Articles

  • H.H. THE DALAI LAMA’S LEGACY: A DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT   By Sonam Wangdu, New York City  The legacy of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is the democratic system of government with a Constitution that He established in the 1960s ...
    Posted Aug 13, 2014, 5:33 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Discussing the Reasons why Tibetans are Destroying their Knives and other Weapons By Woeser                             Local Tibetans are handing over the knives that they have been carrying with them for many years to be burnt                                                              (photo taken from the website of the Central ...
    Posted Aug 13, 2014, 4:25 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • CTA’s Public Awareness Campaign on Middle Way Approach Kicks Off   DHARAMSHALA: A campaign by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) to raise awareness amongst Tibetans in exile about the Middle Way Approach began on 18 July. Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Kalons ...
    Posted Aug 13, 2014, 4:08 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Self Delusion By Elliot Sperling I have been asked by the editors¹ to prepare an essay that sums up some of the positions I’ve taken on Tibet issues over the years ...
    Posted Aug 7, 2014, 6:01 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Tibet solution will end Sino-India border row   By R Dutta Choudhury [Assam Tribune]  DHARAMSHALA, July 22 – It will be difficult to find a permanent solution to the border disputes between India and China without solving the issues ...
    Posted Jul 30, 2014, 6:00 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • An Open Letter About the New York Times Article, Respectfully Addressed to Sikyong Lobsang Sangay   July 25, 2014 Sikyong Lobsang Sangay Central Tibetan Administration Gangchen Kyishong Dharamsala – 176215 HP, India Dear Sikyong Sangay la: The Tibetan National Congress was happy to see your lengthy profile ...
    Posted Jul 30, 2014, 6:01 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Tibetan Leader, a Red Sox Fan, Knows the Value of Taking the Long View   [THE NEW YORK TIMES] By Ellen Berry DHARAMSALA, India — From his office in the hill station of Dharamsala, where Tibetan exiles have spent the past half-century waiting for the ...
    Posted Jul 30, 2014, 5:38 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Historical texts reveal Tibetan solution   [Asia Times Online] By Jampa Tenzin  This year is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Simla Agreement at the conclusion of a tripartite convention held in Simla between ...
    Posted Jul 30, 2014, 5:35 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • An Overview of the CCP's Religious Policies in Tibetan Areas   By Woeser High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser written between October and November 2013 for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia and published on her ...
    Posted Jul 23, 2014, 7:13 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • My Take on Misinformation About the Middle Way Approach   TPR Editors' Note, provided to Radio Free Asia in response to a request for comment:   We do not want to presume the CTA was talking about us, because TPR is ...
    Posted Jun 24, 2014, 10:49 AM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Gender Violence, Leadership, and the Modern Tibetan Woman By Dawa Lokyitsang The last few decades has seen a rise in Tibetan women’s voices that has led to an increase in women’s leadership positions in the male ...
    Posted Jun 2, 2014, 9:52 AM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • TIBETAN NATIONAL CONGRESS CONDEMNS THE BASELESS ALLEGATIONS AND ATTACKS BY SHUGDEN GROUPS AGAINST HIS HOLINESS THE 14TH DALAI LAMA   By Tibetan National CongressRecently, we have observed with growing apprehension a disturbing trend that is being orchestrated all over the world, wherever His Holiness is scheduled to engage in ...
    Posted May 30, 2014, 6:20 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Tibetan Sisters Declare Zero Tolerance for Violence Against Girls and Women By ACHA-Himalyan Sisterhood, USA   On May 11, 2014, Times of India online news reported that: “A local court in Palampur sent a 30-year-old Tibetan man in three ...
    Posted May 30, 2014, 6:30 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Interference and Antagonism: Reflections on the History of the "Golden Urn Lottery" System   By Pema Wangyal The trulku system of reincarnation is a unique characteristic of Tibetan Buddhism, which arose based on the Buddhist concept of karma, the Mahayana concept of Bodhisattvas, and ...
    Posted May 15, 2014, 12:49 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Tibet’s Long Road to Peace With China Has an End if Suspicions are Put Aside   By Tenzin Norgay Modern China has a wide range of problems. Hardly anyone doubts that Tibet is a historical and political problem for China. In the passionate debate about the ...
    Posted May 5, 2014, 4:15 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • A Rebuttal to Lobsang Sangay’s Claim of "Baseless" Attacks: The Facts Editors' Note: This article was submitted to TPR by the author.  It is a follow-up to a public debate between the author and the Sikyong conducted in the pages ...
    Posted Apr 20, 2014, 6:09 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Doing China's Bidding in Nepal   By the Editorial Board of The New York Times   www.usnews.com Excerpt: "A Human Rights Watch report released this month shows how far Nepal has gone in capitulating to ...
    Posted Apr 20, 2014, 6:18 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • China Repeats Rejection of Dalai Lama’s 'Middle Way' for Tibet   By Yeshi Dorje (Voice of America, March 28, 2014) China has marked the 55th anniversary of the dismantling of Tibet’s government in Lhasa with another explicit rejection of the ...
    Posted Apr 20, 2014, 5:52 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • An Unnecessary Resolution   By Kalsang Phuntsok (Toronto, Canada, March 26, 2014)  Today I am writing this as I can no longer stay silent and feign ignorance of this little thing that happened last ...
    Posted Apr 1, 2014, 7:50 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Why is Ngaba Burning?   By Woeser (March 28, 2014) As Kirti Rinpoche put it in his testimony to the U.S. Congress on Nov. 2, 2011: "The Chinese Communist Party has implemented policies of ...
    Posted Mar 30, 2014, 7:46 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • The Elephant and the Mouse   By Wang Lixiong (Translated by Elliot Sperling March 13, 2014)  While travelling in Europe in the summer of 2012 I made a special trip to Munich. As a longtime observer ...
    Posted Mar 24, 2014, 5:19 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • China Caught in a Bind over Crimea Decision to Quit Ukraine   By Parameswaran Ponnudura (March 18, 2014) A referendum for the independence of Tibet?  A vote for self-determination in Xinjiang?Such questions surrounding the future of the two restive autonomous ...
    Posted Mar 20, 2014, 7:11 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Until a favorable solution is reached   By Choenyi Woeser (Editor of Tibet Express); translated by Tenzin Gaphel  It has been close to 63 years since the infamous 17-point Agreement was signed under duress between Tibet ...
    Posted Mar 19, 2014, 7:38 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • EU can play a leading role in the opening of a new page Tibetan-Chinese relations   By Kelsang Gyaltsen (Feb. 19, 2014) Speech of Kelsang Gyaltsen, Special Representative of H. H. the Dalai Lama at the 100th Meeting of the Tibet Intergroup of the European ...
    Posted Mar 19, 2014, 7:21 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Dalai Lama engages with President Obama for third time   By International Campaign for Tibet (Feb. 21, 2014)  His Holiness the Dalai Lama met President Barack Obama today for nearly an hour at the White House. During the meeting, President ...
    Posted Mar 19, 2014, 7:13 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Exclusive Interview: A Journalist Perspective on Tibetan Struggle for Freedom   Tibet Telegraph (Jan. 6, 2014) Tibet Telegraph caught up with Vijay Kranti, a long time supporter of Tibet and a senior Indian journalist who has extensively written about Tibet and ...
    Posted Mar 14, 2014, 10:10 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • China and Tibet's Revolution in Exile   By Thubten Samphel (Feb. 27, 2014) Throughout China's long and turbulent history, no people along its imperial fringes have been such a nuisance to the Middle Kingdom as the ...
    Posted Mar 14, 2014, 7:06 AM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Tibet's Enduring Defiance   By Woeser (March 2, 2014)  On Feb. 27, 2009, three days into the Tibetan New Year, a 24-year-old monk in his crimson and yellow robe emerged from the ...
    Posted Mar 10, 2014, 5:25 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • Stanford University Welcomes Chinese Regime's Propaganda   By Gabriel Feinstein (originally published in Epoch Times Feb. 25, 2014) A propaganda show is playing at Stanford University, the latest incursion in a silent war being waged in large ...
    Posted Mar 7, 2014, 9:14 AM by The Tibetan Political Review
  • My West China, Your East Turkestan   By Wang Lixiong (March 3, 2014)  On the evening of March 1, 2014, several knife-wielding men and at least one woman killed 33 and injured more than 140 in ...
    Posted Mar 5, 2014, 8:13 PM by The Tibetan Political Review
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H.H. THE DALAI LAMA’S LEGACY: A DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

posted Aug 13, 2014, 5:33 PM by The Tibetan Political Review

 
By Sonam Wangdu, New York City 



The legacy of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is the democratic system of government with a Constitution that He established in the 1960s. His legacy is not and must never be the Middle Way Approach (MWA), a policy He announced on 15th June, 1988 in Strasbourg, France, and declared invalid in 1992.

