The Dalai Lama recently met with U.S. President Obama and news of it made headlines both in China and in the West. I want to first address this point made by some that China shouldn’t make a big deal out of this meeting, because after all, China recently met with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and the U.S. made no objections. That is a faulty comparison, because the Dalai Lama is likely visiting the U.S. to secure his annual funding for the TGIE, and in contrast, al-Bashir is not trying to split off any portion of the U.S..
NPR distributed a report by The Associated Press (doesn’t matter who did the headline), “Dalai Lama Wanted ‘To Show An Old Friend’s Face’.” The article is short, and I mainly want to point out the gaps in it so you can easily see for yourself by omission, how propagandistic an article can be. If you see more articles like this in the West, think about the information and perspectives purposefully left out. Personally, I don’t expect the media to do better, but I object to this self-proclaimed view they are ‘free’ and ‘objective.’
“Dalai Lama Wanted ‘To Show An Old Friend’s Face’”
by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON July 18, 2011, 10:29 am ET
The Dalai Lama is defending his weekend visit with President Barack Obama, saying he was gratified “to show an old friend’s face.”
According to this China Daily report, the Dalai Lama “got funding of $2 million from the US State Department and claimed he will ‘make trouble for China’, the paper (a People’s Daily editorial) said.”
If there is any real journalistic integrity, then both NPR and the Associated Press ought to report on how much the Dalai Lama’s TGIE is getting money from the U.S. government on an annual basis. They ought to have questioned President Obama and the Dalai Lama whether they discussed this funding. Perhaps ‘gratified to have gotten the $2 million?’
Again, where is the American media interest in this funding? Americans would certainly care because of the deficit.
The Chinese government slammed the administration for the meeting Obama had with the Tibetan spiritual leader on Saturday, saying it would damage Chinese-American relations.
But in an interview broadcast Monday on NBC’s “Today” show, the Dalai Lama said he considered it his duty to meet with the president “to show my respect. We really have a feeling of reunion.”
China considers the Dalai Lama a separatist intent on ending Chinese rule over Tibet. Obama over the weekend reinforced with the Dalai Lama that the United States doesn’t support Tibetan independence.
“Chinese rule over Tibet” is in fact a very propagandistic narrative. Does it make sense to say “American rule over Massachusetts?” No, I don’t think so. The article narrates this way precisely to want to keep ‘China’ and ‘Tibet’ as mutually exclusive concepts. If the article wants to present a more “pro-China” view, it would say something like this: “China considers the Dalai Lama a separatist, but Obama over the weekend denied that is what the United States support.” Obviously it would not make sense for the Associated Press or NPR to take a ‘pro-China’ only narrative, and the point I am making is that they are simply taking a more ‘anti-China’ one.
Journalism with integrity requires writing the above in such a way that both positions are objectively presented to the reader.
He also urged Americans to not get discouraged by the protracted national debate over the country’s debt problems.
I actually think this is a good advice. America needs a honest debate on this issue. American media is in fact not being very helpful catering to sensationalist and extremist views. But I won’t digress further on that.
In the interview, the 76-year-old spiritual leader said he believes “a lot of resentment” is building within China toward the government. The Dalai Lama said he doesn’t think China can buck a trend toward democracy around the world, saying the “whole world turning in one direction.”
“China cannot go against that trend,” he said, adding he believes the “voice of openness” is sweeping over China.
Some will accuse me of reading too much into this, but every chance the Dalai Lama gets, he will bash the Chinese government politically. The narrative here is to portray the Dalai Lama as a ‘good’ spiritual leader, and due to his ‘holiness’, the criticism supposedly carries weight with the Western audience.
There are few glaring facts this article failed to point out. What an irony too, because right before the above passage, the Dalai Lama gave an advice about the American debt. Isn’t it the case that ‘democracies’ are incompetent in reigning in government spending? China’s government approval rating is in fact way high compared to all the ‘democracies’ in polls after polls by the PEW Research Center.
When Japan was ‘democratic’ in the 80s, the garbage the Western media hurl at them were not much different than at China today. How do you explain all this, Mr. Dalai Lama?
Perhaps the Dalai Lama should be focused more on growing spirituality in America today or preach tolerance for other religions. It’s kind of weird this article don’t realize the hypocrisy in this man having officially ‘retired from politics’ just few months ago. And here we are, he’s politics all over – ‘democracy,’ ‘censorship,’ and all.
The Dalai Lama also said he “really felt some sense of relief” over Tibet’s recent move toward abandonment of its 4-century-old monarchial tradition.
This narrative is again wrong. It is implying a bunch of exiles still represent the millions of ethnic Tibetans in China with 60 years having passed.
I have read the Tibetan sect in India who worships Dorje Shugden is still being persecuted by his TGIE.
Some will be eager to say, this article is meant to report what the Dalai Lama says. My response would be, “funny, the Associated Press is now a mouthpiece for the Dalai Lama?” 😉
But, seriously, find me the “Chinese” perspectives articulated in any other mainstream Western media without the emotive slanders on this visit.
