FreeTibet – Tibet for Tibetans
THE TIBET QUESTION – TERMS FOR TIBET’S NATURAL FREEDOM
The Tibet Question revolves around the terms for Tibet’s Natural Freedom consistent with Natural History of Tibetan Plateau. China’s domination, subjugation, occupation, and colonization of Tibet must fail for it compromises Natural Inheritance of Tibetans.
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
TIBET CAN REMAIN IN CHINA ONLY IF BEIJING RECOGNIZES OUR CULTURE AND SPECIAL HISTORY: DALAI LAMA
The Dalai Lama on Sunday said that Tibet can remain in China, only if Beijing recognized and respected the region’s distinct culture and autonomy.
Speaking at a lecture on ‘Role of Ethics and Culture in Promoting Global Peace and Harmony’ here, organized by Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and Antar-Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad, the Dalai Lama said, “Historically and culturally, Tibet has been independent. China took control of Tibet in 1950 in what it called a ‘peaceful liberation’. So, as long as the Constitution of China recognizes our culture and Tibetan autonomous region’s special history, it (Tibet) can remain there.”
The event was being held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 82-year-old Tibetan spiritual icon’s exile to India.
The Dalai Lama also expressed concerns on the ethnic violence against the Rohingyas in Myanmar, calling it as sad and terrifying. Also, he underscored the need to iron out differences and to work for all-round development and peace together.
Calling on the inclusion of ancient Indian traditions in the country’s education, the Dalai Lama added, “Discussions on how to include ancient Indian traditions in educational system should begin. India has the ability to combine modern education with its ancient traditions to help solve problems in the world. This would help India to fight against terrorism and global warming.”
Also, pressing on efforts to spread Indian traditions globally, like how China was able to spread its traditions, he further said, “Try to revive ancient Indian traditions. Actual change does not come from prayer, it comes from action. Wherever Chinese go, they have a ‘China Town’. Why not an ‘India Town’ by Indians?”
The Dalai Lama also went to say that the global warming had adversely affected the amount of snowfall in Dharamshala, where he resided and also the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.
Terming Buddha as an ‘ancient Indian scientist’, the 82-year-old spiritual leader added that he considered himself as “a half-scientist and a half-monk.”
Throwing light on the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama said, ” The greatness of the Indian civilization is its spiritual brotherhood and harmony. It has helped to produce the greatest philosophical thinkers and preachers who gave rise to the Nalanda tradition of Buddhism based on reason and logical conclusion.”
The Dalai Lama, along with his followers, fled to India from Tibet in 1959 in a massive uprising by the Chinese forces.
Beijing calls the 82-year-old Buddhist monk a ‘separatist,’ seeking to secede Tibet from China.
TIBET EQUILIBRIUM – PAKISTAN, CHINA NORTH INDUS RIVER CASCADE – ILLEGAL BARTERING
The five dams forming the ‘North Indus River Cascade’ that Communist China plans to build in Pakistan-Occupied Indian territory represents Illegal Bartering. Firstly, Communist China’s Tibet Occupation is illegal for it violates Natural Law, Natural Balance, Natural Order, Natural Equilibrium, Natural Harmony, and Natural Tranquility that formulates connections between man and Nature. Tibet Equilibrium gives Indus River the ability to flow down to reach Arabian Sea.
China’s doctrine of Neocolonialism drives her capital investment projects to develop infrastructure and exploit natural resources to ensure her political, economic, and military domination of world. North Indus River Cascade in its essence represents the actions of two thieves sharing stolen assets. In my analysis, Communist China sponsored Indus River Projects bring no Joy, no Peace, no Harmony, and no Tranquility in the lives of people for Beijing is Doomed.
PAKISTAN’S INDUS CASCADE A CHINA-SPONSORED ‘HIMALAYAN BLUNDER’
The Indus River in Diamer District of Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan. (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
Pakistan’s Indus Cascade a China-Sponsored ‘Himalayan Blunder’
Updated: 22 May 2017 4:27 PM IST
The five dams forming the ‘North Indus River Cascade’ that China has just promised to finance and build in Pakistan – including Pakistan-administered Kashmir – has the potential to generate over 22,000 MW in an energy-starved country.
But the dams will also stop the flow of silt which is the lifeline of agriculture downstream. In non-monsoon months from October to June, they may also reduce the flow of water down the Indus to Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh provinces.
Climate change is making water flow along rivers more erratic – especially rivers like the Indus, that flow from the Himalayas.
Pakistan’s entire water supply for agriculture, factories, and homes is dependent on rivers in the Indus basin. Water availability is already below the 1,000 cubic meters per person per year level at which a country is described as water-scarce, according to the global norm followed by most UN agencies.
In this situation, it is critical to look at food, energy and water together, as a nexus. Instead, the planners of Pakistan appear to be looking at energy alone.
Money, CPEC, OBOR
China is providing Pakistan with US $50 billion for the Indus Cascade. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to this effect during the recent Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – previously known as One Belt, One Road (OBOR) – conference in Beijing. China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) will oversee the funding.
China Three Gorges Corporation – which runs the world’s largest hydroelectricity project at the Three Gorges Dam – is the frontrunner to build the five dams that will form the cascade.