The democratic system of government, with elected officials essentially exists to this day in Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile (TGIE), now known as the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). Over the years its goal has shifted profoundly so a historical perspective may be helpful to understand TGIE’s evolution from struggling for the independence of Tibet to CTA’s ‘autonomy’ within the Communist Chinese Regime.‘ In His wisdom, His Holiness said His policy shift from independence to ‘Autonomy’ would disappoint many Tibetans and it has. However, it is important to note that this disappointment is not a loss of faith in Him or in His leadership. This expression of disappointment is to exercise their freedom of speech and to express their views in the affairs of the nation. In this regard it is important to separate a political stand dealing with the nation’s future and a religious reverence; the first deals with the nation’s future and the second is a personal matter between a lama and his disciple.

The March 10, 1959 Tibetan National Uprising in Lhasa, Tibet was to reject Chinese rule and reclaim Tibet’s independence. His Holiness and His government escaped and reestablished their base in exile in India. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted resolutions in 1959, 1961 and 1965 which called on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to respect the rights of the Tibetan people, including their right to self-determination. These resolutions, especially the ones of 1961 and 1965 are important because in 1960 in order to expedite the decolonization process of captive nations, the United Nations changed ‘self-determination’ from a principle to a political right which allowed a people to choose to remain under occupation by a foreign entity or to break away as an independent nation state. As we know, these resolutions were ignored by the PRC and the Tibetan people have continued to suffer under Chinese oppression unabated to this day. In an effort to alleviate the sufferings of His people in Tibet and to stop the destruction of the environment, His Holiness unveiled His Middle Way Approach (MWA), widely known as the ‘Strasbourg Proposal’ 15th June, 1988, which essentially called for ‘autonomy [with] a self-governing entity with democratically elected officials’ within PRC.

However, in 1992 His Holiness declared His MWA policy invalid simply because China had completely ignored His outreach.

In March 2011, His Holiness resigned from His political role. On March 14 of that year, upon His resignation from His political role, He said, “as a result, some of my political promulgations such as the Draft Constitution for a Future Tibet (1963) and Guidelines for Future Tibet’s Polity (1992) will become ineffective. The title of the present institution of the Ganden Phodrang headed by the Dalai Lama should also be changed accordingly.” The transformation of the Tibetan Government in Exile (TGIE) to the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) became a reality over concerns raised by many Tibetans and Tibet supporters.

Yet Chinese leaders continue to attack His Holiness in the most cruel and crude ways in order to conduct all the evil things they do to the land and people of Tibet. On one hand the Chinese treatment of Him is expected because His Holiness represents the truth of a people and a nation state, and the Chinese leaders realize that they have no legitimacy to support their claim over Tibet so instead they tirade Him ceaselessly to turn the world’s attention away from their oppression, destruction and occupation of the people and land of Tibet. On the other hand, in order to discourage criticism of its revised Middle Way Approach (MWA), the present CTA and its supporters claim they have His full support and blessings. This political move is detrimental to free speech and unity.

The current Kashag and the Assembly of the Tibetan People's Deputies are responsible for the new version of the MWA. Therefore to claim they have His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 'support' and ''full blessing' for their revised MWA is politically motivated in order to shield themselves from public criticism. Frankly, the present CTA’s acceptance of the Chinese Communist Party rule and its declared stance of not seeking democracy for Tibet will turn away worldwide supporters and more specifically hundreds of millions of Chinese people in China who desire democracy and reject Chinese Communist Party rule. In addition, Sikyong’s stance on China’s full discretion on militarization of Tibet has serious implications for India’s national security. As guests of the Indian government and the Indian people, since 1959, we must, at the very least, have some obligation and concerns for India’s national security. Yes, at the dawn of the Chinese Communist invasion of Tibet in 1950, Prime Minister Nehru unwittingly compromised India’s national security with his pro-China policy and jeopardized Tibet’s future. This mistaken Indian policy has been continued, with the exception of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who succeeded Nehru in 1964. Prime Minster Shastri told the late Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa, the 1st Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in New Delhi, that he would consider recognizing the Tibetan government in Exile upon his return from Tashkent after meeting with Ayub Khan of Pakistan to resolve Indo-Pakistan border issues. Shastri died in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on January 11, 1966 and with it our hopes for recognition of Tibetan government in Exile by the Indian Government. The subsequent Indian Governments continued Nehru’s pro-China policy with regards to Tibet. Still, we must realize that the autonomy defined in the new MWA will one day require Tibetans in Tibet to fight India on behalf of China in a border conflict between the two nations. This inevitability, will be an unconscionable ‘thank you’ to India’s decades of help for our people through education, resettlement and freedom to preserve our faith, language and culture. No other nation has been more generous to us than India and we owe India and the Indian people our deepest gratitude.

I am not convinced that the MWA has a wide level of support. First, a nation's sovereignty is very precious and worth struggling for. This is not to suggest that we take up arms against the occupiers but merely to make the point how sacred freedom is. Second, a friend supports his friend’s rights as his own. Therefore no true Tibet supporters will support a concession that they will not accept for themselves. Third, I beg to defer CTA’s claim that MWA is ‘reasonable.’ There is nothing ‘reasonable’ about conceding the rights of a sovereign nation. Therefore, whatever support we think we have is not for the revised MWA policy, it is for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's warm personality and His tireless work to promote compassion and world peace.

His Holiness has no political role, but He still has every right to inject His opinion -but the decision to implement or revoke the revised MWA policy rests with the Kashag and the Assembly of the Tibetan People's Deputies,. Therefore using His Holiness the Dalai Lama's name to buttress their decision is wrong. Let the policy stand on its own merit; defend it if it is defensible, but allow different opinions and perspectives to stand in order to select the best ideas instead of limiting freedom of speech. CTA must have the confidence and the imagination to come up with a new approach instead of clinging on to a failed policy. Even the Chinese leaders in Beijing will respect our courage to stand alone in the defense of the truth of Tibet as an independent nation state.

The reason why the Chinese leaders are not paying any attention to CTA’s pleas for talks is because CTA makes more and more concessions while Beijing holds to its position of no talks, much less negotiate.

At a meeting in New York City on 23 May 2010, Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche described Tibetans advocating independence or genuine democracy in exile were more dangerous than Shugden followers or the Chinese Communists. In September 2013 when Chitue Karma Choephel was criticized for his comments about His Holiness, the members of the Parliament launched a denunciation of Tibetans who spoke up for independence as malefactors who should not only be exposed but also banished from Tibetan society. These public pronouncements by Tibetan officials help to divide our people into Rangzen vs Ume Lam camps. It is certainly ironic that these divisive, stigmatizing public comments are made by Tibetan government officials living in a country that is the largest democracy in the world. It just shows that after fifty-five years in exile in India, we have not learned the values of democracy. We should respect each other's views & be united behind the goal of Tibetan freedom even if we disagree on what path we should take.

The supporters for Tibetan independence are branded unpatriotic and worse yet, anti-Dalai Lama. The self-immolators’ call for unity, freedom and the return of His Holiness go ignored or misrepresented. It seems clear that the 'freedom' they call out for at the moment of their sacrifice is for the sovereignty of Tibet. If they are satisfied being under Chinese rule they would not burn themselves to death. Their call for the ‘return of His Holiness' cannot mean anything less than their yearning for His Holiness to return as the head of the Tibetan people in an independent Tibet. It is obvious they do not want Him to return just to be made a prisoner of the People's Republic of China like the Panchen Rinpoche. We must give more credit to those men, women and teenagers who have self-immolated for the cause of Tibet and their fellowmen who continue to defy Chinese rule. I think we should question why these self -mmolations are taking place. This is a recent development. The first self-immolation by Tapey took place on February 27, 2009 and then this action exploded in 2011, 2012 and 2013, resulting in over 130 self-immolations to date. Are they losing faith in the ability of exiled Tibetans to accurately represent them and so they are taking the matter into their own hands? Or is it a sign of their despair that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is no longer at the helm of the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala?

The shunning of Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC) at the Kalachakra Initiation in Leh, Ladakh in July from providing a vital social service to the Tibetan people who come from all corners of Tibet, at great personal risk, in order to receive His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Kalachakra initiation and blessing is shameful and divisive at its core. I am sure that the Private Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was not involved in this decision. I also believe that CTA was not involved in the decision making process but it would have been absolutely appropriate for CTA officials to step in and stop the divisiveness and let TYC conduct their compassionate social work which they have done very well many times before. It is interesting to note that RTYC Ladakh was allowed to conduct its charitable work at the Kalachakra in Leh while TYC Central was barred. RTYC Ladakh was one of 8 chapters out of 87 who proposed TYC to change its political stand for Tibetan independence to MWA, which was later defeated. The simple question then arises, was this a pay back?

In this context, I know the newly founded Tibetan National Congress (TNC) stands firmly for restoring Tibet’s independence. It has no agenda to overthrow the CTA. CTA is the only government we have and we want it to succeed. TNC's purpose is to encourage greater participation by the Tibetan people in their government; attract good people to serve and represent them. It is to make democracy work for the Tibetan people and to allow the freedom of speech to prevail so we have an intellectually vibrant society without fear of being branded or put on the ‘unpatriotic’ list. We do not need this kind of divisive methods to control our people. We must be respectful of each other, and most importantly, we must keep alive our goal to restore our nation’s sovereignty. 




