Trouble in Tibet
LET THE SUPREME RULER OF TIBET GO HOME
Living Tibetan Spirits welcome the view shared by US Representatives Nancy Pelosi and James McGovern desiring the return of Dalai Lama to Tibet from his exile home in India.
Living Tibetan Spirits desire Supreme Ruler of Tibet to go home if the following two conditions are fully satisfied:
- Restore identity of entire Tibetan territory by demarcating political boundaries of Tibet and
Supreme Ruler of Tibet be replaced by Head of State elected by Tibetan citizens. The political institution of Ganden Phodrang which governs lives of Tibetans must be replaced by elected Government of Tibet.
LET THE DALAI LAMA GO HOME – THE BOSTON GLOBE
UP Media handout/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
The Dalai Lama during an interview in Dharamasala, northern India, on June 26, 2018.
Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, celebrated his 83rd birthday last week. What a wonderful gift it would be if China would treat the Tibetan people with the dignity and respect they deserve, and let the Dalai Lama go home to Tibet, whether to visit or to stay.
The Dalai Lama was born and educated in Tibet. He was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama when he was only 2, and he was just 6 when he began his monastic studies. While the Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet, he humbly describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk.
Before the Dalai Lama could finish his education, he was called to assume the leadership of his people, after China’s invasion of Tibet, in 1950. He worked to preserve Tibetan autonomy and culture, until years of growing resentment against restrictions imposed by the Chinese Communists led to a full-scale revolt in March 1959. As the uprising was crushed by Chinese troops, the Dalai Lama was forced to flee, and he eventually settled in Dharamsala, in northern India.
Since then, the Dalai Lama has been forced by China to remain in exile. For nearly 60 years, he has not been able to return to his homeland and the people he leads. This is wrong.
Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms, “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” As American citizens, we have that right and exercise it.
The Dalai Lama is renowned the world over for his commitment to peace. He has consistently advocated for nonviolence, even in the face of extreme aggression. In 1989, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his decades-long nonviolent campaign to end China’s domination of his homeland. In 2007, when Congress awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal, then-president George W. Bush called him “a man of faith and sincerity and peace.”
Living within China, the Tibetan people have many grievances. Although Chinese authorities see the Dalai Lama as part of the problem, we have long believed that he is part of the solution.
There was a time when the Tibetan goal was independence. But since the 1970s, the Dalai Lama has sought redress through negotiations. In the late 1980s, he proposed the Middle Way Approach as a path toward Tibetan autonomy within China.
Today, his commitment to nonviolence and his recognition as the spiritual leader of Tibetans worldwide confer on him an undeniable legitimacy that would be of great benefit were China willing to restart the dialogue that has been suspended since 2010.
But China has not taken advantage of this opportunity to move toward peace. Instead, authorities view the Dalai Lama with suspicion, disparage him, and accuse him of fomenting separatism. They seem to believe that with his eventual, inevitable death, they will be assured of consolidating their hold on Tibet.
We are not so sure. Today, all around the world, we see the consequences of the repression of religious and ethnic minorities.
There is still time. It is not too late for China to choose a different path. Imagine the world’s reaction if Chinese authorities were to affirm the right of the 14th Dalai Lama to return to his homeland if he so desires. Imagine if they were to afford His Holiness the respect he deserves as a man of peace. Imagine if through good-faith dialogue they sought to ease tensions, rather than implementing policies that exacerbate them. Imagine.
We urge our fellow Americans to join in calling on Chinese leaders to let the Dalai Lama go home.
US Representative Nancy Pelosi of California is House minority leader. US Representative James McGovern of Massachusetts is a ranking member of the House Rules Committee.
A WORLD SANS MILITARY – DEMILITARIZE OCCUPIED TIBET
I recommend His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s vision for a demilitarized world. To implement his ideal, I ask the world to demilitarize ‘Occupied Tibet’. The Great Tibet Problem can be resolved without use of military force. Peace, Harmony, Tranquility, Equilibrium, and Freedom in Tibet is Nature’s Gift to all denizens of Tibetan Plateau.
LAMA: DALAI LAMA FOR A WORLD SANS MILITARY
VARANASI: Dalai Lama advocated for a demilitarized world and revival of ancient Indian knowledge for global peace.
