“Black days for the Dalai Lama”

An alternate view of Tibet. I encourage you to check it out. (With a proxy, if you’re in china, of course.)


Amidst the horrific violence of the last few days, somebody’s been working overtime to marginalize the Dalai Lama and undercut him as the leader of the worldwide Tibetan movement.

Not just the Chinese.

I’m talking to you, Tsewang Rigzin.

Tibetan unrest in China is not just a problem for the PRC. It’s a major problem for the Tibetan emigre movement, which is threatening to fissure because of conflicts between moderates and militants.

And if things end badly, the question will be, did the militants fatally miscalculate the cost of confrontation, not only to themselves but the Dalai Lama?

…By linking the Dalai Lama to the unrest – which he opposes (and the Chinese know he opposes) – the Chinese are forcing the Dalai Lama either to repudiate the Tibetan militants and split the emigre Tibetan movement, or endorse the insurrection and permit the Chinese to portray him as an impotent captive of extremist forces.

For those unfamiliar with the Chinese pattern of denunciation, polarization, division, and destruction this is a classic tactic–call it Police State 101–intended to isolate the target of a purge by forcing him to denounce his associates – or force the target to incriminate himself by not forswearing alliance with a vulnerable, isolated, and discredited element that the Chinese government is about to land on like a ton of bricks.

Read on to see why he’s talking to Tsewang Rigzin….

The Discussion: 55 Comments

The Dalai Lama has seen through this and is discussing stepping down as Buddhism’s spiritual leader.

March 19, 2008 @ 1:09 pm | Comment

Georgey Porgey,
Pudding and pie,
Turned his back on the Tibetans and let them die…

Perhaps the first real sign of the The End of Times is that all of mankind’s institutions built to promote and protect the preciousness of human life have simultaneously failed. The UN, the IOC, DC, Brussels, the US media as a whole, etc

March 19, 2008 @ 2:14 pm | Comment

And that goes for wet noodle Brussesl, beer sucking London and passed-out-drunk Oz as well.

March 19, 2008 @ 2:17 pm | Comment

China Matters rules! More intriguing is the link he provide to article by Moon Over Alabama

Neocon seem to have plan the Tibetan uprising.

It’s like nanheyangrouchuan’s wet dream come true.

March 19, 2008 @ 3:28 pm | Comment

I think Hu Jintao planned it so he could finish what he started:


March 19, 2008 @ 3:51 pm | Comment

My personal conspiracy theory is the following.

Conspiracy mode on:

There has been open channels between Dalai Lama and CCP. But the aim were mainly to delay things as long as possible. They are just waiting for him to dye.

In the meantime the cultural erosion of the Tibet continue. Migration has been made easier with the new railroad. Cultural hold outs slowly but continuosly eroded or perverted. Time and demograpy is on CCP side.

Things has reached a point the groups opposed to peaceful ways of Dalai Lama has decide finally to react. Atavistic beheviour of a people who feel they are dying. Being devoured alive by a foreign culture.

Now come final coup. Tie Dalai Lama with rioters to tarnish his world image as much as posible and at the same time implement a final crack down in Tibet.
Of course black out of any news about Tibet in China, and specially any declaration that could link Dalai Lama with peaceful resolution of the conflict

In an even deeper conspiracy way. All this has been planed long before hand by the CCP. Maybe with some miscalculation about international reaction. That Han Chinese in Tibet could be harmed in the process is an acceptable collateral damage, and can also be put to good use.

Conspiracy mode off

March 19, 2008 @ 6:06 pm | Comment

Personally, I need to see a lot of evidence before I’m willing to believe a conspiracy theory… fact is, in China as well as elsewhere in the world, riots can happen spontaneously. Get a grip people, not everything is planned, and we have no way of knowing what was going in those Tibetan’s heads!
As for the hardline-pacifist split, I do think the hardliners have a point- pacifism may gain people’s respect, but it doesn’t get you far (unless you’re Gandhi, with a country of hundreds of millions standing behind you). Even if many people are disillusioned by the violence, many will also be angered by a harsh crackdown by China, so perhaps the gains of violent resistance will balance the losses. Palestine is a similar situation, I think- many people support the Palestinians despite suicide bombings because of the harshness of Israel’s response.
Clearly, such a situation would be very tragic, and I hope the CCP comes around and starts considering a more conciliatory approach. They have ruled Tibet for the past 50 years, and are ultimately responsible. Simply blaming violent Tibetans is somewhat like blaming the Chinese for the Boxer Rebellion- sure it was wrong, in and of itself, but when you step back and look at the situation in context, it’s easy to understand why people did the awful things they did.

March 19, 2008 @ 7:15 pm | Comment

it is natural that the dalai lama is being marginalised, given that this tibet not british india. there can be no gandhi type movements as the chinese will not tolerate this at any level. this means that the state and the religion are being separated, which you would have thought the ccp would support :p

it is good to see that coward brown taking some flak over his procrastination about meeting the dalai lama in may


reports of a homemade bomb – is this the start of an orchestrated campaign?


March 19, 2008 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

“it is good to see that coward brown taking some flak over his procrastination about meeting the dalai lama in may”

Absolutely – what a disgraceful kow-towing decision it would be not to meet the Holy one. Merkel showed us the way and was more than ready to deal with Beijing’s empty threats after she met him.

March 19, 2008 @ 8:15 pm | Comment

From the Times:

“The hardline leader of Tibet has branded the Dalai Lama a “monster” as it emerged that Tibetan students in Beijing have been ordered to effectively renounce any allegiance to their god-king.”

More here: http://tinyurl.com/yo5rac

Unbelievable. Just how many more draconian, dictatorial, human-rights violating measures can Tibetan people in China expect?

