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Spellbound by Dalai Lama

by FarEasterner Fri Apr 4th, 2008 at 06:36:13 AM EST

Despite stern warning from Indian foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee to Dalai Lama not to indulge in political activities on Indian soil Delhi's elite was spellbound by this Buddhist monk when he recently visited Indian capital to participate in workshop. Many privately went up to his room on 6th floor of run-down government hotel Ashoka to seek his blessings and some shared their feelings in press. Let's see what they say.
 


The first article I read was of Vinod Mehta, highly influential editor in chief of Outlook, weekly magazine, he is journalist of leftist-liberal views who promoted Arundhati Roy and Medha Patkar to international stardom and was not particularly known by proximity to religious leaders.
Yet look what he writes about his meeting:

Holy men put me off because they surround themselves with much pseudo-piety. This fugitive monk, arguably the closest thing to Him on our planet, greets you with a beaming smile, folded hands, wearing badly-stitched robes. There is no necklace round his neck, no mysterious beads on his forearms, no vibhuti on his forehead, no colourful garlands embrace his neck, no glittering rings adorn his fingers. More: there is no incense burning in his spartan but spacious hotel suite, no devotional music in the background. His Holiness, sitting cross-legged on the sofa, looks and sounds refreshingly commonplace with a pronounced weakness for jests...

This 72-year-old celebrity priest has the innocence and enthusiasms of a four-year-old child. As he relates the brutal tales of "cultural genocide" in Tibet, he remains, miraculously, unemotional, devoid of bitterness or desire for revenge. I hope I am not trivialising my conversations because we were discussing matters of life and death and unspeakable violence by the Chinese. However, throughout my 90-minute chat with Tibet's supreme leader, I was constantly made aware that I was talking not to a religious-political saint fighting for basic civil rights for his people but to an ordinary human being simultaneously burdened by divine status and a Nelson Mandela-like mission.
....
As I get up to leave, I instinctively touch his feet (message for Rupert Murdoch: no, he doesn't wear Gucci loafers) not because I believe he is the 'son of God' but because he has goodness written all over him.

Another man was Abhishek Singhvi, MP and spokesperson of the ruling party Congress. He went to meet Dalai lama on request of his wife but left wonderstruck as Vinod Mehta:

Recently, for the first time, I met the Dalai Lama. To be correct, it was the first one-on-one meeting, with only my wife accompanying me. Our earlier meetings -- mostly at conferences or functions -- never went beyond a casual exchange of pleasantries.

...The first thing that struck me was a child-like simplicity in his eyes, in the way he listened and spoke. Everything he said and did came from the heart. There was no premeditated strategy, no glib talk, no posturing and no flamboyance. Ours was a private visit with no agenda, we only wanted to be blessed by his noble presence.
...
It was evident the Dalai Lama's soul is steeped in spirituality and austerity is a way of life for him. His entire being radiates benevolence, compassion and equilibrium. In that sense, he truly exemplifies Buddha's teachings and way of life. To be always in sync, in harmony and never to take or allow his followers to take extreme positions is his sincere conviction and continuous effort. Sometimes onlookers feel frustrated with his steadfast insistence on non-violence and even deem his stand counterproductive given the nature of the adversary. But the Dalai Lama believes and practises Gandhian non-violence and Buddhist equanimity. He is truly a unique apostle of peace in an era of strife and hegemony.

I never met Dalai lama only I saw him many times when his cortege pass by narrow streets of Mc Leod Ganj or in his temple when he is passing small courtyard on the way to main temple where he gives lessons but not disappointed because I met so many wonderful people in exile Tibetan community, both monks and laymen. Just one example - recently when I was travelling in Eastern India with a group of students and professor of Hindi from Moscow we came to Karmapa-lama residence. Policemen of course did not allow us inside but I asked to meet his secretary and when his secretary Wangyal came he was so glad to see me and my companions that immediately asked policemen to allow us inside to see His Holiness beautiful home inside manicured garden and with stunning vistas over deep valleys and high mountains. My companions thought Wangyal is my close friend because they were surprised by his kindness, while in fact he is not, it's just his nature. He just values every minute of interaction with all people around as though not so many minutes left.

