Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 17, 2008

Tibet Uprising and U.S. Government Grants

China Hand asks if the current protests around Tibet are an Tibetan Intifada. That comparison is pretty nuts in my view. Helena Cobban points out some differences.

But both seem to miss the main point.

There are hints all around that the current action by exile-Tibetans and some folks in Tibet is, at least partly, a U.S. financed attempt of another 'color revolution.' Some of the clues are collected below. Please add to them.

The current protest around Tibet in connection with the upcoming Olympics in China was planed and discussed at a conference in New Delhi in June 2007:

On the concluding second day early morning, over two hundred Indians and Tibetans listened to Jamyang Norbu, noted Tibetan writer and veteran activists for Tibet’s independence, as he explained how the next two years are crucial for Tibet, and how the Olympics could provide the one-chance for Tibetans to come out and protests “like one mighty force”. He noted that unless a mass protest occurs, Tibet would continue to slip out of the world map, leaving very little to protest for.

The strategy calls for world wide protests, a march of exiles from India to Tibet and for protests within Tibet.

While that conference was ongoing the U.S. ambassador to India was confering with the Dalai Lama:

US Ambassador to India David Mulford is on two days visit to Dharamsala beginning yesterday where he met with the exiled Tibetan leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Prime Minister in exile (Kalon Tripa), Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche.

According to a report, the US officials call the trip part of their periodic contacts with the exile Tibetan government, although the primary purpose of the visit could not be ascertained so far.
The latest visit by the US official quickly follows the U.S. Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky’s similar visit to Dharamsala last November.

Paula Dobriansky is Under-Secretary of State for Democracy & Global Affairs and a member of the neocon PNAC. She has been involved in the color revolutions in eastern Europe and coined the phrase "Cedar Revolution" for the Lebanese quagmire.

In January several organisations announced the currently running protests:

Five leading Tibetan organizations calling on exile Tibetans to take a protest march to Tibet ahead of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games today released a two-page registration-cum-declaration form to formally start registering people taking part in it.
When asked about the likely response from Tibetan inside Tibet, Mr Ngawang Woebar, president of the Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet (Ex-political Prisoners’ Association) said, “Their determination to sacrifice for the freedom of Tibet is unquestionable and even more resolute than us”.

Their declaration does not call for Tibetan autonomy but for independence:

The 2008 Olympics will mark the culmination of almost 50 years of Tibetan resistance in exile. We will use this historic moment to reinvigorate the Tibetan freedom movement and bring our exile struggle for freedom back to Tibet. Through tireless work and an unwavering commitment to truth and justice, we will bring about another uprising that will shake China’s control in Tibet and mark the beginning of the end of China’s occupation.

In further preparation, "training sessions" were given in February by several of the NGOs that called for the protests:

Forty grassroots activists representing twenty-five Tibetan communities all over India were given an Advanced Training on Grassroots Activism and capacity building from February 15-17, 2008 at Lower TCV School, Dharamshala. This workshop strengthened the coordination of the Tibetan People's Uprising Movement organized by five leading Tibetan NGOs; Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women's Association, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet, National Democratic Party of Tibet, and Students for a Free Tibet (India).

Besides the heads of the five Organizations, the 3-day workshop was also deliberated by Mr. Karma Yeshi, Member, Tibetan Parliament in Exile and Editor in Chief, Voice of Tibet, Ven. Lobsang Jinpa, Editor, Sheja (Tibetan Newsletter), Mr. Tendor, Deputy Director, SFT Headquarters, New York and Mr. Lobsang Yeshi, Former Vice President, Tibetan Youth Congress. The training subjects include the Importance of Co-ordinated Movement, Contemporary Chinese Political Scenario, Strategy and Vision, Situation inside Tibet, Olympic politics, Media and Messaging, Non-Violent Direct Action and Fund-Raising Strategy.

We will come back to some of the organisations mentioned above. But note these training sessions and how they seem to be a copy of those done with student movements during the color revolutions. As wikipedia notices:

Activists from Otpor in Serbia and Pora in Ukraine have said that publications and training they received from the US based Albert Einstein Institution staff have been instrumental to the formation of their strategies.

The Albert Einstein Institute has translated its two main 'color revolution' instruction books into Tibetian. One has a foreword by the Dalai Lama.

In 1959 the CIA organised and financed the uprising in Tibet and the Dalai Lama escape. The CIA program ended in the late 60s, but under Reagan a new initiative was started and since then  the U.S. governments sponsors so called Non-Governmental Organizations which have funded many of the Tibetan exile organisations. Most of these efforts are branded as 'humanitarian' or as 'democracy promotion'.

A 2007 report (pdf) by the Congressional Research Service lists various U.S. organisations that currently provide U.S. taxpayer dollars to Tibetan exile organisations. The summary says:

United States foreign operations appropriations for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) primarily support democracy-related programs, particularly rule of law training, and support Tibetan communities. The U.S. Congress has played a leading role in providing funding for such programs, which has grown from $10 million in FY2002 to $23 million in FY2006.