The MoU was signed by Pakistan’s Water and Power Secretary Yousuf Naseem Khokhar and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong in presence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
This is in addition to the US $57 billion China is providing to Pakistan for a series of infrastructure projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of the BRI. The infrastructure projects include the building of coal-fired power stations and the port at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea.
The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
The Indus Cascade
The cascade plans all the way down the Indus from Gilgit-Baltistan to the existing Tarbela dam near Islamabad. It will effectively turn this huge transboundary river into a series of lakes in the last part of its journey through the Hindu Kush Himalayas to the plains of South Asia.
The uppermost of the five dams is planned at Bunji near Skardu in Pakistan administered Kashmir. The former princely state of Jammu & Kashmir is a disputed territory claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan, though both only control parts of it, with China also controlling some.
The 7,100 MW Bunji Hydropower Project has been described by Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) as a run-of-the-river (RoR) project. But the same promotional video (for the entire cascade) which provides this description also indicates that:
This project will have a reservoir that will spread along a 22-km stretch of the Indus and inundate a 12-km stretch of the road between Gilgit and Skardu – the two main towns of Gilgit-Baltistan. So, despite the description, this may not be an RoR project.
The next dam in the cascade is the big one – Diamer-Basha – with a planned live storage of 6.4 million-acre feet (MAF) of water and a hydropower generating potential of 4,500 MW.
From Diamer-Basha, the projects run along the Karakoram Highway, which China built in the 1960s through Pakistan administered Kashmir despite strenuous objections from India. The reservoir that will form behind the Diamer-Basha dam will submerge 104 km of the Karakoram Highway and displace about 30,000 people, according to WAPDA.
The Diamer-Basha dam is promoted by WAPDA as a sediment trap and therefore good for downstream hydropower projects. But the same sediment – mainly silt – rejuvenates the soil downstream every year and has been the main reason sustaining agriculture in the Indus valley for over a millennium.
Building the Diamer-Basha dam is estimated to cost US $15 billion. For years, Pakistan has been seeking the money from multilateral funding agencies. Experts at the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have advised Pakistani planners to think of smaller dams instead. Now China has promised funding.
Just downstream of Diamer-Basha is the third dam in the cascade – the 4,320 MW Dasu Hydropower Project. This will have a reservoir that will stretch upstream for 74 km along the Indus, all the way to the Diamer-Basha dam, according to WAPDA. It will also submerge 52 km of the Karakoram Highway.
Some of the peripheral work for this project has started, and people have already been displaced, with WAPDA seeking contracts for resettlement and providing free transport to resettlement sites.
And immediately downstream of that, WAPDA has planned the 2,200 MW Patan Hydropower Project, with a 35-km long reservoir that goes up to the Dasu dam.
The Indus River from the Karakoram Highway (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)
Once again, the fifth dam in the cascade is just a little downstream – the 4,000 MW Thakot Hydropower Project in which the plan is to divert the Indus waters through four headrace tunnels to generate electricity.
By the time the Indus emerges from the tunnels, it will be close to the existing dam at Tarbela, which has been in operation since 1976.
The Plan, the Effect
The electricity that will potentially be generated by the five new projects forming the Indus Cascade adds up to a little over 22,000 MW. Officials in Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power have been telling the domestic media that experts from the Chinese NEA conducted feasibility study of the entire cascade this February and satisfied about feasibility of the project.
The officials say that now, after the signing of the MoU, the Chinese experts will conduct a more detailed study for three months to finalize both financing and execution of the projects. In 2015, China Three Gorges Corporation had said it wanted to be part of a financing consortium with a US $50 billion fund to build hydroelectric power projects in Pakistan.
The corporation may be the frontrunner to build the dams, but it is not the only competitor. After the MoU was signed in Beijing, several Chinese power sector companies showed willingness to join the project. This will be the first large-scale private sector hydroelectricity project in Pakistan.
At the MoU signing ceremony, Nawaz Sharif spoke glowingly of cooperation between the two governments to overcome Pakistan’s energy crisis.
“Development of the Indus Cascade is a major focus of my government and the construction of Diamer-Basha Dam is the single most important initiative in this regard.” Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister, Pakistan
He also said, “Water and food security are of paramount importance for Pakistan, keeping in view the challenges posed by climate change.”
The Indus Cascade will reduce water and food security in Pakistan instead.
One proven effect of climate change is intensification of the water cycle. In lay terms, it means fewer rainy or snowy days but more intense rainfall or snowfall in those days. Pakistan is already suffering the effects.
For the first nine years in this century, the Indus failed to reach the sea. Then there was such a cloudburst in 2010 flooding a fifth of the country. The floods also brought down, and continue to bring down, huge sediment loads that reduce the working lives of dams. To build more large dams in this situation appears dangerously short-sighted.
A side effect of the cascade project will be the need to rebuild large parts of the Karakoram Highway. Building a road in the mountains always has a strong negative effect on the environment and increases the risk of landslides manifold.
India has already boycotted the BRI conference because many of the CPEC projects are in Kashmir. Addition of a project as big as the Indus Cascade to that list is likely to lead to more protests from India and to raise tension in the region.
