Agam's Gecko
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Tibetan monks
Tibetan monks chant before a concert at the National Cathedral, Oct. 16, 2007, in Washington.
Photo: AP / Kevin Wolf

few hours before President Bush awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Dalai Lama last week, I wrote:
Tibetans will be celebrating, and will feel pride for their country and the figure who symbolizes it. They may be forced to celebrate behind closed doors, and some may even choose to defy the authorities with public displays of joy. Lets hope the Chinese tyrants can control themselves this time.
Apparently there were public displays of joy, and apparently the Chinese could not control themselves.
Hundreds of Buddhist monks, celebrating a U.S. award for the Dalai Lama, clashed with police for four days in the capital of Tibet, the far-west Himalayan region of China, a Hong Kong newspaper said on Sunday...

After the clash, about 1,100 monks and dozens of visitors were not allowed to leave the Zhaibung monastery in Lhasa which was surrounded by 3,000 armed police, the Ming Pao newspaper said.

It did not say if there had been any arrests or injuries, but there had also been clashes at a nearby monastery and police had set up checkpoints on the main roads in the area.
This was only reported on Sunday by Ming Pao, but the incident had gone on for four days -- meaning the public joy erupted almost immediately after the award was given. It would have been late evening in Lhasa (unless they're forced to live on Beijing time, in which case it would have been 1 am - it was midnight here in Bangkok).

Public displays of freedom of conscience are not tolerated in the "People's" Republic any more than they are tolerated in the totalitarian police state of Burma. Barricading monks inside their monastery to keep them quiet, surrounding the place with thousands of armed police -- it sounds mighty familiar after last month.

During his time in Washington, Dalai Lama gave an interview to the Tibetan service of Voice of America. In the conversation, he gave his support to the Burmese freedom movement.
Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has voiced his support for pro-democracy protests in Burma and is urging Buddhist members of the country's military government to show more compassion.

In an interview with VOA in Washington Tuesday, the Dalai Lama said that he admired the recent efforts of Buddhist monks in Burma to push for democracy and added that he felt that their cause was just.

The Dalai Lama also urged Buddhist members of Burma's military government to use the religion's teachings of "compassion" and "love" when confronting such situations of crisis.
His Holiness also had an opportunity to meet with America's second-ranking diplomat to discuss the Tibetan situation in his homeland.
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte met with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader to discuss the situation in Tibet and the Dalai Lama's work on behalf of his followers, said Rob McInturff, a State Department spokesman.
To give readers some idea of the childishness of the Chinese government's attitudes toward him, here is a quote from the transcript of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao's press conference on October 18, 2007. This is taken from the Canada-Tibet Committee's World Tibet News daily newsletter (it's not up on their website yet).
What I want to say is that, the Chinese people know better than anybody else what kind person Dalai is, which I believe the US side is well aware of. Let's look back on the feudalist serfdom system in the old Tibet. I don't know if you have had any through study on this system. This is a very dark and cruel system and Dalai happens to be the ruler in that system. Dalai fled aboard [sic] after a failed armed revolt in 1959. Ever since then, he has never stopped manipulating overseas Tibet Independence elements to carry out anti-China separatist activities. Here are a few examples. Dalai scrabbled and controlled the so-called Tibet Government in exile and documented the so-called constitution for the exile Tibetans to pursue Tibet Independence. Dalai also asked the Han Chinese to leave Tibet and the Central Government not to station troops in Tibet. It is not difficult to see from his words and deeds that he is actually seeking for Tibet Independence. He claimed that he had given up on Tibet Independence. Yet it is merely his camouflage to gain international support. Therefore, Dalai is not a religious or a spiritual leader, but a ringleader of separatists and trouble-makers. I want to reiterate that any attempt to separate China using foreign forces is doomed to failure and so is any attempt to interfere with China's internal affairs using the Dalai issue.
They love to talk about the old Tibetan feudal system. When His Holiness was young, he was very keen on learning about the outside world and bringing his country into it. As President Bush reminded us (check the videos I posted Thursday), when the Tibetan leader was still a child, he had a replica of the Statue of Liberty next to his bed. During this period the decision-making function of the Tibetan sovereign was held by a Regent, as the boy was not expected to assume his full duties until the age of 18. But the Chinese invaded in 1950, and soon afterwards the enthronement was advanced so that he assumed the full role of Dalai Lama at the age of 16.

His decision to remain in Tibet and to try to work with the Chinese, to see if he could moderate the negative impact on his people, did not work out well. Every attempt to bring democratic values into play was thwarted by the communists. Had Tibet simply been left alone to evolve in its own way, there is no doubt that the old feudal system would have been changed by this modern thinking leader. Tibet today would have long been a member of the world's free democracies.

As it was, bringing in a democratic system was the first accomplishment after Dalai Lama and tens of thousands of Tibetans were forced to flee into exile in 1959. The Tibetan Parliament is elected by Tibetans all across the world, and the Tibetan government and cabinet are all elected. There is even a mechanism to impeach a Dalai Lama if necessary. He now has only an advisory role to the Prime Minister.

So the Foreign Ministry spokesman is absolutely wrong when he says Dalai Lama is the "ruler" of a "dark and cruel system." The "dark and cruel system" ruling Tibet is the Communist Party of China. As for what the spokesman calls the Tibetans' "so-called constitution," it's a fully democratic one -- unlike the fake "democratic" constitution of the Communist Party of China, where its provisions are broken whenever the need arises.

It looks like some patriotic "P"RC hackers (likely at the beck and call of the Party) went to war over the Dalai Lama award as well.
Analysts at Search Engine Roundtable, a website focusing on internet searching, said that those attempting to use the search engines on Google, Yahoo and Microsoft websites were being sent on to a Chinese equivalent called Baidu.

Access to other popular American websites including YouTube was also reported to have been blocked.

There was speculation that the motive behind the "hijacking" might be retaliation against the United States for the warm welcome it showed the Dalai Lama. ..

"It seems like China is fed up with the US, so as a way to fight back they redirected virtually all search traffic from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to Baidu, the Chinese based search engine," said a statement by Search Engine Roundtable.
Like I said, just childish. Rather than saving face by doing things like this, the Chinese imperialists only display their own insecurities and vindictiveness.

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