I’m curious about the “make trouble for China” quotation from the CD article. The version used in the PD editorial (就是要给中国找麻烦) turns up only a smattering of results that aren’t reposted versions of that editorial. The English is familiar from official Chinese statements regarding the activities of splittists and hostile foreign politicians, but I can’t find it actually attributed to the Dalai Lama.
Here’s the context of the PD quote:
That’s been reworked from an earlier, more general PD editorial, published on the 5th ahead of the Washington visit:
The earliest cite I can find for the 就是要给中国找麻烦 remark is in a repost of an editorial from the HK paper Ta Kung Pao from 2007, in which it serves basically the same purpose in the same context:
It looks kind of like poor translation poorly back-translated, or else a case of misinterpreted scare quotes. Any pointers?
“The Dalai Lama also said he really felt some sense of relief over Tibet’s recent move toward abandonment of its 4-century-old monarchial tradition.”
I wouldn’t hold my breath.
It’s been 3 months since the election of the supposedly secular head of Kalon Tripa, a born in exile (and from blue blood elite Tibetans), Harvard educated lawyer.
No sighting of the promised new secular Constitution revision yet.
Some may say, 3 months is too short.
I say, why is it short? DL supposedly already mapped out the whole secular regime before his retirement, and has every confidence that it will work well.
If not, isn’t DL abandoning his followers to total chaos?
The truth is, DL has no roadmap for the secular government without DL (or some other reincarnated God King), because no one the Tibetan Exile community can image a future like that.
A secular government of Tibet in Exile, would mean admission of defeat. A REAL FUNCTIONING thriving secular government of Tibet in Exile would mean that the Communists win by logical implication.
That Tibetans don’t need religion in politics, and should have gone that way a long time ago.
Well, it’s a no-win for DL or any of his followers on that point.
So, we won’t see a new Constitution of secular Tibetan government any time soon.
C. Custer says
The AP is no more a “mouthpiece of the Dalai Lama” than Reuters is a “mouthpiece of Hu Jintao”. BEHOLD:
See, the “summarizing this guy’s remarks/position” story is a real thing, and it goes both ways. That whole story is 100% China’s perspective, minus that one paragraph in the middle that’s there to bring attention to another story of theirs about what Obama said (it looks like anyway, I didn’t read the story they linked).
That’s what Reuters was also doing in that other article, and that’s what NPR is doing here, although you’re right that their use of “Tibet” in that last quote is wrong. I’m inclined to suspect that incompetence rather than sinister plotting was the cause of that, but to each his own.
Anyway, I do find it amusing that you’re pulling examples of “facts” NPR should have cited from the People’s Daily editorials page, which is so propagandistic no one takes it seriously (except as a way of seeing what’s going on in the leader’s heads). Seriously, come to China, ask people what they think of the People’s Daily. Even people who aren’t on the NED payroll — and there aren’t many left, since anyone who criticizes the government is obviously funded by America — will tell you that the People’s Daily is propaganda garbage. Seriously.
“although you’re right that their use of “Tibet” in that last quote is wrong. I’m inclined to suspect that incompetence rather than sinister plotting was the cause of that, but to each his own. ”
What’s the factual basis of your “suspicion”? Considering the “context” of NPR’s past historical pattern of similar errors? (Or are you going to take your suspicion out of the context of history?)
I agree with yinyang. I thought Tenzin Gyatso has retired from politics. How much religion did he talk with Obama in the White House? Would the west tolerate the Pope or Bishop who continually talked about politics then end with “Oh, I am just a religious figure.”
Let’s all face the fact. He is a politician first and foremost and he is only useful to the west because he is Chinese. The day he ceased to be Chinese is the day he lost his value. Imagine he advocate TGIE setting up an independent state in South Tibet that was annexed by India. He will be tossed like thrash into the garbage.
Dalai Lama criticises anti-whaling protesters. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gpBJbWnbsHg7_QArJhQKkoClRsog
(A monk won’t say this but a politician who received campaign contribution from his Japanese master will)
Your arguments are horribly weak and you continue to ignore the key issue. You said:
Pretty funny, you have to find something that is more than 1 year old! Find 10 of something like it in the last 1 week among the thousands of articles in the Western media on China. Can you do it? I agree, the link you provided is a GREAT article in terms of balance to what’s out there.
ARE YOU GOING TO CONTINUE TO IGNORE THE PEW RESEARCH CENTER REPORT?
We know how the West think about Chinese media, because their daily propaganda on the Chinese media is they are ‘government mouthpieces.’
This is where you are disingenuous. We all know the Dalai Lama gets his funding from the U.S. government. You think that ‘fact’ has no basis?
I am sorry, Custer, I have wasted enough time with you.
The lama, a modern day beggar king if I’ve ever seen one.
Model sell out, in reality.