(This article was originally published in ThirdPole.net)
First published: 22 May 2017 4:27 PM IST
2017 © Copyright TheQuint
NATURAL HISTORY OF TIBETAN PLATEAU – INDIA’S TIBET POLICY
India’s Tibet Policy must reflect reality of Tibet as established by Natural History of Tibetan Plateau. This reality of Tibet cannot be rewritten. To defend Democracy, Freedom, Peace, and Justice, India has to contain, restrain, oppose, and confront the problem posed by expansion of Communism in Asia. India as a democratic nation must pursue Tibet Policy using standards of Transparency and Public Accountability. The Cold War in Asia remains Unfinished and yet there is no need for Cold War Era secret diplomacy.
DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER
India should support Tibet’s historical status as an Independent country: Former Defence Minister
July 20, 2017
Posted in News Flash
By Staff Writer
(L) Mulayam Singh Yadav speaking in Lok Sabha, (R) Map/FreeTibet
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party leader and former Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday raised the issue of Tibet in the Parliament. India’s former Defence Minister said that India’s stand on Tibet, a reference to its acceptance that the region was part of China, was a “mistake” and the time has come to support its status as an historically independent country as it had been a traditional buffer between the two big nations.
He also urged the Indian Central Government to give maximum support to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Speaking during the zero hour, Yadav called China India’s “real enemy” rather than Pakistan and claimed that China was ready to attack India in collaboration with Pakistan.
“If need be, we should have a rethink on diplomatic relations with China,” Yadav said.
The veteran leader also demanded a “ban on Chinese products in India in the nation’s interest”.
2017 Central Tibetan Administration
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE WELCOMES RESTORATION OF US AID FOR TIBET
On behalf of Special Frontier Force, I welcome restoration of US Aid for Tibet. During 1948-49, The Cold War Era, United States commenced US Aid for Tibet in response to threat posed by spread of Communism in Asia. US Aid for Tibet began during presidency of Harry Truman, and continued by Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and all other US Presidents including Richard M. Nixon who initiated diplomatic relations with Communist China in 1972.
I recall President Eisenhower’s historical visit to India from 09 December to 14 December, 1959. Indians received President Eisenhower with great sense of warmth and hailed him as ‘Prince of Peace’. India, and the United States must continue their partnership to restore Freedom, Democracy, Peace, and Justice in South Asia and work together to restore Natural Order, Natural Balance, Natural Equilibrium, Natural Peace, Natural Freedom, Natural Harmony, and Natural Tranquility in Occupied Tibet.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE MOVES TO RESTORE US AID FOR TIBET
The appropriations will be effective for the next fiscal beginning October 1.
Reversing the Trump administration’s move to slash aid to Tibetans to zero, a key Congressional committee has approved a bill to maintain the decades-old American policy of providing financial assistance for Tibet and support “democracy and human rights programmes”. The administration, in its maiden budget proposal in May, had cut the US aid to Tibet to zero, resulting in a huge disappointment to the large Tibetan community around the world.
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi had then expressed concern over the move. The US State Department, however, had described the decision as one of the “tough choices” it had to make as its budget itself had been slashed by more than 28 per cent. But in a report accompanying the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill 2018, the House Appropriations Committee said it “continues to support democracy and human rights programmes for Tibet” and that “not less than the amounts provided in fiscal year 2017” be continued for such purposes.
The appropriations will be effective for the next fiscal beginning October 1.
The committee’s recommendation includes USD 1 million for the Office of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan issues. Noting that the Tibetan language services of ‘Voice of America’ and ‘Radio Free Asia’ (RFA) provide the only sources of independent information accessible to the people of Tibet, the committee recommendation provides USD 42 million for RFA, including funds to continue the Tibetan language service.
It also recommended USD 8 million – same as the 2017 fiscal year – to support activities that preserve cultural traditions and promote sustainable development and environmental conservation among Tibetan communities in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and other Tibetan autonomous areas in China.
Noting that Tibetans in South Asia face developmental challenges, it has proposed USD 6 million to continue to support the community in India and Nepal in the areas of education, skills development and entrepreneurship.
The House Appropriations Committee in its report supported the continued allocation of funds to assist Tibetan refugees in Nepal and India – commensurate with prior years. The committee expressed concerns over the reports that Nepal has handed over Tibetan refugees to Chinese border authorities, in contravention of Kathmandu’s international obligations to protect refugees fleeing persecution.
“The committee supports efforts by the Secretary of State to work with the Government of Nepal to provide safe transit for Tibetan refugees and legal protections to Tibetans residing in Nepal,” the report said.
An ‘Economic Support Fund’ will be made available for programmes to preserve Tibetan culture, development, and the resilience of Tibetan communities in India and Nepal, and to assist in the education and development of the next generation of Tibetan leaders from such communities, according to the bill.
According to a CRS report, the total financial assistance to the Tibetan cause was more than USD 24 million in 2014. Since 2014, there has been a gradual decline in Tibetan funding. The House Appropriations Committee, however, proposes to reverse that trend.