Under Key Actors the report lists the State Departments Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL). That Bureau is part of Paula Dobriansky's organization.

Congress has supported increased funding for DRL’s Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HRDF). Appropriations for HRDF grew from a yearly average of $13 million in FY2001-FY2002 to $33.7 million in FY2003-FY2005. Congress provided $63 million for HRDF in FY2006. China programs account for about 25% of spending from its Democracy Fund. Most DRL funding goes to U.S.-based NGOs, including universities, while some subgrants go to PRC “partner NGOs.”

A footnote explains:

Because of political sensitivities, DRL does not disclose the names of its grant recipients.

Another Key Actor listed is the National Endowment for Democracy (NED):

NED was created by and obtains nearly all of its funding from the United States government. [...] During the FY1999-FY2003 period, about 38% of U.S. government funding for democracy-related programs in China was allocated through the Endowment

It is hard to decipher where all this money is going to. The NED website lists some of the recipients of its 2006 grand programs. These include:

Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet - $40,000
International Campaign for Tibet - $53,000
Tibetan Women's Association - $30,000
Longsho Youth Movement of Tibet - $15,000
Voice of Tibet - $35,000

Note that these organisations are the same that have called for and organized the current uprising.

(For some additional bits on NED's meddling take a look at this South Asia Analysis Group report).

While these groups seem to differ with the Dalai Lama in that they call for independence while the Dalai Lama offically only calls for autonomy, that may not really be so. All the above organisations claim to be endorsed by the Dalai Lama. They get money from the same sources the Dalai Lama gets his check from.

One of the Dalai Lama's central financial source seems to be the New York based Tibet Fund. In its 2002 report the Fund declared:

In 2002 the Tibet Fund became a registered USAID PVO (Private Voluntary Organization). Since none of the funds appropriated under the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act may be made available to any PVO that is not registered with USAID, this important step makes us now eligible to apply for USAID assistance resources, including grants, cooperative agreements and subventions.

The Funds latest available budget report is from 2005 (pdf). In it the Fund lists $2.5 million of U.S. government grants in total revenues of just $5 million. Most of these grants are from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration which is also part of Dobriansky's organization. The fund itself spend 2.7 on grants and contracts to other organisations and gave $500,000 to the 'office of the Dalai Lama'.

There is a lot of propaganda involved in the numbers and 'facts' thrown around about Tibet. In 2000 an long Indian magazine piece took much of these apart. I recommend to read it to understand that there is at least an alternative view to what the U.S. financed Tibetan exile NGO hodgepod claims.

The current protests by Tibetan exiles and in Tibet are at least partly financed with U.S. governent money and have similarities with the color revolutions. Unlike those they are likely to fail. The Indian government stopped the exile-march and the Chinese will make sure that any protest in Tibet will be supresses.

The U.S. for many years supports "His Holiness the Dalai Lama", a colorful but theocratic figure. It is one of its trump card to put pressure on China whenever it feels that such is appropriate.

Now explain to me again how that in any way relates to Gaza?

Posted by b on March 17, 2008 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink


Dalai Lama: "I Won’t Stop the Tibet Protests" — The Dalai Lama said that he would not instruct his followers inside Tibet to surrender before Chinese authorities, and he described feeling “helpless” in preventing what he feared could be an imminent blood bath. He endorsed the right to peaceful protest, accusing Beijing of carrying out “a rule of terror".

Most excellent work b...

Posted by: | Mar 17 2008 17:46 utc | 1

I could hope for some good end, but I do not see it coming. What I see coming is a massacre from the same people that brought you Tiananmen square. And I think that is the purpose for which the Bush crowd is pushing for demonstrations.

We know that the Bush crowd does not care one iota for the lifes of commoners, the question to my mind is - does the Tibetan leadership care that there followers are going to be massacered?

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Mar 17 2008 18:17 utc | 2

thank you, again b - for these incomfortale truths

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 17 2008 18:29 utc | 3

The revolt in Tibet is not like the Intifada, because unlike the Israelis in Gaza, the Chinese are not waging a war that puts the survival of Tibetans at risk. But the "color revolution" argument and the imputation that His Holiness is a CIA stooge is simply infantile in all its aspects. If the Chinese do make a demonstration of brutal force along the lines of the Tiananmen Square Massacre they will only multiply their own problems and ruin their international image.

And anyway there seems to be quite a difference of cultural milieu between Tibet and the Ukraine. Of course the neocon rats and PNAC-niks would try to insinuate themselves into the situation, but that neither prooves that they are running it or that they inspire it in any fundamental way. I am just surprised at the innuendo that is built up in b's argument around the exile groups who are concerned about what is happening in their country.