Display:
to notice that both highly educated, eloquent and atheist men felt in presence of Dala lama like in presence of a child. He apparently did not lose his inner self as is the case with so many people when they in course of education try to adapt to surroundings, try to do and tell only what they expected to do and tell.
by FarEasterner on Fri Apr 4th, 2008 at 07:26:11 AM EST
i heart the dalai lama.

i saw him in tuscany a few years ago, and found his stamina, genial disposition, and complete lack of pretensions very attractive.

my partner took her boddhisattva vows with him, so he is a constant presence in our lives.

the peculiar childhood he had gave him an unparalleled ability to see the good in both eastern and western cultures. of all the religious leaders, he's the only one whose aura of holiness is authentic, and his love for life and laughter is so infectious!

thanks fareasterner!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Apr 4th, 2008 at 09:45:36 AM EST
I confess I never quite know what to make of the Dalai Lama. His public perception is, to a considerable extent, confused by being a "fugitive" Head of State where many sympathise with his political plight against a country that goes out of its way to behave badly in terms of cultural sensitivity.

But many do seem to bestow the Gandhi peaceful holy man status upon him. The question is the extent to which he's got good at living up to people's expectations. I think that the Tibetan people have been very lucky to get exactly the leader they needed at their time of greatest trouble.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 4th, 2008 at 09:57:49 AM EST
This is very interesting question - whether Tibetans have been lucky to have Dalai lama as their spiritual and poltical leader in turmoil of 20th century. Many would talk dismissively of his achievements if any. Definitely he preserved Tibetan culture and religion in exile and his mere existence enraged Chinese authorities who are locked in a time warp with Chinese nationalism and Communist view of minority problem as mere economic backwardness. Today Xinhua reported about fresh riots in long time annexed from Tibet Sichuan province. What to make of it - Sichuan has booming economy. It's not only bread we people need.
by FarEasterner on Fri Apr 4th, 2008 at 10:07:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is interesting diary on Daily Kos which presents Chinese point of view adapted by Western standards but still with so many historical [deliberate] mistakes that some noticed that Chinese government was interviewing lately international PR firms.
by FarEasterner on Fri Apr 4th, 2008 at 01:11:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There may be at least two reasons for China's fear of Tibetan self-assertion:

  • the implications it would have for other regions of China, potentially throughout the western half of the country

  • the lack of control over the vast amounts of water in the Tibetan plateau

One might throw in a third, though it actually underlies the first two: the still very shaky, insecure state of Chinese national "consciousness" or "identity", being so recently recovered (or more accurately, recovering) after over a century of exploitation, invasion, and domestic trauma.

These are guesses as to why the Chinese media are embarrassing themselves with the ridiculous, intelligence-insulting way they try to vilify the Dalai Lama.  This level of hysteria is astonishing, and baffling.  While I am still trying to understand it, I gather it must come from a place of deep fear, whose reasons are not evident.

The author of that diary (Q&A on Tibet w/poll), rjones2818, asks a good question:

Does each ethnic/religious/native group deserve it's own homeland?

While the diary does represent the Chinese view of the situation, I think it is crucial for everyone to become familiar with that point of view, if there is any hope for constructive and peaceful engagement on this issue.

There is another good background diary, mentioned in that thread: Buddhism is so cool. But.... by Zwoof.

In a comment, says:

I think the problem is that China does not trust him. They need to have a chat.

That is an understatement. But it is the heart of the issue.  For that lack of trust is rooted in the bizarre existential fear that the Chinese ruling class seems to have of Tibetan self-assertion.

beijingbetty, in the Q&A on Tibet w/poll diary, points to the more obvious reason for China's fear about Tibet:

I do think independent Tibet means that Xinjiang, which also borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, will explode into violence.