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Discussing the Reasons why Tibetans are Destroying their Knives and other Weapons

posted Aug 13, 2014, 4:25 PM by The Tibetan Political Review


By Woeser
2014 07 24 Discussing the Reasons Why
                            Local Tibetans are handing over the knives that they have been carrying with them for many years to be burnt 
                                                             (photo taken from the website of the Central Tibetan Administration).

The Tibetologist Charlene Makley published an article for the 2012 special issue of “Cultural Anthropology” on Tibetan self-immolations titled “The Political Lives of Dead Bodies”, in which she wrote: “As I found in 2008, the military crackdown on Tibetan protest institutionalized the CCP’s state of exception in a state of siege targeting not a specific enemy but entire towns and districts (cf. Mbembe 2003: 30).” “…in the face of collective, unrequited grief across the plateau, the burning silence of Tibetans under the ongoing siege, what immolators’ bodies most importantly “show” is the searing fact of untimely death itself, against its ongoing erasure by state security forces (in forced disappearances) and by state media (in ongoing censorship).”

The conclusion of this Tibetologist is indeed depressing. No change is happening at all? Or in other words, have the sacrifices through self-immolations in the entire Tibetan region not brought about any consciousness or any movement?

In reality, the achievements and last words of every single self-immolator have been spreading extensively among local people, instigating tremendous reactions. For example, in Darlag County where Sopa Rinpoche self-immolated, several hundred Tibetans spontaneously destroyed thousands of knives, hunting guns and bullets together and swore that from then on they would never use weapons again, would never fight any internal battles, steal or kill; they strengthened internal unity. A different example comes from Dzamtang County where six Tibetans self-immolated in a row; several thousands of Tibetans also spontaneously collected huge numbers of knives, guns and bullets and handed them to the main Dzamtang Chode Monastery and Tsangwa Monastery to destroy them. They also swore to never quarrel or kill again.

More and more ordinary people have been taking the initiative to destroy their knives and guns, which led me to think that this is more than just a simple wish to “never carry weapons again” or to “never kill again”. This has a more profound and long-term significance and also stems from a consideration of a possibly very dangerous future and represents one of many different local ways to respond to this.

Why can we say this? I have and always will believe in the Tibetan land, there are so many outstanding senior monks and lay people who are constantly thinking about the challenging situation and sinister fate of us only about 6 million Tibetans. In order to be saved from being assimilated or extinguished, countless Tibetans are resisting by means of various measures, self-immolation is among the most bitter and desperate one. The Chinese government, continually increasing its repression, criminalising the entire families of self-immolators and labelling their behaviour as “terrorism” will one day in the future defame the entire Tibetan people as “terrorists”, their attempts to fabricate this collective image will never stop. The goal is clearly to thoroughly reverse the image that Tibetans enjoy in the world of being a non-violent and peaceful people.

Through many years of cruel suffering, these outstanding senior monks and lay people are probably able to foresee this danger. Will today’s movement of throwing away and destroying knives that started in the Kham and Amdo regions not be a strong message to tell the world that Tibetan people will preserve their “non-violent” image by starting from personal sacrifices and will it not prove the attempt to label them as “violent” fruitless? Will it not perhaps make more Tibetans warn each other that for the greater good of continuing the existence of the Tibetan people it is necessary to willingly make these personal sacrifices?

This reminds me of the various different ways of “non-violent non-cooperation” that happened in the aftermath of 2008 and included movements such as “not celebrating Losar”, “farming boycotts”, “Lhakar” and so on. Lay people, by giving up and destroying their knives, once more reflected this determination to continue the idea of “non-violent non-cooperation”. What is more important is that these movements are completed together with monasteries and monks. Many examples of “non-violent non-cooperation” cannot be separated from the influence of monasteries and monks. Non-violence is by no means simply talking about not being violent. Non-violence requires methods; there are already many examples of non-cooperation, what is necessary is careful and thorough consideration and strategic planning and guidance, so that the majority of people will quickly become aware of and knowledgeable about these ways of non-cooperation. 

**********
Republished with permission

Originally published on High Peaks Pure Earth online blog, at:




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CTA’s Public Awareness Campaign on Middle Way Approach Kicks Off

posted Aug 13, 2014, 4:08 PM by The Tibetan Political Review


 
UMAYLAM: Middle Way Approach Campaign Launch


DHARAMSHALA: A campaign by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) to raise awareness amongst Tibetans in exile about the Middle Way Approach began on 18 July.

Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Kalons and secretaries of all the departments of the CTA are scheduled to visit Tibetan settlements across India to speak on the Middle Way Approach in throughout July and August.

The Kalons and secretaries will also highlight the remarkable achievements of Holiness the Dalai Lama for the Tibetan cause and world peace as part of the Kashag’s initiative to dedicate 2014 as the ‘Year of His Holiness the Great Fourteenth Dalai Lama’.

“The Middle Way Approach is a democratically adopted viable and realistic solution to seek genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within the framework of the Chinese constitution. It is increasingly supported by the international community, including governments, parliaments and the Chinese people,” said Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay.

“Overwhelming majority of the Tibetan people endorse the Middle Way Approach. The mass awareness campaign is being launched to make a concerted effort on the part of Tibetans in exile to end the sufferings of Tibetans inside Tibet and preserve the Tibetan identity given the urgency of the situation in Tibet under the Chinese government’s repressive rule,” Sikyong said.

The publc awareness campaign follows the successful launch of the international awareness campaign on the Middle Way Approach by the Department of Information & International Relations (DIIR) of CTA on 5 June.

The DIIR launched Middle Way Approach information materials – including an interactive website, Social Media campaign, timeline of the Tibetan struggle and FAQs – many of them available in 7 languages including Chinese – to make it very easy for people around the world to understand exactly what the Tibetan administration is proposing in terms of genuine autonomy within China. The international awareness campaign was aimed at engaging the international community – young people, diplomats, media, people from all walks of life across different nations — to counter the Chinese Government’s misinformation campaign about the policy.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the then-Tibetan administration formulated the “Middle Away Approach” policy in 1974 as a realistic option to solve the issue of Tibet. This foresight of His Holiness was affirmed in 1979 when Chinese paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, stated that, “apart from independence, all issues can be discussed” and offered talks with His Holiness.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented the Middle Way Approach to the Chinese leader, and a long period of contact and discussions between Dharamshala and Beijing resulted.

Since this time, there have been 9 Rounds of Talks, four fact-finding delegations to Tibet and regular visits by Tibetans to the Tibetan regions.

The Middle Way Approach is already supported by international leaders including US President Barack Obama and many Chinese intellectuals, such as imprisoned Nobel Peace Laureate, Liu Xiaobo. 

**********
Originally published on the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) at:


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Self Delusion

posted Aug 7, 2014, 6:01 PM by The Tibetan Political Review

By Elliot Sperling


I have been asked by the editors¹ to prepare an essay that sums up some of the positions I’ve taken on Tibet issues over the years. I am happy to do so, and offer this commentary as a synthesis of a few points that I’ve made in several articles, mostly linked to the theme of “self-delusion.” It’s a particularly relevant theme given the muddle and incoherence that often enough characterize the pronouncements of many within the community of Tibet supporters and in the Tibetan exile leadership itself. Indeed the downsizing of what was once a government-in-exile, it’s self-designation as the “Tibetan People’s Organization” (I refer here to the actual Tibetan term that is used, not the more euphemistic “Central Tibetan Administration”), is emblematic of a refusal to see what is obvious: that whatever else one might claim for the Middle Way Approach of the Dalai Lama and the exile leadership, it has been divorcing itself from any reasonable interpretation of the idea of a “Free Tibet” for some time. That much is indisputable: after all, Lobsang Sangay has himself stated with total clarity that his organization seeks to maintain Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule over Tibet, with the sole modification of having ethnic Tibetans in visible positions in the local party organization. (As if the CCP couldn’t find loyal Tibetans for such a pro forma mission; and as if the local party organization weren’t structurally subordinate to the national party!). So, fifty-plus years after the beginning of an exile struggle rooted in the idea and idealism of Tibet as a nation, and 25 years after the Middle Way Approach scuttled that idealism (but still asserted that the goal was to achieve a Tibet that was “ademocratic political entity … in association with the People’s Republic of China”), the goal now is not any sort of democratic system in Tibet; it is rule by the Communist Party, albeit with Tibetan party members staffing the leadership positions.

But this trajectory ought to have been visible from the beginning, from the start of the Middle Way Approach. Frankly, if anything that I say here comes as a surprise or even as a shock, it simply bears out Orwell’s oft-cited dictum: to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

One might say that when the Dalai Lama announced an end to the struggle for Tibetan independence in 1988, saying that the goal of the movement he was leading was to see Tibet as the above-mentioned democratic “entity” within China, the apparatus of self-delusion kicked in almost immediately. Some of his officials discreetly told exiles that the Dalai Lama’s proposal actually offered Tibetans a way to return to Tibet and continue an independence struggle from within (delusional seems too kind a word for such thinking), while others fed the desperate desire of many exiles to avoid seeing in all this the end of the struggle for a country of their own that they thought they had been waging for decades, by resorting to explanations claiming that the Dalai Lama would leave the final decision up to the Tibetan people, thus convincing those who wanted to be convinced that his statement was not opposed to the struggle for independence. And many held on to that hope, which was indeed an act of self-delusion.

