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Black and White Cat › Separatism and Tibet
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Separatism and Tibet

I’ve been waiting for the article below to be published before reproducing it here with permission from the writer Barry Sautman, Associate Professor of social science at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. A slightly shorter version appeared in Monday’s edition of the Straits Times.

Protests in Tibet and Separatism: the Olympics and Beyond
Barry Sautman

Recent protests in Lhasa and other Tibetan areas were organized to embarrass the Chinese government ahead of the Olympics. The Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC), the major Tibetan exile organization that advocates independence for Tibet and has endorsed using violent methods to achieve it, has said as much. Its head, Tsewang Rigzin, stated in a March 15 interview with the Chicago Tribune that since it is likely that Chinese authorities would suppress protests in Tibet, “With the spotlight on them with the Olympics, we want to test them. We want them to show their true colors. That’s why we’re pushing this.” At the June, 2007 Conference for an Independent Tibet organized in India by “Friends of Tibet,” speakers pointed out that the Olympics present a unique opportunity for protests in Tibet. In January, 2008, exiles in India launched a “Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement” to “act in the spirit” of the violent 1959 uprising against Chinese government authority and focus on the Olympics.

Several groups of Tibetans were likely involved in the protests in Lhasa, including in the burning and looting of non-Tibetan businesses and attacks against Han and Hui (Muslim Chinese) migrants to Tibet. The large monasteries have long been centers of separatism, a stance cultivated by the TYC and other exile entities, many of which are financed by the US State Department or the US Congress’ National Endowment for Democracy. Monks are self-selected to be especially devoted to the Dalai Lama. However much he may characterize his own position as seeking only greater autonomy for Tibet, monks know he is unwilling to declare that Tibet is an inalienable part of China, an act China demands of him as a precondition to formal negotiations. Because the exile regime eschews a separation of politics and religion, many monks deem adherence to the Dalai Lama’s stance of non-recognition of the Chinese government’s legitimacy in Tibet to be a religious obligation.

Reports on the violence have underscored that Tibetan merchants competing with Han and Hui are especially antagonistic to the presence of non-Tibetans. Alongside monks, Tibetan merchants were the mainstay of protests in Lhasa in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This time around, many Han and Hui-owned shops were torched. Many of those involved in arson, looting, and ethnic-based beatings are also likely to have been unemployed young men. Towns have experienced much rural-to-urban migration of Tibetans with few skills needed for urban employment. Videos from Lhasa showed the vast majority of rioters were males in their teens or twenties.

The recent actions in Tibetan areas differ from the broad-based demonstrations of “people power” movements in several parts of the world in the last few decades. They hardly show the overwhelming Tibetan anti-Chinese consensus portrayed in the international media. The highest media estimate of Tibetans who participated in protests is 20,000 — by Steve Chao, the Beijing Bureau Chief of Canadian Television News, i.e. one of every 300 Tibetans. Compare that to the 1986 protests against the Marcos dictatorship by about three million — one out of every 19 Filipinos.

Tibetans have legitimate grievances about not being sufficiently helped to compete for jobs and in business with migrants to Tibet. There is also job discrimination by Han migrants in favor of family members and people from their native places. The gaps in education and living standards between Tibetans and Han are substantial and too slow in narrowing. The grievances have long existed, but protests and rioting took place this year because the Olympics make it opportune for separatists to advance their agenda. Indeed, there was a radical disconnect between Tibetan socio-economic grievances and the slogans raised in the protests, such as “Complete Independence for Tibet” and “May the exiles and Tibetans inside Tibet be reunited,” slogans that not coincidentally replicate those raised by pro-independence Tibetan exiles.

While separatists will not succeed in detaching Tibet from China by rioting, they believe that China will eventually collapse, like the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and they seek to establish their claim to rule before that happens. Alternatively, they think that the United States may intervene, as it has elsewhere, to foster the breakaway of regions in countries to which the US is antagonistic, e.g. Kosovo and southern Sudan. The Chinese government also fears such eventualities, however unlikely they are to come to pass. It accordingly acts to suppress separatism, an action that comports with its rights under international law.

Separatists know they can count on the automatic sympathy of Western politicians and media, who view China as a strategic economic and political competitor. Western elites have thus widely condemned China for suppressing riots that these elites would never allow to go unsuppressed in their own countries. They demand that China be restrained in its response; yet, during the Los Angeles uprising or riots of 1992 — which spread to a score of other major cities — President George H.W. Bush stated when he sent in thousands of soldiers, that “There can be no excuse for the murder, arson, theft or vandalism that have terrorized the people of Los Angeles . . . Let me assure you that I will use whatever force is necessary to restore order.” Neither Western politicians nor mainstream media attacked him on this score, while neither Western leaders nor the Dalai Lama have criticized those Tibetans who recently engaged in ethnic-based attacks and arson.

Western elites give the Chinese government no recognition for significant improvements in the lives of Tibetans as a result of subsidies from the China’s central government and provinces, improvements that the Dalai Lama has himself admitted. Western politicians and media also consistently credit the Dalai Lama’s charge that “cultural genocide” is underway in Tibet, even though the exiles and their supporters offer no credible evidence of the evisceration of Tibetan language use, religious practice or art. In fact, more than 90% of Tibetans speak Tibetan as their mother tongue. Tibet has about 150,000 monks and nuns, the highest concentration of full-time “clergy” in the Buddhist world. Western scholars of Tibetan literature and art forms have attested that it is flourishing.

Ethnic contradictions in Tibet arise from the demography, economy and politics of the Tibetan areas. Separatists and their supporters claim that Han Chinese have been “flooding” into Tibet, “swamping” Tibetans demographically. In fact, between the national censuses of 1990 and 2000 (which count everyone who has lived in an area for six months or more), the percentage of Tibetans in the Tibetan areas as a whole increased somewhat and Han were about one-fifth of the population. A preliminary analysis of the 2005 mini-census shows that from 2000-2005 there was a small increase in the proportion of Han in the central-western parts of Tibet (the Tibet Autonomous Region or TAR) and little change in eastern Tibet. Pro-independence forces want the Tibetan areas cleansed of Han (as happened in 1912 and 1949); the Dalai Lama has said he will accept a three-to-one Tibetan to non-Tibet population ratio, but he consistently misrepresents the present situation as one of a Han majority. Given his status as not merely the top Tibetan Buddhist religious leader, but as an emanation of Buddha, most Tibetans credit whatever he says on this or other topics.

The Tibetan countryside, where three-fourths of the population lives, has very few non-Tibetans. The vast majority of Han migrants to Tibetan towns are poor or near-poor. They are not personally subsidized by the state; although like urban Tibetans, they are indirectly subsidized by infrastructure development that favors the towns. Some 85% of Han who migrate to Tibet to establish businesses fail; they generally leave within two to three years. Those who survive economically offer competition to local Tibetan business people, but a comprehensive study in Lhasa has shown that non-Tibetans have pioneered small and medium enterprise sectors that some Tibetans have later entered and made use of their local knowledge to prosper.

Tibetans are not simply an underclass; there is a substantial Tibetan middle class, based in government service, tourism, commerce, and small-scale manufacturing/ transportation. There are also many unemployed or under-employed Tibetans, but almost no unemployed or underemployed Han because those who cannot find work leave. Many Han migrants have racist attitudes toward Tibetans, mostly notions that Tibetans are lazy, dirty, and obsessed with religion. Many Tibetans reciprocate with representations of Han as rich, money-obsessed and conspiring to exploit Tibetans. Long-resident urban Tibetans absorb aspects of Han culture in much the same way that ethnic minorities do with ethnic majority cultures the world over. Tibetans are not however being forcibly “Sincized.” Most Tibetans speak little or no Chinese. They begin to learn it in the higher primary grades and, in many Tibetan areas, must study in it if they go on to secondary education. Chinese, however, is one of the two most important languages in the world and considerable advantages accrue to those who learn it, just as they do to non-native English speakers.

The Tibetan exiles argue that religious practice is sharply restricted in Tibetan areas. The Chinese government has the right under international law to regulate religious institutions to prevent them from being used as vehicles for separatism and the control of religion is in fact mostly a function of the state’s (overly-developed) concern about separatism and secondarily about how the hyper-development of religious institutions counteracts “development” among ethnic Tibetans. Certain state policies do infringe on freedom of religion; for example, the forbidding, in the TAR (Tibet Autonomous Region), of state employees and university students to participate in religious rites. The lesser degree of control over religion in the eastern Tibetan areas beyond the TAR– at least before the events of March, 2008 — indicate however that the Chinese government calibrates its control according to the perceived degree of separatist sentiment in the monasteries.

The Dalai Lama’s regime was of course itself a theocracy that closely regulated the monasteries, including the politics, hierarchy and number of monks. The exile authorities today circumscribe by fiat those religious practices they oppose, such as the propitiation of a “deity” known as Dorje Shugden. The cult of the Dalai Lama, which is even stronger among monks than it is among Hollywood stars, nevertheless mandates acceptance of his claim that restrictions on religious management and practice in Tibet arise solely from the Chinese state’s supposed anti-religious animus. Similarly, the cult requires the conviction that the Dalai Lama is a pacifist, even though he has explicitly or implicitly endorsed all wars waged by the US.

The Dalai Lama is a Tibetan ethnic nationalist whose worldview is — in US terms — both liberal and conservative. He and many of his foreign supporters have a pronounced affinity for conservative politicians, such as Bush, Thatcher, Lee Teng-hui and Ishihara Shintaro, but they can get along well with liberals like US Speaker Nancy Pelosi, because they are virulently anti-communist and anti-China.

The Dalai Lama is far from being a supporter of oppressed peoples. For example, in 2002, when he visited Australia, the Dalai Lama, upon arriving in Melbourne, noted “he had flown over ‘a large empty area’ of Australia that could house millions of people from other densely populated continents.” The area is, of course, not wholly empty, as it contains Aborigines. To them, the Dalai Lama proffered the advice that “black people ‘should appreciate what white people have brought to this country, its development.’” (R. Callick, “Dalai Lama Treads Fine Line,” Australian Financial Review, May 22, 2002).

The development of the “market economy” has had much the same effect in Tibetan areas as in the rest of China, i.e. increased exploitation, exacerbated income and wealth differentials, and rampant corruption. The degree to which this involves an “ethnic division of labor” that disadvantages Tibetans is however exaggerated by separatists in order to foster ethnic antagonism. For example, Tibet is not the poorest area of China, as is often claimed. It is better off than several other ethnic minority areas and even than some Han areas, in large measure due to heavy government subsidies. Rural Tibetans as well receive more state subsidies than other minorities. The exile leaders employ hyperbole not only in terms of the degree of empirical difference, but also concerning the more fundamental ethnic relationship in Tibet: in contrast to, say, Israel/Palestine, Tibetans have the same rights as Han, they enjoy certain preferential economic and social policies, and about half the top party leaders in the TAR have been ethnic Tibetans.

Tibet has none of the indicia of a colony or occupied territory and thus has no relationship to self-determination, a concept that in recent decades has often been misused, especially by the US, to foster the breakup of states and consequent emiseration of their populations. A settlement between the Chinese government and Tibetan exile elites is a pre-condition for the mitigation of Tibetan grievances because absent a settlement, ethnic politics will continue to subsume every issue in Tibet, as it does for example, in Taiwan and Kosovo, where ethnic binaries are constructed by “ethnic political entrepreneurs,” who seek to outbid each other for support.

The protests in Tibet had no progressive aspect. Many who participated in the ethnic murders, beatings and arsons in Lhasa were poor rural migrants to the city, but the slogans there and elsewhere in Tibet almost all concerned independence or the Dalai Lama. There have been many movements the world over in which marginalized people have taken a reactionary and often racist road, for example, al-Qaeda or much of the base of the Nazis. The riots in Tibet also have done nothing to advance discussions of a political settlement between the Chinese government and exiles, yet a settlement is necessary for the substantial mitigation of Tibetan grievances. For Tibetan pro-independence forces, a setback to such efforts may have been their very purpose in fostering the riots. Tibetan pro-independence forces, like separatists everywhere, seek to counter any view of the world that is not ethnic-based and to thwart all efforts to resolve ethnic contradictions, in order to boost the mobilization needed to sustain their ethnic nationalist projects. They have claimed that China will soon collapse and the US will thereafter increase its patronage of a Tibetan state elite, to the benefit of ordinary Tibetans. One only has to look round the world at the many humanitarian catastrophes that have resulted from such thinking to project what consequences are likely to follow for ordinary Tibetans if the separatist fantasy were fulfilled.

162 Comments

  1. tarinxx3 wrote:

    An excellent article. Objective and informative. Kudos!!

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 2:39 pm | Permalink
  2. Phil wrote:

    Strong argumentation. I could pick at a couple of points, but the key isn’t in the detail here. The key is: Tibetan people (in general) regard themselves as a natural group, defined by their ethnicity and religion. A very large number of those Tibetans regard Chinese rule over Tibet as unjustified and tyrannical.
    I’m sure the author has a point when he says that Tibetans’ human rights are comparable to those enjoyed by the Han (for what that’s worth), and that the economy is developing; perhaps compared to other separatist groups, the Tibetans are not particularly badly treated.
    But in saying this, the author completely ignores the Tibetans’ *political rights*. Politically, the position of (as I understand it) the vast majority of Tibetans is clear: they want the DL in charge. But they are denied any opportunity to express this political desire.
    And quite what this guy means when he says China has the “right to suppress separatism” I don’t know. International law is weak, and where it allows states to “suppress” their own citizens, it’s wrong. International law is important, but it’s not a good basis for morality.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
  3. Ny wrote:

    I had similar thoughts in another forum :

    http://www.centurychina.com/plaboard/posts/3796540.shtml

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  4. Amban wrote:

    This is a very weak article, full of half-truths and innuendos. “Tibetans have the same rights as Han” and there are equal amount of Tibetan and Han leaders in TAR? Do Tibetans have the right to higher education in their native tongue? No. And why has every party secretary in TAR except one been Han Chinese since 1951? More later. “Tibet has none of the indicia of a colony or occupied territory and thus has no relationship to self-determination” Really? What about this: prior to 1951, Tibet has never been subject to Han Chinese rule. Today, Han Chinese dominate every aspect of Tibet’s politics, economy and administration. Chinese is the language in which things gets done. If that’s colonial, what’s is colonial?

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 7:26 pm | Permalink
  5. tarinxx3 wrote:

    To Amban,

    If there is no higher education in tibetan native tongue, is there anyone stopping tibetans from setting up one? Tibetans are quick to put blame on others for their own failure to help themselves.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 9:28 pm | Permalink
  6. Richard wrote:

    Bonkers. All you have to do is ask “What settlement is China offering?” and “Why, given their total control, has China failed to win over the Tibetan people given their extensive control?” and all the other arguments - less arguments, actually, than a random assortment of facts, suppositions, prejudices, dubious claims and unexamined comparisons - fall apart.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 9:39 pm | Permalink
  7. tarinxx3 wrote:

    Richard,
    China may have extensive control but that’s not total control. That’s why the monasteries and remote areas remain main breeding grounds for dissent.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 10:43 pm | Permalink
  8. Dan wrote:

    I can forgive my Chinese friends for their unwavering faith in the Party line on Tibet - for 3 generations they have been told what to think on the subject and access to alternative viewpoints is blocked. However I am assuming “Barry” is not Chinese and has chosen to write this nonsense for personal advancement. Maybe he’ll now be invited on CCTV9’s wonderfully balanced Dialogue program to explain his insights: “So Barry, please explain to the audience why the DL is in essence a Nazi……….”

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 11:38 pm | Permalink
  9. Amban wrote:

    “If there is no higher education in tibetan native tongue, is there anyone stopping tibetans from setting up one?”

    You bet there is. Anything that matters in Tibet is done in Chinese, which disadvantages Tibetans and favors Han Chinese. Not long ago, there were protests among Tibetans students against a decision to only award 2 out 100 advertised government jobs to Tibetans. One of the major required qualifications for these jobs was proficiency in Chinese. I wonder what Prof. Sautman has to say about that.

    Don’t get me wrong, proficiency in Chinese is a useful skill, just as knowledge in English. But this is a one way street as far as Tibetans are concerned. Could you mention a single major party boss in Tibet who has been able to speak Tibetan? Does Hu Jintao speak Tibetan?

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm | Permalink
  10. Philly wrote:

    Amban,
    In regards to rights, you need to clearly define this. For example, find me the law that guarantees the right to have higher education in people’s native tongue? Do people in Fujian have this ‘right’? For me, it’s more of a convenience as opposed to a right. However, it wouldn’t be bad if it did happen but ultimately, for their future’s sake, they need to learn Mandarin and perhaps English to succeed in this global economy. Also, I don’t really see anything wrong with the practice of needing to know Mandarin as a requirement for the government jobs. First and foremost, it’s a government job :-) In America, you won’t find us hiring people who didn’t know English.
    This practice happens everywhere in China, which is not necessarily a bad thing because it unifies communication. In Guangdong, people speak Cantonese but everything governmental is spoken in Mandarin. This also alludes to another thing, Han people all speak their own dialects, indistinguishable from the next. In your post you use ‘Chinese’ as if it’s one language, or that’s my impression.

    “What about this: prior to 1951, Tibet has never been subject to Han Chinese rule.”
    Hehehe, I like this statement. However, you are splitting hairs when you talk exclusively about Han rule, which is a race, not a type of government. Here is a quick fly by of Chinese ‘rule’ for those who are not familiar: Yuan was de facto, Ming was de jure, Qing was de facto, ROC was de jure but to be fair, with an exception of a few provinces in China, most of the land the ROC claimed was under the control of local ‘warlords’. As you can see, this issue is VERY complex.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 1:12 am | Permalink
  11. JRB wrote:

    Dan, it is condesending and patronising attitudes like yours (forgive my Chinese friends?) that shows your true colours.

    And no Barry is not Chinese if you bothered to look at his surname and where he works he has no desire or need to suck up to the Chinese government.

    It is interesting that you have provided absolutely 0 counter viewpoints to this article yet dismiss it with empty contempt and at best humorous rhetoric.

    And no where in the above article did the author ever link DL to Nazis…you have removed your tin foil hat right?

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 2:16 am | Permalink
  12. Amban wrote:

    @Philly

    Whatever you want to call it, prior to 1951 Tibetan was the language of society, culture and government in Tibet. Today that is not the fact and no one has asked the Tibetans what they think about that. Perhaps that doesn’t matter to you, but then I don’t really know on what basis we can continue any discussion.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 11:30 am | Permalink
  13. nanheyangrouchuan wrote:

    “And quite what this guy means when he says China has the “right to suppress separatism” I don’t know. International law is weak, and where it allows states to “suppress” their own citizens, it’s wrong. International law is important, but it’s not a good basis for morality”

    Is this the same international law being applied to help the Palestinians achieve statehood? Or help Macedonia secede from Greece? Or supporting Quebec’s right to hold referendums to leave Canada? Kosovo anyone?

    Oh, but every MNC and second rate company in the world is up to its armpits in China, so everyone marches to the beat of big commie.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Permalink
  14. Dan wrote:

    JRB:”Many who participated in the ethnic murders, beatings and arsons in Lhasa were poor rural migrants to the city, but the slogans there and elsewhere in Tibet almost all concerned independence or the Dalai Lama. There have been many movements the world over in which marginalized people have taken a reactionary and often racist road, for example, al-Qaeda or much of the base of the Nazis.” The intention is clearly to smear the Tibetans by equating their actions to those of the Nazis.

    Re: “Forgiveness” - how else should one react when confronted by the hatred manufactured against the DL, Chen SB, the Japanese? If I had been reared in the Chinese education system and relied on the Chinese media for my understanding of the world I would most certainly feel the same way. Forgiveness is difficult, but appropriate.