We are all making our judgements on scant information that has come out of Tibet; but if this is truly a grassroots revolt against intolerable cultural imperialism, then the narrative of outside agitation will be the narrative of apologists for China.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 17 2008 19:22 utc | 4

@Copeland -

I have connected dots that seem to definitly be there. Are all of these connections correct? I don't know, I ask you to add. Is that inuendo?

the imputation that His Holiness is a CIA stooge is simply infantile in all its aspects

Well, "His Holiness" and the US government have admitted that much in the NYT, no less. That CIA finance spree happened in the 50s and 60s.

The CIA's regime change operations have been replaced by the USAID/NED nexus during Reagan's time.

The links I provided obviously prove that the Dalai Lama and many of the exile organisations do get significant U.S. government funds through a chain of "NGOs". I doubt that such funds are given without conditions. A few thousand bucks certainly make for a good living for an Tibetian exile in India. For them its a fine source of money and why not play up some show for this once a while?

We are all making our judgements on scant information that has come out of Tibet; but if this is truly a grassroots revolt against intolerable cultural imperialism, then the narrative of outside agitation will be the narrative of apologists for China.

Does that mean I have to stop such "narrative", which might eventually be correct, because China could abuse it? What about reports of Tibetians hunting down Han-race people in the streets on Lhasa (I linked to such in the last Tibet thread)?

In the "cultural suppressed" Tibet, where the "Chinese imperialism" rules that is so devastating "intolerant to religion", Buddhist monks have taken to the streets.

If all what the exiles claim is true, why are there Buddhist monks in Tibet at all? How come gastly China hasn't killed them all, closed down the monestaries and suppressed all contacts?

There were a lot of monasteries in Tibet destroyed during the Chinese "cultural revolution". But that maniac operation wasn't directed against Tibetian culture. It hit the slightly bigger rest of China just the same way.

(But such movements as the Tibetian exiles always claim that they were the only ones hit in such idiotic killing sprees. The holocaust is the "greatest crime", but 20 million Russians died in the war my ancestors waged against them. The people in Georgia claim to have been genozided through hunger by Russia through some early period of communist rule. But at the same time many more Russians than Georgians died of hunger.)

As r'giap has noted, I consider myself a practicing Buddhist. I have had lectures by the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist teachers. It is not fun for me to point out how the great Buddhist philosophy is getting abuses for nefarious great game politics.

But I'll not close my eyes to this just because it is uncomfortably or could be used as "narrative of apologists for China." You shouldn't either.

Posted by: b | Mar 17 2008 20:28 utc | 5

I remember arguments in the past that international public opinion would never accomplish anything against South African apartheid. But apartheid did end, and I believe international condemnation played a part. People want to believe they are doing the right thing.

If China is susceptible to any pressure from international public opinion - that maybe it shouldn't be an imperial power running Tibet just because it used to run Tibet at various times in the past - then the Olympics might be a good time to apply that pressure.

I don't believe the Dalai Lama says what he says just because he received a few dollars from the CIA back in the 1950's. And I really don't care if the neocons funnel a few tens of thousands of dollars to their favorite exile organizations.

Add my voice to the call for the Chinese to stop pouring Han immigrants into Tibet. They could give independence to Tibet and it would hurt them nowhere but in the imperialism gland.

Posted by: Voting Present | Mar 17 2008 20:55 utc | 6

I think this promotion of ethnic hatred and religious fundamentalism by the West has to stop. By any civilized standard the Olympic games should be held without the USA because of their barbaric crimes against humanity.

Posted by: antonymous | Mar 17 2008 21:41 utc | 7

There are far more solid arguments to be made in support of Tibetan autonomy or even independance from China than there ever was to support Georgian or Ukrainian opposition against a government made up and voted in by their own people. Which doesn't exclude that neo-cons goons help all of them and try to use them.
Right now, I think that Swedish is right on the money. BushCo will try to use Tibetans the same way they used Kurds: convince them to revolt in what obviously is a failed and doomed attempt, then let them be butchered by the thousands, just to make their overlords look bad. In a way, that is the most surprising with Kosovo: they acted militarily quickly, once the infighting and massacres began, and didn't let the Serbian army destroy the whole province before the bombing began.

By the way, if people compare this to the intifada, does it mean that in fact the powers intend to let the Tibetans be killed then assimilated or expelled by the Chinese without doing anything more than verbal protests for the record?

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Mar 17 2008 21:42 utc | 8


First, I apologize for being so combative. I shouldn't have used the term "narrative" either, since it is misused often on blogs in rhetorical contests. I'll put it this way: I don't ask you to give up any theory of causality, if you have evidence, and you believe you're on the right track. Having said that, I'm still not convinced of the "color revolution" argument, as applied to Tibet, that you seem to be making. The decision the CIA took in the 50s and 60s to help a very young Dalai Lama escape Tibet and fund the setup of exile offices and services, does not imply necessarily the collusion and moral compromise of the Dalai Lama. It does not render him, or his associates, CIA assets or demostrate that present events are part of a political conspiracy hatched in Washington.

You can make a case for this having happened in Ukraine where only political and economic carrots are in hand. Tibet's struggle, on the other hand, is about religion, culture, and identity.

