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Further struggles of a foolish Buddhist to make sense of 'Tibet' and 'China'

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Among Tibetan cause groups to have received funding from powerful Western foundations - who nearly always turn a blind eye to Human rights abuses in Western-dominated Congo, Haiti, the Middle East, etc - and/or obfuscate the Western-Corporate-linked causes of these systematic abuses - are the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), the Tibet Fund, the London-based Tibet Information Network (TIN) whose director went on to found TibetInfoNet, the Tibetan Literary Society, which publishes Tibet Times, Tibetan Review Trust Society, the Voice of Tibet radio station.

Barker concludes: "This article has demonstrated the close ties that exist between the Dalai Lama’s non-violent campaign for Tibetan independence and U.S. foreign policy elites who are actively supporting Tibetan causes through the NED. This finding is particularly worrying given the high international media profile of many of the groups exposed in this article, especially when it is remembered that the NED’s activities are intimately linked with those of the CIA. This funding issue is clearly problematic for Tibetan (or foreign) activists campaigning for Tibetan freedom, as the overwhelmingly anti-democratic nature of the NED can only weaken the legitimacy of the claims of any group associated with the NED. In this regard it seems only fitting that progressive activists truly concerned with promoting freedom and democracy in Tibet should first and foremost cast a critical eye over the antidemocratic funders of many of the Tibetan groups identified in this study. Only then will they be able to reappraise the sustainability of their work in the light of the NED’s controversial background. Once this step has been taken, perhaps progressive solutions for restoring democratic governance to Tibet can be generated by concerned activists, so that Tibetan people wanting to reclaim their homeland will able to be more sure that they are bringing democracy home to Tibet, not polyarchy."

5) Am I a stooge who believes the Dalai Lama is a 'complete fraud'?

On the discussion forum of the Network of Engaged Buddhists Nicholas challenged me: [You] quote views in your article that the Dalai Lama is

a) on the payroll of the CIA;

b) doesn't really believe in non-violence in his heart but displays these beliefs for political reasons;

c) will, when political circumstances are ripe, drop his non-violent stance and 'will hardly shrink from summoning Begtse the god of slaughter', ie lead Tibet in wars of aggression.

What you are saying, in effect, is the Dalai Lama is a complete fraud. Do you really believe this? and whose payroll are you on?

This is my (revised) answer:

Dear Nicholas,

a) The first 'view' you quote is well sourced as fact. Actually by mistake (for which I apologise) I did not put the references for this in brackets after the CIA paragraph. But if you had gone to the original article by the highly respected Michael Parenti you could have seen Note 44: Jim Mann, "CIA Gave Aid to Tibetan Exiles in '60s, Files Show," Los Angeles Times, 15 September 1998; and New York Times, 1 October, 1998. There is also a detailed sub-chapter in the extremely impressive book by the Trimondis I mentioned earlier: http://www.trimondi.de/SDLE/Part-2-09.htm#CIA

Regarding your points b and c): what he believes in his innermost heart I do not know, but this quotation about the use of violence is from his own mouth: “The wrathful goddesses and the enraged gods are there in order to demonstrate that one can grasp the use of violence as a method; it is an effective instrument, but it can never ever be a purpose” (Levenson, 1992, p. 284). The Trimondis cite several familiars with the Tibetan exile scene who allege that on occasion the Dalai Lama sends messages to the fighters to say keep going while at the same town or event he publicly emphasizes the necessity of nonviolence. It is also alleged that on the Tibet national day there is a huge turn out when the Dalai Lama first talks about nonviolence, then everyone gets on with the martial enthusiasm for kicking out the Chinese by force, or so the anthems go.

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Remember Gandhi often said (in part rhetorically) that any resistance to oppression was better than none. (Buddhists would tend rather to remember to First Do no Harm (if possible), although we would also accept that the decision not to intervene and stop bullying with available necessary focused controlled force is not a way to avoid the karma of 'violence', because it too incurs the karma of inaction in the face of oppression: which is what Gandhi was driving at when he said this, in my opinion.) Behind the scenes Gandhi got on well with the leader of the armed Indian resistance, Bose.

Refusing to condemn a priori those who take up arms in a defensive cause, seems reasonable. But it will be reasonable to criticise armed actions as unskillful and as being productive of further rounds of suffering if

a) they kill civilians in the process; and/or

b) they are disproportionate to the scale of the current offence - How many Haitians or Congolese would give their right arm to be living in Lhasa?; and/or

c) there is no good hope of victory, and post Saddam's overthrow we also need to add that there should be a realistic prospect of any 'victory' actually helping to achieving the advertised desirable objectives, especially in the light of the danger of relying on exile propaganda and the likelihood of unexpected consequences which affect every great or small plan; and/or

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d) the armed actions would not benefit the supposed beneficiaries (if successful), but merely keep the restorationist hopes alive of an exile caste, and/or

e) the violent actions do not benefit the supposed beneficiaries, make life harder for them, and bring down predictable reprisals or frustrate constructive progress, and/or

f) those pursuing the path of armed resistance have not done all they could to exhaust alternative peaceful remedies, including provision of whatever assurances might be required to enable reasonable compromises to be achieved (such as promising to cut all links with the armed forces and clandestine agencies of the country which spends more on 'defense' than all the rest of the world put together - for example).

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Attempting in a UK context to connect the world of 911 truth activism/false-flag terrorism awareness and the Voting integrity community, where I am seeking to alert the Electoral Reform Society to the dangers of the UK 'modernising' its voting (more...)

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