    Re: Counter viewpoints, sadly no time for a full rebutal so lets just take one line “Tibet has none of the indicia of a colony or occupied territory” ?! - a militarily weak ethnic group living in a geographically distinct region with a seperate written and spoken language, history, architecture, culture, religion, food, dress, customs - conquered and then controlled by a militarily stronger group of outsiders who differ from them on all the above. Do you think Tibetans would vote for this state of affairs? I suspect not - people want their rulers to at the very least speak to them in their own language.

    Of course Tibet is a colony. The question is can Tibetan culture survive the colonisation? The key is language - as long as the settlers from outside have no requirement/incentive to educate their children in Tibetan, I see little hope. On present policies they will be heading the way of most card-carrying ethnic Manchus/Mongols/// etc I meet in China - unable to speak/read a word of Manchurian/Mongolian///etc - culturally indistinguishable from their peers.

    Is this a bad thing? Yes I think it is. The world is a small enough place without eradicating the remaining linguistic and cultural diversity we have.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 2:31 pm | Permalink
  15. Mike wrote:

    An interesting article, however it is lacking in terms of references and footnotes, which in turn makes many of the points difficult to swallow for a non-expert.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  16. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    proficiency in Chinese is a useful skill, just as knowledge in English. But this is a one way street as far as Tibetans are concerned.
    What a ridicuoulse statement. Every single country in the world has to have a lingua franca. You need English in India to get ahead. Maori and Aborigines also need English to get ahead in their respective countries. So do Native Americans in the US and Canada. The fact is the Chinese government has fostered Tibetan language education to the extent that many Tibetans now lack Mandarin skills to be able to get ahead.

    there is a two-track school system in Tibet, with one track using standard Chinese and the other teaching in the Tibetan language. Students can choose which system to attend. (The same dual system is used in Xinjiang and other provinces with large non-Han populations.) One negative side effect of this policy, which is designed to protect and maintain minority cultures, has been reinforcement of a segregated society. Under this separate educational system, those graduating from schools taught in languages other than standard Chinese are at a disadvantage in competing for jobs in government and business, which require good spoken Chinese. These graduates must take remedial language instruction before attending universities and colleges. US State Department. http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/bureaus/eap/950907WiedemannTibet.html

    The Chinese are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 9:03 pm | Permalink
  17. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    There is not ONE country in the world which does more to preserve minority cultures than China. Dual education systems for Uighurs, Tibetans, MOngolians and other minorities, enforced bilingualism. What is the US and Canadian record with respect to the indigenous peoples. Far far worse than the Chinese.

    White people: get out of Canada, America, Australia and New Zealand before you condemn China for Tibet.

    Tibet is an inalienable part of China. China has more right to Tibet than whites have to be in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand. This is absolutely indisputable. Anyone who thinks otherwise - provide your justify your point of view.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
  18. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    Han Chinese are about 10 to 20% of population of Tibet, and westerners call that genocide. What then is 3% Native Americans, 2% aboriginal Australians then called?

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  19. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    Even the US has long accepted Tibet to be part of China - even well before the 1950 liberation:

    The United States considers the Tibet Autonomous Region or TAR (hereinafter referred to as “Tibet”) as part of the People’s Republic of China. This longstanding policy is consistent with the view of the entire international community, including all China’s neighbors: no country recognizes Tibet as a sovereign state. Moreover, U.S. acceptance of China’s claim of sovereignty over Tibet predates the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. In 1942, we told the Nationalist Chinese government then headquartered in Chongqing (Chungking) that we had “at no time raised (a) question” over Chinese claims to Tibet.
    US State Department. http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/bureaus/eap/950907WiedemannTibet.html

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
  20. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    Is this a bad thing? Yes I think it is. The world is a small enough place without eradicating the remaining linguistic and cultural diversity we have.

    Dan where do you come from. If it is the US, how much have you done to help preserve Native American customs, culture and language?

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 9:11 pm | Permalink
  21. Dan wrote:

    Yes thanks Mongol Warrior - there are parallels with the cultural genocide inflicted on the New Worlds by European colonizers. That’s the point. Let’s do what we can in our own life times in the part of the world where we are both living (I assume?) to stop it happening again.

    The children of migrants to Tibet and Xinjiang should be taught the native languages and a level of fluency should be a requirement for government positions. Only then will the languages have a chance of surviving.

    Check out the Swiss model - some food for thought in how they deal with linguistic diversity.

    Channel your anger in the right direction. You seem to have over-dosed on “patriotic education” at some stage and are stuck in a nationalistic intellectual rut. Calm down, and think things through from first principles.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 11:52 pm | Permalink
  22. Philly wrote:

    Amban,
    I disagree with your assertion that Tibetan is no longer the language of Tibetan culture and society. I have a family member who went to Tibet for a pilgrimage and what she said is that the Tibetan language is still king.
    Because of the education system, some are bi-lingual in mandarin but there is no doubt Tibetan is the dominate language. Bare in mind, more Tibetans speak and write Tibetan in absolute and relative terms than every before.

    And this leads to my other point. I believe preservation of culture is important. However, preservation of culture in the guise of keeping a culture homogeneous is not a good thing, it’s racist.

    I hear the Tibetan argument about “cultural intrusion” all the time, but it’s not from Tibetans, it’s from White people telling Blacks and Mexicans to “go home”. And yes, they use the euphemism “cultural preservation” all the time. However, because the pleas are levied against “big bad old communist china”, our biases start to kick in.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 12:37 am | Permalink
  23. Xiaolin wrote:

    Regarding the “higher education” in Tibet. I guess not many people here know that the vocabulary for math, physics, and all other modern science in Tibetan almost does not exist. So all the higher educations related to natural science have to be performed in Chinese and English. There are, however, Buddhism colleges in China, led by Tibetan Lamas.

    Prior to 1951, Monks with higher ranks were the only people who could receive education in Tibet. Even for those people, 99% of what were taught was Buddhism and the rest 1% some basic math and handwriting.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 7:17 am | Permalink
  24. Nimrod wrote:

    Yes thanks Mongol Warrior - there are parallels with the cultural genocide inflicted on the New Worlds by European colonizers. That’s the point. Let’s do what we can in our own life times in the part of the world where we are both living (I assume?) to stop it happening again.

    The children of migrants to Tibet and Xinjiang should be taught the native languages and a level of fluency should be a requirement for government positions. Only then will the languages have a chance of surviving.

    What model of multilingualism to follow is a legitimate question. On the one extreme, you have the uncompromising monolingualism of US, UK, Australia. Move a little bit over and you have the symbolic/bureaucratic bilingualism of Anglophone Canada. Move a little further and you have the mother-tongue as second language education of Singapore. Move further over and you have something like the multi-track bilingualism found in TAR. Move over more and you have the mix bag of community-based multilingualism of Belgium and Switzerland. At the extreme is probably Quebec.

    This is perfectly fine for debate.

    What I don’t understand is why China’s policy is seen as so out of place among the countries of the world — unless, of course, you believe Tibetans really ought to be monolingual in Tibetan and all the Chinese influences should be, shall we say, cleansed.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 7:53 am | Permalink
  25. HJ wrote:

    Amban: Does American Indians have the right to higher education in their native tongue? What about native Hawaiians?

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 8:08 am | Permalink
  26. pmw wrote:

    There are a few universities I could name that have programs in Tibetan language. However, I doubt that every ethnicity in China has a university program that’s in their language.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 8:18 am | Permalink
  27. pmw wrote:

    I don’t think Hu speaks Tibetan. Currently two of the top 5 ‘party bosses’ in Tibet are ethnic Tibetans.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  28. It’s always fun to read in the alternative fantasy worlds of China apologists. This is really wonderful article, absolutely amusing — definitely gives Gregory Clark a run for his money! — (1) claims China has the “right” to kill people in occupied Tibet (2) hacks on the Dalai Lama in particularly crude ways — the imputation of racism is especially delightful, there simply to provoke, since it has absolutely nothing to do with the rightness of Tibetan independence (even if every Tibetan was a frothing Nazi it would not make Chinese occupation of Tibet ethical or legal) and (3) adopts the language and stance of the colonialist government in Beijing. I especially love the idiotic comparison between the Los Angeles riots and the Tibetan ones. A brilliant farrago of empty emotional strokes.

    As a human being, it always appalls me to see a fellow human being serving authoritarianism. I understand why people want to be authoritarians, and I understand why people want to fight them, but I will never understand the kind of cringing, servile mind that places itself at the beck and call of authoritarians. That sort of personality is a total mystery to me.

    Michael

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 12:02 pm | Permalink
  29. nanheyangrouchuan wrote:

    @Mongol Warrior

    The difference between what the Europeans and Americans did and what the Chinese did and still do is that the West STOPPED and is actively making amends. Meanwhile China is continuing a pattern of cultural and ethnic cleansing that began thousands of years ago…look what happened to the various nations that are now Hunan, Guangdong, Shanghai, Anhui and Yunan.

    And China keeps doing it!

    What a bad, bad, ugly country.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  30. tarinxx3 wrote:

    Nanheyangrouchuan,
    “The difference between what the Europeans and Americans did and what the Chinese did and still do is that the West STOPPED and is actively making amends.”

    U mean what NATO and USA are now doing to the Kosovon Serbians and denying them of their human rights and forcibly and illegally annexing Kosovo from Serbia as ACTIVELY MAKING AMENDS to their past history of interference and aggression?

    Yours is a very mischievious mind!

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
  31. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    nanheyangrouchuan:
    You are an idiot. Yes the West more or less stopped (internally at least) AFTER they had already made the aborigines, the Maoris, native Americans, Innuit complete minorities in their own lands (2 or 3%). AFTER whites have already stolen the best lands. AFTER whites have already enriched themselves on colored peoples wealth.
    Very easy to do. Like a burglar giving you a cup of coffee after he has already stolen most of the items in your house and has you tied up.

    The English colonialists only 50 years ago slaughtered about 250,000 innocent Kenyan civilians in an attempt to maintain white rule in Kenya. What about the French in Indochina, French atrocities in Algeria, Americans killing 2million Vietnamese civilians, Americans killing about 500,000 Iraqi children through sanctions and then causing another 500,000 deaths since 2003.

    As for “Hunan, Guangdong, Shanghai, Anhui and Yunan” - you know what? Anyone could say the same about the Prussians (the original ones), the Celts, the Welsh, the Saxons - all of whom were absorbed by other racially similar groups. No Saxon descendant today has a grudge about William the Conqueror.

    nanheyangrouchuan: you are a low iq dimwit. Get yourself a course in critical thinking

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm | Permalink
  32. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    Michael Turton:
    Just answer this one question. If the Chinese minority should leave Tibet, to avoid swamping the majority Tibetans, should not white Americans such as yourself get back to the Europe of your forefathers to avoid even further swamping of the only 2 to 3% Native Americans remaining?

    Similarly for Australians and NEw Zealanders and Canadians?

    Answer me this one simple question.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Permalink
  33. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    I don’t think Hu speaks Tibetan. Currently two of the top 5 ‘party bosses’ in Tibet are ethnic Tibetans

    Did Chris Patten speak Cantonese during his time in Hong Kong? Does George Bush speak Cherokee? Does Stephen Harper speak Innuit?
    Does Helen Clark speak Maori?

    You anti-China people are fucking so low IQ it is great - each of your arguments are so easy to just whack out of the park. But that is because you have no valid arguments. You are all pathetic asiaphile losers who can’t get white women.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  34. Nimrod wrote:

    Oh great. That troll Michael Turton is here to cry about his imaginary apologist enemies.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  35. tommydickfingers wrote:

    mongol warrior - us losers may not be able to get white women, but at least we can get chinese women. you can’t get either. (I wondered how long it would take an irrational Chinese nationalist to reveal the true reason for his anger against westerners - can’t get the chicks! what a laugh.

    ps. try, just try, to answer one single argument raised in this thread without recourse to the sins of the west. just try and answer one single argument on its own merits, without falling on the biggest cop out of them all: “yes, we may be bad but not as bad as you.”

    Most people on here would not dream of trying to defend the US and native americans, Australia and aborigines, etc, etc, so it is a straw man argument. By presenting such an argument, you are in fact equating China and Tibet with the cultural genocides of the west, thus arguing in favour of the very point you are trying to refute. so not only can you not get any women, you present arguments against yourself. hardly the characteristics of a mongol warrior eh?

    stick that in your next crack pipe and smoke it.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  36. Li Feng wrote:

    “You are all pathetic asiaphile losers who can’t get white women.” - Mongol(oid) Warrior

    I love reasoned, intellectual discourse like this.

    Keep it up, MW, along with your completely “apples and oranges”
    (bologna and ‘dim son’ is more like it) argument equating the history of native American oppression with today’s Tibet.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
  37. Li Feng wrote:

    Aside from my carping about Mongoloid Warrior, I think the only major area where this article falls a bit short is where no attempt is made to refute the obvious lies being spun by the Chinese media regarding the so-called “Dalai clique” and attendant ingrained nonesense parroted by average Chinese regarding Tibetans.

    I am a foreigner working at China Daily and it has been hard to keep from laughing when I hear otherwise intelligent and educated Chinese coworkers spouting nonesense like “The Dalai Lama requires two human skins on his birthday” and the paper prints equally unchallenged, unsubstantiated tripe such as “3.5 TONS (emphasis mine) of explosives discovered in in a Dalai Clique monastary,” and “suicide bombers” as well as citing a single “confession” by an unnamed “separatist” to back up these ridiculous claims.

    Much of the western media have indeed over-simplified and emotionalized many aspects of this situation, however I have yet to see any reasoned analysis of China’s official and desperate flights of fantasy and conspiracy.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm | Permalink
  38. Piero wrote:

    Barry is on the Chinese payroll, the amount of mispresantation is amazing. Too long and useless to point at them, but everyone can well informe himself to check the blatant lies.
    I just touch 1 point, Tibetan language is a very sofisticated unique language, it has unique caracters and even more than one caracters that are used in accordance with the purpose. It has also a vast literature.
    Now are you all aware that in Tibet from primary education to high school Tibetan language is not a subject of study? Only at university level it becomes an optional subject. The basic vehicle of “people” is language, the hearth to preserve one s own culture, you forbid education of one s own language and automatically you kill the culture and so the people.
    That s why in Tibet we are assisting to a cultural genocide.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 4:47 pm | Permalink
  39. Eddy Law wrote:

    @Michael Turton

    what’s really amusing is china hators like you in this thread. they came here had no points to offer except some silly rhetoric overheard from hollywood moives, no facts to present because they have never come into a thousand miles within tibet or even china, and no self-consciousness whatsover! all they’ve got to say is : I hate commies ur brainwahsed and I pity you.

    That sort of personality is truely pathetic to me.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  40. Eddy Law wrote:

    @Piero

    Now are you all aware that in Tibet from primary education to high school Tibetan language is not a subject of study?

    No I m not aware of that, it’s simply not true. the only “touch” you made is either a mistake or a lie

    there is a two-track school system in Tibet, with one track using standard Chinese and the other teaching in the Tibetan language. Students can choose which system to attend. (The same dual system is used in Xinjiang and other provinces with large non-Han populations.) One negative side effect of this policy, which is designed to protect and maintain minority cultures, has been reinforcement of a segregated society. Under this separate educational system, those graduating from schools taught in languages other than standard Chinese are at a disadvantage in competing for jobs in government and business, which require good spoken Chinese. These graduates must take remedial language instruction before attending universities and colleges. US State Department. http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/bureaus/eap/950907WiedemannTibet.html

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm | Permalink
  41. lighterjia wrote:

    bunch of useless argument~~lame~~

    yep,China rules over tibet ,soooooooo what??

    wanna change it?just have a try~~loser~~

    China can veto all the UN resolution and that’s may not the “worst” :

    “东风31”and”巨浪2“ r still waiting 4 u ~~

    ^_^

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 5:26 pm | Permalink
  42. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    #
    Most people on here would not dream of trying to defend the US and native americans, Australia and aborigines, etc, etc, so it is a straw man argument. By presenting such an argument, you are in fact equating China and Tibet with the cultural genocides of the west, thus arguing in favour of the very point you are trying to refute.

    tommydickfingers: you have just revealed yourself to be a complete fool.
    Firstly a strawman argument is where one creates a misrepresentation of the views of the opposition and then proceeds to attack that misprepresentation. This is commonly the tactic used by fundamentalist Christians who create a parody of the theory of evolution, debunk that parody and then crow about ‘disproving’ evolution.

    My argument against morons like yourself has absolutely nothing to do with strawman arguments. I have presented evidence proving that China’s treatment of Tibetans is about one million times better than white America’s treatment of Native Americans. While of course it does not logically follow that China’s treatment of Tibetans is moral, it completely supports my view that whites have no moral authority to beat the Chinese up over Tibet.

    tommydickfingers: If you jumped queue at the movies (something that is not quite moral), would you accept sermonizing on your queue-jumping from a convicted child molester?

    Should an occassional cannabis smoker accept a heroin drug lord pontificating about the evil of drugs?

    Get it now, Mr Low IQ TommyDickFingers?

    As for the status of Tibet, every single country in the entire world recognizes Tibet to be a part of China. Even during the nadir of China’s relations with the West, there was no attempt in the UN to declare Tibet an independent country.
    The US recognized Tibet to be a part of China BEFORE the 1950 liberation.
    Even the government on Taiwan has long recognized Tibet to be a part of China.

    stick that in your next crack pipe and smoke it

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Permalink
  43. Kai wrote:

    @ Mongol Warrior:

    Rhetoric is interesting. Rhetoric is where “strawman” fallacies come from, as well as ad hominem attacks. As far as rhetorical logic is concerned, it is a mistake to judge a message by they messenger. So a heroin drug pontificating about the evils of drug use to the pot head may seem ironic or even ridiculous, but his message is no less “right” or “wrong.”

    For most people, however, and in accordance with what is widely considered “reasonable,” the messenger does affect the message. Reputation, legitimacy, credibility all lend towards this idea of “moral authority.”

    I think you’ve brought up a lot of great points, and I’m not taking any sides in this, but I do think you’re geting a little cocky in your style of argumentation…to the point where you’re making unnecessary mistakes that ultimately weaken your credibility. In doing so, you’re exemplifying the very argument you’ve just advanced: that its ridiculous to listen to someone who you consider to be a bigger ass than yourself.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 7:23 pm | Permalink
  44. Kai wrote:

    Pardon the above spelling mistakes (”they” instead of “the”) and other errors (missing “lord”).

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 7:25 pm | Permalink
  45. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    So a heroin drug pontificating about the evils of drug use to the pot head may seem ironic or even ridiculous, but his message is no less “right” or “wrong.”

    Kai, you are of course right here. But the pot-head would also be right to point out the hypocrisy of the heroin drug lord, especially if the advice was provided in a self-righteous morally superior fashion.

    Ninety nine percent of whites who criticize China over Tibet do not have the real interests of Tibetans or Han at heart. They want to weaken China by using the Tibetans. This is just a continuation of something that they have been trying to do since 1840.

    But of course genuine dialogue on human rights matters with genuine people should be welcomed - but only a a bsis of mutual respect and equality.

    I actually believe the message (ie Tibet should be independent) to be wrong. But this is not what angers me. What angers me is the sheer breathtaking arrogance, self-righteousness and contempt for Asian people in general displayed by most Westerners.