I think what I resent most about the argument that has been offered, is that I find it to be a formulaic reproduction, a recapitulation of outside agitator theory, applied to a situation where it doesn't apply. Some revolts against injustice are spontaneous. You wouldn't say Tiananmen Square was a CIA operation. Why are you so inclined to believe that guys in suits are pulling the levers in Tibet?

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 17 2008 22:13 utc | 9


That is a great piece of work. I much appreciate the hours of googling that went into it.

Posted by: | Mar 17 2008 22:14 utc | 10

the dalai lama is one teacher, among many. i do not feel an inordinate sympathy for tibetan independence. as someone noted here - had the west been controlling it - it would just be another south asian whorehouse. & that would have been the necessary geopolitical contingency

that being said - i also do not feel sympathetic to the new emporers of peking nor in any of their imperial projects - the chinese communist party has also been overmelodramatic as it was in tiananmen - they were nothing more than protests - protests that used to occur regularly in the western world before we became docile - neither the protests today or those in tienanmen constitute any real threat to civil society, let alone the state

china has the potential as a nation & as a people to lead us out of the shit - instead they are polluted by the comprimise engaged with nixon & kissinger & their current adoration of the chicago school of economics

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 17 2008 23:00 utc | 11

I also look forward to the ascendance of new, secular, overlords from the East. Minor point, disagreed that Tienanmen was only protests. Widespread rioting behind the scenes scared the crap out of the CPC. Tibet's cultural cohesion makes it an embarrassing, if ultimately crushable, flashpoint, and it frustrates efforts to turn it into a Disney-style ethnicculturevillage theme park like Hainan Zhonghua. The Han do what they can to demonize the monks with propaganda, but with nothing like the success of GOP anti-atheist pogroms. US covert aid is no doubt worthless to them compared to the more competent support of India's fine spooks.

Posted by: ...---... | Mar 18 2008 0:49 utc | 12

Can we consider Tibet in the same context as Ireland, Basque Spain, Quebecois, the Southern States? An area seeking some kind of autonomy/nationhood of its own definition. And don't we in the West resist those movements in our own backyards?

Are the Chinese really approaching this issue any differently than Abraham Lincoln did in similar circumstances? In his time, Pierre Trudeau, a great liberal,
invoked the War Measures Act to stem secessionist activities in Quebec.

We're not on the ground; we really don't know who is doing who, or what their motivations and histories are.

Is the US Govt involved? Most likely - they seem to be everywhere; begging the question, why such unemployment rates? Couldn't they just stir up some more shit and employ some out of work factory workers.

Posted by: Allen/Vancouver | Mar 18 2008 3:02 utc | 13

Can we consider Tibet in the same context as Ireland, Basque Spain, Quebecois, the Southern States? An area seeking some kind of autonomy/nationhood of its own definition. And don't we in the West resist those movements in our own backyards?

Are the Chinese really approaching this issue any differently than Abraham Lincoln did in similar circumstances? In his time, Pierre Trudeau, a great liberal,
invoked the War Measures Act to stem secessionist activities in Quebec.

We're not on the ground; we really don't know who is doing who, or what their motivations and histories are.

Is the US Govt involved? Most likely - they seem to be everywhere; begging the question, why such unemployment rates? Couldn't they just stir up some more shit and employ some out of work factory workers.

Posted by: Allen/Vancouver | Mar 18 2008 3:04 utc | 14

Interesting post, Bernhard, but I would take issue with a few points.

First, US color-coded revolutions (Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Ukraine, Lebanon) usually occur within the context of contested elections (standard playbook being contested elections, International Republican Institute alleges vote fixing based on its polling, indignant patriots gather in main square etc. etc.etc.). No elections or color coded revolutions happening in Tibet in the foreseeable future. I don't think it's a valid analogy in this case.

Second, there is a significant divergence between the Dalai Lama and the hotheads on how militant to be in dealing with China. It's quite unlikely that TPUM is some sneaky project of the Dalai Lama. More likely, it is what it appears to be: an initiative by angry emigres who feel that the Dalai Lama's conciliatory policies are going nowhere.

Third, the Dalai Lama got royally screwed by the US and the CIA when Nixon went to China and the US abruptly terminated all support for the Tibetan guerrillas. The US acknowledges Chinese sovereignty over Tibet and Taiwan and the Bush administration has bent over backwards to conciliate the Chinese in these matters. With this background, the Dalai Lama isn't going to believe that the Bush administration is going to go freedom-agenda happy over Tibet and he's not going to whip up an insurrection expecting that the US is going to provide any meaningful backing.

I wouldn't be surprised if various Bush administration figures and departments are happy to fish in troubled waters and provide funding and assistance to TPUM in order to poke a stick in the Chinese eye. But this isn't a color-coded revolution and the US is probably just along for the ride instead of running the show or providing decisive support.

