“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….


Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 55 Comments

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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