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  • 'Will India Wake Up To Reality?'
    and blood with the same ability to feel pain and anger live We have been able to demystify Tibet from the cliched idea of a land of lamas who walk two inches off the ground But the freedom struggle seems to have stopped growing from the zenith of sympathy we reached when His Holiness the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize for peace in 1989 I hear that in Tibet it is difficult to find trustworthy friends Every other person may be a spy for the Chinese They whisk away freedom fighters in the dark of night and their dead bodies resurface in the outskirts of the town Tibetans are a minority in their country Tibet reels under a cloud of terror and oppression Yesterday India fell for China when Mao Tsetung came with friendship ties screeming Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai but we all know they back stabbed in 1962 when they attacked India Today Zhu Rongji is extending economic ties screaming Chini buy buy We have known the Chinese for long as a difficult neighbour We know we are fighting a losing battle with the world having given up upon us We may perish but for India it

    Original URL path: http://friendsoftibet.org/articles/reality.html (2016-04-25)
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  • Crossing The Border
    middle of the white killing fields A heap of frozen corpses Set out weakening spirit trembling Blotches of blood spattered the snow The army men must have crossed their path Our land has fallen to the red dragons We prayed the Yishin Norbu With hope in our hearts Prayers on our lips Hardly anything to eat with only ice to quench out thirst We crawled for nights together Then one night my daughter complained about a burning foot She stumbled and rose again on her frost bitten leg Peeled and slashed with deep bloody cuts She reeled and writhed in pain By the next day both her legs were severed Gripped by death all around I was a helpless mother Amala save my brothers I shall rest here for a while Till I could no longer see her fading figure Till I could no longer hear her fainting wails I kept looking back in tears and agony My legs carried me but my spirit remained with her Long after in exile I can still see her Waving her frost bitten hands to me Eldest home must have been tough for her Every night I light a lamp for her And her brothers join me in prayer MY TIBETANNESS Thirty Nine years in exile Yet no nation supports us Not a single bloody nation We are refugees here People of a lost country Citizen to no nation Tibetans the world s sympathy stock Serene monks and bubbly traditionalists One lakh and several thousand odd nicely mixed steeped in various assimilating cultural hegemonies At every check post and office I am an Indian Tibetan My Registration Certificate I renew every year with a salam A foreigner born in India I am more of an India Except for my chinky Tibetan face Nepali

    Original URL path: http://friendsoftibet.org/articles/tenzin.html (2016-04-25)
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  • Exile House
    grew papayas infront of our house chilies in our garden and changmas for our fences then pumkins rolled down the cowshed thatch calves trotted out of the manger grass on the roof beans sprouted and climbed down the vines money plants crept in through the window our house seems to have grown roots The fences have grown into a jungle now how can I tell my children where we came

    Original URL path: http://friendsoftibet.org/articles/house.html (2016-04-25)
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  • Indians "Responsible" for Tibetan Suffering
    s not like that To me it seems that the Tibetan struggle is more like a pilgrimage I am not confronting the Chinese people but the government and Western multinational corporations whose views are rooted in ignorance and greed It s not that all Chinese are bad and enemies to the Tibetans It s a struggle rooted in a spiritual consciousness It s a struggle about truth and justice Policies are very relative terms they just pass away with time Q But Western governments and even Thailand won t discuss the Tibetan issue when meeting their Chinese counterparts A Even the Indian government won t officially bring up the issue But I feel our efforts are not to change the government s policies Our task is to transform the view of the common man Q What do you think of Tibetan youths who are increasingly calling for armed struggle as they are disenchanted with the Dalai Lama A Some Tibetan youths are critical of His Holiness the Dalai Lama but they are sincere I personally feel that if violence is used in the short term it will work but in the long term it will create disharmony because there s no genuine reconciliation Looking at it in a spiritual way patience is a very important aspect of spiritual struggle The most important thing is that if the cause is based on truth and justice non violence is the only path Q Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch was once quoted in Vanity Fair magazine as saying that the Dalai Lama is a very political monk running amok in Gucci slippers How do you respond A I have tremendous respect devotion to and admiration for His Holiness the Dalai Lama I think the question of Gucci shoes would not arise if Rupert Murdoch

