Skip to comments.Tibet Is No Shangri-La And the Dalai Lama is not what you think
Posted on 07/05/2010 3:57:59 PM PDT by Colofornian
In the popular imagination, Tibet is a land of snow-capped mountains and sweeping vistas, fluttering prayer flags, crystal blue skies, saffron-robed monks spinning prayer wheels... SNIP
Tibet's enduring hold on Western minds -- together with the energetic, globe-trotting advocacy of the Dalai Lama -- helps explain why the concerns of the region's minority population are so familiar to so many so far away. (By comparison, it took violence in the streets of Urumqi to awaken foreign readers to the agitation of another of China's minority groups, the Uighurs.) In the Washington, D.C., neighborhood where I live, more than a few homes have decorative Tibetan prayer flags strung sentimentally across balconies and backyard porches. This week, U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to meet with the Dalai Lama in the Oval Office -- over the inevitable protests of Chinese authorities.
As for Tibet itself, it's no Shangri-la.
Judging by appearances, the new generation of Tibetans seems, in a superficial sense, rather un-Tibetan. But that, too, is an oversimplification, as it became clear from talking to Tashi that he certainly thinks differently than Han Chinese his age...he told me that he and his family members continue to consult their lama, the equivalent of a priest in Tibetan Buddhism, about major life decisions. Recently that meant seeking the lama's spiritual appraisal of whether Tashi's sister should marry a pair of brothers then wooing her (Tibetan custom permits polygamy in certain circumstances involving siblings).
Many versions of Buddhism are practiced in China, some with tacit consent of the authorities, but Tibetan Buddhism has proved particularly difficult to integrate because, as with the Islam practiced by Uighurs, it invests authority in local religious leaders who rival the authority of local officials. On issues ranging from property rights to marriage customs, sparks may fly...
(Excerpt) Read more at foreignpolicy.com ...
The Dolly Llama is a Marxist, he said so.
I had an interest in Buddhism in High School. I outgrew it when I discovered things like this.
Afghanistan is similar. The Appalachians without modern highways would be the same, as would the Rocky Mountains.
Yemen is similar ~ civilization and agriculture takes place at the top of the hills. There's a burning desert at the bottom. The "elite" consists of guys with helicopters to hop from mountain to mountain. Before helicopters getting even a small percentage of the population to agree on anything was nearly impossible although they once conquered Egypt! Oh, yeah, and AlQaida and/or the Communists run the port areas ~ for whatever benefit that gives them.
Mountains break government authority into unmanageable units. The Alps break Europeans into dissimilar nationalities who, given the chance, will kill each other with abandon.
The Carpatho-Rhatians descend from a Cossack group sent into quell a rebellious new possession of the Czar. The Sa'ami withdraw from this, their Southernmost outpost, to the far North, and the Hungarians made war on the Romanians.
The place is still not settled. The Carpatho-Rhatians didn't succeed in their mission and are, themselves, a nearly forgotten yet divided community.
I'm never surprised at what folks can come up with in discussing mountain folk. Michelle Malkin probably ought to know better.
Paraphrasing the author, it’s OK to for the China to conquer and loot Tibet of its ample natural resources because the place isn’t paradise on earth and the Dalai Lama isn’t a living saint. I’m glad she cleared that up.
None of the issues about the culture and cultural and social sentiments of the Tibetan people, past or present (the issues the stupid author focuses on) are relevant to the core issue of their independence.
The issue has always been one of “who had, and who has the right to set their modern course, in this era”; the Chinese dictators, who use the in-migration of Han Chinese to conduct cultural genocide on the Tibetans, or the Tibetan people themselves?
The stupid author ignores the basic issue.
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And it's okay to imprison and torture Buddhist monks and nuns.
As part of the genocidal sinofication program.
Obey the programs of those who killed 3,000 in Tiananman Square.
Don't be a splittist.
IOWs they believe in the inherent right to choose their own path in life. Elena Kagan would not approve.
That remark surprised me also...its good to know who the enemy’s are no matter what type of clothes they wear....