    Furthermore, most issues are not truly black or white. What is acceptable or not acceptable is adjudged by reference to historical precedents and the current behaviour of other countries and what they can get away with. Morality is relative, not an absolute concept - especially in regard to international affairs. So if it can be argued that if the US hangs onto New Mexico, Texas and Califorinia, whites continue to rule Australia, New Zealand and Canada, then the Chinese are right to ask why they are being singled out over Tibet. This of course would not mean that some Tibetans do not have some legitimate gripes about Chinese rule. But the issue of the national rights and interests of China would and should override the feelings of a few bitter Tibetans. And I say few because 95percent of the Tibetan people have benefited vastly from Chinese rule and do not support the Dalai Lama, and in fact they are themselves Chinese and full citizens of the PRC. Judging the feelings of Tibetans towards China by the histrionics of a few exiles is like gauging the popularity of Fidel Castro among Miami Cubans and calling the results representative of the feelings of all Cubans.
    I would be willing to bet my last dollar that the vast majority of Tibetans want to remain with China and do not want to see a return to the brutal theocracy that ruled prior to 1950.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
  46. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    Of course the other sickening thing is that while these whites feel they are morally superior to their genocidal ancestors; this of course is such an easy thing to do AFTER the crime has been done, the loot spirited away, and the victim rendered completely incapacitated. There is no chance that these whites will deed their property to the descendants of the local Indian or aboriginal tribe which use to inhabit the area upon which they now squat. Not even a chance that these whites will start sharing some of the world’s resources on a more equitable basis with Africans and Asians.

    All very well to condemn the actions of your ancestors and feel smug and good about it. But it means absolutely nothing while you still benefit from inherited stolen loot, inherited stolen land, and benefit from a world capitalist system created in the heyday of imperialism which is designed to keep the poor poor and the rich rich.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 8:14 pm | Permalink
  47. BChung wrote:

    yes to those who only think history starts in the 1950’s perhaps should scroll back and read how “peaceful and loving, Tibet is prior to the the 1950’s. Of course its peaceful no slaves were allowed to challenge the all mighty monks, 5 % or less live lavishly and the remainders live in Hellish conditions. Torture were a daily activity, slaves were pretty much born slaves they are freely traded or punished or killed, etc etc. Of course those peaceful loving monks brainwashed these people to believe it is their god given duty to born this way and its because they did something bad and evil in their past life thats why dserve it am i not correct?

    Of course when ask about the Feudal system in Tibet, your HH, its a feudal system unlike the European there was love in it and not to mention “i was thinking about changing it but the Chinese disrupted me.”

    and no violence those Tibetans are all peace loving monks? You sure? I thought the CIA funded a program to train Tibetans fighters? oo but of course those with “high morality” will claim they have the right to, and totally ignore what they claim that there were no violence in tibet what so ever.

    To Dan, please don’t feel sorry for the Chinese. I feel terribly sorry for you being educated by Hollywood manufactured history. For your information i grew up in HK, Singapore and in Toronto. Most of the history i get in HK school’s is…” the opium war is not really the British faults”.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 8:26 pm | Permalink
  48. Kai wrote:

    @ Mongol Warrior:

    Right, which is why I stated that the messenger matters most of the time in the real world, even if it doesn’t in Rhetoric 101.

    I think your comment that begins with “99% of whites” is a hyperbole that doesn’t really contribute positively to the problem. Then again, I’m so sick of the idiocy from both sides that I really don’t want to care. This is a train wreck I have difficulty prying my eyes away from. I’m a masochist.

    “Both sides are idiots” case in point: The self-righteous arrogance and contempt of West versus East. You’re right, this phenomenon exists and, however inavoidable–even understandable–it is, it is demoralizing. That said, many Chinese (with regards to this issue) people aren’t exactly handling this with superior savvy.

    Allow me to point to the recent article featuring a Chinese person’s encounters with a German (http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20080403_1.htm). It doesn’t take a lot of general awareness of this issue and critical thinking skills to instantly gag at how incredibly STUPID both sides are, both in behavior and in thought. Both sides are guilty for precisely what they accuse the other of and their inability to see that fundamental hypocrisy only contributes to not only their argument but also their negative perceptions of each other. It is a tragic spiraling descent into hyperbole, generalizations, and self-righteous contempt.

    I’m really tired. I fear I may have written so much above just because I like listening to the sound of my own voice.

    With regards to your general argument about hypocritical double-standards of Western nations and their occupation of land that did not belong to them at some point in history, I will say this: Just as you believe in moral relativity, it is no less right or wrong for Tibetans to seek autonomy/independence than it is for the Chinese to maintain control. It is, further, no less right or wrong for anyone else in the world to have one opinion or another against or in support of Tibet or China. In this world, all that matters is the means to serve one’s own self-interests. Rhetoric and arguments and debates, then, are just means.

    I will, however, nitpick some of your statements to just keep you going:

    This of course would not mean that some Tibetans do not have some legitimate gripes about Chinese rule. But the issue of the national rights and interests of China would and should override the feelings of a few bitter Tibetans.
    You are, of course, drawing arbitrary lines and defining a framework of discourse that benefits your opinion here. What are “national rights and interests?” What about the interests of the even those few Tibetans? What about the interests of foreign countries that would prefer an independent Tibet or a weaker, humiliated China? Again, with moral relativism, nothing is right or wrong here. You’d be wise to invoke sovereignty here to support these “national rights and interests,” but the concept of sovereignty itself is an arbitrary line in the sand.

    And I say few because 95percent of the Tibetan people have benefited vastly from Chinese rule and do not support the Dalai Lama, and in fact they are themselves Chinese and full citizens of the PRC.
    First of all, I’m not sure you can legitimately say 95% of the Tibetans don’t support the Dalai Lama. If you want to go down that route, then you’d be in contradiction with what other people say, and getting to the bottom of it would require opinion surveys and crap. Let’s not overlook the fact that I don’t think the Tibetans have much of a choice in being of “Chinese” nationality and “full citizens of the PRC. It isn’t as if these things are “opt-in” programs and the Tibetans said “yeah, that’s cool, I’m signing up for that.” So, saying these things is pretty much irrelevant to the discussion. At best, you’re only invoking the semblance of support.

    I would be willing to bet my last dollar that the vast majority of Tibetans want to remain with China and do not want to see a return to the brutal theocracy that ruled prior to 1950.
    I’ll refrain from pointing out all of your logic fallacies by name. Doing so would be fun, but I would be being unfairly mean to you when I don’t necessarily disagree with you in spirit. But the reason I highlight this sentence is because it is a bit ridiculous to be suggesting that choosing to not remain with China automatically means a return to pre-1950s theocracy and all that other fun stuff like

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Permalink
  49. Kai wrote:

    @ Mongol Warrior:

    Right, which is why I stated that the messenger matters most of the time in the real world, even if it doesn’t in Rhetoric 101.

    I think your comment that begins with “99% of whites” is a hyperbole that doesn’t really contribute positively to the problem. Then again, I’m so sick of the idiocy from both sides that I really don’t want to care. This is a train wreck I have difficulty prying my eyes away from. I’m a masochist.

    “Both sides are idiots” case in point: The self-righteous arrogance and contempt of West versus East. You’re right, this phenomenon exists and, however inavoidable–even understandable–it is, it is demoralizing. That said, many Chinese (with regards to this issue) people aren’t exactly handling this with superior savvy.

    Allow me to point to the recent article featuring a Chinese person’s encounters with a German (http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20080403_1.htm). It doesn’t take a lot of general awareness of this issue and critical thinking skills to instantly gag at how incredibly STUPID both sides are, both in behavior and in thought. Both sides are guilty for precisely what they accuse the other of and their inability to see that fundamental hypocrisy only contributes to not only their argument but also their negative perceptions of each other. It is a tragic spiraling descent into hyperbole, generalizations, and self-righteous contempt.

    I’m really tired. I fear I may have written so much above just because I like listening to the sound of my own voice.

    With regards to your general argument about hypocritical double-standards of Western nations and their occupation of land that did not belong to them at some point in history, I will say this: Just as you believe in moral relativity, it is no less right or wrong for Tibetans to seek autonomy/independence than it is for the Chinese to maintain control. It is, further, no less right or wrong for anyone else in the world to have one opinion or another against or in support of Tibet or China. In this world, all that matters is the means to serve one’s own self-interests. Rhetoric and arguments and debates, then, are just means.

    I will, however, nitpick some of your statements to just keep you going:

    This of course would not mean that some Tibetans do not have some legitimate gripes about Chinese rule. But the issue of the national rights and interests of China would and should override the feelings of a few bitter Tibetans.
    You are, of course, drawing arbitrary lines and defining a framework of discourse that benefits your opinion here. What are “national rights and interests?” What about the interests of the even those few Tibetans? What about the interests of foreign countries that would prefer an independent Tibet or a weaker, humiliated China? Again, with moral relativism, nothing is right or wrong here. You’d be wise to invoke sovereignty here to support these “national rights and interests,” but the concept of sovereignty itself is an arbitrary line in the sand.

    And I say few because 95percent of the Tibetan people have benefited vastly from Chinese rule and do not support the Dalai Lama, and in fact they are themselves Chinese and full citizens of the PRC.
    First of all, I’m not sure you can legitimately say 95% of the Tibetans don’t support the Dalai Lama. If you want to go down that route, then you’d be in contradiction with what other people say, and getting to the bottom of it would require opinion surveys and crap. Let’s not overlook the fact that I don’t think the Tibetans have much of a choice in being of “Chinese” nationality and “full citizens of the PRC. It isn’t as if these things are “opt-in” programs and the Tibetans said “yeah, that’s cool, I’m signing up for that.” So, saying these things is pretty much irrelevant to the discussion. At best, you’re only invoking the semblance of support.

    I would be willing to bet my last dollar that the vast majority of Tibetans want to remain with China and do not want to see a return to the brutal theocracy that ruled prior to 1950.
    I’ll refrain from pointing out all of your logic fallacies by name. Doing so would be fun, but I would be being unfairly mean to you when I don’t necessarily disagree with you in spirit. But the reason I highlight this sentence is because it is a bit ridiculous to be suggesting that choosing to not remain with China automatically means a return to pre-1950s theocracy and all that other fun stuff like sub-35 year average lifespans. C’mon, let’s try not to scare the children here.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Permalink
  50. Kai wrote:

    “…a world capitalist system created in the heyday of imperialism which is designed to keep the poor poor and the rich rich.”

    Yeah, well, suggest something better then.

    You’re getting a little hysterical here. You’ve gone from Tibet to raging against capitalism in general. Now, who ISN’T guilty of capitalistic self-interest in this world?

    One thing I forgot to mention above was whether you lean towards absolute rights or towards utilitarianism, and how that’s going to affect your conception of what is right or wrong.

    I’m giving you a hard time again, and that’s unfair, because I probably think you’re a pretty cool person. Fact is, I could really poke holes in most of the comments/arguments above in general. Doing so only reaffirms my destructive penchant and the fact that it is often far easier to destroy than create. It is easier to point out how both sides are wrong, but infinitely harder to help both sides arrive at a mutually agreeable solution. Forgive me, I’m not much help with the latter.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 9:04 pm | Permalink
  51. Kai wrote:

    Oh, and all this Whites vs. Asians stuff, it really isn’t any better than Tibetan on Han/Hui/Chinese violence.

    Tibetan on Han…hm…

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 9:20 pm | Permalink
  52. ferin wrote:

    smear the Tibetans

    Once again, you show your paternalistic colors by automatically attributing ethnic violence and a desire for a pure race free from “Han contamination” to all Tibetans.

    It goes hand in hand with your inept use of the term “Han” and is a perfect example of the indoctrination you’re supposedly free from in your country.

    @nanhe

    “what the Chinese did and still do is that the West STOPPED and is actively making amends.”

    No, the difference is China has NEVER singled the Tibetans out for genocide (the CR and GLF was tragedy for everyone) of any kind. They have been dumping billions into the development of Tibet. This would be like the U.S giving $20,000 to every American/Alaskan Native every single year.

    Hypocrisy and sloganeering might work in some places, but it isn’t working here.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 10:00 pm | Permalink
  53. ferin wrote:

    try, just try, to answer one single argument raised in this thread without recourse to the sins of the west.

    Here let me do it for you so your stupidity doesn’t give him an aneurysm.

    Look, the world is arranged neatly in various cross-aligned geopolitic blocs of varying size and power. This is a lesson the “Western world” taught to everyone with their exploitation and butchery of not only other civilizations but of eachother.

    One side is gorged with blood money and has 1,000+ nuclear ICBMs pointed at China. In a broad sense, the general “Western/European” bloc dominates something like 65% of the world’s land mass after they more or less deracinated these areas, 30-40% of the world’s wealth, and is on a constant campaign of economic/cultural/genetic/religious aggression cohesively or in a disorganized way.

    The fact that the colonization of Tibet can hardly be compared to the genocide and continued destruction of Aborigine/Maori/Alaska Native/Hawaiian/Siberian/Native American peoples through negligence or just as a side-effect of “Westernization” is another key argument contra yours.

    In essence your stance is ripped straight from the pages of BS fairy tales and you resort to feel-good pandering to further your geopolitical stance without regard to the views and opinions of true Tibetans.

    A form of censorship and authoritarianism by all means.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 10:09 pm | Permalink
  54. ferin wrote:

    Aside from my carping about Mongoloid Warrior

    Curiously enough the term Mongolism was coined when the West, in its ever tolerant and objective way, diagnosed the occurrence of mental retardation to the “superior Caucasoid” “regressing” into “Mongoloid” states. The word Mongoloid itself is an archaic term steeped in racial pseudoscience that attempts to lump a huge mass of humanity together by measure of their physical closeness to a stereotypical phenotype.

    I think that’s pretty applicable to the topic at least.

    parroted by average Chinese regarding Tibetans.

    Conveniently enough, it’s the exact opposite of the utterly retarded view of Tibetans Westerners have; i.e the “racially pure” monks who pray all day and are incapable of violence.

    I hear otherwise intelligent and educated Chinese coworkers spouting nonesense

    Well, I’m sure if you dropped your pro-European indoctrination you’d find a whole lot of things in life humorous. Like the portrayal of ethnic pogroms as freedom fighting.

    Friday, April 4, 2008 at 10:19 pm | Permalink
  55. Lime wrote:

    @Ferin
    http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=11899
    So what would you say to a non-white citizen of a post-colonial country advocating Tibetan independence? Are they just pawns of the Whites and Japanese?

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 12:15 am | Permalink
  56. Nimrod wrote:

    http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=11899
    So what would you say to a non-white citizen of a post-colonial country advocating Tibetan independence? Are they just pawns of the Whites and Japanese?

    He has a horse in the race, you know. Baichung Bhutia is from Sikkim and ethnographically Tibetan, went to a state-run “Tibetan school” that, ironically, taught only in English. I wonder why he didn’t complain about the cultural genocide of India which invaded Sikkim in the 70s. What say you, Lime?

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 12:48 am | Permalink
  57. Nimrod wrote:

    You know, it’s fine for anybody to criticize anybody else. The criticism may even be perfectly valid regardless of the messenger. Even the Chinese government has had a few periods of self-criticism on Tibet. That is normal.

    What isn’t normal is for certain groups of people who obviously have no interest in Tibetan welfare to propose half-hearted so-called solutions to the problem. Why do I say they obviously have no interest in Tibetan welfare? That is where the messenger’s credibility comes into play. If they had any sense of genuine moral urgency in the solutions they propose for Tibetans (e.g. language and cultural preservation), they would have been and still would be doing that in their own countries.

    Yes! let’s have state-sponsored native-language universities in your country. Today. Let’s! Why not? Oh… yes… now we start to consider the implications of that. When you start to think about your own problems instead of those of others, then you are forced to evaluate the problem honestly. Which is the whole point: No one should listen to your bitching about Tibet until you are ready to evaluate the problem honestly like it’s your own problem.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 1:02 am | Permalink
  58. BChung wrote:

    cultural genocide like how may i ask those who claim this is happening?

    Pre 1950’s the literacy rates of the Tibetan is what? 2%, and now? A dozen times more and many of them can write both Tibetan and Chinese and even some english? So is letting English in Tibet a part of Cultural Geocide in Tibet? What a ridiculous claim. Yes i am sorry the Chinese decided to built school and force those tibetan children to attend school in the first place when there wasn’t any schools for average Tibetan before the the “evil Chinese” marched in. How ironic those who claim cultural genocide are the ones that “never” even bother educating the average Tibetans and treated them as nothing but slaves and tools. Those who are accused of Cultural Genocide are “building” schools how dare they make it “compulsory” for Tibetan children to attend school like every other parts of China. Its funny to see how many claim the “evidence” is that you need to know Chinese if you want to excel. Well many can’t even attend University in HK if they can’t read and write English, and many can’t even find a decent job if we are not bilingual. Am I complaining about it? Well the British like to glorify it as West and East Mixed together, so its ok I suppose because the British say so right? Maybe the Chinese should learn from the Brits when it comes to PR. Come up with a hip line like the Tibetans mixed with Han. oo wait but thats cultural genocide, well someone better send a letter to UN and accuse Britain of causing cultural genocide in HK as well then. Since knowing english is also a compulsory in getting a Job under the British Colonial Government. There proof of British committing cultural Genocide on the Chinese in HK.

    Considering the fact that most tourist to Tibet are Chinese for starters (oo right cultural genocide) why wouldn’t it makes sense for the locals who want to get a better job to know Chinese in the first place? If I only speak Chinese and not a word of English i will end up most likley never being able to have my own desk at a office of even a being a counter sales.

    Again many Tibetans speaks English, is that not cultural genocide then? If those Tibetans can speak Tibetan, Chinese and English i am sure they will be better paid than someone who can only speak Tibetan and Chinese? Is that not fair?
    Hell the last time i heard there are Tibetans that can speak French and German as well, I am sure they are even better paid.

    What is cultural genocide that so many of you claim China is guilty off? If it is Cultural Genocide wouldn’t be don’t built school, and don’t let them study Tibetan instead of encouraging them to study? If you are referring the the Cultural Revoloution or the Great Leap Backward, “its not design specifically” to target the Tibetans for your information, and actually because of Mao’s stupidity many Chinese culture has been destroyed more severely than the Tibetans. I can say that Taiwanese and Hong Kong people are sometimes more Chinese than people who grew up in the Mainland.

    So tell me what Cultural Genocide? Are the Chinese suppose to bare Tibetans from TV’s, computers, electricity, clean water, etc? If we do, I wonder what those who accuse of Cultural Genocide will say? Suppression on “Modernization” of Tibet?

    So what should we do, the enlightened ones? Bomb all the roads, electricity, water system? Should we tear down the Schools and hospitals, but leave some for the all mighty monks only? Than destroy all the infrastructure that were built post 1960’s?

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 1:05 am | Permalink
  59. BChung wrote:

    IMO to solve this problem the Chinese government needs to do more to stop the discrimination of Hans against locals. I don’t think the government is a discriminatory act for asking to know Chinese, but being able to visit XinJiang 2 years ago, I believe a Local Uighur put it out perfectly.

    “Chinese only hire Chinese” notably their own family members (the root of Chinese wide spread corruption again, not only limited to Tibet) than is the people from the same village, town, province than its race…

    I got to say i am not even shock to hear it, this is like a really big part of Chinese culture, its only sad that Cultural Revolution never brought an end to these practices, but instead it even got more wide spread how sad.

    Sometimes I wonder are these protest really pro independence, incited, etc? Can we look at things more simply and that is discrimination is “actually” happening from the Hans who prefer to hire family, cousins, etc over qualifications? Wouldn’t this simple matter be the main cause that these riots got so wide spread? Even if it was incited by the Dalai Lama, in the end why so easily incited, is it really because they are ungrateful, religious reasons? or simply because they want to “work” but you are more willing to hire your lazy ass cousin, because he is family instead? These aren’t just problem in Tibet, its a problem for the whole of China.

    In the end i only believe that people want to make a living and when they can’t they will turn to other things for support not financially but mentally.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 1:33 am | Permalink
  60. Nimrod wrote:

    I’ve thought about the language issue brought up by Bchung above. Expanding on his theme, imagine that English is the language of the state, either officially or de facto as in India, such that it is necessary to know it to get a job in Tibet (taking the place of Mandarin).

    Would any of you still complain? What’s your first gut feeling, honestly?