Zwoof adds that PRC policies towards "Tibet" go beyond the PRC-designated province known as the Tibet Autonomous Region --


--

and have direct implications for "Greater" or

ethnographic Tibet, including the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu Sichuan and Yunnan
:

While this map is misleading in suggesting that the entirety of the provinces highlighted in yellow are dominated by Tibetans and/or other ethnic minorities who would be pleased with more autonomy or independence, the recent unrest in Gansu and Sichuan provinces (including alleged killings last night in Ganzi, Sichuan) attests to the wider consequences that Tibet-related policies will have.

A separate point that Zwoof makes is that China wants control of the Tibetan plateau on account of its being a huge source of water:


The map shows six of the worlds largest rivers draining from the Plateau... The plateau is occupied by about four million Tibetans who raise yaks and sheep on tundra above the timberline, but over half of the worlds population lives in the drainage basins of these six rivers.

<...>

The world is already bent over the barrel by fundamentalist religious extremists with political power that fortuitously sit on most of the planet's oil. Some were our friends in the past. Now they are not. The only positive is that they don't also have control of 1/2 of the world's water as well.

(It would also have been nice if he had sourced his map and the paragraph he quotes.)

See "China taps Tibetan waters" from 2006 August,

and "China's water supply could be cut off as Tibet's glaciers melt", as picked up by Magnifico in a Salon last June.

by m-------- on Fri Apr 4th, 2008 at 06:28:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not understand what is purpose of posting so much irrelevant (to my diary) information here completed with Chinese maps, showing the whole Indian state Arunachal Pradesh as part of China.
by FarEasterner on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 05:21:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He was explaining the context of the problem, even if he doesn't agree with the Chinese position. That seems reasonable.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 09:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm beginning to get a little annoyed by the claim that Tibet is all about water.

The first time I noticed this was three weeks ago in a comment by margouillat:

"I've never understood why China insists on owning Tibet. After all, it isn't as if it will ever be a cash cow."

Maybe because of the Quinghai province that is the origin of the Yangzi Jiang, the Huang He and the Lancang Jiang, know usually as the "Three rivers" !

It's all about water as elsewhere!

My take on that is the following.

It is true that the three great rivers of China start in Qinghai. However, of the traditional Tibetan provinces only the Eastern ones of Amdo and Kham are actually in the basins of the Chinese rivers, and those were annexed by China no later than 1928. The province of Ü-Tsang, around Lhasa, roughly coinciding with the present-day Tibet Autonomous Region is mostly an endorrheic basin (roughly meaning "inward-flowing" in Greek) which means it has no direct significance for China's water resources. It was pointed out by Margouillat that the Brahmaputra also starts in Tibet, but the basin of the Brahmaputra only extends to the southern edge of Tibet though it does include Lhasa. (source: wikipedia)

So Tibet is a buffer state between China and India, of which China had already annexed early on the parts with strategic water importance. The only reasons for China to be interested in taking over the entire Tibetan plateau would then be 1) paranoia over India taking control of the rest, especially on the excuse that the Brahmaputra starts there; 2) the fact that the province of Amdo (in Qinghai) was a spiritual/cultural centre of Tibet even if politically Tibet was ruled from Lhasa, and so China asserting control over Amdo and imposing Maoist reforms in the 1950s couldn't help but cause problems in the whole of Tibet (also, the current Dalai Lama was born in Amdo).

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 05:01:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No need to get annoyed.

I had not read your exchange with margouillat.  I never said that Tibet was all about water.  And I quite specifically said that "I am still trying to understand it" and that these were only "guesses".

But thanks for your information, which as always is very helpful.

Lesson learned (again): when coming across new information, first search to see if it has been discussed on EuroTrib before posting it anew.

