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Whispers of the Dalai Lama

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James Reynolds | 09:08 UK time, Thursday, 12 March 2009

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising which led to the exile of the Dalai Lama. Tibet's exiled leader has described the situation in his homeland as "hell on earth" - a characterisation rejected by China.

At the moment, China has stopped foreigners from travelling into Tibet, but many Tibetans also live in neighbouring Chinese provinces on the Tibetan plateau. These are the only Tibetan areas that we can try to visit.

But in recent days, the Chinese authorities have detained (and sometimes harassed) many foreign reporters who have tried to get to these areas.

Still, a few days ago, a colleague and I managed to get in and out of the Tibetan plateau without being arrested. Here's what we found.

At the main gate to a monastery on the plateau, a monk in red robes sits behind a counter. My colleague and I buy two tickets and walk into the grounds - a valley full of temples surrounded by hills and prayer flags. (In order to protect the identity of the monks we spoke to, we have decided to withhold the name of this monastery.)

There is a number of men in well-pressed trousers standing around the grounds. Experience in China suggests that these men may be undercover Chinese policemen - determined to make sure there's no repeat of last year's Tibetan protests.

My colleague and I walk freely through the monastery - into prayer halls and debating chambers. We meet a Tibetan monk standing alone. No-one appears to be watching us. We've travelled almost a thousand miles for this one opportunity.

"We heard that last year there were some problems around this area. Are things quiet now?" we ask him.

"Nothing will happen," the monk says quietly, "we're all being suppressed."

"Is there lots of surveillance at the moment?"

"Yes. Control."

"Who is controlling you?"

"The government."

"Do you think the Dalai Lama will ever come back?"

The monk nods.

"He should come back," he whispers, "he should come back."

dalai lama imageThe whisper of a single monk is as loud as support for the Dalai Lama can get in this monastery. To China, the Dalai Lama is a corrupt, violent, feudal overlord who has spent 50 years trying to split Tibet from the motherland.

A little later, we visit a second Tibetan monastery. Two young monks escort us into a temple. They show us a framed photo of the Dalai Lama on an altar - a picture they have to hide away whenever the Chinese police come to visit.

"They come quite often, to tell us not to make any trouble," one of the monks says. "So we have to hide his picture, or else we will get fined. The police don't usually search the place. So, as long as we hide it well, we will be okay."

We drive on through frosty hillsides towards the village in which the Dalai Lama was born in 1935. We stop at a house by the side of the road. A gray metal door is half open.

dalai lama's birthplace

"This is the place in which he was born," a Tibetan woman standing outside the house tells us. "Last year, they refurbished the whole place again, so it's like it was before."

Beyond the door, we can see into a courtyard, where there is a Tibetan mastiff on a chain, and an ornate green and gold building. But we can't go inside. We learn that Chinese police officers from the Public Security Bureau come around every day. They make sure that foreigners don't go inside.

A taxi then pulls up at the door. Four middle-aged Tibetans get out. They bang on the door in a slight panic. They tell us that they've driven for hours from Qinghai Lake to visit the birthplace of the man they worship as a god. A person guarding the house lets them inside.

My colleague and I wait outside in the wind. China condemns the Dalai Lama as a terrorist with the heart of a beast. But in this remote village, China allows Tibetans to make discreet pilgrimages to the house in which he was born.

We'd like to stay around a little longer. But villagers tell us that the police are on their way. We drive off, leaving the grey metal door and the golden rooftop behind us.

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James Reynolds reports from Tibet on Radio 4's Today programme on 12 March.

PS: Onto another pressing subject - the effects of the global recession on China. As I've written here before, millions of Chinese workers have lost their jobs because the rest of the world has stopped spending. So now, the Chinese government is looking to the countryside for economic salvation. It's hoping to lure workers back to a more rural way of life.

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It's well worth having a look at this TV report by my colleague Quentin Sommerville which explains the subject perfectly.

Comments

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  • 1. At 09:34am on 12 Mar 2009, bhekzin wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 09:54am on 12 Mar 2009, topbear1974 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 3. At 09:55am on 12 Mar 2009, TerryNo2 wrote:


    The quotation you use from the Dalai Lama (of Tibet being "Hell on Earth") would, I suggest, apply better to the time when the religious fundamentalists were in control of the country, when GDP was lower, along with a lower standard of living, a master and slave type of environment, lower expected life expectancy and intolerance of religious freedom (unless it was the one approved religion).

    I find the surveillance over the monasteries hardly surprising. It was on the BBC where I saw the monks at the forefront of the riots at the early stages. Later, after the general population had been whipped up into some kind of hysteria, where property and innocent people were attacked, the monks returned to the monasteries and left others to carry on.

    Just think about what we do in the UK. Here, when trouble-makers gather, the police can obtain anti-social behaviour orders. Surveillance by camera is common. If a person breaches the behaviour order they can be imprisoned. Now compare this with Tibet. With the theat of disturbance in Tibet from pro-religious protestors very high, then the Chinese authorities are only behaving sensibly to protect the innocent.

    To be frank, for the monks to be cautious about what they say is natural in these circumstances. After causing the trouble and not succeeding, they clearly need to mind their words.

    Pretty obvious, really.

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  • 4. At 09:56am on 12 Mar 2009, Bobsy26 wrote:

    Well, before the inevitable tide of pro- and anti-Tibet comments floods in, I will say that the knock-on effects of this conflict are at least rather distressing. The whole thing has turned apparently into a personal duel between the Dalai Lama and the CCP. From their respective bases they're shouting at each other about what they've suffered, and meanwhile the daily lives of ordinary Tibetans are being compromised by the harsh supressions that this has brought.

    That the Dalai Lama's birthplace has become a place of secret pilgrimage and dedication could perhaps lead to further problems down the line if it escalates.

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  • 5. At 10:16am on 12 Mar 2009, Walsh of Wembley wrote:

    One day these people will be free. Any regime which oppresses people is destined to fail.

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  • 6. At 10:19am on 12 Mar 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    It should be noted that the Dalai Lama seeks "genuine autonomy" not just for Tibet, but the neighbouring provinces of Gansu, Yunnan, Qinghai and Sichuan. This constitutes one quarter of China's landmass.
    Also, Tibet is the source of all of China's major rivers.

    Thus the day Tibet gains independence is the day China, as we know it now, ceases to exist as a nation.

    I have no doubt that this is the wish of many in the world.

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  • 7. At 10:28am on 12 Mar 2009, hizento wrote:

    Who are they kidding.

    UK
    http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/03/manchester-man-arres.html

    China
    http://www.vimeo.com/2327058

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  • 8. At 10:58am on 12 Mar 2009, thhan279 wrote:

    Dalai Lama is just a pawn used by the West to try to control China. The world knows that Dalai Lama's so called middle way will never be accepted by China as it will lead to Tibet's independent. Dalai Lama should be realistic in dealing with China. Instead of engaging the West, it is best for Dalai Lama to engage China instead. Currently, there are no trust between these 2 group.

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  • 9. At 11:02am on 12 Mar 2009, Cantab wrote:

    GDP does not make up for the loss of an ethnic soverign identity. That is true anywhere in the world, and the Chinese should know that.

    What goes on in Tibet shames my Chinese soul to its foundation. I will fight for my country, but I will not lie for my government.

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  • 10. At 11:09am on 12 Mar 2009, endyjai wrote:

    'Hell on Earth' would be Palestine.

    If it weren't for the riots and killings of innocent shop keepers last year there wouldn't be such a surveillance effort.

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  • 11. At 11:13am on 12 Mar 2009, D Zhang wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 12. At 11:17am on 12 Mar 2009, pr0teu5 wrote:

    I would like to say something about "Senlin" comment.
    "One day these people will be free. Any regime which oppresses people is destined to fail. "

    Did you mean free as Free murder people and kill them? In the last choas in tibet area,there were no fighting for "freedom". It was simple mob attack on anyone that wasn't orginal from tibet. Which in many west country that would be call "rasist". I don't believe that killing other innosent people is fight for freedom. I have no problem for tibet to fight for their "freedom",as there is the old saying in china. "You win you are a hero/savior,when you lost you are a criminal(now day that would be terrorist).

    You want fight for your freedom,then fight. that would be what west like to see,is fighting on TV. It's real life TV-show,much better then "Bigbrother".

    Why Dala-lama choose peace not war? Simple,he is very realistic,that for an people that have one of the lowest birthrate on this planet,there is no way they can WIN a war(if they can kill 10 chinese soldier and 1 of their own dies,they still can't win). AND(this is most important part!!!),He KNOW that he would get more support from wester people if he support "peace",because if tibet start to bomb bus and school like other "freedom fighters/terrorist(depend on who you ask)",their support from west would be much much lower. See the hamas?

    I believe he is a wise man,a true politician. Which why I don't support him,I dislike the idea of a single man that is a religion and also a politic leader. And it's actuly funny that west support a religion/politic leader. You have to wonder why no wester country support Iran....

    Something that I was wondering,if China is keeping so tight control of tibeten area. You'r blog must be read by some chinese "webpolice",and for that chinese police know where you go. So it can't be that hard to find WHO was this monk that you talk to?!
    Still nice blog. Keep up the good work.