March 19, 2008 @ 8:30 pm | Comment


Here in China, our government don’t allow us the open communication to receive the full pictures of outside world. So you think Palistinian freedom fighters’ tactic against israeli occupiers are yielding fruits? How’s their intifada working out for them? Maybe they no do enough damage to Jewish state?

btw, according to most English sources (much more balance than our government propanda) Chinese is to be blamed for Boxer rebellion. Did you know the Boxer target all Christians and all foreigner and all foreign associated? Even Descendants of Russian Cossacks captured by Qing army 200 years ago were killed in Beijing because they are Orthodox and have foreign blood.

But maybe Tibetans killing Han and Hui are more justified than Boxers killing white people, no?

March 19, 2008 @ 9:35 pm | Comment

“The sky is turquoise, the sun is
The Dalai Lama is away from the Potala,
Making trouble in the west.
Yet Tibet’s on the move.”

So begins the Indian account of Dalai and Tibet

March 19, 2008 @ 9:53 pm | Comment

Ha ha – Cao Meng De, you found N. Ram’s famous article about Tibet. This article and other similar ones by N. Ram, who appears to be a noted Maoist, is the reason why the Bombay-based Friends of Tibet has launched an entire campaign to get its readers to protest against the newspaper’s utterly biased coverage of news from Tibet.


In recent months this appears to have had an effect. The Hindu now uses other wire services like PTI for its Tibet coverage, not just Xinhua as it used to in the past.

See also this.


March 19, 2008 @ 11:02 pm | Comment

A comment from someone posting on Woeser’s blog (probably Tibetan based on handle, but impossible to know for sure) that I found interesting:


Opposing the Communist Party government while seeking co-existence with and the support of regular Han, is clearly a much wiser and effective method than declaring war against the Han race. After all, there are hundreds of millions of Han Chinese who’ve suffered at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party who desire democracy.


But the young radical parties believe the Dalai Lama’s method is too slow, and doesn’t attract international attention. It seems like they’ve decided to go the route of going faster, in order to grab attention.


Let’s put aside the discussion of whether it makes good strategic sense to create enemies with 1 billion plus people, while giving up the sympathies of tens of millions. To go down this path, it’d be necessary to draw an equivalence between the Communist government and Han Chinese. Logically, arguments would be made to support the claim that “every Han Chinese is responsible for the crimes of the Communist Party over past decades”. From there, attacks on average Han Chinese becomes reasonable, even if those Han Chinese aren’t related to the government, and may not even agree with the government’s policies.


Keep going this route, and unfortunately, the result might be turning Tibetans into terrorists. In the above logic, change a few of the roles: Han Chinese with Americans, Tibetans with Muslims. The same logic can be used as justification for 911 and other terrorist attacks. Of course, I can’t ignore the fact that some people believe terrorist attacks against the Han are exactly what’s needed, as a way of punishing the Communist Party.

March 20, 2008 @ 2:35 am | Comment

“Let’s put aside the discussion of whether it makes good strategic sense to create enemies with 1 billion plus people,”

Those 1 billion others (mostly peasants) are disenfranchised brainwashed victims of the monsters of zhongnanhai.

Answer me this CCT; why is it that even well to do Chinese cannot send their kids to international K-12 schools? You’d think that with Beijing’s empahsis on the best and brightest going to overseas universities to study and return home that the doors would be wide open for Chinese kids to go to the American schools, any of the British schools or even the Singaporean chain.

But no, that would “open minds” before Beijing had the chance to rot them.

March 20, 2008 @ 3:04 am | Comment


Chinese schools spend a huge amount of time discussing Marxism and Leninism, too. If government propaganda is that effective, why are there so few Chinese interested in Marxism?

March 20, 2008 @ 3:44 am | Comment

The commenter you quoted makes a really good point. Why punish the average Han person, even in Tibet? Some of these recent Han immigrants to the region are probably struggling to survive as much as some of the Tibetans (while the usual officials and connected businessmen gorge themselves).

My guess is that Tibetans have similar basic sources of frustration as many other Chinese: lack of employment, corruption, favoritism (unfortunately, ethnic in this instance), political oppression, land-grabbing. They aren’t the only ones spontaneously erupting in violent protest: seems to me that government buildings getting torched and cars flipped is a fairly regular protest outcome throughout China over the past few years. That’s what happens when you have seismic societal shifts and no real political means to vent frustration.

It is really disheartening to see the ethnic hatred emerge, even though the causes for that are easy to identify. I guess it is easier to rally around “us vs. them” mentalities and cries for independence, but given fierce Han Chinese nationalism I don’t really see where this can go bar a guerilla-type conflict. And that would be disastrous for all involved.

On a side note, the CCP’s histrionics and frothing at the mouth vis-a-vis the Dalai Lama would almost be comical if events weren’t so serious. They really need some new PR people.

But maybe this overreaction (you’d think someone had nuked Tibet by the way they are talking) hints at the deeper issues. The Party is really stuck in a bind: it knows it could alleviate pressure in its restive regions by granting more real autonomy to these groups. The guys at the top probably know, behind the scenes, that brute force makes things worse for the long-term. But they are scared to hell of setting a precedent: grant these restive minorities some political autonomy, and what stops peasants in Henan from saying “hey, what the hell about us!?”.

Well, this was all just a long-winded way of saying I believe that genuine change in Tibet won’t come along until their are serious political changes in China as a whole. This will probably take a while, and hopefully take place in as peaceful a manner as possible.

Just some questions I’ve been pondering: Would there be such a clamour for Tibetan independence if the CCP wasn’t so controlling and heavy-handed? Could the Tibetan rights movement gain more by working towards positive political gains for ALL Chinese as opposed to framing the struggle in an ethnic/territorial way (which, I admit, is obviously a more ready-made “cause” on the international scene)?

Imagine the irony if the situation in Tibet ultimately brought about more political rights for all Chinese. Now that would be something. Just trying to throw in a tiny bit of optimism.

March 20, 2008 @ 4:46 am | Comment

Oops, forgot to mention that my comment is relating specifically to CCT’s quotations from Woeser’s blog.

