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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:00 pm 
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The Realist Case for Tibetan Autonomy : Paula Dobriansky
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Any change in U.S. policy toward the Dalai Lama will encourage bad behavior in Beijing.


When President Obama didn't meet with the Dalai Lama during his October trip to Washington, it gave many the impression that human-rights promotion was not central to this administration's foreign policy. This impression needs to be promptly corrected. While the U.S. accepts that Tibet is part of the People's Republic of China, for decades our country has supported Tibetan autonomy, especially in culture and religion. If the U.S. were to step back from this position, increased Chinese repression of Tibetans would likely follow.

Such repression would also have adverse consequences for China. A China that engages in harsh repression is incapable of ensuring domestic stability. An oppressive China is also unable to function as a responsible global player—something that the U.S. has long sought to encourage.

The view that repression in Tibet would have negative consequences for China is shared by our European allies. As British Foreign Minister David Miliband has said: "Like every other EU member state and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People's Republic of China. Our interest is in long-term stability, which can only be achieved through respect for human rights and greater autonomy for the Tibetans."

Contrary to the oft-repeated, but erroneous claims to the contrary, the U.S. commitment to Tibet—which began during the Nixon administration—has not harmed U.S.-Chinese relations. The overarching principle for both China and America has been stability and consistency. Any alteration of America's long-standing policy toward Tibet would prompt the opposite result.

It would certainly not earn us any lasting gratitude from Beijing. Any rebalancing of American policy toward China would most likely cause the Chinese to conclude that the U.S.—beset by an economic crisis—is retrenching from many of its traditional commitments and can't be counted on to pursue robust policies across a range of international issues. If China were to reach such a conclusion, it would be inclined to be less helpful to the U.S. on such issues as Iran, North Korea or even economic cooperation.

The U.S.-China relationship continues to grow in importance and complexity. This fall, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner co-chaired a key bilateral forum—the Strategic and Economic Dialogue—that was established to address at the senior level a range of key issues, including the economy and the environment.

As progress is being made on all of these matters, the Obama administration should call for substantive dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama's envoys. President Obama should meet with the Dalai Lama when he comes to Washington in February and publicly appeal to China's leaders to let the Dalai Lama make a pilgrimage to China.

The meeting should also be used as an opportunity to showcase practical ideas that would benefit all of China's citizens, including Tibetans. One excellent example of such an idea is tackling the massive environmental degradation in Tibet. Setting up a environmental committee—as has been urged by the Dalai Lama—would be a good place to start.

While U.S. support for Tibet is usually defended on moral grounds, this an issue where idealism and realism are aligned. A balanced policy toward China that features continued U.S. support for the cause of Tibetan autonomy is both doable and necessary. It has been tackled successfully during the last two administrations, and President Obama should continue to build upon this record.

Ms. Dobriansky is a former under secretary of state for democracy and global affairs and special coordinator on Tibetan issues.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:17 pm
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Well that is absolutely true, the continued support for autonomy has a positive political end seemingly as per the author.
But on the other hand I believe even HHDL has called for a Tibet that is not autonomus.

The end product of the present situation....if Tibet became autonomous and democratic since it is now in the majority composed of Han Chinese by any vote it would assuredly become again a province of China. That is unless a "democracy" allowed only certain people to participate and thusly established a apartheid regime.

To my opinion Americans have no sense of moral superiority in this specific. Anything done to Tibet by the Chinese was equlivent to or exceeded by, the Americans actions in their conquest of Native Americans homelands and the ideological supposition for such heinous actions, manifest destiny.
Americans perspectives of such things seems to remain infantile however. The Chinese may remember events of a hundred years ago like they were yesterday(like the Opium wars) while we act like events of a hundred years ago simply...never happened.

And this after a apparent recent attempt to establish a American province in a middle eastern country probably sans genocide and population relocation as it is simply not doable.

On a personal level I continually see a moral dilemma for the Americans of the liberal camp. ON the one extent they want open borders with other countries such as Mexico and see the necessity for such things, on the other hand they see and support closed borders and the ability of a nation to self determine and identify exactly who may enter and become citizens as in Tibet.They rail against forced removal of immigrants such as happened in Butan in the nineties as being unnecessary yet advocate strongly when a country they oppose ideologically, effectively does exactly what they support(China in Tibet). Chinas action(abeit in a heinous torturous way) effectively opened the borders between China and Tibet. China is now effectively Han Chinese not Tibetan by population. Open borders means the larger country if desired eventually supplants native populations and controls the resources. Large countries thusly support it generally as it supports their actions ideologically.

And the conservatives of American denomination...they support closed borders in certain instances, building walls and such with a neighbor(Mexico) yet seem not greatly bothered when others open things up for commerce when it goes their way.