While I'm persuaded that water scarcity is probably not a major factor behind Chinese government/media hysteria with respect to the Dalai Lama, I wonder, is it conceivable that the increasingly dire water shortage could give an endorheic basin, provided that it is large enough, significant value in the eyes of the Chinese government?

More than its value as a buffer region with India, I believe what is more important, now, is Tibet's potential as a powerful symbolic precedent for Tibetans in provinces outside the TAR and for Uighurs in Xinjiang.  Also, securing Tibet -- which, as Zwackus pointed out, off and on has been represented a rival pole to China for more than a thousand years -- represents a securing and reaffirmation of Chinese identity and Chinese "integrity", in the eyes of Chinese who see themselves as victims of over a century of foreign meddling, despoliation, and abuse.  On top of that, the government has become a victim of its own propaganda: any concessions to "secessionist" demands now would not only look weak and insult Chinese national pride, but it would sow doubt and suspicion about the government's -- and media's, and schools' -- grasp on history, and reality.

by m-------- on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 09:55:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not annoyed at you.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 02:46:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I never really know what to make of him either.  He's a very effective leader, as far as gaining attention and support from foreign leaders is concerned.

He's also very, very funny.  Kind of like Mike Huckabee (now there's a very odd pairing), with the whole self-deprecating shtick.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 02:13:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Dalai Lama is so spiritual he was best friends with the Aum sect of Japan.

The Dalai Lama is so power-hungry he made defining strategic mistakes for which his people have to suffer until today.

The Dalai Lama is so self-conscious as to admire Hollywood celebrities.

The Dalai Lama is so up to date as to prostrate himself before the White Man.

by antonymous on Fri Apr 4th, 2008 at 07:14:01 PM EST
I think account of this user who just registered and posted first abusive letter should be deleted.
by FarEasterner on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 03:48:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™] I don't see any reason to ban the user. You have already registered your displeasure by 0-rating their comment. Apparently it is beneath you to ask for substantiation of the claims made in the comment, let alone provide a refutation of them. If they are lies it should be easy, or at least the source of the claims could be traced.

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 04:00:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If such antonymous users are open and encouraged by some to abuse I see no reason to be here anymore.
by FarEasterner on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 04:48:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Antonymous is not the same thing as anonymous.

This is not a new user account as you claim, it was created some months ago, and they got into a spat over Tibet with another user.

Much harsher words are written here on ET about political and religious leaders than what Antonymous has written in this thread and which you characterise as "abuse". Very specific claims are made. Refute them if they are transparent lies.

What do you suggest, that we also ban people who rated Antonymous' comment highly because they are "encouraging" abuse?

It took me about 5 seconds to find a source associating the Aum Shinryko story with Chinese attempts at character assassination of the Dalai Lama. Surely it can't be that hard to debate the claim on their merits or lack thereof?

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 05:41:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I definitely see no reason to continue here.

If you have access I have request to delete my account and all my diaries.

by FarEasterner on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 06:10:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™] We don't delete accounts or diaries.

If you really wish, then we can hide your diaries and rename your account but you have made many excellent and valuable contributions on this site that it would be a real shame to remove your diaries.

Most people who have commented have been really interested in this topic and just one comment doesn't support your view - although it has clearly caused offence to you.  If others find it offensive they can troll rate it and the comment will become hidden, which is a clear message to that user that such comments are not acceptable here.

If you refer to the FAQ section on front pager duties it outlines how we deal with offensive comments and trolls, as a community.  We have this in place to try to keep things as fair as possible.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 07:16:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which points raised above are abusive to you, and why?

I know too little from the situation to take position - ET has prided itself to confront accepted truth and lies in all shapes and forms in a civilized manner and I'd like it to stay it like that.

You being offended is mysterious to me, and your refusal to engage antonymous also. As Colman said, simply based on antonymous's post I can't see a reason to troll it, although I'd say it's harshly worded and the arguments are unfounded by evidence. Asking for an immediate ban is not appropriate at this point.

