Tibet: sweeps continue at monasteries

A court in Tibet sentenced 30 people to prison terms ranging from three years to life April 29 in charges related to the March uprising. (NYT, April 30) China has detained scores of Buddhist monks over the past month, according to the International Campaign for Tibet. The group said more than 160 people were detained from several monasteries in the Lhasa area in April. Authorities detained at least six monks from the Nechung monastery, eight from the Nalanda monastery and some 60 from the Pangsa monastery. The group also said up to 100 monks were detained at the Rongwu monastery in Qinghai province. (AP, April 30)

As for the torch spectacle, Mount Everest appears to be the new symbolic battleground. From The Independent, May 2:

William Holland was only thinking of the photograph. When he got to the top of Everest he planned to take the rolled-up flag saying “Free Tibet” from his rucksack, pose for posterity with the banner as a backdrop and then roll it away again before starting back down. He was not looking to make a scene.

But that is exactly what transpired. Someone in the group he was climbing with informed the Nepalese authorities of Mr Holland’s flag. When he reached Everest Base Camp he was ordered from the mountain and told to go straight to Kathmandu. From there he was deported from Nepal with an order not to return for two years.

The 26-year-old US climber’s treatment at the hands of the Nepalese authorities is just one indication of how the world’s highest mountain has in recent days become engulfed by the politics and controversy surrounding China and its relationship with Tibet.

As Chinese climbers seek to reach Everest’s summit carrying a replica of the Olympic torch, the Nepalese government has closed down the upper areas of the mountain within its own borders and ordered everyone to stay away from the summit. It has even told the dozens of security personnel dispatched to the mountain they can shoot protesters seeking to disrupt the Chinese ascent.

See our last post on Tibet.

  1. Why argueing so much with
    Why argueing so much with you who only like to be spoonfed by Dalai Liar. To prove you are only the foot-soldiers on bandwagen of neo-con’s geopolitical agenda, one document should be enough as follows, the full text of the Dalai’s 1951 telegram to Mao:

    “Chairman Mao of the Central People’s Government:

    This year the local government of Tibet sent five delegates with full authority headed by Kaloon Ngapoi to Beijing in late April 1951 to conduct peace talks with delegates with full authority appointed by the Central People’s Government.

    On the basis of friendship, delegates on both sides concluded the Agreement on Measures for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet on May 23,1951.

    The local government of Tibet as well as the Tibetan monks and laymen unanimously support this agreement, and under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Central People’s Government, will actively assist the People’s Liberation Army in Tibet to consolidate national defence, drive imperialist influences out of Tibet and safeguard the unification of the territory and the sovereignty of the motherland. I hereby send this cable to inform you of this. “

    1. What the hell does that prove?
      Why don’t you read up on the history for some context on why the 1951 agreement fell apart?

      “Dalai Liar.” Very cute. We’d be very interested in any evidence or arguments that refute his claims.

      If we are “on bandwagen [sic] of neo-con’s geopolitical agenda,” funny that we support the Zapatistas. We support indigenous peoples, including the Tibetans. It is the Beijing bureaucracy which supports the neocon agenda.

      1. Well, it is not black and white, isn’t it?
        You see, if any evidence is coming from Chinese government, you will say it is false and propaganda, right? Chinese government is certainly not good at sophisticated propaganda. They don’t have to be. They controlled the media and had a closed environment. But they are opening up, so they are learning from western media 🙂 Anyway, it is side point.

        Here is link that I read from PBS, maybe you will find a few things that contradict to what your reference presents.

        Both sides have done thing wrong, and are continuing doing wrong things, or doing in the wrong ways. This is my view.

        If you want to find more, there are plenty of them on web outside of China. Trouble is, you seem to already made up your mind.

        1. Not “black and white”—but yes, right and wrong
          I do not dismiss claims from the Chinese government, but examine them with a critical eye, just as I do claims from any other government. On the demographic question:

          The comment you link to cites Wikipedia (an unreliable source) citing the Chinese census (let’s give it the benefit of the doubt) as giving the “number of Tibetans in Tibet Autonomous Region as 2.4 million, as opposed to 190,000 non-Tibetans, and the number of Tibetans in all Tibetan autonomous entities combined (slightly smaller than the Greater Tibet claimed by exiled Tibetans) as 5.0 million, as opposed to 2.3 million non-Tibetans.”