Yes, DL has a PR guy, who tells him to say the politically correct messages to please his Western Patrons, so the money will keep flowing in, right in his own pockets.
Those Gucci shoes and watches don’t pay for themselves, you know!!
C. Custer says
Please. I just googled a phrase, I forget what, “Hu Jintao says” or something like that, and that was one of the first things that came up. I honestly didn’t even look at the date.
But articles like this happen when someone of note is visiting somewhere else. So Mullen got one when he visted China, Hu gets one whenever he visits the US, the Dalai Lama gets one when he visits Obama, etc. Since you’re asking, here’s one from Wen’s recent visit to Europe:
Pretty much, yeah. I don’t think it’s particularly relevant. I never said that the Western media didn’t make mistakes on China. Anyone who reads my blog is well aware that I know that, and enjoy ripping them a new one for it every now and again. My point is that there is still a fundamental and very important difference between that and propaganda of the sort that we see in Chinese state media.
He gets some funding from the US government, sure. I don’t see what your point is…who cares? What does that have to do with the media? And why does that somehow mean China’s state media aren’t “government mouthpieces”?
C. Custer says
I wasn’t aware that history had judged NPR to have an anti-China bias. Feel free to show me this historical pattern you’re talking about.
Otto Kerner says
“It’s kind of weird this article don’t realize the hypocrisy in this man having officially ‘retired from politics’ just few months ago. And here we are, he’s politics all over – ‘democracy,’ ‘censorship,’ and all.”
What the Dalai Lama actually said a few months ago was that he was retiring from his formal political office as head of the so-called Central Tibetan Administration, commonly known as the government-in-exile. He proceeded to do exactly that, insisting that the Parliament-in-exile amend the charter to remove the Dalai Lama’s role as leader. This change was ratified on May 29, 2011.
The Dalai Lama was clear all along that he is not retiring from his role as a political activist, just from his political office. I think he retired from the latter in order to be more effective at the former.
What are you talking about? The new constitution of the exile government without the Dalai Lama as leader has been effective since May 29 (note that http://www.tibet.net/en/index.php?id=9 used to read, “Head of State: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama” but now it has been modified to read “Head of State: Kalon Tripa”). Quite to the contrary of your idea that this means the Communists have won, the REAL FUNCTIONING democratically elected exile leadership is an ongoing indictment of the CCP’s indifference to what Tibetans actually want. Lobsang Sangay has gotten a lot more votes from Tibetans who want him to be their leader than Zhang Qingli or Padma Choling ever did.
This is pretty funny. In the NPR report, it said:
Now, Otto, you said (and I actually believe you on this one):
“Head of State” over what territory? Eager title, I’d say.
“I wasn’t aware that history had judged NPR to have an anti-China bias. Feel free to show me this historical pattern you’re talking about.”
You are not aware of a lot of things, but I’m not going to bother to disprove all your erroneous assumptions.
You obviously refused to provide any evidence to support your blanket “suspicions”. Why shift the burden of proof to me??
“What are you talking about? The new constitution of the exile government without the Dalai Lama as leader has been effective since May 29 (note that http://www.tibet.net/en/index.php?id=9 used to read, “Head of State: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama” but now it has been modified to read “Head of State: Kalon Tripa”).”
REALLY!! I heard the news say something about the “new constitution”, I saw no text of any kind actually published.
Even the link you provided showed NO actual text of the “new constitution”.
What’s this new “democracy”? A secret “democracy”? LOL!
“Lobsang Sangay has gotten a lot more votes from Tibetans who want him to be their leader than Zhang Qingli or Padma Choling ever did.”
Was it a surprise? He was the DL’s handpicked political appointee.
And I call it a fake vote, since Shugden followers have been banned from all votes since DL began the persecution against them.
Obviously, dissent is not tolerated in the “new democracy”. (Now that DL admits that the exiles were living in a THEOCRACY for over 50 years).
Otto Kerner says
I agree — the Dalai Lama and his exile administration have made ambivalent and ambiguous statements. I think that’s a big part of the reason that he has recently distanced himself from the exile administration: it’s easier to stay on-message that way. The Central Tibetan Administration has the difficulty that it is a democratically-elected body, and full independence (Rangtsän in Tibetan) is popular with exile Tibetan voters (and probably with Tibetans in Tibet as well).
American newspapers would be giving better coverage if they reported nuances like this, but they usually don’t.
Otto Kerner says
It’s true that they haven’t done a very good job of promulgating the revised text in English on the internet (not sure about other languages), but the salient fact that the Dalai Lama no longer holds office in the CTA was widely reported.
Any evidence for this claim? Lobsang Sangay is about as independent from the Dalai Lama as it’s possible for a Tibetan exile politician to be. His two main opponents, Tashi Wangdi and T. N. Tethong, are old-guard CTA insiders and Dalai Lama appointees, whereas Lobsang Sangay had never held office before (Tethong is also from a well-known Tibetan aristocratic family — not sure about Tashi Wangdi — whereas Lobsang Sangay grew up poor in India, the son of commoners).
