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Ian McColgin
03-15-2008, 04:00 PM
My goddaughter on the dharma tour between university and law school sent the following. Follow the link to her video for a traditional Tibeten protest song.

- - - - -
Today is another chaotic day in Dharamsala. Yesterday, for a second day internet and land lines are down in McLeod, home to thousands of Tibetan refugees. After the first day of protests, someone mysteriously dug up and stole the internet cables running to the town in the middle of the night.

Yesterday, as we received reports of thousands of protesters in Tibet
shops closed in the mid-afternoon and as i returned to McLeod at 5pm the Tibetans had already gathered in the main square (bus turn around) and were overflowing out into the side streets. Hundreds of people lit candles and began to march down Temple road to the main temple. As i am pushed down the road by waving flags and banners, I pause outside the Temple complex which the protesters will circle before entering. Here i run into members of the Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy who are rushing to paste pictures and news received from inside Tibet.

I run to buy more tape and help them, so that by the time the people
circle the hill they will be able to see the news. Many of them have heard only rumors as the internet and land lines are still down. They round the bend chanting and rush to see the pictures on their way inside to the Temple courtyard. (see those and new pictures from inside Tibet at TCHRD.com, also just sent to CNN and BBC so maybe there soon too)

Inside I help the TCHRD pass out pamphlets of the new information and a press statement as speeches are made and flags are waved. The current situation is announced as the crowd alternately applauds and hisses. They are shown videos from soliderity protests around the world. The old woman behind me begins to wail, and news cameras turn to see her wiping away her tears with her colorful Tibetan apron.

BBC reported that over two thousand people were there, and as i climbed to the second story of the Temple to look down into the courtyard it looked like a sea of twinkling lights, interspersed with waving flags, rippling while chanting calls to the world to hear their plea for justice. Periodic angry shouts alluded to the deep frustration much of the crowd felt.

Finally, before singing the Tibetan national anthem everyone was led in one verse of 'We Shall Overcome' was cried out, in English and then in Tibetan and Hindi. The crowd was in tears as their were broadcasts over the loudspeakers from cell phones inside Tibet. The fear and chaos could be heard so clearly.

See my video of the crowd chanting and then singing: it took all day to upload so i couldnt upload other ones :-(

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ux4qx2wty8w

ishmael
03-15-2008, 04:59 PM
Oh those Chinese. They're so friendly! I'm glad they hold a trillion and quarter of our debt.

I can't watch the vid, but caught a bit on the BBC last night. Why are the Chinese intent on holding on to Tibet? Great scenery, interesting folkways that have been largely destroyed by a fifty year occupation, but not much else. It's seems a losing proposition from a PR perspective. All those gentle monks under the Chinese boot don't look good. And, if you read the history, which I haven't in quite a few years, the Chicoms were much more brutal just a few years ago. Setting aside the injustice of it, it seems pretty silly.

Keith Wilson
03-15-2008, 05:08 PM
It seems a losing proposition from a PR perspective. Not internally. Most Chinese, reasonably or not, consider Tibet as integral a part of their country as Maine is of the US. China has always had centrifugal tendencies, and one of the major claims to legitimacy of the Communist government is that they've been able to unify the country and keep it unified. That's why Taiwan is such a big deal; it would be far simpler and more practical just to give Taiwan and Tibet their independence, but it would be wildly unpopular at home

Lew Barrett
03-15-2008, 06:55 PM
The heart breaks. Something real to hold up and against the Chinese, no matter what, forever and as a complete disgrace. The original rape of Tibet was as vile in it's way as Nanking's treatment at the hands of the Japanese, and in the end, has lasted longer and with less outrage.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-15-2008, 07:01 PM
Keith is correct. The Party could change that public perception, given their control over the media, as they have changed so many other public perceptions, but they have not tried to do so. I suspect they lack the self confidence to do so, fearing that, given China's history over the past 100 years, they cannot afford to allow anyone to play the "patriotism" card - their essential claim to legitimacy - the Mandate of Heaven if you like - is that "they have made China great once more."

Lew Barrett
03-15-2008, 07:06 PM
Andrew, that's as may be, and true, but still a disgrace. If Buddhists were given to acting out of anger......


Hehe...I spelled it wrong...

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-15-2008, 07:27 PM
Oh, yes, people should be under no misapprehensions about modern China.

Lew Barrett
03-15-2008, 07:33 PM
Seems 100% of our industrial barons don't care a wit about that.

willmarsh3
03-15-2008, 11:11 PM
When you said McLeod you were referring to this place:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLeod_Ganj

correct?