“In all my life I have noticed too many killings. Human beings killing thousands of human beings has become normal. It is really terrible. We must change it. We must think or try to demilitarize the world,” he said while delivering his concluding remarks at the two-day international conference on ‘Mind in Indian philosophical school of thought and modern science’ at the Central Institute of Tibetan Higher Studies, Sarnath, on Sunday.
He said killing enemies was prevalent in ancient time but not in today’s world.
“There are a lot of self-created problems due to lack of knowledge on how to deal with destructive emotions. The ancient Indian knowledge is relevant to tackle our emotions,” he said.
DOOMED HUMAN RIGHTS IN OCCUPIED TIBET – NO SAFE PLACE TO LIVE
During its long history, Tibet came under foreign conquest by Mongol Empire and Manchu or Qing Empire which ruled over China. But, Tibetans never lost their traditional independent lifestyle.
Tibet declared full independence on February 13, 1913 and existed as fully independent national entity until founding of Evil Red Empire on October 01, 1949 by China’s Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong. Red China’s brutal occupation transformed Tibet into Military Camp leaving no safe place for Tibetans to live.
For all practical purposes, Communist Dictator Mao Zedong is alive as his brutal, military occupation of Tibet survived his death in December 1976 which may have marked the end of Red China’s Cultural Revolution.
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Where is human rights in Tibet?
December 8, 2016, 11:07 pm IST YOUDON AUKATSANG in Echoes from the Himalayas TOI
We celebrate December 10 as the Human Rights Day to commemorate adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the UN General Assembly in 1948. This was a ground-breaking achievement because it was the first time in history that all Member States of the United Nations pledged to work together to promote the thirty Articles of human rights that was enshrined in the document.
This year’s Human Rights Day slogan Stand up for Someone’s Rights Today reaffirms common humanity and universality of humane values. It convinces us that whoever, whatever, whenever and wherever we are, we can make a difference. Each of us has the potential to make a difference in our own unique ways using a medium that comes easiest to us.
The Declaration reminds each one of us to stand up against human rights violations wherever it occurs, in a remote country, in our region, country or even at home.
This day has an added significance for Tibetans. We fondly remember the day as the Nobel Peace Prize Day as it was on this day in 1989 that HH the Dalai Lama was conferred with the Nobel Peace Prize. With this award, the international community not only recognized the commitment of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to non-violence and peace but also applauded his middle way approach and his efforts at resolving the issue of Tibet through dialogue with China.
United Nations did recognize the right to self-determination of the Tibetans and called for respect of basic human rights of Tibetans in the aftermath of Tibetan National Uprising and the coming into exile in India of HH the Dalai Lama in 1959. In fact, there were two other UN General Assembly resolutions in 1961 and 1965 condemning continued human rights violations of Tibetans. Since then, the corridors of UN General Assembly have been silent on Tibet except for rare references made during the Human Rights Council Sessions.
The international community has made out the issue of Tibet to be an issue of human rights. But for Tibetans, it is more critical than human rights violations. The issue of Tibet is about ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide. In fact, the report of ICJ which formed the basis for the UN resolutions on Tibet affirms it as early as 1959 and mentions that “acts of genocide had been committed”, and that “Tibet was at the very least a de facto independent State” before its annexation by the Chinese government in 1951.
The Tibet crisis has continued unabated since the Chinese occupation of Tibet. The Chinese state machinery clamps down on Tibetan religion, culture and language which forms the bedrock of Tibetan identity. Tibetans are arrested and imprisoned for celebrating religious festivals such as Saka Dawa or HH the Dalai Lama’s birthday.
Of the many ongoing campaigns enforced in Tibet by the Chinese regime, the most pervasive is “Patriotic education” aimed at strengthening ties between the public and the Communist Party and denouncing the Dalai Lama and “splittist forces”. According to Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD), Work Teams are formed under this campaign to cover every section of society including farmers, schools, monastic institutions and general populace.
Under the guise of this campaign, Chinese authorities interfere in the daily lives and religious practices of Tibetans. Influential Tibetans in various strata of the society particularly those with following are targeted and arrested under false allegations. Ceilings are imposed on number of monks and nuns in the monasteries and nunneries.
