. Discussions on long-term strategies are vital, but we must think of immediate ways of keeping the Rangzen flames burning
Well, I just released a book titled Shadow Tibet (a collection of my essays from 1989 to 2004) on 8th March in New York City at a Tibetan Youth Congress organized symposium. The roughly 1000 strong Tibetan audience was so surprisingly savvy, contemporary and outspoken, that I realized I had to find a way to maintain some kind of discussion with them, which was when I seriously thought of starting a blog.