Please tell us why you think it's nonsense.

by Nomad on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 11:22:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You being offended is mysterious to me

A practising Buddhist revering the Dalai Lama, and a non-White to boot, seeing him accused in a reverse-racist context? His reaction is excessive by ET standards of stomaching strong disagreement, but certainly not mysterious.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 11:27:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's more to that post than just race, DoDo. A lot more. And the race accusation is nebulous at best. I took it as political, even when the phrasing is borderline.

Just trying to help, but if I'm setting things up for another race-centred argument, I'm out off here right now.

by Nomad on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 11:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's more to that post than just race, DoDo

<sheesh> I didn't say there isn't. I tried to explain to you why someone like FarEasterner would be offended. That you don't find it offensive is entirely different matter.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 11:57:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry Nomad, re-reading, I see it's partially my fault. I meant to write something like and a non-White to boot, reading various gravely negative claims about the man, to boot seeing him accused in a reverse-racist context?, but the stuff between the two "to boot"'s lost.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 12:03:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope this is all clear now. Reverse racism is kind of a tricky concept.

I see it in the same way you seem to: Perceived discrimination on behalf of coloured people by white people / racism implied in coloured people by white people. Often for questionable reasons, but also potentially correct.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 01:12:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, when I came back, there was just your first reply. So I took a break from all of this and had an evening of jazz and wine, including the best Chardonnay I've had the pleasure to drink so far.

Off to sleep.

Another time I'll deal with my thoughts on (reverse) racism, because there's plenty for everyone where I live.

by Nomad on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 07:15:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I do think the comment about him prostrating before the White ManTM was a bit over the line.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 02:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I am not mistaken it has been alleged that the Dalai Lama was helped to escape Tibet in 1959 by the CIA, and has since then pleaded to the US government for support against China.

Now, clearly, there are nicer ways to put it than "prostrated himself before the White Man".

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 02:49:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd really like to know who this White Man is.  Does he speak for all of us?  Can I meet him?

Presumably he lives in The WestTM, too, whatever that is.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 02:53:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Erm, I see only one specific claim among the four, so providing a refutation is a bit difficult. It's on antonymous to give evidence for these serious accusations (and ET is no place for those who aren't ready to find them). But I second you that this is not a bannable offense.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 10:25:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He was nasty about a political leader: I believe that's within the bounds of acceptable discussion. We don't ban people for disagreeing with us.

If he's wrong, correct him.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 04:08:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nastiness can be attributed to only 2 of his (or her) 4 statements, if the first is factually incorrect, the last statement is abuse. If this is OK to you I am sorry, but there is fundamental flaw in rules of this forum, anywhere on the web such posts are automatically detected and deleted.
by FarEasterner on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 05:32:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nonsense: neither being a Chinese nationalist or being a believer in Chinese government propaganda is a banning offence around here, or on any other forum with sane rules. That comment does not, as far as I can see, rise to anywhere near the level of gross hate speech that would justify banning.

We can't go around banning people just because they insult and abuse world leaders: there would be nobody left here in that case.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 09:39:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears some Aum Shinryko leaders have claimed inspiration or support from the Dalai Lama. However, it is unclear whether the Dalai Lama has ever publicly supported Aum Shinryko. This article in Time Magazine written from Beijing puts the claim in the context of Chinese character assassination of the Dalai Lama.

TIME: Does the Dalai Lama Still Matter? (By AUSTIN RAMZY/BEIJING October 15, 2007)

Given the changes that are unfolding in Tibet now, it's worth wondering whether the Dalai Lama really matters any more. Beijing announced earlier this year that it will have the final say on the naming of his reincarnation, and the idea of an atheist, authoritarian government holding final say in a religious matter elicited condemnation in the West. Meetings in July between his representatives and Chinese authorities aimed at improving dialogue between the two sides produced no concrete results. State-run Chinese news organs have given heavy play in recent days to stories claiming that the Dalai Lama is a supporter of the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo and a betrayer of Buddhism.
(My emphasis)

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 04:05:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Has been dealt with by Migeru and appears to be Chinese government spin.