I agree that the treatment of Shukdän followers in exile has been shameful. That said, let me ask you … are Shukdän followers in Tibet allowed to vote freely in fair elections?
The draft amended constitution is here: http://tibet.net/tb/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Draft-Charter-edited-1-fnl.pdf Substantial deletions and edits (summaries of the major changes are available throughout the web)
A clarification of the constitutional amendment process is here: http://tibet.net/en/index.php?id=136&articletype=press&rmenuid=morepress&tab=2#TabbedPanels1
“I agree that the treatment of Shukdän followers in exile has been shameful. That said, let me ask you … are Shukdän followers in Tibet allowed to vote freely in fair elections?”
As equally allowed as any Chinese citizen. At least it is no religious persecution using political disenfranchisement.
It’s far more shameful for a bunch of Exiles to exile some of their own!
Seriously, that’s pretty shameless, down to the level of homeless beating up other homeless for money, and proverbially, the West is the guy paying the Exiles to abuse other Exiles, and videotaping it!!
“Any evidence for this claim? Lobsang Sangay is about as independent from the Dalai Lama as it’s possible for a Tibetan exile politician to be.”
Are you on drugs?
According to his own bio, Lobsang Sangay was a former LEADER of the Tibetan Youth Congress, the ONLY real political party /enforcer thugs of Dalai Lama in exile (TYC was largely the executioners/enforcers of DL’s Shugden ban).
Gee, REAL independent from the DL, eh?
His father was a monk, and had a business in Exile. Seriously, you are going to tell me that he grew up poor and was the son of “commoners”?!
Oh sure, lots of “commoner” refugees in Exile have business in those early days!
Lobsang Sangay was born in 1968, in India. “India is my second home. I have never been to my first home,” he says, meaning Tibet, that vast tract of territory controlled by China since it sent in troops in 1950.
His father – a monk who saw his monastery in eastern Tibet destroyed by the Chinese military, according to Mr. Sangay – fled Tibet in 1959, at the same time as the Dalai Lama. His mother left the same year, aged 17. The two met as refugees in India, and settled in a village called Lamahatta, near Darjeeling.
Mr. Sangay’s father ran a small business. The family kept chickens and cows, one of which was sold for 500 rupees to fund the young Lobsang’s school fees. “I owe a lot to a cow,” he says.
Oh yeah, his parents actually lived OUTSIDE Of the Exile community. You think “commoner refugees” could actually have the money to move out of the Exile Community in those day??! Oh sure!!
This guy’s PR department tries way too hard to make him look like Obama. He even tried to compare himself to Obama.
Yeah, such PR hypes are dead give-aways.
“Son of commoners” indeed! My parents were poorer than his!! And I wouldn’t even boast myself as the “son of commoners”, because I know people who were poorer than us.
you know what my parents owned in 1968? An old trunk, which contained EVERYTHING they owned, including clothes and shoes!!
A (small) business? And Chickens and Cows?
There are Shugden followers in Exile today who own MUCH LESS than that!!
Otto Kerner says
Dude, that was my point: the exile elections are not perfect, but inside Chinese-ruled Tibet, everyone is at the same low level, so Shukdän followers are equally as bad off in terms of civil rights, if not much worse off.
I would like to say for the record that I haven’t heard anything about Shukdän followers being prevented from voting, and there’s definitely no de jure ban on them voting. That said, according to the al Jazeera report, there has been a very objectionable level of harrassment against them in various areas of life, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that deterred a lot of them from voting.
Lobsang Sangay is himself a former Shukdän practitioner, so I have some hope that his administration will quietly end the discrimination against them.
“Dude, that was my point: the exile elections are not perfect, but inside Chinese-ruled Tibet, everyone is at the same low level, so Shukdan followers are equally as bad off in terms of civil rights, if not much worse off.”
Why is the “same LOW level”? It’s the EQUAL level!!
Is “Democracy” a “same low level”, because you don’t have what other countries have?? Are you at a same LOW level, because Canada allows abortion, and thus doesn’t protect unborn babies??
Vote is not “civil rights”. It’s a political privilege defined by specific laws. No where does any legal system recognize “vote” as a “right”, NOT even in US Constitution (which had to spell out voting “process” in specific terms). Some may have interpreted US Constitution as defining vote as a “right”, but that’s simply not true. Unlike “Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”, vote was not included in basic articles of the Constitution, Individual states had to implement laws regulating “votes”.
“as bad off”? I rather live in a state where everyone pay the same tax burden, than live in a state where I have to pay more than others and I get harassed for complaining about the unfairness, (even if I pay the same rate as the first state). Shugdens in Exile have LESS rights than their peers, and they get harassed for complaining about the UNFAIRNESS.
“Lobsang Sangay is himself a former Shukdan practitioner, so I have some hope that his administration will quietly end the discrimination against them.”
Lobsang Sangay was in the TYC, when the TYC persecuted the Shugden followers. Plenty of Shugden websites have denounced his participation in the religious persecution.