REMEMBERING JULY 16, 1945 – NATURAL FREEDOM IN TIBET IS JUST A STONE’S THROW AWAY
Natural Science, Physics and Chemistry describe Four Fundamental Forces, and Four Fundamental Interactions. Applying these principles, man developed explosive device called Atomic Bomb to conduct its successful test on July 16, 1945.
Applying the same principles, I recognize the potential power of heavenly bodies such as large stones to yield massive force that can change the attitude of belligerent nations.
Natural Forces acting together established Natural Freedom in Tibet. It is of no surprise to note that Tibetan Existence for centuries was characterized by Independent Lifestyles in testimony of Tibet Equilibrium or Tibet Tranquility based upon Natural Balance, Natural Harmony, and Natural Peace without any human intervention.
Occupation of Tibet since 1950s involved application of man’s Military Force. To counteract it, I am not seeking application of Strong Nuclear Force of man-made devices like the Atomic Bomb. If I am correct, Natural Freedom in Occupied Tibet is ‘Just a Stone’s Throw Away’.
DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER
THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB TEST IS SUCCESSFULLY EXPLODED – JULY 16, 1945 – HISTORY.com
On this day in 1945, at 5:29:45 a.m., the Manhattan Project comes to an explosive end as the first atom bomb is successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Plans for the creation of a uranium bomb by the Allies were established as early as 1939, when Italian emigre physicist Enrico Fermi met with U.S. Navy department officials at Columbia University to discuss the use of fissionable materials for military purposes. That same year, Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt supporting the theory that an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction had great potential as a basis for a weapon of mass destruction. In February 1940, the federal government granted a total of $6,000 for research. But in early 1942, with the United States now at war with the Axis powers, and fear mounting that Germany was working on its own uranium bomb, the War Department took a more active interest, and limits on resources for the project were removed.
Brigadier-General Leslie R. Groves, himself an engineer, was now in complete charge of a project to assemble the greatest minds in science and discover how to harness the power of the atom as a means of bringing the war to a decisive end. The Manhattan Project (so-called because of where the research began) would wind its way through many locations during the initial period of theoretical exploration, most importantly, the University of Chicago, where Enrico Fermi successfully set off the first fission chain reaction. But the Project took final form in the desert of New Mexico, where, in 1943, Robert J. Oppenheimer began directing Project Y at a laboratory at Los Alamos, along with such minds as Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, and Fermi. Here theory and practice came together, as the problems of achieving critical mass—a nuclear explosion—and the construction of a deliverable bomb were worked out.
Finally, on the morning of July 16, in the New Mexico desert120 miles south of Santa Fe, the first atomic bomb was detonated. The scientists and a few dignitaries had removed themselves 10,000 yards away to observe as the first mushroom cloud of searing light stretched 40,000 feet into the air and generated the destructive power of 15,000 to 20,000 tons of TNT. The tower on which the bomb sat when detonated was vaporized.
The question now became—on whom was the bomb to be dropped? Germany was the original target, but the Germans had already surrendered. The only belligerent remaining was Japan.
A footnote: The original $6,000 budget for the Manhattan Project finally ballooned to a total cost of $2 billion.
TIBET – JOURNEY FROM NATURAL FREEDOM TO LAOGAI PRISON SYSTEM
The uplift of Tibetan Plateau began about 45 million years ago. Natural Forces acting upon Tibet shaped Natural Tranquility of Tibetan Existence which defines Independent Lifestyles of Tibetans. Unfortunately, Red China’s Occupation shattered this Natural Balance, Natural Equilibrium, Natural Order, Natural Peace, and Natural Freedom of Tibetan Existence. The vastness, and empty spaces that characterize Tibetan Landscape transformed into Laogai Prison System used in Subjugation of Tibet.
Tibet’s Occupation needs description that includes use of words like, detention, arrest, imprisonment, beating, cruelty, brutality, torture, execution, labor reform, reeducation, Gulag, Concentration Camp, starvation, hunger, thirst, death, hardship, pain, suffering, misery, repression, suppression, oppression, tyranny, and Laogai.
DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER
HOW THE WHOLE OF TIBET WAS TURNED INTO A HELLISH PRISON – CENTRAL TIBETAN ADMINISTRATION
The DailyO, 10 July 2017
Thousands and thousands of people were driven into prisons like sheep, innocent people mown down like hay, rolled like paper, kneaded like hide, crammed into the dark recesses of dungeons; bound with steel wire when there were no handcuffs and leg irons left; their socks and belts confiscated; made to wear black hoods; subjected to wooden and iron clubs and mechanical and electrical punishment devices, a degree of torment possible only in the worst of hells. It was not a matter of just getting knocked about; with deliberate malice, they went for the genitals of those who father the next generation, the laymen, and for the vital organs of those who do not, the monks.
The henchmen of the lord of death made threats like spitting bile: “These guns of ours are made to kill you Tibetans. If you take a single step I will shoot you dead, and your corpse will be thrown on the rubbish heap” (the words of the Labrang monk Jigmé, as reported on the website of the Voice of America‘s Tibetan language service).