One can argue about the way this has all come about. But a large part of it surely derives from the societal difficulties inherent in disagreeing with the Dalai Lama, difficulties which result in cynicism and … addictive self-delusion, the latter an attempt to avoid the problem just alluded to: the disconnect between what Tibetan exile society is being told by its leaders and what unfiltered reality would otherwise reveal. It is the product of a society in which the pronouncements of the Dalai Lama have a sanctity that deprives them of the serious scrutiny that would otherwise be the normal state of affairs in a functional liberal polity.

It goes without saying that the Dalai Lama has been the decisive figure for the maintenance of a cohesive Tibetan society in exile, and indeed for the very fact that there is a Tibet Movement. His historical role in that movement and his contemporary role as the anchor of exile society have been undeniably crucial. But the notion of infallibility—spoken or unspoken—that attends his ideas and pronouncements has been damaging on many levels. It has amounted to a cult of personality and demonstrated (as if such were needed) that even when the figure at the center of such a cult is a decent or benevolent person—someone such as the Dalai Lama—the effects can still be injurious. Dissent is stifled and adherence to the positions advocated by the leader is mandated not out of logically reasoned conviction, but simply because of the person from whom the positions originate.

For all the good that the Dalai Lama has done (and indeed he has done much good), this hindering of dissent manifests itself in so many ways that it has become a part of the general environment of exile society. Thus, on any number of occasions exile Tibetans (especially, but not exclusively, in the leadership) have voiced the sentiment that exile democracy, such as it is, is a gift that the Dalai Lama has granted to the Tibetans. Not, mind you, a natural right of the Tibetan people, but a gift from the Dalai Lama. Such a mind-set, actively encouraged by the exile leadership, hardly bolsters the idea of unalienable popular rights.

A few days ago there appeared a curious statement by the former Tibetan “Prime Minister” in exile, Samdhong Rinpoche. Having previously denounced some Rangzen advocates as dangerous, he was now asserting that advocates of Rangzen are not necessarily anti-Dalai Lama. The sense of this is clear: opposition to the Dalai Lama’s position—loyal opposition, at that—has been interpreted by the establishment as disloyalty to the Dalai Lama. But now the former Prime Minister was benevolently granting dispensation.

This glides over the concept of simple loyalty to Tibet—to a Tibetan identity—and buries it under the idea of loyalty primarily to the Dalai Lama who, to justify the inherently undemocratic nature of this line of thinking, is positioned above it all by some Tibetans as the Giver of Democracy. (One may perhaps be forgiven for seeing Samdhong Rinpoche’s dispensation against the backdrop of a history of clumsy attempts by the exile leadership at triangulation: at times whispering encouragement to Rangzen advocates in order later portray them as a fringe in contrast to which the leadership could manipulatively pose as the middle and reasonable party.)

Of course there have been some real and noticeable democratic developments within exile society. But there is still a certain degree of exaggeration (and self-delusion) about the extent to which the exile establishment and exile society have actually internalized democratic thinking and democratic norms. This is a reasonable conclusion if one finds that the idea of peaceful disagreement with the Dalai Lama requires—50+ years after the exile community came into being—the shelter of a condescending indulgence. A cult of personality is inherently debilitating; its atmosphere has led to the use of the Dalai Lama as a prop by some, and to mention of his name as the crux of an argument’s merits by others. (The very mentality fostered by a cult of personality is perhaps manifest in the interior decorating style of the current leader, Lobsang Sangay. Recent publicity photos taken of him in his office, show he has hung at least two thangka of himself on his walls.) Of course none of this implies any sort of equivalence, moral or actual, between the PRC and the Tibetan exile political structure, such as it is. Whatever valid criticisms of exile society and the exile community one might make, arrests, executions, and torture are in no way part of it; on the most obvious level there is simply no meaningful or honest comparison to be made between what transpires inside Tibet and what transpires in exile. But that should not deter anyone from being blunt about the ills of exile society, including the less than complete grasp on the part of many exiles as to what makes up a functional democratic civil society.

One of the more commonly encountered instances of self-delusion vis-à-vis the Middle Way Approach is the assertion (by now, perhaps a desperate assertion) that this policy is responsible for winning over large numbers of Chinese. Indeed, Radio Free Asia’s Tibetan Service (in the affairs of which the exile authorities have unabashedly meddled) carried a ludicrous story in the spring headlined “Many Chinese Sympathetic to Tibet: RFA Poll” and stating that “Mainland Chinese are largely sympathetic to the cause of Tibet …” The headline and opening phrase certainly express sentiments that feed into the exile establishment’s view that the Middle Way is an effective policy, one that is winning popular Chinese support because of its “conciliatory” nature. Yet when one reads the story closely one discovers that it is based on telephone questioning of … 30 Chinese respondents! This is rather illustrative of a delusional view of China: the notion in some exile quarters that growing interest in Tibetan Buddhism on the part of some Chinese within the PRC is a manifestation of support for the Tibetan cause (as defined by the Middle Way Approach) inside China.

This view, however, ignores the fact that many of the people in China who take an interest in Tibetan Buddhism do so with little or no awareness of the Tibet Issue and its implications (not unlike some of their counterparts in the West, actually).

Indeed, to the question that is frequently asked—what do Chinese think about Tibet?—the answer is quite simple: Tibet does not occupy the thoughts of the vast majority of Chinese. And when it does come to mind, it is likely to be as a region whose people were liberated from a particularly horrendous form of feudal oppression, or as a land of apolitical mysticism. The fact is most Chinese don’t spend time thinking or caring about Tibet.

Indeed, when Tibet comes into broader view, as during the protests of 2008, this lack of serious reflection results in bafflement or, more commonly, resentment—resentment at the patent ingratitude of Tibetans for the liberation from slave-like servitude that China granted them. This is not to ignore those Chinese who do dare to reject what the official media and Chinese ultra-nationalism prompt them to think about the issue. They do indeed exist, but they are a terribly small part of the population and to see them as having a role to play in pushing popular sentiment (let alone official policy) in a certain direction is, at least at this moment in time, to misread the nature of civil society in China, as many in the exile community are inclined to do.

It is for this reason that the projection of Tibetan hopes onto the phenomena of visible Chinese protests—the perception that these protests are opening up a space for greater Tibetan freedom—has serious failings. Protests within the PRC—and there are many—are indeed striking. But Tibetans who think that they may foreshadow the growth of a Chinese society predicated on broad notions of justice and human rights that will work towards addressing the aspirations of Tibetans are misjudging much of their context.

Local protests in China are most commonly rooted in specific local issues; they are fundamentally different from protests that involve nationality issues and nationality discontents. Setting aside those few, brave souls who do look beyond their own group interests and raise their voices in support of broad human rights issues (and again, there are such people in China), the sort of civil society backing for issues that transcend the personal interests of particular protestors is still extremely weak. Broad white support for the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1960s was crucial to its progress in that era. Nothing similar exists in terms of Chinese support for Tibet in today’s China.

As already noted, delusion—self-delusion—was bound up with the utter failure of the MWA from an early point. The inability to see clearly—i.e., “to see what is in front of one’s nose”—actually allowed China to drag out the negotiation process on which the Dalai Lama and his government had placed all their bets since the late 1970s. Nothing has come of the process, but from the 1980s into the first years of the 21st century the standard explanation from the Tibetan leadership was that China simply didn’t understand that the Dalai Lama was not seeking independence. And so, especially in the 1990s, the Dalai Lama and his representatives repeatedly insisted to a variety of international leaders and political figures that the Dalai Lama did not want independence (and in doing so specifically painted Rangzen as an extremist position).

For its part, China simply availed itself of the naïveté in all this, asserting that the Dalai Lama’s rejection of independence was insincere; that he needed to restate his position sincerely. And he obliged, repeatedly and in all sorts of forums. Given the taint attached to China's incorporation of Tibet into its territory in 1951, and to Chinese spokespersons’ lack of credibility, the Dalai Lama was unwittingly turned into the prime spokesperson against Tibetan independence, to the benefit of China.

All the while the Tibetan leadership continued to explain China’s demands for repeated renunciations of independence by saying that China simply didn’t understand him, which was transparently ludicrous. With legions of officials working on Tibetan affairs in Beijing, one can rest assured that each word of the Dalai Lama’s was and continues to be carefully parsed. It is the Dalai Lama’s exile government, short on resources and talent, which was hard-pressed to understand China and Chinese policies. It seems that it took several years for the realization to finally sink in that the entire exercise was intended by China to fill the time until the Dalai Lama’s demise with meaningless moves, after which China would (as it had long ago decided) choose its own Dalai Lama.

Unfortunately, experience has not stopped delusional hopes from constant regeneration. A few months ago there was a flurry of optimistic comment when a minor figure in China raised the prospect of the Dalai Lama being allowed to visit Hong Kong. That was followed by breathless reports of permission for Tibetans in certain areas being officially permitted to display the Dalai Lama’s image in temples boding a major shift in Chinese policy towards Tibet. In both cases any hopes raised by these reports were proven empty.

