Tag Archives: Tibet

South Africa Still Dealing With Dalai Lama Incident

Nearly a half century has passed since the Dalai Lama established a Tibetan government in exile, but the issue of where does Tibet stand in the eyes of China and the world continue to be an important issue. The Chinese government, despite its efforts to portray the Dalai Lama as a feudal lord continue to confront anger and violence from Tibetans. It announced a new holiday, “Serf Liberation Day” to signify the end of monk rule in Tibet. Yesterday, there were reports of violence in northwestern China and police arrested 93 monks from the monastery at Rabgya. In South Africa there is still anger among many human rights activists over denial of a visa to the Dalai Lama who was attempting to attend a peace conference.

The Chinese government insists there is no room for compromise with the Dalai Lama. Only one who lives in fantasy believes Tibetans can drive out the Chinese. It is time for a sensible compromise which allows return of the Dalai Lama, restrictions on the power of monks to revert back to their former control of society, and creation of freedom of religion. Time will tell if Tibetans seek to retain their belief in the rule of monks.

South Africa Still Dealing With Dalai Lama Incident

Nearly a half century has passed since the Dalai Lama established a Tibetan government in exile, but the issue of where does Tibet stand in the eyes of China and the world continue to be an important issue. The Chinese government, despite its efforts to portray the Dalai Lama as a feudal lord continue to confront anger and violence from Tibetans. It announced a new holiday, “Serf Liberation Day” to signify the end of monk rule in Tibet. Yesterday, there were reports of violence in northwestern China and police arrested 93 monks from the monastery at Rabgya. In South Africa there is still anger among many human rights activists over denial of a visa to the Dalai Lama who was attempting to attend a peace conference.

The Chinese government insists there is no room for compromise with the Dalai Lama. Only one who lives in fantasy believes Tibetans can drive out the Chinese. It is time for a sensible compromise which allows return of the Dalai Lama, restrictions on the power of monks to revert back to their former control of society, and creation of freedom of religion. Time will tell if Tibetans seek to retain their belief in the rule of monks.

How To Antagonize Communist China?

It does not take much to arouse the anger of Chinese Communist leaders — just mention the word–Tibet and say something negative about Chinese rule of the area. The House of Representatives passed a resolution, one among the many that are daily voted on, and made reference to the Chinese occupation of Tibet and denial of basic rights to have a voice in their own governance. China Daily apparently does not know the difference between a “resolution” and a “bill” since it charged the House had passed a bill concerning Tibet. In essence, the China Daily story, sums up its nation’s interpretation of events as follows: Tibet was governed by feudal minded religious leaders but once Chinese troops ended “serfdom” in Tibet it ushered in an era of social and economic progress– much like America in the fifties according to Chinese officials.

The Chinese government has a propensity to exaggerate the “interference” by outside nations in the internal affairs of China. Instead of granting people in Tibet some local autonomy which would then justify Chinese occupation, the Communist Party only knows one way of responding to any criticism– you are wrong and we are right, you have never been right and we have never been wrong. It may well play great in Communist Party meetings, but it bores the rest of the world.

A Chinese Version Of Tibet

As Tibet commemorates the events of last year in which many people expressed their opposition to the Chinese occupation of their nation, the Chinese government made clear it has a different version of the events. Once upon a time the people of Tibet were serfs and slaves who obeyed religious leaders until Chinese soldiers arrived to end their feudal lives and grant all people freedom. Naturally, the reactionary forces of the Dalai Lama tried to halt the spread of democracy but the people of Tibet would not back down on their desire for the freedom that was brought to them by Chinese soldiers. The version has some elements of truth since there is no question feudal ideas were still prevalent in Tibet and religious leaders wielded power. But, for most Tibetans, the arrival of Chinese occupation forces was not a welcome change in their lives.

The Chinese government has an incredible ability to shoot themselves in the foot of publicity. Their press releases still claim the Dalai Lama wants Tibet to secede from China and is trying to use force to accomplish his goals. The Dailai Lama is a realist who understands the solution must be political and entail maintenance of being part of China. If Chinese leaders had any sense of public relations they would welcome the Dalai Lama and invite him to work for creation of a compromise that keeps Tibet as part of China but allows the flexibility that was given to Hong Kong.

China Closes Tibet To Foreigners For A Month

The Chinese government continues to bungle the issue of Tibet by imposing a ban on travel to the region by foreigners. Next month marks the anniversary of the Tibetan rebellion against China which was crushed. An employee of the government run-travel agency in Lhasa said they were asked to stop organizing tour groups for Tibet during the coming months. An employee of a major hotel said “foreigners cannot go there in March because we has stopped giving out permits.”

China is a powerful nation and there is no possibility of Tibetans or anyone else attempting violent ways of damaging the existing government. The decision to ban travel only makes people aware the China made some mistakes concerning the Tibetan people. Actually, if the Chinese government simply ignored the anniversary, most people– aside from Tibetans– would have forgotten what happened a year ago. As always, the Chinese government shoots itself in the foot.