Destroying people’s dignity by hanging them upside down from the ceiling and stamping on their foreheads is something one might expect to see only in a film about Fascist or Nazi atrocities. Never mind that “Chinese prisoners are allowed to learn literacy, but Tibetans are not… Tibetan prisoners are only allowed to speak to each other in Chinese, not in Tibetan… not allowed to speak their own language or to express their own identity” (from Jamyang Kyi’s A Sequence of Tortures), even to describe being deprived of sleep during days and nights on end of interrogation to break the will, and the physical beating, hitting and lashing, these three, could barely match even a small fraction of the torment.
A ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the “Tibet Autonomous Region’ is held at the square of the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Photo: Reuters (2015)
As we read in Te’urang’s Written in Blood, “The hardest thing to endure is not the physical torture but the invasion of one’s thoughts”; and in Jamyang Kyi’s A Sequence of Tortures, “One day during interrogation, the thought suddenly came to me that, rather than go through this, I would prefer to be shot dead with a single bullet. My family and relatives might be upset, but for me at least it would be over and done with”, this is the kind of torment one would rather die than endure, and under this constant, unthinkable torture, many brave Tibetan souls with the limitless courage of the imperial spirit were broken and maimed, and came to the end of their lives.
The torture of deprivation of food and water, designed to turn them all into hungry ghosts, drove people to the edge of life and death, and for those not finished by hunger, the torment of thirst led “more than 60 among us to drink their own urine” (from Gartsé Jigmé’s The Courage of the Emperors, vol 1).
This inhumane brutality of torturing people through hunger and thirst is no different from the past. Not only did innumerable people die of hunger, for the living too:
with the flames of the suffering of hunger blazing bright, even things like Bacha [the cake residue of pressed oil seeds] and Pukma [the chaff of harvested grain] which used to be given to horses, donkeys and cattle became like nutritious food and hard to obtain. To maximize the amount of food and relieve hunger, those running communal kitchens used to quite openly pick not just edible grasses but inedible tree bark and leaves, grass roots and grains, and after processing them, mix them with a little food grain and make a kind of slop like pigswill, which they fed to people. Eventually, when even this became limited, there was not enough of it for people to eat to satisfaction. (70,000 Character Petition)
Thus when the torments of hunger passed beyond all limits, those in prison were said to have “grown a tail” (that is, become like herbivorous cattle, a term taken from Tsering Dondrup’s Raging Red Wind). Even worse things happened, for example:
During the 1958 famine, since he was a “hatted” reactionary, he was given the job of carrying out corpses. One day, one of his friends who was about to die of starvation asked him to bring back some human flesh when he went to dispose of the corpses. He tried once or twice, but could not find any flesh to bring back, because the dead were people who had also died of starvation, and their bodies were just skin and bone, with no flesh at all. One day, he found a body with a little flesh on it and brought some back. Next day, that person told him “That meat you brought yesterday, I cooked it up with a piece of willow bark and drank the soup, and last night I slept very well.” (The Courage of the Emperors, vol. 1)
Or again: “The prisoners were driven by hunger to eat flesh taken from human corpses” (My Homeland and the Peaceful Liberation). So isn’t this just like revisiting the years when we were driven by starvation even beyond the refusal to eat the flesh of human corpses? Throughout the history of the Tibetan people, far from having to drink their own urine and eat human flesh, one cannot even find records of people starving to death. The incidence of such total horrors in recent history is the accomplishment of those who claim always to be “serving the people”.
The punishment ground in hell
Up to now, famous, knowledgeable, capable, courageous, brave and farsighted Tibetans have been falsely accused by the dictators and punished with deprivation of freedom. For example, the 10th Panchen Lama expressed limitless praise and flattery for them, saying things like: “In the case of our own Tibet region, we are on the point of transforming from the old society to the new, from darkness to bright light, from suffering to happiness, from exploitation to equality, and from poverty to progress, and have started on a new and brilliant era in our history” (70,000 Character Petition), but even he was locked away for almost a decade.
Likewise, no end of able individuals were unfairly sentenced and imprisoned, and in this year’s peaceful revolution too, more than 200 people have been sentenced so far, as can be seen from unofficial reports published on the internet.20 Since this was simply for breaking laws passed by the dictators with the sole intention of preserving their hold on power, it is only the continuation of their practice of legal prosecution in violation of morality and principle. From time to time, autocratic régimes pass various legal edicts designed to consolidate their hold on power that violate universal values, and these edicts that they hold to be vital are precisely edicts from hell for those who favor freedom, equality and democracy.
A few years ago, the five-year-old 11th Panchen Lama was put under house arrest. Photo: AP
While subjecting those detained in the course of the peaceful revolution to brutal discipline and terrifying intimidation, they were interrogated about which organization they belonged to, what was their plan, who supported them, who were their collaborators; and when these investigations proved fruitless, innocent people were and continue to be charged under whichever provisions from the relevant edicts from hell, and prosecuted in secret. From start to finish, their crimes were given as nothing other than: “Seeking to split the country”, “Seeking to overthrow state authority”, “Leaking state secrets” and so on. They are ever sensitive to anything concerning “the state” and “state authority”, regarding it as vital, and whoever they decide has jeopardized “the state” or “state authority” is punished with anything from several years in prison to execution.