PeterSibley
03-16-2008, 01:24 AM
It seems that when great powers become great again they expand to their perceived historic limits .Catherine the Great comes to mind .

As to the treatment of Tibet ,it was not suprising in the fresh fervor of the Revolution Feudal Tibet and its monastic rulers must have seemed the worst of all possible regimes .

Hot Air
03-16-2008, 07:12 AM
As much as the Tibetan would like the Chinese out and the Dalai Lama back in, I suspect they would not welcome a return of the old feudal order over which the Dalai Lama presided before the Chinese invasion. Life was not all sweetness and light in feudal Tibet. In fact the secular and monastic lords that controlled Tibet were a brutal bunch.

carioca1232001
03-16-2008, 07:24 AM
..........
As to the treatment of Tibet ,it was not suprising in the fresh fervor of the Revolution Feudal Tibet and its monastic rulers must have seemed the worst of all possible regimes .

Similar to the notion that some historians profess, of Napoleon invading Russia and freeing its people from the Czar´s shackles ?

Excepting that the Tibetans were not expecting any such invasion, let alone welcoming it.

One another note, do we not have before us now a case of Buddhist fundamentalism, what with the monks and their followers leading the popular revolt ? ;)

Time to clobber India for having conceeded refuge and a safe haven to these fundamentalists since the ´50´s, or what would be more effective, the Chinese could plaster McLeod Gunj with their cruise missiles :)

Osborne Russell
03-16-2008, 09:15 AM
As much as the Tibetan would like the Chinese out and the Dalai Lama back in, I suspect they would not welcome a return of the old feudal order over which the Dalai Lama presided before the Chinese invasion. Life was not all sweetness and light in feudal Tibet. In fact the secular and monastic lords that controlled Tibet were a brutal bunch.

Whatever. It's for Tibet to decide.

Osborne Russell
03-16-2008, 09:17 AM
"they have made China great once more."

Sieg heil.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-16-2008, 11:58 AM
You had better believe that. Fascism is just under the surface.

Osborne Russell
03-16-2008, 12:11 PM
You had better believe that. Fascism is just under the surface.

Not to quibble, but in my view, the surface is just under the fascism!

They have to be un-fascist enough to function; fascist enough so the whole shebang holds together.

PeterSibley
03-16-2008, 03:36 PM
You had better believe that. Fascism is just under the surface.
Very much so , it will only take the economy to go downhill .Japan in 1933 is an interesting analogy.

PeterSibley
03-16-2008, 03:39 PM
[quote=carioca1232001;1790058]Similar to the notion that some historians profess, of Napoleon invading Russia and freeing its people from the Czar´s shackles ?
/quote]
I don't think Russia was ever part of the French domain ,China, however always regarded Tibet as Chinese .They are quite different cases .

carioca1232001
03-17-2008, 07:29 AM
[quote=carioca1232001;1790058]....I don't think Russia was ever part of the French domain ,China, however always regarded Tibet as Chinese .They are quite different cases .

You are right in this respect, yes. I was alluding to the semi-despotic rule in both countries prior to the invasion.

But now you have me thinking on the lines of ......Pakistan would be a part of India, then ? After all, the Muslims invaded Hindustan in 900 AD, pillaged and plundered until settling down fairly peacefully towards the end of the Moghul reign, but were (and are) outnumbered 6:1 by the Hindu population.

Did the Tibetans set themselves apart from the Chinese by adopting the Buddhist doctrine ? Well, Budhism spread to as far away as Japan, but not through recourse to the sword.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-17-2008, 09:11 AM
Did the Tibetans set themselves apart from the Chinese by adopting the Buddhist doctrine ?

No, they certainly did not, as any reader of the Journey to the West will attest.

Never any shortage of Buddhists in China.

If you visit the Summer Palace in Beijing you will find the small copy of the Potala Palace built for the then Dalai Lama by his friend the Qianloong Emperor so that he could feel at home on his visits to Beijing.

heimlaga
03-17-2008, 12:33 PM
The fact that I belong to a small etnical group has forned my oppinion on this subject. I intended to stay out of politics on this forum, but here I am: Knee deep in bilge slurry.

If we consider the oppinions of the people whose land is colonized than all imperialism is illegitime. We in Finland have seen the dirty backside of russian imperialism a couple of times. We Finland Swedes see the dirty back side of Finnish cultural imperialism every day. It is not funny at all when somebody comes to your ancestral land and want you to adopt their language and culture. There is a reason why the four Russian expressions most commonly known in Finland are: Yes, No, Freeze, Hands up.