    Original URL path: http://friendsoftibet.org/articles/varma.html (2016-04-25)
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  • India’s Tibet: A Case for Policy Review
    support us I believe it is absolutely necessary for us Tibetans to make up our minds as to what it is we want H aving said this I hasten to add if I am wrong on the dismal picture I have painted above no man will be happier than I As a matter of fact in weaker moments I hope and wish that I am wrong That the Chinese will one day and it better be soon wake up to the fact that they have committed untold atrocities in Tibet that in the very first place they have no right to be in Tibet and that the Tibetan people don t want them there and apologise and leave Tibet But then the harsh reality of our tragic past and the harsher reality of the ever deteriorating situation in Tibet together remind me that the Chinese are not going to leave Tibet That we are not facing a multiple choice problem Indeed that we are faced with a struggle for survival a struggle for life and death where there are no choices This is the brutal reality that the Tibetan people and the Tibetan Government must accept The Chinese are not offering us any choices It is not a question of getting the right proposal with the correct wording into place CHINA DOES NOT NEED THE TIBETAN PEOPLE CHINA ONLY NEEDS TIBET A demonstration in Delhi to protest the arrest of more than fifty Tibetan school children by Chinese Border security police India s Policy On the question of India s policy on Tibet I wish to make the case that today India has more at stake in the future of Tibet than even the Tibetan people And therefore India should review its Tibet policy regardless of what the Tibetan people decide to do I hope I do not sound ungrateful or even manipulative and or provocative in saying this My reasons for believing that today India has more at stake in the future of Tibet than the Tibetan people are sincere and simple For one Tibet will never be free when in the first place freedom is no longer our goal E ven otherwise much as we wish Tibet to be free much as we want and long for Tibet to be free today we are faced with the real and urgent danger of the Tibetans disappearing as a people and as a distinct culture A fter death there is no pain and certainly no need for freedom or for land especially for a people who feed their dead to vultures What use is environmental protection or human rights to the dead O n the other hand India cannot and will not disappear as a nation However with the death of Tibet India will be left with a wound extending from Ladakh in the West to Arunachal in the East a wound extending through the entire Himalayan range some 2 500 km for which there will be no cure I need not elaborate on the far reaching implications of such a wound which will forever eat into India like a deadly cancer After all India has already had a foretaste of this wound for the past four decades The need to defend India s long and difficult borders with Tibet is a major burden on India s economy and an obstacle to socio economic development in the country F or these and other reasons I cannot understand India s policy on Tibet If it were in India s interest to accept and concede that Tibet is an autonomous region of China this has been India s position on the status of Tibet since Nehru s time for the Tibetan people this will not be less painful but at least it will be comprehensible After all foreign policy is not merely the art of the possible foreign policy is made on the grounds of national self interest or at least the perception of national self interest That such perceptions are often misguided and mistaken is an entirely different issue The Way Ahead We now have two issues before us One for the Tibetan people to make a clear decision about our goal and our struggle The second issue is for the people of India to make a firm and clear decision about India s long term interest regarding Tibet I f India decides that it is in India s interest to see Tibet free then the next step is for us together to decide what we are willing to do for our mutual interest This is to say that Tibetans should stop passively appealing for help At the same time India must stop merely pitying the Tibetan people India must start an active partnership with the Tibetans In so doing there must be a clear understanding on both sides that in the short term there will be a heavy price to pay and enormous sacrifices to be made However whatever the difficulty we must never loose sight of two things that the long term rewards will be lasting and worthy of any sacrifice and more importantly that the struggle for the independence of Tibet must never be given up because in the end this is a question of right and wrong Victory is important but it is secondary to the fact that we are fighting an evil for the restoration of Truth Justice and Freedom O n the other hand if as a result of an informed national debate India should decide that it is indeed in India s long term interest to have China and not Tibet as her northern neighbour then so be it I for one will return to Tibet As a boy I made myself one promise If by dedicating my entire life to the struggle I cannot free my country from the clutches of the Chinese then at the very least I will die in Tibet Of course I will never forget my gratitude to India

    Original URL path: http://friendsoftibet.org/articles/india.html (2016-04-25)
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  • Beyond Textbooks!
    by agreement of the people for the common good and protection of themselves and their environment in association with the People s Republic of China We are all familier with some of the bombastic names of the leftist revolutionary banana republics of Africa and Latin America But surely the above description cannot pass for the name of the country And while it was reassuring to know that Tibet will not only be united but also democratic legal and people oriented I could not help wondering whether it will also be free It also needed to know whether the A word would still be in the name of my country So my very first question to the panel was to the panel was to ask what will be the name of the future Tibet as envisioned in the proposal At the same time I asked to know Which flag will fly over the Potala What postage will carry my letters to my children And when as an old man I go to the Barkor to buy some radish for my evening thukpa with whose currency will I do this To all these questions the simple answer from the panel was we have yet to think about these things I will not say more here But a host of other questions burst forth from me at the time and do so now For the moment let it be clear that Strasbourg Proposal had not taken into consideration some of the most crucial and critical elements of autonomy and self government that the respodent mentions One writer has kindly takjen the trouble to point out that the USA China or Britain never explicity recognised Tibetan Independence It seems to me that I should be the one to tell others about the duplicity and doubling and dubling dealing an individual who sacrificed his career to join the Tibetan resistance in Mustang I witnessed the painful impact of such doubling dealing first hand Again the problem here is one of not being able to go beyond the textbooks and not being able to hold politicians and governments accountable for their deeds and not to be carried away only by their claims When for example a Christian murders his or her neighbour what do we do Turn to the bible and see if the murder has indeed been committed We know the Bible teaches us to love thy neighbour as thyself We know the Ten Commandants says explicitly Thou shall not kill On the strength of what the Bible says is it the practice in the United States to let murderers go free Perhaps more to the point when Tibetan Lamas and Geshes teaching in the West are alleged to have seduced some young female student what is the response of the Western press and the public Do they simply turn to the Vinaya and ask what vows Tibetan monks are required to take to decide whether there has been sexual abuse The point I have