This desire to see great changes in Chinese policy just over the horizon is a natural part of the Middle Way Approach’s general divorce from reality. Closely related to it has been a persistent grasping at straws in an attempt to see positive signs within the Chinese leadership. This goes back at least to the 1990s, when the Dalai Lama was in the habit of referring to Deng Xiaoping as his old friend. If Deng knew of this, he must have been bemused (or baffled) by such professions of friendship. Suffice it to say, it is hard to imagine what sort of amity this was intended to denote. Certainly the two had met. But “friends”? Did they visit each other’s homes? Talk over personal matters with each other? Discuss, perhaps, Deng’s commanding role in the 1950 invasion of Tibet? It is hard to imagine anything of the sort, but such comments about Deng Xiaoping make later hopes on the part of the exile community understandable, even if they were lacking in logic. Thus, the accession of Hu Jintao to party and governmental leadership in China was accompanied by comments that Hu’s tenure in Tibet—during a period marked by bouts of undeniably brutal repression, no less!—was a good sign, for he would bring an awareness of Tibet to his work. Unsurprisingly, the awareness of Tibet that he brought did not encompass any desire to come to terms with Tibetan aspirations.

But that didn’t delay the next bout of delusionary delirium. With the succession to power of Xi Jinping another set of rhapsodic hopes were added to the fantasy landscape. In this one, a positive change in Chinese policy, even acceptance of the Middle Way Approach was a hoped for possibility. This, it was explained, was because Xi Jinping’s father, Xi Zhongxun, a highly placed member of China’s revolutionary generation, was being described by more than a few Tibetan exiles as having been a good friend of the Dalai Lama; again, one has to ask: whatever can the word “friend” mean in such cases? In any event, the continuing (indeed, intensifying) repression in Tibet under Xi Jinping has made the question irrelevant.

Finally, we might end with a current bit of self-delusion, the insistence that the Tibetan leadership can make progress by explaining to China’s rulers that the autonomy provisions of China’s constitution and laws are fully consonant with the Middle Way Approach; as if those in power in Beijing were unaware of the intricacies of their country’s laws and its constitution, or (even better) unaware of their ultimate authority to interpret those documents in whatever way they prefer that they be interpreted.

The exile leadership’s approach is to bring the broad Tibetan exile community to believe that: a) if they teach China’s leaders what’s in their laws Tibetans can achieve “genuine autonomy” and; b) the exile government is actually seeking “genuine autonomy.” Actually, as described by Lobsang Sangay all the Tibetan exile leadership is asking for is a cosmetic change: the placement of Tibetan faces in leading positions within the local Communist Party in Tibet. They are explicitly not seeking the implementation of democratic practices (which, after all, would be the only way that anything qualified to be called “genuine autonomy” could function).

So perhaps the elite sector of the exile establishment is a bit less delusional after all. But only a bit. They still seem to think that demonstrations of supine cravenness will elicit engagement from China. Indeed, one can say that the pursuit of feckless policy options has become a permanent, unchangeable posture. The exile establishment has calcified into an entity that exists for the sole purpose of perpetuating itself. 

**************

¹ “Tibet und Buddhismus

Republished with author's permission.

Originally published in www.info-buddhism.com at:


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Tibet solution will end Sino-India border row

posted Jul 30, 2014, 5:45 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Jul 30, 2014, 6:00 PM ]






 
By R Dutta Choudhury [Assam Tribune]


 DHARAMSHALA, July 22 – It will be difficult to find a permanent solution to the border disputes between India and China without solving the issues relating to Tibet. This was the observation made by the Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile, Dr Lobsang Sangay.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, Dr Sangay pointed out that there was no border dispute between India and Tibet till the Chinese forcefully occupied Tibet and it was one of the most peaceful international borders. But the trouble started after China occupied Tibet as the Chinese have been refusing to accept the McMahon Line as the international boundary.

Replying to a question on the Tibetan Government-in-exile’s stand on the Chinese claim over Arunachal Pradesh, Dr Sangay said that they recognise the McMahon Line, according to which Arunachal is a part of India. “The Tibetan Government-in-exile is bound by the Simla Agreement signed with the British India in 1914, which accepts the McMahon Line as the international border and there is no reason to deviate from the agreement,” he asserted.

Dr Sangay revealed that representatives of British India, Tibet and China took part in the historic Simla convention. The representatives of each country presented their credentials at the start of the convention and by accepting the credentials of the representatives of Tibet, China accepted Tibet as an independent country. Interestingly, the Chinese representative put his initials in the draft of the Simla Agreement, but he refused to sign the final agreement. Now the Chinese have been claiming that the trade agreement signed in Simla is valid, but not the border agreement, which is self-contradictory, he added.

Giving details of their present struggle, Dr Sangay said that between 2002 and 2009, nine rounds of talks were held between the Chinese authorities and the envoys of the Dalai Lama. But the Chinese stopped the process of talks from January, 2010 and despite international pressure, China has not yet resumed the process of talks. He, however, expressed the hope that the Chinese would change their policies and come out with a constructive policy for a permanent political solution of the Tibetan issue.

The Tibetan Government-in-exile has adopted a middle way approach and is demanding genuine autonomy to Tibet, which is also written in the Constitution of China. Dr Sangay pointed out that by genuine autonomy they were looking for right over language, political rights, right to preserve the culture of the Tibetans etc. At this moment, the Tibetans are facing both political repression and social discrimination from the Chinese, he alleged.

The movement of the Tibetans is getting international support as America raised the issue with the Chinese authorities, while the European Parliament, US Senate as well as the parliaments of Italy and France adopted resolutions supporting the Tibetan cause. Getting international support for the cause of the Tibetans is one of the major goals of the Tibetan Government-in-exile. Keeping the Tibetans all across the globe aware of the struggle and keeping them united are some other major goals of the Government. The Government-in-exile is also making all-out efforts to protect and preserve the culture and language of the Tibetans, said Dr Sangay.


Originally published at http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=jul2314/at050 and republished at http://tibet.net/2014/07/23/tibet-solution-will-end-sino-india-border-row/
 

An Open Letter About the New York Times Article, Respectfully Addressed to Sikyong Lobsang Sangay

posted Jul 30, 2014, 5:43 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Jul 30, 2014, 6:01 PM ]






 

July 25, 2014

Sikyong Lobsang Sangay
Central Tibetan Administration
Gangchen Kyishong
Dharamsala – 176215 HP, India

Dear Sikyong Sangay la:

The Tibetan National Congress was happy to see your lengthy profile in the July 19, 2014 New York Times. No doubt you agree that a vibrant Tibetan democracy depends upon the people asking questions of their elected representatives. As a result, we had four questions based on this article that we would like to respectfully pose to you.

The New York Times article discussed how, in 2013, you “told the Council on Foreign Relations that the goal was to see ethnic Tibetans installed as party secretary and in other important posts in the Tibetan autonomous region.” You were quoted in the article as saying, “We don’t question or challenge the present structure of the ruling party.”

Your new Partial Middle Way (no democracy, communist rule, unconstrained militarization) has been discussed elsewhere. However, you have never explained why your Partial Middle Way is compatible with the Middle Way, or why it is the right choice for the Tibetan people.

His Holiness still says that Tibet must be “governed by the popularly-elected legislature and executive through a democratic process”. The 2008 Memorandum calls for “the right of Tibetans to create their own regional government and government institutions and processes.”

1. How can genuine autonomy be achieved if the Chinese communist party stays in charge in Tibet?

2. Could you please explain your reasoning for abandoning the Middle Way’s goals of democracy and separate government institutions for Tibet?

3. Is the New York Times correct that you see the goal as installing more ethnic Tibetans in the current Chinese communist system?

You also told the New York Times, “I am a secondary voice, who will someday be a primary voice”. You currently hold the position of Sikyong, the highest position in the Tibetan exiled political leadership. We believe the Tibetan people would be interested in your future ambitions.

4. What are your plans, if you see your current position as only a secondary one?

May we again respectfully congratulate you on your profile in the New York Times. We would be honored to post your response to these questions on our website. Thank you in advance for your response.

In solidarity for the Tibetan nation,

The Executive Committee of
The Tibetan National Congress

--

English version originally posted at: http://www.tibetnc.org/2014/07/25/an-open-letter-to-sikyong-lobsang-sangay/?lang=en

Tibetan version: http://www.khabdha.org/?p=6246



Tibetan Leader, a Red Sox Fan, Knows the Value of Taking the Long View

posted Jul 30, 2014, 5:38 PM by The Tibetan Political Review






 

[THE NEW YORK TIMES]

By Ellen Berry

DHARAMSALA, India — From his office in the hill station of Dharamsala, where Tibetan exiles have spent the past half-century waiting for the seismic changes that could restore Tibet’s independence, Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay was reminiscing, a bit wistfully, about a world he had left behind.