March 20, 2008 @ 4:48 am | Comment

Damn! I’m really off my posting game today. In the last comment, Patrick=PB.

March 20, 2008 @ 4:54 am | Comment


Great comments. By the way, I made related comments you might be interested in in the thread previous to this one.

Frankly, I think the Tibetan protesters would be *far* wiser, and far more likely to achieve their goals if they had taken to the streets with the Chinese flag singing the Chinese national anthem, demanding the rights and autonomy promised them in the Chinese constitution.

There would be much sympathy for them from many Chinese, including those in government. The kind of bravery they’ve shown in standing up in such numbers could have engendered real political change.

There’s nothing ironic about what you describe at all, that all of this could potentially lead to political reforms throughout China. The West continues to cast Chinese policy in Tibet as “colonialism” and orchestrated genocide… but frankly, very few in China sees it that way.

If the Tibetans stood up as Chinese citizens and demanded change in a neutral way, no Chinese would laugh at the concept, and many Chinese would actually sympathesize.

But frankly, if the Tibetan activists driving the agenda bus were willing to declare themselves loyal Chinese citizens, and compatriots of the Han Chinese people, there wouldn’t even be a problem in Tibet today… the Dalai Lama would already be home.

And finally, I agree on the PR angle. If Beijing had any brains in the propaganda ministry, they’d be exploiting the divided between the Dalai Lama’s position and the extremists. I can’t figure out what the United Front department in Beijing is doing.

You have to understand too that Beijing’s hands are somewhat tied by “old cadres”, traditional Communists who started working in Tibet in the 50s. I’ve read many reports that there are Tibetan old cadres who’ve threatened to head up into the hills and fight a guerilla war if the Communist Party allows the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet with any hint of political power. But frankly, I think it’s time for the new generation in Beijing to carve out a new path and ignore these voices.

March 20, 2008 @ 5:07 am | Comment

Whether or not the Chinese see themselves as colonialists is irrevelant; the fact is that they are seen as such by much of the population. It is obvious that Beijing is making an effort to settle large numbers of Han Chinese in Tibet with the purpose of making the kind of revolt we’ve seen over the past week impossible.

March 20, 2008 @ 5:15 am | Comment


Whether or not the Chinese see themselves as colonialists is irrevelant; the fact is that they are seen as such by much of the population.

Irrelevant? Irrelevant in what way? Irrelevant as to whether Tibetans/exiles are angry… I can accept that. Irrelevant to the discussion of a solution to Tibet? I can’t agree. The Chinese people aren’t minor players here.

In terms of “making an effort” to settle large numbers of Han Chinese.. again, I’ll refer you to the jianshi bingtuan (Construction Corps in Xinjiang). Or for that matter, the millions moved out of the Chongqing valley in preparation for the Three Gorges Dam. That’s what a Chinese effort to resettle people for political purposes actually looks like.

March 20, 2008 @ 5:36 am | Comment

“In terms of “making an effort” to settle large numbers of Han Chinese.. again, I’ll refer you to the jianshi bingtuan (Construction Corps in Xinjiang). Or for that matter, the millions moved out of the Chongqing valley in preparation for the Three Gorges Dam. That’s what a Chinese effort to resettle people for political purposes actually looks like.”

That argumentation is irrelevant CCT. The influx of han chinese is enough to swamp the local tibetan people. That is the aim in the end.

March 20, 2008 @ 6:55 am | Comment


All I’m trying to say that if the Chinese government’s policy goal was really to swamp the Tibetan population, then Lhasa would already be 90% Han Chinese today. It has the capability to do so.

If Tibetan independence forces keep forcing Beijing into a corner, if Tibetan independence forces keep working to kick China out of Tibet rather than hoping to reform the system of autonomy in Tibet… that’s a solution to consider, and a far prettier one then sending in the military.

The population of Lhasa has something like 150,000 to 200,000 Tibetans. Moving one million Han Chinese into Lhasa could be done within a matter of years. Economic incentives, for example.

The only reason it hasn’t been done, yet, is because the Chinese government would rather not do so.

March 20, 2008 @ 7:02 am | Comment

I am gonna post my response to Froog at Jeremiah’s site here because I think it’s germane to the discussion, and Jeremiah’s blog is rather quiet over there (sorry Jeremiah).

Let�s have a realistic discussion about China�s option in Tibet. Look you can sermonize to your heart�s content all you want about immorality of colonialism, rights of self- determination, superiority of democracy over tyranny yada, yada.

At the end of the day, it all come down to interests. China will quit Tibet if it�s in her best interest to do so. The question is, what�s in it for China?

I am gonna list out the pros and cons of possessing Tibet for China

A) Tibet is one big ass of a natural buffer. I will bet you 500 RMB that Indian tanks are not gonna roll over Himalayas anytime soon. India�s currently longest ranged missle Agni
will have to be placed in Assam on the Tibetan border to have any hope of landing anywhere with more economical significance than a patch of grass and yak dungs. Sure Lhasa and Shigatze might be in the range of Indian missiles, but I doubt anyone is seriously losing sleep over that possibility.

B) There might be undiscovered natural resources underneath Tibet�s soil. Commodity boom has led to discovery of significant copper and coal deposit in Mongolia in recent year. Could happen in Tibet�s vast wilderness yet.

C)Tibetan plateau is the ultimate source of water for Asian continent. Great river systems, Yellow River, Yangtze, Mekong, Salween, Indus, Brahmaputra all have headwater in Tibetan plateau. In a way, Tibet is the third pole on earth. Water shortage will be a serious problem in coming decades for fast developing economies of China, India and Southeast Asia.

A)Tibet is currently a blackhole of economic drain on Chinese Treasure. China foots the bill for Tibet�s government budget while collecting no taxes from Tibet. According to Peter Hessler, �in 1996 China spent some $600 million in Tibet�.for that same year the United States gave a total of $800 million dollars in aid to all of Africa�. I don�t even know if Hessler took into account of expense of maintaining 200,000 men army presence.