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  • 13. At 11:18am on 12 Mar 2009, D Zhang wrote:

    When Dalai Lama starts talking something like the current situation in Tibet is 'the hell on the earth', he has successfully converted his role from a so-called spiritual leader to a professional politician, finally.

    The first and foremost skill of being a politician is telling a lie without a slightly sign of blush.

    He made it, bravo!

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  • 14. At 11:18am on 12 Mar 2009, hizento wrote:

    I was a photographer at a show organised by Jah Wobble which combined traditional Chinese and western music that toured the UK last year. Amongst the many performers was a Tibetan girl, yes Tibetan, dressed in her finest traditional clothing of her ethnic group and sang traditional Tibetan song.
    All performers were chosen by Wobble himself when he visited China.
    Am I to believe for one moment what Dalai Lama is saying about the Chinese government commiting in his own word "cultural genocide" when China is exporting Tibetan culture to the UK and performed at UK music gigs?

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  • 15. At 11:20am on 12 Mar 2009, ita wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 16. At 11:26am on 12 Mar 2009, ita wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 17. At 11:26am on 12 Mar 2009, D Zhang wrote:

    Apparently, James visited Qinghai, where Dalai was born, and there is absolutely no restrictions or whatsoever for a foreigner to pay a visit to Qianghai Province, which is a neighbouring province of XiZhang, AKA Tibet.

    Of course he could take some interviews without being arrested in Qinghai, since he was not breaking any laws or regulations. It's like saying that someone took a visit from london to manchester to make some interviews without being arrested.

    I guess, the whole point of emphasizing the fact that he has not been arrested is to make an eye-catching story.

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  • 18. At 11:31am on 12 Mar 2009, D Zhang wrote:

    -"Nothing is going to happen."

    -"Dong you think it's a good thing?"

    Of course.

    No one wants to suffer from those rioters.

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  • 19. At 11:36am on 12 Mar 2009, D Zhang wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 20. At 11:48am on 12 Mar 2009, davidwhite44 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 21. At 11:51am on 12 Mar 2009, ita wrote:

    The monk expressed his opinion, no problem. People in U.K. express their opinions too. What's the big deal?

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  • 22. At 11:52am on 12 Mar 2009, D Zhang wrote:

    James did quite a lot of work to 'unveil' the current situation in Tibetan area.

    I just wonder when James can show us the true picture of the Old Tibet or the well-known so-called Shangri-la style of Tibet under the Dalai's ruling before 1950 and let the general audience to see which one is the real 'hell on the earth'.

    "Even a cursory look at history reveals that nonviolence has never been a traditional Tibetan practice, or a societal norm, or, for that matter, a teaching of Tibetan Buddhism. "
    ---LYDIA ARAN

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  • 23. At 12:04pm on 12 Mar 2009, palladiomc wrote:

    Its quite pathetic how China's communists are treating its Tibetan affairs different from the mongolian issue. Outer Mongolia was granted independence in 1949 due to pressure from the Soviet Union. Too bad Dalai Lama sided with the British and Indians instead otherwise he would have let independence as well with a demand from Stalin, whose decisions Mao would listen to with all due respect.

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  • 24. At 12:13pm on 12 Mar 2009, KrSund70 wrote:

    I find it difficult to justify that the world recession in which millions have lost their livelihoods is relegated to a mere p.s. or "another pressing subject," while the DL and Tibet again get the bulk of the perverbial newsprint.

    The Chinese position is entirely proper, fair, and should not be subject to undue media recrimination.

    Surveillance in order to deter violence and rioting is a 100% positive.

    It seems that so long as people stay away from perpetuating such violence and rioting, they are indeed left alone, in order to make their pilgrimages, i.e. pursue their religion. This allowance of religious practice, while drawing a line at violence, is entirely correct, from both a governance point of view, and a human rights point of view. No activist can fairly argue that human rights includes the right to make violence.

    Frankly, I believe that no government would truely be not concerned at all with regard to the god-worship of a single, secular human being as an all-encompassing deity. Everyone government would be watching closely, with some concern toward national stability, i.e. Germany and the scientologists, as an example.

    So long as you weren't encouraging rioting James, I doubt you'd be arrested. Detained and questioned? Maybe, but any policeman in any nation would have a right to briefly question anyone within their jurisdiction. Even if we assume that every man in a pressed pair of trousers was an undercover policeman, I am sure that if 4 Tibetan women can make a pilgrimage to the DL's birthplace on that day, so could you James, without your fears of running afoul of the Chinese authorities.

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  • 25. At 12:13pm on 12 Mar 2009, peacekeeper_alpha wrote:

    free tibet. james, please give us some evo info. do something please, rather just say something. what is the point to keep tibet as part of the media world. peace up

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  • 26. At 12:26pm on 12 Mar 2009, GNRChineseDemocracy wrote:

    If the CCP have nothing to hide and the Tibetan people are living in "paradise", why have all foreigners and journalists been kicked out? why the thousands of armed troops on the streets and the snipers on the roof tops? Why the constant surveliiance, the tapping of phone calls, the internet wires cut.

    It may be paradise for the Han Chinese that have migrated there with all of the benefits they have been given, (and the fake palm trees and brothels), but for the Tibetans who are treated as 2nd class citizens in their own land, with no job prospects, poor education in a language unfamiliar to them, then hell is a better description.

    I dont know why the CCP do not show some compassion, honesty and diplomacy and work with the Tibetan government in exile to resolve the crisis, allow religious/cultural freedom, and stop this paranoia of surveliance and harrassment. Otherwise the people will only get more radical, desparate and the worlds opinion on China will never improve.

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  • 27. At 12:26pm on 12 Mar 2009, Gomeying wrote:

    I am Chinese but I have to apologise and admit that our government have not looked after the feeling of the Tibetan people and not allowed a true autonomy which Tibetan leaders enjoyed in the Qing (Manchurian) dynasty.

    At the same time, I accuse the West (in particular France and the US) of using the Tibet problem as political cards to gain economic benefits. (France and the US always play this kind of games such as selling weapons to Taiwan or the Olympics for better benefit from China).

    To those people who fight for Tibet independence, please be practical and note that if Tibet is fighting for independent there will be wars because there are probably more Tibetan people living in Sichuan and Qinghai provinces than Tibet Autonomous region and in these provinces the Han are the majority. After few hundreds of years of free movements under the Manchurian empire there is no easy way (impossible) to separate the country peacefully. If Dalai Lama is right, the middle way will be a true autonomy in Tibet (but only possible in Tibet AR I guess)

    I have been to Qinghai and I think Tibetan people are not living in hell and many are happy. Nowadays most Tibetans are living in a modern society and are better off compared to the life under a feudal system. However, if monks are not allowed to have religious freedom and other human rights, it will create very big social security problems in such a religious place.

    We need to sort out our internal problems in China practically so as to create a peaceful, strong and harmonious country where all people live with human rights and dignity.

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  • 28. At 12:32pm on 12 Mar 2009, UK_huzi wrote:

    Hello James,

    I feel that there is a fundamental flaw in your report regarding tibetan's attitude toward the Dalai Lama.

    You have only given (or only interviewed) the views from Monks, who used to be the higher class in the feudal system. I if were them, I would certainly miss the "good, old days", and want my "God" to come back to rule.

    How about the views from the former serfs (if they are still alive) or from their decendents? Have you ever thought about asking them? Have you ever met anyone from this sub-class group?

    I'd like to see a more objective report.

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  • 29. At 12:39pm on 12 Mar 2009, Sampan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 30. At 12:43pm on 12 Mar 2009, dewyflower wrote:

    The translation from Chinese is not very accurate especially the part where there is talk about whether Dalai will be going back.First of all, the monk says: why would you say that-- a question to the female reporter. They she asked another question which is"Do you think Dalai Lama will come back?Is there still a chance for it?"The monk answers:"Yes, there could be a chance." Not he "should" come back. Please~

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  • 31. At 12:43pm on 12 Mar 2009, Thegrimcrim wrote:

    Senlin, i fear you are in for a long wait.

    China can only give Tibet independence if external forces make them.

    In the current political climate it is extremely unlikely that any political or national group will put any pressure on China to do so.

    For my part, If the majority of "tibetans" wish to be independent they should be allowed that freedom , however i am not sure replacing a plutocracy with a theocracy is neccesarily the right step.

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  • 32. At 12:49pm on 12 Mar 2009, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso wrote:

    The West has no right to interfere in the internal affairs of the People's Republic of China. The Tibetan Autonomus Region suffered before its liberation.

    The Dalai Lama and his clique reduced the lives of ordinary people of the Tibetan Plateau to misery. People were enslaved or torn away from their family to be enslaved.

    There was starvation, and misery while the Dalai Lama clique were living in opulence. The Tibetan Plateau since its liberation and return to the People's Republic of China have higher opportunities for education and health.

    For those who want to force Western Style forms of thinking into China, your style of thinking is incompatible with the pro family stance of the People's Republic of China.

    The Western Style of Thinking is already in an advanced state of decay.

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  • 33. At 12:51pm on 12 Mar 2009, laurencew wrote:

    Well said #27 Gomeying. China's actions are understandable in the context of desire for political unity and control of resources.