So, I wouldn’t hold my breath on your “hope”.
Lobsang was/is a stooge of DL. He climbed the ladder of TGIE from his youth, joining the TYC when very young, actively lead in many TYC protests and initiatives.
Even his campaign for Kalon Tripa, had a website made by a bunch of TYC members, “KalonTripafortibet.org”, the name of which sounds neutral, but actually endorsing Lobsang, (giving the impression that Lobsang Sangay was already picked as Kalon Tripa before the election.
“Dude, that was my point: the exile elections are not perfect, but inside Chinese-ruled Tibet, everyone is at the same low level, so Shukdan followers are equally as bad off in terms of civil rights, if not much worse off.”
And what does that say about the non-Shugden Tibetans in Exile? They would obtain their “rights” by any means, even if standing on the backs of their own brethens (on the flimsiest of paranoid suspicions of ties to China)?
It’s 1 thing for some countries to NOT have some “rights” to start with, but the Exiles took away the very “rights” the Shugden supposedly already had.
It would be akin to Abraham Lincoln re-instituting slavery after the Civil War (to persecute a specific Church group).
It would be an indictment on the entirety of the political system, that it was FAKE to start with. (And an indictment on ALL those who believed in that political system and supported it!)
Otto Kerner says
I can see where you might get that impression if most of what you know about TYC comes from Chinese state media, which likes to exaggerate their dangerousness in order to cast them in the al-Qa’ida role. But the thing is that TYC is the loyal opposition of the Tibetan exile world: they are less deeply committed to going along with whatever the Dalai Lama says to do. TYC is for independence and the Dalai Lama isn’t enough of a hardliner for them.
I don’t remember ever reading that Lobsang Sangay was a leader in TYC. He was a member when he was younger. I’m not sure, but I don’t think he’s been very much involved with that group recently. I don’t think TYC made an official endorsement in the elections, but my impression is that a lot of their leaders supported Tethong, who was perceived as the most independence-friendly candidate.
This is all relative to the world of Tibetan exile politics. None of them are against the Dalai Lama. What I wanted was some kind of evidence that the Dalai Lama hand-picked Lobsang Sangay over the other candidates in the election. As far as I know, he remained scrupulously neutral between them.
As for the term “commoner”, all it means is someone who is not a noble. They don’t have to be poorer than a particular person’s parents used to be in the 60s. Technically, wealthy merchants in most societies are considered “commoners”, but Lobsang Sangay’s parents weren’t that, either. By all accounts, his father was at best a small businessman/shopkeeper. My point in bringing it up was not that you should feel sorry for Lobsang Sangay, but just to point out that he doesn’t come from a family of powerful people and political insiders, which is a frequent (and somewhat valid) criticism of the exile leadership.
“TYC is the loyal opposition of the Tibetan exile world: they are less deeply committed to going along with whatever the Dalai Lama says to do. TYC is for independence and the Dalai Lama isn’t enough of a hardliner for them.”
No exaggeration, you are just down playing their role.
“Loyal opposition”? You mean a Loyal submissive enforcer, despite open disagreements with DL, TYC has done nothing but OBEY DL.
TYC was even the main promoter of DL’s ban on Shugden, TYC carried out all the public campaigns to spread the message of the ban for DL, and drove the “loyalty oath” signature drive in Exiles. (And the occasional stoning of Shugden followers in Exile, which caused a curfew imposed by Indian Police).
“I don’t remember ever reading that Lobsang Sangay was a leader in TYC.”
It’s in his own BIO! GO look it up!
“I’m not sure, but I don’t think he’s been very much involved with that group recently.”
You just mean you don’t know. Well, his bio said plenty about his connections to the TYC. And really, it’s quite representative of the reality that the TYC is the ONLY political party in TGIE.
“I don’t think TYC made an official endorsement in the elections, but my impression is that a lot of their leaders supported Tethong, who was perceived as the most independence-friendly candidate.”
Your impression is wrong. You can go look up the candidate endorsement list. And it is the TYC that set up a campaign website for Lobsang Sangay.
“This is all relative to the world of Tibetan exile politics. None of them are against the Dalai Lama. What I wanted was some kind of evidence that the Dalai Lama hand-picked Lobsang Sangay over the other candidates in the election. As far as I know, he remained scrupulously neutral between them.”
It is all RELATIVE! It is obvious that TYC would not have helped Lobsang without DL’s explicit approval, much like EVERYTHING else TYC does!! (DL said to ban Shugden, TYC barked!)
“As for the term “commoner”, all it means is someone who is not a noble.”
Oh, you mean he was a “commoner” like Kate Middleton??!! LOL! OK. Fine. No, he’s still from a family of powerful people. You don’t have to be a “noble” to be powerful!!!
Hell, when most exile kids were going to “free schools” and religious schools in exile community (with bad conditions, if at all), He was able to PAY for his own school costs OUTSIDE of the Exile Community!!
