No Way is Tibet a Democracy in Exile!

February 18, 2013

I read a misleading post at Global Voices that was titled China and Tibet: Democracy in Exile. My first thought was, “When was Tibet ever a Democracy?”

Let’s see, how did the United States become a Republic? The answer is simple: the American colonists rebelled against the British Empire and fought the American Revolution 1775 – 1783.  There was the Declaration of Independence and then there was the US Constitution followed by twenty-seven ratified amendments. The 27th Amendment was enacted on May 7, 1992, but was proposed September 25, 1789. It only took two-hundred and three years for approval. Wow!

Tibet does not have a similar history. The only thing that is similar is that some Tibetans took part in an uprising against the CCP, and they lost. The same thing could have happened in America from 1775 to 1783. If  the colonists had lost, a reluctant US might still be ruled by the UK.

In fact, it doesn’t matter what the Richard Geres of  the world say or want us to believe—Tibet has never been a republic or a democracy.

Here’s what the Global Voices author said in the first sentence, “Being a Tibetan in exile is a loss that manifests in many forms: the loss of homeland and natural rights fall within that.”

What were the natural rights that were lost?

Most Tibetans in exile (represented by about 1% of the total Tibetan population) gave up land and thousands of serfs who were treated no better than slaves. What was lost were positions of power and wealth.

Before 1950, when Mao’s Red army reoccupied Tibet for China, there had been no democracy or republic in Tibet – ever.

The following quotes show us what Tibet was like before 1950.

“Lamaism is the state religion of Tibet and its power in the Hermit Country is tremendous. Religion dominated every phase of life. … For instance, in a family of four sons, at least two, generally three, of them must be Lamas. Property and family prestige also naturally go with the Lamas to the monastery in which they are inmates.

“Keeping the common people or laymen, in ignorance is another means of maintaining the power of the Lamas. Nearly all of the laymen (serfs) are illiterate. Lamas are the only people who are taught to read and write.”  Source: October 1912 National Geographic Magazine, page 979.

I’m sure that under Lamaism, there was no freedom of religion, no freedom of speech, and the people did not vote.  Need I saw more?

Between 1912—when those words appeared in National Geographic—and 1950, Tibet did not change, because it stayed the same as it had been for centuries. The only difference was that there was no Chinese governor in Tibet appointed by the Emperor and supported by Chinese troops.

What we have in Global Voices is clever manipulation to elicit support for the Tibetan separatist movement.

There’s nothing wrong with supporting a separatist movement. After all, there are at least eight known and active separatist movements in the United States: the Alaska Independence Party; Hawaiian sovereignty movement; Lakotah Oyate; Puerto Rico Independence Party; League of the South; Texas Secession Movement; Second Vermont Republic and the Cascadia Independence Movement.

In addition, Tibetans have the same odds to be free from China as Hawaiians and the Lakota Sioux have of being free of the United States.

It is a fact that a reluctant Tibet was ruled over by the Yuan (Mongol), Ming (Han) and Qing (Manchu) Dynasties from 1277 to 1913, when Great Britain convinced Tibet to break from China at the same time the Qing Dynasty was collapsing.

Discover Why Tibet?

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Water — the Democracy versus the Authoritarian Republic

January 10, 2012

The question should be, “Is freedom of expression and of religion more important than water?”

Survival Topics.com says, “People have survived without food for weeks or even months, but go without water for even just one day and the survivor will be in desperate straights indeed.”

However, how long can one go without total freedom of political expression and to join any global religion? The choices of world religions are many. According to Religious Tolerance.org, “There are 19 major world religions which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many smaller ones. 34,000 separate Christian groups have been identified in the world.”

One of the most common complains outside China is that its citizens do not have these two abstract freedoms and all of those religions to choose from—China offers seven approved choices.

This post explores which country is doing a better job of supplying water to its people—China or India.  When you finish reading and watching the two videos, you decide which country you would rather live in if you had to make a choice between them.

The National Geographic special issue, “Water, Our Thirsty World” (April 2007) compares the world’s largest democracy, India, with China. In “The Big Melt” by Brook Larmer, we see a convincing reason why China’s mix of socialism and capitalism may be the world’s answer to avoid future calamities. Where Western style democracies stall due to partisanship, special interests, religious beliefs and political agendas, China’s government, ruled by engineers and scientists, appears to be planning decades ahead.

The claims of Tibetan separatists and their supporters that China rules over Tibet with an iron dictatorial fist also appears to be wrong when Larmer visits a family of Tibetan nomads. He writes, “There is no sign of human life on the 14,000 foot high prairie that seems to extend to the end of the world.” Larmer sees “the NOMADS’ tent as a pinprick of white against a canvas of brown.”