    But those actions are not compatible with basic human rights, including genuine freedom of thought and the right to associate for religious reasons. For a deeply religious person this does constitute a kind of hell, since their happiness is bound up with their cultural and religious identity. The comparison with Palestine is quite appropriate, in that a super-powerful military effectively dictates what is or is not allowed in everyone's daily life. Just because a few manage to escape punishment does not make it a free place!

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  • 34. At 12:59pm on 12 Mar 2009, sheriffCartman wrote:

    Another pointless "Tibet" story. It's hardly surprising that China claims that "Tibet" is used as a stick to beat China over Human rights issues. It's like the only people that live in Tibet are monks!
    As far as I can tell, the CCP has good reason to believe that the Dalai Llama is a wolf in monks clothing. As far as I knew, the guy doesn't even beleive in hell right? It's time for the Dalai Llama to retire gracefully. There's no chance of resolution with him at the helm, no matter what his celebrity supporters think.

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  • 35. At 1:06pm on 12 Mar 2009, zickyyy wrote:

    James

    You can draw your own conclusion.

    Are Tibetans living in hell as what the DL said?

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  • 36. At 1:10pm on 12 Mar 2009, wzhliang wrote:

    James,

    Not to be mean, but I bet you feel a bit left out that you're not targeted by the CCP.

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  • 37. At 1:15pm on 12 Mar 2009, heyone wrote:

    Dalai Lama is asking for "meaningful autonomy" only, not "independence" as the Chinese government wants to call it. I suppose this is a way of stirring up people's nationalist sentiments?

    Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, it is "a highly autonomous and largely self-governing subnational entity". So if CCP thinks "meaningful autonomy" equals "independence", Hong Kong, by CCP's logic, is already independent. Then I can't understand why they're okay with Hong Kong yet they are now so paranoid about Tibet asking for meaningful autonomy. Perhaps saying Hong Kong is highly autonomous is in fact another lie ?

    Alleging Dalai Lama wants to restore "cruel and dark feudal system" in Tibet is like saying the CCP wants to bring back the glory days of The Great Leap Forward, which they must think Tibetans enjoyed so much thanks to CCP's "liberation". Another CCP's pseudo-justification for their control on Tibet.

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  • 38. At 1:17pm on 12 Mar 2009, microPhil_B wrote:

    I wholeheartedly agree with the comments of TerryNo2 toward the top of this comments list.

    I started a No.10 petition along the same lines. Anyone who thinks the Tibetan people are less free under the CCP than the feudal religious autocracy that preceded it is fooling them selves. The CCP is NOT PERFECT - but what is?

    As expected my petition received virtually no support & numerous scathing comments from the DL's supporters.

    To anyone who says 'Free Tibet' I say 'Yes it is!'

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  • 39. At 1:19pm on 12 Mar 2009, john adams wrote:

    "GDP does not make up for the loss of an ethnic soverign identity"

    LondonYC

    you think you can speak for the poor people? i doubt you would think that way if you have to worry about food on the table everyday.

    people in the west should ask themselves why the tibet issue is such a big deal in the west. people don’t realize it is anti-china, not pro-independent for tibet, if china's economic never rose from the reform, tibet wouldn't cross the minds of the western world. china is the only country whose influence is potential to surpass those in the west and the west is desparate to stop it, so tibet issue is only one of the tools to permeate ‘china threat’, meanwhile the west also want to enconomically benefit from china

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  • 40. At 1:25pm on 12 Mar 2009, Howardddddddd wrote:

    I don't think pushing the millions of unemployed back to the fields is the way to go. Better to build new cities between countryside communities, and develop new jobs from that. No-one wants to see a developing nation go back to medieval jobs.

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  • 41. At 1:27pm on 12 Mar 2009, heyone wrote:

    #32. floridaRoberto62

    During Mao(the ultimate CCP boss)'s days, millions of Chinese people starved and persecuted to death. Thanks to the mighty liberation, Tibetans had to go through the same. Yet we are still glorifying Mao and enshrining his portrait in Tienanmen Square. Have we fogotten the suffering Chinese people went through under CCP?

    You still have Mao's clique ruling China now and I'm sure you gonna say people aren't suffering. So why do you think Tibet will go back to the days of suffering ?

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  • 42. At 1:31pm on 12 Mar 2009, endyjai wrote:

    To post 28:

    I don't think former serfs would speak good enough English. Monks on the other hand seemed to have learnt particular phrases.

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  • 43. At 1:34pm on 12 Mar 2009, SliceJohn wrote:

    Dalai is flailing his last attempts at attention as the world is consumed with fight recession. You have to understand that he's been doing road shows in the west and rubbing shoulders with celebrities for many years.

    "But in recent days, the Chinese authorities have detained (and sometimes harassed) many foreign reporters who have tried to get to these areas."

    I suppose if the Chinese authorities has not detained you by now, your story is, well, just a story.

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  • 44. At 1:35pm on 12 Mar 2009, stallikon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 45. At 1:36pm on 12 Mar 2009, aeroarchie wrote:

    "This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising which led to the exile of the Dalai Lama."

    A reference to the 1959 uprising without mentioning the role of the CIA which funded, trained, and armed the Tibetan rebels is a distortion of the truth.



    ".......these men may be undercover Chinese policemen - determined to make sure there's no repeat of last year's Tibetan protests."

    If these men were indeed Chinese policemen, they must be there to prevent a repeat of last year's burning, looting and killing of innocent people.



    "China condemns the Dalai Lama as a terrorist with the heart of a beast."

    I don't recall any Chinese official calling the Dalai Lama a terrorist. He was always being labelled a separatist or splittist.









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  • 46. At 1:37pm on 12 Mar 2009, endyjai wrote:

    To post 40:

    It's not going back to medieval jobs. In a time like this, ex-farmers should go back to their farms rather than mill around seeking factory jobs - which for most part were temporary jobs to get a quick buck.

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  • 47. At 1:39pm on 12 Mar 2009, Rob_Hob2 wrote:

    There is no point debating issues critical of China online because the long arms of the Chinese government stretch everywhere. I have to wonder what is going on when the same arguments that sound point by point exactly the same as Chinese propaganda are repeated over and over... then I remember that the Chinese government PAYS surfers to post opinions supportive of its views. They are engineering public opinion online, and in that case it all makes much more sense.

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  • 48. At 1:46pm on 12 Mar 2009, Rob_Hob2 wrote:

    ... one Chinese government argument I find totally STUPID and yet very pervasive on the net is: the Tibetan people are better off economically than they were before the Chinese came.

    This is true as stated, but it is a misinterpretation.

    The Chinese people themselves are better off than China from 50 or 60 years ago. It is not a valid comparison to put a Tibet from long ago next to modern China and compare the two... and yet this argument is spouted endlessly and in HUGE volume all over the net.

    The VALID question or comparison is if Tibet would be better off economically and in terms of freedom with or without China RIGHT NOW!

    I think Tibet would be MUCH BETTER off without China RIGHT NOW both in terms of economy and freedom. Especially since the Dalai Lama supports DEMOCRACY, while China is a CORRUPT dictatorship whose leaders are saying that it will never have democracy or a multi-party political system.

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  • 49. At 1:59pm on 12 Mar 2009, davidwhite44 wrote:

    The Chinese defence of it's behaviour in Tibet is often 'justified' with a comparison of pre-'liberation' times in which serfdom and slavery were the norm. This argument really holds little weight. It's an argument that assumes that in 50 years of rapid global transformation, Tibet would still be operating under an identical ancient feudal system.

    Yes, the issue is used by the western media to undermine China, but ultimately people here are suffering and a more compassionate response from the CCP would not be unreasonable. Condemning the Dalai Lama, who's positive approach and inspirational books on peaceful-living have inspired millions worldwide, further discredits the CCP. I would urge anyone who has any doubt to read one of his books (if you are outside of China that is) and tell me if you still believe he's a 'wolf' or whatever else the CCP call him.

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  • 50. At 2:20pm on 12 Mar 2009, super pig sufc wrote:

    the dalai lama and his cronies had the ordinary people starving to death before the chinese took over so save it mate..

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  • 51. At 2:25pm on 12 Mar 2009, ccpbrain wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 52. At 2:47pm on 12 Mar 2009, SkyDaisy-9 wrote:

    I felt the video was interesting.

    The magnitude is smaller than China's, but the same sort of movement has seen here in Japan, but the atmosphere is rather positive.
    A partial of people lost their job now see agriculture is the next promised land. Some start to work for agro- business, some are moving into rural areas.
    The difference is also seen in the acceptability of it's rocal bodies. Several municipalities, who suffered erosion of population, has tried to make systems to accept families who eager to move into those areas. The popuration gained and the age balance was moderated.

    How does the local goverments work in China? They may want some extent of authority to mend their neck of woods.

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  • 53. At 2:48pm on 12 Mar 2009, TerryNo2 wrote:


    I think the pro-Tibetan separatists ought to get their story straight.

    On the one hand, Heyone refers to the Cultural Revolution to attack the CCP and on the other Rob_Hob and DavidWhite44 say it's wrong to look at the past when defending the actions of the Tibetan religious fundamentalists. You can't have it both ways.