Recent news of demolition of Larung Gar Institute, one of the largest centers of Buddhist learning in Serthar County in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province is the most current evidence of religious repression in Tibet. Demolitions are being carried out in line with the order given by the Chinese authorities to cut the number of residents by half to 5000. Central Tibetan Administration has urged UNHCR and the international community to save Larung Gar.
With no freedom to express your identity and the shrinking space for dissent under the Chinese rule, Tibetans have resorted to self-immolation the most extreme form of protesting Chinese repression. The most recent case of self-immolation of an unidentified person was reported on December 8 at 5 pm local time in Machu county, Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province. This has taken the reported cases of self-immolations to 145.
The world can no longer afford to remain a silent spectator, it needs to stand up for the rights of Tibetans in Tibet and urge China to have a dialogue with the representatives of HH the Dalai Lama to resolve the issue of Tibet.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.
Youdon Aukatsang is currently serving her third term as an elected member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPIE). She is also the Director of Empowering . . .
Youdon Aukatsang is currently serving her third term as an elected member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPIE). She is also the Director of Empowering . . .
THE TIMES OF INDIA
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TROUBLE IN TIBET – INDIA – CHINA WAR OF 1967
India – China War of 1962 and 1967 cannot be described as border conflicts for India and China do not share a common border. These conflicts are signs and symptoms of serious malady called ‘Trouble in Tibet’, the Trouble caused by Tibet’s illegal occupation.
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THE STORY OF INDIAN ARMY’S NATHU LA & CHO LA STANDS THAT SAVED SIKKIM FROM THE CHINESE ARMY !
This is how it happened at Nathu La ::
Nathu La was the only place in 4000 km long Indo-China border where two armies were separated by a meagre 30 yards.
Chinese held the northern shoulder of the pass while Indian Army had the southern shoulder. Two dominating features south and north of Nathu La namely Sebu La and Camel’s back were held by the Indians.
It started with scuffle between sentries ::
Sentries of both the forces used to stand barely one meter apart in the centre of the Pass which is marked by Nehru Stone, commemorating Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s trek to Bhutan through Nathu La and Chumbi Valley in 1959.
On 6 September 1967, an argument soon turned into a scuffle in which the Chinese Political Commissar fell down and broke his spectacles. Chinese went back since they were thin in size. Indian Army, however, in order to de-escalate the tension decided the lay a wire in the centre of the Pass from Nathu La to Sebu La to demarcate the perceived border. The task was given to jawans of 70 Field Company of Engineers assisted by a company of 18 Rajput deployed at Yak La pass further north of Nathu La.
The actual face-off ::
The wire laying was to commence at first light on the fateful morning of 11 September 1967. With first light, the engineers and jawans started their bit of erecting long iron pickets from Nathu La to Sebu La along the perceived border while 2 Grenadiers and Artillery Observation Post Officers (AOPO) at Sebu La and Camel’s Back were on alert.
Soon, the Chinese arrived. Their Political Commissar, with a section of Infantry came to the centre of the Pass where Lt. Col Rai Singh, Commanding Officer (CO) of 2 Grenadiers was standing with his commando platoon.
The Chinese asked CO to stop the fencing. But Lt. Col was adamant as orders were clear. The argument soon turned into scuffle and once again the tiny Chinese Commissar got roughed up.
Chinese went back to their bunkers, but this time returned to salvage their insult. Minutes later a murderous medium machine gun fire from north shoulder of Nathu La ran riot and jawans of 70 Field Company and 18 Rajput were caught in the open.
Among the Indian causalities was Col Rai Singh who succumbed to the bullet injuries. He was awarded MVC later. Two other brave officers – Capt Dagar of 2 Grenadiers and Major Harbhajan Singh of 18 Rajput rallied a few troops and tried to assault the Chinese MMG but both died a heroic death. They were posthumously awarded Vir Chakra and MVC respectively. Within the ten minutes, there were nearly seventy dead and scores wounded lying in the open on the pass.