This is supposed to be like the saying “If the head is tied down, the body will tremble” (with fear). The dictators always and in all respects conflate the particular interests of their faction with those of “the state” and “state authority”, and constantly use these terms to enforce their power over the people.
For them, this year’s peaceful revolution was “not about nationality issues or religious issues or human rights issues, but about the issue of state authority”. Anyone they charge with opposing a basic principle of their rule, such as “state authority”, becomes what we would call a “political prisoner”. The given charge of “endangering the state and state authority” really means that the accused is suspected of posing a threat to the power of the dictators.
In a totalitarian state, there are many examples of crimes that would never be considered as such in the rest of the world, like the political offences for which five-year-old children and 81-year-old seniors have been imprisoned. A few years ago, the five-year-old 11th Panchen Lama was put under house arrest, and during this year’s peaceful revolution, the 81-year-old printer of religious books, Peljor Norbu, was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Never mind robbing the youth, who have just begun to experience life’s joys and sorrows, of their liberty, where else would one see a judicial process so barbaric as to insist on prosecuting an 81-year-old, in violation of all moral, natural and humane norms, but under a totalitarian régime? The youngest political prisoner in the world is to be found in Tibet, and the oldest. It is because the Tibetan people are human cattle that they have to bear the burden of such imprisonment, and it is because Tibetan heads are made of stone that they must be labelled with false accusations.
The terrifying battlefield
Since the peaceful revolution broke out, central hubs and junctions have all been turned into firing ranges, guns and artillery put in place, an atmosphere to make your hair bristle. Towns and monasteries are patrolled by police and filled with informers; there is fear and terror, snipers lie concealed on rooftops and on street corners, spies lie in wait, enough to make your flesh crawl and your bones shiver.
Anyone going to town or visiting a monastery is searched, questioned and registered at gunpoint, enough to make you shake and tremble. Monks are mostly forced back to the villages, villagers mostly confined in their homes, telephone lines and internet, tea shops and eating houses are all watched and listened to, whether near or far, all have been reduced to paralysis and desperation. By day they prowl like jackals and wolves, by night they move stealthily like thieves, staging sudden raids on monasteries and households, searching them from top to bottom and bottom to top for photos of the Dalai Lama, for hidden weapons, and for cash and valuables while they are at it, throwing Lama photos on the floor and treading on them.
The Division of Heaven and Earth: On Tibet’s Peaceful Revolution; Shokdung; Translated by Matthew Akester
They call Him a “beast with a human face”, and a “wolf in monk’s robes”. They show the signs of both intoxication and planetary affliction (for Red Army soldiers with heads but no brains, tanked up on the firewater of “Motherland” and “Great China”, this is hardly surprising). When they see the implements of the Dharmapala in the protector chapels and get hold of them, they say it is evidence of hidden weapons. They show all the signs of idiocy and stupidity, even persisting with far-fetched allegations they know to be wrong. They take valuables and non-valuables too, even taking half-cooked Momos from the saucepan and eating them like a gang of bandits and thieves working together.
So it is that no Tibetan any longer has the right to take a hotel room in Chinese cities, and at airports they are greeted with the order to remove their hats and shoes. They are not given tickets and their money is not taken. Under the influence of deceptive propaganda, Tibetans are seen with a mixture of fear and loathing, and everyone is in a state of cautious suspicion. In short, Tibetans as a whole are seen as terrorists, and under such pressure, this includes even children too young to understand.
In fact, this is by no means the first time that Tibet was turned into a terrifying battlefield, for ever since coming under the rule of the dictatorship, the beatings, struggles, arrests, detentions, punishments and executions that accompanied each successive political campaign made people incapable of movement, speech or thought, and out of constant fear, everyone became like walking corpses. This is what happened fifty years ago, through the most inhumane means, as can be seen from the following accounts, like scenes from a film:
More than ten days later, the whole valley was covered with the corpses of men and horses killed in the fighting at Kyépur Nakdzup, and the orphaned children and elderly unable to move elsewhere, and there were many fearsome sights to be seen, the writhing of the wounded among the dead, the babes still sucking at the breasts of their dead mothers. (from Jamdo Rinsang’s My Homeland and the Peaceful Liberation)
Those labelled “rebels” being driven to hellish prisons were treated worse than animals, as related by Tibetans incapable of making such things up: “next day we were tied suspended from the high beams across the back of the truck, so our feet did not touch the ground, and taken like that as far as Chabcha”; and “We were taken through Trika. On the way to Trika, three people in our truck died. When the truck was moving fast, the corpses were thrown to the ground off the back of the truck” (from Jamdo Rinsang’s Listening to my Homeland).
Of the imprisoned, those driven to their deaths by abuse, beatings and starvation were innumerable, and the way they were tortured and terrorized can be seen from the following: “There were many prisoners whose limbs became paralyzed, their legs folded at the hips and arms folded on their chests. They were told that they had to straighten their limbs, the soldiers tied ropes around their arms and legs to pull them apart, and many died from the pain” (from Jamdo Rinsang’s My Homeland and the Peaceful Liberation).