  2. Would you like to provide evidence to support that proposition?

  3. & 4. Is he cosying up to European and American celebrities and politicians for the sake of his own ego or is he using them to further his and/or the Tibetan people's aims? I think that it's more likely that he and the Tibetan movement are doing the latter than the former.

Point 4 could have been expressed more temperately,  by the way, which is what the 2 rating is for.

I don't buy the Dalai-Lama as saint spin, but your comment seems more reflective of Chinese government or nationalist spin than anything else. Evidence please.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 09:44:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey.  I will not have you and Mig denigrating the Chinese government with accusations of spin.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 02:15:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the fact that the PRC has picked up on a story (and not been the original sourceof it) necessarily mean it is wrong?

Seems to me we are employing two sets of standards here in evidentiary evaluation.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:17:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it means that it needs corroboration because the source is known to be untrustworthy. Same as the US government talking about anything in  China or "Western" media talking about the Balkans.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I think this has been covered, below. There are sources other than the PRC offered below, and in fact the circumstantial evidence that mig throws up (esp as regards donations to the Tibetan government in Exile and their acceptance thereof) would suggest there is indeed something more to this than "beijing spin".

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:24:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, all I see is the Dalai Lama being unbelievably naïve, which would be consistent with the diary's quoted characterisations of the Dalai Lama as "childlike".

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:26:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this diarist has gotten away with picking and choosing sources (some of them decades old) he deems as credible, while when facts are in dispute and other sources are cited, these source's intergrity is quickly attacked not just by the diarist, as lies (charges he cannot of course back up), but also by the audience (calling respected and published political scientists on the left as "hacks" and so forth).

No, Colman, there's really nothing equal here imho.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:26:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks!
by cambridgemac on Fri Apr 4th, 2008 at 11:40:48 PM EST
The Dalai Lama is a religous leader along the same lines as the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury.  I think that most people here would certainly be extremely cynical regarding many of the Pope's claims, and would understand that the Pope's role is entirely an exercise in realpolitik in the furtherance of certain material interests. That goes for past Popes as well, including John Paul II, the closest 'freedom fighter' Dalai Lama analogue the modern Catholic world had.

I would not trust any of these religious leaders the slightest bit. Religion at this level is simply Machiavellian politics in disguise.

by wing26 on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 09:48:04 AM EST
Well I didn't expect this emotional reaction, I thought a progressive blog should be having some rational people. Sorry to hurt anyone's feelings, but this has more to do with yourself than anything else.

Certainly the association between the DL and Aum was a matter of the heart. It has been written about long ago in western and japanese literature. People who close their minds to this fact should definitely go and read what the DL had to say about Mr.Asahara. It has nothing to do with "chinese character assassination".

The DL has always surrounded himself with these kinds of dubious characters from mass murder cults, already the Nazis liked the Tibetan clerics because of this.

Yes, I consider the DL a greedy, uneducated powermonger who doesn't care a bit about his people and uses them cynically to restore a rightfully gone theocracy.

No, I don't like the Chinese govt. I like the chinese culture which has developed its own type of tolerant and enlightened Buddhism over the course of one and a half millenia.

Yes, I'm a European and what I know about buddhism is mostly from the Theravada tradition. I also consider the various Zen sects as dangerous frauds with a power/military agenda. Tibetan buddhism is an especially superstitious sect with a totalitarian structure and a lot of dark secrets.