Indians in retaliation opened fire from artillery observation posts and as a result, most of the Chinese bunkers on North shoulder and in depth were completely destroyed and Chinese suffered very heavy casualties which by their own estimates were over 400. It was followed by a ferocious counter strike from the Mountaineers, Grenadiers and Rajputs which included close quarter combat also.
The artillery duel thereafter carried on relentlessly, day and night. For the next three days, the Chinese were taught a very good lesson.
On September 14th, Chinese threatened to use Air Force if shelling didn’t stop.
But by then a lesson was taught to the Chinese. Col Raj Singh and Maj Harbhajan Singh were awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously while Capt Dagar was awarded the Vir Chakra.
Another duel at Cho La (1st October 1967) ::
It again started with sentries.
Minor scuffle between Sikh sentries and the Chinese on 30th September on a flat patch of icy land of about five metres on the unmarked boundary was the start of the stand off.
Information of scuffle reached late to CO, Major KB Joshi, but he didn’t waste anytime in telling Lt Rathore about anticipating a Nathu La like backlash. The CO decided to take stoke of the situation and thus reached Rai Gap area on the way to De Coy positions in morning.
While the Indian Sentry at post 15450 was visible, Major Joshi also observed that the post was being surrounded by a section strength of Chinese troops. Major Joshi at once informed Lt. Rathore of what he had seen. The later informed Major Joshi that the Chinese Coy Commander and the political commissar were staking claims to the boulder at the sentry post.
When Gorkha taught them a lesson ::
Naib Subedar Gyan Bahadur Limbu was having a heated argument with his counterpart at the sentry post during which he rested his right foot on the boulder under dispute. The Chinese kicked his foot away. Gyan put his foot back and challenged them. Events were moving quickly.
By this time the Chinese had taken up position, presumably because their commander had already taken a decision to escalate the incident. And one of the Chinese sentries bayoneted Gyan wounding him in the arm.
The Gorkha’s response was swift and soon both arms of the Chinese who hit the JCO were chopped off with a Khukri. At this point the Chinese opened fire and the two sides engaged in a firefight at close range. Lance Naik Krishna Bahadur, the Post Commander, then led a charge against the Chinese in the vicinity who were forming up for an assault. Although hit and incapacitated, he continued to harangue his men forward.
Rifleman Devi Prasad Limbu directly behind his Post Commander was already engaged in a close quarter battle with the enemy and his Khukri took off five Chinese heads.
But he was soon claimed by a direct hit. For his actions he was awarded a Vir Chakra, Posthumous. Meanwhile at Pt. 1540 Lt. Rathore was wounded in his left arm as soon as the firing started. He nevertheless continued to lead until he was hit in the chest and abdomen and died thereafter.
From here on Major Joshi took over immediately and his accurate mortar fire on Chinese positions around Point 15450 put an end to further activity in this area.
CO took matter in his hands ::
While Point 15450 was temporarily quiet, Tamze and the Rai Gap area came under rocket and RCL fire at around 10:50 am. The mortar position at Tamze came under heavy pressure as it threatened the rear of the Chinese positions. J&K Rifles stationed there suffered heavy casualties when one of their bunkers received a direct hit by RCL fire.
Soon, Major Joshi’s escort was killed and a handful of Chinese soldiers tried to move towards Major Joshi’s party. These troops withdrew after Major Joshi took down two Chinese. The fighting, however, continued.
Chinese wanted to shift the location of fight and hence stopped firing. But immediately retaliated by bringing down fire on Timjong’s position, another position closer by.
Major Joshi, undaunted, even though alone, continued to fire until all ammunition was exhausted. By 11:30 am troops were withdrawn back from Pt. 15450 under covering fire from MMGs on Pt. 15180.
Though the Chinese shot green lights indicating a ceasefire but at Pt. 15180 Major Joshi noticed some enemy troops lined up just below the crest at Rai Gap and engaged them, forcing them to scatter. while thwarting them back into their territory, Major Joshi shot four more.
The last assault ::
Despite great show, Pt 15540 was still under Chinese control. Thus operation was launched at 1700 hours after he met his men at camp. Soon Captain Parulekar and B Coy were given the task to capture Pt 15540, but they fumbled in dark.
