Re^5: A Level Playing Fieldby Anonymous Monk
|on Nov 02, 2005 at 22:27 UTC||Need Help??|
when this dalai lama was recognized, tibet was still a closed country to the west, and had no allies or ties beyond china, mongolia, nepal, and india. and at that time, in the west - weakening china was not nearly as important as keeping an eye on germany, italy, and japan, not to mention rebuilding europe, at that time. certainly, weakening the "red menace" of communism became vitally important in the west - in china and other parts of south asia, in cuba, and most importantly, in russia - but it had - and has - nothing whatsoever to do with the dalai lama.
tibetan people are not all living a much better life today. if they were, they would not continue to flee the country. hundreds and hundreds of tibetans escape each year - many hundreds more do not survive the attempt to escape. and if china was such an open and supportive place, people who wish to leave would not be arrested at the border and thrown in jail. while i don't like the statement, "love it or leave it" about any country, i do find it interesting that it is so very very very hard to leave china - and its occupied terrorities - without risking your life to do so. if you'll look at the other world super-powers, and even the rest of the world... it's not so hard to leave a country when you're unhappy. in occupied tibet, it's nearly impossible.
you mention what is "rooted in the chinese culture" - you are maybe not aware that the treaty signed by the chinese and the tibet before the current occupation began in the late 40s was one where tibet was referred to as the 'honored and revered uncle', and china as 'the beloved nephew'. the history between these two countries is much much more complicated than i think you're aware of - and china has certainly not always been the more powerful of the two. nor did tibet ever ask for the kind of "assistance" from china that you're insisting that the chinese government is offering.
the dalai lama does not need to negotiate with china to save face. he negotiates with china to save the tibetan culture and the tibetan people, as do many people in the tibetan government in exile.
you talk of all the chinese yuen being pumped into tibet. that money is not going to the tibetans. that money is going to build the very extensive railway system that will allow chinese settlers to move farther and farther into the more remote parts of tibet (are you aware of the program that offers chinese families the opportunity to have more than the one allowed child if they relocate to tibet? are you aware that the chinese resettlement of tibet has been so aggressive that tibetans are now outnumbered in their own capital city?). the money is going towards pulling more natural resources out of tibet without repairing any of the ecological damage that is being done there. are you aware that more than 50% of the world lives literally downstream from tibet? that 5 of the major asian rivers begin in the himalayas? if you destroy that ecosystem, you'll destroying lives and economies far beyond the borders of china.
chinese yuen are building chinese schools, where tibetan children are not allowed to study and learn in their own language. it's not that they, like in other countries, need to learn the primary language of the country they're living in in order to do well in school. it is that they are not allowed to speak tibetan at all. that would be like children in new mexico not being allowed to speak in spanish while they're at school - even to each other.
monasteries and nunneries are no longer controlled by the religious organizations they serve, but by the chinese government - which limits the number of monks and nuns who can attend, and which dictates who is allowed to teach there. what does the chinese government know about tibetan buddhism? that would be like british parliment choosing the priest who are allowed to teach in a jesuit university.
monasteries, homes, temples, and other tibetan buildings are still being destroyed - that has never stopped. tibetans can still be imprisoned for owning a picture of the dalai lama. in america, that would be like being able to throw an elderly devout catholic in jail because they owned a picture of the pope. or even of st. christopher. you can be a black muslim and have a picture of malcom x - who was jailed, he broke the law - and it's ok. it is not up to any good government to determine exactly how its citizens practice their religious beliefs. in many countries, governments negotiate with native and tribal religious organizations to allow religious ritual that actually break the laws of that country - seal hunting, use of hallucinigens. anything is up for negotiation that doesn't involve hurting other people.
china does not work for its citizens.
governments who are afraid of their citizens, who have something significant to hide, who are weak - those governments have to create and brutally enforce such restrictions on their citizens. this was true of the united states when we did the same thing to native americans. china is certainly not the only country to oppress its people. but it is the only superpower currently doing so and pretending that it is doing so in order to benefit its citizens.
if china is benefitting tibetans, why are they not allowed to protest when they don't like something?
and it's not like the current chinese government is serving all of its chinese citizens well. land and homes are taken from chinese citizens and they are jailed when they lodge a complaint or ask for recompense. citizens in china disappear the way they disappear in south and central american banana republics. families cannot contact them, cannot send food or money to them, are not allowed to provide for legal counsel or medical care. these things are all taken care of and facilitated on behalf of their citizens by other superpowers.
i know people - chinese and tibetan - who have escaped from china in the past five years. i know tibetans who escaped from tibet as it was falling in 1959. how many tibetans do you know? how many have you talked to, to find how they really experience this "moral power" from the benevolent government of china?
which brings me back to this:
this is where you reveal your true relationship to the people of tibet. if the occupation of tibet is benevolent, supportive, and has resulted in better lives for tibetans.... why are the tibetan people considered enemies?
your enemies are the people - chinese and tibetan - who speak against the communist chinese government. you put them in jail. you torture them. you strip them of their language, religious practice and culure, and then say that their lives are improved. yes - tibetans have always led rough, brutal, dangerous and often short lives, like tribal people all over the world. most tibetans lived - and live - in places that would be unthinkable for the rest of us. many of them lived in poverty and illness, without access to medical attention or education. but to say that chinese occupation has improved the lives of tibetans is so willfully naive that it's difficult to comprehend.
china is a big country and deserves respect for what it offers the world. it is absolutely becoming a superpower, and you're right - there's not really anything that can or will be done to stop that. but that does not mean we have to be blind to how it treats its own citizens, and it does not mean that we have to allow facile, uninformed and deceitful statements like that above to stand unchallenged.
you want to know about tibet? ask a tibetan. don't ask a devotee of the chinese government.