There is no hope for China ever to recover these �investments� unless large deposit of metal or oil can be discovered AND easily recoverable from Tibet. Big �ifs�.

B)Resentment from local groups (especially the monks) that are not benefiting from Chinese rule.

C)Damage to China�s international reputation

It might seem Tibet is more trouble than its worth. It will also be quite easy for China to quit Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). We just ship out the soldiers and Han cadres by the newly completed railroad. Will be done in a few month. Most economic Han migrant who came to Tibetan urban centers seeking economic opportunity will leave once the economic activities dries up, as they will will with withdrawal of Chinese government directed investment. Dalai Lama and Tibetan government could return and resume their operation.

Chinese government could always use combination of carrots (continuation of aid) and stick (threat of re-invasion) to make sure Tibet is not being used by US or India as anti-China staging ground(no US military base allowed inside Tibet). So far so good. That will be the easy part. We still got buffer zone in Tibetan area of Qinghai and Sichuan.

Ah, here we are gonna have a problem. Dalai Lama and his government in exile has �repeatedly spoken of �six million Tibetans� and put forward the demand for the re-constitution of a �Greater Tibet� known as �Cholka-Sum� and comprising the areas of �U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo�.� (see an Indian magazine piece published in 2000 which deconstruct much of the Tibetan �myth�)

You see Chinese word for Tibet is �Xi Zang� which is a phonetic transcription of the Tibetan word �U-Tsang�. �-Tsangwhich together with Western Kham comprise of the region under Dalai government�s direct control before �liberation� by PLA. This region later became Tibet Autonomous Region after Dalai has fled to India and CCP started land reform.

Dalai government used to have wider authority over Amdo and eastern Kham as well. But unfornate for 13th Dalai Lama, a bright fellow name Younghusband decide to extend the benefits of British empire by invading and occupying Tibet in 1904. Qing government responded by reasserting Chinese control by sending in Zhao Er Fang to establish direct control.This Zhao Er Fang fellow is quite efficient in his job. From wikipedia entry under Kham:

�He was sent in 1905 (though other sources say this occurred in 1908)[2][3] on a punitive expedition and began destroying many monasteries in Kham and Amdo and implementing a process of sinification of the region:[4]

He abolished the powers of the Tibetan local leaders and appointed Chinese magistrates in their places. He introduced new laws that limited the number of lamas and deprived monasteries of their temporal power and inaugurated schemes for having the land cultivated by Chinese immigrants.

Zhao�s methods in eastern Tibet uncannily prefigured the Communist policies nearly half a century later. They were aimed at the extermination of the Tibetan clergy, the assimilation of territory and repopulation of the Tibetan plateaus with poor peasants from Sichuan.
Unfortunately for Zhao, Chinese revolution broke out in 1911. His solders decide to become revolutionaries and beheaded him.

So Dalai government got to keep the rump part of U-Tsang and western Kham. Eastern Kham remain under direct Chinese control was absorbed into Sichuan province. Amdo become part of Qinghai and Gansu.

That�s why Xiahe�s Labrang monastery ended up in Gansu. Now Amdo and eastern Kham, being traditionally the frontier between Han China and Tibetan always had a mixed population of Han, Hui muslim, some dash of other turko-mongol groups as well as Tibetans. Events after 1910 made sure that these area remain a hedgepodge of ethnicities. Han and Hui ethnicities living there are not recent immigrants.

Let�s even suppose that China entertain the thoughts of giving Tibetan parts of Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu to Dalai which his group had no control for nearly hundred years, it will be logistically nightmare to separate which parts goes to Tibet which part remain in China. Think of Bosnia pre-ethnic cleansing days.

And China should go through all these trouble to yield an ethnically pure Tibetan state?

You think monks at Labrang Monastery would want to live outside of Dalai controlled Tiber?

Better to examine the Con part of holding on to Tibet again.

A)Economic burden: it�s expensive to foot the bill of Tibetan government budget plus the infrastructure development that will be never repaid economically AND the cost of military presence.

Hessler put the bill at $600 million in 1996. Let�s assume inflation and additional military spending to round the figure off at $1 billion a year.

Well compare that to the money that China have wasted investing in American financial industry (Blackstone, we paid $1 billion to aquire stake in Bear Stern last year etc, Don�t even get me started on our increasingly worthless piles of American dollars and treasury bonds), this is chump change.

China could simply afford to throw away $1 billion at Tibet every year.

B.Resentment of Tibetans undermined by Chinese control (read monks)

Bite me!

C.China�s international reputation. Please, even without Tibet, West will find fault with China. Before Lhasa riot, we are being blame for everything from encourage Darfur genocide to suppression of monks in Burma.

Look at experience of Russia. Even after Russia discarded the Soviet system, Western media paints a very negative picture about Putin�s government. Why? Because Putin is no western lapdog and Russia continue to have divergent interest from the West.

West will continue find fault with China because CHINA is not YET a liberal democracy. While China is done with the business of exporting revolution years ago when Mao died, certain people in West (neocons?) hasn�t give up the dream of spreading liberal democracies everywhere.

I actually don�t oppose liberal democracy in China as an end goal. But I digress.

An individual shouldn�t live out his/her life according to wishes of others. Neither should China.

After all bricks and stone�but words pah.

Sorry pal, there simply not enough incentive for China to change its present policy considering the alternatives.

Tibet is like a persistent itch in China�s nether region. Not really a life-threatening condition, but to cure it requires surgery on the balls. At the end of the day, it�s just not worth the hassle of the cure. We will settle for occasional scratch at the crotch even if most people around us find the sight rather offensive.

March 20, 2008 @ 7:16 am | Comment

“All I’m trying to say that if the Chinese government’s policy goal was really to swamp the Tibetan population, then Lhasa would already be 90% Han Chinese today”

That would be too blatant. No one is so dumb to do that. And even when successful, not without several violent, though brief, blasts.