Chinese fired magnesium flares to see the activity but failed. Captain Parulekar realized it was risky to move further, thus he waited. At 06:40 pm, Major Joshi ordered Parulekar and the platoon to outflank the enemy from a north-west direction, while the rest of the company and supporting mortars were readied for a frontal assault.
The offensive was about to be launched when the Chinese saw Indians occupying key positions to nail them. Thus they retreated and Pt 15540 was captured without firing a single shot.
During the whole standoff, the Chinese lost more than 50 soldiers while Indian Army conceded 15 of its valiant soldiers.
TIBET’S GOLD RUSH FOR FREEDOM
Tibet’s “Gold Rush for Himalayan Viagra” may come to an end, but, who can stop Tibet’s “Gold Rush For Freedom.”
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‘Himalayan Viagra’: Tibet’s gold rush may be coming to an end
By Simon Denyer July 2
Chu Tsering, 47, poses for a portrait among the mountains surrounding China’s Xiaosumang township in late May while looking for prized caterpillar fungus with his family. (Giulia Marchi/For The Washington Post)
XIAOSUMANG, CHINA — High on the Tibetan plateau, on the sides of steep green valleys dotted with herds of grazing yaks, beneath forbidding snow-clad peaks, a line of adults and children crouch and crawl across the slopes.
They are hunting — not for game but for a tiny brown shoot poking just an inch or two above the ground amid the retreating snows, revealing a mushroom known as the caterpillar fungus. This is “Himalayan Viagra,” and it is so sought after in China for its medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities that it can sometimes fetch its weight in gold.
Tibet’s annual gold rush is in full swing, school’s out and 47-year-old Chu Tsering has brought two of his sons and one daughter on his motorbike to take part in the search.
Chu, his weather-beaten face shielded from the sun by a cowboy hat and shades, owns more than 100 yaks. But he says 90 percent of his family’s income stems from just two months of work combing the slopes.
“We couldn’t survive without it,” he says.
The same is true for hundreds of thousands of Tibetan herders across a vast swath of the plateau for whom caterpillar fungus is their main source of income, their economic lifeline and their only link to China’s growing prosperity.
Yet that lifeline is beginning to fray. Climate change and overharvesting have made the caterpillar fungus harder to find, say experts and locals, while an economic slowdown and anti-corruption campaign in China have depressed prices. Critics say the Chinese government is not doing enough to ensure the harvest is sustainable or to protect that lifeline.
Hunting for ‘Himalayan viagra’
Yak herders search for prized caterpillar fungus in China’s Tibetan plateau
QINGHAI PROVINCE, CHINA – MAY 31: Tibetan women in search of the Caterpillar Fungus on the mountains in the surroundings of Xiaosumang Township. (Photo by Giulia Marchi for The Washington Post) Giulia Marchi/For The Washington Post
“Many big Chinese universities have sent researchers, but they just want to know how to cultivate it artificially, to grow it in a lab. They completely ignore what it means for the Tibetan people,” said Daniel Winkler, an ethno-mycologist who runs the website Mushroaming.com. “How to ensure a sustainable harvest is still a big issue, and it’s not addressed. It’s unforgivable how the Chinese government is letting people down.”
The caterpillar fungus is one of nature’s more unusual creations, produced when a fungus penetrates the larva of a ghost moth, growing inside and finally killing its host after it has burrowed beneath the ground. As the snows retreat, a small shoot grows out of the shell of the dead larva, poking its nose above the soil.
It is known in Tibetan as “yartsa gunbu” — “summer grass, winter worm” — and to Western science as Cordyceps sinensis.
The first known reference to its “innumerable” medicinal qualities comes in a 15th-century Tibetan text, which recommends grinding it into a powder and boiling with a sparrow’s chest and yak’s milk. “It sharpens the senses,” the text promises, and “serves best for the purpose of libido, increasing offspring and improving vitality.”
By the 17th and 18th centuries, it was being imported into China for medical use and is mentioned in a Jesuit priest’s account of medical treatment at the emperor’s court in 1736. Even during the chaos of Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, the harvest continued, although Tibetans had to surrender what they found to the Communist Party.