If anything, the irrational reactions by DL groupies prove what I said. It's one of these moments when I tell myself, this is how rational people must have felt in the middle ages, when religious mobs were the rule not the exception.

by antonymous on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 10:04:35 AM EST
You're still making unsupported assertions there. Do you have links or quotes to point us to? Are we to take it that you like the Theravada tradition?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 10:06:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
antonymous:
Well I didn't expect this emotional reaction, I thought a progressive blog should be having some rational people. Sorry to hurt anyone's feelings, but this has more to do with yourself than anything else.

Certainly the association between the DL and Aum was a matter of the heart. It has been written about long ago in western and japanese literature. People who close their minds to this fact should definitely go and read what the DL had to say about Mr.Asahara. It has nothing to do with "chinese character assassination".

The DL has always surrounded himself with these kinds of dubious characters from mass murder cults, already the Nazis liked the Tibetan clerics because of this.

That thing about Asahara seems to be traceable to this single source: The Japanese Doomsday Guru Shoko Asahara and XIV Dalai Lama which is part of the book The Shadow of the Dalai Lama by Victor & Victoria Trimondi.
From now on, the Japanese guru referred to himself as a pupil of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. The god-king's final version of affairs is different. He never commissioned the Japanese to do anything at all, nor established any special relation with him, and definitely did not take him on as a sadhaka. For him Asahara was just one of the many hundreds of worshippers and visitors whom he met with in the course of a year.

To be honest, my impression of this is that Shoko Asahara was a self-aggrandizing megalomaniac who met the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala and possibly Tokyo as part of another religious group, before elevating himself to the category of guru and founding his own sect, and that Asahara used the fact that he met the Dalai Lama as a way to gain credibility. If also appears that Aum Shinryko has donated to the Tibetan Government in Exile, quite likely also as a way to gain even more credibility with buddhists in Japan and abroad.

It'd be nice if the battle were only against the right wingers, not half of the left on top of that — François in Paris

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 10:43:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
already the Nazis liked the Tibetan clerics because of this.

Eh, no. The Nazis had some silly belief that the Tibetans are aryans and their use of the swastika means some connection; but when they sent an expedition there, they got 'disillusioned' seeing Tibetan religiousity, un-warrior-ness, and body size...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 10:14:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Nazis had some silly belief that the Tibetans are aryans....

Bet that expedition turned out to be quite a surprise.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 03:10:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I also consider the various Zen sects as dangerous frauds with a power/military agenda.

Which would make them differents from other religions...how exactly?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 02:56:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought a progressive blog should be having some rational people

The rational people on this progressive blog rationally like assertions to be backed up with evidence.

Not subjective/emotive stuff like "I consider", "I don't like", "what I know about", "I tell myself", with no substance to back any of it up.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 09:31:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
About the Theravada thing, it only refers to actually studying the literature which is not taught in many cults like the Tibetan and Zen ones. I don't follow their fatalism either and I certainly don't like the Buddhist chauvinists of the current Sri Lankan civil war.

I think we Europeans would need to develop a genuine European understanding, not ape the outward appearances of previous cults. Buddhism is about opening the mind and using all human capacities, in a quasi-scientific way of discovery.

by antonymous on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 11:00:29 AM EST
I'm just wondering, all these diaries on Tibet. What's the EU's trade relationship here? What's at stake in EU-PRC relations if individual EU leaders, mostly conservatives from the former warsaw pact nations, overreact to this internal Chinese affair?

Seriously.

(Waiting to be called a liar again about something or other by the diarist...)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sat Apr 5th, 2008 at 10:49:26 PM EST
Here we are trying to get FarEasterner not to go GBCW on us and you come and troll him some more.

Seriously.

Would you say the EU-Israel trade relation is at stake if people make statements about Gaza, an internal Israeli affair?

Finally, my own personal view on diaries is that they are the equivalent of personal blogs. People write about what interests them, and not everything or everyone has to have a European connexion. If it doesn't interest you you don't have to recommend it (and enough people have done so to put this diary on top of the recommended diary list for a while).

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 03:06:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't appreciate being called a liar, and I see he engages in the same stuff here.