But the damage to China image will be surely be higher.

March 20, 2008 @ 7:34 am | Comment


Good luck. I guess all the rest of us can do is keep kicking up as big a fuss as possible, shaming China for its treatment of the Tibetans, in the hope of saving some lives inside Tibet. Demanding media access in exchange for engagement.


Since Buddhism is central to Tibetan identity, the Tibetans could be persuaded to acknowledge their identity as Chinese citizens if the Chinese could abolish the CCP (which seems to be already pretty unpopular) and bring back a Buddhist emperor who would be a follower of the Dalai Lama. In these circumstances — if China renounced communism and was led by a ruler with faith in Tibetan Buddhism — the Tibetans would be able to put the past behind them and declare their allegiance unconditionally and quite truthfully to China, as you suggest.

Something to keep in mind in your deliberations.

March 20, 2008 @ 7:52 am | Comment


Good point. As long as the CCP clings to an ideology which regards their core beliefs with contempt, why would Buddhist Tibetans be loyal red-flag waving PRC patriots? There’s no doubt in my mind that if China had a typically tolerant, secular but not anti-religious republican government, those currently rebelling against the Chinese government would have, if not nothing, much less to protest about.

March 20, 2008 @ 7:56 am | Comment

Interesting Link to that article about the TPUM and there role in this conflict. Hard to read that text anyway. This english includes a lot of typical slang that is not used outside US. Hard to believe that it was written by a Tibetan or a Chinese. China Hand must be an American. Question is why is america so interested in this conflict?

March 20, 2008 @ 8:04 am | Comment

I forgot to say: Wei Jingsheng.

— From the Washington Post:

“China’s True Face” by Wei Jingsheng

…Tibetans have long chafed under the oppression of the Chinese Communist Party. In 1959, when the Dalai Lama fled to exile in India, Tibetans’ protests were harshly suppressed in a massacre that lasted more than a year. Since then, more than a million Tibetans have reportedly lost their lives because of the Chinese government’s policies. In 1989, it was Chinese President Hu Jintao, then a provincial leader, who suppressed yet another revolt in Lhasa by bringing in the military to kill people in the streets. And, of course, the whole world knows what happened in Tiananmen Square that year. Clearly, without human rights and the rule of law, neither Tibetans nor the majority Han Chinese are safe from persecution at the whim of Communist authorities…

March 20, 2008 @ 8:07 am | Comment


I can’t believe you’re calling for a return to imperial rule, with the emperor (spiritually) subservient to the Dalai Lama. I know I can’t read the future very well, but that’s *really* going against the tide of history. The days of imperial China are gone forever, I hope.

As far as getting rid of the atheist Communist government and returning a more secular liberal version… it’s certainly possible. My personal time frame for all of this (discussed in past threads) is on the order of 25 years, +/- 15 years. If the Tibetan problem is unchanged for the next 25-30 years, that could very well happen.

Now, do you think the Tibetan independence activists in exile are going to be content waiting for 25-30 years? I suspect not. The Dalai Lama will certainly be dead by then.

Anyways, I’ll say it again, a Tibetan movement that was loyal to the People’s Republic of China would at least accelerate that process of reform. A Tibetan “uprising” movement that includes attacking Chinese and burning Chinese flags is going to be extinguished.

March 20, 2008 @ 8:13 am | Comment


Yes, I saw Wei’s editorial. Let me give you a link that might put some more light onto the state of the overseas Chinese dissident community.


March 20, 2008 @ 8:19 am | Comment


I know that the prospect of success for Tibet’s independence activists seems small, but consider the fact that in 2005, East Timor (1,115,000 pop.) gained its’ independence from Indonesia (234,693,997 pop.). Imagine how unlikely such an event ever occuring seemed in the 1970’s, after Indonesian militias had just sent 200,000 Timorese to an early grave, with barely a murmur from Australia, the UK and US, who at the time considered Indonesia a valuable ally against Communism.

Nevertheless, the political atmosphere changed dramatically, and the unthinkable became reality. Who knows what will happen over the next few decades.

Also, your seeming belief that force of numbers will inevitably be enough to destroy Tibet’s current majeup if necessary raises some doubts in my mind. It’s a very inhospitable and hostile place, judging by the CCP’s failure so far to successfully settle it with overwhelming numbers of Han Chinese. Unless the PLA actually opts to literally kill them all (or remove them from Tibet and disperse them elsewhere), there will a more-or less homogenous population of Tibetans in the region for the forseeable future.

March 20, 2008 @ 8:23 am | Comment

“Chinese schools spend a huge amount of time discussing Marxism and Leninism, too. If government propaganda is that effective, why are there so few Chinese interested in Marxism?

Posted by: CCT at March 20, 2008 03:44 AM”

Because of the central control mechanisms of Marxism/Leninism (and while I haven’t read that theory, I have read “Utopia”, which also espouses a “central group of senior community members” to decide and plan everything, hundreds of years before Marx).

The rest is economic nonsense as the students need to worry about passing exams, getting jobs and making money. You can say they aren’t interested in Marxism, but as long as the end result is support for a strong central gov’t to hold China together and get revenge upon the rest of the world, especially Japan and the US, the effort and expense is worth it.

March 20, 2008 @ 8:28 am | Comment


I think East Timor is a better comparison… but not knowing more about Indonesia sentiment throughout the ’90s, it’s very difficult to be certain. I do concede as you say that things do change with time.

(I hope an Tibet would do better than East Timor after independence, if it comes to it. Just noticed there was another coup attempt last month? Makes me wonder whether the student activists in developed countries that protested for East Timor’s independence world-wide are doing anything for the country today.)

As far as “CCP’s failure to settle Tibet with Han Chinese”… what do I have to tell you to convince you that the CCP hasn’t even tried, yet? The concept of moving in large numbers of Han Chinese to solidify border regions isn’t unknown; Xinjiang is a perfect example, with millions resettled within the matter of a few years in the ’50s. And when it happened, it was never “secret” policy… it was well publicized.

