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FREE TIBET!!!!...and then what?

 
 
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 09:02 pm
I admit I know little. I know the very basic history of the Tibet "issue", but not enough to be convinced one way or another that sovereignty is the ticket to prosperity and democracy in Tibet.
I know quite a bit about the Northeastern states of India that are similar to Tibet in geography and history. They also seek independence and never wanted to be part of India in the first place. Mountainous, their economy is largely dependent on financial infusions from Indian government...although there are at least untapped oil reserves in this area that might help if the region stabilizes and violence goes down. Sovereignty for one or all of the rebelling states would also mean opening the gates for war between tribes and states, which have territorial claims against each other.

I am not saying it's the same for Tibet. I don't know. That's why I'm here. I also always ask "what next" questions. I would like to hear educated opinions on what the prospects are for Tibet as an independent country (not that that's terribly likely...), see links to good articles, studies, etc., so that I can edumacate myself on this Tibet issues.

Oh yes, and if I see another "If you support free Tibet, honk!" person, I will smack them upside their heads. I am an activist myself, but I also believe activism should actually focus on the target cause and population, not on making oneself feel good about self. So I'm also interested in meaningful venues of activism related to this issue and their rationale.
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 09:15 pm
From what I gather by listening to NPR and reading online sources (half-assedly), the Dalai Lama doesn't advocate for a separation from China. He does advocate for more autonomy. He wants to be able to keep the culture and spirituality while letting China run the government and finances. Or something. China feels the DL wants to separate.

The people, in Tibet are seemingly more and more fed up (protests/riots) with the Chinese over-bearing attitudes. Even the rural Tibetans are wanting a change in the status quo (protests) and they are the one who would best be aided by the Chinese rule.
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CalamityJane
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 09:28 pm
Here is some good reading about Tibet and China
http://www.rangzen.com/history/views.htm

Ideally, a sensible solution could be found - similar to the one of
Puerto Rico and the United States. Tibet, a self governing commonwealth state with association to China.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 09:35 pm
CJ, that's a good site. Similar to Israeli/Palestinian attempts at writing parallel historical texts - two narratives side by side.
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fishin
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 09:37 pm
Free Tibet? Shocked

I'll give ya $2 for it!
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CalamityJane
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 09:41 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
CJ, that's a good site. Similar to Israeli/Palestinian attempts at writing parallel historical texts - two narratives side by side.


I thought of the correlation between Israel/Palestinia too when I read
that, dagmar. I think their (Tibetan) concerns are foremost culturally
and religiously driven, they don't want to lose their identity in all that.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 09:45 pm
well that makes sense, also an actual (rather than de facto) autonomy...


but, what upsets me are the "Free Tibet!" exclamations you hear around, or read in email or on websites. I just took the time to peruse one of the biggest campaigns - the free tibet campaign - you'll get the history, all the human rights violations, the description of oppression.... but not a mention of what the "free tibet" means, how should it happen, what should it look like.
the herds of hippies with the "honk if you're for free tibet' signs are actually being counterproductive to the cause. If they know what they're advocating for, they surely don't let that show.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 09:48 pm
...and of course you can buy "free tibet" merchandise on all of these websites. it's hip.
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CalamityJane
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 10:02 pm
Right! What I don't understand is, why hasn't anyone screamed "free Tibet"
in 1950 when China marched into Tibet to reclaim it. From 1913 on until
that time, Tibet was an independent state. The United States did nothing
in 1950, nor did the rest of the world. Why now all of a sudden?

To do some China bashing shortly before the Olympics?
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 10:07 pm
I think it's more of a vogue. It's easy and it feels good. The real life solutions are neither easy nor good.

Looking through the news, i wasn't very surprised to see this:

Tibetan protests banned in Arunachal
16 Apr 2008, 0254 hrs IST,Pradeep Thakur,TNN
Print Save EMail Write to Editor
TAWANG (ARUNACHAL PRADESH): The Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh has joined its Left Front counterpart in West Bengal in imposing a ban on Tibetan protests in Tawang, the border district which China has been claiming as its own.

Confirming the ban, Tawang Superintendent of Police S N Mosobi told TOI that Section 144 was imposed to prevent rallies in the district. The restrictions were imposed on the direction of the Centre, he added.

