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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

A Doomed Failure -- Beijing Review article on the Dalai Lama

October 9, 2007

<Beijing Review and the Xinhua News are the official mouthpiece of 
the Communist Party and the Government of China>

Xinhua, October 7, 2007

The following is a Beijing Review article on the Dalai Lama titled "A 
Doomed Failure", to be published on Monday:

Part I

As an increasing number of people visit Tibet, witness the region's 
changes and learn about its history and the thoughts of the local 
residents, many foreign media outlets have begun to reexamine the 
issue and question the Dalai Lama's motives. In a recent article, Yi 
Duo outlined those voices. REPRESENTATIVE OF A FEW

The Dalai Lama can only represent a few Buddhists and it is therefore 
wrong to equate him to Buddhism, said some German media when he 
visited Germany as a religious leader in July. Welt am Sonntag and 
the online edition of Die Welt quoted sources from Deutsche 
Buddhistische Union as saying that though it is good to have the 
Dalai Lama speak for Buddhism, he is not expected to overshadow other 
Buddhist sects. The newspapers said most of the Buddhists across the 
world, including those in Germany, are not followers of Tibetan 
Buddhism. Also, the Dalai Lama advocates pessimism about the 
afterlife, a theory that runs counter to the optimistic Buddhist 
doctrine that self-cultivation in this world can lead believers to 
paradise in the other world.

Some Germans who have been to Tibet have rejected the Dalai Lama's 
anti-China rhetoric. Der Spiegel magazine published a letter to the 
editor on July 23 saying those who had recently been to Tibet found 
what the Dalai Lama had done was ridiculous. Thousands of Tibetans 
offer their prayers in and near the Jokhang Monastery every day, the 
number of monks in temples is on the rise and many Buddhists travel 
to Lhasa to attend prayers from across China, the letter said. 
Another reader expressed bewilderment over the Dalai Lama. In a 
letter to Der Spiegel, he said the Dalai Lama has attempted to become 
an "omnipotent pope." But why does he oppose the Christian doctrine 
of "improving the world" and insist on "overcoming the World?" The 
reader believes the Dalai Lama's ultimate goal remains elusive.

Die Welt published an article coauthored by Victor Trimondi and 
Victoria Trimondi, in early August, criticizing Germans who consider 
the Dalai Lama the "Jesus Christ of the new era". It is wrong to take 
the Dalai Lama's religion as a moderate one, because the history of 
Tibet is far from peaceful, the article said. Tibet did not end its 
dark medieval period until the mid 20th century. Before that, it was 
plagued by violence, wars and power struggles under the name of 
religion. The religious trials held under the Lama regime were no 
different from those under the Catholic rule during the medieval 
days, it said.

In Tibetan Buddhism, according to the article, disciples were 
required to strictly obey their masters, making it impossible for 
Tibetans to pursue individuality and independence, let alone create 
their own fate. Old Tibet was under an extremely hierarchical regime 
featuring the combination of political and religious power. Given 
these facts, Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama drew worldwide 
criticism in the late 1990s, the authors said. Even the Dalai Lama 
had to admit the dark side of Tibetan history, they added.

The article revealed some fundamentalist features of Tibetan 
Buddhism, such as combined political and religious power, alienation 
of women, belief in devils, sexual and psychological abuse and 
corruption. The Dalai Lama voiced support for women's participation 
in religious leadership -- possibly becoming the next Dalai Lama -- 
in Hamburg. At the same time, he indicated that he had no right to 
grant religious posts to women. CAPITALIZING ON WESTERN FEARS

The Dalai Lama clique's anti-China political propaganda has angered 
some Germans. Nicole Graaf, a German scholar of Tibetan studies, said 
in an article published by the Berlin-based Der Tagesspiegel 
newspaper on July 22 that the Dalai Lama clique exercises strict 
"press censorship." All texts and pictures depicting the dark old 
Tibet and positive images of new Tibet have been taken out of its 
brochures, she said. For example, there is no mention of the armed 
offensive the Dalai Lama clique launched against China from Nepal 
with the help of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the 
1960s or the cruel rule of Tibetan serfdom.

She said the Dalai Lama's argument that China carries out "systematic 
cultural genocide" in Tibet is not valid. Despite the problems in 
China, Tibetan residents live normal religious, social and economic 

The article said the Dalai Lama clique asks for financial aid from 
the West in the name of religion and human rights. However, instead 
of spending money on those badly in need of help, the leading members 
in the clique buy golden watches and luxurious cars for themselves 
with donations from the West while their sponsors know nothing about 
these deeds.