(Hell, a lot of Indian kids in that part couldn’t even afford those schools in 1968!)
Yeah, I would say, he’s from a pretty powerful family. He was akin to be able to afford a private school in his childhood. There is no way he was the “son of commoners”!!
“TYC is the loyal opposition of DL”???
One might as well call the Tea Party the “Loyal opposition” of the Republican Party.
(Might as well also call the CCP as the “loyal opposition” of Deng, or vice versa, since at least at 1 point, CCP actually had Deng put in jail for advocating reform and market economy!! Seriously, market economy is VERY different from Communism/socialism, and in contrast, there is not that much difference between “autonomy” and “independence”).
Even TYC has always maintained (or explained), DL’s “autonomy” was a mere hint for Tibetans to return to Tibet “and continue to struggle for independence from within”!!! (This was well written by numerous TYC leaders in the past). CLEARLY, the TYC does not see itself as an “opposition”, but rather an EXTENSION of DL’s policies!!
DL isn’t enough of a hardliner for TYC?! Really! I never seen TYC criticize DL as “soft” on China.
Yeah, it might be “relative”, but if TYC is about as “opposition” as they have in TGIE, then there is not much of any kind of opposition.
(Well, I guess the real opposition would be the Shugden followers, who are banned from the TGIE, so much for that “relativity”).
C. Custer says
What suspicions did I not offer evidence for? Let me know and I’ll gladly fill you in.
As for where the burden of proof lies, it lies with the person who makes a claim. Your claim was that NPR has a widely-accepted history of anti-China bias. But without evidence, that claim is worthless.
For example, I could say that it was a widely-accepted fact that China murders puppies and feeds them to oil companies. Then, when you asked me to provide evidence, I could just “whatever I’m not obliged to prove anything to you because I don’t like you.”
Indeed, you’re not obliged to provide evidence for anything you say. Of course, having evidence — or not — affects the way other people judge your argument and how persuasive you are, but I doubt you really care about that, so….rock on.
Your post #3,
“I’m inclined to suspect that incompetence rather than sinister plotting was the cause of that, but to each his own.”
Go ahead, fill it up on your P*ss cup there, I’m waiting.
You made the claim, proof lies with you!!
C. Custer says
I’m not claiming anything there, just stating a suspicion that I have. I never intended it as an argumentative claim; that’s why the next sentence is “to each his own.”
(If you don’t know what that means, it means “everyone has their own take on [this issue].” In this context it’s a signifier that I’m not going to argue that particular “claim”, because it’s just a suspicion, not something I could support with evidence.)
Oh I see, when you say “suspicion”, you are NOT making any arguments at all.
FINE. you are not making arguments at all with any of your suspicions. You just randomly point your suspicions all over the place without any facts.
Glad we cleared that up.
“I’m not claiming anything there, just stating a suspicion that I have. I never intended it as an argumentative claim; that’s why the next sentence is “to each his own.””
Some would call that straight PARANOIA!!
“That’s what Reuters was also doing in that other article, and that’s what NPR is doing here, although you’re right that their use of “Tibet” in that last quote is wrong. I’m inclined to suspect that incompetence rather than sinister plotting was the cause of that, but to each his own.”
Which means, this entire paragraph means nothing at all. 🙂 I don’t know what you have been arguing then.
BTW, the funniest bit I have read recently, is how Lobsang Sanjay (now the secular leader/puppet head of TGIE/TCA) compared himself as the “Obama of China”.
He explained later during his campaign that he expressed the hope that some day a Tibetan can become the President of China.
*I find his hope to be admirable, statistically more unlikely (but still admirable). African Americans account for 10% of US population, and it took them more than 200 years to achieve this. Tibetans account for maybe 0.5% of China’s population, 6 million out of 1.2 billion, 1 out of 200.
Statistically, his hope has a low probability.
*But his comparison apparently hit a nerve in some Tibetans in Exile.
He didn’t say “Obama of Tibet”, because it wouldn’t make sense. The “Obama of China” would mean that it would be against the “Middle Way” of DL, and against the Preservation of Tibetan culture.
Because effectively, if China is like US, there would be NO minority aid from the government, no “Tibetan autonomous regions/counties/prefectures”, No limitation of any kind on Han Chinese migration.
(And they complain it’s bad now, apparently, Lobsang Sangay is suggesting a “total equality”.)
*Hence, the problem. Tibetans in Exile can’t have it both ways. They can’t open up and develop UNLESS they open up Tibet completely, and it would effectively destroy the Tibetan “culture”.
And that of course, comes straight from a Tibetan who has been educated in the West.
The Irony of this is, it’s not surprise, MANY of the most educated Tibetans, while brandishing the rhetorics of preservation of Tibetan “culture”, cannot see a way for that “culture” to survive, unless they seal off Tibet and hold it back to the Theocratic Era permanently.
It sounds like Lobsang Sangay has no better solutions either.