Specifically, he was reminiscing about the Boston Red Sox. These were not the vague remarks of someone faking expertise for diplomatic purposes. Rather, he was recalling the seventh game of the 2003 American League Championship Series, when the Red Sox manager took a disastrous gamble by allowing the team’s star pitcher, Pedro Martinez, to remain on the mound late in a deciding game against the New York Yankees.

Behind his desk, a magnificent life-size, silk-draped photograph of the Dalai Lama hangs from the wall, and outside his window, the Himalayas rise like a great wall into the mist.

Mr. Sangay, 46, recalled the agitation as he watched Boston’s lead slip away, perhaps the most calamitous in a history of heartbreaks for those who persisted in believing in the Red Sox. The suffering would all be washed away by the next season, but in 2003 no one knew that. “Normally, I am quite a patient guy,” Mr. Sangay said. “But he brought him back after 118 pitches.”

Mr. Sangay likes sports. He can explain why: You win, or you lose. Then you close the book on that episode and start over. This could not be more different from the mission that he took on in 2011, when he left a comfortable life at Harvard to begin a five-year term as sikyong, the leader of the Tibetans’ exile administration. This coincided with a momentous decision by the Dalai Lama, the exiles’ head of state since 1959, to devolve his political power to the new prime minister.

Since Mr. Sangay took over, it has been difficult to close the book on anything. China, which once gave lip service to negotiations on Tibet’s status, has refused to meet with him or his representatives. Western countries are increasingly squeamish about getting involved. With the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday a year away and no clear plan for succession, anxiety has settled like a pall over Dharamsala. Some activists criticize Mr. Sangay for being too rigid with China, others for watering down Tibetan demands in an attempt to bring Beijing to the table. Meanwhile, it is his job to inspire confidence when there is little sign of progress.

Considering all this, Mr. Sangay is surprisingly even-keeled. Asked why, he says he falls back on the Buddhist notion of impermanence. He also uses what he learned as a fan of the Red Sox, during the long years before the team’s luck turned.

“There is this unfulfilled desire, unfulfilled aspiration,” he said. “That keeps you going.”

TALL and imposing like many men from eastern Tibet, Mr. Sangay grew up in a refugee camp near Darjeeling, in eastern India, poor enough to wear sandals through the bitter winter.

He comes from a long line of fighters. His father was in charge of arms and ammunition for the Chushi Gangdruk militia, formed in the late 1950s to defend Tibet. One particular story accompanied Mr. Sangay’s birth: His mother suspected he was the reincarnation of her brother, who had been trained by the Central Intelligence Agency and airdropped at the Tibetan border, in one of the most secret programs of the Cold War. He never returned.

“When I was born in 1968, my mother, because of her closeness to her brother, she said, ‘Hey, maybe he is my brother, the freedom fighter,’ ” Mr. Sangay said. A sense of expectation developed, he added. “You parents say that, your relatives say that, your teacher says that: ‘Hey, Lobsang, you’re going to be someone special, you are going to be a great freedom fighter.’ ”

By the time he ran for the highest office in the exile government, known as the Central Tibetan Administration, Mr. Sangay had a smoother image, one that developed over 16 years at Harvard, first as a Fulbright scholar and later as a research fellow at Harvard Law School, his salary provided in large part by a private foundation. In a suit and tie, he could easily be mistaken for an investment banker, and he has an American politician’s knack for campaigning that, coupled with the reverence accorded to Harvard, has helped him leapfrog older and more established Dharamsala-based candidates.

The biggest change was that he dropped his insistence that Tibet gain independence, instead embracing the Dalai Lama’s so-called Middle Way. Introduced in 1987, the policy is intended to draw China into dialogue by softening Tibetan demands, calling for self-governance and “genuine autonomy” within China. Last year, Mr. Sangay told the Council on Foreign Relations that the goal was to see ethnic Tibetans installed as party secretary and in other important posts in the Tibetan autonomous region.

“We don’t question or challenge the present structure of the ruling party,” he said.

Some activists denounce Mr. Sangay for scaling back the movement’s demands. Jamyang Norbu, a prominent writer who recalled Mr. Sangay as a natural politician and a “good wheeler-dealer” when they became friends in the 1990s, dismissed the current policy as “a fruitless exercise.” He blamed the influence of Harvard, saying young Tibetans who spend time in the United States often develop an unrealistic reliance on “the old, old European tradition of diplomacy and negotiation.”

“The problem is that they see China through the eyes of the West,” said Mr. Norbu, who now lives in Tennessee. “The sheep doesn’t see things from the point of view of the wolf that is gobbling her.” With his bodyguards in dark suits and sunglasses, he said, Mr. Sangay is focused on burnishing his image at a moment when Tibetans are desperate for a way forward.

“We just can’t afford it; we are getting to the end of our tether,” he said. “The whole Tibetan world is falling apart so fast.”

IN Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama’s word remains sacrosanct, and Mr. Sangay seems untroubled by the criticism. In a recent interview, he was cheerful for another reason: His wife and 7-year-old daughter, who remained behind in Medford, Mass., when he began his term, were finally preparing to move to Dharamsala. He was buying his daughter a puppy.

As the leader of an unrecognized government, he earns 26,000 rupees a month, or about $430. He makes exhausting whistle-stop tours of exile communities, listening to petitions and complaints. Last week he paid a condolence visit to a Tibetan family that had lost a brother to a stampeding elephant. During trips outside India, he holds secretive meetings with government officials, often in hotel rooms or cafeterias to avoid attracting the attention of the Chinese.

In the presence of the Dalai Lama, his status seems to melt away. Addressing a crowd last year, the Dalai Lama affectionately mocked Mr. Sangay’s spoken Tibetan, saying it is “like a schoolboy talking,” and then laughed heartily. The prime minister, in the background, bowed his head. Asked about it, he smiled a little ruefully.

“It was a privilege,” he said. “It means he really knows me well. For him to say such a thing is obviously a bit embarrassing, but mainly, what a privilege, because he was saying, ‘I know this guy well.’ ” He added, “I worked very hard on my Tibetan.”

But the subtext is that it will not always be this way. The Dalai Lama has been evasive about how his spiritual successor, the 15th Dalai Lama, will be chosen, saying only that he will reveal his intentions in 2025, when he turns 90. The political transition, however, is in place. Asked what would happen if the Dalai Lama died unexpectedly, Mr. Sangay said, “The plan is the devolution of political authority.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Sangay offers evidence that Tibetans are opening their hearts to him. In his office hangs a thangka — a traditional painting that usually features Buddhist deities — that has been custom-made by an admirer in China to include his face. He sends out links to worshipful songs that have been written in his honor and posted on YouTube. Asked where he falls in the hierarchy of leaders, he described himself as “a secondary voice,” but added a postscript.

“I am a secondary voice,” he said, “who will someday be a primary voice.”

Originally published at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/19/world/asia/leader-of-tibet-a-red-sox-fan-knows-the-value-of-taking-the-long-view.html?_r=0 and republished at http://tibet.net/2014/07/19/prestigious-new-york-times-publishes-profile-on-honourable-dr-lobsang-sangay/




By Woeser


High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser written between October and November 2013 for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia and published on her blog on November 16, 2013.

The blogpost gives a comprehensive overview on the Chinese government’s religious policies in Tibet since the 1950s to the present day.

2014 07 15 An Overview of CCP 3

2014 07 15 An Overview of CCP 2

These three photos were all taken when I was in Lhasa last year. Photo 1 shows the Jokhang Temple that His Holiness the Dalai Lama blessed as “the most sacred temple in the whole of Tibet”; today, the scarlet-red Chinese flag is flying on its roof. Photos 2 and 3 show Sera Monastery, one of Lhasa’s three main monasteries; the few remaining monks are performing a Buddhist debate to tourists; the young Chinese who is wearing lay clothes is actually a member of the military police. The prayer beads that he is wearing are to disguise him as a Buddhist.

“An Overview of the CCP’s Religious Policies in Tibetan Areas”
By Woeser

The religious policies of the CCP in Tibet have more or less stayed the same over the past decades; there have been differences in degree at different times in different places, but overall, they have remained exactly the same. Here, I want to give an overview of the entire situation:

The religious reforms were passed by the CCP Central Committee and launched in 1958. It was a political movement in the Tibetan areas of Amdo and Kham and had one ultimate goal to destroy Tibetan religion step-by-step. For example, the reforms entailed closing down monasteries, arresting important religious figures, or forcing monks and nuns to leave the monastic order. In Qinghai province alone, out of 618 traditional Tibetan monasteries, 597 collapsed, out of their 57390 members, 30839 were forced to return to ordinary life.

In 1959, under the name of “fighting the counter-revolutionary rebels”, Tibetan religion was attacked fiercely. Religious leaders either fled abroad or were arrested and sentenced; it was a time of total destitution.

As a result of the Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976, out of the originally 2713 monasteries inside Tibet, only 8 remained. In the entire Tibetan region, including Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan provinces, out of the originally over 6000 monasteries, less than 100 remained.

At the end of the Cultural Revolution, after experiencing terrible calamity, Tibetan religion underwent a revival, most of the destroyed monasteries were rebuilt under the efforts and sacrifices of Tibetan people. I want to particularly stress that the funds needed to rebuild these monasteries almost entirely came from donations from Tibetans themselves. The central and local governments only gave money to rebuild a few most famous religious places.