    Of course you wouldn’t complain. It was never about the preservation of Tibetan culture, but always about being anti-Chinese.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 1:37 am | Permalink
  61. Lime wrote:

    @Nimrod
    I’m honestly not sure what Baichung Bhutia would say about the Angloication of India. I intended my question more generally, what you would say to any non-white post-colonial, he was just the first example I found. But I thought of a better question; what would Ferin, or Mongol Warrior, or whoever else say to a Tibetan advocating Tibetan independence?

    I’ll leave the ‘cultural genocide’ question to someone else, as I don’t like the term and think that it trivialises real genocide, whatever Raphael Lemkin may say, and ‘cultural genocide’ has never been one of my objections to the PRC occupation of Tibet anyway.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 2:03 am | Permalink
  62. pmw wrote:

    What would we say to a Mexican calling for California independence, or for the unification of Texas with Mexico?

    What would we say to a Seminole for independent Florida, a Cherokee for independent Oklahoma, or in general, a native American for their free America?

    These example aside, what did you say to the Serbs living in current Croatia or Bosnia or Kosovo calling for autonomy/independence in their own area? Just so you know, Kosovo was actually where the Serbs originated, as far as I can tell.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 2:20 am | Permalink
  63. nanheyangrouchuan wrote:

    @Tarinxxx
    “U mean what NATO and USA are now doing to the Kosovon Serbians and denying them of their human rights and forcibly and illegally annexing Kosovo from Serbia as ACTIVELY MAKING AMENDS to their past history of interference and aggression?”

    This is also to protect the muslim population in Kosovo from ethnic cleansing by Serbia.

    @ Mongol Warrior
    China has been doing much worse to the world and even more to Chinese people for thousands of years and is still nothing more than a third world toilet nation. The west capitalized from its bad behavior and now makes amends with humanitarian organizations, immigration, grants, free technology, education, etc.

    China is killing hundreds of thousands in Sudan, Zimbabwe, central Asia, millions of northern Koreans have starved to death, over 1 million executed in Laos, 50 million Chinese who starved to death or later purged, millions of dead Tibetans and Uyghurs and China is still poor, smelly and ugly.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 2:23 am | Permalink
  64. nanheyangrouchuan wrote:

    @ferin:

    “No, the difference is China has NEVER singled the Tibetans out for genocide (the CR and GLF was tragedy for everyone) of any kind. They have been dumping billions into the development of Tibet. This would be like the U.S giving $20,000 to every American/Alaskan Native every single year.”

    Oh, so moving hordes of ethnic Han into Tibet, killing and imprisoning Tibetans and driving the rest out of Tibet by denying them any shot at real economic opportunities isn’t genocide?
    The only people who have received Beijing’s “Tibet investments” have been the CCP bosses that run Tibet as the money goes into CCP organs and state owned banks.

    Unlike the tens of millions that the US gov’t pays out to Native American tribes, directly to the tribal governments.
    BTW, tribal gov’ts now have equal standing with states in federal law, just check out EPA regulations.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 2:29 am | Permalink
  65. Lime wrote:

    @PMW
    I would say win the governorship of Texas/California/Oklahoma/Florida, and put it a referendum. I don’t know much about the political breakdown of the new Kosovan state, but the essence of what I would say would be the same. That’s just me though. I’m asking *you*.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 2:31 am | Permalink
  66. pmw wrote:

    “This is also to protect the muslim population in Kosovo from ethnic cleansing by Serbia.”

    Right. Serbs, accounting for less than 8% of the population in Kosovo, just might commit ethnic cleansing against the 90%+ Kosovo Albanians.

    This is pretty much in line with the 7% ethnic Hans in Tibet as evidence of China’s ethnic cleansing of Tibetans.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 2:34 am | Permalink
  67. pmw wrote:

    Lime,

    The question I am gonna ask back is, if the CCP does kill most of the Tibetans, or if it does flood Tibet with ethnic Hans such that Hans become the dominant majority in Tibet, several generations down, can the descendants of the Hans in Tibet say the same thing to the remaining Tibetans about winning the governorship and put it into a referendum? Of course, these Hans I’m sure will condemn the hell out of the atrocities of their ancestors. Would you give the same answer? Whatever your answer might be, I think I’ll be pretty comfortable handing it back to you regarding the questions you asked.

    By the way, as far as I can remember, US federal system has an anti-secession law that forbids state independence. So your referendum proposal will amount to zilch even if 80% of Florida residents are Seminoles. We have seen precedence of the federal government using force against secession, right?

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 2:51 am | Permalink
  68. Lime wrote:

    @PMV
    “The question I am gonna ask back is, if the CCP does kill most of the Tibetans, or if it does flood Tibet with ethnic Hans such that Hans become the dominant majority in Tibet, several generations down, can the descendants of the Hans in Tibet say the same thing to the remaining Tibetans about winning the governorship and put it into a referendum?”

    I would say absolutely, but unfortunately that would be a debate happening generations into the future. The problem with the PRC occupation of Tibet now isn’t ‘cultural genocide’. It’s the lack of it. Despite all the running water, Chinese education, etc. etc., the PRC has failed to convince what seems to be the majority of Tibetans that they should happily assimilate, and it also hasn’t managed to flood them into minority status yet. If it can and does do this, then it’s a whole other ball game. I don’t know how the PRC would accomplish a ‘flooding’ of Tibet, though. The place doesn’t seem to be exactly a land of opportunity. Short of the government creating some huge artificial economic incentive in Tibet, making it even more of a white elephant, why would large numbers of Chinese ever want to move there? As far as analogies go I think colonial Africa is much more appropriate than the American West.
    But again, we’re not talking about America or Africa 100 years ago, or Tibet 100 years in the future. What would you say to a Tibetan today if he posted on this thread saying he wanted freedom for his ‘nation’?

    As for my referendum proposal, the Civil War and the anti-secession laws both date back more than a century ago, and laws can change. Whether they would or not is another matter, but you were asking me and not the United States government of the future, so that would still be what I see as the best solution.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 3:27 am | Permalink
  69. Nimrod wrote:

    nanheyangrouchuan wrote:
    BTW, tribal gov’ts now have equal standing with states in federal law, just check out EPA regulations.

    Well, if it makes you feel better, maybe China should change its current policy, carve out a few dinky reservations in the desert around Lhasa, and force march the Tibetans into them. They can enjoy their equal tribal statuses there. That’s actually so much easier to implement than all this ethnic harmony and integration stuff. Good?

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 3:27 am | Permalink
  70. Nimrod wrote:

    Lime, if you aren’t willing to talk about neither the reactionary past nor the grandiose future, then why not stick to the reality of the present? Today, Tibet is but a region of China, so it is much more fruitful to think about solutions within this context instead of arguing over an economically unsustainable and politically intractable independence, or the return to some expanded Greater Tibetan protectorate as is Dalai Lama’s plan. Let’s not be out of touch. As the original commentary by Sautman alludes, China is mostly concerned about separatist and anti-Chinese teachings of Tibetan madrasas driven by external propaganda from the exiled government in India, and policy is calibrated to that threat. Why not remove that threat.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 3:41 am | Permalink
  71. pmw wrote:

    Lime,

    “I would say absolutely, but unfortunately that would be a debate happening generations into the future.”
    The real misfortune would be if there would be such a debate in the future when the Tibetans does become minority in Tibet, by force. And if the CCP is half as evil as what Daramsala makes them out to be, they might just do that given your rationale.

    “The problem with the PRC occupation of Tibet now isn’t ‘cultural genocide’….. why would large numbers of Chinese ever want to move there? ”
    This is where you kinda lost me, Lime. Why do you not buy the argument of Dalai’s government-in-exile that Tibetans are already a minority in Tibet, that CCP already killed millions of Tibetans, that the Hans have already started cleansing Tibetans out of Tibet and successfully doing so, that the CCP has destroyed Tibetan culture? On the other hand, why do you buy their argument that the majority of Tibetans want an independent Tibet that bad?

    “What would you say to a Tibetan today if he posted on this thread saying he wanted freedom for his ‘nation’?”
    I say [edited for language] to him if he happens to one of the

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 4:34 am | Permalink
  72. pmw wrote:

    Lime, (cut off by the system)
    “What would you say to a Tibetan today if he posted on this thread saying he wanted freedom for his ‘nation’?”
    I say [edited for language] to him if he happens to one of the

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 4:35 am | Permalink
  73. pmw wrote:

    Lime, (maybe it’s telling me to watch my language)
    “What would you say to a Tibetan today if he posted on this thread saying he wanted freedom for his ‘nation’?”
    I say [edited for language] to him if he happens to one of the

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 4:36 am | Permalink
  74. pmw wrote:

    Lime, (wrong guess)
    “What would you say to a Tibetan today if he posted on this thread saying he wanted freedom for his ‘nation’?”
    I say [edited for language] to him if he happens to one of the less than 3% Tibetans that live outside of Tibet. I say more power to him if he actually lives in Tibet or anywhere else in China, as long as they don’t resort to violence.

    “As for my referendum proposal, the Civil War and the anti-secession laws both date back more than a century ago, and laws can change.”
    Fact of the matter is, the law is still there and hasn’t changed. And as soon as any splittist movement materializes, the US government is legally bound to crack it down. Plus, I don’t share your optimism about this law being changed, for the convenience of any secession. Can we take the Canadian government as an example? As soon as the Quebec independence referendum results shifted dangerously close to favoring secession (a nearly 20% lead against secession shrank to less than 1.2% within 15 years), the Clarity Act was installed to stipulate that any future referendum without a ‘clear majority’ would not be recognized.

    As far as what you see as the best solution, even the western governments don’t give much of a hoot if it is to be applied to themselves.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 4:37 am | Permalink
  75. Lime wrote:

    @Nimrod
    If you’re unwilling to consider Tibetan independence, then the solutions are limited. Basically you have three that I can see, flood them (‘cultural genocide’), kill them, or just continue to keep enough soldiers there to keep under control. The former is definitely the one I would feel most comfortable with, though I have doubts that it’s realistic.
    As for the anti-China propaganda in the monasteries and schools, I do have a proposal for you. The state needs to further infiltrate the monastic orders. My idea is this; it’s my understanding that the CCP’s mock Panchen Lama is dismissed by the government in exile, but revered to a limited extent by many of the ground level people. Send him back to Tibet, put him in situations where it’s likely Gyatsoista extremists will have an opportunity to assassinate him. When it happens, use monk-government agents to fan outrage against the assassins, while selecting a new mock Panchen in the most authentic seeming way possible. This hopefully will have the effect of creating a schism, with one side pulling strongly for the new mock Panchen who will continue to be a puppet for the state. Support this faction in its struggle for power within the monasteries and reward it when it succeeds.

    That said, I think the continued occupation of Tibet is a really dopey idea. Tibet his a huge drain on the state’s budget, and whatever natural resource potential it may have can just as easily be developed by Chinese capitalists in an independent Tibet. This isn’t a game of Red Alert. The strategic security reasons Mao had for originally occupying the territory were very justified at the time, but as the cold war has past and everyone has nuclear weapons anyways, these arguments are null. India is not going to be launching an invasion anytime soon.
    I don’t know what you mean by economically unsustainable. I’m willing to concede that an independent Tibet would be a poorer place, at least initially, than it was under the PRC’s rule, but you’ll notice that Bhutan and Nepal are managing to scratch out a living. You might suggest that it’s morally right to keep supporting these poor Tibetan, but as it’s against their will, this is the same as the White Man’s burden argument. The stupid savages must be saved from themselves. And if that’s your only justification, it certainly opens the door to further imperialism doesn’t it?
    As for the ‘politically intractable’, it’s obviously not within Tibet; they even have the government they want ready and waiting, so the only way it’s intractable is that, for whatever reason, the PRC won’t let it go. Whoever said this was a ‘Chinese’ problem, was right. Why not just give it up, save billions of dollars, the lives of Chinese soldiers and policemen, and give the rest of the world the impression that the PRC moving beyond the 19th century, and let the Tibetan have their reincarnated bodhisattva king back if that’s what they so desperately want?

    Now as I am a white person, you’ve indicated I don’t really have the best interests of the Tibetans at heart, and you’re right. Ferin and Mongol Warrior have told me in no uncertain terms that because of my race, I am unqualified to pass moral judgement, so I’ve tried to make my argument logical rather than emotional. If you critique it, I hope you can bear that intent in mind. But I’m still interested in how you and other supporters of the PRC’s Tibet policies would respond if there were more Tibetans making their case here. That is something I would like to hear your views on.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 4:58 am | Permalink
  76. Nimrod wrote:

    Lime wrote:
    If you’re unwilling to consider Tibetan independence, then the solutions are limited. Basically you have three that I can see, flood them (‘cultural genocide’), kill them, or just continue to keep enough soldiers there to keep under control. The former is definitely the one I would feel most comfortable with, though I have doubts that it’s realistic.

    It’s not that I am unwilling to consider it. It’s a false thesis to begin with. There is some misdirected economic strife among the lay people channeled through ethnic differences, and then there is some incoherent grumbling from the monks about the Dalai and other lamas. This is so out of sync with the fantasy interpretation of genocide propagated by the exiled government that there is no convergence of your concerns with the actual concerns of the people. Each is a problem that can be addressed in the course of normal events. It is completely unhelpful to inject separatism or revolution into this to make the two problems even worse.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 5:55 am | Permalink
  77. Nimrod wrote:

    That said, I think the continued occupation of Tibet is a really dopey idea. Tibet his a huge drain on the state’s budget, and whatever natural resource potential it may have can just as easily be developed by Chinese capitalists in an independent Tibet. This isn’t a game of Red Alert. The strategic security reasons Mao had for originally occupying the territory were very justified at the time, but as the cold war has past and everyone has nuclear weapons anyways, these arguments are null. India is not going to be launching an invasion anytime soon.

    Might as well say the same about Alaska. Care to let some friendly Russian fur-trapper descendents back and create a Novo-Novo-Sibirsk oblast?

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 6:00 am | Permalink
  78. pmw wrote:

    “As for the ‘politically intractable’, it’s obviously not within Tibet; they even have the government they want ready and waiting, so the only way it’s intractable is that, for whatever reason, the PRC won’t let it go.”

    Ah, the perfect alignment of interests for Daramsala and the Tibetans in China.
    Tell me again, why do you not buy their claim that the CCP has already successfully half cleansed Tibetans with influx of Hans?

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 6:45 am | Permalink
  79. ferin wrote:

    @lime

    I’d tell them to learn to understand geopolitics. Or to go back to Asia/Africa.

    As for a Tibetan advocating Tibetan independence, I’d tell him that essentially the Tibetans and the non-Tibetans are forced together out of mutual need by the CCP which more or less acts as a (often corrupt) broker. It depends on a lot of things, but I’d rather ask 3,000 Tibetans than just one.

    @nanhe

    China has ALWAYS had a better humanitarian record than the West up until the 1960s. Even when they were lingchi’ing it up and 5% of the population was enslaved. At any given time 20-30% of the population in Europe was enslaved or in bonded labor; even the peasants of China were more free.

    Yes, Mao Zedong killed 50-70 million people and China more or less got shit at all from it. America however, killed 9m+ Amerinds and prevented the existence of hundreds of millions more, enslaved people for over 300 years, etc. It’s much, much more profitable in the long run.

    So I guess now you’re asking China to herd all the Tibetans into a worthless piece of land and then flood Tibet with 200,000,000 non-Tibetans? Kinda like what was done to all the Native Americans? Oh then 100 years after the population is decimated you can pretend to feel bad about it and toss a few pennies at them every year.

    Han Chinese are “driven out” of their own homes my a lack of economic opportunity and are being killed and imprisoned as well; so once again, Tibetans are not being singled out.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 6:56 am | Permalink
  80. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    [entire comment deleted - expletives, abuse and racism]

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 7:02 am | Permalink
  81. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    Ferin: I enjoy your posts, however I take issue with your saying Chairman Mao killed 60 to 70million Chinese.
    This is a ridiculous number and is frequently bandied about by the likes of Jung Chang and detractors of China.

    Proablably about 20million perished in the GLF. But this was the result of policies which were well-intentioned. What about the millions who die from malnourishment today in Africa and Asia - due to an unfair world economic system where the West takes the vast majority of the world’s resources - is the West guilty of genocide here?

    In fact the greatest period of executions in China occured in the few years after liberation - but these were mainly as part of a movement to consolidate the revolution and many of the victims would have been KMT agents and also local brigands. The number of executions here would be about 3million. Brutal to be sure, but not as brutal those atrocities committed by Western powers at the time.

    The other big death toll attributed to Mao is 27million deaths in labour camps. The way this figure is arrived at is so laughable that only the malicious would believe it. The Americans in the 1970s estimated the population of the camps, and then applied a yearly death toll from that of Soviet camps in deepest, coldest Siberia. Then they multiplied this by the number of years Mao was in power. The flaws in this methodology are just so obvious that I will say no more about this. Then Jung Chang just borrows this number and adds it to her GLF figure. Jung Chang of course is a slut and a dog-turd.

    So the GLF was an unmitigated disaster. But it was not all Mao’s fault. Over-optimistic reporting of crop yields and natural disasters also contributed to the famine.

    But if you look at Mao’s record overall, he did raise life expectancy from 35 in 1949 to 68 at the time of his death in 1976.
    The barefoot doctor system that he set up saved millions of lives.
    And furthermore if you compare the performance of China under Mao to India under ‘democracy’ you will find that democratic India ‘killed’ by far more numbers of poor people during the same period, than those who died in the GLF.

    “India seems to manage to fill its cupboard with more skeletons every eight years than China put there in its years of shame,” http://www.zmag.org/Sustainers/Content/2000-01/10chomsky.htm

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 7:18 am | Permalink
  82. ferin wrote:

    In fact life exepctancy of Tibetans is higher than that of Australian aborigines.

    And some Native American tribes.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 7:27 am | Permalink
  83. Nimrod wrote:

    There is obviously a problem with the conjunction of religion with politics, when ordinary Westerners are overawed by a man who obviously displays characteristics of a cheap but cunning politician, and thinks he is some kind of pacifist saint. Now imagine you truly believe he is the greatest living buddha on earth on top of all that, as many Tibetans do.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 7:30 am | Permalink
  84. Lime wrote:

    @PMW
    I buy that the majority of Tibetans want the PRC to bugger off based on the widespread protesting, and on the fact that the PRC has moved so many troops into Tibet since then. If Beijing thinks the independence movement is a serious threat, then I don’t see any reason to disagree. Mind you, I could be wrong and this could be just a minority of unhappy secular racists and a few mumbling monks, like Sautman implies. Pity we couldn’t do a survey, eh?. If you think that I’m wrong and it’s only a minority that want independence, then my arguments are, admittedly, worthless.

    I don’t buy the Dalai Lama Government’s claim that the culture is being overwhelmed, as all avaiable evidence points to the contrary. Tibetans still seem to be the majority (though perhaps not as overwhelmingly as Beijing would have us believe) and the Tibetan still seems to be going strong. There are cultural changes; I’m sure more rice is eaten now and more Chinese is spoken, but these kind of things would probably have happened even if Tibet was independent. That’s one of the things that really bugs me about the term ‘cultural genocide’. When does cultural absorption end and cultural genocide begin?
    As an aside, there is one legitimate argument for the occupation creating a demographic/cultural problem. Somebody (Rohan?) on the Peking Duck posted the good point that the Tibetans are at a linguistic disadvantage when it comes to the highest political and economic positions, and this is probably part of the reason they’re rioting and protesting, but life isn’t fair I suppose.

    For the very hypothetical Texas/Florida/Alaska separation attempt scenario, I’m not as sure as you that the federal government would resort to force even with the anti-secession laws in place. But, either way, I am not voice of the Canadian or American governments, or white people; I can only represent my own opinion here.