Finally, I may be misreading your not-an-Intafada comment to be an assertion that I am incorrectly presenting the unrest in Tibetan regions as an entirely indigenous phenomenon. Actually, I'm pointing out in my post that the emigre Tibetan People's Uprising Movement's manifesto talks about engaging in direct action this year inside and outside of China and said:

One doesn't have to choose between the local powderkeg and outside agitator narratives to wonder if there was any coordination and planning between the demonstrators inside and outside Tibet.

At the same time, I think it would be a mistake to underestimate the genuine anger of many in Tibet, and the alacrity with which many of them would respond to any call to protest or "direct action".

Posted by: China Hand | Mar 18 2008 4:37 utc | 15

The world has long been overlooking the open sore on Shina's haunches. That there are some forces that are using an inopportune moment for China in order to aggravate this wound is just China's just desserts for its continuing occupation.

Do you think they are really going to get away with portraying the Dalai Lama as a force for violence revolution?

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 18 2008 8:18 utc | 16

The Dalai Lama is a source for backwardness and violence, too. The claims about individual rebirth are actually pretty anti-Buddhist, a fake to provide worldly legitimation for a theocracy.

Same for the totalitarian structure of this particular sect and their beliefs in spirits and demons, this is very antithetical to other Buddhist denominations, whether or not it actually is a religion or a philosophy or "Weltanschauung".

Anyway this is being totally overplayed in the media because it fits the West's and multinational corporations agenda of stirring up ethnic and fundamentalist hatreds, as well as the old colonialist traditions.

China should equally be going to attempt some divide'n'conquer moves now, if the supposed communist elites really are that savvy.

Posted by: antonymous | Mar 18 2008 12:11 utc | 17

Antonymous, who are you to say what's "anti-Buddhist" or not. These beliefs you condemn are the beliefs of the DL's Lamaist sect. They are welcome to maintain their beliefs; I have no problem with Mormons calling themselves Christians though they have beliefs that differ from my Catholic ones. So long as the Lamaists don't force other sects to hold their beliefs they do nothing wrong in having such "anti-Buddhist" beliefs incorporated into their Buddhist sect.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Mar 18 2008 13:19 utc | 18

Today my local dead-tree paper says that Dalai Lama is threathening to resign (or something) if rioting does not stop and points out that his goal is selfdetermination not independence. His aide reinforces that non-violence is central. Are we dealing with a rift between militant and non-militant, TPUM and Dalai Lama?

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Mar 18 2008 15:20 utc | 19

Swedish, I was expecting this statement from the DL sooner. We should've heard this from him right when the violence started, as reports of Tibetans attacking Han Chinese people and business were heard along with the Chinese troop violence. The DL should've been more prompt. I wonder though, if people are going to brand him a CIA/Mossad/black-helicopter/roswell-alien/whatever conspiracy puppet no matter what he says.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Mar 18 2008 15:28 utc | 20

Are we dealing with a rift between militant and non-militant, TPUM and Dalai Lama?

Maybe - some of the protesters say so much - I am unsure about this. It could well be a "good cop/bad cop" play. See comment no.1 - the DL first didn't call for peaceful behavio and, has I point out in my post, has the same money sources than the exile-protesters.

There was also a comment yesterday from one of his spokespersons that the DL could change his call for autonomy into one of independence when the exiles would vote for that.

It is somewhat wierd how the "western" press plays this. It was obvious that the Tibetians were violently rioting including attacks on ethnic Han and burning of police stations and chinese banks. But the NYT editorializes how "China Terrorizes Tibet". As if such a headline reflects the reality or is helpful.

Posted by: b | Mar 18 2008 16:10 utc | 21

youtube: TOP SECRET-CIA: Keep Chinese Annoyed and Disturbed by Tibet

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 18 2008 16:32 utc | 22

Hey Inkan1969,

I know thats the US-American idea of "religious freedom", how fresh and innocent. But here in Europe we've actually learned that this type of freedom stops when the religious try to impinge on our civic freedoms! Yes it's un-american, but thats how we do it here.

And please consider, China has roughly one and a half millenia of Buddhism in its history. So much that it's one of its three basic national ideas. And that's what is the real thing here, not the western urban instructors who need the money and feed spectacular esotericism to their pupils.

Posted by: antonymous | Mar 18 2008 17:02 utc | 23

antonymous, I said, "So long as the Lamaists don't force other sects to hold their beliefs". So I already covered impingement of civic freedoms. And since you insist on thinking of me as a "them" vs. the "us" that you're a part of, I guess I'll have to think of you as a "them" instead of the human I was thinking of you before...

I'm glad that China has retained Buddhism as a national ideal in the face of the Cultural Revolution. But should we define their version of Buddhism as the only real thing?

Posted by: | Mar 18 2008 17:15 utc | 24

antonymous, I said, "So long as the Lamaists don't force other sects to hold their beliefs". So I already covered impingement of civic freedoms. And since you insist on thinking of me as a "them" vs. the "us" that you're a part of, I guess I'll have to think of you as a "them" instead of the human I was thinking of you before...