*BTW, the “draft”/unreleased version of the new Constitution of the TGIE/TCA, still grants DL the authority to “guide” the cabinet members and the assembly of representatives.
Which is odd, considering that the PM/Kalon Tripa is supposed to pass and promulgate the laws. How does he do so, if the Cabinet is still reporting to DL?
(And there are still rumors of scandals around Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay: (1) he didn’t pay the “greenbook” taxes required for Tibetans in Exile for 15 years in US, (2) he had a Chinese girlfriend in Harvard, when he was married to a Nepalese wife, (3) he overstayed in US without returning to India to fulfill mandatory community service. etc.)
All of these controversies are supposedly explained away by some recently released documents (some a little late on dates, for example, instead of releasing actual financial statements of his “greenbook” payments, the TGIE released a letter, announcing that he fulfilled his payments. What? No bank accounts for all 15 years?)
Not that I would say any of the candidates are better or cleaner. It’s all mudslinging/p*ssing contest.
But you can hear the palpable dissatisfaction online among many Tibetans, who know the kind of corruptions in the Exile community, ie. many of the well connected, escape to US/Europe, don’t pay their “greenbook” taxes, etc.
Thanks for the update, raventhorn2000. I do find it interesting too that amongst the educated exiles, they converse in English more fluently than Tibetan. In fact, except for Tibetan language and Buddhism, all subjects – history, science, math, etc. – are taught in English, with English text books, in the exile community in Dharamsala. My Tibetan guide who spent 9 years in exile told me that…
Most of the Tibetan blogs run in English. Virtually everything is translated.
Which also make you wonder why they didn’t translate the “Draft New Constitution”, and put that up.
And another thing, new Kalon Tripa Lobsang Sangay, went to an Indian school outside of the Exile Community, then onto US for education. Does he even know how to read the “Draft New Constitution” only written in Tibetan?
Regarding the “Obama of Tibet” thing – would half Tibetan, half Han count? I wonder… Or does it have to be pure “Tibetan” – whatever that means.
Although the Tibetan Constitution for Exiles since the 1980’s have stated that any person with at least 1 Tibetan parent would be considered Tibetan, I would not be surprised that in reality, the practice is far more discriminatory, judging from the reaction of Tibetans about Lobsang Sanjay’s “Nepalese wife” and his “Chinese girlfriend”.
(not that any of such allegations were true, but merely the fact that the Tibetans in Exile were throwing these ethnic labels around as insults to smear one of their own, is enough to show the kind of racial discrimination in the Exile Community, and how rampant it is).
Why were these labels so insulting?! Surely, a Tibetan having a Nepalese wife is hardly a controversy. Afterall, Tibet and Nepal share quite a bit of cultural similarities, and Nepal actually gave refuge to the Exile Tibetans when they left Tibet in 1959, and Nepal still is a passage way for Tibetans to periodically leave Tibet!!
One would think that Exile Tibetans would be a little more grateful to the Nepalese, (even if the Nepal government are sometimes yielding to the Chinese demands).
*There is a dark side of Tibetan Independence, that is “independence” and “autonomy” are codewords for ethnic and religious purity.
That is why having a “Nepalese wife” is an insult in Tibetan Exile Community, and the Shugdens were ex-communicated.
Otto Kerner says
I would caution readers not to take things like this very seriously from raventhorn, since he doesn’t necessarily know very much about the things he talks about. For instance, you are being asked to believe that he knows a lot about Tibetan blogs in various languages so as to judge whether or not most of them are in English.
As far as I know, the Central Tibetan Administration conducts all of its business in Tibetan. I don’t know off the top of my head whether Lobsang Sangay is capable of reading the charter in Tibetan, but I will bet you $500 USD that he can.
I would also caution readers not to take my words seriously, because frankly, all I can find in English are the political gossips in the Tibetan Exile Community, and not the “Draft New Constitution”.
Of course, political gossips are not the real Tibetan Exile Government, however, like in most places, gossips ARE the business of blogs.
I’ll leave it to the Tibetan blogs to decide whether they believe Lobsang Sangay can read Tibetan. That’s not my business to question their gossips, such as his “Nepalese wife” and his “Chinese girlfriend”.
About whether a half Han Chinese and Tibetan Chinese would do for an Obama of China – taking into account the statistical differences between % of ethnic Tibetans in China and % of black Americans in America – I also wonder whether if this half Han Chinese and Tibetan Chinese president would work as an Obama of China if he / she attended Chinese schools (not exile schools; Obama graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School – the most elite of American educational institutions) – rising through Chinese establishments (through the CCP catering to the Chinese middle; Obama rose through the Democratic party playing to the American middle (emphasizing on national prosperity, national defense, and most important national unity)).
Would that really work?
Otto Kerner says
Woeser is, I think, 3/4 Han by ancestry. Woeser for president!
Hey, I’m about 1/8 non-Han (probably European Jewish), and some portion of me Polynesian.
ME for President!!
And correction Woeser is 1/4 Han by ancestry.