But it was not until the 1990s, as China’s economy opened up and disposable incomes rose, that popular demand for caterpillar fungus exploded — and so did the price. The fungus is now recommended for kidney and lung ailments, to treat cancer and boost the immune system, with annual demand estimated at $11 billion.
Today in a high-end shop in the north-central city of Xining, 700 pieces of Grade 1 Cordyceps weighing 500 grams (1.1 pounds) sell in a velvet-lined wooden box for 264,000 yuan ($40,000), although lower-grade specimens fetch a third of that price. It is marketed as “god grass,” and shop employees don white gloves as they bring sterilized samples out of glass cases. They explain how a unique combination of trace minerals, germ plasm, organic alpine soil and unique climatic conditions give it “supernatural” qualities.
Caterpillar fungus in a shop in Xining. (Giulia Marchi/For The Washington Post)
But fascination with Tibetan mysticism is only part of the story. In 2003, as panic spread about an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the fungus was marketed as a cure. Ground into powder, made into tablets, cooked with food or even steeped in alcohol, suddenly the fungus was everywhere, and stocks in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa ran out within days.
China’s gift culture, and the corruption that accompanies it, has also popularized the product. It is far healthier as a gift than alcohol or cigarettes, and more elegant than a bulky wad of cash.
Gyegu in Yushu County is the Tibetan town at the center of the industry. When harvest time comes around in mid-May, schools are given two months’ vacation and children fan out over the grasslands with parents at their side. With their sharp eyes and shorter legs, they are far better at spotting the elusive root. Then they use a small hoe to carefully lever up a clod of earth and extract the orange “caterpillar,” still covered in mud — and much more valuable when unbroken.
But the hunt is not getting any easier, either because the mushroom is becoming scarcer or because there are simply more people looking.
Chu’s son Niman Dorje, 13, is the best in the family. He says he used to be able to find 80 Cordyceps on a good day, but nowadays 50 is a very good haul. He says it is not fun at all. “I’d rather be at school.”
His dream is to emigrate to the United States one day.
Niman Dorje, 13, poses for a portrait in the mountains around Xiaosumang township on May 31, 2016, while looking for caterpillar fungus with his family. (Giulia Marchi/For The Washington Post)
In Yushu’s market, Tibetan women in shawls and floppy hats sit on low stools, gloves on their hands and masks on their faces as they brush the mud from harvested Cordyceps. A monk wanders through with a plastic bag of muddy fungus, while others count huge wads of cash, prayer beads swaying as they thumb red 100 yuan notes, worth about $15. A crowd gathers as a big deal is negotiated, 10 pounds of Cordyceps changing hands for $42,000: The wholesale price is much lower here than in high-end retail shops in the big cities, but this still represents a substantial cash transaction.
The buyer is a man named Abo, 34. Prices have been falling for a couple of years, he says, but he’s hoping that a smaller crop this year will push them back up. “Last year, someone might have been able to find 100 pieces. Now they are only getting 10 or 20 because of the weather,” he said.
A view of Gyegu, in southern Qinghai province, perched at around 12,100 feet above sea level. Atop the hill is the Thrangu monastery, part of which was destroyed by a major earthquake in 2010 and now is rebuilt. (Giulia Marchi/For The Washington Post)
Tibetan men sell Cordyceps at a market in Yushu. The fungus is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cancer, impotence and many other diseases. (Giulia Marchi/For The Washington Post)
In February, a new threat emerged when China’s Food and Drug Administration found that powders and tablets made from the fungus contained more than four times the safe limit for arsenic. But in Yushu, dealers insist their product is safe.
“It’s because there are a lot of fakes out there,” said one dealer. “Consumers buy it and they find it isn’t working, so that affects business.”
But does the fungus actually work? While no Western studies have proved its efficacy, ethno-mycologist Winkler points to East Asian studies and research at Britain’s University of Nottingham into the potential use of cordycepin, a chemical extracted from the Cordyceps, as a painkiller in the treatment of osteoarthritis and possibly cancer.
Tibetans say the product is too expensive for them to consume, but the income it brings has transformed communities. People across the plateau have bought motorbikes and cars, solar panels, freezers and televisions. They also have financed their children’s education, stashed savings in the bank and even clubbed together to repair local roads. The fungus has brought economic empowerment and employment, including for women, says Emilia Roza Sulek, a socio-anthropologist who studied the impact of the fungus in southeastern Qinghai.
