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Re^5: A Level Playing Field

by Anonymous Monk
on Nov 02, 2005 at 22:27 UTC ( #505148=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^4: A Level Playing Field
in thread A Level Playing Field

you obviously know very little about the history of the incarnations of the dalai lama and the practice of tibetan buddhism to say that tenzin gyatso was chosen as a holy man because of the political needs of western countries to fracture and weaken china.

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:
"be nice to your enemies, so that they are totally defeated by your moral power."

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.


Comment on Re^5: A Level Playing Field
Re^6: A Level Playing Field
by blazar (Canon) on Nov 03, 2005 at 08:55 UTC
    you obviously know very little about the history of the incarnations of the dalai lama and the practice of tibetan buddhism to say that tenzin gyatso was chosen as a holy man because of the political needs of western countries to fracture and weaken china.

    The person you're answering to didn't say so. He/She wrote"Dalai was only made a so called holy man because of the political needs of the western countries": although this may sound ambiguous I think it's clear enough that he's referring to the mediatic image of dalai lama as boasted in the western world, and not to his being "chosen" as a holy man in the strictly religious acceptation of the term, which is of course a whole another matter.

    Of course you may still argue with such a (somewhat revised) claim, and you seem informed enough to do so...

      you're right - it is an ambiguous statement. from the rest of the post, i inferred that the poster was speaking more generally.

      in terms of your interpretation - i think the media does use him politically. although not with the aim of "fracturing and weakening china". and the dalai lama is a shrewd man - like any good businessman, he knows that publicity is a good thing, and it furthers his primary aim of educating the rest of the world about the plight of the tibetan people.

      it's hard to say what exactly the media *does* do with him/his image. he's fascinating to westerners - he's led a life full of adventure and drama, but is a monk. in religious stature, he's higher than the pope - but he owns nothing. he's astoundingly happy. in my work with tibetan refugees, i see the way westerners respond to tibetan monks, and it's an unusual thing. tibetan monks are, speaking very broadly, very happy people. it has a lot to do with their spiritual practices. and westerners are drawn to that happiness, the lightness of heart that is at least partially the result of a lifetime practicing non-attachment.

      i think the western media has chosen him as a poster child - buddhism is very hip in the west, and no one is more buddhist than the dalai lama. he says interesting things and he laughs a lot. he's low-maintenance for the media.

      but again that phrase "fracture and weaken china". how can the west's request - based on learning more of the situation of the tibetan people through the dalai lama - that china abstain from imprisoning and torturing the citizens whose country it occupied and overtook - how does that "fracture" china? that would be like saying that quebecers that would have liked for quebec to be independent from canada are fracturing canada. and then arresting and torturing those who supported it.

      and here is something too - i have heard this from a number of tibetans, especially monks, and it is something that the dalai lama has talked about as well. tibetans who are practicing buddhists believe that their current situation - like every other part of their collective and individual lives - is karmic. tibet closed its doors for years to the west, believing that its influence would pollute their culture and their spiritual practices. as a result, when tibet was invaded, it had no standing in the international community and no strong allies. it had decided to isolate itself from the rest of the world, rather than being a part of world dialogue. thay pay for that now.

      now - tibetans are in a diaspora. you will find tibetan exile communities in most countries in the world. to save their culture, they must leave their country. and they have to share their culture - and partake of the culture that now surrounds them - in order to keep it from disappearing. that's what the dalai uses the media for. is that right? i don't know. i think so, but i assume not everyone agrees.

      so, tibetans are not unaware of the karmic appropriateness of their situation. that does not mean they do not want to save their country and return to their homes. and allowing tibet to be an independent state - no one, not even the dalai lama, thinks that tibet will ever really be free from china - how in the world would that "fracture" china?

      how would we feel, only 46 years after the fact, if our country of origin had been invaded and taken over? tibet was only overthrown in 1959. it's not like it has belonged to china forever.

        Where did you learn those "simple facts" from? Your media or your government lies everyday for its own benefits, and that's the most simple fact you need to learn first.

        I don't blame anybody, as it is simply the nature of human to compete, but since the second half of the last century, the western countries start to realize that their guns are no longer more powerful than their lies.

Re^6: A Level Playing Field
by Perl Mouse (Chaplain) on Nov 03, 2005 at 08:58 UTC
    Yeah, but what we really would like to know, how much Perl is being used in Tibet?
    Perl --((8:>*
      heh. i would suspect that most perl is being written by chinese citizens in tibet. if you want to find tibetans using perl - go to india!
Re^6: A Level Playing Field
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 07, 2005 at 03:01 UTC

    Okay, I am the same Monk who pointed out that Dalai was not a holly man. To make two things clear:

    1) I am fully aware of the procedure how Dalai is picked to every detail, but as blazer pointed out, that was not I talked. I didn't talk about the religious procedure, but how the western countries used Dalai as a political figure. And I am particularly talking about THIS Dalai, although several earlier Dalai were used by the western countries in the same way.

    2) Whether Dalai is the holly figure of his religion does not make him a holly man according to the moral standard that is widely accepted today. The way this religion is practiced in front of the world today, for public relationship reason, is totally different from what it did 70 years ago back in Tibet, before the Chinese government brought Tibet back to China. It is true that lots of other religions did evil things way back, but not last century.

    Have you ever visited Tibet with your eyes wide open?

      1) I am fully aware of the procedure how Dalai is picked to every detail, but as blazer pointed out, that was not I talked.

      Incidentally while we're this wildly OT: Argh!

      Of course were you not anonymous, I would have /msg'd you instead.

      Okay, I am the same Monk who pointed out that Dalai was not a holly man.
      You mistyped hollow.
      Perl --((8:>*

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