          What this fails to consider is that Tibet is a vast and sparsely inhabited territory, and of course the program of colonization is going to begin in Lhasa, the traditional center of culture and political power. From a March 29 AP story:

          Chinese government policy of “demographic aggression” is threatening Tibetan culture as increasing numbers of non-Tibetan Chinese move into the region, the Dalai Lama said Saturday.

          He also told reporters that China risks instability because of its human rights record.

          In Lhasa, the region’s ancient capital, there are now 100,000 Tibetans but twice as many outsiders, the Tibetan spiritual leader said. The majority of those are Han Chinese, the country’s ethnic majority.

          “There is evidence the Chinese people in Tibet are increasing month by month,” he told reporters, calling the population shift a “form of cultural genocide.”

          He also said that a million more people are expected to be settled in Tibet after this summer’s Olympics.

          So, if we give the Dalai Lama the same benefit of the doubt that we give the Chinese census, the Tibetans are indeed being overwhelmed with Han settlers.

          Carole Reckinger’s assertion that “It is estimated that the immigrant Han Chinese now outnumber the Tibetans in their own land” may not apply to the entire TAR, but it does seem to apply to Lhasa. This is compounded by the claim that Han settlers dominate the job market and economy.

          Israeli settlers constitute less than 20% of the population of the West Bank, but I don’t hear any “progressives” offering apologias for that.

          Jaundiced phrases like “black and white” miss the point—which is that, whatever errors the Tibetan leadership has committed, there is a right and wrong. Yes, I certainly have made up my mind about that.

          1. same for “right and wrong”, depends on how much you know and
            how much you want to know about the complex subject.

            First of all, the link that I provided covers discussion on many topics, discrepancy in demography by Tibetans in exile is just one of them. And yes, it first referred to Wiki and indeed Wiki is not always accurate, but you probably noticed that that he also list several other references to support it.

            If the demographic picture is assumed correct, one can find this interesting fact: Tibetan population has grown from 1.2 million to 6 million today since Communist took over China in 1949, at the same time, the total population of China grew from 0.55 Billion to 1.4 Billion today. In other words, Tibet minority’s population grew 5 folds while the country as a whole only more than doubled. Given Tibet in general is much more harsh place to live than rest of China, I don’t believe there is oppression specially targeted at Tibetan, instead, I would argue that there is probably special relief mechanism for Tibetan.

            In terms of culture genocide, you probably know that people on east coast of china are much more well off than inland. As the cost of labor and others going up, business start to invest into inland towards west. In many inland places, people form east dominate job market and local economy, there are certainly tension. This situation applies in the same way for Han and Muslim settlers with regarding local people (mostly ethnic Tibetan) in Tibet. I think Chinese Government should do more to help local population with various means: economic policy, education, loan, etc. You see, from Chinese point of view, Tibet is part of the country, so it should be free for any Chinese to move in just as it is free for Tibetan to move to anywhere in China. Yes, if you think Tibet should be a separate country, then
            you think Chinese are doing wrong. You need to go to China and convince Chinese people on that. Piratically, to succeed in that, one needs to convince that a separated Tibet will be good for both Tibetan people and the rest of Chinese people

            Culture genocide is a way too overloaded term, if what happened in Tibet is culture genocide, then one may said that china has been culture genocide’d by western for the past 150 years.

            What Tibet in Exile committed or is committing are bit more than “error”, and what Chinese government has done and is doing in Tibet is not at level of “culture genocide”.

            1. Why is Palestine not “complex”?
              Your selective use of statistics fails to acknowledge that the proportion of ethnic Tibetans in their homeland has declined. Tibetan demographic gains hardly mean they aren’t oppressed. The disenfranchised typically have higher birth rates (Albanians in Kosova, campesinos in Latin America, Latinos in the US Southwest, Palestinians versus Israelis, etc.). If you are in China, I suggest you convince the (Han) Chinese people to stop colonizing Tibet. You make the same arguments that colonizers of indigenous lands always make: Israelis on the West Bank, Moroccans in Western Sahara, settlers in the Amazon, etc. I don’t buy it in those cases, and I don’t buy it in the case of Tibet.