China Continues Denying Dalai Lama

The Chinese Communist government’s greatest fear is any evidence that separatist feeling is present in their nation. They rule over a multicultural society containing people of many religions and ethnic groups so the very thought that one region might harbor thoughts about breaking away is enough to send Communist leaders into a state of terror. The nation is approaching the anniversary of a Tibetan protest which garnered world wide interest and anger at the Chinese government’s brutal suppression of those participating in riots. Tibet’s official Buddhist association called on lamas and nuns to reject any connection with separatist groups or with the exiled Dalai Lama. Naturally, in a communist society their comments to the public reflected a “unanimous” view of those in the organization. It asked monks to “see clearly that the 14th Dalai Lama is the ringleader of the separatist association which seeks Tibet independence.”

Actually, the Dalai Lama has repeatedly rejected calls for separatism and stressed his belief in working with government officials to ensure the people of Tibet had greater local autonomy. Unfortunately, he is attempting to deal with paranoid Chinese communists who believe there is a plot by capitalists to destroy their nation. There is no such plot.

Tibetans Struggle To Discover Middle Road To Peace

The people of Tibet have lost control over their destiny as a people due to the Chinese invasion of their land about fifty years ago. Prior to the Chinese arrival, Tibet was ruled by a small clique of religious leaders, who had good intentions, but nevertheless were not advocates of democracy. Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has called together about 500 leaders of the exiled Tibetan community to discuss which road should be pursued in the future. The Dalai Lama has tried to achieve an agreement with the Chinese government which retains Tibet as part of China, but allows for local autonomy, a stance that is not necessarily supported by many young Tibetan exiles.

There is some sentiment among younger Tibetans to end the “middle way” approach of the Dalai Lama and fight for an independent Tibet. This is a noble goal, but virtually impossible to achieve. In reality, the only road is some variation of the “middle way.”

China Rejects Dalai Lama’s Proposals!

Surprise, surprise, the Chinese government has flatly rejected proposals from the Dalai Lama aimed at resolving problems between the people of Tibet and Chinese leaders. In a statement issued on Monday, the government said, “the unification of the motherland, territorial integrity and the national dignity are the greatest interests of the Chinese people.” It made clear no concessions will ever be offered to Tibetan leaders. Chinese officials said there had been no progress with Tibetan representatives because “the Dalai Lama said on many occasions that when the People’s Liberation Army entered Tibet, Tibet was an independent country and that now Tibet is still an independent country which was illegally occupied.” It insists the Dalai Lama is defying China by refusing to accept that Tibet was never an independent nation and that Communist troops never invaded Tibet because that entity was always part of China.

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly indicated he has NO desire to fight for an independent Tibetan nation. He has repeatedly stated his willingness to have Tibet remain part of China but seeks greater local autonomy and respect for the traditions and values of the people of Tibet. One can argue endlessly if Tibet in the past was independent, but Tibetans are willing to accept the current status quo.

Dalai Lama Plans Tibet Peace Strategy

The Dalai Lama insists the people of Tibet should be involved in deciding strategies to be used with the Chinese government in order to reach some form of accord that enables Tibetans to enjoy democracy. He said envoys from Tibetan communities would meet in India during the week of November 17 and would be joined in the discussions by representatives from other world groups which support the idea of democracy in Tibet. The Dalai Lama told the Japan Times that his representatives are currently in Beijing engaged in discussions with the Chinese government. He has decided to cease being the lone voice in any discussions with China due to the hostility felt by Chinese officials and will rely upon a group process to further negotiations.

The Dalai Lama once again made clear his goal is not to seek independence for Tibet, but to work with Chinese officials in order to establish the basis for democracy within the region. Preserving Tibetan Buddhism and its ideology are important goals and he does not see attaining such ends threatens China in any manner. He wants the Chinese government to understand Tibetan grievances and work with its leaders to peacefully resolve issues.

Sing China’s Song Or Don’t Sing At All!

Customers in China of Apple Inc’s iTunes online music store were unable to download songs this week, and an activist group said Beijing was trying to block access to a new Tibet-themed album. Users of iTune complained they had been unable to download music since Monday, the day after the Art of Peace Foundation announced the release of “Songs for Tibet,” with music by Sting, Alanis Moritssette, Garbage and others and a 15 minute talk by the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibet leader. Michael Wolf, director of the group, said “we issued a release saying that over 40(Olympic) athletes downloaded the album in an act of solidarity, and that’s what triggered it. Then everything got blocked.”

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology which regulates the Internet refused to make any comment which is the normal process when Beijing is doing something it wishes to avoid being transformed into a controversy. Wohl did send copies of the album to many athletes prior to their arrival in China. The Chinese government has yet to learn banning songs is the surest way to make them popular.