In the early 1980s, local leaders were comparatively moderate and Tibetan religion enjoyed some degree of freedom. But because of the numerous protests that erupted between 1987 and 1989 in Lhasa, and particularly after Hu Jintao became Party Secretary of the TAR in 1988, religious policies were tightened. All the way up to today, local Party Secretaries have been hard-liners, supporting and placing emphasis on tough religious policies in Tibet.

In January 1989, the 10th Panchen Lama suddenly passed away, leaving behind a situation full of suspense.

Between March 1989 and May 1990, adopting the rhetoric of the “barrel of the gun”, Hu Jintao turned Lhasa into a military zone.

In 1995, the relationship between the CCP and the Dalai Lama completely broke apart over the problem of the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama; Li Ruihuan labelled the Dalai Lama as follows: “The Dalai Lama is the leader of a conspiring political gang of separatists who want Tibet to be independent. He is a loyal tool of the international anti-Chinese powers and the root cause of the turmoil within Tibetan society, he is the biggest obstacle preventing traditional Buddhism from establishing itself in an orderly manner.”

Chen Kuiyuan, appointed by Hu Jintao, became the head of the TAR. From then on, first in Lhasa and gradually in the whole TAR, the local authorities established work groups in all monasteries, fostering “patriotic education”; the abbreviation for these work groups was then “ Offices of Patriotism”. Their main job was to unify all monks’ perception and knowledge of the Dalai Lama. In cases of slight nonconformity, monks would be expelled, in severe cases, they would be sentenced to imprisonment. This was a time of many suicides among monks, a fact that remained largely unknown to the outside world. “Patriotic education” was continued until 2008, when renewed hard-liner policies expelled the monks from other Tibetan areas living in Lhasa’s three main monasteries, which eventually led to the eruption of the March 2008 protests.

Over the past five years, “patriotic education” has been spread across the entire Tibetan region, which has had extremely negative repercussions. Between February 2009 and September 2013, 121 people self-immolated inside Tibet and 5 within the exile community. Out of the 126 self-immolators, 19 were women and 107 have already passed away. The local authorities, however, have become ever more unyielding. There was, for example, the well-known and greatly criticised project of the “9 haves” that was implemented in monasteries and villages of the TAR. It dictates that people need not only to possess the portraits of the CCP’s four (now five) great leaders and the five-starred red flag, but also that they have to possess a Party radio, TV and a newspaper to be able to receive the voice of the Party at all times; additionally, the work groups stationed in monasteries and villages have been building police stations that resemble the monasteries in terms of external appearance. The cruel reality is that all Tibetan monasteries are already trapped in a cage.

October – November, 2013


Originally published at http://highpeakspureearth.com/2014/an-overview-of-the-ccps-religious-policies-in-tibetan-areas-by-woeser/ and republished by TPR with permission of HPPE.


 

Historical texts reveal Tibetan solution

posted Jul 30, 2014, 5:35 PM by The Tibetan Political Review






 

[Asia Times Online]

By Jampa Tenzin 

This year is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Simla Agreement at the conclusion of a tripartite convention held in Simla between Tibet, British India and China in 1914. Today, May 23, marks the completion of 63 years since Tibet and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) signed the 17-Point Agreement on the geographical division of the Tibetan region in 1951. 

A century has passed, but still Tibet and Beijing find themselves at loggerheads. Many Chinese scholars believe the PRC’s current ethnic policy is flawed and was misconceived in the first place. They think giving different appellations to different groups of people creates division in a country as diverse and large as China. So classification of people into different nationalities is fundamentally the bane of a unified and harmonious China. These scholars believe China could do away with the terms “ethnicity” and “nationality” and let all people blend together in a large “melting pot”. 

Other thinkers believe the current ethnic-based problems China faces can be solved by taking the bull by the horns. In the case of the protracted issue of Tibet, they say the Dalai Lama is the “key” to a mutually agreeable solution. Veteran Tibetan communist Bapa Phuntso Wangye, who passed away recently in Beijing, expressed similar opinion in a letter, dated October 29, 2004, to then president of China Hu Jintao. 

When common ailments have many cures, the Tibet issue is sure to have many practical solutions. One solution, I believe, can be found if the Chinese leadership revisits the Simla Agreement and the 17-Point Agreement. 

The degree of autonomy given to Tibet and the Tibetan people in both these documents, when applied uniformly throughout the plateau, could throw up a solution that satisfies the reasonable aspirations of the Tibetan people and also protects the territorial integrity of the PRC. 

The Simla Agreement became the first document to mark a division between Inner Tibet and Outer Tibet. According to the agreement, areas to the west of the Drichu (Yangtze River) constituted Outer Tibet and those to its east, Inner Tibet. The agreement recommended China enjoyed suzerain, but not sovereign rights in outer Tibet. But in the case of Inner Tibet, the agreement recommended China enjoyed sovereignty. This means the agreement recommended that Outer Tibet should enjoy total autonomy. 

Republican China initialed the agreement, but did not sign it. This led British India and Tibet to declare in the final agreement that Republican China had forfeited all the rights given to it in the agreement. 

The PRC condemned the Simla Agreement as an imposition by an imperialist power. Nevertheless, it later modeled the 1951 17-Point Agreement on this condemned document. The 17-Point Agreement divided Tibet roughly along the lines of Inner Tibet and Outer Tibet, as recommended by the Simla Agreement. Inner Tibet, consisting largely of eastern and north-eastern regions of Kham and Amdo, was created either into a new province, like Amdo into Qinghai, or incorporated into existing Chinese provinces, like Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan. 

For Outer Tibet, which corresponds largely with the present-day Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), the 17-Point Agreement promised real autonomy. The 17-Point Agreement said “the central authorities will not alter the existing political system in Tibet. The central authorities also will not alter the established status, functions, and powers of the Dalai Lama.” These two promises are the true source of the concept of “One Country Two Systems” with which the PRC took over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom in 1997. The agreement also provided for Tibetans to carry out reforms on their own. The central authorities promised that they would not impose reforms in Tibet. 

Both these agreements failed to bring about good and lasting relations between the signatories for two fundamental reasons. One reason is the division of Tibet into two. The second reason is that the promises made in the 17-Point Agreement were not kept. With Tibet divided into two, Chinese central authorities implemented two different policies on one people. As early as 1952, Chinese authorities attempted to introduce “democratic reforms” in eastern and north-eastern regions of Kham and Amdo. In this exercise, property of some members of the upper classes, primarily those not collaborating with the United Front, was confiscated. In 1955-56 Chinese central authorities initiated the “socialist transformation” or “collectivization” in the same regions of Tibet. This policy deprived people of private land and property ownership. 

These socialist policies actively undermined the spiritual authorities of high Tibetan lamas and the political leadership of local chieftains. Thus, the local Tibetan people were provoked to rise up in an armed revolt. The result of the People’s Liberation Army’s military response to it was predictable. “Thousands were massacred and monasteries were destroyed.” 

As a result, many Tibetans from eastern and north-eastern Tibet escaped to central Tibet en masse. With them they carried messages of extreme difficulties that they had to go through under those policies. Expectedly, an atmosphere of fear and suspicion filled central Tibet. At the same time central Tibet, which till then remained shielded from those policies by the terms of the 17-Point Agreement, witnessed ever-increasing attempts by the local PRC representative to infringe on the rights promised to the Tibetan people in the 17-Point Agreement. Consequently, the Tibetan people’s resistance movement that ultimately led to the 1959 uprising was born. 

If the 17-Point Agreement was applied to all Tibetan regions and the autonomy rights promised in it were respected, the popular Tibetan uprising of 1959 could have been avoided and China would not be confronted with the issue of Tibet. 

Jampa Tenzin is a research fellow at Tibet Policy Institute, India

Previously posted at http://tibet.net/2014/05/26/historical-texts-reveal-tibetan-solution/

 

An Overview of the CCP's Religious Policies in Tibetan Areas

posted Jul 23, 2014, 7:13 PM by The Tibetan Political Review






 
By Woeser

2014 07 15 An Overview of CCP 1

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser written between October and November 2013 for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia and published on her blog on November 16, 2013.

The blogpost gives a comprehensive overview on the Chinese government’s religious policies in Tibet since the 1950s to the present day.

2014 07 15 An Overview of CCP 3

2014 07 15 An Overview of CCP 2

These three photos were all taken when I was in Lhasa last year. Photo 1 shows the Jokhang Temple that His Holiness the Dalai Lama blessed as “the most sacred temple in the whole of Tibet”; today, the scarlet-red Chinese flag is flying on its roof. Photos 2 and 3 show Sera Monastery, one of Lhasa’s three main monasteries; the few remaining monks are performing a Buddhist debate to tourists; the young Chinese who is wearing lay clothes is actually a member of the military police. The prayer beads that he is wearing are to disguise him as a Buddhist.

