Thursday, July 31, 2008

Parvathi Menon's Interview on Tibet

Some gems from the interview with the euphemistically named ' Director-General, Bureau for Tibet and Human Rights of the State Council Information Office'. Human rights and Tibet both part of the same title of a Chinese official - now, that is something!

From the intro:

There is the view, shaped by the Dalai Lama, the former theocratic ruler of Tibet and his supporters, of Tibet as a land of faith that is now groaning under the tyranny of communist rule. This viewpoint has found resonance in the west, largely through the channels of a hostile media. There is, on the other hand, the reality — so evident to a visitor to the region — of the remarkable progress made by the Tibet Autonomous Region in the economic, social, and educational spheres. The ancient regime of monastic and feudal serfdom sustained by the Dalai Lama had to be consigned to history for this to happen.

In other words, the Dalai Lama is not only a feudal entity but a liar. Hmm...This statement has the distinctive touch of N.Ram to it.

Before democratic reform, monks and temples had a central place in the old theological society. Monasteries owned one-third of the productive forces, and they exercised judicial and administrative rights. Therefore, when the democratic reforms did away with theocracy, monks lost the privileges they enjoyed, while serfs and farmers were liberated...Before the Democratic Reform in 1959, there were 2,700 monasteries and monks accounted for 12 per cent of the total population.

Apparently, the invasion and occupation that began in 1959 is titled 'Democratic reform of 1959'. Nice title.

Parvathi Menon asked:

The Chinese central government has had several rounds of talks with the representatives of the Dalai Lama, including two after the March 14th riots. What is non-negotiable and what can be negotiated, as the talks proceed?

What a question to ask! During negotiations, which official is going to reveal ex ante the cards he holds, that too to a foreign journalist!?

The Dalai Lama cannot hope to retain his old theological position, but he can play a role as a religious head if he has the will. We will still listen to his views. Although Tibet’s prosperity does not need the Dalai Lama, we hope to increase mutual understanding. This shows the sincerity of the Chinese central government.

They will listen to his views. Period. They will not necessarily follow them or empower him to do anything with those views. How sweet! Why not buy a talking doll of the Dalai Lama instead and save the time, effort and money.

Read the whole piece. Parvathi Menon should be commended for a hit-job well done.


Srinivas R said...

Thanks for the link. Parvathi Menon has done a good job of exposing the propaganda of American press. YOur cite is supposed to bash Hindu but this is a good article. Tomorrow, imperialists succede in Tibet, tomorrow they will go for Kashmir and Maldives.

Anonymous said...

The imperialists are already there in Tibet, being the occupational forces nearly 5 decades.

Pilid said...

Srinivas, good conspiracy theory.

Anon, good point.

Anonymous said...

The argument about the Dalai lama retaining power after returning to Tibet does not hold any water anymore. And also the issue about Tibet's feudal past and using this to justify the occupation of Tibet is so baseless. It exposes the weakness on the China's claim over Tibet.

If China liberated Tibetans from the feudals and western powers, shouldn't it now leave Tibet and let Tibetan govern themselves? It been over 50 years now and the Chinese are still ruling the nation.

And also if western governments are being supportive of Tibetans, does that make the Tibetans claim to independence less legitimate?

China needs to leave Tibet alone and let the Tibetans decide what they want. And Hindu must do the same.

Pilid said...


I could not agree more. If Tibet were to become independent or even autonomous, the Dalai Lama would probably be happy to acquiesce in a democratic system.

The Chinese justification of 'liberating' Tibet is akin to Soviet justification of 'liberating' East Europe after World War II. Simply because they 'liberated' them does not mean that the people of those countries are morally bound to acquiesce in a perennial occupation. In fairness, the Chinese situation vis-a-vis Tibet is a little different - Tibet is nowhere recognized as an independent nation - but that basic point holds.

Anonymous said...

China was also a "feudal" country. The Japanese wanted to liberate the Chinese people, we can assume. If being "feudal" is so bad, let Tibetans themselves handle their fate. Who are the Chinese to "liberate" the Tibetans? Saudi Arabia is also a feudal state. Would Chindu recommend China to "liberate" the Saudis?