    “I say more power to him if he actually lives in Tibet or anywhere else in China, as long as they don’t resort to violence.”
    Interesting answer. The protesting monks should be allowed to have their say publicly, in your opinion?

    If you (or anyone here) have any good sources that would give some insight into how modern Tibetan society is divided or united in its attitudes towards the PRC, let me know, please.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 7:36 am | Permalink
  85. tarinxx3 wrote:

    @ Nanheyangrouchan,
    “This is also to protect the muslim population from ethnic cleansing by Serbia”

    Protection of the muslim population from ethnic cleansing is only a lame excuse for the USA/NATO’s interventionist policy. Kosovo is a creation of USA. USA instigated the armed rebellion against Serbia in 1998 by training and arming the terrorist organization (Kosovor Liberation Army). Serbia surrendered after the NATO bombing and NATO/UN took over occupation of Kosovo. And it was DURING the NATO/UN occupation that ethnic cleasing of the Kosovar Serbs was carried out by the Kosovar Albanians. Almost all the non-Albanians had been expelled from Kosovo. Hundreds of Christian churches and monasteries had been destroyed and killings of Kosovar Serbs were rampant. This is a shameful record of the double standard and complicity of the US-led NATO forces. Now USA/NATO have illegally and unilaterally declared independence for Kosovo against international law and in violation of the UN Charter.

    “The difference between what the Europeans and Americans did and what the Chinese did and still do is that the West STOPPED and is actively making amends” is a myth.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 7:42 am | Permalink
  86. ferin wrote:

    the fact that the PRC has moved so many troops into Tibet since then.

    They don’t want people to burn more cars and buildings. Look at all those Paris riots, and those people aren’t even native to the area. The Paris rioters were a minority of stupid worthless bums that turn to bigotry and violence when they can’t hold a job.

    Tibetans are at a linguistic disadvantage when it comes to the highest political and economic positions

    This is true. However, if they do learn Mandarin a lot of opportunities do open up for them. My parents also speak Mandarin, English and their native dialects. Many Hakka, Teochiu, Hoklo, Cantonese, etc speak three languages.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 7:44 am | Permalink
  87. Nimrod wrote:

    As an aside, there is one legitimate argument for the occupation creating a demographic/cultural problem. Somebody (Rohan?) on the Peking Duck posted the good point that the Tibetans are at a linguistic disadvantage when it comes to the highest political and economic positions, and this is probably part of the reason they’re rioting and protesting, but life isn’t fair I suppose.

    If there is a demographic problem, it is that minorities are growing at a high multiple to the growth of the Han majority, whose population will implode in a few decades.

    Linguistic advantages and disadvantages for advancement exist. True, life isn’t fair, even for the Qinghai Tibetan herder who goes to Lhasa and can’t understand the Central Tibetan dialect there. But they learn it as needed. (Speaking of which, China has done more than anybody to standardize and propagate Lhasa Tibetan through Tibetan language media and education. Even the exiles see the value in that.) Disadvantages that accrue based on language are often a result of self-imposed xenophobia than a result of a learning burden. Some blacks, for instance, see speaking Ebonics as race pride, and speaking usual English “selling out” or “acting white”.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 8:08 am | Permalink
  88. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    Tibetans are at a linguistic disadvantage when it comes to the highest political and economic positions, and this is probably part of the reason they’re rioting and protesting, but life isn’t fair I suppose.

    For [edited for language] sake, aborigines have to learn english, innuit english, maori english. I am of cantonese extraction - Guandong people have to learn Mandarin. Welsh people and Irish people have to speak english as well as Welsh and Gaelic respectively.

    So why is China being singled out? Is it because white people cannot stomach the rise of the first non-white power in living memory that they have to do everything in their power to undermine this great nation?

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  89. Lime wrote:

    @Nimrod
    Think about it from the Tibetan’s perspective for a moment. Your two problems are 1) “misdirected economic strife among the lay people channeled through ethnic differences” and 2) “incoherent grumbling from the monks about the Dalai and other lamas”.
    The ‘economic strife’ is what we would call ‘working class’ Tibetan upset because they perceive their personal economic hardships resulting from lost opportunities to Chinese immigrants. Correct me if I’m misrepresenting you on this.

    Personally, I think the monks have managed to be much more articulate than the rioters, as they have actually occasionally managed to shout out the odd slogan rather than just start burning and stabbing. If we sat down with a few of them, I think their concerns might include things like, fake Panchen Lama, Bodhisattva King forced into exile, government decides who gets to be a monk (I would find this particularly urksome, wouldn’t you?), heavy regulation of monastaries, schools, etc..

    Now you tell me these are two separate problems, and from the PRC perspective they might be, but I don’t think that it requires a great effort to imagine how a Tibetan might see these two problems arising from the same source, and thus the solution being the same.

    But, someone should ask, this might solve *those* problems, but what about the problems that would accrue when the PRC packs up its hospitals, schools, sanitation systems, medicines, road construction projects, telecommunications, etc.? And this is true, of course. If anyone has ever seen Monty Python’s Life of Brian, think of the ‘What have the Roman’s ever done for us?!’ bit. The fact is any reading of past imperial history will show that building infrastructure in occupied territories is almost without exception a thankless job. The British government has never gotten a single thank you card for all the railways and schools and hospitals it built in its imperial heyday.

    @Ferin
    I’m not criticising the movement of troops into Tibet. But the Paris riots are a good comparison. I don’t believe the French sent the army into the Parisian suburbs (I’m doing a search and I can’t find a reference to troops being deployed), just lots of policemen. In contrast, Beijing has deployed how many thousand soldiers? But it is the proper thing to do; Empire is one of those enterprises where you have to go large or not at all. There’s nothing worse than half-assed imperialists (see the Italian ‘empire’ for example).

    @Mongol Warrior
    Just to correct the most recent of your various factual deviations, the first ‘non-white’ great power in living memory was and continues to be Japan.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
  90. ferin wrote:

    Japan is not a great power anymore. They are a castrated vassal of the United States. They’re starting to shake that off now though.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 3:08 pm | Permalink
  91. Nimrod wrote:

    Lime wrote:
    Now you tell me these are two separate problems, and from the PRC perspective they might be, but I don’t think that it requires a great effort to imagine how a Tibetan might see these two problems arising from the same source, and thus the solution being the same.

    Which Tibetan are you talking about? I think it’s meaningless to pin a particular thought pattern on all people of one ethnicity. It just doesn’t work that way. Of course I can imagine the sloganeering monk’s perspective and of course I can imagine the arsonist’s perspective. They have their own complaints and they may even converge on the same “solution” as heard on pirate Radio Freep Asia or as seen on Dalai Lama’s infomercial CD. That’s a far fetched solution, if it’s even a solution at all, since people can cry about abstractions like “freedom” and “independence” for every problem in Tibet. That’s essentially what they did, not because it’s actually a common cause among all Tibetans, but because it’s an easy cop-out for the fraction of Tibetans with complaints. This is even assuming everything we’ve seen so far is spontaneous, which is so obvious not the case.

    Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Permalink
  92. pmw wrote:

    Lime,

    I can accept your rationale for believing the majority of Tibetans want independence, I think most of them don’t. I too wish there is a survey. But you and I should both have realized that’s not gonna happen with the CCP, at least not until the 14th dies (which seems to be their plan).

    “linguistic disadvantage when it comes to the highest political and economic positions”

    So is the case in every other part of China. And in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore. And for the Native Americans, and so on. And frankly, when it comes to high positons, would language problem really be the issue? How many of the rioters are economically well-off? Again we won’t have a survey, but you get a rough idea looking at those who turned themselves in or got arrested.
    More at stake, in my opinion, is to lift out of poverty the bottom dwellers of the economic stratosphere in Tibet.

    “The protesting monks should be allowed to have their say publicly, in your opinion?”

    Sure. I don’t find it any different from other socio-politico-economical strife and their voice being muffled by the CCP.

    “If you (or anyone here) have any good sources that would give some insight into how modern Tibetan society is divided or united in its attitudes towards the PRC, let me know, please.”

    I think I can find plenty, it’s just that they’ll get discredited the moment I list them out (probably not by you, but there’s a crowd ready to do just that). I’ll give you the following that are by the western media and rather recent. “Tibet Diary” is a independent production I think, you can find on youtube. “A year in Tibet” by BBC, with quite a bit of undertone and innuendo as usual, but to a much lesser degree. The 5-hour-long series just finished broadcasting in UK this week. Keep in mind that even these are too accused of CCP propaganda by the ‘Free Tibet’ community.

    More later.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 12:58 am | Permalink
  93. Tian wrote:

    @Lime:
    “what do you say to a Tibetan advocating Tibetan independence”

    There are around 3500 ethnic groups and only around 170 recognized states. What do you say to each of those 3330 without their own?

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 3:31 am | Permalink
  94. Lime wrote:

    @Nimrod et al
    “I think it’s meaningless to pin a particular thought pattern on all people of one ethnicity.”

    This is one thing that really bugged me about Sautman’s article (which I felt was quite well written overall). He kept talking about this as an ethnic conflict, which seemed to be an underhanded way of linking the separatist movement in Tibet (and actually almost every separatist movement anywhere) to racism. This isn’t about ethnicity. Ethnicity is about genotypes and it is only an issue for true racists (people who think black people are inherently inferior, think that every ethnic Jew bears a moral stain for Jesus’ death, or think that every white person carries a burden of guilt for crimes other white people have committed). There are many examples where different ethnic groups get along just fine and many examples where people of identical ethnicities are in conflict (Taiwan after World War II, the American revolution, to name a couple). This isn’t about ethnicity; it’s about culture, and specifically the cultural divergence between Mainland Chinese and Tibetans. The most obvious facets of culture that are creating a problem are language, religion, and especially the relationship between religion and politics in the two groups.

    I think it’s this religious aspect you’re neglecting when thinking about the rioters. The monks are the religious authorities of the vast majority of Tibetans (or at least that’s what every source I’ve seen says), and the very nature of organised religion means that religious authorities hold of sway over their devotees. I’m not a religious person, and I don’t know if any of you are, but try to imagine if you were and you saw your priest/monk/rabbi/imam getting kicked around by the police, or if they told you the government wasn’t allowing them to properly conduct baptisms, circumcisions, or whatever religious rite you felt was important to the maintenance of your soul,. Considering how much the economic situation has improved in Tibet since the invasion, it seems much more logical to put a greater weight on a religious cause of the rioting, to me anyways. Personally, it seems unlikely that violent street riots were orchestrated by the government in exile. It seems more likely to me that they were a product of the monks’ protests, which were, of course, organised in part by the government in exile. But even if the violent riots were planned, it just goes to show how much sway the monks and the Dalai Lama continue to have over the common people, especially when you consider the thousands of Tibetans involved in and out of Tibet.

    The PRC, as it has been pointed out many times before, contains many different ‘ethnic’ groups (meaning groups that had historically different cultures), and all of them have been successfully integrated into the PRC, either by assimilation, demographically diluting them into negligence, or in a few cases, the most obvious being the Macauans and Hong Kongers, by actually accommodating their cultural expectations of government. All save the Tibetans and possibly the Uyghurs. Bottom line is that the Tibetans are not working as part of the PRC. Their cultural- specifically religious and political- expectations are too different from the rest of the PRC’s to happily be just another bunch of Chinese.
    The economic issues are superficial, I think. You could keep building them roads and hospitals until kingdom come, and I bet they will still try to throw the Chinese out at the first chance. You could kill the Dalai Lama, but there will just be a new Dalai Lama that they will want to follow. It ain’t that easy to talk a people out of their beliefs, and especially if you’re trying to do it with trudgeons and guns.

    I’m not saying that a China-Tibet union is impossible. There have been many states that have overcome cultural differences to build workable unions. The United States, for example, had to write the first explicitly secular constitution in the world to accommodate the fact that the thirteen colonies were dominated by different religions. The English and Scottish eventually reached a mutually acceptable arrangement after centuries of conflict, and modern India owes its very existence to the cooperation between different cultures. And of course, as I pointed out, both the modern PRC and ROC have actually been very successful at this as well. Maybe the PRC could find a way to make the Tibetans a willing part of their state. Anything’s possible.
    As it stands now, though, Tibet may be Chinese territory, but it is not part of China. It’s conquered territory and the Tibetans are a conquered people. This is Empire, plain and simple; witness the thousand of troops the PRC is sending in to keep it controlled.
    And it is dumb Empire. German East Africa dumb. It was originally a good strategic idea, but now it gives it is wasting the very limited financial resources of the PRC state, and risks the lives of Chinese soldiers, policemen, and other government workers that have to be kept there, while giving the PRC absolutely nothing other than some sort of patriotic pride in being able to colour that much more of the map red. It’s also an international embarrassment to have an ‘inalienable’ part of your country consumed by rioting, and this just reaffirming the free world’s stereotypes of the PRC as a primitive authoritarian state stuck a century in the past.
    Giving Tibet its independence would solve all these problems for the PRC, and whatever economic or religious problems remained would become Tenzin Gyatso and his government’s to deal with. This same process has happened in scores of other lands. Decolonisation is quite possible, it’s just a matter of the PRC’s government having the will to do it.

    Sorry for the long post. Got carried away there. But if you’ve got to this point, thanks for reading it.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 8:44 am | Permalink
  95. ferin wrote:

    It was originally a good strategic idea, but now it gives it is wasting the very limited financial resources of the PRC state

    I don’t think it is. Just making sure that no other force sets up shop in Tibet is worth the billions spent there. Besides, there are always humanitarian reasons for not abruptly pulling out of the area.

    China leaving Tibet suddenly would make a lot of pedophiles, murderers, robbers and profiteers in America and Europe very, very happy.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:18 am | Permalink
  96. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    This isn’t about ethnicity; it’s about culture, and specifically the cultural divergence between Mainland Chinese and Tibetans.

    Lime: Well it is about ethnicity, because a people with a common culture and language are an ethnic group. Race does not have to come into it. North Chinese genetically cluster with Koreans. But obviously Koreans are a different ethnic group from Chinese. And Germans cluster with Norwegians on a genetic distances chart. But obviously these are two distinct ethnic groups.

    Those riots were by and large ethnic riots fueld by the jealousy of some Tibetans over perceived success of the Han ethnic group in Lhasa. These riots were really no different in nature from the thuggish manifestations that crop up now and again in Indonesia, the Pacific (Tonga and the Solomon Islands) and in a couple of African countries. But there is a complication with the Tibet situation in that the Dalai Lama and his proxies will be there stirring the pot, creating false perceptions of inequalities and injustices, thus stirring a very small minority to engage in criminal activities.

    Lime: your ignorance is totally laid out for all to see when you refer to Hong Kongers and Macanese as a different ethnic group from the majority Han. You tell any Hong Konger or Macanese that he is not a Jung Gwok Yan. 80percent of Hong Kongers are descended from Guandong peasants. Do you know what “fann heung ha” means? It describes a trip made up to China several times a year by many Hong Kongers to visit the ancestral village.
    The differences that separate Hong Kongers and Macanese from China are just political and economic. But these differences are ephemeral.

    Lime: you are a typical white who would wish that all Asians act like the Dalai Lama and his followers. Non-threatening, running dog, superstitious primitives. The thing that caused the East to fall behind the West, was the scientific revolution which started in the West. That gave the West the power to invade, exploit and plunder most of the East. Westerners want materialism for themselves, but ’spirituality’ for the East. That way they know they will always be the dominant power. Religious freedom is not an absolute. Would you support human sacrifice Lime? Would you support slavery and serfdom that existed in pre-liberation Tibet? If China decides that primitive religious practices are a hindrance to her modernization, I say go ahead and uproot this poison. I’m glad there is no foot-binding is gone, I’m glad that Mao enacted the marriage laws so that most Chinese marry and date freely today. Would you want honor killings Lime? What about female circumcision?
    [edited for language] whites want science and technology for themselves - but want non-whites to remain mired in primitive superstitious thought that only produces slavery, serfdom, low life-expectancies and tin-pot armies that can be defeated by western firepower as easy as rolling off a log.

    As it stands now, though, Tibet may be Chinese territory, but it is not part of China. It’s conquered territory and the Tibetans are a conquered people.

    Tibet has been part of China since about the Yuan dynasty you cunning manipulator of the truth. In fact the TAIWANESE government sees Tibet as part of China. Every single country in the world including all Western ones recognized Tibet as a legitimate part of China. The US recognized Tibet to be a part of China BEFORE 1950. So the issue of whether or not Tibet should be part of China is a dead duck. It is not open for dispute.

    And most Tibetans are happy that they are not serfs and slaves to parasitical, sybaritic Lamas. Just because you see the descendants of Tibets former aristorcratic caste protest around the world does not mean a majority of Tibetans support independence. China did not invade Tibet (how can a country invade itself?). China LIBERATED Tibet.

    It’s also an international embarrassment to have an ‘inalienable’ part of your country consumed by rioting, and this just reaffirming the free world’s stereotypes of the PRC as a primitive authoritarian state stuck a century in the past.

    The reason for this rioting is it was instigated by Dalai Lama and no doubt the Americans. The Americans indisuputably instigated the 1959 uprising (which was supported only by the nobility who were losing their power due to land reform).

    If China went into the Norther Territories and stirred the aborigines up to demand independence for the Northern Territories - how would white Australia feel? But this is exactly what the Americans have done in Tibet. The big difference of course is, China has every right to Tibet. Whites do not have any right to be in Australia.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  97. Lime wrote:

    @Ferin
    Damnit. Thanks for bringing that screwup up Ferin. It (obviously) should read;
    “but now it is wasting the very limited financial resources of the PRC state”.

    There aren’t many imperial powers left. The PRC is pretty much the only one, and if the PRC really becomes the economic giant that everyone is predicting, it’s likely that Tibet will remain pretty solidly in its sphere of influence.
    And I never said the pullout had to be abrupt.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:33 am | Permalink
  98. ferin wrote:

    and I think this case goes quite a bit beyond people standing up for their religious beliefs and sovereignty. Killing civilians isn’t really acceptable.. when’s the last time Shanghainese rioted and burned Starbucks, McDonalds, and KFCs and then started murdering foreigners?

    I think there’s a problem when people try to paint a picture of either Tibetans or the CCP as being totally monolithic entities. Tibetans, just like all other people, are capable of pure xenophobia, forwarding ethnic nationalism, discrimination, hatred and violence.

    It’s also not good to assume that everyone else in China is just a happy camper. I know I wouldn’t be happy if the government told me to send my one kid to Tibet and she was burned to death in a racial pogrom.

    You have to take into account what the rioters don’t really understand and the fact that people in developing countries are often miserable in one way or another. It’s just that there are a lot of outsiders telling a few Tibetans to blame non-Tibetans for all their problems. If it’s true that many of the rioters were shopkeepers and young men, it doesn’t really hold that it’s simply a religious/political thing.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  99. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    And of course Ferin is right. Tibet would just become an American proxy state, invaded by fat white pedophiles (why are all pedophiles white?). And of course the wealth of Tibet, which is the wealth of China; would be drained off to the West. Just like the situation before 1949.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:35 am | Permalink
  100. ferin wrote:

    The biggest threat would be American companies setting up polluting industries upriver, aside from taking advantage of that window of time in which Tibetans are economically clueless to buy resources and concessions under market value. They do it in China and they’d do it to China via Tibet.

    The PRC is pretty much the only one, and if the PRC really becomes the economic giant that everyone is predicting

    Rather, the Soviet Union with its 13 million kilometers squared of stolen land comes to mind.. including Tuva taken from Mongolia and the historical ethnic homeland of the Manchus being torn right out from under their feet.

