Hi guest, Register | Login | Contact Us
Welcome to Phayul.com - Our News Your Views
Fri 19, Oct 2018 05:43 PM (IST)
Search:     powered by Google
 MENU
Home
News
Photo News
Opinions
Statements &
Press Releases

Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Interviews
Travels
Health
Obituaries
News Discussions
News Archives
Download photos from Tibet
 Latest Stories
Will continue to lobby for party-based democracy, says NDPT
Landslides, flooding in Chamdo due to China’s excessive mining and construction projects: rights group
Odisha Tibetans at mercy of aid as Cyclone Titli destroys 90% of crops
CTA holds “Thank You Himachal Pradesh,” in Shimla
9th Tibet Film Festival held in Dharamshala, Zurich
China set to build “world’s most challenging” railway line in occupied-Tibet
Karmapa title claimants meet, express willingness to heal divisions in the lineage
Repression on multiple fronts in Tibet, says report by US Commission on China
Second Tibetan wins China's singing reality show
"Altitude and tough climate” reason for denying access into Tibet, Chinese Ambassador says
 Latest Photo News
Winner of the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 Ritika Sharma, First Runner-up Palak Sharma and Second-Runner-up Ashima Sharma wave to the audience during the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 in McLeod Ganj, India, on 6 October 2018, Photo: L. Wangyal
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives to begin his four day teaching on the request of a Taiwanese group, Tsuglakhang courtyard, Theckchen Choeling, McLeod Ganj, October . 3, 2018. OHHDL Photo/Ven. Tenzin Jamphel
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the gathering during the 50th year celebration of Tibet Insitute Rikon. The event was attended by around 4000 people from all parts of Europe. Around 4000 people have come to attend the function organised by Tibet Institute Rikon with support of Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtensein. Winterthur, September 22, 2018. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
more photos »
Advertisement
Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ has failed - An Interview
Daily News and Analysis[Wednesday, May 07, 2008 13:18]
Tuesday, May 06, 2008 3:41:00 AM
Venkatesan Vembu

Former member of CIA-funded Tibetan guerrilla force tells DNA

HONG KONG: In 1962, Jamyang Norbu dropped out of school to enlist with a Tibetan guerrilla force, funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to fight for Tibetan independence from China. That rag-tag army ran out of steam – and funding – when the US mended ties with China in 1972, but more than three decades after he laid down his arms, Norbu is still, well, ’sticking to his guns’. Today, the journalist-theatreperson- novelist-blogger is one of the most passionate and articulate – and controversial - spokespersons for the Tibetan cause. His fierce defence of his independent position has at times led him to criticise Tibetan government-in-exile officials in Dharamsala and, on occasion, even the Dalai Lama.

In a telephone interview with DNA from his home in Monteagle, Tennessee, Norbu fleshes out his criticism of the Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ on Tibet (which favours ‘genuine autonomy’ for Tibet, not ‘independence’). Excerpts:

Q: Do the talks between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and Chinese officials in Shenzhen on Sunday represent a ‘moral victory’ for Tibetans?

A: I don’t think it’s any kind of victory - moral or otherwise. These are not ‘talks’ in the sense of two parties getting together to discuss a problem and making incremental progress. This is a case of Imperial China berating its subject-nations, saying they’ve been bad boys and should behave better. These ‘talks’ are only an opportunity for China to work themselves out of a likely boycott of the Olympics by world leaders.

Q: If it’s as open-and-shut as that, why did the Dalai Lama send his envoys?

A: That’s what all Tibetans want to know: they feel it’s just a political ploy. For Dharamsala, however, it’s an act of desperation. There’s now a very strong voice among Tibetan people, especially among young people… A lot of them, who are coming out of Tibet into exile, are not so reverent of the Tibetan government-in-exile. They are now saying that the Tibet government’s policy – and the Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ approach – is a failure. The Dalai Lama in some ways is desperate. He doesn’t comprehend the nature of modern politics – and I don’t think he has an understanding of totalitarian regimes.

Q: In your view, what is wrong with the ‘Middle Way’ approach?

A: I think it’s a complete failure. I believe in Gandhian non-violence, but I believe that non-violence has, to some extent, be confrontational. It cannot be an excuse for not doing anything. The ‘Middle Way’ approach is more like a begging bowl approach – asking China and world leaders to do something about Tibet. It does not confront China with the wrongs it is doing in Tibet and putting it in the hot seat. China is susceptible to this, because the Chinese brand of tyranny is to take the moral high ground by maintaining that they are on the side of good. It’s completely invalid, and that’s something Tibetans can use to shatter the self-image of the Chinese. The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government don’t understand this.