It pointed out that the best approach to resolving the Tibetan issue 
is the real, lawful autonomy granted by the Chinese Government in the 
spirit of accelerating Tibet's economic development and improving the 
living standards and education levels of Tibetans. Anti-China 
propaganda will result in the Chinese Government's tightened control 
of foreigners' access to Tibet, the article warned. This will not 
only hinder the development of tourism but also make it more 
difficult for foreign countries to carry out welfare programs, 
worsening the situation of the local Tibetans, it said. (more)

Part II

India's Frontline biweekly magazine published a cover story by N. Ram 
tilted "Future Tibet" on July 14. The story was based on the author's 
second visit to Tibet this year. The "reality check" showed that 
China is in firm control and "Tibet independence" is a hopeless 
cause, he wrote. He said the effects of economic reform are 
conspicuous on Lhasa's streets, with their fast moving traffic, 
rising modern buildings and commercial complexes. However, the "real 
test" is in the countryside. He said there is visible evidence of 
economic development in the villages he visited.

The most dramatic change since 2000 has come with the Qinghai-Tibet 
Railway, the article said. The railway symbolizes the right of 
Tibetans to seek development, catch up with the rest of rising China, 
and open themselves more to the outside world. The author believes 
apprehension about the railway's adverse effects on the environment 
and wildlife has proved exaggerated. The real threat to Tibet's 
environment comes not from the railway but from global warming.

The Chinese leadership has fashioned and finessed its strategy of 
dealing politically with the Dalai Lama and his followers over the 
past three decades, according to the article. Given the unprecedented 
economic growth, inclusive and nuanced sociopolitical and cultural 
policies in China, serious international political support for "Tibet 
independence" is non-existent, it said.

The article called on the Dalai Lama and the "Tibetan government in 
exile" to modify their stands on two core issues. First, the concept 
of "high-level" or "maximum" autonomy in line with the "one country, 
two systems" principle is different from what the Chinese 
constitutional framework and the Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law 
stipulate. The kind of autonomy that the Dalai Lama demanded in 2005 
cannot possibly be accommodated within the Chinese Constitution. 
Second, in responding to the demand for "one administrative entity" 
for all ethnic Tibetans, the Chinese Government makes the perfectly 
reasonable point that the Tibet Autonomous Region parallels the area 
under the former Tibetan regime. Acceptance of the demand for 
"Greater Tibet" means doing ethnic reengineering and causing enormous 
destabilization and damage to China's state, society, and political 

Australia's The Age newspaper published a bylined article titled 
"Behind the Dalai Lama's Holy Cloak" on May 23. The article pointed 
out that the Dalai Lama is no mere "spiritual leader." He was the 
head of Tibet's government when he went into exile in 1959. It was a 
state apparatus run by aristocratic, nepotistic monks who collected 
taxes, jailed and tortured dissenters and engaged in all the usual 
political intrigues, according to the article.

"The government" set up in exile in India and, at least until the 
1970s, received 1.7 million U.S. dollars a year from the CIA. The 
money was to pay for guerrilla operations against China, 
notwithstanding the Dalai Lama's public stance in support of 
nonviolence, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, 
the article said.

The Dalai Lama himself was on the CIA's payroll from the late 1950s 
until 1974, reportedly receiving 15,000 U.S. dollars a month (180,000 
U.S. dollars a year). The funds were paid to him personally, but he 
used all or most of them for activities of the "Tibetan government in 
exile," principally to fund offices in New York and Geneva and to 
lobby internationally.

The article said there are certainly plenty of rumors among 
expatriate Tibetans of endemic corruption and misuse of monies 
collected in the name of the Dalai Lama. Many donations are channeled 
through the New York-based Tibet Fund, set up in 1981 by Tibetan 
refugees and U.S. citizens. It has grown into a multimillion-dollar 
organization that disburses 3 million U.S. dollars each year to its 
various programs. Part of its funding comes from the U.S. State 
Department's Bureau for Refugee Programs.

"What has the Dalai Lama actually achieved for Tibetans inside 
Tibet?" it asked. "If his goal has been independence for Tibet or, 
more recently, greater autonomy, then he has been a miserable failure."

Source: Xinhua

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