I'm glad that China has retained Buddhism as a national ideal in the face of the Cultural Revolution. But should we define their version of Buddhism as the only real thing?

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Mar 18 2008 17:15 utc | 25

Well what frightens me the most is that the 'Free Tibet' movement is, on a human level, mostly about hate. Whether it is the uniformed, vandalizing monks that are now supposed to pass for a democratic movement. Or whether it is the Westerners who go into hysterical fits of hatred despite not even knowing anything about the matter at hand. The lies being propagated along the lines of genocide, massacres are so utterly grotesque in the face of reality.

It really is the type of agitation thats normally being used by Nazi and similar groups. I personally think that Colin Goldner is right when he assigns the Dalai Lama cult with a lot of labels from clinical psychology.

It's not like there's a shortage of democratic initivate among the students etc in China, but those aren't even the ones the western 'democracies' are talking to, instead preferring another go at Talibanization.

Posted by: antonymous | Mar 18 2008 19:24 utc | 26,21985,23400691-5005961,00.html

Posted by: Peter Hofmann | Mar 18 2008 20:58 utc | 27

Peter Hofmann

Chinese beaten mercilessly - tourists

Posted by: | Mar 18 2008 21:46 utc | 28

China Hand on a split between the Dalai Lama and the exile-militants: Black Days for the Dalai Lama ...courtesy of the Tibetan People’s Uprising Movement

Posted by: b | Mar 19 2008 1:08 utc | 29

Ok. Japan invades, rapes, destroys lowland china in 37-45 and it must burn in the hell of chinese indignation forever and constantly be reminded of the fact (and probably rightly so to some degree).

China invades, rapes, destroys tibet from 50/59 through to 2008 and its all fine and dandy and we are doing them a favour, building railways and disneyfying the place and what not.

The chinese people need to get there heads around this hypocracy. Its the only logical argument that may have a chance of penetrating the cyberwar blogs of the PLA and the utter dreck mill of CCTV.

I look forward to lots of black panther style tibetan flags on the victory dias and on victory laps at the olympics, along with a few falun gong immolations thrown in for good measure in the grandstand.

I also had a random through last night that the IOC (or whatever it was back then) could be excused for the 36 berlin olympics as when they picked berlin in 32 it was still the weirmar republic and even up until 36 the nazi's true evil was not completely apparent to only the most astute pundits. But for 2008 they've had 20+ clear years of evidence of what the PRC is about and still they chose it.

Posted by: rossco | Mar 19 2008 8:33 utc | 30

The only valid Nazi comparison is the USA - the only country that is actually killing millions and conducting offensive wars and new, creative forms of genocide.

The Tibetan protesters are a bunch of Nazi-style bastards themselves. If the "free West" had not gone neo-fascist the events would be labeled as pogroms. Burning foreigners, what a way to show your spiritual enlightening!

Posted by: Emilio | Mar 19 2008 11:45 utc | 31

oh rossco, the olympics need to become less politicized, not more. in fact I believe they should be held in Greece exclusively.

once you start down the path of excluding nations for what they do or don't do you can find reasons to exclude anyone and everyone. what have you gained? why should the atheletes pay for something they have no control over? as Emilio mentions above, there is amble reason to exclude the US from the games.

Posted by: dan of steele | Mar 19 2008 12:14 utc | 32

the current action by exile-Tibetians and some folks in Tibet

The people of Tibet are called Tibetans. Do them a favour and at least get their name right.

Posted by: Ron F | Mar 19 2008 16:55 utc | 33

Thanks Ron, corrected.

Posted by: b | Mar 19 2008 17:06 utc | 34

As another disappointed wearer of the red star/reader of the red book I leapt to the other end of the teeter-totter in the early nineties, vowing to wear my Free Tibet t-shirt until it happened. It fell to shreds and was replaced several times before I realized I had no idea what the scene was there. Today I am appreciating the opportunity to learn from others who are trying to find the balance between the dogmas.

Posted by: red rover | Mar 20 2008 22:51 utc | 35

This is the best debate I have come across on this matter but that is part of the problem. Is it just me or has anyone else made a connection between the 'banking crisis' and the renewed interest that the US are taking in this 'anniversary'. Only the other week Bush said he would not boycot the Olympics.

I think its a safe bet that the US spooks are deeply involved but are they planning to go all out on this or just keep the wound open. I think the imperialists NEED to get more war going as a 'solution' to their economic problems they have done it twice already this century.WWI and WWII.

Posted by: Ferryman 5 | Mar 22 2008 11:38 utc | 36

I appreciate the article and comments, interesting and sane. I hope I don't ruin it. Doesn't it make sense in route to a one world government that you would want to under mine other regions of the world? The nefarious PNAC and Bush regime and other corporate and world leaders have been playing havoc on democracy through out the world. Many, many common people are dead, Africa, middle east, South America. The United States is one step away from marshal law. Will they or we, I haven't decided if I'm staying,Just kidding!(Americans) join the rest of the world as victims of genocide? As the elite move undercover for profit and security, the media print uprisings in faraway places. There was a time in America the people yelled: THE BRITISH ARE COMING!!!, THE BRITISH ARE COMING!!! We seem so docile. The cry for today is: THE FASCISTS ARE HERE!!!, THE FASCISTS ARE HERE!!! I like the argument about Tibet. I admire the Tibetans for fighting the elitist oppressors even if it is only a small political elbow to the kidney.