There are no valid excuses for occupying a formerly independent country for 50 years. Further the Chineese occupation has apparently been brutal enough to make the former feudalism appear almost idyllic. In my oppinion it is time fot Tibet to get independence under a democratically elected government.
Have'nt they suffered enough after 700 years of teocratic feodalism and 50 years of brutal occupation.

CHINA GO HOME

Ian McColgin
03-17-2008, 12:43 PM
One of the problems with history is that it's historical. Tibetan nationalists still use a map that goes far beyond the familiar lozange shape we grew up with and bulges way north and east onto the steppes. China's claims are a good thousand years old consisting of variations on real, de facto, titular, absent-minded and barely remembered rule. In WWII we (USA) were interested in Tibet acting like a province of China to facilitate our own hypothetical operations. When the little peanut got driven off by Mao we suddenly fancied Tibet its own nation, if we thought of Tibet at all.

There's almost always something a bit artificial or open to controversy about any boundry for any state but we can always support democratic self-determination even as we recognize that historical issues are not simply and that no moving forward will happen unless we find ways, as Mandala tried, to both honor and transcend history.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
03-17-2008, 07:37 PM
Tough paradox, if you try to arm the locals to resist, instruct them in the tactics being used against us in Iraq, you destroy their peaceful spirit.

Indian passive resistance against the British rule worked because of a free British press back in Britain, causing outrage by the citizens when made aware of the violence in India. Tibetans would just be slaughtered, the Chinese populace would do nothing.

My solution: Don't boycott the Olympics. They'd run it anyway, carefully orchestrated just like Moscow 1980. Everyone shows up. Then, at the beginning of every sporting event, every athlete just sits in place, in front of the crowd, in front of billions of TV viewers. TV will be blacked out for sure, but the word will get out via journalists. Maybe a few athletes will try to compete, but if the majority just sit, the few will be subject to scorn and ridicule. What can the Chinese do, fire on the athletes? Could the Chinese prevent it? No, there is no way to read the athlete's minds. But athletes within a given sport know each other, and can easily be in contact before the games. This will work. You heard it here first.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-18-2008, 05:37 AM
I take it we have all spotted China's curious plan to take the Olympic Flame to the summit of Everest?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
03-18-2008, 05:46 AM
Sheesh..
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/front_page/6227515.stm

And a major traverse... though not by the first traverse route.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-18-2008, 06:15 AM
The Chinese Government has closed the mountain until the 10th of May, and persuaded the Government of Nepal to do the same, officially on the grounds that it is getting too crowded and littered. In reality, of course, the closure is to permit a clear run for the torch stunt.

I wonder what Tilman and Shipton would have thought?

(No I don't. I have a very good idea of what they would both have said).

I will be in Barmouth on the 10th of May at a gathering of acolytes. I dare say the subject will come up.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
03-18-2008, 06:29 AM
It might be nice to think that the western tourists will leave the mountain in peace now that it has been used as a backdrop for a televised "stunt".

But I suppose its still there.

carioca1232001
03-18-2008, 08:00 AM
Did the Tibetans set themselves apart from the Chinese by adopting the Buddhist doctrine ?

No, they certainly did not, as any reader of the Journey to the West will attest.

Never any shortage of Buddhists in China.

If you visit the Summer Palace in Beijing you will find the small copy of the Potala Palace built for the then Dalai Lama by his friend the Qianloong Emperor so that he could feel at home on his visits to Beijing.

Good job I asked the question, instead of affirming it ! One more book on my list !

Andrew Craig-Bennett
03-18-2008, 08:34 AM
China seems to have been little affected by religion, compared to most other nations.

Taoism and Buddhism seem to have been about equally popular, over very long periods of time.

There are likewise a fair number of Moslems and Christians, and there are faint traces of what was once a Jewish community, around the era of the Tang.

Osborne Russell
03-18-2008, 12:01 PM
"China" may have "always" considered Tibet to be "part of China". If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

In any case, China and Red China are two different things, which is proclaimed most strenuously of all by the Red Chinese. Screw Red China. Whatever claim "China" may have had is forfeit by virtue of their tyranny over Tibet.

England's claim to the colonies was a hell of a lot stronger than China's to Tibet, but the strongest claim can be forfeited. America owes its existence to this principle.


Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world . . .

We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

Kaa
03-18-2008, 12:22 PM
Whatever the historical ties of Tibet and China are, they are not very relevant today. Tibet is occupied land, the Chinese have no problems occupying it, and there doesn't seem to be anyone willing and able to kick them out.

It's an unfortunate situation, but then, these words could be used to describe most of human history.

Kaa