    Then we heard that having a longer life expectancy is less important than ethnic sovereignity. Then we hear that actually, the Dalai Lama doesn't want sovereignity, but cultural and religious freedom. And even the Dalia Lama says that being part of Greater China is needed for Tibet - it's a landlocked country which requires modernisation. Check it out.

    But we all know - or should do - that religious freedom is enshrined in China's constitution. Monks are still being enrolled. They are still being educated. If they have restricted freedom at the moment, then whose fault is that! If they riot, or cause riots, they have to accept the problems they cause for themselves.

    As Krsund says above, there's still pilgrimages to Lhasa. And cultural freedom too, as the BBC itself has reported on unaccompanied trips to Tibet. What China doesn't want is religious freedom being an alternative form of Government; there's no problem with that. It's common sense. There's Christian churches in China which are used on a daily basis. Are they controlled? Not at all. If however they were to try and become an alternative form of government authority then of course they will invite a problem for themsleves. I thought religion was a self and community-supporting source of strength and belonging. Not a political party.

    The cultural bit about multiple husbands in Tibet is gradually being denied however, and I for one think that's a good thing. The excellent BBC series on Tibet showed the girl who was married to three husbands. And the girl who only discovered she was to marry two brothers on her wedding day. I think that is taking cultural freedom a little too far.

    Human rights? Sure. But I'm still not entirely sure if the separatists really and truly know what they're talking about.

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  • 54. At 2:54pm on 12 Mar 2009, Rob_Hob2 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 55. At 3:06pm on 12 Mar 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 56. At 3:09pm on 12 Mar 2009, Enrique wrote:

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  • 57. At 3:19pm on 12 Mar 2009, Wicked_Witch_of_the_West_Coast wrote:

    #47 - yeah, you see them here every time James posts a report! :-)

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  • 58. At 3:27pm on 12 Mar 2009, TerryNo2 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 59. At 3:30pm on 12 Mar 2009, Enrique wrote:

    hizento wrote:


    "Am I to believe for one moment what Dalai Lama is saying about the Chinese government committing in his own word "cultural genocide" when China is exporting Tibetan culture to the UK and performed at UK music gigs?"

    Even more so: I visited China two years ago and could visit Tibetan temples all around, including Beijing, the capital, where the monks performed their rituals, and the faithful also, being most of them Chinese Han!

    So again where is the "cultural genocide"? When Tibetan religion is freely practiced at the very heart of the People Republic's state?!?

    I'm afraid the Dalai Lama has got used to saying anything he pleases as the Western media and politicians never question his lack of accuracy and truthfulness...

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  • 60. At 3:31pm on 12 Mar 2009, chunfengzhou wrote:

    You can surely find someone in Northern Ireland to pretest against British rule. What's difference from those in Tibet?

    Hitler is still worshiped by some people. So? What are you trying to do?

    Your old wisdom to support the minority and to divide and rule?

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  • 61. At 3:40pm on 12 Mar 2009, alexcai wrote:

    Hi, all
    I'm a Chinese, I should say that when you British wants to criticize China ,you should study history or economics first.....

    1. India is a democratic country near to Tibet, PLEASE GO TO WIKI and see whose's economical status is better? India or China ?
    Will Tibet be richer when it's like India's democracy..????

    2. Go to LIBRARY and borrow a book, to know what is the social system of Tibet before 1959.... it's slavery based or religion,
    slavery!!!!

    3. Monks of course are representatives of Tibet , BUT !
    Monks only form a 5% of Tibet's whole population. And they did not suffer from slavery in the past.
    HAVE YOU WESTERNERS ASKED THE OPINION OF THE 95% ELSE?

    4. UK should not interfere in this case....PLEASE LOOK WHAT HAS HAPPENED WHEN YOU INTERFERE INDIA.
    India separates into 3 countries , and has had 5 wars with Pakistan, hundred of thousands people died.

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  • 62. At 3:46pm on 12 Mar 2009, modagr8 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 63. At 4:01pm on 12 Mar 2009, Howardddddddd wrote:

    @47, Rob_Hob

    I find it even more annoying that any opinion online that goes against the "China bad, China evil" mindset is obviously that of a Communist agent. Freedom of speech is only valid, it seems, when the views aired suit us.

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  • 64. At 4:06pm on 12 Mar 2009, modagr8 wrote:

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  • 65. At 4:07pm on 12 Mar 2009, ccpbrain wrote:

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  • 66. At 4:12pm on 12 Mar 2009, minorityopinion wrote:

    The Elizabethans (Elizabeth the 1st -
    1533 -1603) used the same excuses no doubt...
    2009 different dogma, same excuses, same aim.

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  • 67. At 4:14pm on 12 Mar 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    James,

    According to your post, the only people who press their trowsers (or have the means to, or bother to?) are the secret policemen.
    I also wear well-pressed trousers. From your experience in China, could you tell whether I am a secret policeman?

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  • 68. At 4:16pm on 12 Mar 2009, ktwar2009 wrote:

    #48.
    Rob_Hob, you must be smoking something good.

    The DL never supported democracy. He has rule his "Govt-Exile" for over 50 years. His family as placed in all the high levels of his organization. Only recently did they have an elected PM, who has no power and virtually unknown.

    Average Salaries and Wages are higher, at faster growth than Beijing and on par with Shanghai (phayul.com). In the past five years, Tibet's annual GDP growth has averaged 12% (wikipedia.org). No other country could have done this for the Tibet region other than China.

    Tibet is definitely better off under China's rule.

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  • 69. At 4:31pm on 12 Mar 2009, shutuhh wrote:

    There are some fundamental points over this 'Tibet issue', that are competely different from the view of westerns and that of China.

    1. West world have the strong believe that Tibet is not a part of China, and China is trying to 'justify' its occupation. For us, these statement is pointless. Tibet is simply a part of our body, we are not seeking any chance or occasion to 'justify' this at all. This is the same as UK does not need to justify its rule over London, and China does not need to justify its rule over Shanghai.

    This is the reason why all discussions between the two sides on this topic won't lead to any result. To be honest, no matter how strong westerns complain, China won't secede any of its territory.

    2. We are asked by west world: Dalai Lama suggests 'real autonomy' of Tibet, why not take it?

    Funny. Why we should? This is just a title meets the favour of dividing China. As a religious leader, he should not mingle with politics. If he insists in this case his is a politician, then he already got a label from China: 'separatist'. In the western politics, bargain on autonomy or separation is common, but in the culture and politics of China, no matter in which era, act of separation is highest crime.

    3. All western believe Tibetans are suffering.

    China treats Tibetans as normal citizen in the country, the same as Han and other nations. It is the foundamental though of China's culture and political system, that everyone in the country is equal.

    So in priciple, a Tibetan has the same social rights as a person from Shanghai. Strictly speaking, a little bit more. E.g. they can have more than one Child in the family without being fined; they can enter universities with lower grades than Han chinese, and in Tibet and also some regions where Tibetan intensively live together, they have another offical language: their own language. In comparison, mandarin chinese is the only offical language in shanghai. Similar special rules apply for all minorities in China.

    These are just for your information. China is not doing that to please the outside world, it is done for the goodness of all people in China, no more, no less.

    4. Western think keep supporting Dalai Lama and raising Tibet issue can force China to think twice and help China moving in the direction of western style democracy.

    From our side, it only shows the ignorance and arrogance of the west. The 'Tibet issue' is not and won't be a problem for us, there is no room for bargain. What you are doing eventually agitates natinalism feeling among chinese young generations, which for China is not really a bad thing (although chinese goverment is not relying on natinalism as many of you people believe), but certainly will have terrible infleuce on the future of the west world.

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  • 70. At 4:48pm on 12 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 71. At 4:57pm on 12 Mar 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    davidwhite44 wrote:
    "The Chinese defence of it's behaviour in Tibet is often 'justified' with a comparison of pre-'liberation' times in which serfdom and slavery were the norm. This argument really holds little weight. It's an argument that assumes that in 50 years of rapid global transformation, Tibet would still be operating under an identical ancient feudal system. "

    Ancient feudal THEOCRATIC rule, to be precise.

    And what is wrong with this assumption?

    I mean, check out Afghanistan, which is next door. Check out Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, the Sudan and Iran. Check out China not changing a bit for a thousand years.

    And Tibet doesn't even have the resources to have paid for the change you imply was inevitable.

    Once again, western commentators are lecturing the third world about how to live their lives, and making excuses for the very worst forms of government.

    All in the name of "Tibetan independence".

    It is just so absurd. It is too ridiculous for words. Historical Tibet is being hailed as some sort of nation state, when it was a chaotic region of mountains run by a theological class that had no concept of the nation state.

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  • 72. At 5:17pm on 12 Mar 2009, heyone wrote:

    #53 TerryNo2

    "On the one hand, Heyone refers to the Cultural Revolution to attack the CCP and on the other Rob_Hob and DavidWhite44 say it's wrong to look at the past when defending the actions of the Tibetan religious fundamentalists. You can't have it both ways."

    Hold on, logic problem here.