But it also has brought tales of drunkenness and gambling, of environmental degradation and even violence. Hundreds of thousands of people trample the grasslands for the fungus, leaving trash in their wake, while neighboring communities, armed with knives or rocks, often have clashed for access to the best harvest grounds, sometimes fatally. In 2013, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, appealed for calm, calling the quarrels a crisis.
Near remote Xiaosumang, Sanding Dorje patrols the slopes, ever on the alert for an out-of-town license plate on an approaching motorbike. “Some outsiders came last year and picked the fungus on a holy mountain,” he said. “But then a thunderstorm came, and they were forced to kneel and prostrate themselves, to atone for their sins.”
The family of Chu Tsering, 47, ride a motorbike on their way to harvest Cordyceps, near Xiaosumang township on May 31, 2016. (Giulia Marchi/For The Washington Post)
Xu Yangjingjing contributed to this report.
Simon Denyer is The Post’s bureau chief in China. He served previously as bureau chief in India and as a Reuters bureau chief in Washington, India and Pakistan.
TROUBLE IN TIBET – WALK THE TALK – RED CHINA’S ROAD BLOCK
The Road Map for Peace and Reconciliation in Occupied Tibet is presented as “UMAYLAM” or Middle Way Approach. However, Red China is unwilling to talk or negotiate with the Dalai Lama on the issue of introducing ‘Meaningful Autonomy’ in Occupied Tibet. While it is commendable to recommend ‘TALK’ as a tool for Peaceful Conflict Resolution, how to get Red China to Walk to The Conference Table??? If China refuses to Talk, How to Walk The Talk on Peaceful Conflict Resolution???
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OUR OPINION: GOOD ADVICE FROM THE DALAI LAMA WE SHOULD ALL FOLLOW
The Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga pose for a photo with mayors attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis on Sunday.
The message was simple, but in the midst of a presidential campaign filled with mean tweets, name-calling and a general air of nastiness, it sounded downright revolutionary and refreshing.
Be kind. Practice compassion.
That was a theme of the keynote address delivered by the Dalai Lama Sunday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting in Indianapolis. According to an Indianapolis Star report, in a discussion that followed the address, the Buddhist leader, along with entertainer Lady Gaga and philanthropist Philip Anschuwitz, talked to more than 200 of the nation’s city mayors about the importance of being kind in a violent and angry world.
He said that people are compassionate by nature, and that enemies can be the best of friends.He also noted that the time has come for America to be the leading nation in the promotion of human compassion, human love in order to achieve compassionate world.
While there are compassionate people to be found in communities such as ours, there is no denying that the national discourse has deteriorated over the years. That’s thanks in no small part to a Congress where inflexibility is prized, demonizing the opposition plays well and failure to compromise on such mammoth challenges as immigration reform is the norm. And four months from the election of a new president, things are certain to get even uglier and more divisive.
In a panel discussion short on policy proposals and heavy on philosophy, the Dalai Lama called the 20th century the century of violence,and suggested that the 21st century should be one of talk.
That sounds good to us. Now if only he can get certain folks in Washington, D.C. and on the campaign trail to listen.
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WHAT IS HAPPINESS? SUNSHINE IN OCCUPIED TIBET
What is Happiness? Without access to Sunshine, can people of Occupied Tibet find Happiness in their Living Experience?
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OpEdNews Op Eds 6/22/2016 at 08:53:29 The Dalai Lama addresses joint session of California Legislature By SHAWN HAMILTON
Note to Readers: The Dalai Lama isn’t always easy to understand due to his accent, and I hope this general overview helps people better appreciate the message he delivered to California’s top politicians. I have added brackets to indicate omissions or additions of words required to make the prose easily readable. In some cases I had to listen to a segment three or four times before I could determine a word). The Dalai Lama begins to speak about 15 minutes, 30 seconds into the video. Shawn Hamilton
The Dalai Lama greets members of legislature, California Capitol, 20 June 2016
(image by SHAWN HAMILTON )
Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalia Lama, opened his June 20th address to the California legislature (15:30) acknowledging “respected leaders” and the general audience as “brothers and sisters”. He light-heartedly kidded the legislators about their official formality before presenting a major theme of his talk–that we should concern ourselves with the welfare the 7 billion member family called humanity. Mentally, emotionally, and physically, he said, we are all the same, and assuring others’ happiness is key to our own.