So the pot calls the kettle black again and again. Any history....forget about it...it never happened.

Either a nation may determine who may enter and participate in its events or it may not. Make the choice is my view. Large countries China India the US support open borders for self fullfilling necessity, Small countries to support their necessities of retention of culture and way of life support closed borders.
But the American being berift of any objective analysis of their own history nevertheless the history of the world nor current global events and motivations produces a.....

ideological product that is quite faulted and obviously so to any present elsewhere.

Me personally....I strongly support the notion of a nation being able to identify and control their borders and control who is a member of their country as Butan did and as Sri Lanka did(relatedly) very recently.

But the person verseing autonomy probably supports open borders but...not in specific places like Tibet.
Realistically...it makes no consistant sense. But don't try to tell that to a American.

"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:04 pm
Posts: 1727
Hi Ron,

Well I'm American, but I know what you're saying. The record of modern nation states' relations with indigenous peoples has not been a pretty one.

But I think the issue here is not simply one of open or closed borders. It's an issue of basic human rights and religious freedom. The Tibetans should be able to preserve their language and traditions and should be able to practice their religion as they see fit, which they could do even though there are many Han Chinese already in Tibet if they just were given some actual rights by the Chinese.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:17 pm
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Hi Luke

Yeah we differ on that. The American Indians as per example are (as of now) able to do such things legally but the result is not this....

"The Tibetans should be able to preserve their language and traditions and should be able to practice their religion as they see fit, which they could do even though there are many Han Chinese already in Tibet if they just were given some actual rights by the Chinese."

Becomeing a very small minority in a area in which they were once the predominate population has the effect of removeing the culture from the people. So simply allowing such and seeing to it that preservation of human rights is enforced does not serve to maintain the specificity of that culture. The cultural nuances that make it special and singular. As per a rare bird....... is it worth saving from extinction even though saving such would mean less food and territory for perhaps other birds...I say emphatically.... yes. Simply seeing to it that a rare bird is kept from predation is not enough to secure its survival. A environment must be present which allows that bird to survive and flourish as well. In a human sense this allowance is a freedom from becoming a small minority in your own country. A cultures uniqueness will not survive without that....only partially.

One province of India with unique characteristics was once a singular nation. By unrestricted population movement and immigration it became India. The characteristics of those peoples still exist in some fashion but not as a uniquely singular culture. Butan as a Buddhist nation saw that example and removed all nonnatives from Butan and restricted who may even visit Butan. If this was not so, Butan type nations would not incur the expenses and global condemnation for such actions to simply expell such peoples for no good reason.The reason is preservation of culture and as cultural adherant, religion.

To preserve our individual uniqueness and the benefit that brings to humanity as a whole one homogenous large mass of peoples will not suffice. Butan is a unique place with unique things to offer such as not a gross national product concept but a gross national happiness product concept(a actual thing). Such would not be present if Butan was but a province of INdia abeit with all human rights enforced.....such would simply not happen. And its Buddhism would probably be called Hinduism by elements within the Indian government.

See (this is political) the largeness of nation states operate on a economic value basis. The larger things are the easier it is to buy and sell. The governments reflect their populations view. Suchly they reflect things that help economically for their sustainance. Thus there exists rational, ideology, and impetus for large global states and unknow to those in larger states is ideological impetus for the benefit of the single solitary small nation.

So in large nations you find rational for the sustance of large nations to the exclusion of the views of smaller nations. I contend objectively there is a bias not for open borders and large states but closed boarders and unique small states ideologically. As environmentally the endangered species act works to the detriment of larger species but preserves the qualities of the smaller populations, suchly the respect of borders allows for the preservation of the uniqueness and unusual qualities of small national states.

These smaller nations and smaller species may or do offer things which are needed to humanities propogation and survival. Without protections and not just human/aninmal rights protections habitat protections they will not survive intact, and perhaps neither will the global commuity at large.

To say the cultures survive, defies current experience such as with the American Indian cultural experience. Predominately the native religions are not followed the native languages are not spoken and the native value structures are largly not native but been replaced with the larger view of such things. That is the reality in a country with equal human rights protections.Such does not singularly support cultural existecne and sustance. A habitat must be provided, a habitat of being predominate in population as essential feature.

I say basically....f&*^ the larger countries. They should learn to restrict their populations and live within their means. China is attempting to restrict their population but certainly not attempting to live within their means. The Tibet excursion was essentially a resource grab. India wants the whole world to be India...and all this is not remote from what was and remains to a degree colonialism.

Open borders....the ultimate ideological extension of colonialism. Even when done in the environment of human rights protection. And Chinas grab of Tibet not remotely unconnected ideologically from colonialism. A horse of another color is after all...still a horse.

"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

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