    The point of me 'attacking' CCP regarding cultural revolution in myprevious comment is to show how invalid it is to try to predict how Dalai Lama is going to re-introduce feudal system back based on the history that happened 50 or so years ago. It is just as ridiculous as saying CCP will bring The Great Leap Forward back just because they've done that 40 years ago. Is this not clear in my previous comment or have you just ignored my point?

    As far as I know any religious leader in China has to be approved/appointed by the CCP. Is this the kind of religious freedom with Chinese Characteristics you are talking about?

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  • 73. At 5:25pm on 12 Mar 2009, firescorpy wrote:

    James,

    as an oversee Chinese who have travelled extensively and have backpacked through many remote areas of Tibet, I can say that the Chinese suppression is still existent and am glad that you brought to light the issues surrounding Chinese occupation of Tibet. I love Tibet, the people, and hope that political and religious freedom can come soon to the humble people of the plateau.

    -Satoshi Endo

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  • 74. At 5:43pm on 12 Mar 2009, Daxiongmao wrote:

    "The natives were behaving like heathens and savages living under feudal rule prior to our arrival. Under our influence the natives were tamed, learnt to read and write our language and their ancient traditions stamped out. We built train lines for them and improved their economic well-being".

    Am I a) A British colonialist or b) A CCP spokesperson? You decide.

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  • 75. At 5:44pm on 12 Mar 2009, bylooker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 76. At 5:45pm on 12 Mar 2009, heyone wrote:

    #53. TerryNo2


    And, what point are you trying to make by pointing out the contradiction between me attacking CCP regarding cultural revolution and some other posters' comments anyway?
    This could only mean:

    1) Other posters are wrong, we can actually judge Dalai Lama by looking at what how Tibet was like 50 years ago. This means, likewise, we can say CCP should not rule China as it brought so much suffering to Chinese people during the cultural revolution, which happened like 40 years ago.

    OR

    2) I'm wrong to attack CCP on cultural revolution, it's the history and we should move on. So why are we still talking about how Tibet was like 50 years ago?


    You can't have it both ways can you? Perhaps you will start saying cultural revolution didn't happen or the fact that millions Chinese people were killed during Mao's rule is another fake story the Western media fabricated?

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  • 77. At 6:02pm on 12 Mar 2009, minorityopinion wrote:

    @74

    My point exactly. (see 66)

    How proud CCP spokesperson must be to walk in Englishman's shoes...


    @Rob-hob, caught your comment about demise of great empires...though don't think Buddhist/ Muslim alliance likely.

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  • 78. At 6:10pm on 12 Mar 2009, bylooker wrote:

    #48 Rob hub,

    There is a great article on Time.com about how Tibetan-in-exile in India live. Please read that. There, Tibetan-in-exiles got what they want, at least their religious leader and head of government as one kind, smiley gentleman for 50 years.

    Unemployment is 75%, people who thought NE India is heaven could not wait to go back to China or go to western countries at the first chance. Drug abuse, alcohol and all the problems of the modern poor society are severe there.

    Kid's are not allowed to get to Indian schools to avoid "culture genocide", therefore, they don't get education except learning to worship their supreme leader.

    Culture is evolving, Medieval concepts are far behind in England now. Why some people cannot allow modern elements into their society. Does somebody feel threatened?

    Chinese dictators force every school kids to learn English. You wonder why they are not afraid of people knowing the truth about the good news from the West?

    The answer: The more I read news and comments from West media, and West government policies, the more I strengthen the idea that China needs to control our own way forward not influenced by the West. If we follow the path the West is directing, we are screwed.

    Then, some people can easily say bylooker is a paid CCP webpolice. If that makes anyone feel better, please feel free to do so.

    I know a lot Western people are shocked by the idea, that most Chinese, particular those educated, being oversea for a long time, are those argue against and oppose strong western influence in China. Maybe people in the West need to look into themselves to see why. Maybe they just can not accept the idea that their "superior" concepts and systems are not liked by every people in the world.

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  • 79. At 6:11pm on 12 Mar 2009, heyone wrote:

    Some interesting logics here.

    1. India is a democratic country near to Tibet, PLEASE GO TO WIKI and see whose's economical status is better? India or China ?
    Will Tibet be richer when it's like India's democracy..????

    The Taiwanese, Thai and American have democratic government. Are these people generally richer than the Chinese? Yes. Is the fact that some democratic countries are poorer than China even relevant to this Tibet discussion? No. How do you know Tibet will be as 'poor' as India if there's some kind of democracy there anyway? One fact we know now is that people in Tibet are tightly controlled by the Chinese government.

    2. Go to LIBRARY and borrow a book, to know what is the social system of Tibet before 1959.... it's slavery based or religion,
    slavery!!!!

    You don't need to borrow a book to learn that millions of people were starved to death during Mao's rule. So likewise I think CCP should get out of China and stop messing with Tibet.

    3. Monks of course are representatives of Tibet , BUT !
    Monks only form a 5% of Tibet's whole population. And they did not suffer from slavery in the past.
    HAVE YOU WESTERNERS ASKED THE OPINION OF THE 95% ELSE?

    Have you? Do you live in Tibet? Perhaps China should give Tibet a chance and let these people vote on what should happen. Why isn't this happening?

    4. UK should not interfere in this case....PLEASE LOOK WHAT HAS HAPPENED WHEN YOU INTERFERE INDIA.
    India separates into 3 countries , and has had 5 wars with Pakistan, hundred of thousands people died.

    Is China India? Is Tibet India?

    And it's not the UK who made these people fight. As long as these people have different faiths and not enough tolerance to each other, they'd keep fighting. The UK has nothing to do with these.

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  • 80. At 6:11pm on 12 Mar 2009, bylooker wrote:

    I said not ALL chinese are in hell. My friends, family and relatives are all very happy.

    Does that break the house rules???????

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  • 81. At 6:13pm on 12 Mar 2009, bylooker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 82. At 6:22pm on 12 Mar 2009, alexcai wrote:

    Some westerners just imagine in there own.

    I have questions to ask you?


    1. What is the social and political form of Tibet before 1959?

    2. How does Tibetian population change after so called "Million killed" from 1959 to 2008?

    3. You always ask monks for opinion of Tibet, what's the ratio of monks in all Tibetian?
    And what position are they in the social structure?

    =====

    Answer:
    1. Slavery

    2.From 2,000,000 to 5,410,000
    (Tibetian not only live in Tibet,but also in other parts of China)

    3.Less than 5%, and they are in almost the highest position of "Slavery Tibet".

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  • 83. At 6:40pm on 12 Mar 2009, Jonathan Day wrote:

    The reality of the situation is that all sides will paint their side to emphasize the positive and will paint opposing sides to emphasize the negative. This isn't specific to the case of Tibet, this is how all peoples have always recorded history and politics. When it comes to proving a point, the first thing that is sacrificed is honesty. Can we really be surprised that here, too, all people involved are as human as everyone else?

    Not a singe one of us can ever know the "whole story" of the past or present and not a single one of us can ever know what would have happened had history taken a different path. All we have to go on is our subjective take on what others subjectively report of their subjective observations of other people's subjectively-influenced actions.

    The truth, as always, will lie somewhere between all these conflicting views, but it is an unknowable somewhere. Presupposing the truth must match with the prejudice of any observer, ourselves included, is a sure path to folly. The only thing we can be certain is truly in the wrong is certainty itself. Anything else is mere supposition.

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  • 84. At 6:53pm on 12 Mar 2009, TerryNo2 wrote:


    #72 I'm sorry, but I thought Christians worshiiped God and Jesus Christ. At least they are the ones named in the Scriptures. Who appoints whom to what position for administrative reasons in the Christian Church is irrelevant.

    I understood your earlier comment on the Cultural Revolution perfectly well. The issue now is that you've re-worked your own interpretation and then accused me of getting it wrong. Regardless, the key thing is this:

    - No-one in the CCP is suggesting another Cultural Revolution. The difference between this position and the one the separatists propose is that the separatists want power to revert back to the religious minority, like it was before. If this is allowed to happen it will place the whole region at risk.

    If the separatists don't actually want this, and want something else, then what is it?

    And as for human rights, what about the poor girls who are tied to multiple husbands? As I said, for one girl, it was a surprise to her that on her wedding day she was marrying two brothers.

    It's all very well shouting the slogans of separatism, but I still don't think the pro-religious separatists have really thought it through.

    The Tibetan issue isn't just about colourful hats and prayer wheels.

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  • 85. At 7:00pm on 12 Mar 2009, TerryNo2 wrote:

    #76

    There's no point in exaggerrating things just to attack me.

    Of course the excesses of the Cultural Revolution are acknowledged.

    Wasn't it the CCP who put the Gang of Four on trial because of this?