    It’s rather sad that no one wants to talk about the Evenki or the Nanai who are left to the mercy of Russian stupidity and thuggery.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:45 am | Permalink
  101. ferin wrote:

    I mean there would be some Japanese pedophile sex tourists too, like in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Indonesia, but they’d be disproportionately Australian, European and American.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:46 am | Permalink
  102. ferin wrote:

    errr I should have said the “Russian Skinhead Union”. Forgot that their joke of a country started disintigrating a few decades ago.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:47 am | Permalink
  103. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    There aren’t many imperial powers left. The PRC is pretty much the only one, and if the PRC really becomes the economic giant that everyone is predicting, it’s likely that Tibet will remain pretty solidly in its sphere of influence.

    Australia, US, Canada and New Zealand are imperial powers. The only difference being that the colonized have largely been exterminated. Something the Chinese have never done to indigenous peoples.

    Lime thinks it is fine for white people to rule over half the world’s landmass. But Chinese are not even entitled to the little that they have, even though the little that they have was part of China before the European age of exploration.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  104. Mongol Warrior wrote:

    Yes, also Outer Manchuria. Vladivostok and Khabarovsk were formerly Chinese lands.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:50 am | Permalink
  105. Lime wrote:

    @Mongol Warrior
    “Tibet has been part of China since about the Yuan dynasty you cunning manipulator of the truth.”
    Thanks. I’m honestly flattered.

    @Ferin
    You make a good point with Russia. Arguably, the Kurdistan affair could fit into this as well. I don’t advocate an abrupt pull out. I think it would as much in the PRC’s interest as anyone else to make sure there was a strong stable government of some kind in Tibet before they granted independence. As for the economic tug-o-war, what you say about the American industries was true a few decades back, but its getting to the point where the PRC should be able to hold its own.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 9:58 am | Permalink
  106. ferin wrote:

    The thing is, the only difference between Russia and America’s expansionism is indeed the fact that America killed and swamped all their indigenous peoples and then heavily entrenched themselves into the homes of the slaughtered natives.

    There is also India. Sikkim, Ladakh, and many others are *not* Indian in any way whatsoever. Likewise, the Tibetan riots bring to mind 2002 Gujarat Violence, in which 2,000 people died in religious/ethnic conflict. India was smart not to criticize China this time, because they know they’d get it up theirs sideways.

    The problem here is that NO ONE in China or the CCP wants to kill off the Tibetans and then just steal their land. They just don’t want to see the alternative, which is a hostile puppet state to their West dumping garbage into the Yangtze and Yellow.

    Again, there’s a fatal flaw in the world’s thinking if they think Tibet, left entirely to its own designs from day one, would develop into some kind of utopia. At best, it would be like Bhutan- very happy and free, but extremely closed off and backwards. At worst, it could be like Mongolia; becoming Communist itself and then struggling to develop.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 10:04 am | Permalink
  107. Mark Anthony Jones wrote:

    I agree almost entirely with Barry Sautman’s analysis. In fact, it very closely mirrors mine. A few years ago I travelled throughout parts of Eastern Tibet, documenting my observations and experiences. The following extract will appear in book form, to be published later this year (due to hit the bookstore shelves this July, in fact):

    - Everywhere we look we see monks wandering about, or lay Tibetans making offerings of fruit at sites both inside and outside of temple compounds, sometimes lighting butter lamps or burning juniper. Before the Chinese occupation, or ‘liberation’ as Xiaojing prefers to call it, Litang county had twenty-seven monasteries. Now there are well over thirty. Despite constant monitoring by the Religious Affairs Bureau, which places restrictions on the number of monks allowed to join monasteries, most lamas and monks here appear to be able to conduct their religious duties with considerable freedom.

    This contrasts with the situation in the neighbouring Tibetan Autonomous Region, where religious freedoms are said to be more tightly curtailed, thanks largely to the number of vocal separatists there, who use their position within the monasteries to mobilise support and to organise occasional protests for independence. The more conservative lamas, being the traditionalists that they are, despise the secular developments that the new economy has helped to bring about – their distaste for consumerism, with its more liberal attitude towards sex, is often echoed by the Dalai Lama, who condemns both premarital sex and homosexuality. In an interview he gave for The Telegraph of England back in 2006, he argued that for Buddhists, ‘the purpose of sex is for reproduction’ only, adding that ‘using the other two holes is wrong.’ The problem with Westerners, he surmised, is that ‘their lives have become easier and that has spoilt them.’ Consequently they ‘expect more, they constantly compare themselves to others and they have too much choice – which brings no real freedom.’

    Unhappy with the thought that Buddhism must now compete with liberal ideology, many within the Tibetan lamasery, like the Dalai Lama himself, are now crying fowl, identifying the shift in values and lifestyles brought about by Chinese Han investment as a force that is diluting traditional culture. Tibet’s economy has been growing at more than twelve percent a year over the past six years, and with incomes rising even faster, the demand for consumer goods and services has grown dramatically, with older Tibetans often left bewildered as their teenage sons and daughters keenly embrace a life that revolves around the use of mobile phones, iPods, karaoke bars and discos. Premarital sex among young Tibetans is now on the increase, which alarms traditionalists, and even a flourishing gay community has emerged in Lhasa, with young Tibetan homosexuals now able to introduce themselves to one another online, or in gay bars like the Blue Sky, known in the local language as the Lanse Tian Kong.

    Of course, not all young Tibetans are able to find decent paying jobs in the larger cities like Lhasa and Shigatse, despite the booming economy. Lacking in literacy skills, the more poorly educated immigrants from the countryside often arrive to find themselves ill-equipped to survive the rigours of a market economy. Prostitution provides many young women with the means to consume, but for the waves of illiterate young men, becoming a monk is all too often their only viable option in life. Once in the monasteries though, they are easily exploited, for their feelings of jealousy, anger and resentment make them receptive to those who are keen to push the separatist agenda – people who blame the Han for all of Tibet’s social ills, both imagined and real. Their gripe then, is not surprisingly usually articulated along ethnic lines, often chauvinistically, their anti-Han sentiments sometimes spilling over into racial violence on the streets.

    Such activities merely bolster the authority of the hardliners within local government, of those who prefer the practice of a zero tolerance policy in their approach to maintaining law and order, and as the Canadian historian A. Tom Grunfeld has observed, separatist activities in Tibet have merely ‘fostered increased repression’, which in turn has created even deeper and more widespread resentments. According to the political prisoner database cited by the 2007 Annual Report of the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, there were approximately one hundred Tibetan political prisoners as of September 2007, of whom at least sixty-four were either monks or nuns – most had been charged and convicted of ‘splittism’, the average length of sentence being ten years and four months.

    But if what I see here in Litang is anything to go by, the new economy, despite its increasing social mobility and secularism, is actually helping to revive many aspects of traditional culture just as much as it may be in some ways helping to dilute it. Many Tibetans are clearly keen to benefit from the money that the sharply increasing number of tourists bring, producing and selling all kinds of traditional handicrafts, and as the researchers Ashild Kolas and Monica P. Thowsen have pointed out, some of these cultural products on sale to tourists have also become popular with the Tibetans themselves, which is why cultural production, now linked to tourism, is ‘a very important factor in the revitalisation of Tibetan culture.’

    Young Tibetans, I figure, can hardly be expected to take an active interest in learning how to produce traditional handicrafts, or how to perform traditional song and dance, unless they are able to receive decent livelihoods from doing so. Tourism here in Litang seems to be providing a large enough market to create the incentives needed by some to undertake the restoration of monasteries and other cultural traditions, allowing the locals an opportunity to rearticulate their own identity. -

    As far as use of the Tibetan language goes, I also must agree with the views expressed above by Barry Sautman. Before visiting Litang, in Sichuan Province, I spent some time in Zhongdian, in neighbouring Yunnan Province, where I spent a day teaching voluntarily at a local primary school. Here, again, is an extract from my forthcoming book:

    - Zhongdian’s old town, known as Jedaw in the local Tibetan language, remains untouched by all of the new tourism industry led development, its narrow streets still unpaved.

    We stumble into the grounds of a small primary school, and I suggest that maybe we should approach the principal to see whether or not we can spend the day here teaching.

    ‘Great idea,’ says Xiaojing, ‘I’d love to meet the kids here.’

    The principal is a short man with tanned skin, an ethnic Tibetan. He agrees, and escorts us to a classroom, introducing us to the school’s only English teacher.

    ‘The students don’t have any English textbooks yet,’ explains the teacher, ‘we’ve only just introduced English into the curriculum here very recently.’

    His English is clear, his accent north American.

    ‘I actually teach at the local high school, and only work here one day a week. But today you can teach for me, and I’ll be your student too.’

    The classroom is old and simple, and I count thirty-eight students, all aged around ten. Xiaojing introduces us both in Mandarin, informing them that I will be their English teacher for the day, and she my interpreter.

    Good old-fashioned rote learning is necessitated by the lack of resources, with only a blackboard and a few sticks of chalk available for use.

    Despite only having just been introduced to the language, most already know their ABC, and can count from one to a hundred in English, so I decide to teach them the names of the various body parts, and to reinforce this with a game of ‘Simon Says.’ The students demonstrate impressive memory recall skills, and participate with infectious enthusiasm.

    I draw pictures of various fruits on the board: an apple, an orange, a banana, a strawberry, a pineapple and pear, and a great big juicy watermelon. I drill them on their pronunciation, and teach them how to speak in sentences: ‘What’s your name? My name is…. Where are you from? I’m from…. What’s your favourite fruit? My favourite fruit is….’

    I repeat the strategy, this time using emotions, with faces on the board.

    ‘Am I sad?’ I smile.

    ‘No,’ they all call out in unison. ‘You’re happy!’

    One little girl, her hair in pigtails, calls Xiaojing over, and expresses her surprise at the shape of my nose. Xiaojing expresses her own surprise to me, at how dirty the girl’s fingernails are – though she agrees that all in the class are exceptionally bright, worthy of our time.

    The principal wanders in, the lesson now over, and makes the point that being able to speak English could help these students to find jobs in the future. New hotels are now under construction, the road from Lijiang is being upgraded, and many of the local villages in this area have only just received power and water facilities for the very first time. No doubt both the local government and tour operators are viewing the nearby monastery as a destination worth promoting, seeing it as the main attraction perhaps, of their new Shangri-la.

    ‘The principal says that back in 2003, government investment in the prefecture was 1.7 billion yuan,’ says Xiaojing, ‘which was more than the previous thirty years of state investment combined. He says that when these kids become adults they will be able to find jobs as tour guides or as hotel or restaurant staff, provided they can speak good Mandarin or English. Tourism and poverty relief are one and the same thing, he says.’

    ‘Can you ask him whether or not the students here are taught any of their subjects in the Tibetan language?’

    Xiaojing passes on my question, and the principal replies.

    ‘He says that at this school most of the subjects are taught in Mandarin, because Tibetans make up only about thirty percent of the population here. Out of the nine hundred and eighty-four schools in the prefecture, only thirty are bilingual. There are many more bilingual schools in neighbouring Ganzi prefecture, where Tibetans make up nearly eighty percent of the population, and he says that sixty-eight percent of all the schools in Ganzi are bilingual, and that in some of those schools, nearly every subject is taught in the Tibetan language.’

    The principal is full of information, and shows us a few of the Tibetan-language textbooks. The Five Provinces is the name of the series, which covers all of the major subjects, each one a translation of the standard Chinese text used throughout the whole of China. There is also a textbook in the series used to teach the Tibetan language, which draws on mostly Tibetan subject matter.

    ‘He says that these same textbooks are used in primary schools in all the five Tibetan areas – the Tibetan Autonomous Region, Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan and here in Yunnan. But is it not easy for some Tibetan children to learn how to read and write in Tibetan.’

    ‘Why is that?’

    ‘He says that most Tibetan children speak only their local dialect at home, which is southern Kham dialect, but at school they have to learn written Tibetan, which is a little different, because it’s based on the Lhasa dialect. He says they differ phonologically.’

    ‘So these kids have to learn three languages really – the Lhasa dialect, Mandarin, and now English.’

    ‘Yes, that’s right. In the past, before liberation, most Tibetans could only speak their local dialect, and were unable to read and write. Usually only the wealthy religious leaders knew how to read and write. You foreigners shouldn’t believe everything that nasty man in Dharamsala says. He always tells many lies, saying that China is destroying Tibetan culture and language. Not true. Tibetan is now a computerised language, with Tibetan fonts, and so there are now many Tibetan-language newspapers and magazines and novels, and even literary journals in the Tibetan language, like Light Rain and Tibetan Literature and Art journal. There is even a Tibetan-language television station, which broadcasts in Tibetan language twenty-four hours a day. In fact, more Tibetans can read and write the Tibetan language now than at any time in their history.’

    The sun begins to set over Shangri-la, painting the sky with a splash of pink. We thank the principal for his hospitality, and leave a little enlightened. -

    And finally, one more extract from my book, this time detailing a conversation I has with some fellow Australian tourists I ran into in Kangding:

    - Dartsedo, or the meeting place of traders, is the Tibetan name for Kangding, this ancient frontier town where Tibetan nomads still come together with Han traders to exchange their wares – yak hides and silver jewellery for electronic goods. The town centre is a melting pot, with a healthy mix of Tibetan Khampa, Hui, Yi and Han Chinese, all rushing about their business in a space characterised by concrete office and apartment blocks, flash karaoke bars and restaurants, the retailers of designer fetish gear – fashion for the youths.

    ‘Cultural genocide,’ screams Celia, the young Australian woman I have bumped into in the hotel lobby. ‘Nearly everything about this town has been Sinicised.’ Her boyfriend Tim nods his head in agreement, his left elbow resting on her shoulder.

    ‘I’m not so sure,’ I reply, ‘Kangding has always been a frontier town, with a melting pot of cultures. It has simply been modernised.’

    ‘But don’t you think it’s sad that the Tibetans are losing all their traditions?’

    ‘I’ve just travelled through two Tibetan autonomous prefectures, where Tibetan culture appears to be flourishing. This was especially evident in Litang, where most of the people I saw wandering about the streets were even dressed traditionally. Just because many of the Tibetans in this city choose to live in modern apartments and to wear jeans instead of chubas, those cloaks of woollen cloth, hardly makes them any less Tibetan, does it? Why shouldn’t young Tibetans choose to become politicians and entrepreneurs instead of herdsmen or monks?’

    ‘Come on man,’ sighs Tim, ‘why would Tibetans want to become politicians or entrepreneurs? Most of them are Buddhists. The Chinese are corrupting Tibetan youths with cheap tacky materialism, contaminating their culture with karaoke and Nike shoes, all for the purpose of making big fat profits. It makes me sick.’

    ‘I once read an interesting article in the Los Angeles Times by a woman named Pamela Logan, an aerospace scientist who apparently spends a great deal of time here in this part of the world. She is the founder of the Kham Aid Foundation, which runs a number of educational assistance and architectural conservation programs throughout the more remote parts of this prefecture. Imagine you’re a Tibetan for one moment, is what she asked of her readers. How would you feel if the state was to intervene in your personal life to the extent that it restricted your choice of dress, forcing you to wear only traditional clothes, insisting that you continue to live only in a traditional home, one without electricity or adequate plumbing – all in the name of preserving your cultural purity?’

    ‘Well I reckon they ought to be encouraged to renovate,’ suggests Celia, ‘or to build new modern houses, but from timber, and in more traditional styles.’

    ‘Many Tibetans do build their homes in traditional styles, as you will notice if you venture into the more remote parts of the region, but this county has already been over-logged, which is why the logging of old growth forests here has now been banned. So concrete is often preferred, by both Tibetan and Han builders, because it’s cheaper, more readily available, and is less of a fire risk.’

    ‘There’s nothing wrong with being a monk, man,’ says Tim. ‘Buddhism is an important part of the Tibetan identity.’

    ‘Perhaps,’ I retort, ‘but I have noticed that even many of the Tibetan monasteries throughout this region have been building new temples in concrete, and some of the head lamas run very profitable enterprises, like private schools that teach both Tibetan and Mandarin, and are connected to the rest of the world via the Internet, mobile phones and satellite television. Quite a few even travel overseas to conduct business.’

    ‘The only reason why young Tibetans today worry about fashion, and now choose to waste away their time in Internet bars instead of practicing meditation, is because the Chinese have forced materialism onto them,’ insists Tim. ‘Next they’ll all be eating McDonald’s too. Globalisation sucks man!’

    ‘But the people of Tibet, like everyone else in the world, have a long history of engaging in foreign trade, and have always been keen to embrace foreign ideas and goods into their lives. When the Italian missionary Francesco della Penna visited Tibet in the 1730s for example, he found a flourishing mining industry: gold, silver, copper, lead, sulphur, cobalt and mercury. Tibet’s theocratic government, headed of course by the lamasery, generated large revenues by taxing the profits from mining and trade. In 1899, the value of Tibet’s trade with India alone was recorded as having been worth a quarter of a million pounds sterling, which was huge money back then. Tibetans imported mirrors, umbrellas, soap, kerosene, clocks and watches – just about everything you can think of in fact, although the main product they imported from India was woollen cloth. They bought horses, saddlery and leather from Mongolia, and silks, carpets and tea-bricks from the eastern parts of China.’

    Tim shrugs his shoulders, as if to say ‘so what?’

    ‘The Tibetans have always been an innovative lot,’ I continue, ‘blending the traditional with the new. Take those cowboy hats that the Khampa men often wear for example. It was an American by the name of Fred Schroder who apparently introduced the Stetson to Tibet. He happily gave away his own hat to Thubten Choekyi Nyima, the ninth Panchen Lama, on meeting him during a visit he made to Kumbum Gonpa back in 1913. The Tibetans admired the Lama’s new hat so much, that they began making copies of it in the local felt. These days the cowboy hat, which compliments very nicely both chuba and boots, is considered an important part of traditional dress – a symbol of Tibetan masculinity. Likewise, the Tibetan youths of today are using modern technology to record traditional folk songs but in foreign contemporary styles, keeping their language but performing them as hip-hop or rap, sometimes combining T-shirts with chubas in their music videos. No culture can ever remain pure and static. Flowing waters never stale.’

    ‘Well at least the Tibetans never invaded other countries,’ he snaps.

    ‘Not true. This area we’re in now has for hundreds of years been fought over. In 760 the Tibetans, under King Trisong Detsen’s rule, conquered most of what is today called Sichuan Province, where we are now, forcing the Chinese Han to pay an annual tribute of fifty thousand rolls of silk. The Tibetans also attacked and captured the Tang dynasty capital Changan a few years later, near present day Xian, in Shaanxi Province. In fact, Tibetan forces dominated much of western China for almost half a century, and also they controlled Burma, all of Nepal, as well as most of present day Bangladesh, Pakistan, and a reasonable slice of northern India. It was Trisong Detsen, incidentally, who made Indian Buddhism Tibet’s official religion, localising it, as the historian Lee Feigon has pointed out, by fusing it with those Bon rituals that could be used to attain more worldly, more practical goals, like accumulating wealth or destroying enemies.’

    They glance at one another, and with eyes full of skepticism.

    ‘Don’t forget too,’ I add, just to drive home my point, ‘that all the head lamas lived lives of luxury, their mansions and large estates staffed by serfs and slaves. I guess the idea of freeing oneself of desire simply didn’t appeal to those whose karma made them Holy men.’

    ‘Well, we had better press on,’ says Celia, her voice weary. ‘Hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Kangding.’

    I wander up four flights of stairs and enter our room to find Xiaojing watching a troupe of young Tibetan dancers performing for a television broadcast; their costumes, music and choreography all draw from a mix of the traditional and the contemporary. I sit and watch from the edge of the bed, captivated by this newer, more modern expression of Tibetan identity. -

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  108. Rain wrote:

    Mark, agree with Barry sautman to. can you give me some example of tibetan hip hop music that you say is making traditional culture reoccuring?

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 11:31 am | Permalink
  109. Mark Anthony Jones wrote:

    Rain - allow me to be lazy in the way that I answer your question - as I am rather busy today, marking student essays - by simply providing yet another extract from my forthcoming book:

    - Roughly eighty percent of Litang’s fifty thousand permanent residents are ethnic Tibetan, and the biggest attraction here is the Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery. Founded in 1580 by the third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso, the monastery boasts three main temples and is where the seventh and tenth Dalai Lamas were born.

