Granted, this basically confirms what we already knew or suspected: that “Chinese operatives hacked into Google, the computers of US officials, and the online communications of the Dalai Lama“. One wonders what if anything the Dalai Lama would have been discussing by e-mail that would be an important secret.
I’m a bit unclear on what the story is right now with the kalön tripa (i.e. Tibetan exile prime minister) election process? The primary election was October 3, but I haven’t heard anything about election results. Is the field of candidates narrowed somewhat? People seem to still be discussing several options, which means they are apparently still in the race. Can anyone fill me in?
Barry Sautman’s recent column in South China Morning Post is hard to stomach. Sautman is one of the most notable Western academic defenders of Chinese policies in Tibet. This is a fine thing, since he tends to make rational arguments in favor of his opinions. Even if we don’t agree with his conclusions, his arguments give us an opportunity to reflect more deeply on our own opinions and so see the world more clearly. Obviously, that doesn’t put him above critique, which is richly deserved in the case of his new article, “The Tibetan Impasse”, a response to an earlier article by Lodi Gyari. Sautman’s basic thesis, as stated in his first paragraph, is that, “Three decades of ‘negotiations about negotiations’ between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and Beijing have not made progress because, although exile leaders claim they are not separatists, they continue with assertions and actions that belie that claim.” Thus, he places blame squarely on the shoulders of the Tibetans. Continue reading “Are the Tibetans to blame for the failure of negotiatons?”
Here is an article written by Kate Allen, from the Globe and Mail, about Tibetan youth and basketball in the Parkdale area of Toronto. I was interviewed by her for it and afterward I helped her with getting in touch with some other Tibetans in the community so that they could also give their input to the article. It was published last month but I forgot to post it on here for more people to read. So here it is for those who haven’t yet read it:
In Parkdale, like other inner-city communities in Toronto,basketball is social glue. When mentors try to impart life lessons to kids here, they often do it with basketball.
Remington Dixon, 19, is a coach with Power Youth and Sports, a local organization. “We have the kids come in, and every time I do a drill, I relate it to life,” he says. “If I can relate it to life, I can get kids to do well in school and on the court.”
So when the annual summer NBA 3on3 basketball tournament was cancelled, community organizers worried about what lesson that presented. For kids in Parkdale, the event was the equivalent of a trip to summer camp or the cottage, says Power director and parent Bruce Whitaker. The cancellation – “it was just bad vibes,” he says.
Over at the (excellent, as always) China Geeks blog, a guest poster has provided a translation (“How Chinese Intellectuals Perceive the Tibet Issue“) of an e-mail she received from a professor about the situation in Tibet. The translator, Mindy Zhang, was a Chinese student studying abroad who asked one of her professors (according to the introduction, this professor is a “major figure in the study of International Relations in China”) to give her some information about the Tibet issue. It’s depressing to think that authority figures are passing this kind of thing along to innocent Chinese students in informal situations, even outside of the official propaganda channels. The professor’s explanations show that there is a lot he doesn’t know or is confused about on this topic, assuming that he is not being intentionally deceptive.
Below are some of my responses to the points he raised:
Following up on the success of their first internship in 2007, the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet have launched a second internship program for young Tibetan-Canadian students hoping to familiarize themselves with the workings of Parliament.
The importance of involving young Tibetans in the parliamentary process was echoed at the November 2009 World Parliamentary Convention on Tibet held in Rome where parliamentarians from all over the world gathered to discuss parliamentary initiatives that could be adopted by the different parliaments around the world in order to move towards a solution on the Tibet issue. One of the key strategies that was proposed by parliamentarians from all over the world was to “involve young Tibetans in the political system” in order to develop a “greater Tibetan understanding of local political conditions.”
From the results of the Canadian PFT’s first internship program in 2007 it was seen how this sort of initiative can really benefit young Tibetans. Of the four Tibetans who were selected for the internship, all went on to find employment in a parliamentary office or other governmental organization. Reports were also submitted by the interns at the end of their internship describing their experience. All were favorable and thankful for the opportunity to participate in the internship program and viewed their experience as valuable to their future.
I’ve been reading Arjia Rinpoche‘s book, Surviving the Dragon, recently. I highly recommend it, both the overall sweep of history that he witnessed and for various minor observations he makes about Tibetan Buddhism, life in Amdo in the early 1950s, etc. Early on, he makes an interesting comment about hierarchy:
Continue reading “The hierarchy of Tibetan Buddhism”