March 20, 2008 @ 8:48 am | Comment

@Qin Hui,
First off, English history books take different attitudes to the Boxer Rebellion- but as I was taught Chinese history, the Boxer Rebellion started spontaneously, by religious cultists from desperately poor villages in Shandong. It was later coopted by Cixi, but it was basically a people’s movement. Sometimes, the CCP does get its history right… no one is wrong all the time. (Except maybe nhyrc.)
I don’t think you can say whether Chinese in 1900 or Tibetans in 2008 are more justified in going on a rampage- both are certainly justified in attacking the countries tormenting them, but neither are justified in attacking innocent people. Both are the response of a powerless, oppressed and finally desperate people, who are under pressures that neither you nor I can fully understand. As it was CCP policy that facilitated this rampage, just as imperialism facilitated the Boxer Rebellion, those killed were like the Tibetans the victims of CCP policy, in addition to the victims of some Tibetans.
As for the Palestinians, I think they’ve gotten much farther than the Tibetans- at least everyone involved is committed to a Palestinian state, and they have self-rule over some of their territory. Frankly though, I don’t think these tactics will work for the Tibetans. If I was Tibetan I would think they were worth a shot, as a desperate last stand, but numbers and power are so much in the CCP’s favor that Tibetans will probably have to wait for China’s next collapse… whenever that will be.
The main point, I think, is to remember that as terrible this last crime is, it cannot compare to the long, drawn out suffering and the possibility of the extinction of one’s culture that the Tibetans face. People from big nations, like China and America, will today not really be able to understand this feeling- though China faced a similar possibility 70 years ago.

March 20, 2008 @ 10:48 am | Comment

@Cao Meng de
“Tibet is like a persistent itch in China�s nether region. Not really a life-threatening condition, but to cure it requires surgery on the balls. At the end of the day, it�s just not worth the hassle of the cure. We will settle for occasional scratch at the crotch even if most people around us find the sight rather offensive.”

I will take your analogy

Scratch at the crotch in full public light when you are the center of all attention can be…. little embarrassing to say the least.
More if you have to shake hands with some important persons, including ladies.

Several options are available. You can restrain an dno scratch yourself. But that can be uncomfortable and will prevent you to enjoy the show.

‘Major’ surgery action could pose some problems to your “macho” reputation. Must also take into account your wife opinion in the decision…

Therefore I consider intermediate solution more advisable. Either with a temporary effect while your public obligations remain. Some kind of salve maybe. Afterwards, once liberated from your public obligations, you can proceed with the scratching.
Or you can try another solution, which should not require surgical intervention but could, at least significantly, alleviate the problem permanently.

Finally. I hope that the comparison of your lower noble parts with Tibet has not been a subconscious Lapsus Linguae…

March 20, 2008 @ 11:30 am | Comment

“Frankly, I think the Tibetan protesters would be *far* wiser, and far more likely to achieve their goals if they had taken to the streets with the Chinese flag singing the Chinese national anthem, demanding the rights and autonomy promised them in the Chinese constitution.”

I didn’t know the party did comedy. Quite possibly the most absurd thing you’ve ever said.

March 20, 2008 @ 11:31 am | Comment

“The days of imperial China are gone forever, I hope.”
CCP rule is a continuation of imperial rule, as I said before. If China wasn’t ruled by incompetent savages crowned by the previous emperor Deng Xiaoping, Tibetans would be more responsive or friendly to the Chinese republic.
“demanding the rights and autonomy promised them in the Chinese constitution”
Sorry, but everyone knows the Chinese constitution is an absolute joke. Especially considering that if they did demand the rights and autonomy promised them in the Chinese constitution, they would still face the same incomprehensibly violent response.

March 20, 2008 @ 12:25 pm | Comment

@ kevininpudong:

Indeed, tens of thousands of Han Chinese do protest against corruption, etc. and profess their loyalty to the government. They still get shot, beaten, the usual anyway. At least the Tibetans aren’t licking the boot that tramples them as their Han “compatriots” do.

March 20, 2008 @ 12:29 pm | Comment

CCT essentially expects the Tibetans to be so dumb as to have faith in a government which certainly does not deserve their faith.
Perhaps he has something to learn, rather than them.

March 20, 2008 @ 12:31 pm | Comment

arrested alleged protesters being paraded on tv


excellent article here

“It may be worth calling for United Nations observers to be sent in to Tibet, though China will doubtless veto that. As important is to insist that the Chinese authorities keep the promise they have made – and are now breaking – to allow foreign journalists free movement around the whole of China in the runup to the Olympics. (If they don’t let reporters go to Tibet, this can only mean that Tibet is not part of China.)”

“With the doublethink characteristic of repressive regimes, China’s communist leaders say [the Dalai Lama] is an irrelevance, a feudal relic; and yet they talk about him obsessively. ”

“China’s leaders misread, or at least misrepresent, the Dalai Lama’s intentions. (How much is genuine incomprehension and how much deliberate lying is an interesting question.) ”

he then goes on to argue that all leaders of free countries should meet the dalai lama as a matter of course. this is something that concerns me – the kowtowing to china. the western world must show that it values the freedoms it trumpets so loudly over cheap goods.


March 20, 2008 @ 5:26 pm | Comment

“over cheap goods.”

The cheap goods will last 10 more years. Then people will be harping on the size of the market. Money is powerful at all times and will continue to be. What it will take is a world that is tired of the idea of China as a counterweight to the US. I am not praising the US here. I am only referring to the mentality of many countries that currently think China is the hot thing.

March 21, 2008 @ 12:40 am | Comment

James Miles, the Economist journalist who’s been in Tibet for the past 8 days, gives us the most complete look we’ve yet to receive on Lhasa:


March 21, 2008 @ 1:42 am | Comment

James Miles, in my mind, comes across as providing a very objective view. He speaks to the violence that he saw from protesters, and the very limited use of force by security forces.