One old woman said: “Shot in the right thigh [considered a center of vitality] am I, get up and go on I cannot, but though they carry me away on a stretcher, fight I did!” and that fight goes on until the “stench of the fallen” of Tséring Dondrup’s Raging Red Wind. “Aku Kalden-tsang wanted to take back the bones of his dead mother and asked for them. The Peoples [Liberation] Army soldiers told him ‘If we put your mother’s bones in Aku Tsang’s mouth, will you want to eat them? What do you want to keep them for?’, and beat him up.”
They showed an utterly inhumane and appalling cruelty, difficult to hear about, much less witness, such that the sky itself can barely encompass. In prison: the Lamas were made to carry the corpses of dead prisoners, which they dumped in a ravine a little way off. The way they dumped those bodies was like the way they compress garbage in big cities today. Then that ravine became almost completely filled. They were stacked one on top of another. An average of four people
the Lamas were made to carry the corpses of dead prisoners, which they dumped in a ravine a little way off. The way they dumped those bodies was like the way they compress garbage in big cities today. Then that ravine became almost completely filled. They were stacked one on top of another. An average of four people were dying in each work team every day. There were 20 work teams. One day when the ravine was almost full, a kind of bulldozer came and dug some earth, and completely buried the piles of corpses. The cavity left by the digging was also a kind of ravine, and they dumped corpses in there too, but it filled up after two or three days. Then they dug another, on the near side. That filled up too. I know for sure that there were 15 or more of those ravines. There must have been at least 250 bodies in each of them.
Nothing could be worse than this, but take the question of weapons: the international community has managed to ban, on humanitarian grounds, the use of certain kinds of weapons in warfare by treaty agreements, such as the Dum-dum bullet and chemical weapons.
Yet the national army of the autocratic régime has used and tested such weapons in Tibet, which it turned into a terrifying battlefield, as we see from this: [speaking of bullets fired at civilians] during the so-called “uprising” , “if you pressed on the wound left by those bullets, there was nothing more than a slight depression, as they tore clean through the body and came out the other side”.
“One time, whether because of starvation, or because of a cloud of chemical vapor I am not sure, the senses and perceptions of men and cattle became dulled. Some said it was poison gas used in warfare.”
If they even used internationally banned bullets and toxic weapons, who will deny that they turned, and continue to turn, Tibet into a terrifying battlefield?
From the above, we can see that there is no greater terrorist than the totalitarian régime.
What is terrorism other than forcing and suppressing people, deluding and stupefying them, inflicting pain, contempt and torment with cruel and merciless intent, all the while keeping them in fear of their lives?
Whatever is there in totalitarianism is also there in terrorism. In particular, the terrorism of sealing down the bodies of the common Tibetan people, sealing up the mouths of the eminent ones, and sealing off the minds of the unthinking population, and the methods of state terrorism are something they have been practicing for the last half century, so who can deny that it is their basic character? If the despicable hypocrisy of handing out a brick of tea, a sack of flour and a few red Yuan [cash notes] to the poor as “Aid” for public display did not buy off the Tibetans’ incipient sense of warrior-like courage and rock-hard solidarity in the past, how will it do so now?
In brief, there are two reasons for my feeling sad: the first is that up to now the Tibetans have not developed universal conviction with respect to the universal values of freedom, equality, democracy and so on; and without the acculturated view, way of thinking, consciousness and practical application which are the roots, the foundation and the condition for such values, they will have only the view of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, not the view of living in this world; they will have only the thought of all sentient beings, not of one’s own people and lineage; they will have only the consciousness of the cosmic realm, not of one’s own land and territory; they will have only the practice of seeking refuge and prostrating themselves before the enlightened ones, not of achieving freedom and equality; they will have only the sense of royal authority, not the sense of rights and their value; they will have only inclination towards the divine and spirit worlds, and not for the human, secular realm. Having all of these haves has meant not having all the not-haves, and as these haves and not-haves came to exclude each other, so we had to suffer such consequences as these.
Second, the Karmic outcome of this was that the totalitarians turned Tibet into the lord of death’s slaughterhouse, a hellish prison, a punishment ground in hell and a terrifying battlefield following the principle of one-party rule, the way of suppressing the individual and civil society, the policy of restricting public expression and deluding the masses, the particularity of holding power by force, the extreme of eliminating distinct peoples and so forth, not just now but for over half a century.
What do I have left? Not even the right to live a simple life in freedom… Watching out for who they want to kill, who they want to arrest/Doing whatever they want with us, we who are without freedom… There is no way our lives will be spared… We who are without the slightest freedom or equality/That is how the Tibetans languishing in jail are called.
These are the words of the young poet Yung Lhundrup: “I consider myself a singer who puts the Tibetan peoples’ feelings into song”, who passed away, leaving behind many “laments of inestimable value” like “Freedom, oh freedom that is sought/You are watching over us, come what may…”, taken from his Tibetans Languishing in Jail.