Father Thomas Merton also said that communism was a perfect model for governance ... in a monastic setting. Perhaps the Dalai Lama, a monk since the age of four, sees it in a context like that. He has certainly never claimed to be a scholar of western culture or political ideology.
Ah...polygamy, multiple sentient beings...explains much.
Oh yeah, Tibetan Buddhist, Islamic, all the same. The former suggest pacifism and meditation and vegetarianism, the latter reduce women to property and stone them to death, commit honor killings hang gays and declare the entire world their slaves on pain of global jihad - but hey, neither one wants to bow to murderous, totalitarian Chinese butcher-masters, so they're both the same.
THIS is the kind of constipated, fraudulent muck that passes for sophisticated internationalism and professional journalism.
I was simply honoring your desire that such advocacy see the light of day.
Your post in the first response had to be removed because you continued an otherwise excerpted article.
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I respectfully disagree that Tibetan Buddhism suggests pacifism. Far from it. A better characterization would be “non-aggression.” As for vegetarianism; I have never heard a suggestion in that respect and most of the Buddhists I know eat meat. I do, my teacher does and all of his teachers that I know of do. Tibet doesn’t have a very conducive climate for vegetarianism. It’s too hard to grow things there and too cold to be healthy.
If you check, for example, on the last "from the article" -- both of those paragraphs were in the excerpt. I simply ran them together.
The Shangri-law reference was in the excerpt.
On second look, you are correct...a few words at the end got deleted.
It is entirely untrue that I expressed any such desire. You claimed that you had already made posts doing so and I asked you to show them to me. You never came up with any.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said that he is a Marxist, yet credits capitalism for bringing new freedoms to the communist country that exiled him China. Still I am a Marxist, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader said in New York, where he arrived with an entourage of robed monks and a heavy security detail to give a series of paid public lectures. Marxism has moral ethics, whereas capitalism is only how to make profits, the Dalai Lama, 74, said yesterday.
The guy is a fraud. Someone needs to ask him what kind of deal he struck with Mao to allow him to “escape” Tibet.
Its been decades since I read Catholic books but many made an impression on me....I use to devour them...:O)
The Dalai Lama’s colleague was rounded up and imprisoned by the Chicoms, and they then appointed his successor — and that phony gets to name the next Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama is hated by the left because he’s anti-gay, among other things.
Suggest rental of a new release named “Burma VJ” for a good picture of Buddhist monks and their political activism as well as the dictatorial government (beginning to resemble our own) in Burma.
It's been in Burma where the Buddhist monks have been targeting the Karen Christian people, driving them out of their homes; setting homes to fire; threatening to wipe them out.
Do you have a link for that? I thought it was the military junta government that was killing the Karens?
Whose been responsible? Both.
Also, several families in SE Bangladesh this past Spring were forced to flee their homes -- also at the hands of Buddhists.
Here is an excerpt from that article: In the past year, an estimated 27,000 members of the predominantly Christian Karen tribe were driven from their homes in eastern Burma. In Koh Kyi village, in Arakan State, a monk backed by the military burnt down the local church. In another state, 300 monks were allegedly sent by the regime to forcibly convert the populace, all of whom belonged to the Chin ethnic group, which is mostly Christian. The document, shown to The Sunday Telegraph by human rights groups, may have been produced by a state-sponsored Buddhist group, but with the tacit approval of the military junta. The regime has denied authorship of the document which also calls for teenagers to be prevented from wearing Western clothes but has made no public attempt to refute or repudiate its contents. Source: Burma 'orders Christians to be wiped out'
So I suppose what's been happening in Burma -- and now in SE Bangladesh [See: Buddhist Extremists Drive Christians from Village in Bangladesh ] is all part of your cherished believing "in the inherent right to choose their own path in life"???