We meet Ba O, a Tibetan nomad. In Ba O’s tent, “there is a small Buddhist Shrine: a red prayer wheel and a couple of smudged Tibetan texts…” A few years earlier, Ba O had several hundred sheep and the grass was plentiful. Now the Tibetan nomad has about a hundred left and fears this way of life is ending.

Ba O says, “This is the way we’ve always done things. And we don’t want that to change.”

But no matter what Ba O wants, change is coming, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. The change is not from China’s government. It is from global warming. The Tibetan grasslands are dying and a way of life that has existed for thousands of years may be dying too.

To insure that the Tibetan nomads will have a place to live, China’s government has been building resettlement villages. The “solid built” houses are subsidized. When the Tibetan nomads can no longer survive on the open Tibetan prairie, it is the nomad’s choice to move into the new villages. The government does not force them to give up their old way of life. Nature does that.

Along with the house comes a small annual stipend for each family so they can eat as they find another way to earn a living. The home Larmer visited had a Buddhist shrine and a free satellite dish for a TV and maybe an Internet connection. In addition, the one child policy does not apply to the Tibetan people since they are a minority in China.

To make sure there will continue to be water to drink, China is planning to build 59 reservoirs in Tibet to capture and save glacial runoff.

In India, by comparison, the young wife of a fortuneteller spends hours each day searching for water. She lives with her husband and five children in Delhi, India‘s capital. There are fights over water. In a nearby slum, a teenage boy was beaten to death for cutting into a water line. The demand for water in Delhi exceeds the supply by more than 300 million gallons a day.

What happens to life when there is no water?

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note—This revised and edited post first appeared April 19, 2010 as Water – Two Countries Tell a Tale


Water – Two Countries Tell a Tale

April 19, 2010

The National Geographic special issue, “Water, Our Thirsty World” (April 2007) compares the world’s largest democracy, India, with China. In “The Big Melt” by Brook Larmer, we see a convincing reason why China’s mix of socialism and capitalism may be the world’s answer to avoid future calamities. Where Western style democracies stall due to partisanship, special interests, religious beliefs and political agendas, China’s government, ruled by engineers and scientists, appears to be planning decades ahead.

The claims by Tibetan separatists and their supporters that China rules over Tibet with an iron dictatorial fist also appears to be wrong when Larmer visits a family of Tibetan nomads. He writes, “There is no sign of human life on the 14,000 foot high prairie that seems to extend to the end of the world.” Larmer sees “the NOMADS’ tent as a pinprick of white against a canvas of brown.”

Tibetan Nomads

We meet Ba O, a Tibetan nomad. In Ba O’s tent, “there is a small Buddhist Shrine: a red prayer wheel and a couple of smudged Tibetan texts…” A few years earlier, Ba O had several hundred sheep and the grass was plentiful. Now the Tibetan nomad has about a hundred left and fears this way of life is ending.

Ba O says, “This is the way we’ve always done things. And we don’t want that to change.”

However, change is coming, and there is nothing Ba O can do to stop it. The change is not from China’s government. It is from global warming. The Tibetan grasslands are dying and a way of life that has existed for thousands of years may be dying too.

Tibetan girl tending sheep

To insure that the Tibetan nomads will have a place to live, China’s government has been building resettlement villages. The “solid built” houses are subsidized. When the Tibetan nomads can no longer survive on the open Tibetan prairie, it is the nomad’s choice to move into the new villages. The government does not force them to give up their old way of life. Nature does that.

Along with the house comes a small annual stipend for each family so they can eat as they find another way to earn a living. The home Larmer visited had a Buddhist shrine and a free satellite dish for a TV and maybe an Internet connection. In addition, the one child policy does not apply to the Tibetan people since they are a minority in China.

To make sure there will continue to be water to drink, China is planning to build 59 reservoirs in Tibet to capture and save glacial runoff.

In India, the young wife of a fortuneteller spends hours each day searching for water. She lives with her husband and five children in Delhi, India‘s capital. There are fights over water. In a nearby slum, a teenage boy was beaten to death for cutting into a water line.  The demand for water in Delhi exceeds the supply by more than 300 million gallons a day.

What happens to life when there is no water?

See Dictatorship Defined

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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Tibet Inside China – 5/5

April 13, 2010

Regardless of the evidence that proves the Tibetan government in exile is not telling the truth about Tibet being part of China for centuries before declaring independence in 1913 (when the Ch’ing Dynasty was collapsing and the British Empire urged Tibet to break free for political reasons), the Dalai Lama and his Prime Minister represents less than 100,000 Tibetans outside China.