He also speaks the truth on aspects that are negative to the Chinese government; namely, PLA troops (or at least equipment) is certainly in Lhasa, and that there’s probably no proof the Dalai Lama “clique” actually organized the rioting itself.

Q. What you say you saw corroborates official version. What did you see?

A. What I saw was calculated targeted violence against an ethnic group, or I should say two ethnic groups, primarily ethnic Han Chinese living in Lhasa, but also members of the Muslim Hui minority in Lhasa. And the Huis in Lhasa control much of the meat industry in the city. Those two groups were singled out by ethnic Tibetans. They marked those businesses that they knew to be Tibetan owned with white traditional scarves. Those businesses were left intact. Almost every single other across a wide swathe of the city, not only in the old Tibetan quarter, but also beyond it in areas dominated by the ethnic Han Chinese. Almost every other business was either burned, looted, destroyed, smashed into, the property therein hauled out into the streets, piled up, burned. It was an extraordinary outpouring of ethnic violence of a most unpleasant nature to watch, which surprised some Tibetans watching it. So they themselves were taken aback at the extent of what they saw. And it was not just targeted against property either. Of course many ethnic Han Chinese and Huis fled as soon as this broke out. But those who were caught in the early stages of it were themselves targeted. Stones thrown at them. At one point, I saw them throwing stones at a boy of maybe around 10 years old perhaps cycling along the street. I in fact walked out in front of them and said stop. It was a remarkable explosion of simmering ethnic grievances in the city.

March 21, 2008 @ 1:48 am | Comment

Interesting read.


March 21, 2008 @ 7:37 am | Comment

I also heared about this group much earlier.
I consider them a bunch of Neo-Tibetan-Fascist. Their slogan is Tibet for pure Tibetans only.
If Blair says Britain for brits only, he will be branded as racist. The only reason this bunch of nutheads didnt appear on the screen of the west media is because they r hiding themselves behind DL.
As soon as DL pass away, those N-T-F will rise, and China will get its own tibetan version of Al Qaida.

Now i want to adress several points appeared in the comments:

-Palestine is a similar situation, I think- many people support the Palestinians despite suicide bombings because of the harshness of Israel’s response.-

ACTUALLY, the west does not support the way hamas is trying to make their point clear. The west is objecting the way palestinians r being treated by Isreal, which is, even worse than the way Chinese treated Tibetans. The west objects terror AND repression. And believe me, the more the west has to deal with those s. bomber, the more they fell victims to those kind of ‘protests’ themselves, the less they like the religion connected to it.

Violence will lead Tibet to a dead end.
Isreal is very different from china.
Isr. is small. Look at the proportion of both populations: there r actually more Palestinians than Isralis. On the other side, China is huge
+ the ~5 million Tibetans r facing 900million Chinese. Therefore its a very shitty idea to anger the Chinese. They have an endless supply of soldier + manpower + absolute military advantage compared to Tibetans.

2. Stop buying chinese stuff will stop china doing bad things. Sorry, thats BS.

China already occupied tibet before it became rich. And there was never the thought that tibet could become independent again…until free-tibet-free-fuxk-groups appear.

3. conspiracy theory: will only work for Lhasa. Doesnt apply for remote areas far away from Tibet in han dominated areas.
I think Tibetans protesting outside of Tibet have not so much independent movement in mind as to protest against the reprisals of their religious freedom. interestingly most protest outside of tibet were being leaded by monks.
There r also tibetan civilians protesting, but they dont selectively attack han chinese. Maybe because han chinese r in majority now + there r more interaction between Han & Tibetans.

Now talking about the Tibet problem:
i deeply believe that any peaceful solution for both sides has to and will come from the chinese.
Its simply not in the hands of the Tibetans to decide for their own future. Sorry, but thats fact.
China is militarily too strong for any successful resistance. Its upon China, and chinese to let Tibet go.
Since China is opening itself more and more, generations of chinese youth r growing up with a much broader access to the outside world. The propaganda machine of CCP is losing its efficiency from year to year.
Those youth have a strong interest in other culture and whats really going on around them.
They r less brain controlled & more critical of CCP than any generation before them. The interest in Tibet is quiete strong among them. And with interest, there comes understanding, with understanding, there follows compassion, and eventually leads to enlightenment about ones wrongdoing. Even the brits needed nearly 100 years to let go most of their colonies.
I want to make clear that there is a very long way to go, for both sides. China stil needs time to grow up, to free itself from old burdens. It needs time so that new generations of open minded chinese can come to maturity and eventually power…
Tibet does need China, even when it becomes independent. It cannot economically survive on its own. China needs Tibet too, for what so ever.
Any pressure from outside will probably do more damage to the further relationship between China& Tibet. Its in the best interest of both sides to seperate in peace rather in war.

Whatever solution there will be found for Tibet, it should be sorted out between Chinese & Tibetans, and not West & Tibetans or West& China.

For those babling about Tibets culture being destroyed& will disappear soon. BS. The tibetan culture didnt dissapear in the last 50 years of chinese rule, it wont disappear any time soon.
Ppl in HK didnt lose their culture/chinese identity although the brits tried their best to make Honkies loyal to them. As soon as the brits left, they were history.

Cnn reporter just came back from china: very insideful. Hope u can read it.

March 21, 2008 @ 3:59 pm | Comment

Hello, funseekers!

Well, ain’t this interesting.

Just across CNN:

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with dee ell in India, calls for denunciation of China’s rule in T1b3t.

This all the while the Motherland is moving in more troops into t1be7.

March 21, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

I’ve been watching videos of the 1992 LA Riots. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen these videos… and I’m certainly not trying to draw a complete equivalence between these two, but it certainly let me to some thoughts.


Others have brought up racism towards in Tibetans as justification for the rioting. Truth is, I think race relations between Tibetans/Han have always been far better than whites/blacks in the United States.