    Original URL path: http://friendsoftibet.org/articles/textbook.html (2016-04-25)
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  • 'Many Birds With One Stone or Reverse Engineering'
    view yet another exercise in wishful thinking and self deception On the same lines the idea that democracy in China means freedom for Tibet or at the very least increase the chance for Tibetan freedom seems equally far fetched First of all there is no logical grounds to believe that as soon as democracy is introduced in China the Chinese people will suddenly attain some kind of political enlightenment and that their age old belief in China being the Middle Kingdom and everything that springs from this belief will disappear like mere shadow in the face of light We also have no logical grounds to believe that China s leaders will suddenly lose all personal political and territorial ambitions with the introduction of democracy What we do know for a fact is that the introduction of democracy What we do know for a fact is that the introduction of Communism in China only increased and intensified the old age imperial ambitions By this I am in no way suggesting that democracy and Communism are the same in every respect I consider myself to be a democrat and at least in the Tibetan context made significant personal sacrifices for the sake of democracy The point I am making here is that when Communism an ideology radically opposed to imperialism had no impact whatsoever in changing China s imperialist ambitions and policies there is no reason to believe that democracy a much gentler ideology would suddenly set everything right in China Democracy is a wonderful idea in fact one of the best and most important ideas humanity has come up with At the very least it is today the best form of government that we have But one must not endow democracy with super natural powers It is not and it can share the hope that China will be able to make a peaceful and successful transition to a democratic form of government I also share the hope that the benefits of a democratic system will accrue to the Chinese people at large and not just to a privileged few But I do not expect or hope that democracy can or will change the essential character of China s national history culture or polity In any struggle or endeavor be it individual national or global there is bound to be an element of hope I for me take care not to ignore the basic ground realities I also try to base my hopes on actual facts Speaking of which in the haste to join the international Chinese pro democracy band wagon or else the need to believe that a democratic China would favor freedom for Tibet or whatever other compulsions or compunctions were driving us at the time we seemed to have overlooked or failed to see that at no time during the seven weeks of the pro democracy protects and hunger strikes at the Tianenmen Square from April 15 to June 4 1989 was there a single mention of China s violation and suppression of the rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people or any of the other countries and peoples under China s occupation and oppression The same is true of all the speeches and writings emanating from the pro democracy movement I believe this fact to be of utmost importance It must be absolutely clear in our minds that the Chinese pro democracy movement was directed at reforming the existing system so as to bring about a more liberal and open government which would be more responsive to the changing socio political aspirations of the people They made it clear during and after the movement was so brutally suppresses that they were not seeking to bring down the Communist government This fact of paramount importance We all know that democracy is a much abused word Every government from the smallest one man dictatorships in Africa and Latin America to Stalinist Soviet Union and Maoist China have claimed that to be democracies Some like the former Soviet Union and present day China even go so far as to claim that they are the most democratic Is it not possible that the Chinese pro democracy movement was in the end a struggle between two opposing perceptions of democracy Even more to the point could it be that teh so called pro democracy movement was nothing but another veil for a sinister power struggle just as the so called Hundred Flowers Movement the Great Leap Forward and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution were all covers for bloody power struggles Since the beginning of our present predicament or to put it simply since China s military invasion of our country in 1949 all our policies and actions have one unifying feature that of HOPE When Amdo was being invaded Kham waited and watched hoping that it would not happen to them When Kham was being invaded the rest of Tibet waited and watched hoping that it would not happen to them Even after PLA troops had occupied Lhasa we waited and hoped that somehow things would change or at least that they would not get worse After 1959 when all was lost we waited and hoped that India or the United States or the United Nations would do something and that all would be alright again Twenty years later with all else having failed we turned our hope to China once again To justify doing this we told ourselves that this time it was different that it was a new pragmatic leadership in China under Deng who was prepared to seek truth from facts In so doing we either forgot overlooked or perhaps even did not know another equally famous but every sinister saying of Deng that it does not matter whether the cat is black or white so long as it kills mice Ten years later when in 1989 Deng showed his true colours we decided to place our hope in the democratic Chinese Again with no clear idea as to who

    Original URL path: http://friendsoftibet.org/articles/hope.html (2016-04-25)
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  • Freedom Is Not An Empty Word
    time Through every land and every clime For this one goal called Liberty Hath shown on indomitable fidelity The free hath Freedom always regarded The most prized heritage dearly to be guarded And kindled in each succeeding generation For freedom s sake an undying veneration And everywhere the oppressed have striven And from age thier lives have given Dictators to conquer row upon row Freedom one day their children to

    Original URL path: http://friendsoftibet.org/articles/empty.html (2016-04-25)
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