For instance, the uprising in Tibet since March is a huge lesson for China. For the first time, every Chinese now knows there is a ‘Tibetan issue’; they’ve now seen the Tibetan national flag. It’s a good starting point…

Q: But hasn’t it also whipped up Chinese nationalism and made it harder for any concessions to be made?

A: This ‘nationalism’ is a reaction, but who is it against? Deep down it’s against the Communist Party. The Chinese people don’t have a choice about whom to demonstrate against, but their anger is in a sense born of the shame at how the world views them. In China, a lot of people recognise the tremendous inequities in society. This so-called nationalism can easily turn against the regime.

Q: You once took up arms for Tibetan independence. Is there a risk of the movement returning to radical ways?

A: I’m completely against terrorism. It’s not just counter-productive, it destroys your entire campaign because the same message can be used against you when you’re in power… It spawns a vicious cycle, as in Pakistan.

I’ve been discouraging people against armed insurgency, but I’m not a Gandhian in the absolutist spiritual sense… I favour an approach where even when you use non-violent methods, they must be action-oriented, and to an extent confrontational. There is, of course, a price to pay, but you pay it anyway.

Tibetans realise that China is not going to give them anything; in a way, it’s all or nothing. They also feel that the regime - no matter how impressive - is fairly frail. There’s tremendous nervousness in the regime: if one person says ‘Down with the Communist Party’, it sets the cat among the pigeons. On that level, there’s a huge immaturity in China.

© 2005-2008 Diligent Media Corporation Ltd. All rights reserved.
Print Send Bookmark and Share
  Readers' Comments »
How can you declear? (tibetshopecenter)
To Indigenous (ThanglopSsurpa)
MIDDLE WAY:NEVER A FAILURE, BUT INDIPENDENCE MOVEMENT IS THE REAL FAILURE! (indigenous)
Independent Tibet (PhuntsogYonten)
to garuda (atsong)
tsongi's comments (garuda)
so then....playing to the crowd Norbu? (garuda)
The Muddle Way (Tsongi)
Dalai Lama’s ‘Middle Way’ has failed - An Interview" (inissini)
Why talk with commies? (Tsongi)
Freedom of expression (Namgyalpa)
Dalai Lama's Middle Wayward: (atsong)
"POT SHOTS" ! (Guru1965)
Hey don't blame Jamyang either!!!! (thupten_loguy)
An Appeal from Fiji: (Lhanzin)
Middle path (wangrig)
Look into your contribution for Tibet! (Tseta)
Middle way path (omshanti)
M 100% with Jamyang Norbu (Lobsong)
response to Lhasa pasang (NYthupten)
Middle Way Policy Should Have an Expiry Date (Ghalib)
Freedom of expression (chetse)
Chinese manipulation (khampa1)
Jamyang la is partly right (DorjeeKnows)
Personal thoughts. (woesermarley)
Middle way (wiseman)
FOOLISH (namgyall)
Don't take pot shots ! (Guru1965)
Jamyang Norbu is right (H1Tibet)
NVDA (vincent)
Yes I Agree with J. Norbulak (lhasapassang)
Your Comments

 More..
Be selfish to achieve your dreams: Tenzin Dasel, Tibetan woman filmmaker
Twenty First Century Renunciation:Lingtsa T. Dorjee's mother talks about her son
Empowering digital Tibet: An interview with activist Lhadon Tethong
Advancing Disability Rights by Expanding our Understanding:Interview with Ling Choktul Rinpoche
In Conversation with Loten Namling
Q&A with Tibetan writer Tsering Namgyal
The Dalai Lama shares wisdom on dissent, death and politicians
The Accidental Prime Minister of Tibet
Phayul in conversation with Dr Dibyesh Anand
Yang Jianli and Lhadon Tethong speak to Phayul on TSG Special Meeting
Advertisement
Advertisement
Photo Galleries
Advertisement
Phayul.com does not endorse the advertisements placed on the site. It does not have any control over the google ads. Please send the URL of the ads if found objectionable to editor@phayul.com
Copyright © 2004-2018 Phayul.com   feedback | advertise | contact us
Powered by Lateng Online
Advertisement