Who's the troll?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:10:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't appreciate people pointing fingers and screaming "liar!" which is, unfortunately, a lot of what FarEasterner has been doing lately. Now, if you think what he's written in this diary are lies, point them out and refute them, but that's not what you did in your top-level comment.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:26:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed. But I can't get past his ad hom, one he not only did not apologize when I called him on it, but further dug himself into it.

You guys think he's a worthwhile contributor, that's your business.

I obviously disagree, and not just because he's calling everyone who doesn't agree to his point of view a liar or worse.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:51:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What Migeru said. And we don't demand a European connexion from you when you write on US matters, either.

Speaking of pro-Tibetan ex-Warshaw-Pact people, those would be typically liberals not conservatives -- plus ex-Comrades who easily converted from leninism to Atlanticism and capitalism, exposing the past elite's lack of connection to real socialism, something they share with the current Chinese Comrades for whom you seem to harbour some romantic connection that appears to motivate this trolling.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 06:07:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't demand it, but I usualy make it.

Here, no attempt whatsoever.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:11:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see economic liberals to be anything but coservative, reactionary even. It's all about going backwards, their economic system.

Not unlike the Tibetan "leadership," all about going back to a medieval, theocratic political economy.

I thought this site was all about progress. And now when someone raises questions about this, and is subsequently called a liar for his trouble, then takes issue with this characterization, he's the ass?

I don't think so.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 11:15:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Personal remark:

You could do so much better than post this kind of sub-moronic comment, redstar.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 06:14:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no need to get personal, is there?

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 06:17:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll let redstar be the judge of that. If he thinks I'm "getting personal" in an unjustified way (when I'm in fact expressing an opinion on the quality of his comment, not on him - beyond a subtext that states my usual high opinion of his capacities), then he'll no doubt say so.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 09:08:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I could have done much better, agreed.

But the key part of communications is know your audience. My audience is the diarist, a true believer, utterly faith-based in his approach to the single issue he's been fixated upon here for awhile. So I'm not sure, given this, what more than sub-moronic I would have come up with that would make a difference.

I would point out that the diarist, given what is going on around this issue in the EU right now (just look at Le Monde today for instance), could easily have made an EU-related connexion to make this diary relevant.

That he chooses not to speaks volumes to me about his focus. Which in my view is neither European nor Progressive.

Which I thought were the two important elements of the site.

And again, I understand conservatives are appreciated around here, and that things are not always required to be EU topical, but also I understand we expect conseratives on the site to be polite about their disagreements, which we ourselves are even when in strong dispute.

If you see that politeness in this diary, I guess we are operating under different undrstandings of the term.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:14:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, the diary itself is not impolite, but the discussion thread went off the rails a long time ago.

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:16:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely what I mean.

And, I note it did so well before I had time to get here. But I saw an ass doing the same thing to others as he has done to me, getting all GBCW at the slightest of dispute, and seriously man, I've had enough of this shit.

Thank you for correcting my characterization.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:18:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right FarEasterner called you a liar and indulged in a heap of contorted casuistry to justify it, without apologising. But when you say

My audience is the diarist

That's not how I read your comment, apart from the final squib.

My beef with your comment is the innuendo about "all these diaries"... being linked in some way to EU trade policies (or why not US, the Dalai Lama being touted by some as a lifelong CIA agent?). It's just getting tiresome the number of people who write about what "this blog is supposed to be about" as if there's some rulebook on what topics can be broached and from what angle. As if those of us who have editorial powers should pick and choose diaries according to the er, party line.

Or, in this case, as if we were kind of encouraging more Tibet diaries because it was good for a supposed EU line on China. (Ssh, no one's supposed to know we've got a hotline to Barroso...)

It's all academic, anyway, since FarEasterner has announced with great insistence his departure from ET. And I (who have no religious leanings at all) regret it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Apr 6th, 2008 at 12:38:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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