Tibet Monastery

If Rinpoche’s figure of six million is correct, that means the Tibetan government in exile represents about 1% of the Tibetan population.  If China’s 2.5 million is correct, the percentage goes up to 3.2%.  Not much of a base to wage a violent rebellion. There are more troops in the PRC’s army than the entire Tibetan population inside and outside of China.

I also wonder if that 1% in exile were the Tibetan landowners. Did they leave most of the serfs/slaves behind when they fled?

Maybe the Tibetan separatists/rebels (whatever term you like), with help from the CIA, should join the American Tea Bagger movement and gain the support of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. They could sit around the campfire during protests and sing hymns about marching into battle to take back the wealth.

Start with Tibet Inside China – Part 1 or discover how Power Corrupts

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_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Tibet Inside China – Part 3/5

April 12, 2010

The most damaging evidence against Rinpoche’s claims come from the October 1912 issue of The National Geographic Magazine (I have a copy—it cost me $20 on e-bay). Since the earliest evidence of Communists in China was about 1920, and it wasn’t until 1949 that the Communists came to power under Mao, there is no way the Chinese doctor who wrote that 1912 piece could have lied for the Communists.

Ming Dynasty 1368-1643

On page 979, Dr. Shaoching H. Chuan wrote, “Tibet is governed by the Dalai Lama as politco-religous head and two “Ambans” as the political dictators. The Ambans are appointed by the Chinese Emperor every four years. All governmental affairs have to undergo examination by the two Ambans, and all government policy must be sanctioned by them before it can be put into operation. Literally, the Dalai Lama is under the authority of the two Ambans…” (Page 979)

Go to Tibet Inside China – Part 4

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_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Tibet Inside China – 1/5

April 11, 2010

In 2008, I wrote a post about Tibet on another forum. Someone with a Tibetan sounding name left a comment in crude English calling me a “Communist rabbit”.

Name-calling seems to be popular these days. In America, people like Glenn Beck (FOX network), Rush Limbaugh (600 radio stations) and the Tea Baggers have developed name-calling into an art form—not much substance but colorful and angry.

The Tibetan government in exile’s Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche was quoted in “Good” magazine’s May/June 2008 Issue that six-million Tibetan Buddhists still lived in Tibet. He also said that Tibet has never historically been part of China. That isn’t true. Tibet was ruled by three of China’s Imperial Dynasties.

Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty 1277 – 1367

Tibet was first ruled by China during the Yuan Dynasty (1277-1367). Then, when the Ming Dynasty (1368-1643) reclaimed China, a Ming Imperial army was sent to Tibet to drive out the last of the Mongols–holdovers from the Yuan Dynasty. The Ming emperor ordered his army to stay.

When the Ch’ing (Manchu) Dynasty (1644-1911) came to power, the Chinese empire expanded further and Tibet remained in China. Later, I’ll provide evidence from a 1912 National Geographic magazine as proof.

Discover Wearing China’s Shoes or go to Tibet Inside China – Part 2

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_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Tibet Inside China (Viewed as Single Page)

January 28, 2010

In 2008, I wrote a post about Tibet on another forum. Someone with a Tibetan sounding name left a comment in crude English calling me a “Communist rabbit”.

Name-calling seems to be popular these days. In America, people like Glenn Beck (FOX network), Rush Limbaugh (600 radio stations), Ann Coulter and the Tea Baggers have developed name-calling into an art form—not much substance but disguised racism, colorful and angry.

The Tibetan government in exile’s Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche was quoted in “Good” magazine’s May/June 2008 Issue that six-million Tibetan Buddhists still lived in Tibet. He also said that Tibet has never historically been part of China. That isn’t true. Tibet was ruled by three of China’s Imperial Dynasties.

Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty 1277 – 1367

Tibet was first ruled by China during the Yuan Dynasty (1277-1367). Then, when the Ming Dynasty (1368-1643) reclaimed China, a Ming Imperial army was sent to Tibet to drive out the last of the Mongols–holdovers from the Yuan Dynasty. The Ming emperor ordered his army to stay.

When the Ch’ing (Manchu) Dynasty (1644-1911) came to power, the Chinese empire expanded further and Tibet remained in China. Later, I’ll provide evidence from a 1912 National Geographic magazine as proof.

I previously quoted the Tibetan government in exile’s Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche claiming that six million Tibetan Buddhists still lived in Tibet.