And “Tibetan”, the term itself is somewhat dubious, because TGIE/TCA have different definition of “Tibetan” than ROC and PRC had.
PRC specifically listed minority groups such as Sherpa as distinct from “Tibetan”, while TGIE classified Sherpas as part of “Tibetans” (this was according to TGIE/TCA’s own websites, who used this as another evidence that China is trying to destroy Tibetan culture by division. However, Nepal also list Sherpa as separate ethnic group).
Again, TGIE/TCA’s definitions are often based upon their claims of “Historical Greater Tibetan Empire”, even when it comes to ethnic groups.
In view of the swearing-in of the new Kalon Tripa (Chief Kalon) Lobsang Sangay, a historical reminder of the Kashag (the Council or the Cabinet), of which the Kalon Tripa is head of.
“The Kashag was the governing council of Tibet during Qing Dynasty and Republic of China. It was set by Qianlong Emperor in 1751.”
On the subject of Lobsang Sangay’s Tibetan language skills: (From Exiles’ blog).
“It is stupid, too, because almost everybody knows that his Tibetan is inadequate. This is no disgrace, but especially as Kalon Tripa, he will be hard put to argue convincingly that China is repressing Tibetan culture and language, while everything is thriving and blooming in the freedom of exile, if he himself isn’t even able to write an essay in acceptable Tibetan.”
Otto Kerner says
That’s correct. The actual historical record is always more complicated than the partisans of any particular position would like to believe. Chinese/Qing involvement in Tibetan politics was considerable in the 18th century, but very limited in the 17th and 19th centuries, as well as, of course, in the first half of the 20th century. In 1751, the Tibetan government was reorganized at the command of the Qing emperor following an anti-Qing coup in Tibet. The 7th Dalai Lama was also restored to a certain amount of power at the same time the Kashag was created, after having been almost entirely sidelined during the preceding period. It’s also interesting to note that the 5th Dalai Lama had originally come to power largely on the basis of Mongol military intervention, and his Mongol sponsor held the title “King of Tibet”.
The 17th-20th century, regardless of the relativity of Chinese influence in Tibet, that’s still almost 4 centuries, where China created the central body of Tibetan governance.
That’s the history. That’s not independence of Tibet.
Otto Kerner says
raventhorn, your post is a good example of someone trying to simplify the historical record on the basis of a political bias. As you said initially, the Kashag was created in 1751, not in the 17th century. The relationship between China and Tibet in the Qing period is too complicated to be glossed simply as “independent” or “not independent”.
Otto, I only try to simplify for those who want the simplified version. I gave the link, people can read it for themselves if they want to.
And yes, it is complicated.
What’s not complicated, is that the TGIE still has the Kashag, which was created by China, NOT by the DL’s.
DL admits that he was a “hypocrite all these years” for holding spiritual and political responsibilities together in spite of knowing that these two matters should be separate.
Good admission. Yes, He was a “hypocrite” all the way back when he left for Exile for the EXACT same reason, to hold “spiritual and political responsibilities together in spite of knowing that these two matters should be separate.”
DL is saddened by UK riot.
Funny, he wasn’t very saddened when his own banning of Shugden sect caused a riot in India and forced Indian Police to impose curfew on a whole town.
This comment from Naqshbandiyya (https://hiddenharmonies.org/2011/08/a-singaporean-view-on-racial-harmony/#comment-43415) is a good follow up to my anecdotal knowledge.
Following up on comment #41,
I don’t think a Tibetan Obama of China would work for many exiles.
See, e.g., http://sites.google.com/site/tibetanpoliticalreview/project-updates/areweelectingtherightman, which raventhorn2000 had linked earlier in comment #46
Well, it’s too late now, they are stuck with him, along with all the extra Obama-style blue red head portraits.
It’s so cheesy, that the cheesiness threatens to commit Cultural Genocide on the Tibetans all over the world single-handedly.
DL at least had expensive but good taste in watches and shoes. LS will just copy/pirate out-dated Western political slogans.
Black Pheonix says
Time to REvisit:
So, where is that “new Constitution” now??!!
If you clicked on that “draft new constitution”/charter page, it comes up “page not found”.
If you go to their “constitution page”: http://tibet.net/about-cta/constitution/
You get a reference to the “1991” version of the Constitution. (Which if you clicked, also comes up “page not found”).
OK, MORE than 2 years now, since that Harvard grad “lawyers” Lobsang took over as the “head” of the “new” government.
where is the F*ing new Constitution??!
Why am I not surprised??!
Black Pheonix says
Budget Problem and Empty Purse of the TGIE.
Scandal? Apparently, some just found out that someone has been cooking the books in TGIE.
“This year he increased the budget-the biggest ever- and raised as he claimed, for the stipends for poor, scholarships to the students, pay to the staff, medical allowances for the sick and BONUS!”
BtW, the “HE” here is Lobsang Sangay.
The Force of Corruption is strong with that one!