    The monastery, we are told, is now home to almost three thousand monks, some of whom we see sitting around in their maroon robes, fingering their prayer beads, others stand chatting among themselves, or are on mobile phones. One we see listening to music from an iPod, his head bobbing to the beat.

    ‘I bet he’s listening to the Heavenly Club Band,’ says Xiaojing. ‘That’s a very new Tibetan band from Lhasa. Their CD is called Vajara. It’s hugely popular right now.’

    ‘What kind of music do they play?’

    ‘They sing mostly traditional Tibetan folk songs, but in modern hip-hop and rap styles, and they sing in both the Tibetan language and in Mandarin. Their most famous song is Chang Wine Toast Song. It’s actually a very traditional Tibetan folk song, hundreds of years old, but most Tibetans had forgotten it until the Heavenly Club Band recorded it as a rap. Now everybody knows the song.’

    ‘Tell me more.’

    ‘The lead singer, Tenzin Dawa, is a graduate of Tibet University. I read about him on musictibet.com. He said that the Heavenly Club is the name of a magical instrument, used by Buddhists to defeat evil spirits.’

    ‘An interesting example of how a global trend can be adapted to provide a local meaning, don’t you think?’

    ‘We can try tasting some localisation too,’ she says, unable to disguise the excitement in her voice.

    She leads me directly into a small restaurant, a simple hole-in-the-wall establishment, and orders shoko khatsa – potato coins, sprinkled with curry powder and pan-fried with slices of onion and green chillis.

    ‘It was a Scotsman who introduced the potato to Tibet,’ I say, ‘back in 1774.’

    ‘Big deal.’

    ‘George Bogle his name was, here to investigate trade opportunities on behalf of the British East India Company. Rather than rejecting the potato as something foreign and culturally impure, I see that the Tibetans have instead adapted it to their own dishes, to suit their own tastes.’

    ‘Yes, potatoes grow very well in Tibet, and are used in many dishes. Even Tibetan dumplings are full of potato.’-

    Point I’m trying to make: globalisation rarely destroys every aspect of local culture, since foreign ideas, products and techniques are more often than not integrated by locals in ways that are culturally mediated. Tibet is no exception, and has a history of integrating foreign goods, localising them to suit Tibetan needs, styles and tastes.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  110. ferin wrote:

    lol MAJ

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 12:10 pm | Permalink
  111. Nimrod wrote:

    Lime, I think you are trying harder than most people to look at the cause of this, but so I can’t say you’re simplifying the issue, but I do think you are pounding a square peg into a round hole. The round hole is your personal experience in Western society that forms the basis of your analysis.

    First, Tibetans inside and outside of China have different thought patterns and different agendas. Most Tibetans in China now are of generations that grew up with the PRC, and in that sense have more in common with Han Chinese than the exiles. The way things are or are done in China’s society are sometimes sufficiently “strange” to outsiders that they cannot accurately imagine the true causes of certain events, because they cannot simulate that mindset at all.

    Second, religion is a strong issue, but religion in China and in particular Buddhism in Tibetan society, is a bit different from religion you may be aware of. By far, Western society is a lot more serious and orthodox about religion than Easterners, so you are putting too much weight on certain things, like the choice of head lamas being interpreted as religious offenses, etc. Tibetan Buddhism actually has numerous sects and they don’t all recognize the same lamas or even consider the Dalai Lama as supreme.

    Anyway, the Western impression of Tibet (and I’m talking about the impression a fair minded person would get just by being exposed to the universe of sources one may come into effortless contact in Western society) is so laughably and hopelessly wrong, that your mind is trapped in a certain corner where you can only draw the wrong conclusions. Of course, being fair minded, you would believe those are the right ones.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 12:46 pm | Permalink
  112. Tenzin wrote:

    The view accorded by Mark Anthony Jones angers me as I read it. Yes Mark, the DL does oppose sex before marriages and the filthy homosexualism, which is destroying Tibetan culture and society. Why these bad anti moral behaviors should be welcomed by us Tibetans? This is what DL means by genocide when the Tibetan society and culture is succumbed to the poisonous behaviors of Han intruders. What is Tibetan culture? Not to be prostitute, homosexual or the loose morals of having the sex before marriages. Who are you Mark Anthony Jones, to support this types of pollution in tibet?

    Ferin, you are also misunderstanding of tibetans. Chinese killed us tibetans, so some tibetans fight back. Some Chinese were killed during these conflicts, but so what? They shouldn’t be in Tibet in first place,spreading there filthy AIDS among Tibetan women.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  113. ferin wrote:

    If you want a world where revenge is taken against people’s descendents for past crimes between ethnic groups, you’re in for a nuclear holocaust along with Mongolia and Japan.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Permalink
  114. ferin wrote:

    descendant*

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  115. Nimrod wrote:

    To somebody asking for Tibetan rap, I’ve actually run into a few. Here’s one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm7mq8wk1zA

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Permalink
  116. Nimrod wrote:

    Dawa Tsering, Dalai Lama’s Representative to the Americas, is described in his youth as a “likeable” guy, who “enjoyed” the traditional “freedom” accorded to Tibetan youths to enjoy the unpicked flowers before marriage. Let’s not even talk about the familial polyandry among commoners, and the deviant sexual behavior cloaked as religion among the lamasery. Tibetans were far from puritanical, with or without outside influence.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  117. Kai wrote:

    @ Mongol Warrior:

    LoL, your overzealous overconfidence in yourself reminds me of George W. Bush (except you have more random trivia to throw in to give your bitching the semblance of more academic weight).

    Now, really, I didn’t think pointing out you using fallacies like a crutch would get your panties in such a big twist. Or maybe you’re just entertaining me. Whatever the case may be, you either completely fail to understand the points I’m making or addressing them would be inconvenient to your soap-boxing.

    As I said before, your unique form of tact preaches to the choir and likely discourages those who would otherwise listen and side with you. Perhaps you like listening to your own voice as much as I do. ;)

    Whatever, continue on.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 at 10:07 pm | Permalink
  118. snow wrote:

    Tenzin,

    Yur the only one I can really relate to on this topic because there is too much talk about land this and Dalai Lama that. I dont care about a Lama character and I dont care about politics either.

    I think the Tibetan people are not articulating the issue well at all. It seems like there are too many slogans and not enough explainging the real problem.

    As I see it, the problem is there are too many restrictions on matters of the mind and ‘cultural genocide’. As I understand, the Tibetan people are not allowed to believe in Buddha and are treated badly because they are too religious and stuff. Is that true? In terms of cultural genocide, the communist Han are atheist materialists if they are in line with the CCP and I think the CCPs goal os to spread the religion of atheism wherever they possibly can, this can damage peoples spiritual path toward Nirvana.. Is that a correct understanding?

    I dont think you should worry Tenzin about it too much. No one can change your heart, no one can really take your spirit away with theis cultural genocide stuff. The CCP has done this all throughout China and people are not well off spiritually, but some people are able to hold on to what they really think, despite torture.

    Monday, April 7, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
  119. ferin wrote:

    believe in Buddha?

    that doesn’t even make sense, that’s not even the focus of Buddhism [edited for language]

    Tibet is the most successful Buddhist nation/region in all measures.. which isn’t saying much, but still.

    Please don’t talk about a lack of spirituality and materialism as someone who lives in [edited for language] Canada.

    Monday, April 7, 2008 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  120. Lime wrote:

    @Mongol Warrior
    I’m going to write briefly to Snow about things that border on moral issues, but just [edited for language] off with the white race has no conception of morality bit.

    @Snow
    I think your over stepping your position here a bit. Mr. Tenzin’s complaints are not so much about religious oppression as they are about not enough social oppression. His particular theism seems to advocate the persecution of ‘filthy’ homosexuals. If you’re supportive of personal religious liberty, this guy ain’t the ally to be choosing.
    I am currently watching the BBC’s A Year in Tibet on the advice of PMV, and its repersentation of how Tibetan Buddhism is treated by the CCP more or less jives with everything else I’ve read. You might want to try downloading it, or try finding other sources on the matter. The CCP is not about eliminating the religion (that would be ambitious to the point of foolishness), they are merely trying to control it. This is true of Christianity as well.
    I’m not saying the CCP has not taken a heavy hand with religion and their promotion of atheism in the past. You can compare the public displays of religion in the ROC to the lack of them in the PRC to get some idea, but the PRC people are not nearly as spiritually deprived as you imply, and you can see this if you wander about China a bit and have a peek inside some homes. The people are just discouraged from flaunting their religions (this is with the exception of the Falun Gongers of course).

    In the interest of religious tolerance, I think you have to appreciate that a Buddhist theocracy that oppresses other faiths (including atheism) is just as bad as a Marxist one.

    Monday, April 7, 2008 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
  121. snow wrote:

    gee,

    I dont really think I said the right things yesterday…I knew I wanted to say something but I didnt know what to say. This comment board really gave me the heebeegeebees..I guess I just felt like I wanted to say what the real problem is, but, well, I guess it is for the Tibetan people to articulate. It is for them to know what the problem is, if there is one and for them to be able to say what it is.
    Anyway, I REALLY do not think that Buddhists or Christians etc, should ever opress or persecute others, whether they are homo. Atheist er whatever… But I DO think that the CCP is using its classic tactics to force atheism on people. that really bothers me a lot.

    ferin: “”"”"Please don’t talk about a lack of spirituality and materialism as someone who lives in [edited for language] Canada.”"”"”"

    Is there some particular REASON why you are requesting me not to talk about spirituality and materialism? Somehow being in Canada does not constitute a REASON.

    Monday, April 7, 2008 at 10:51 pm | Permalink
  122. admin wrote:

    Thank you to everyone for taking time to leave their comments. Now, a polite request: differences of opinion are welcome, but insults are not. Please refrain from personal attacks on other commenters and from using expletives. Failure to comply with this request may result in an entire comment being deleted. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 1:16 am | Permalink
  123. ferin wrote:

    well lets see.. canada just dropped on the natives like a ton of bricks and then proceeded to suck the nation dry of any resources, is extremely wasteful, and brings in a ton of immigrants who they succeed in completely washing of their native cultures for profit.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 1:22 am | Permalink
  124. BeWay wrote:

    Too much time wasted arguing for the sake of arguing. I’ve a better suggestion to resolve the impasses in Tibet - but do it quietly lest some peoples just can’t take it;
    * The Chinese Govt should create millions of jobs in Tibet and encourage more Chinese to migrate there - no human right abuse, right.
    * All rules on population control are not applicable in Tibet. Hai, go ahead and multiply. The more the merrier. No human right abuse, right.
    The rule is just plain simple. In 20 years or more, Tibet will NOT be a thorn anymore.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 2:47 am | Permalink
  125. Mark Anthony Jones wrote:

    Correction: when I said that the Dalai Lama, along with other traditionalists, have been crying “fowl” over the emergence of a more secular society, and the liberalism this fosters, i of course meant to say “foul”.

    Sorry for the error.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 5:10 am | Permalink
  126. @.@ wrote:

    Umm I’m pretty sure the population control rule is only lifted for minorities. So if you are ethnic Tibetan, even if you are in Beijing, you’d still be allowed all the kids you want. From what I’ve heard, there are many ethnic Han who register as minority ethnic groups even with just a drop of minority blood in their ancestry because minorities get so much preferential treatment in education, taxes, kids, etc. I also remember reading a report somewhere that with all the ethnic mixing in all those thousands of years, there are really not that many genetically pure Han left in China, if any. Too bad for those racial supremacists who keep complaining about minorities having it easy and robbing them of opportunities.
    …Wait…where have I heard of that complaint before?

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 10:04 am | Permalink
  127. @.@ wrote:

    @Tenzin: Your comment sounds so inappropriate that I am almost tempted to think you are a troll out to make the devout Tibetans look bad. Buddha loves all living things and is willing to sacrifice himself for them, regardless of whether they even respect him. Remember that next time before you speak in anger and with hatred.
    Not to mention, the kinds of influences you speak of merely flowed into Tibet *through* the Han immigrants, at best, assuming the depravity wasn’t there before, as Nimrod’s comment would have us believe. Modernization started in the West. You may be alive and healthy and computer literate today because of it. As with just about anything in this world, some bad stuff comes with the good. And nobody besides yourself is responsible for filtering out the bad stuff for you, so learn to ignore the bad, and count your blessings. This will do wonders for your spiritual well-being and make you sound less foolish.
    @General: Actually, reading all these posts describing the economical problems in Tibet, I was wondering about something. The Han immigrants, well, migrated there, right? And they are not all successful, right? So before the successful ones got there, who held all the jobs that these unhappy Tibetan young men wanted? The land and the people were on their side. They certainly knew more about Tibet and the people’s needs more than some fot Han immigrant. There was no competition. Why didn’t they get the jobs then instead of waiting for the Han to come around?
    Forgive the tongue-in-cheek. I am from a nation built and carried to greatness by immigrants. If we need jobs and can’t find them, the best among us can usually find ways to create the jobs for the rest of us. And I bet Tibet is in more need of development than some spots over here.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  128. snow wrote:

    Ferin, lets say that stuff is true. ( I am do not know how many native people were in Canada before “Canada dropped on them like bricks)

    Anyway, whats your point?

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 12:44 pm | Permalink
  129. ferin wrote:

    You should just watch the tone because Canadians have no idea what it’s like to treat natives well or to really have to do backbreaking work for survival.

    “there are really not that many genetically pure Han left in China”

    I wouldn’t doubt it.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at 11:09 pm | Permalink
  130. pete wrote:

    Since China argues backwards into history to justify its right of soverienty over the land of Tibet, back to the Mongol dynasty, I think it is appropriate to consider the ethnic history of the people known is Tibetans. They are ethnicly different than the Han Chinese. My knowledge of the history of Tibet is that “China” as a nation never conquered the Tibetan people or the land until 1951. That was a time when the United Nations was in existence and China was a member, albeit the Republic of China. One of the founding principles of the UN, in its Charter, was
    of the exercise of the right to self-determination by peoples under colonial and foreign domination.

    I would say that applies to Tibet.
    The Tibetans have a right of self-determination I would argue. Chinese presence in Tibet by armed take over is foreign domination. Period! I do not buy anyone saying the Peoples Republic of China has sovereign rights over the Tibetan people or their land until the people in Tibet have had a free and uncoerced right to choose the government they want to represent them. They have not had that under the PRC.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 12:30 am | Permalink
  131. snow wrote:

    Ferin,

    In school here we dont learn about the immigrants’ treatment of native people. People came to Canada with mainly Christian religion, and I guess the native way of believing was the common way before that. I am not even aware of what the natives believe, nor am I too much in touch with the Christian religion, nor to I do back breaking labour (nor does anyone I know), so whats your point?

    Howbout I just make my point more clear. Saying that because I am in Canada means I should not talk about the issue of spirituality and materialism does not make sense to me. Does it make sense to you?

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 1:15 am | Permalink
  132. ferin wrote:

    I said you shouldn’t be talking down on China because your nation is utterly evil.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 3:40 am | Permalink
  133. ferin wrote:

    They are ethnicly different than the Han Chinese.

    Actually the Huaxia Han and the Northeast Asian Tibetans are two branches of one major group. They are separated however by around 7,000 years of autochthonic development and intermarriage with different Southeast Asian tribes.

    This actually doesn’t mean anything, but it throws a wrench into your notions of Tibetan racial supremacy vis a vis the Han.

    My knowledge of the history of Tibet is that “China” as a nation never conquered the Tibetan people or the land until 1951.

    The land was variously made a protectorate and vassal and generally was left to take care of itself up until the mid 1800s, where China asserted territoriality over the British and Russians who were encroaching upon China proper.

    The Tibetans have a right of self-determination I would argue.

    So do the Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, Southern Amerinds, Maori, Native Siberians, South Africans, and First Nations.

    Make good on your respect for indigenous rights and go back to Europe.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 3:53 am | Permalink
  134. snow wrote:

    “”"”"”I said you shouldn’t be talking down on China because your nation is utterly evil.”"”"”"

    Well, at least you’re ‘man’ enough to respond…

    So, lets say ‘Canada’ is evil, utterly evil…(just for the sake of getting to the point)..How would that mean that I should not point out the faults of the CCP and the resulting cultural disaster in China?

    You may think I’m playing games here, but I’m not, I really want to talk to you about this cause I think you might be making a big error in logic and thats just not good for your mental health and your future as a dignified person, especially considering that you might be making such an error about something that is coming to a head in a big way.

    Thanks,

    Snow

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 3:54 am | Permalink
  135. ferin wrote:

    How would that mean that I should not point out the faults of the CCP and the resulting cultural disaster in China?

    Because by nature of virtue and common sense you would be focusing all your energy on cleaning up your own yard rather than pointing that finger of yours at China.

    Once the Natives of Canada have their land returned to them and all illegal immigrant anchor babies are repatriated to their country of origin can you talk about China’s materialistic drive in Tibet. Either that or your message is undermined..

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 4:10 am | Permalink
  136. J B wrote:

    Given the lack of references and the lack of information about the author (why does his being a professor of social sciences at an HK university make his writings about Tibet so worthy of posting?), this is probably the least convincing article on Tibet I’ve yet seen written by someone not from mainland China.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 10:19 pm | Permalink
  137. ferin wrote:

    Because all the counterarguments are so well-referenced?

    Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 7:47 am | Permalink
  138. BChung wrote:

    the least convincing? Why don’t you try refuting it? You can’t right?

    Wow you already show your weakness “(why does his being a professor of social sciences at an HK university make his writings about Tibet so worthy of posting?)” here is a question why not?

    @ PETE, your history lessons on TIbet starts in 1951, and before that what do you know? Why not start sharing some? Also the funny thing the current Dalai Lama needed the permission of the KMT permissions in order to be a Dalai Lama. oh yes you heard it the Tibetans Lama needed to report to the KMT government. Hear let me spell it to you, if the Communist lost the Civil War and the KMT won, TIbet is still not going to “independent” and Hollywood won’t spent time on manufacturing Tibetans history and the CIA won’t bother funding the Dalai Lama, training its fighters, or funding any of these Pro Tibetans Groups.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  139. snow wrote:

    Ferin, sorry I took so long… The whole idea of cleaning my own backyard brought up several points in my mind so I will share a couple with you….

    1. I don’t distinguish between countries when it comes to evil forces. If the CCP were based in Canada, I would be all over them the same way, it has nothing to do with China/Canada.

    2. I know that people in China are messed up by the gestapo if they criticise the CCP, so since I am in Canada, it gives me the benefit of being protected. That is a good position to be in for helping Chinese people who are terrorized and cannot speak.

    3. Globalization is REAL, really real. That is, I basically have no backyard eh. The CCP has its fingers in most countries’ political systems and influencial publics, thats a fact. The CCP is messing in ‘my backyard’, controlling Chinese Canadians, the media and the government (essentially manipulating public opinion and policy) That is a huge concern of mine.

    4. I see China as a special place with special people, a land of extremes. It is interesting to me and I have many Chinese friends. I love your culture and would like to speak Chinese, and I wouldnt mind if the Chinese culture was spread around the world and if Chinese people were more influencial everywhere, BUT NOT THE CCP.

    5. The people who overtook Canada are immigrants and a new population from Europe… They were greedy and they mistreadted the natives. They do not respect the natives too much now even. But frankly, most people are quite greedy, I can’t compare that to a diabolical regime such as the CCP. We do not torture the native people and force them to mentally assimilate with regime worship lies.