China, on the other hand, reports that Tibet’s population was 2.84 million at the end of last year, 31,500 more than at the end of 2006. Among its permanent residents, more than 2.5 million, or 95.3 percent, were Tibetans. (Tibet’s population was 1.14 million in 1951.)

1910 Map of Qing (Manchu) Dynasty – China

More evidence that is interesting comes from the CIA World Factbook. It seems that there are about 80,000 Tibetan refugees living outside Tibet/China. Wikipedia estimates about 5,000 to 9,000 live in the United States. The rest live closer to the Tibetan government in exile.

There were no Tibetans in America prior to the 1950s. Chinese first immigrated to America in the 18th century, and Chinese Americans make up the largest Asian population in America today—more than three million.

The most damaging evidence against Rinpoche’s claims come from the October 1912 issue of The National Geographic Magazine (I have a copy—it cost me $20 on e-bay). Since the earliest evidence of Communists in China was about 1920, and it wasn’t until 1949 that the Communists came to power under Mao, there is no way the Chinese doctor who wrote that 1912 piece could have lied for the Communists.

Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1643 AD)

In the 1912 issue of The National Geographic Magazine on page 979, Dr. Shaoching H. Chuan wrote, “Tibet is governed by the Dalai Lama as politco-religous head and two “Ambans” as the political dictators. The Ambans are appointed by the Chinese Emperor every four years. All governmental affairs have to undergo examination by the two Ambans, and all government policy must be sanctioned by them before it can be put into operation. Literally, the Dalai Lama is under the authority of the two Ambans…” (Page 979)

From recent news, it appears that rough times may be ahead for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In China sees US as hedge for Taiwan, Tibet (Asia Times) by Peter Lee, the author says, “After the Dalai Lama is gone, there is a strong possibility that motivated and organized pro-independence activists (militants) will be able to win power in the Tibetan government in exile.”

Chinese Protesting Against Tibetan Separatists

Militant Tibetan separatist groups have not been happy with the Dalai Lama’s call for autonomy talks with China instead of calling for a fight to gain independence. Tibetan militant groups want Tibet to break from China even if it means taking a violent path—one the Dalai Lama does not advocate.

What would Tibet be like if the separatists had their way and broke free from China?

Would they return to the system of landowners and serfs (slaves)?

Would the Tibetan Buddhists require that every family send at least one son to become a Buddhist monk as before?

Would mandatory schooling (as we have in the United States) be shut down so the literacy rate would plummet from the high 90% back to a single digit like it was prior to 1950?

Would the wealth and the land be returned to the one percent that had it all before Mao’s troops occupied Tibet?

Regardless of the evidence that proves the Tibetan government in exile is not telling the truth about Tibet being part of China for centuries before declaring independence in 1913 (when the Ch’ing Dynasty was collapsing and the British Empire urged Tibet to break free for political reasons), the Dalai Lama and his Prime Minister represents less than 100,000 Tibetans outside China.


Robert Hart’s (1835 – 1911) letters supports one side of this argument.

If Rinpoche’s figure of six million is correct, that means the Tibetan government in exile represents about 1% of the Tibetan population. If China’s 2.5 million is correct, the percentage goes up to 3.2%. Not much of a base to wage a violent rebellion. There are more troops in the PRC’s army than the entire Tibetan population inside and outside of China.

I also wonder if that 1% in exile were the Tibetan landowners. Did they leave most of the serfs/slaves behind when they fled?

Maybe the Tibetan separatists/rebels (whatever term you like), with help from the CIA, should join the American Tea Bagger movement and gain the support from the likes of Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

They could sit around the campfire during protests and sing hymns about marching into battle to take back the wealth and return to the good-old-days, which would be the opposite of Robin Hood. In this case, the landowners that fled old Tibet (1% of Tibet’s population) would take back what they owned when they left and restore Tibet to the way it was.

In fact, The steady improvement of health care and living standards has raised the average life expectancy of Tibetans from 36 years in the old Tibet to the present 65 years.… It is recorded that during the 150 years before Tibet was (returned to China) there were four pandemic outbreaks of smallpox, one of which, in 1925, killed 7,000 people in the Lhasa area alone. Outbreaks of typhoid fever in 1934 and 1937 carried off some 5,000 people in Lhasa. Source: China-un.ch, which is supported by the facts in the 1912 piece published in the National Geographic Magazine.

Here is a suggested slogan for the Tibetan separatists (former landowners) living in India. “Freedom for landowners, illiteracy for serfs and life expectancy of 36 again!”

Originally posted as a five-part series starting on April 11, 2010 at Tibet Inside China – Part 1

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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