Posted by: Wokenwolf | Mar 25 2008 14:55 utc | 37

Just put it in historic perspective. A few years after the Communists entered Tibet, they started planning gradual reform to 1. abolish serfdom (slavery) in Tibet 2. "separation of church and state". This certainly unnerved the Tibetan ruling class - slave masters, lamas, monks, etc. With the support of CIA, armed rebellion occurred. So it should be clear what kind of Tibetans formed the core of the exile Tibetan government. Compare that to American Civil War, a little analogy?

Posted by: China History | Mar 28 2008 6:11 utc | 38

take a look at this,
especially [shameless plug] comments at the end.

Posted by: denk | Mar 28 2008 8:54 utc | 39

the link again

Posted by: denk | Mar 28 2008 8:57 utc | 40

Numbers and facts about Tibet
Man that article is a load of junk and you use it as reference? He states clearly at the beginning that he is biased and he also states that he was in Tibet for only FIVE days.
I was in Tibet for five weeks in 1997 and I think I can truly say I was in contact with some of the locals (including monks) having a translator along who was not on government payroll.

Certainly not all tibetans are holy and peaceful and calm, but given how communist china has fucked them over and over again, I am always surprised at how calm they still are alltogether. I would certainly consider any means justified targeting an oppressor who did what china does if it happened in my country or to my people.

I suggest you all go visit Tibet yourself for a reality check instead of making stupid assumptions. And while you are there, try distributing postcards of the Dalai Lama in a public place (yeah just postcards) and then see what happens to you - if you dare.
You bunch of lame loosers arguing from your safe couch make me sick. I bow to any tibetan any day who still lives in that country under that regime.

Posted by: NoThanks | Mar 29 2008 0:30 utc | 41

NoThanks, what reality did you really see during your five weeks in Tibet? I am looking for "numbers and facts", not just rhetoric.

Posted by: China History | Mar 29 2008 4:31 utc | 42

no thanks
And while you are there, try distributing postcards of the Dalai Lama in a public place (yeah just postcards) and then see what happens to you - if you dare**

"I've been a foreign tourist in Tibet myself on three occasions since 1985. Each time, I met tourist after tourist who, in an interval of a few weeks at most, had become infatuated with a kind of vicarious Tibetan nationalism, Sometimes it was because of one or two conversations with inevitably pro- Western English-speaking Tibetans (there are many returnees from India now); sometimes it was a rather thoughtless extension of genuine awe for Tibetan culture. But often enough it was something much more sinister. Many a blond, blue-eyed "Tibetan" nationalist with a backpack was convinced that the Tibetans were nothing but a race of "noble savages," doomed to the same kind of extinction at the hands of the Hans that native Americans have suffered at the hands of the West. "

According to the REVIEW [15 Oct.], the mob used children to seize automatic weapons from policemen and set a car alight at the height of the violence. Of course, that is horrible, callous, cynical manipulation. But there are plenty of foreign tourists who would use the whole of the Tibetan people to take out their petty anti-communism and narrow-mindedness on China"
1987 another cia instigated riot
how many people, hans and tibetans alike died in that riot ?

here are some of the known casulaties, old men, young girls, hans and tibetans, in the current cia instigated riot...


so the beastly chinese finally send in the riot troops, after ONE WEEK of deadly riots, which claim many lives of chinese , muslim huis and tibetans alike...




i bet in more civilised countries, such harmless youthful exuberance would be tolerated without interference eh ?
china ought to apply for a gunineas world record, as the first ever sovereint country to be savaged by the "international community" for.....putting down a murderous deadly riot.

btw, i think tibet can do without this kind of "daring" backpackers like you, goodbye and good riddance.

Posted by: denk | Mar 29 2008 5:36 utc | 43

I never claimed there was no riot, nor did I defend it.
I just said that after over 4 decades of oppression, I am suprised at how overall peaceful the tibetans still are.
I don't know how such "exuberance" would be handled in "more civilized" countries, but I can think of many examples where people in "civilized countries" started worse riots for a lot less (e.g. France as just one example).
If the CIA "supported" these riots certainly doesn't make them any better.

But givin the tibetans as a whole a hard time for this riot is just lame (even if there are some that let themselves be used by the CIA or whomever).
After what the Chinese did and still do in that country, a lot more tibetan anger would still qualify as justified self-defense imho (and probably would in any court of law in a civilised country).
Go read the AI report on Tibet

And if I am a daring backpacker, what does that make you then? Just a bloody dumb tourist I guess.

Posted by: NoThanks | Mar 29 2008 18:59 utc | 44

@NoThanks - after over 4 decades of oppression, I am suprised at how overall peaceful the tibetans still are.