The ban has come even as the UPA government in New Delhi had earlier clarified that it would impose no restriction on Tibetan protests across the country. Continued: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Tibetan_protests_banned_in_Arunachal/articleshow/2954838.cms

Arunachal Pradesh is one of those rebel states in Northeast India.... Since it's published by the Times of India, the emphasis is on relations with China as the main reason for the ban. I suspect that is far from the whole truth. India has a vested interest in seeing China handle Tibet firmly... for if Tibet succeeds in getting more autonomy, there goes the Northeast exploding more with similar demands. There goes Kashmir and Tamil Nadu... It's a tough, politically nearly impossible quest, it seems.
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CalamityJane
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 10:15 pm
Well yes, India has no inclination to grant its northern states autonomy,
and I am afraid, it would end up like it did in Chechnya. That was such
a senseless war, but powerful Russia didn't want to give up the state.
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littlek
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 10:41 pm
"Free Tibet!" may not have been a THING in the 50s, but it has been preached for decades all the same. I think as early as the 70s. Maybe earlier.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 10:51 pm
right, it has... but i still hazard to say that most (surely not all) of tibet-related activism focuses on producing lists of injustices. i have yet to see a good campaign i could sign under.... and i am sympathetic of the cause.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Tue 15 Apr, 2008 11:02 pm
Among the latest of petty annoyances are the "parallel toch runs for freedom".... how nice. People will do anything without checking basic facts. Or the symbols they get behind without apparently much thinking.

Quote:
The west sees the flame as the fire that Prometheus stole from the Gods and gave it to man. The continuation of the Olympian spirit is also the continuation of Western supremacy over the globe. Even I was surprised to find though, on the Wikipedia this little nugget; "The modern torch relaywill-the-flame-go-out-for-olympic-sponsors Apr-7-2008 was introduced by Joseph Goebbels (Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda in Nazi Germany) as a part of an effort to turn the games into a glorification of the Third Reich". It is no wonder that the 2008 Summer Olympics will be the most political Olympics since Berlin hosted them in 1936. Wikipedia goes on to say that, "Hitler saw the link with the ancient Games as the perfect way to illustrate his belief that classical Greece was an Aryan forerunner of the modern German Reich."

source: http://sacredmediacow.com/?p=1068
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littlek
 
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Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 07:18 pm
China says they found weapons and explosives at monasteries outside of Tibet.

BBC
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fishin
 
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Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 08:23 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
I think it's more of a vogue. It's easy and it feels good.


...and the Summer Olymipcs are being held in China in 2 months. The "Free Tibet!" movement is capitalizing on it. That's not a bad thing in itself. But the awareness they are creating seems to be mostly surface level.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Wed 16 Apr, 2008 11:27 pm
precisely. not a bad thing at all....

it's the not thinking, investigating and even knowing what exactly the outcome should look like and how to get there part that annoys me.

i'm all for more freedom in Tibet... I just don't like herd behavior, especially when it's counterproductive and leads to taking the cause far less seriously by many who are likewise put off by ignoramuses waving banners around without a clue as to why.
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vinsan
 
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Reply Thu 17 Apr, 2008 05:51 am
Olympic Torch in India Now. And large number of tibeticans and buddhists live in India.

I hope nothing goes wrong.
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dagmaraka
 
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Reply Thu 17 Apr, 2008 09:56 am
me too. reports say that 60,000 police troups blocked Delhi from pretty much everybody. Yikes.
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Thomas
 
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Reply Sun 20 Apr, 2008 09:46 am
dagmaraka wrote:
i'm all for more freedom in Tibet... I just don't like herd behavior, especially when it's counterproductive and leads to taking the cause far less seriously by many who are likewise put off by ignoramuses waving banners around without a clue as to why.

I'd like to second what Dasha just said by asking: How many supporters of a free Tibet have read the constitution the Dalai Lama wishes to enact when he takes power? (Here's a link.)

This constitution is a theocracy: The Dalai Lama holds all executive power, appoints five percent of the members of parliament, hires and fires Supreme Court justices at will, and also hires and fires all regional governors. There is no separation of church and state: All religious institutions in Tibet report to the ecclesiastical council that is part of the executive. The council, with the previous approval of the Dalai Lama, has the power to administer all religious affairs. No limits to this power are specified in the constitution.

Granted, there is much to like about this constitution as well. It declares its support for human rights as the UN's universal declaration of human rights defines them. There is a role for public participation. In the Tibetian parliament, the national assembly, 75% of the seats are filled by popular vote. This constitution, if enforced, would certainly improve over the current Chinese occupation.

But it would also enact into law a Dalai Lama power trip: A theocracy whose constitution is written by the Dalai Lama and gives near-dictatorial powers to the Dalai Lama. The uncritical admiration the Dalai Lama receives from Western audiences and Western leaders is completely unwarranted. He's a politician, no better or worse than the others. As such, he needs to be criticized, checked, and balanced like any other politicians, whether people call him "His Holiness" or not. It's a pity that so few people do.
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