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  • 86. At 7:14pm on 12 Mar 2009, redtibetan wrote:

    The chinese government has asked the memorandum from Tibetan gov in exile during the last round of talk and we have presented to them according to their wish. this memorandum is not shown to chinese public as a part of propaganda that we hear from chinese government that Dalai lama is seeking independence. their media is totally distorted by their own and citizens were kept in dark so that get what their government says. as you can hear the words supressed, controlled, what kind of rights and democratic they are talking about. we can easily see that chinese yaun alone cannot buy the tibetan people's mind. the relation of dalai lama and the Tibetan people is unshakeable and will carry on untill every tibetan on this planet perish. being Tibetan myself, i follo his path of wsidom and compassion. Dalai lama is not the person what chinese communist says. look at his popularity in every country he visited, welcomed with hundreds and thousand lined up to see and hear him unlike the noisy protest wherever Communist leader visit. two big difference. they can fool their people but not the world. If the chinese government really want harmonious society as hu jintao says, sit, talk and come to the reality. we are ready to hug if they are willing to, otherwise this could be the begining of nightmare for them. never ever underestimate of the peaceful nature of Tibetan people.

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  • 87. At 7:39pm on 12 Mar 2009, heavyglasgow wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 88. At 8:18pm on 12 Mar 2009, EWONGNL wrote:

    I am no CCP apologist. In fact I frequently criticize CCP whenever I can. As an overseas Chinese decedent, I feel better myself doing so, since I can proudly say that I have done my part for the good people of my motherland.

    However, whenever Dalai Lama comes into play with this "autonomy" stuff, I can not resist my anger regardless whom he is against.

    My question is:

    Does Dalai Lama have a shred of shame and regret for the mass suffering of Normal Tibetan people caused directly by what he has done in his life?

    Normal Tibetans, James, I mean non-monks!

    Monks in Tibetan culture was like high priests were in mediaeval Europe. They are privileged few sitting on top of millions of slaves.

    James, where is your conscience and what was your logic when you only selected interviewing the monks? With your eyes closed, go to any normal Tibetan you knock into in a street, a farmer, a trader, a school teacher, whoever, and interview them, James.
    Those are the people who represent Tibet, James, not monks! Certainly not Dalai Lama, not HR activists in the West.

    If Dalai Lama is as kind, and as wise, as our media portray he is, why he is in exile for all these years?? Why doesn't he go back to Tibet ? Go back to "the Hell on Earth" in his own words, to "suffer" together with his own people, to confront CCP face to face as the leader of Tibet, as any ordinary enlightened monk should do?? Jesus Christ would have done so for his fellow believers!


    As a monk, and as an “enlightened God”, Dalai Lama should have known very well, that Buddhism requires suffering being a necessary mean to achieve enlightenment.

    What his personal suffering experiences are, if any? Touring finest cities in Europe? Guest staring “Vogue" magazine? Or hanging out with international jetsets and movie celebs from time to time? It is disgusting.



    ----"Nothing will happen," the monk says quietly, "we're all being suppressed."

    ----"Is there lots of surveillance at the moment?"
    ----"Yes. Control."

    ----"Who is controlling you?"
    ----"The government."


    Congratulations, James! You did it! You know what? Personally I feel good, because this news is good for the general public – people in streets will be safe.

    It is just as If one were interviewing an extreme Islamist in a London Mosque. When you got the same reply, you are happy because you know that London will be safe!



    Now, if I may take liberty to add on after that, James:

    ---- "Do you think the Dalai Lama will ever come back?"

    The monk nods: go ask Spielberg...











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  • 89. At 8:27pm on 12 Mar 2009, toughbilili wrote:

    Those who think Tibet will be better off as a separate country should take a look at Mongolia. Mongolia used to be part of China during the Qing Dynasty and now they are an independent country with a so-called 'democracy'.

    In Mongolia, their 'democratic' government did not make the country a thriving utopia of racial harmony and justice. Ethnic Han immigrants are discriminated against just because some people are afraid the Chinese culture is a threat to their culture. Politicians would often whip up anti-Chinese sentiments to get more votes.

    Nor did their 'democracy' do much to help their economy. Just this year, there is an article titled 'Mongolia asks China for US$3 billion crisis loan', which stated ' Mongolia is asking China for a US$3 billion loan to help shore up troubled banks and develop trade as global economic turmoil drives down prices for its exports of coal, copper and cashmere, the government said Friday. '

    It is no wonder that many Chinese people think that separtion of their territory based on ethnic groups will not benefit anyone. It will just create more hatred and fear with no social or economic gain. Perhaps this is what some people who hate the Chinese race as a whole are hoping for by breaking China into pieces.

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  • 90. At 8:58pm on 12 Mar 2009, Walsh of Wembley wrote:

    democracythreat wrote:

    "And what is wrong with this assumption?"

    Precisely. It is just that: an assumption. So the Chinese defence of Tibetan occupation is based on nothing more than an assumption. Thanks for that.

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  • 91. At 9:08pm on 12 Mar 2009, mikelia wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 92. At 9:09pm on 12 Mar 2009, EWONGNL wrote:



    @ 74 Daixiongmao


    "The natives were behaving like heathens and savages living under feudal rule prior to our arrival. Under our influence the natives were tamed, learnt to read and write our language and their ancient traditions stamped out. We built train lines for them and improved their economic well-being".

    Am I a) A British colonialist or b) A CCP spokesperson? You decide.



    -----------------------------

    May I venture C) You are, hmmmm, a panda...

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  • 93. At 10:45pm on 12 Mar 2009, davidwhite44 wrote:

    democracythreat wrote:

    "I mean, check out Afghanistan, which is next door. Check out Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, the Sudan and Iran."

    Interesting how you should choose predominantly Islamic states here.

    Check out Mongolia. A country formerly living under feudalism. A country formerly under Chinese control but managing to attain independence through Soviet collabaration. They now have an elected parliament and a constitution which guarantees full freedom of expression and religion. They are also trading freely with China on their own terms whilst retaining their own culture and identity. The one that got away hey?

    Once Tibet and Xinjiang are flooded with Han, and Taiwan is safely under their belt, why not Mongolia next? The century of humiliation still needs avenging at all costs. It's never likely that China is viewed with suspicion by ALL it's neighbours (especially ASEAN). The trouble is, every action is seen as the correct one in the eyes of 1.3 billion people.

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  • 94. At 10:55pm on 12 Mar 2009, Fliss_Bramwell_82 wrote:

    It is very easy to see from the comments below which ones are from individuals brainwashed by the PRC Government.

    In response to someone saying that Tibetans are 'racist' I wouldn't blame them if they were considering how they've been treated in their own country. Racism can be breed from many things including supression. All of the Tibetans I have met haven't been racist at all, very friendly open people with a suprising amount of faith and hope. I have lived in China however and found that it some people there can be a very 'racist' country towards other non Han Chinese ethnicities and especially the Japanese.

    In response to 'Terry no 2' I think that you should research the facts, millions of Chinese people were killed during Mao's rule, through many things including famine, the Cultrual Revolution to name just two. If you are Chinese and I guess that you are from your comments please do some research. I've lived in China and love Chinese people but it was very clear from my experience of the school system that you are only given one 'PRC Government' version of the facts and have no room to question issues and debate politics, religion, tibet issue, Fulon Gong and the Cultrual Revolution. Please do some independant research in to all of these things and make a decision, don't just accept what you've been told.

    Thank you James Reynolds for doing this report, I also had the Dalai Lama's name whispered into my ear by a Tibetan Monk. No one should have to live in fear like the people living in the Tibetan Plateau.

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  • 95. At 11:18pm on 12 Mar 2009, newProps wrote:

    Media in the western papers are constantly playing the ethnic minority card ‘Cultural Genocide’ when it comes to China…’Ohh the ethnic Hans (often portrayed as being linked to the CCP) are flooding the ethnic minoritys’.
    Whats funny is that anyone whos been to China or who understands China knows that no one in China pays any attention to what ethnicity you have in your blood…you are simply Chinese. Unlike many other countries separated on ethnicity grounds that causes conflict; there is no such thing in China because of the muticultural mixing due to the centuries of history…Its pretty pointless playing the ethnic persecution card

    What the DL is suggests is that Tibet should be ethnicially isolated and a secular country. Doesn’t this run against the idea of multicultural acceptance, mixing of cultures that we so strongly support in the west? Tibetans are still perfectly able to practice their cultural roots and religion; it just means that will do so in an integrated society

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  • 96. At 01:04am on 13 Mar 2009, tclim38 wrote:

    The monk's 'whisper' and your strong desire to be whispered are all very understandable.

    You have been there a couple of times now. Did you see that area of China is 'hell on earth'? Tell the truth to the world, Mr. Reynolds. Don't just repeat a separatist's words without thinking. You are not his mouthpiece, are you?

    A lot of time, you seem to be his propaganda machine. The questions posed by you/BBC are very obviously 'encouraging' the monk to vilify the government.

    "Yes. Control."
    "Who is controlling you?"
    "The government."

    This is so dramatized, so idiotic, so laughable.

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  • 97. At 01:05am on 13 Mar 2009, Rob_Hob2 wrote:

    ktwar2009 it is not that hard to look up information on the internet. The Dalai Lama has NO intention of introducing theocracy in Tibet, he supports democracy up to and including the choosing of the next Dalai Lama in a vote of the Tibetan people.

    As I adressed above, Tibet would be better off economically RIGHT NOW if the Chinese were not stealing its resources. Repeating Chinese propaganda and imperialist dogma that says otherwise does not REFUTE my point.