              You have got it backwards: the Tibetan leadership have (arguably) committed errors; the Chinese state has committed crimes.

              1. well, I happen to think Palestinian problem is also complex
                I think it is unfair to accuse me of using “selective” stats. I was merely using a statistics that you didn’t mention when you first brought up the demographic issue. Can I accuse you using “selective” stats as well, by overlooking my stats?

                I don’t know the population stats that you brought up, if they are correct, then I agree it may not be the necessary condition from proving my point. Still there might be subtle context behind those stats, for example, many Chinese families on east coast nowadays prefer one child as they becomes more well off and want to spend more time to make money and enjoy life. The trend confirmed to what happened in Europe and Israel. That might explain why Israel has lower birth rate compare to Palestinian, but it is not applicable to Chinese, remember the stats I gave you is based on whole China, where vast majority people are still living near poverty and traditional culture value is to have many kids, specially boys.

                Do you know that only Han race was subject to the one-child policy, but not the rest of 55 minority races (Tibetan included)?

                Look, if you think Tibet and China is two different countries, then of course the word “colonizing” is the right word, but for people who think otherwise, then it is a movement motivated by economic reasons(business opportunity, zero tax, etc).

                One can’t tell people from rest of China not going to Tibet, it is part of the country. That’s what they believe (please don’t start the brain wash argument). You can certainly try it. I am not going to try that, because I don’t agree and I know it won’t work. Like I said in my previous post, Government should do more to stop the trend and train the Tibetan people in business and technical skill, instead of just providing subsidy and free stuff. Subsidy and free windfall don’t work, they never worked anywhere, why would they work in Tibet? Only when Tibet people are capable of defending themselves economically will they truly survive and become prosperous culturally.

                I am not into Palestinian problem, there are enough problems in China and where I live to make me busy 🙂 But from what I learned from my Jewish friends and Arab friends, I have to say it is rather complicated. My opinion on the solution is to find a compromise. Just like issue of Tibet. DaiLai Lama says that he is not seeking independence. I think it is good compromise as the foundation for solving the issue. But I don’t how true he believes in it and how much it is just a political gesture.

                Chinese government committed crime against Tibetan people? oh yeah, definitely, just like the Communist government committed many crimes against the rest of citizen of China. Again, if you looked from context where Tibet is part of China, I am not aware any particular policy that singled out Tibetan as its target. There might be a future date where we will examine the brutality, mistake, crime that government committed to its people, just like how South Africa did. For now, China is moving forward, people don’t want to tangled in the past.

                If you know how brutal the Tibet elite (Tibet in Exile represents) was when they in Tibet and what extravaganza life style (compare to average Tibetan people) they had, then you will understand their resentment against the Chinese government. It was bad guy against bad guy. That’s what it was. It wasn’t a Shangri-La, wasn’t peaceful, beautiful and happy paradise painted by Tibet in Exile (maybe to them it was). it was theocratic society where vast population are of deeply religious and totally uneducated. You know that kind of society is not good. And I haven’t seen any remorse from the Tibet in Exile about how they ruled the old Tibet. To me, they are not better than the government in China today.

                1. Last response here…
                  I already acknowledged that Carole Reckinger’s (not my) assertion that “Han Chinese now outnumber the Tibetans in their own land” is questionable.

                  Tibet is exempt from the one-child policy, but this applies to Han as well as ethnic Tibetans in Tibet. Tibet is perceived as “underpopulated,” as opposed to the “overpopulated” regions where the policy is imposed. Meanwhile, the ethnic Tibetans are subject to coercive sterilization, just as restive peasants are in Latin America. So an exemption portrayed as a concession to Tibet’s autonomy is actually part of the policy of colonization and ethnocide. The propaganda is deconstructed by TibetTruth.com, which has posted a petition protesting media parroting of Beijing’s propaganda. See also New England Journal of Medicine, September 2005.

