Tibet’s Supreme Ruler
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.
AT 80, THE DALAI LAMA IS ADDING LIFE TO YEARS
I am pleased to share article titled “At 80, the Dalai Lama is just getting started” authored by Lauren Markoe, published by Religion News Service. At Special Frontier Force, I am the living host of ‘The Living Tibetan Spirits’, and I work to promote Tibet Awareness. I oppose Tibet’s military occupation, and I support Freedom, Democracy, and Peace in occupied Tibet. I ask my readers to recognize His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama as the leading advocate of Democracy, a type of governance which defends the rights of people who are governed.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
The Spirits of Special Frontier Force
|The Spirits of Special Frontier ForceSpecial Frontier Force is a military organization funded by United States to secure Freedom &…|
|View on www.facebook.com||Preview by Yahoo|
RELIGION NEWS SERVICE
At 80, the Dalai Lama is just getting started
LAUREN MARKOE | July 9, 2015 |
Tibetan monks carry a portrait of the Dalai Lama during his 80th birthday celebrations in Kathmandu on Monday (July 6, 2015). Photo courtesy of
This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.
(RNS) The Dalai Lama is not done.
As the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism celebrates his 80th birthday in the U.S. this week, much of the non-Buddhist world sees a kindly, aging monk who preaches the gospel of compassion over and over in his broken English.
But many of those who follow the Dalai Lama closely say the world’s best-recognized spokesman for religious freedom is not the retiring kind. His work, they predict, may increasingly engage him with people and events far removed from centers of Buddhist thought.
“I see him stepping up the pace,” said Daniel Goleman, author of “A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World.”
“He’s traveling more and more,” Goleman said. “He said to me he’s less interested in speaking and doing Buddhist teaching” and more dedicated to sharing his vision with non-Buddhists.
Instead, watch him take on more public talks at universities, with young people and with scientists.
To what end?
The Dalai Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, has a scientific agenda to push. For decades he has studied with scientists and hosted them at Dharamsala in northern India — his home and the seat of the Tibetan government in exile. The Dalai Lama has long believed that brain science meshes with key principles of Buddhism, including the idea that anger can be mastered and compassion can be taught.
But now, said Robert J. Barnett, director of the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia University, much of the world is beginning to latch on to the science of compassion too.
“The very sudden switch of science to studying the mind has created this huge opportunity for him to be a player in that kind of discussion,” Barnett said. “That’s given him entry into universities, academia and other popular discussion about the issue.”
This, plus mounting anxieties over religious extremism, refugee crises across the globe and the intransigence of racism may make the Dalai Lama’s call for reflection and calm particularly resonant.
Buddhists account for about 488 million people — 7 percent of the world’s population — according to the Pew Research Center. Tibetan Buddhism is the smallest of the three main branches of the religion, which was founded in India in the late sixth century B.C.
Though relatively few Buddhists live in the U.S. — they account for 1 percent of the population, according to Pew — the influence of the religion is disproportionate to its adherents. That’s in part because of the Dalai Lama, said Tom Tweed, president of the board of the American Academy of Religion.
“He became an important public symbol for all sorts of values that Americans came to appreciate, including nonviolence, religious tolerance and openness to the conclusions of science,” said Tweed, who coined the term “nightstand Buddhists.”
Millions of Methodist, Catholic, Jewish and other non-Buddhist Americans have kept copies of Buddhist texts, Buddhist meditation manuals or the Dalai Lama’s writings at their bedsides, “significantly engaging in Buddhist ideas, but extracted from the context of a Buddhist temple,” Tweed said.
But in what is likely to be the Dalai Lama’s last decade to influence the world, some of those who watch him closely wonder whether he will begin to speak more pointedly on how to address human suffering, beyond his usual advice to love oneself and others.
On his birthday Monday (July 6), he took the stage with climate scientists at the University of California at Irvine to urge quick action to combat global warming. But will he voice his opinion on more prickly issues — calling out corrupt regimes or demanding that wealthier nations do more to help poorer ones? Will he wade deeply enough into a conflict to attract criticism himself?
While the Dalai Lama has been very successful at presenting Buddhism to the West and challenging Buddhists to deepen their commitment to tolerance and compassion, “he has a kind of weakness in activism,” Barnett said. “He’s not so good at taking his moral ideas into social action. He hasn’t been a Mandela or a Tutu.”
Within the Dalai Lama’s own religious community, more challenges await the octogenarian, who was born in a poor Tibetan village and declared the 14th Dalai Lama when he was a toddler. China invaded Tibet in 1950, and nine years later, he fled to India. Negotiations between him and the Chinese communist government broke down in 2010, and a year later he stepped down as the political leader of his people, hoping that Tibetan political institutions would strengthen without him as head of state. But China will not negotiate with his political successors.
Then there is the murky question of succession. In the past, high lamas — esteemed teachers of Tibetan Buddhism — have interpreted natural and other signs to find the next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. But the current Dalai Lama has said that he could be the last.
He wants the decision as to whether there will be a 15th Dalai Lama to be a democratic one, said Lobsang Nyandak, the Dalai Lama’s former representative to the Americas and the current executive director of the Tibet Fund, an organization that advocates for Tibetan refugees.
“He believes that the institution of the Dalai Lama, whether it is beneficial to humankind or not, has to be decided by the concerned people, which means primarily the Tibetan people,” said Nyandak.
But the Dalai Lama has also said his successor must continue his work, and that work is far from done. He said he would clarify the succession issue when he is “about 90.”
YS/MG END MARKOE
Categories: Beliefs, Institutions, Politics
Tags: 80, birthday, Dalai Lama, Daniel Goleman, Robert Barnett
Lauren Markoe covered government and features as a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years before joining the Religion News Service staff as a national correspondent in 2011. She previously was Washington correspondent for The State (Columbia, S.C.)