The bad first: Han Chinese (especially those who live/work in Tibetan majority areas) do have negative stereotypes of Tibetans. That Tibetans are lazy, dirty, uneducated, live off of government welfare. Tibetans also have negative stereotypes of Han Chinese: greedy, dishonest, lacking morals.

But there has to be a distinction between this sort of prejudice and more extreme racism. Urban Han Chinese say very similar things about *rural* Han: dirty, uneducated, greedy… and that’s not a race issue.

No Tibetan has *ever* been lynched for looking at a white woman. No Han Chinese family I know would raise an eyebrow if their daughter brought home a Tibetan rather than Han Chinese boyfriend. There’s no derogative term in Chinese for referring to Tibetans.. they’re just zangren or zangzuren.

It’s just a shame that even though Tibetan/Han race-relations are in many ways far ahead of what exists in the United States, the same sort of race riot still materialized. And it’s also a shame that this will undoubtedly help *transform* Chinese race-relations into something closer to the American dynamic.

March 22, 2008 @ 12:19 am | Comment

What really piss me off about the whole affair is that someone in T1b3tan Autonomous Region government (maybe even Central government in Beijing) made a very cynical and calculated (even cold-blooded, by my standards, that’s saying a lot) decision to sacrifice lives of Han and Hui living in Lhasa city to appear to have exercised “restraint” so not as to jeopardize the Olympics. They basically stood by to let the rioters to vent their angers against ethnic Han and Hui, rather than protecting the citizens as their duty.

Jame Miles interview further supports my view of the event. He also seem to have reach the same conclusion about why authorities stood by while Lhasa burned in first couple of days.

Difference with LA riot is that when riot first broke up, police force in LA was overwhelm by the size and scale of the violence. By all indication, there were enough police/miliary presence in Lhasa already to handle the situation but the authorities did not choose to.

Oh, and Korean shop keepers in LA ghetto had semi-automatic assault weapons which they didn’t hesitate to use on black rioters. Han and Hui shop keepers in Lhasa didn’t have firearms to protect themselves and the only protection they had and thought could rely on , the government and police failed them miserably.

I believe our government act very shamefully in this event. A democratic society like US would’ve acted swiftly to deal with situation. And society where citizens have right to bear arms would see that the citizens able protect their live and properties on their own.

March 22, 2008 @ 5:41 am | Comment

For the record, I can understand Tibetan anger. While I don’t wish to see it happen, I think they are in some way justified in venting their anger toward government apparatus.

I didn’t have strong feeling toward the video of T1bet@n horsemen attack on government installations in Gansu.

But I feel nothing but utter and total disgust at the attack on innocent civilians on basis of their race.

More disgusting is the fact that the police and military simply didn’t intervene in the worst days of racial violence in Lhasa.

It’s fine for Gansu police to holed up in the government building in case of the horsemen attack over there.

It totally unacceptable for the police and military in Lhasa to stand by while innocent citizens are being attacked. Law and order is what government suppose to provide to its citizen, neither was offered to Han and Hui residents of Lhasa for two entire days.

March 22, 2008 @ 6:57 am | Comment

From Slashdot.

“I am from Beijing and I really wish the game could be canceled.

In Soviet China, the games play you. Yes it’s true. I live in my college (a public one, funded by the govn’t) where more than 80% of the students are from other places outside Beijing, me included. We will be forced to leave our campus before the Olympic games open, because the college’s gym shall be used by the athelets as a place of training (some say they are the USA swimming team). The college has decided so, but offers no single bit of solution for our accomodation during that period. I guess most of us may have to go home — for quite a few of us this means a long journey across the country, at a considerable cost. For those who has a job here this would mean further loss. I feel I’m being treated as an undesirable, troublesome one who is best kept clear from the city in which I have been living for three years. We are not free to travel or stay as we wish within our own country, or even within our own city.

Thanks to the Olympic games China is drawing increasingly more attentions of the world. I hope that, as a result of the pressure from both within and outside, the govn’t would take some measures for us. This is hardly likely, though.

Now something on topic. Removing the Olympics from the IOC? Not likely. Canceling the games? The IOC members are very experienced in politics, and politics has nothing to do with human rights. They can’t be ignorant to the massacre taking place in China, but that has nothing to do with their business. They have a perfect alibis: the IOC is not an organization for settling political affairs. We do our own business.

Recently, the Olympic firetorch is going on its tour around the world, including Lhasa, Tibet. I can hardly imagine this.

And a tip for some of you who may want to travel to China for watching the Games: you have to be prepared for the Internet experience in China which is far from yours in your home. Want to know more about a game? There’s no Wikipedia. Want home news? A lot of media websites banned. Want watch video from YouTube? No way. Want to read your emails? If you’ve done many “undesirable ” searches on Google you may have trouble accessing your gmail account, as some of my friends have noted. Slashdot? I can only hope the best. It seems that they havnt been keeping an eye on slashdot now. I guess most of the decision makers have no idea of what Slashdot is like… ”

March 22, 2008 @ 5:50 pm | Comment

What Tibet could be today without Chinese “help”?


March 22, 2008 @ 6:50 pm | Comment

Cao Mengde,
I find myself in the surprising situation of agreeing with you. It does smell a little fishy, that the police doing nothing allowed the Tibetans to make themselves look bad. To be fair to the cops, though, there was probably some disagreement among the leadership on how they should deal with it.
I’m surprised, however, by your sympathy for the Hans and Huis who died- would’ve thought you’d seen them as necessary sacrifices clearing the way for the Hans to secure a restless part of China and ensure foreigners don’t encroach!
I guess since you do have a heart, there might be just a little hope for you, huh? =D

March 22, 2008 @ 7:16 pm | Comment

J B,

Condescending. Typical of a foreigner.

Lens of Reason

P.S. There’s some hope in you, too. ha ha ha

March 22, 2008 @ 8:44 pm | Comment

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