                  There is indeed a compromise solution for Palestine: two states, equal and sovereign; or a single one, bi-national and secular. And there is a compromise solution for Tibet as well: real autonomy, exactly what the Dalai Lama demands. Is he being duplicitous? Certainly no more so than Beijing, with its transparent position that Tibet is an “autonomous region.”

                  This item is getting a little crowded, Lu. Please see our new Tibet post and reply there, if you feel you must.

                  1. Sure, my last post here too
                    Thanks for all the response, btw.

                    I did some search on your “underpopulated” argument, I could not find any concrete evidence to support that. Your own reference New England Journal of Medicine says that most of people in Tibet are entitled to have up to 3 kids, so who are those minority who are not entitled to multiple kids? The policy for people live in Tibet that I found is this: Han Chinese – 1 child, Tibetan lives in City or Tibetan official – 2 children, rest of Tibetan has no limit. There are many links, all in Chinese, here is one. If you want more, please let me know.

                    However, I did see some regional/local government posts on the web that says there should be birth limit even for minority. No more details are given though. So that could be where this “3 children” comes from.

                    Also, I hope you heard of Chinese house hold registration system. Just because you move to a place, doesn’t mean your house hold registration also move with you. In other words, you are not entitled to local policy/special treatment unless your house hold registration is local. This is actually a huge problem in China, for example, migrant workers can’t have their kids going to local school. In short, just because you go to Tibet, doesn’t mean you can have more than 1 kid over there. Even there is a such thing that Han people in Tibet are entitled to have more than 1 kid.

                    Regarding to coercive sterilization, I agree, this is crude and inhuman, should not happen. But your reference stop short of laying out other 2 very important facts. First, how many kids those Tibetan people already had before they are forced to subject to the terrible thing? Second, does it happen to Han and other minorities? My guess on the first is that she probably already had a few kids, probably 3. On the second one, I can bet you with my life, the answer is yes, because it was once common across China, and even happened to the people (Han) that I know.

                    What happened is that population control was one of the measurement on local official for their performance. Some of them took the matter in their own hands and use their power to impose with whatever means they could, including this sterilization. So again as I said in my previous post, there is no negative policy specifically targeting at Tibetan, and your evidence certainly does not support your argument.

                    I think when people takes high moral ground accusing others, they should be extra careful about what they say, especially when using terms like “racial genocide” or “cultural genocide”. Isn’t there a term called “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”? Telling half of the truth is not gonna help your cause.

                    One story from my personal experience. 20 years ago when I was in college, 2 of my roommates are minority (big room, 10 people). One is Man race from North and one is BuYi from Southwest. They both came in with lower score because of minority policy. Consider how hard to get into college then (only 300 thousands every year, out of 1 billion population), amazingly no body ever complained about it and everyone excepts it as a reasonable policy. My college has a separate Muslim cafeteria (I know many other have too), where meat (beef and lamb) is subsidized, so I have friend who constantly bugged his Muslim classmate to get him meat food. In terms of government’s intention and policy to help minority, I think Chinese government has done a better job than most of governments in the world.

                  2. Forgot to add about Dalai’s proposal
                    If you look into the details of his proposal, you will find that some of them are quite, how I should say, unreasonable. But as long as he agrees that Tibet is part of China, there should be room for negotiation, trouble is that autonomy is not what Dalai is looking for. He is looking for the path of Kosovo. Come on, no body is stupid…

  2. The dark side of the Tibetan revolt
    Since the revolt in Tibet, the majority of the mass media (with few exceptions) have based their reports of the Tibetan uprising through the lens of such a stereotype and their myopia of the reality of Tibet. The stories report the revolt principally as a struggle for independence from the oppressive power of China which started in October 1950. Surely, there is some truth in this. But the mass media, as unfortunately academics, and even anthropologists specialised in Tibetan Buddhism, have hidden what I call the ‘dark ethnic side’ of the revolt. I have tried to explain this in my last post

    Best wishes

    1. Dark side of your brain is more like it
      Checked out your link. That’s pretty hilarious. It is the Beijing bureaucracy which has embraced the methods and ideology of the US “war on terror,” and joined Washington in demonizing the Uighur self-determination struggle—as we have repeatedly pointed out.