The whole of Tibet turned into a prison, the brutality of massacres to eliminate whole populations; the torment of imprisonment survived by less than 10 per cent (“Of about 1,000 children and 600 elders, apart from a few children with parents and elders taken [by relatives], there were now 50 odd children left in the three work teams, and over ten elders. The rest had all died within half a year, or to be precise, within two or three months.” From Naktsang Nulo’s Fortunes of a Naktsang Kid); the yoke of an unjust and immoral legal system; the agony of hungry ghosts reduced to eating human waste and human flesh; the continuation of such hellish horrors into the present, are all a cause for terrible sadness.
(Excerpted with permission from Speaking Tiger Books.)
NATURAL TIBET – VASTNESS AND EMPTY AREAS OF TIBET SICKENED BY OCCUPATION
World must know about Real or Natural Tibet where Natural Forces, Natural Factors, and Natural Conditions shape Tibetan Identity. The vastness, and empty areas of Tibet sickened by Occupation bear testimony to burden, hardship, pain, suffering, and misery endured by Tibetans. The Blessings of Natural Freedom, and Independent Lifestyles enjoyed by Tibetans over centuries got compromised or abridged by Occupation since 1950s.
DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER
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Photographs Taken During a Journey Around Tibet in 1997 by Linda Griffiths
on 14 July 2017 •
My old blue notebook is very rough, with scribbled notes of routes, ongoing costs and map marked up. My daughter accompanied me. We took a flight from Kathmandu into Lhasa on Saturday 5 April 1997.
We received a warm welcome from the many Tibetans we met — a life-changing experience for me, a homecoming — the landscape, buildings and the people merging, and overnight stays with Tibetan families wherever possible. Initially I had altitude sickness, tight headaches and vomiting. So tiring at first being at Lhasa altitude so suddenly — only 3,590 meters. We adjusted after a few days and crisscrossed many passes way higher than Lhasa.
We stayed in Lhasa for 5 days visiting the Jokhang Temple many times and the Potala Palace once. In the streets and markets, meeting people, arranging the many visas required for each step of our journey, hiring a 4-wheel drive vehicle, with a Tibetan driver and a Tibetan guide. They made our journey a wonderful experience and kept us safe across the vast snowy high plains totally devoid of markings of any sort, not even tracks of other vehicles, no signs. Only Mountain peaks. We had to take everything with us, medicine, water, snacks, gifts and prayer flags.
On Thursday 10 April, we left Lhasa for Tsetang visiting Gonkar Chode monastery on the way, not far from the airport. We also visited Tradruk Monastery. Stayed in Tsetang — not a wonderful experience.
Friday 11 April, we took the Land rover on a ferry across the Brahmaputra — 90 terrifying minutes, then drove through desert to visit Samye Monastery for a day before returning to Tsetang for the night. Samye is amazing, wonderful.
On Saturday 12 April, we visited Chonge tombs and continued via the Luga La pass at 4,600 meters. Views of the nomadic grasslands and lakes. We stayed at Tanzik Gov. Guesthouse — best place so far. Many yaks, horses, great birds, sheep and rabbit like animals. Saw Mawochock monastery from afar hanging on a sheer cliff face.
Owing to us not being granted access to military areas we were forced to take several round about routes doubling our journey so we could visit important places. The many extra hours in the vehicle were hard but worth it.
On Monday 14 April, we arrived at Dowa Dzong capital of Lhodrak County. A drive up the winding pass of Gampa La at 4,794 meters. We looked down at the astoundingly turquoise Yamdrok Yutso Lake. Finally, a tea stop in Nakartse. High plains, vast and empty without sign of humanity, then small villages with very friendly people. Then the high pass, the Monda La at 5,266 meters. This is high altitude. Prayer flags on piles of carved rocks at the top.
On Tuesday 15 April with visited Sekar Gutok, a military town. We continued to the 9-storied tower constructed by Milarepa. A place most difficult to reach — 32 km along a very deep sided gorge with rushing waters. We felt trapped in the gorge, perhaps the rushing waters would submerge us, we felt so small. This area with the famous tower is close to the Bhutan border. It feels like the end of the world. Finally, a small village with lovely people and lots of children. At the tower, itself we were well received. We hung prayer flags outside all around the building. Very special. This was our ultimate destination of the trip. We felt a sense of fulfilment, we felt blessed.
On Wednesday 16 April, we travelled to Gyantse, a very large town where time has stood still for centuries after retracing our steps via the Monda La pass and along the side of Phuma lake, frozen over today. We turned off to Nakartse. We had a day around Gyantse visiting the great Kumbum stupa and the monastery. Next, we went to Zhigatse where we visited the large and impressive monastery with many monks. A lively place. Nice place to stay.
We decided to make a 3-day detour on our road back to Kathmandu to visit Base Camp Mt. Everest on the Tibetan side. We also visited the nearby monastery. Main memory is of vastness, empty areas, only the wind breathing.
Photographs Taken During a Journey Around Tibet in 1997 © Linda Griffiths
From a showing at the Golden Buddha Centre, Totnes.
Tags: Buddhist Photographs of Tibet, Gonkar Chode monastery, Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, Milarepa
15 July 2017 • 2:46 am
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The vastness, empty areas of Tibet suffer from unnatural event called Occupation which imposes burden, hardship, pain, suffering, and misery for it compromises or abridges Natural Freedom and Independent Lifestyles of Tibetan people.
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