    NEXT item in Chinese propaganda that is being repeated ad nauseum by paid online Chinese propagandists: freedom for Tibet means theocracy and feudalism. NOT TRUE. Look it up and STOP repeating it when the Tibetan government says and acts otherwise.

    One has to wonder why Chinese LIKE to repeat these LIES when it is so easy to look up the facts... especially fot those Chinese that are in the West right now with free access to multiple sources of information and the net.

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  • 98. At 01:21am on 13 Mar 2009, Rob_Hob2 wrote:

    Howardddd it is NOT my PARANOIA that the Chinese government PAYS online posters and bloggers to spread propaganda and opinions favourable to itself. They are social engineering public opinion and while I would not call these people agents, they are working for the Chinese government. They are undermining free speech by distorting real opinions and taking over discussions/blogs. Similar tactics appear on other foreign language news sites and blogs.

    I am not saying that all Chinese posters are working for their government, but a lot ARE... and a lot of the rest are "patriotically" repeating what they are spoon fed.

    This is an interesting challenge to democracy and free speech when it is being undermined like this by in effect a hostile government.

    A few months ago BBC ran an article describing exactly this way of Chinese government paying people to influence opinion online. The same story came up elsewhere on the net. Look it up.

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  • 99. At 01:32am on 13 Mar 2009, Rob_Hob2 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 100. At 02:25am on 13 Mar 2009, Wil wrote:

    I still wonder about BBC support to Dalai Lama.

    50 years ago when Dalai Lama has a lot of power in tibet.
    1) He practise serfdom - all property belongs to monks and elites. The rest work as semi slave.
    2) The people are uneducated with monk being the only way to advance in society
    3) There is very little medical service, life expectancy is short.
    4) There is no religious freedom as tibet do not accept anything other than worship dalai lama.

    50 years of China rule
    1) Popultaion of tibet increase due to increase of medical service
    2) people education level improves
    3) Social mobility not base on religion
    4) Culture erosion due to modernisation
    5) Monks are fighting for power as they are no longer the ruling class. (5%of pop)

    Future, if Dalai Lama rule
    1) Western funding to destablise China
    2) puppet govt with monk as the real power, much worse than what iran is having.
    3) Very control media as there will be huge group of china support within
    4) suppress of freedom of citizen that want to protest against monk's rule. (95% of pop)

    Future, if China rule
    1) Tibet will become very develop as China want tibet to shine as oppose to sabotage effort of the west
    2) The people will be expose to other religion and have greater freedom of religion
    3) There will still be pockets of dissent which are funded by the west.
    4) There will be some sort of democracy that is not base on money. As Chinese oppose western democracy not democracy itself.

    I believe Tibet will be much better under China.

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  • 101. At 03:10am on 13 Mar 2009, away-from-homeland wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 102. At 04:16am on 13 Mar 2009, Rob_Hob2 wrote:

    heyone, the point is not as straightforward as you put it. For example we do not want the Nazi party to get back into power today even though what happened in WWII was a long time ago. The Nazis are still the same as they were and capable of the same things.

    The key, to me at least, is to look at the CURRENT state and behaviour of groups.

    Thus the Tibetans sould not be judged on how Tibet was a long time ago PRECISELY because CURRENTLY they stand for a democratic system and the rule of law.

    The CCP SHOULD still be blamed for what it did in the past because it is THE SAME organisation that did those things, and still quite capable of opressing and killing people on a large scale.

    This pragmatist approach clears it all up. I always ask myself what the result of each choice would be in the HERE and NOW and the future. I do not play propaganda games like the Chinese government does, comparing past to present, or apples to oranges, etc.

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  • 103. At 04:26am on 13 Mar 2009, pattang wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 104. At 04:39am on 13 Mar 2009, howardxue wrote:

    The tibet issue is a main playing card for some groups to contain China's development and growth. Period.

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  • 105. At 04:53am on 13 Mar 2009, Charles1985 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 106. At 05:52am on 13 Mar 2009, bylooker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 107. At 06:10am on 13 Mar 2009, SliceJohn wrote:

    To post #73,

    "as an oversee Chinese who have travelled extensively and have backpacked through many remote areas of Tibet, I can say that the Chinese suppression is still existent and am glad that you brought to light the issues surrounding Chinese occupation of Tibet. I love Tibet, the people, and hope that political and religious freedom can come soon to the humble people of the plateau."


    Isn't it a no-brainer? How else to maintain law and order? Have you forgotten about the riot in 2008? Even here in UK. they have cctvs everywhere and do not hesitate to take suspects into custody.

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  • 108. At 06:51am on 13 Mar 2009, rymnd2008 wrote:

    Glad to see so many posts here are of clear conscience not influencing by journalists' biased report, where Tibetans are innocent of everything, Chinese are guilty of everything.

    Totally supporting Chinese Government's stand on Tibet, where Dalai is not a spirtual leader but a pure politician used by the west as a bait.

    Reports of this sort have had no impact on average Chinese whatsoever.

    Comparing with the slave trade, sectarian violence, extinction of native american indians; China is a peaceful nation.

    Perhaps James are having too much "Chinese Whisper" on Tibetan issues.

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  • 109. At 08:08am on 13 Mar 2009, kklimmy wrote:

    Seek and you shall find --- you looked for dissident voices and so you shall find them. However is it possible that not a single Tibetan can be found who does not think the Beijing government has done good for Tibet?

    I notice foreign correspondents always want to seek dissident voices. Is it because it gives you a cause and a voice to be heard?

    Patrick French in the Guardian wrote : "Adversarial contest is at the heart of the west's legal, political and academic life, and the Tibet movement operates within that paradigm, unaware that public humiliation of visiting Chinese leaders does nothing to improve the situation for Tibetans inside Tibet. I noticed during last year's Olympic torch procession that when rival groups of Han Chinese and iridescent pro-Tibet supporters stood waving flags, neither side attempted to speak to the other. The way in which China was routinely abused at this time caused distress to many Chinese, and led to counter-protests and the creation of websites such as anti-CNN.com."

    Worthwhile considering. So what has the West done for the Dalai Lama except hea[p praise on his "holiness" !

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  • 110. At 08:10am on 13 Mar 2009, yellowminshurts wrote:

    The 10th March Speech of H.H. Dalai Lama reveals the true face of situation in Tibet.
    I think even the word HELL is not enough to describe the situation.
    Tibetans have been suffering under Chinese from generation to generation.

    Westerns countries are giving honorary citizenship to Dalai Lama but on 10 March H.H. calls he is homeless and stateless. It is not about the prize that he needs but a real support which is to the point.

    Till now world didn't hear the cries of Six Million Tibetans. I think that world has not paid price for the lives of hundred people who died in March 2008 protest. Tibetans are not protesting to gain News Coverage around the world if the protest are for news converge then Tibetan don't need to sacrify precious Human Life.

    I hate the fact that you read this and you don’t do anything for the just cause of Tibet.
    TIBET SHOULD BE FREE.

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  • 111. At 09:07am on 13 Mar 2009, wherewe wrote:

    All Western journalists want to find the truth of Tibet och Tibetan people. However whenever they are in Tibet, they just go to monasteries and talk to monks. It seems to me that all truth of Tibet is in monasteries and in these monks. Tibet seems full of monks, everywhere. I have seldom read stories about what an ordinary Tibetan think and how they live! On the other hand I have already known what the anwsers from a selective momk will be if you just interview monks. Let me make a list of the answers: suppress, no freedom, Tibetans being killed, worshiping Dalai Lama, massive immigration of Han Chinese, secret polic, destroying Tibetan cultures and traditions, torture and beating, arresting, etc. So these words are the “truth” of Tibet that, I suppose, Western people want to hear and to learn. It is indeed “hell on the earth”. To James, I suggest that you don’t have to travel so long to find the “truth”. You can use the words I listed above. It is free. Don’t you think they are sufficient for the “truth”, I can manage to list more. If you follow my suggestion you save both money and environment.

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  • 112. At 09:20am on 13 Mar 2009, hizento wrote:

    I have two groups of friends in the UK. One are active campaigner of "free Tibet", the other are WW2 reenactors dressed up as German Nazis. Both of these groups have a romantic ideas about their hobbies and completely closed their minds the existence of oppression and suffering committed by the people they support or enthusiastic about. One friend when he was a young child had a long stay at a children's hospital he was visited by the cast of "Allo Allo", now as a 30 something adult he decorated his bedroom with Nazi memorabilia and often stomp the street in quasi SS uniforms Iron Cross and all without any apprehension. Are they bad people? No. Are they misguided? Of course!

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  • 113. At 09:32am on 13 Mar 2009, ChinaOrg wrote:

    Stalwart BBC reporter travels to a part of China that is not Tibet, is left unmolested by people in pressed trousers who 'look like policemen', and hears his translator speaking to one of the 5 or 6 million Tibetans in the world...

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  • 114. At 10:01am on 13 Mar 2009, Bloofs wrote:

    According to pro-Chinese posters on this blog, the only Tibetans who are opposed to China are land-owning feudal lords, but here James paints a picture of ordinary people, frightened to express themselves, under surveillance.

    Answer that, please, bloggers.