“Since we are social animals, the best way to take care of oneself [is to] take care of others. Others–community–is the basis of our own happy future,” he said. Throughout his talk, he stressed the common factor of the innate humanness behind people of all religions and ethnicities, indicating, specifically, various sects of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. “This religion, that religion,” he said. “It doesn’t matter.”
Dalai Lama, California Capitol, 20 June 2016
(image by Shawn Hamilton )
Another of the Dalai Lama’s themes involved the importance of children feeling parental love after their birth, and he made an interesting, and perhaps controversial, observation. He pointed generally to the assembled legislators and said that many successful people pursue ambitions tenaciously to compensate for their inherent lack of security.
He said he’d talked with scientists who had demonstrated that compassion is the natural state of humankind. Anger, jealously, and the other “poisons”, as they’re referred to in certain Buddhist teachings, arise out of “disturbance[s] of mind” rather than being innate qualities of a healthy human being. It’s an important point. Anger and violence, greed, jealousy, etc. are not normal modes no matter how much we rationalize and justify the actions that spring from them.
This is a cause for hope, the Dalai Lama said, reminding us that happiness and peace are internal states, which external riches, titles, influence, etc. can’t ultimately provide. Again he seemed to subtly let some air out of some inflated legislative egos when he said that even homeless people can be happy if they are surrounded by a community of friends who care about them–“happier even than successful businessmen or politicians,” he said smiling. “My number one commitment is [the] promotion of human love and compassion, irrespective of whether someone is a believer or non-believer, or between this believer and that believer,” he said.
A particularly interesting part of his talk comes at about 29:15. He specifically defends Muslims, apparently trying to coax listeners out of their prejudices.
Unthinkable! Using religion as an excuse for killing, Dalai Lama
(image by Shawn Hamilton )
“More than five decades I spent in India. In India you can see [different
types of] believers live together.” He admitted that occasionally there are some problems, but he said (with a twinkle in his eye) that it is understandable, considering there is over a billion people living there. There’s bound to be a few problems. “India’s not heaven,” he said. “It’s part of the world. Some mischievous people must be there.” He went on to make his larger point that religious harmony in India is generally pretty good.
“Indian Muslims [are] wonderful. It is wrong [to persecute Muslims]. We create some bad impression [that[ “Muslim” [and] “Islam” are “militant. I have a number of friends from the Muslim community. Wonderful people! All religious traditions have [the] same potential–to create a sensible human being, a compassionate human being,” he said.
The Dalai Lama also spoke about the importance of protecting the global environment. “This planet is the only place we can live happily, “breathe happily” he said, adding that the moon is beautiful but we can’t live there. Our only hope is to take care of Earth. “There’s no other choice except [to] fully protect our own home,” he said, taking the opportunity to say that those working for the benefit of the environment are engaged in something very important and necessary.
One controversial topic the Dalai Lama raised was gun control. “Real gun control must start here,” he said, pointing to his heart. He said that in order to demilitarize the world, there must be inner disarmament, an inner demilitarization. He cites anger and jealousy as examples of two internal causes of external violence. He showed a serious and firm side of himself when he mentions how people sometimes exploit religious faiths as a rationale for killing. “Unthinkable! “In the 20th century our way of thinking is [that] whenever we have some differences, some conflict, we always think [we
can] to solve this by force That way of thinking is out of date,” he said confidently. “In this century, any problem [has to be] solved through talk–meet[ing] face to face. Now some of these people who create some sort of problems–so-called terrorists–these [problems] also have to be solved through human contact. [Keeping a] distance and using force, I don’t think, is the proper solution. That’s my belief,” he said, adding, “It’s our problem and our responsibility. Make some contribution for a better world, a happier humanity.”
Shawn Hamilton is a reporter and teacher in California. He began his teaching career in Taiwan (ROC) in 1989 when large rallies were supporting the protesters at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.