“An Overview of the CCP’s Religious Policies in Tibetan Areas”
By Woeser

The religious policies of the CCP in Tibet have more or less stayed the same over the past decades; there have been differences in degree at different times in different places, but overall, they have remained exactly the same. Here, I want to give an overview of the entire situation:

The religious reforms were passed by the CCP Central Committee and launched in 1958. It was a political movement in the Tibetan areas of Amdo and Kham and had one ultimate goal to destroy Tibetan religion step-by-step. For example, the reforms entailed closing down monasteries, arresting important religious figures, or forcing monks and nuns to leave the monastic order. In Qinghai province alone, out of 618 traditional Tibetan monasteries, 597 collapsed, out of their 57390 members, 30839 were forced to return to ordinary life.

In 1959, under the name of “fighting the counter-revolutionary rebels”, Tibetan religion was attacked fiercely. Religious leaders either fled abroad or were arrested and sentenced; it was a time of total destitution.

As a result of the Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976, out of the originally 2713 monasteries inside Tibet, only 8 remained. In the entire Tibetan region, including Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan provinces, out of the originally over 6000 monasteries, less than 100 remained.

At the end of the Cultural Revolution, after experiencing terrible calamity, Tibetan religion underwent a revival, most of the destroyed monasteries were rebuilt under the efforts and sacrifices of Tibetan people. I want to particularly stress that the funds needed to rebuild these monasteries almost entirely came from donations from Tibetans themselves. The central and local governments only gave money to rebuild a few most famous religious places.

In the early 1980s, local leaders were comparatively moderate and Tibetan religion enjoyed some degree of freedom. But because of the numerous protests that erupted between 1987 and 1989 in Lhasa, and particularly after Hu Jintao became Party Secretary of the TAR in 1988, religious policies were tightened. All the way up to today, local Party Secretaries have been hard-liners, supporting and placing emphasis on tough religious policies in Tibet.

In January 1989, the 10th Panchen Lama suddenly passed away, leaving behind a situation full of suspense.

Between March 1989 and May 1990, adopting the rhetoric of the “barrel of the gun”, Hu Jintao turned Lhasa into a military zone.

In 1995, the relationship between the CCP and the Dalai Lama completely broke apart over the problem of the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama; Li Ruihuan labelled the Dalai Lama as follows: “The Dalai Lama is the leader of a conspiring political gang of separatists who want Tibet to be independent. He is a loyal tool of the international anti-Chinese powers and the root cause of the turmoil within Tibetan society, he is the biggest obstacle preventing traditional Buddhism from establishing itself in an orderly manner.”

Chen Kuiyuan, appointed by Hu Jintao, became the head of the TAR. From then on, first in Lhasa and gradually in the whole TAR, the local authorities established work groups in all monasteries, fostering “patriotic education”; the abbreviation for these work groups was then “ Offices of Patriotism”. Their main job was to unify all monks’ perception and knowledge of the Dalai Lama. In cases of slight nonconformity, monks would be expelled, in severe cases, they would be sentenced to imprisonment. This was a time of many suicides among monks, a fact that remained largely unknown to the outside world. “Patriotic education” was continued until 2008, when renewed hard-liner policies expelled the monks from other Tibetan areas living in Lhasa’s three main monasteries, which eventually led to the eruption of the March 2008 protests.

Over the past five years, “patriotic education” has been spread across the entire Tibetan region, which has had extremely negative repercussions. Between February 2009 and September 2013, 121 people self-immolated inside Tibet and 5 within the exile community. Out of the 126 self-immolators, 19 were women and 107 have already passed away. The local authorities, however, have become ever more unyielding. There was, for example, the well-known and greatly criticised project of the “9 haves” that was implemented in monasteries and villages of the TAR. It dictates that people need not only to possess the portraits of the CCP’s four (now five) great leaders and the five-starred red flag, but also that they have to possess a Party radio, TV and a newspaper to be able to receive the voice of the Party at all times; additionally, the work groups stationed in monasteries and villages have been building police stations that resemble the monasteries in terms of external appearance. The cruel reality is that all Tibetan monasteries are already trapped in a cage.

October – November, 2013


Originally published at http://highpeakspureearth.com/2014/an-overview-of-the-ccps-religious-policies-in-tibetan-areas-by-woeser/ and republished by TPR with permission of HPPE.


 

My Take on Misinformation About the Middle Way Approach

posted Jun 22, 2014, 5:43 PM by The Tibetan Political Review   [ updated Jun 24, 2014, 10:49 AM ]






 

TPR Editors' Note, provided to Radio Free Asia in response to a request for comment:   We do not want to presume the CTA was talking about us, because TPR is just a small volunteer website.   But the editorial board stands behind what we wrote.  Our editorial has extensive citations, and our conclusions are based on the 2008 Memorandum, 2010 Note, and Sikyong's recorded statements.  Our editorial also cites our two earlier editorials where we looked at these issues in much greater depth.  Our editorial is simply our opinion based on these facts, and we welcome articles from all perspectives.




June 20, 2014
By Tsering Wangchuk

Being part of the recently launched international awareness campaign on Middle Way Approach which aims to counter the Chinese government’s misinformation campaign, I am elated to see the response it is generating world over. The Campaign generated one of the biggest media coverage in recent times from New York Times to Guardian to Straights Times to South China Morning Post and not to mention about Indian and Tibetan media.

On June 7, on a positive note, the US government urged for an unconditional dialogue. We are deeply concerned about the poor human rights situation in Tibetan areas of China. We have continued to urge the Chinese Government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives without preconditions as a means to reduce tensions, obviously urge China to address policies that have created tensions in Tibetan areas and that threaten the Tibetan unique culture,” said US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf.

At the far end, caught on back foot, the Chinese government issued a series of baseless statements. On the next day of the launch, the spokesperson for Chinese Foreign Ministry termed Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay as “100% splittist”. On June 9, just three days after the launch, a Chinese government website posted an article titled “Tibet independence in Middle Way disguise : Zhu Weiqun”. The article impinges on the exact misinformation that the MWA campaign has sought to clarify. Zhu Weiqun, former executive vice director of the United Front Work Department, who was also the key person in previous dialogue, resorted to misconstruing Middle Way Approach to confuse world opinion on Tibet issue.

The premise of Chinese side misinformation is based on Strasbourg Proposal. However, it must be noted that the Strasbourg proposal is no longer binding since 1992 when His Holiness the Dalai Lama declared in his 10th March statement that ” the Strasbourg Proposal is no longer valid”.

Even few individuals within the Tibetan community, in their writing, insinuates that the Kashag, headed by Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, is proposing a different version of Middle Way Approach than that of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Interestingly, they have also based their argument on the Strasbourg Proposal that was long termed invalid. Like the Timeline of MWA document, Legal Materials on Tibet published by Tibet Justice Center also documented that Strasbourg Proposal is invalid. The individuals who leveled these allegations are either deliberately misleading or do not know about this crucial fact, which is hard to believe as these individuals also sit on the board of Tibet Justice Center.

However, this is not new. Similar efforts to create an impression of difference between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the then Kashag led by Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche were made in 2010 when the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People was alleged to be formulated without the consent of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This allegation was put to rest after a live televised special Parliament Hearing with a parliament resolution declaring that the Memorandum enjoyed full confidence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

This time, documents published during MWA international awareness campaign is entirely based on the official documents of CTA. It was launched with the blessings of His Holiness and former Kalon Tripa, Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche also participated in this Campaign through appearing in the documentary video.

These unfortunate trends of distorting information also signify that every individual must read and understand the MWA documents, now easily accessible at www.middlewayapproach.org, on its own merits and not through a third party interpretation. One must form his/her opinion based on facts.

 The reality is, 97.5% of Tibetans in Tibet are under repression and that it should be the most urgent concern of the Tibetans who live in free world. The exile population is only 2.5%, though important, but is secondary to ending the repression in Tibet. As Sikyong has clearly explained in the MWA video, the objective of MWA is to replace political repression by basic freedom, economic marginalization by economic opportunity, social discrimination with social equality, cultural assimilation by cultural preservation and environmental destruction by environmentally sustainable policies.

Some in exile have raised the issue of democratic system of governance in Tibet, which I feel may not be the most urgent concern compared to alleviating Tibetans inside Tibet from persistent cycle of repression. Therefore, the Memorandum and the Note clearly mentioned that given the Chinese government’s compliance on the Tibetan proposal for self-governance covering 11 basic needs, the Tibetan side will accept the ‘Three Adherences“. This was made clear in a column by reputed journalist Nicholas Kristof, published in New York Times titled “An Olive Branch From the Dalai Lama” on August 6, 2008.

In short, such baseless allegations and intentional attempts by the Chinese government and some from within Tibetan diaspora to create confusion on MWA is a wastage of time, energy and resources. I am afraid these unwarranted negative campaign will try the Tibetan patience to the point of snapping into a more problematic issue for the Chinese government and tragedy for the Tibetan people. Under these circumstances, Tibetans creating distortion is amount to playing right into the hands of hardliners in Beijing.

(The writer is press officer of the Central Tibetan Administration based in Dharamshala, India. The views expressed in the piece do not necessarily reflect those of the Central Tibetan Administration)

Originally published at: http://tibet.net/2014/06/20/my-take-on-misinformation-about-the-middle-way-approach/


 

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