    (PS Thank you James for making the long journey into Tibet to find this out, proper investigative journalism.)

    And I hope everyone had a Happy Losar.

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  • 115. At 10:06am on 13 Mar 2009, Bloofs wrote:

    To those respondents here saying that surveillance was initiated because of the riots - this is rubbish.

    Constant survellaince by plain clothes police is a fact of life in Tibet and China. Monasteries are constantly monitored whether there is unrest or peace.

    In hotels, there are usually undercover police or police informants working the reception desk and on desks on every floor! (Read Patrick French's 'Tibet, Tibet' for more on this survelliance).

    China is a surveillance state, without justice or rights for those being watched.

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  • 116. At 10:33am on 13 Mar 2009, Bloofs wrote:

    Another point I'd like to make is that James will not be targeted (as much) by the authorities because he is a Westerner. And because he took precautions.

    If a Tibetan went around asking others if HHDL should return and was discovered, he would disappear. For a long time, if not for ever.

    If Tibetans peacefully protest they will be locked up, physically abused, possibly murdered.

    I am actually quite offended that bloggers are comparing the Chinese surveillance to the UK:

    In the UK we have:

    -Regulations regarding who the police can put under surveillance and what measures they are allowed to use.

    -An independent judiciary and jury system

    -An independent police complaints commission

    -A free press

    Police can put you under surveillance but they have to justify themselves. It's not perfect and there are abuses, but these often get found out because of the right to free speech and free press.

    Besides, China puts political opponents under surveillance, not just criminals or rioters and there is the difference between a free state and a totalitarian one.

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  • 117. At 10:47am on 13 Mar 2009, TerryNo2 wrote:

    #94

    Sorry James, but this is crazy. Heyone wrongly accused me of denying the Cultural Revolution because it suited her argument.

    Then #94 comes in and criticises me for denying it too!!

    I think we are all well aware of the facts. Even the CCP acknowledges the problems and these were well aired during the trial of the Gang of Four. You could (last time I was there) even buy a book which referenced the subject from Pudong airport, through which hundreds of thousands of Chinese travel to the West every year!

    My issues are,

    firstly, it's all very well people criticising China's past, but the religious government of Tibet has nothing to be proud about, so let's stop the hypocrisy.

    secondly, what does separatism actually mean? The way proposed by the Dalai Lama is nonsensical. It can't work. Once the religious forces gain aspects of control then it will gather pace until it becomes a threat to the region. Actuallty, Rob_Hob, as a separatist, explained this very well, until his message was removed because it broke the house rules.

    One of the main threads of this blog is about religious freedom. My point is that there is religious freedom. There is no bar under China's constitution that prevents religious worship. There are still fully functioning Christian churches in China. The monks can go about their daily business.

    The current problem is that the monks sought power and attempted this through participating in rioting. There is no denying this. They lost and now they are obliged to behave. They are treated with suspicion too. I really can't see that this should surprise anyone.

    However I would be very surprised if the regional government didn't treat the suspected trouble-makers with suspicion. The innocent need to be protected.

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  • 118. At 11:49am on 13 Mar 2009, wherewe wrote:

    In my last comment I made a suggestion to James, you don’t have to go to Tibet to find the “truth”. This time I would like to make a suggestion to Chinese government, don’t allow the West journalists to go to Tibet. The reason for doing so is very apparent because they will only interview monks. The results of these interviews are as clear as glass, at least to me. What is the meaning for allowing them to go to Tibet? If this point is not clear for some readers or James, let me take one example to explain it. Last year after Lasha rioting, the Chinese government made a good-will gesture and organized a dozen of West journalists to visit the Lasha. These journalists totally ignored burned shops, killed people, damaged schools, mourning people, injured patients, suffering and disorder of people’s life. Instead they just fleed or rushed to a monastery. The “truth” of the rioting, as West people learnt or might be fooled, was the screaming and yelling of a few monks, “no freedom”, “ no freedom” and “ no freedom” . Wonderfully the moral of West people can be jerked one more step higher for Tibentan and Dalai Lama’s credibility in West was rising further.

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  • 119. At 12:37pm on 13 Mar 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #98 Hob_Rob

    You keep saying that anyone that supports the Chinese government's stance on Tibet is a "paid agent", or something to that effect.

    But equally a valid accusation is that anyone on this page that supports the Dalai Lama is paid by the various pro-Tibet groups.

    Let me categorically state, though I don't see why I should, that I am in no way funded/coerced by the Chinese government. It must be a leap of imagination for you to believe that possibly there is a Chinese that is capable of independent thought.

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  • 120. At 1:24pm on 13 Mar 2009, bylooker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 121. At 2:04pm on 13 Mar 2009, Charles1985 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 122. At 2:13pm on 13 Mar 2009, growingwhordcitizen wrote:

    China condemns the Dalai Lama as a terrorist with the heart of a beast.

    I can't help to notice that a PRESENT TENSE is used to for the sentence. When was the expression uttered? Who uttered that expression?
    My questions are: Why the present tense? Why a high ranking provincial official's condemnation of the DL at the height of riot, chaos murders, lootings last March be attributed to China?
    Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, has his own fervent supporters.
    The glorious and wise leader of North Korea Kim his enthusiastic cronies.
    The hapless and perennial corrupted politician that is the ex-President of Taiwan Chan Shuibien has many suitors.
    And there are many others. Why don't you go to interview them. It would be interesting to hear what they say about their idol.

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  • 123. At 2:55pm on 13 Mar 2009, growingwhordcitizen wrote:

    Last summer, I went to ROYAL ALBERT HALL in London to feel the atmosphere, to enjoy the occasion. It was the day The DL was giving a lecture on COMPASSION and WISDOM. Outside the HALL, there was a large group of Tibetan Buddhist monks of Shugden sect. Yes, they were chanting in unison against the DL, calling him a lier. It transpired that they were being persecuted by the venerable DL for the past 20 years.
    Well, The DL claimed that Tibet has been HELL ON EARTH since CCP taken over the reign. After all these years of contemplation and meditation, he still does not quite understand what his utterances will cause. Perhaps, he should pay Sharon Stone, the Karmic geologist a visit.

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  • 124. At 3:39pm on 13 Mar 2009, aeroarchie wrote:

    #114 Bloofs

    So, in a Chinese province neighbouring the Tibet Autonomous Region, James met and spoke to three Tibetan monks, a Tibetan woman, and four middle-aged Tibetans.

    No big deal!

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  • 125. At 4:20pm on 13 Mar 2009, ding2jd wrote:

    Bloof,

    If the monk were really frightened, he would not have accepted the interview.
    James is the example that survelliance in Qinghai area is not tight enough as western media described. if survelliance is strict and the undercover police is around the temple, how could he be able to make the interview? Or those police let him to make the interview? You may explain it.

    We have seen Dalai's photo there, and the monk dared to let James take the photo, do you think they are not afraid if the suppressiong is so heavy? As long as they don't put it publicly at the time of police coming, they could own the picture and worship him. That means again the control is not really tight.
    The birth place is another example that government allowes the tibetan worship Dalai.

    That's first hand material from James. I could make the conclusion here.

    You said James made a good precaution. But understand he is foreigners, if undercover was really everywhere, how could he not be caught?

    What you mentioned about the police detained Tibetan is just from what you read from Western writers. It's not really verified. It's not trustful.

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  • 126. At 4:27pm on 13 Mar 2009, ding2jd wrote:

    yellowminshurts wrote:
    "I think even the word HELL is not enough to describe the situation."

    To yellowminshurts,

    I'd like to know what's your concept of the hell. James just went back from Hell. Fortunately he is still survival. He talke with the people in the hell and he saw the picture of HHDL. He visited the birth place of your HHDL and he knew that other tibetan in the "hell" also worshipped HHDL's birth place. The tibetan in the hell can do so many things.
    Do you think in the hell one can do so many things?
    Please let us know your concept of "hell", I'm so confused.

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  • 127. At 5:38pm on 13 Mar 2009, Oldmanfore wrote:

    Dalai Lama may be revered in the West, he is even a Nobel laureate, but to the Chinese people he is not somebody to be trusted. First his position as both a spiritual and a political head is highly unusual. Secondly he was in fact hand picked by the Communists and he even paid 'royal' visits to Beijing and Chairman Mao in early 1950s. Then the armed rebellion in 1959 assisted by the British and the American, when that failed he fled to India. Nowadays when he talks about self rule, he suggests 1/4 of China including Tibet, several provinces and part of Sichuan would be under that autonomy! Chinese people view Dalia as a very tricky and cunning person. At the moment he hasn't many cards to play when Tibet is tightly under Communist rule, hence he talks about self rule. If that is given to him, he will ask for independence. With that kind of suspicion, any negotiation will be just empty words.

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  • 128. At 5:38pm on 13 Mar 2009, ktwar2009 wrote:

    Rob_Hob,

    I cited my argument in parenthesis so you can research my "LIES" and "PROPAGANDA". My sources are Western AND China. Where are your facts? I would like to see links like the ones I provided. I have more if you need it.

    How does the DL support democracy when his family hold all the high rank postion w/o election?

    Here is another link for you: westernshugdensociety.org/zh-cn/

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