DHAKA, Bangladesh, May 3 (CDN) Four Christian families in southeastern Bangladesh left their village yesterday under mounting pressure by Buddhist extremists to give up their faith in Christ. Sources told Compass that 20 to 25 Buddhists brandishing sticks and bamboo clubs in Jamindhonpara village, 340 kilometres (211 miles) southeast of Dhaka, began patrolling streets on Friday (April 30) to keep the 11 members of the Lotiban Baptist Church from gathering for their weekly prayer meetings. On Saturday, the Buddhist extremists captured four men and beat one woman who had gathered in a home, threatening to kill them if they did not become Buddhists within 24 hours.
And another excerpt from the same above-linked Compass Direct article: The Christians captured Saturday night were released after the extremists, who ripped crosses off the walls of their homes, threatened to kill them if they continued praying and worshipping in the area...When they come, they do not listen to us, said the church member. They arbitrarily do whatever they like. The situation is indescribable they hunt us down the same way that one hunts down a mad dog to kill it. On Saturday the Buddhist villagers chanted anti-Christian slogans as they formed a procession that snaked through the village. They chanted in the demonstration, We will not allow any Christian to live in this area, We will not allow them to build a church here, and Christians cannot live in Buddhists areas, said one source.
I searched through articles posted on FR under the keyword burma going several years back and didn't find any article titles about the Karens. It doesn't seem to have gotten much notice on FR. I pinged a few FReepers who know more about Burma. Perhaps they can comment.
That article says that the government was forcing the Karens to convert to Buddhism.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before....
There are three different kinds of “lamas”:
one “l” lama - a monk
two “l” llama - a beast of burden
three “l” lama - ONE HECK OF A BIG FIRE!!!
I know, you’re the commedian. ;o)
First, you seem to be ridiculing the idea that people have an inherent right to choose their path in life. Secondly, you are conflating what I said about Tibetan Buddhists in an entirely different context. Thirdly, you are ignoring the communist Chinese backed military junta in Burma who is ordering that oppression.
Did you think there were no Buddhist extremists in the world? I certainly never said that there weren’t. What is your point?
And here I thought Buddhism was also a Religion of Peace!!!! Gotta love Free Republic! Learn something new everyday.
Good points. There’s more to say about the proffered framing of the issue, but it would be rolling up three thousand years of Eastern and Western histories to do so.
However, muayiwah, how do you integrate the government and social circumstance the many kingdoms in the Indian subcontinent before the arrive of the British into your “hills that divide us” construct?
I know, youre the comedian. ;o)
I'm smiling on the outside, and groaning on the inside. Or groaning on the outside and smiling on the...never mind. It was quite a reasonable contribution to a pointless effort.
FIrst of all India is not China, and vice versa, showing that the principle of hills and valleys being the principal source of political subdivision are sound at even large scales.
I suppose they imagine it will keep the Chicoms from killing their friends and neighbors.
As long as there is a coercive element, and that includes the old "captive nations" concept, it doesn't matter what the subject says.
Quite frankly i've met the man, the wife has met him, the kids have met him several times, and we've visited the Buddhist Center his uncle started in Bloomington, Indiana.
None of these people strike me as being Marxists in particular, nor is it particularly relevant to the current situation.
Eventually the Han will find that they are not biologically suited to high altitude life and will leave the highlands.
What amazes me is that anyone would care what the Dalai Lama says about politics outside his efforts to negotiate with Beijing. He doesn’t claim to be a scholar of political science and AFAIK he’s never taken a class or read a book about it.
Probably so ~ he’s just a monk ~ albeit a rather famous one.
When asked he says “I am only a simple monk.” People should take him at his word on that. People ask him a lot of questions and he usually tries to answer them all. If they don’t ask him if he feels like he is an expert on the subject they bring up he probably won’t say.
And who did they send in? (300 Buddhist monks) That's at least of the level of a "military draft"; or are you going to excuse the German soldiers who were "drafted" in WWII and only blame the Nazi leaders?
And BTW. I'll betcha somebody spending some time digging will find a whole lot more than 300 Buddhist monks involved in this kind of "dirty work" -- given that almost 30,000 Karen people were targeted. (And my recollection from geography is that the Karen people at one time inhabited a very long strip of North-South land...so they're likely to have been spread out)