Using violence against the Chinese army is really really stupid, and using it against Chinese civilians is even more unskilful. The monks in Tibet often belonged to big monastery armies which fought each other for centuries (like in Dogen's Japan around 1200 CE). If we want not to repeat the past we need to bring it into the light to heal old patterns. This applies to e.g. continuing British denial of the genocidal nature of 'our' bombing campaign in WW2, or to the denial of the counter-productive effects of nearly all the West's 'interventions'; why should we not join Norbu in calling for a similar de-mythologization of Tibet's past, including critical examination of the many strong motifs about violence in its dominant religion.
I am not saying that the Dalai Lama is a 'complete fraud', just that there is a lot of 'work' to do on his side of the dispute with China not just on the Chinese side. I do believe that his strategic alliance - or being used by - the CIA has proved disastrous for the Tibetan people. When I put this point to one Buddhist recently (not a Tibetan), he said that he thought that the governing consideration was not the survival of the people but the survival of Tibetan Buddhism which was in process of decamping from Tibet. Which I thought a shameful reasoning, if it is really held by anyone, though typical of some religious fundamentalists.
Nicholas, when I first read about the monastery armies fighting each other in Jack Kornfield's 'After the Ecstasy, the Laundry' I too was reluctant to believe it. But after reading the Trimondi's very well informed and researched sustained critique, which is however far from a simplistic hatchet job, I know Kornfield was telling us the truth.
There is no need for us to throw the Dalai Lama out of our hearts if at times he has been used by the CIA and made a mistaken alliance with them - remember in the fifties the US still claimed to be against all empires (unlike the British and French) and there were some genuine democrats who worked for them - e.g. our much-beloved Joanna Macy and almost certainly her husband Fran worked for and with the CIA from 1951 (where they met in France) through to work in India in most of the sixties. http://home.ca.inter.net/%7Egreenweb/Macy_and_CIA.html ; this does not invalidate the marvelous Engaged Buddhist books she has written, particularly World as Lover, World as Self and Dharma and Development.
But once you are in a relationship, it is sometimes very hard to get out of it, which I take to be the meaning of the Dalai Lama's not being able to get out of being paraded as an ideological trophy before the US Congress. I mean if they offered you a Medal, Nicholas, would you take it?
People can be inconsistent and flawed and have blind spots, and yet there is much of value in their teachings. Please apply this doctrine to me, and to the Dalai Lama, Nicholas.
6) Don't I support Tibetan self-determination?
On the same Nebsangha forum, a Tibet-support activist, David Meanwell replied:
'As someone who has worked for the Tibetan "cause" on and off for the last thirty years, and mainly "on" for the last two, I read Keith Mothersson's posting and article with a growing sense of annoyance followed by "here we go again". Forgive me, Keith, if I firstly question your own bone fides as there is a history of Chinese agent provocateurs posting pieces very similar to yours. Maybe I'm paranoid, but working for a group that's subject to frequent attempted virus attacks by "shadowy forces" it tends to come with the territory. Your quoting from China Daily certainly points to naivety if nothing more sinister.
Keith - find some Tibetans here in Britain and talk to them. If you can, talk to Tibetan refugees in India and to ethnic Tibetans in Tibet. They can answer your points far more effectively, and relevantly than me.
Meanwhile, I'm putting together the new Four Directions Tibet website at www.fourdirections.org.uk - we were planning to be up and running on 13 May in good time for the Olympics but recent events have lent a new urgency to our work. I'll finish with an extract from our "about us" page:
"Four Directions Tibet works with Tibetans to protect their religion, culture and human rights, and to secure freedom and self-government in their own country.
"Through information, education, action, campaigning, publicity, practice groups and outreach, we seek to link Buddhist teachings of compassion, wisdom, tolerance and non-violence with campaigns and actions to create a free Tibet governed by Tibetans."
Tibet belongs to Tibetans. Only they should decide what future they want to see. Talk to them.'
David, As someone involved in the 911 truth movement, I do sympathise when shadowy forces send disruptive disinformationists into our campaigns and moreover on occasion nasty viruses. I intended in my last revision to my article (which didn't upload) to mark a degree of distance from China Daily - by writing 'albeit from China Daily' - to show I wasn't naive about official Chinese reports either, although I wouldn't have recommended that particular report unless I felt it had made its case quite strongly. Presumably you don't think tht one can never learn more aspects of the truth from official Chinese sources?
Both sides of most disputes have some work to do. The Chinese have a legitimate concern that whatever the DL says, his US handlers will use him and try to bounce the people of Tibet into uprisings, denunciations, etc - just pawns on the geo-political board to be brought into play to pressure China for US goals, e.g. not to dump their increasingly worthless trade-surplus dollars, or sacrificed in return for e.g China accepting the imminent US financial/commercial blacklisting of Iran in the name of combatting terrorism, which it will insist every other firm and country joins in.