Well - who was oppressed then?

In 1950, before the Chinese came in most of the Tibetians were mere serfs. The monastries and the big feudal landowners "owned" and suppressed them. It was a brutal medivial system.

(And don't ask what all the small boys the monks drafted into the monastries had to go through...)

When the Chinese came in, the Tibetan elite didn't protest much. When the Chinese in 1955+ started to do landreform, taking land from the big landowner and monastries and freed the serfs and communalized the land, the "elite" in Tibet started to revolt.

It did so with very heavy support form the CIA (including state site guerillia training for some Tibetans). In the ensuing fight the "elite" CIA fighters killed more Tibetan civilians than Chinese.

I have seen no source that claims that the freed Tibetan serfs ever supported the "elite" CIA supported fighters in there action.

The bad time for Tibet, as well as for all China, came in the culture revolution and the "long leap forward". Monastries were closed, monks got slaughtered or put into jail. This was not a China-on-Tibet action, but a phenomenon across all of China. The Shaolin monastries, the confuzian schools across China were ramsacked the very same way than the Tibetan buddhist monstaries were. Bad times for everyone.

Since that phase is over, the Chinese have been quite sensible towards Tibet. China has a one child policy (in rural areas two childs if the first is a girl). Noone likes it, but it prevents famine. Tibetans are allowed three childs per family. The monastries get state subsidies.

Now explain to me how that is descriminating. Explain to me how the return of the feudal ruling class would be welcomed by the former serfs.

Most of the Tibetans would still be serfs under a medivial god-king and a corrupt monastry "elite" clan if the Chinese would not have changed that. The Dalai Lama btw says as much. What "exiled" to India is exactly that "elite". The Tibetan very well know this.

Still - there is recently a bad feeling against Chinese within the Tibetan cities. The opening of the new railway into Tibet has doubled the tourists. Han-Chinese immigrants (some 10% of the population in Tibet) have made good profits of those while the Tibetans were slower to adopt to it.

That's good cause for some riots (I've been in some myself though not in Tibet.) That is NO GOOD CAUSE FOR RACIAL KILLINGS as they have happend through the recent riots.

Some Tibetan crossed a huge line. They killed people. After a week the federal police stepped in and locked down the city.

That is not "oppression" but something that would happen in any fair minded nation.

Posted by: b | Mar 29 2008 19:34 utc | 45

I cannot stop being amazed by b's deep knowledge about China-Tibet history. I hope people like No Thanks can show their own deep knowledge on the other side; otherwise it's just blind passion - useless at best and harmful at worst.

Posted by: China History | Mar 30 2008 4:17 utc | 46


you say the french riot was worse, do you know, or even care, what happen in this tibetan riots -- young han women and old men got their skulls bashed in with rock, young tibetan salesgirl burned alive in a store ?
was the french government dissed by the "international communities" for taking the necessary action to quell the riot ?

we keep hearing western reports about repression in tibet, genuine tourits with a less bigoted view who went there paint a rather different picture

with tibet's exemption from tax and national policies like the one child rule, heavy subsidise in economy and education, i wouldnt be surprised if some hans are complaining about "reverse discrimination". if you can show me any other minorities region in any part of the world which receive such preferential treatment, i am glad to hear.

even this china critic conceded that the typical tibetans are a rahter contented lot, the man was fretting that the tibetans have lost their fervor for revolution [sic]

the fact that all three rebellions so far are cia rent a mob black ops speak for themselves.

1959,you wanna kill chinks

I learned of the participation of some 50 foreign tourists in the recent Lhasa riots

Tibet, the 'great game' and the CIA

Posted by: denk | Mar 30 2008 4:27 utc | 47

From the the AI report on Tibet, I do not see how the Chinese government treats the Tibetans any worse than people in other parts of China. Criticizing China's treatment of their citizens is perfectly noble, but singling out Tibet is not because then the purpose is to split China, which should not be any other country's business. Tibet has been part of China for much longer than Hawaii has been part of US, although the Chinese central government had very loose control.

Posted by: China History | Mar 30 2008 4:48 utc | 48

hello - dear supporters of the tibet fight for freedom - there have been already many coments, reports on tibet - so I don't have to waste my time this time - just make a short statement -
china has occupied in 1950 an independent tibet - since then, the tibetans are fighting to get back their independence.
finally, just ask the chinese government - which is in fact the communist party - why don't they give the permission for independent - not state/party controlled - political organization? or do you think a member of the TIBETAN YOUTH CONGRESS could speak in public anywhere in Tibet?


Posted by: tsultrim dorje | Mar 30 2008 14:03 utc | 49

Pakistan Beware, They Are Cornering China

Posted by: denk | Apr 2 2008 9:10 utc | 50

Nature of the Tibetan society prior to 1959, from an academic journal by a world renowned scholar on Tibet:

Posted by: pmw | Apr 23 2008 20:01 utc | 51

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