March 26, 2008

The Dalai Lama Reiterates Pledge to Resign; Taiwan Watches Tibet

Not much new here: More arrests, as China says 660 "surrendered" in the wake of the protests.

The Dalai Lama reiterated his pledge to resign if the violence goes on. The LA Times writes that this has shaken Buddhism. The LA Times article revives the bewhiskered "god-king" description of the Dalai Lama that journalists have been cutting and pasting for years. And unpack the following if you dare:

If he quit as political leader but still headed the faith, it would go against his religion's centuries-old tenet of church-state unity.

Moving on to some Chinese propaganda about, among other things, how Tibet has "belonged" to China since the days of the Yuan dynasty in the 13th century. . . These kinds of things are instructive to those who can't fathom the Chinese position.

The E.U. invites the Dalai Lama to come speak. (Easy for them; they have a decent currency.)

Several EU lawmakers called for a boycott of the Olympics or at least of the opening ceremony.

Several Greens, liberals and leftists brandished Tibetan flags in the chamber and some wore black T-shirts emblazoned with the Olympic rings transformed into handcuffs.

Greens floor leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a leader of leftist student protests in France in May 1968, compared the Beijing Games with the 1936 Berlin Olympics staged by Nazi Germany.

"The EU must altogether refuse to attend the opening ceremony, because it is a political act," he told the house.

British Conservative Edward McMillan-Scott accused China of committing genocide in Tibet and said that for politicians of principle, it was no long a question of "whether a boycott of the Olympics but what sort of boycott".

Taiwan has used this crisis to put widen the Straits of Formosa a bit.  The DL thanked Taiwan for its friendship and support (while calling the Indian government "too cautious.") The U.S. has praised Taiwan recently as well, this time for the nation's "moderation" in voting for a president interested in engaging, not antagonizing, the dragon (and for returning those misplaced missiles!) Wall Street cheered. The dragon licked its lips.

At a press conference held on March 18, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Tibet and Taiwan are inseparable parts of Chinese territory, urging the Dalai Lama and Taiwan to accept the one-China principle.

However, [new president-elect Ma Ying-jeou], despite a conciliatory reputation toward China, holds that "the Republic of China [Taiwan] is a sovereign independent country."

After seeing the bloody suppression of Tibet, the Taiwan people will have become more wary of China. As such, democratized Taiwan will have to maintain just the right amount of distance between it and China to ensure its survival.

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Marcus's picture

There is. And I think the DL is the best hope for it.

Gerald Ford's picture

America, why do you constantly contradict the Founding Fathers Principles of Freedom and tolerate dictatorial potentate any quarter?

Beats me. I just live here. ;)

The Dalia lama treads all over the American Bill of Rights and disregards the Oslo and The UN Declaration that all people are entitled to practice their own beliefs and or religion as they see fit...He and his brother Thupten Norbu are both sick and devious and feed on the suffering of others.The slaves and serfs that shouldered their dynasty for centuries is the status quo they seek today.

He also eats babies, you know.

Seriously, people either worship the Dalai Lama with a glassy-eyed look, or they treat him like a terrorist. Frankly, I fall into the middle, "I don't really care" camp. The world does not revolve around what he says, but then again, I'd still shake his hand if I met him.

I personally am more concerned about the Tibetans who still live there and are getting crowded out by ethnic Chinese, in their own land. I keep thinking that this is what we did with the Native Americans, and that saddens me quite a bit. Then again, this happens in other (read: non-Buddhist) parts of the world too, but they don't have spiritual leaders, and celebrity star power to help them.

As for pre-China Tibet, in my studies of the place before college, yeah, it was pretty backward and feudal. The romaniticized notion of Tibet as Shangri-la is pretty stupid, and maybe only applied to the lamas at the top. It still doesn't justify what goes on today though.

Somehow, I wish there were a third alternative besides living with Chinese rule, and going back to feudal nonsense.

Marcus's picture

"The Dalia lama treads all over the American Bill of Rights "

He's not American. You know that, right?

Thomas Canada's picture

Why does the Dalia lama not retire from politics. His political track record is total disaster, from his encouraging a purported million peasants to resist a vastly superior military force and sent them to their deaths.
The Dalia lama is not for any type of democracy an is not a popularly elected representative by anyone. The Dalia lama treads all over the American Bill of Rights and disregards the Oslo and The UN Declaration that all people are entitled to practice their own beliefs and or religion as they see fit.
He excommunicated an entire Buddhist lineage that challenges his authority and rightly so. Considering that he came to his 14th incarnation by the murder of his superior Dragpa Gyaltsen and the continued suppression of his devotees for over 350 years. A tolerant potentate he is not.
He and his brother Thupten Norbu are both sick and devious and feed on the suffering of others.The slaves and serfs that shouldered their dynasty for centuries is the status quo they seek today. A return to the good old days of feudal society. Where people were bought and sold, just like today. Why did he allow this practice until the Chinese showed him the error of his ways.
In the West, we took the pope out of the state, and for good reason.
It does not work.
America, why do you constantly contradict the Founding Fathers Principles of Freedom and tolerate dictatorial potentate any quarter.
The French aristocrats of approximately 400,000 proud families were serviced by over 24 million peasants of one sort or another. That is until the people had had enough and changed the world. This is about the same ratio as the Tibetan aristocracy lorded it over the slaves and peasants before the Chinese threw them out.
Now the Dalia lama send more Tibetans to their deaths with the rioting in Tibet. Now he promises to retire form politics. When,how soon? Not soon enough. I seriously doubt he will do the right thing now and just be a monk. It suit him more than being a politician.

Ken Young's picture

LIP SERVICE! Lip services from all over!!
Tibet, as well as Taiwan, is neither Kuwait [OIL! Oil!! oil!!!] nor Israel [strong lobbyists], why the West wants to stick their necks for the poor boys while they can make tons of money from the almighty Communist China?

So, be quite FREE WORLD & let the Games begin!!

Konchog's picture

You know, I noticed the British press also using that musty Orientalist "god-king" description. It's as annoying as "lamaism".

And I didn't know church-state untiy was one of our tenets! Shoot, I'm a-gonna run for Justice of the Peace.