|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
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.