    6. People around the world refer to China as the next global superpower. Some figure that soon we will be speaking Chinese and under the rule of the Chinese government. If that is a reality in the future, then of course we have to adress the issue of lying, brainwashing, mass killing, torturing, gulags, forced labour and farcical laws all made up to protect the CCPs interests. If China emerges onto a globalized scene with the CCP, there will be a big war FOR SURE, since people will not want to live close to that party. There would be mass suicides just like during the cultural revolution and the issues might as well be adressed now instead of in the future when it would be more of a war situation.

    7. As a Buddhist person it is my compassion to be concerned for peoples spiritual well being. The way the CCP makes people act, (lying, killing, being used, cowardly following CCP religion) is dangerous for them, and I think if we talk about it more, things will maybe open up and people will be a bit more free and will make better choices and will therefore have a better chance to accomplish their spiritual journey.

    Peace.

    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 12:09 am | Permalink
  140. whatsis wrote:

    Snow wrote:

    2. I know that people in China are messed up by the gestapo if they criticise the CCP, so since I am in Canada, it gives me the benefit of being protected. That is a good position to be in for helping Chinese people who are terrorized and cannot speak.

    Being in Canada also gives you the detriment of not fully understanding what the situation is in China. The Chinese media, hysterical though it’s tone may be, does have a point about western media bias. A lot of what appears in the western press is out of context, written by someone who has little knowledge of China or its relationships in the region, and is focused on the most sensational stories that can be found.

    The CCP has its fingers in most countries’ political systems and influencial publics, thats a fact. The CCP is messing in ‘my backyard’, controlling Chinese Canadians, the media and the government (essentially manipulating public opinion and policy) That is a huge concern of mine.

    I’m not sure how the CCP is controlling Chinese-Canadians. Could you provide some examples here please?

    5. The people who overtook Canada are immigrants and a new population from Europe… They were greedy and they mistreadted the natives. They do not respect the natives too much now even. But frankly, most people are quite greedy, I can’t compare that to a diabolical regime such as the CCP. We do not torture the native people and force them to mentally assimilate with regime worship lies.

    I’d say that the treatment of natives at the hands of the British and French was more than just greedy. It was, and is, deplorable. And yes, Canada used assimilation policies on the native population. Nomadic tribes were forced to settle permanently on land that yielded little in the way of food or shelter, their children were taken away to be “properly” educated in English schools, even now in many reservations the standard of living matches that of third world countries. And if there is an uprising, the riot squad is called in to deal with it. Remember Wounded Knee?

    The point of all of this I guess is that, as Westerners, we tend to act as though we have some sort of moral authority, when we really don’t, and also tend to think we know more about the issue at hand than we really do. A lot of us could use a dose of humility.

    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  141. buddhism wrote:

    I would like to point out a myth that those anti-China activists would never understand, that there’s really no separation between Chinese people and Chinese “evil” government.

    The more you condemn and trash talk about Chinese government, the more support they will get from Chinese people, domestic or overseas. In fact, I have seen lots of western commentators pointed out that what CCP government is doing now(restrict the chaotic protest scenes on torch relay in London/Paris/SF) is to protect western. Why do I say that? Chinese government could easily present these scenarios in front of their people, and with sense of humiliation, majority Chinese will turn hostile against U.K/France/U.S. There are already more and more Chinese who learned the news from internet advocate boycotting any French goods in China.

    If those activists would like to help Chinese people (I mean if they really care, which I highly doubt) to isolate their “evil” government, the best way is to engage with them behind the scene instead of publicly humiliate.

    Turn blind eyes on the huge improvements on living standards and human rights in China for past 30 years does not help resolve the issue at all.

    I would like to quota on Mark Anthony Jones’ comment on one debate he had on Tibet issue, and I couldn’t agree more

    “There is a need of course, to continue putting some political pressure on the CCP to continue to improve its human rights record, provided that the criticisms reflect fair and honest assessments, which must include praise for real achievements made, just helping to fund those NGOs that actually carry out useful and beneficial projects in Tibet, will go a long way towards helping the people of Tibet to help themselves, by providing them with greater opportunities to gain education and employment.”

    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 11:03 pm | Permalink
  142. snow wrote:

    Buddhism,

    You misunderstand me. Your final point does not apply to me. I know enough, and I have the right to point out evil regimes’ misdeeds, for the good of the world, why should I not? Its not a question of needing humility, its a question of compassion for the worlds people, and whether I am innocent and pure will not be what determines whether I stand up for whats right. Do you think I should consider myself nothing but an accumulation of past sins? If all I am is guilty and cant move or speak because You think I am just too scummy, well, whats the point of it all? Who would do anything good or say whats right? We all have sins unless we are Buddha, and part of the journey of becoming Buddha is acting on your good side instead of your bad side. I am not only an accumulation of sine, I have a good side, and that is the side I am acting on when I speak out for people under CCP.

    How does the CCP control overseas Chinese. 1. They give them money
    2. their propaganda is in the Chinese newspapers (also western)also TV
    3. they can revoke their Chinese passports and never let them come to China or see their families.
    4. Most have family and friends in China so they are under threat.
    5. they are offered various benefits from the Chinese embassies.

    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 11:46 pm | Permalink
  143. snow wrote:

    oh and one more thing. Who can really feel safe from CCP? They have spies all throughout foreign societies, the people are scared of them. If they set foot in China after being overseas and have committed crimes against being in love with the party, they will get screwed. Even Houssein Celil was a Canadian and the Chinese do not acknowledge he is Canadian and hold him in China for lots of torture. Canada is somewhat suck up to CCP so they didnt even insist to get him back. So theres no where safe from them as long as other governments are kissing up.

    Friday, April 11, 2008 at 11:50 pm | Permalink
  144. buddhism wrote:

    Snow,

    I have already clearly presented my view of raising criticism. I have no problem of criticizing CCP’s wrong doing, but again we have to look at the whole package. Is everything they are doing is wrong/evil, or rather majority was in good direction except a few violations? The two conclusions have substantial difference. While people, I mean Chinese, could easily accept the latter, they will be turned into enemy for former.

    See the whole idea of Bush’s axis of evil is fundamentally wrong.

    This what you wrote,
    ***lying, brainwashing, mass killing, torturing, gulags, forced labour and farcical laws***
    I and other people here counter your view can only draw one conclusion that you simply see Chinese, or the CCP government if you prefer as evil, and that’s the end of it. There’s no basis between us to debate further.

    Putting yourself into others’ shoe, if we do the same to curse Canadian and other westerners and their government, how do you feel? Do tell me Canadian and American are morally superior.

    What saddened me is with all the points here we made, you do not get it

    Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 12:46 am | Permalink
  145. buddhism wrote:

    oops, should be

    Do not tell me Canadian and American are morally superior.

    Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 12:48 am | Permalink
  146. ferin wrote:

    How do they feel? Well, they get furious to the point of tears when I confront them and tell them that every bite of food we eat, the clothes on our backs, and the roof over our heads were paid for by genocide and slavery.

    Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 4:22 am | Permalink
  147. pmw wrote:

    A little off topic… here’s a documentary on the Tibetan community in India, in particular the religious persecution of Dorje Shugden admirers BY the Dalai Lama.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5sOm-uQH9Y
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aboblx-0zAs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1dILwsmwCQ

    Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 6:59 am | Permalink
  148. snow wrote:

    “”"”"Is everything they are doing is wrong/evil, or rather majority was in good direction except a few violations? The two conclusions have substantial difference. While people, I mean Chinese, could easily accept the latter, they will be turned into enemy for former.”"”"”

    My friend, I do not base my understanding of objective truth on what the Chinese can accept. I think that would be wrong. The truth is just the truth, if the CCP is evil, then its evil, I see that it is. If I saw that it was cool or mostly cool or somewhat cool, I would be much happier to say so. Do you think its fun to be in this position? I know most Chinese see a different truth than I see, its no easy spot to be in, but I do not know why you would have me change my honest perception to something else because it would appease some people who are under the influence of lies. That sounds terrible.

    I believe in justice and I believe the truth WILL come out eventually. I believe the guilty WILL be charged and I am not afraid to take that stance.

    The thing is that you and me DO have a different view point about CCP, its not your fault or mine, one of us is right and one of us is wrong, as long as we are both honest with ourselves and respect the truth, we will both get to a meeting place in the end, so see you there (-:

    Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 12:47 am | Permalink
  149. Zhao FengNian wrote:

    Thank the author for this article.

    Monday, April 14, 2008 at 6:44 pm | Permalink
  150. Will wrote:

    snow,

    How does the CCP control overseas Chinese.
    1. They give them money
    2. their propaganda is in the Chinese newspapers (also western)also TV
    3. they can revoke their Chinese passports and never let them come to China or see their families.
    4. Most have family and friends in China so they are under threat.
    5. they are offered various benefits from the Chinese embassies.

    The truth is just the truth, if the CCP is evil, then its evil, I see that it is.

    wheres my money? what kind of nonsense are you spreading? ignorant fervor.

    how sad and misguided it would be to see the world only in black and white. fortuantely, most of us here are able to think beyond a yes or a no. to you, what constitues a good country or an evil country? are they mutually exlcusive?

    Monday, April 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm | Permalink
  151. BChung wrote:

    @ Snow…

    Is there by any chance that you can give me the hot line to the Chinese Embassy to call to get my pay for staying in Toronto for 4 years? oo and since you know so much, do u know how much i should be entitle to?

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  152. James wrote:

    A lot of facts stated but not referenced. Something lacking. If you live in Hong Kong could you give the refernces to subsantiate all your statistics, otherwise it is simply an opinion.

    James

    Friday, April 18, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  153. buddhism wrote:

    What do you want us to do?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rApn09pRZCk

    Saturday, April 19, 2008 at 2:24 am | Permalink
  154. Excellent and well-researched article. Just one point on the discussion of why there’s no system of tertiary education in the Tibetan language: Tibet never had a secular eduational system at all, of any kind, before the 1950s, and thus the Tibetan language contains none of the technical vocabulary required for such disciplines as math, engineering, law, etc. It would be like trying to teach such subjects in an aboriginal Australian language. Chinese is actually not an ideal language for such subjects either, but Tibetan would be virtually impossible.

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 10:03 pm | Permalink
  155. AsIseeIt wrote:

    Dear Pete, let you see for yourself how irrational your argument is:

    Since you chose to argue backwards into history to justify your irrational argument about the Tibetan issue, I think it is appropriate to consider the ethnic history of the people known as the Native Americans. They are ethnicly different from the European settlers. My knowledge of the history of the Indian Nations is that “the USA” as a nation never conquered the Native Americans or their lands even till the time when the United Nations came into existence and the USA was a member. One of the founding principles of the UN, in its Charter, was of the exercise of the right to self-determination by peoples under colonial and foreign domination.

    I would say that applies to the Indian Nations. The Native Americans have a right of self-determination I would argue. The European settlers’ presence in America by illegal settlement is foreign domination. Period! I do not buy anyone saying the the USA has sovereign rights over the Native Americans or their land until the indigenous people in America have had a free and uncoerced right to choose the government they want to represent them. They have not had that under the USA.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 4:34 am | Permalink
  156. AsIseeIt wrote:

    Dear Tenzin, you have asked: “Why these bad anti moral behaviors should be welcomed by us Tibetans? This is what DL means by genocide when the Tibetan society and culture is succumbed to the poisonous behaviors of Han intruders. What is Tibetan culture? Not to be prostitute, homosexual or the loose morals of having the sex before marriages. Who are you Mark Anthony Jones, to support this types of pollution in tibet?”

    Please read the interesting article entitlted “Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth” by Dr. Michael Parenti in the Global Research (globalresearch.ca) website. The Centre for Research on Globalisation(CRG) is an independent research and media group of writers, scholars, journalists and activists. The CRG is based in Montreal. It is a registered non profit organization in the province of Quebec, Canada.

    Dr. Michael Parenti received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. Some of his writings have been translated into Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

    In his article, he pointed out: “In reality, old Tibet was not a Paradise Lost. It was a retrograde repressive theocracy of extreme privilege and poverty, a long way from Shangri-La.” Following are excerpts from his article:

    (Begin excerpts)
    …….Young Tibetan boys were regularly taken from their peasant families and brought into the monasteries to be trained as monks. Once there, they were bonded for life. Tashì-Tsering, a monk, reports that it was common for peasant children to be sexually mistreated in the monasteries. He himself was a victim of repeated rape, beginning at age nine. The monastic estates also conscripted children for lifelong servitude as domestics, dance performers, and soldiers………..

    One 22-year old woman, herself a runaway serf, reports: “Pretty serf girls were usually taken by the owner as house servants and used as he wished”; they “were just slaves without rights.” Serfs needed permission to go anywhere. Landowners had legal authority to capture those who tried to flee. One 24-year old runaway welcomed the Chinese intervention as a “liberation.” He testified that under serfdom he was subjected to incessant toil, hunger, and cold. After his third failed escape, he was merciless beaten by the landlord’s men until blood poured from his nose and mouth. They then poured alcohol and caustic soda on his wounds to increase the pain, he claimed…………….

    The Tibetan serfs were something more than superstitious victims, blind to their own oppression. As we have seen, some ran away; others openly resisted, sometimes suffering dire consequences. In feudal Tibet, torture and mutilation–including eye gouging, the pulling out of tongues, hamstringing, and amputation–were favoured punishments inflicted upon thieves, and runaway or resistant serfs. Journeying through Tibet in the 1960s, Stuart and Roma Gelder interviewed a former serf, Tsereh Wang Tuei, who had stolen two sheep belonging to a monastery. For this he had both his eyes gouged out and his hand mutilated beyond use. He explains that he no longer is a Buddhist: “When a holy lama told them to blind me I thought there was no good in religion.” Since it was against Buddhist teachings to take human life, some offenders were severely lashed and then “left to God” in the freezing night to die.“ The parallels between Tibet and medieval Europe are striking,” concludes Tom Grunfeld in his book on Tibet.

    In 1959, Anna Louise Strong visited an exhibition of torture equipment that had been used by the Tibetan overlords. There were handcuffs of all sizes, including small ones for children, and instruments for cutting off noses and ears, gouging out eyes, breaking off hands, and hamstringing legs. There were hot brands, whips, and special implements for disemboweling. The exhibition presented photographs and testimonies of victims who had been blinded or crippled or suffered amputations for thievery. There was the shepherd whose master owed him a reimbursement in yuan and wheat but refused to pay. So he took one of the master’s cows; for this he had his hands severed. Another herdsman, who opposed having his wife taken from him by his lord, had his hands broken off. There were pictures of Communist activists with noses and upper lips cut off, and a woman who was raped and then had her nose sliced away……………

    Not all Tibetan exiles are enamoured of the old Shangri-La theocracy. Kim Lewis, who studied healing methods with a Buddhist monk in Berkeley, California, had occasion to talk at length with more than a dozen Tibetan women who lived in the monk’s building. When she asked how they felt about returning to their homeland, the sentiment was unanimously negative. At first, Lewis assumed that their reluctance had to do with the Chinese occupation, but they quickly informed her otherwise. They said they were extremely grateful “not to have to marry 4 or 5 men, be pregnant almost all the time,” or deal with sexually transmitted diseases contacted from a straying husband. The younger women “were delighted to be getting an education, wanted absolutely nothing to do with any religion, and wondered why Americans were so naïve [about Tibet].”

    The women interviewed by Lewis recounted stories of their grandmothers’ ordeals with monks who used them as “wisdom consorts.” By sleeping with the monks, the grandmothers were told, they gained “the means to enlightenment” — after all, the Buddha himself had to be with a woman to reach enlightenment.

    The women also mentioned the “rampant” sex that the supposedly spiritual and abstemious monks practiced with each other in the Gelugpa sect. The women who were mothers spoke bitterly about the monastery’s confiscation of their young boys in Tibet. They claimed that when a boy cried for his mother, he would be told “Why do you cry for her, she gave you up–she’s just a woman.” (End excerpts)

    My opinion after reading Dr. Michael Parenti’s article:

    So this is Tibetan culture. The Chinese authorities had made a big blunder by not pursuing the Tibetan policy of the Yuan and Ching Dynasties. The emperors of the two dynasties were crafty enough to give the Tibetans so much freedom that they were fighting among themselves, killing one another, exploiting and making slaves of their own people. In other words, the Tibetans in old decadent Tibet had been given the freedom and ropes long enough to hang themselves.

    Instead of stirring up the hornet’s nest of Tibetan lamas, overlords and slaves, the Chinese authorities should have pursued their Yuan/Ching predecessors’ policy of taking charge of defence and foreign affairs, and let the Tibetan overlords and lamas continue with their slavery and oppressive feudal system in Tibet.

    The Chinese government had poured massive amount of money into the development of Tibet. However, the Tibetan separatists and their foreign supporters seem to have no appreciation and gratitude for such actions. On hindsight, the government should use the scarce resources for the development of China’s more productive eastern coastal areas, and let the Tibetans scrape out a living for themselves by slavery on whatever means on the infertile desolate plateaus.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 8:50 am | Permalink
  157. TIT wrote:

    Sorry, these essay and comments are far less interesting than others (I just read half of the comments). No genuine , solid points made by both side.
    I would recommend a forum called “China from inside” and post written by M.A. Jones.The speakers are largely foreign high-educated citizens living in China.Tense debate exsit there too.
    Generally, from my angle , more people consider Chinese efforts beneficial.There are some NGO menbers that are backing Dalai Lama.Their replies, however , raise more problems but few really stand.

    In this very complex field , I suggest to trust not in goverments , presses or NGOs but in independent scholars and historian. By the way , the author of this post is discussed but yet not highly respect in that forum.

    Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  158. I’d like to come back to the discussion between amban and tarinxx3 about education in Tibetan language. Just an interesting thought: when Chinese people want development, they attract funds by themselves. I think it is easy to agree that the Tibetans don’t have a genuine say in the matters of their Autonomous Region. Don’t get me wrong: denying people their own language is nothing new - England practiced it only a bit more than 100 years ago, in places as close to Europe as WALES. But to those who want to create awareness of the “complexity of the situation”, I suggest that you acknowledge that the responsibility of existing problems there rest with the Chinese government. With whom else? It is Chinese territory.

    Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 5:57 pm | Permalink
  159. nameless1 wrote:

    “Many of those involved in arson, looting, and ethnic-based beatings are also likely to have been unemployed young men.”

    And why are they unemployed? Because in Tibet ALL JOBS AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS GO ONLY TO THE CHINESE. Tibetans are left with nothing, and are made to be second-class citizens in their own country.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Permalink
  160. 123ppl wrote:

    The funny thing is that even this article would be banned in china. It would be censored because it openly states the opposing points of view. Discussion/debate is not allowed in china.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
  161. RichardT wrote:

    I would just like to ask some of the major countries:
    Canadian: If you agree that Tibet should be seperated from China, then i think that you should not object to Quebec seperating from canada either
    American:The Natives have recieved many wrongs at the hands of your forefathers, why shouldn’t they be allowed to form another nation?
    English: Let the Irish form their independant country too!
    Remember, in Unity there is strenght, the western countries only wanted Tibet seperated so as to weaken China’s rising power… feel free to object but give good reasons

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 11:25 am | Permalink
  162. Marko wrote:

    This is indeed a helpful article. The real truth is certainly somewhere between PRC and DL truths, but not necessarily in the middle.

    I am however disappointed by comments from PRC apologist here. Why bringing up US or Canada examples? Most of us, people concerned about the future of Tibet, are neither American nor Canadian. Moreover, if you are looking for really bad examples, try France. Their minorities - Basque and Breton - have absolutely no rights, even worse than China.

    And why not bringing up good examples - like Spain - instead? Spain allowed three regions with Basque majority to form Basque country with broad authonomy and self-rule, in which Basque language is official language. Despite the fact that some Basque extremists are laying bombs around. Similar development is going on in Catalonian-Valencian areas. Great Britain is also a good example. Contrary to the popular belief, Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish (where protestants compose majority of population) have a broad autonomy and self-rule. Much broader than the autonomy of TAR.

    Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

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